One of the best parts about summer grilling is the fact that you can eat outside underneath the sun. But no outdoor meal is complete without a fabulous cocktail to keep you cool. So while you’re grilling this week, here are our recommendations of what you should be sipping on:
This Thirsty Thursday, mix up your cocktail game with a drink that may not be too familiar: a Tom Collins!
What’s a Tom Collins?
A Tom Collins dates back to 1876 when “the Father of American Mixology,” Jerry Thomas, first described the it in writing as a “gin and sparkling lemonade” drink. The cocktail gets its name from the glass it’s served in, a Collins glass, which is cylindrical in shape and narrower than a highball glass. The traditional ingredients are simple: gin, lemon juice, sugar and carbonated water, but many variations exist, including the Brandy Collins (using Brandy), the Jack Collins (using applejack) and the Ron Collins (using rum).
Our Tom Collins Recipe (makes 6):
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups gin
3/4 cup lemon juice
2 cups club soda
In a small saucepan, bring 2 tablespoons water to a boil over medium heat. Stir in the sugar until dissolved. Let cool.
In a pitcher, stir together the gin, lemon juice and cooled sugar syrup. Stir in the club soda. Pour into 6 ice-filled tall glasses.
There’s never a bad day to be part of our magazine’s food team, but it’s a particularly good day when you can kick back, relax and have one of the country’s best bartenders make you a cocktail. A few weeks ago, Ryan Magarian — the Portland, Oregon-based cocktail guru and co-founder of Aviation American Gin, — visited the Every Day with Rachael Ray test kitchen and whipped up some of his favorite warm-weather cocktails. We loved all the drinks, but the Beers Knees, a gin and wheat beer concoction, is the one we’ll be sipping all summer. Lucky for us, Ryan shared the recipe, so you can make this bubbly, citrusy drink for your next backyard cookout, concert in the park, beach barbecue– or wherever summer takes you.
1 1/2 oz Aviation American Gin
1 oz fresh lemon juice
1 oz Honey syrup*
3 oz Hefeweizen (Ryan is partial to Widmer Hefeweizen, a local brew)
Pour gin, lemon juice and honey syrup in a pint glass, fill with ice & shake vigorously. Strain into a chilled Collins glass (with or without ice). Top with Hefeweizen. Garnish with a lemon wedge
*To make honey syrup; stir equal parts honey and heated water and stir until the honey dissolves; let cool
This Thirsty Thursday, mix up your cocktail game with a drink that may not be too familiar: a Pimm’s Cup!
What’s a Pimm’s Cup?
A Pimm’s Cup cocktail originates in London in the 1820′s when James Pimm offered a gin-based tonic at his oyster bar to aid in digestion. The drink contained a secret mixture of liqueurs and herbs and to keep up with demand, Pimm began distilling it in mass quantities. Soon, Pimm’s No. 1 was frequently used in cocktails containing fruit and either ginger ale or lemonade. It has since been declared one of two official drinks of Wimbledon– the other being champagne– and has gained popularity among British universities. The Pimm’s cocktail is great for the summer because it’s light and refreshing and won’t leave you feeling woozy or overheated. Plus, it’s a great excuse to use up some summer produce!
Our Pimm’s Cocktail recipe (makes 2)
1/2 cup Pimm’s No. 1 liqueur
2 cups chilled lemon-lime soda
4 cucumber slices
2 orange slices
2 strawberries, sliced
2 sprigs mint
Divide liqueur and soda between 2 tall glasses. Add cucumber, orange and strawberry slices, then ice. Garnish with mint.
This Thirsty Thursday, mix up your cocktail game with a drink that may not be too familiar: a Gimlet!
What’s a Gimlet?
A gimlet is a historic cocktail dating back to the 1920′s made of one part gin, one part lime juice. It’s name is derived from a tool used to drill holes, and given the potency of the cocktail, it is said to have a “penetrating” effect on the consumer. A gimlet can also be made with vodka, if that’s more your poison of choice.
Our Gimlet recipe (makes 1):
4 ounces gin
2 tablespoons sweetened lime juice, such as Rose’s
1 lime wheel, for garnishing
In cocktail shaker filled with ice, shake gin and lime juice for about 1 minute. Pour into martini glass. Garnish with lime.
