Thirsty Thursday: Amaretto Cranberry Kiss

amaretto cranberry kiss

When I first checked out this drink, I really wasn’t too sure how amaretto and cranberry would go together. I love amaretto! So I was a little hesitant to make this only to have it be a ‘waste’ of amaretto. If you’ve never had amaretto before, you are missing out! It is a sweet, almond liqueur from Italy. It is delicious and definitely underutilized.

I found this cocktail to be a bit on the sweet side for my taste. I think in the future, I would use orange liqueur/triple sec to cut the sweetness or squeeze in a lime if I was using fresh orange juice. That said, this was a very smooth cocktail and the amaretto really complements the cranberry and vodka. If you like your drinks on the sweeter side, this is definitely perfect for you, but if you like a little less sweet, it might take some adjusting to get the flavors right.

Amaretto Cranberry Kiss (from Epicurious)

  • 2 cups cranberry juice
  • 1 cup vodka
  • 1/2 cup amaretto
  • 3 tablespoons fresh orange juice (orange liqueur could be substituted)
  • Ice cubes
  • Clementines, peeled, separated into segments

Mix cranberry juice, vodka, amaretto, and orange juice in pitcher. Cover and chill until ready to serve. DO AHEAD: Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Keep refrigerated.

To make 2 drinks, fill cocktail shaker with ice cubes. Pour in scant 1 cup vodka mixture. Cover and shake vigorously. Strain into 2 Martini glasses. Garnish each with clementine segment. Repeat 3 times with ice cubes, remaining vodka mixture, and clementine segments.

Thirsty Thursday: Blood Orange Margaritas

Blood Orange Margarita

I love blood oranges. LOVE. Well more like borderline obsessed. For some reason they are super hard to find around here. When I was living in Budapest, I was going through nearly 2 kilos a week and every other fruit stall in the big market sold them. In Southern California, I have to hunt for them! And they are so expensive here, $4.99 for 3 pounds! They were way cheaper in Budapest.  (Another reason to move back!) I have been looking for blood oranges around here for over 2 months. Every time I have asked at farmers’ market or in grocery stores, they look at me like I am a crazy person. Considering how much citrus is grown in California, I didn’t think blood oranges would be too difficult to acquire, but apparently I am mistaken. I finally found a bag of them last week and promptly set about using them in any way imaginable; margaritas, salads, straight up, but mainly margs. Blood oranges are just meant to be consumed in margarita form.

My love of blood oranges is only rivaled by my love of margaritas. Margaritas trump just about everything in my book. I would totally be more than happy to consume nothing but blood orange margaritas for the rest of my life. That would be the best life ever. You see blood orange margs are superior to most margs. They are sweet and tart and perfect. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off in search of blood oranges to hoard.

Blood Orange Margaritas

  • 3 ounces blood orange juice
  • 2 ounces fresh lime juice
  • .5 ounce simple syrup (optional)
  • 3 ounces silver tequila
  • 1.5 ounces triple sec

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker over ice. Shake, shake, shake, and then shake a little more. You can rim the serving glass with salt if you feel like it. Strain into a glass filled with ice. Serve and enjoy!

Thirsty Thursday: The Dirty Snooki

The Dirty Snooki

This is one of my favorite days of the year. I know that is a pretty bold statement to make on this, the 5th day of the year, but you see, tonight is the season premiere of Jersey Shore. There is no possible way for this day to be bad. Feel free to pass judgement on my love of Jersey Shore. While you are busy judging me for that, you can overlook my unnatural obsession with pickles. I am in no way ashamed of either. I’m actually quite proud that I found a way to combine the two. The Dirty Snooki, is simply a picklitini or a dirty martini made with pickle juice instead of olive juice. I love a good dirty martini. I have read about picklinitis before, but never tried one. So, I figured it was only appropriate to honor one of my favorite days of year and everyone’s favorite pickle loving guidette with a Dirty Snooki.

The Dirty Snooki

  • 4 ounces gin (or vodka if that’s your thing)
  • 1/2 ounce dry vermouth
  • 2 tablespoons Kosher dill pickle juice or spicy pickle juice
  • 1 pickle spear, for garnish

Thirsty Thursday: Aspenlicious


This is a super decadent dessert cocktail. It has a lot of flavors in it, but they all come together perfectly to make a wonderful wintery cocktail. The original cocktail called for coconut vodka. I searched all over town for it, but the only kind I could find was $30 ciroc. It might be great, but I’m sorry P. Diddy or whatever you are going by these days, that is just too much moola for me. One of the the guys at a grocery store I went to said I should just infuse my own coconut vodka, but that required work. I just wasn’t into that idea. So I just used regular vodka.  I used a ratio of 3 ounces vodka to 1 ounce of everything else.

Aspenlicious (from

  • 2 parts Vodka
  • 1/2 part Amaretto
  • 1/2 part Coffee Liqueur
  • 1/2 part rum
  • 1/2 part Irish Crème
  • splash Half & Half
  • dash chocolate syrup
  1. Coat a martini glass with the dark chocolate syrup.
  2. In a pint glass, mix liquid ingredients with ice, shake and strain into chocolate-coated glass.
  3. Garnish with the grated chocolate on the surface of the cocktail.

Sunday Summary: December 11, 2011

This has been a busy week of baking and getting Christmas presents together. I have to mail most of my presents to various parts of the globe, so I’m kind of slacking… I also never want to see sugar or a red or green M&M ever again. Luckily, I had Amy Winehouse’s last album to see me through it all. I really can’t begin to say how great it is. I

Things I Made This Week:

Things I Want to Make:

Things to Check Out:

Thirsty Thursday: Cranberry Margaritas

Cranberry Margaritas

I was determined to right last week’s margarita foul. This one is most definitely a winner!

