Lush Life

To be a lush chef, does not mean to drink in excess - this can result in scary fires and bad dishes. A lush chef is one who enjoys gourmet cooking/baking, often with fresh ingredients and the smart use of one's home bar. If there happens to be half a bottle of beer, a glass of wine, or a sip of brandy left over...well, one cannot be wasteful. I give you permission to imbibe.

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The Lush Chef
Twitter: @thelushchef Provenance: Santa Monica Dish: Coq au Vin Spirit: Whiskey Wine: Malbec Beer: Hefeweizen Farmer's Market: Santa Monica on Main Street
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May 23, 2014

Punch it up for Memorial Day

With the long holiday weekend coming up, you'll inevitably be throwing a Memorial Day party or attending one, which means either way, you'll be contributing some booze.  Regardless of whether you're the host or a guest, you can amp up the weekend and impress your friends with a super simple punch. No one wants to be shaking or stirring up individual cocktails during a big party.  Well, maybe you do, but then everyone's waiting for a drink.  I also like to stir these punches up in those 2-quart beverage coolers and slyly cart them to the beach.  It's The Lush Chef way. The below are some of my favorite summer recipes.  Just be careful, because they go down easily...

If you're on a boat, then make this Boat House Punch. It's got gin, champagne, Aperol, St. Germain, and plenty of fruit juices. It's slightly sweet, slightly bitter, and slightly sour, and very boozy.   

If you want to go old school, then the Garrick Club Punch, which originated at the namesake club in London in 1835, will do the trick. It's like a sophisticated adult lemonade with gin, Grand Marnier or maraschino liqueur, and plenty of fresh lemon juice. My friends still claim it's the booziest lemonade they've ever had. 

If you have a trash can, then this Bourbon & Watermelon Punch has, get this...two ingredients. Just add your favorite bourbon (preferably a mid-range because this punch has two ingredients, remember?) and fresh-squeezed watermelon juice. It's incredibly refreshing and will be amazing paired with BBQ and grilled meats.  
If you're at a brunch, then make this twist on a French 75, with this Sunset French 75. Instead of the usual gin, lemon juice, champagne, and sugar cube, this version calls for gin, blood orange juice, champagne, and a little lemongrass simple syrup. Everyone does mimosas and bellinis, so why not think outside of the box?  Your friends are sure to be wowed and tipsy, plus, you can have this punch on a boat or in a trash can!