Testing New Cocktails - Part 2

(Cocktail prep station - fresh fruit a must)

Last night was the last round of testing cocktails in preparation for
the Share Our Strength charity event sponsored by Belvedere and St. Germain. It came down to a final four:

(Final products: two versions of Drink #4, Drink #3, Drink #2)

Drink #1
- 2 oz. Belvedere Vodka
- 1/2 oz St. Germain
- 3 Raspberries
- 4 Mint Leaves
- Dash of dry sparkling wine
Directions: Muddle mint and raspberries. Add ice, St. Germain, and Belvedere and stir / shake. Strain into chilled martini glass and pour splash of dry sparkling wine on top of cocktail.
[Notes: Minty, slightly tart, fresh. The sparkling wine adds a bright, bubbly tone; the St. Germain a roundness, and the Belvedere a purity.]

Drink #2
- 1 oz. Belvedere Vodka
- 1 oz. Aperol
- 1/2 oz. St. Germain
- Grapefruit Juice
- Orange Slice
Directions: over ice in an old fashioned glass add Belvedere, Aperol, St. Germain. Top with grapefruit juice and garnish with orange slice.
[Notes: the sweetness of St. Germain rounds this out, but the tartness of the grapefruit juice and the slight bitterness of the Aperol make this a bright, complex, refreshing drink.]

Drink #3
- 1 oz. Belvedere Vodka
- 1 oz. Earl Grey Tea (pre-brewed with loose leaves and cold)
- 1/2 oz. St. Germain
- Q Tonic Water
- Lemon dash and slice
Directions: over ice in an old fashioned glass, add Belvedere, Earl Grey Tea, and St. Germain. Top with tonic water. Squeesh lemon slice and add to drink.
[Notes: this is an amazing summer drink. I originally made this with Earl Grey Infused Vodka, but it works as well with pre-brewed tea. It is so refreshing - I can imagine drinking this after a long afternoon in the sun.]

Drink #4
- 2 oz. Belvedere Vodka
- 1/2 oz. Manzanilla Sherry (Bodegas Argueso San Leon Manzanilla Clasica)
- Soda Water
- 4 slices Cucumber cut in half
Directions: over ice in an old fashioned glass, add cucumber slices, Belvedere, Manzanilla, and top with soda. Bruise cucumber slices to add extra cucumber flavor.
[Notes: this drink I originally made with cucumber infused vodka, but the cucumber slices add the same effect. It is very subtle and clean, bringing out the quality of the Belvedere. This is the subtlest drink of the four, but that should not take away from how delicious it is. The longer the cucumber has a chance to hang in the vodka the better this drink gets.]


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