Thursday, June 18, 2009

Something to Sip

With summer in full swing, visions of pool parties, backyard BBQ's and frilly drinks dance in my head. Although I do love to cook, mistress of the grill is not a notch I can put on my belt. Where you can find me is behind the bar, martini shaker in one hand and and a "tasting sample" in the other. Just as beer and wine can be paired with food, cocktails make great additions to any meal. With summer type food consisting of hearty and saucy meats coming off the grill, a bounty of seasonal vegetables and mayo-laden pasta and potato salads, you need quite a versatile cocktail to compliment all these flavors. Just as it has been a staple on every eating table since the dawn of time, sweet tea has found it's way into the world of adult libations. The wildy popular Sweet Tea Vodka is an amazing liquor; refreshing, crisp, familiar and soothingly sweet. Right now there are so many brands on the market, you are sure to find one to please your palette. I must stay true to my Southern Roots and say Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka is my favorite, however brands such as Sweet Carolina, Jeremiah Weed, Burnett's and Seagram's have all produced their own special sweet tea elixir. There is truly nothing more refreshing than a tall glass of sweet tea on a hot summer's day, well except for maybe if that tall glass had just a little vodka in it! ;o) Next time you throw a BBQ, attend a pool party or just sit on your front porch swing to watch the sun set, sip on one of these sweet tea cocktails and let all your cares slip away.

The Southern Belle- Of course you could make this with regular lemonade but doesn't pink sound so much more fun?! These would be a fabulous cocktail to serve at a spring or summer bridal shower.

1 Part Sweet Tea Vodka & 1 Part Pink Minute Maid Lemonade
*Mix both ingredients well and serve over ice in dainty little crystal or other decorative glasses. Dip lemon wheels into pink sugar and garnish glass with lemon and a pink straw.

Plantation Tea- An alcoholic variation of my favorite memories of Hawaii. In restaurants over there, your iced tea is served with half pineapple juice! If this doesn't put you in an island mind set, I don't know what will!

1 Part Sweet Tea Vodka & 1 Part Pineapple Juice
*Mix both ingredients well and serve over ice in a vintage tiki cup and garnish with a cocktail umbrella and pineapple chunk.

Peachy Keen- This is how you will be feeling after one of these; beware!

1 Part Sweet Tea Vodka, 1/2 Part Peach Nectar, 1/2 Part Ice Water & a Shot of Peach Schnapps
*Mix all ingredients well and serve over ice in what else, a mason jar! You can find a dozen-pack of these at Wal-mart in the "Kitchen Utensil" section as they are traditionally used for canning fruit and vegetables. If you garnish with a peach wedge, be sure to smother the cut peaches in lemon juice before hand as we do not want any brown fruit making a party debut. You could also just garnish with a little green mint sprig.

Lethal Lemon Iced Tea Shooters- This shooter was invented at my in-law's house after Valentine's Day dinner. It truly was a night to remember but after these, I totally forgot!

1 Part Sweet Tea Vodka 1 Part Limoncello
*Shake with ice and pour into sugar rimmed shot glasses!

Sip these Sweet Tea delicacies slowly and remember to always drink responsibly. Be sure to stay tuned, dahlin's!

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