Happy Independence Day!

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Independence Day marks the separation of the American colonies from Great Britain in 1776 (history.com).  It was debatable amongst the forefathers of this country if our Independence Day was the day the Continental Congress met and voted for independence on July 2nd ,or if it was the day the Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4th.  John Adams, for instance, believed that July 2nd would be celebrated by future generations with a “great anniversary festival” including “pomp and parade, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other” (history.com).

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Although he may have gotten the actually holiday date wrong, our celebrations are carried out in a manner he suggested and begin as early as the 1st of July.  Despite the warm muggy East Coast weather or the dry and overbearing heat to the West, this seasons festivities are already in full swing.  Families and friends are already enjoying BBQ’s, fireworks, and parades, and everyone will need a patriotic way to cool down.  So toss in the red, white, and blue cordial shots for this frosty Rocket Daiquiri and toast to your freedom!

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Just in case you need some fun facts for your party guests, see if you can stump them with this question.  Why are there always less blue fireworks than other colors?  Well the answer boils down to cost.  To make a blue firework it requires a copper compound, which is not only more costly than calcium found in orange or the lithium found in red, but it is also more unstable at high temperatures (chemistry.com).

Now bust out your blenders and enjoy!

1 oz light rum

¼ oz lime juice

2 oz strawberry puree or about 4-5 strawberries + ½ oz simple syrup

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Blend this until smooth and pour into the bottom third of a hurricane glass.

1 oz light rum

1 oz pineapple juice

2 oz coconut milk

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Blend this until smooth and pour into gently to layer for a third of a hurricane glass on top of the strawberry layer.

1 oz light rum

1 oz blue Curacao

2 oz sweet and sour mix

ice

Blend this until smooth and pour gently to layer on top of the pina coloda until the glass is full.

If you don’t have a hurricane glass, just use whatever large glass is available.  The effect will be the same and taste equally delicious!

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By Krystle Turkington for www.HappyHourPal.com

@KrystleBar

Airports Upgrade

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I recently flew across the United States, so I had a lot of layovers and plenty of time to scope the airport dining scene.  Much to my surprise, all the airports I stopped in had some excellent dining choices.  Airport dining has come a long way in the past four years.

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In Houston, TX I was shocked to see that Iron Chef Cat Cora had a restaurant in the airport.  Of course, it was a bit pricey, but for those traveling on a budget there was also a great BBQ joint right across the hall.  The smell was so mouthwatering I had to check it out, and I was not only shocked how much food they fed you, but also that it tasted good.

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In Atlanta, GA I wasn’t surprised by the amount of Southern comfort food joints I saw, but I was surprised by One Flew South.  It is a fine dining restaurant in the airport! There menu is a Southern Asian fusion that looked out of this world.  Unfortunately for me, it was closed because it was only 6am, but they also had a great French inspired bistro called French Meadow.  The croissant sandwich was fresh and delicious and they had a great selection of organic teas.

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By the time I made it to Boston, MA I wasn’t surprised to see a legit seafood house in the airport.  Legal Sea Foods has a menu full of New England seafood favorites.  You can even purchase live lobsters!

My favorite though, was in the SeaTac Airport in Seattle, WA.  Anthony’s has a menu full of local and Alaskan fish in a variety of dishes including tacos, sandwiches, fish and chips, or a full entrée.  What surprised me the most about this restaurant is not only the freshness and quality of food, but that they also make seasonal cocktails.  This month:  strawberry rhubarb.  This is my favorite combination, especially talking pies, so I was not shocked it made a delicious margarita.

So, for those of you not traveling through SeaTac International Airport any time soon, here is my version!

Seattle

Strawberry Rhubarb Margarita

2oz tequila

½ oz triple sec, Cointreau, or Combier

1 oz strawberry rhubarb puree

3 oz sweet and sour mix

For the sweet and sour mix I personally would use Minute Maid frozen limeade.  Make with a few ounces less water and add 1 oz of fresh lime juice.  This will make a sweet and sour mix that will not over power the strawberry rhubarb puree.  If you want to make your margaritas blended, switch the amount of puree and sour mix.  This makes for a better texture and more flavorful margarita.

Add all the ingredients to a shaker or blender with ice and mix.  Because this is a kind of sweet drink I personally skip the salt on the rim.

For the strawberry rhubarb puree:

Ingredients
1/3 to 1/2 cup sugar, depending on desired tartness
1/3 cup water
1 pound rhubarb stalks, cleaned and diced
1 quart strawberries, cleaned, hulled and halved
1/2 tablespoon lemon juice

(Foodnetwork.com)
Directions
In a heavy saucepan over medium heat combine sugar and water. Stir to dissolve sugar. Add rhubarb and allow to simmer for 15 minutes or until tender. Add strawberries and lemon juice and simmer for 10 minutes more. Allow mixture to cool for about 10 minutes.

In batches, if necessary, puree mixture in blender. Add water if mixture appears too thick. Strain through a fine mesh strainer, like a chinois, to get rid of the seeds.

By Krystle Turkington