Showing posts with label alcohol. Show all posts
Showing posts with label alcohol. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

San Permis Sparkling Cocktail #BloggerCLUE

Nothing says celebration like a glass of bubbly, unless it is a glass of bubbly with some added Cointreau and a lovely honey, infused with lavender like in this San Permis Sparkling Cocktail.

This month my Blogger C.L.U.E. Society is searching our assigned blogs for recipes of a celebratory nature. I must confess that while I loved poking around Confessions of a Culinary Diva for all sorts of party food, like her Fennel Pomegranate Crostini – such pretty colors for the season - and her Irish Seafood Cocktail with crab and Cognac or the fabulous Cèpe and Parsley Tart because I am a sucker for anything made with puff pastry - I had already pretty much made up my mind to make the sparkling San Permis cocktail from the moment I found it, conveniently located on a page full of cocktails.

In fact, I started weeks ago and made my own lavender-infused honey! That’s how set I was. It's actually super simple: Just mix the honey with culinary grade lavender in a clean jar and let it all hang out for a couple of weeks on a sunny windowsill. Then strain. I added back just half a teaspoon of the lavender for show.

Christy is an award-winning banker by day, talented blogger by night – her blog focus is delicious food and traveling and I just don’t know how she does it all! If you haven’t met Christy yet, please head over to Confessions of a Culinary Diva and get to know her.

Ingredients for 1 cocktail
Cava or sparkling wine of your choice, well-chilled
1 oz or 30ml Cointreau
Lavender-infused Honey

Use a spoon dipped in the lavender-infused honey to drip just a little of it around the inside rim of a Champagne flute.

Pour in the Cointreau.

Top off with chilled Cava or a sparkling wine of your choice.


The lavender-infused honey adds a very subtle floral note as you take each sip.

The December Blogger C.L.U.E. Society participants:

Pin this San Permis Sparkling Cocktail!


Sunday, August 16, 2015

Mother’s Ruin (Gin) Punch

Originally created by master bartender Philip Ward, Mother’s Ruin Punch is a refreshingly light tasting punch made from gin, grapefruit and lemon juice, vermouth and sparkling wine. My version serves one.

Lately, I’ve been rediscovering the deliciousness of grapefruit juice in cocktails. My libation of choice when I was in Texas this summer was Deep Eddy’s Ruby Red Vodka with a capful of Campari, topped up with club soda. While in the south of France visiting friends in July, their “house” cocktail was a concoction of grapefruit cordial with sparkling rosé wine, served over ice. And now, Mother’s Ruin Punch. It’s supposed to be mixed up in greater quantities and served, as the name implies, as punch from a punch bowl but is easily adapted to serve one. For the original recipe, check out this link on Food and Wine.

This week the Sunday Supper theme is Back to School and everyone is bringing you recipes for great lunch box fare or quick dishes that are perfect for a busy school night. I couldn’t resist going in another direction to bring you a delightful cocktail that is as celebratory as it is refreshingly delicious. For many parents, it’s been a long hot summer, full of keeping children busy and barbecues and campouts and sleepovers and late night snacks and summer book assignments and ball games and lazy mornings. But you made it through! Tuck the children into bed and treat yourself to a special cocktail.

Do you have any special rituals for the first day of school? My baby graduated from university in May so this is the first year since 1995 that I won’t be sending anyone off to school. It’s bittersweet, friends, bittersweet.

Ingredients for one cocktail
Several cubes ice
1 tablespoon simple syrup (I used simple syrup made from demerara sugar.)
1 1/2 oz or 45ml gin
1 1/2 oz or 45ml fresh grapefruit juice, plus thinly sliced grapefruit, for garnish
3/4 oz or 22.5ml fresh lemon juice
3/4 oz or 22.5ml sweet vermouth
About 1/2 cup or 120ml chilled sparkling wine or Champagne

Cut a couple of thin slices off of your grapefruit for garnish and then juice the rest of the fruit.

Tuck one of the grapefruit slices in a tall glass then add in several cubes of ice.

Pour in the simple syrup, grapefruit juice, lemon juice, vermouth and gin. Give it a good stir, adding another cube or two of ice and a second grapefruit slice.

