A reinterpretation of the familiar gin and tonic, this cocktail includes fresh watermelon and cucumber juices for a refreshing taste. Hendrick’s, my favorite gin, which is a small-batch Scottish gin that’s infused with the flavor of cucumber and rose petals, is ideal for this recipe!
Watermelon & Cucumber Tonics
6 cups cubed seeded watermelon, divided
1/4 cup mint leaves, divided
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, divided
1 English cucumber, peeled, sliced, and divided
2 1/2 cups tonic water, chilled
1 1/4 cups gin
Filed under alcohol, Recipes
5. – The Boston Globe The Greenest of Them All “Increasingly, owners are trying to reduce this environmental impact, implementing rigorous recycling and composting programs, installing energy- and water-saving devices, relying on local ingredients, and more. The Green Restaurant Association, started in 1990 with the goal of forging an ecologically sustainable restaurant industry, offers an ongoing certification program to help restaurateurs go green.”
4. – The Chicago Tribune Remaking Comfort Foods “Healthful eating and comfort food don’t have to go together like spinach and brownies. It’s just that we’ve become so accustomed to thinking good-for-you dishes can’t be warm, gooey and soul-satisfying.”
3. – The LA Times Bacon Recipes Galore “Bacon has a place at the table morning, noon and night. And venture beyond its natural pairings to the unusual yet sublime — in an apple coffeecake or as a martini garnish.”
2. – The NY Times Let 100 (O.K., 8) Bartending Philosophies Bloom “Ten years ago, cocktail seekers would have been hard-pressed to find a bar that used fresh juice in sour mix (never mind adding microplaned zest), and ordering an Aviation would have earned a cold look instead of a refreshing but potentially lethal mixture of gin, lemon juice and maraschino liqueur. Today drinkers don’t need to search far to find bartenders who not only squeeze their own citrus, but make their own bitters, have an encyclopedic knowledge of drinks and stock spirits imported, on the sly, in a suitcase.”
1. – The Washington Post Fab Food Gifts: Mix It Up, and Make Your Friends Happy “Homemade food gifts can run the gamut from cutesy to gourmet to just plain good. I took the latter approach when creating my kitchen gifts this year, because it seems a particularly appropriate time to give useful, budget-stretching items.”
photo from The LA Times
With Labor Day quickly approaching, it’s time to hurry up and get those summer cocktails out of your system (along with the white shoes and seer-sucker). While in Vermont a couple of weeks ago, we had an incredible dinner at The Bearded Frog in Burlington. I started off with one of their specialty cocktails, A Gin and Tonic with a refreshing twist – cucumbers with the necessary lime! The result was the perfect drink – refreshing from the tonic and lime all while making me feel like I was drinking a spa healthy drink as a result of the cucumber infusion!
Try it – I promise, it’ G&T heaven!
Since I am on vacation and have been imbibing all weekend, I thought it most appropriate to share my new favorite drink… The St. Germain Cocktail!
Starting the the most important inclusion, the elderflower liquor, this perfect dock drink is a mix of white wine, soda water, lemon zest and the St. Germain – ho simple is that!
St. Germain is made from the beautiful, large white blossoms of the elderberry bush. The flowers are handpicked in the foothills of the Alps in France for a few fleeting weeks each Spring. The 40-50 men who pick the flowers travel only by bike and since the berries come quickly, the amount of liquor made each year is limited and hence, the incredibly beautiful bottles (I promise, you are going to want to leave this one out) are each numbered to show authenticity. For other recipes, including a GREAT margarita, visit their website.
St. Germain Cocktail
2 parts white wine (I like sauv blanc)
2 parts sparkling water
1.5 parts St. Germain
1 lemon zest per glass
Combine wine and St. Germain in a tall glass over ice. Using a Boston shaker, give it a good shake. Add the sparkling water and lemon zest.
5. – The Boston Globe As Food Prices Rocket, Relief from the Depths “Consumers, squeezed by rising prices on everything from milk to eggs to bread, are finding a rare – and surprising – bargain at the fish counter: The price of lobster is going down.”
