summer hits

Sun-Drenched Serenity: Summer on the Balcony with Refreshing Drinks


Warm glowing rays, a gentle breeze, and the soothing comfort of your own home make for the ultimate unwinding experience when you sit down for a refreshing summer beverage on the balcony. And, like any leisure activity, there are a few variables you can tweak to make the most of this pastime. Join us as we explore what makes this combination of elements so enriching - from the role of a balcony as an outdoor extension of your home to the art of crafting sumptuous summer drinks and, as always, the role glassware has in enhancing this experience.


Turning your Balcony into a Summer Haven

If you're fortunate enough to have an outdoor balcony area, you'll know what an oasis of calm it can be. As the sun casts its warm embrace over the landscape, this outdoor extension of your home offers an escape from life's worries, providing a connection to nature and a serene spot for enjoying summer drinks.

To create an inviting ambiance on your balcony, it's important to decorate it accordingly. Start by choosing the right furniture that complements the space; think a small table for your drink, cozy chairs for personal comfort - maybe even a hammock if you're lucky! Add vibrant cushions, perhaps with tropical patterns or soothing pastel shades, and you're on your way to building a setup to evoke that summer feeling.

Besides furniture, you can decorate with other items that will lift the atmosphere of your balcony. For example:

  • Plants play a vital role in setting the mood. Hanging baskets of cascading flowers, potted palms, or aromatic herbs can transform your balcony into a lush oasis.
  • Outdoor-friendly lighting, such as string lights or lanterns, can create a magical atmosphere as the sun sets. 
  • Finally, you can add some personal style with decorative accents that reflect your taste, allowing you to curate anything from warm beachy vibes to a cozy bohemian retreat.

Whether it's with your furniture, plants, lights, or other mood-setters, carefully curating the decor will ensure your balcony is an inviting space you'll love spending time on during those warm summer evenings. Now, let's get onto the summer drinks side of things.


The Art of Crafting Summer Drinks

Now that you have your beautiful balcony retreat, it's time to elevate your summer experience with the art of crafting refreshing drinks.

Creating the perfect beverage requires balancing flavors. Avoid excessive sweetness, sourness, or bitterness. Strive for a harmonious blend that refreshes and leaves you craving more. Learn about flavor interactions to boost your confidence in crafting summer drinks.

  • Sweetness: Fruit juices, syrup and liqueurs enhance taste. Tropical juices are popular for summer drinks.
  • Sourness: Citrus juices add brightness by balancing sweetness.
  • Bitterness: Aperitifs like Campari, bitters and tonic water add depth
  • Savory: Herbs and veggie garnishes like cucumber offer a unique twist, especially for herbal or fresh cocktails.

Many cocktails combine three to four elements, usually at least two. Sweet often pairs with sour (e.g. Margaritas) for a balanced blend. Sweet also teams with bitter (e.g. Old Fashioneds) for added complexity. Sour and bitter create harmony (e.g. Negronis). Savory garnishes enhance cocktails. When following recipes, note flavor profiles and quantities.

Mastering flavor balance, you’ll craft great drinks. Use fresh, quality ingredients and spirits. Proper mudding and mixing release essential oils. Choose suitable glassware. Taste before serving. These steps ensure your beautifully decorated balcony is a perfect backdrop for enjoying your delicious summer concoctions.


The Role of Glassware in Enhancing the Drinking Experience

As previously mentioned, summer drinks - and any drink for that matter - benefit hugely from using the correct, high-quality glassware. Your drinking glass's shape and size can significantly enhance the overall indulgence experience; a short cocktail that calls for lots of ice benefits from being served in a short tumbler with a wide mouth, while a sour cocktail requires a glass with an outward-flared lip to deliver the drink's silky smoothness to the entire palate. Meanwhile, using crystal glassware ensures your glasses are more durable, display eye-catching brilliance, and can be created in a finer form than regular glass. Put all this together, and you're much better equipped to find your zen on the balcony with your drink in hand.

The idea that using the right glasses for cocktails enhances the overall sensory experience is at the heart of RIEDEL’s philosophy, which has gone into the design of our RIEDEL Drink Specific Glassware Collection. This collection includes cocktail glasses in all shapes and sizes, also included is a stylish mixing glass that allows you to perfectly prepare thousands of cocktails.

After perfecting your balcony ambiance and honing your drink-making skills, the last step is pairing your drinks with tasty snacks. Complement your drink's flavors and embark on a culinary adventure.
  • Sweet drinks: Pair light snacks with sweet, vibrant drinks. Subtle cocktails like Mojitos match fruit platters with berries, watermelon, and pineapple. Richer treats like chocolate truffles work well with more intense sweet cocktails like French Martinis. For dinners, Pina Coladas go with coconut-crusted chicken and mango salsa, while Cosmopolitans enhance citrus-glazed salmon and mixed greens.
  • Sour drinks: Sour cocktails cut through fried foods. Enjoy Sour Apple Martinis with zesty key lime pie, and Tom Collins with fresh sorbet. For meals, try Tom Collins with fish tacos and citrus avocado salsa, or a Whiskey Sour with fried chicken and tangy coleslaw.
  • Bitter drinks: Bold flavors match bitter drinks. Pair Negronis or Americanos with dark chocolate, nuts, or charcuterie. Vermouth-based cocktails go with grilled veggies or seafood, while aperitif-based drinks match lighter dishes like grilled seafood with citrus sauce.

This information transforms your balcony into a summer haven. Craft drinks, select glassware, and pair with snacks. Enjoy serene views, delightful sips, and the season's pleasures. Cheers to unforgettable summer memories!