Tag Archives: cocktails

Mango Mojitos With Ancho Chili Salt

15 Aug

It was another summer Friday in the neighborhood and that called for another festive cocktail. Riding high on the success of last session’s passionfruit mojitos, I decided to make mango mojitos. The drink itself followed much the same construction, but the mango was decidedly sweeter than the passionfruit, so I decided that it needed a spike of heat and salt for proper balance.

Assembly line for summer

Assembly line for summer

Ancho chile salt on the rim provided just the right touch.Your lips get hot, your tongue gets salty, then the potent sweetness of the mango and rum drenches your mouth in happiness!

Friday night in the hood

Friday night in the hood

I made enough to take to a Spuyten Duyvil concert at the farm two days later. Once again, big hit (except for the bit about the plastic cups…it is not good form to use one-time use cups in our world, but sometimes it happens; mea culpa)!

Spuyten Duyvil rocking the farm

Spuyten Duyvil rocking the farm

Mango Mojitos with Ancho Chile

3 parts rum

2-3 parts mango nectar or juice

1 part simple syrup (1 part sugar, 1 part water heated until clear and liquid and cooled)

Ancho chile salt

1 Tbs ancho chile powder

1 Tbs table salt or salt crystals

Limes quartered

Mint leaves

Ice

Club soda or seltzer

Mix rum, juice and syrup together and place in a container until you are ready to use.

Mix salt and ancho chile powder thoroughly and pour onto a small plate. Rub the rim of your empty glass with lime then twirl the rim in the salt until coated.

Add two or three lime quarters, three leaves mint and muddle thoroughly so you have lime juice in the glass. Add ice, pour the mango mix in and top with a bit of club soda or seltzer.

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Passionfruit Mojitos by the Pitcher or Glass

27 Jul

Summer evenings in the neighborhood can be wonderful. Occasionally on a Friday some of us neighbors bring out folding chairs and sit together in one front yard for a bit of happy hour while the kids go mental on someone else’s lawn. It’s pretty much BYO, but we do mix up a pitcher of experimental cocktails sometimes. Or at least I do.

2015-07-24 17.23.34 mojitoThese Passionfruit Mojitos (which I call “Monrojitos” after our street) were very pretty and tasty. I brought over a cooler with the rum mix, lime wedges, mint and ice, and we muddled each drink individually, which made it festive, somehow. Individuals can adjust lime if they want it a bit more tart.

2015-07-24 17.54.47 mojito passionPassionfruit Mojitos

(This recipe gives general proportions. For a pitcher, measure by the Cup; for individual servings use ounces)

3 parts white rum

2 parts passionfruit juice or nectar (nectar will be sweeter)

1 part sugar syrup (put equal parts water and white sugar in a saucepan, bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer until slightly thickened; 1 Cup of sugar and one of water will yield about 1.5 Cups of syrup)

OR

1 part agave syrup

Mint leaves (you’ll need at least three per glass)                                                                             

Limes, quartered (at least two quarters per glass)

ice

Club soda or seltzer

 Mix rum, juice and syrup in a pitcher or bottle you can close tightly and keep chilled. When you are ready to serve, place mint and lime in each glass and muddle (squeeze and press so tha the juices come out). Add ice, pour desired amount of rum mixture and top with a bit of club soda.

HELP ME WIN an EDDY AWARD! Vote now….

27 Feb

Edible Feast has chosen my piece on Cameron Prather’s Watermelon Mojito Recipe

as a finalist for the EDDY Awards in the DRINK category!

Please vote for us (and photographer Doug Young)  by clicking here. Thank you and ¡SALUD!

Doug’s gorgeous photo….

!

Hibiscus Mint Iced Tea Lemonade

7 Aug

I am so glad to be back!

There she is! Will find that contact info soon!

There she is! Will find that contact info soon!

We were just in Puerto Rico for a month, which was fantastic and wonderful (especially for my son’s Spanish; he spent his days at a summer camp fending for himself  and emerging victorious!). But for those of us sitting home with nothing but fans blowing hot air around while he frolicked in the pool, it was ridiculously hot.

Putting it together was easy!

Putting it together was easy!

We headed for Rincón’s Famer’s Market a couple of Sundays (Rincón is higher elevation where it is not beachfront, so it is cooler), and we found a young lady selling iced teas…with a twist (now I can’t find her card or I would tell you who she is…).

How pretty is that?

How pretty is that?

Leandro fell in love with the Hibiscus-Mint Iced Tea Lemonade which she said is very popular for kids’ parties. So, of course I had to recreate it at home and I too emerged victorious. This stuff is super-refreshing and delicious, has no caffeine and looks beautiful. I used agave nectar, so I didn’t even have to fuss with sugar syrup….You could try honey too!

 

So refreshing!

So refreshing!

Hibiscus Mint Iced Tea Lemonade

6 Cups hibiscus tea, cooled (I used Tazo’s Passion – 5 teabags to 6 Cups hot water, then steeped for ten minutes)

½ generous Cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice (strained to remove seeds and pulp)

¾ Cup agave nectar (you could also make a simple sugar syrup and start with 1/2 Cup)

Several sprigs mint and 1 Tbs chopped mint

Mix all the ingredients in a large pitcher until blended. Remove mint sprigs, stir in chopped mint and serve over ice, with additional sprigs of mint for garnish, if desired.

 

Sangría Tropical (and rainforest paradise pictures)

27 Jul

When the heat gets tropical, so should the drinks.

View from Noelia's where you can sit out on the deck and chat while waiting for dinner

View from Noelia’s where you can sit out on the deck and chat while waiting for dinner. See rapidly disappearing sangría in my mom’s hand

On a recent trip to the mountains of Puerto Rico, I was inspired by a wonderfully cooling and exotic sangría I had up around and about El Yumque (Caribbean National Forest, the only tropical rainforest in the U.S. Forest Service  system) at Noelia’s, recommended to us by Matthew at our hotel, Casa Cubuy EcoLodge — which is simple and wonderful and part of the rainforest.

An eclectic and friendly joint, with loads of Puerto Rico memorabilia and drums!

Noelia’s is an eclectic and friendly joint, with loads of Puerto Rico memorabilia and drums!

Your balcony looks out on the mountain, with walks to several rivers and waterfalls right out the back door.

View from the balcony at Casa Cubuy

View from the balcony at Casa Cubuy

It was a wonderful night with a local couple and Noelia herself telling us tales of their region and showing up the island of Vieques in the distance, spotting palomas sabaneras (an indigenous and endangered bird) in the trees, coqui frogs in the kitchen keeping Noelia company, eating garlicky mofongo and seafood from the nearby coast (the little guy sucking on the bones of his delicious fried chicken).

Noelia herself!

Noelia herself!

moonshine!

moonshine!

There’s moonshine up in those mountains and we brought some of that home too, but I am not revealing my sources. Note that our moonshine is a potent cane rum, best mellowed with local flavors like coconut and passionfruit.

A boy's paradise

A boy’s paradise

So when I got back to sea level, it was clearly time to enjoy some of that flavor and bring back the cool of the high hills. I used a couple of tablespoons of moonshine, but I offer worthy substitutions in the recipe. Continue reading

Cozy, Sparkly, Happily-Appley, Holiday Cocktail

28 Nov

A post on Edible Long Island and a post-trick-or-treating Halloween mini-party inspired me to make Apple Crisps, an invention of Relish restaurant in King’s Park, using local apple cider from Richter’s Orchards. While the boys decorated skull- and coffin-shaped papier mâché boxes, ate hot dogs and watched Casper’s Scare School, the moms noshed on white cheese and grapes (the world’s simplest appetizer) and cocktail meatballs and these light and relaxing cocktails!

flutes work well in small spaces!

flutes work well in small spaces!

I kept it hyper-local with Jericho Cider Mills cider (both orchards are on Long Island — yes, the same place you thought had been cemented over a long time ago actually has farms and orchards– but Jericho is closer to us than Richter’s ) and — me being me — added a bit more prosecco. And then, once the initial, beautifully shaken, garnished, and presented ones were drained daintily, everyone just sort of poured themselves some cider and topped it off with a healthy slug of the fizzy and a sprinkle of cinnamon…there is nothing I like better than self-serve after I’ve made a lovely first impression.

P.S. I also made one of these for Adriana of the Sparkly Cosmo Night…it is so refreshing and so low in alcohol  that it hydrates and maintains your level for the long haul…

I suppose I should tell you about the artless, yet decadent nutella sandwiches that were aso part of the evening...

I suppose I should tell you about the artless, yet decadent nutella sandwiches that were aso part of the evening…

The Apple Crisp
2 oz. local apple cider
6 oz. Prosecco
Sprinkling of ground cinnamon (plus a tiny squeeze of lemon, if desired)
In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine ingredients. Shake well. Pour into a flute (or other wine glass) and garnish with a fresh apple slice. Sprinkle with more cinnamon, if desired.

Sparkling Cosmo: A Festive Cocktail

26 Nov

Adriana and I had not seen each other for months. You may remember her from delicious recipes like her perfect lamb chops  and roasted Brussels sprouts, or the Cioppino Latino we invented or the decadent recovery from a big night blinis topped with egg and salmon roe.

So it was high time we played again.

An inventive garnish...tasty too!

An inventive garnish…tasty too!

