Summer Cocktails and Apps
Get the party started with sun-drenched cocktails and three islandy appetizers.
Recently we headed to Puerto Rico with (we admit) vague ideas of sun, sand and rum drinks. We returned all wide-eyed and “who knew?”—giddy with excitement over this island’s fresh and innovative flavors, which we sipped and dined on with pleasure.
Nearly every bar or restaurant we visited offered its own specialty cocktail—a creative concoction that usually starred rum. From light and icy fruit frappés served beachside to Martini-style drinks and sangria that enticed us into the pulsating city nights, we’ve rarely seen so much panache in a glass.
The food had us reeling as well. With its African and Spanish influences combined with the island’s own ingredients, the dishes were a blend of fresh and fried, spicy and cool, starchy and sweet.
To pair with our house cocktails and the upcoming outdoor season, we created three appetizers and one dessert as a tribute to the Puerto Rican cuisine that inspired us. We also came up with easy and fun ways to outfit your table. Sea shells, banana leaves, hibiscus flowers, orchids, limes, paper umbrellas and a little bit of turbinado sugar or sand are all you need to transport you and your guests to the tropics.
By Lisa Holderness and Wini Moranville, food writers in Des Moines, Iowa.
A non-alcoholic cooler.
This tropical punch is for adults only.
Skip the gluey queso sauce and try these light nachos.
Meatballs in a flavorful Puerto Rican sauce.
Fresh summer greens are a delicate bed for succulent spicy seasoned Caribbean shrimp.
Plantains and exciting spices are the island way with ice cream.