“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.”
These past few weeks have been so busy but I wanted to take a minute to post this amazing Cranberry Rosemary Christmas Sangria recipe. I made this and it was a hit so I will make it again for our Christmas dinner! The red and green make this the perfect drink to serve on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. Not only does it look like Christmas in a pitcher, but it tastes amazing. Enjoy and if you try it, let me know what you think!
What You Will Need for Cranberry Rosemary Christmas Sangria:
- 1 Honeycrisp apple (or red apple of your choice)
- 1 Pear (if you don’t have a pear, you can use a Granny Smith Apple)
- 1 heaping Cup Fresh cranberries
- 8-10 Sprigs of Rosemary (2 for the Sangria, the rest to garnish the glasses)
- 1 Bottle White Wine (I used a Gewurztraminer from Marrowstone Vineyards)
- 1/2 cup Cranberry Juice
- 1/2 cup sugar (1/4 cup for sangria, 1/4 cup for garnish)
- 12 ozs Club Soda
- Cut the apple and pear into small cubes
- In a large pitcher, add apples, pears, sugar, cranberries, 2 sprigs of rosemary, bottle of wine, cranberry juice and club soda.
- Mix well until the sugar is fully dissolved and place in the refrigerator to chill
- While the sangria is chilling, add 1/4 cup sugar to a bowl. Lightly wet the rosemary sprigs and shake off excess water. Place into the bowl of sugar and shake or roll the rosemary around until it is coated in sugar.
- After allowing the Sagria to chill for at least 3-4 hours, place a sugared rosemary spring in each wine glass, pour in the sangria and enjoy!
“To hell with the red wine.
Pour me some moon shine” –“Here For A Good Time” by George Strait
The bourbon was flowing this Thanksgiving as we celebrated with my family in Kentucky. Even though I LOVE bourbon, I wanted to make a drink that was a bit more refreshing and could be served as we gathered together to give thanks. I decided to try mixing a cocktail with peach moonshine and I have to admit, it was really good. I made a pitcher of Peaches and Shine and we ran out pretty quickly. I hope you give this drink a try. If you do, make sure to let me know what you think. And if you have never had moonshine, don’t be scared!
What you will need for your Peaches and Shine:
- 1 750 ml jar of Peach Moonshine (I used Ole Smoky Tennessee Moonshine)
- 3 cups Ginger Beer
- 1/2 cup Sweet and Sour Cocktail Mixer
- 1 cup Cranberry Juice
- 8-10 mint leaves, torn
- 6-8 peach wedges (I used peaches from a jar in syrup for a sweater taste)
- Additional Mint Leaves for garnish
- Measuring Cup
- Large Pitcher
- In a pitcher, add peach moonshine, ginger beer, sweet and sour cocktail mix, cranberry juice, torn mint leaves, peach wedges and ice and stir together until mixed well
- Place ice glass of choice
- Pour Peaches and Shine over the ice, garnish with a few mint leaves and serve.
“Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.” — William Arthur Ward
This year, I have a lot to be thankful for. I have two beautiful, healthy children. An amazing husband who supports me in everything I do…even the “Hey hon, I think I am going to start a cocktail blog.” Wonderful friends and family who are there through thick and thin. I am thankful that I grew up in a small town where I learned that family values and God are the most important things in life. I am thankful for Chicago and all of her beauty. But today, I am most thankful for each of you! Thank you for following my blog, sending me messages, trying my drink recipes, and just being here. I love interacting with you on a daily basis and getting to know you. Before everyone starts to get ready for Thanksgiving, I wanted to send you a heartfelt THANK YOU. And of course, I had to add a yummy bourbon recipe for you to try this week. If you like ginger ale and rosemary, I hope you give this Rosemary Ginger Bourbon Sour a shot.
What You Need for the Rosemary Ginger Bourbon Sour:
- In a cocktail shaker, add bourbon, ginger ale, lemon juice, simple syrup, ice and shake vigorously for 15-20 seconds.
- Place bourbon ice ball into cocktail glass.
- Strain mixture into cocktail glass.
- Add rosemary spring to garnish and enjoy.
“When the world seems so cruel
And your heart makes you feel like a fool
I promise you will see
That I will be
I will be
I will beeeeeee your remedy.”
Remedy by Adele
After nearly 5 years, Adele has released her new album, “25“. I have been waiting for this day for a long time. When she released “Hello”, I listened on repeat, anticipating what more she could do on this album. She did not disappoint. The piano ballads are beautiful, her airy voice is breathtaking, and her words go deep into my soul. I put the album on repeat and have been listening all day. The first round, I poured a glass of Woodford Reserve Sonoma-Cutrer Finish on the rocks, sipped my bourbon and listened to the words. The next round, I made a cocktail I am calling The Remedy and had a couple while listening. Every song takes me on a journey. I feel the heartbreak in her words. The desperation. The love that is found through the scars. Adele has given us another masterpiece with this album and has set the bar for those that follow in her footsteps. If you haven’t yet, make sure to check “25” out while sipping on The Remedy.
What you need for The Remedy:
- 1 oz Bourbon (I use Woodford Reserve Distiller’s Select for my mixed drinks)
- 1 oz Chambord
- 1 oz Ginger Ale
- 1/2 oz Lemon Juice
- 1/2 oz Orange Juice
- 1 Splash Simple Syrup
- 1 Orange slice for garnish
- Cocktail Shaker
- Cocktail Strainer
- Fill a shaker with ice, bourbon, Chambord, ginger ale, lemon juice, orange juice and simple syrup.
- Shake until mixed well.
- Strain into a martini glass and garnish with an orange slice.
- Put Adele’s album “25” on repeat and enjoy your Remedy.
Almost every Tuesday in our house, we have Taco Tuesday! I blame The Lego Movie. My kids are still obsessed with the movie. We usually make homemade guacamole and salsa. To spice it up each week, I make a new drink for us to try. This week, I decided to try a mango margarita and add a little heat to it. I made a virgin mango smoothie for the kids to enjoy during dinner. The above is the adult version and I must say, it was delicious!
What You Will Need for the Chili Mango Margarita:
- 4 ozs Silver Tequila
- 1 oz Grand Marnier
- 1 ripe Mango, cubed (1 cup if you use frozen mango chunks)
- 1 cup Orange Juice
- 1 oz Lime Juice
- 2 Dashes of Hot Sauce (I use Cholula)
- 1 Tbsp Agave Nectar or Simple Syrup
- 2-3 lime wedges
- 1 tsp Chili Powder
- 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
- 1 cup Ice
- Add tequila, mango, orange juice, lime juice, Grand Marnier, hot sauce, agave nectar and ice to blender and blend until smooth.
- Mix the chili powder and sea salt together and pour onto a plate. Rim serving glass with lime wedge and dip it in the chili-salt mixture. If you do not like the taste of the chili powder, you can use just sea salt or even sugar.
- Pour mango margarita mixture into serving glass, garnish with lime wedge and enjoy!
Taco Tuesday must haves:
“Making sushi is an art, and experience is everything.” –Nobu Matsuhisa
I love sushi. And wasabi. And ginger. And nothing pairs with sushi better than a ginger cocktail so I decided to switch a few ingredients of the Limoncello Gin Martini recipe that I have to enhance the sushi flavors. If you like your martini a little bit on the sweeter side, this is the cocktail for you! For me, the sweetness helps to take the bite out of the wasabi that I add to the soy sauce. If you get a chance and try this cocktail, make sure to come back and let me know what you think!
What you will need for a Limoncello Ginger Martini:
- Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and add Gin, Limoncello and ginger beer. WARNING: DO NOT SHAKE THIS UP. The carbonation in the ginger beer will cause it to erupt. Use a cocktail spoon to stir.
- Strain into martini glass
- Garnish with a lemon peel, grab your chop sticks and enjoy!