Top up with sparkling wine.


Many thanks to our hosts this week, DB from Crazy Foodie Stunts and Caroline from Caroline’s Cooking. We hope you find lots of recipes that make Back to School more enjoyable and fun!

Getting Started On School Days
Ideas for the Lunchbox
After School Snacks and Beverages
School Night Suppers
Sweets to End the Day

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Red, White and Blue Sangria

Crisp dry white wine, mixed with a little lemon vodka and Grand Marnier, then topped up with lemon-lime soda and lots of pretty fruit, makes a refreshing libation for summertime. 

This week Sunday Supper is remembering all those who made the ultimate sacrifice in our armed forces, just ahead of Memorial Day tomorrow, by showing off our red, white and/or blue recipes. Even as you feast and enjoy the extra day’s holiday – if you are living in the US, that is – we hope you will be inspired to honor military personnel from every country who died to preserve our freedoms, including those who put themselves in harm’s way to bring aid to the needy and try to ensure safety and peace in troubled regions worldwide. (Did you know that there are more than 30 countries whose flags are red, white and blue?) Unlike Veteran's Day, which honors the service of all soldiers, Memorial Day is especially to recognize those who gave their lives.

Many thanks to this week’s host, the great DB from Crazy Foodie Stunts. Make sure you scroll on down to the bottom of my post to see all the colorful recipes we are sharing today.

Let me introduce this sangria ingredient list with a disclaimer. When I told my husband that I was making sangria and, did he want some, he said, “Nah, thanks. I’ll just have a cold beer.” Well, I’m all for taking one for the team, particularly my Sunday Supper group, but drinking an entire one-wine-bottle batch of sangria seemed ill-advised, so the amounts you see here photographed are for half of the recipe I share below. And, yes, I did drink the whole darn half pitcher over the course of a hot afternoon! It was refreshing and delicious.

1 bottle dry white wine (My favorite white is Sauvignon Blanc, both for sangria and drinking in general.)
1/3 cup or 80ml Grand Marnier
1/4 cup or 60ml lemon vodka
3 cups or 710ml lemon-lime soda (Two of the 12 oz or 355ml cans.)
6 oz or 170g raspberries
4.4oz or 125g blueberries
1 dragon fruit

Starting at least a day ahead, wash some of the blueberries and raspberries and put three blueberries and one raspberry in several of the holes of a muffin pan. For a more decorative look, I used the Nordic Ware one known online as the Bundt Brownie pan. <affiliate link Add a little water, until you see the blueberries just barely start to float.

Put the pan in the freezer and leave until the water freezes enough to hold the fruit in place.

Top up with more water and freeze until solid.

When the fruity ice is frozen, release by running some water over the back of the pan and store in a airtight container in the freezer. If you want to skip all these steps and get straight to the sangria, just use normal ice cubes.

When you are ready to serve, peel and slice your dragon fruit and cut it into pieces about the size of your raspberries and blueberries. Wash the berries and drain well.

In a pitcher, combine your wine, vodka and Grand Marnier.

Add your fruity ice (or just some normal ice) and then top up with the lemon-lime soda.

Add in more raspberries, blueberries and some of the cut dragon fruit. Put some berries and dragon fruit and ice in each glass and fill up with sangria.


And make sure to check out all the other great red, white and/or blue recipes we have for you today.

Food Using One Color

Red Food

White Food
Blue Food

Food Using Two Colors

Red and White Food

Blue and White Food

Red, White and Blue Food

Sangria outside on our new-to-us outdoor sofa set.  Doesn't it look refreshing!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Irish Blackberry Cobbler Cocktail #BloggerCLUE

Muddled blackberries release their precious juice to mix with Irish whisky, sherry and simple syrup over crushed ice for a refreshing cocktail that is perfect for Happy Hour. 

This month’s BloggerCLUE is berries and the blog I am supposed to be poking around in, looking for berry recipes is none other than girlichef, written by my friend, Heather, fellow lover of garlic and margaritas. You might remember our celebrations of National Garlic Day 2014 and 2015 and this year’s National Margarita Day. Good times!

