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Hot Cocktail Fun in the Summertime

A pitcher of Roffignacs ready to head across the street for pool consumption.

Full disclosure — I eat less and drink more in the summer. Can’t say it’s all water. 

We’re very fortunate to have lovely neighbors with a pool who invite us over in the evenings to cool off. It gives me a great excuse to make cocktails. 

Here are some summer favorites. 


We discovered this cocktail on our recent trip to New Orleans. It’s a largely forgotten 19th century drink that’s had a resurgence in the last few years. Variations of it were on the menu of several of the restaurants we tried. It’s alarmingly easy drinking, so beware. Make up a big batch of raspberry shrub so you can enjoy it all summer long.

  • 2 oz Cognac (I used Armagnac and suspect Rye would be good, too)
  • 2 oz raspberry shrub 
  • 1/4 oz simple syrup
  • Club soda or Seltzer

Shake the spirit, shrub and syrup in a shaker with ice. Strain into an ice-filled Collins glass and top with Club Soda or Seltzer. Garnish with a lemon peel. 

The P&PT all garnished up. 


That stands for Port & Pamplemousse Tonic. When we were in Portugal in 2019, we were introduced to the joys of Port Tonics and the whole concept of white port, which we didn’t even know existed.  We finally were able to source white port for the Market, so I started experimenting. While a basic Port Tonic is great (2 parts tonic to one part port), I really like the complexity that a little grapefruit adds to the experience.

Build the cocktail in an ice-filled glass and stir. You can go wild with garnishes on this one, like the Spanish do. In the photo, I added juniper berries, cucumber, lemon slices and fresh rosemary. Fresh mint or basil would also work well. 


Years ago, my friend Larry W. Barton introduced me to his way of making a Gin & Tonic. We’re both fans of lime, and it continues to be my summer go-to.

Take a big Collins glass, cut a lime in half and squeeze into the glass, rubbing the lime along the rim before dropping into the glass. Add ice. Pour in 2 oz of London Dry gin and 4 oz of tonic (Fever Tree Indian Tonic is my favorite). Stir and pretend you’re Mrs. Robinson by the pool (without seducing your neighbor’s young son, please). 

A pitcher of Killah with Vanilla ready for sharing.

Killah with Vanilla

The rhubarb in this cocktail is nicely balanced by the vanilla and the blanco tequila. I poured this for our Foodie Fair and it was a big hit. 

  • 1 1/2 oz Blanco Tequila
  • 1 oz. Yes. Cocktail Co. Rhubarb Vanilla Mix
  • 1/2 oz fresh lemon juice

Shake over ice and strain into an ice-filled glass. 

Don’t feel like mixing up a cocktail? We have a great selection of rosé and white “patio pounders” as our friend Chris Waldhart from Winebow calls them. Light and easy drinking, they’re perfect wines for chilling out when it gets hot. 

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