Saturday, July 5, 2008

These Really Hit the Spot

We went over to our friends Kay and Joel's house for an early dinner tonight. It was fun to watch the babies play and eat good food and catch up. Kay and Jonas and E and I meet up each week, but it's rare for all of us to get together. TJ made two kinds of summery cocktails. They were so good, I'm going to post the recipes here. They're from Epicurious.

(We used sparkling white wine.)

Servings: 8

5 cups seedless watermelon cubes
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, crushed
1/2 cup vanilla-infused vodka, chilled
1/4 cup triple sec
3 tbsp fresh lime juice
2 2/3 cups Champagne (or sparkling wine), chilled
Watermelon cubes and lime slices

Process watermelon cubes in a blender on high until smooth. Strain. Measure out 2 cups juice. Add mint. Stir; chill 30 minutes. Add vodka, triple sec, lime juice and 1 cup ice; stir vigorously. Remove mint leaves. Fill glasses with ice and pour 1/3 cup watermelon mixture into each. Gently stir in 1/3 cup Champagne. Garnish with watermelon cubes and lime slices.


It's important to use pure mango nectar here (though it may not be labeled "pure"); nectar mixed with other fruit juices or high-fructose corn syrup makes the drink too sweet.

Servings: 6

1/4 cup packed fresh mint leaves
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
3 cups (24 fl oz) pure mango nectar, chilled
1 (750-ml) bottle Moscato d'Asti sparkling wine or sparkling water, chilled
Garnish: cucumber spears and fresh mint leaves

Crush mint leaves with lime juice in a bowl with a pestle or wooden spoon until bruised and beginning to break up. Stir in mango nectar, then chill, covered, at least 1 hour.

Pour mango mixture through a sieve into a large glass measure, discarding solids, then pour about 1/2 cup mango mixture into each of 6 (10-ounce) glasses and top off with Moscato d'Asti (or sparkling water). Mango mixture can be chilled, covered, up to 1 day.