Anyhoo, I searched through Heather’s blog and found myriad recipes with berries like her tasty Chicken Strawberry Tarragon Salad or her creamy Mixed Berry Gelato and her sweet Rosewater Raspberry Meringues, just to mention three. There were just so many too choose from!

But the title that really caught my eye was the Irish Cobbler. The name conjured up a big pan of juicy berries topped with a batter or biscuit crust, so you can imagine my surprise when I clicked on the link and discovered it was a cocktail! Well, we love a good cocktail and it’s great to get out of the rut of always mixing and drinking the same old thing so I abandoned all thoughts of ice cream and salad and baked desserts for Happy Hour.

Make sure you scroll down past the Irish Cobbler to see what other special berry recipes my fellow BloggerCLUE members have found on their assigned blogs this month!

Ingredients for two cocktails
16 ripe blackberries
3 oz or 90ml Irish whiskey
3 oz or 90ml simple syrup (I used simple syrup made from demerara sugar.)
1 oz or 30ml cream sherry (Heather says: optional. I put it in. Hey, go big or go home.)
Ground cinnamon (Heather used nutmeg. You can choose.)
Crushed ice for two glasses
2-3 ice cubes

Divide the blackberries between two short cocktail glasses and muddle until you have a lovely mush of blackberries and juice at the bottom. Heather said to leave some chunks, which I duly did but that did make the drink harder to sup through a straw.

Add crushed ice to fill both glasses, right on top of the muddled berries.

In a cocktail shaker, over a couple of ice cubes, vigorously shake the whiskey, simple syrup, cream sherry (if using), and a good pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg.

Pour over the crushed ice in your glasses.

Stir well to mix the muddled berries throughout the cocktails and finish with another pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg, if desired.


Have you been hunting for berrilious recipes too? You are in the right place then! Here's a list of the other BloggerCLUE participants this month.


Sunday, February 22, 2015

Pomelo Margaritas #NationalMargaritaDay

Whole chunks of juicy pomelo blended with demerara simple syrup, tequila and Grand Marnier make a refreshing margarita, perfect for the National Margarita Day celebration. 

As I’m puttering about the kitchen, cooking and baking and cleaning up after myself, I either listen to music or podcasts that don’t take a whole lot of concentration to follow. One of my favorites is Spilled Milk, presented by Molly Wizenberg and Matthew Amster-Burton, where they cook and eat food, and, as they say, we listeners don’t get any. I always learn something from those two and enjoy a few laughs as well. For instance, in the podcast Classic Cocktails, I learned that many bars are using different sugars, like muscovado or demerara, in their simple syrups, which add depth of flavor along with the necessary sweet component in cocktails. Some bars amp that up by making what they call “rich” syrup instead of simple syrup by doubling the amount of sugar instead of using the normal 1:1 sugar/water ratio. Intriguing!

That program came back to me when I read that crunchy demerara sugar is great to sprinkle on pomelo and I decided to use it to make my simple syrup for pomelo margaritas. It was an excellent choice and I may never make plain white sugar simple syrup again.

Which brings me to the point of this post, the National Margarita Day celebrations, organized and hosted by Heather of girlichef!  Make sure you scroll down to the bottom and check out all the great drinks and tasty treats we are sharing today!

For the margaritas:
3 cups or 450g pomelo, thoroughly cleaned of white pith
6 oz or 180ml tequila
3 oz or 90ml Grand Marnier
3 oz or 90ml demerara simple syrup or to taste
Ice to fill rest of blender

For the demerara simple syrup:
1 cup or 230g demerara sugar
1 cup or 240ml water

Optional: flakey sea salt for glass rims

To make the simple syrup, warm your water and sugar in a small pan on the stove, stirring until all the sugar has dissolved.

Remove from heat and allow to cool. This can be stored in the refrigerator in a clean jar almost indefinitely.

Peel your pomelo by feeling for the indentation of where the fruit starts at the stem end.

Cut the end off right about there.

Open the hole at the top so you can see where the division of the slices are.

Make vertical cuts in the peel from top to bottom between the slices.

Peel back the thick skin to reveal the fruit inside.

