I'm unable to get to my wallet. My ability to buy anything is in my friend’s car -- and her husband took that car several hours away today. I need a drink!

Not really. I can manage the stress of being without my wallet for a few hours without turning to alcohol, but I had planned to go to the store to buy a few things for this weekend’s drink creation. I had to turn to plan B, which means making due with what I have in the house.

Back in January, I created several hot cocktails using only what I had in the house. I was keeping the budget tight after the holidays and I came up with some creative, warm-you-up drinks like the Apple Cinnamon Gin Toddy .

I no longer need to be warmed up. We’ve had plenty of hot, humid days here in South Jersey, and I need a drink that’s going to make me feel like I’ve been whisked off to a tropical island where cool breezes blow and someone brings me pretty-colored drinks while I lay by the ocean with a must-read summer book .

So, I set out to collect everything I had in the house that could make something tropical with the Chopin Potato Vodka I was sent to sample. I was thinking something with pineapple, and then I remembered a had bought some Apple & Eve Organic Orange Pineapple juice. The two became the basis for this cocktail and I achieved my goal. I created a light and pretty-colored cocktail that makes me almost believe I’m on a tropical island. If stand under the ceiling fan, take a sip and close my eyes, I'm almost there.

Tropical Island Cocktail

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 5 minutes

Yields: 1 serving

Ingredients

  • 1.5 to 2 oz of vodka – depending on how strong you want it
  • 4 oz no-sugar added orange-pineapple juice
  • 1/2 oz simple syrup
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • seltzer or club soda to top off
  • a few drops of grenadine – optional, it’s just to deepen the color

Directions

  1. In a tall glass filled with ice (I used a large water goblet) add the vodka, juice, simple syrup, lime juice, and optional grenadine. Stir.
  2. Top with club soda or seltzer (you won’t have much room, but a little fizz adds some pizzaz to the drink)
  3. Garnish with a lime or orange wedge, if desired.

Chopin Potato Vodka is produced seasonaly from September to early December. The potatoes are grown using no chemicals or pesticides by select farmers in the Podlasie region of Poland. As many as 40 potatoes go into one 750 ml bottle. And here's some interesting sustainability info: The distillation process for the potato vodka creates limited waste and water from the pond on site instead of refrigeration is used to cool down the potato mash during distillation (the same is done for their wheat and rye vodkas).

Chopin also sent along a fun story about the biodiversity at the property the distillery is located on.

Our distillery is home to many local animals, specifically storks that are somewhat of a symbol of the Podlasie region. The storks lay their eggs in Poland, migrate to Africa during the winter, but always come back to the exact same nest in which they were born. We have one that has been coming back to our distillery for six years in a row. We also have beavers and wild boar who live on and around the property.

Wine, beer and spirits disclaimer : I'm not paid by any producer of wine, beer or spirits to write about their product, although the company may provide me with a sample of the product. I am not a professional reviewer of wine, beer or spirits. I'll write about the product if it's something that I like and if I think the producer is working toward making the product in an environmentally friendlier fashion.

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Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.