Creating a fancy summer cocktail can seem like a daunting task– all the shaking, stirring, measuring and straining may make you want to pop open a cold beer and call it a day. Although beer is great for entertaining too, there’s something about cocktails that raises the sophistication factor on outdoor entertaining. It is possible to serve your guests refreshing and classy drinks at your next soiree without the hassle. Consider these recipes to help get you in a mixing mood:
Orange Strawberry Tequila Fizz
Courtesy of Olives and Garlic
- 4 fresh strawberries
- Juice of 1 orange
- Juice of half lemon
- Juice of half lime
- ½ TBSP organic cane sugar
- ½ TBSP agave syrup
- 1½ ounce tequila
- Sparkling water
Muddle strawberries and sugar in a glass jar. Stir in orange, lemon and lime juices. Add agave syrup. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve. Add ice to a tall glass, pour in the strawberry juice, tequila and top off with sparkling water. Stir and enjoy!
Cucumber Gin Lemonade
Courtesy of A Beautiful Mess
- 3 ounces fresh lemon juice
- 3 ounces fresh cucumber juice
- 2 ounces gin
- 2 ounces simple syrup
- Club soda
In a tall glass, combine the lemon juice, cucumber juice, gin, and simple syrup. Stir. Add ice and top off with club soda. Taste and add more simple syrup if more sweetness is desired. Garnish with lemon and cucumber slices. Enjoy!
If you find these recipes exciting and want to get even more cocktail-savvy and learn more about various spirits check out our public cooking classes:
L’École Culinaire St. Louis’ Beverage Study-Beginner Classes
- August 14 class will focus on tequila cocktails
- September 18 class will teach you about making cocktails using gin.
- To learn more and register, visit lecole.edu or call 314-587-2433.
L’Ecole Culinaire Kansas City’s Beverage Study-Beginner Class
- August 8 where you’ll gain insight into the world of spirits and fermented beverages
To learn more and register, visit www.lecole.edu or call 816-627-0100
Although cooking can be a great profession or hobby, we often forget that it’s also an essential life skill. The earlier a person develops these abilities, the more likely they are to choose cooking for themselves over eating unhealthier options. That’s why it’s so important to introduce kids to cooking and helping out in the kitchen. They might just be turn out to be a top chef! At the very least, they’ll have the confidence to prepare meals and snacks on their own which may lead to healthy eating habits.
A great way to get kids started in the kitchen is to prepare healthy kid-friendly recipes and treats that are fun and easy. We’ve rounded up a few ideas that you can try with your little ones that are perfect for the summertime:
Homemade Popsicles: You can really play around with the ingredients when making your own popsicles. We suggest using your favorite yogurt and chopped fruit and/or fruit juice. Simply pour your ingredients into an ice cube tray or a plastic Popsicle mold (this option works much better) and place them in the freezer for a few hours until they’re solid. If you’re using an ice cube tray don’t forget to include some Popsicle sticks in the liquid before it freezes.
Popcorn Bar with Fun Toppings: Pop your own kernels using either an air popper or place them in a brown paper bag and pop them in the microwave. Once popped, toss with a microwave-melted butter. Offer a display of different toppings for the kids to toss in the popcorn such as Parmesan cheese, cinnamon and sugar, finely grated cheese, a package of Ranch dressing seasoning or melted chocolate chips. Be sure to monitor the amount of toppings.
Smoothies: Making a smoothie is simple. Have kids choose their favorite fruits, then put them in a blender with milk, ice and a bit of yogurt and blend. This is a great breakfast-on-the-go option.
Energy Balls: Mix 1 cup old fashioned oats with 1/2 cup peanut butter (or any other kind of nut butter), 1/2 cup flax seeds, 1 tsp maple syrup and 1/2 cup of chocolate chips in a large mixing bowl. Once combined, cover the mixture and refrigerate for a 1/2 hour. Once chilled, roll into balls and serve. You can store them in the fridge for about a week.
These are great ways to help introduce your children to the world of cooking, but there are plenty of things kids can learn when it comes to being successful in the kitchen. Specialized classes are a wonderful way for children to get hands-on experience in the kitchen while the learning the fundamental basics of cooking. L’Ecole Culinaire-St. Louis offers classes in Basic Beginner Baking that are perfect for kids in kindergarten through grade 8. For information or to register, visit www.lecole.edu.