Spring has officially sprung! If you follow along on Instagram, you know I am having a serious moment with edible flowers. Maybe it’s because spring is finally gracing us with it’s presence or simply because they are just so darn pretty! Edible flowers have the ability to fancy-up even the most humble of cocktails, like the Old Fashioned.
If you look up St. Patrick’s Day drinks, you are likely to find recipes for green beer, day-glow concoctions, and sickly sweet Irish Cream drinks. Where have all of the well-made cocktails for this Irish holiday gone? In an attempt to populate the interwebs with better options (like last year’s coktail) we whipped up this Pot O’ Gold cocktail to incorporate into your classy St. Paddy’s Day celebrations.
I don’t know what it is about this time of year, but my mind is all sunshine, picnics, and palm trees. Instead though… it’s all heavy coats and negative temps outside. Sigh. Spring (or, let’s be honest, summer) couldn’t come soon enough! In the mean time, I am just going to pretend that is 85 degrees and easy, breezy living with some tiki drinks.
After all of the syrupy cocktails, eggnog, and champagne I consumed in the last month (there was a lot!), I am ready for something more refreshing and slightly healthier. I like to whip up fresh juice cocktails this time of year and leave the heavy drinks for the holidays, or at least until next month. A recent favorite is this Apple + Grilled Thyme Smash recipe!
Christmas is this week — holy moly you guys! It seems like just yesterday I was planning my menu for Thanksgiving and now I am tying bows on presents, stringing lights, and hearing Christmas music everywhere I go! Perhaps it’s because I just got back from my honeymoon in a tropical local where my mind was literally far from thinking about picking out the perfect tree, but the holidays snuck up on me this year!
The stockings are hung by the chimney with care, the halls are decked… but have you thought about what drink will you be serving on Christmas to keep everything merry and bright? We shared the Smoked Rosemary Olive Oil Martini earlier this week, but they are a one-and-done kind of drink (no sloppy Santas, please!). How about a cocktail that takes you all the way from presents to Christmas dinner to rocking around the Christmas tree? May I suggest one of these Alpine Bucks! They are a refreshing sipper that will keep you cool even in the warmest and ugliest of sweaters.
When it comes to Martinis, you either love ‘em or you don’t. I have never come across someone who says, “Eh, I sort of like martinis.” Although they may not be for everyone, Martinis have a special place in my heart. Once I learned that those cloying drinks called “martinis” (looking at you Apple-tini & Choco-tini) were imposters, I had to try the real deal!
I went to a bar one day, sat down, and ordered one. When I ordered a dirty martini, I like how it rolled off the tongue casually, as if I had been ordering one for years, even though I was 22. I felt so grown up (and to be fair, I was… considering a lot of girls my age were still swigging bright blue colored booze!). Much to my chagrin, it was not love at first sip. It just about knocked me off my barstool! Martinis are potent tipples that are meant for sipping and savoring rather then knocking back at your company holiday party. With each passing sip however, I started noticing all the subtle flavors from the gin perfectly married with the vermouth. I was hooked!
There are quit a few variations on Martinis — vodka vs. gin, vermouth or no vermouth, olive juice or onion… it’s all a matter of preference. I prefer my Martinis with gin personally. The layered flavors add a lot of complexity to the otherwise simple cocktail. Simple does not equal boring here, my friends, au contraire! Because of it’s simplicity, making a martini with high-quality ingredients is one of the most important factors. There are no juices or syrups to mask the flavor so grab yourself a bottle of great gin and vermouth to mix up one of these tipples.
Is there anything more perfect than a Hot Toddy to sip on a chilly night? I certainly can’t think of anything! Boozy, warm, sweet, and did I mention boozy? Hot Toddy’s have been enjoyed for years and years- I remember my grandmother making these when I was younger. They are like a big, warm hug you can drink!
The best thing about Toddies? They are perfect to drink when you are sick. The golden-hued cocktail can sooth the worst ailments and they have a way of chasing even the most terrible of winter blues away!
I recently went to the farmer’s market and bought a bunch of quince from a stand and then realized I had no idea what to do with them when I got home! I have had quince paste on many a cheese board, but as far as preparing them, not so much. I knew I wanted to turn them into a dessert and a cocktail, but I quickly found out they are not not the easiest to work with from the start.
This delicious fruit is at first glance and taste, well, a little gnarly. The bumpy, knobby, lime green fruit is woody and bitter tasting when raw, but as the saying goes, good things are worth waiting for and quince is no exception! Once you simmer them for a bit with some sugar and spices, they turn into sweet, tender edible gold!
I decided to use the quince in a Hot Toddy. The spices used for cooking the fruit reminded me of those often used in the tasty hot beverage. I infused a high-proof bourbon with the quince (higher-proof spirits infuse better). I then used some of the spiced honey syrup from cooking to use as the sweetener for the drink. What started off as an experiment has turned into one of my favorite libations for the middle of winter!