Area restaurants beat the heat with fruity chilled cocktails
by Leah Cayson
lcayson@annistonstar.com
Jul 03, 2013 | 2197 views |  0 comments | 61 61 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Classic on Noble is adding three new martinis to its summer menu — clockwise from left, Orange Dreamsicle, Strawberry Shortcake and Peach Bellini. Courtney Davies/The Anniston Star
Classic on Noble is adding three new martinis to its summer menu — clockwise from left, Orange Dreamsicle, Strawberry Shortcake and Peach Bellini. Courtney Davies/The Anniston Star
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Sweltering temperatures in the Deep South call for a refreshing cocktail, and some local restaurants have revamped their menus with cocktails made from fresh fruit that’s in season.

Classic on Noble has added a Peach Bellini martini and Strawberry Shortcake martini to its menu and will also be debuting an Orange Dreamsicle martini for the first time. Owner Crystal Mashburn said the Peach Bellini, which is made with locally grown peaches, is the most popular.

“Fresh peaches are easy to use in drinks because they puree well,” Mashburn said.

She said she developed her recipes from other variations she’s seen. These fruity concoctions can be made with flavored liquor, but Mashburn said it’s just not the same.

“I think it’s not as syrupy sweet,” she said of the fresh-fruit martinis. “There’s definitely a quality difference. The flavor is better.”

Garfrerick’s Cafe also jazzed up their drink menu with seasonal fruit cocktails like Raspberry Mint Juleps, Watermelon Martinis and mojitos. All of the fruits come from Garfrerick’s organic garden, except for the raspberries.

“We don’t have to use fresh watermelon juice,” said owner David Garfrerick. “What we do takes longer.”

Like Mashburn, Garfrerick finds the quality of fresh-fruit cocktails much better than those made with artificially flavored liquors.

The restaurant also offers a complimentary fresh juice that is made fresh everyday, he added.

The juice consists of apple, ginger and celery and is served to cleanse the palette before customers indulge in a meal.

WATERMELON TEQUILA COCKTAILS

1/4 cup water
1/4 cup granulated sugar
8 cups diced seedless watermelon (about 1 pound)
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 3/4 cups blueberries
3/4 cup lightly packed fresh mint leaves, plus 8 sprigs for garnish
1 1/4 cups silver tequila
Ice

In a small saucepan, bring water to a simmer with the sugar and stir over moderate heat until the sugar is dissolved, about 1 minute. Let sugar syrup cool.

In a blender, puree watermelon until smooth. Set a fine-mesh strainer over a bowl and strain the watermelon juice, pressing gently on the solids to extract as much juice as possible. Discard pulp.

In a large pitcher, combine the sugar syrup with the lime juice, blueberries and mint leaves.

Using a wooden spoon, lightly muddle the blueberries and mint. Add the watermelon juice and tequila.

Refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours. Garnish with mint sprigs and serve.

— foodandwine.com
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Area restaurants beat the heat with fruity chilled cocktails by Leah Cayson
lcayson@annistonstar.com

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