Tag Archives: Alcoholic

Summer Plum Gin Smash

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In the spirit of using up seasonal summer stone fruit while we still can, let’s have a cocktail! This drink…. I have no words. First of all, this cocktail contains gin. And may I just say, I don’t like gin. I rarely make a drink with it, you can’t pay me to order gin and tonics when I’m out on the town, and I firmly believe that doing a shot of gin is one of the circles of hell that Dante had fully intended to write about, before his publisher must have stopped him from doing so. (It’s the only explanation I can think of, anyway…).

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But you know what? This may be the best cocktail I’ve had all summer. Seriously. I don’t say that lightly. It has gin in it! Did I mention how much I dislike gin? I took one sip and simply didn’t care. This is beyond delicious.

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Fresh summer plums get muddled all to hell, then mixed with good gin and thyme, and lemon, and then the drink is strained into glasses where it sits all pretty and pink and out of this world fantastic. Did I mention I don’t like gin?

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So if you saw this and were tempted to pass because you too do not care for gin, then well, you don’t really have much excuse to not make this. It’s one of the best cocktails I’ve tasted, even with all that gin in there. Enjoy!

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{One Year Ago: Tandoori Chicken Drumsticks}
{Two Years Ago: Spicy Coleslaw, Pulled Pork Sliders, Cherry Sorbet}

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

3 cubes cane sugar
4 small summer plums, pitted and quartered
4 small sprigs of thyme (plus extra for garnish)
2 shots gin
½ shot fresh lemon juice

Add the cane sugar cubes, plums, and thyme sprigs to a cocktail shaker. Muddle the ingredients in the bottom of the shaker until thoroughly crushed and the sugar has mostly dissolved.
Add the gin, lemon juice, and ice to above the level of liquid and shake vigorously for 15 seconds.
Strain the mixture into martini glasses, chilled if desired, and garnish with some thyme leaves or sprigs. Serve immediately.
Makes 2 drinks.

Strawberry Mango White Sangria #SundaySupper

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Welcome to Sunday Supper! Our theme this week was Summer Chillin’, which means that everyone is bringing you a delicious recipe that is to be served cold. Sounds good to me!

June in NYC can be a bit odd – it starts with Needing a Sweatshirt to Go Outside and ends with Sweltering Humidity, Ugh, despite the temps not being all that high. Then July usually oscillates between Gorgeous Summer Days and Too Hot to Think Straight.

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I adore New York summers, and thanks to growing up in triple-digits-for-two-months Texas, I actually find summer up here to be quite tolerable – most days. There are a few days here and there where the temperature does rise uncomfortably high and pair that with the humidity up here? Ouch. You desperately need something chilled to drink.

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Enter this amazing, refreshing sangria that goes down a bit too easy and showcases beautiful summer fruit. I highly recommend this the next time you need a little cooling off. Enjoy!

Recipe notes: you can make this on the sweeter side or not. Choosing pinot grigio and lemon-lime soda will make it sweeter. Choosing sauvignon blanc and club soda will make it less so. You can go one or the other combination or mix it up in whatever way you want.

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And don’t forget to check out the rest of the fantastic chilled recipes from my Sunday Supper gang!

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Source: Mod Mex by Scott Linquist

1 small bunch of fresh mint
2 (750-milliliter) bottles of white wine, either pinot grigio or sauvignon blanc
1 large ripe mango, peeled and cubed
1 pint fresh strawberries, hulled and roughly chopped
1 Navel orange, sliced into rings, rings cut into halves or quarters if desired
1 lemon, sliced into rings
½ cup brandy
1 (12-oz) can lemon-lime soda or club soda

Add the mint to a large, glass pitcher. Use a wooden spoon to muddle and bruise the mint to bring out its flavor. Add the wine to the pitcher, then all the fruit and the brandy. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. When ready to serve, add the carbonated beverage and serve over ice.

Brisk Beverages

Chilled Starters

Snappy Salads and Sides

Refreshing Main Dishes

Cool Confections

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.

Watermelon Mojitos

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Happy Fourth of July!!! Today I am concluding my week of Watermelon Recipes with this delicious little libation, perhaps perfect for your holiday shindigs! My particular northeast area is experiencing the margins of Hurricane Arthur this year, so we’ll need something to cry into as our beach plans got ruined.

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I hope you are having better weather than me, and that you have a safe and enjoyable holiday weekend (don’t you just love it when July 4th falls on a Friday?!? It’s the best!). Please help yourself to one of these summery mojitos – they are a wonderful watermelon twist on the original drink. Enjoy!

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Oh and don’t forget – this week we also saw light and healthy Watermelon Gazpacho with Crab Salad, followed by this crazy-but-true, delicious Watermelon Cream Pie!

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{One Year Ago: Bacon Blue Cheese Burgers}

Source: slightly adapted from Barefoot Contessa How Easy is That? by Ina Garten

About 15 mint leaves, coarsely torn by hand
1 cup watermelon puree
6 oz. light rum
¼ cup simple syrup
3 tbs freshly squeezed lime juice
Sprig of mint and a watermelon spear/chunk, for garnish

Place the mint leaves in a small pitcher and bruise them with a wooden spoon. To the pitcher, add the watermelon puree, rum, simple syrup, and lime juice. Stir to combine. Fill 2 highball glasses with ice and pour the drink into the glasses. Garnish with a mint sprig and a spear of watermelon. Serve immediately.
Makes 2 highball drinks. Could easily scale up for a party, just make the drink in a large pitcher. Could also serve in rocks glasses for smaller servings if desired.

Mesa Grill Margarita

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Fact: Chef Bobby Flay’s first restaurant, Mesa Grill, closed its doors in NYC a few months ago.

Fact: Matt and I are spending this weekend in the Bahamas.

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Now, those probably sound like two completely unrelated statements, but I promise, they’re not. Mesa Grill was one of my favorite restaurants in New York, and I am extremely sad to see it go. However, it lives on in its other locations: Las Vegas, and …… Paradise Island in the Bahamas. Matt and I heavily debated dining at Mesa Grill this weekend, but in the end, decided it would be too much of a pain to get ourselves over there, seeing as our resort is not on the same island. Thankfully, Mesa Grill cuisine can live on in my kitchen, because I have (a signed copy of!!!) the Mesa Grill Cookbook!

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Last weekend I made the Mesa Grill Margarita, which is one of the best and most serious margaritas I’ve ever tasted. It’s not dumbed down in the least, it is STRONG, and you should not plan on driving after one of these. You should also not use bad tequila, because in this instance, you won’t get away with it. The tequila is front and center, so while it doesn’t have to be the most expensive bottle out there, it does need to be a respectable brand. I went with Cuervo 1800 for a less pricey option, but if you want to splurge for something like Patron, well, let’s just say it’s worth it.

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It felt right to share it today. This is a really serious, beautiful drink that will accompany any Mexican food meal so nicely. Or have it at cocktail hour, just because. That works too. Enjoy!

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{One Year Ago: Doughnut Peaches in Bourbon with Sweetened Whipped Cream, Cumin-Cilantro Chicken Sliders, Banana Split Cheesecake Bars}

Source: The Mesa Grill Cookbook by Bobby Flay

2 oz. silver tequila
1 oz. orange liqueur, such as Triple Sec or Cointreau
1 oz. fresh squeezed lime juice
Ice cubes
1 lime slice
Kosher salt

Pour the tequila, orange liqueur, and lime juice into a cocktail shaker. Add ice. Shake for 10 seconds. Rub the rim of a glass, either a margarita, martini or rocks glass, with the lime slice, then gently dip in the plate of salt. Strain the mixture into your glass and garnish with the lime slice. Serve immediately.
Makes 1 drink.

Long Island Iced Tea

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Happy, happy Memorial Day weekend, everyone! I feel like celebrating this much-needed three-day weekend with a lovely cocktail. This one is a favorite of mine. Pretty and easy, it goes down pretty easy, too!

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Cheers to a great weekend! Here’s to great weather, grilling, possibly a beach(??), and delicious grub! And maybe this cocktail, too.

