I know I already told you guys about my awesome 3-tier beverage dispenser that I am infusing gin, vodka, and tequila in here, but I haven’t told you about the results yet. We are 3 weeks in and here is what I have learned:
1. Infusing Gin with cucumber is the easiest, the cucumber infuses fast and tastes VERY cucumber-y. It doesn’t taste bad, but the hubs and I agree we want to do something different next time.
2. Frozen strawberries do not work as good as fresh. Two weeks in I replaced the frozen strawberries I originally used with fresh ones and it made all the difference. The strawberry margaritas I made over the weekend were INSANE!
3. The vodka pineapple I have been doing for a while, it is tried, true, and tasty!
There is a great little spot in Laguna called The Royal Hawaiian and they make this drink that is locally famous called the “Lapu Lapu”.
You must use a brandy sniffer of shaved ice. It won’t taste the same without shaved ice.
A splash of simple syrup. (available at “Smart and Final”)
A splash of orgeat syrup. (also available at “Smart and Final”)
This is what gives it that Almond flavor. Amaretto is a nice substitution.
A splash of passion fruit syrup. This is what makes it different from a Mai Tai. (Usually available at “Smart and Final”)
Two shots of light rum.
A mixture of 60% pineapple juice and 40% orange juice. (instead of orange juice, try tangerine “Naked Juice” from Trader Joe’s)
A floater of dark rum. “Myers” dark rum is not dark enough. Use “Whaler’s” (available at Trader Joe’s) or “Trader Vic’s” dark rum.
Moscow Mules are my favorite cocktail of all time. I have written on this subject before but want to emphasize how fantastic this drink is and encourage you to try it. It is unbelievably easy to make with just 3 ingredients. And if you are a total nerd like me you can even buy the signature copper mugs that these drinks are known for (thanks Mom!).
- 2 cups fresh pineapple juice
- 2 cups orange juice
- 1 cup white rum
- 3/4 cup high-proof dark rum
- 3 tablespoons Campari
- Orange wedges and maraschino cherries, for garnish
Mix ingredients in a pitcher. Cover; chill for 4–12 hours.
Divide among ice-filled glasses. Garnish with orange wedges and maraschino cherries.
Jon and I treated ourselves to a night out on the town last weekend.
I made Electric Lemonade Martinis, Greek food for dinner (more on that later), and then we went out for a movie.
1 ounce Blue Curacao
1 ounce of rum
1 ounce of Simple Syrup
The juice of half of a lemon
Shake with ice and pour into a frosty martini glass, garnishing with lemon.
Blood Orange Gin Sparkler
You can keep the rosemary simple syrup in the refrigerator for a week or so. You can do this ahead of time. Also, if blood oranges are hard for you to come by – navel oranges are also delicious.
2 cups / 480 ml water
1 cup / 6.5 oz / 185 g sugar
4 tablespoons (~2 sprigs-worth) fresh rosemary leaves
1 bay leaf (optional)
tonic water (or sparkling water)
Combine the water, sugar, rosemary, and bay in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer for 3-5 minutes, or long enough for the sugar to dissolve, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and let infuse for 10 minutes. Strain into a jar to cool completely.
In the meantime, juice and strain your oranges, you’ll need 3 tablespoons / 1.5 tablespoons of juice for each drink.
To make each drink combine you’re going to combine equal parts gin, juice, and tonic water with a bit of syrup and ice. So, its 3 tablespoons / 1 1/2 oz gin, 3 tablespoons / 1 1/2 oz freshly squeezed blood orange juice, and 1-2 teaspoons of the rosemary syrup in each tall glass (I used kolsch glasses here). Stir to combine, fill each glass 2/3 full with ice and top off with 3 tablespoons / 1 1/2 oz tonic water. Stir again and you’re set.
Prep time: 5 min - Cook time: 10 min
I had to mention this fab little cocktail party my friends Sam & Gary had the other night. It was a low key gathering with one AMAZING bartender named Nick. Nick is an expert mixologists, like he has won awards for drinks he has invented. He works at the Montage if you live in So Cal and want to check him out. The guy has mad skills.
I have seen plenty of bartenders make delicious drinks but I have never seen anyone as passionate about the art of drink making as Nick. Not only does he know about a zillion cocktails by heart but he has a collection of exotic alcohols and top notch tools. Nick not only knows the drink components like the back of his hand but he knows how they are derived and the lore behind some of his favorite cocktails.
I was so impressed, I literally just sat at the bar memorized as he whipped up Manhattans and Pink Ladies. He even got me to drink gin which I NEVER do thanks to one REALLY bad night in Hawaii when I was 19. Nick totally inspired me to take my drink making to the next level.
[and yes that is a raw egg he put into my drink!]
Here are a few must have tools I saw him using:
This is a Swizzle Stick - SHOP
This is a Muddler - SHOP
This is called a Jigger -SHOP
Lemon Squeezer - SHOP
Hot Buttered Rum
- 6 Cloves
- 1 1/2 Oz. Dark Rum
- 1 Generous Tbsp. Brown Sugar
- 1 Cinnamon Stick
- Boiling Water
- Grated Nutmeg
- Lemon Peel
Mixing instructions:Rinse a large mug with boiling water and add brown sugar, cinnamon stick, and a lemon peel studded with cloves. Pour in a little boiling water and stir until sugar is dissolved. Add rum and fill with boiling water. Stir, then place pat of butter on top of drink, and sprinkle with grated nutmeg.
