I can envision dappled sunlight filtering down through the leaves of the apples. Their branches bowing under the weight of a thousands of young bright green fruit. There is a table under these branches and pitchers of water are dotted along its length, catching the light and throwing it in large angular patterns across the surface. An easy-going Sunday sort of music can be heard and people are wandering about the garden nibbling on various crostini, cheeses and fruit. Some have cocktails in hand as the stoop to admire a flower or reach toward one another in greeting.
Someone is making cocktails and the menu includes lots of fresh garden tomatoes, bowls of deep green salad leaves and a basil zucchini tart or two.
Of course not every meal can be or needs be elaborate tables set for ten, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be imbued with a bit of summer elegance. Even if your garden is a fire escape and the meal a margarita pizza from the place down the street because it is so muggy you wouldn’t dream of turning on the oven in your tiny city apartment. There can still be music and friends and of course cocktails – There is something so delightfully carefree about summer evenings that they all nearly call for a celebration.
I have been enjoying making up a few cocktails on these summery evenings. I have lots of fresh herbs on hand in the garden so experimenting has been fun. And I’m getting acquainted with a few local distilleries and have been using their lovely gin. Muddling fruit and herbs has become a bit of an obsession too. Using glass mixer from W&P Design with its its gorgeous heavy weight makes things feel that little bit extra elegant. I’m also especially fond of the little jigger. I know it’s a funny thing to be fond of, but it makes measuring (either a measure or a half measure) easy and more importantly helps maintain consistency. As I always find it a struggle when making cocktails in a more free-hand fashion.
I thought I would share a couple of the cocktails that have been making the rounds at our house this summer. I had a bit of fun naming them – hope you will appreciate the cheek here! A little bit of a pun on some New England history –
And, W&P Design and I are giving away this amazing cocktail making kit! – the stunning mixing glass, muddler, jigger, 2 beautiful blue cocktail napkins and 2 enamel cups from their MasonShaker line- so head over to Instagram to partake in the giveaway!
The enamel cup from Mason Shaker are each quite large and the recipes below will fill one with room for lots of ice. This saves someone spending the evening as the bartender & everyone can sip on their summer cocktail long into the night.
for one cocktail
- ½ Meyer lemon
- 5-7 large fresh mint leaves, plus more for garnish
- 1 measure of Gin
- 1 measure of Tripplesec
- 3 measures of Prosecco or other sparkling wine
- 2 cups ice
- Place mint leaves in the bottom of the mixing glass, then add the Meyer lemon
- Place the muddler in the glass and press down with it lightly on the leaves and lemons giving it a few gentle twists
- Muddle until fragrant and the juices of the lemon have been released
- Combine remaining ingredients in the mixing glass and give it a generous stir
- Fill the enamel cup with ice and strain cocktail out over the fresh ice. garnish with lemon twist and a mint leaf
- ½ Meyer lemon
- 3 large sprigs of fresh thyme, plus more for garnish
- 2 sugar cubes
- 1 measure of Bourbon
- 3 measures of Lillet
- club soda
- 2 dashes of Angostura bitters
- 2 cups fresh ice
- Place thyme sprigs in the bottom of the mixing glass. Then add the Meyer lemon and sugar cubes
- Place the muddler in the glass and press down with it firmly until the juice is released from the lemon, the sugar dissolved and the leaves from the thyme are aromatic
- To this mixture add bourbon, Lillet and dashes of Angostura bitters
- Add ice to the mixing glass and give it a generous stir
- Fill the enamel cup with fresh ice and strain cocktail out over it.
- top off the glass with the club soda and stir again
- garnish with a fresh thyme sprig