Thursday, June 4, 2015

Summer Sippin'--Summer Drink Recipes

Ahhh…summer time! 
When you live in a climate where the first snow of the season often comes in October and the last sometimes comes in May, choosing summer drinks is an extra-special treat.  These drinks signal it is finally time for barbequing outdoors and sitting on the patio; this requires sipping lighter beverages.  I love red wines, but once June hits, I want something else.  Something more refreshing.  Something cold.  Something fun.  I have friends who turn to beer at this time of the year.  However, my wine roots run too deep. Instead of turning my back on my friend wine because the temps are heating up, I am more likely to drink a rose or a sparkling.  (Look for a blog on some of my favorite roses…coming soon!)  But there are times when even a rose or sparkling isn’t summery enough for me.  Here are three of my favorite summer, summer, summertime drinks:  sangria, Moscow mules, and margarita popsicles.
Summer Sangria

1 bottle red wine (your choice; I would not use my best, most expensive)
1/4 cup Triple Sec
1 can pineapple tidbits; drain juice
1 can light peaches or pears; drain juice
1 cup strawberries; diced
1 lemon; juiced
1/2 cup sugar or honey

Mix wine, Triple Sec, pineapple juice, peach/pear juice, lemon juice, and sugar/honey.  Mix until sugar is dissolved.  (You can adjust the amount of sugar/honey if you want the sangria less sweet.) Set aside and chill for 24 hours.  At the same time, chill the pineapple, peaches/pears, and strawberries in a separate container. One hour before serving, put fruit and wine mixture together in a decorative pitcher.  Serve chilled. 
Summer Sangria

Moscow Mule

2 shots vodka (I used Wyoming’s Backwards Distilling Ringleader Vodka)
1 lime; juiced
1 can ginger beer (the better quality beer, the better the mule)

Fill a copper mug almost full with ice cubes.  Add two shots of vodka (one if this seems too much for you) and the juice of one entire lime.  Fill the mug with ginger beer.  Garnish with lime slice.
Moscow Mule

Margarita Popsicles

1/2 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 cup fresh squeezed lime juice (8-12 limes)
1/4 cup tequila
1/4 cup Triple Sec
12 disposable paper cups--3 ounce size (I used Dixie)
12 wooden popsicle sticks or small wooden ice cream spoons

Heat water and sugar in a small pan until sugar is completely dissolved and water is just about boiling.  Let cool; you have just made simple syrup!
In a pitcher, combine lime juice, tequila, and Triple Sec.
Add cooled simple syrup (water/sugar mixture) to the juice/tequila mixture.  Stir.

(Drink now by pouring into salt-rimmed glasses with ice if you are just not a patient person.  If you are a patient person, keep reading.  This recipe happens to make a wonderful regular margarita!)

Pour about 2 1/2 ounces into each paper cup--about 3/4 of the way full.
Place cups in deep baking dish and put all into freezer.
After about two hours of freezing, put the popsicle sticks in the cups; they should be frozen enough for sticks to stand up now. 
Let freeze overnight until completely frozen; will not freeze extremely hard due to alcohol but will freeze solid.
To serve, peel the paper cup away.

Margarita Popsicles
No matter how long your winter lasts, it is now June—it is time to drink like it’s summer!  It’s okay to keep your wine roots, but break free every once in a while with a different beverage.  These drinks are fun and refreshing; they taste like summer feels!  Enjoy your extra special treat of summer…I know I will.