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Cocktail Recipes for a Socially Distant Happy Hour

On the Beach cocktail

It seems many people now have a weekly appointment with their computer for happy hour with friends or family. It’s a way to connect while we distance ourselves and stay safe. For me, it’s become my favorite time of the week. If you’re looking to up your happy hour game, give one of these cocktail recipes a try. There are no fancy ingredients so all are easy to make and some can be made non-alcoholic too.

“This one is very inviting on a hot afternoon but be careful… it’s a sneaker,” shares Maggie M. “Easily made non-alcoholic and still refreshing.”

Maggie’s Tipsy Peach Lemonade will be your new summertime drink. Lemon juice and fresh peaches are a refreshing combination. The peach lemonade needs to be made ahead of time and cool, which makes happy hour easy. At the time of your call, just add vodka. If you want a non-alcoholic drink, top with a bit of seltzer.

Tara Pacheco’s (Fall River, MA) White Sangria is fruity and fantastic. It’s the perfect balance of fruit and wine.

“I made this little concoction yesterday for a barbecue and everyone enjoyed them,” reveals Tara. “I hope you will, too!”

The base of the sangria is white zinfandel wine, triple sec, pineapple juice, and lemon-lime soda. Then, add what fruit you have handy. I used chopped apples and orange slices like Tara suggested. But, I froze the grapes to act as ice and keep the sangria cold. My favorite part of this drink is eating the fruit at the end.

The Kentucky Derby was postponed until the fall, but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy a Mint Julep now. Janice Splaha (Phoenix, AZ) shared a recipe for this classic cocktail I love.

“One year, I decided to drink a Mint Julep while enjoying the festivities of race day,” explains Janice. “It took me many, many attempts until I finally decided on this recipe.”

This drink is not for the faint of heart. It’s meant to be sipped so the ice melts. The simple instructions make preparing this cocktail at home a cinch. Muddling the mint leaves makes it quite refreshing and mixes wonderfully with the slightly sweet drink. It’s smooth as silk and perfect to sip on. Just make sure to use a good bourbon when preparing this cocktail.

“I used to work as a bartender and learned so many different cocktail combinations,” shares Cara Mastrangello (Albany, NY). “Even though I rarely drink, this Cherry Lime Mojito one of my favorite springtime cocktails.”

Traditional mojitos are made with white rum, sugar, lime juice, sparkling water, and mint. I love Cara’s twist. Instead of sugar, she uses cherry juice to add a sweet and tart aspect to the drink. You’ll taste the rum, but it’s not overpowering. This is sweet, tangy, and fresh-tasting thanks to the fresh mint.

Right now, I’m wishing I could take a vacation to the beach with friends. Those plans are going to be on hold for a while, but I can dream I’m there when sipping on Nikki Smith’s (Hemet, CA) On the Beach cocktail.

“This drink can be an alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverage,” says Nikki. “You can also make this a kid’s dessert by adding sherbet to the drink.”

This is a cool tropical drink. I really enjoyed the mixture of peach and citrus. Sip slowly though… this tastes like punch and it will sneak up on you. If you’re making this non-alcoholic combine the cranberry juice and orange juice with a bit of seltzer (use a flavored version to amp the flavor even more).

At some point, I’ll be able to enjoy happy hour with my friends and family in person. Until then, I’ll look forward to my weekly video call and enjoying these cocktail recipes. Happy Pinching!