Summer chill out with fresh drinks

Marion Sullivan, Books for Cooks

We're well into the first week of Spoleto. If precedent holds, the days will get hotter and the nights will stay warmer as the festival progresses -- not that I'd mind being proven wrong. No better time for a refreshing libation.

"Summer Cocktails." This newest member of the respected "Mr. Boston Bartenders' Guide" series, "Summer Cocktails" serves up a hundred seasonally inspired cool drinks from top-shelf mixologists. CBS News radio wine correspondent Anthony Giglio and Sommelier Journal columnist Jim Meehan have edited the book of recipes, which, they write, "range from classics and riffs on classics to cutting edge and totally trendy." Think Singapore Sling to Tequila Smash. Hardcover. Wiley. $15.

"Rum Drinks: 50 Caribbean Cocktails, From Cuba Libre to Rum Daisy." Though from the title one might suspect simply another cocktail collection here, aficionados of Dr. Jessica Harris' work know there will always be much more than recipes in her books. The author of 11 cookbooks documenting the foods and foodways of the African diaspora, Harris also is a journalist, culinary historian and tenured professor of English at Queens College/CUNY. In "Rum Drinks," she provides plenty of drink, and food, as is included in the section "Caribbean Snacks." But through picture and story, sip and bite, she takes you on a colorful journey through rum's history, and you will enjoy every page of the way. Hardcover. Chronicle Books. A steal at $19.95.

Makes 1 drink

"This is a classic colonial cooler. ... It's simply a mix of beer with fizzy lemonade. Caribbean beer brands like Caribe, Banks and Red Stripe are all fine, but if you can't find them, a light local beer like Budweiser or a Coors will do. The fizzy French lemonade that is sold in many supermarkets is fine."

Ingredients

Caribbean beer

Fizzy French-style lemonade

Ice cubes

1 wedge lemon for garnish

Directions

Mix equal parts of beer and fizzy lemonade in a tall glass over ice. Garnish with a lemon wedge, if desired. Serve immediately.

-- Adapted from "Rum Drinks: 50 Caribbean Cocktails, From Cuba Libre to Rum Daisy."

Marion Sullivan is culinary programs specialist at the Culinary Institute of Charleston. Send your questions to Booksforcooks@bellsouth.net.