Tips to put refreshing summer flavors on your table


Thinking seasonal is always a recipe for success. The colors of the summer and sweet, tart, cool flavors of fruits of the season can decorate your table in creative, elegant and refreshing ways.

When most of us think of summer fruit, we envision smoothies, salads or pies. Think beyond the dessert course! There are many ways to imbue appetizers, cocktails and main courses with seasonal colors and fruity flavors.

Here are some fresh ways to introduce summer fruits into your summer meals and cocktails.

Appetizers and Mains

There are many easy ways to put summer on your table in finger foods, salads and even meat and poultry dishes.

Light appetizer ideas include fruit and cheese crostini. All you need is creativity and French bread, goat cheese and your favorite summer fruit. You can add strawberries and a balsamic reduction or honey and raspberries. And consider a twist on prosciutto and melon by wrapping fresh peach slices instead. Or toss watermelon into a salad of tomato, mozzarella cheese and basil, topped with olive oil and salt and pepper.

Your favorite main courses can take on different flavor nuances with the season. Consider grilling steak with warm peaches and onions as a topper. Or poach fresh plums and serve with turkey breast or grilled chicken, bringing a tartness to poultry not unlike that from cranberry sauce.

Summer Cocktails

It’s no surprise that summer is when some of the world’s best food and beverage companies introduce new fruit-focused offerings. For instance, Alizé is debuting a new passion flavor to its portfolio: Alizé Peach. It is an infusion of ripe, luscious peaches delicately blended with premium French vodka — just in time to be mixed into light warm-weather cocktails.

Don’t just add fresh fruit as a garnish to summer cocktails; consider using fruit-imbued spirits instead of plain ones. Whether blended into margaritas, shaken in martinis, mixed into sangrias, or drizzled atop sparkling wine, fruit-infused vodkas, such as the new Alizé Peach or Alizé Passion with passion fruit, are well suited for summer entertaining. Alizé Passion comes in different flavors, blended with exotic passion fruit, fresh cherries, cranberries, and even a touch of ginger.

Summer is the perfect time to live in color with fruit-infused cocktails — whether it’s a simple Bellini mixed with prosecco and Alizé Peach or a more complicated peach punch that blends the infused vodka with gin, elderflower liquor and honey.

You can pour summer into your cocktail glass with this recipe for a Peach Mule:

Peach Mule

• 2 oz. Alizé Peach

• 1 oz. Vodka

• 1/2 oz. simple syrup

• 3/4 oz. lime juice

• Top off with ginger beer

For a summer feel, use a Collins glass rather than a mug (the traditional Mule vessel), and stir gently. Enjoy in the shade or with a gentle summer breeze.