Summer’s Bounty Keeps Garden Parties Fresh




Three herb-accented cocktails by Dave Kwiatkowski of Sugar House Bar, Detroit

  • Basil Gin Smash
  • Queen’s Park Swizzle
  • Pimm’s Extraordinaire
Photographs by Joe Vaughn


Queen’s Park Swizzle
(Served Trinidadian style)
Half a lime, quartered
1 teaspoon pure cane sugar
2 ounces white rum
Angostura or Peychaud’s bitters*

  • In the bottom of a highball glass, combine the bottom leaves of a mint sprig (reserving the tip as garnish), the lime chunks, and the sugar. Muddle gently, until the juice of the limes has been extracted. Add rum and a good amount of crushed ice, and swizzle (or stir). Add more ice, packing it slightly, dash bitters on top and garnish with the mint tip.

* The Trifecta bitters are Kwiatkowski’s own.

The other cocktail recipes can be found here.

Small Bites

Four herb-accented savory appetizers and one herb-garnished sweet by personal chef Kathryn Williams

  • Spiced Lamb Kafta With Cilantro and Pine Nut Pesto
  • Citrus- and Dill-Cured Salmon Crostini with Beet Horseradish Cream
  • Cherry Tomato-Watermelon-Feta Cheese Salad with Basil Vinaigrette Served in Endive Cups
  • Grilled Rosemary Chicken and Preserved Lemon Tea Sandwiches
  • Strawberry-Mint Ice Cream with Agave Nectar


Strawberry-Mint Ice Cream with Agave Nectar (Serves 8)

2 cups heavy cream
1-1/4 cups 2-percent milk
1-1/4 cups sugar (*divided)
3 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons agave nectar
1/2 cup water
1 1-ounce package fresh mint
2 cups fresh strawberries, chopped
Candied strawberries and mint for garnish

  • Bring cream and milk to a boil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Beat *1/2 cup of the sugar and egg yolks at high speed with a mixer until thick and pale. Slowly add cream and milk mixture to yolk mixture. Pour the entire mixture back into pan. Heat to medium-low and cook 2 minutes, or until a thermometer registers 160 degrees, stirring constantly so yolks won’t curdle. Remove from heat. Place pan in a large, ice-filled bowl. Cool milk mixture completely, stirring occasionally.
  • Combine remaining *3/4-cup sugar, agave nectar, and water in a saucepan and heat on low-medium heat, stirring constantly, until sugar dissolves. Add mint to hot syrup and steep for 5 minutes. Discard mint. Pour the syrup over berries and let stand 20 minutes. Add berries and syrup to milk mixture; stir well. Cover and chill, stirring occasionally.
  • Pour mixture into the freezer can of an ice-cream freezer and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions. Spoon the ice cream into a freezer-safe container; cover and freeze 1 hour or until firm.
  • Spoon into dishes and top with candied strawberries and sprigs of mint.

Cherry Tomato-Watermelon-Feta Cheese Salad with Basil Vinaigrette (Serves 6-8)

1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
2 cups seedless watermelon, diced
¾ cup feta cheese, cubed
2 bunches fresh basil leaves (*divided)
3 tablespoons rice-wine vinegar
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
½ – ¾ cup olive oil
Salt and pepper
2-4 endive bulbs, trimmed and leaves separated

  • Combine tomatoes, diced watermelon, and feta cheese in a bowl.
  • Chiffonade chop *1 bunch basil leaves.
  • Make basil vinaigrette: Combine remaining basil leaves, rice-wine vinegar, and sugar in a small food-processor bowl. Pulse until thoroughly mixed. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil until fully incorporated. Add salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Toss basil vinaigrette with the tomato-watermelon-feta mixture. Stir salad gently and season to taste with salt and pepper. Place salad in clean endive cups. Garnish with chiffonade basil leaves.

Spiced Lamb Kafta with Cilantro and Pine Nut Pesto (Serves 8)

4 tablespoons fresh cilantro, minced
4 tablespoons fresh onion, minced
4 tablespoons Greek-style plain yogurt
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
2 tablespoons minced garlic
½ cup breadcrumbs
½ cup milk
2 pounds ground lamb
Salt and pepper, to taste
* Skewers

1 cup cilantro, minced
1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
2 teaspoons sugar
1 small clove garlic
Salt and pepper
½ cup olive oil

  • Combine all kafta ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Mix just until fully incorporated. Shape into oblong links onto skewers. Grill until cooked through.

For Pesto:

  • Combine cilantro, pine nuts, sugar, garlic, salt, and pepper in a small food processor. Pulse until combined. Slowly drizzle in olive oil.

After grilling kafta, spoon pesto over skewers. Garnish with cilantro leaves and extra pine nuts.

Citrus- and Dill-Cured Salmon Crostini with Beet Horseradish Cream (Serves 6-8)

1 pound salmon fillet (preferably middle-cut), pin bones removed
2 tablespoons coarse sea salt
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon crushed white peppercorns
Zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
1 dry-roasted red beet, grated
1/2 cup prepared horseradish
3/4 cup sour cream
1 half French baguette, toasted
Fresh dill sprigs

  • Lay the salmon fillet skin-side down on a large sheet of cling film.
  • Stir together the salt, sugar, pepper, lemon zest, and dill until well combined. Spread the mixture on top of the fillet before wrapping in the cling film. Refrigerate at least 24 hours.
  • Combine grated beet, horseradish, and sour cream until well mixed. Spread small amount onto toasted crostini (baguette). Top with a small sliver of cured dill salmon. Garnish with more beet horseradish cream and a sprig of dill.


Hair by Gjysta Nuculaj
Makeup by Inese Chube, for Mijo-A Beauty Studio, Rochester
Landscaping (floral) design by Debbie Marie, Visions of Paradise Landscaping
Models: RGA Model Management and Traque International Model Management
Appetizer ingredients courtesy of Holiday Market
Wreath and tabletop floral by Mancuso’s Florist, St. Clair Shores; split-birch vases from; Chiavari chairs from Special Events Rental, Warren; fresh fruit provided by Westborn Market

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