Enjoy the Cool All Summer Long

By: Craig Chapman

Summer — when hot days are followed by even hotter nights. Each moment, whether you are trying to turn up or chill out, deserves an icy cold libation. This summer, we are mixing our glasses with light and fresh ingredients to craft some of the most refreshing cocktails on the Space Coast. Whether you are relaxing at home, grabbing a bite out, or getting loose at your favorite watering hole, there are summer libations that will keep you cool.

With the established demand for fresh, craft cocktails, there are a few trends to look for this summer. Alan Merrick, the Central Florida account manager for Jack Daniel’s family of brands, says to look for “tons of interest in using locally-sourced and homemade ingredients as well as local ‘Florida’ distilled spirits. Keep an eye out for high-end frozen cocktails and cocktails on draught.”

Will Patrick, bartender at Crush Eleven in Cocoa, includes various summer trends in their constantly refreshed cocktail offerings. “The summer drink trend we are most interested in would be seasonal drinks with fresh ingredients,” Patrick said. “We love offerings that pair well with a meal or simply refresh while relaxing after a warm day.” More specifically he refers us to a few of the cocktails they have on their menu for the summer. “Right now we are featuring a take on the classic tequila sunrise with fresh mango, which is in season throughout the summer,” Patrick said.  “We take a house-made toasted coconut oil-washed tequila and mix it with fresh mango puree, passion fruit syrup, house-made grenadine and habanero bitters, then garnish it with tajin spice and call it the Indian River city sunset.”

Even if you don’t partake in spirits, Crush Eleven has delicious libations so everyone can join in on the party. “We like to cater to everyone so we have a delicious ‘mocktail’ that will hit the spot in the same way but without the alcohol,” Patrick said. “The sparkling guava cooler has guava nectar, fresh lime juice, simple syrup mixed together and then topped with soda water and a mint sprig garnish. It’s incredibly refreshing.”

The Dock at River Rocks offers up the mojito marker 92 (named after the restaurant’s location at mile marker 92 off the Indian River) for a perfect summer sipper. It includes mint, lime and simple syrup muddled together, then a white rum, finished off with soda water and lime wedges. Terry Crovo, director of marketing and operations for the restaurant, adds, “Our other famous drink that’s great for summer is the island tropic. This cocktail is perfect for the tropical and casual feel at The Dock bar. It is made with a mix of spiced rum, coconut rum, cranberry juice, pineapple juice and sliced orange wedges.” The Dock at River Rocks also offers their Wine-Down Thursdays and Martini Tuesdays, so they always have a little something for everyone.

Brevard’s tropical environment and beautiful beaches make it the perfect place to serve up libations all summer long. Enjoy the cool.

Crush Eleven

11 Riverside Dr., Cocoa, FL 32922



The Dock at River Rocks

6485 U.S. 1, Rockledge, FL 32955



We gathered some cocktail recipes from friends around Brevard County. Visit our website and try some at home, and share a recipe with us for your favorite summer libation!

Tequila & Grapefruit
(by Rose Petralia)

Muddle 2 fresh sage leaves with ice

Pour over 1 part Espolon Reposado

2 (or 3 if you’re a lightweight) parts fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice

A few drops of citrus bitters

Stir it up

44 North Huckleberry Lemonade
(by Alan Merrick)

2 ounces of 44 North Huckleberry

Rocks in pint glass

Fill with Simply Lemonade

Stir in fresh blueberries and some mint

Rum Punch
(by Julia Fuller)

1 bottle white rum

2 large cans Goya coconut water with pulp

1/2 large can pineapple juice

1 carton mango nectar

1 carton passionfruit juice

Juice of 4-6 limes

Let sit or refrigerate for 2 or more hours

Serve with crushed ice