Now separate the pegs or slices and remove the thick membrane from each.

Cutting the top off of with scissors will open the membrane up so it can be more easily removed.

If any white pith is stuck to the fruit, slice it off with a sharp knife.

My pomelo was a huge guy, weighing 1.5 kilos or 3 lbs 5 oz. and he was almost as big as my head. After peeling and removing all the pith, he was still just over one kilo or 2.2 pounds - big enough to make two blenders of frozen margaritas.

Seriously. Almost as big as my head. 

To blend the margaritas, put the chunks of carefully peeled pomelo in your blender along with the tequila, Grand Marnier and simple syrup.

Fill the blender with ice and blend until smooth.

Run a spare piece of pomelo around the rim of your glasses and dip them in flakey sea salt to coat, if desired.

Pour your pomelo margarita into your prepared glass and garnish with a bit of pith-free pomelo peel and a sprinkle of some of the loose pomelo pips, if desired.

Enjoy! If you’ve never tried pomelo, it tastes like a cross between an orange and a grapefruit, with a milder bitterness than grapefruit.

How are you celebrating National Margarita Day? Might I suggest some of these delicious options?

Margarita-inspired food:

Friday, February 13, 2015

Campari and Passion Fruit Sorbet #GalentinesDay

This refreshing sorbet of fresh passion fruit and Campari is perfect as an aperitif, between courses or at the end of a meal. The tart passion fruit and bitter Campari will wake up your taste buds! 

First, a confession. When I was invited to take part in this Galentine’s Day celebration, I thought it was a typo. I don’t watch Parks and Recreation, although I do love Amy Poehler. But, once explained, I was completely on board, because women celebrating women, breakfast-style, sounds like the very best way to spend a morning. So, I say unto you, and with all the sincerity and fervor of the recently converted: Happy Galentine’s Day!

For anyone else who is as ignorant as I was, I found this very short YouTube clip that lets Leslie Knope explain it better than I ever could.

Along with sharing a frou-frou dish or beverage, event organizer, Courtney from Neighborfood and her very capable co-host, Nancy from gotta get baked, said that we should share a story about a girlfriend or even a public figure, who inspires us.  The Campari and passion fruit sorbet was an easy decision – I love that stuff - but choosing just one woman was the hardest part! I am blessed with so many fabulous women in my life! I dedicate this recipe to my friend, Naszreen, who has fulfilled her dream of many years by opening a tea shop. She is an amazing woman, mother, sister, friend, and now I can say, successful entrepreneur.

1 cup or 240ml water
1 cup or 200g  sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
16 passionfruit (Mine weighed 690g whole and yielded 1 1/2 cups or 350g pulp.)
1/2 cup or 120ml Campari
Several sprigs fresh mint, plus some tops of sprigs to serve

Place the water, sugar and salt in a pan and warm it just enough for the sugar and salt to dissolve and then remove from the heat.  Allow to cool for a while.

Stack and roll the mint leaves up and slice them finely. Don't forget to save a few tips for garnish.

Halve the passion fruit and scoop out the flesh, seeds and juice using a spoon.

Strain out the passion fruit seeds, pressing them into a sieve to remove more juice. Reserve about one-third of the seeds to add back into the sorbet.

Mix the passion fruit with the Campari, sugar syrup, mint leaves and all but a few of the sieved passion fruit seeds, in a plastic tub or earthenware dish and place in the freezer to chill.

If you have an ice cream maker, you can put the mixture into it after about half an hour of chilling and follow the manufacturer’s instruction till it is soft set.

Top with a few of the small mint springs and the few remaining passion fruit seeds, then put it in the freezer in a sealed container till ready to serve.

Otherwise, leave it in the freezer-proof vessel and stir it around at least every half hour until it’s set. This could take more than two hours. When it's just about set, top with a few of the small mint springs and the few remaining passion fruit seeds and pop it back into the freezer until you are ready to serve.

Ready to serve!

Scoop into a pretty bowl and top with a small sprig of mint to serve.


I genuinely hope you are celebrating today with your gal friends or are planning a celebration. We are here to help with a bunch of great recipes for your Galentine’s party!