Cool Off With These Cocktails From Atlanta’s Jerry Slater | WABE 90.1 FM

Cool Off With These Cocktails From Atlanta’s Jerry Slater

Jul 14, 2017

Stepping outside in mid-July feels like a sauna here in the South, and the “City Lights” staff officially declares that we’ve had enough: it’s too darn hot! Fortunately, Atlanta offers plenty of alternatives to sweltering in the heat, and we’ll bring you options this summer on where to go and what to consume.

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So far, we’ve covered a boozy book club and ice-cold popsicles (both virtual and refreshingly real).

Today, libations expert Jerry Slater crafts what he describes as “lighter, sparkling and refreshing” cocktails to cool you down. Slater co-authored the forthcoming “Southern Foodways Alliance Guide to Cocktails,” which will be available Oct. 5 from the University of Georgia Press.

Below are the cocktails Jerry Slater whipped up for Lois Reitzes:

Ruby Slipper

  • 2 ounces freshly squeezed ruby red grapefruit juice
  • 1 1/2 ounces vodka, such as Cathead
  • ½ ounce rosemary syrup (see recipe below)
  • 3 to 4 ounces soda or mineral water

Place grapefruit juice, vodka and rosemary syrup into a shaker, add ice and shake.  Strain into ice-filled glass, top with soda water and garnish with rosemary sprig.

Rosemary Syrup

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cups sugar
  • 3 rosemary sprigs

Place water and sugar into a small saucepan set over high heat and bring to a boil. Boil for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat, add rosemary, cover and steep for 30 minutes. Strain and cool until room temperature. Refrigerate in a lidded container for up to 3 weeks.

Watermelon Refresher (Spiked Agua Fresca)

  • 1.5 ounces Cachaça (or white rum, tequila or favorite white spirit)
  • 4 ounces watermelon agua fresca (see recipe below)

Combine ingredients in a rocks glass with ice, stir and enjoy.

Agua Fresca


  • 1 quart Watermelon juice
  • 4 ounces fresh lime juice
  • 2 ounces simple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Sparkling Negroni

  • 1 ounce gin 
  • 1 ounce sweet vermouth
  • 1 ounce bitter liqueur (Campari, Gran Classico, St. George Bruto, etc.)
  • club soda or mineral water* 

Combine first three ingredients in a rocks or wine glass, add ice and stir, top with sparkling water. Add orange wheel garnish.

*Spritz option: substitute Prosecco sparkling wine for water and omit gin.


“Too Darn Hot” is a summer-long series on “City Lights” about things to do to cool off.