The hot days of summer are perfect for growing watermelons, and with our summer finally getting enough sustained heat to ripen the local watermelons it was time to bust out the watermelon cocktails. I experimented with a couple of different combinations before I settled in on one I liked, which combined watermelon, strawberries, basil and mint. Classic summer flavors combine to make a cool, sweet and refreshing that is perfect for enjoying on a hot summer evening.
Watermelon Strawberry Smash
2 oz Broker's Gin
2.5 oz watermelon Puree
1.5 oz black pepper strawberry syrup
3 basil leaves
3 mint leaves
1 dash bitters
.5 oz club soda
Puree 2.5 cups of watermelon, a dash of salt and about 1/8 tsp lime juice in a blender and strained the puree to remove any remaining fibers or seed remains. The puree should have a bit of a thick creamy texture to it.
Place the basil leaves, mint leaves and bitters into a shaker with the watermelon puree. MuddleRead More
June 27, 2014 Cocktails
This cocktail is a spin on Brett Elser's London's First Love Affair, which was the winning entry for the Southern region of the Broker's Gin Bowler's Cup cocktail contest. Since I didn't have all the ingredients on hand (oregat syrup) I decided to change things up a bit and modify the recipe. Refreshingly sweet with a nice creamy texture from the egg, the fresh mint and lemon balm open up the aromatics of the gin.
The English Affair
2 oz Broker's London Dry Gin
.25 oz Amaretto
.5 oz simple syrup
5 mint leaves
3 lemon balm leaves
.75 oz lemon juice
1 egg white
Place the leaves into a shaker and gently muddle them to release the oils. Add in the remaining ingredients and shake without ice for around 30 seconds. Add ice to the shaker and vigorously shake for another 20 seconds. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a fresh mint sprig.
Our garden has produced a bumper crop of arugula this year so we have been trying to find new creative uses other than just salads. I came across this cocktail on Epicurious which is a version of the classic gin cocktail the gimlet, which usually featured gin, lime and mint, but instead substitutes arugula. The aromatics and citrus notes of the Broker's Gin pairs well with the spicy bitter bite of the arugula and the rich sweetness of the honey syrup. A splash of lime juice gave a tangy finish to the drink that made it clean and refreshing.
1 cup of baby arugula leaves
2 oz honey simple syrup
2 oz fresh lime juice
4 oz Broker's London Dry Gin
Place the arugula, lime juice and honey simple syrup into a cocktail shaker. Muddle the leaves into until the arugula is crushed. Add the gin. Fill the shaker with ice cubes. Shake quickly to chill and then strain into a martini glass. Garnish with baby arugula leaves or arugula flowers.Read More
With the summery weather making us spend lots of time outside by our pool, any cocktail we can make without taking away pool time is a win for us. We were looking for some good drinks to serve by the pool for the inevitable pool party we will have this summer and were looking at punches. A beverage called a shrub kept coming up in our searches, and being the curious cocktail folks that we are, we decided to try one out and educate ourselves in the mean time. Afterall, why shouldn't drinking involve a bit of education at the same time?
While shrubs were found in Europe during the 1600s and 1700s, the shrub came into its own in colonial America when colonists found the sweltering American summers quickly spoiled fresh fruits and vegetables and needed a good way to preserve the fruit. Vinegar and sugar were two plentiful items in colonial America, so a mixture of vinegar and sugar was poured over fresh fruit and allowed to infuse the fruit to preserve it. After removing theRead More
June 6, 2014 Recipes
This is a great summer treat for a warm evening by a camp fire, Grilled Banana S'mores. We made these over the Memorial Day weekend and all of our friends really enjoyed this. The combination of melted marshmallow and chocolate is a great combination with the caramelized banana.
Start by cutting a banana in 1/2 and place in foil. Cover with small marshmallows, chocolate chips.
Make a packet with the foil, making sure to leave a space between the marshmallows and the foil to leave room for the marshmallows to puff up and expand.
Place on grill for 10 minutes.
Open,and crumble ½ a graham cracker over, and eat!Read More
Having an early evening without children, we decided to beat the crowds and head out for an early dinner. We have been hearing great things about Salt 88 since they opened about a year ago, so decided to give them a shot. We were greeted and seated very quickly. It was a beautiful day outside, and the patio was packed, but the main dining room had immediate seating, so we decided to check out the beautiful room. We were very pleased to find out that they have happy hour from 3:30-6 daily, Thursday nights from 10 pm – 1 am, and all day on Sunday. That is great, especially a Saturday Happy Hour!
