COCKTAIL RECIPE: JUICY WATERMELON ECLIPSE

Weird that Facebook would send me a reminder about this cocktail today- originally published on this day in 2009- since today is the day the US will experience a full solar eclipse. Since many are celebrating the eclipse with viewing parties... here's the perfect cocktail!

I always have watermelon left over after a BBQ and this is a great way to use it. Made with Mount Gay Eclipse Rum but you can substitute another rum if you don't have it- but a golden rum tastes best. Since the fresh watermelon is the star of the show; use a big wedge or slice for garnish to make the presentation extra special. If your watermelon is super sweet, you can omit the simple syrup... or if you're without a heat source to make the simple syrup, add a bit of powdered sugar in lieu of simple syrup. It will dissolve faster than granulated sugar.

Fresh Watermelon Cocktail recipe

JUICY WATERMELON ECLIPSE

INGREDIENTS

1 ½ ounces Mount Gay Eclipse Gold Rum

Splash Grand Marnier

3-4 chunks fresh watermelon

1 ounce fresh lime juice

1 ounce fresh lemon juice

½ ounce simple syrup (recipe below)

Splash orange juice

DIRECTIONS:

In a cocktail shaker, muddle the watermelon well, making sure there are no seeds. Add the remaining ingredients and ice. Shake well and strain into chilled martini glasses.

Simple syrup: Bring equal parts water and sugar to a boil, allowing sugar to dissolve. Cool completely before adding to drinks.

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The photography is again contributed by my good friends Arden Ward Upton and Mo Davis along with Frank Couch.  (I even have a few photos in this one.)

In addition to seeking out favorite recipes from popular local restaurants, food fans asked us to reach back and find "lost" recipes from restaurants which have closed which are still fondly remembered. We uncovered recipes from Birmingham standards like Joy Young, Cobb Lane, Pioneer Cafeteria, Marsh Bakery, Rossi's and more. If you had the Marsh Bakery coconut cake for your birthday each year, you can now make it yourself!

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COCKTAIL RECIPE FOR A CROWD: SWEET TEA MARTINI

This is one of my favorite cocktails to make for a big crowd. Everybody- and I mean everybody loves my Sweet Tea Martini! It's easy to make in big batches and because you control the amount of sugar you add, you can control the sweetness and the calories, too. When you use juice as a base for a cocktail, you're adding a ton of extra sugar. When you use tea as a base and you brew it yourself, you can add as little or as much sugar as you see fit. I often use zero additional sugar if I'm using a citrus flavored vodka but if I use lemon juice instead, I need a bit of sugar to balance that out.

If you use store bought tea by the gallon, I'd suggest using unsweetened tea and making a simple syrup to add to taste. If you use sweet tea, you may find it is just too sweet when you add the Pama Liqueur.

Make the tea strong and do not dilute it with water so it isn't weak when you serve the cocktail over ice. Double, triple, or quadruple the recipe as required. This version will make 8-10 based on portion size when served over ice.

Big Batch Cocktails for a Crowd Sweet Tea Martinis

SWEET TEA MARTINI FOR A CROWD

INGREDIENTS

6 cups water

4 family-size tea bags (I use Red Diamond quart tea bags)

1/2 to 1 cup granulated sugar (optional- the Pama is a bit sweet so you can use as little or as much sugar as you like)

1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice

1/2 bottle(750ml bottle) Pama Liqueur, chilled

1/2 bottle (750 ml bottle) vodka, chilled (you can use citrus vodka and reduce the lemon juice)

DIRECTIONS:  

Bring water to a boil in a saucepan; add tea bags. Reduce heat and simmer 1 minute; remove from heat. Cover and steep 10 minutes. White still hot, add desired amount of sugar. Stir to dissolve.

Remove and discard tea bags. Allow to cool completely.

Pour tea into a gallon container or into a serving dispenser. Add ½  of a 750 bottle chilled Pama and ½ bottle cold vodka. Use citrus vodka ifyou like and reduce the amount of lemon juice.

Serve over ice. Garnish with a lemon wheel.

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