This July, Tasting Table celebrates the great state of American food.
Ah, July Fourth—the illustrious day of cookouts and sparklers that signifies that summer has truly arrived. We all have our special Americana-tinted memories that trigger Independence Day nostalgia; for me, it was the smell of my dad lighting up a charcoal grill, a watermelon chilling near the AC vent and that kitschy-cute sheet cake decorated with Cool Whip and berries in the shape of an American flag.
It was one of the first recipes I truly nailed, and for years, that three-ingredient, mostly store-bought dessert would proudly grace all of my adolescent Independence Day gatherings. And what better way is there to adult-ify the Cool Whip cake of my youth than to turn it into a cocktail?
Veering away from its dessert counterpart, this cocktail is floral and citrusy rather than sugary sweet. This allows you a hit of nostalgia while still letting you maintain that you're a sophisticated adult with grown-up tastes. While you and your friends sip this drink as the fireworks explode over your heads this weekend, you'll have that same proud moment: nailed it.
NOTE: If you don't have time to make the purées, you can also mix a little water with strawberry and blueberry jams, or use food coloring. If all else fails, the cocktail is great on its own without the decoration.
Recipe from the Tasting Table Test Kitchen
Yield: 1 cocktail
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour and 10 minutes
For the Blueberry Purée:
½ cup blueberries
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons water
For the Strawberry Purée:
½ cup strawberries
2 tablespoons sugar
For the Cocktail:
1 egg white
1½ ounces aromatic gin
¼ ounce St-Germain
½ ounce raw simple syrup (1 part raw sugar to 1 part water, boiled until the sugar dissolves)
¾ ounce fresh lemon juice
1 eyedropper blueberry purée
2 eyedroppers strawberry purée
1. Make the blueberry purée: In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the blueberries, sugar and water, and cook until the blueberries begin to burst, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer the blueberries to a blender and purée until smooth.
2. While the blueberries are cooking, make the strawberry purée: In a blender, blend together the strawberries and sugar.
3. Transfer both purées to separate containers; cover and chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour before using.
4. Make the cocktail: In a cocktail shaker, shake the egg white vigorously until the it's foamy. Add the gin, St-Germain, simple syrup and lemon juice. Fill the shaker with ice and shake vigorously until the cocktail shaker is frosty. Strain into a coupe glass. Using an eyedropper, decorate the top of the cocktail with the purées in the pattern of an American flag. Serve.
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