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Is the weather bumming you out?  Me too.  Which is why I fully intend to concoct a few delicious cocktails this weekend.  So, in the lighthearted spirit of Friday afternoon, here are a few of my favorites.  Nothing terribly unique here (except for maybe the last one).

Salud!

SANGRIA

My tried and true recipe for a pitcher of Sangria (serves 4-6)  is the following:

2 pieces of citrus fruit; ideally one orange and one lemon, but use whatever you already have

1/3 cup brandy

1/3 cup sugar

1 bottle of inexpensive red wine (merlot is great)

1 liter bottle of sparkling water (plain or lemon/lime flavored, your choice)

ice

Slice the fruit in half; juice one half of each piece into a pitcher or wide mouthed jar.  Slice the other halves into thin rounds.  Add the sliced fruit to the pitcher/jar, along with the brandy and sugar.  Using a wooden spoon, mash the mixture until muddled.  Pour in the wine and sparkling water, give it a stir, add as much ice as you can, then place sangria in the refrigerator for (ideally) 30 minutes.  Nice to garnish each glass with a sprig of mint.

CLASSIC MOJITO

I love fancy mojitos but rarely aspire to anything beyond the following, which never lets me down!  I usually make them one at a time.  For each:

Juice of 2 limes

1 shot of white rum

1 ½ Tbs sugar

Sparkling water

Large sprig of mint (approx 10 leaves)

ice

Juice the limes into a shaker.  Add sugar and rum; stir until sugar has dissolved.  Add sprig of mint (except for a small bud of 2-3 tiny leaves) and 4-5 ice cubes.  I both muddle and shake.  Pour contents of shaker into glass filled with crushed ice, top with sparkling water and garnish with the bud of tiny mint leaves.

VASHON SEA BREEZE

The classic Sea Breeze cocktail is made with vodka, grapefruit juice, & cranberry juice.  Our Sea Breeze cocktail contains none of the above, but oddly tastes like grapefruit juice nonetheless, hence convenient use of the name!  This might be my cocktail claim to fame.  It also requires one pesky pre-cocktail hour step: make rhubarb simple syrup.  Both recipes below:

Rhubarb Simple Syrup

This couldn’t be simpler; simply wash and chop up approximately 1 cup of rhubarb stalks, and place them in a saucepan with 1 cup of sugar and 1 ¼ cup water.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for approximately 30 minutes.  (Rhubarb will be falling apart and the color absorbed into the liquid.)  Strain this mixture into a jar.  Allow to cool, then store in refrigerator.

For the cocktail:

1 lime

1 shot of Cointreau

2-3 Tbs rhubarb simple syrup

Ice

Juice the lime into shaker; add Cointreau (or similar orange flavored liquor), rhubarb simple syrup, and a handful of ice.  Shake, then pour contents into glass filled with crushed ice.

Let’s pretend it’s warm, people.

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