Wednesday, April 17, 2024 Apr 17, 2024
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What To Drink Now: Memorial Day Refreshers


Patios and plunge pools are on the agenda for many this weekend, and what goes better with a long weekend in the sunshine than an incredibly refreshing cocktail.  Here are a few to consider sipping this holiday weekend, they are guaranteed to cool you off on what is sure to be a hot Memorial Day.  A few selections were sent for editorial consideration.

I have become a rum drinker, sipping Brugal Extra Viejo and either soda or diet ginger ale with a squeeze of lime instead of my previous go to of vodka and soda.  The Golden Mojito with Brugal Anejo takes this to the next level with fresh mint and a bit of simple syrup.

Golden Mojito
50 ml Brugal Anejo Rum
15 ml sugar syrup (equal parts sugar and water, heated until the sugar dissolves)
2 lime wedges
a few mint leaves
Ginger ale
Directions – Add the mint and lime to a shaker and muddle together.  Add the rum, sugar syrup and ice and shake until very cold.  Strain into an ice filled highball glass. Top with ginger ale and garnish with extra mint leaves.

This past weekend I made a big pitcher of my kind of margarita’s – not too sweet, not too sour, just the right amount of alcohol and a fresh addition of mint and basil to add another layer of flavor.  Smooth and delicious.

Fresh Basil and Mint Margarita
1 bottle Patron Silver
1/2 bottle Cointreau
2 tablespoons agave syrup
2 limes, cut in quarters
1 fresh orange, cut in quarters
6 fresh basil leaves
10 fresh mint leaves
3/4 liter club soda
Directions – Add the mint, basil, orange and lime to a large pitcher and muddle them together well with a wooden muddler.  Add the tequila, Cointreau and agave and mix well.  Add the club soda.  Serve in low ball glasses over ice with a wedge of orange or lime for garnish.

Another idea for mixing up a big batch so you don’t have to worry about making individual cocktails all day is the Summer Sunrise Punch.  I did try this a few days ago, but didn’t include all the suggested sugar.  I loved it without as much, mix to your taste.

Summer Sunrise Punch
1 bottle of GREY GOOSE® Vodka
1 bottle MARTINI® Bianco
½ bottle Cointreau
½ liter chilled freshly brewed chamomile tea
½ liter club soda or sparkling mineral water
½ pound sugar
Peel of 10 lemons and 10 oranges
Garnish: Slices of orange, lemon and apple
Directions – In a large punch bowl, place the citrus peel and cover with cane sugar. Pour in the vodka and cover with a cloth, leaving for 3 hours (or as little as you need). Add tea, MARTINI Bianco, Cointreau and chill until ready to serve. Just before serving, add chilled club soda and fresh fruit. Stir well, and serve over ice in smaller tumblers or chilled wine glasses. Makes 20 servings.

If wine is your go to instead of spirits, Kim Crawford Wines have just the idea for making sipping a little more fun.  Who says popsicles are just for kids?  Kim Crafword has designed the ultimate popsicle for grown ups to enjoy while the kidos enjoy their orangesicles and icees.  People’s Pops, the New York based ice pop producer focused on creating delicious ice treats from locally grown, sustainable fruits and herbs has teamed with Kim Crawford Wines in creating tasty adult ice treats you can make at home too, like the Pinot Noir infused blueberry ice pop.  The People’s Pops book will be out in early June with 55 other fresh fruit recipes that are just begging to have a dose of wine added to them.

Kim Crawford Pinot Noir Infused Blackberry Ice Pops
1 ½ pounds fresh, ripe blackberries (about 5 cups)
4 ounces dark organic cane sugar
4 fluid ounces water
6-8 ounces 2010 Kim Crawford Pinot Noir
Directions – Combine sugar and water in saucepan. Gently heat while stirring until sugar dissolves. Allow to cool completely.  Rinse blackberries and dry with paper towel. Lightly puree with blender or mash blackberries, resulting in about 16 ounces of puree. Add 6 ounces of cooled liquid sugar, 6 ounces of Kim Crawford Pinot Noir, and taste. If stronger Pinot Noir flavor is desired, add remaining 2 ounces. Pour into molds, add sticks and freeze until solid (about 4 to 6 hours). Unmold and serve at once, or place in plastic bags for storage.  Makes 10 ice pops. (Crate and Barrel and Sur La Table sell popsicle molds.)

For bourbon drinkers Maker’s Mark is ready to please with their own party pitcher of delicious fun with green tea and Champagne.  Give their Fancy Bourbon Punch a try, created by Mixologist Matt Wallace from Seven Grand in Los Angeles.

Fancy Bourbon Punch
1 liter Maker’s Mark® Bourbon
1 cup granulated sugar
Peels of 3 lemons and 1 orange
Juice of peeled fruit
1 liter of strongly brewed tea (preferably green tea)
250 ml Champagne (or club soda)
Freshly grated nutmeg
Directions – Combine sugar and citrus peels in the bottom of a punch bowl. Muddle together until sugar starts to clump together. Let sit for about 2 hours, (while not necessary, this does add a little complexity). Brew the tea for about 30 minutes, remove loose tea or tea bags, and allow to cool. Add the juice of the peeled fruit, tea, and bourbon. Stir. Top with Champagne just before serving and stir gently. Top with freshly grated nutmeg and serve.

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