The cherry blossoms have bloomed and the spring weather has begun to feel like summer, so I felt it was only appropriate to spend the afternoon in the sun sipping tart cheery + watermelon rose cocktails, while reading the new issue of Bon Appetit magazine. This new summer issue highlights how to “Summer like an Italian” and let me tell you-- I am in full obsession mode, these days, with the idea of summer in Europe. Last night I watched Julie + Julia, about one of my favorite characters, miss Julia Child, which only intensified my current obsession with all things french. I then continued to to spend the evening making sweet crepes with fresh strawberry preserves and pineapple coconut compote. I can be a bit of a romantic when it comes to moods and inspiration. There is just simply something so magical about the idea of summers spent aboard… riding bikes across the Italian countryside, strolling the cobble stoned streets of Paris and exploring the elaborate fresh markets with fruits and vegetables I have never tasted. I have always had a love affair with the ancient old culture of European countries, something I have been privileged to experience as a young twenty something. But now as a 30 something adult human, the tickle is back, and I can’t wait to find myself lost in Europe again.
TART CHERRY + ROSE WATERMELON BEER COCKTAIL
1 Part North Coast Brewing Company Berliner Weisse Tart Cherry Beer
1 part fresh Watermelon Juice
1 tsp Rose Simple Syrup
Begin by prepping the rose simple syrup, direction below. Next, using a blender, blend 1 cup water with 2 cups cut watermelon. Blend down to a juice consistency. Strain over a bowl to remove extra pulp, or leave the chucks if you enjoy a thicker consistency.
Combine the beer, watermelon juice and rose syrup. Top with crushed ice, and enjoy.
*If you can not locally find the Berliner Weisse, use any fruity- sour beer that tickles your fancy. A strawberry sour would be just as delightful.
VANILLA ROSE SYRUP
2 cups water
1- 2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon Rose water ( add more to your liking )
1/4 Teaspoon vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean
Simple Syrup is usually equal parts water to sugar, but I always prefer to use less sugar and let it boil down to a thin syrup. Place all ingredients in a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil stirring occasionally. Lower heat and let simmer down to a thin syrupy consistency. Make sure to stir occasionally so not to burn.