Send Off Summer with a Fun Cocktail Recipe and a New Q&A: "Wine or Chickens"!

Lots of changes afoot this spring and summer- hence the gap in posting on this here blog! It's been a heavy first half of 2016, musically, meteorologically, and politically-speaking, and with plenty of the year left ahead of us, I'm feeling in need of a brief reprieve before diving back into the deep end.

So in the spirit of lightening up the last days of summer, I'm starting a Q & A series called "Wine or Chickens". All questions welcome, the caveat is that they must be wine or chicken-related! (Those being among my favorite extracurricular activities.) Want to know what wine goes with grilled stuffed peppers? How to tell (in general) if a chicken lays brown or white eggs? Ask "Wine or Chickens"! Hope this is a fun diversion to help beat the heat!

And in case you'd prefer a cocktail to wine, here's a new one, using late summer ingredients (but no zucchini!) found in the Hudson Valley and named after the iconic mountain! Enjoy!

Storm King Summer Sendoff

2 white nectarines (peaches also make a good substitute)
4 springs fresh basil
4 teaspoons demerera sugar (or 2 oz simple syrup if you have it)
2 teaspoons lemon juice
8 oz pisco or white rum
12-16 oz vanilla seltzer

Pisco is the national drink of Peru: a clear brandy distilled from grapes, and never barrel-aged, which makes it delicate and refreshing! White rum makes a good substitute here, if need be. If you want to get extra-fancy with this one, try substituting dry cava or prosecco for the seltzer.

Slice nectarines into 1/2 inch chunks, and muddle together with basil, sugar, and lemon juice. Add pisco or rum, stir, and divide into four rocks glasses over ice. Top off with seltzer. (For a mocktail, omit pisco/rum.) Enjoy! (And of course, with consumption of all alcoholic beverages, be responsible, not an idiot.)