Let’s Celebrate

paloma grapefruit cocktail

The Back to School Teacher Emergency Kit Giveaway has ended. In honor of this amazing giveaway I am sharing one final summer cocktail recipe to celebrate.

Of the handful of cocktails I posted this summer, the cherry margarita is still my favorite, but this weekend’s cocktail, the Paloma, was refreshing. I am definitely drawn to drinks with tart, citrus flavors in them, so this grapefruit based drink caught my attention.

paloma grapefruit cocktails ingredients

The Ingredients

  • 1 shot tequila
  • 2 shots pink grapefruit juice (preferably freshly squeezed)
  • 1 T. simple syrup or Agave syrup (or to taste)
  • splash of club soda
  • 1 lime wedge
  • crushed ice

The Directions

  • In a glass, mix the tequila, grapefruit juice, and simple syrup. 
  • Add crushed ice.
  • Pour a splash of club soda on top.
  • Squeeze a wedge of lime on top and garnish with a slice of lime.
  • Ingredients list makes one large Paloma. Increase amounts as needed.

The Notes

  • To make simple syrup, Put equal parts water and sugar in a pot and heat on the stove until sugar is dissolved. Swirl the mixture a few times while heating. Remove from heat and let cool. If you only need a few cocktails, mix 1 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar. If you are mixing cocktails for a large group, double or triple. Leftover simple syrup can be kept in a container with a lid in the refrigerator for a long time.

paloma grapefruit cocktail drinks

The Giveaway Details

  • Giveaway ended at 7 pm (EST) tonight, 8/4/13.
  • My two lucky winners will each receive one filled Back to School Teacher Emergency Kit! I will announce the winners this week in a separate post.

teacher emergency kit filled and gift tags

Porching

basil mojito finished

I learned a new word this week. We had friends rent a beach house nearby, and they invited us over to porch. This is what we do almost every weekend, and I am so glad I now have a name for it. Porching is when neighbors wander from house to house on a warm summer evening and sit on the front porch to socialize. Cocktails encouraged. We porched this week with Basil Mojitos. They are delicious.

basil mojito ingredients

Ingredients

  • 2 T. simple syrup
  • 1 shot fresh lime juice
  • 1 shot white rum
  • 6-10 basil leaves
  • crushed ice
  • soda water
  • lime wedges

basil mojito muddling

Directions

  • Place the simple syrup, rum, lime juice, 2 lime wedges, and the basil in a tall sturdy glass and bash with a muddler or the back of a spoon until the basil leaves and lime wedges are mashed up.
  • Fill the glass with crushed ice.
  • Top with soda water.
  • Garnish with a fresh basil leaf and a lime wedge.
  • Ingredients list makes one large mojito. Increase amounts as needed.

Notes

  • To make simple syrup, Put equal parts water and sugar in a pot and heat on the stove until sugar is dissolved. Swirl the mixture a few times while heating. Remove from heat and let cool. If you only need a few cocktails, mix 1 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar. If you are mixing cocktails for a large group, double or triple. Leftover simple syrup can be kept in a container with a lid in the refrigerator for a long time.
  • If you want to make a Strawberry Mojito, replace the lime wedges and the basil with strawberries and mint.
  • If you want to make a Cranberry Mojito, visit this post.

basil mojito

4th of July Cocktail

cherry margarita

Since I will need a cocktail for our 4th of July block party, I wanted to focus on a cocktail that has a red, white, or blue theme for this weekend’s new drink. Last night I tested cherry margaritas. I mentioned last week that I like tart drinks better and this one is almost perfect. Even if it did not taste that great (which it does), the color is so vibrant that people assume it is going to be delicious.

