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Summertime Libations!

Welcome to summer! The perfect time to relax and partake in the simple joys of life, family and friends. As a 12 year trainee in hospitality, I have taken a particular fondness to the world of "libations." A fondness I want to share with you.

There is a very simple way to stock your home bar: buy fresh and go for quality over quantity. Please remember, of course, that your friends and family are all individuals and your palate preference should not be forced upon them.

As for the alcohol, the must have spirits that should be found in your summer time bar include, but are not limited to, a wheat beer, a sauvignon blanc, vodka, rum and gin. The brand names of these products are up to you, but remember, go for quality over quantity.

For each cocktail you will need a certain on hand inventory of mixer's. The must have mixer's that should be found in your summer time bar include, tonic water, soda water, fresh limes, fresh lemons, fresh oranges, Bloody Mary mix, orange juice and cranberry juice.

If you are like me and you want to be able to enjoy the company of others over libations use these recipes to keep your friends coming.

BEER: Go with a wheat beer. Bavarian hefe weisse is the ultimate way to go when looking for that summer time brew. In German, hefe means “yeast” and weisse means “wheat,” and
Bavarian Hefe-Weizen beers are exactly that, unfiltered, yeasty wheat ales. Brewer’s yeast is the active culture that produces alcohol in beer and is usually filtered out when spent. Keeping the yeast in the brew gives Hefe-Weizen beers their distinctive haze and their incredible flavor.

WINE: Acidity is your friend. Sauvignon blanc, especially from South Africa is the savior of summer time oenophiles. The secret is in the balance, Sauvignon Blanc is light to medium body with grassy and citrus flavors, usually lower alcohol, but it also has fairly high acids. Sauvignon blanc from South Africa, New Zealand or Graves are all very smart choices for the patio barbecue.

VODKA: As neutral as vodka is, sparing the summer friendly flavored vodkas, you can get away with anything. So let's think sunshine and add vodka to it!

'Sage Lady'

- 1 1/2 oz Vodka
- 1/2 oz Mango Juice
- 2 or 3 fresh sage leaves
- 3 cucumber slices
- 1 oz simple syrup
- 1/2 oz triple sec
- Dash bitters

Muddle cucumber, simple syrup and sage. Add vodka and mango juice. Shake with ice and fine strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a spanked sage leaf and a cucumber wheel.

RUM: The signal of summertime. Let's go straight forward with making a cocktail using many of the same ingredients above.

'Cucumber Mojito'
- 1 1/2 oz Silver Rum
- 8 mint leaves
- 2 slices of cucumber
- 1 tbsp Simple Syrup
- juice of 1/2 lime
- 2 oz soda water

Place mint leaves and cucumbers in bottom of glass with simple syrup. Add crushed ice, silver rum, and lime juice to blender and muddle. Add soda water and garnish with mint leaves.

GIN: This one is simple. Everyone thinks they hate gin. But it is delicious and has so many flavors to offer.

'East-Side Cocktail'
- 1 1/2 oz gin
- 8 mint leaves
- 1 tbsp Simple Syrup
- juice of 1 lime
- 2 oz soda water

Place mint leaves in bottom of glass with simple syrup and lime juice. Muddle together to extract as much mint as possible. Shake vigorously with all parts except soda water. Strain into cocktail glass and add soda.

There it is, the swill of summertime! Remember when using fresh ingredients and quality products you can have fun on your own creating punches, sangria, daiquiri's and colada's. ALL perfect for the patio dweller in you.

Adam Greiner
Assistant Director of Food & Beverage
Nemacolin Woodlands Resort


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