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Heidi Shaffer, Published April 10 2014

5 Spot: Perfect drinks for getting back in the backyard

Editor’s note: “5 spot” is a weekly feature that focuses on quick tips, ideas, activities and more – all in bunches of five.

FARGO – As the last of our snow melted (for now), we didn’t waste any time getting in our backyard.

A lounge chair, good book and chilled drink in my hand were all I needed to get back into a warm-weather frame of mind.

Here are five perfect backyard beverages:

1. St. Germaine Mint Margarita

Put a fancy twist on the Cinco de Mayo classic with this elderflower liqueur and some fresh herbs.


1½ ounces silver tequila

1 ounce St. Germaine

1 ounce fresh lime juice

½ ounce club soda

Splash of simple syrup or agave

2 sprigs mint

Rimming salt


Pour the tequila, St. Germaine, lime juice, mint and syrup to a cocktail shaker and mix.

Rub a slice of fresh lime around the rim of your glass and dip into salt.

Fill the glass with ice, pour drink and top with club soda and sprig of mint.

Source: Sweet Lemon Magazine

2. Cardamom Moscow Mule

Spice up this summertime favorite with cardamom, the perfect accent to a fizzy ginger ale.


2 ounces vodka

½ ounce lime juice

4 ounces ginger ale

½ ounce cardamom simple syrup (make this using one part sugar, one part water and a pinch of ground cardamom)


Fill cup halfway with crushed ice. Add ingredients. Top it off with more ice, a slice of lime and a sprinkle of ground cardamom.

Source: www.honestlyyum.com

3. Coconut Mojito

Mojitos are as close to perfection as a drink gets in my book. Kick it up with a hint of coconut, and transport yourself to a tropical locale. I also love this recipe because no muddling is needed.


¾ cup coconut rum

½ cup canned light coconut milk

¼ cup coconut water

¼ cup club soda or seltzer

½ cup simple syrup

2 limes, juiced

¼ cup fresh mint, torn into pieces

1½ cups ice


Combine ingredients in a blender and pulse until combined. Garnish with mint and lime.

Source: www.howsweeteats.com

4. Watermelon Mimosa

Bring this brunch classic to the backyard with summer’s sweetest fruit.


6 cups cubed watermelon (rind off)

2 limes, juiced

2 tablespoons agave

1 bottle of dry sparkling wine


Puree the watermelon in a blender until smooth. Add the lime juice and agave to taste.

Combine with wine and stir gently in a pitcher and serve.


5. The Basil Cucumber Gin

This is a great drink for that time of summer when you can’t use your garden’s bounty fast enough.


1 cucumber, sliced

1 sprig basil

½ tablespoon simple syrup

1 ounce gin

Lime slice

½ cup crushed ice

½ cup tonic water


Combine gin and simple syrup in glass. Add chopped basil and two slices of cucumber. Muddle 10-15 times.

Add ice and top with tonic water. Garnish with cucumber and squeeze of lime.


Readers can reach Forum features editor Heidi Shaffer at (701) 241-5511