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have to serve cocktails - any suggestions?

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george Jun 16, 2006 10:51 PM

I have been out of circulation for a while, so I don’t know what yummy new cocktails people are drinking now. I am assigned the task of bringing the cocktails to an upcoming picnic and I would like to bring something special.

What is new on the cocktail scene? I have made Margaritas, Mojitos, Extra Special Bloody Marys, etc. in the past.

All ideas are greatly appreciated. Thanks.

  1. e
    Ellen Jun 16, 2006 11:17 PM

    I have a sublime summer cocktail recipe that I got from the now defunct Snackbar in New York. I've doubled the recipe since you're making it for a group -- Just make sure your pitcher is big enough or else make it in a punch bowl. No need to go premium on either the vodka or the sparkler, but fresh grapefruit juice is a must.
    16 oz fresh grapefruit juice
    16 oz vodka
    1 bottle sparkling wine
    4 oz raspberry liquer like chambord (cassis will work too)
    1 package of fresh rasberries
    Put rasberries on the bottom of a large pitcher and mascerate. Fill pitcher with ice and add grapefruit juice, vodka and raspberry liquer. Fill the pitcher with champagne, stir and strain into martini glasses garnished with a fresh rasberry. Enjoy!

    1 Reply
    1. re: Ellen
      e
      Ellen Jun 27, 2006 02:48 PM

      Oops! That should have been 8 oz of vodka, not 16! But if you made it that way, I'll bet your friends had a really good time!

    2. c
      Chris VR Jun 16, 2006 11:20 PM

      A few summers ago, we hit on a great summer cocktail. let's see how well I can remember it...

      I dissolved sugar in fresh squeezed lemon juice by mixing them together and shaking periodically. As I recall, I used Sucanat, which I think worked better for this drink than white sugar.

      In a tall glass of ice, pour in a few tablespoons of the sugar/lemon mixture. Then fill the glass maybe a quarter of the way with rum. I THINK we used spiced rum. Then top the glass off with seltzer.

      1. m
        Mangoes Jun 17, 2006 02:58 AM

        For summer, I think Fresh Fruit Dacquiris are Supremo. Tasty & beautiful. If it's at someone's house just take yr. blender. Else make in advance. Vary color. I did strawberry/berry, cantalope, honeydew & watermelon. It was fantastic.

        5 Replies
        1. re: Mangoes
          d
          dragonfly Jun 17, 2006 11:57 AM

          I'll second the daquiri with Banana daquiri's. Most delicious for a hot summer day; looks like ice cream, cool & refreshing!
          Set aside 1 banana, 1/2 can frozen pineapple juice, 1/2 can (use same can) white rum. Fill blender with ice (leave room for banana). Add ingredients to blender, blend and voila. Garnish with mint, thin slice of lime, strawberry - whatever floats your boat - or simply, nothing at all.

          1. re: dragonfly
            m
            Mangoes Jun 17, 2006 05:36 PM

            Fantastic. I haven't had a banana Dacq. since I was in the Bahamas where I fell in love w/'em. I'm going to try this. The new Organic Bananas that've appeared are seriously tasty. Freezing it first might give one a thick luscious texture.

            I would only differ in suggesting throwing in chunks of Fresh Pineapple - it's so much better tasting than canned/frozen.

            Have you ever tried adding some ginger to this concoction?

            1. re: Mangoes
              d
              dragonfly Jun 17, 2006 11:56 PM

              I have never thought to try ginger but you have inspired me. In our house, this is a signature summer refreshment. The reason for the frozen pineapple juice is the consistency of the finished product; ice creates a drink that is too watery. However, if you give it a whiz pls post your results ... always on the lookout for the new and improved ; )

          2. re: Mangoes
            d
            dragonfly Jun 17, 2006 11:57 AM

            I'll second the daquiri with Banana daquiri's. Most delicious for a hot summer day; looks like ice cream, cool & refreshing!
            Set aside 1 banana, 1/2 can frozen pineapple juice, 1/2 can (use same can) white rum. Fill blender with ice (leave room for banana). Add ingredients to blender, blend and voila. Garnish with mint, thin slice of lime, strawberry - whatever floats your boat - or simply, nothing at all.

            1. re: Mangoes
              j
              Jim Washburn Jun 18, 2006 01:03 PM

              Cantaloupe daiquiri is one of my favorite summer drinks. You need to add a little salt to bring out the cantaloupe flavor.

              Jim

            2. a
              Aaron Jun 17, 2006 11:29 AM

              Bellinis!
              Make a few flavored fruit purees of fruit, sugar and a touch of water in a blender. Strain to remove seeds. Add vodka so that you have 2 parts fruit puree to 1 part vodka. (Btw, you can also use Kern's canned fruit nectar if you want something easier). Chill the fruit purees. Put 1-2 ounces of the mixture into a glass, and top with prosecco, champagne or another sparkling white wine.
              So simple, so pretty, so delicious, and the multiple flavor options ensures everyone gets what they want.
              You can also do a "virgin" option for kids using sparkling apple cider and vodka free puree.