Ingredients

  • cherries (you need 15-20 for one batch)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 c. freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/2 c. (plus a splash) of tequila
  • 1/4 c. (plus a splash) of triple sec
  • lime wedges for garnish

blending cherry margaritas

Directions

  • Make a simple syrup by adding 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar to a pot on the stovetop at medium heat. Do not stir, but swirl sugar water occasionally while the pot is on the stove. Remove from heat once the sugar dissolves.
  • Pit ~15 cherries and put them in a blender. You can do more or less cherries depending on your taste. Add tequila, triple sec, 1/2 cup lime juice, and 1/2 cup cooled simple syrup to the blender.
  • Blend ~20 seconds until the cherries are ground up. It will look like a dull color, but as soon as you start blending, it turns this really bright pinky red color.
  • Pour the mixture through a fine sieve into a pitcher. Press the mixture around the sieve with a spatula to get as much liquid through as possible.
  • Serve margarita over ice with a wedge of lime for garnish.
  • Makes ~4 servings

cherry margarita

In Other News

A dear friend of TheRoomMom e-mailed the picture below to me. She served the Watermelon Vodka Slushie in this totally awesome watermelon keg. She said she had a few leakage problems. She picked up two more foam circles a little larger than the lock nuts to try to prevent leaking next time. My friend is visiting in a few weeks, and I will get a full report, but the materials list is below if you want to use the picture and the list to give it a try.

Materials

  • Hose Bibb, quarter turn (that’s the tap)
  • Faucet Lock Nuts (those black circles)
  • Brass Pipe Nipple 1/2″ (the piece with threads on both ends)
  • Coupling 1/2″ (what looks like a hex nut)

watermelon keg

Summer Cocktail Series

watermelon vodka slushie

After I posted the Blackberry Vodka Lemonade last week, I decided to run a series this summer testing fruity cocktails. I am on summer vacation, and my productivity levels go in the toilet unless I have some goals. This seemed like a worthwhile project, and I already had the Pinterest board for drinks that look refreshing. Last night I tweaked a recipe for a watermelon cocktail. Overall, I like tart, citrus drinks better (like a margarita), but this cocktail was pretty good.

Watermelon Vodka Slushie

Ingredients

  • ~1 1/2 c. watermelon, cut into small chunks
  • ~1 1/2 c. vodka
  • ~ 2 c. cranberry juice
  • Sprite, 7up, or gingerale
  • crushed ice

watermelon vodka

Directions

  • Add watermelon chunks to vodka and let it steep for about an hour. After about an hour, blend the vodka and watermelon until it is a slushie consistency. I used an immersion blender, but you could use a regular blender.
  • Add equal parts cranberry to the vodka mixture. I had ~2 c. watermelon vodka and added 2 c. cranberry.
  • Fill glass with crushed ice. Pour watermelon vodka cranberry mixture over ice. Fill about 2/3 full.
  • Add a splash of Sprite, 7up, or gingerale on top.

watermelon vodka mixHere are options I am considering for next weekend. Anyone have any opinions?

  • Cherry Margarita
  • Raspberry Lemon Drop
  • something called a Paradise

Drinks Are on Me

blackberry vodka drink with garnish

I have a new Pinterest board called Yummy Drinks. I pin any yummy looking drink I find, but there seems to be a trend emerging of fresh, fruity drinks that lend themselves to summer consumption. On the horizon is our neighborhood 4th of July party and the unbelievably oppressive heat of South Carolina summers. I will need good cocktails for both events, so I tested one of my finds this weekend.

My father-in-law was visiting and gave the drink a hearty approval. You know if it is in-law approved, it has to be good.

Blackberry Lemonade with Vodka

Ingredients

  • fresh blackberries
  • 1 c. sugar
  • vodka
  • fresh lemon juice
  • club soda
  • crushed ice

fresh lemon juice

Directions

  • Make a simple syrup by bringing the sugar and 1 cup water to a boil in a saucepan. Boil for 5 minutes; do not stir. Remove from heat and let cool. Simple syrup recipe can be doubled or tripled.
  • In the bottom of a glass, smash 4-5 blackberries with the back of a spoon. Add 1 oz. vodka (about a shot), 1 oz. simple syrup, and 1 oz. fresh lemon juice (I like a little more lemon juice).
  • Fill the glass about 2/3 full with crushed ice.
  • Pour a splash of soda on top and stir gently.
  • Can be made alcohol free too!

blackberry vodka drink

TheRoomDad, Mr. Star Wars, and my father-in-law spent the day fishing and brought home a fresh catch for dinner. We served drinks with grilled fish tacos and the Mexican Chopped Salad that I shared last week. I even remembered the cilantro this time!

mexican chopped salad with cilantro