Here in Los Lunas, New Mexico it’s hot. Like, 5th ring of hell hot. The last week of June it was over 100 degrees every day.
I love wine but when the summer is this hot, it’s time to cool things down so I’ve created a series of terrifically delicious Gin based cocktails based on the Tom Collins. Variations on a theme, if you will.
First up is the Albuquerque Breaking Blue Collins!
Here’s the recipe:
In a glass of ice, mix the following in this order.
1.5oz shot of gin
I don’t measure the other stuff, so flavor to taste.
On top of the gin add a splash (or 3) of lime juice.
Top off with Sparkling ICE Blue Raspberry – it comes in a skinny bottle and most grocery stores carry it with the flavored sparkling water. (see photo below)
Stir. Don’t add anything else until you stir!
Garnish with half a slice of lime – be sure to rub the lime all over the mouth of the glass, leaving behind as much pulp as possible.
Add two maraschino cherries.
Last step – pour in a small amount of cherry juice from the jar. Make sure that the drink has already been stirred because if you stir it after the cherry juice goes in, it defeats the purpose. The cherry juice will sink to the bottom, creating a lovely layered effect.
Fair warning: if you drink one, you will want another!
Our Tai Chi friends invited us over for drinks last Sunday, so obviously we accepted.
They wanted to have a Mint Julep party and, even though I worked as a bartender in Las Vegas for three years, I managed never to make or drink one of these fancy concoctions so naturally I had to learn all about it.
The first step in making an excellent Mint Julep is to grab a handful of fresh mint from the garden.
In a glass, or mason jar, add several mint leaves and a teaspoon of sugar. Using a spoon or other blunt implement, muddle the mint leaves and the sugar. This will tear the mint leaves a bit and release more mint flavor.
Next, add several ice cubes and one shot of Bourbon. Maker’s Mark is a nice choice.
This is a southern style Mint Julep so do not add any additional water. I suppose if you had a stainless steel drink shaker you could actually do all of this in the shaker, and then shake to facilitate the melting of the ice before pouring the whole thing into a glass but, in the absence of a shaker, mixing it directly in the glass is fine too. The melting ice becomes the water that dilutes the bourbon so it takes longer to end up face down on the table.
Mint Juleps are a commodity of a hot summer afternoon so enjoy slowly. 🙂
As a post script, our Tai Chi friends also have a flock of Guinea Fowl to make sure that they never over sleep… ever.