I'm often asked where I get my ideas for recipes, styling and concepts both for this blog and my daily posts on Instagram. My vivid imagination plays a huge role in this process (I am a Pisces, after all), but often I find inspiration when I experience something unexpected, like on my recent visit to new restaurant, Bespoke.
While dining at a Preview Dinner where we got a sneak peak of the menu, we had the opportunity to try some of their signature cocktails. We kicked off the evening with the Bespoke Cocktail, which is a weekly blend of fresh seasonal ingredients from the market. That day Chef Franco Barrio brought in watermelon and cantaloupe for the mixologist to create an end-of-summer cocktail. When I first heard of the two main ingredients, I was skeptical. I like watermelon, but I don't love it and the pairing with cantaloupe, vodka and mint was unfamiliar to me.
All of that doubt subsided after the first sip. The flashy pink drink laced with flecks of green mint was divine. It was so good that I was still talking about it well after our dinner had ended. Since I don't make cocktails at home unless I'm entertaining, I started thinking of how I could recreate this flavor profile in a form I would actually enjoy in the comfort of my home. It could definitely be a wonderful non-alcoholic drink with fresh muddled watermelon and mint, cantaloupe juice with a splash of club soda and a twist of lime, but I took my inspiration one step further and decided to experiment with a Watermelon, Cantaloup & Mint Smoothie.
Watermelon, Cantaloup & Mint Smoothie
3 cups watermelon
1 cup cantaloupe (frozen)
juice of 1/2 lime
5 sprigs mint
1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger
1/2 banana (optional)
coconut water (optional)
Add all ingredients in a high speed blender and mix until smooth. Depending on the consistency and your preference, add coconut water thin out the smoothie, or add the banana to thicken it. Serve chilled and enjoy.
So that's one example of how I find my inspiration. Use your imagination and always remain open to the possibilities as you experience new things. You never know where it can take you.