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A la carte: Summer sippers, thyme and Doughssants

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By From Staff and Wire Reports

Published: Tuesday, June 25, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Summer sippers

UV Vodka has added two new flavors to its lineup that are sure to add a spark to your weekend deck parties: UV Salty Watermelon is the world's first salted fruit-flavored vodka, providing a sweet and salty twist to summer cocktails. Award-winning UV Peach is a juicy option, infusing cocktails with fresh-picked peach flavors. Here are a few refreshers from UV:

Salty Watermelon Sparkler: Blend 1 part UV Salty Watermelon, 1 part triple sec and 1 splash of lime juice . Blend with ice and serve. Garnish with watermelon slice.

Liberty: Combine 1 part UV Blue, 1 part raspberry sherbet,and 1 part lemon-lime soda. Serve over ice in a lowball glass.

All-American: In a martini shaker, combine 1 part UV Cherry, 1 part lemon-lime soda and a splash of lime juice Serve in martini glass and garnish with cherries.

Long Weekend: Blend 1 part UV Peach, 1 part tequila, 1 part rum, 1 part gin, 1 part cola and 2 parts lemon juice. Serve over ice in a highball glass and garnish with orange slice and cherry.

Time forthyme

Because of its sweet and savory characteristics, thyme is a go-to herb. It's rounded and balanced, which means it can work in any dish: orange vegetables, meats, sauces, beans and even desserts. It pairs especially well with garlic, mushrooms, squash and onion. Its sweetness makes it a good infuser for alcohol and for homemade bitters. Here's how to use it:

• Use lots of thyme in a tomato sauce instead of basil or oregano.

• Stir it into scrambled eggs or chili.

• Add 2 teaspoons of fresh thyme leaves during cooking for every pound of black beans or pinto beans.

• Flavor batches of white sauce with whole-grain mustard and lots of chopped fresh leaves.

• Toss a handful of lemon thyme (on the stem) into any fruit salad; macerate, then remove the stems before serving.

• It takes time to harvest those tiny leaves from their thin stems. Hold the top of the stem, about a half-inch down; gently pinch your thumb and forefinger together and zip down the stem. It's easier to get the leaves off after the thyme stems have air-dried for a day or two.

More on the Doughssant front

McGinnis Sisters in Monroeville is the latest Pittsburgh retailer to jump on the Doughssant band wagon. These dangerously decadent pastries are a combination of a croissant and doughnut, first created by a Manhattan bakery.

McGinnis Sisters will be selling Doughssants at its Monroeville store on weekends only.

Details: 412-858-7000

— Staff reports

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