Thirst-quenchers for the last hurrah of summer

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JUST before we say goodbye to summer, maximize the balmy weather with lazy summer afternoon outdoor get-togethers.

Bar expert and food and beverage consultant Ryan Viray — now with De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde where he currently teaches Food and Beverage Service Operations and Bar Management in its School of Hotel, Restaurant, and Institution Management — shares these concoctions that are not just refreshing but are likewise excellent for the health.

SPICY NATURE’S COOLER

120 ml lemongrass-infused water

30 ml fresh lemon juice

1 tbsp honey (or more according to preference)




Siling labuyo to taste

Procedure:

Put all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously. Strain in a Poco Grande glass with ice. Garnish with lemongrass stalk and burned sugared lemon wheel in the drink.

This versatile drink can also be served in beach parties. For a non-virgin version, add a dose of vodka.

CUCUMBER BASIL MAGNIFICO

10 g basil Leaves

25 g cucumber

15 ml fresh lemon juice

2 tsp honey

Splash of lemon soda (Sprite)

Procedure:

Blend basil leaves and peeled cucumber in 60 ml of water. Run the blender for 10 to 20 seconds. Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake well. Strain into a double Old-Fashioned glass over fresh ice. Garnish with basil leaves and cucumber slice in the drink. Top up with lemon soda.

You can opt to transform this virgin drink to a stylish summer cocktail by adding a dash of gin.