PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE CULINARY GEEK
Cellar Talk A Taste of Summer By Virginia E Schultz
o me, summer time is cocktail time. One of the fun days was going to Wimbledon and having a Pimm’s cup which somehow tasted better there than at home. Then there is the Mint Julep which I always have when I’m in New Orleans. At least once. I also enjoy Mai Tai, a drink created in 1944 by Victor “Trader
Margarita 2 lime wedges and kosher salt 2 oz’s blanco tequila 1/4 ounce Cointreau or another triple sec 3/4 oz fresh lime juice 1/4 oz simple syrup Ice In a cocktail shaker, combine the tequila, Cointreau, lime juice and simple syrup. Fill the shaker with ice and dance around the kitchen shaking this well. Strain into a glass and garnish with a lime wedge. Dancing is optional.
Vic” Bergeron. Of course, mentioning Trader Vic dates me as it was one of the most popular restaurants in the 60s and where we often ended up after going to the theater. The most popular drink in the States is the Margarita, which is what I’m sipping while I write this column. Supposedly, it was invented in the 1930s by the manager of the Garci Crespo Hotel in Mexico whose girlfriend liked to have salt with her drinks. But then, when I’m serving drinks before a dinner party I serve potato chips or salty pretzels. And what is more refreshing on a summer evening than Sangria? It’s the perfect drink to make when you’re hosting a party as you can make a big batch ahead of time. The Spanish and the Portuguese served Sangria for centuries as I learned when I lived in Puerto Rico but it didn’t really become popular in the States until 1964 at the World’s Fair in New York.
Red Sangria (For 12 people)
A 750 ml bottle of Merlot 4 oz brandy 3 oz Simple Syrup 1 cup mixed chunks of seeded orange, lemon, and lime In a large pitcher, combine the wine, brandy, simple syrup and fruit. I sometimes add strawberries, but that’s optional.
Simple SimpleSyrup Syrup :: In Inaasauce saucepan pan
combine combine88ounces ouncesof ofwater waterand andone cup oneof cup sugar of sugar and bring and bring to a boil, to a stirring boil, stirring until ituntil dissolves. it dissolves. Let cool, Let put cool,this putinto thisainto bottle a bottle and place and in the place refrigerator. in the refrigerator. It’s good It’s for good about month. for about Formonth. a richerFor syrup, a richer I combine 4syrup, ounces I combine water with 4 ounces 1 cup of water Demerara with 1orcup rawofsugar. Demerara Simmering or rawwith asugar. mild heat Simmering it usually with dissolves a mild heat in about it usually three dissolves minutes. in about three minutes.