Cocktails Feed

Derby Snack

Serve these Hat Cookies this weekend at your own Kentucky Derby Party!  They would also make great party favors.  Then wash them down with this Mint Julep Iced Tea.  It reminds me of my grandmother's tea minus the bourbon!

Hat Cookies

Hat-cookies-sl-258352-x 

3 dozen

Ingredients

  • 3/4  cup  butter, softened
  • 1  cup  sugar
  • 1  large egg
  • 1  teaspoon  almond extract
  • 2 1/2  cups  all-purpose flour
  • 1/2  teaspoon  baking soda
  • 1/2  teaspoon  salt
  • Decorator Frosting

Beat butter and sugar until creamy. Add egg and extract, beating well.

Combine flour, soda, and salt; add to butter mixture, beating well. Divide dough in half; cover and chill 1 hour.

Roll half of dough to 1/8-inch thickness on a lightly floured surface. Cut out 36 cookies using a 2 1/2-inch round cutter. Place cookies 1 inch apart on parchment paper-lined baking sheets.

Bake at 375° for 6 to 8 minutes; let cookies stand on baking sheets 5 minutes. Cool completely on wire racks.

Roll remaining dough to 1/8-inch thickness on a lightly floured surface. Cut out 36 cookies using a 1 1/4-inch round cutter. Place cookies 1 inch apart on parchment paper-lined baking sheets.

Bake at 375° for 4 to 6 minutes; let stand on baking sheets 5 minutes. Cool completely on wire racks.

Assemble cookies by placing 1 small cookie in center of 1 large cookie. Decorate with Decorator Frosting to resemble hats; let dry.

Mint Julep Iced Tea

Mint-julep-cl-346753-x 

2 quarts

Ingredients

  • 8  mint leaves
  • 1  lemon, sliced
  • 1  lime, sliced
  • 1  cup  bourbon
  • 3  cups  cold sweetened tea
  • Cubed or crushed ice

Combine first 3 ingredients in a 2-quart pitcher, pressing with spoon to crush mint. Stir in bourbon and tea. Add ice

(photos and recipes from myrecipes.com)


Frozen Sangria

Calling all fellow Sangria lovers!  Here is a great way to serve a crowd Sangria for Cinco de Mayo or any other occasion because to me it goes with all occasions.  YUM!

Frozen-sangria-sl-1865398-l  

Prep: 10 min., Freeze: 24 hr. This makes about 24 servings without breaking the bank. Total cost is about $13.

Makes about 1 1/2 gal.

Ingredients

  • 1  gal. sangría
  • 1  (12-oz.) can frozen limeade, thawed
  • 1  (2-liter) bottle lemon-lime soft drink
  • 2  cups  sliced oranges, lemons, and limes

1. Place 1 (2-gal.) zip-top plastic freezer bag inside another 2-gal. zip-top plastic freezer bag. Place bags in a large bowl. Combine sangría, limeade, and lemon-lime soft drink in the inside bag. Seal both bags, and freeze 24 hours. (Double bagging is a precaution to avoid spills.)

2. Remove mixture from freezer 1 hour before serving, squeezing occasionally until slushy. Transfer mixture to a 2-gal. container. Stir in fruit.

Kid-Friendly Frozen Sangría: Substitute cranberry juice for sangría. Proceed with recipe as directed

(photo from southernliving.com)


Margaritas Three Ways

With Summer and Cinco de Mayo right around the corner, I have margaritas on the brain!  I'm a "on the rocks" gal but these are irresistible.  Serve these unique versions at your next fiesta.

Beer 'Garitas

Beer-garita-sl-1187120-l 

I keep saying I'm going to try these and haven't yet...have you?

Prep: 5 min. For a bolder flavor, use a dark beer. Serve in 16-oz. mason jars for fun.

Makes 4 servings

  • 1  cup  frozen limeade concentrate, thawed
  • 1  cup  tequila
  • 1/2  cup  orange liqueur
  • Crushed ice
  • 1/2  to 1 cup cold beer

1. Stir together first 3 ingredients until well blended. Fill 4 medium glasses with crushed ice. Pour limeade mixture evenly into glasses. Add beer to taste.

Note: For testing purposes only, we used Minute Maid Frozen Concentrate for Limeade, José Cuervo Especial tequila, and Triple Sec for orange liqueur

Scarlet Margaritas

Scarlet-margaritas-sl-1731428-l 

This is the prettiest color!

Prep: 10 min. If pomegranates are not available, no problem. This drink is just as delicious without the fresh seeds.

