20150528

Vodka Tonics? Not Really. Fun? Yes!


Except for one odd day in February, yesterday was the first truly hot day of the year and, after several weeks of freakishly cool May days, the temperature of 90° felt more like 110°. That first blast of summer called for some very tall, ice filled, refreshing cocktails for myself and my visiting company, Will and Stephen.

Only problem? I was hot, tired and didn't want to get up and down and behind a bar mixing drinks every ten minutes. I wanted to sit down and enjoy a couple of tall, iced filled cocktails myself. Solution? Set up a Vodka Tonic bar and let the boys do their own bartending!

So I gathered together the basics and some seasonal accompaniments that would mesh well together and lined them all up on my little bungalow bar thusly:

ICE CUBES, in a Bucket
GLASSES, Tall Collins Style
CHILLED VODKA, in a Carafe
CANS of TONIC WATER, Chilled
MUDDLER, JIGGER, ICE TONGS, STIR STICKS
BAR TOWEL (for the inevitable spills)
FRESH BLACKBERRIES, Macerated in Sugar and Lightly Muddled.
CUCUMBER, Peeled, Cubed and Lightly Pureed
MORE CUCUMBER, Sliced
ORANGES, LIMES, LEMONS, Sliced into Quarters
Bottle of Rich Simple Syrup (2X Sugar : 1X Water)
FRESH BASIL, MINT, DILL Sprigs in a Vial of Water
STRAWS, plopped in a Mint Julep Glass

Then I mixed myself MY cocktail, sat down and directed their activities from my favorite chair. I got to relax, they had fun AND got a mixology lesson in the bargain. Win, win, win.

Little buggers drank half their Vodka Tonic concoctions before I could get a photo, but here's the first round:


From left to right, here were the combos and constructions on the first round:

BLACKBERRY CUCUMBER TONIC (Mine)
Build into the glass:
1/4 C. Macerated Blackberries
2 Tbsp. Cucumber Puree
Ice
2 Oz. Vodka
Top off with Tonic
Squeeze and Drop in 1 Orange Quarter
Stir
Garnish with Cucumber Slice
Serve with Straw

CUCUMBER MINT TONIC (Will's)
Build into the glass:
2 Tbsp. Cucumber Puree
1 Tbsp. Rich Simple Syrup
6 Mint Leaves
Muddle Lightly
Ice
2 Oz. Vodka
Top off with Tonic
Squeeze and Drop in 2 Lime Quarters
Stir
Garnish with Cucumber Slice and Mint Sprig
Serve with Straw

BLACKBERRY BASIL TONIC (Stephen's)
Build into the glass
1/4 C. Macerated Blackberries
3 Mint Leaves
2 Basil Leaves
Muddle Lightly
Ice
2 Oz. Vodka
Top off with Tonic
Squeeze and Drop in 1 Orange Quarter
Stir
Garnish with Fresh Basil Sprig
Serve with Straw

The second round it was musical cocktails as we switched the combos around. The third round is now a blur but suffice to say we emptied off the bar before commencing to supper.

For a bigger party, where I had more time to plan, I would have added more fruit choices, expanded the spirit choices, added more mixers and moved it all over to my long window bar). However, for something I tossed together in a few minutes this worked. Hilarity and creativity ensued, I sat on my keister and laughed and kibitzed, they mixed and muddled and spilled. A good time was had by all.

And I conned Will into washing up.




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