I can’t resist the bounties of summer. Although I usually focus on wine, Saturday’s trip to the farmers market has changed my cravings in the late summer heat. How can I resist using fresh local ingredients to make some delicious cocktails?
The blackberries are incredible right now. We finished one pint before we even got back on our bikes. While talking to Sloan, who runs the fruit stand by Movieworks, she gave me the idea of blackberry mojitos. Just muddle some in with some fantastic local mint and light rum. It still needs a squeeze of lime, but the berries add some of the necessary tartness. Blackberries make a great addition to margaritas as well.
Once the blender is out, you might as well keep going. Store-bought slushies have been all the rage this summer, but making your own saves tons of money and has a lot less added sugar. I love to use lemonade to make delicious treats. Add some raspberries or blueberries, ice and vodka for a refreshing deck drink.
However, the highlight of my summer has been popsicles. Almost any summer cocktail can be frozen, with the help of a little xanthan gum. Don’t skip this step — you can find it in the bulk spices section — and it really helps the popsicle set up. The July issue of Food & Wine had an easily adaptable recipe for watermelon-mojito popsicles. You can find popsicle molds at the Dollar Store.
Soon your only worry on a hot summer day will be keeping your husband from eating them too fast and complaining about brain freeze.[twocol_one][/twocol_one] [twocol_one_last][/twocol_one_last]
Recipe: Watermelon Mojito Popsicles
For the mojito layers
- 5 ounces simple syrup
- 4 ounces water
- 3 ounces light rum
- 3 Tablespoons minced lime leaves
- 2 ounces lime juice
- 1/4 teaspoon Xanthan Gum
- For the watermelon layers
- 10 ounces watermelon juice (about half a small seedless melon)
- 2 ounces Citron vodka
- 2 ounces lime juice
- Pinch Kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
- For each layer, combine all ingredients except the xanthan gum. Then whisk the gum into the cocktail, and allow to rest for 15 minutes. Spoon the foam off the top and discard. Pour layers (about 1 1/2 Tablespoons each) and let freeze an hour in between.