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Week 11 Finalists: Best End of Summer Cocktail

September 4, 2009 • 5 Comments

Blackberry Caipirinha by MissGinsu

A classic caipirinha is made with cachaca (distilled from sugar cane), sugar and lime juice. MissGinsu's version doesn't stray far -- she adds fresh blackberries, which dye the drink a deep purple. It's bright and a ilttle austere. The recipe calls for 1 teaspoon of sugar, but you may want to add more to taste if your blackberries are tart. Add any extra sugar after the drink is shaken, and shake it again to dissolve the added sugar. If you can't find cachaca, you can use white rum.

 

I was cooking at my husband's family's summer house, where the kitchen has lots old Le Creuset but not a cocktail shaker (unheard of in a WASP household, but ...). Turns out a glass Ball jar works just fine.

To the "shaker," I added sugar and then 7 plump blackberries from a local farmstand.

Next, a few lime wedges.

Let the muddling begin!

To the blackberry-lime mash, I added some ice cubes -- you can barely see it here, but they were steaming in the glass.

In went 2 ounces of cachaca.

Then I shook, shook, shook. The photo looks like a shampoo commercial; unintentional.

 

You can balance the lime on the rim, but I liked it bobbing around with the ice cubes.

 

The Tom and Ginger by lastnightsdinner

This drink was controversial among the summer house group. Some took one whiff and refused to taste it. Others cautiously sipped. But three of us -- my brother-in-law, Scott; our photographer, Sarah; and me -- found it thrilling, like a clear, boozy gazpacho in a glass. It's concentrated and assertive, and with each taste you get lashings of vodka, lime, cilantro, tomato and ginger. I'd love to serve it in tiny, chilled glasses with spicy cheese straws, or with crudo. Scott recommended carnitas, and I'd happily go there, too.

 

 

I loved the shape of these tomatoes.

First, I made what's essentially a salsa, with tomatoes...

garlic ...

jalapeno ...

red onion and cilantro.

Then I seasoned it with salt and let it sit for a couple of hours.

Then I drained it, pressing on the solids with the back of a spoon.

Then it was time to mix it in my Ball jar shaker. Vodka first.

Then the tomato juice. One ounce equals 2 tablespoons, so if you don't have a shot glass -- I didn't -- you can wing it with measuring spoons.

In went half a tablespoon of lime juice, as well as vermouth, bitters and ginger liqueur.

After it's shaken, the drink is frothy and pale pink, which suggests a tame drink. This is misleading.

 

Time to drink your vegetables!

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Comments (5)

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almost 5 years ago Paige Orloff

I think the Ball jar cocktail shaker is my favorite part of the whole thing.

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

almost 5 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

You know what was great about it: the jar doesn't freeze your hand like a steel cocktail shaker does.

Missginsu_bike

almost 5 years ago MissGinsu

Aw, it's supremely fun to see these recipes brought to life in such a well-lit, lovely kitchen. And that jam jar is an inspired addition to the process... so retro-cute!

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almost 5 years ago Paige Orloff

I agree with Michael--these are both inspired!

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almost 5 years ago Michael Hoffman

Michael is an engineer at Food52

It's hard to be sad you didn't pick my cocktail with two finalists as great as these. The Tom and Ginger sounds like a winner!