Le Chocolat Chaud (French Hot Chocolate)

By Libbie Summers
Photography by Chia Chong

I look forward to the first day of the year that’s JUST chilly enough to have an excuse to make Le Chocolat Chaud. In Savannah, I’m typically waiting 2 months past the rest of the country. But yet, I wait.

If you are chocolate shy, this hot chocolate is probably not for you. Not because it’s too sweet or too rich, because French drinking chocolate is neither. It’s typically made with whole milk (not cream) and the best chocolate your francs can buy. So it’s real chocolate you are drinking/sipping, and it’s heaven. I’m not going to lie, I like to drop a store bought marshmallow in at the end and a sprinkle of flake sea salt. Because no matter how much Le Chocolat Chaud I drink…I’m still from Missouri.
French Drinks, Drinking Chocolate, Chocolate Recipes, Libbie Summers, Chocolate Drinks, A food-inspired life
Le Chocolate Chaud via Missouri
serves 4 (France) 2 (Missouri)

What you need: 
2 cups whole milk
5 ounces best quality possible bittersweet chocolate, chopped
Pinch of sugar (optional)
Pinch of flaked sea salt
Homemade marshmallows (optional)

What to do: 
Add milk to a medium heavy bottom sauce pan and bring to a low simmer. Whisk in chocolate and stir until melted. Add sugar and continue cooking and whisking for another 2-3 minutes.

To Serve: Divid mixture between two cups and sprinkle each with a bit of sea salt. Float a marshmallow on each if desired.
Hot Chocolate, Dessert Party, French Party, Libbie Summers Parties,

Green Tea Cocktail

By Libbie Summers
Assisted by Candace Brower
Photography by Chia Chong

Having a Chinese New Year party? Having an anything party? Just had a long day and need a drink? I’ve got you covered! 
Green Tea Cocktails, Green Tea Recipes, Matcha Recipes, A food-inspired life, Libbie Summers Recipes, Chinese New Year, Unique Signature Drinks
Chinese Junk
(a green tea cocktail)
makes 1

What you need:
3 ounces prepared and cooled green tea (I use matcha)
1 ounce vodka
Ginger beer

What to do: 
Pack a tall glass with ice. Add green tea and vodka. Top with ginger beer and stir.

Cookies for International Santas

By Libbie Summers
Assisted by David Dempsey
Production Assistant: Anthony Lunsmann
Photography by Teresa Earnest Photography
On location at The Grant Hotel, available through Lucky Savannah Vacation Rentals

It’s customary in the United States of America to leave cookies out for Santa on Christmas Eve. But what if your Santa isn’t American? Let the kids think outside of their home circle this Christmas and bake up some Santa treats for an International Saint Nick! 
French Santa:
Libbie Summers, A Food-Inspired Life, Cookies, Santa, International, Milk and Cookies, Holiday Traditions
1 serving Macarons
1 glass Armagnac
joyeux Noël!

Mexican Santa:

Libbie Summers, A Food-Inspired Life, Cookies, Santa, International, Milk and Cookies, Holiday Traditions
1 serving P0lvorones (Mexican Wedding Cookies)
1 serving Mexican Hot Chocolate
Feliz Navidad!

Italian Santa:

Libbie Summers, A Food-Inspired Life, Cookies, Santa, International, Milk and Cookies, Holiday Traditions
1 serving Amaretti Cookies
1 bold Espresso Macchiato
buon Natale!

American Santa:

Libbie Summers, A Food-Inspired Life, Cookies, Santa, International, Milk and Cookies, Holiday Traditions

1 serving delicious Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 glass milk
Merry Christmas!

Haystack Cocktail and GIVEAWAY

By Libbie Summers
Assisted by David Dempsey
Photography by Teresa Earnest Photography

It’s funny how people come in and out of your life at the perfect time. Brian Hart Hoffman is one of those people. I had lost touch with Brian for a few years (no fault of either of ours) and BAM, just like that, we’re both guests at a private dinner in Charleston that ALSO just happened to fall on his birthday (of which he didn’t let me forget)! It was such fun catching up and reconnecting. I’ve always loved Brian’s energy, his zest for life, his laugh and his beautiful blue eyes. I’ve admired the business acumen of not only he and his brother, but their mother,Phyllis Hoffman DePiano, who started the family business –Hoffman Media where Brian serves as president and chief creative officer of the business, overseeing the editorial planning and brand direction for all publications and books. He’s also been the driving force behind the launch of The Cottage Journal, Southern Home, Southern Cast Iron and my favorite, Bake from Scratch (check out their instagram feed…you’ll get lost down a beautiful baked rabbit hole). Here’s the fun part of reconnecting with Brian…he’s now a published author!!
Cocktail Books, Coupe Glasses, Cocktails, Brian Hart Hoffman

