Thursday, June 26, 2008

Blending into Summer

The Times today did a piece on summer blender drinks and quoted my own dear Duggan McDonnell of San Francisco. Duggan was the gracious and entertaining host of the Square Off Cocktail showdown I participated in last year. After party drinks, I was told, were at, “Duggan’s Place”, which I took to be the name of the bar and ended up hopelessly lost, despondent and cocktail-free in San Francisco…Oh well. Next time I am in SF I will have to check out the very cool Cantina (Duggan’s actual bar!)

The technique for a proper blender drink is well documented in the article, but I also feel the blender and the blades make a big difference. They just don’t make them that great anymore, at least not in my price point. But my little Kitchen Aid at home is well suited for flash blending, my preferred technique for the Watermelon Cooler.

I have recently noticed a snubbing of Vodka at the local haughty cocktail joints such as Death & Co. But this drink reminds me of the vodka lemonades that kept me in good spirits during a summer gig in sunny Santa Monica the summer I turned 22. Refreshing, reviving and easy to pick up at the local supermarket.

This drink is a bit more filling and deceiving than the Vodka Lemonade, but that is just the nature of blender drinks. Flash blending not only keeps the drink nice and chunky, it prevents the mint from being pulverized, turning the drink into a gray slush. So be careful with that pulse button. Strain into cocktail glass for an elegant touch, or serve unstrained with one of those straws with a spoon at the end for that kiddie flair. Guess which way I prefer?

Watermelon Cooler
Chunk Watermelon
Lemon juice
A few leaves of mint

Garnish with lemon wheel.

[NY Times]

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