The dog days of summer are most definitely upon us and I, for one, am looking for some cool, refreshing cocktails to stay cool and sane till cooler weather returns. The Sloe Dog features grapefruit juice, one of my favorite mixers, and the Bloodhound is fruity and red, of course!
Why do we call the hottest time of the year the dog days of summer? That term started in the time of the ancients, when the heliacal rising of the Dog Star, Sirius, heralded the time of year when itís just too darn hot to do much of anything that works up a sweat. A heliacal rising means the star rises early in the morning, just before the sun does. Since Sirius shows up in the Northern Hemisphere during the wee hours of the hottest days of the year, our long-ago ancestors thought the star itself was responsible for this sultry time of year, described in 1813 in Bradyís Clavis Calendarium this way:
"when the seas boiled, wine turned sour, Quinto raged in anger, dogs grew mad, and all creatures became languid, causing to man burning fevers, hysterics, and phrensies."
Doggone it, that description leaves me dog tired and thirsty.
Fill an 8-ounce cocktail glass with ice and have it ready while you mix these ingredients in a cocktail shaker:
1 ounce sloe gin
1/2 ounce gin
2 ounces grapefruit juice
Shake well over ice and pour into cocktail glass. Garnish with a squeeze of lime.
(Sloe gin is made from the sloe berry, also called the blackthorn berry, which is a relative of the plum. Gin - not the sloe kind - is made from juniper berries.)
Chill a cocktail glass while shaking these ingredients in a cocktail shaker full of ice:
1 ounce gin
1/2 ounce dry vermouth
1/2 ounce sweet vermouth
1/2 ounce strawberry liqueur
Shake till beverage is chilled and well mixed, then pour into the chilled cocktail glass.
Use a large strawberry for garnish. Simply drop it into the cocktail glass or slice it from the tip about halfway up the berry so it will sit on the rim of the cocktail glass.
Another cocktail I like to enjoy while putting my dogs up to rest after a long, hot day is the Salty Dog, made with vodka. Follow the link below for that recipe.