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Sunday, July 30, 2017

Sensational Summer Cocktails

San Diego is having an exceptionally hot and humid summer season.  (Yes, we are spoiled….anything in the 80’s or above is a deal breaker for locals who find it difficult to comprehend humidity or anything other than idyllic mid-70’s).  Here are some absolute stunners to wet-your-whistle...

Rosé Lillet with Bubbles:

Lillet is a delightful aperitif from Bordeaux.  Made from Bordeaux grapes and herbs (the recipe is a carefully guarded secret), Lillet comes in 3 types:  red, white & rosé.  I was recently in Provence at a Julia Child cooking week and one of the chefs prepared a killer drink from the rosé version.  It’s simple:  equal parts of  rosé Lillet and bubbles (the French version I had used Champagne, however, prosecco or any California dry bubbly would work).  Serve it topped with a strawberry and voila!   

Aperol Spritz:

This is one of my fave cocktails….summer or winter.  Made from Italy’s Aperol (a neon orange colored aperitif made from bitter oranges, rhubarb and a some herbs), the spritz is currently one of the most beloved cocktails in all of Italy.  The cocktails is easy to assemble:  equal parts of Aperol and Prosecco, with a splash of soda water (or to keep it authentically Italian, San Pellegrino).  Add ice and top with a slice of orange.   Ciao, a dolce vita!

White Port and Tonic:

White Port is not easy to find in local liquor stores but totally worth the search!  (Hint:  you can buy it easily on the Internet.)   White Port (make sure it’s the bone dry version) makes a perfect thirst-quenching aperitif.  If you want to score some major points with foodies-in-the-know, serve it.   Everyone will love it, and no one will have ever had it.  The recipe is easy:  equal parts of white dry port and tonic…add plenty of ice and a slice of lemon (sprig of mint optional).   Cheers!

Limoncello with Club Soda:

I’ll never forget my first sip of the cocktail, and that’s something as it’s been about 15 years ago.  I was handed this colorful libation by the hostess at a 4th of July party in San Francisco, and I’ve been a fan ever since.   It’s easy-peasy:  fill a glass with ice, add 2/3 club soda, 1/3 limoncello.  Top with a slice of lemon, or even a strawberry is a nice color contrast.   Sante!

Stay cool wherever you are summering.

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