Summer’s here – time to head outdoors and chill in the backyard with friends. We Canadians know how to make the most out of our warmer months, and Rule Number One is “Keep It Easy”. It’s time for no-stress, no-fuss entertaining, and these two recipes are just what you need to make your next gathering a big hit. You can throw them together in no time, and I guarantee your friends will want to come back for seconds.
First up – bruschetta. This is a summer staple at my house. All you need is some fresh ripe tomatoes, a little garlic and olive oil, and some fresh herbs. Chop everything up in bowl, toast a few slices of French stick, and you’re done. Well, almost! The kicker in this recipe is a splash of vodka. Just enough to turn this popular appetizer into a party favourite. Did you know that vodka pairs perfectly with tomatoes? As any Caesar or Bloody Mary lover will tell you, it’s a match made in heaven, and this bruschetta proves it.
I had some girlfriends drop in the other day, and I whipped up a little “drunken” bruschetta. What to serve with it? A vodka drink of course! Vodka is considered by many to be a cleaner alcohol to drink, and I decided to stay away from calorie-filled mixes and throw together a little flavour infusion of my own to create a Mint, Cucumber, and Lime Vodka Cocktail. Sounds delicious, non?
Now, don’t be intimidated by the words “flavour infusion.” In keeping with our theme, this recipe is super easy. All you do is throw the ingredients in a jar, mash them up, and then strain the liquid into a glass. And you’re ready to hit the patio with your friends!
For these recipes, I used Pinnacle Vodka – an award winning Vodka that I tried for the first time this weekend. My girlfriends and I gave it a thumbs up!
Bruschetta With Vodka
1 French stick, cut into slices
3 ripe tomatoes
1 clove garlic
handful of basil leaves
1 tbsp fresh oregano leaves (optional)
2 tbsp olive oil
½ tsp salt
1 shot (3 tbsp) vodka
1. Toast the bread slices lightly.
2. Chop the tomatoes and crush the garlic and combine in a bowl. Tear up the herbs and add to the mixture. Add the olive oil.
3. Just before serving, add the salt and vodka. Spoon onto the bread slices and serve.
Mint, Cucumber, And Lime Vodka Cocktail
½ English cucumber, chopped
handful of mint leaves
4 basil leaves (optional)
2 tbsp sugar
1 lime, cut into wedges
3 oz vodka
6 oz sparkling water
1. Combine all the ingredients in a jar (I used a Mason jar). Mash everything up with a muddler or wooden spoon. This can be made ahead.
2. Strain into glasses over ice. Garnish with a sprig of mint and serve.
This post was generously sponsored by Pinnacle Vodka.