It’s been so insanely hot here in New York State that I have found myself not wanting to drink anything even room temp, not even red wine with dinner, which is a first for me. I don’t really like white wine and find beer a little heavy, so what to drink when I feel like a cold and refreshing cocktail? Here are some ideas I have discovered that are quite pleasing.
Huckleberry Vodka and Lemonade
I have no idea what a Huckleberry is, but I can tell you this vodka, made by 44 North, is amazing. Vodkas can be made from a variety of things and this one happens to be made in Idaho from Idaho potatoes and Idaho spring water with the essence of Idaho mountain huckleberries. This all may sound silly, especially since vodka is not supposed to have any flavor, but seriously, it is delicious and makes you realize how bad mass market vodka can taste. What I do with this one is squeeze a half of lemon into a glass, add some ice and the desired amount of vodka and top it with seltzer water and if I feel the need, a little honey to make it sweeter. I love this drink and only wish I could find the vodka more easily.
Cynar and Lemon
I happen to like bitter spirits like Campari and Amaro. I discovered Cynar a few years ago when my friend Joey Campanale, owner of Anfora wine bar in NYC, introduced it to me. It is made from artichoke roots, but it doesn’t taste like it. It does have a dark, earthy and bitter flavor which I love when served over ice with an entire lemon squeezed.
The other drink Joey served me once when i said I didn’t want anything too heavy and I didn’t want to get any kind of buzz was an Aperol Spritz. Aperol, also of the Campari group, is a lighter version and can be easily mixed with seltzer, white wine, Proseco or orange juice. It’s a great, light afternoon taste.
I am lucky to be working with Joey on his first book, due out in November 2014, which will showcase some of his cocktails and favorite pre and post dinner liqueurs. For now, enjoy these new flavors with your summer meals!
Now, of course, if you aren’t in the mood for any of the above or you can’t find them in your nearby stores, you can always go for an ice cold beer. I started Weight Watchers this summer and ended it two weeks later when I saw it wasn’t working at all for me. But I did discover Michelob Ultra, which is only 3 WW points. It may not be the king of beers or even a prince, but if you are looking for a really low cal, light and refreshing beer, this one isn’t bad at all. Spoken like a true lady…
Rosemary Maggiore is our Last Minute Lady. A single mom of two kids plus a full time job (she runs this website!) keep her busy and usually pushing things to the last minute. Somehow she manages to keep her cool and her sanity while she enjoys good food, wine, friends and most importantly, family.
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