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Summer cocktails will brighten any party

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Sunday, May 19, 2013, at 9:30 a.m.
  • Updated Sunday, May 19, 2013, at 10:12 a.m.

Taste & See’s Brazilian beverage

Chef Jason Febres, the colorful chef and owner at Taste & See, 3825 E. Harry, frequently posts references to “sexy” cocktails on his Facebook page.

Febres and his business partner, master mixologist Steven Bacci, love to make colorful and vibrant cocktails that showcase flavors Wichitans aren’t accustomed to, such as lychee fruit and passion fruit.

The recipe Febres shared is perfect for summer, he said, because it’s fruity and easy to prepare. The Caipirinha, made with Cachaca – a spirit made from fresh sugarcane juice – is the national cocktail of Brazil, he said, and his version has always been popular with his customers.

This one combines two bright red fruits into one brightly-flavored beverage:

Taste and See’s Watermelon Strawberry Caipirinha

1 lime

1 large chunk of fresh watermelon

2 fresh strawberries

3 tablespoons sugar

2 oz. Cachaca (recommended brand: Leblon)

Soda water

Tools needed:


Martini shaker

Tall glass

Halve the lime and quarter the halves. Muddle the limes with the sugar, then add watermelon and strawberries and muddle more.

Pack a tall glass with ice. Pour the Cachaca over the ice. Pour that plus the muddled fruit into a martini shaker and give it several vigorous shakes.

Pour the mixture back into the tall glass and finish with a splash of soda water. Garnish with slices of lime and a chunk of watermelon with rind. Serve with a straw with a wide opening.

The Monarch: Master mixologists

Recently, the Tallgrass Film Festival hosted a martini competition, which legend has it was very tough on the livers of the judges.

Just before they crumbled to a heap on the floor, the judges named local bar The Monarch, 579 W. Douglas, the winner of the competition.

Based on those credentials, we asked Monarch owner Jennifer Ray to share a drink recipe or two.

Both of these summer cocktails are available in her bar, or you can make them at home.

Moscow Mule

1 oz. vodka

1/2 oz. fresh-squeezed lime juice

5 oz. ginger beer (purchased at any health food store)

Mix all ingredients and serve over ice. The Monarch puts this drink in a copper mug, but a highball glass would work just fine. A note from Ray: “I really like this one. The lime juice is a nice contrast to the sweetness of the ginger beer. Perfect for people that aren’t in the mood for a super sweet ‘summery’ drink.”

Cucumber Lime Press

1 oz. cucumber vodka

1/2 oz. fresh-squeezed lime juice

Soda water


Mix vodka and lime juice and serve over ice in a highball glass topped with equal parts soda water and 7-Up. A note from Ray: “We make our cucumber vodka in house, but your local liquor store should have a few options available. For a twist, add two or three crushed mint leaves.”

Heroes Sports Bar goes skinny, girl

Bar manager Jason Rose last summer concocted a simple recipe that was a hit with his calorie-conscious customers, and he’s expanding on it this summer with his about-to-be-released spring and summer cocktail menu. It involves mixing flavored alcohol and a no-calorie concentrated liquid drink mix, such as the Mio brand readily available at local grocery stores, with water. Two of his favorites are below, but at-home mixologists may experiment with different flavors.

Pineapple Express

Dasani Drops pineapple coconut flavored drink mix, to taste

1.25 oz. Bacardi Pineapple Fusion Rum

10 oz. water

Put the ingredients into a glass, then pour the mixture into a shaker tin with ice. Shake and serve.

Orange Blast

Orange-tangerine flavored Mio, to taste

1.25 oz. Skinnygirl tangerine vodka

10 oz. water

Put the ingredients into a glass, then pour the mixture into a shaker tin with ice. Shake and serve.

Your party was just a party.

But now that you’ve added a martini shaker, a bag of ice and a highball glass or two, it’s become a fruity, colorful, epic summer event.

A good cocktail can make a good time way better, say local mixologists who make their livings off of refreshing the masses.

We asked a few cocktail authorities to share some of their favorite recipes that even beginner bartenders could prepare at home parties.

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