Showing posts with label awesome adult beverages. Show all posts
Showing posts with label awesome adult beverages. Show all posts

Saturday, December 17, 2011

holiday cheer

It is that time of year again. You know, when we are all supposed to be overwhelmed with holiday cheer and goodwill toward our fellow man and whatnot. But, between figuring out what to get everyone, when we are actually going to do that shopping, and then finding more time to wrap those gifts, you have no time. Oh and don't forget baking cookies for Santa, and the parties you have to attend or host, and decorations (indoors and out), and keeping the kids out of said decorations. Of course, the regular housework isn't going to do itself in the meantime either. There is ALWAYS two loads of laundry in my house. Even if I just did two. I swear. Yay for holidays, right? Alright, having a newborn and another kid under two may mean I am a bit more bah-humbug than normal about all the to-dos that go along with the Christmas season this year. But, I have found a way to unwind at the end of a busy day, that has me feeling more cheery.

I have to credit this idea from a drink I had at the Dogfish Head Brew Pub in Delaware. It was a dreary and cold day, and I not only wanted something to warm me up, but I also wanted to take advantage of my kid free afternoon with an adult beverage. Enter the cinnamon infused vodka apple cider. Yep, you read that right. And yes, it is as good as it sounds.

Upon returning home I thought I would give it a try. I infused my own vodka by simply placing three cinnamon sticks in a bottle and letting it set for a week, shaking it at least once a day. I then placed a good portion (the holidays are the time to indulge, right?) in a mug and topped it with freshly brewed cider.

Needless to say, after a warm cup of this concoction I am feeling the holiday spirit once again. Of course, I won't say it has improved my wrapping skills. Its the thought that counts anyway, right? Oh well, cheers everyone!

Monday, August 9, 2010

something special for no special reason

The carnivore doesn't usually bring me flowers for things like my birthday or our anniversary. More often than not I get flowers just because. For example, he sent me a bright bouquet while he was in Vegas. It was sweeter because it was unexpected. And the other night when I sent him to the store for green beans and dishwashing liquid, it was wonderful that he brought home two dozen roses too. Not that I am not all about making a big deal about big days, but it is nice to occasionally get something special when there is no occasion calling for it.

The same goes for cocktails. I like to make a fruity flirty concoction every now and again just because. It can make a Friday night at home with leftovers feel a bit like a date night (especially if you can get baby to take a nap while you enjoy it together). And, while this drink might not be very manly, my carnivore enjoyed it all the same. It combines wonderful summer flavors in a fizzy swirl.

To make this drink start with a few bruised leaves of either mint or basil (depending on your taste and your adventure level). Place them in the bottom of a glass with a shot (or two) of rum (depending on your taste and tolerance level). Next slice four strawberries and half of a peeled orange. Stir this fruit together in a small bowl with 1 tsp of sugar and let it soak together for about two minutes. Add some of the fruit mixture to each glass. Top with several cubes of ice. Then pour 1/2 a can of sprite zero over each. I like to leave in a long spoon so I can scoop up the rum soaked fruit at the end. Finally, sip and savor this special drink for no special reason at all.

(FYI - you can easily leave out the rum in this drink and make a pretty pregatini too.)

Saturday, August 1, 2009

beach trip in a blender

When the carnivore and I went to Mexico this summer we had lots of fruity drinks made from the cheap liquor and fresh fruit we bought at the ginormous walmart. Ever since then I have been missing both the beach and these drinks. So when I saw mangoes for sale at my local market I decided to take a trip back to the beach with my blender. It is not as good as going to the beach, it isn't bad either.

For this mellow mixture you will need:
1 banana, sliced
1 mango, peeled and cubed
1/2 cup of rum
several ice cubes
the juice from 1/2 lime
lime wedges for garnish

Simply blend the ingredients until icy and smooth. Then top each glass with a lime wedge.

I should say for those inquiring minds that I peel and cube my mango with the hedgehog technique. In other words: Slice off the the flat sides of the fruit. Get as close to the flat seed as possible. Using a sharp knife, score a crosshatch or tic-tac-toe pattern into the flesh of the fruit. Cut to, but not through, the skin. Holding the edges in you hands, press the skin with your thumbs to turn the slice inside out. Bite size chunks of fruit will extend from the skin, ready for you to scoop off with a spoon.

