I wanted to make a sweet (but not too sweet) cocktail to help celebrate Rosh Hashana using festive holiday flavors. I love, love this drink and the added fun of the pomegranate ice cubes. Moreover, it’s incredibly easy (and still delicious) to make as a mocktail for those who are abstaining from alcohol. Happy New Year, all!
Spiced Pomegranate Cocktail (adapted from Honestly Yum)
– 1 1/2 oz vodka
– 1 – 1/2 oz pomegranate sparkling soda (or plain pomegranate juice)
– 1/2 oz lime juice
– 1/2 oz vanilla cardamom syrup
– dash of bitters
– pomegranate ice cubes* and sprig of fresh mint for garnish
Vanilla Cardamom Syrup
– 1/2 cup sugar
– 1/2 cup water
– 1 tsp vanilla extract
– 6 cardamom pods, cracked open and ground with mortar + pestle
1. To make vanilla cardamom syrup, add water and sugar to a small saucepan and heat until sugar dissolves. Add vanilla extract and ground cardamom and let simmer two minutes before removing from heat. Cool to room temperature and strain through a fine mesh strainer.
2. Fill a glass with pomegranate ice cubes and add vodka, pomegranate sparkling soda, lime juice, vanilla cardamom syrup and dash of bitters. Stir and then garnish with fresh mint.
3. To make this a mocktail, leave out vodka and bitters and add either more pomegranate sparkling soda or sparkling water.
*fill ice cube trays with pomegranate seeds and then with water. freeze overnight.
While I usually make the mental shift from summer to fall after Labor Day, the actual change of season doesn’t happen until September 22nd. So, in honor of this last week of summer I’m making one last “tropical” cocktail. And, I say that in quotes because most tropical cocktails (and daiquiris for that matter) are super sweet. But this daiquiri is very different — there’s not even an ounce of simple syrup in there!
This cocktail was created at El Floridita in Havana, Cuba whose claim to fame is their creation of the classic daiquiri along with their most famous regular customer, Ernest Hemingway. Apparently, he spent a lot of time there drinking lots of daiquiris and this particular variation became his favorite. And, I have to agree with Hemingway, it’s definitely my favorite daiquiri as well.
So, here’s to summer! Cheers, it was fun. Now bring on the apple picking, pumpkin patch visiting, and turkey roasting. I’m ready for you fall!
The Hemingway Daiquiri (from El Floridita via the kitchn)
2 ounces light rum, such as Flor de Caña Extra Dry 4 Year
3/4 ounce fresh lime juice
1/2 ounce fresh grapefruit juice
1/2 ounce maraschino liqueur
Combine all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake vigorously for 10 seconds. Strain the contents into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lime wheel.
Fall might be coming, but I’m not ready to give up my refreshing, warm-weather gin drinks just yet. It’s no secret that we’ve been obsessed with the Gin Rickey this past summer, but I was in need of a little variety. Plus, my husband has been traveling internationally a bunch and likes to pick up local spirits to bring home. A recent trip to London brought me back one of my other favorite gins: Hendrick’s. Hence, this week’s cocktail hour. It’s light, refreshing, and includes veggies. Perfect.
English Garden Gin + Tonic (adapted from Kindred Cocktails)
– 2, 1/2″ slices of cucumber (plus a few thin slices for garnish)
– 1/4 ounce fresh-squeezed lime juice
– 4-8 drops rose water (to taste)
– 1/4 ounce St. Germain
– 2 ounces Hendrick’s Gin
– tonic water
1. Muddle cucumber, lime juice and rose water in shaker. Add St. Germain and Hendrick’s. Shake with ice.
2. Strain into glass with fresh ice and top with tonic water.
3. Garnish with cucumber slices.
Yes, another fruit-laden cocktail from me this week. I can’t help it — I’ve just been loving the combo of fresh fruit and spirits all summer long. This one’s a two-stepper and requires a few days preparation, but it’s worth it. I first made blood orange infused tequila, which sounds fancy, but is super simple to do. And then I shook that pretty colored spirit up with lime and club soda for a refreshing cocktail. Hey it’s good to hydrate while imbibing, right?