              4 Replies
              1. re: Aaron
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                petradish Jun 17, 2006 03:28 PM

                You just hit my bellini purist button...vodka? White peach puree, prosecco. End of. :-P

                If you use different fruit purees, go with the Goya frozen or other Latino brands. Kerns's tastes like a can of nasty old cooked fruit.

                1. re: petradish
                  a
                  Aaron Jun 17, 2006 05:01 PM

                  LOL...
                  I really should have said Bellini inspired now shouldn't I.
                  I add the vodka to make it more cocktail-esque...tough to get a buzz on with just some prosecco.
                  As for the fruit, fresh puree is definitely the way to go, it will always be better. However, when you need an easy out, I find Kern's to be great in a mixed drink. I'll give you the bit about the cooked fruit, but when it's mixed with alcohol, its sweetness really works.
                  Thanks for calling me out on that :)

                  1. re: Aaron
                    j
                    JudiAU Jun 27, 2006 09:54 PM

                    You just need to drink more of them...

                    But seriously-- avoid the vodka and use fresh white peaches or one of the imported Italian frozen fruit purees. Even Harry's uses these now...

                    1. re: JudiAU
                      Pei Jun 28, 2006 09:32 PM

                      Where oh where do you find the imported frozen fruit puree? I've been dying to get my hands on some from a company in Napa but have had no luck. If you have a source for Italian, even better!

                      But seriously, Aaron, ditto on drinking more :). And if you do fresh puree, add a touch of lemon or lime to it. I once almost cried because my white peach puree turned from pink to brown in the fridge before guests arrived.

              2. c
                Claire Jun 17, 2006 12:53 PM

                For those who don't want the sweetness of the drinks mentioned below, tonic driks are wonderfully refreshing on a summer day - vodka and tonic and gin and tonic...nice and cold, light and crisp.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Claire
                  c
                  Candy Jun 17, 2006 05:05 PM

                  Add a stem of mint to those tonic drinks and don't forget about some of the "old fashioned" drinks that need to be revived like Pimm's Cup with ginger ale and a slice of cucumber or Campari and soda with a bit of orange. I've not had a Salty Dog in years and can't now because of grapefruit and medications. But it was served in a tall glass which had been rimmed with salt like a Margarita, add 1.5 oz. gin and top with freshly squeezed grapefruit juice, ruby red would be nice.

                2. m
                  Mangoes Jun 17, 2006 05:39 PM

                  Pitchers of Sangria are always appreciated as well. It's basically red wine, orange juice, fruit & sparkling water. Paula Wolfert has recipe in her first bk on Med. Cooking.

                  1. g
                    george Jun 17, 2006 09:35 PM

                    Thank you all for the suggestions. Right now, I am trying to decide between the do-ahead ease and simplicity of the Bellini, the ahhh factor of the banana daiquiri and the wonderful cocktail that Ellen recommended - I am guessing the bitterness of the fresh grapefruit juice combined with the raspberry flavor creates an interesing contrast. I guess I'll have to try them all in the next week and decide.

                    Again, thanks so much. Cheers!

                    1. a
                      anniediaz Jun 18, 2006 03:36 PM

                      Cava Sangria

                      2 bottles of cold champage
                      A cup or so of a light juice: like pear
                      2 or 3 tablespoons of sugar
                      Thin sliced fruit like apples, oranges, lemon, limes (give them a little sqeeze to release some juice)

                      1. b
                        Brandon Nelson Jun 19, 2006 01:59 PM

                        Pour a double shot over crushed ice, add club soda or mineral water in equal. Garnish with a mint leaf.

                        Want a little more elegant delivery? drop a shot in a champagne flute and top with prosecco.

                        Summertime lemonade for grown ups.

                        1. Greg B Jul 1, 2006 10:17 PM

                          I recently found a great, simple cocktail that is perfect for summer parties on the patio, etc. I don't know what the proper name for it is, so unless someone tells me otherwise, I'm calling it the "Red Popsicle" because that's what it tastes like -- the red popsicles you had when you were a kid. But the nice thing is that it's not excessively sweet.

                          I make mine in a shaker with lots of ice cubes, so I dunno how it will translate into a punch bowl or large batch, but feel free to experiment. It's simple:

                          1 part Canadian rye whiskey
                          1 part peach schnapps
                          2 parts cranberry juice

                          Shake with plenty of ice in a cocktail shaker and serve in a chilled martini glass.

                          I love this even though I'm a fan of neither Canadian whiskey nor peach schnapps alone.

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