Cocktails Feed

Italian Pot Luck Part 2

As you know, tomorrow is my Italian Pot Luck Birthday Party.  I've decided on my dish and have been searching for an after dinner drink.  It is tradition for us to serve an after dinner drink at our potlucks.  Of course this one had to be Italian!  I learned last night from my dad about Sambuca with Flies or Sambuca con mosca.  It is Sambuca liqueur with toasted coffee beans dropped into it.  Traditionally it has three beans meaning:  health, happiness and prosperity.  Great things to toast to huh?  You can also chew the beans to increase the flavor of the Sambuca.  I like that this drink is unique and has tradition.  Perfetto! 

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Hope everyone enjoys the weekend!


(photo from here)
 


Autumn Punch

Sangria is just perfect for parties.  It serves a crowd and the pitcher of colorful wine, juice and fruit looks so pretty on your table or bar.  This sangria recipe would be tasty any time of year but the vanilla, plums and cranberry juice give it that fall feel.  Try it warm in the cooler months for a special treat.  If you're not a fan of plums, try apples instead.

Autumn Punch

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Makes: 10 to 12 servings

Prep: 20 minutes
Chill: 4 hours

Ingredients

  • 2  teaspoons whole cloves
  • 1/2  of a vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 1  64-ounce bottle apple-cranberry juice
  • 4  medium purple and/or green plums, pitted and sliced
  • 1  750-ml bottle Gewurztraminer, or other fruity white wine*
  •   Ice cubes

Directions

1. Place cloves and vanilla bean in center of a double-thick 6-inch square of 100-percent-cotton cheesecloth. Bring corners of cloth together; tie closed with clean string. Pour apple-cranberry juice into a large container or pitcher. Add plums and spice bag. Cover and chill for 4 to 24 hours.

2. Remove and discard cheesecloth bag. Stir in Gewurztraminer. Serve beverage and plum slices over ice. (Or omit the ice and heat the juice mixture and wine in a 4-quart Dutch oven until hot. Serve in heatproof mugs.) Makes 10 to 12 servings.

*Nonalcoholic Option: Substitute two 12-ounce cans chilled ginger ale for the Gewurztraminer, and serve over ice.


(photo and recipe from bhg.com)


One to Try

I have been under the weather this week and craving anything warm and comforting.  What could be better than wine and warm spices?  I've always wanted to make mulled wine.  It is still too hot for it right now, but I can't wait to try this recipe next month!

Mulled Wine

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Makes 8 drinks

  • 1  navel orange
  • 4  cups  apple juice
  • 2  tablespoons  honey
  • 1  2-inch piece fresh ginger, thinly sliced
  • 6  whole allspice berries
  • 10  cinnamon sticks
  • 1  bottle dry red wine

Using a vegetable peeler, peel the zest from the orange in long strips. (Reserve the fruit for another use.)

In a large saucepan, gently simmer the zest, apple juice, honey, ginger, allspice, and 2 cinnamon sticks for 20 minutes. Stir in the wine and cook just until heated through. Serve hot with the remaining cinnamon sticks.

Tip: For an extra touch, spike it with a splash of Cointreau. Add 1/4 cup Cointreau or some other orange-flavored liqueur to the pot.


(photo and recipe from realsimple.com)


Fit for a Party

Beverage dispensers have been all the rage this summer.  I've seen several great ones but this one tops them all.  The elegant stem makes this one the best.  How pretty would this look at your drink station?  I bet it would steal the show!

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You can purchase this beauty here.


Aruba, Jamaica...

My mouth actually watered a little when I read this cocktail recipe.  It combines two of my favorite summer, beachy drinks into one!  Enjoy!

Coconut Margarita

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Serves 2

  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice, plus 2 tablespoons for glasses (about 5 limes)
  • 3/4 cup Coco Lopez or cream of coconut
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons tequila
  • 1/4 cup Cointreau or other orange liqueur
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss coconut with the salt. Spread on sheet; toast in oven, stirring frequently, until golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool, then crush with your hands until crumbly.
  2. Pour 2 tablespoons lime juice into a shallow dish. Place coconut mixture in another dish. Dip rims of two cocktail glasses in lime juice, then in coconut mixture, coating well.
  3. Combine remaining ingredients with 1 cup ice in a blender; puree until smooth. Divide evenly between prepared glasses, and serve immediately.

(photo and recipe from marthastewart.com)


Cocktail Time

Summer is slowly winding down but there's still time to try refreshing cocktails like this little beauty.

Meloncello

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Ingredients

  • Yellow or pink cocktail sugar or sanding sugar (sold at specialty stores), optional
  • 1 cup cubed seedless watermelon
  • Ice cubes
  • 3 1/2 ounces limoncello
  • 1/2 ounce lemon-flavored or light rum
  • Splash club soda
  • Lemon wedge

Directions

Rim a rocks glass with the sugar, if desired, and put in the freezer. Puree the watermelon cubes in a blender until juicy.

