While the weather on Whidbey continues to switch between sunny and gray, the days of barbecues and cool cocktails arrive with Memorial Day weekend, the traditional beginning of summer. Here are some delicious dishes and drinks from local restaurants and bars to savor the season:
Rosemary Berry Lemonade
This refreshing, adult beverage is a local favorite offered by the WHIDBEY ISLAND DISTILLERY, located in Langley. This drink is “berry good” and easy to whip up at home, to serve at a summer-time party or to be enjoyed as a refreshing beverage on a hot summer’s day. “It’s a long-time seasonal offering, but very popular so we don’t change it too often,” Mike Huffman said in an email. “We currently offer it in the tasting room as a mini-cocktail tasting for $5.” Islanders can’t get enough of this crimson drink, and now, the Whidbey Island Distillery has revealed the recipe for this flavorful creation:
- 3 parts rosemary lemonade, made from lemonade infused with a few sprigs of fresh rosemary for 24 hours
- 1 part berry liqueur, pictured here with Loganberry liqueur
- Cherry and rosemary for garnish
That’s all there is to it! Mix ingredients together and add ice if desired.
Gingered Mint Mojito
Mojitos swirling in flavors of rum, mint and lime make the ultimate refreshing summertime drink, especially when the mint is freshly picked just steps always from the bar and muddling bartender. PORTER’S PUBLIC HOUSE, in the woods off Crawford Road near Langley’s tiny airport, plans to serve up a delicious twist on the standard mojito after Memorial Day weekend.
“It’s a little different than the usual mojito,” said Jess Dowdell, who owns Roaming Radish catering and Porter’s Public House with her husband, J.P. Dowdell. “It’s made with ginger beer that has extra ginger, dark Dominican Republic rum, lime, muddled mint and ginger liqueur.” Here’s how to craft this drink on your own:
- 1 1/2 ounce dark rum
- 1 ounce fresh lime juice
- 1/2 ounce ginger liqueur
- Ginger beer to top off
- 6 mint leaves
- 2 slices lime
Instructions: Muddle 4 mint leaves and 1 slice of lime in a pint glass, add ice, the rum, liqueur and lime juice. Fill the rest of the way with ginger beer of your choice. Stir and garnish with lime slice and 2 mint leaves. Enjoy!
Summertime Mac and Cheese
The “scratch casual” offerings on the PORTER’S PUBLIC HOUSE menu are already proving popular since its opening less than one month ago. Items such as homemade onion rings, chili cheese fries, salmon melt and mac and cheese all look and taste decidedly different than the usual bar fare.
Setting down a heaping bowl of tiny yellow noodles with bright dashes of a secret spicy cheese sauce, crispy, crumbled prosciutto and fresh arugula, J.P. Dowdell admitted to a new food craving. “Nothing says summertime like mac-n-cheese,” he declared. “I’ve been eating this every day, I can’t help myself. It really is that good.”
- 1 quart uncooked elbow macaroni
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/4 cup flour
- 3 cups milk
- 1 lb. shredded cheddar
- 1/2 lb cream cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Instructions: Cook macaroni. Combine butter and flour in pan over low heat, melt and mix. After butter and flour are combined, add milk, cheddar cheese, cream cheese and salt. Once all ingredients are melted and combined, add cooked and drained macaroni, mix well and serve.
Callen’s Lemon Scones
This recipe yields eight scones, perfect for sharing or saving. These zesty scones are a new offering in the CALLEN’S RESTAURANT cafe, owner Michael Weeks said. Callen’s is located in Coupeville, next to the ferry terminal.
- 2 cups flour
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1.5 tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 8 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon lemon peel minced
- ½ cup sour cream
- 1 egg
Instructions: Mix all dry ingredients together and cut in the butter, a food processor works well for this or a pastry cutter.In a separate bowl mix together the sour cream, egg and lemon peel. Combine the wet ingredients with the dry mix and knead for a minute or 2 until you get an even consistency. Form into a large round and cut into 8 pie shape pieces.Place on cookie sheet and bake in 325-degree oven 8-12 minutes until lightly browned.