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Yesterday, June 21, was the summer solstice – the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere – and the official start of summer (although with temperatures in the mid-nineties for weeks, I think Atlantans already know summer has arrived). Why not take advantage of the long summer evenings and stop in at SOHO to enjoy a cool drink and appetizer or dinner this week?

 

One of our most recent additions to the SOHO cocktail menu is the Absolut Dream. The recipe features Absolut Mandarin Vodka, Chambord, and sweet and sour mix – the perfect refreshment on a hot summer day. To mix one up at home, pour 1 1/2 ounces of Absolut Mandarin Vodka into a cocktail shaker with ice. Then, add 1 ounce sweet and sour mix and 1/2 ounce Chambord. Shake and strain the contents into a cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange slice and you’re set!

 

In the mood to eat light because of the summer heat? SOHO’s House Made Mozzarella Salad is an ideal choice at lunch or dinner. (It’s one of my menu favorites). Composed of fresh tomatoes and house made mozzarella, garnished with basil oil and balsamic reduction, it’s a tasty treat.

 

Mozz salad 

 

If you’re in the mood to whip up the salad at home, here’s Chef Joe’s recipe:

 

Fresh Mozzarella and Tomato Salad (1 serving) 

Ingredients:

4 oz. tomatoes (use your favorite tomatoes or the best that you can find)

2 oz. fresh mozzarella

2 ea. medium fresh basil leaves, julienne or sliced

1/2 oz. extra virgin olive oil

1/4 oz. balsamic syrup (optional – balsamic vinegar reduced to 1/4 original volume)

 

Directions:

– Slice tomatoes and mozzarella and arrange them either uniformly or dice the cheese and tomatoes and place them on a platter.

– To make the balsamic reduction: Bring balsamic vinegar to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Turn the heat to low and reduce. The vinegar will thicken as it cools.

– Dress the salad with fresh basil, olive oil, balsamic syrup or vinegar, and salt and pepper (to taste).

 

Enjoy!