Tag Archives: summer cocktails

Passionfruit Mojitos by the Pitcher or Glass

27 Jul

Summer evenings in the neighborhood can be wonderful. Occasionally on a Friday some of us neighbors bring out folding chairs and sit together in one front yard for a bit of happy hour while the kids go mental on someone else’s lawn. It’s pretty much BYO, but we do mix up a pitcher of experimental cocktails sometimes. Or at least I do.

2015-07-24 17.23.34 mojitoThese Passionfruit Mojitos (which I call “Monrojitos” after our street) were very pretty and tasty. I brought over a cooler with the rum mix, lime wedges, mint and ice, and we muddled each drink individually, which made it festive, somehow. Individuals can adjust lime if they want it a bit more tart.

2015-07-24 17.54.47 mojito passionPassionfruit Mojitos

(This recipe gives general proportions. For a pitcher, measure by the Cup; for individual servings use ounces)

3 parts white rum

2 parts passionfruit juice or nectar (nectar will be sweeter)

1 part sugar syrup (put equal parts water and white sugar in a saucepan, bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer until slightly thickened; 1 Cup of sugar and one of water will yield about 1.5 Cups of syrup)

OR

1 part agave syrup

Mint leaves (you’ll need at least three per glass)                                                                             

Limes, quartered (at least two quarters per glass)

ice

Club soda or seltzer

 Mix rum, juice and syrup in a pitcher or bottle you can close tightly and keep chilled. When you are ready to serve, place mint and lime in each glass and muddle (squeeze and press so tha the juices come out). Add ice, pour desired amount of rum mixture and top with a bit of club soda.

Hurray for Sissy Drinks! (Two refreshing wine cocktails)

24 Aug

This summer has been too damn hot and (in my part of the world) humid for normal alcohol consumption. On a normal day, I am not a sipper. I am a gulper. Of water, of tea — hot or cold –, and wine, my beverage of choice. Add the hazy, hot, and humid factors and you would think that I was a camel, sucking up everything wet the oasis has to offer.

But that kind of hurry can’t be applied to alcohol. I would keel over and instead of being relaxing or fun, the scene would just get ugly. So in the summer, especially in this summer, I have resorted to what I like to call sissy drinks. Low alcohol, lots of non-alcoholic liquids added, over lots of ice.

You may laugh, you may make unfavorable references to the era of Bartles & James, wine coolers and the like, but it works for me. Especially when you can get a bottle of Portuguese vinho verde with a convenient screw top for $4.99 at my local liquor store and make it last for days , with no craziness, no pain, and no dehydration. Sounds good, right? And anyway I suspect you may already be throwing cubes of ice into your white, or (gasp!) red, in secret. Room temperature in my house right now is 81°. That is no temperature at which to serve wine.

Vinho verde, or green wine, is a very light, slightly fizzy, and somewhat citric wine from the northern regions of Portugal. It only has 9.5-10 percent alcohol usually, compared to 13 or 14 percent in most of the wines I see today. It runs from about $5 – 8 a bottle around here. You can, of course, drink it straight, but it makes for a friendly blending wine too, and at that price, I don’t feel an underlying obligation to treat it with any reverence. This is a cheap date!

So the first recipe is a basic cooler with vinho verde. The second is a very simple Orange-Mango Wine Spritzer (yes, I have said it, spritzer. Spritzer, spritzer, spritzer. And I am unashamed.) that we served at a summer barbecue as a refreshing welcome drink that takes the edge off without being too strong. It was very well received (Nancy and Pat, this one’s for you!). Both recipes are, of course, very flexible, so play with the proportions until you find what you like!

Stay cool!

Vinho Verde Wine Spritzer (by the glass)

1 part Vinho verde

1 part Seltzer

Squeeze of fresh lemon juice (optional)

Pour all ingredients into a glass full of ice, stir, and enjoy.

Orange Mango Wine Spritzer

1 bottle sweet white wine

2 Cups orange mango juice, plus a squeeze of fresh orange juice

Squeeze of fresh lemon

¼ Cup seltzer

(optional garnish: lemon/orange slices)

In a pitcher, mix wine, orange mango juice, and lemon. Top with seltzer. Garnish with fruit. Serve over ice.

Vice Pops – frosty treats with a splash of mischief

12 Aug

Put together a few grown-up friends with a flair for flavor exploration during a sizzling hot summer and you have a recipe for mischief-making in the kitchen. That’s how “Vice Pops” were born.  What could be cooler than an ice pop or more relaxing than a summer cocktail? And what could make more sense than putting them together in one handy frozen lolly?

This experiment came with its challenges. Too much booze and the pops won’t freeze. Too little and…well, what’s the point?  Ashley, Maryanne and I put our heads, taste buds and (pathetic) math skills together to figure out the right flavors and proportions. We also had to strategize. It takes up to eight hours for alcohol-laced pops to freeze. When would we test drive them?  We sorted it out and took advantage of a get-together with friends two days later to get feedback.

And the feedback was terrific. “The espresso pop gets three thumbs up,” said Cara. It also had to be consumed the most quickly; it didn’t freeze hard and has great potential as a slushy.

The cilantro mojito reminded Jainy of cilantro water drunk in India to keep cool.  It was probably my favorite, as I like tart much more than sweet and I think they are the coolest looking.

The orange mango (which had the least alcohol) froze the most solidly. Me being me, I’d add a dash of lemon or bitters the next time for more complexity. And we all liked the passion fruit; nothing could be more tropical. We did notice that for some reason the alcohol in the passion pops really concentrated on the bottom. And…if you like piña coladas and getting caught in the rain….(had to do it, sorry), you will really like the coco loco!

You will see that the basic proportions for freezing are 1.5 cups of juice to 5 Tbs alcohol (except for the mango-orange). So there really isn’t a lot of alcohol in there; just enough to take the edge off, as it were. I hope to have time to try some more variations; once my mint grows back from the scalping I gave it recently, mojitos will be on the frozen menu. That brings caipirinhas to mind as well. I am also interested in how berry syrups will work.

The other lesson learned from this experience: if you are going to serve pretty frozen pops at a party, make sure you have a few nonalcoholic ones for the kids! We didn’t and the kids were very keen to get their hands on the vice pops. Teetotallers will appreciate an alcohol-free pop too…

Vice Pops

(stir ingredients together and pour into pop molds. If you don’t have pop molds, use ice cube trays, cover with foil and poke toothpicks through the foil for little handles. Freeze for eight hours)

“Oh-wow!” (Mango-orange with rum)

¼ cup orange rum

3.5 cups orange-mango juice

“Passion Pop” (Passionfruit and rum)

1.5 cups passionfruit cocktail

5 Tbs white rum

“Coco Loco” (Ashley asks if this name is lame. I think so, but I leave it up to you, dear reader. Pineapple with rum)

1.5 cups pineapple juice

5 Tbs coconut rum

“Java Rocket”(coffee and chocolate)

5 Tbs Van Gogh Double Espresso vodka

2 Tbs Hersey’s Chocolate Syrup

4 oz whole milk

“Cilantrojito” (cilantro and lime)

1/8 cup (1 oz) white rum

¼ cup lime juice

1 cup water

1 tbs cilantro leaves, slightly crushed

2 tsp agave

%d bloggers like this: