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 COCKTAILS

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Cocktails for Spring 

Cocktails Anyone?
by Sheila Swerling-Puritt

Hurray, it's spring! Daylight-saving time begins and we need to sip cocktails that will wake up our taste buds and act as a tonic to our soul. As a salute to spring, Easter and the Paschal lamb, the thought of an herbaceous aperitif as well as a citrus-flavoured cocktail come to my mind.

I began my love affair with Campari very slowly, first with orange juice, then in an Americano and now as a comfortable old friend, the Negroni – an ideal introduction to the weekend pasta lunch. Traditionally drunk as an elegant aperitif rather than a digestif, Campari is definitely an acquired taste. But, then again, so are white truffles and caviar. Concocted by Gaspare Campari in the mid 1800s, the secret "bitter" formula is made from natural herbs and spices infused in fortified wine at 45 per cent proof. The formula is known to only a handful of people; when the chemist retires he hands over the secret recipe to his successor. All you really need to know is that the Negroni is best served very cold and it is to be sipped slowly, as it packs a powerful punch.

Negroni

  • ½ oz. Campari
  • 1½ oz. Gin
  • ½ oz. Sweet Red Vermouth
  • Slice of orange
  1. Place ingredients in a mixing glass with ice cubes. Stir.
  2. Strain contents into an Old-Fashioned glass.
  3. Wipe some orange zest around the rim of the glass. Slip in a slice of orange.

The Sidecar cocktail, I am told, was invented in Paris during World War I by a US Army Captain. Supposedly, he was driven around seated in the sidecar of a motorcycle, and was deposited daily at his favourite bar to enjoy this cocktail.

The freshness of the citrus in this cocktail is a wonderful prelude to your lamb dinner.

Sidecar

  • 2 oz. brandy
  • ½ oz. Cointreau
  • ¾ oz. freshly squeezed lemon juice (½ a lemon)
  1. Combine ingredients into mixing glass with ice cubes. Shake.
  2. Strain into cocktail glass or empty contents into an Old-Fashioned glass and serve.

For more information, you can contact Sheila at spuritt@hotmail.com.

 

 

 

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