We’ve been having some 90+ degree days here in Seattle and for us.. well, that’s pretty hot. We start melting. Especially since no one has air conditioning. Anyway, we put on fans, eat icy treats and pretend we can deal with the heat.
I plant myself in the shade while the kids splash and run around.. I like to think we look like we’re in the serene setting a Pottery Barn summer catalog.. you know the double fold showing a gorgeous patio with a large glassy pool and beautiful outdoor furniture with lush greenery in the background? But really it’s just the blue plastic kiddie pool and my chaise lounger on the yellow straw that is Seattle grass in summer.
Anyway, if you have some leftover Watermelon Granita, add some vodka or tequila, shake it up and call it a summer frozen refresher. The natural watermelon flavor says summer!
Last week I posted a Blackberry Jalapeno Syrup. It’s a great recipe to make in advance, store in fridge and use when ready. Try this non-alcoholic bubbly beverage for a sweet and spicy, but refreshing drink! Too spicy for kids, but you could certainly make the syrup without the jalapeno for a non spicy version! 🙂
1/4 cup Blackberry Jalapeno Syrup
Carbonated water (plain or lime flavored)
Fresh blackberries and a lime wedge or wheel for garnish
Pour syrup into tall glass filled with ice
Fill rest of glass with bubbly water and garnish with fresh blackberries and lime
This is a perfect summer drink! Pick fruits that are in season.. I used peaches, cherries, raspberries and blackberries.. but you could add some citrus fruit, other stone fruit or other berries! Serve chilled.. lovely on a hot summer day!
1 bottle white wine
1/2 cup triple sec (or brandy, or rum)
1-2 cups chopped summer fruit or berries
1/2 cup peach juice
Mix all ingredients and refrigerate until ready to serve
Last week I published the Honeydew-Lemongrass Agua Fresca. Another Agua Fresca is the traditional Horchata. You may know it from Mexican restaurants and food stands – it’s the delicious white cinnamon drink served chilled! Made with rice, almonds, sugar and cinnamon, it’s a refreshing drink in a totally different way than the fruit frescas.
1 cup long-grain white rice
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 cup sliced almonds
4 cups water
1/3 cup sugar, or to taste (I used about 1 Tbsp agave syrup)
Ice, for serving
In a food processor, blend rice and cinnamon until it resembles coarse meal. Transfer to a large bowl and add almonds. Cover with water and refrigerate overnight. (I could not get the rice to break down, and soaked it for about 48 hours.)
Transfer mixture to a blender, add sugar and blend until finely pureed. Strain mixture through cheesecloth or mesh strainer; discard pulp. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Stir and serve over ice.
What’s all the fuss about anyway? Apparently old fashioned drinks are back in style.. including the Old Fashioned, the Mint Julep, and Moscow Mule.. the latter served in a copper mug filled with ice and topped with fresh mint. Totally refreshing on a hot summer day!
Aguas frescas (or Spanish “cool waters”) are made by combining fruits, flavors, sometimes seeds and flowers with a bit of sugar and water to make a light non-alcoholic beverages. They are popular in Latin American countries – and I’ve been trying some recipes since Seattle is back in the close to 90 degree range. This Honeydew-Lemongrass version is totally refreshing!
Don’t have lemongrass? No problem, try a tablespoon chopped basil, mint or tarragon!
2 1/4 cups water, divided
1/8 – 1/4 cup sugar (I used 1 Tbsp agave syrup instead, but I like less sweet)
1 stalk lemongrass, lightly smashed
2 pounds honeydew – peeled, seeded and chopped
2 tablespoons lime juice
Ice, for serving
Combine 1/4 cup water, sugar or agave and lemongrass in a saucepan; simmer for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat, cover and steep for 15 minutes. Remove lemongrass.
Blend together honeydew, lime juice and remaining water. Add sugar syrup, to taste. Strain and serve over ice.
So.. yes, I read the first two books and am working my way through Game of Thrones season two. Am I part of the craze? Maybe. Let’s put it this way, when Vanity Fair published a drink “fit for a Khaleesi” this weekend to celebrate the Thrones Finale, and Seattle was bathed in 80+ degree weather, I felt inspired.
So there I was in the liquor store asking the associate for help finding some very specific ingredients (including Bittermans Hellfire Habanero Shrub, a certain type of Sherry and Tequila Dragones) and he finally asked WHAT I was making. “Um… Mother of Dragons Cocktail” I said. Several store associates had gathered now, giving me some blank stares. “I’ll take anything close to these ingredients. Doesn’t need to be the Tequila Dragones!” Sound spicy? Yes, but not really. I added some slices of jalapeno pepper. But then I do like fire!
raspberries, blackberries, lime wedges
.5 oz agave syrup
1.5 oz tequila or white or spiced rum
.75 oz sherry
10 drops Bittermans Hellfire Habanero Shrub
2-3 slices of jalapeno pepper (optional for added heat)
Muddle one raspberry, one blackberry and one lime wedge with agave (+jalapeno if you are using that)
Add tequila, sherry and Bitterman’s shrub
Shake with ice and strain into glass of ice cubes
Garnish with tiny “dragon eggs”: one raspberry, one blackberry, and peel of lime to make 3rd dragon egg 😉