So if you see a mango at your market, don't be intimidated. Grab one and then get your blender ready. You are closer to the beach than you think.

Friday, July 10, 2009

pretty and pink lemonade

So, as you may know the carnivore and I are experiencing an abundance of basil. We have made our own pesto and have put it in every Italian dish imaginable. But, what does that green herb have to do with this pink drink? Well, in short, I was looking for more ways to use up the basil. I kept coming across recipes for watermelon and basil drinks. I do love watermelon cocktails, so I was intrigued. Let me explain...

I didn't see a recipe anywhere for this exact cocktail, but here is what I decided to make - watermelon and basil infused lemonade. I started with a frozen lemonade mix which I made according to the package. I then sliced several chunks of watermelon which I stirred in along side a few basil leaves. I then let it sit in the refrigerator for about an hour. And, I have to say it was tart and yummy. I then made it a little more adult by adding a shot of vodka to each tall glass. Again, outstanding.

But, what about that pink drink? Well, after having this luscious lemonade cocktail for a few days, I decided I wanted something even cooler. So, I removed the basil leaves and poured the remaining lemonade and watermelon into a blender with several ice cubes and a few more shots of vodka. I blended it till pretty and pink. Probably a little too cute for the carnivore, but I loved it. It was a wonderful twist on pink lemonade.

So, whether you have a special glass of lemonade, a more adult version of the same thing, or a icy pink lemonade cocktail you can't go wrong!

Monday, June 29, 2009

poolside pineapple drink

The summer in the South means you are likely to hear to growl of a lawn mower during the day and the songs of cicadas at night. It means you can smell the sweet honeysuckle on the vine and the grub on the grill. You can see children playing in the sprinkles and old folks rocking on their front porch. But, most of all what you feel is the heat. Seriously, I think it is a million degrees outside right now - and that's without the heat index which makes it a million and four. So, needless to say the carnivore and I are always looking for ways to beat the heat.

Enter the baby pool. That's right the carnivore and I are now the proud owners of a super-sized inflatable baby pool. Laugh all you want. It is wonderful on a hot day filled to the rim with cool hose water. But, what really puts it over the top is when we get to enjoy an adult beverage in our baby pool. Since I am now obsessed with all things pineapple, and I know how to cut one, I came up with this little concoction.

Simply fill your blender with ice cubes. Add in 3-4 slices of fresh pineapple, 2.5 cups of Dole Blends Orange, Peach, Mango Juice, three shots of rum, and one shot of peach liqueur. Blend until the consistency of a slushy. Garnish with more pineapple and drink through a straw. You will have enough to share or have several drinks on your own.

It is a fantastic poolside drink, whether it be a real pool or a little one. Or, even if you don't have a pool it is a nice way to cool off on these incredibly hot days.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

mas tequila

The carnivore and I have been to Playa del Carmen many times. This time we have rented a condo with some friends. When you rent a condo you are required to make at least one trip to the Walmart. This is no different in Mexico. What is different is what you can get at the Walmart. And some things are not so surprising. We stocked up on fruit - like pineapples, watermelon, and mangoes. We filled the fridge with the local beer (Sol and Pacifico). We got lots of rice avocados for snacking. Etc...

What is different is the massive quantities you can buy tequila and lime in. Or, maybe it isn't that surprising when you think about it. We purchased what seemed like a million limes (not all pictured here) for one dollar. We also grabbed this ginormous bottle of tequila for about $35 dollars. So, it is true everywhere, Walmart is cheap and has everything you need. And in Mexico that means having all the ingredients for many margaritas.

I have not been in charge of making margaritas on this trip (mostly because tequila and I still don't talk too often). But, my carnivore's best friend tells me he makes them by filling up the blender with ice cubes, then adding in enough tequila to fill it to the one cup mark, then enough simply sugar to make it to the 3 cup mark and finally several limes (about 6). When people think these are too strong he adds in some margarita mix too - which they also sell at Walmart. Go figure...

