Photography by Karen E. Segrave | Special thanks to the Little Rock Farmers Market
It’s time to enjoy some summer sips to beat the heat!
The Little Rock Farmers Market features the season’s best bounty of the Natural State’s goodness. From fruits and vegetables, to herbs that add that extra something special, embrace the opportunity to shop fresh + local and support Arkansas farmers.
You know we love a good cocktail here at Inviting Arkansas, so we decided to taste test some of the farm-to-shaker inspired summertime beverages featured in our latest issue. Each week we’ll be sampling + reviewing so stay tuned!
This week, we’re featuring a double dose – 2 recipes! One gin cocktail and a bonus non-alcoholic drink recipe!
Next up: Red King Radish
This recipe is not for the faint of heart… or smell. If you really love radishes then this one is for you, just maybe not for your guests. The radishes impart a peppery note to the drink, but the aroma can be a little overwhelming. Full disclosure: I mixed up a batch for the office and it sat in the refrigerator for a couple of hours before we got around to tasting. So, the additional time the radishes spent soaking in the liquor may have been why the aroma was a little strong.
MT: I’m sorry I just can’t get past the smell. Just give me gin + grapefruit juice.
KW: It’s very earthy – reminds me of a fresh pressed juice. I don’t mind the smell, but I already drink a lot of vegetable juices.
CK: Really struggling to get past the smell. I think after the radishes sit for a while it gets stronger. I do like the taste though – somehow the grapefruit juice + peppery radish are complementary. I’ll give it a try some other time and drink it immediately to compare.
Additional thoughts from the group:
- If you like earthy scents + vegetable juices this one is for you.
- This drink is definitely meant to be mixed in individual servings and consumed immediately. The longer it sits and the radish marinates in the liquor, the stronger the scent gets.
- Adding some more lemon might offset the radish scent a bent, but then it may also overwhelm the radish flavor.
Red King Radish
1 radish, shredded on a box grater, plus more thinly sliced for garnish
½ teaspoon sugar
2 ounces Dorothy Parker gin
1 ounce Cocchi Americano
¾ ounce grapefruit juice
¼ ounce lemon juice
2 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters
In a cocktail shaker, muddle the grated radish with the sugar. Add the remaining ingredients and shake vigorously until chilled, then strain into a double rocks glass with a large ice cube. Garnish with thinly sliced radishes and serve.
Bonus Recipe: Blueberry Lemon Cooler
This one was more successful than the radish recipe. Although, we couldn’t help ourselves and after tasting it, added some champagne that we just happened to have in the office.
MT: I think that it needs less sparkling water. It gets a little too watery + bubbly and loses some of the sweetness. Of course I like it better with the bubbly.
KW: Needs bubbles – I’m going to add champagne. Right now.
CK: I definitely think that it needs more lemon. It’s a bit on the sweet side and more lemon would brighten it up. After champagne – way too sweet.
FB: I think it’s pretty subtle + mild. Although, I think I’d add some more lemon to it.
Additional thoughts from the group:
- If you want to keep it non-alcoholic but find it too sweet – using club soda instead of sparkling water might tone down the sugar.
- If you want to make a boozey + bubbly version without making it sweeter, add vodka or gin instead of champagne.
Blueberry Lemon Cooler
2/3 cup white sugar (superfine is best)
2/3 cup water
1 and 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (~4-5 whole large lemons)
2 cups ice cubes
3 cups sparkling water or club soda (my favorite is sparkling lemon lime water)
Combine the sugar, water, blueberries, and lemon zest in a saucepan.
Bring to a boil over medium heat and then simmer for 5-10 minutes or until the sugar is melted and blueberries are starting to burst.
Remove from the heat and pass through a fine sieve. Let this blueberry syrup completely cool.
Meanwhile, juice the lemons to get 1 cup lemon juice.
In a large pitcher, add the blueberry syrup, lemon juice, and ice. Stir together.
Stir in the sparkling water or club soda right before enjoying (don’t add sparkling water/club soda to anything you plan on having leftover)