We love a leisurely stroll through the farmers market on a Sunday morning. One of our favorite things to do is to sample all the fresh fruits. When we do, our thought process is always the same: "This would be good to have around as a snack. Or maybe to use in a dessert. Or even in a salsa or served with something from the grill. How nice."
But what we're really thinking is: "This would be awesome in a drink!"
We have absolutely loved making cocktails this summer using fresh fruits from the market. When we came across some to-die-for plums the other day, we knew they'd end up in a drink.
We always use the same basic recipe, and it couldn't be easier. Using fresh fruit like plums makes for a delicious, refreshing seasonal cocktail.
Just don't call it a Plumtini.
Here's our basic outline for a great summer drink. It loosely resembles the Raspberry-Thyme Smash we made earlier this summer.
Chop the fruit you want to use, muddle it in the bottom of a martini shaker. Fill the shaker with ice.
Add a hefty dose of vodka or gin (we really stick to gin here, though -- it's spicier and more aromatic than vodka, and it has a greater depth of flavor that pairs better with fruit). Top with a tiny pour of dry vermouth to help round out all the flavors.
If you're using a fruit that's tangy or a little sour -- raspberries, say -- you may want to throw in a little simple syrup. Making simple syrup is, well, simple: Heat equal parts sugar and water until the sugar is dissolved. Voila! Simple syrup. It'll last in the fridge for a couple of weeks.
You can also feel free to chop up an herb that you think would go nicely with the fruit -- basil and thyme work nicely -- to add an extra unexpected note of flavor.
The key, though, is to keep things simple and let the flavor of the fruit shine through. Shake it all together, and strain into a couple glasses.
One other tip, if you want to get just a little more complicated: Fill the glasses you're going to use with ice water while you prepare the drink. Then toss the water right before you fill the glasses with the cocktail. It'll help keep your drink cool and refreshing.
Sip while you relax on the porch or while you're making dinner...or forget about dinner and make another round.