The Coupe features signature recipes from the country’s best mixologists and barkeeps and embraces the mood and magic that comes from drinking a craft cocktail from this storied glass. Brian’s personal coupe collection inspired this book, and he offers tips for collecting coupes and styling the home bar.
The Coupe also features easy and elegant dessert recipes perfect for serving in coupes, a primer on citrus garnishes, and simple syrup recipes that add depth and
flavor to cocktails. I keep my signed copy right on my bar next to the only two coupe glasses I own. Brian has pressured me into getting more!
ENTER TO WIN A COPY: In honor of the release of Brian’s first book, he’s signing one for a lucky WINNER!!! Just head over to my instagram and enter to Win. For now, I took the challenge and came up with a coupe worthy cocktail of my own. Brian said it sounded delicious…I can’t wait to make it for him…maybe he’ll bring a glass.
Cocktail Recipes, Fall Cocktails, Libbie Summers Recipes, Apple Cider Recipes
Haystack Cocktail
(apple cider, rosemary infused simple syrup, vodka)
Makes 1
What you need:
½ cup turbinado sugar
2 stems of rosemary (4 to 5-inches long)
2 ounces organic apple cider
1 ounce vodka
What to do:
1. Make Rosemary Simple Syrup: In a small saucepan over medium heat add ½ cup water
and sugar. Cook just until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and add 1 rosemary stem. Allow to sit until cooled (you can refrigerate for faster cooling). Remove stem after cooling. (you’ll have plenty of rosemary simple syrup for a few cocktails!)
2. Chill Coupe Glass: Pack a coupe glass with ice and pour water over. Set aside.
3. Make Cocktail: Add ice to a cocktail shaker. Pour in 1ounce apple cider, 1
ounce vodka and splash of Rosemary Simple Syrup. SHAKE. SHAKE. SHAKE.
4.Pour out ice water from coupe glass. Run fresh rosemary stem around the rim of the glass. Strain cocktail from shaker into glass. Garnish with rosemary. Serve

Watermelon Basil Beach Blaster

By Libbie Summers
Photography by Chia Chong

Sunshine, a backyard garden, beach waves and a night on Ibiza –all in one glass.
No passport required.

Summer Drinks, Watermelon Drinks, Beach Drinks, Libbie Summers Recipes
Watermelon Basil Beach Blaster
serves 6

What you need:
1 cup Turbinado sugar (can substitute white sugar)
1 cup water
8 large basil leaves, plus more for garnish
3 pounds ripe seedless watermelon, rind removed and the flesh cut into pieces
½ cup (or more) vodka (optional)
½ teaspoon flake sea salt

What to do:
In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, stir together the sugar and the water. Bring to a low boil and cook just long enough for the sugar to completely dissolve. Remove from heat and stir in basil leaves. Place mixture in the refrigerator for a minimum of two hours or overnight. Remove basil leaves.

In a blender, puree the watermelon pieces (at this point you can strain the puree and discard the solids, but I like a thicker blaster so opt not to strain it). Pour into a pitcher and stir in basil infused simple syrup and vodka if you’re feeling cheeky. If mixture is a bit too thick, you can add enough cold water to reach the consistency you like.

Pack six glasses with crushed ice and pour mixture over. Garnish with fresh basil and a pinch of sea salt. Serve fast.
Summer drinks, Summer Cocktails, Watermelon Drinks, Watermelon Cocktails, Libbie Summers, Beach Cocktails,

model: Andrea Goto
Libbie’s Food Styling Props: Shot on location at Tybee Island, Georgia (South Beach). Model was our own Andrea Goto. Green jeans are from Fab’rik. Glasses are vintage Georges Briard and one of those finds that made me jump up and down when I saw them at Habersham Antiques Market. I paid $1 a piece for them (sadly, they only had 4…I’m looking for 8 more if anyone has them)! The tin dish is the bottom of a vintage serving dish that I picked up at a junk store in Montana for $2.

Get the latest from Libbie!
Stay up-to-date with the latest recipes, photoshoots, videos and much more!