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And a huge thank you to all of you who have to work on Monday – may you get paid overtime. Enjoy this one, guys!

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{One Year Ago: Peanut Butter and Rhubarb Jam Sandwiches, Dilled Veal Meat Loaf}

To make two drinks, you will need:
1 shot each gin, tequila, rum, vodka, and triple sec
Sweet and Sour’s mix
Coca cola
Lemon wedge
Ice cubes

Pour all the alcohol shots into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake to combine, then strain into two glasses filled with ice cubes. Add about 1 inch of Sweet and Sour’s mix to each glass, then top off each glass with coca cola. Garnish with lemon wedges.

Chocolate Margaritas

Chocolate Margaritas

Y’all know what day it is today? Besides Saturday, February 22, 2014? Yeah, it’s National Margarita Day!!! That is a thing, as well it very much should be. I do think margaritas may be my favorite cocktail.

Some bloggers and I got together and decided to properly celebrate this wonderful day in grand fashion – we’re all bringing you either a margarita drink or a margarita-themed recipe. It’s gonna be amazing, y’all!

Chocolate margaritas

I’m bringing a drink and a dessert to the party with these chocolate libations. These are some of the most amazing and special margaritas I’ve ever tasted, and if you are not a teetotaler or pregnant, then you NEED these in your life. They were impressively delicious; almost like really good, albeit spiked, chocolate milk. I absolutely loved this drink and can’t wait to find some excuse to make it again! Enjoy!!

chocolate margaritas

And be sure you check out the rest of the virtual Margarita Day party from my fabulous cohorts in crime! Also, I’m no stranger to margaritas on my blog, so here are some you may want to check out:

Apple Cider Margaritas
Beer Margaritas
Blood Orange Margaritas
Frozen Cactus Pear Margaritas

Chocolate Margaritas

{One year ago: Buttermilk Cake with Walnut Praline Topping}

Source: Mexican Made Easy by Marcela Valladolid

2 tbs grated Mexican chocolate, preferably bittersweet
½ cup chocolate syrup, plus more for the glasses
8 oz. (1 cup) anejo tequila
4 oz. (1/2 cup) chocolate liqueur
2.6 oz. (1/3 cup) orange liqueur
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 tsp almond extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon, preferably Mexican canela
Ice cubes

Put the grated chocolate on a small plate. Place a circle of chocolate syrup on another small plate. Dip the rim of the glasses in the chocolate syrup, then in the grated chocolate.
In a medium bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together the ½ cup chocolate syrup, tequila, chocolate liqueur, orange liqueur, heavy cream, almond extract, and cinnamon.
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice cubes and pour the tequila mixture into the shaker. Shake a few times, then strain into the prepared glasses. Work in batches if need be. Serve immediately.
This makes 3-4 servings, depending on the size of your glasses.


Margarita Bites:

Frozen Cactus Pear Margaritas

Frozen Cactus Pear Margaritas

Happy President’s Day! And welcome to …… MARGARITA WEEK!!! Next Saturday is National Margarita Day, so having a week of margarita themed recipes seemed like the only right thing to do. 🙂

cactus pears

What say you, readers? On the rocks, or frozen? I believe there to be a time and place for both, (though I’ve noticed that at restaurants I mostly order on the rocks) and today we are making a time and a place for this beautiful and delicious frozen concoction. Cactus pears, sometimes called prickly pears, are a relatively new fruit to me. I heard about them a few years ago watching Food Network, and after seeing that particular show (whatever it was), I ran out to my grocery store and bought some. I then tried to just eat them straight out. Which, if you’re at all familiar with these babies, you know that’s pretty difficult to pull off thanks to the many tiny seeds lurking in their flesh. But, they make perfect purees, so ideal for a beverage. I’m guessing they would make a fantastic sorbet or granita too. Hmm… idea filed away for the future…

frozen cactus pear margarita

Did I mention that these libations are just completely gorgeous? Oh, and addictively delicious? Yeah. They are. Big-time. And for just a split second, they almost transported me to a tropical, relaxing happy place and almost made me forget about the ten-foot-high snow piles on my block, and the fact that it took three people about half an hour to excavate our car yesterday morning. In short, they made me think of the Caribbean. And I kind of needed that. So good!! Enjoy!

