Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Summertime Drinks

Our Tour Guide, Brandon
Before I get into this week's topic, I 'd like to share a little of my experience at the "World's Largest Bratfest" I attended over Memorial Day Weekend.  It takes place in Madison, Wisconsin each year on Memorial Day Weekend.  It  is a 4-day event with lots of entertainment (bands, carnival rides, etc.) and fireworks.  This year was down a little in attendance because of the weather but still a good time.  Claudia and I enjoyed our nephew, Brandon, acting as our tour guide.  He lives in Madison and recently graduated from the University of Wisconsin.  Just to give you an idea of the size of these "Bratfest," the "largest single day consumption" of brats was over 209,000.  I guess they have some hungry people that attend this event.  I suggest that if you are ever near Madison on Memorial Day Weekend, you take in the event and have a brat for me.  Now to this week's topic, "Summertime Drinks."  Oh, the "Bratfest" had a great variety of beverages too.  If that might help get you there.

As we get into the joy of summer everyone gets outside more.  We tend to have more get-together's with family and friends (large & small).  One of  the nice things to offer when hosting one of these is a punch or large quantity drink.  It makes it much easier than dealing with all those individual beverages and trying to satisfy everyone with their favorite choice.

Now you may still have to offer some individual beverages especially if you have a mixed crowd of adults and children.  But by offering a quantity style drink you can cut back on the number and types of individual drinks.  I'd be sure to offer one of these type drinks to both the adults and the children.  Just be sure to make them look different so you can easily tell if the children are getting into the wrong beverage.

An adult punch or drink is a nice touch to add to beer and wine parties.  There are some people just not into beer and wine.  It's also good to have a non-alcoholic beverage for those adults that don't partake in adult beverages.  A punch or some other quantity style beverage makes it much easier on party planning and all the running around one does to get ready.

I have two recipes this week which are both easy to throw together.  The first is a non-alcoholic drink that can be converted into an adult beverage by just adding your favorite hard liquor.  It is "Homemade Lemonade" and it doesn't take long to make and the results will make you a big hit with the consumers.

I much in one of the notes in the recipe that making a batch and freezing it in ice cube trays is a great way to keep the dispenser of it cold.  By using the lemonade ice cubes you don't dilute the drink so the last drink tastes as good as the first one of the night.

You can do this with most of your non-alcoholic drinks.  It doesn't work well for the adult beverages because alcohol doesn't freeze.  You can get great slushie drinks with many of  the adult beverages but not good ice cubes.

Another note on that recipe this week mentions the drink called the "Arnold Palmer."  That is just a 50/50 mix of lemonade and fresh brewed tea.  If you make a large batch of it, I'd just make lemonade ice cubes and not any tea ones.  Just doesn't have the look you want.

The second recipe for the week is for "A Basic Sangria Recipe"  The nice thing about this recipe is you can make changes to meet your tastes.  Be sure and give it a try.

I know this week I'm only offering two drink recipes when there are hundreds of them out there.  Don't be afraid to jump on the internet and fine some others.  There are also a few other drink recipes under the "Drink Recipes" tab at the top of the blog page.  Check those out too.

Have a great summer cooking and drinking just be sure to watch the weather and make the needed adjustments.  "Happy Cooking!"

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