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berry

Bubbly Events, Bubbly Girl Cocktail Recipes, Drinks

Celebrate Summer with A New Strawberry Cocktail

June 20, 2012

It’s officially here: the start of summer 2012! But the weather has been so gorgeous for the past few weeks that I already initiated it by creating some new summer drinks starring strawberries.

Even though strawberries make their first appearance in spring, it’s this time of year when they start to get really sweet, plentiful and affordable, which makes them perfect for cocktails.

The Pink Berry Punch, shown above, is a non-alcoholic drink that I made with organic Driscoll’s strawberries, pineapple and pink grapefruit juice along with Perrier Mineral Water.

It was easy, since I fed everything into my juicer. And I showed a crowd of 50 guests how easy it was to use the Breville Juice Fountain to make drinks last Saturday at Bloomingdale’s San Francisco Centre during the Cuisine Noir Magazine Summer Celebration. The demo, which included two delicious recipes by Chef Berlin Lillard II (for a crispy glazed shrimp and a spicy cucumber mint granita), wouldn’t have gone so smoothly without our fabulous hostess: Chef Candi Austin, the culinary specialist at Bloomingdale’s.

In the Bloomingdale’s demo kitchen, with the ingredients for the strawberry and Perrier Pink Berry Punch we served the crowd.

Here’s the recipe if you want to try making the Pink Berry Punch at home. You’ve probably noticed that these flavors would work well with a splash of gin or rum as well. But one in a while, it’s nice to make a drink that everyone at the party can enjoy.

Pink Berry Punch

1/2 cup organic strawberries, hulled

1 pink grapefruit, peeled

4 sprigs fresh mint

1/2 cup fresh pineapple chunks

1/4 cup Perrier Mineral Water

small strawberry and sprig mint, for garnish

Feed the strawberries, grapefruit, mint and pineapple through your juicer. Let the juice settle and then strain into a cocktail glass. Add the chilled Perrier water. Garnish with the small strawberry and the sprig of mint.

Makes one drink

By Maria Hunt aka The Bubbly Girl. All rights reserved.

We had a great crowd of 50 guests for the Summer Celebration at Bloomingdale’s San Francisco Centre.

 

Bubbly Girl Cocktail Recipes, Cocktail Recipes, Drinks

The Blacker the Berry, the Sweeter the Cocktail

August 19, 2011

Fresh blackberries star in the Berry Bramble, an icy cocktail perfect for summer entertaining.Anyone with relatives from the South eventually learns the phrase : “The blacker the berry, the sweeter the juice.”

My mom taught it to me as a tip for selecting the sweetest, ripe fruit, and it’s pretty much true with produce like cherries, plums and blackberries. Of course, when I got a little older, I learned it was a double entendre. And last week, I discovered chef Heather Jones’ blog on African Americans in the culinary world called  The Blacker the Berry Food.

I’ve enjoying lots of delicious blackberry cocktails lately. We sipped a delicious blackberry cocktail called the Blackberry Cobbler at the retro restaurant Flora. They wouldn’t divulge the recipe, but it stars a house-made blackberry syrup that’s shaken up with Martin Miller’s Gin, pineapple juice, orange liqueur, lemon and poured over a tall glass of crushed ice.

When these freshly picked Sonoma blackberries got soft, I juiced them and boiled the juice with 1-1/2 cups sugar and 1 cup water in a saucepan to make blackberry syrup.

 

And at Redd in Yountville, the entertaining bartender named Mason wowed us with his Samurai, a piquant and fruity martini that mixes blackberries with yuzu citrus.

Samurai
6 whole berries or 2 tablespoons blackberry puree
1/2 ounce yuzu juice
2 ounces Charbay green tea vodka
1/2 tablespoon lime juice
1 to 2 ounces ginger beer

Add 5 blackberries to a cocktail mixing glass and muddle to a pulp or start with 2 tablespoons blackberry puree. Add the yuzu juice, vodka and lime juice; then fill the shaker with ice. Shake until well-chilled then double-strain into a martini glass. Top with the ginger beer. Garnish with the remaining blackberry.
Makes 1 cocktail

But my favorite blackberry cocktail recipe in recent memory is the Berry Bramble, which Chase Osthimer and Erick Castro made by the hundreds during SF Chefs. This one was created in the 1980s by London bartender Dick Bradsell who’s credited with modernizing bar culture in the UK. Osthimer says the Bramble was the UK version of the Cosmopolitan. Here’s a video of the man making his famous drink:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C1g7OmcJpJY

I laughed when I heard the name. I thought I was so clever when created a blackberry and champagne recipe for my book The Bubbly Bar and dubbed it the Bramble. I quickly added “Bubbling Blackberry” to the name when my research turned up Bradsell’s famous recipe.

The Berry Bramble

4 each fresh blackberries, blueberries and raspberries
1 tablespoon simple syrup
3/4 ounce fresh lemon juice
1-1/2 ounces gin, such as Plymouth
1 tablespoon berry liqueur like creme de mure or Framboise

Add 9 (3 each) fresh berries to a sturdy rocks cocktail glass and muddle them to a pulp. Add the simple syrup, lemon juice and gin. Pack the glass with crushed or shaved ice, mounding it up a bit. Drizzle the berry liqueur over the top. Garnish with the remaining three berries.

