Saturday, August 29, 2009

A Tart Day for a Give-Away

According to the folks @ Live Everday Like a Holiday, August 29 is always National Lemon Juice Day. Here's the twist, it just so happens that I have two recipe books to give-away written by the "ultimate authority" on bartending; Ray Foley.

Ray Foley publisher of Bartender Magazine has been a bartender for over 20 years. Mr. Foley is the founder of the Bartenders Foundation Inc., as well as the author of Bartending for Dummies and our Give-Away for today; The Best Summer Drinks.

Many bartenders agree that freshly squeezed lemon juice is an essential ingredient for cocktails. Mixed drinks are often served with a wedge or slice of fresh lemon as a garnish. Some even suggest freshly squeezed lemon juice added to clear, clean water is just as essential as a remedy for a hangover.

Personally, I don't go through any gyrations in order to squeeze the last bit of tart juice from a fresh lemon. I use a reamer. There are those who "swear" by the microwave method; high power 30 seconds. Then there's the rolling on the counter method while pressing gently on a lemon that has been brought to room temperature first. I tried that once, I don't like it. I'll stick with my reamer!

The Give-Away

The Best Summer Drinks is an inexpensive little gem filled with 500 summer cocktail and appetizer recipes submitted by the world's best bartenders. When Danielle from Source Books asked if I would offer a give-away just in time for Labor Day, I was more than glad to oblige. I don't have very many cocktail resource books in my collection. I'm pretty much a wino:) Not really, I just prefer wine to most drinks although, recently I have become more adventurous when it comes to mixed drinks.

I have somewhat of a peculiar reason for totally enjoying The Best Summer Drinks. It's all in the names. I LOVE recipes with quirky names. They may sound "normal" to you but when I come across a drink called a Dirty Banana it brings a smile to my face while tugging at my curiosity. It was fun for me to browse through the alphabetical list of cocktails. Names like Swaying Skirt Martini and Perfumed Pomegranate appeal to my "fashionista" self. 360 Chocolate Sunset and Cocoberry Pie invoke my sweet tooth. Well, you get the idea.

Today, I've chosen two recipes from The Best Summer Drinks for Lemon Juice Day. The first is called Lemon Champagne Punch.

Lemon Champagne Punch
Juice 6 lemons
1 cup sugar
1 bottle white wine
1 bottle pink champagne
1 bottle club soda
1/2 cup brandy
1/2 cup curacao or another orange flavored liqueur
In a punch bowl, combine lemon juice and sugar, and stir. Slowly add the wine, champagne, soda, brandy and curacao. Makes 11 cups.

The next cocktail recipe is called Lemon Chiffon.

Lemon Chiffon
1 oz. Finlandia vodka
1/4 oz. triple sec
1 oz sweet and sour mix (Dissolve 1 tsp. sugar in 3 oz. water. Add 2 oz. lemon juice)
Fresh lemon wedge for garnish
Pour liquids into a glass. Squeeze the lemon and drop into the glass.

Would you like to win a copy of The Best Summer Drinks? Personally, I think it would make a GREAT host or hostess gift. I'd put it in a basket with two glasses and perhaps a few sample size liqueur bottles, dress it up a bit and save it for an emergency gift. Me! I'm keeping mine! Did I mention I have two of these books to give-away today? Well, I do and it's real easy to be in the running. Just leave a comment about a new drink you discovered this summer. It doesn't have to be a cocktail. It can be any beverage that made a lasting impression on you this summer or any other summer for that matter. It doesn't matter where you live. If you send me your address, I'll be HAPPY to send it to you! I'll be choosing two winners September 3; the Thursday before Labor Day weekend. If you would like to include a link in your comment to a beverage you conjured up on your blog this summer, be my guest!!! Happy Lemon Juice Day and Good Luck!

I explored the many health benefits of lemons a while back while researching a post about the invention of the lemon squeezer. If you would like to visit it, it's called Squeezing the Lemon. It's a short post and includes a recipe for Lemon Cake Top Pudding.

1. Squeezing the Lemon: Who invented the lemon Squeezer (previous post)
2. What Can You Do With Lemon Juice?
3. Limonada, lemonade or limeade (whole fruit blender recipe)
4. Preserving a Slice of California
5. Bartender Magazine
6. LunaCafe’s Triple Lemon Doodles (Awesome!)


  1. I am a serviceable bartender, and lemon cocktails are probably my favorite. I do a great lemon vodka martini, and would love to try the lemon chiffon. And, while I know punch is just a little old fashioned, there is nothing better than a champagne punch. I have often thought of creating a party with punch as the centerpiece.

  2. mmmmmm....lemon juice! I love lemon drops...but they're not new to me. The only really "new" drink I had over the summer was a new version of Sangria...that I made with Blueberry POM...sooooo good :D

  3. Lemon juice is a wonderful thing. I always have a bottle in my fridge, even if I don't have lemons. Have you ever tried lemon sponge cake? Marvelous, simply marvelous.

  4. Thank you for today's drinks !
    Sante !

  5. I think the punch makes a little too much for one person to drink... but that lemon chiffon sounds like just the sort of thing to mix up and enjoy at dusk while sitting on my fire escape. :)

  6. Yum, lemon is the best!
    This summer I had a cocktail at a friend's cottage that was Grandmarnier, DiSaronno and limeade. It was really good.
    Thanks for hosting a give-away, how exciting!

  7. ooooh, sounds lovely! thank you for the free drinks, sweet louise. i kinda need them. lol. ;)

  8. I like to drink lemon juice (I usually just squeeze 1 or 2 lemons in a glass of cold water and mix with 1 tbsp honey). It's refreshing and also a good source of vit. C.

    My mom has a lemon tree on her top roof garden so it's kinda easy when I need one :)

  9. The drink I enjoyed this summer was a festival special. The base is some jaggery dissolved in water and strained. Add some powdered cardamom and dried ginger powder. Squeeze in the juice of one lime.

    It is the perfect summer drink. All along, my mother made it minus the lime juice... I made it with the addition and I know what I'm sticking to from now on :)

    Now you HAVE to send me the gift :-)

  10. One of the best summer drinks I enjoy (you might think I would say Mojitos....but I drink those year round ;))

    It's pretty simple 50/50 of Champagne and cranberry juice. Don't know what it's called...but I love it.

    Feel free to try different versions replace 50% juice with passion fruit punch or other fruit juices. Since fruit is good for you....this MUST be healthy LOL!

  11. Thank you to everyone for joining in on the Best Summer Drinks Give-Away!

    Congratulations to T.W. @ Culinary Types & Natashya from Living in the Kitchen with Puppies our two winners!!!

  12. Perfect for a get together party.


Through this wide opened gate,
none came too early,
none returned too late.

Thanks for dropping in...Louise