A Make-Ahead Cocktail Recipe and Sophisticated Bites for 4th of July
As I was running around getting things ready for a party, I remember that on my list of entertaining aspirations was to come up with a few house cocktails. And not just any house cocktails: big-batch pitcher drinks that can be made ahead, tucked in the fridge, and poured when guests arrive. Any time I have been to an event or a party with a signature cocktail, I have thought, “Ooohhh, fan-cy,” and I wanted in on that. For the Fourth, I came up with a fruity and not-too-sweet cocktail infused with mint and ginger, and made sparkly with Prosecco. For sure—it’s my drink of the summer. If you can find pomegranate seeds they will add even more sparkle, and then add the mint sprigs for something nice to nibble on as you sip. (I love a drink that comes with its own side dish.) For the main course, there will be shish kebabs and couscous and grain salads and all kinds of hearty al fresco fare, but once I got it into my head that there would be a cool cocktail, I started thinking of getting a bit ritzy with the appetizers. I saw some gorgeous oysters at the market, and thought, “Yes! But wait, do I still know how to open them?” I did a little research and found out that a screwdriver and a thick dishtowel (or an oven mitt if it’s flexible enough) will do the trick.