Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Foodist's Favorite Summer Cocktails

Hello and Happy Holiday Weekend to all the Foodies out there!

We're still battling computer problems and, now blog hosting problems, but I seem to be able to post a few recipes for the drinks we have discovered this Summer.

The most important to remember when playing around with alcoholic beverages is to relax, take chances with combinations and remember to taste as you go!  The recipe is not written in stone!  Try a different ingredient or method of service.  Don't be afraid to experiment.  It's a cocktail, after all.

1.  The Il Moya Summer Cooler - we have named this delicious sipper after our beloved home.  We have a grapevine in our garden (concord grapes) and thus are able to access our own grape juice - but I am pretty sure any good grape juice will work just fine.   Pour a jigger of vodka into a cocktail glass (2 oz/4oz - it's your call); add concord grape juice and stir; add a shot of Cointreau or any orange liquor; stir;  add a good number of ice cubes to the glass (you want this drink really cold); top the glass off with a splash of club soda.  A nice slice of lemon or lime makes a lovely garni and if squeezed will cut into the sweetness of the drink for those who like a bit more tart to their beverages.

2. The Dark and Stormy - this one has certainly been around for awhile - we re-discovered it in Volume 4 of Canal House Cooking ( Fill a tall glass with ice; pour in 2 oz of dark rum; top this off with about 4 oz of ginger beer (available at Health Food stores like Essene and some supermarkets - don't use ginger ale - it's a different taste); add the juice of 1 lemon wedge and the juice of 1 lime wedge.  Garnish the drink with the wedge of lime.  Incredibly refreshing.

3. The Pickle Martini - You may be chuckling now, but you won't be if you try this one.  I actually think we are going to continue to whip these up well into the Fall!  First of all, get out your dill pickles. Now, we make refrigerator pickles and we were lucky enough this year to find some very small kirby cucumbers - Head House Farmers Market vendors continued to have these tiny Kirbys last Sunday.  We sliced these into very tiny slices - just right for looking pretty in a martini glass - and put them in the 'fridge, in a pickling brine,  for 6 days before we used them.  BUT - a good snappy dill pickle that you buy at the store will work fine. The Weavers Way "Philly Fresh" hot 'n spicy pickles (available at Fair Food Farmstand in the Reading Terminal) are wonderful.  You will have to slice them down to size, but you will probably have to do that for any pickle you buy.  Put the appropriate sized pickle in your martini glass.  Coat an ice filled cocktail shaker with dry vermouth - then pour the remaining vermouth out; add your favorite vodka (again 2 oz/4 oz - it's your call, but, please NO flavored vodka) and pour in about a jigger of pickle juice.  Shake well and pour into your pickle garnished martini glass.  Amazing flavor and an almost perfect marriage of aroma and taste!  And keep in mind that pickle juice is a remedy for dehydration!  This drink goes so very well with many small bites, especially tangy and salty things and pate and of course it is delicious all by itself.  If you get really hooked on these, you will find yourself running out of pickle juice - no worries, just add some white vinegar, some peppercorns, mustard seeds, and dill to your pickle jar and shake it well.   It will only take a day or two for it to incorporate.

4. The Bull - this one was apparently a big hit with tourists in Mexico in the 60's and 70's and a more detailed recipe is available from our friends at Larken Springs Farm at their site,, but I include it here as well, because it's one of those drinks - like the pickle martini maybe - that you have to taste to believe.  Into a tall glass pour one part good tequila to two parts good lemonade (I am partial to the homemade lemonade available from the Amish people in the Reading Terminal); stir and then add beer to taste.  Yep, beer. Add ice cubes if you wish.  The type of beer is up to you - we have had friends say they prefer something light, like Corona - we make it with the only kind of beer we ever have around, a "hoppy" beer like Hop Devil.  Both make a delicious drink. I wouldn't recommend using the watery "light" beers like Miller Lite or Coors Lite - why ruin a good tequila?

OK - that's what we've been sipping through this hot weather.  How about you?

Enjoy the long holiday weekend and don't forget to visit your local Farmers Markets!

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