While we perused the happy hour menu, we ordered drinks. I ordered a white sangria, which was light and refreshing with large slices of fresh fruit, served in a frosty mason jar. Mr Nom ordered the Ginger Drop, which was Skyy ginger vodka, lemon juice, and candied ginger. The Ginger Drop started sour with a spicy sweetness from the candied ginger, but finished sweet like a lemonRead More
April 30, 2014 Cocktails
Recently we bought a bottle of Chartreuse, a herbal liqueur distilled by Carthusian Monks of France that contains 130 herbs plants and flowers. I had been seeing a number of amazing looking and sounding cocktails on various sites that all used Chartreuse, so being intrigued I set out to find a drink that would be appropriate to use this very unique liqueur. One recipe that kept popping up was a cocktail named The Last Word. Invented in the Detroit Athletic Club during Prohibition, the cocktail is a classic drink that has regained popularity with the resurgence of speakeasy bars.
The recipe combines equal parts the bright crispness of gin, the herbaceous bite of the Chartreuse, sweet maraschino liqueur, and the citrus burst from a lime. Not having a classic maraschino liqueur, but having a very nice cherry infused liqueur from my homemade brandied cherries, I decided to substitute the brandied cherry liqueur in place of the maraschino. My substitution changes the final color ofRead More
April 28, 2014 Cocktails
One of the best parts of spring is the fresh strawberries that start appearing in the stores and markets. We found a nice flat of fresh strawberries and put our mind to finding some new ways to enjoy the strawberries. A classic way to enjoy fruit is in a cocktail, and fresh strawberries can make a mean punch when paired up with a nice whiskey or bourbon.
I started with one of my personal favorite bottles of whiskey, Cut Spike's 2 Year aged Single Malt Whiskey, a locally distilled whiskey that has incredible smoothness and flavor, and paired it with a a home made black pepper and strawberry syrup as the base for my punch. The strawberry and pepper syrup makes this drink sweet with a bite, the black pepper a bold counter to the sweet strawberry.
The Spiked Strawberry Punch
1.25 oz Cut Spike Whiskey (or appropriate other fine whiskey)
1 oz Black Pepper Strawberry Syrup
.5 oz lemon juice
.75 oz simple syrup
2 dashes Angostura Bitters
Fill aRead More
Mrs. Nom made pear crisp this evening, so we set out to find a dessert cocktail that would be a nice match to the sweet treat. We came up with the pear crisp cocktail, with paired nicely with the pear crisp. Sweet enough to pair up with the dessert, but with a hint of herbal freshness from the Chartreuse to cut the sweetness.
The Pear Crisp Cocktail:
2 oz Absolut Pear Vodka
1.5 oz Whipped Cream Vodka
1 oz simple syrup
1 oz lemon juice
2 oz pear syrup
2 tsp Green Chartreuse
4 oz club soda.
Pour the Vodkas, simple syrup, lemon juice, pear syrup and chartreuse into an ice filled shaker. Shake and strain into a glass. Top with the club soda and garnish with a pear slice
1 large pear
1 cup of water
1 cup of sugar
pinch of salt
Cut the pear into chunks and place into a small pot with water, sugar and salt. Bring to a boil and simmer until the pears are tender. Blend to fully infuse the pearsRead More
April 4, 2014 Cocktails
Blackberries have been on sale the last few weeks, so we have been enjoying the small hint of spring. Mrs. Nom found this cocktail via FoodandWine.com and suggested we give it a shot. Based on the classic Tom Collins cocktail, this cocktail uses bourbon in place of gin to pair whiskey with blackberry, but adds of lemon to bring a bright citrus burst to the cocktail. Similar to the Blackberry Bourbon Fizz we made last week, this drink is less sweet, but still showcases the blackberries.
The Whiskey Blackberry Collins:
1.5 oz Whiskey or Bourbon
.75 oz lemon juice
.75 oz simple syrup
2 oz club soda
Muddle 3 of the blackberries in the bottom of a shaker than fill with ice. Pour whiskey, lemon juice and syrup into the shaker and shake. Strain into a rocks glass over ice. Top with the club soda and garnish with a blackberry.