Friday, July 10, 2009

July 4th, a Retrospective...The Finale

It seems only fitting to bookend my July 4th trilogy with one last cocktail recipe. I mean, it is a party-prone weekend, and now that I have completely fallen for yummy specialty drinks, I have saved the best for last. If you are going to go through any trouble - whatsoever - to serve something different for your closest friends, do this and you will go down in history as the best drink-maker this side of the prohibition. I saw it on one of my most beloved sites, Design Sponge, and the photos alone got me feeling somewhat giddy. I tried it out with some close friends the day before the big day and I would have made a second batch for the 4th, but it was so good, so unbelievably good, it was long gone before the sun set on the eve of Independence Day.
For someone who isn't fond of gin (me), you'd be surprised at how delightful the gin actually tastes here. Hendrick's Gin is infused with cucumber and rose, so you can see why this drink is a marriage made in booze-y heaven. Take the time to prepare everything in advance and when you're ready, it's just as simple as measuring and shaking and then drinking!

Cardamon-Rose Cocktail
This makes 1 drink:

1.5 oz. Hendrick's Gin
.75 oz. rose syrup
.25 oz. fresh lime or lemon juice
.75 oz. fresh grapefruit juice - ruby red
2 dashes Peychauds Bitters
1 cardamon pod
club soda

Lightly muddle cardamon pod in bottom of shaker, not too much as the flavor could over power.
Add the rest of the ingredients.
Add ice
Shake for 20 seconds
Pour into glass
Add a splash of club soda on top
Garnish with rose petals or lemon wedge.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

July 4th, a Retrospective...part II

After an afternoon of soaking up sun, sipping (guzzling), off a pitcher of watermelon tequila deliciousness, it was time to spark up the grill and begin the best part of any party, the food part. It was about 6:30, and with ample sun, Harriet, still homesick from her recent visit to her parents' home, grabbed the corn and began shuckin' like the good Jersey girl that she is. The plan for the corn was easy enough, remove almost all the husk, saving the fine last layer and then simply throwing it on the grill. Rotating it every so often, it's ready in about 10 minutes. We then strategically placed butter and salt on the hot corn and set it aside until the rest of the meal was ready, all just in time to watch the sunset and before the fireworks lit up the sky.

Monday, July 6, 2009

July 4th, a Retrospective...

After a long, fun, and friend-filled July 4th weekend, I have a few stand outs to share with you. The first look back is a drink that I believe should be made for me every weekend from now until the end of time. I have never been one to take the time out to make a "specialty" cocktail, as it always seems like too much work, but after this weekend, I have a new found love for alcohol mixed with a little imagination. I saw a recipe in July's Food and Wine, from Bobby Flay, and it looked too good to not try, especially when watermelon is so abundant. (Plus, one mention of tequila and I'm yours.)

Watermelon-Tequila Cocktails
From Food and Wine, July 2009.
Makes 8 delicious cocktails:

1/4 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
8 cups diced seedless watermelon (1 lb)
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 3/4 cup fresh blueberries
3/4 cup packed fresh mint
1 1/4 cup silver tequila

In a small sauce pan, bring sugar and water to a moderate heat, allow sugar to dissolve, allow to cool.
In a blender, puree watermelon until smooth, pass juice through a fine mesh sieve. Discard pulp.
In a large pitcher, combine sugar, syrup with lime juice, blueberries and mint leaves. Using a wooden spoon, muddle blueberries and mint.
Add watermelon juice and tequila, chill for about 2 hours.
Serve over ice and garnish with mint and lime wedge.