Everyday Gourmet (4/15/10)

Hip sips

April 15, 2010

By Kim Dannies

When it comes to cocktails, James Bond and I are definitely on the same page.

In “Casino Royale” 007 declares, “I never have more than one drink before dinner. But I do like that one to be large and very strong and very cold and very well made. I hate small portions of anything.” (To make a 007 Martini: 3 measures Gordon’s gin, 1 of vodka, half measure of Kina Lillet; shake 15 seconds, strain into a chilled cocktail glass, twist of lemon.)

It’s time to retire my winter drink (Perfect Manhattan: 2 measures Marker’s Mark bourbon, 1/2 ounce each red and white vermouth, dash of bitters; shake 15 seconds, strain into a chilled cocktail glass, twist of lemon) in favor of a spring-like celebration libation. I scouted out these cool cocktail recipes currently making the bar rounds. These sips are so good they even make Tax Day seem hip.

English Rose: Cosmos are out — this variation of the classic Martini might be just the thing to sip while you watch your roses bloom. In a shaker filled with ice, add 2 measures gin, 1 ounce dry vermouth, 1 ounce apricot brandy, 1/2 ounce lemon juice and 1 teaspoon grenadine. Shake 15 seconds, strain into a chilled cocktail glass, add a cherry.

Ginger Julep: A cool Derby variation. In a highball glass, muddle a slice of orange, 5 mint leaves and 1/2 teaspoon maple syrup and fresh ginger juice, each. Add 2 measures Kentucky bourbon and chipped ice, stir.

Raspberry Mojitos: For a chic Cinco de Mayo. In a highball glass, muddle 6 fresh mint leaves, 3 whole raspberries, the juice of 1 lime and 2 teaspoons of sugar. Add 2 measures of light rum, stir. Fill the glass with chipped ice; top with splash of club soda.

Bellinis: A Mother’s Day delight. Make a peach puree by peeling 4 ripe peaches. Dice and puree in a food processor. Make a raspberry puree by pureeing 1 cup fresh or frozen berries in a food processor. In tall champagne flutes, place 1 tablespoon of peach puree and 1 teaspoon of raspberry puree. Fill glasses with Prosecco.

Kim Dannies is a graduate of La Varenne Cooking School in France. She lives in Williston with her husband, Jeff; they have three college-aged daughters who come and go. For archived Everyday Gourmet columns go to kimdannies.com.