Aguas Frescas

aguas frescas

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)
  1. Puree the strawberries in a blender or food processor. Push purée through a fine mesh sieve to remove seeds.
  2. Pour purée into a large pitcher and add lime juice. Stir together. Top with water and stir (lightly if using sparkling water) to mix.
  3. 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).
  1. Blend the pineapple, mangoes and lime juice (and cayenne pepper if using) together.
  2. Pour into a large pitcher. Top with water and stir (lightly if using sparkling water) to mix.
  3. Serve and enjoy!

Thirsty Thursday: Piña Coladas

Pina Coladas

It’s my dear friend Amanda‘s birthday next week, so this one’s for her. HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMANDA!!

Piña coladas are not my favorite drink in the world, but they do hold a special place in my heart. Not only are they a featured in the refrain of one my favorite karaoke songs (thanks Jimmy Buffet), but they remind me of a magical summer in Budapest. That’s where piña colada obsession began. At Morrison’s 1 to be exact. (If you are ever in Budapest, you have to go to Morrison’s (the one by the opera, not the other one)). It took us a while to discover the piña colada at Morrison’s. We tried and failed with our regular go tos, but an impulsive decision lead to a wonderful discovery.

There is something extremely satisfying about a cool and frothy piña colada on a hot and humid summer night. Budapest is both extremely hot and extremely humid during the summer, so it’s pretty much the perfect drink.

PinaColadas

Piña Colada

  • Ice cubes
  • 1 cup rum
  • 1 cup coconut cream
  • 1/2 cup pineapple juice
  • 1/4 cup pineapple chunks
  • Sliced pineapple, for garnish, optional
  • Maraschino cherry, for garnish, optional
  1. Fill blender halfway with ice cubes. Add rum, coconut cream, pineapple juice and pineapple chunks. Puree.
  2. Serve, garnished with a slice of pineapple and maraschino cherry, if desired.

Thirsty Thursday: Hurricane

hurricane

Tis the season for all things New Orleans and cajun, so here we go. The first time I had a Hurricane (the drink variety), was during an actual hurricane (the storm variety). It was actually my first encounter with both variations, and hopefully my last and only encounter with the later. Apparently, it was a mild one, well according to the locals (I found that to be an arguable description). I happened to be in Nassau waiting to leave on my first semester of study abroad adventures and a hurricane decided to swing on through. This particular study abroad program involved a ship, hence the hanging out in cruise port in the middle of hurricane season. Once the hatches were battened down, Señor Frog’s in Nassau found it the appropriate time for drink specials . Bad weather be damned, one dollar for a drink is quite frankly too good a deal to pass up.

I have to admit that I was rather surprised by how difficult it was to find passion fruit juice around here. I eventually settled on a delicious passion fruit/mango blend from Trader Joe’s. Not 100 percent authentic, but tasty. To be honest, I’m not that big of a rum fan. Hurricanes have a lot of rum, but the rum is masked up by a sweet blend of juices and a tart bit of lime. Lime improves just about everything if you ask me.

Hurricane

  • 2 ounces light rum
  • 2 ounces dark rum
  • 2 ounces passion fruit juice
  • 1 ounce orange juice
  • juice of one lime
  • 1 Tbsp simple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp grenadine
  • orange slice and cherry for garnish

Thirsty Thursday: Keoke Coffee

keoke coffee

This is a pretty indulgent drink. It’s not overly heavy, just rich. The coffee and the liquors definitely make a for a full-bodied combination. It’s a drink that you need to take your time with. I think it would make a nice substitute for dessert after a big meal or a fancier nightcap. I could definitely imagine serving this after a dinner party so everyone can hangout and chat a bit longer.

I served mine iced, only because I don’t like hot drinks (weird I know). I threw in 2 heaping teaspoons of decaf instant coffee into a cocktail shaker and added in the alcohol and shook, shook, shook. I then poured it into a mason jar, added a big handful of ice and topped with a bit of whipped cream.

Keoke Coffee
(This is for a 32 ounce mason jar sized coffee, I would cut it in half to fit a normal glass)

  • 2 ounces brandy
  • 2 ounces Kahlúa
  • 2 ounces crème de cacao
  • 16 ounces coffee
  • whipped cream
Combine the first four ingredients and mix together. Top with whipped cream.

 

Thirsty Thursday: Mexican Mango Smoothie

Mexican Mango Smoothie

I apologize in advance to anyone living where winter is actually a thing, but it’s hot here. Like inappropriately so, especially considering it’s January. It’s not meant to be 80F/27C in January. I really don’t like hot weather.  The only good thing about hot weather is that it gives you the perfect excuse to drink delicious cold things. If you are living somewhere where it’s cold and wintery, you should still make this, crank up the heat and pretend it’s summer too.

It’s pretty common in these parts to see street vendors selling fresh mango sprinkled with lime juice and topped with chile powder and salt. It’s a popular Mexican snack and it’s damn tasty. I happened to have a ton of frozen mango in my freezer that was in desperate need of a use. Problem solved! The pineapple and limve juice give the smoothie a really nice tang that counterbalances the sweetness of the mango and the chile powder really gives it a nice little kick, but it’s not too noticeable with the sweet fruit.

You could totally add white rum or silver tequila to this thing and make it a real party. I made this for lunch, so I decided against it, but I bet it would be just amazing if you did.

Mexican Mango Smoothie

  • 2 cups frozen mango
  • 2 cups frozen pineapple or papaya
  • 1 1/2 cup orange juice
  • juice of 3 limes
  • chile powder

Place mango, pineapple, orange juice and lime juice in a blender and a generous dash of chile powder. Blend until smooth,  adding more juice if necessary. Pour into serving glasses and sprinkle with chile powder.

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: Champagne Jello Shots

champagne jello shots

Make these. Make them right now! Seriously, you need these at your New Year’s party. Everyone will love them.

They can also make a cheap (and easy!) addition to any party. You don’t need to use fancy, expensive champagne for this. I used a 7 buck bottle of prosecco from Trader Joe’s. No one will know the difference.I  also used frozen strawberries only because the fresh ones looked gross and were a dollar more.

Champagne Jello Shots (from That’s So Michelle)*

  • 1 box of jello (the big 8 serving size box) – (I used peach)
  • 1 1/2 cups boiling water
  • 2 1/2 cups champagne/prosecco/sparkling wine
  • strawberries (optional) (I used frozen)
  • 2 oz. plastic or glass shot glasses – (I used 10 ounce plastic glasses and filled them half way-ish and got 12 shots.)
  1.  Mix your jello and boiling water in a medium sized bowl, stirring until jello powder has all dissolved. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.
  2. Stir in champagne and refrigerate for another 30 minutes or until jello has just slightly thickened.
  3. Set aside about 3/4 cup of your jello and champagne mixture for creating the foam top and put it back in the refrigerator. 
  4. Pour jello and champagne mixture into your shot glasses, then drop a few sliced berries in each glass.
  5. Refrigerate overnight. Before serving whip your 3/4 cup left over jello until it becomes white and fluffy and resembles foam. Spoon “foam” on top and serve.
* – NOTE: I did not find step 3 and the 2nd half of step find necessary. My jello shots foamed up when I poured them into the cups (maybe because they are bigger than shot glasses?) and stayed foamy looking overnight.

Thirsty Thursday: Aspenlicious

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 About.com)

  • 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.

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