Shake-up & Stir Your Summer 7

Breakaway from the ordinary with sensational seasonal cocktails.

When the heat and long days of summer take their toll on you, a refreshing summer cocktail is the perfect treat to enjoy while you relax and unwind. For a little heat-beating inspiration, we asked Shawn Spitaleri from the Honeysuckle in Franklin to share some drink mixing tips and recipes.

When you’re making cocktails at home, “Don’t be afraid to experiment,” Spitaleri says. “You don’t have to try and mimic a drink you’ve had in a restaurant before.” For summer, he said there are definitely a few ingredients you should have on hand:

  • citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, and limes – use the juice or the peels;
  • fresh herbs, like mint – for flavor and garnish;
  • flowers such as hibiscus or lavender – for flavor and a beautiful presentation.

He also suggests having your favorite liqueurs or unique alcohols close by. Don’t be afraid to use a different type of alcohol in a traditional drink, such as smoked bourbon in an old-fashioned rather than whiskey. Sometimes, the best creations come from an experiment. And if you’re not in the mood for a stiff drink, you can easily make a non-alcoholic “mocktail” to enjoy any time of day.

To get you started, here are a few recipes from the Honeysuckle’s 
signature cocktail menu.


This cocktail is perfect for any margarita lover who wants to “drink outside the box.” Like tequila, Vida Mezcal is an agave-based product, but its unique distilling process gives it a distinct smoky flavor that is a bit bolder than traditional tequila.

To make it, mix together the following:

Vida Mezcal

Orange Juice

Lemon or lime juice

Simple syrup

Serve in a glass with a salt rim, and garnish with a lime slice.

Watermelon Sling

Is there anything that screams “summer” more than the flavor of watermelon? This simple drink is easy to prepare, and it’s everything you hope for in a simple, but delicious, fruity cocktail. It uses Aperol, a light aperitif alcohol, to add flavor and a little extra kick.

Mix these ingredients:

Four Roses Bourbon or Buffalo Trace Whiskey

Lemon Juice


Watermelon juice

Garnish with citrus peel, and enjoy!

Hibiscus Mint Lemonade (non-alcoholic)

This drink gets its beautiful color from a homemade hibiscus syrup. The Honeysuckle serves this drink in non-alcoholic form, but you can kick it up a notch by substituting a few ingredients.

For the non-alcoholic version, mix these ingredients:

Hibiscus syrup

Fresh lemonade

Fresh mint

Club soda

To make this drink a true cocktail, simply add honeysuckle vodka, and use prosecco instead of club soda. Garnish with mint, and enjoy the refreshing taste!

Whatever your taste in summer drinks, don’t forget to share them with those you love. Invite friends and family over for a party to try out one of these recipes – or one of your own – and take the time to bask in summer.