keeping it cool July 8, 2010

Pricklypear2There's no other way to put it, folks: it's brutally hot in Atlanta. Triple digits hot. Glad-to-be-inside-all-day-under-studio-lights-hot outside. Most of my past few weeks have been spent inside in photo studios but I've also had a few days of styling food outdoors, which is quite a challenge. Regardless, they've been some days that have happily ended with a relaxing glass of bubbly or Sauvignon Blanc. It's just too darned steamy for anything else!

I've been daydreaming about this recipe for weeks now. It was inspired by my Athens, Georgia dinner-party buddies The Four Coursemen – if you have a chance to attend one of their sell-out-in-seconds supper clubs…you SHOULD! They served a version of this drink at a recent dinner…and the photo of it made me let out a dreamy sigh. A refreshing, low alcohol cocktail made with Vinho Verde (one of my summertime staples) and prickly pear syrup. Their recipe had a drizzle of St. Germain in the mix. Since I am not a fan of overly sweet drinks, I went the other way and added a splash of blood orange bitters. If you can't find the bitters, just the simple combination of the unusual prickly pear syrup & effervescent white wine would be wonderful enough.

Prickly Pear Cooler – makes 1 well-crafted summer cocktail

  • 1/2 ounce blood orange bitters
  • 3/4 ounce prickly pear syrup
  • 8 ounces Vinho Verde 
  • mint springs, basil sprigs or flowers, lemon verbena sprigs or edible flowers – for garnish

– Fill an oversized highball glass or stemless wine glass with 8 to 10 ice cubes. Pour in blood orange bitters then prickly pear syrup. Top with Vinho Verde. If you want to leave the drink slightly "layered", do not mix. Otherwise, gently stir together. Garnish & serve immediately…although I will say this drink is delicious when it gets super chilly and sits for a minute – no need to chug it!


Patti Davis Jul 8, 2010 08:07 pm

We should’ve asked for one of those at Pacci! xoxoo, P

tami h. Jul 8, 2010 08:07 pm

These can always be my contribution to dinner next week! ;)

heidileon Jul 9, 2010 12:07 am

wow, this really sounds like an amazing (and new to me) cooler. I’m so intrigued.

Helene Jul 9, 2010 12:07 am

I’ve had plenty to drink tonight but I believe I have room for one of these. Always. Cocktail time with you is nothing short of special. Soon! Soon we will raise our glasses together!

Simone (junglefrog) Jul 9, 2010 01:07 am

O this does sound like the perfect drink for the current weather! Can I order one please?

tamih Jul 9, 2010 06:07 am

thanks for stopping by the blog – yours is great! :)

tami h. Jul 9, 2010 06:07 am

The perfect drink to share together out on your deck. Soon! xoxo

tami h. Jul 9, 2010 07:07 am

Simone – Thanks for stopping by the blog – your blog is GORGEOUS :)

Erin Jul 9, 2010 08:07 am

mmm, sounds delish! Looks like we’ll have a long, hot summer in which to enjoy many of these. Just name the patio & I’m there.

Sophia Jul 9, 2010 12:07 pm

Wow, great job here. Awesome picture too! You should really consider submitting this to Recipe4Living’s Summertime Sipper Contest – ! It looks delicious!

Tv Food and Drink Jul 10, 2010 11:07 am

What a gorgeous picture! It’s not easy to take a great shot of a beverage, in my opinion

Katies Cooking Jul 13, 2010 06:07 pm

Yum these sound delish. I love all the flavors you chose! Beautiful photography too. I’ve never heard of Vinho Verde before but I’ll scope it out next time I’m at the liquor store. I love your idea of using a little herb sprig for garnish, so modern!

LoveFeast Table Jul 15, 2010 11:07 pm

Looks refreshing to me!

Tv Food and Drink Jul 30, 2010 09:07 pm

Just got back from Hotlanta (flew there to get to Athens), and wow… the humidity. It became less and less unpleasant as the days tore on and i was able to acclimate, but you guys have it rough out there in the summer. – Gary (PS – got a good sampling of Southern food while I was there too – loved it!)

Fertil Aid for Men Sep 22, 2010 07:09 pm

WOW COOL!! ^_^ hmm I like it..This is great! Hmm I will make one of this tonight..

FoodieGA Dec 1, 2010 03:12 pm

I am constantly inspired by what I have seen at the Four Coursemen. I love that others have found the same inspiration. The wine girl at 4CM is Nancy Lind. She is amazing! Great page, keep it up.

FoodieGA Dec 1, 2010 03:12 pm

You can watch the Four Coursemen on the cooking channel now!! Check it out.

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