Tag Archives: Alcoholic

Naked Condessa

I’ve been thinking a lot about the Women’s March these past few days. I regret that I did not participate in one. I purposely took a break from any sort of news leading up to the inauguration, so while I was of course aware of the D.C. March taking place, I actually was not aware of all the sister marches taking place, and realized a little too late that two of them happened to be within a thirty minute drive from my house. Facepalm.

I followed as much news and social media last Saturday as possible, feeling buoyed and positive for the first time in a few months. I really have no adequate words for how inspiring it was to see such a thing. I’ve been searching out first-hand accounts and articles and ran across this excellent blog post. Kind women versus nice girls. Like the vast majority of GenX females, I was most assuredly socialized to be a nice girl – from every corner of my life. And you know what? Being nice sucks. Putting yourself last, managing all the egos around you, worrying what perfect strangers think of you, and the list goes on and on. It’s no way to go through life.

The Women’s March crystallized, for me personally at least, that this world doesn’t improve from any of us being nice. Progress occurs when we are kind. When we stand up for ourselves and those being disenfranchised. When we don’t hide our basic needs to save another from feeling uncomfortable. When we are badass and awesome.

Oh, and to be clear, no longer being nice doesn’t mean every female in your life turns into an insufferable bitch. It doesn’t mean we are thin-skinned and butthurt over the smallest little things. It just means we stand up for what’s right. We embody empathy, and tell the truth, even when it hurts. Badass Kind Women.

A spicy cocktail seemed apropos for this writing. This drink is upfront and in your face, while being incredibly delicious and fun. Plus, the title is appropriate, as I feel a bit naked writing this personal post! You need to use Cholula for it, no other hot sauce will do. If you have to go out and buy it just to make this cocktail, I’m confident you’ll be so happy to have discovered it. Fairly new on the food trend scene, it’s gaining well-deserved traction, and perhaps is on its way to being a classic. Then again, look at Sriracha. Post is not sponsored in any way, I buy my own Cholula! Enjoy!

Source: Brooklyn Bar Bites by Barbara Scott-Goodman

¼ oz. grenadine
¼ oz. Cholula
½ oz. fresh orange juice
½ oz. fresh lime juice
1 ½ oz. tequila blanco

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the grenadine, Cholula, orange and lime juices, and tequila. Shake vigorously. Strain into a cocktail glass and serve.

As written, makes 1 drink.

Cucumber Gin Rickey

Cucumber Gin Rickey

Matt and I vacationed in Florida during the last two weeks of July, and we had such a blast. However, I cannot tell a lie: it was hot. And humid. We returned to an NYC with much cooler temps, only to be hit with a Particularly Fierce Heat Wave a few days later. As with all heat waves up here, it brought with it its ever-loyal buddy, Insufferable Humidity. Aaaanndd, it still hasn’t let up. Enter the Cucumber Gin Rickey.


Everyone dealing with late summer heat waves (and that’s pretty much everyone, right?) needs a refreshing cocktail in their arsenal, and while I’ve been a cucumber-drink-sceptic for a while, this drink convinced me of the merits. Cucumber is so fresh and summery, and it can lighten up a drink like nobody’s business. We both raved.

Cucumber Gin Rickey

Despite this oppressive heat and humidity combo, I’m really not ready for fall. I’d love for this summer to keep going, probably because I just want another of these cocktails. Anyways, I do highly recommend for your cooling off pleasure. Enjoy!

Source: Shake: A New Perspecitve on Cocktails by Eric Prum and Josh Williams

4 shots gin
1 handful fresh mint leaves, plus a few for garnish
8 slices of cucumber, divided
1 shot fresh lime juice
Ginger beer

Add the mint leaves, 6 cucumber slices, and lime juice to a shaker. Muddle the ingredients in the bottom of the shaker until thoroughly crushed. Add the gin, then add ice to above the level of the liquid and shake vigorously for 10 seconds.
Strain the mixture into pint glasses containing large ice cubes. Top with ginger beer, then garnish with the remaining cucumber slices (1 per drink) and mint leaves. Serve immediately.
Makes 2 drinks as written.

Meyer Lemon French 75

Meyer Lemon French 75

Why is the first week back to work after the holidays always so sluggish and difficult? Every year, it’s the same. I have trouble waking up in the morning, I’m bushed every night for no apparent reason, my workouts feel terrible, and my mood is… out of sorts, to put it politely. Then that first weekend comes, and everything is okay again. I don’t know…

Winter citrus has arrived, and I said that this year I wasn’t going to go crazy trying to make as many recipes as possible, and thought maybe I’d skip it altogether, but I’ve already used Meyer lemons, key limes and kumquats, plus some blood oranges sit on my counter patiently awaiting their fate, so there goes that, I guess.