Blood Orange Tequila + Lime Spritzer (A Feteful Life)
– 4 ounces blood orange tequila (recipe below)
– 1.5 cups club soda
– 1/8 cup fresh lime juice
– 1/8 cup agave nectar
– 1 lime, thinly sliced (set aside a few slices for garnish)
1. Fill cocktail shaker halfway with ice and add all ingredients. Shake, shake, shake.
2. Strain into cocktail glass and garnish with extra lime slices.
Blood Orange Tequila
– 1 bottle good silver tequila (750 ml)
– 2 blood oranges, cut into 1/2″ slices
1. Place blood orange slices in a large container (like an 800 ml mason jar) and pour tequila in (I had a little tequila leftover that wouldn’t fit — I’m sure we’ll use it somehow).
2. Place in refrigerator for 3 days, giving it a good shake and rotating it daily.
Having my kids home all summer has been both wonderful and trying — particularly so on grocery store trips, which they love to do and I always think sounds like such a good opportunity. They’ll be helpful, and they’ll learn how to read prices, and taste new things. And they do. And then they also want everything they see and I end up spending gobs of money on stuff we either shouldn’t eat or couldn’t possibly eat before it spoils. Hence this week’s cocktail hour recipe of fresh fruit. Yes, they NEEDED white peaches. “We LOVE peaches!” But wouldn’t you know that they wouldn’t eat a gosh darn peach once we got home. Cue googling “white peach cocktails.” A lot of sangria results, of which I’m not a big fan. Don’t get me wrong, I love wine. I just don’t love fruit and wine. And then I ran across a sweet-looking recipe for a white peach fizz using fresh fruit. Add in blackberries + mint and I had a delicious cocktail that used up some sweet summer produce. Win, win.
White Peach + Blackberry Gin Fizz (based on Adventures in Cooking)
Makes 2 cocktails
– 1/2 cup good gin, chilled
– 1 cup club soda, chilled
– 1-2 tablespoons white peach simple syrup* (recipe below), chilled
– 4 blackberries
– 8 white peach slides (4 for muddling, 4 for garnish)
– a handful of mint leaves
1. Muddle 2 peach slices, 2 blackberries, and a few mint leaves in the bottom of each serving glass.
2. Split gin, club soda, and simple syrup between the two. Stir until well blended.
3. Float the remaining two peach slices on the top of the drink. Serve immediately.
*use less simple syrup (1/2 tbs per drink) if you like your cocktails not too sweet and just add more club soda
White Peach Simple Syrup (slightly adapted from Adventures in Cooking)
– 1/2 cup water
– 1/2 cup turbinado sugar
– 1 white peach, sliced into 1/2″ thick slices
1. Macerate the white peach slices in a small saucepan with the sugar and water.
2. Bring mixture to a boil over medium heat, then lower the heat to a simmer and allow it to cook for 30 minutes.
3. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely. Then strain peach pulp out and reserve syrup. Keep the syrup refrigerated until use.
I’ve seen a number of different alcoholic floats floating around this summer and wanted to give one a try. My entire family (OK, me. And the kids because I keep taking them with me as an excuse) has been addicted to gelato this summer. And I thought chocolate gelato + stout would be a fabulous combo. Is it a drink? Is it a dessert? It doesn’t matter: it’s delicious.
Chocolate Gelato Stout Float (A Feteful Life)
– 1 pint chocolate gelato
– 1 bottle good quality stout
Fill a chilled pint glass 3/4 of the way with gelato. Pour in stout to the top. Devour.
Ooooweeee. It’s been HOT around here lately. Boozy pops have been on my cocktail to-do list for a while and this weather seemed like the perfect opportunity. I had a hard time deciding what kind of pop to make though — it might be hot, but this time of year also means so, so much fresh fruit. Part of the problem was that I came across a whole rainbow full of yummy ice pops from 84th and 3rd, all of which seemed relatively simple and didn’t require adding sugar (so paleo/primal peeps who drink some alcohol, these are perfect for you). But I spotted one that called for dark rum and I had a teensy bit of Myer’s Jamaican Dark Rum to use up and a whole lot of Jamaican vacation withdrawal. So I went with that. The original recipe didn’t call for basil, but I was a little worried it would be too sweet with all that coconut milk (even without adding sugar, I find coconut milk a tad sweet sometimes). And I think the addition was a good call — the basil gave it the perfect balance.
