I’ve mentioned before on this blog how I am not quite ready for summer to end. It’s true. 🙂 I don’t know if I ever really will be ready for my warm and sunny afternoons to be gone for the winter.
The good news is, we have a few good weeks left. And you can bet Dave and I will be celebrating with an end-of-summer barbecue in a couple weekends. I’m excited to continue to partner with IZZE Sparkling Juice for a fab drink idea for our end-of-summer smash!
Here’s what I’m thinking: We definitely need to bust out the grill one last time. If we lived somewhere where it just got cold in the winters, sure, we could still grill. But in Portland not only will it get dark at 4 p.m. in the dead of winter, it will also rain almost every single day, making grilling just not real fun for anyone involved.
So a last hurrah with burgers on the grill sounds pretty great to me. With all the toppings, BTW. I’m a fan of mayo, cheddar, pickles and tomatoes.
I’m thinking we will also need to really load up on the fruits and veggies of the season in celebration of a beautiful summer: A tomato salad is definitely in order, with great olive oil and fresh basil. Perhaps with burrata. Because burrata is never a bad idea.
Then, we’ll just have to decide if we want to do a crisp/crumble for dessert, or a pie. You guys know how much I love pie. But it is not as easy to make for a crowd, so I’m leaning crisp – all the stone fruits I can get my hands on. I love me some Oregon apples, but it’s pretty early for them yet, and we’ll have plenty of time to love on apples in the fall and winter.
And then, OF COURSE we will have great drinks. Because that’s what I do, you know 🙂
But to keep things simple – but also let everyone create their favorite combo – I’m doing a DIY Moscow Mule bar with IZZE sparkling juice. It seems like everyone loves Moscow Mules – they’re fun, refreshing and not super boozy. Here’s what I recommend:
Step one: Set up a station with all kinds of flavors of chilled IZZE Sparkling Juice, vodka (and a jigger for measuring!), ginger syrup, mint sprigs and fresh limes, cut into quarters. Keep all your liquids on ice!
Step two: Get the essentials nearby for easy assembly: small mason jars for cups, lots of ice, a muddler and the ingredients above.
Step three: Assemble! Start with 1 oz. of vodka, 1/4 oz ginger syrup, a sprig of mint and a fresh lime wedge. Muddle until the lime is spent. Top with your favorite flavor of IZZE sparkling juice. And sip away! 🙂
I’m a big fan of the DIY drink bar – while I love mixing drinks for my friends it can get a little busy when the party really gets going! Instead, letting them do their own thing and providing all the components is a great way to make sure you actually get to hang out while you are hosting.
In case it wasn’t already clear, this post is sponsored by IZZE Sparkling Juice! They are great longtime partners of mine and I don’t accept ads from brands that I don’t like. If you have any questions, just ask me! 🙂