Meyer Lemon French 75

No matter! This drink is certainly worth sharing. A French 75 is a classic New Orleans libation, supposedly named after French military artillery (???), and while it sounds fancy, it’s actually a very simple drink made of simple syrup, lemon juice, and either gin or cognac, then topped off with Champagne or sparkling wine.

Meyer Lemon French 75

Today we make it more seasonal with Meyer lemons, but regular lemon juice would obviously do just fine. Meyer lemons have an almost bitter yet sweet quality to them that I thought played well off the strong gin. This drink certainly sounds and even looks a bit fancy, so I say bust it out for an appropriate occasion! Enjoy!

Meyer Lemon French 75

Source: Down South by Donald Link

1 oz. freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice
½ oz. simple syrup
1 ½ oz. gin
Champagne or sparkling wine
Twist of Meyer lemon peel

Combine the Meyer lemon juice, simple syrup, and gin in a cocktail shaker with a scoop of ice. Cover and shake vigorously. Pour the strained drink into a champagne flute or coupe glass. Top off with Champagne and garnish with the lemon peel.
Makes 1 drink as written.

Homemade Eggnog for the Inner Cheater in All of Us

Homemade Eggnog for Cheaters

Tis the season for buying and drinking liberal amounts of eggnog! Every grocery store stocks all the different brands, often prompting eggnog taste testings amongst families and party gatherers, plus hot debates about which brand is best. Unless you get it into your head that you should make eggnog yourself, like I did last year.

Homemade Cheater's Eggnog

This was not my best and brightest idea. I did something wrong with all those whipped eggs and made everyone sick. Perhaps my eggs weren’t fresh enough, or maybe it was all in our heads – a distinct possibility seeing as everyone was a little skeeved by drinking the raw but whipped egg whites. I don’t know exactly what happened, I just know it was not my finest moment.

Homemade Eggnog for Cheaters

I swore off making eggnog ever again. Until finding a lovely cheater’s recipe, that is! This recipe allows you the delicious taste and personal satisfaction of having made the eggnog yourself, but with a fraction of the work and no eggs to separate and worry about. Softened ice cream. Yep, softened ice cream comes to your rescue and mimics the thickness of the eggs with full pasteurization – oh glorious pasteurization – so no one gets sick on your watch!

Homemade Cheater's Eggnog

This drink is awesome. In fact, I’d even highly recommend it to those wonderful cooks out there who are unlike me and can successfully make eggnog the traditional way without incapacitating anyone, because it’s just so easy and frankly, tastes just as good! Enjoy!

Homemade Cheater's Eggnog

Source: Shake: A New Perspective on Cocktails by Eric Prum and Josh Williams

1 shot bourbon
1 shot dark rum
2 scoops of vanilla ice cream, softened to a mashable consistency but not completely melted
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg, plus more to garnish

Add the bourbon, rum, ice cream, cinnamon, and nutmeg to a cocktail shaker. Shake vigorously for 10 seconds.
Strain the mixture into two (preferably chilled) coupes or Irish coffee mugs. Garnish with a little more grated nutmeg if desired. Serve immediately.
Makes 2 drinks as written.

Honey Pecan Old Fashioned

Honey Pecan Old Fashioned

As a formerly picky eater, it’s interesting to me to occasionally take a step back and observe how far my taste buds have matured and how much my palate has evolved. Nowhere is this more apparent than in my alcoholic beverage preferences. I spent my twenties as most of us Americans do: in a sea of cheap, bottom-shelf liquor consumed only with super-sweet, also cheap, mixers. If you’d told me back then that my mid-thirties’ palate would be in love with stiff cocktails that are drunk by, you know, grown-ups, I would’ve laughed you right out of the room.

honey pecan old fashioned

And yet, here we are. Not only do I prefer my drinks much, much stiffer, I’ve noticed that my favorite mixed drink has gradually migrated from a margarita to an old fashioned. I’m a little obsessed with them now, and I love trying different twists on the classic drink. Since pecans always remind me of November and the Thanksgiving and holiday season in general, I thought this was an appropriate time of year to try out this recipe.

Honey Pecan Old Fashioned

I love it when I’m right. 🙂 This drink is stiff yet very warming, perfect for crisp, fall evenings. The honey flavor is strong but never overwhelming, and you must, must, MUST toast your pecans first – otherwise you won’t really taste them at all. I found the pecan flavor much more subtle, but toasting the nuts first ensures that it’s definitely there.

