Saturday, February 3, 2018

Super Cocktails for Your Super Bowl Party

Whether you’re watching for the football, commercials, or Justin Timberlake’s sure to be killer performance, it’s no use throwing a Super Bowl Party without some super spirits to match. See below for a full selection of recipes from the likes of Ancho Reyes, Drambuie, Flor de Caña, Hudson Whiskey, Monkey Shoulder, Montelobos, Reyka Vodka, Sailor Jerry, and Q Drinks - and be sure to check out Kona Brewing as your go-to beer. Your guests will be doing their own touchdown dances with one of these cocktails in hand.

Ancho Verde Margarita
1 part Milagro Silver Tequila
1 part fresh lime juice
1/3 part agave nectar

Method: Add all ingredients to a shaker, add ice, and shake hard. Strain over fresh ice into a rocks glass with half its rim salted. Garnish with a lime wheel.

The Upbeat (Created by Vance Henderson, Drambuie Ambassador)
.75 parts Drambuie
.75 parts Hendrick’s Gin
2 parts Darjeeling tea, (cooled)
.5 part Rose Simple Syrup
2 dashes Peach Bitters
1 parts Sparkling Water

Method: Combine Drambuie, Gin, and Simple Syrup in a mixing glass filled 3/4 with ice. Stir for 30 seconds to combine. Pour into an Old Fashioned glasses with one large ice cube. Add 2 dashes of the bitters into each glass. Further sweeten with rose simple syrup to taste. Stir again. Finish with Sparkling water in each glass. Garnish with an orange slice.

Flor de Caña Ultimate Mojito
2 parts Flor de Caña 7
1/2 part lime juice
1/3 part superfine sugar
3 leaves mint

Method: Muddle lime juice with sugar in a Collins glass. Add mint leaves and muddle again. Fill glass 2/3 full with crushed ice and add rum. Top off with a champagne float. Garnish with sprig of mint.

Baby Bourbon Smash
1 1/2 parts Hudson Baby Bourbon
3/4 ounce simple syrup
2 fresh lemon wedges
A couple sprigs of fresh mint
Club soda

Muddle lemons, 4-6 mint leaves, and simple syrup in the bottom of an Old Fashioned/rocks glass. Add cracked ice, Hudson Baby Bourbon, and top with splash of club soda. Stir briefly to combine and garnish with a mint sprig.

Ginger Brewskie
3/4 part ginger syrup
3/4 part fresh lemon juice
Top with your favorite beer

Method: Add all ingredients, other than the beer, to a shaker. Add ice and shake by hand. Strain into a glass and top with your favorite beer.

Ponche Primavera (PITCHER)
12 ½ parts Montelobos Mezcal
7 ½ parts Ancho Reyes Chile Liqueur
5 parts lime juice
5 parts lemon juice
15 parts sweetened agua de Jamaica (Mexican hibiscus tea water, can be found in most supermarkets)
1 part Oleo Saccharum (an oil made from mixing citrus peels with sugar)

Method: Combine all ingredients in a punch bowl and mix together. To keep chilled, freeze a large ice block the night before by double boiling water and using a large casserole dish. Add edible flowers to the water before it freezes (optional). Let ice block rest in punch bowl throughout the gathering. Garnish with cinnamon sticks, orange wheels, lemon wheels, and edible flowers.

Lightning On My Feet
1 ½ parts Reyka Vodka
2 parts pineapple juice
¾ part Solerno Blood Orange
½ part fresh lemon juice
Angostura bitters

Method: Combine all ingredients into a cocktail shaker. Shake and serve over crushed ice in Rocks glass. Top with a couple dashes of bitters and garnish.

Sailor Jerry Backyard Lemonade
Top with lemonade

Method: Serve on the rocks or in a pitcher for large

Pineapple Paloma
 1 oz Reposado Tequila
.5 oz fresh lime juice
1.5 oz fresh pineapple juice
1 oz pink grapefruit juice
2 oz Q Grapefruit Salt Rim

Method: Run a cut lime around the edge of a large rocks glass and rim with salt. Add first four ingredients to a cocktail shaker, shake with ice and strain over fresh ice into the rocks glass. Top with Q Grapefruit and stir to combine. Garnish with a pineapple wedge.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Valentine’s Day Cocktail Recipes

With romance in the air, it has never been a better time to surprise your loved one and try out a new, sinfully delicious cocktail for Valentine’s Day. With options from Drambuie, Hudson Whiskey, Monkey Shoulder, Montelobos, Reyka Vodka, Sailor Jerry, Q Drinks, and the perfect sparkling option, Pata Negra cava, now is your chance to set the mood with an elevated nightcap… or two.

Mixed Berry Sangria (created by Vance Henderson, Drambuie Ambassador)
3 parts Drambuie
1 part Triple sec
1 Cup White Wine (Chardonnay is perfect)
1 part OJ
1 part Fresh Lime Juice
1 part Honey
2 cups Frozen Berries
10 Dashes Cherry Bitters

Add all Ingredients to a Blender and blend until smooth. Garnish with skewered berries with basil sprig.

White Manhattan
1 part Lillet Blanc
3 dashes orange bitters

Stir ingredients 50 times with chunk ice to chill and dilute properly. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon peel.

Strawberry Mamie Taylor (By Giuseppe Gonzalez Suffolk Arms, NYC)
.5 parts Lemon juice
.75 parts ginger syrup
.25 parts strawberry puree

Shake. Top with soda.

Smoke & Flowers (SERVES 5)
7 ½ parts Montelobos Mezcal
2 ½ parts St. Germain
5 parts strawberry puree (wash strawberries and blend in a blender)
3 ¾ parts lemon juice
2 ½ parts simple syrup

Combine all ingredients in a pitcher and stir together vigorously. Add ice cubes when ready to serve. Garnish with strawberry and lemon slices.