Fill the prepped glass with ice. Add the watermelon juice, limoncello and rum. Top off with enough club soda to give the drink a light bubble. Garnish with the lemon wedge. Drink.

(photo from foodtv.com)


The Super Cherry

I'm so happy cherries are now in season!  I love them, especially the tart ones.  I don't even mind working around the pit they are so good.  Recently I was reading more about them and discovered they are truly one of the best fruits you can eat!  They are also referred to as a Super Fruit which means they are loaded with antioxidants and nutrients.  They can help protect you against heart disease and inflammation among many other things.  I'm sold.  

In honor of the cherry and since its Friday, here are a few cherry cocktails to try!

Red Eye Mojito

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Ingredients Per Cocktail

  • 2-1/2 teaspoons superfine granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons tart cherry juice
  • 12 mint leaves
  • Squeeze of fresh lime juice
  • 1 ounce white rum
  • 1/2 cup club soda
  • Ice
     

Preparation

  • Place 6 mint leaves in a tall glass. Crush mint leaves with a muddler, or with the back of a spoon. 
  • Add sugar, tart cherry juice, lime juice, white rum and ice. Mix well.
  • Finish the drink with club soda and remaining mint leaves. Stir to combine and serve.

 

Red Alert

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Ingredients per cocktail

  • 2 ounces tart cherry juice
  • 4 ounces coconut water (such as O.N.E. or Zico)
  • 2 ounces club soda
  • 1 ounce vodka

Preparation

  1. Pour ingredients into one 8-ounce glass.
  2. Stir to combine and serve. 

Ok, so these next two technically don't have cherry juice but they still sound great.

Cherry Punch

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Ingredients per cocktail

  • 1 oz. cherry vodka
  • 1 oz. triple sec
  • Splash of Rose's grenadine
  • Splash of cranberry juice

Shake together all ingredients but cranberry juice with ice. Pour into glass and top with cranberry juice. Garnish with a fresh cherry.


Cherry Cosmo

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Ingredients per cocktail

  • 2 oz. Smirnoff Black Cherry vodka
  • 1 oz. white cranberry juice
  • 3/4 oz. Cointreau
  • Splash of fresh lime juice

Combine all the ingredients in a shaker, and add ice. Shake and strain into a glass. Garnish with fresh or dried cherries

(top two photos and recipes from thenibble.com, second two from cosmopolitan.com)


Cocktail Time

This looks so good!  About 5:00 today I will be in need of one of these.  Great low-cal version too, using Crystal Light.

Pink Lemonade Margarita

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Prep Time:
5 min
Total Time:
5 min
Makes:
5 servings, 1 cup each
 
Ingredients:
 
1 tub CRYSTAL LIGHT Pink Lemonade Flavor Drink Mix
1-1/2 cups  cold water
1/2 cup cold orange juice
2 Tbsp.  tequila
1 Tbsp. lime juice
5 cups  crushed ice

PLACE drink mix, water, orange juice, tequila and lime juice in blender container; cover.

BLEND on high speed until drink mix is dissolved.

ADD ice; cover. Blend on high speed until thickened and smooth. Serve immediately.


Summer in a Glass

I wish I was fortunate enough to live where some of you are still referring to this season as "Spring"!!  Where I am, it has been reaching 90 degrees with 90% humidity everyday and will continue to climb.  So to me it is Summer! 

On a steamy day there is nothing better than an ice cold beer..... Well I thought there was nothing better until I found the Shandy.

Lemon Shandy

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Serves 4

Ingredients
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 cups water
  • four 3-inch strips lemon zest, removed with a vegetable peeler
  • 1 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 fresh mint sprigs
  • chilled beer, such as pale ale

Preparation

In a small saucepan bring sugar and 1 cup water to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved, and stir in zest. Cool sugar syrup to room temperature.

Transfer syrup to a small pitcher and stir in remaining 2 cups water, lemon juice, and mint. Chill lemonade until cold. (Makes about 4 1/2 cups lemonade.)

Pour 1/4 cup lemonade, or to taste, into each of 4 chilled beer glasses and top off with beer.

The combo of lemonade, mint and cold beer-you can't get anymore refreshing!


(photo and recipe from epicurious.com)


Lime Coolers

I stumbled upon these little lovelies and just had to share them with you. 

Lime Ice Cubes

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How perfect are these for summer?  Add refreshing citrus flavor to any beverage or cocktail and keep them cool.  I was thinking you could also use lemons, cucumber or oranges. 

RECIPE

Makes 42 ice cubes

  • 2  medium limes
  • 1  qt. cold water
  • 1/4  cup  fresh lime juice

1. Cut each lime into 1/4-inch-thick slices; cut each slice into 4 wedges.

2. Stir together 1 qt. cold water and 1/4 cup lime juice. Fill each compartment of 3 ice cube trays evenly with lime juice mixture. Place 1 lime wedge in each ice cube compartment. Freeze 8 hours or until firm.

(photo and recipe from myrecipes.com)