You don’t need to buy a cocktail muddler to make smashing good drinks. Chances are, you have a tool that can crush herbs already on hand. Three to try: the handle of a wooden spoon or spatula (the fatter the better), the handle of an ice cream scoop or the flat end of a tapered rolling pin. Now that you’ve got the gear, here’s how to use it (like in our brand new Cucumber-Basil Smash!):
1. Place the ingredients you want to muddle (usually fresh herbs and sugar) in the bottom of a pint glass, shaker or sturdy pitcher (for big batches).
2. Using the muddler, press down on the mixture in the bottom of the glass and gently twist. Stop as soon as the herbs release their aromatic oils. (You’ll smell ‘em!) And go easy with the squishing! The idea is to release the fragrance of the herbs without ripping the leaves, which can unleash bitter chlorophyll into your cocktail.
Here are some more cocktail ideas for you to muddle up!
No Mother’s Day brunch is complete without a cocktail that’s as fabulous as mom herself. This year, try something that’s light, refreshing and seasonal, like our Strawberry-Prosecco Sparkler.
HOW TO: Drop a sugar cube into each of 6 glasses and douse with a few dashes of Angostura bitters. Pour prosecco, champagne or other sparkling wine over top; garnish with sliced strawberries.
This sipper is both sweet and tart, and will pair perfectly with your spring brunch menu. Happy Mother’s Day!
Whether you’re in need of a diet clean-up, nutritious breakfast on the go or simply something cool and refreshing to sip on, smoothies have been all the rage in recipe searches these days, according to Yahoo Web Trend Expert, Lauren Whitehouse. You no longer need to run out to the gym or cafe in order to get a delicious and healthy smoothie, and these quick recipes definitely prove it:
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Now that we’ve encouraged you to celebrate Cinco de Mayo on a Monday, you may need a little hair of the dog tomorrow morning. But why stick to the traditional mimosa or bloody mary when you can go international? These might not be your typical drinks of choice first thing in the a.m., but if a whole country swears by it, they must be doing something right.
Mexico‘s go-to hair of the dog is a michelada, a frosty mug of beer typically spiked with tomatoe juice, worcestershire sauce, lime and a kick of spicy heat.
In Mongolia, hangover relief is in the eye of the beholder–if you happen to hang out with livestock. Pop a pickled sheep’s eyeball in some tomato juice, swirl and gulp. Whatever you do, don’t chew!
Waking up wrecked in Poland can make you quite the sourpuss: Among the most trusted local hangover cures is pickle juice. Straight up.
Have we changed your mind about going loco tonight? We hope not!
Weekends are so 2009! Cinco de Mayo falls on a Monday (excuse me, lunes) this year, and that plays right into my margarita-mixing, tortilla-chip- dipping hands—because Monday is one of my favorite nights to entertain. For one thing, it makes scheduling a snap. Finding a weekend night when four or five friends are all available? Forget it. It seems the later in the week a get-together is scheduled, the more likely people are to cancel as the snowball of obligations threatens to roll over them. But on Monday nights, everyone seems to be free! Even more importantly, Mondays have a built-in low-key vibe—you’re practically prohibited from making a fuss. Here are my three relax-the-rules rules.
1. No Elaborate Hors D’Oeuvres
On Mondays, pre-dinner nibbles are anything I can pour directly from a bag, box or jar into a bowl, or unwrap and plunk on a plate: olives, fancy potato chips, cheese and crackers, salted nuts. For a Cinco de Mayo party, the classic is also a crowd-pleaser. Chips and salsa coming right up!
2. Serve a Make-Ahead Main Course
The beauty of Monday is it comes right after Sunday, a day I actually do have time to cook. The goal is to make a one-dish meal, like chili or chicken enchiladas, that I can simply heat up the next night when everybody arrives. That way, it’s no big deal if I race home from work at 6:45 and guests are due at 7.
3. Put Someone Else on Dessert Duty
I remind whoever it is that we’re on the no-shame-for-store-bought plan. If she gets the urge to bake brownies, fantastic. But if she wants to swing by the store for a few pints of ice cream? Make mine chocolate-chocolate chip, please!
My Margarita Musts:
1. A salt rim.
I’m easygoing about rocks versus no rocks—ice changes a cocktail’s strength, not its taste. But salt is mandatory to brighten and balance a margarita’s sweet-sour flavors.
2. Mid-shelf tequila.
Save the smooth, aged, expensive tequila for sipping on its own. Margaritas are best when they’re a little rough around the edges
3. Fresh lime juice.
You’re forgiven if you like your margaritas no-salt, top-shelf or served in a plastic tumbler shaped like a saguaro cactus, but back away from the bottled lime juice. If that’s all you’ve got, switch to beer!