Six fresh & fruity sips for summer

Posted Tuesday, Jun. 25, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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Raspberry mojitos Makes 8 servings (about 11 cups) Part of this cocktail can be mixed well ahead of party time, but add the club soda and mint leaves just before serving. That way you’ll have maximum fizz, along with fresh mint aroma, rather than wilted herbs at the bottom of the pitcher. For plain mojitos, omit the raspberries. • 8 ounces (1 cup) freshly squeezed lime juice • 1 cup superfine sugar • 16 ounces (2 cups) light rum • 1 1⁄3 cups fresh raspberries • 16 ounces (2 cups) club soda • 1 bunch fresh mint, separated into sprigs • 4 cups ice cubes 1. In a pitcher that holds at least 12 cups, combine the lime juice and sugar and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Add the rum and raspberries and stir gently. 2. Just before serving, pour in the club soda and stir gently. Gently roll the mint between your hands to release the aromatic oils, then add it to the pitcher. Add the ice and stir gently to chill. To serve, pour into tall glasses, such as Collins glasses, and offer straws. Nutritional analysis per serving: 247 calories, trace fat, 30 grams carbohydrates, trace protein, no cholesterol, 14 milligrams sodium, 2 grams dietary fiber, 1 percent of calories from fat. — Cocktails for a Crowd, by Kara Newman (Chronicle, $18.95)
Rosemary refresher Makes 8 servings (about 8 3/4 cups) This sophisticated margarita variation is a wonderful thirst-quenching aperitif. The recipe makes a bit more rosemary-infused simple syrup than needed for the cocktails. Offer the leftover portion in a small pitcher for anyone who isn’t drinking alcohol so they can enjoy it mixed with club soda or ginger ale. • 16 ounces (2 cups) reposado tequila • 12 ounces (1 1/2 cups) freshly squeezed grapefruit juice • 6 ounces (3/4 cup) rosemary simple syrup (recipe follows) • 4 ounces (1/2 cup) freshly squeezed lime juice • 4 cups ice cubes • 8 sprigs fresh rosemary, for garnish 1. In pitcher that holds at least 10 cups, combine the tequila, grapefruit juice, rosemary syrup and lime juice and stir until thoroughly blended. Add the ice and stir well to chill. To serve, pour into old-fashioned glasses and garnish each drink with a rosemary sprig. Nutritional analysis per serving: 176 calories, trace fat, 12 grams carbohydrates, trace protein, no cholesterol, 2 milligrams sodium, trace dietary fiber, 1 percent of calories from fat. Rosemary simple syrup • 1 cup sugar • 8 ounces (1 cup) water • 5 sprigs fresh rosemary 1. In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and water. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar is dissolved. When the syrup starts to boil, lower the heat to maintain a simmer. 2. Gently roll the rosemary between your hands to release the aromatic oils, then add it to the syrup. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. 3. Let cool to room temperature, then remove the rosemary sprigs and strain the syrup if need be. Stored in a covered container in the refrigerator, the syrup will keep for about 2 weeks. Cocktails for a Crowd, by Kara Newman (Chronicle, $18.95)
Black pepper mandarin margarita Makes 1 serving A bright and fruity cocktail with a bit of black pepper heat. • 3 to 4 orange wedges • 1 ounce simple syrup • 1 ounce fresh lime juice • 3⁄4 ounce silver tequila • 3⁄4 ounce Hangar One Mandarin Blossom vodka (or other orange vodka) • 2-3 turns of freshly cracked black pepper 1. In a mixing glass, muddle the orange wedges with the simple syrup and lime juice. 2. Add the tequila and vodka. Top with ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a margarita glass and top with black pepper. Nutritional analysis per serving: 139 calories, trace fat, 11 grams carbohydrates, trace protein, no cholesterol, 1 milligram sodium, trace dietary fiber, 1 percent of calories from fat. 101 Tropical Drinks, by Kim Haasarud (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $16.99)
