It’s summertime (almost), and time for cocktails to sip on the patio and comfort food to nibble later.
The Whidbey News Group asked Whidbey Island Distillery and Porter’s Public House in Langley and Coupeville’s Callen’s Restaurant for some of their favorite bites and sips. Here are the recipes, altered so you can make them at home.
Rosemary berry lemonade
This cocktail is a local favorite offered by Whidbey Island Distillery in Langley. Islanders can’t get enough of it! Made with a berry liqueur, lemonade and a Bada Bing cherry, the crimson drink is “berry good,” and easy to whip up at home. Serve it a summertime party, or treat yourself on a hot summer’s day.
“It’s a long-time seasonal offering, but very popular so we don’t change it too often,” general manager Mike Huffman wrote in an email. “We currently offer it in the tasting room as a mini cocktail.”
6 ounces rosemary lemonade
2 ounces berry liqueur (such as loganberry liqueur)
2 Bada Bing cherries
2 sprigs rosemary
Mix rosemary lemonade (made from lemonade infused with a few sprigs of fresh rosemary for at least 24 hours) and berry liqueur. Serve it straight up — chilled with ice and strained — in cocktail glasses. Garnish each with a Bada Bing cherry and a sprig of rosemary. Rim the glasses with sugar if desired. Makes 2 drinks.
The mojito — made with white rum, sugar, lime juice, soda water and muddled mint — is a popular summer drink. Porter’s Public House, off Crawford Road near Langley’s tiny airport, serves a mojito with a gingery twist. Owners Jess and J.P. Dowdell love their ginger. What’s more, the restaurant’s mint is freshly picked just steps away from the bar.
“It’s a little different than the usual mojito,” said Jess Dowdell. “It’s made with ginger beer that has extra ginger, dark Dominican Republic rum, lime, muddled mint and ginger liqueur.”
1½ ounce dark rum
1 ounce fresh lime juice
½ ounce ginger liqueur
6 mint leaves
2 slices lime
Muddle 4 mint leaves and 1 slice of lime in a Collins or pint glass. Add ice, followed by the rum, liqueur and lime juice. Top with the ginger beer of your choice. Garnish with remaining lime slice and 2 mint leaves. Makes 1 drink.
Spicy mac and cheese
The “scratch casual” offerings on the Porter’s Public House menu — such as homemade onion rings, chili cheese fries, salmon melt and macaroni and cheese — are proving to be fast favorites at the new restaurant.
The cheesy pasta features a spicy cheese sauce, crispy prosciutto and in-season arugula. Top with your favorite hot sauce — because Porter’s isn’t sharing its secret recipe for the spicy cheese sauce.
“Nothing says summertime like mac and cheese,” J.P. Dowdell said. “I’ve been eating this every day; I can’t help myself. It really is that good.”
1 quart elbow macaroni
½ cup butter
¼ cup flour
3 cups whole milk
1 pound shredded cheddar
½ pound cream cheese
½ teaspoon salt
4 ounces prosciutto, thinly sliced
1 cup arugula
Hot sauce, to taste
Cook macaroni as directed on the box. Cook prosciutto in a nonstick skillet over medium heat for 5-7 minutes or until crisp, turning frequently. Combine butter and flour in pan over low heat. Add milk, cheddar cheese, cream cheese and salt. When mixture has melted, add cooked and drained macaroni. Stir in arugula and the hot sauce, top with prosciutto, and serve. Makes 8 servings.
According to owner Michael Weeks, these zesty scones are a new offering at Callen’s Restaurant in Coupeville, next to the ferry terminal.
Tip: If you don’t own a zester, peel a lemon and mince the peels. Makes 8 scones.
2 cups flour
⅓ cup sugar
1½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon lemon zest
½ cup sour cream
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder and baking soda in a bowl. Cut in the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time. (A food processor or a pastry cutter works well here.) In a separate bowl, mix the sour cream, egg and lemon zest.
Combine the wet and dry ingredients. Knead the mixture for 1-2 minutes until it forms a dough. With your hands, form the dough into a large round. With that aforementioned pastry cutter, cut the round into 8 wedges. (Think pie slices.) Place on cookie sheet and bake for 8-12 minutes, or until lightly browned.
Makes 8 scones.