“Goals are achieved through discomfort and hard work. They aren’t achieved when you hide in a place where you’re nice and cozy.” –Colleen Hoover, November Nine
I absolutely love the month of November! The weather in Chicago is turning cold so there is nothing that I enjoy more than curling up in my oversized reading chair with a good book and a cocktail. When I think of the month, I think of deep reds, cranberries, and of course, Thanksgiving. That was until I read November 9 by Colleen Hoover. Now, when I think of November, I will think of Benton James Kessler, the X Ambassadors and Nantucket.
I was lucky enough to get to meet this amazing lady at a book signing here in Chicago right after November 9 released. If you love falling in love, then I highly recommend you check out November 9. It is a breath of fresh air and a must read.
Now lets talk about the drink. I love playing around with bourbon. It is perfect for any season. Since I am in the mood for Thanksgiving, I decided to add cranberry and some fresh squeezed orange juice. We are heading to Kentucky for Thanksgiving, so bourbon is a must. The November Tryst will be my contribution to Thanksgiving dinner;)
What you will need for a November Tryst:
- In the cocktail shaker, add bourbon, cranberry juice, orange juice, simple syrup and ice. Shake well until mixed
- Strain drink into martini glass
- Add 2-3 cranberries and twisted orange peel to garnish and serve
“I drink to make other people more interesting.” – Ernest Hemingway
When planning our visit to Paris this past spring, I did a little research on places to go to find the best cocktails…because let’s face it…I’m always on the lookout. I found a bar called Harry’s New York Bar. Not only is this an old Ernest Hemingway hangout, but Harry’s invented the Bloody Mary in 1921. Since the Bloody is one of my favorite drinks, it was the first place we visited.
For my Bloody Mary, I wanted to add a little something different to this classic drink. I decided to infuse vodka with pickles. To do this, I filled a mason jar and did 3 parts vodka to 1 part pickle juice. I used Vlasic Kosher Dill Pickle juice and added a few spears to the mixture. I tend to like a little heat in my Bloody Mary so I also added a few sport peppers and some fresh dill to the jar to enhance the flavor. I sealed the jar, shook it up and stored it in the refrigerator for 3 days. The result was amazing. I will definitely be keeping pickle infused vodka on hand for my Bloody Marys.
What you will need:
- 2 ozs Pickle Infused Vodka (See Recipe Above)
- 6 ozs Tomato Juice
- 3 dashes Worcestershire Sauce
- 2 dashes Cholula Original Hot Sauce (you can also use Tabasco Sauce)
2 tsp Prepared horseradish
- 1 pinch Turbinado Sugar (my secret ingredient)
- 1 pinch Celery Salt
1 pinch Ground black pepper
1 pinch Paprika
- Lemon wedges
- 2-3 Tbsp Weber Bold and Smoky Chipotle Seasoning
- Garnishes for your Bloody Mary (cocktail garnish pickle skewers, olives, pickles, lemon wedges, celery, turkey sausage snack stick, cheese squares, sport peppers, shrimp, bacon, etc.)
- Ice Cubes
- Cocktail Shaker
- Cocktail Strainer
- Pour Weber Bold and Smoky Chipotle Seasoning onto a plate
- Rub a lemon wedge around the top of a cocktail glass, then roll the outer edge in the seasoning, coating it fully (you can also use flavored rim salt. I like the smoky taste of the Weber seasoning mixed with the heat of the drink)
- Add ice to the glass and set aside
- In a cocktail shaker, combine vodka, tomato juice, juice from one lemon wedge, Worcestershire sauce, Cholula, horseradish, sugar, celery salt, pepper, paprika and ice.
- Place top on the shaker, shake gently to mix, then strain into prepared glass.
- Add your garnishes and serve.
If you are having friends over for a Saturday brunch, you can set up a Bloody Mary bar and have all of the garnishes out so your guests can make their own. This is a fun drink to get creative with so the sky is the limit! Also, if I am pressed for time, I will use either Zing Zag or Mr & Mrs T Original Bloody Mary Mix and just add vodka, 2-3 dashes of Worcestershire sauce and a pinch of turbinado sugar. This will give you the same bold flavor like the one made from scratch.
Bloody Mary Bar accents: