Special of the Day: Fresh from the Garden Cocktail Party

07 Jul Special of the Day: Fresh from the Garden Cocktail Party

Sydne George Special of the Day

Too hot to cook? Throw a cocktail party instead! This week’s Special of the Day column showcases two refreshing cocktails featuring flavors and garnishes fresh from the garden, guaranteed to quench your thirst and beat the heat.

Lightly muddling the fresh herb leaves in the bottom of the cocktail glass (make sure the glass is sturdy enough to withstand the pressure of muddling) will release the flavor you are working to impart in your drink. Take care not to over crush the leaves. Garnishing the finished cocktail with fresh herb sprigs will not only dress it up for presentation but also provide an appealing aroma as the cocktail is sipped.

Crush ice in the blender and don’t be stingy, a cocktail should be served very cold, and the ice will melt quickly. Stir the ingredients well with a small spoon to mix just before garnishing and serving. Use a mandolin to achieve paper-thin cucumber slices and a sharp knife to thinly slice the grapefruit.

Keep cool and stay hydrated, my friends, with this week’s Special of the Day: Fresh-from the-Garden Cocktails and recipes for Cucumber-Basil Cooler and Rosemary-Grapefruit-Tequila Fizz. Enjoy!

Cucumber-Basil Cooler

Cucumber-Basil Cooler

Cucumber-Basil Cooler

Recipe by Sydne George

Fresh basil leaves

Crushed ice


Agave nectar

Club soda

1 medium cucumber, washed and scored with a fork, sliced into paper thin slices with mandolin

For each drink:

Lightly muddle a few fresh basil leaves in the bottom of martini glass.

Top with crushed ice to fill the glass halfway full.


1 shot vodka

1 tsp. agave nectar

Club soda

Stir with small spoon to mix.

Garnish with cucumber slices and a fresh basil sprig.


Rosemary-Grapefruit-Tequila Fizz

Rosemary-Grapefruit-Tequila Fizz

Rosemary-Grapefruit-Tequila Fizz

Recipe by Sydne George

Fresh rosemary sprigs

Fresh ruby red grapefruit juice (not cocktail)

Kosher salt

Crushed ice



Processo (Italian sparkling wine)

Fresh grapefruit, sliced thinly for garnish

For each drink:

Dip champagne glass in saucer with grapefruit juice then saucer with Kosher salt to rim glass.

Lightly muddle a few rosemary leaves (not stem) in the bottom of the champagne glass.

Add crushed ice to fill glass halfway full.

Top with:

1 shot tequila

2 shots grapefruit juice

1 tsp. honey

Prosecco to top off

Stir with a small spoon to mix.

Garnish with fresh rosemary sprig and grapefruit slice.


Sydne George is a food journalist specializing in recipe development, food writing and food photography. She can be reached at sydnegeorge@hotmail.com . Sydne’s recipes from “Special of the day” are archived at sydnegeorge.com.

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