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Poolside Recipes:

Suzanne Pollak's Summer Sparklers


Below, our official hostess of summer, Suzanne Pollak, dean of The Charleston Academy of Domestic Pursuits, shares her thoughts on summer cocktails, and why you should always add a touch of Champagne. 


Individual specialties in dress, drinks, and design show style and personality. 

There are smart ways to express ourselves using our body, our house, and our parties.


 In this vein, I propose settling on a couple of entertaining dresses and two house drinks. Reception is chic. Not only does repetition show confidence but guests look forward to your look and your cocktail. When the excitement has evaporated or the season has changed, the time comes to move to new choices. 


The Hostess With The Bubbliest: Suzanne Pollak at Our Charleston Collaboration Soiree

Photography by Niki Nero


The most interesting cocktails for summer, whether you have a pool or not, have some effervescence which relates to the sparkling water filling the pool or the ocean, near or far. Champagne, or any sparkling wine, adds pure magic to a cocktail. You might call it bubbles, I might say dryness. But the wisest of us all know Champagne sprinkles a fairy dust of magic. 


There are a few things to think about when choosing a house cocktail. We do not want a “normal” drink available anywhere and everywhere. Instead try something people might not have tried. Leave complicated cocktails to mixologists. Your home is not a bar. You must be able to make repeat versions; meaning a first drink, possibly a second, and if the occasion arises for a third, you will be able to walk up a flight of stairs and mix another. 


Our first suggestion of joyful sparklers could knock one flat if not drunk responsibly. After all, it is named after a portable, fast-firing, accurate field gun that became an icon of victory in World War I... 


The French 75



1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon sugar 

2 ounce gin or cognac
Champagne or Prosecco

Lemon twist (*Make the garnish before the drink. We don’t want that effervescence to wait!) 


Add the lemon juice and sugar to a shaker and stir to combine. Add the gin and fill with ice. Shake, and strain into a Collins glass or champagne flute filled with cracked ice. Slowly top with Champagne and garnish. 


Grapefruit & Gin or Tequila

(*Works equally well with either liquor…)



1 ounce gin or tequila
2 ounce fresh squeezed grapefruit

Tonic water

Grapefruit garnish


Mix grapefruit juice and alcohol in a shaker. Do not strain before pouring into glass. Add tonic water and a twist of grapefruit peel..


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