Add Alcohol to Fruit for Summer Snacks
It's FINALLY summer!! Time to get away from the daily grind, and head out to the cottage, or even toss back a cold one with friends on the back porch. Summer and cold drinks are synonymous, however, anyone can mix a drink, or twist a cap off a beer. For an inventive and clever way to entertain guests, and bring a little inventive spice to a party or get-together, try these recipes.
Spiced Rum Fruit Cocktail
Bourbon / Moonshine Cherries
There are MANY recipes available for cooking with alcohol, or creating exotic drinks, ice cream, and even slushies. It all depends on your personal preferences and taste. You must be of legal drinking age to consume alcohol, or foods / drinks with alcohol. Remember moderation is the key to any summer event; unless you actually want to end up passed out in the summer sun, while your buddies haze you. (Which by the way is easily accomplished with sunscreen. Merely write something on your passed out friend in sun block, and giggle with glee later on the next day, when they're red as a beet, with white lettering depicting all sorts of debauchery and shamefulness, I digress.....)
As fruit is mostly liquid, it can easily absorb other liquids, like alcohol – fruit can actually ferment on its own in nature. Most of the recipes involving fruit and alcohol, are accomplished with time and patience. The key to remember, is that fruit is perishable, and alcohol is not; use fresh fruit, and keep it cold. When working with fruit, try to keep it stored in the refrigerator. Some of the recipes will take hours to properly soak up the desired alcohol, so it's best to keep your creations cold, until served.
With most fruit, you have to get past the skin. Some preparations involve slicing the fruit into wedges. There are exceptions, with cherries, for example; soaked in the hard liquor, they can be canned and last for a year or more, “pickled” in strong alcohol. With a watermelon or other large fruit, it has to be sliced to be served. Try to use seedless fruit......speaking from experience.
Finding quality fruit and alcohol, is the first major step. The local “Farmer's Market” is a great place to find deals on fresh, local-grown fruit. Depending on your location, the LCBO is a good place to start, and always use premium liquors, as well as, fresh fruit. Pick and choose favourites, and create your own blends. There are also many other recipes online, or handed down from friends. The idea here, is to try to create your own summer concoction. After all, half the fun is in the making these summer snacks!! Always buy a little more than you need, so as to put out nonalcoholic snacks for those friends, that want the experience, without the buzz; keep in mind the focus is the alcohol rendered fruit, however, you can display your creations by the use of garnish with extra fruit. Experiment!!
When soaking fruit, allow for 6-12 hours to marinate. Any extra fluids (alcohol and fruit juices) left at the end, can be reused to mix drinks. EG: After the Moonshine Cherries are consumed, you can make “Cherry Coke” by adding your preferred Cola. Once again, the idea is to be inventive. Always keep in mind, the fact that fruit can perish and wilt – for best results, serve immediately.
One watermelon is going to cut and used as the bowl for the fruit salad. A couple of lemons are wedged and saved for tequila shots during the party. ALWAYS have a basket of fresh, washed, whole nonalcoholic samples for guests – buy according to size of party.
2: Stop at LCBO. Purchase 1 bottle of tequila, spiced rum, vodka, and 2 bottles of champagne.
Remember to buy beer too
3: Drive out to the country, to visit your friend, who takes the “Grizzly Adams” thing a little too serious. Be prepared to take the “dirt road”.
After he refuses to “sell” you any moonshine, he will happily give you a bottle, after MANY samples. Pass out on the front porch.
4: Go home, and assemble all ingredients in the kitchen. You will want lots of table space to work, and room in the refrigerator, for your summer fruit creations; so clean off the counters, and clear out the fridge. Store fruit in the fridge when not using, and make sure to wash with cold water, and use a soft clean towel, to pat dry the washed fruit. Always use a sharp knife.
Put one of the watermelons in the fridge. We'll save that for our basket, and use some of it for our fruit salad.
5: Check the Spiced Rum, Vodka, and Tequila, for quality – pour one oz and drink. Realize you should have opened a beer for a chaser.
6: With your first watermelon, stand it on end, and using a sharp knife, cut a thin slice on what will be your base. This will help keep the large fruit upright, while it soaks up the Vodka. Be careful to not cut too deep into the red fruit of the watermelon, as that will allow juice and alcohol to leak. Turn the watermelon over, and very carefully cut a hole at the top, only big enough to stick the neck of the Vodka bottle in. Remember to keep the “plug” for transportation to the party.
7: Sample Vodka once more for consistency.
8: Quickly try to jam the bottle into the upright watermelon. Curse when you realize you made the hole too small, spilling Vodka on the floor in the attempt.
Cut the hole slightly bigger. Attempt to jam the bottle of Vodka on the upright watermelon, spilling more Vodka on the floor. Realize you should have stood the bottle up straight, and jam the watermelon on the Vodka bottle, THEN flip it over.
