Scenes from a
ost of Lush Life author VALERIE RICE’s cocktail recipes are inspired by her travels combined with a twist from her Santa Barbara garden. When it comes to entertaining at home, delicious drinks can be made with just a few ingredients, and the use of fresh, in-season botanicals and herbs is sure to elevate any cocktail hour. EATDRINKGARDEN.CO M . CHARLOTTE BRYANT
summer cocktail hour hosted by Valerie Rice (bottom right), featuring Summer Sonics and individually plated crudités with fresh seasonal offerings from the garden.
WN - Valerie Rice
Summer Sonics “I hope the Brits don't mind my suggesting half tonic and half soda water for this cocktail. It's so light and delicious and has less sugar,” explains Rice. “Rum, gin, vodka, and white port all work beautifully in a sonic, but my favorite is white port, which adds a wonderful richness and is an awesome less-alcoholic option for day drinking.” 4 ounces (½ cup) white port 2 ounces (¼ cup) chilled sparkling water 2 ounces (¼ cup) chilled tonic water 2 sprigs lemon verbena (garnish) 2 plum wedges and 2 orange wedges (garnish) Fill two glasses with ice. Add port, sparkling water, and tonic water, dividing equally. Garnish with plum, orange wedges, and lemon verbena.
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VALERIE'S SIP TIPS
PORTO Unlike most red ports, white ports can last after opening. I like Sandeman Porto Apitiv Reserve. SPARKLING WATER Agua de Piedra and Topo Chico have bigger bubbles, and bigger bubbles hold up when diluted with alcohol and mixers. FUN ICE Visit a specialty grocery store like Bristol Farms for “fancy ice,” or make your own with molds.
PHOTOGRAPHS: SARA PRINCE.
Makes two cocktails