Food Stuff

Summer Drinks, Garden Party, Melo Farms, and more!

Food Thought

The Best Summer Drinks; 500 Incredible Cocktail and Appetizer Recipes

By Ray Foley

Mass Market Paperback; $8.99; 240 pp.

From the ultimate authority on bartending, Bartender Magazine, The Best Summer Drinks is the perfect recipe guide for the hottest drink time of year. This book contains 500 summer cocktail and appetizer recipes submitted by the world’s best bartenders, including: Summer Breeze, Fourth of July Blue Lemonade, South Wind and Sun Stroked. It’s the ultimate impulse purchase — handy and cheap.

The Works

Margarita Party Pack

Not your run-of-the-mill set of margarita glasses, this cocktail party pack includes four classic glass margarita goblets, four acrylic spoon stirrers and a lime green aluminum serving tray. So, start pouring the tequila. ($34.95; reducing the size of landfills. They’re available in Bordeaux (brown) or Chardonnay (yellow), each accompanied with a spreader for $18 at

Entertaining … Hey Baller

OXO Melon Baller

The OXO Melon Baller has two stainless steel heads for making melon balls in different sizes. The handy dandy baller is perfect for fruit salads and garnishes — and is also handy for creating small, colorful scoops of sorbet for a festive dessert. ($8.99;

Pineapple Slicer & Dicer

Simply insert the shaft into the top of a trimmed ... pineapple; apply light pressure and twist the handle. (If your mind wandered for a moment, we offer you dispensation for the perverted transgression.)  ($19.95;

Vacu-Vin Strawberry Huller

Mama had a baby and its head popped off ... by effortlessly remove the cap and hull of fresh strawberries in seconds with the Vacu-Vin Strawberry Huller. The flexible huller, without any sharp edges, can safely remove the hull without damaging the rest of the fruit. ($3;


Headline Deal

Beer and food —We’re big fans of New Holland Brewing Co., based in Holland. We love the brewery’s Dragon’s Milk Bourbon Barrel Stout, described on the its website as “roasty malt character intermingled with deep vanilla tones, all dancing in an oak bath.” The description even lists foods that might complement the beer’s flavor. The people at New Holland take such things seriously; so it’s hardly a surprise that their co-owner and vice president, Fred Bueltmann, has just released a cookbook. Well, it’s sort of a cookbook. The self-proclaimed “beervangelist” decided to combine a few dozen recipes, thoughts on pairings and musings on entertaining guests into The Beervangelistís Guide to the Galaxy. The book is $40 and is published by Black Lake Studio and Press.

Garden Party —It’s summer, which means it’s time for live entertainment starting at 6:30 p.m. daily at the Whitney. Offerings range from blues to jazz to Caribbean music. On Thursdays, the Whitney’s Garden Parties will be in full swing. Check the schedule at or drop in at 4421 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-832-5700.

Shout-Out —A quick word of praise for Melody and Lynn Nye, the husband-and-wife owners of Melo Farms ( The Nyes raise heritage Berkshire pork, as well as chicken during the warm months, in pasture, without any antibiotics or hormones. They’ve been in operation for only a couple of years and primarily sell at the Detroit Eastern Market, but they also supply a few of our favorite chefs, Adam Verville of St. CeCe and Dave Mancini of Supino’s).

Easy as 212 —We’ve been hearing good things about a recent entry to the Royal Oak dining scene. It’s called 212, by Fifth Street and the railroad tracks. Expect house-made charcuterie, including a charcuterie pizza, and ground brisket sliders with house-made bacon. The emphasis on local ingredients falls in line with several other successful restaurants to open in recent years. See for yourself at 212 W. Fifth St., Royal Oak; 248-591-4789;

Know of any upcoming food or drink events? Let us know! Call 313-202-8043 or email [email protected]