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Summertime Cocktail Hour

Daylight savings gives us those lovely long golden hours in the evening, perfect for kicking back and enjoying a bit of down time with a drink. Try this citrusy cocktail with easy-to-make cheddar cheese straws. You could also pair it with salty roasted chick peas or corn chips and a freshly-made roasted guacamole. Even better sip away while you spend time at the barbecue this summer (we've got some great grill recipes for you here). We think you'll enjoy the citrus/mint combo with a yummy savory snack.

The Stiff Mule

1.5 ounces SKYY Ginger Infused Vodka

1.5 ounces freshly squeezed lime juice

Fresh mint

Ice cubes


1. Muddle the mint in a little glass with a pinch of sugar and a few drops of water.

2. Add to the cocktail shaker along with the other ingredients, shake vigorously, and pour into glass.

3. Garnish with a few sprigs of chopped mint.

Makes 20 to 24 straws

Yazoo Cheese Straws

Slightly adapted from Screen Doors and Sweet Tea

Martha suggests to let the cheese come to room temperature before combining it with the butter because the dough will be much smoother. She also notes that if you don’t have a cookie press lying around, just form the dough into 2-inch round logs and chill until firm. Then slice into-inch thick disks and proceed with directions from there.


1/2 pound mixed extra-sharp cheddar and white cheddar, grated (at room temperature)

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon Cholula or your favorite hot sauce

1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, sifted

2 tablespoons sesame seeds


1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Prepare a cookie press with the star attachment or an another narrow attachment of your choosing.

2. In a food processor fitted with the metal blade, combine the cheese, butter, salt, pepper and dash of hot sauce by pulsing until well blended. Then add the flour and pulse until a ball of dough forms.

3. Press long strips of the dough 1 inch apart onto ungreased cookie sheets (I used a Silpat just to be safe). Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until the edges just barely begin to brown.

4. Remove the cheese straws and let cool completely. Break in half if you’d like (not all of the sesame seeds end up sticking). Store in an airtight container.

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