I maintain that making cocktails should be as spontaneous and improvisational as regular cooking. This is particularly true during the height of summer, when backyard gardens and farmers markets are producing an almost overwhelming amount of vegetables and fruit.
For example, there are few things as pleasant as drinking cold Vinho Verde in a friend's backyard, then plucking a couple fresh raspberries and dropping them into your glass. (Berries can also be frozen and later used as ice cubes in cocktails throughout the summer.) Additionally, just-picked tomatoes (roughly chopped and salted) form the base of a spectacular Bloody Mary, one that can be garnished with a sliver of fresh cucumber.
Summer drinks should be refreshing, easy, and made with ingredients you already have on hand. The following recipes are for drinks I've been enjoying this summer, and are basic guidelines/suggestions that can be adapted to whatever is available.