spiked sweet tea popsicles #popsicleweek

While Maryland isn’t exactly the South, I grew up with an affinity for sweet tea unlike no other. Now as an adult, I still maintain this love, but I like mine a little more spiked, if you know what I mean. Because it’s Popsicle Week, I decided to turn my favorite beverage into a frozen treat… but with a touch of booze!

spiked sweet tea popsicles #popsicleweek
Recipe: Spiked Sweet Tea Popsicles (adapted from this sweet tea recipe on Food52)

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz. water
  • 8 tea bags (I used classic Lipton)
  • 8 tablespoons white sugar
  • the juice of half a lemon
  • 2 oz. Southern Comfort

spiked sweet tea popsicles #popsicleweek
To start, bring water to a boil. Once it’s boiling, turn off the heat and steep teabags for 20-25 minutes.

spiked sweet tea popsicles #popsicleweek
Once the tea has steeped, remove teabags and transfer into a bowl with spout for easy pouring into popsicle molds. Pour sugar and lemon juice into the tea. Stir until all sugar is dissolved. (I like to add lemon for a touch of brightness. This ingredient is totally optional.)

spiked sweet tea popsicles #popsicleweek
Now the fun part: pour your shot of whiskey and stir into tea mixture. Bonus points if you pour a second shot for yourself.

spiked sweet tea popsicles #popsicleweek
Pour into popsicle molds (I like these from Zoku) and freeze.

spiked sweet tea popsicles #popsicleweek
Have leftover tea mixture? Spike a bit more and pour yourself a cocktail while you wait for the pops to freeze! Garnish with a sprig of mint.

photography by Jojotastic

PS – Lots of bloggers are participating in Popsicle Week! Be sure to check out the entire list here!

portrait of a cocktail // bombay government punch

This is not your grandmother’s punch. Bombay Government Punch is a deliciously fierce elixir concocted by the English Governor of Bombay, Sir John Gayer, back in 1694. Throw out your notions of dowdy pink punch, and usher in a rich and complex cocktail, that just happens to be served in a huge bowl.

I know, I know. This might not be the prettiest punch to look at. (I happen to enjoy its beautiful amber glow.) But I promise everyone who sips this for the first time says the exact same thing, with the exact same wide-eyed expression. Whoa! This is delicious! And then they guzzle it. There are so many layers of flavor to this punch, it’s impossible to not go back for more.

Did you know that making punch is a bit of a science experiment? A true punch follows the proper proportions. For example, our punch here is based on the oldest and most classic ratio: 1 sour (lime juice), 2 sweet (mandarin orange syrup), 3 strong (the booze), and 4 weak (black tea). Once you have this ratio down, you can make any quantity of punch, like maybe just cocktails for two, or you can start to sub out the different elements. Instead of lime juice you could use lemon, instead of black tea, try green. The possibilities are endless!

portrait of a cocktail // bombay government punch

There are a lot of steps to this punch, but in the end it’s so worth it. Instead of having to mix drinks on the spot for guests, everyone can just help themselves. The ice block is beautiful and, as it melts, the mandarin slices begin to garnish the drink.

Ingredients for punch:

  • 13 oz lime juice (about 13 limes)
  • 3 cups mandarin orange syrup (directions below)
  • 1 bottle dark rum (750 ml bottle)
  • 1/2 bottle VSOP cognac (750 ml bottle)
  • 6 1/2 cups water
  • 3 black tea bags
  • 20 dashes of orange bitters
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 ice block (directions below)

Boil 6 1/5 cups of water. Once boiling, turn off heat and steep 3 tea bags for 5 minutes. After the 5 minutes, remove tea bags and let tea cool to room temperature. Combine cooled tea and syrup in punch bowl with lime juice, rum and cognac. Add bitters and sprinkle in cinnamon. Give it a strong stir to make sure the cinnamon doesn’t clump. Place in the refrigerator for at least an hour, but no longer than a day if you’ve prepped ahead of time. About 30 minutes before serving remove punch from your fridge and add the ice block. This last step is important. The punch is much better once the ice has melted a little bit.

portrait of a cocktail // bombay government punch

Ingredients for mandarin orange syrup:

  • 3 cups demerara or turbinada sugar (This is real brown sugar and can be found at just about any grocery store.)
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 5 mandarins, thinly sliced

Combine all ingredients in a sauce pan over low heat. Watch the pot closely, once it reaches a simmer remove from heat. Stir occasionally to make sure all the sugar is dissolved and to help release juice and oils from the mandarins. Let syrup cool completely.

Ingredients for ice block:

  • water
  • 7 mandarins, thinly sliced
  • loaf pan

Place 1 layer of mandarin slices at the bottom of the loaf pan and enough water to just cover the slices. Place in the freezer about 2 hours, then add another layer of slices and water. Let this layer freeze for 2 hours. Repeat these steps until the loaf pan is full. I recommend doing this the day before so that it has all night to set and freeze. To remove the ice block from the pan turn it upside in your sink and run hot water over the pan until you hear the block fall out.

portrait of a cocktail // bombay government punch

Cin cin!
-Eva

P.S. More cocktail recipes!

