Porch Cocktails No. 4

Mixed Berry Collins
Mixed Berry Collins

All summer long, I stalk my local farmers market for the week’s freshest offerings. I initially recce the aisles, recalling recipes, pairing ingredients in my head, and determining how much produce one person can realistically consume in one week. Some salivating may occur, but I try to restrain myself, lest I look too much like a crazed, hungry predator stalking stationary prey.

When I see a quart of berries or a bushel of peaches, I think of all sorts of delicious baked goods, of course. I love the grandeur of beautifully constructed pies and tarts, and the satisfaction of turning out crisp, flaky pastry from a handful of simple ingredients. But, when temperatures and humidity soar, that pastry is sometimes difficult to achieve. That’s when I throw in the tea towel, and dream up ways to work those lovely, fresh fruits into a crisp, refreshing porch cocktail. Read more

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Porch Cocktails No. 3

Mint Julep

A mint julep will always have a place in my summer cocktail rotation, from the first sip on Kentucky Derby Day to the last sip on a late summer evening on the porch. I shared a very large pitcher of them with some friends recently, and I was struck by their simplicity and versatility. The eight of us have diverse tastes, but we all agreed that there’s no better cocktail for a summer party. I don’t know why the mentholated chill of mint and the fiery warmth of bourbon complement each other so well, but they certainly do. A bourbon drink that’s refreshing enough for sticky summer days is as good as it gets. And one that doesn’t require a ton of fiddly measuring and mixing is perfection.

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Spring Cocktails No. 2

Gimlet

Welcome to the second installment in my spring cocktail series. I’ve already talked about my favorite spring-y twist on a gin martini (where I also raved about Hendrick’s gin). Now it’s time to indulge in an entirely different, but still ridiculously simple, cocktail. On lazy afternoons, when I have some reading and writing to do—this new time called always—I often crave this twist on a classic gimlet. It’s sweet and refreshing—like adult limeade—but it still has that pleasant, slow, goes-to-your-head effect that I demand from a gin cocktail.

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