Why on earth would you want to live in Seattle?! It is cloudy or rainy the vast majority of the time. We don’t get much snow and when we do the entire city shuts down. The sun makes rare appearances throughout the year but downtown Seattle only gets 71 clear days annually. Only 71!
I live in Seattle specifically for those 71 days… I believe that everyone else lives for those days too. Whenever the sun comes out in Seattle, the wary and slightly soggy residents of Seattle emerge from their homes in great numbers and crowd the grass at Cal Anderson Park, fill Pike Place Market and the Waterfront to capacity and nearly burn down Golden Gardens Park with the combined might of a thousand separate beach bonfires. In short, we flip out for these summer days and live our outdoor lives to the fullest! Those 71 sunny days in Seattle are the home of backyard BBQs, housewarming parties, birthdays, bar mitzvahs, Cherry festivals, Strawberry festivals, Tulip festivals and many other festivals that bear the name of a product, fruit or vegetable. Seattlites frolick in the sun, eat good food, and, generally, drink horrible drinks. I’m out to change that!
The category of summer drinks in Seattle tends to include a lot of Bud Light Lime, Rainier, PBR and Mike’s Hard Lemonade. While there is nothing wrong with enjoying a nice, cold, mass-produced can of whatever is on sale at your local convenience store, sometimes you need to impress. Maybe it’s a date. Maybe it’s a party with your co-workers. Maybe your brother is getting married. Whatever the occasion, there’s a recipe that will do the trick.
My wife works for an amazing local nonprofit and last week we were invited to a staff barbeque at the home of their Board President. As a semi-professional drinker, I was asked to prepare a punch that everyone could enjoy… here’s what I made.
Seattle Summer Punch
1 Liter bottle Trader Joes Sparkling Lemonade
1 bottle gin (750ml)
2 Large CucumbersCombine the gin and lemonade in a punch bowl. Cut lemons and cucumbers into wheels and toss them in the punch bowl. As the fruit sits in the mixture, the flavors will combine and blend together. This punch gets better and better as the party goes on. If you want to get a little classier and do a lot more prep, you can switch the Trader Joe’s Sparkling lemonade for a homemade version of fresh squeezed lemon juice, sugar and club soda.
It’s tempting to add a large amount of ice right away… and I totally did for this party. As the party goes on, the ice will melt and water down the drink. After a couple hours, the punch was definitely more watered down but it was nice on a hot Seattle night.
However, if you want the drink to stay strong and flavorful throughout the party, you can keep the ice separate and have your guests add ice to their individual cups. Another cool way to spice up this punch would be to make an ice ring. Grab a bundt cake pan, fill it with water, add a few slices of lemon and cucumber to the water and put it in the freezer. Once it’s frozen solid, remove the ice from the cake pan and put your super awesome ice ring in the punch bowl. It’ll float on top with the cucumber and lemons slices and add even more class to your punch. Give it a try!
This punch is a delicious blend of citrus, bubbles, and cucumber. It’s light and refreshing. It’s classy and unique. Seattle Summer Punch is a great drink for a party with friends or colleagues. It’s dangerous though, the cucumber masks the alcohol content and it tends to hit people hard. Which may or may not be a good thing depending on which coworkers are attending your party!
Cheers to a great drink and a long, sunny Seattle summer!