Makes 6 servings (serving size: 1 cup)

  • 4  cups  crushed ice
  • 1  cup  pomegranate juice
  • 1/2  cup  orange liqueur
  • 1/2  cup  tequila
  • 1  tablespoon  lime juice
  • 4  tablespoons  pomegranate seeds (1/2 fresh pomegranate) (optional)
  • Lime wedges
  • Coarse salt
  • Garnish: lime slices

1. Process first 5 ingredients, and, if desired, pomegranate seeds in a blender 30 seconds or until frothy.

2. Rub rims of 6 glasses with lime wedges; dip in salt to coat. Pour margarita evenly into prepared glasses. Garnish, if desired. Serve immediately.

Note: For testing purposes only, we used Pom Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice

Blue Margaritas

Blue-margaritas-l 

Look at that frosty pitcher-ice cold!

For an even coating around the rim of each glass, dip first in lime juice and then salt.

Makes 5 cups     

1  (10-ounce) can frozen margarita mix

  • 3/4  cup  tequila
  • 1/4  cup  blue curaçao liqueur
  • 2  tablespoons  lime juice
  • Combine all ingredients in a blender. Fill with ice to 5-cup level, and process until smooth. Serve immediately

    Come back soon for our Cinco de Mayo/Fiesta menu ideas!  I guess it can't be all about the cocktails ;)

    (images from southernliving.com)


    Spicy Sunday

    Don't forget the Bloody Mary the next time you are planning a brunch.  Here is a recipe from Bobby Flay that sounds like the ideal Bloody Mary to me.

    Spicy Bloody Mary

    Top_bloodymary 


    Serves: 2

    12 ounces tomato juice
    2 tablespoons prepared horseradish, drained
    3 ounces vodka
    2-4 dashes Mesa Grill Hot Sauce or Tabasco Sauce
    2 dashes Worcestershire sauce
    ¼ teaspoon celery salt
    ¼ teaspoon black pepper
    Juice of 1 lemon
    Ice
    Celery spears and jalapeno peppers, for garnish

    1. Whisk together the juice, horseradish, vodka, hot sauce, Worcestershire celery salt, pepper and lemon juice in a small pitcher and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
    2. Pour mixture into 2 large glass filled with ice and garnish with celery spear and jalapeno


    Pretty in Pink

    This photo caught my eye for its pretty pink color.  Then the recipe sounded just as good as it looked.  What a great punch to serve at Easter!  The recipe includes instructions for both non-alcoholic and alcoholic versions so you can please everyone.  This would also be great for Mother's Day and wedding and baby showers (especially if mom is having a girl!)

    Sparkling-punch-l 

    Sparkling Punch 

    Yield

    Makes about 9 cups

    Ingredients

    • 1  (12-oz.) can frozen pink lemonade concentrate, thawed
    • 4  cups  white cranberry juice cocktail
    • 1  qt. club soda, chilled
    • Garnish: fresh mint sprigs

    Preparation

    1. Stir together lemonade concentrate and cranberry juice cocktail in a large pitcher. Cover and chill at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours. Stir in club soda just before serving. Garnish, if desired.

    Champagne Punch: Substitute 1 (750-milliliter) bottle extra-dry Champagne or sparkling wine and 1/4 cup orange liqueur for club soda; proceed with recipe as directed

    (photo from southernliving.com)


    Wicked Theme Party Inspiration

    I saw Wicked for the second time this past weekend and was reminded of just how amazing it is!  Nothing compares to seeing it in NYC but this was very close.  Not to mention my six year old niece went and it was great seeing it through her eyes too.  We both share a love of the Wicked Witch of the West from The Wizard of Oz. 

    It got me thinking about doing a party around the musical.  Here is my first Photoshop collage...I still need practice ;)

    Wickedcollage 

    Photo credits:

    Top left:  black gossamer has many uses, hang from ceiling, drape around chandelier, tie on backs of chairs

    Top middle: Ticket Invitations you can personalize to your Wicked event, so cool

    Top right: Green paper plates and below green napkins

    Green apple martini  as signature green cocktail

    Middle Wicked image from Google

    Purple I Heart Oz magnets would make great party favors.

    Caramel apples for snacks (for green color)

    There are so many different ways you could go with this party.  You could even do a whole "Guh-lenda" themed party with iridescent items and light colors.  I would try to incorporate quotes and lyrics from the musical like "Defy Gravity" and "Popular" in your surroundings.  Printing them out on colored cardstock, framing and setting them around the room like HWTM did with her Twilight Party.  Add sparkle with green colored gems in vases or candlescapes to imitate emeralds.  HWTM demonstrates this with red sea glass at her Twilight Party.  Have the soundtrack playing in the background with posters, Playbills and programs sitting around would also add to the Wicked mood.

    Have you thrown or attended a Wicked party?  Do you have any ideas on other elements to include?


    Happy Hour

    Well I'm already getting ready for Cinco de Mayo!  I love celebrating Mexcian-style and I love margaritas even more!  Enjoy these Margarita Bites at your next Fiesta! 

    Margarita Bites

    Layered_Margarita_Bites 

    2 cups boiling water
    2 pkg.  (3 oz. each) JELL-O Margarita Flavor Gelatin (or lime flavored)
    1/2 cup tequila or cold water
    Zest and juice from 1 lime
    2 cups thawed COOL WHIP Whipped Topping

    ADD boiling water to gelatin mixes in large bowl; stir with whisk 2 min. until completely dissolved. Stir in tequila and 2 Tbsp. lime juice. Add COOL WHIP and 1 tsp. lime zest; stir until COOL WHIP is completely melted and mixture is well blended.

    POUR into 8-inch square pan.

    REFRIGERATE 3 hours or until firm. Cut into 36 pieces to serve.

     

    (photo and recipe from kraftfoods.com)


    Fresh Idea

    We are getting closer to our "Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree..." wedding shower.  I've shown you our ideas for the centerpieces.  Since then, I've found so many great ideas for using green apples in your wedding or shower decor on the web.  Below is another beautiful way to show off your apples.  We are serving Green Apple Martinis and this is perfect!

    Apple-martini-jar-ENTERT0505-de-87312868   

    Isn't this lovely?  You could even use this as the centerpiece.  This would be great for a Spring or Summer party too, it doesn't have to be just for showers.  Get creative, try serving lemonade or limeade this way!  How refreshing...

    (photo from countryliving.com)


    St. Patrick's Day Cocktails

    Instead of green beer for St. Patty's Day, try one of these green Midori Melon Liqueur cocktails!


    Midori Cosmo

    Green-Cosmopolitan-230_000 

    Ingredients Per Cocktail

    • 3/4 oz Midori

    • 2 oz  citrus vodka

    • Splash of white cranberry juice

    • Berries or green fruit to garnish

    Directions

    • Shake and strain into a chilled glass.
    • Add an optional curly lime peel garnish.

    Midori Lagoon

    Lagoon-270 

    Ingredients

    • ½ part Midori

    • ¾ part classic golden rum

    • ½ part fresh orange juice

    • Curled lime peel to garnish

    Instructions

    • Pour into a tall glass over ice


    Midori Sour

    Midori-sour 

    Ingredients

    • 1 part Midori

    • 4 parts sour mix

    • Garnish with melon balls

    Directions

    • Serve in a rocks glass over ice

    (photos and recipes from thenibble.com)


    Bravo!

    Housewives-nyc

    Please tell me you are as big a fan as me of the Real Housewives TV shows?!  My favorite is Orange County, but unfortunately its season just ended.  My next favorite is New York.  And my favorite lady on the show is Bethenny Frankel

    Housewives_single_full

    On its premiere episode I saw Bethenny's Skinny Girl cocktails featured.  You may have heard of the Skinny Girl Margarita.  So I started exploring.  Turns out she has a book coming out called Naturally Thin on March 10.  She is a health food chef and I am so glad she wrote a book.  She has an awesome figure so I will be buying the book. 

    More importantly, due out later is a book of Skinny Girl cocktail recipes!  I love my cocktails and would love them even more if they didn't pack on the pounds.  A date has not been released yet.  Until the book comes out I found that she has several recipes on Ehow.com.  Here is her Skinny Girl Margarita:

    Margarita-main_Full 

    If you want a SKM on the rocks, it's quite simple. Add ice to a rocks glass, add 2 oz. (a two count) of White Tequila, the juice of 4 lime wedges and a splash of triple sec, Grand Marnier or Cointreau. It's that easy!

    If you want a frozen margarita, combine all the ingredients in a blender; just make sure that there is 2 oz. of tequila per serving and you're ready to go! Serve in a chilled glass; and if you'd like to garnish the glass, rim it with a lime and dip in salt or sugar or both
     
    There are several other recipes on the site including a Low Cal Mojito. 
     
    So who's your favorite lady on the show?  Who's your least favorite?  All I have to say is "Silex" has got to go!
     
    (photos from bravotv.comand ehow.com)