4. – The LA Times West Coast Brewers Pick Up the Distilling Sprirt “Ballast Point is one of a handful of craft breweries and former brewers on the West Coast, including pioneer Anchor Brewing in San Francisco and Sub Rosa Spirits in Dundee, Ore., that have taken up distilling. Like Ballast Point, these craft distillers started with a learn-by-doing approach, because aspiring distillers are forbidden by law from experimenting with spirits prior to opening a licensed distillery. (In contrast with beer brewers, who can experiment before they invest in a commercial facility — provided the alcohol isn’t sold.)”
3. – The NY Times A Cocktail Book Renaissance, Too “Greg Boehm was galled when prices of out-of-print cocktail books skyrocketed along with the popularity of cocktails, a familiar gripe of any drink enthusiast who has been ensnared by the anachronistic charm of old bar books.”
2. – The Philadelphia Inquirer Rachel Ray Going to the Dogs with New Pet Food “In the latest expansion of her culinary empire, celebrity chef Rachael Ray has launched a charity-driven line of dog foods based on recipes she has created for her pit bull, Isaboo.”
1. – The Washington Post Light, Without Being Lightweight “During the sultry Washington summers, when the whole world seems to wilt, beer drinkers would be wise to intersperse their brewskis with plenty of water and switch from heavier, high-octane imperial styles to lighter, paler, more refreshing beers. The move to so-called lawn mower beers doesn’t have to mean giving up flavor, however.”
5. – The Boston Globe We Now Pronounce You Ready To Cook “Everyone who has ever been on the dating circuit knows that a relationship only gets serious when somebody dares to cook dinner. If you follow this logic, then newlyweds truly cross the marital threshold when they engage in those meal preparations that mark everyday life – quick weeknight dinners, an evening entertaining friends, or a cheerful Sunday morning brunch.”
4. – The Chicago Tribune Dips and Chips Enter the 21st Centrury “Today, it’s plain to see that a revolution has been taking place, one that embraces all dunkers and dips. Once described by John F. Mariani (in his 1983 Dictionary of American Food and Drink) as “a condiment, often made with mayonnaise or sour cream, into which one dips any of a variety of vegetables or snacks,” a dip—and its dunkers—is not so easily defined today. The dip-and-chip combo of the 21st Century has evolved, reflecting international culinary influences and a new sophistication and ease.”
3. – The New York Times Blender Drinks are Back “We loved blender drinks in the ’50s, when the piña colada sailed north from San Juan and captured the mainland United States. It was taken up by the tiki bars and restaurants that spread across the country after World War II, inspired by the success of Trader Vic’s in Emeryville, Calif., and Don the Beachcomber in Hollywood. Modern bartenders might embrace the blender if they had been around in those pioneer days.”
2. – The LA TImes Simplicity’s the Secret for Perfect Grilling “In exchange for that simplicity and cooking quality, there are a couple of things you have to think about when cooking with a live fire. The first, of course, is the fire itself. The tendency is to fill the grill with as many coals as will fit. This works well if you’re starting a blacksmith shop, but cooking requires a more deft touch.”
1. – The San Francisco Chronicle The Din of Dining “The clang of dishes, the clink of glasses, the roar of voices and the pulsating music seemed to grow louder as I perused the menu. By the time the server came to our table, I felt the sudden urge to order a side of noise with my fried chicken. But the cacophony would have drowned out my sarcasm. Instead, I pointed to the entree I wanted on my menu.”
Now that the weather is warm, I can barely make it to 5:00 on Friday’s before making one of these little suckers… Here are the proportions I use to make the perfect mojito!
Mojitos for Four
12 fresh mint sprigs
8 tsp simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water heated until sugar dissolves, then chilled)
12 tbsp fresh squeezed lime juice
6 oz light rum
Using a muddler or a fork, crush most of the mint (leave 4 sprigs for garnish) in a pitcher. Add the simple syrup and lime juice and mix. Top with ice. Add rum and them top off with chilled club soda. Add a lime wedge and sprig of mint as garnishes.