But, if you're anything like me, you work hard all week, leaving little time for proper hostess behavior. By the time Friday rolls around all that is left in the refrigerator is a few sad looking vegetables, and a little bit of half-and-half that I have to ration in my coffee until I next make it to the supermarket. I would so much rather spend my time in the park on Saturday than shuffling from market to market to source the most delicious cheese, obscure pickles, and perfectly paired crackers to share with my fellow picnickers.
Enter Mouth, the indie food online store that has all your picnicing needs covered. They've already selected some of the best small-batch food products available today and curated them into Tasters, which are perfect for those who suffer from decision fatigue at the end of a hard day's work (me).
Mouth has an incredible selection of goods including chocolates, coffee, crackers, cheeses, candies, cookies, jams, condiments, syrups, and (most exciting of all) indie spirits and wine! While it is easy to get lost in the pickle section of the website (I lost a good hour there myself), any lover of cocktails is sure to admire their fantastic selection of small batch, American made libations. They've even curated tasting sets for spirits - such as the "It's 5 O'Clock Somewhere" set that includes Industry Standard Vodka, Town Branch Bourbon, and Original Label Gin. Even if you're not familiar with these brands, the tasting sets are a great way to try new spirits, all the while knowing that someone (Dave Herman of Mouth) has already tasted and approved them for your boozy consumption.
While there are endless amounts of products on Mouth to choose for your weekend picnic, I recommend selecting one of the Tasters. Why? Because you will receive items you never would have picked out your self, and inevitably, everything will be delicious.
My perfect picnic is as follows:
The Big Cheese is a gorgeous Taster that, in my opinion, qualifies as an epic lunch. It contains 5 different kinds of cheese, three different kinds of pickles, three different spreads and tapenades selected to perfectly pair with said cheeses, two types of crackers, honey, cookies, and even a slate cheese board! Genius! This Taster can easily feed 5-10 people and its ingredients can be used in cocktails!
Gastronomista Libation Selects:
Barrow's Intense Ginger Liqueur - One of my favorite ginger spirits on the market made in Brooklyn New York. Barrow's is great in Dark n' Stormys or topped with soda water!
Old New Orleans Crystal Rum - An unaged rum made in the 9th ward of New Orleans, made from Louisiana Sugar Cane.
Square One Organic Vodka - a 100% rye vodka that has a lot of body and character!
Atsby Amberthorn Vermouth -A honey colored Vermouth made in upstate New York, made from North Fork Chardonnay, honey, apple brandy, anise, lavender, basil, and citrus.
Mason Jar Cocktail Shaker - made with an iconic mason jar - and a top that can double as a jigger!
Beehive Juicer - for those of you who don't like squeezing limes with your bare hands
6 Limes or so
Fresh Mint for garnishes
Cocktail Skewers or Toothpicks
Knife for Cheese Cutting
Ice (Because no one likes warm drinks)
|That's a Whole Lot of Delicious!|
Once your goodies arrive, everything comes pre-packed in tote bags, so it's pretty much ready to go out the door. Cheeses come packed in a great insulated tote bag with an ice pack, so you don't have to stress about them going bad. It's pretty genius.
|Ready to Go!|
|Genius Cheese Tote|
Here's a quick tour of The Big Cheese:
|Mouth Totes Spileth Over|
|Edibles Wrapped Up in Handsome Recyclable Packaging|
|Picnic Time! Ash Ripened Goat Cheese, Pickled Green Beans, Sun-Dried Tomato Tapenade! Oh My!|
|Pilsner Crackers Pair Perfectly with Bonne Bouche|
|Tupelo Honey - Great Name, Great Honey|
|Pickles Pickles Pickles and Sun Dried Tapenade on Piedmont Sheep's Milk Cheese|
|Mmmmmm Bonne Bouche|
The Martini is a classic cocktail that doesn't get enough praise in the summertime. I love a chilly martini, especially a heavily garnished martini! I'm beyond obsessed with the Froehlich's Martini Pickles that are made from green bell tomatoes, and pickled in vinegar, salt, spices, garlic, and hot pepper.
I stuffed those bad boys with one of the best blue cheese on the planet, Rogue Creamery's Caveman Blue - which is an awesome combination of flavor. The piquant, bright pickles pair so well with the creamy blue cheese, a combination that is reminiscent of a blue cheese stuffed olive, yet totally better.
|Bliss in Your Mouth - Even Better in a Martini|
Serve a few stuffed pickles in a perfectly chilled Pickled Tomato Blue Cheese Martini made with Square One Vodka and Atsby Amberthorn Vermouth for a wonderfully aromatic and delightful libation! The vodka acts as a vessel for the vermouth, and makes it easier to taste all of the different flavors in the incredibly complex Amberthorn. The herbal notes of the vermouth pair gorgeously with the spiciness of the rye vodka, the creaminess of the cheese, and the brightness of the pickled tomato.
Say hello to your new favorite summer cocktail:
Pickled Tomato Blue Cheese Martini
3 oz Square One Vodka
1/4 oz Atsby Amberthorn Vermouth
2 Froehlich's Martini Pickles Stuffed with Caveman Blue Cheese
Stir with ice, and strain into a picnic glass. Slice the martini pickle lengthwise, and stuff with blue cheese. Skewer pickles with a toothpick, and balance on the top of the glass.
Pro Tip: I love govino wineglasses that are shatterproof, reusable, and good looking.
For those of you who love picklebacks or dirty martinis - try a Pickled Dirty Martini!
Pickled Dirty Martini
3 oz Square One Vodka
1 oz Pernicious Pickle Juice
Pickles to Garnish
Stir with ice, and strain into a picnic glass. Garnish with a few pickle slices.
Another one of my favorite summer cocktails is a Daiquiri! Not the frozen ones that are made with lots of sugar and food coloring, but a classic daiquiri like the ones Hemmingway used to drink! The classic daiquiri is made with rum, fresh lime juice, and a little bit of simple syrup. But we are at the park, so I'm using Barrow's Intense Ginger as a substitute, and to give the Ginger Daiquiri a bit of spicy kick!
|Open Wide, Indeed|
1-1/2 oz Old New Orleans Crystal Rum
1 oz Fresh Lime Juice
1 oz Barrow's Intense Ginger
Shake with ice and strain into a picnic glass. Garnish with half a lime, with a sprig of mint inserted in the center.
Pro Tip: Drinking in parks is all about discretion. When you can, pre-batch cocktails ahead of time. If you're mixing in the park, find a remote spot, and keep your bottles covered.
|Mouth Packaging for the Win!|
Ginger Kamikaze Spritz
1-1/2 oz Square One Vodka
1 oz Fresh Lime Juice
2 oz Barrow's Intense Ginger
3 oz Soda Water
Shake vodka, ginger, and lime juice with ice. Strain into a cocktail glass over ice and top with soda water. Garnish with a lime wedge.
|Cheers to a Perfect Summer Picnic!|
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