Things were going, well, swimmingly out by the pool — the kids frolicked, booze churned with ice in the blender, burgers and dogs sizzled on the grill — when the wind kicked up and a massive brown haboob loomed in the distance. Run for cover, kids, we only have minutes.
Such is life in the East Valley this time of year. You can sense when a party is about to be crashed by the monsoon. The smell of wet creosote makes you look up to the swaying palm trees, while birds become inexplicably silent. Soon we’ll be eating dirt.
The swirling winds earlier that week inspired me to play with the blender some and serve whipped drinks during a weekend barbecue. There’s just something almost vacationlike about drinks, not served on the rocks, but whipped in a blender and served in daiquiri or hurricane glasses. I’ll take a piña colada from a blender instead of on the rocks every time.
Strawberry margaritas, fruit daiquiris and piña coladas are a few frozen classics, but can be a bit sweet and are usually made with mixers rather than fresh ingredients if ordered in a restaurant or bar. I’ve concocted a few recipes that work well in the blender and incorporate as many fresh ingredients as possible.
I’ve been watching the weather reports closely and am looking for another opportunity to take the blender outside. Grab a bag of ice and meet me by the pool.
Got a wine- and spirits-related question you’d like to see addressed in a column? Contact Mark at email@example.com.
1 1/2 ounces dark rum
1 ounce mango-flavored rum such as Van Gogh
1/2 ounce banana liqueur
2 ounces fresh mango, diced
2 ounces fresh banana, diced
2 ounces orange juice
1 1/2 cups ice
Preparation: Combine all ingredients except cherries and orange slice into a blender and whip until smooth. Pour into chilled daiquiri glass and garnish with cherry and orange slice.
3 ounces gold rum
4 ounces pineapple juice
1 ounce coconut cream
6 fresh strawberries
Pineapple spear or wedge
Preparation: Combine rum, juice, coconut cream and five strawberries into a blender and whip until smooth. Pour into chilled daiquiri or collins glass and garnish with pineapple spear and remaining strawberry.
ORANGE DREAM CREAMSICLE
3 ounces vanilla-flavored vodka such as Stolichnaya
1 ounce orange-flavored liqueur such as triple sec
4 ounces fresh orange juice
1 ounce half-and-half or cream
Orange wedge or half wheel
Maraschino cherry (optional)
Whipped cream (optional)
Preparation: Combine all ingredients excluding orange wedge into a blender with ice and whip until smooth. Pour into chilled collins glass and garnish with orange wedge and optional whipped cream and cherry.
3 ounces coconut rum such as Malibu
2 ounce silver rum
4 ounces pineapple juice
1 1/2 ounces coconut cream such as Coco Lopez
1 1/2 ounce coconut milk
1 ounce grenadine
Preparation: Combine rums, juice, coconut cream and milk into a blender with ice and whip until smooth. Pour into chilled hurricane or daiquiri glass and float grenadine. Garnish with cherries and pineapple wedge.
FROZEN RASPBERRY MARGARITA
2 ounces premium tequila
1 ounce orange liqueur such as Cointreau
1 ounce raspberry liqueur such as Chambord
2 ounces fresh lime juice
10 fresh raspberries
Preparation: Combine tequila, liqueurs, juice and raspberries into a blender with ice and whip until smooth. Moisten rim of margarita glass with lime wedge and coat rim with salt. Pour in mixture and garnish with lime wedge.