Summer is in full swing and I am absolutely loving it. Even with the kids back to school, I’m still in a summer state of mind. My appetite for heirloom tomatoes is seemingly insatiable. I can’t stop thinking of things to do with stone fruit. Grilling feels like the right answer for almost every meal. And, I’m fairly certain there is not much better than a summer night gathered outdoors with friends and family around a table of great food. Savoring a refreshing seasonal cocktail makes those moments even more enjoyable. These strawberry rum coolers are an ideal option for this time of year. The strawberry puree is made in advance and though the drinks are mixed up individually, they are very simple. After one or two you’ll have it down, and then you’ll have a new gorgeous cocktail in your entertaining repertoire. They are a bright, a little boozy, and ideal for summer sipping.

This recipe is from one of my favorite cookbooks I have added to my collection this year, Soul by Todd Richards. The book is stunningly beautiful, the recipes are inventive yet approachable, and the narrative portions captivating. Months ago I received a request from a reader to share a post about my cookbook collection. I have been mulling over the best approach and while I may do a large post showcasing my library as a whole, I am also thinking of doing a monthly feature where I make at least one recipe per week from the same book and give a more in depth review. Is this something you would be interested in?

I wanted to add that there is so much to mourn these days in the world, and I find myself really struggling to cope with processing it all. If you can relate, please know that I am with you. I may write more about this soon, as I am having a hard time reconciling sharing posts about recipes, artistic endeavors, and vacations while so many awful humanitarian issues are on my mind constantly. Navigating this isn’t easy, but I am clinging to anything and everything that reminds me of all that is still good. Right now that is time with friends, family, good food and drink. I hope maybe this recipe or any of the others that I have shared in these pages can be a source of joy for your, to be shared with loved ones. Take care of yourself right now, especially if you’re feeling particularly tender.

  • Prep 10 minutes
  • Cook 5 minutes
  • Yield 8-12 servings


For the strawberry puree:

  • 2½ cups very ripe strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • 1 cup (8 oz.) water
  • 2 tbsp. agave syrup
  • 2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice

For each cocktail:

  • ¼ cup strawberry puree (above)
  • 2 tbsp. light rum
  • 2 tbsp. dark rum
  • 6 dashes orange bitters
  • Crushed ice
  • ¼ cup ginger beer
  • Sliced strawberries or oranges, for garnish


  • 01

    To make the strawberry puree, combine the strawberries, water, agave syrup, and lime juice in a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Cook until the mixture is fragrant and the strawberries are tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool. Puree in a blender, food processor, or with an immersion blender until completely smooth. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use (up to 5 days).

  • 02

    To make each cocktail, combine the strawberry puree with the light rum, dark rum, and orange bitters in a mixing glass. Top with crushed ice. Stir until the ice dilutes the mixture into a smooth puree. Pour into a serving glass over crushed ice and top with the ginger beer. Garnish as desired with strawberry slices or orange wedges.