I was a bit short on fresh limes and since there was a bottle of cranberry juice just sitting on my counter, it seemed like the perfect solution. Cranberry and lime just seem to go so well together. I don’t like my margaritas sweet, which was my major problem with last week’s, but this marg more than made up for it. It’s tart, tangy and refreshing. I used a bit of green sugar sprinkles on the rim to make it feel a bit more ‘festive’, which is probably as festive as it’s going to get in these parts (I relate to this guy on multiple levels). I will warn you the green sugar can ‘run’ when it gets wet, so you might end up with some stains on your hands/mouth/face/coaster/etc., so consider yourself warned.

Cranberry Margaritas
Yields 2 margaritas (or 1 if you’re me) 

  • juice of 2 limes
  • 4 ounces cranberry juice
  • 4 ounces silver tequila
  • 2 ounces triple sec
  1. In a cocktail shaker, combine all the ingredients, add ice cubes, and shake like hell.
  2. Strain into ice-filled glasses and serve

Thirsty Thursday: Apple Cider Margaritas

I was on the fence about trying this margarita from the beginning. I’m not a big fan of gold tequila or cinnamon, especially when combined (too many flashbacks to shots at Morrison’s in Budapest (yes, in Budapest they serve shots of gold tequila with cinnamon and a wedge of orange, kinda horrible, kinda great)) and I have always had an issue with apple juice ever since I was on a field trip in preschool and the kid next to me yacked up their juice box during a tour of a hospital. I went to a dirty, hippie parent-child ‘workshop’ (not a preschool, a workshop) and they were really big into broadening our horizons from an early age and took us on many field trips to hospitals, marine biology labs and the city jail, but in fact these attempts have left me with a lifelong fear of needles, apple juice and law enforcement officials (but that’s another story).

I digress, you all don’t need to hear about my issues that stem from early childhood, let’s get back to this marg. So, like I said, I was apprehensive from the get go. I was only able to get about 2 sips into this thing before I had to add some lemon juice. SWEET. So, so sweet. I do not like sweet margs, tart and tangy is how I roll. I added some fresh squeezed lemon juice and it helped improve the drink a lot, at least for me. I guess I can now say, I’ve finally met a margarita I don’t like, but if you are a fan of super sweet drinks or apple juice this would probably be right up your alley.

Apple Cider Margaritas (from How Sweet It Is)

  • 1.5 ounce Grand Marnier/triple sec
  • 1.5 ounce gold tequila
  • 5 ounces apple cider/juice
  • orange segments and apple slices
  • cinnamon + cane sugar + coarse sugar for glass rimming
  • cinnamon sticks for garnish

Thirsty Thursday: Thanksgiving Edition

This drink doesn’t really have a name. It was created 3 Thanksgivings ago in a kitchen in a student dorm in London.

It was a particularly memorable Thanksgiving. We had a lot of friends on our graduate program from various parts of the globe and not all of them had the opportunity to celebrate the world’s greatest holiday. My friend and fellow American, Lauren, and I were determined to celebrate regardless of London’s numerous attempts to thwart our plans. One meal for nearly 25 people required nearly a month of planning, numerous tube and taxi rides, trips to parts of London we never knew existed before (I swear we ended up in Wales at one point) and even mailing in supplies from the States. Now add on the fact that there is only one kitchen big enough for that many people and it only has one functioning European sized oven (the 2nd oven was replaced the next day… perfect timing by the management) and Lauren and I were both dealing with a lovely case of meningitis. It was pretty epic adventure and it will always remain one of my favorite Thanksgivings.

So, it was under these circumstances that this cocktail came about. It was partially out of necessity and partially out of what we had left on hand. You most definitely need a cocktail after dealing with all that. You might need a cocktail after dealing with family the kitchen all day. I would highly recommend this little concoction, as it turned out perfectly and has become a little Thanksgiving tradition of mine.

The Perfect Holiday Cocktail

  • 1.5 ounce vanilla vodka (or regular vodka for a less sweet version)
  • 1.5 ounce berry juice (like cranberry, raspberry, or even cranberry-raspberry if you’re feeling wild)
  • champagne/prosecco/any kind of sparkling wine
Pour a shot of vodka and a shot of cranberry juice into a champagne glass and fill glass with champagne. Top with raspberries or cranberries if desired. Serve and enjoy your Thanksgiving!

Last Minute Thanksgiving Recipes!

Just incase you missed some of my Thanksgiving recipes, here’s a quick recap if you need some inspiration.


Side Dishes:


Thirsty Thursday: Ginger, Apple & Bourbon

I came across this cocktail on Pinterest. I’m completely obsessed with Pinterest and have come across all kinds of great things on there, like christmas present ideas, recipes, shoes, things I need to buy my dogs, bridesmaids dresses, paint colors, and this wonderful little drink. You can find anything and everything on Pinterest. If you haven’t developed a Pinterest habit yet, be warned, it’s an amazing time waster.

I have mixed feelings about bourbon. I want to like bourbon, it’s trendy, all the cool kids like it and most of my male friends seem to enjoy it in mass quantities, but since I am not trendy, cool or male, I just can’t commit to actually liking it. But I try. If bourbon always tasted as good as it does in this drink, I would totally be it’s biggest fan.

This is a super simple cocktail, it’s very tasty and perfect for autumn!

Ginger, Apple, & Bourbon (from The Tampopo Press)

  • Apple juice or cider
  • Ginger ale or ginger beer
  • Bourbon