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!)