Coconut Margarita

Coconut Margarita

I added a little cream of coconut to a Margarita and fell in love with the results. OMG, why have I not done this sooner?

Margaritas are notoriously high in calories. Some can go as high as 600 calories per drink. Yikes! Triple sec and cream of coconut can add a lot of calories to a drink. By using only a small amount of triple sec and cream of coconut and by not adding sugar (or using a drink mix…which I would never do anyways), I was able to get this Coconut Margarita to come in at 172 calories.

Coconut Margarita

1 1/2 ounces tequila
1 tablespoon (1/2 ounce) triple sec
1 heaping teaspoon cream of coconut (like Coco Lopez)
juice of 1/2 lime

Shake ingredients together with ice in a cocktail shaker. Strain into a glass and serve with a wedge of lime.


Cucumber Gin and Tonic

Cucumber Gin and Tonic

This is a very refreshing cocktail. The cucumber slices and celery bitters add vegetal flavors that really enhance the classic Gin and Tonic. I found celery bitters at a local liquor store, but you can buy them online too.

Cucumber Gin and Tonic

Cucumber Gin and Tonic

1 1/2 ounces gin (I like navy-strength gin)
4 cucumber slices (plus another for garnish)
2 – 3 dashes celery bitters (optional)
ice
4 ounces tonic water
lime wedge (plus another for garnish)

Combine the gin, cucumber slices, and celery bitters. Add ice and then top with the tonic water. Squeeze a wedge of lime in the drink. Garnish with a cucumber slice and a lime wedge.


Strawberry Infused Vodka

Strawberry Infused Vodka (427x640)

We made our first trip of the year to the local strawberry farm recently and picked some beautiful berries. I froze the majority of the berries we picked to use in smoothies throughout the year, but saved enough to make a jar of Strawberry Infused Vodka.

strawberries

Making fruit infused vodka is easy. Too easy. Pineapple is my favorite, but strawberry is a close second. I especially love the resulting color of using strawberries. So pretty.

Strawberry Infused Vodka

fresh strawberries, washed, hulled, and sliced
vodka (my favorite is Tito’s)

I don’t have exact measurements for this recipe. Just place the sliced strawberries in a quart sized Mason jar. Don’t pack them tight. Pour the vodka over the berries almost to the top. Place the lid on the jar and place in a cool place for 3 days. Gently shake the jar each day.

Strawberry Infusing in Vodka

After 3 days, strain the vodka in a coffee filter-lined mesh strainer. I strain the vodka into a glass measuring cup and then put the strained vodka into a clean Mason jar. Store the Strawberry Infused Vodka in the fridge.

Strawberry Infused Vodka is delicious mixed with a little limeade. It’s also good with a splash of sparkling water or mineral water. If you like a sweeter drink, you can add a touch of simple syrup.

Strawberry Infused Vodka Drinnk


The Bee’s Knees

Bee's Knees

I was up late on Christmas Eve waiting for the little one to fall asleep so Santa could do his thing. While I was waiting, I shook up this cocktail. It’s a Prohibition-era cocktail, but it still holds it’s own today. I cannot remember where I got the recipe. A Google search brings up a bunch of different recipes and some cool historical facts about this libation.

The Bee’s Knees

2 ounces gin
1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice
1/2 ounce honey syrup (equal parts honey and hot water )

Shake ingredients together with ice in a cocktail shaker. Strain into a chilled glass. Garnish with a lemon wedge or strip of lemon peel (or twist), if you would like.


Cucumber Jalapeno Margarita

Cucumber Jalapeno Margarita 2  (640x639)

My husband is at an academic conference in San Antonio. Last night he posted a picture on Facebook of a margarita he was drinking at a restaurant named Rosario’s. It was called Pica Pica and it was made of cucumber and jalapeno-infused reposado tequila, lime juice, Cointreau, and agave. He said it was the best margarita he has ever had. It looked really good. It just so happened that I got cucumbers in my CSA box this week. I had to try to recreate his drink. Why should he be the only one to enjoy such a libation? I think I did a good job. This margarita is amazing!

When making this drink, don’t use those waxed cucumbers you find at the grocery store. Yuck. If those are the only cucumbers you can find, peel them before using in the margarita. The spice level of the margarita will vary depending on the jalapeno you get.

Cucumber Jalapeno Margarita (599x640)

Cucumber Jalapeño Margarita

Makes 1 strong margarita

4 slices fresh jalapeno
4 slices cucumber
1 – 2 teaspoons sugar, to taste
2 1/2 ounces tequila (blanco if you have it, but I used Jose Cuervo Gold and it was fine)
1 1/2 ounces triple sec (or Cointreau or Grand Marnier)
juice from 1 lime
ice

kosher salt

Prepare your glass by rubbing the rim with the cut side of a lime. Pour a little kosher salt onto a small plate or into a container. Dip the rim into the salt. Alternatively, use a margarita rimmer. Set aside until ready for use.

In a cocktail shaker, muddle (press and break-up) the jalapeno and cucumber slices. I used the handle-end of a large wooden spoon.

Muddle Cucumber and Jalapeno (640x626)

Add the sugar, tequila, triple sec, and lime juice. Add ice. Place the lid on the shaker and shake well. Strain into a prepared glass. Add ice and serve. I actually don’t strain my margaritas and think the chunks of cucumber and jalapeno give the drink more flavor. The drink does tend to get spicier as you get closer to the bottom. : )


White Wine Sangria

I made this sangria last weekend and it was delicious and refreshing. I loved nibbling on the alcohol-soaked fruit. It’s a perfect drink for hot summer nights.  You can use any fruit you like for your sangria (except for bananas. I don’t think those would work. Ha!). Citrus is very traditional. Melons, grapes, strawberries, or raspberries would be good too. I’ve even seen sangria recipes with serrano chiles in the mix. Herbs like basil or mint can be added as well. Other alcohol fortifiers, like vodka, can be added to bump up the alcohol content. The variations are limitless.

White Wine Sangria

1 (750 mL) bottle dry white wine (I like to use Pinot Grigio)
1/4 cup triple sec
1/4 cup vodka
1/4 cup sugar
fresh fruit *
club soda or seltzer water

*For my sangria, I used 1 lime – thinly sliced, 1 green apple – cored and thinly sliced, 1 peach- pit removed and thinly sliced, 1 pint of blueberries, fresh thinly sliced pineapple (about 1/4 of a whole pineapple).

 In a large pitcher, combine white wine, triple sec, vodka, and sugar. Add fresh cut-up fruit. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Right before serving add chilled club soda or seltzer water (I used about half of a 1 liter bottle).

 This recipe is easily doubled!


Pomegranate Margaritas

Pomegranate Margaritas

This potent potable tastes great….fruity, tart, and sweet and is a perfect libation for Valentine’s Day because of it’s beautiful pink color.  You can get pomegranate juice (which is high in antioxidants and will perhaps counteract the damaging effects of the alcohol) in the produce section of some grocery stores (POM is the brand name) or you can squeeze your own.  This recipe makes one drink, but can easily be adjusted for a crowd…just multiply the recipe by the number of drinks you wish to make.

pomegranate margaritas

1 ounce tequila
1 ounce triple sec
1 ounce fresh lime juice
2 ounces pomegranate juice

Pour ingredients in a cocktail shaker cup.  Add ice (replace lid) and shake.  Strain into a salt-rimmed glass or a salt-rimmed glass filled with ice…your preference.