Right about now summer fatigue sets in. Yes, we’ve done the heat thing to a fare-thee-well, so at this time let’s figure something else out.
Entergy has extracted their pound of flesh for several months now, but we are not about to reset the thermostat just because it’s tiresome to receive those once a month slaps in the face masquerading as “usage.”
“Really? Come on now, there is no way I used that much of your precious power – the cost of which is causing me to pass up dinner every Tuesday night in an effort to conserve money to pay you and keep you from disconnecting me from summer’s life-line. No way. Read the meter again. You had to have made a mistake.”
But what’s the alternative? Who among us would rather just open up the doors and windows, inviting into our home the oppressive heat and extraordinary humidity levels of a semi-tropical climate? I am seeing no show of hands out there.
Yet, there is a way to at least stave just a little off the ravages of a climate into which even dogs know better than to venture. The quest for cool summertime beverages is a priority. Consider these not just reasonable alternatives, but rather necessary actions to offset living conditions when you are in a place this close to the sun.
As created by Nick Detrich, Cane & Table,
And as featured in Food & Wine Daily
- 1 ounce London Dry Gin
- 1/2 ounce fresh lime juice
- 1/2 ounce Simple Syrup
- 1 large egg white
- 1 ounce chilled coconut water
- Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg, for garnish
In a cocktail shaker, combine the gin, lime juice, Simple Syrup and egg white – shake vigorously. Fill the shaker with ice and shake again. Fine-strain into a chilled coupe. Stir the coconut water into the cocktail and garnish with the grated nutmeg.
Blueberry Infused Vodka & Frozen Lemonade Cocktail
As featured in Chilled Magazine and Courtesy of Urban Baker
For the Flavored Vodka
(Yields 1 quart Vodka):
- 14 oz. Vodka
- 1 cup Fresh, Organic Blueberries
Wash and dry the blueberries, put them in a 1-quart lidded jar and fill with vodka. Tightly screw on lid and let rest for 24 – 36 hours. Strain vodka into another vessel. Save blueberries and freeze (will be used later for garnish).
For the Cocktail, which is actually a slush:
- 2 tbsp. Prepared Vodka (or more, depending on your taste)
- 4 tbsp. Sparkling Water
- 12 oz. Lemonade, fresh-made, not too sweet
- Mint Sprig for Garnish
- Frozen Blueberries, for Garnish
Pour 2 cups of lemonade in a blender, add 2 cups of ice and blend. Use more ice if you like your drinks very, very slushy. In an 8 ounce glass, add the flavored vodka and the sparkling water and mix together. Add lemonade to the glass and mix. Garnish with frozen blueberries and mint sprig.
Apple, Lemon, and Gin Shandy
As featured in Chilled Magazine
Courtesy of MyRecipes.com
- 3 large Granny Smith Apples (peeled and chopped)
- 1/2 cup Fresh Lemon Juice
- 3 tbsp. Fresh Shredded Ginger
- 1/2 cup Simple Syrup
- 2 cups Gin
- 1 (12-oz.) Bottle Chilled Pilsner Beer or Club Soda
- Apple and Lemon Slices (for garnish)
Puree apples, lemon juice and ginger in a blender. Pour mixture through a fine wire-mesh strainer into a large pitcher, pressing to release juices; discard solids. Stir in simple syrup and gin. Then chill for 2 hours and stir in chilled Pilsner beer or club soda. Serve over ice and garnish, if desired.
Heavy Punch Rum
Courtesy Sailor Jerry Rum
- 1½ to 2 parts Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum (be generous, this spirit is very good)
- 1 part fresh pineapple juice
- ½ – 1 part port (like locally-made Port of New Orleans from Pontchartrain Vineyards)
- ½ part sugar syrup
- ½ part fresh lime juice
- 4 dashes of aromatic bitters
The more Rum and Port you use, the less sugar items, like pineapple juice and sugar syrup, you will need. In fact, you may want to add these ingredients to your taste after making the drink.
At some point, you are going to have the gang over to watch football or just sit around in the air conditioning, drinking and eating. Here is an easy punch to make and easy to drink.
Big Party Punch
Courtesy Punch online newsletter
Large Punch-Bowl format recipe
- 1 cup lemon juice
- 1 cup simple syrup
- 1 cup Lillet Rouge
- 2 cups gin
- 1 bottle dry sparkling wine
- club soda to taste
Combine all ingredients in a punch bowl or large pitcher.
Add plenty of sliced strawberries and stir in blocks of ice to chill.
Garnish individual servings with a lemon wheel and a mint sprig.
Keep in mind that the larger the cube of ice used in all drinks, the slower the melt, which means the less the dilution. Crushed ice does not stand a chance even for drinks served in air-conditioned comfort. Use the biggest cubes you can make.
And here is something we don’t talk about much: hydrating. Water is the perfect beverage to keep your body in balance. Even when you are quaffing cocktails or beers, mix in water. Maybe on a 1:1 basis. Alcohol dehydrates and water does the opposite.
Stay cool. Come the cold and wet January in New Orleans, we will all be thinking of warmer weather. Thankfully, there are drinks for that time also. Stay tuned.