Summertime Sipping with Maria del Mar Sacasa

summer-cocktails-book-coverThere is no better time for sipping than summer. Hot days call for cool, refreshing cocktails, and professional food stylist and recipe developer Maria del Mar Sacasa brings readers the best drink recipes for the season in her book Summer Cocktails. Filled with beautiful photography by Tara Striano and more than 70 fresh recipes for margaritas, martinis, mint juleps, and punches, Summer Cocktails is a must-have for summer jubilations. Maria, also the author of Winter Cocktails (2013), chatted with us and shared her favorite recipe from the book, the Salty Lime Soda. Whether you’re grilling out with friends or relaxing solo on the beach, we guarantee that Summer Cocktails has the perfect drink to satisfy your taste. Enter our May/June Books We Are Loving Giveaway to win Summer Cocktails, along with two more amazing books featured in our May/June issue. 

Tell us a little about why you wanted to create your book.
Aside from being a natural follow-up to “Winter Cocktails,” it seemed like an ode to the season and the general festive feel the warm weather months carry.  The variety of fresh ingredients and flavors that can be used in icy drinks for hot days was also very attractive. 

What is it about specifically? How is broken into chapters, etc?
It’s all about cocktails (although there are several food recipes included, meant to be paired with the drinks), beginning with “Classics, Throwbacks, and New Wave.” Those include standards like martinis and nostalgic drinks like Sex on the Beach with revisions made to update them with new additions, and in particular, made-from-scratch mixers and bases. There are “Punches and Pitchers” to share with crowds, “Frosty Drinks” to compete with the kids’ ice cream truck, “Antidotes” to soothe the overindulgent, and “Underpinnings” to help you build your drink from the bottom up.

What was the hardest part? Easiest part?
Drinking a lot and — drinking a lot.

What is your favorite thing about the final book?
The overall look and the Salty Lime Soda.

What do you want people to come away with after reading your book?
Feeling like they can make a better cocktail and enjoy it while they’re doing so. It’s much easier than it looks!

Salty Lime Soda
Most of the fruit juices I try are too sweet for my taste. Tropical and citrus juices that should be thirst quenchers instead taste overpowering. But these limeades, cut with salt and smoky curry leaves, are fresh and tart, hydrating to the nth power.

Salty Lime Soda
Serves 1
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  1. 6 fresh curry leaves
  2. 2 kafir lime leaves, cut
  3. into thin ribbons
  4. 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  5. 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
  6. 1⁄4 cup fresh lime juice
  7. 2 ounces white rum
  8. Ice cubes
  9. 1⁄4 cup club soda, chilled
  1. Toast curry leaves in a dry skillet over medium heat until fragrant and dry, shaking pan often, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  2. Transfer to a shaker.
  3. Add lime leaves, sugar, and salt and muddle.
  4. Add lime juice, rum, and ice and shake vigorously.
  5. Strain into an ice-filled glass and top with club soda. Serve.
Celebrate Magazine
Excerpted from Summer Cocktails written by María del Mar Sacasa and photographed by Tara Striano. Reprinted with permission from Quirk Books.