Garden Cocktails and Mocktails
Who needs a cocktail? How about a mocktail? Either way there is something to be said about a fine, refreshing, cool drink during the warm summer months. How are you cooling off? We thought it would be fun to list a few of our favorite libations that fit the bill for both alcoholic and non-alcoholic fans. These farm friendly recipes will have you vying for toast of the town!
Red wine or concord grape juice—take your pick for the base! Traditionally, sangria is made with red wine, chopped fruit and sometimes spirits. This punch, that originated in Spain and Portugal, is a wonderful summer refresher and pairs well with a wide variety of foods.
Common additions are lemons, limes and oranges as well as spirits like triple sec. A spanish Rioja wine is the authentic choice, but the possibilities are endless! Try a white sangria with dry white wine and peaches or honeydew melon. There are about as many recipes out there as fruit to throw in!
Plus, CSA members have access to local fruit through our e-store now! It's the tail end of strawberry season but we'll have cherries and peaches and more in no time!
And remember...switching it up with a fruit juice of your choice is a great non-alcoholic option.
Let’s face it—cold seltzer is simply refreshing. One of our favorite combos is to mix up a pitcher with lemon slices, lime slices, cucumber and mint. Add ice, simple syrup and seltzer...and voila! You have an amazing summer drink that will help keep you cool and has all the flavor you need. Try this cucumber mint spritzer recipe out!
Great additions are gin, vodka or even an un-aged whiskey. Here's an alcoholic version - cucumber melon + gin spritzer that looks delish! Switch things up by substituting basil for the mint, or melon for the cucumber! This drink tastes great with or without alcohol and is as good with meals as it is without!
Watermelon Basil Cooler
Muddle or juice—the choice is yours. If you’re lucky enough to have a juicer and have not tried watermelon juice yet, you’re in for a treat! Don’t stop there though. All melons make great juices including cantaloupes and honeydews. Add some basil and you have an incredible summer-time drink that will beat the heat and packs a sweet herbal flavor.
Vodka and gin are prime candidates to make this drink a bit more grown up, but you can also use tequila and rum for a different element.
If you don’t have a juicer you can muddle cubes of melon in a glass before adding ice and spirits, juices or seltzer to top off the drink.
Use frozen fruit as ice cubes. As the fruit melts it will flavor the drink, and even add some nutrition! We love pineapple and mango as much as local fruits like berries and cherries.
Summer Bounty: Gazpacho!
Gazpacho—it just might be the best recipe for using up surplus summer tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers. This traditional Andalusian dish is as refreshing as it is flavorful. Served cold, gazpacho is a fantastic summertime dish.
Haven’t had it before -- or have, but want to get tips on making it better, or different variations to switch things up? Read on here to get inspired to make your gazpacho this summer!
RECIPE of the WEEK:
1 cup arugula packed
1 cup basil leaves packed
1 clove of garlic
1/3 cup whole unsalted cashews
1/4 to 1/2 cup olive oil (depending on desired consistency)
salt and pepper to taste
Add arugula, basil, garlic and cashews to a food processor. Pulse until everything is roughly chopped and scrape down the sides. Put the food processor on low and drizzle in olive oil until desired consistency is reached.
Add salt and pepper and stir to combine.
Grilled Thai Marinated Maitake Mushrooms
2 pounds Maitake mushrooms (available in our e-store for CSA members!)
For the marinade
3/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup tamari
6 wild leeks - cut into small pieces, or you could use scallions in a pinch
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon curry powder
3 tablespoons white wine - dry, such as chardonnay
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
Clean the maitake's by quickly running them under water. Set on paper towels to drain.
Slice in 3/4" thick slices and lay out in a casserole dish or two for marinading.
Making the marinade:
Add all of the marinade ingredients to a blender.
I forgot to mention that I got the wild leeks (ramps) from Whole Earth Harvest too!
Blend until everything is smooth and completely blended. It only takes about a minute.
Pour the marinade evenly over the prepared mushrooms.
Cover the casserole with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.
When ready to cook grill over medium high heat for 3-5 minutes on each side.
Ready to eat!