HAMPTON ROADS, Va. - Chef Patrick Evans Hylton shares a sweet drink that is perfect for the 4th of July!
CHEERS TO THE FOURTH OF JULY
The quintessential fruit of summer is the watermelon. It’s found at just about every outdoor gathering throughout the season. While you can’t beat eating ice cold slices of the melon, we’ve got another way to enjoy it.
Our Watermelon-tini is a delicious mix of fresh fruit and other intoxicating ingredients. Have ingredients, like prepared watermelon juice, on hand and shake cocktails easily and quickly for guests
The drink is spiked with a premium, local vodka from The Reverend Spirits in Norfolk.
We look for watermelons from area growers at farm stands, farmers markets, and our favorite green grocer, Westside Produce & Provisions in Norfolk.
Here’s how we make it:
Chill two martini glasses.
Puree 2 cups of watermelon chunks by either placing them in a colander placed over a bowl and pressing the fruit with a spatula through the holes or add the fruit to a blender and pulse until slushy.
Pour the juice, 3/4 cups vodka, 1/2 cup agave nectar, juice of one lime, and a handful of ice in a cocktail shaker and shake well.
Strain the shaker contents into two martini glasses and garnish each with a small watermelon wedge.
Vodka comes from The Reverend Spirits; visit www.DrinkReverend.com
BON APPETIT TO SUMMER ENTERTAINING
WITH WATERMELON CAPRESE SKEWERS
Summer is a great time for entertaining outdoors, but we look for crisp, refreshing dishes to serve with the heat. Our Watermelon Caprese Skewers fit the bill for easy entertaining.
Rather than tomato, as in a classic Caprese Salad, we substitute summer’s favorite fruit, watermelon. We skewer watermelon cubes along with classic Caprese Salad ingredients, basil straight from the garden and fresh mozzarella to make things even easier.
The mozzarella we use are small, individual-sized balls but you could use cubes cut the same size as the watermelon. A sprinkling of our homemade Herbes de PEH-vence seasoning garnishes the top.
For an added treat, fold a small piece of thinly sliced Virginia country ham, perhaps from Edwards Virginia Hams, into a ribbon and skewer between the watermelon and the basil leaf.
Here’s how we make it:
Cut watermelon into approximately 1 inch-by-1 inch cubes. Place on a platter and add a fresh basil leaf. Place on top a small fresh mozzarella ball or piece of fresh mozzarella sliced into the approximate size of the watermelon. Hold together with a skewer.
Optionally, add a thinly sliced piece of Virginia country ham folding into a ribbon between the watermelon and the basil leaf.
If you’d like the recipe for our homemade Herbes de PEH-vence seasoning, email Patrick@VirginiaEatsAndDrinks.com with “French Herb Seasoning” as the subject.
For more, www.VirginiaEatsAndDrinks.com
FABULOUS FOOD FIND
TASTE OF TEXAS
We love barbecue, and we are always on the lookout for our next favorite du jour. Taste of Texas offers an assortment of smoked meats, sauces, and sides.
The restaurant is located in Virginia Beach near Lynnhaven Mall. Owner/pitmaster Timothy Dodd creates the flavors he enjoyed growing up in the Dallas area.
We enjoyed the Smoked Turkey Platter with Texas Vinegar sauce, collard greens, and pit smoked beans. The turkey was tender and flavorful, the sauce a delicious piquant mix of sweet and heat, and the sides fresh and delicious.
Addictive sweet potato rolls, more like biscuits, are a wonderful accompaniment.
For summer - and year-round entertaining - Taste of Texas offers meats, sauces, and sides in large portions to go.
For more, www.ATasteOfTexasInVB.com
FOR MORE VIRGINIA EATS + DRINKS
Get all the information from today’s Virginia Eats + Drinks on Coast Live segment plus more: giveaways, recipes, tips, and tricks on our Facebook group.
Join today, www.facebook.com/groups/VirginiaEatsAndDrinks