From the Mojito and the Tom Collins to the Caipirinha, summer is the season of refreshing citrus cocktails. These drinks offer a bit of relief on a warm afternoon but also taste great with dinner. (Yes, we said dinner.) Sure, they may not pair as easily as chilled white wine or cold beer, but when done right these drinks are more than worth the effort.
To get you started we asked celebrity chef David Burke for some help matching cocktails with food. In addition to owning several restaurants, including the David Burke Townhouse in New York City and Primehouse in Chicago, Burke offers a dinner series at his restaurant in Manhattan’s Bloomingdale’s where he pairs dishes with a single type of alcohol. The “beer dinners and wine dinners are easy,” he admits. The spirited dinners are a little more challenging, especially the ones involving tequila.
Burke suggests you try mixing up some drinks with Peruvian pisco this summer. “It’s nice this time of year with fruit juice,” he says. Plus, it works well with a range of foods—everything from smoked fish and guacamole to fried oysters. But perhaps the best pairing is Burke’s pisco-based Red Queen cocktail—pisco, lime juice, Malbec wine, simple syrup—and his version of the classic warm-weather dish ceviche. We’ll take that over a bottle of white wine any night.
1 oz Simple syrup (one part sugar, one part water)
1 oz Malbec wine
Garnish: Lime wedge
Shake the Pisco 100, lime juice and simple syrup vigorously in a cocktail shaker with ice. Strain the mixture into a rocks glass filled with fresh ice. Finish with a float of Malbec wine. Garnish with a lime wedge.
Contributed by David Burke
2-3 lbs. Shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 Large tomatoes, diced
1 Serrano pepper or jalapeno, diced
8 Limes, squeezed
8 Lemons, squeezed
2 Oranges, squeezed (preferably sour oranges)
2 Large avocados, diced
2 Large cucumbers, peeled and diced
1 Poblano pepper, seeded and diced
1 Tablespoon Chives, chopped
1 Tablespoon Cilantro, chopped
Garnish: 2 Radishes, shaved paper thin
Blanch the shrimp in boiling water for about 3 minutes. Then set the shrimp aside to cool and cut them in half lengthwise. Add the shrimp to a bowl and add the citrus juices. Let the mixture marinate for 2 hours. Then add the chive, tomatoes, chilies and cilantro. Let it marinate again for 10 minutes. Add the avocados and cucumbers before serving. Garnish with sliced radish.