Setting the SEEN: Fourth of July edition with food and fun

Written by Sara Bauknecht on .

What are you doing to celebrate America's 238th birthday? How about throw a party with some festive food and drinks!

In a very special holiday episode of "Setting the SEEN," SEEN editor Natalie Bencivenga and I stopped by Grit & Grace, Downtown, for tips on drinks and dishes for summer celebrations. Plus we checked out the newly renovated Mellon Square Park and talked tips for throwing the perfect summer party.

Find it all in the video below. If you like any of the treats that you see, some recipes are below, too.

Happy Fourth of July, and until next time -- we'll be seeing you!



RECIPES FOR THE FOURTH OF JULY (or any summer celebration ...)

Jungle Bird cocktail
1.5 oz Goslings dark rum
1.5 oz smoked pineapple juice (or regular pineapple juice if you don’t have access to a smoker)
3/4 oz Campari oz Fresh lime juice
1/2 oz simple sugar (simply equal parts sugar to water; you will want to bring up the water to a high heat in order to properly incorporate the sugar)

Mix all ingredients together in a cocktail shaker. Add ice, shake. Strain over one large ice cube, if possible, and garnish with leaves of the pineapple. If you are featuring this cocktail for a party you can pre-batch the cocktail and put in a decorative glass bottle so guests can help themselves and nobody has to play bartender all night. Just keep the ice full!

Summer Refresher mocktail
3/4 oz house-made Orgeat
3/4 oz house-made lime preserves
1 1/2 oz fresh orange juice
Top with soda water & Peychauds Bitters

Mix all ingredients together in a cocktail shaker. Add ice, shake and strain over ice. Top the glass with soda water. Add Peychauds’s bitters for a bright red contrast in color and a balance if bitter flavor. Garnish with fresh fruit.

To make Orgeat ...
8 oz almond meal
5 cups sugar (divided)
8 cups water
5 drops rose water
8 drops orange blossom water
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Combine almond meal + 1 cup sugar + water on high heat, bring to boil. Remove from heat, cover and let sit overnight. Next day: strain through cheesecloth + China cap into saucepan. Add 4 cups of sugar and on a medium heat, dissolve sugar. Cool. Add rose water + orange blossom water + almond extract.

NOTES: Makes 5 Cup Serving; can be made in larger batches and frozen

Asparagus salad with tarragon Dijon dressing, bulgur wheat, pickled egg, radish and bibb lettuce
Roasted asparagus
1 bunch large asparagus
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Remove woody stems and toss in olive oil salt and pepper. Roast for 6 min and chill.

Tarragon dressing
2 tblsp
1 large shallot
2 oz white balsamic vinegar
1 oz water
6 oz canola oil
1 tblsp tarragon
Add all ingredients except the tarragon and oil in the base of a food processor or blender. With the motor running slowly emulsify in the oil and fold in the tarragon. Salt and pepper to taste.

Pickled eggs
4 hardboiled eggs
1 quart red wine vinegar
1 cup sugar

Bulgur wheat
1 quart bulgur
1 1/2 quarts boiling water
Bring water to a boil and pour over bulgur wheat and wrap with cling film. Let stand 5 min and fluff with a fork and cool.



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