Frozen Cactus Pear Margarita

{One year ago: Mexican Green Rice}

Source: ever so slightly adapted from Muy Bueno by Yvette Marquez-Sharpnack, Veronica Gonzalez-Smith, and Evangelina Soza

4 cactus pears (also called prickly pears), peeled and rough chopped
¼ cup water
About 3 ½ cups ice cubes
3 oz. freshly squeezed lime juice (2 ½ juicy limes)
3 oz. frozen limeade
6 oz. silver tequila
4 ½ oz. triple sec, or other orange liqueur
3 tbs superfine sugar (can sub in regular granulated sugar)
Lime wedges, for garnish
Kosher salt, for the rims of the glasses

In a blender, puree the pear chunks with the water until very smooth. Strain into a bowl or measuring cup and discard the seeds.
Rinse out the blender to remove any seeds that hung around. Return the blender to its base, and put the ice cubes, lime juice, limeade, tequila, triple sec, sugar, and cactus pear puree in it. Close the lid tightly and puree again.
Run a lime wedge over the edge of your glass, then dip the edge of it in the kosher salt. Pour the margarita into your glasses and serve immediately. Store the remaining margarita in the fridge.

Apple Cider Margaritas

Apple Cider Margaritas

Guess what day it is? No, not Hump Day; rather it’s the day I hit 300 posts!! Three hundred, y’all! This blog has been such a wonderful journey for me, and I have so much more to share.

apple cider margarita

So let’s celebrate with a margarita. Sounds good to me! Since ‘tis the season for apple cider, I’m thinking that using apple cider for margaritas is the way to go. These were awesome – they were warm yet cold, earthy yet spikey, and perfect for the fall and the holidays.

apple cider margaritas

I highly recommend finding the gold tequila for these (not that gold tequila is hard to find). While silver tequila is more common, the warmth and richness of the gold tequila is perfect for this autumn drink. If all you’ve got is silver though, it would probably work just fine.

apple cider margaritas

Thank you, thank you, thank you to all my loyal readers for coming on the fun trek with me! I love you all!! Enjoy!

Apple cider margarita

{One year ago: Green Bean Casserole}

Source: adapted from How Sweet Eats

Ground cinnamon
Granulated Sugar
Raw sugar, such as Turbinado
1 ounce orange liqueur
1 ounce gold tequila
5-6 ounces sweet apple cider
Apple slices, for garnish
cinnamon sticks for garnish

Add a spoonful of cinnamon, granulated sugar, and raw sugar to a plate. Mix together. Run a moist paper towel around the edge of the glass, then press into the cinnamon sugar mixture to coat the rim. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice, then add the orange liqueur, tequila and apple cider and shake to mix. Strain into the prepared glass. Garnish with apple slices and cinnamon sticks. Enjoy!

Makes 1 drink, as written.

Buttered Spiked Apple Cider

Buttered spiked apple cider

Confession: I’m not much for traditions. My innate personality (Myers-Briggs Idealist) naturally tends toward future-focused forward thinking, and I tend to be good at thinking on my feet and making things work. To me, traditions can be wonderful and they do have their place, but traditions just for the sake of it tend to make me annoyed. I see them as an extremely slippery slope to falling into “the way we’ve always done it” thinking, which is something I completely abhor. Plus, traditions can become meaningless, which I also cannot stand. But, traditions are like regrets: I have a few. And today I’m sharing one of them. Traditions, that is.

