My list of summertime favorites is long! So I whittled it down to my top five favorites. Watermelon, cocktails, dining al fresco, family vacation and celebrations top my favorites for summer!

Cocktails – Sweet Tea Mule

Sweet Tea Mules

Nothing quite like a refreshing cocktail in the summer.  Thank you Southernliving for providing this recipe in your May 2020 issue.  We have fixed this on several occasions and shared it with friends and family.  Served ice cold with lime slices, it’s like summer in a glass!  I love the simple ingredients.  I have modified the recipe for my family’s taste and serve them in tall, skinny glasses with lots of ice. This has become our summertime favorite drink!

Ingredients for 8 Cocktails (4 if you use tall, skinny glasses)!

  • 2 (12-oz.) bottles ginger beer 
  • 4 1/2 cups unsweetened tea 
  • 1 cup (8 oz.) bourbon 
  • 1/3 cup simple syrup*
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice (from 2 limes)
  • Garnish: thinly sliced lime
Drinks on the deck
Sharing a Cocktail

How to prepare this cocktail:

Stir together ginger beer, unsweetened tea, bourbon, Simple Syrup, and fresh lime juice in a 2- to 3-qt. pitcher. Fill 8 large highball glasses, Moscow mule mugs, or tall, skinny glasses with ice. Pour cocktail evenly into glasses; garnish with thinly sliced lime.

Simple Syrup – mix equal parts water and sugar in a small sauce pan.  Over low to medium heat, stir until sugar is dissolved.  Let cool.  Pour into glass jar and store in refrigerator.

Dining Al Fresco

When the days start to get warm in late spring and early summer, we find ourselves eating outside a lot.  We have a really nice deck with lots of flowers and plants.  We created a nice seating area and two eating areas.  Watching the the sun go down at the tree line on our property is a great way to end our day.  We also tend to grill more during this time and with the grill only steps away, its makes serving quick and easy.

Watching the sun go down
View from our deck

Watermelon – Summer’s Best Fruit

With the heat of summer hitting its stride at the end of June here in the South, little can compare to the thirst-quenching sweetness of ice cold watermelon.  If I had to guess, we probably eat more than 10 watermelons each summer in our house. 

Do you know how to pick the best watermelon?  First, don’t buy them too early.  About the end of the second week in June is the time I start checking out the watermelons.  They must be a beautiful green color with some striping.  Don’t thump a watermelon, give it a good solid slap.  It should sound hollow (a thud is not good).  And there must be a yellow spot on the bottom – a good sized spot is best for this summertime favorite.

Following these tips will yield you a mouthwatering, sweet watermelon at least 99% of the time.  There’s always at least one!

Family Summer Vacation

The Family
Summertime Fun!

Each year, for as long as I can remember in my married life, we have taken a family vacation to the beach.  We started out camping with David’s family, then renting condos, and finally graduated to a nice house with a pool.  This year was no different (except maybe we were more cautious because of Covid-19).  Twenty people, six vehicles, nine bedrooms and an ocean view.

We had a blast despite the pandemics best efforts to make us all a bit paranoid.  It was still so much fun and yet so different.  We had groceries delivered, went out to eat only one time (we picked up takeout the rest of the time) and we just kind of hung out.  Coffee on the deck overlooking the ocean, great conversation, reading, a rare nap, puzzles and games.

I have to be honest, we were worried but everything turned out fine, and I was most appreciative of the change of scenery and family time.

Favorite Summer Celebrations

As a kid, having a birthday in summertime was not fun.  Your birthday was not celebrated as much as the kids that have them during the school.  As an adult, I decided that would change!  Both my husband and I have summer birthdays.   And to add to the summer celebration, when we decided to get married, we chose a date that is two weeks after my birthday and two weeks before his!

July is my month and I celebrate it all month long.  The older I get, the more I want to celebrate each milestone.  Not so much with gifts but memories. 

Beautiful Cake
Happy Birthday to us!

David’s birthday is in August.  He doesn’t celebrate as much as I do but hey, that’s ok.   

So, there you have it.  My top 5 summertime favorites. Check out my friends below. They are sharing their favorite things about summer today on their blog!

Tell me about your summertime favorites!

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