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

i am too old for jello shots

Here's the deal - I'm now officially too old for jello shots. And since I have become a vegetarian I haven't had any because of the gelatin (hooves and bones) anyway. (Sorry, if I just ruined jello for you, but Billy Cosby should have told you.) I am not too old however to enjoy a cool quick alcoholic bit of fruitiness. Enter my new friends - pineapple bites.

What is so special about cut up fresh pineapple you ask? Well, it is nice and refreshing, but that is not what we have here. These are no regular bites of pineapple...they are rum soaked chilled pineapple bites.

It is as simple as cutting up your own pineapple (which I know isn't easy), soaking them in a some pineapple juice and a generous amount of rum. Place these in the fridge and let them chill while you go to the beach. When you come home, little bites of pineapple goodness await you. Think of it as your grown up more refined jello shot...They certainly have all the kick.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

tropical paradise

It is hot here in Memphis. It always is this time of year. I don't mind it nearly as much as the carnivore does. I like to sit on my porch even when it is in the long as I have a nice cool beverage in hand. This is my latest concoction.

First, let me say a little about how it came about. The other day I made a fruit salad to take to my best friend's baby shower. As I was about to toss the juice from the pineapple (I'm all about fresh fruit, but I am not about to slice open a pineapple myself) but I stopped. I remembered this amazing pineapple water I had at a Mexican place last week. I wasn't sure if I could recreate it, but I knew I couldn't toss the juice. So I put it in the fridge, along with the left over juice from the mandarin oranges.

So the next day when I was ready to sit on the porch and do some work on the computer while the carnivore did some work in the yard, I decided it was time to do something with those juices. At the carnivores suggestion, I made it an adult beverage.

I combined the pineapple juice and the mandarin orange juice (about 1 cup total) with several ice cubes and three shots of rum and blended them until smooth. (No rum needed if you are making a pregatini.) I topped each glass (because this recipe makes several glasses) with a squeeze of fresh lime. The lime is key here. Trust me on this one.

It was a like glass of a tropical paradise right on my front porch. Plus, I made it from the juices I would have normally just thrown out! You can't beat this drink in this economy - or this heat.

Monday, May 25, 2009

a mouthwatering watermelon cocktail

It is that time of year again when watermelons are in season. They are a staple of summer and backyard cookouts. I remember when I was a kid my dad would have all of his girls and whatever cousins happened to be over at any given time compete in a watermelon eating contest at holiday weekend cookouts. It wasn't about how much you could eat, but about how fast you could finish your slice with you hands behind your back. We all ended up sticky, smiling, and licking our lips

So, to harken back to those innocent summer days, I thought on this Memorial Day I would share with you a mouthwatering watermelon cocktail that is decidedly more adult, but will leave you smiling and licking your lips (and maybe a little sticky as well).

I received this recipe from an email from Hungry Girl. I would suggest at least doubling the recipe as this only makes one (big) drink. And if you are like me, your manly hubby will be begging for one of your pink and fruity girly drinks once he has one (big) sip. Or, if you are making it for a party, I would suggest making a huge batch as they will go fast! Also, it is easier to make if you buy a seedless watermelon from the start. We found an small one at our local farmers market, along with the limes, all for under three bucks! Plus, the mint came from my new herb garden.

For one cocktail you need the following:
3/4 cup of watermelon chunks, seeds removed
1 shot of rum (as big as you like)
1 lime
3-4 mint sprigs
2 splendas
5-7 ice cubes

To make the world's most refreshing and addictive watermelon cocktail, start by slicing your lime in half. Cut one half into wedges and place them in a cocktail shaker. Squeeze the juice from the other half. Add in the mint and the splendas (or sugar if you prefer and don't care about counting calories). Bruise with a muddler or an ice tea spoon. Shake and set aside. In a blender combine the watermelon chunks, ice, and rum in your blender. Once your are finished, pout the lime mixture into a large glass and top with the watermelon blend. Stir and enjoy!

