Claire Robinson's Fourth of July Food & Cocktail Pairings

- Fourth of July is quickly approaching, with many Americans turning to last years same menu of hot dogs, burgers and beers.  But rather than stick with the same-old staples, Pinnacle Vodka wants to spice up summer with unexpected food and cocktail pairings. Icebox cake with a Cinnabon martini or a seafood salad with a coconut-mango cocktail can be just as quick as normal BBQ fare, but far more delicious.

Pinnacle Vodka, the brand with over 40 unique flavors, enlisted the help of fan-favorite chef, Claire Robinson, host of the Food Network Challenge, 5 Ingredient Fix, and the Cooking Channel's Quest For The Fresh to help them create a menu of simple seasonal dishes to pair with outside-the-box cocktails.

Pinnacle Vodka wants viewers to have fun in the kitchen this summer.  Every week in July, Pinnacle will unveil a new recipe paired with an unexpected cocktail on its Pinterest page for fans to enjoy while entertaining guests or lounging solo poolside. 

Claire's Featured Recipes

Snappy Ginger Garlic Peas


1 pound sugar snap peas, trimmed
1 tablespoon grated peeled ginger
2 teaspoons seasoned rice vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons garlic olive oil
2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted

Prepare a bowl with icy water and set aside.  Cook peas in a large pot of boiling salted water until just tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl of icy water to stop the cooking. Drain peas and pat dry.

Whisk together ginger, vinegar, and oil.  Add peas and sesame seeds and mix. Season with salt and pepper.

Sage Vice

1 part Pinnacle® Unflavored Vodka
1 part Pineapple Juice
1 quarter part Lemon Juice
1 quarter part Dry Vermouth

Mix ingredients over ice shake and strain over fresh ice in a rocks glass. Garnish with a sage leaf (Make sure to tap the sage leaf between palms or snap in the fingers to release its essence).

Mojo Pork Tenderloin


5 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon chopped oregano
1 (about 1 1/4 pound) pork tenderloin

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Whisk orange juice, garlic, 2 tablespoons oil and oregano.  Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Pat pork dry. Rub remaining oil on pork and place on a rack set over a baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper. Cook pork in oven until brown, about 25 to 30 minutes. Slice pork and serve with sauce.

Red, White & Blue


1 part Pinnacle® Raspberry Vodka
1 quarter part DeKuyper® Blue Curacao
1 part Piña Colada Mix
1 part Raspberry Sorbet

This is a layered cocktail. In the bottom of a rocks glass pour in ice cold piña colada mix over fresh ice. Next in a shaker over ice add raspberry sorbet and Pinnacle Raspberry Vodka, stir to keep semi frozen as not to liquefy.  Pour on top of first layer of piña colada mix.  Next top off with DeKuyper® Blue Curacao. Garnish with your own patriotic flare.

Sugar & Spicebox Cake


3 cups chilled heavy cream
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, divided
1 cup cream cheese, softened
9 to 12 chocolate graham crackers, broken into squares
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

Beat 2 cups cream with 6 tablespoons sugar in a bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until it just holds soft peaks. Reduce speed to low, then add cream cheese and mix until combined.

Spread 1 1/4 cups cream cheese mixture evenly in bottom of springform pan and cover with graham crackers. Spread with another 1 1/4 cups cream cheese mixture, followed by graham crackers in the same manner. Spread remaining cream cheese mixture on top. Smooth top, then cover pan with foil and freeze until firm, about 1 hour. Transfer from freezer to refrigerator and chill, covered, until a sharp knife inserted into center cuts through softened graham crackers easily, about 8 hours.

Pulse remaining graham crackers in a food processor until finely ground.

Beat remaining cup cream with cinnamon and remaining 3 tablespoons sugar using electric mixer at medium speed until it just holds stiff peaks, about 3 minutes.

Remove foil and side of pan and frost cake with cinnamon cream. Serve cold.

Cinnabon® Splash


1 part Pinnacle® Cinnabon® Vodka
1 part White Cranberry Juice
1 quarter part Lemon Preserves

In a mixing glass add all ingredients over ice, shake and then strain in to a martini glass. Rim glass with toasted coconut flakes and lemon zest.

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