Monday, May 28, 2018
Bars & Spirits

Refreshing fruit cocktails beat the heat of a long summer

Let's be real: Here in Florida, we could use a fruity, frozen cocktail 10 months out of the year. But as we head into the height of summer, dips in the pool and sips from a frosted glass are necessities. � Pureed watermelon, frozen margaritas, fresh mint — they all pair well with the unrelenting heat of the Sunshine State. Fruity cocktails can get a party going and cool your guests off at the same time. Plus, fruit juices and purees are a healthier alternative to other mixers like sugary soda. So find a shady spot in the back yard (bonus points if there's a pool!) and pour something refreshing for friends and family.

Supplies

Alcohol We're sticking with lighter liquors for these refreshing drinks. Think vodka, tequila, gin and light rum.

Fresh herbs Basil and mint are must-have garnishes.

Simple syrup This mixture is a necessity for fruit cocktails. To make simple syrup, heat equals parts water and sugar together in a saucepan until the sugar dissolves. Let cool before using. If you're pressed for time (or lacking in creativity), you can always rely on this simple cocktail formula: A splash of simple syrup + a splash of liquor + a fruit juice of your choice. The more ice in the glass, the better.

Fun straws What's a fruity cocktail without a crazy, colorful straw? Barbershop pole-striped paper straws in a variety of colors are available everywhere from eBay to Target.

Drinks

Watermelon Margaritas Watermelon puree and ice make this refreshing.

Blueberry-Peach Mojito A different take on the typically lime-heavy mojito.

Pineapple Basil Cocktail A simple concoction with a tropical edge and fresh herbs adding a nice twist.

Food

Between all that splashing and slurping, your guests are going to get hungry. For snacks, have something light on hand that can withstand the heat. And for the main entree, go ahead and pull out the grill.

Trail mix Mix equal parts cashews, Brazil nuts, dried mango, coconut flakes and banana chips in a bowl.

Fruit Lean into the fruity theme with watermelon, cantaloupe and honeydew cut into easy-to-grab slices.

Þ Arugula, Watermelon and Feta Salad

Þ Burgers a la Pizzaiola

Comments
Denis Phillips, hurricane season guru, talks his signature beer, suspenders and Rule #7

Denis Phillips, hurricane season guru, talks his signature beer, suspenders and Rule #7

SAFETY HARBOR — Denis Phillips cracks a pop-top and pulls a can that looks a lot like him to his lips."It’s got that citrusy feel to it," he says. "Which is a Florida thing. That’s not bad." Indeed, there’s a grapefruit finish to Rule #7 Hurricane Sa...
Published: 05/25/18
Hooper: More than a restaurant, Lee Roy Selmon’s was a meeting place

Hooper: More than a restaurant, Lee Roy Selmon’s was a meeting place

It’s where former Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Doug Williams had lunch with current Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston.It’s where University of South Florida fans often gathered to watch the program’s biggest road games.It’s where folks showed up in...
Published: 05/24/18
Bar review: Things are hopping at new Swan Brewing in Lakeland

Bar review: Things are hopping at new Swan Brewing in Lakeland

Lakeland’s a little out of the way, but I’m always eager to check out the bar scene there when passing through or attending an event. Every place I’ve visited just seems so pleasant.I regret missing the boat on the city’s first brewery, Lakeland Brew...
Published: 05/24/18
tbt* local craft beer of the week: Dark Harbor Mocha Stout, Sea Drift Ales & Lagers

tbt* local craft beer of the week: Dark Harbor Mocha Stout, Sea Drift Ales & Lagers

The saga of Barley Mow Brewing Company and its eventual offshoot/successor Sea Drift Ales & Lagers is a complicated one. The most interesting part is how the latter came to be as a result of brewery-distributor tensions, in which Barley Mow pulled an...
Published: 05/24/18
Lee Roy Selmon’s original Tampa restaurant is closing, marking the end of an era

Lee Roy Selmon’s original Tampa restaurant is closing, marking the end of an era

Lee Roy Selmon’s, the restaurant that paid homage to the community icon who rose to fame as a Tampa Bay Buccaneer and grew to become a popular civic leader, will shutter the doors of its original location on Tampa’s Boy Scout Boulevard in June.Employ...
Published: 05/23/18
Updated: 05/24/18
Birchwood owner will open a three-story restaurant and bar at St. Petersburg pier

Birchwood owner will open a three-story restaurant and bar at St. Petersburg pier

ST. PETERSBURG — Chuck Prather, owner of the Birchwood in St. Petersburg, returned from his daughter’s Maine wedding this week with an exciting announcement of his own. On June 7 the St. Petersburg City Council is expected to sign off on him being on...
Published: 05/23/18
Updated: 05/24/18
New restaurants on the horizon: Metro Diner and Zoes Kitchen in Tampa, Trophy Fish and Oak & Stone in St. Pete

New restaurants on the horizon: Metro Diner and Zoes Kitchen in Tampa, Trophy Fish and Oak & Stone in St. Pete

OPEN NOW: BAHAMA BUCK’S Feel a shiver? Just in time for Florida’s sultry summer, Bahama Buck’s opened this week in Trinity with an avalanche of sno. The 2,346-square-foot island-inspired shop opened at 8815 Mitchell Blvd. with more...
Published: 05/23/18
Brunch-based alcohol will be available at First Watch’s new Orlando location

Brunch-based alcohol will be available at First Watch’s new Orlando location

ORLANDO — The popular breakfast and brunch chain First Watch will be opening a new restaurant in Orlando that will add cocktails, beer and wine to the menu. The new concept restaurant, set to open on Memorial Day at 1448 N Alafaya Trail, will be 1,00...
Published: 05/23/18
Transform your weeknight cooking with this kitchen tool

Transform your weeknight cooking with this kitchen tool

Once upon a time, way back in the annals of home cooking, there was an era before sheet-pan suppers.In that dark age, even well-equipped kitchens did not have so much as a single professional sheet pan, let alone the two or three deemed indispensable...
Published: 05/23/18
Up your homemade smoothie game with these tips

Up your homemade smoothie game with these tips

You could head to your neighborhood juice shop and order a $7 or $8 smoothie. Blending your own, however, is not only easier on your wallet, but you can customize to your heart’s content and make several batches at a time.Whether you’re making a nutr...
Published: 05/23/18