Seersucker and Sazerac Party

A seersucker and Sazerac-themed party is perfect for a summer gathering. At your party, you’ll naturally want to serve Sazerac’s. This iconic southern cocktail can be made simply in its purest form, but feel free to set out a variety of accoutrements like orange peel and cherries in case your guests are more “old-fashioned” fans. Set up a bar with all the ingredients, the proper measuring tools and added fixings then let your guests craft their own cocktails. It’s helpful to include a framed sign with the basic Sazerac recipe on the table.

For the food, plan to serve some classic southern party dishes. Everything from cucumber canapes to rich tomato pie in bite sized portions will complete the menu. For dessert, try this scratch made bourbon infused banana pudding that takes this classic to a new level and fits right in with the theme.

Read more recipes like these in City Social magazine and at www.citysocial.com.

Simple Sazerac
Yields one cocktail in a double old-fashioned glass
1 teaspoon absinthe
1-2 sugar cubes
1 1/2 ounces rye whiskey
2-3 dashes bitters lemon or orange peel

Place the absinthe in a double Old Fashioned glass and roll it around to coat the glass. Pour the whisky and bitters in a cocktail shaker filled with crushed ice. Toss in the sugar cubes. Shake and strain into the absinthe-coated glass. Garnish with lemon or orange peel and serve over more ice if desired.

Mini Tomato Pie
Yields 12 mini pies
2-3 small heirloom tomatoes
12 individual-sized puff pastry shells
1/2 red onion, chopped fine
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon fresh oregano, minced (1/2 teaspoon dried)
1 teaspoon thyme, minced (1/2 teaspoon dried)
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh basil, cut chiffonade (1/2 teaspoon dried)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 cups smoked Gouda or cheddar, shredded
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic

Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Prebake the puff pastry shells according to the package. Slice tomatoes 1/8 –inch thick and lay one slice in the bottom of each baked shell. Sprinkle onion over the tomatoes. Season with salt, pepper, oregano, thyme and 1 tablespoon basil. In a separate bowl, mix mayonnaise, cheese and garlic. Spread the cheese mixture over the tomatoes to the edges of the shell, about 2/3 full. Place another slice of tomato on top and tuck it into the edges of each shell. Bake for 10 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with basil leaves and fresh herbs. Serve warm.

Cucumber Dill Sandwiches
Yields 24 servings.
2 cucumbers
4 ounces goat cheese, softened
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon fresh dill
Pumpernickel bread slices

Cut one cucumber in half and remove the seeds, but leave the peel. Shred the cucumber and place in a medium mixing bowl. Mix in softened goat cheese, sour cream, garlic, salt and pepper. Mince fresh dill and stir in cheese mixture. Chill for at least one hour up to overnight before serving. Thinly slice the second cucumber. Bias cut pumpernickel bread and toast lightly. Spread the cucumber cream mixture onto each slice then top with cucumber slices. Garnish with dill sprigs and serve.

Bourbon Banana Pudding
Yields 8 individual servings.
2 cups cream
1/2 cup white sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons butter
3 bananas
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons bourbon
Vanilla wafer cookies, mini or crumbled

In medium saucepan over medium-low heat, heat cream until bubbles form at edges. Don’t let it come to a full boil. Add sugar, cornstarch and salt and stir constantly until dissolved. Continue to cook and stir until mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a metal spoon, about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla and 1 tablespoon of the butter. Allow to chill while you prepare the bananas.

Slice the bananas in 1/4-inch slices. In a skillet over medium heat, cook the bananas with the brown sugar and remaining 2 tablespoons butter until the sugar and butter are melted and starting to bubble. Add the butter and cook stirring constantly for about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

Place cookies in the bottom of small serving dishes. Spoon some of the pudding mixture onto the cookies. Then top with banana mixture. If your small dishes allow, repeat the layers once more. Chill until ready to serve. Garnish with cookie crumbs before serving.

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