Buttered Spiked Apple Cider

Every year on the weekend before Halloween, Matt and I carve a pumpkin, and we always accompany this activity with this delicious apple cider libation. This yearly event came about in the most nonchalant of ways, with us simply wanting a drink to have with the pumpkin carving, and beer didn’t sound good to me at the time. So I found this recipe, made it, we loved it, and here we are eight years later.

buttered spiked apple cider

Upon our first go at pumpkin carving, we both realized how hysterically talentless we are at it. And I’m sure the spiked cider doesn’t help, but honestly, we’re so bad at pumpkin carving that it can’t possibly hurt. Or maybe it does – in order to know for sure, we’d have to carve a pumpkin without this spiked cider and compare the results. And we all know that isn’t going to happen, because this little beverage is just too good.

our carved pumpkin

It’s warm, seasonal, spicy and earthy. I highly recommend it, alongside a pumpkin carving or just because. Oh, and if you have a fireplace, then 1) I’m officially jealous, and 2) you should definitely find a chilly evening, light a roaring fire, and curl up with your pet or your significant other and sip on a warm mug of this beautiful drink.

buttered spiked apple cider

{One year ago: American Breakfast Sausage and 12 Tips for Hosting a Stress-Free Thanksgiving}

Source: slightly adapted from Every Day with Rachael Ray, February/March 2006

2 tbs unsalted butter, softened
½ tsp ground cinnamon
Pinch of ground ginger
½ quart apple cider
4 oz. brandy

In a small bowl, mash the butter with the cinnamon and ginger until thoroughly combined. Set aside at room temperature away from any heat source like the oven or stove top.
Heat the cider in a small stockpot over medium-low to medium heat for about 4-5 minutes. You want it hot, but do not boil it.
Ladle the hot cider into your mugs, about 2/3 full. Add 1 ounce of brandy to each mug and top with a dollop of the spiced butter. Makes about 4 drinks.

Purple Jesus

Purple Jesus

Who doesn’t love the name of this drink – it’s so amusing to me. Upon discovering this recipe in the Lee Bros’ second book, I knew it had to be made. But it still begged the question: what exactly is a Purple Jesus?

fruit syrup for drinks

Well, apparently it’s a Deep South libation usually made with grape Kool-Aid, citrus fruit, and cheap vodka. It’s fairly unsophisticated, and in fact, Matt and Ted introduce this drink as a concoction that would get mixed in college students’ bathtubs at frat parties, of course noting that those shindigs started out fun but rarely ended well. I can’t speak from experience; somehow, I managed to make it through college without ever seeing Jesus in my bathtub.

Purple Jesus drink

Since Matt and Ted Lee are the complete antithesis of unsophisticated, there’s no grape Kool-Aid for them. Instead, they use cherries and blackberries for the purple. They wrote the recipe advising to steep the vodka with the fruit overnight, then top off the vodka with club soda. Though I’ll certainly make exceptions from time to time, I generally lack the patience to be a let-it-sit-overnight kind of cook. So I tweaked this recipe quite a bit.

Purple Jesus

To keep the flavors and the spirit of the drink, I pureed the cherries and blackberries, strained them, added the grapefruit juice as suggested, some superfine sugar, and kept the vodka and club soda part. This way it was ready when I was – no waiting until tomorrow. We both really enjoyed relaxing with a glass of this oddly-named, yet pleasant drink. Beautiful to look at and to consume.

Purple Jesus

So there you have it – a Purple Jesus. Overall, I get the Purple part, though I remain a bit unclear on how Jesus got involved. Oh well. Due to its sheer deliciousness I’ve decided not to ponder it further. Neither should you. You should just make it and enjoy it.

Purple Jesus with cherries and blackberries

{One year ago: Cherry Limeade and Soft Cheese Tacos}

Source: heavily adapted from Simple Fresh Southern by the Lee Bros

8 oz. sweet cherries, stemmed and pitted, plus a few for garnish
1 pint blackberries
Juice of half a grapefruit
Superfine sugar, if needed
8 oz. vodka
Club soda

First make the syrup. Save a few blackberries for garnish, if desired. Place the cherries and blackberries in the blender. Puree, adding a splash of water if necessary. Strain the puree through a sieve and chill in the refrigerator if not using right away.
Right before you plan to make the drinks, add the juice of half a grapefruit to the puree. Taste, and sprinkle in some sugar if it isn’t sweet enough for your tastes.
Make the drinks. For each drink, fill an 8 oz. glass with ice. Add 4 tablespoons fruit syrup, 2 oz. vodka, and top with club soda. Garnish with a cherry and a blackberry.
As written, this will make about 4 drinks.