Hot Mint Chocolate
- 5 To 6 Oz. Hot Chocolate
- 1 Oz. Peppermint Schnapps
Mixing instructions:Pour peppermint schnapps into a heatproof mug or glass. Fill with hot chocolate and stir. Option: Garnish with a candy cane or “rim” the mug or glass with crushed candy cane.
Mixing instructions:Simmer 3 cups water with, sugar, cloves, cinnamon sticks, and lemon peel in a stainless steel pot for 10 minutes. Add wine heat to a “coffee temperature” (DO NOT BOIL) then add the brandy.
Hot Mulled Cider
- 8 cups Apple cider (or apple juice)
- 1/2 cup Brown sugar, packed
- 1 ground Nutmeg
- 6 inches Cinnamon stick
- 1 tsp whole Allspice
- 1 tsp whole Cloves
- 8 Orange slices , thin
- 8 whole Cloves
Mixing instructions:In a large saucepan combine apple cider/juice, brown sugar, and nutmeg. for spice bag, place cinnamon, allspice, and the 1 teaspoon cloves in cheesecloth and tie, add to cider mixture. Bring to boiling. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 10 minutes. Remove spice bag and discard. Serve cider in mugs with a clove-studded orange wedge in each.
A friend of mine recently stayed at the Broadmoor Resort in Colorado Springs, CO and came back raving about her experience. I have to admit the place looks pretty spectacular:
She forwarded me this recipe she got from them and I wanted to share it with you because it looks insanely good.
THE SMASHING PUMPKIN
Lead Bartender at Summit Restaurant, Broadmoor Resort, CO
Makes 1 Cocktail
1 1/2 ounces Bulleit or Maker’s Mark Bourbon
1 ounce Pumpkin Puree (measured in a jigger)
3 segments Tangerine with Peel
1/2 ounce Grand Marnier
1/2 ounce Brown Sugar Simple Syrup*
*To make brown sugar simple syrup, mix two parts (2 cups) brown sugar with one part (1 cup) water. Bring to a boil, then let cool before mixing 1/2 ounce into the drink. Store remaining simple syrup in the refrigerator.
Muddle tangerine pieces in a glass with brown sugar simple syrup.
Add remaining ingredients and ice. Shake.
Garnish with nutmeg.
- 1 bottle (64 oz) pomegranate-cherry juice or cranberry juice cocktail
- 1 quart strawberries, hulled and quartered
- 1 pint each blueberries and raspberries
- 1 Gala apple, cored and thinly sliced
- 1 small cucumber
- 2 liters sparkling water
- Ice cubes
- In a large pitcher, combine juice with berries and apple slices. Chill for 1 hour.
- To serve, peel cucumber and cut lengthwise in half. Remove seeds and cut into thin slices. Stir cucumber slices and sparkling water into juice mixture. Serve over ice.
- Stir in a few shots of vodka, if desired.
Anyone who reads this blog knows by now that I have some issues with drinking milk, I have never been a fan. The biggest downside to my anti-milk sentiment is how it has affected my ability to eat cereal. My husband encouraged me to try coconut milk the other day and it has seriously changed my life. I was always weirded out by box “milk” (rice, soy, etc.) and I never really liked the taste. This on the other hand tastes fantastic and has a similar consistency to milk.
Let’s take a look at the nutritional value in comparison:
The cool thing about coconut milk is that it is loaded with healthy medium-chain saturated fats. It also has a nice vitamin and mineral profile, while being middle of the pack in protein and carbohydrates. As you can see it is high in calories but I only use about a 1 cup for my morning Rasin Bran.
But wait it gets better! Coconut milk contains lauric acid, antimicrobial lipids and capric acid, which have antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties (source).
Here is a bit more:
Recent research on the health benefits of medium-chain fatty acids — saturated fats — is bringing coconut milk into the spotlight for heart health. According to Katherine Hobson in an article for “U.S. News & World Report,” Pacific Islanders and Asians who eat primarily coconut oils, rather than vegetable or animal fats, show significantly lower levels of heart disease. Another link between coconut milk and heart disease is in coconut milk’s ability to fight off diseases, which new research shows may cause cardiovascular problems. Medium-chain fatty acids kill the three major types of atherogenic organisms — bacteria that cause the formation of plaque in the arteries — that may lead to heart disease, something antibiotics alone are unable to do, says Bruce Fife, N.D., in his article “Coconut Oil and Heart Disease.”
Healthy Skin and Hair
Coconut milk is highly nutrient when ingested, as well as when used topically on skin and hair. Applying coconut milk to the hair supplies it with necessary nutrients to grow and provides optimal conditioning. Massaging the scalp with coconut oil can treat dandruff and dry, itchy skin. Applied to the rest of the body, coconut milk moisturizes and restores healthy skin and repairs wrinkles and sagging, and can also treat skin infections and wounds as an antifungal and antibacterial.
If you haven’t tried this I strongly recommend it.
At only $9.99 this is such a great hostess gift for a party. Five pre-measured margarita mixers with a modern twist! Includes watermelon, blood orange, mango, original, and strawberry. Also includes rimming crystals for the perfect modern margarita!
Green Monster Smoothie
1 banana, roughly chopped
4 or 5 strawberries
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
1 small peach, peeled and roughly chopped
1 heaping cup (or more) fresh spinach leaves, thoroughly rinsed
splash vanilla soy milk
1 tablespoon Greek yogurt
2 teaspoons honey
1/2 cup crushed ice
Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Serve immediately.
*this recipe makes a very large smoothie- two could easily share.
Recipe source: Sing For Your Supper original