Summer cocktails with a twist
Go outside your routine with these unique spins on cool, refreshing libations that will have your taste buds begging for more.
Absolut pear vodka and St-Germain. See cocktail recipes below.
I zig, you zag. That’s pretty much a daily occurrence in our lives. Do you follow the road, straight and narrow, or do you take a few little detours that lead you to new discoveries? Follow me and we’ll explore a few new summer liqueurs, aperitifs, cocktails and spirits. Keep up now — we’re onto some cool new whistle-whetters to tackle the brutal August heat.
Ever heard of elderflowers? St-Germain is a French liqueur handcrafted from freshly picked elderflowers. From the first sip, you are welcomed with a melange curieux — a “curious mixture” — of delicate notes of fresh pear, peach and grapefruit flavors that are to die for. Artisanal liqueur at the tip o’ the tongue.
The story of St-Germain is almost as good as the liqueur itself. In the foothills of the French Alps, pickers gather fresh elderflower blossoms and quickly take the umbels of these white flowers to market to be sold to the makers of St-Germain.
Next, the makers obtain the prized, secret essence of the elderflower; mix the elderflower maceration with eau de vie, or grape spirit (wine distilled into a spirit); and process it through an Alembic still. Just enough cane sugar is added to enhance the natural flavor of the blossoms, but St-Germain has about half the sugar of other liqueurs. Be the one to introduce your friends to the unique, sensual and delicious St-Germain.
Le melange curieux
St-Germain, $32.49, and Absolut pear vodka, $19.49
2 parts sparkling wine or champagne
1 1/2 parts St-Germain
2 parts sparkling water or club soda
Mix in a collins glass with a slice of lemon.
French pear martini
2 ounces St-Germain
1 1/2 ounces Absolut pear vodka
1/4 ounce lemon juice
Shake with ice and strain into a martini glass with a thin apple slice.
Drinks a go-go
Firefly Sweet Tea, $23.99, and Blood Orange Mimosa bottle, $13.99
Two unique cool-down cocktails right in the bottle are Firefly sweet tea-flavored vodka and Canella Blood Orange Mimosa. First, Firefly — an easy-peasy summer mixer because it’s all in the bottle you buy at the liquor store. Just add 2-3 ounces of Firefly to lemonade and you have it made. I don’t know many Okies who don’t like sweet tea, and this is your ticket to schmoozing the tea-lovers in your life. For a “Southern Fly,” add 1/2 Firefly to 1/2 spring water over ice with a twist of lemon.
The second ready-in-the-bottle sipper is the Blood Orange Mimosa. It’s a combination of sparkling grape wine and all-natural blood oranges. It’s light, refreshing and thirst-quenching.
A well-hidden secret
Dubonnet rouge (red), $10.39/750 milliliter bottle
Created in 1846 in France, Dubonnet rouge is a bittersweet, fortified red wine-based apertif flavored with more than 50 herbs and spices (such as quinquina bark, bitter orange peel, chamomile and cinnamon) and quinine added. It is sweet and can be enjoyed on its own over ice, blended with club soda/sparkling wine or made into one of these wonderful cocktails:
3/4 ounces Dubonnet
3/4 ounces triple sec
1 ounce vodka
2 ounces cranberry juice
Splash of lime juice
Garnish with a twist of lime.
Dubonnet, ice and orange or cranberry juice with a few mint leaves.