Sue’s Morning Stretch: Book shows ease of using produce in cocktails

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Those trips to the farmers market don’t have to lead solely to meals. So many of those ingredients can and should find their way into cocktails.

Albert’s Lavender Bluberry Mojito is a real beauty. | COURTESY MARKET-FRESH MIXOLOGY

Albert’s Lavender Bluberry Mojito is a real beauty. | COURTESY MARKET-FRESH MIXOLOGY

That’s the premise of master mixologist Bridget Albert in the re-release – this time in paperback – of her book “Market-Fresh-Mixology: Cocktails for Every Season” (Agate Surrey, $15.95).

There are new recipes sprinkled throughout. Each seasonal sections starts out with a page reminding us what’s best produce-wise during that season and then leads into recipes that show just how perfectly they fit into cocktails.

Even a novice home bartender would feel comfortable using this book as a guide. Albert kicks it off with a chapter on home bar essentials. Each recipe is accompanied by a helpful “tool box” that lets you know just which equipment it requires. Toasts that fit each season are a fun feature. There are recipes for simple syrups and infusions as well.

The recipes are easy to follow, and the photographs by Tim Turner show just how lovely these drinks are.

Entertaining experts often recommend that at home cocktail parties hosts include one special drink for the evening. Albert offers a book full of simple yet spectacular-looking possibilities that would certainly impress your guests.

July is National Blueberry Month. Here’s how Albert uses them in a drink:

BLUEBERRY LAVENDER MOJITO

MAKES 1 DRINK

10 to 15 mint leaves

1 ounce Lavender Simple Syrup (recipe below)

Juice of ½ a pressed lime

15 to 20 blueberries

1½ ounces white rum

In tall glass, muddle mint leaves, Lavender Syrup, lime juice, berries and rum.

Muddle just enough to combine flavors, being careful not to over-muddle.

Fill glass with crushed ice. Top with club soda. Stir with bar spoon until well-blended.

To garnish, place 3 to 4 blueberries on a cocktail pick. Serve with a straw.

Lavender syrup: Take ½ cup superfine sugar, ¼ cup organic dried lavender and 1 cup water and bring to a boil on medium heat. Reduce heat and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes, until sugar is dissolved. Stir occasionally. Let cool. Use a sieve to strain the syrup into a sterilized and sealed container. Store in the refrigerator.

From “Market-Fresh Mixology”


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