It’s hotter today, on the first of September, than it was on any given day in the month of August. Go figure.
This summer we took our annual cruise up the East River for bird watching with the New York City Audubon. It was a beautiful evening and we watched the sun set behind the UN building.
Someone also turned another year older with a dinner of juicy hamburgers and hot dogs at the request of the birthday boy!
He also wanted his aioli for dipping French fries which he calls “French fry dipping sauce.” Oh, and an ice cream cake that combines two of his favorite things!
The mint in the garden exploded this year so we put it to use in salads, desserts and drinks.
The guys overheard a conversation about turning cocktails into mocktails by removing the booze from a drink.
It’s a way for everyone to enjoy the flavors of cocktails with a non-alcohol version for the non-drinkers and the kids.
The word mocktail alone was a source of a lot of laughter.
Start by making a simple syrup. Mix equal parts sugar to water.
The sugar dissolves and melts into the water so there are no sugar crystals floating around in the drinks. Allow to cool before using.
You can mix combinations of fruits and juices. Play with mixing the juices with some carbonation like seltzer or ginger ale.
We mix organic juices with a French Berry Lemonade from Trader Joe’s available in the summer months.
We experimented with the guys learning how to muddle mint leaves in the bottom of a glass to make mocktails. Pressing down on the leaves and lightly bruising them releases some of the essential oils.
This more concentrated mint flavor brightens a cold drink. You can read more about muddling mint leaves at seriouseats here.
Cheers to summer 2014! Take a look at my PARADE post that helps you turn leftover wine into dessert. http://parade.condenast.com/322045/aliceknisleymatthias-2/how-you-can-turn-leftover-wine-into-a-refreshing-dessert/
This is brought to you by the wonderful Alice Medrich and it is a dessert you must try before summer slips away!