New Again

Try a Scarlett O'HaraIt’s no secret that I enjoy a cocktail. I like a nice glass of cold white wine or a sparkling glass of champagne. Then again, there are times that nothing but a well-made mixed drink will fill the bill. Southern Comfort was invented in New Orleans in 1874. It’s a mix of fruit, spice, and whiskey that’s used in many classic cocktails.  Here are two chic cocktails that are not too sweet and easy to make.

Scarlett O’Hara
2 ounces Southern Comfort
2 ounces cranberry juice
Juice of half line
Shake or stir over ice and garnish with a wedge of lime
Black Widow
2 ounces of Southern Comfort
¾ ounce dark rum
Juice from ½ lemon
1 tsp of simple syrup or extra fine sugar
Shake over ice and pour into a chilled martini glass

Be a bar maven

The Cocktail Primer Gracey Hitchcock

As the holiday entertaining season approaches, spare a little thought to stocking the bar. If you usually grab a few bottles out from under the kitchen sink and make do with stale ice from the fridge — trust me darlings –you can do better.
Neither of these books will suggest you try to stock a home bar to rival the Ritz or even the local joint. Banish the thought. No one should expect a private home to be a hotel bar. If anyone does, by all means direct them to the nearest hotel. 
The Cocktail Primer: All you need to know to make the perfect drink by Eben Klemm, lives up to its name. Klemm covers stocking the bar from equipment to liquor.  He offers the basics and then brings it up by levels. I like that approach. He also allows for working in small urban apartments; smart. He offers recipes for the classics well as more-exotic drinks. You can’t miss with this book if you are beginner, and you will also enjoy it even if you’ve shaken and stirred a few drinks in your day.
How to Drink Victoria Moore’s How to Drink is not a beginner’s bar book. She is a Brit with a continental flair for libation lore. She offers little treatises on Pimms’ Cups, fresh juice, and a how-to on tea, coffee, and cocktails. I enjoyed it immensely. Ms. Moore also offers recipes for snacks and dishes to accompanies her favourite beverages. This is a great book for bon vivants!



Watermelon and gin…

Fresh watermelon juice, gin, and a hit of lime --so resfreshingWe love the elegance of a proper cocktail. Summer is the perfect time for something light and bright to linger over as the sun sets. We made this pretty pink drink with fresh watermelon juice, G’Vine French Luxury Gin, a dash of fresh lime and simple syrup, and a fizz of club soda. 
We chose G’Vine because it a light tasty gin distilled from grapes with a softer-than-usual juniper flavour. In the Cognac region of France in mid-June, the rare green grape flower blossoms before ripening into little grapes. Those flowers, ginger root, licorice, green cardamom, coriander, cassia bark, cubeb berries, nutmeg, lime and juniper berries are combined with distilled neutral grape sprit from the region to make G’Vine Gin. It is the result of a careful process. Each bottle is individually numbered.
2 ounces G’ Vine Floraison gin or light botanical based gin or vodka
3 ounces of fresh watermelon juice
Mix with ice in a tall glass
Add the juice from half a lime and 1 to 2 tsp of simple syrup
Fill with soda and stir
Garnish with a slice of lime or frozen ball or cubes of watermelon
Remember: Wash all citrus fruit before using. It is often filthy, with dangerous bacteria on the rind. Use soap and water, and rinse well!
To make simple syrup
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
Place ingredients small heavy pan. Bring to boil, do not burn yourself. Dissolve sugar. Cool. Store in clean jar in the fridge for mixed drinks. Useful.
To make watermelon juice
Wash melons before slicing to avoid possible bacteria contamination
Place 4-6 cups of cubed seedless watermelon in a blender or food processor and process. Let sit 15- 30 minutes. Strain and refrigerate for 1 to 2 days at most.
You can make this in a pitcher for parties, but measure.