I absolutely LOVED this drink. Fortunately it makes extra honey syrup, which is sitting in the fridge, beckoning me to have another round. Enjoy!

Honey Pecan Old Fashioned

Source: Down South by Donald Link

2 tbs honey

½ oz. honey syrup
3 pecan halves, toasted
2 oz. bourbon, preferably Buffalo Trace
3 drops coffee or chicory bitters
1 strip of orange peel

First, make the HONEY SYRUP: heat the honey with 2 tbs water in a small saucepan. Simmer briefly until thickened, then let cool before using. This will make about ½ a cup. Save the leftovers in the fridge. You’ll want another drink!
To make the DRINK: in a cocktail shaker or mixing glass, muddle the honey syrup and pecans. Add the bourbon and bitters, and swirl to mix. Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into an old-fashioned or rocks glass filled with ice. Express the oil from the orange strip into the glass, then wipe the rim of the glass with the twist. Serve immediately.
As written, this makes 1 drink.

Vanilla Bean Old Fashioned #SundaySupper

Vanilla Bean Old Fashioned

Wow, I think this may be the longest hiatus I’ve taken from blogging, ever! Two weeks. Not entirely planned. But, that’s another story for another day. Today we celebrate Sunday Supper! With a fantastic theme – Retro Food!!! How awesome is this one – today we’re all bringing you recipes from the 1950’s, 60’s, and 70’s – a culinary throwback to a different time.

As I’m sure you’ve no doubt noticed, vintage cocktails are all the rage right now, and I’m not fighting this trendiness one bit. Admittedly, my dear husband is the mixologist in our family, and lately we’ve been, as he puts it, stepping up our game on our drink making. We’ve let go of the sloppier, haphazard and sweeter mixed drinks of our twenties and swapped them for stronger, more mature, sipping-instead-of-sloshing cocktails now that we’re in our thirties.

vanilla bean old fashioned

So when Sunday Supper announced that today was Retro Food day – well, I immediately knew a throwback cocktail was in order. I chose one of the most iconic, the old fashioned, and gave it a (more modern?) twist by adding in the flavor of vanilla. Result? Utter deliciousness. Of course bourbon and vanilla are quite capable of being the bestest of all the bestest friends, so this pairing just works. The vanilla takes the edge off that straight up bourbon and adds an interesting almost-but-not-quite sweet note.

Vanilla Bean Old Fashioned

I highly recommend giving this one a try, it’s just so delicious and such fun to drink. Find yourself an evening you can slow down a little, fix yourself a glass of this baby, and serve some bar nuts alongside. You’re in for a perfect night! Enjoy!

Vanilla Bean Old Fashioned

And don’t forget to check out the rest of my Sunday Supper peeps!

{One Year Ago: Short Rib Chili; Iced Banana Cookies; Chocolate Chip Cookie Mini Scones; Banana Buttermilk Waffles; Gorgonzola and Spinach Spaghetti; Coconut Bread}
{Two Years Ago: Spaghetti Squash and Black Bean Tacos; Spinach Artichoke Paninis; Guinness Beef Stew; BLT Turkey Club Burgers; White Chocolate Mousse; Parsley Chive Biscuits; Banh Mi; Tex-Mex Cheesy Chicken Tart; Buttermilk Macaroni and Cheese; Broccoli Cheese Soup}

Source: slightly adapted from Bon Appetit Magazine, October 2008

¼ cup water
¼ cup granulated sugar
2 (1- or 2-inch) pieces vanilla bean, each split lengthwise
2 (1- or 2-inch) squares of orange peel, bitter pith removed with a sharp paring knife
1 tsp Angostura or orange bitters
Ice cubes
½ cup bourbon
2-4 maraschino cherries

Bring the water and sugar to a boil in a small saucepan, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Shut off the heat and cool – this is your simple syrup.
Place 1 piece vanilla bean, 1 piece orange peel, and ½ tsp bitters in each of 2 old-fashioned or regular rocks glasses. Using a muddler or wooden spoon handle, gently mash to blend and bring out the flavors (be very gentle here and don’t shatter your glass – that would be sad!).
Add 1 tbs simple syrup to each glass. Fill glasses with ice, then pour ¼ cup bourbon over ice in each glass. Stir very well to blend; make sure the bits of vanilla are well incorporated into the drink and not just sinking to the bottom of the glass. Garnish with cherries and serve immediately.

