You need to make this cocktail for your 4th of July parties! This is definitely one of the best drinks I have made in a while. It tastes like summer in a glass, well that is if summer tasted like champagne and lemonade in a mason jar. It’s perfect for a hot summer evening. The lemonade makes the drink tangy and refreshing and the champagne adds a bit of delightful sparkle. Best of all, it is so, so easy to make! You could definitely use store-bought lemonade, but I’m a fan of the homemade agave nectar sweetened variety. I like to keep it on the tangy side, but using agave makes it easy to adjust the sweetness very easily. Using agave also means you don’t have to wait for water to boil and simple syrup to cool, which means you will enjoying this delicious beverage all the faster!
1 bottle VERY chilled brut sparkling wine (cheap stuff is fine)
3 cups VERY chilled fresh squeezed lemonade (my favorite recipe is below)
berries/fruit of choice (fresh or frozen will help keep it chilled)
In a large pitcher (big enough to fit 6 cups) combine the sparkling wine, lemonade and 2 large handfuls of fresh berries. Lightly stir to mix. Serve immediately.
Agave Sweetened Lemonade
10 large lemons, juiced(should yield about 3 cups of juice)
1/4 cup agave nectar
3 cups water
Combine lemon juice, agave nectar, and water in a large pitcher. Mix will to combine. Place in fridge and allow to chill.
So many of St. Patrick’s Day’s drink options involve Guinness, which can be a bit disappointing if you have to avoid gluten. I know whiskey isn’t everyone’s favorite, but this drink is so light, slightly sweet, a bit fruity and really reminiscent of a Moscow Mule that you might not even notice the whiskey. The other reason I like this cocktail so much is it is so, so simple. Simple is better sometimes, especially on a festive day.
I went a little wild and decided to use homemade ginger ale… It was received with mixed reviews. I found it too sweet and too gingery, but I watered it down a bit more and it started to grow on me. I have ventured into the world of homemade sparkling beverages after getting a Sodastream for Christmas. I love it. It is amazing And there are endless possibilities.
2 ounces Irish whiskey
1 lime, juiced
3 ounces ginger ale (recipe for homemade follows)
Lime wedge, for garnish
Fill a lowball glass with ice. Add whiskey, lime juice, and ginger ale. Stir and garnish with a lime wedge.
Homemade Ginger Ale
1 cup peeled, finely chopped ginger
2 cups water
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup water
Club soda (I used water from my Sodastream)
Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a saucepan. Add ginger. Reduce heat to medium low and let ginger sit in the simmering water for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit for 20 minutes. Strain liquid through a fine mesh strainer. Discard ginger pieces.
In a separate saucepan, make the Simple Syrup by dissolving 1 cup granulated sugar into 1 cup of boiling water. Set aside.
Make individual (tall) glasses of ginger ale by mixing 1/2 cup of ginger water with 1/3 cup of Simple Syrup and 1/2 cup of club soda. Add a few drops of fresh lime juice and a lime wedge to each glass.
Perhaps your Cinco had a bit to much drinko involved with it. These should help alleviate some of the problems you are facing today. These drinks are actually good any day, especially when it’s hot out. And the are super easy to make. Aguas frescas are really popular Latin American drinks, but there are some variations from country to country. Living in Southern California, I am most familiar with the Mexican variety. You can find them served at pretty much an taqueria you go to and even most of the ‘fancier’ Mexican restaurants will have some version of their own. There are even bottled aguas frescas, but trust me, you are better off sticking to the fresh stuff. Aguas frescas are traditionally just fruit purée, water and a bit of sugar. I find that most of the restaurants add way too much sugar. If you get fresh, in season fruit, I think that’s usually sweet enough on it’s own. I also like to make mine with sparkling water to give them a little more of a refreshing feel.
Strawberry Aguas Frescas
1 pound strawberries, hulled
juice of two limes
water, sparkling or flat, of choice (I used La Croix Coconut)
Puree the strawberries in a blender or food processor. Push purée through a fine mesh sieve to remove seeds.
Pour purée into a large pitcher and add lime juice. Stir together. Top with water and stir (lightly if using sparkling water) to mix.
Serve and enjoy!
Pineapple-Mango Aguas Frescas
1 fresh pineapple, cored and sliced
2 fresh mangoes, chopped
juice of two limes
water, sparkling or flat, of choice (I used La Croix Lime)
generous dash of cayenne pepper (optional for when you are feeling a bit crazy).
Blend the pineapple, mangoes and lime juice (and cayenne pepper if using) together.
Pour into a large pitcher. Top with water and stir (lightly if using sparkling water) to mix.
So, I’ve never had a Pumpkin Spice Latte, which apparently means my life is not complete. There are several reasons for this, mainly I don’t like pumpkin or sweet coffee drinks or Starbucks (Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf is better. That’s just a fact.) and pumpkin flavored things are just not that popular in the various parts of the world I have found myself over the last few autumns.
I set about righting this apparent problem by making my own pumpkin spice latte at home. I made my own pumpkin pie spice. I followed this recipe from The Kitchn. All the comments, even the title of the article claimed it tasted just like Starbucks. Seemed like a pretty safe bet.
I have to admit I was definitely less than impressed. It just tasted like cinnamon-y milk with a vague coffee aftertaste. No pumpkin and despite the 2 tablespoons of sugar and 2 tablespoons of vanilla, no real sweetness either. The end result was just kinda meh. Maybe if pumpkin lattes are more your ‘thing’, you might enjoy this a little more than I did, but I was a bit let down.
Pumpkin Spice Latte
2 cups milk
2 tablespoons canned pumpkin
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1-2 shots espresso (about 1/4 cup of espresso or 1/2 cup of strong brewed coffee)
In a saucepan combine milk, pumpkin and sugar and cook on medium heat, stirring, until steaming. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla and spice, transfer to a blender and process for 15 seconds until foamy. If you don’t have a blender, don’t worry about it – just whisk the mixture really well with a wire whisk.
Pour into a large mug or two mugs. Add the espresso on top.
Optional: Top with whipped cream and sprinkle pumpkin pie spice, nutmeg, or cinnamon on top.
With summer here and lots of hot weather in the future, it’s time to turn to cocktails that are light and refreshing.
I wanted to try put a new twist on one of my favorites, Stoli Blue and soda. I’m sure vodka soda’s really do it for some folks, but I find them pretty boring, but blueberry flavored vodka gives it a little extra something. It provides flavor without being sweet, which is what I love. We have a ton of mint growing around here at the moment and I had a lot of blueberries, so I thought I might try to make a blueberry flavored, mojito inspired type of thing.
Blueberry Mint Muddler
1 shot Stolichnaya Stol Blueberi Vodka
5 fresh or frozen blueberries
5 fresh mint leaves
Sparkling water/Club Soda
I muddled the fresh blueberries, mint and vodka in the glass. Stirred. Added ice and topped with sparkling water.
I think next time I would try to make it more ‘mojito’ like than vodka soda like, by adding a dash of simple syrup and probably some lime juice as well.