3 Party Perfect Appetizers #ziploc #holidaycollection #recipe // www.jojotastic.com

My momma always taught me: be sure to bring something when you’re a guest in someone’s home. I swear, even now I feel like she knows if I forget. That being said, here are some of my go-to recipes to bring to any occasion. From the perfect cheese plate to drool-worthy spanakopita cups and ooey-gooey cheesy pull-apart bread, these recipes will carry you through the holiday season (and get you invited back for more)! Head over to Ziploc to see more of my guest Creative Director posts, including the 3 Party Perfect Appetizers!

3 Party Perfect Appetizers #ziploc #holidaycollection #recipe // www.jojotastic.com
3 Party Perfect Appetizers #ziploc #holidaycollection #recipe // www.jojotastic.com
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Ziploc and inspired by The Holiday Collection. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep Jojotastic going.

holiday nut mixes #ziploc #holidaycollection #recipes

The holidays are prime snacking time, especially while wrapping presents, decking out the tree, and waiting for the turkey to come out of the oven. Here are 3 delectable nut mixes that are perfect for snacking and gift-giving — Cinnamon Candied Walnuts, Pumpkin Pie Pecans, and Cocoa Sea Salt Cashews. Head over to Ziploc to see more of my guest Creative Director posts, including the Holiday Nut Mixes!

holiday nut mixes #ziploc #holidaycollection #recipes
Plus, these treats make for great gifts! Budget-friendly and totally delectable, package these Holiday Nut Mixes to get in the gift-giving mood for friends, family, and neighbors — even the mailman! Go nuts for gift giving here.

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Ziploc and inspired by The Holiday Collection. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep Jojotastic going.

Greek Orzo Tomato Soup

Chilly weather just begs for a nice, cozy soup. Cue my grandmother’s secret Greek recipe — orzo tomato soup. I love to make it using her stockpot and the wooden spoon I purchased during a trip to Greece with my family. Spiced with bits of oregano and tons of garlic, this soup is sure to warm your spirit against the snowdrifts. Fun fact: my grandmother made this for me any time I was feeling under the weather. Head over to Ziploc to see more of my guest Creative Director posts, including the Greek Orzo Tomato Soup!

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Ziploc and inspired by The Holiday Collection. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep Jojotastic going.

Recipe: Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Bacon {inspired by the Ziploc Holiday Collection}

Let’s be real here — bacon is delicious. I could pretty much eat it all day, every day. But that wouldn’t be healthy, so I like to add in a vegetable. For fall, I love to eat Brussels sprouts garnished with loads of garlic and bacon. It’s the perfect complement to any savory protein. From turkey to ham to tofurkey, this side dish is the perfect companion to grandma’s main meal.

PS – Head over to Ziploc to see more of my guest Creative Director posts!

Recipe: Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Bacon {inspired by the Ziploc Holiday Collection}

Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Bacon
Ingredients:

  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 pound of brussels sprouts
  • 1/4 pound of bacon

Recipe: Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Bacon {inspired by the Ziploc Holiday Collection}
Cut bacon into 1” wide strips. I used apple-smoked bacon for another burst of flavor.

Recipe: Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Bacon {inspired by the Ziploc Holiday Collection}
Chop off the stalks of each Brussels sprout. Cut each sprout in half.

Recipe: Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Bacon {inspired by the Ziploc Holiday Collection}
In an oven preheated to 400 degrees, roast the bacon for 10-15 minutes.

Recipe: Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Bacon {inspired by the Ziploc Holiday Collection}
Recipe: Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Bacon {inspired by the Ziploc Holiday Collection}
Remove bacon from the oven and add the sprouts. Chop garlic and mix in with Brussels sprouts and bacon mixture.

Recipe: Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Bacon {inspired by the Ziploc Holiday Collection}
Roast everything for another 20 minutes or until bacon is fully cooked. Pour into bowl and serve.

Recipe: Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Bacon {inspired by the Ziploc Holiday Collection}

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Ziploc and inspired by The Holiday Collection. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep Jojotastic going.

fall recipes round up

I swear, I left for a week and came back to a totally changed grocery store. The produce section is practically bursting with pumpkins and squash and apples. It’s all so luscious and delicious looking. I miiight have bought everything in sight when I did my post-vacay stock up. On top of the grocery store being packed with fall, Pinterest seems to be bursting with loads of fresh ideas for what to do with all of this seasonal produce. Here are a few fall recipes that are at the top of my ‘must try’ list.

  1. Bourbon-Spiked Caramel Apples with Smoked Sea Salt from A Cozy Kitchen
  2. Pumpkin Beer Cheese Soup from Spoon Fork Bacon
  3. Spiced Pumpkin Baklava with Walnuts and Honey from A Cozy Kitchen
  4. Spicy Sausage, Potato & Kale Soup from The Candid Appetite
  5. Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Capers from Jennifer Chong
  6. Caramel Apple Cookies from Bakers Royale

fall recipes round up

  1. Apple Pecan Pie Cronuts with Apple Cider Caramel Drizzle from Half Baked Harvest
  2. Grilled Cheese with Fig Preserve, Apple, and Pumpkin Seeds from Flourishing Foodie
  3. Wild Mushroom Risotto from Design*Sponge
  4. Butternut Squash and Chorizo Shells from Wit & Vinegar
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