Boy, has it been a long, cold winter here in New England. As the warmer weather slowly begins to approach, I get excited. Not only can my three-year old daughter finally go outside to ride her bike and play on the swings without being bundled up in 3 layers of clothing but it also means using the grill more often and eating on the back deck. Even with a slight chill in the air at night, we love using the grill and feeling fresh air as we eat dinner outside.
The warmer weather also means more gatherings of friends and family on the deck. We love entertaining, having people over and being creative with food and drinks. So as we approach the warmer weather holidays of Easter, Passover, Mother’s Day and Memorial Day, I thought it would be the perfect time to share yummy, eye-appealing cocktails. If you prefer non-alcoholic drinks, I provide an alternative version too.
- 4 peaches
- 2 tablespoons brown raw sugar
- 1/2 cup peach brandy
- 1 750 ml bottle of Prosecco (I prefer Ca’Furlan Prosecco), chilled
- 1 cup peach nectar, chilled (preferably Goya)
- Club soda, chilledCut peaches into wedges; put in the pitcher with sugar and brandy and let sit for at least an hour. Add Prosecco and peach nectar. Top with club soda just before serving. You can also add other fruit too. Serves 6.
Nonalcoholic version: If you prefer to still have a fun drink for a child’s birthday or brunch without the alcohol, then simply leave out the brandy ingredient and substitute the Prosecco with a nonalcoholic sparkling drink or water that’s peach flavored.
Mimosas are probably one of my favorite drinks – simply because I love bubbles (sparkling wine) and orange juice. Mimosas are classic and have been around forever. In addition to just sparkling wine and orange juice, I like to add in some orange liqueur. Mimosas are great anytime but also for brunch with quiche, souffle or toasted Italian bread with fresh orange marmalade.
- One (1) 750 ml bottle of very cold Sparkling wine (I like Grandial Brut because it’s dry yet inexpensive, $10.49)
- 1 cup of cold orange juice (I prefer Simply Orange or freshly squeezed orange juice)
- ½ cup of orange liqueur (Mathilde or Cointreau is preferable)
Mix all ingredients in a glass pitcher. Serve immediately into Champagne glasses! Serves 6.
Nonalcoholic version: Just combine a nonalcoholic sparkling wine and orange juice. Voila!
Blueberry Lemon Burst
The flavors of blueberry and lemons together are like yin and yang. The sweetness of blueberries dovetails well with the tartness of the lemons. Enjoy this on a hot Spring day, whenever we get one!
- 8 ounces (1 cup) of Nantucket’s Triple 8 Blueberry Vodka (available at The Savory Grape Wine Shop)
- 2 ounces (1/4 cup) of fresh lemonade or Newman’s Own Organic Lemonade, if you don’t have time.
- About 12-16 blueberries, depending on taste
In a pitcher, mix vodka and lemonade. Let chill in the refrigerator for about an hour. Put 3-4 blueberries (or more depending on your taste) in the bottom of each glass. Then pour the drink over top of the blueberries. Make 3-4 servings. Serve in a Martini glass.
Nonalcoholic version: Mix 8 ounces of blueberry or blueberry/pomegranate juice with just a couple ounces of lemonade. Add fresh blueberries. Or for a different twist reverse the amounts of the blueberry juice and lemonade.
Let me know what you think! Share your comments!