June has traditionally been a wedding month. That has changed for us in the flower business in the past few years. I don’t know if it is because it is to oppressively hot in the south in the summer or trends are changing. Spring and Fall are becoming more popular. I find this more refreshing because decorating for a wedding and attending a wedding in the summer heat makes me sweat, and that’s not attractive. There are still some summer weddings, and we must celebrate with showers, wedding parties and receptions. If you are planning one of these parties, be mindful as you plan the menu of that summer heat, the gnats, and the comfort of your guests. You will also need a gift for the bridal couple, and my cookbook is a great gift for a new cook. One of my goals while working on In The Kitchen With Elaine was for it to be a teaching book. It has helpful hints, simple recipes, table setting etiquette, and lots of good stuff for any cook. At a summer party or reception hydration is very important. Try these refreshing drinks.
Fruit Infused Water
Fruit – citrus and/or berries: thin slices of orange, lemon, lime; wash and dry small blueberries, raspberries (leave whole), strawberries (cut in half)
Crushed or bubble ice – I love the bubble ice, which you can buy at Sonic and a few other places. Drive thru Sonic and buy bubble ice by the bag – it’s great.
You can simply mix this drink in a pretty pitcher for a small group. For an awesome presentation, use large, clear drink dispensers (glass or acrylic) on a stand. It’s real simple to do and very impressive.
Put layer of ice. Press fruit against dispenser. Alternate fruits slices, berries, etc., making a pattern ring around the container. Add another layer of ice. Pack your ice, which will hold your fruit design in place longer. Continue to layer fruit and pack ice until container is full. You can use all citrus or all berry or mix it up. Be creative. Over fill the container with ice. Be sure to pack. With a pitcher, fill the container with water slowly as not to disturb the fruit. The water will make a hole in the ice, so add more ice; continue to fill the container with water.
It may sound like too much trouble, but it’s not. It is a work of art for your party, and very refreshing on a hot day.
Another easy and refreshing drink is simply 1 large can of pineapple juice, bubble ice and 1 large bottle of Fresca. Add the pineapple juice to a bowl of bubble ice; then add the bottle of Fresca. That’s all there is to it. You won’t believe how good this punch is. I use this alot at church functions. It’s always a crowd pleaser. Hope you enjoy.
May God Bless You and The Summer Bride and Groom.
Elaine Barrett, along with husband, Rick, owns and operates The Flower Gazebo on Washington St., in downtown Albany and is part of a family of excellent southern cooks. She recently she has written and published a cookbook, “In the Kitchen with Elaine”.