Rosé-Tinted Glasses

by Joseph Russell · May 21, 2008

[Image via Orangette]

Jealousy isn't one of our frequent visitors, mostly because we're pretty content with what we've got (like a summer job blogging in the Hamptons). The few times it came a' courting were entirely the fault of my roommate, who had a tendency host margarita-filled picnics in Central Park while we lifeguarded at Palladium, indoors. No doubt, there is something about sunshine that makes us want to sip frosty mood-enhancers in our prettiest frocks. While we can't supply the latter, we can give you recipes for the former (not, sadly, our own, as we're rather lacking in the taste bud dept.). L'chaim chickadees!

Champagne Float

1 large scoop vanilla ice-cream 1 tbsp cherry brandy dash of Cointreau (optional) 1 part Brut fizz, chilled raspberries, to serve Put the ice-cream in a tall glass, followed by the brandy and Cointreau. Add the champagne and stir, and then plunk in as many raspberries as you'd like.

Nick Mautone's Peach Sangria

6 pieces of whole star anise 6 pods of cardamom 1 cinnamon stick 1 vanilla bean split 1 cup of boiling water 1/2 cup superfine sugar 2 bottles of white wine (riesling) 4 peaches peeled and cut into eighths The juice of 1 large orange The juice of 2 lemons The juice of 2 limes 2 cups of peach brandy 2 cups peach nectar Mint leaves for garnish Place the star anise, cardamom, cinnamon and vanilla bean in the boiling water in a punch bowl. This will quickly extract the flavors from the spices. Add the sugar and peaches and stir until sugar is fully dissolved. You can let this steep for up to one hour in the refrigerator to get as much peach flavor as possible. Top with the wine, brandy and nectar, stir until well blended.

Sutra's Simple Summer Punch

1 ltr. vodka 2 qts. lychee juice (can use canned) 1 pound red seedless grapes 10 oz. sugar 4 lemons (juiced) 2 limes (juiced) Remove the stems from the grapes and mash up with the sugar. Combine with the rest of the ingredients in a big punch bowl, cover, and refrigerate for an hour. Ladle out the punch over glasses of ice.

Plum Caipirinha

2 ripe, firm red plums, such as Santa Rosa or Elephant Heart 1/2 cup sugar 1/4 cup brown sugar 1/4 cup water 3 limes, diced and pitted 1 cup cachaca Halve and pit plums. Whisk the sugars and water together in a small saucepan. Add the plums and simmer over medium heat, until tender but not mushy, about 10 minutes. Cool plums in the liquid. Slice half a plum for garnish and set aside. Put the diced limes and remaining plums in a large open pitcher. Crush thoroughly with a muddler or a potato masher (it works great). Add cachaca and the plum cooking liquid and fill with ice cubes. Pour into chilled rocks glasses, allowing some ice and fruit to fall into the glasses as well. Garnish each drink with a slice of poached plum.

Summer Watermelon Situation cups diced watermelon (about 1/2 of a small watermelon), plus slices for garnish 8 ounces lemon vodka, chilled 7 ounces simple syrup, recipe follows 1 (17.5-ounce) can coconut juice 1 lemon Chill watermelon in the freezer for 30 minutes. Put all the ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth. Finish with a squeeze of fresh lemon. Serve very cold in a chilled glass, and garnish with watermelon or lemon slices.

Molly Wizenberg's Melon Made Sippable

1 ripe French Orange melon (~2 pounds), or a really good cantaloupe ½ Tbs granulated sugar, or more, depending on melon’s sweetness Juice of ½ lime, or to taste ½ cup light, crisp white wine, such as sauvignon blanc A pinch of salt A few sprigs of fresh mint, for garnish Quarter the melon, and scoop out the seeds. Working with one quarter at a time, set the wedge on its side to steady it, and then carefully trim the skin away from the flesh with a sharp knife. Discard the skin, and cut the flesh into rough chunks. In a blender, purée the melon with the sugar, lime juice, wine, and salt. Taste, and adjust as needed. Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled: if you’ve started with a cold melon and cold wine, you won’t have to wait long. Stir well before serving—the liquids tend to separate slightly from the suspended solids—and finish with a garnish of mint, if you like.

And before (or after) the cocktail hour...

Clotilde Dusoulier's Citronnade à la Menthe one large lemon two liters of water (preferably filtered or bottled) twelve leaves of fresh mint Walk barefoot into the kitchen. Slice the lemon in two, juice it and pour the juice into a large jug. Add in the water. Rinse the mint leaves under cool water, and add them into the jug. Stir with a long wooden spoon. Take a moment to recuperate after this strenuous activity. Cover the jug, and let rest in the fridge for a couple of hours. Take a nap in the meantime. When you wake up, put a few ice cubes in a glass, stir the lemonade again, and pour some in your glass. If a mint leaf falls out, keep it as a pretty garnish, or put it back in the pool with its sisters. Drink avidly. Press the cold jug on each of your cheeks, eyes closed. Pour yourself another glass, return the jug to the fridge, and go sit close to that fan.