It will take approximately 8-12 hours to drain the whole bottle of Vodka into the watermelon. Put watermelon and Vodka bottle in the fridge. This will be carried whole (minus the empty bottle – and with the plug intact) to your party, and sliced to be served immediately.
9: Check the Tequila for consistency. Use a beer for chaser.
10: Slice 10 of the lemons. Cut off both ends, as these do not contain any actual fruit. Slice the lemons in half, and score each side of the white core with your sharp knife, and remove. Realize that lemon juice REALLY hurts when you cut yourself. Run to sink and wash off your bleeding finger.
Once the bleeding stops, and you have put on a band-aid and glove, continue to slice the rest of the 10 lemons, leaving 2 for shooters at the party.
11: In a large bowl (You will be using this to serve) neatly pack the lemon slices in tightly. Try to keep the fruit side down, and level in the bowl.
12: Check Tequila for toxicity. Chase with lemon slice.
13: Pour Tequila over your lemon wedges, and fully cover the exposed fruit.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in fridge.
14: Take a short smoke break.
Realize that the floor and counter is still covered in Vodka, as a bluish flame spreads over your kitchen and arm.
Stop, drop, and roll. Stop, drop, and roll. Put out fire.
Have a shot of tequila and a beer.
Clean up mess, and thank the Firemen.
15: Slice the oranges into wedges. Cut off both ends, as these do not contain any actual fruit. Slice the oranges in half, and score each side of the white core with your sharp knife, and remove. Remove any seeds you see as well.
16: Check the Spiced Rum to make sure it hasn't gone bad in the last couple hours.
17: In a large bowl (You will be using this to serve) neatly pack the orange slices in tightly. Try to keep the fruit side down, and level in the bowl.
18: Open one of the Champagne bottles. Curse when the plastic cork flies from the bottle faster than a 16-year old prom grad in the backseat of her daddy's car.
Curse when you realize you dented the kitchen ceiling.
19: Quickly stick your mouth around the frothing bottle of Champagne and drink to prevent more alcohol on the floor.
Giggle when you realize that chugging Champagne can cause it to bubble in your stomach, making it tickle.
20: Gently pour the Champagne over the oranges, and fully cover any exposed fruit.
Notice that you didn't use the whole bottle of Champagne, so you chug the rest. Giggle more.
Cover with plastic wrap, and place in fridge.
21: Find a large mixing bowl. Start to prepare the rest of the fruit for the fruit salad. Remember to be inventive by using the portions that are not edible – the top off the pineapple, makes for a wonderful impromptu garnish beside a carved watermelon. You can make swan apples, or sprinkle lemon and orange peels for decoration around the display.
Slice the top and bottom portions of the pineapple. Discard bottom, but save the top. Set it upright and slice the fruit in quarters. Using your knife, filet the skin from the fruit. Cut pineapple into bite size pieces. Bananas are peeled, and sliced in half, then cut into bite sized pieces. Strawberries need to have the top removed, and cut into bite sized pieces. Blueberries are left whole.
Gently mix the fruit together in the large bowl.
22: Check the Spiced Rum, to make sure it hasn't gone bad in the last hour.
23: Go outside for a smoke break.
24: Figure out what design you want to carve your watermelon. Slicing it in half can make for two serving bowls, or you could make a basket. You can even carve on the skin of the watermelon, for those that are artistically inclined. A tiny slice on the bottom will ensure your bowl / basket doesn't roll.
Using a sharp knife, carve your watermelon. Save all the extra red fruit in a separate bowl.
Have another shot of Rum when you realize your watermelon looks nothing like your design. Curse.
25: Using an ice cream scoop, make watermelon balls. Clean out the whole watermelon, and scrape to the green part.
Any extra watermelon, including disfigured balls, are placed in a blender, then poured into ice cube trays; to be used as inventive ice cubes at the party.
26: Check Rum again.
27: Gently pour the fruit salad, and the melon balls into the carved watermelon; mixing gently. Level the contents.
28: Pour Spiced Rum into the carved watermelon and fully cover any exposed fruit. (to drain the liquor at serving time, poke a hole in the bottom, and stand by with cups to catch the “premixed fruit flavoured shooters”)
Place watermelon in fridge.
29: Drink a beer.
30: Pick the stems off the cherries. Rinse and pat dry.
31: Sample the Moonshine, by pouring 1 oz, and drinking.
32: Take 5 minutes to collect yourself. (Time frame may vary)
33: Finally remember you have beer to chase. Chug beer.
34: Find your canning jars with lids. Cram the jars full of cherries without bruising the fruit.
35: Pour Moonshine into the jar, and cover any exposed fruit.
Seal lids properly. Place in fridge after tripping over the dog, and smashing one of the jars. Curse.
36: Realize you have completely trashed your kitchen. Start to clean up. Drink the rest of the Moonshine,
37: Go outside for a smoke.
38: Wake up the next morning, sprawled out on the front lawn, and missing a shoe.
39: Realize you completely missed the party.
40: Apologize to neighbours.