Our evenings, which combine kids’ playdate and Mommy time, tend to be full of amazing food and lots of wine, which is my drink of choice and from which I rarely veer. But this time, we started off the way Adriana prefers: with a proper cocktail. And I am very glad we did!

This variation on the ubiquitous Cosmo worked perfectly to ring in the holiday season…a pale jewel-like pink, topped with the liquid bling of prosecco for some festive sparkle, and cool and crisp on the tongue….and we got a bit playful with the garnish…a segment of clementine (which you can find everywhere at this time of year) pierced through with a knife and then threaded with a boomerang cut of lime peel became our accessory to crime. It looked a bit like a baby turtle crawling to the sea right after being born, or a fish peeking over the rim of the glass to have a look.

Well hello there little fella!

Well hello there little fella!

The kids kept each other very happy and busy doing whatever it is they do when they are not bothering us, except for the occasional appearance to show us a different costume or some dance moves…and we got to the business of catching up. Fun! Fun! Fun!

Now this is the right way to have a playdate!

Now this is the right way to have a playdate!

Sparkling Cosmo

6 oz. vodka

6 oz. cranberry pomegranate juice (or your preferred berry-red juice)

1.5 oz triple sec

A splash of prosecco

A curl of lime peel (or my very sweet Clementine creature garnish – one segment per drink)

Pour the vodka, juice, and triple sec into a shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously and pour off into two generous-sized martini glasses. Top with a splash of prosecco or other sparkling white. Garnish and serve.

Rum-Tinis: Two Unusual Takes on the Classic Cocktail

27 Jan

I am a wine drinker rather than a cocktail imbiber…whether it is that I am too lazy to be mucking about with mixers and garnishes (have I told you how fond I am of screwtops?) or too wise after years of silliness to mess with the high alcohol content of hard liquor is a matter you can decide for yourself.

Rum-Tini - the Caribbean martini alternative

Rum-Tini – the Caribbean martini alternative

But the cold weather somehow put me in the mood for a proper cocktail and I had brought some good white rum at the Duty-Free on my way home from Puerto Rico. I did come across some unusual cocktails and drinks (Click here for an article that includes an unbelievable cocktail called Toblerone – yeah, as in the chocolate. O.M.G. I will be experimenting with that on another occasion!), in my search but decided for this time to play with the flavors I already had at home and get some Kahlua in anticipation of another cocktail session. Continue reading

Blackberry Bonanza: Syrup, Martini, and Lemon Iced Tea (plus a lesson in empirical evidence)

27 Aug

There is currently a beautiful blackberry crop at Restoration Farm (our C.S.A.) and there’s nothing more fun than walking down to the berry patch and picking a pint or quart of berries with your kid in a bucolic colonial setting.

You know which berries are ready because they are dark, dark, dark (which I suppose explains why they are called blackberries; I am a genius) and also, when you are harvesting, the ripe ones don’t resist a very gentle tug, but slip right off the bush into your fingers sans stem and core. If they resist, it is not because they are being difficult, but because they simply do not want to deliver themselves to you at anything less than their peak. Continue reading

White Sangría (Finding a use for that sweet white wine you’ll never drink and can’t regift)

6 Jul

Disaster looms!

Sweaty, hot day, kids bringing up the blood pressure with the noise and the moaning and the constant warfare, and between you and your buddy, Beth, there is only one (big) bottle of sweet white wine for dinner prep.

I assume you realize that the wine is for the cooks, not for the cooking and that you know by now that sweet wine is not my thing.

This is a problem of great magnitude. A good cocktail between moms can do a great deal for a meal that is edible and thus brings us closer to World Peace.

The absence of anything worth drinking, however, is a problem. That still stops us (we have not yet crossed that line). Well, stops us temporarily. Only until we find some way to doctor up the unacceptable tipple into something that can properly take the edge off the day without getting us completely shellacked.

Fear not…with a minimum of ingredients you can transform that icky, sticky, sweet syrup into a pitcher of refreshing, well-balanced and pretty cocktails with a perfect harmony of sweet and tart. You might even share with Beth’s husband. See, now everybody’s happy.

Behold….White Sangría. Ahhhh.

White Sangría with Sweet White Wine

3 cups sweet white wine

1 orange

1 lemon

 five slivered strawberries

1/4 cup seltzer

Pour wine into pitcher (you can pour it over ice if you like, or make it straight up and then pour into ice-filled glasses, depending on how diluted you want it).

Wash the outside of the orange and lemon and take some of the zest off with a peeler and toss in pitcher. Reserve additional zest for your next pitcher. Peel orange and lemon, and cut in half. Reserve one half of each for your next pitcher. With the active halves, squeeze a bit of juice into the pitcher, then remove pith and chunk up. Toss orange and lemon chunks into pitcher. Stir, add strawberry slices, top with seltzer (club soda), give it a whirl and start pouring!

 

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