You don't have to be watching the Kentucky Derby to be sipping on a mint julep. This bourbon- based cocktail is a refreshing choice for warm-weather tippling.

You don't have to be watching the Kentucky Derby to be sipping on a mint julep. This bourbon- based cocktail is a refreshing choice for warm-weather tippling.

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By Matt Brown

The moment is nearing in Dallas-Fort Worth when there'll be nothing to do but sweat and drink. As such, you need options. The old stand-bys are only going to get you through the first couple weeks of June, if that. Here's a list of 10 cocktails to put on rotation as the season starts to heat up.

No. 1 Gin Gimlet

The simplest drink on this list and maybe any list, the basic recipe is London dry gin and lime juice, shaken with ice and then strained into a glass. Esquire has a recipe with nice proportions.

No. 2 Pineapple-Mint Mojito

Mojito is Portuguese for "summer," and the Pineapple-Mint Mojito is English for "you do not want to know how much sugar is in this." That said, the drink is incredibly refreshing, especially if you go to all the trouble laid out in this Bon Appétit recipe.

No. 3 BeerRita

This is innovation at its finest. A cold beer shoved into a frozen margarita? How did we not think of this sooner? Consider this recipe for a DIY version.

No. 4 Mint Julep

This is probably fresh on your mind from the Kentucky Derby, but you can have it more than once a year, you know. Epicurious has the basic recipe, but this drink is really all about the silverware.

No. 5 Bourbon Barrel-Aged Old Fashioned

First, visit the Bittermilk website and buy the Bourbon Barrel Aged Old Fashioned cocktail mixer. Yes, we know, a cocktail mixer-they usually taste like a first cousin to a fluid you'd put in your car, but these are delicious. Pair it with a smooth but strong bourbon-Basil Hayden works wonders. Shake in a cocktail mixer, strain and rejoice.

No. 6 Skip and Go Naked

As the name suggests, this is a cocktail that goes down all too easily. There are many variations, but commonalities are beer (we suggest a light Mexican brew), frozen lemonade concentrate and vodka. Mix to taste and drink to tolerance.

No. 7 Tabernacle Crush

This drink sounds like it was pulled off Midnight Rambler's cocktail list, but in fact it was culled from Food & Wine. A muddled peach, basil leaves, lemon juice, gin, Lillet, simple syrup, ice and club soda. It's Southern and sophisticated-what more could you want?

No. 8 Carolina Peach Sangria

This is Texas, so there must be at least one sangria on here, though forgive us for having "Carolina" in the name. If you love cold fruit, you'll love this execution of the classic. And of course making a few pitchers of sangria is far more pragmatic than hand-mixing a few dozen cocktails.

No. 9 Iced Vodka with Cucumber, Lemon and Mint

Cucumber is possibly the single most refreshing thing on earth, and while it's a common addition to a gin gimlet, we prefer it with vodka. And while the fine recipe-makers at Epicurious haven't spent much time naming this cocktail, it does have all the ingredients for a refreshing afternoon on the patio.

No. 10 Planter's Punch

We've waited until the bitter end, but at last, yes, a rum cocktail. In fact, a two-rum cocktail by this recipe. Or if you prefer, you can follow the circa-1878 version that reads like a riddle from The Hobbit.

There you have it -- 10 refreshing cocktails to get you through the dog days in fine form. Please enjoy them, responsibly, all season long.

Matt Brown is, against his better judgment and the advice of others, a writer. He lives and works in Dallas and LA because he loves Dallas scenery and LA rent.

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