May 22, 2013

Drink Up, Cool Off!

With summer quickly headed our way, we’ve got some nice ideas for your Sunday picnics or Shabbos Seuda Shlishis. While food is always the star of every get-together, what you serve to drink alongside your tasty food can really make your party shine. Here is a selection of different summer drinks that will quickly take center stage your family meals. Some contain alcoholic components; others do not. You can decrease or add these components to suit your guests and family.

A spritzer is a tall, chilled drink, usually made with white wine and seltzer or club soda. The word comes from the German word spritzen, meaning to "spatter, squirt, spray or sprinkle."   In other words, adding water to dilute wine so that it can be drunk in larger, thirst-quenching amounts.
A cooler is an alcoholic beverage made from wine and fruit juice, often in combination with a carbonated beverage and sugar. It can also refer to any combination of liquor and coffee and milk or dairy ingredients.
Sangria is a wine punch invented in Spain. It usually consists of wine, chopped fruit, sugar or sweet soda, and a small amount of added liquor. Chopped fruit can include orange, lemon, lime, apple, peach, melon, berries, pineapple, grape, kiwifruit and mango. It may include honey, sugar, fruit syrup, or orange juice. Instead of liquor some recipes use other liquids such as Seltzer, Sprite or other lemon soda may be added.
A shandy is beer, either alcoholic or not, mixed with lemon or orange-flavored soda, carbonated lemonade, ginger ale, or fruit cider. The proportions of the two ingredients are usually half-and-half.
Punch can refer to a mixed fruit drink, with or without alcohol. The word punch originates from the Hindi language. The original drink was named “paantsch,” which is the Hindi word for "five", and the drink was made from five different ingredients: liquor, sugar, lemon juice, water, and spices. The drink was brought back from India to England by the sailors and employees of the British East India Company in the early 1600’s, when England ruled most of the world. From there it was introduced into other European countries. Punch quickly became a popular drink. It was served in large punch bowls, usually ceramic or silver, which were often decorated with a family symbol. Punch bowls sometimes had accessories such as a serving ladle and matching cups in which to serve the drink.
Now that you will recognize the names of lots of refreshing drinks, we’ve got some tasty recipes for you to try. Some can be prepared in advance while others are best served immediately.

½ cup granulated sugar
3 cups water
1 (3 ounce) package strawberry-flavored gelatin mix
3 cups pineapple juice
1/3 cup lemon juice
2 cups orange juice
1 (2 liter) bottle lemon-lime flavored soda
1 cup fruit liquor—apricot, peach, orange or banana are all fine

Bring the sugar, water, and strawberry flavored gelatin to a boil in a large saucepan; boil for 3 minutes. Stir in the pineapple juice, lemon juice, and orange juice. Pour the mixture into a  wide container and freeze.
Combine the frozen mixture with the lemon-lime soda in a large wide bowl; stir until slushy. Add liquor and stir. Serve immediately.

Granita refers to ices that are served by scraping a fork across the surface and serving the scrapings in a bowl.
6 cups cubed honeydew melon (about half of a medium melon)
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
3 cups seltzer
Lime peels, for garnishing
Working in batches, puree 6 cups cubed honeydew melon in a blender. Pour puree through a fine sieve into an 8-inch square glass or plastic dish.
Put 1/2 cup water and sugar into a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Stir into puree. Add fresh lime juice; stir to combine. Freeze, covered, at least 6 hours (up to 3 days).
Scrape granita with a fork; spoon about 1 cup granita into each of 6 glasses. Pour 1/2 cup seltzer into each glass; garnish with lime peels.

1 750 ml bottle semi dry white wine
1/4 cup peach or apricot liquor
1/2 cup sugar
2 peaches, cubed
1 navel orange, peeled and sliced
1 mango, peeled and cubed
1 liter ginger ale

Bring wine, liquor and sugar to a boil in a large sauce pan. Cook just until sugar dissolves. Turn off flame. Add all fruit and allow to infuse at least 1 hour.  Pour into a large pitcher and chill 4 to 6 hours or overnight. Add ginger ale just before serving.

½ cup lemon juice
1/3 cup sugar
2 cups frozen strawberries
½ a watermelon
1 cup water
1 lemon, sliced into 1/4” thick slices

Bring lemon juice and sugar to a boil until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat. Cut flesh out of the watermelon and remove all the seeds if it has any. Cut it into chunks. Place in a food processor and blend the watermelon and strawberries with water until completely liquefied. Strain watermelon juice through a sieve into a large pitcher.  Add the sugar mixture and mix well. Chill and add ice and lemon slices to the pitcher.

6” piece ginger
1 cup water
1 cup ginger ale
2 cups apple juice
1 cup seltzer
½ cup chopped crystallized ginger

Peel and slice ginger. In a small saucepan, simmer water and ginger ale with the ginger slices until reduced by half.  Pour through a fine strainer & chill. Mix the ginger syrup with the apple juice, seltzer and chopped ginger. Pour into iced filled glasses and garnish with cinnamon sticks.

This recipe contains heavy cream which is dairy. You can just substitute with thawed whipped topping if you’d like to serve this coffee-lover’s drink at a pareve meal or seuda.

½ cup strong brewed  coffee

1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
¼ cup vanilla vodka
¼ cup chocolate liquor
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 gallon milk

Combine brewed coffee, water and sugar. Add vanilla vodka and chocolate liquor. Combine ingredients chill 4-6 hours. Add heavy cream and stir. Pour over ice cubes and milk in a large
pitcher and serve immediately.

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