Lucky us to have the opportunity to participate in the September launch of Kitchen Play. Casey of Tastestopping recently announced one of her new projects to bridge the gap between food bloggers and PR companies. The first part of her campaign is the Progressive Party, and she has teamed up with Sur La Table who provided her, and thereby us, with the goods. Each month and every month, six different food bloggers will receive a new kitchen tool–this month from Sur La Table–and go about creating an original recipe. It was an honor to be included in the initial blogger list, and without a doubt, brainstorming a feature would take mental strength. Casey assigned us the cocktail/beverage course, which would be quite interesting depending on what tool arrived.If there’s one thing that excites the average person, it’s receiving real mail–mail that is delivered via United States Postal Service or Fedex. When a little brown box arrives at your doorstep, you feel a bit giddy inside, especially when the gift is a new piece of cooking equipment. Inside the box was the Trudeau Perfect Mix–an oil and vinegar salad dressing dispenser that promises to provide the perfect ratio of both ingredients for your next bout of lettuce drizzling. Do not forget that we had to make a cocktail though. This would not be an easy feat. There would be no greenery topped with oil and vinegar this time. We would need to devise a sipper based on this gadget. Well, the little brains went to work.
With the end of summer coming, it felt most appropriate to fashion a cocktail bidding adieu to many people’s favorite season and welcoming ours–the fall. Did you know that our California peaches, plums and nectarines see their best harvests between June and September? That means, they are perfectly ripe, sweet and tender. That also means, they need to be used in any and every way. Why not a cocktail? We made a Caramelized Peach and Bacon Pasta last month that loosely inspired the drink. Instead of peaches, rum and basil, there would be nectarines, bourbon and mint (Hey, we said loosely inspired).
Now to figure out how the Trudeau Perfect Mix would come into play. The exterior cup would typically hold oil, with the vinegar sitting in the middle section. Pour as normal, and both oil and vinegar flow out in a six to one ratio, respectively. There are also buttons on top–O for oil and V for vinegar. Select and hold down the button of your choice based on what you’d like to add to your plate. In theory, this would work for a drink. That theory was right. With a sweet nectarine and bourbon purée in the main chamber and club soda in the interior compartment, nothing but good pours would follow. Talk about a true Southern California cocktail–a traditionally Southern spirit with fresh California fruit. Cheers!
Nectarine Bourbon Cocktail – Serves 4
1 tablespoon brown butter* (Look out for a post on brown butter coming very soon!)
3 tablespoons brown sugar
Juice of 1 lemon
3 medium nectarines, peeled, pitted and chopped
2/3 cup bourbon
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
1. Heat the brown butter and brown sugar in a shallow pan over a medium flame until smooth and the sugar has dissolved. Add the lemon juice and nectarines, turn the heat down to low and cook the fruit until very soft, approximately 7-10 minutes.
2. Stir in the bourbon, remove the pan from heat and set aside to cool slightly. Pour into a blender or food processor and pulse until smooth and uniform. Cover and cool completely.
3. Pour the nectarine purée into the main outer chamber of the Trudeau Perfect Mixer. Add club soda to the middle chamber. Fill four tall glasses with ice and the mint, then split the cocktail between all the glasses, topping off with extra club soda as desired. Stir well to mix.**
*If you do not want to heat your butter down to the brown stage, just use regular butter.
**Of course, everyone at home may not have the Trudeau Perfect Mixer, so pour the nectarine purée directly into the glasses and top with club soda.
There’s now a useful salad tool in the pantry for us, but the fun part of Kitchen Play is that the monthly participants are not the only ones to grab new gadgets. If you like this recipe, give it a try, post it on your own blog and link back to Kitchen Play as your entry to win the Swissmar V-Slicer. There will be six winners, so you have a good chance of taking something home. Who doesn’t want a mandolin? There will also be a larger drawing for a Le Creuset Oval Wide French Oven valued over $250! Cooking is fun when everybody wins, so put your name in the hat. Visit Kitchen Play now for the full rules and regulations of the contests and to learn how to get involved.
A word from the event’s sponsor:
“Sur La Table provides inspiration, tools and techniques for those who wish to enhance their lives through creative cooking and artful entertaining. Sur La Table’s comprehensive selection of products includes tools from around the world to prepare any cuisine, as well as beautiful dishes, linens and glasses to create a striking presentation. Sur La Table shops the world for new products providing the unexpected and a sense of discovery, whether you step into one of its stores nationwide, open the pages of its catalog or visit Sur La Table.”
***We’re in the running for Foodbuzz.com’s Project Food Blog contest. Click here to visit our profile and vote!***
Click HERE for the printable recipe.