I promise you will not be disappointed. This drink is super refreshing on a warm summer night. You could even leave out the rum and make a "pregatini" if you can't have alcohol right now. It would still be mouthwatering. Either way, happy Memorial Day!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

girly drink even a guy would like

My cooking adventures are not only a challenge when it comes to planning meals that both the carnivore and I can eat together, but I am also always trying to expand the man's palate. If it were up to him he would eat the same 5 meals for the rest of his life and they aren't exactly complex. Think pizza or steak and potatoes. But, it doesn't stop with his plate. My carnivore also has strict rules when it comes to his adult beverages. They can basically be boiled down to "would James Bond or John Wayne drink this?"

However, it never fails that when I order some super fruity pink drink with an umbrella, he always wants a sip (or two). And, his usual comment is something along the lines of, "that's not bad," which in the words of my carnivore means it is actually pretty good. So, on the off chance we are having a special (read romantic) dinner at home together I try to make a cocktail we can both enjoy - even if it is a little girlie. No one has to know, right? I gave up alcohol for lent, so I recently rewarded myself (and the carnivore) with my favorite drink - a version of a bellini. James Bond or John Wayne might not drink this - at least not in public - but my carnivore will - at home. I serve mine in stemless flutes to make them a little less girly. Similar ones are in my amazon store.

Simply grab a good peach liqueur and a nice bottle of champagne. Fill your 1/4 of the champagne flute with the peach liquor and the rest of the way with champagne. Top with a strawberry. Cheers!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

blackberry mint margaritas

So, I have to admit tequila and I have not been friends since my bachelorette party. In fact, we haven't been on speaking terms. But, we decided to put our past behind us last night in order to celebrate both Cinco de Mayo and the Kentucky Derby in one fantastic drink. At the carnivore's suggestion I began searching for mint margaritas - because what else say Derby Day and Cinco de Mayo better? In my quest I came across a recipe for blackberry mint margaritas. I knew there were fresh blackberries that I had been eying at my local market and I had plenty of mint in my herb garden, so I invited over my girlfriend Katie and this is what we came up with...

We made a small batch at first, just enough for two drinks, by combining about 12 blackberries, 2 ounces of tequila, two sprigs of mint, 2 ounces of simple sugar, and some ice cubes. We put them in a shaker, muddled the mix, and strained them into our glasses, garnished with a few more blackberries. It was just enough for us to have one drink each. Dangerously good!

However, we decided it might be even better if we blended them. So we put the rest of the two packages of blackberries in the blender with 6 ounces of tequila, 6 sprigs of mint, 6 ounces of simple sugar, and lots of ice cubes. Blended they were equally divine. The seeds were a bit much at the bottom, but other than that they were fantastic! It made enough for us to have several more drinks...the exact cout is a little blury.

And, I am happy to report tequila and I are talking again. We may not be the best of friends, but we won't be strangers anymore. Anyway, Katie and I think this is the perfect drink for your Derby/Cinco party. So, enjoy a few in a big hat or a sombero!

P.S. The carnivore had a gin and tonic.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

drink to your planet

Every now and then the carnivore and I like an adult beverage with our dinner. We are both a fan of a good red wine on occasion. So, on Earth Day this year I thought I would get us a bottle of organic merlot.

But, what makes a wine organic? At its most basic level, organic wine is made from grapes that have been grown without the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides and herbicides. With grapes topping the list of the most chemically sprayed categories of produce on the market today, it is no wonder that many are seeking an organic alternative to their conventional wines.

And if you are wondering where to find a good wine, I suggest either asking at your local store for a recommendation or checking out . I should have done both of these before I went out. The website has a whole set of reviews for organic wines under $25 so you don't have to break the budget either. My local wine store (Buster's) has quite a selection and the have all of their organic wines marked on the shelves with a big green "O" so they are easy to spot, bust I still got confused somehow.

I ended up buying a Barefoot Merlot for under $10. Good news, right? However, when I got it home I couldn't find anything on it that talked about being organic. Bummed, I did a little more research and learned from the the Barefoot website that they organize local volunteers across the country to clean up area beaches and help keep them "Barefoot friendly." So that is good news for the planet! But, I will be better about checking for the organic label before I check out next time...

Anyway, enjoy a glass (or two) of organic wine - or a wine from a company that helps the environment. Oh, and remember to recycle that bottle when you are done! Cheers!
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