Bodacious Breakfasts and Appetizers:

Made in the Shade Main Dishes:

Swell Side Dishes:

Dreamy Desserts:

The Bee’s Knees Beverages:

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement

Blood Orange Mezcal Margaritas

Blood Orange Mezcal Margaritas

Winter citrus is still going strong in all my local grocery stores, so I’m taking as much advantage as possible, while I still can. I’ve given you a Blood Orange Margarita before, and it was so delicious and became pretty popular on Pinterest – with good reason! But I wanted to revisit the beloved drink, this time with a smoky twist.

blood orange mezcal margaritas

Mezcal is a type of tequila made in Oaxaca, Mexico. It’s smoky and a little more pungent than regular tequilas, and far less popular. Most Mezcal consumption is in the form of exports to Japan and the United States.

Blood Orange Mezcal Margaritas

I must say, this American was quite excited to pick up a bottle of Mezcal! We got it home and started brainstorming what drink to make with it, and then before you know it, winter citrus season is upon us, blood oranges are plentiful, remember that blood orange juice makes fabulous margaritas, what about a smoky Mezcal margarita, and you can see how the whole thing just flowed from there. And here we are!

Blood Orange Mezcal Margaritas

This is strong, smoky, sweet, tart, and really in your face. But it’s so smooth! I do implore you to find some Mezcal and give this one a try while we can still get our hands on blood oranges, it’s really impressive and delicious! Enjoy!

Blood Orange Mezcal Margaritas

{One Year Ago: Frozen Cactus Pear Margaritas}
{Two Years Ago: Mexican Green Rice}

Source: heavily adapted from Muy Bueno: Three Generations of Authentic Mexican Flavor by Yvette Marquez-Sharpnack, Veronica Gonzalez-Smith, and Evangelina Soza

Juice of 2 blood oranges
Juice of 1 Cara Cara orange, or 1 navel orange
Juice of 1 lime
4 shots Mezcal
2 tbs simple syrup
2 wedges of blood oranges, for garnish
Kosher salt, for rimming the glasses

Add ice to a cocktail shaker. Add all the citrus juice, Mezcal, and simple syrup to the shaker. Shake vigorously for a few seconds.
Prepare your glasses. Run a blood orange wedge around the rim of each of 2 martini or margarita glasses. Spread the salt in an even layer on a small plate, then gently dip the rim of the glass in the salt.
Strain the cocktail into each prepared glass and place the blood orange wedges on each glass. Serve immediately.
Makes 2 drinks.

Rosemary Maple Bourbon Sours

Rosemary Maple Bourbon Sours

I guess it’s obvious what kind of week I’m having, seeing as the whole thing has consisted of cocktails and ice cream thus far, but well, hopefully you’ll enjoy another cocktail!

Rosemary Maple Bourbon Sours

So how to describe this one, besides the usual OMG it’s so good, ahhh!!? You don’t taste any one ingredient at the expense of the others. The maple syrup isn’t obvious, it just lends the appropriate sweet note to balance out the bite of the bourbon. The rosemary doesn’t beat you over the head at all – in fact, you shouldn’t worry about it all! I mean, we all know how strong and occasionally overpowering rosemary can be, but it’s a subtle background note here, just hanging out and lending a complexity to the drink.

Rosemary Maple Bourbon Sours

There’s lemon juice here, giving the drink the “sours” part that was advertised in the title, but again, not being too in your face. I think my favorite part was the rosemary garnish. You don’t gnaw on it or anything, but your nose gets a gentle whiff every time you take a sip, and it really enhances the flavors in the cocktail. All sophisticated-like!

Rosemary Maple Bourbon Sours

All in all, a fantastic drink for these cold, grump-inducing winter nights we’ve been having. It’ll either cheer you right up or numb you out. Either way, you win! Enjoy!

Rosemary Maple Bourbon Sours

Source: Shake: A New Perspective on Cocktails by Eric Prum and Josh Williams

1 large sprig of rosemary, plus 2 small sprigs for garnish
3 shots bourbon
1 ½ shots fresh lemon juice
¾ shot dark amber maple syrup

Crush the large sprig of rosemary in your hand, then add it to the bottom of your cocktail shaker. Add the bourbon, lemon juice, maple syrup, and ice to above the level of the liquid. Shake vigorously for 15 seconds.
Place large ice cubes in 2 rocks glasses. Strain the cocktail into the glasses and garnish with the reserved rosemary sprigs. Serve immediately.
Makes 2 drinks.

Bacon Manhattans

Bacon Manhattan

Welllll…. Looks like we’ve been hit with another snowstorm, this one featuring a couple inches of ice, as some added bonus or something (oh joy, eyeroll), so even though it’s Monday morning, I believe a good stiff drink is in order.

If you follow any kind of food news and trend watching, you’ve for sure noticed that vintage cocktails are making a comeback. And this is one bit of trendiness I can get behind! Manhattans were not something I drank in my 20’s, but I do think I’ll spend a bit of my 30’s enjoying them. Especially, if they include bacon!!

