Monday, July 9, 2012

Sweet Southern Comforts

Summer in the's hot..but oh so sweet.  I love the smell of fresh peaches, the sound of crickets, and the vision of lightening bugs as they dance around my windows. 

At The Carolina Inn its the perfect season for entertaining.  There are weddings, showers, bridal luncheons, and family reunions.  There are families enjoying blue grass music on the front porch and old friends gathering in the lobby for tea and finger sandwiches.  
If you are looking to bring a little of the Carolina Inn's southern charm into your home I have a few of our favorite southern cocktails to share with you. 
I hope that you sip them and become as smitten with the south as I am!
Watermelon Mojitos
4 large mint leaves
1/2 lime
1 tablespoon superfine sugar
4 ounces seedless watermelon, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 3/4 cup), plus a small wedge for garnish
2 ounces white rum
1/2 cup ice cubes

In a heavy large glass, combine mint, lime, and sugar. Using a muddler, mash together mint and lime until sugar is dissolved. Add watermelon, and muddle until broken down. Stir in rum and ice cubes. Pour into an 8-ounce serving glass and garnish with a watermelon wedge. Serve immediately Pinned Image
Blackberry Sage Cooler
15 medium sage leaves
4 tablespoons sugar
1 cup water
8 ounces of blackberries
Bring the water and sugar to a boil over high heat just until sugar dissolves. Crush the sage leaves with the back of a spoon and add to the syrup mixture and set aside to let the sage infuse for 15 minutes and then remove the herbs.
Meanwhile puree the blackberries in the blender and then strain the mixture through a fine strainer.
To serve place a tablespoon of the blackberry puree in the bottom of a glass, add a tablespoon of the sage syrup and top off with 8 ounces of club soda.
Popsicle Cocktails
You can make them with any flavor you like! Make sure to use popsicles made with real fruit for the freshest taste.
– To create a light spritzer, combine equal parts champagne & ginger ale.
– For a fruity cocktail, go with 3 parts ginger ale to 1 part white rum or vodka.

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Roasted Peach Lemonade
Doesn't this just look like the south???
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4 medium peaches, pitted and sliced in half
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
4 cups fresh lemonade
1 cup Peach Schnapps (or to your liking)

1. Preheat the oven to 400F.
2. Place the peaches skin side down in a baking dish and sprinkle the tops with the sugar. Roasted the peaches for about 25 minutes or until the tops of the peaches are juicy at the skins able to be easily pinched off.
3. Remove the outside of the peach skins and drop the roasted peaches into a blender. Pour in enough lemonade to cover the peaches in the blender. Puree the peaches completely, until the liquid is a little foamy and frothy.
4. Pour the mixture into a pitcher and stir in the rest of the lemonade and schnapps. Chill. Be sure to stir up the lemonade with a wooden spoon again before serving!
Cherry Beer Margarita
I recently found this recipe and was dying to try is to be recommended...but then again I love anything in a mason jar.
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All you’re gonna need is your favorite tequila, a 12 ounce can of frozen limeade, 12 ounces of cherry flavored soda, your favorite beer, kosher salt, a lime & cherries (oh, and ice). I empty the frozen limeade in the pitcher first, and use the same can for measuring the soda & tequila. Use a wooden spoon to break up & stir the frozen limeade concentrate in the mixture.
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My favorite treat as a kid was a creamsicle from the local dairy!  Even better...the adult version!
Ice cubes
Orange Juice
Vanilla flavored Vodka
Vanilla Ice Cream
Orange Soda

Place ice cubes, vanilla ice cream, vanilla flavored vodka and orange juice in a blender and blend well. Pour 3/4 full into serving glass. Equally top each glass with orange soda. Dip orange slices in sugar and place on rim of glass for garnish.
Strawberry Rosemary Sangria
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Strawberry Syrup
1 cup diced strawberries
1 tablespoon agave
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon water
2 twigs of rosemary

1 750-ml bottle dry white wine
1/2 cups sliced strawberries
1/4 cup triple sec
2 peaches, each cut into 12 slices
1 large orange, cut crosswise into 6 slices
1 lime, cut crosswise into 6 slices
For strawberry syrup, dice up strawberries. In a small saucepan add strawberries, agave, salt, water and rosemary. Place over medium heat for 5-7 minutes, or until strawberries are totally broken down. Remove from heat and strain through a sieve, removing rosemary and strawberry chunks. (Note: chunks is a gross word, eh?) You should have about 2 tablespoons of strawberry syrup.
In a pitcher, mix white wine, triple sec, sliced peaches, strawberries, oranges and limes. Smash the citrus slightly. Add the strawberry syrup and stir. Let stand at room temperature at least 2 hours or chill up to 4 hours. Serve sangria over ice.
"The Cuke"
Isn't she a charmer? 
So if you aren't into sweet cocktails then this is perfect for you.
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6 limes rinsed
1c packed mint leaves (no stem) and 6 spear for garnish
3 unwaxed cucumbers
1/2c sugar
2c vodka or gin
Thinly slice three limes and place in pitcher.  Juice the remainder and add to pitcher
Add mint leaves. Add 2 sliced cucumbers. Add Sugar
Muddle ingredients and then add vodka or gin.
Place in fridge to steep 30 minutes or longer
Fill 6 high ball glasses (or mason jars) with ice. Strain mixture from pitcher into each.  Top with a splash of sparkling water. Garnish each glass with caster sugar, mint, and thinly sliced cucumbers
Smokey Iced Tea Pinned Image
3 ounces brewed Lapsang Souchong tea, chilled
1 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 ounce Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur
1 ounce rye whiskey
Dash Angostura bitters
Garnish: Lemon twist
In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine tea, lemon, ginger liqueur, whisky, and bitters. Shake for 12 seconds. Strain into a Collins glass filled with ice. Garnish with lemon twist and serve immediately
I add sugar...but that's just me...I like SWEET tea!!!
Mint Juleps
Is there anything that says summer in the south like a mint julep? I don't think so...
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2 Cups sugar
2 Cups water
Sprigs of fresh mint
Crushed ice
Silver Julep Cups

Make a simple syrup by boiling sugar and water together for five minutes. Cool and place in a covered container with six or eight sprigs of fresh mint, then refrigerate overnight. Make one julep at a time by filling a julep cup with crushed ice, adding one tablespoon mint syrup and two ounces of Bourbon. Stir rapidly with a spoon to frost the outside of the cup. Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint.
(I like a little orange juice in mine that julep blasphemy?)
I hope you enjoy these little refreshing “porch cocktails” as much as I do {hiccup}!
Happy Southern Summer!

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