America’s favorite day for grilling and fireworks is also a favorite day for drinking. There are endless cocktails in the world, and with new ones getting invented every day, it’s hard to pick only one. For this year’s Red, White & Blue celebrations, I am taking inspiration from local sources; creating Modern Summer Cocktails primarily from ingredients that are grown, produced, and sold locally. American products created from the finest natural ingredients such as Blue Ice Vodka which is hand crafted from Idaho Russet Burbank Potatoes. Especially when it is easy on your wallet making it ideal for creating Summer Cocktails for your big gatherings.
I firmly believe quality ingredients yield exceptional results. Quoting Ms. Child’s: You don’t have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces – just good food from fresh ingredients.”
Food that is at its freshest is also most flavorful. With summer at our heels, fruits are in abundance. Berries, Peaches, Melons, Mangoes etc…you name it and all farmer’s markets are brimming with sweet and juicy fruits. Whether you are relaxing by the pool this summer, mingling out-door in the heat, or throwing the biggest baddest firework bash in the neighborhood, these spicy, fruity, and refreshing beverages will surely take the edge off summer’s heat.
Sparkling Peaches & Spice
This light and refreshing cocktail is as reminiscent of the American South as it is of the South of France. You can easily create this terrifically refreshing cooler for a big gathering with ingredients from your own herb garden and some ripe peaches. This cocktail gets it’s rich golden hue from fresh peaches and peach liqueur and zingy flavor from vodka, rosemary, and star anise. Topped off with some Rose or sparkling wine, its irresistible.
- 1 750ml Blue Ice Vodka
- 1 stalk of Rosemary
- 1/2 Vanilla Bean
- 2 Star Anise
- 2 oz Gabriel Boudier Peach Liqueur
- 1 oz Rosemary Infused Vodka
- 1 peach sliced
- Rose’ or Pink Sparkling Wine
- Rosemary stalk for garnish, trimmed
- To infuse the vodka place the rosemary, star anise, and vanilla bean in a clean glass jar with a tight sealing lid. Pour the vodka over the spices, seal the lid, and store the jar for 3 days. (If you don’t have time to make the infusion, simply muddle a few rosemary leaves with each drink)
- Fill a highball glass with ice. Add peach liqueur and infused vodka. Shake well and top it off with sparkling wine. Garnish with a few slices of peaches and 1 rosemary stalk.
Note: The longer it sits, the better it is. You can make this drink the day of the party and chill it in the fridge. Just top it off with the sparkling wine and garnish to serve.
Jalapeno Infused Spicy Watermelon Cocktail
Speaking of summer abundance, consider the melon. I like a big bowl of Watermelon pretty much any time of the year, but this watermelon drink takes on special meaning for summer lemonades. Make a watermelon limeade and mix it with Blue Ice Vodka and some black pepper. And if you are feeling a bit frisky, fresh jalapeno will add some complexity to the sweetness of the melon.
- 1 Blender full of watermelon cubes, seeds removed
- 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1/2 cup sugar, or more to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 Bunch of mint leaves
- 1 or 2 Jalapeno peppers, sliced
- 12 oz Blue Ice Vodka
- Lime slices, for garnish (optional)
- Splash of club soda (optional)
- Whiz the chilled watermelon, lime juice, and sugar in a blender and strain for a smoother cocktail. Add freshly ground black pepper to taste.
- In a large pitcher, muddle mint leaves and 1-2 jalapeños.
- Stir in the blended watermelon limeade and vodka. Add a splash of club soda if you enjoy fizz.
- Serve in ice-filled glasses and garnish with lime wedges and mint leaves.
Blackberry Prosecco Freeze
This is the drink I would choose instead of dessert after a big meal or if I am throwing a summer pool party. Clean & smooth Blue Ice Vodka is excellent with fresh blackberries and Crème de Cassis. To prevent the pops from melting too quickly, feel free to add some gelatin to the mixture. This one is specially designed for ’21’ and older only.
- 24 oz Prosecco or sparkling wine or club soda
- 4 oz Blue Ice Vodka
- 1/3 cup of blackberries
- 4 oz Gabriel Boudier crème de cassis de Dijon
- Splash of fresh lime juice
- 1 tsp Lime zest
- 1/4 cup simple syrup
- Dash of Angostura bitters
Popsicle recipe adapted from Endless Simmer.
- Place blackberries in a bowl and pour crème de cassis liqueur and vodka and toss to coat. Muddle berries into the crème de cassis and vodka. Add lime juice and zest, toss to combine.
- Measure out approximately 1 teaspoon of berry mixture into bottom of your chosen popsicle form and pour Prosecco/Sparkling Wine/Club Soda on top.
- Freeze for about 2 hours and insert the popsicle stick. Finish freezing overnight.
Muddle, shake, or stir, regardless of which #spicychat concoction you fancy, make sure to stay super hydrated this summer. Summer is full of fresh herbs and fruits. The beauty of these cocktails are that you can use any herb from your garden and any fresh fruit to spice things up. Have a safe and delicious Fourth of July!
I am extremely pleased and excited to be working with Blue Ice Vodka – sponsors for next week’s edition of #Spicychat on Twitter. The Theme is Traveling Across the Globe in One Appetizing Bite. Joining me is a very spicy lady Ms. Jen of Juanita’s Cocina as my Co-Host and Guest Blogger.
A bit about Blue Ice Vodka:
“As the Eat Local campaign continues to flourish, Blue Ice Vodka has been harvesting its own crusade – Drink Local. For more than a decade, Blue Ice Vodka has been bringing the homegrown purity of America’s natural resources to vodka lovers across the country. Their flagship vodka made from Idaho russet potatoes is no exception, showcasing the full and voluptuous texture of a well-made potato vodka. Who knew America’s world-renowned spuds are just as delicious to drink as they are to eat. Next time you’ve got a hankering for a vodka martini, support the cause and Drink Local with America’s Blue Ice Vodka.”