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by Rachel Devitt

May 8, 2012

Summer Jam Cocktails

by Rachel Devitt  |  May 8, 2012

All good boozehounds know that imbibing one's favorite drink can be a whole new experience when paired with a well-curated accompaniment -- the just-right entree, dessert or, for our purposes, summer jam that brings out all the nuances and flavors of the distilled grain in question. After all, any worthwhile summer anthem is best served hot, loud and boozy, right?

So we had the brilliant idea to put these two areas of connoisseurship together: your favorite summer drink -- that perfect blend of alcohol(s) that gets you all hot and bothered (or cool and relaxed) for the season -- paired with our recommendation for the perfect summer jam to accompany it. Bottoms up!

Your Summer Drink: Ice-cold Bud.

May We Suggest: " Summer of '69," Bryan Adams.

Explanation: With its overtones of blue-collar pathos and a robustly American flavor (despite its singer's delightfully idiosyncratic Canadian-ness), Adams' ode to small-town nostalgia is the perfect complement to that most American (by way of Japan and Germany) beverage.

Alternate Pairings: " Dirt Road Anthem," Jason Aldean. Anything from the Mellencamp reserve.

Your Summer Drink: Ice-cold Corona.

May We Suggest: " Tonight, Tonight," Hot Chelle Rae.

Explanation: For our frattier connoisseurs, we recommend a bottle-in-the-air anthem of white-boy ennui. The perfect accompaniment to a slurred sing-along at a house party or your next Jersey Shore viewing event.

Alternate Pairing: " Summer Girls," LFO.

Your Summer Drink: Ice-cold PBR or a local craft brew.

May We Suggest: " Drunk Girls," LCD Soundsystem, followed by " Hot in Herre," Nelly.

Explanation: For our more hipsterly imbibers, we recommend something ironic and/or detached to go along with your age- and income-level-determined brew of choice. The perfect accompaniment for a preshow, pregame, or Girls- or Mad Men-themed party.

Alternate Pairings: " Pumped Up Kicks," Foster the People, followed by " Unbelievable," EMF.

Your Summer Drink: Prohibition-era cocktail featuring Chartreuse or Luxardo.

May We Suggest: " Swimsuits," Cool Kids feat. Mayer Hawthorne.

Explanation: You like your music like you like your drinks: somewhat obscure, super-hip and featuring a pleasantly surprising mix of ingredients. But you also like your music like you like your neo-speakeasies: throwback-leaning without being too much on the nose. (Listening to actual jazz while drinking a jazz era cocktail?! How gauche!)

Your Summer Drink: Flavored vodka + energy drink of choice.

May We Suggest: A flight of " OMG," Usher; " Chasing the Sun," The Wanted; " Blow," Ke$ha.

Explanation: Goes down smooth and gets the blood flowing, whether you're chilling with friends or shaking it on the dancefloor.

Alternate Pairings: A flight of "Super Bass," Nicki Minaj; "Lovegame," Lady Gaga; and "Rabiosa," Shakira.

Your Summer Drink: Margarita.

May We Suggest: "No Shirt, No Shoes, No Problem," Kenny Chesney.

Explanation: Mr. Chesney has already suggested the connection between his deep-fried new country, the so-rough-it's-smooth elixir that is tequila, and its gussied-up salty-sweet presentation, the margarita. We recommend you indulge in his Buffett-friendly buffet (sorry) while sipping.

Alternate Pairing: "Country Girl (Shake It for Me)," Luke Bryan.

Your Summer Drink: Shot of tequila.

May We Suggest: "La Isla Bonita," Madonna, with a side of "Call Me Maybe," Carly Rae Jepsen.

Explanation: Here at Rhapsody, we are firmly committed to the philosophy that shots are best served with girls'-night sing-alongs. We think you'll especially enjoy the totally unsubtle tropical undertones of Madonna's classic while sucking down that Cuervo (don't front like you're ponying up the cash for Patron).

Alternate Pairings: "No Scrubs," TLC. "Redneck Woman," Gretchen Wilson.

Your Summer Drink: Booze-icle

May We Suggest: "California Gurls," Katy Perry.

Explanation: You're young and cute and you know what summer means: skimpy clothes, opportunities for sweatiness and activities that double as foreplay (playing beach volleyball, washing cars, licking things, etc.). You deserve only the best in innuendo-laden pin-up pop, and that, friends, is Katy Perry.

Alternate Pairing: "London Bridge," Fergie.

Your Summer Drink: Sangria.

May We Suggest: "Dougou Badia," Amadou & Mariam.

Explanation: A refreshing, nuanced concoction with a bold, surprising palate for the discriminatingly adventurous drinker/listener.

Alternate Pairings: "Wanted (Just Ain't the Same)," Damien Jr. Gong Marley. "Wavin' Flag," K'naan. "Armada Latina," Cypress Hill. "Me Gustas Tu," Manu Chao.

Your Summer Drink: Mojito.

May We Suggest: "I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho)," Pitbull.

Explanation: Who better to pair with the minty Cuban dream than Mr. 305, the king of Miami's Calle 8 himself? Remember that Bacardi commercial from a few years ago where the bartender's mint-muddling generates the music at the club? Well, that's pretty much what Pit's 2009 hit sounds like (kind of literally, beats-wise). Now if only his video had looked more like the Bacardi commercial.

Alternate Pairing: "On the Floor," Jennifer Lopez feat. Pitbull.

Your Summer Drink: Mint julep.

May We Suggest: "Hold On," Alabama Shakes.

Explanation: OK, the julep's from Kentucky, and the Shakes are from, well, Alabama. But their respective gritty sweetness and sugary grit go together like bourbon and mint, y'all.

Alternate Pairing: "Down on the Corner," Creedence Clearwater Revival.

Your Summer Drink: Dirty martini.

May We Suggest: "F*ck You," Cee-Lo Green.

Explanation: A classics-loving new classic for a beloved old classic.

Alternate Pairing: "Rolling in the Deep," Adele.

Your Summer Drink: Smoke.

May We Suggest: "Strange Clouds," B.o.B.

Explanation: More classic suggestions abound, of course, but we've selected a contemporary vintage with an, err, smoky finish (sorry!) for all you hip young connoisseurs out there.

Alternate Pairings: "Day 'n' Nite," Kid Cudi. "The Lazy Song," Bruno Mars. "Hypnotize," The Notorious B.I.G. "Gin and Juice," Snoop Dogg.

Your Summer Drink: "Leftovers" punch, served to go in a red Solo cup.

May We Suggest: Any vintage from the Black Eyed Peas reserve.

Explanation: By way of explanation, we'll leave you with these sage words: "Go out and smash it. Like oh my God. Jump off that sofa. Let's get, get off. Fill up my cup (drink). Mazel tov (l'chaim). Look at her dancing. Just take it off."

Alternate Pairings: Any selection from Katy Perry's Teenage Dream.

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