Summer seems to have come early to Portland – and in other parts of the country, it’s already nice and warm on the regular! Usually we have to wait until July for the weather to truly turn warm. Last weekend, that seemed most evident to me – we had a few friends over for my husband’s birthday, we sat in camp chairs in the backyard, we drank cold drinks and ate tacos. It was just about perfect.
By the way, like last time, this post is part of my sponsored partnership with Pendleton Whisky. My opinions are my own!
It got me thinking about all the great warm weather drinks I want to mix up – after that party, of course. I needed some time to prepare. And test. For science.
One of my favorite mental images of whisky involves being inside, sipping it neat or mixed into a cocktail with a book in front of a fire or a great view (or both). But even though the spirit easily lends itself to warm coziness, there’s no reason it can’t make a great summer drink as well! Here’s my thoughts:
– Fruit + spicy = happiness. Ok, but seriously. The combination of fruit and spices is everywhere. Pies. Smoothies. Why not cocktails as well? The same spices that play nicely with sweet, warm flavors will play great with sweet, cold flavors, perfect for summer. Pendleton Midnight has the spicy flavors on lockdown – and I think it goes great with strawberries!
– Fruit + more fruit = summer refreshment. We talked about contrast- let’s talk about compliments! Most whiskies, especially when they are aged in brandy barrels like Pendleton Midnight, have a significant fruity nose. The aroma is an important part of a cocktail, and adding some fruity aroma to your beverage will only make it better.
I’ve got the perfect example for you right here! Pendleton Midnight is featured in my recipe below for a Strawberry Whisky Smash, a tart, refreshing summer sipper you can make with just about any fresh summer berry.
Pendleton is actually running a recipe contest on their Instagram using the new Pendleton Midnight. Check it out here (link) – every month, a winner will be drawn. All you have to do is post your photo on Instagram or Facebook with the hashtag #MidnightCocktailChallenge. The last day to enter is June 30, so get on it!!
Chocolate Ganache Strawberry Tart
For the Crust
- 8 oz all purpose flour
- 1 oz cocoa powder
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 3 oz butter, cut into cubes
- 3 oz shortening, cut into cubes
For the Filling
- 12 oz baking chocolate, chopped into small pieces
- 1.5 cups whipping cream
- heavy pinch salt
- 3 cups strawberries
For the crust
- In the bowl of a food processor, combine 8oz flour, 1 oz cocoa powder, 2 Tbsp sugar, 3 oz butter and 3 oz shortening. Pulse 10-20 times until the mixture comes into a ball. (You may need to add up to 1 Tbsp of ice water to help it all come together).
- Roll into a flat disk, wrap and set aside.
- After an hour, roll out the crust, set into a pie or tart pan. Dock the dough by poking holes into it with a fork.
- Put a sheet of parchment paper on top, then fill the crust with dried beans or pie weights. Bake the crust at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes.
For the filling
- In a saucepan, bring the cream to just under a boil (185 degrees)l. Stir in the chocolate and salt. Let it sit for a few minutes, then whisk to combine. Let cool to rool temperature.
Bringing it all together
- Once the ganache and crust has cooled, pour the filling into the cooled pie crust. Top with sliced strawberries, refrigerate, and serve.