as soon as the weather starts warming up, i start to crave lighter, more spring-like meals. my drink choices seem to change too. last week, you saw my favorite summer drink. as the weather and the calendar progress, i want more white wine instead of red and lighter, fruiter drinks. when i was outside with the dogs yesterday, i spotted this:
immediately my thoughts went to mojitos, mint juleps, and caipirnias. however, a pint of strawberries i picked up the wegmans the other day popped into my head for some reason too. and then i immediately remembered a drink i had seen last summer at a restaurant. i can't even remember now where i saw it but the ingredients have been floating around in my head all winter long. strawberries, mint, champagne, and sake. the drink sounded fresh, light, and refreshing. in the words of the barefoot contessa herself, "how bad could that be?"
individually, all of the ingredients are wonderful. together, the drink is all i hoped it would be. the muddled strawberries added just enough sweetness while the mint lended freshness and the champagne (i used prosecco) gave it a light, bubbly finish.
the lemon juice, a surprising sour ingredient, managed to mellow the sake and bring the whole taste to a more complex level.
what am i saying? this drink is light, refreshing, and delicious! be sure to try it out this spring/summer! you can even make it non-alcoholic, if that's your thing, by using sparkling water in place of the prosecco and sake.
Strawberry Mint Fizz
makes 2 drinks
8 strawberries + 2 for garnish
12 mint leaves
juice of 1/2 lemon (approximately 2 tbs)
1/4 cup simple syrup (1/4 cup agave nectar, 1/2 cup water)
1/2 cup prosecco/champagne/sparkling wine
1/2 cup sake
slice 4 strawberries thinly. place 2 strawberries and 6 mint leaves into the bottom of each glass. muddle together the strawberries and mint. fill the glasses with ice.
puree the remaining 4 strawberries in a small food processor. in a large measuring cup or glass, add lemon juice, simple syrup, prosecco, and sake to the strawberry puree. stir well to combine and pour equal amounts into both glasses. garish with a strawberry on the rim and a sprig of mint.