LUPEC 1: Summer Drinks

27 Jan

LUPEC Name: Zombie and Red Peril

Meeting Date: 1/16/2011

Meeting Theme: Summer Drinks

Tell us about your meeting!

The winter winds were biting deep and we felt the need for a little summertime action.  We figured what better way than to find some great summery cocktails and make our own little garden party.

Red Peril found a book filled with classic punch recipes, and since Zombie had a collection of heretofore-unused-glasses that came with her punch bowl, we knew we had to work in a great punch.  We zeroed in on a Petal Punch, which incorporated rose petals and a rose petal vodka.  Unfortunately, we were unable to find organically grown roses in the middle of January and the Lanique proved difficult to locate as well.  We decided to sub edible flowers for the roses and create our own punchy concoction with rose water and citrus vodka.  We made an ice ring embedded with frozen flowers, and floated individual floral ice cubes in each glass.  Though we were a little weary of the rose water making the punch too “soapy,” it turned surprisingly delicious (and very pretty!).

Being from England, Red Peril wanted to showcase a classic summer cocktail from her side of the pond: the Pimms Cup.  Though we lacked the barware and British lemonade to make it truly proper, we made do with what was available and turned out a pretty good approximation.  Red Peril was insistent that cucumber, mint, oranges and lemons be present, and we went with Reed’s ginger ale to finish it off.

Finally, we wanted to play with some herbs and the Summertime in Paris, with lemongrass simple syrup and a rosemary muddle, fit the bill perfectly.  Light and refreshing, the ladies seemed to enjoy the mix of flavors in this one. Red Peril prepared her otherworldly melty chocolate pastry pockets and Zombie served a lovely chocolate vegan cake.  We put out the usual platter of deviled eggs, which sat alongside a spinach and artichoke dip and a fresh tomato bruschetta.

Recipe, please!

Petal Punch
1 bottle red zinfandel
1 bottle sparkling rose wine
1 cup citrus vodka
4 ounces rose water
3 cups cranberry juice
2 cup orange juice
Edible flowers to decorate

Freeze flowers into ice cubes and/or an ice ring.  Mix punch ingredients.  Put ice ring in punch bowl; use floral ice cubes in individual cups.

Pimms Cup
1.5 oz Pimms
7-up or ginger ale
lemon & orange slices
cucumber slices
fresh mint sprig

Put cucumber and citrus slices at the bottom of glass.  Add Pimms, top with ginger ale, and add healthy dash of ripped mint leaves.

Summertime in Paris
1 1/2 oz. citrus vodka
1/2 organic rosemary sprig
1/2 oz. Meyer lemon juice
1/2 oz. lemongrass simple syrup
Dash of soda

Muddle rosemary with lemon juice and simple syrup in a shaker. Add ice and vodka and shake. Strain over fresh ice in a rocks glass and top with soda. Garnish with fresh rosemary sprig.

Sugared Chocolate Beignets (From Sunset Magazine)

Red Peril recommends upping the filling by a third, and allowing an hour for it to firm up properly in the freezer before using it. AND the pastries keep in the freezer for three months!

Time: 1 hour, plus freezing time. These gourmet doughnuts can be prepared ahead, requiring only a quick baking once your guests arrive. Yield: Makes 32 (I make about 3 per guest if made as a dessert)

Ingredients

* 2  tablespoons  corn syrup
* 1/2  cup  heavy whipping cream
* 4  ounces  chopped bittersweet chocolate
* 2  sheets (17 oz. total) cold thawed puff pastry dough
* 1  large egg
* 1/2  cup  sugar

Preparation

1. Combine corn syrup and cream in a microwave-safe container. Heat in 30-second intervals until boiling. Put chocolate in a bowl and pour hot cream on top. Stir chocolate until smooth, then chill, stirring often, until firm, about 20 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. On a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin, roll each pastry dough sheet into a 12-in. square. Cut each square into 16 smaller squares and transfer to a baking sheet.

3. In a bowl, lightly whisk egg and 1 tbsp. water to blend, then brush over pastry squares. Spoon about 1 tsp. chocolate into the center of each square. Fold 1 corner of each square over to meet the opposite corner, forming a triangle. Press edges to seal. Use a 2 1/2-in. round cutter to trim corners of triangle and form a shape that resembles a three-quarter moon. Wrap trays with plastic wrap and freeze at least 1 hour and up to 1 week. (To save space, after 30 minutes of freezing, put pastries in resealable plastic bags in freezer.)

4. Preheat oven to 400°. Bake pastries, switching pan positions once, until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes. Put sugar in a bowl and turn beignets in sugar to coat. Serve immediately.

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