It’s August – it’s hot, and it’s sticky. You can only bear to eat and drink cold things. So why not combine traditionally refreshing treats – fresh produce and alcohol – and infuse your favorite summer fruits and veggies with booze?
We’ve all likely encountered a vodka-spiked watermelon (perhaps somewhere between Fraternity Row and a pre-game tailgate), but there are many other ways to sneak alcohol into produce. Here are some of our favorite, simple booze-infused summer recipes.
1. Rum-Spiked Fruit Salad
- bite-size pieces of pineapple, mango, cantaloupe, and apple
- slices of grapefruit and orange
- 1/2 cup of dark rum
- 2 tbsp of brown sugar
- a pinch of cinnamon
- a pinch of nutmeg
A classic. Place the fruits in a bowl, then pour in rum. Mix in brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg. Let it sit in the fridge for at least 2 hours. Serve, kick back, and enjoy.
2. Absolut Vodka Orange from Pepper
- 1 large orange
- 1 small bottle vodka
Remove the top stem part of the orange. With a knife, gently poke the insides of the orange to open up the pulps. Open up the vodka bottle and insert into the hole. Rest orange in a small bowl, vodka bottle side up. Refrigerate, then wait for 6-8 hours. When the orange has absorbed vodka, remove bottle. Slice into wedges and enjoy.
3. Tequila Watermelon Wedges from Mommy’s Kitchen
- 1 medium seedless or regular watermelon, quartered and cut into 1-inch-thick wedges
- 1 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 cup of tequila
- 3/4 cup of Triple Sec (optional)
- 2 limes, halved or cut into wedges
- Margarita or coarse salt
Arrange watermelon slices in a single layer in two baking dishes (9 by 13 is a good size for this). Bring sugar, water, tequila, and Triple Sec to a boil in a small saucepan. Cook, stirring, until the sugar dissolves, about 1 minute. Let it cool slightly. Pour syrup over watermelon wedges, and refrigerate for at least 45 minutes, and enjoy!
4. Vodka-Spiked Tomatoes From Epicurious
- 3 pints of cherry tomatoes
- 1/2 cup of vodka
- 3 tablespoons of white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon of sugar
- 1 teaspoon of finely grated lemon zest
- 3 tablespoons of coarse salt
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
Using a sharp knife, score bottom of each tomato with an X, then blanch tomatoes, 5 at a time, in a saucepan of boiling water for 3 seconds and immediately transfer with a slotted spoon to a bowl of ice and cold water to stop cooking. Drain and peel.
In a shallow dish, whisk together vodka, vinegar, sugar, and zest, then tpour over tomatoes. Cover and refrigerate for 30-60 minutes.
5. Spiked Cucumber Soup from The New York Times
- 2 cucumbers, peeled, seeded and chopped
- ½ ripe avocado, peeled and chopped
- juice of 2 limes
- 1 cup of gin
- Pinch of salt
Place all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Transfer to a large cocktail shaker, shake with ice, then strain into 4 bowls.
6. Wine-Marinated Grapes from The Kitchn via Bon Appétit
- 1 bottle dry white wine (such as Sauvignon Blanc)
- 1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar
- 2 pounds red and/or green seedless grapes, cut into small clusters
- 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
The original recipe from Bon Appétit calls for pouring wine into large bowl, adding 1/4 a cup of sugar and stirring until dissolved. Add the grapes and mix gently. Then cover and chill for at least 3 hours and up to 1 day. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the grapes to a bowl. Sprinkle grapes with remaining 3 tablespoons sugar and serve.
The Kitchn updated the recipe to make use of the marinade: serve it with club soda for an easy, refreshing cocktail!
7. Rum-Spiked Grilled Pineapple from Cooking Light
- 1 pineapple, peeled and cored, halved lengthwise and sliced lengthwise into wedges
- 1/4 cup of light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup of dark-spiced rum
Grill the pineapple to caramelize the sugars and make it so sweet that it’s like dessert. Just put 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar and 1/4 cup dark spiced rum in a microwave-safe bowl and nuke it on high for a minute and a half. Brush that rum mixture on some pineapple wedges. Heat 1 tbsp. of butter in a grill pan over medium-high heat, add the pineapple and grill for 3 minutes on each side, or until grill marks forms and the pineapple is heated. Some delicious additions include toasted coconut and/or vanilla ice cream.
8. You Put The Rum In The Coconut from Zacapa Rum – Also Known As The ZaCoco
- 1 coconut
- 1 bottle rum
Drill a hole into your coconut. Place a bottle o’ rum in one hole and a straw in the other. The coconut may be too dense to soak up the rum, but no matter: you’re still left with one kitschy looking cocktail in your hand.