Man, do I miss me some Sandra Lee. Is she still on TV? I remember watching her in high school and cracking up over her excited, “It’s Cocktail Time!” at the end of each episode. I don’t think I understood what an exciting time cocktail time is. Now I know. In fact, the way my summers go, the months of June through August are pretty much one giant, extended cocktail time. Here are three recent faves:
1. Blood Orange Margaritas
Holy yum! These are a handmade specialty of one of my childhood neighbors, and you’re going to have to invest in some blood orange concentrate (nectar of the gods) if you want to make them as he did. Until I can be convinced to spend $100 for three containers (check out the shipping costs!), I may have to tide myself over with Deb’s version. In the meantime, here’s my neighbor’s:
In a cocktail shaker, mix 2 oz. tequila, 3/4 ounce Cointreau, or other orange liqueur, 1 T blood orange juice concentrate. Fill with ice, and round out any remaining space in that shaker with margarita mix. Shake and serve on the rocks.
2. Rum and Tonics
Said neighbor’s wife joined us for an impromptu barbecue on the fourth and showed up at our doorstep with hard liquor. That’s my kind of gal. She introduced my vodka-inclined little self to rum and tonics, and I’m so glad she did.
Start with some ice in a fun glass. Looks like Crate and Barrel has the right idea. Pour in a little bit (no more than an inch) of Mount Gay Rum, and fill the rest with tonic water (not to be confused with sparkling water or seltzer). Squeeze in a slice of lime before serving.
3. Panaché (pictured here without ice because I can’t be bothered)
This is the simplest of shandies, which seem to be having a moment this summer. I’ve enjoyed this stuff for years, but never thought to make my own at home. Panaché (pan-nah-SHAY) is refreshing, bubbly, and a lightweight’s version of hillbilly lemonade. Perfect after you’ve come in from a hot, sticky day.
Fill a glass with ice (or don’t, if your ingredients are cold and you’re okay with it). Fill half with beer (nothing with too much flavor, I always go Miller Lite in this case), and half with Sprite.
No matter which you choose to make, happy Friday, and cheers, dear readers!