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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, Drinks

Punch up Your Next Party: A Sparkling Spring Recipe

February 26, 2011

If you’ve been to a popular mixology bar in the past six months, you probably already know that punch is the hip drink on offer right now. The vintage concoction that your grandma or Aunt Gert loved making is having a Renaissance of sorts.

Of course, a certain sort of punch never really lost its appeal at kids birthdays or coming out parties, but that’s not the drink I’m talking about. The punch that’s popular again takes its cues from the circa 1740s mix of fruits, spirits, spice and wine that Esquire’s Dave Wondrich writes about so ably in Punch: The Pleasures & Perils of the Flowing Bowl.

My sparkling cocktail recipe book The Bubbly Bar: Champagne & Sparkling Wine Cocktails for Every Occasion (Clarkson Potter, 2009) features several punch recipes, including the popular Framboise Apricot Punch which features three kinds of spirits plus bubbly.

The March issue of Sunset, the fabulous circa 1889 magazine of Western living, features a spring punch I created in the front of the book.

I paired strawberries, the first fruit that comes on strong in spring with juicy winter pineapple and fragrant Meyer lemon zest and juice. The potency came from aromatic Zaya Rum from Trinidad and St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur, which adds a most delightful floral note and sweetness. Then I tamed it all a bit with some jasmine green tea. The last step is adding some ice.

It’s best to do this in a large chunk, so it melts slowly and dilutes the punch, an important key to not having a bunch of sloshed guests, as they will find your punch irresistible. I made a decorative ice ring in a bundt cake mold, decorating it with strawberries, lemon slices and mint.

Make a pretty ice ring for your punch by decorating it with fruit and herbs.

Make a pretty ice ring for your punch by decorating it with fruit and herbs.

You can serve a punch in anything, but they look more dramatic in a punch bowl. The fashionable style right now at punch-friendly mixology bars like Craft & Commerce in San Diego, where they mix punch with fine Raventos i Blanc Cava, Clyde Common in Portland or Rickhouse in San Francisco is the opaque, milk glass or ceramic bowl from the 1950s and 60s.

If I’ve whetted your appetite for a a punch recipe that you can try right now, check out the intoxicating Framboise Apricot Punch recipe.

Bubbly Girl Cocktail Recipes

Bubbly Girl Drink of the Week: Pineapple Ginger Daiquiri

June 12, 2009
pineapple-ginger-daiquiri

The Pineapple Ginger Daiquiri with Mount Gay Eclipse Rum and homemade ginger syrup makes a fragrant way to slip into a mellow summer mood.

So I had mountains of work to do at the computer… but my mind kept wandering. I think it was the aroma of the fresh pineapple I had resting on the counter that kept calling me to the kitchen. Or maybe it was the fact that I had just met Chesterfield Brown, the brand ambassador for Mount Gay Rum. Mount Gay which is based in Barbados is the oldest rum distillery in the world, dating back to 1703.

Whether it’s light or dark, spiced or plain, rum has this slightly sweet, warm fragrance that invites you in. Over lunch at Rice in the W Hotel San Diego, Brown and I sat with three wine glasses in front of us. But instead of wine, the glasses held three different styles of rum.  We swirled the clear golden liquid and the bowls of the wine glasses filled with aromas of rum.

Chesterfield Brown is the Global Brand Ambassador for Mount Gay Rum of Barbados.

Chesterfield Brown is the Global Brand Ambassador for Mount Gay Rum of Barbados.

The youngest rum, the Mount Gay Eclipse, smelled of caramelized pineapple, brown sugar and vanilla. Brown said Eclipse is a fun cocktail rum, for mixing with ginger ale or ginger beer. Next we tried the Mount Gay XO which stands for extra old because it’s a blend of rums aged eight to 15 years; in case you’re headed to the Caribbean, you’ll sound in the know if you call the XO Mount Gay Black Label. It was fragrant with caramel, almonds and vanilla; Brown said the XO sets a mellow mood and is meant for relaxing with friends. The last rum we tasted was the mighty Mount Gay 1703 Old Cask Selection Rum, a super-premium rum recently launched; Brown said the master distiller took two years to perfect the blend of rums that have been aged between 10 and 30 years. This one had a rich, spicy nose and tasted of toast and leather. Brown said if he got into some Mount Gay 1703 while he was out one night, he probably wouldn’t come home at all!

Whether you plan to have a mellow weekend party or an all-out bash, this Pineapple Ginger Daiquiri will offer a delicious taste of the tropics. The fresh Ginger Syrup just may become a favorite way to dress up ice cream, to sweeten iced tea or make your own Italian sodas.

Pineapple Ginger Daiquiri

Makes 1 cocktail

2 ounces Mount Gay Eclipse Rum

1 ounce fresh pineapple juice

1 ounce fresh lime juice

1/2 ounce Ginger Syrup (see note)

candied ginger, for garnish

Melissa’s sugar cane swizzle stick, for garnish

In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, add the rum, pineapple juice, lime juice and ginger syrup. Shake until well chilled. Pour rocks and all into a short cocktail glass. Garnish with a piece of candied ginger threaded on a sugar cane swizzle stick.

Note: To make the ginger syrup, mix 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Add 1/2 cup sliced fresh ginger root. Let simmer over low heat for 20 minutes. The syrup will be fragrant and slightly golden. Let cool and pour into a clean glass bottle. The syrup will keep in the refrigerator for 30 days.