Spirits Of Summer

Delight Your Guests With These Warm-Weather Sips Made With Virginia Liquors

Sunshine and life outdoors puts us in the mood for cocktails and quality time with family and friends. We’ve come up with a few drink recipes perfect for bringing out to the porch or patio or serving by the pool during your spring and summer soirees. Impress your guests with any—or all!—of these refreshing libations mixed up with made-in-Virginia spirits. We’ve got a citrusy moonshine punch guaranteed to please and a sophisticated twist on the pineapple mojito sure to spice things up.

And when farmer’s markets and gardens begin to fill with local produce, celebrate with strawberry martinis topped with sparkling wine or a cucumber-basil gimlet that tastes just as light and fresh as you’d imagine. Cheers to a successful season of entertaining.


 

Lighting Punch

lighting punchCourtesy of Belmont Farm Distillery

Ingredients
2 oz. Virginia Lightning Moonshine from Belmont Farm Distillery, Culpeper (Read more about distiller Chuck Miller on page 15.)
1/2 ouncelemon juice
1/2 ounce orange juice
1/2 ounce grenadine
1/2 ounce simple syrup
3 blackberries, muddled
Club soda, splash

Method
Shake with ice, and top with soda. Garnish with an orange wedge.


Cucumber-Basil Gimlet

gimlet cucumber basilIngredients
1 ounce fresh lime juice
1/2 small cucumber from local Virginia farm or farmer’s market, sliced
1 and 1/2 ounces basil simple syrup (recipe below)
2 ounces Strange Monkey Gin from Silverback Distillery, Afton
Cucumber slice and basil leaf for garnish

Basil Simple Syrup
1 cup fresh basil leaves
1 cup water
1 cup sugar

Method
Make Basil Simple Syrup: Place all the ingredients in a small saucepan, and bring to a boil. Once the sugar has dissolved, remove from the heat, and let the mixture sit for 20 minutes. Strain into an airtight container, cover and chill. Mix Gimlet: Put lime juice and cucumber in a cocktail shaker and muddle. Fill half-way with crushed ice, and add basil simple syrup and gin. Shake well, and strain into a chilled glass. Garnish with basil and cucumber slice.


Pineapple And Ginger Mojito

mojitoIngredients
6–8 mint leaves
1/2 ounce fresh lime juice
1/4 ounce ginger simple syrup (recipe below)
1/4 cup fresh pineapple, pureed
2 ounces George Bowman Colonial Era Dark Caribbean Rum from A. Bowman Distillery, Fredericksburg
Club soda, splash
Mint and caramelized pineapple for garnish (recipe below)

Ginger Simple Syrup
1/4 lb. ginger, peeled and thinly sliced (about 3/4 cup)
1 cup sugar
1 cup water

Caramelized Pineapple
1/2 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 slice fresh pineapple
1 tbsp. light brown sugar

Method
Make Ginger Simple Syrup: Place all the ingredients in a small saucepan, and bring to a boil. Once the sugar has dissolved, remove from the heat, and let the mixture sit for 20 minutes. Strain into an airtight container, cover and chill. Caramelize Pineapple: Heat butter in a large nonstick skillet over high heat. Cut pineapple slice into wedges, coat with sugar, and place in hot pan. Cook, turning once and shaking pan often, until golden brown, 8–10 minutes. Mix Mojito: Put mint leaves and lime juice in a cocktail shaker and muddle. Fill half-way with crushed ice, and add ginger simple syrup, pineapple puree and rum. Shake well, strain into a chilled glass, and top with a splash of club soda. Garnish with mint and a caramelized pineapple wedge.


martiniSparkling Strawberry Martini

Ingredients
4 ounces fresh strawberry juice (recipe below)
1 ounce simple syrup
3 ounces Blue Ridge Vodka from Chesapeake Bay Distillery, Virginia Beach
Virginia FIZZ sparkling wine from Thibaut-Janisson Winery, Charlottesville, splash
Fresh strawberry slice for garnish

Strawberry Juice
2 cups fresh strawberries from local Virginia farm or farmer’s market
1 cup water

Method
Make Strawberry Juice: Puree strawberries and water in a blender until smooth, then strain into a jar through a fine mesh sieve. Mix Martini: Add strawberry juice, simple syrup and vodka to a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake well, strain into a chilled glass, and top with a splash of sparkling wine. Garnish with strawberry slice.


Written By

Melissa Stewart