In Mexico and other parts of the world, tasty drinks called aguas frescas often accompany meals. Spanish for “cool waters’ aguas frescas are refreshing non-alcoholic drinks made from fruits, grains, flowers, or seeds blended with sugar and water. Horchatas, also called aguas de horchata are made with rice, milk, vanilla, and cinnamon. A great balance for spicy foods, enjoy this served over ice.
1⁄3 cup long grain rice
1 piece Mexican cinnamon, 1-inch
2 strips lime (1-inch) or lemon zest plus grated lime zest, for garnish
1 cup whole blanched almonds, lightly toasted
1 1⁄2 cups sugar
1⁄2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 cups water
Pulverize the rice in a blender or spice grinder until it has a flour-like texture. Set aside in a bowl.
Add cinnamon, lime zest, and almonds to the pulverized rice. Add 2 cups of water and stir. Cover and let the mixture sit overnight.
The next day, blend mixture in a blender until smooth. Add 2 cups of water and mix.
Strain into a pitcher using a sieve. Stir in sugar and vanilla.
Serve over ice and garnish with lime zest.
The traditional apéritif, also called an apéro for short, is a French ritual. Before eating dinner (and sometimes lunch), the French like to enjoy a low-alcohol apéritif with friends and family – whether it be a cocktail, liqueur, or wine.
A chance to relax and chat before eating a meal, the apéritif is normally served with light snacks such as olives, cheese and crackers, nuts, or crisps and is an opportunity to whet the appetite before the meal.
It’s common to touch glasses and say “Santé!” (good health!) or “Tchin-Tchin!” (cheers!)
The French 25 is a twist on the classic French 75 apéritif. Created by SHED Beverage and Café Manager Patricia Philitsa, this summer cocktail features Meyer lemon juice and lavender. It’s perfect for a French-inspired afternoon on the terrace.
French 25 Aperitif
1 ounce Lillet Blanc
1/2 ounce oz D’Pampe Vermouth Rosé
3/4 ounce fresh Meyer lemon juice (can substitute fresh orange juice)
2 dashes lavender bitters
Sprig of lavender
In cocktail shaker, combine Lillet Blanc, D’Pampe Vermouth Rosé, Meyer lemon juice, and lavender bitters.
Add ice and shake vigorously for 20 seconds.
Strain into chilled Champagne flute and top with sparkling wine.
Garnish drink with lavender and serve.