Sweet Reminders of Summer

The temperature gauge in the car read zero degrees in my morning commute to work. Zero! And forecasts predict another storm is making its way to our segment of New England tomorrow and Wednesday, adding to the heaps and heaps of snow that are already piled along our streets.

So this past week's "Thinking of Summer" theme in the Thursday Drink Night chat room provided a welcome respite from the hellacious winter weather outside. To the backdrop of Jimmy Buffet tunes (because it wouldn't be summer without a rousing rendition of "Margaritaville"), the drink I submitted to the queue is one that definitely hit the mark on summer-inspired tastes. Albeit not quite as fresh, this drink still may be a work in progress. Good thing I have a few months to work out the tweaks.

Surprisingly Sweet
  • Basil leaves
  • 1/2 oz lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz simple syrup
  • 1/2 oz St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur
  • 2 oz Gin (I used Beefeater)
Muddle basil with lemon juice and simple syrup. Add St. Germain & gin with a few dashes of bitters at the end. Garnish with a floating basil leaf.

One of the things I first noticed after trying this drink was that it was pretty acidic on the front and finished, well, surprisingly sweet. I think I will try this again next time using 1/4 oz each of syrup and lemon juice. I may also want to try using Orange Bitters in place of the Peychaud's that I had on hand.

After logging offline, but not quite yet ready to go to bed, I decided to have some fun and break out the blender! Dreaming of soaking up the rays poolside, I decided to blend up a round of Frozen Strawberry Daiquiris with the last bit of fresh strawberries I had on hand.

Strawberry Daiquiri (via About.com Cocktails)
It doesn't exactly fall into the realm of mixology, but the cocktail was a sweet escape from the reality of winter lurking outside. : )

Visit the Mixoloseum Twitter page to see more of the creative summer-inspried drinks submitted in last week's TDN and log in weekly for a different Thursday Drink Night theme.



What's a girl to do with all this Guinness?

Oh, let me count the ways in which to answer this post's burning question:

Besides the obvious 1. Drink the Guinness as it should be drank and 2. Make a Black and Tan, I had saved up quite a few recipes that had more creative approaches to serving and, dare I say, baking Guinness.

3. Beer Bread
My boyfriend and I decided to try our luck at baking and make ourselves some Beer Bread. In the good hands of a recipe shared by online drinking buddy, Greg, we had a super simple recipe that needed only three ingredients, including the beer! Three ingredients?! I think even I can handle that...

Beer Bread is ready to go in the oven, with another beer poured, rewarding me for all my baking efforts! ;)

Fresh out of the oven Beer Bread.

4. Black Velvet
So I think we're all pretty familiar with the Guinness layered with another beer (Bass, et. al), but I had never thought to combine Guinness and some bubbly! Serious Eats recently had resurrected Paul Clarke's post on the Black Velvet cocktail, a cocktail that actually contains no hard liquor at all!

While Paul's recipe actually says to serve this drink in a Collins glass, there was still something oh so appealing about pouring Guinness into a champagne glass.

I hope these suggestions for using Guinness have come in handy for that 6-pack sitting in your fridge. If you have more suggestions, please feel free to share your comments.