Believe it or not, there are some parts of this country that actually use Labor Day as a dividing line between seasons. Come Labor Day, the local citizenry starts sniffing the air for signs of cooler weather, prepares to change wardrobes and even lays in supplies of firewood knowing full well what will be arriving very shortly. 

Guess where none of that is happening? Yea, ya’ got dat right.

Lighter fabrics, short or no sleeves, sunscreen and air conditioning are still very much a part of our regimen. Don’t wear white after Labor Day? Don’t be absurd.

Our summer continues on until early November and even then there are moments when we feel it will never end – similar to the string of movies starring Adam Sandler. Like a lot of things, such as good sense, sobriety and a respect for authority, New Orleans marches to her own drum beat with calendars playing minor roles.

It is exactly why we will go on drinking cool cocktails; very cool cocktails. The cooler the better, at least for the foreseeable future.

So, let’s head for the Old City Ice House (if you don’t understand that reference, ask someone who grew up here and was allowed to stay up late on Friday night), or make tracks for the freezer and get started making really cold drinks perfect for the latter part of a New Orleans summer.

 

Orange-Ginger Margarita

Courtesy Tina Rupp, as published on www.delish.com

(serves 4)

 

  • 1 can frozen orange juice concentrate. (note: also consider fresh squeezed orange juice)
  • 10 oz. tequila, blanco
  • 6 oz. ginger liqueur (like Domaine de Canton)
  • 1 tsp. grated ginger
  • 4 cups ice
  • 2 tbsp. kosher or margarita salt
  • Crystallized ginger, optional

 

Place frozen orange juice concentrate (reserve 1 tablespoon), tequila, ginger liqueur, ginger and ice in a blender and mix until ice is crushed.

Place reserved tablespoon concentrate, or fresh juice with pulp, on a small plate and salt on another small plate. Dip rims of 4 glasses in concentrate/juice and then in salt. Fill glasses, garnish with crystallized ginger if desired, and serve.

 


Cucumber Pineapple Tequila Cooler

By Amanda Freitag, as featured in Food Network

(4 servings)

 

  • 1 cup fresh pineapple cubes
  • 2 limes, skin removed
  • 1 seedless European cucumber, peeled, plus cucumber slices for garnish
  • 4 ounces silver (blanco) tequila
  • 1 1/2 cups ice cubes, plus more for serving
  • 1 tablespoon agave nectar
  • Pinch kosher salt

 

Sparkling Pomegranate Punch

Courtesy John Kernick, as published on www.delish.com.

(serves 10)

 

  • 3 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 cup pomegranate juice
  • 2 bottles Sparkling wine, like a Prosecco or Cava Brut
  • 0.75 cup late-harvest white wine, Riesling
  • 2 oranges
  • 1 cup diced fresh pineapple
  • 0.25 cup pomegranate seeds
  • ice cubes

 

In a punch bowl, dissolve the sugar in the pomegranate juice, stirring vigorously. Add the sparkling wine and white wine, then add the orange slices, diced pineapple and pomegranate seeds. Serve the sparkling pomegranate punch over ice cubes. (Note: if you prefer, omit the sugar. Between the wines and the oranges, the drink is sweet enough.)


Everything needs to have a name, but for some reason many classifications of cocktails possess names, with a lot of crossover references, that would confuse even the most knowledgeable and arrogant wine drinker. And the wine world has names describing regions, grape varietals and processes that drive the uninitiated crazy. I somehow don’t expect the same from cocktails, but there we are with shandy, flips, fizzes, coolers, Collins, juleps and cobblers – nothing to do with fruit pies – among others. 

Anyway, to at least clarify one term, a shandy is a cocktail made with beer. Does not have to be made with an alcoholic spirit but then, why wouldn’t you?


St. Germain Shandy

Courtesy of St. Germain

(serves 1)

 

  • 5 parts Pilsner Beer
  • 1 ½ part St. Germain
  • 2 lemon wedges

 

Stir both ingredients in a pint glass filled halfway with ice. Squeeze two lemon wedges, or half a lemon, into the glass. Enjoy!

 

And there you are, drinks that can take you a little further into the remnants of a New Orleans summer. Lots of ice and lots of kick-back time. We will get through this thing together.

 

 

-30-