Summer solstice Makes 1 serving • 1 1⁄2 ounces Belvedere Pink Grapefruit vodka • 1 ounce ruby red pink grapefruit juice, strained • 1 ounce fresh orange juice • 3⁄4 ounce Aperol • 1⁄2 ounce fresh lemon juice • 1⁄2 ounce simple syrup • Pink grapefruit wheel, for garnish 1. Combine all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Top with ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a bucket glass filled with fresh ice. Garnish with the grapefruit wheel. Nutritional analysis per serving: 191 calories, trace fat, 11 grams carbohydrates, trace protein, no cholesterol, 2 milligrams sodium, trace dietary fiber, 2 percent of calories from fat. 101 Tropical Drinks, by Kim Haasarud (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $16.99)
Watermelon-mint soda Makes about 8 cups (enough to fill a 2-liter plastic soda bottle) • 4 pounds seeded and cubed watermelon (11 to 12 cups, from a 6-pound watermelon) • 1⁄2 cup packed fresh mint leaves • 1⁄2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (from about 4 limes), plus more if needed • 1 cup water, plus more to fill the bottles • 9 tablespoons (4 ounces) white granulated sugar, plus more if needed • Pinch of salt • 1⁄8 teaspoon dry champagne yeast 1. Combine the watermelon, mint leaves and lime juice in a large bowl. 2. Bring the water to a boil in a small saucepan on the stove top or in the microwave. Remove from the heat. Add the sugar and salt, stir to dissolve and pour over the watermelon. Let this stand for 10 minutes to macerate the fruit. 3. Working in batches, puree the watermelon and mint with their liquid in a food processor or blender. Strain the puree into a bowl, collecting as much juice as possible without forcing any solids through the strainer. 4. Pour the juice into a clean 2-liter bottle using a funnel. Top off the bottle with water, leaving at least 1 inch of headspace. Give it a taste and add more lime juice or sugar, if desired. The extra sugar will dissolve on its own. 5. Add the yeast. Screw on the cap and shake the bottle to dissolve and distribute the yeast. Let the bottle sit at room temperature out of direct sunlight until carbonated, typically 12 to 48 hours, depending on the temperature of the room. Check the bottle periodically; when it feels rock solid with very little give, it’s ready. 6. Refrigerate overnight or for up to 2 weeks. Open very slowly over a sink to release the pressure gradually and avoid bubble-ups. Nutritional analysis per 1-cup serving: 132 calories, 1 gram fat, 32 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams protein, no cholesterol, 22 milligrams sodium, 1 gram dietary fiber, 6 percent of calories from fat. True Brews, by Emma Christensen (Ten Speed Press, $23)
Green tea Arnold Palmer Makes 1 serving Try this cool concoction that is a spiked riff on the well-known blend of iced tea and lemonade named after golfer Arnold Palmer. Make a pot of green tea, and give it plenty of time to chill in the refrigerator. Whether you’re relaxing at the 19th hole or just putting your feet up after a long day, it will hit the spot. • 3 ounces chilled green tea • 3 ounces lemonade • 1 1/2 ounces vodka • 1 lemon wedge, for garnish 1. Fill a large rocks glass with ice. Add the tea, lemonade and vodka. Stir with a long spoon. Garnish with a lemon wedge and serve. Nutritional analysis per serving: 132 calories, no fat, no carbohydrates, no protein, no cholesterol, 5 milligrams sodium, no dietary fiber, 0 percent of calories from fat. Happy Hour at Home, by Barbara Scott-Goodman (Running Press, $20)

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There’s nothing better than the clink of ice cubes followed by a tall pour of a frosty beverage to help us cool down in the summertime.

Well, wait — yes, there is.

That would be if said frosty beverage was delivered to us, poolside, while ocean breezes blew gently through our hair.

But now we’re just dreaming of vacation.

Here are six great recipes for new summer drinks — from a black pepper mandarin variation on everyone’s favorite, the margarita, to a refreshing sipper that uses fresh rosemary from the garden. (We’re pretty sure the cocktails here would cool us off just as well without alcohol, too.)

All come from four cookbooks released in time for summer entertaining: 101 Tropical Drinks, by Kim Haasarud (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $16.99); Cocktails for a Crowd, by Kara Newman (Chronicle, $18.95); True Brews, by Emma Christensen (Ten Speed Press, $23); and Happy Hour at Home, by Barbara Scott-Goodman (Running Press, $20).

Cheers to summer sipping!

Stephanie Allmon, 817-390-7852 Twitter: @STFeatures

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