Creative Cocktails

Cocktails, drinks, summer drinks
If you're looking for fun, refreshing cocktails to serve at your Memorial Day gatherings this weekend, the folks at Food & Wine magazine have some ideas.

Food & Wine has published its first ever cocktail book. It's a collection of over 200 drinks from bars and restaurants across America.

All of the drink recipes first had to pass muster in the Food & Wine test kitchen, which is led by Grace Parisi. She visits The Saturday Early Show to share some of her favorite concoctions.

Each of the three drinks explained below are easy to make in large batches, so they're perfect to serve to a group. They will certainly spice up a Memorial Day gathering.

Rum Punch
This is a tropical mixture of light and dark rum, orange juice, mango juice and pineapple juice. Tropical-themed cocktails are becoming more and more popular; Parisi believes this is because it's becoming easier for consumers to buy tropical fruit juices. She particularly likes this mixture of juices, created at Alma, in San Francisco: tart orange, sweet mango and a mixture of both tart and sweet from the pineapple juice.

While it's not necessary to buy top-shelf liquor for this drink, you should buy something that you would not hesitate to drink alone over ice, Parisi says. Light rum is light in color and flavor. Dark rum has been aged - the darker the color the longer it has aged, and the more intense the flavor.

The recipe also calls for 80 mint leaves. No, you don't have to count out 80 leaves. Eighty leaves equal about one-half cup of mint.

Finally, the rum punch should be served over ice. However, if your pitcher is going to be sitting out and you don't want the ice to melt and dilute the drink, consider serving the cocktail out of a punch bowl set in a larger bowl of crushed ice.

The Paysan
This is a twist on traditional sangria, created at Poste, in Washington, D.C. Instead of cutting up fruit for the drink, you use fruit juice - specifically, cranberry and orange juice. The recipe also calls for Chambord, which is a garnet-colored French liqueur with a black raspberry flavor. You also want to use a fruity wine, preferably pinot noir. Parisi recommends spending no more than $10 on the bottle of wine.

After you've chilled the mixture and right before you serve it, you add Sprite (or another lemon-lime soda). It's important to add this ingredient last so that the concoction maintains its "nice brightness" from the carbonation, Parisi explains.

Garnishes - The Paysan is served with lemon, lime and orange zests.

Vento Fizz
This drink is non-alcoholic and comes from the New York City restaurant Vento. To orange juice you add Sanbitter Soda, a citrus-y, somewhat bitter soda made by San Pelegrino. The mixture also includes finely diced peaches from a can and is topped off with club soda.

The test kitchen found this drink extremely refreshing, perfect for a hot day, Parisi says. You want to be sure and serve it in a tall, thin glass to better enjoy the bubbles provided by the club soda.

Glass Rims - Rimming flavors have exploded beyond the traditional margarita salt. You can now buy a variety of sugars and salts, many in bright vibrant colors.

To lightly coat the rim of a glass, place a few spoonfuls of salt, sugar or other powdered or finely crushed ingredient on a small plate. Moisten the outer rim of the glass with a wedge of citrus fruit or water or a vibrantly colored liquid like pomegranate juice, then roll the glass on the plate, pressing gently, until the outer rim is lightly coated. Hold the glass upside down and tap to release any excess; don't let any fall in the glass.

And now, the recipies: