Tuesday, July 13, 2010

frozen gin and the summer of sangria

In sultry summer a woman's fancy turns to cool beverages. Cool, alcoholic beverages. For our annual Fourth of July celebration I ceded responsibility for dessert (can you believe it!?) and contributed two intoxicating concoctions.

The Summer of Sangria

Michael declared my blueberry wine to be not quite delicious enough on its own (he has such a refined palate) and suggested I make sangria. I must give credit where credit is due. The recipe is mine, but the inspiration was his. The lovely carafe is thanks to Marie.

-one bottle homemade blueberry wine (creative substitutions acceptable)
-1/4 c. sugar (up to 1/2 c. if you like it sweet)
-2 oz. orange liqueur
-1/2 c. blueberries
-1/2 orange, thinly sliced
Refrigerate overnight or as long as you can stand to wait. Just before serving, add
-1.5 c. diet Polar Orange Dry (again, personal substitutions acceptable, just make sure it's fizzy)
Pour over ice and toast your favorite blogger.

Cucumber-Gin-Lime-Mint Popsicles

That's right, popsicles. I modified a recipe from Food & Wine, doubling the amount of gin. (I figured if 1/2 c. of gin was good, 1 c. would be twice as good.) It was only after I'd loaded the popsicle molds into the chest freezer that I remembered alcohol freezes at lower temperatures than water, depending on the proof. oh-oh. True, the popsicles weren't rock hard, but they were solid and delicious. If you want a harder sicle, reduce the proportion of alcohol. But I wouldn't.

-Combine 1/2 c. water, 1 c. sugar, and 1/2 c. chopped mint leaves and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let sit 15 minutes. Strain the syrup into a bowl and let cool to room temp.
-Add 4 tsp. lime zest, 1/2 c. lime juice, 1 c. gin, and 2.5 c. cucumber puree (sans seeds).
-Sprinkle 1 tsp. unflavored gelatin over 2 Tbs. water and let stand 5 minutes. Microwave on high for 8 seconds, to dissolve gelatin, then whisk into the cucumber mixture.
-Pour into popsicle molds and freeze (at least 24 hours with the increased alcohol)

What's your favorite summer cocktail, frozen or otherwise? Next weekend I'm going to try this whiskey-mint-hibiscus treat created by Zoe at Pearled Earth. Can't hardly wait.


At July 14, 2010 at 8:46 AM , Anonymous Leda Meredith said...

I think the ginsicles count as dessert!I've got elderflower champagne for us next week.

At July 14, 2010 at 10:35 AM , Blogger SaraGardens said...

Wow, gin popsicles! Definitely an idea whose time has come... and I hope it comes again soon ;) They're beautiful - now I'm sorry I long ago yard-saled our popsicle-making set. Though these would probably work well in a nice cocktail glass with a spoon, in a pinch. Mmm.

At July 14, 2010 at 2:45 PM , Blogger Ellen Zachos said...

This could definitely work as a sorbet for those without popsicle molds.

At July 15, 2010 at 12:24 PM , Blogger Marie said...

Thank you ma'am for that lovely blueberry sangria...

At July 24, 2010 at 6:01 PM , Anonymous Mimi said...

Loved the gin popsicles, Ellen. And I'm very, very jealous that you and Leda are drinking elderflower champagne... Never mind, I think I'll just go and freeze myself some gin. :)


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