Blueberry Coconut Basil Boozy Pops (slightly adapted from 84th & 3rd)
Makes 4 ice pops
– 1 cup fresh blueberries
– 1/4 cup orange juice
– 3/4 cup coconut milk
– 6 large basil leaves, chiffonade
– 2 tbsp dark rum
Simmer berries and juice for 5 minutes. Blend berry mix, 1/2 basil chiffonade, and coconut milk in blender until smooth. Stir in dark rum and remaining chiffonade. Pour into ice pop molds (I used these) and freeze overnight.
* if you are making some non-boozy pops as well, follow same directions omitting rum.
Happy 4th of July! I hope everyone has some fun plans to get outside and to celebrate our independence and catch a glimpse or two of fireworks.
While July 4th is obviously the most well known holiday that we celebrate in July, it definitely isn’t the only one. Just 10 days later on July 14th it’s National Ice Cream Day! And, if you’re anything like me, you’ll agree that this is definitely not a holiday that we should overlook. I love ice cream and have been wanting to throw a party in its honor for a while now. Here are some of my favorite ice cream party ideas…
- You don’t need much cutlery for ice cream but spoons are a must, especially these dressed up tassel spoons by Studio DIY.
- You could serve the ice cream in a bowl but why not make some homemade cookie cups, like these from Sugar & Cloth, instead. Don’t they look delicious?
- These pre-made ice cream balls on a stick, from Martha Stewart, are genius. You could either pre-dip the ice cream in toppings or let your guests do it themselves.
- While I’m not usually a big fan of sweet cocktails, this sorbet & sparkling wine cocktail (made with homemade peach & mango sorbet!) might change my mind. It looks so refreshing!
- Kids and adults alike will have fun with these printable waffle cone wrappers by Oh Happy Day. Yay!
- I love hostess with the mostess’s idea of using these acrylic containers and scoops to display the toppings for an ice-cream sundae bar. They are modern, simple and let the beauty of the ingredients shine.
You’ll also be alliterating after you twist your tongue around this insanely delicious tropical punch. It’s sweet, it’s sour, it’s simple. It uses up leftovers (pineapple peel!). It technically has fruit in it. You really cannot go wrong.
Pineapple-Ginger Pisco Punch (A Feteful Life)
1 ounce pineapple-ginger simple syrup (see below)
1 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 ounces Pisco
pineapple chunks and leaf for garnish
Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake to combine. Pour over crushed ice into a glass and garnish with pineapple chunks and leaf threaded onto a stirrer.
Pineapple-Ginger Simple Syrup (from Martha Stewart)
peel and core of one large pineapple
1, 3-inch piece of ginger, thinly sliced
4 cups water
1 cup sugar
Cut pineapple peel + core into 1-inch pieces; place into medium saucepan with ginger, sugar, and water. Boil until reduced to 1 cup; 25-30 minutes. Strain, discarding solids. Chill.
I’ve been on a real roll “cooking” with watermelon, which I find hilarious because I’ve never really been a big fan of it. I know — who doesn’t like watermelon!? It just doesn’t do much for me on its own. But I’m finding that I love incorporating it into other dishes and drinks. I was so intrigued by Food52’s Jalapeño Watermelon Limeade, but the only hot peppers I had on hand were serrano. So I decided to give it a go and it was delicious! Spicy, but well balanced by the watermelon and lime. Refreshing, but not boring. And surprisingly easy to make for a watermelon drink — no straining involved.
Serrano Watermelon Limeade Cocktail (slightly adapted from Food52)
(makes 2 servings)
– 4 cups cubed, seedless watermelon
– juice of 2-3 limes + more citrus for garnish
– 10 slices of serrano pepper
– 1 – 2 ounces vodka per serving, if desired
Place cubed watermelon into a blender and blend until smooth. Add lime juice and blend again.
Drop in serrano pepper slices and allow to infuse for about 20 minutes. I suggest tasting about 1/2 way through to check the heat (just don’t actually taste the pepper!). If you don’t love a lot of spice, you might wish to remove the peppers before 20 minutes.
Use a slotted spoon to remove the pepper slices and blend the juice again. Pour over ice and stir in vodka. Garnish with lime wedges.
If you don’t want to make it alcoholic, substitute sparkling water for the vodka.