May brings many things: Mother’s Day, Cinco de Mayo, Memorial Day weekend. Unfortunately, it also brings the first big blast of summer heat. And what better way to cool down than with a fresh cocktail?
My passion for blending craft ingredients into new infusions and cocktail recipes has led me to the award-winning Table Creekside, where this May, I'll work with Amy Berlin on a few new infusions for cocktail hour, like a blueberry-and-blackberry-vanilla-infused vodka, guava lavender rum and a salted-caramel-infused vodka with a hint of cream for dessert hour.
When I think of Cinco De Mayo, I think bright colors, like fresh macerated strawberries soaked in high-quality tequila for 24 hours.
Mash with the back of a spoon and mix with fresh lime juice, a splash of fresh lemon juice and a hint of lemongrass, tequila and serve with lots of shaved ice in a colorful glass. Serve with Chef Pedro’s ahi tuna tacos, and boom! A fiesta for all senses.
Mother’s Day makes me think of springtime and happiness, and since my mom loves rhubarb, I created a strawberry-and-rhubarb-infused vodka.
To start, you'll need a quart of high quality vodka. Add cleaned and prepped rhubarb, about two or three stalks. Seal the container and shake it well, then store it in a cool, dark place for three to five days.
Next, add the fresh strawberries. Since hydroponic gardening is becoming localized, I shop the farmer’s market or order from the farm directly. Remove the rhubarb and add 1 cup sliced strawberries, hulled and washed. Shake and store for 24 to 48 hours in cool, dark place.
Now your infused vodka is ready — just in time for a Mother’s Day splash. Mom might want to sip over the rocks with a splash of club soda or Sprite.
Sip on these while I get the cantaloupe and watermelon infusions ready to share for Memorial Day weekend.
Matthew Serrano is a mixologist and manager at The Table Creekside