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Summer BBQ Booze

The summer season is underway, and the American thing to do is barbecue. As a beverage professional I always get asked what drink to bring to certain events. My first answer, of course, is usually to bring a big bottle of wine. Everyone LOVES to drink out of a big bottle, so coming to the party with a magnum or bigger always makes you a crowd favorite. BBQ boozing can be a great opportunity to step up your game whether you are hosting or attending the shindig.

Every season here at the restaurant, our cocktails change with the availability of seasonal ingredients. We always feature a “seasonal sangria” that is handcrafted by me and usually very nontraditional. My opinion is if it has wine and liquor, it is definitely sangria. My favorite season to work with is summer, as we always make our summer version in a big batch perfect for party sharing. Last summer we ran this play on a Pimm’s Cup and it was so popular I still have people asking about it. Late in the summer, Chef Forgione had a pig roast at his family’s home on Long Island and invited all his friends and family. I made two batches of this recipe, involved the guests (including children) in making it, and it was the hit of the party.

From the liquor store:

4 bottles of white Port

1 bottle Pimm’s Cup

1 bottle of Prosecco (or any inexpensive bubbles)

From the market:

2 large cucumbers

2 large, ripe mangos

1 medium honeydew

For the fun:

1. Peel and seed the cucumber and melon and skin and de-pit the mango. Cube all

three ingredients in roughly inch by in squares.

2. Get a big bowl, and toss the ingredients into the bowl or pot and muddle them (works great in an iced-tea pot)

3. Add the white Port and Pimm’s and stir it all together

4. Let your guests ladle or pour over ice and top with a splash of sparkling

Super easy, super fun and SUPER delish!!