Thursday, December 9, 2010

easy, and rosy last minute cocktail party

A friend brought me a bottle of  Dubonnet red a few months ago.  I stuck it in the fridge and forgot about it until a week or so ago when, without much notice, some some friends stopped by for a seasonal toast.  I remembered the Dubonnet,  chilled just right, on the side of the refrigerator door.  Aha!  I took out my best Baccarat rocks glasses filled them ice and poured the aromatic Dubonnet- it's made with fortified wine, herbs, spices and quinine - on top.  I garnished it with a big, fat wedge of orange. I forgot how easily Dubonnet slides down until the three of us finished off the bottle - and how well it accompanies both savory and sweet food.   Dubonnet is a favorite ingredient in many cocktails.  Queen Elizabeth II has it mixed with gin every day at lunchtime.

Again, I went to my refrigerator to find the ingredients for a little snack to serve with the Dubonnet.  I found a smidgen of gorgonzola dolce and about a quarter container of mascarpone.  I smashed them together then plopped the mixture into halved, semi-dried figs. Each fig was garnished with as many pomegranate seeds that could fit on top. 

SUSANSIMONSAYS:  Pomegranates are in season right now.  They're juicy, sweet, tart, filled with anti-oxidents, and have the most appealing texture.  The Italians eat the seeds for dessert served doused with red wine, Marsala or orange juice.  Removing the  ruby-red seeds  from their leathery skin is a messy job.  My tried and true method is to roll the fruit on a hard surface in order to begin loosen the seeds.  Cut the fruit in half, place the halves in a baking dish or another container with sides.  Press on each side as if you were squeezing juice from a lemon.  Some seeds will automatically fall out.  The skin will break allowing you to reach all the seeds. Gently pull them away from the pith.   The seeds keep, refrigerated for up to a week  They can be frozen as well - then pulled out next summer for a surprising treat.

1 comment:

  1. Love the sound of that drink..all the spices and with orange too, pefect for the holidays-especially pared with those yummy stuffed figs!