Our motto is to keep it simple, said the editors of the Food & Wine Annual Cookbook 2009: An Entire Year of Recipes (Food & Wine Books). When it comes to summer drinks, that means using a few, fresh ingredients that can be mixed in large batches. These two cocktails are ideal for big parties. Both were created by star chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten. In his mojito variation, he “keeps things interesting” by replacing lime juice with tart kumquats and kalamansi concentrate, the frozen juice of the sour Asian citrus fruit.
20 kumquats (½ lb), halved lengthwise
1 cup mint leaves
One 10-oz can frozen kalamansi or orange juice concentrate, thawed
1-3/4 cups white rum
1 quart club soda
1 large lime, cut into 10 thin wedges
In large pitcher, combine halved kumquats and mint leaves. Using large wooden spoon, vigorously muddle mixture. Pour in juice concentrate, rum, and club soda, and squeeze in lime wedges. Fill pitcher with ice and serve.
Sour Cherry-Yuzu Bellinis
½ lb pitted fresh or frozen sour cherries (2 cups)
½ cup sugar
4 tbsp fresh yuzu juice or 2 tbsp each of fresh tangerine and lime juices
One 750-ml bottle plus 2 cups chilled brut Champagne
Purée cherries in food processor. Pass purée through fine strainer set over small saucepan, pressing on solids; you should have ½ cup juice. Stir in sugar, bring to simmer over moderate heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Transfer to small bowl, refrigerate until chilled, about 15 minutes. In large pitcher, combine sweetened cherry juice with yuzu juice. Slowly pour in Champagne. Serve Bellinis over ice.
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