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Mixed, Fixed and Fresh: Cocktails and Offbeat Lemonades for Summer

Mixed, Fixed and Fresh:  Cocktails and Offbeat Lemonades for Summer

Detroit Free Press

Now that it’s officially summer (and finally hot!), it’s time to think about refreshing lemonades and cool cocktails.

“In the world of cocktails, we’ve been going through a rebirth over the past several years,” says mixologist Natalie Bovis-Nelsen, whose Web site has recipes and cocktail advice.

“People are thinking about cocktails more like chefs do with food. We are looking at freshly squeezed juices versus pre-bottled mixes, and at organic ingredients.”

It’s also important for hosts to offer nonalcoholic options, says Bovis-Nelsen. Her book “Preggatinis: Mixology for the Mom-to-Be” (GPP Life, $16.95) has recipes and ideas for drinks both with and without alcohol.

“It’s nice to offer (guests) something in a beautiful glass, that’s colorful and festive, tastes great and ultimately makes them feel included in the fun,” says Bovis-Nelsen, who did mocktail demonstrations in Northville and Grand Rapids last week.

This year, Bovis-Nelsen created a Betsy Ross mocktail for the July 4 holiday. She says it’s easy to make cool cocktails if you follow these basic rules:

• Create a balanced drink — not too sweet and not too tart.

• Use quality ingredients. Squeeze your own limes and lemons and use a simple sugar syrup you make yourself rather than buying a sweet and sour mix.

• Add fresh herbs such as mint, basil, thyme or rosemary to a drink.

“I love the concept of bringing the kitchen into the cocktail glass,” Bovis-Nelsen says. “That little extra effort to use fresh ingredients makes all the difference .”

First Recipe: Betsy Ross >>