Bacon Manhattans

As you can plainly see, these little libations are a bacon lover’s dream. Just as bacon can work wonders for a dessert, it can also give some glorious love to a cocktail. Manhattans have some alcohol bite to them – they are stiff – but the sweet-salty of the candied bacon balances it out perfectly. The bacon could be served alongside the drink or broken in two and nestled in the drink, like many more traditional drink garnishes. I preferred it this way, because then the cinnamon sugar that candied the bacon lightly flavors the drink; plus the saltiness of the bacon lightly flavors it as well. And the bacon softens just a tad, and when you bite into it you get bacon plus the drink flavors, and it reminded me of when you eat the fruit in sangria. Delicious!

Bacon Manhattans

Many may find the bacon unnecessary, but I thought it a very welcome addition. As in, the next time I’m served a Manhattan, my brain will likely automatically go, “wait, where’s the bacon?” Enjoy!

Bacon Manhattan

{One Year Ago: DrPepper Turkey Chili}
{Two Years Ago: Happy Accident Mashed Potatoes}

Source: slightly adapted from Seriously Delish by Jessica Merchant

2 slices thick-cut bacon
Brown sugar
Ground cinnamon
6 oz. bourbon
1 oz. sweet vermouth
2 dashes angostura bitters
4 maraschino cherries

First, make the bacon. Preheat your oven to 375 F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Place a nonstick cooling rack over top. Grease the cooling rack generously.
Lay the bacon slices on a plate or cutting board. Sprinkle each side liberally with brown sugar and conservatively with ground cinnamon. Pat the seasonings onto the bacon so everything sticks. Transfer the bacon strips to the cooling rack, spaced at least 2 inches apart. Bake the bacon for about 30-35 minutes, flipping once halfway through the cooking time, until the bacon is crisped. Set aside to cool.
Now make the drinks. Fill 2 rocks glasses with ice. Add 3 oz. bourbon and ½ oz. vermouth, and 1 dash of bitters to each glass. Stir. Add 2 cherries to each glass and 1 slice of bacon served either alongside, or broken in half and nestled in the drink. Serve immediately.
Makes 2 drinks as written.

Chipotle Bacon Margaritas

chipotle bacon margaritas 4745

I promised (on my Facebook page earlier this week), and now I’m delivering: my chipotle bacon margaritas!!! Back story as to how this drink came about – when I made Bacon Salt for my Secret Recipe Club pick, Matt immediately insisted that some of it be reserved for rimming a margarita glass.

bacon salt for rimming margarita glasses 4759

I concurred, enthusiastically, but the question then became: on what kind of margarita? Bacon is of course salty and smoky, and since this is my brain we’re talking about, chipotle immediately came to mind. Sigh. No surprise there.

Chipotle bacon margaritas 4754

Oh well, I stand by it! Especially after tasting this bad boy. It is so delicious. Yes, it is spicy, and definitely salty. I use one sugar cube in here to cut the spiciness, but this really isn’t a sweet margarita. The smokiness of the bacon really melds with the spiciness of the drink. I just loved it!

Chipotle Bacon Margaritas 4742

I minced up half of one chipotle in adobo for this drink, and depending on the size of the holes in your strainer, you may end up with little bits of chipotle floating in your drink. That didn’t bother me at all, I liked it in fact, but if that doesn’t appeal to you, I’d advise straining your cocktail through a fine-mesh sieve into a measuring cup with a pour spout, then pouring the drink into your glasses.

Chipotle Bacon margaritas 4762

I hope all you chile head-bacon fiends will enjoy this one!

{One Year Ago: Ultimate Pepperoni Pizza, Bourbon Banana Bread, I Don’t Have Meat Drippings Texas Barbecue Sauce}
{Two Years Ago: Tilapia with Chile Butter and Ricotta Grits Cakes}

4 oz. silver tequila
2 oz. orange liqueur
2 oz. fresh lime juice
1 sugar cube
Half a chipotle in adobo, chopped
2 tbs bacon salt
¼ tsp chipotle chile powder
Lime wedges, for rimming

Add the tequila, orange liqueur, lime juice, sugar cube, and chipotle in adobo to your cocktail shaker. On a plate or other flat surface, mix together the bacon salt and chipotle chile powder. Using a lime wedge, run it well over the rim of 2 margarita or martini glasses. Carefully dip the edges of both glasses in the bacon salt. Make sure it’s well coated all around.
Add ice to your cocktail shaker and shake vigorously for several seconds. Strain into your glasses. Serve immediately.

Makes 2 drinks