The green tea Arnold Palmer adds a twist to a classic recipe. (Rita Maas )
This Fourth of July leave the super-hot grill duty to the sturdy member of your family who goes in for that whole bubbling, dripping meat scene. You're more of an ice-cold beverage kind of person. Especially if the drink in question has a bit of a kick.
Plus, serving pre-dinner cocktails makes you the hero of any party. But when you're working out of a home kitchen that isn't yours, it's classy to keep it simple. There will be enough happening on the stove without you trying to cook up lavender-honey simple syrup.
In searching for some quality cocktail recipes that are delicious enough to satisfy a cocktail connoisseur while being straightforward enough to please everyone, I stumbled across a nifty little cookbook called "Happy Hour at Home" by Barbara Scott-Goodman.
The book was just released by Running Press ($20) and it features a variety of tasty cocktails alongside a list of appetizers that pair nicely with them (fried pickles with green goddess dressing; baked Buffalo chicken wings with blue cheese; grilled clams with chive butter).
I picked out three drink recipes that I felt were ideal for summer consumption, and that would hold up well alongside good old-fashioned American barbecue. When a spirit is mentioned in the recipe I have taken the liberty of suggesting a quality made-in-the-U.S.A. candidate for your use.
After all, what's more patriotic than drinking American?
1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon simple syrup
1 1/2 ounces whiskey or bourbon (I suggest using something from High West Distillery, which operates out of Park City, Utah, and makes a delicious assortment of whiskeys.)
1 orange slice for garnish
1 marinated fresh cherry for garnish
In a cocktail shaker, combine ice, lemon juice, simple syrup, and whiskey, shake until very cold, and strain into a chilled stemmed glass. Garnish with an orange slice and a cherry, and serve.
Green tea Arnold Palmer
3 ounces chilled green tea
3 ounces fresh-squeezed lemonade
1 1/2 ounces vodka (I suggest using Tru organic vodka from Greenbar Distillery, which is located in downtown Los Angeles.)
1 lemon wedge for garnish
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.
1 strip grapefruit peel
2 ounces vodka or gin (I suggest using Leopold's small-batch American gin, which is made in Denver by the Leopold Bros. distillery.)
5 ounces fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice
Pour the salt onto a small, shallow plate. Rub the rim of a Collins glass with the grapefruit peel. Dip the glass onto the plate to coat the rim. Fill the glass with ice, add the vodka or gin and grapefruit juice, and stir.
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