Seven sessions along, Mixology Monday continues to pick up steam. The â€œGoodbye, Summerâ€ event had the largest turnout to date, with participants taking seasonal concoctions to heart, producing drinks with summery ingredients ranging from watermelon to fresh strawberries to homemade blackberry-infused rum.
Hereâ€™s what we had:
- Mickey at Kitchen Inferno was the first to join the party, sending in an entry nearly two weeks before the deadline. To say farewell to summer, Mickey suggested an aperitif that is all the more elegant for its simplicity: a chilled glass of blonde Lillet, garnished with a slice of nectarine. Read it here.
- Strawberries and fresh lemon basil from the garden were used in Mattâ€™s Strawberry Basil Cocktail over at My Bar, Your Bar. In addition to the fresh produce, Matt used cranberry juice, apple liqueur, simple syrup, vodka and black pepper to create a fresh, and refreshing, cocktail.
- Anita over at Marriedâ€¦with Dinner continues the fresh fruit with spice theme with her Spicy Sangria. Starting with a basic sangria â€“ composed of red wine, cointreau, brandy and chopped fruit â€“ Anita perks it up with some club soda and sweetens and spices the mixture with a homemade spicy simple syrup that includes Mexican canela (cinnamon), star anise, cloves, black peppercorns and red chile flakes. Now Anitaâ€™s got me thinking about flavored syrups; this could prove useful as we move toward the holidays.
- DIY ingredients also feature in the drink from Imbibe Unfiltered, where Kate Darling (Hi, Kate!) tells how she made it through a hot summer by sipping daiquiris made with light rum that had been home-infused with fresh marionberries (thatâ€™s a type of blackberry grown in Oregon, for all you non-Pacific Northwesterners out there) and fresh mint. Check out her drink here:
- The homemade ingredient ethic also comes into play over at Hedonia, where Sean prepares a Hurricane Gordon using Myerâ€™s dark rum, light rum, passion fruit juice, homemade sour mix and homemade grenadine (which I blush to note was based on the recipe I posted a few months back).
- Summer also means taking it easy, and KT at Gastronomy 101 takes this ethic to heart by letting someone else do the work in making her drink. Her cocktail, the Coolest Cucumber, is a riff on a drink posted by Gary Regan in the SF Chronicle; KTâ€™s version uses Plymouth gin, fresh cucumber, Campari and blood orange juice.
- Summer puts people in the mood for lighter spirits, and over at Barbie2Be, the virtues of tequila are considered, along with a recipe for the classic summer anesthetic, the frozen margarita.
- Meeta at Whatâ€™s For Lunch, Honey? approaches the summer theme in a festive mood, presenting an ode to bright-colored â€œgirlieâ€ drinks, along with a recipe for an apricot daiquiri.
- Over at Avenue Food, Sarah pursues total seasonal refreshment in her Limoncello Lush, made with limoncello, vodka and lemon juice, topped with Prosecco.
This month also marks the debut appearance of several of the good folks from eGulletâ€™s Fine Spirits and Cocktails forum in a Mixology Monday event. Thanks to Erik Ellestad, MxMoVII got its own thread, which led to several great ideas for marking the end of the summer:
- For Erik, this was the â€œsummer of the Sazerac,â€ and for Mixology Monday he prepared this classic cocktail in the original fashion, using cognac instead of rye (in the process, learning why rye became the preferred base).
- Chris Hoist (CDH) suggests the Algonquin as a good cocktail for the season transition, with the festive, summery pineapple juice meeting the dark, woody rye, with dry vermouth as a mediator.
- Janet Zimmerman suggests a complex concoction she terms the Ballet, made with Lillet, gin, fresh orange juice, orange bitters and basil, topped with soda or â€“ even better â€“ dry champagne. To kick it into summer overdrive, you can add fresh strawberries to the mix, producing a drink Janet christens a Strawberry Blonde.
- Chris Amirault bid farewell to Salty Dogs (made with tequila, lime juice, salt and Mexican grapefruit soda) and Gingered Gentlemen. The gingered gentleman — made with bourbon, lime juice, gingered simple syrup and club soda — sounds like another drink to pursue this fall.
- Tequila and grapefruit soda also appear in Katie Loebâ€™s suggested cocktail, which includes these two ingredients plus a touch of Marco Polo Sour Cherry syrup. Katie also recommends a drink that appears to be becoming a new summer classic, at least in cocktail aficionado circles: the rhum agricole-based â€˜Ti Punch.
- As Darcy over at The Art of Drink prepares for a Canadian winter â€“ and face it, they need some preparing for — he ponders his summer of rum and winds up needing a cab ride home. Finding himself unable to settle on any particular drink, he orders a full round: a Mai Tai, a Mojito, a â€˜Ti Punch and a Caipirinha.
A pair of Australian bloggers joined the party this month, and pointed out to all of us (especially me) the hazards of drinking a Manhattan before coming up with a Mixology Monday theme. When I proposed the â€œGoodbye, Summerâ€ theme for this monthâ€™s event, I of course overlooked the entire Southern Hemisphere, which is now approaching summer as we up north are bidding it adieu. Oops â€“ sorry, Southern Hemisphere! Happily, they took it in stride–
- Over at Morsels & Musings, Anna didnâ€™t let my befuddlement of the seasons get in her way, and went on to prepare a Pia y Menta â€“ made of tequila, lime and pineapple juices, brown sugar, fresh pineapple and mint. The drink sounds fascinating, and refreshing â€“ no doubt Anna will be enjoying these at the peak of summer, while Iâ€™m slogging through the frigid downpours that mark winter in Seattle. Consider it karmic retribution.
- Haalo at Cook (almost) Anything at Least Once also shrugged off my oversight and prepared a summery mix of watermelon and berries-in-season â€“ heavily fortified with vodka, of course — for the Watermelon Vodka Cooler.
- Sliding in just before the deadline is the talented Jimmy Patrick over at Jimmyâ€™s Cocktail Hour. Jimmy suggests a cocktail designed to help those of us up north get accustomed to the idea of autumn, the Jose MacGregor, made with Scotch, Licor 43, Reganâ€™s orange bitters and a lemon twist.
- And then, of course, thereâ€™s my little tale of having my breath knocked out of me two ways: one, caused by gravity, and the other, by Campari. While the former has left me permanently afraid of leaping from high places, the second eventually led to my current passion for the Jasmine.
Thanks to all who participated â€“ Iâ€™ll also put up reminders for the next two events in a separate post.