Makes 1 cocktail

 

 

 

Bubbly Girl Cocktail Recipes

The Best Red, White and Blue Berry Drinks for the 4th of July

June 30, 2009
A martini with Strawberry Rosemary Lemonade (Photo by Maria Hunt)

A martini with Strawberry Rosemary Lemonade and a blooming sprig of fresh rosemary (Photo by Maria Hunt)

I thought it would a fun challenge to create three summer berry cocktails – one red, one white and one blue – for the 4th of July. So I went out and bought every type of berry I could- raspberries, strawberries, blueberries and blackberries- along with white cherries and got to work.

July is National Berry Month and right now all these berries are super sweet and very affordable, even the organic ones from Driscoll, a huge family owned berry company in central California. Besides being delicious, berries are one of nature’s superfoods. They’re low in calories and packed with Vitamin C, fiber and all sorts of antioxidants, plant substances that fight ailments like cancer, heart disease and high blood pressure. Studies have shown that the purplish-blue hue of  blueberries and  blackberries means they have particular helpful plant chemicals, while red berries like strawberries and raspberries are loaded with other good antioxidants.

The RED cocktail is a Strawberry Rosemary Lemonade that started with a simple syrup flavored with fresh rosemary from my garden mixed with juice from fresh organic strawberries. It’s easier if you have a juicer, but if you don’t just puree the berries in a blender and strain. Once you’ve created this syrup, you’ll find it useful as a base for all manner of drinks or to drizzle over vanilla ice cream. Start with 1.5 ounces of Strawberry Rosemary Syrup and, according to your taste:

  • Mix with sparkling water for a tangy Italian style soda
  • Add regular water for lemonade
  • Add water and freeze the lemonade to make popsicles.
  • Drizzle it into a glass of champagne or sparkling wine
  • Mix with 2 ounces gin, vodka or white rum and shake over ice to create a martini
  • Blend with 2 ounces tequila and ice to make an unforgettable margarita

Strawberry Rosemary Lemonade
Makes 3 cups syrup

1 cup fresh strawberry juice
1 cup lemon and/or lime juice
1 cup Rosemary Syrup (see below)

Combine the strawberry juice with the lime or lemon juice and the Rosemary Syrup. Pour into a clean bottle and cap. Syrup will keep in the refrigerator for up to one week. To make Rosemary Syrup, mix two cups water with one cup granulated sugar in a pot over medium heat. Bring it to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Add needles from 4 sprigs fresh rosemary and simmer for a couple minutes, then turn off the heat and let sit for 30 minutes. Strain the syrup.

Berry White Elderflower Sangria (Photo by Maria C. Hunt)

White Elderflower Berry Sangria (Photo by Maria C. Hunt)

The WHITE cocktail is a White Elderflower Berry Sangria that’s spiked with St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur made from these fragrant white flowers that bloom in the French Alps and every berry I could find. The bitters add a note of complexity while the lemon juice keeps it from being too sweet. The secret to good sangria is time. The fruit needs time to sit in the liqueur and absorb its flavors and vice versa, so if at all possible, start your sangria the day before you plan to serve it.

White Elderflower Berry Sangria
Makes 6 servings

1/2 cup strawberries
1/2 cup raspberries
1 cup white cherries, halved and pitted
1/2 cup blueberries
1/2 cup blackberries
1 cup St. Germain White Elderflower Liqueur
1/2 cup gin or vodka
1/4 cup orange liqueur like Cointreau
1/4 cup Homemade Sour Mix (see Recipes page)
2 teaspoons orange bitters
1 bottle brut sparkling wine, well-chilled
handful fresh mint, torn

Add the strawberries, raspberries, cherries, blueberries and blackberries to a large pitcher. Top with the St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur, gin or vodka and orange liqueur. Let sit for a few hours in the refrigerator or overnight if possible. Or if you’re in a hurry, add the sour mix, orange bitters and sparkling wine to the pitcher. Add a cup of crushed ice. Top with the freshly torn mint and serve by ladling some fruit into each glass and then pouring sangria on top.

The Blue Basil Fizz (photo by Maria C. Hunt)

The Blue Basil Fizz with a African Blue Basil garnish (photo by Maria C. Hunt)

The BLUE drink isn’t technically blue as that shade really doesn’t exist in nature. The Blue Basil Fizz is more of an inky purple thanks to all those antioxidants in blackberries and blueberries. These berries shine when mixed with Chambord black raspberry liqueur imported from France and muddled with fresh basil. Top it off with prosecco, the light sparkling wine from Italy for the refreshing fizz.

Blue Basil Fizz
Makes 1 cocktail
6 blueberries
4 blackberries
3 leaves basil
splash Homemade Sour Mix (see Recipes page)
1 ounce Chambord
3 to 4 ounces prosecco, well chilled
sprig basil for garnish
drinking straw (optional)

In a heavy pint glass or mixing glass, add the blueberries, blackberries, basil and Homemade Sour Mix. Muddle until the mixture is very pulpy and fragrant. Pour it into a tall Collins style glass. Add the Chambord and fill three-quarters with ice. Top off with prosecco and garnish with the sprig of basil and a straw.

Cocktails created by Maria Hunt aka The Bubbly Girl, author of The Bubbly Bar: Champagne & Sparkling Wine Cocktails for Every Occasion on Amazon.com