The Siren (by Ingi R. Sigurdsson)
1.5 fresh Lemon juice
1 oz simple (1:1)
1 oz St. Germaine
6 oz champagne

Combine all ingredients into cocktail shaker except champagne. Shake, top, garnish and serve. Shake/strain over the fruit juice cubes/top with 6 oz prosecco. Bordeaux/Burgundy wine glass. 2 cranberry juice cubes/2 grapefruit juice cubes/ 1 large simple syrup ice cube with orange blossom water, rose water, frozen edible Sonja orchid.

For flower ice cube liquid:
4 liters water
24 oz simple syrup 1:1
10 droppers Orange flower water
10 droppers rose water

Stir til combine. Freeze in 1x1 molds with Sonia Orchid. Juice from concentrate...not juiced and frozen.

Sailor Jerry Cherry
3 parts Q Ginger Beer
1 cherry
2 dashes cherry bitters

Build Sailor Jerry and Q Ginger Beer over ice. Top with dashes of cherry bitters. Garnish with a cherry.

Smoking Rose Paloma (Recipe by Ashley Conway, Craft and cocktails)
5 oz Q Drinks Grapefruit Soda
2 oz mezcal
.75 oz fresh lime juice
.5 rose simple syrup (recipe below)*
garnish: grapefruit slice, rose petals

For the flower ice: Fill a glass 1/4 the way full with water. Add rose petals. Prop on it’s side in the freezer, making sure it doesn’t spill. Let freeze completely before using. This is an optional step, if you are looking to make a drink ASAP (we all have those days), just add regular ice to the glass. But if you do take the time for this step, it makes one pretty cocktail!

Add all liquid ingredients except Q Drinks Grapefruit Soda into a shaker. Shake well to help dilute the cocktail a bit since the ice in the glass won’t melt as fast. Remove the glass from the freezer. Strain into the glass. Top with the Grapefruit Soda and stir. Garnish with grapefruit slice.

Please remember to ALWAYS drink responsibly. 

Monday, December 18, 2017

Caldrea Housecleaning Aromatherapy Review

Perhaps “aromatherapy” and housekeeping may seem like an oxymoron. However, a calm life does in fact feature a clean home -- at least for me. Initially, I had intended to integrate Caldrea Aromatherapy into a home organizational article. But, this Minnesota-based brand deserves a stand-alone review. Caldrea is an aromatherapeutic company, which strives to produce eco-friendly, cruelty-free and effective products for you and your home. The brand’s philosophy is fairly spot-on with my own in that Caldrea believes that luxurious living is elegance, sophistication and natural goodness.

I was fortunate to receive Caldrea’s Variety Sample Set ($75) from my neighbor, which includes everything that one would need to clean their home … in luxurious style. Packaged in Caldrea’s Galvanized Bucket, the sampler set features Basil Blue Sage All Purpose Cleaner; Ginger Pomelo Dish Soap; Sea Salt Neroli Delicate Wash; Mandarin Vetiver Hand Soap; Rosewater Driftwood Countertop Spray; and Black Coriander Lime Linen and Room Spray.

My first impression of Caldrea’s Variety Sample Set was that it would make the perfect housewarming gift. Being one who has moved a few times, I can assure you that a house is not a home until I’ve cleaned it, and furthermore, after the stress of moving, Caldrea’s aromatherapeutic cleaning products would be a very welcome offering.

Caldrea Variety Sample Set:

  • Basil Blue Sage No 14 All Purpose Cleaner (available in 7 fragrances) is highly concentrated and we used this throughout our home. Plant-derived surfactants and natural Birch Bark extract provide potency and the delicious scent provides an overall sense of well-being.
  • Ginger Pomelo Dish Soap No 15 (available in 10 fragrances) is rich, concentrated, fragrant and effective. In our home, washing dishes in akin to root canal. We would rather clean the bathroom with our toothbrush than wash dishes and the disdain for this household chore is for another article. However, we did find ourselves actually relaxing while using the Ginger Pomelo Dish Soap. Caldrea Dish Soap contains natural degreaser Soap Bark extract for tough pans and Aloe Vera for soft hands.
  • Sea Salt Neroli Delicate Wash No 17 is designed to launder delicates such as lingerie. Gentle plant surfactants and essential oils leave delicates clean and luxuriously scented. We actually enjoyed the scent so thoroughly, that we used Sea Salt Neroli Delicate Wash on a load of “regular” washables.
  • Mandarin Vetiver Hand Soap No 19 (available in 10 fragrances) Caldrea Mandarin Vetiver Hand Soap leaves hands soft, clean and fragrant as the bottle brightens kitchen or bath. Aloe Vera Gel, Olive Oil and essential oils cleanse and condition.
  • Rosewater Driftwood Countertop Spray No 21 (available in 10 fragrances) is a simple act that instantly refreshes home and mind. Easy and hard working, this quick spray uses a special vegetable protein extract to make odors vanish from kitchen or bath. We were a bit adventurous and used the Countertop Spray on our mirrors. We were thrilled to find that this heavenly scented product cleans glass mirrors without leaving any streaks.
  • Black Coriander Lime Linen and Room Spray No 22 ($10 - available in 7 fragrances) freshens a room with a sublime scent. This multi-use spray can be used on clothing, curtains, linens … you get the picture. This versatile essential oil spray is safely used to create a signature scent everywhere or anywhere.

Caldrea does not use parabens, phthalates, formaldehyde, ammonia, chlorine bleach, phosphates or petroleum distillates. All products are biodegradable and Caldrea is Leaping Bunny certified. Caldrea creates divine scents and helps to create calming spaces throughout the home. Caldrea products may be purchased on the brand’s website and select retail locations.

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