Monday, July 4, 2011

Sake sangria, herb cubes and Sharpie spice up summer
This is kind of a “peaches and herb” column, so just go with me here. I’m hearing that Sangria became an American hit in 1964 when the Spanish World area served it to visitors at the 1964 Worlds Fair in New York. My family says I was there, because Mom was pregnant with me and didn’t know it.
Now people are talking about Sake Sangria that’s good for patio parties, with Asian food or not, and here’s how it’s done, with Gekkeikan sakes and plum wines.
Mixologist Todd Richman created the following recipes and I have tried the first one out on guests, who were appreciative.

Peach and Plum Sake Sangria
28 ounces Gekkikan Sake
14 ounces Kobai Plum Wine
2 Fresh Peaches, sliced
2 Fresh Plums, sliced
2 ounces Soda Water

Muddle the fruit, add the sake and plum wine and let infuse. Add ice and stir well. Top with soda water.

Summer Sake Sangria
24 ounces Gekkeikan Sake
12 ounces Gekkeikan Plum Wine
¾ cup fresh watermelon, cubed
1¼ cups fresh honeydew melon, cubed

Muddle ½ cup watermelon with 1 cup honeydew melon. Add the sake and plum wine and let infuse. Add the remainder of the melon, ice and stir well. Top with ginger ale.

Sake Berry Punch
32 oz Gekkeikan Sake
½ cup fresh blueberries
½ cup fresh raspberries
1 bunch fresh mint leaves
4 ounces simple syrup
1 ounces ginger ale

Lightly muddle the berries, mint and simple syrup. Add the sake and let infuse. Add ice, stir and top with ginger ale.

Cool Sparkle
24 oz Gekkeikan Plum Wine
1 cup cucumber, thinly sliced
1 cup fresh strawberries, sliced
4oz honey
7oz Zipang Sparking Sake

Muddle the cucumber, strawberries and honey. Add the sake and let it infuse. Then add ice, stir and top with Zipang Sparkling Sake.

Herb cubes always ready
I’m proud of my home-grown herbs, but I can’t be an expert at everything. Dorot has little red “mini-ice cube trays” a cook can grab from the freezer to pop out ginger, parsley, cilantro and some kickin’ red pepper. The garlic and basil are superior to those I usually come up with. I usually go for products with minimal packaging, but my sister pointed out that when she buys cilantro, much of it ends up in her compost pile. I think Doro is a good pick.

I love Sharpie
There are other women like me who long for the back-to-school season because Sharpie often has a new version out. I’ve spoken to them. The remarkable pens that always work just got better with Stained by Sharpie, with fade-resistant ink with a paint-brush tip that’s ideal for putting your name on aprons, lunch bags and things you don’t want to lose. It’s cool for passing around T-shirts and shoes to autograph. I’d put my name in a favorite bag with regular Sharpie and now I’ve traced over it with Stained by Sharpie and there is a positive difference. It’s amazing when a brand you love gets even better. I use Sharpie pens to mark food for the freezer.

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