Summer, Summer, Summertime…

“Summertime is always the best of what might be.” 

-Charles Bowden

I keep saying, “Now that it’s summertime…” in my blog posts, but in reality, today marks the official first day of summer.  Today is summer solstice, the longest day of the year.  Good thing, because we have two birthday parties and one graduation party to attend! 🙂 Something tells me the five of us won’t make it to all three events today.  I feel like our weekends are already getting completely booked, which is both exciting and overwhelming at the same time.  I love summer and the “lazy” feeling it brings.  Beach bonfires, longer hours of play with the neighborhood kids, backyard barbecues, lots of pool time, and breezy days with the windows open (or maybe that last one just in Cali – A/C elsewhere – which I actually love too!).  There’s a lightness in the air that makes me feel more carefree.

We love entertaining and socializing with other couples and families, so my husband is often concocting fun drinks to share with friends.  As I’ve mentioned, summer brings to mind a tomato and basil love affair, so the next best thing to bruschetta is this beauty:

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I present to you the Caprese Martini.  Basically, bruschetta in a martini glass – it doesn’t get any better!  Disclaimer: this drink might not be for everyone…in fact, a few girlfriends have tasted it and weren’t too fond of it.  I can’t get enough of it though!  My husband actually went to Costco to buy special infusion pitchers to put the tomato puree into without getting seeds and flesh into the vodka.  He takes drink making very seriously.

The method: he fills the pitcher with Square One basil vodka and purees a few tomatoes with the magic bullet and inserts this concoction into the mesh strainer, letting it sit a day or two.  Then he pours the now tomato and basil flavored vodka into mason jars or back into the Square One bottle.  After it’s in a martini glass, add a splash of balsamic vinegar.  Garnish with cherry tomatoes and mozzarella balls on skewers.  So good!

For those of you who don’t love savory cocktails quite as much as me, here’s another fun one my hubby enjoyed at Tavern on Rush on a recent Chicago trip.  This one also takes a few days to infuse, but the end result is worth it!  This picture of his attempt at re-creating it includes three whole pineapples sliced up with Grey Goose vodka poured on top.  After a few days of soaking, you don’t even taste the vodka.  Dangerous, so be careful!  But so yum.  These drinks should help beat the summer heat!

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Hope everyone enjoys the extra daylight today and celebrates the solstice accordingly.  Since it’s been running through my head, I now leave you with this classic to ring in the new season!

Happy Summer!!!

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