Johnny Cocktail has been VERY busy!

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Monday, August 16, 2010

Peach Nectar & Watermelon Frescas

In a Shot:  Sister in Law's 40th Birthday party called for on the spot cocktail creation and created a farmer's market inspired watermelon fresca and also made a non-alcoholic variation using house made peach nectar.

By defenition, an Agua Frescra is a famous refreshing spanish sweetend juice drink combining fresh juice, water & sugar.  The literal translation means "cool water" and is typically a non-alcoholic beverage.  I have one at my house right now that is freshly blended peach nectar, water, simple syrup and lemon juice. 

To create the peach nectar simply bring water to a boil, score (cut an X into the top and bottom) about as many peaches as you want nectar (start with about 3 or 4) and then blanch peaches (boil in water for a few minutes then remove peaches with a slotted spoon and dump into a bowl filled with ice and water to "shock" the fruits and stop the cooking process).  This helps to remove the skins and inner pits easily and will also help to maintain that beautiful peach color!  Using a high powered blender, liquify the peaches with an ounce of lemon juice.  Measuring out the product do almost equal parts peach juice to filtered water and simple syrup (start with a little less than equal, about a cup) and stir to desired texture and sweetness.  Also add fresh lemon juice to taste.  This acid is CRITICAL.

It's a key ingredient in my current cocktail of the month, the Thai spiced tea inspired "Peaches N' Tea". Though it goes very well with tea, while peaches are still in season, I highly recommend jumping into this amazing drink using other mixers as well. Top with soda water, champagne or add an ounce (or two!) of your favorite clear spirit to either start or finish your day!

I was given the task to create a cocktail in a hurry for my sister in laws big 40th birthday bash.  It was important that the cocktail be delicious and the girl is a fan of Margaritas so of course I went with a spin off on those.  My final concoction became the Watermelon Fresca.  A refreshing blend of lime and lemon juice, silver tequila, freshly juiced watermelons, sweetend by Elderflower Liqueur and seasoned with a pulvarised lavender salt.  Fresh, bright and very perfumey, this drink ended up being a huge hit with the masses!

1 1/2 oz Silver Tequila
1/2 oz St. Germaine Elderflower Liqueur
Juice from one quarter of a lime
6 oz Watermelon Juice (Use a high powered juicer.  You can also use a professional blender and strain the mix through a cheese cloth or muddel fresh watermelon chunks into your cocktail shaker to make the drink)

Using a lemon wedge, coat the rim of the glass with lemon juice then rim the cocktail glass using lavender salt.  Serve on the rocks.

(Can be made in advance as a pitcher drink just multiply the recipe by the number of drinks you wish to provide for your party!)
When making lavender salt you should use fresh lavender buds (I got mine from a farm in Harrisonburg but you can find them in specialty food stores.  I've seen them at the World Market!)  A few goes a long way so use 1 or 2 buds to every 1/2 cup kosher or course salt.  Use a blender or coffee grinder and gently pulvarise the lavender and salt until the lavender is finely distributed evenly.  You should smell intense aromas of lavender.  Immediately seal in an air tight jar.  Lasts as long as regular salt does (Though over time of opening and closing, I find that the salt dimishes in it's nose but the flavor seems to remain consistent)

(Famous Alexandria, VA based Drink Model Stefanie Keuser showcasing the Watermelon Fresca) 

Oh and to my sister in law Stefanie!!!!  Have a happy birthday and THE NEXT ROUNDS ON ME!!!!


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