Usually when your neighbors go on vacation, you water their plants, and take in their mail, and in return you receive a shiny new mass produced souvenir from the airport that they’ve grabbed in a frenzy before departing. A magnet of an alligator that says “Stay Cool!”, a snow globe with a palm tree, or if you’re lucky, a not-too-obnoxious coffee mug. Not if you’re me! The Lush Lady and Lush Husband just received a beautiful goody bag containing all the makings of a Caipirinha, the national drink of Brazil, including Cachaça(Brazilian rum), organic sugar and limes. Thank you Melody and Greg for being such amazing neighbors!
Caipirinha+ 1/2 lime, quartered + 2 tsp sugar+ 2 ozCachaça Directions:  Muddle limes and sugar in an old-fashioned glass. Fill with crushed ice and add Cachaça.

Usually when your neighbors go on vacation, you water their plants, and take in their mail, and in return you receive a shiny new mass produced souvenir from the airport that they’ve grabbed in a frenzy before departing. A magnet of an alligator that says “Stay Cool!”, a snow globe with a palm tree, or if you’re lucky, a not-too-obnoxious coffee mug. Not if you’re me! The Lush Lady and Lush Husband just received a beautiful goody bag containing all the makings of a Caipirinha, the national drink of Brazil, including Cachaça(Brazilian rum), organic sugar and limes. Thank you Melody and Greg for being such amazing neighbors!

Caipirinha
+ 1/2 lime, quartered 
+ 2 tsp sugar
+ 2 ozCachaça 
Directions:  Muddle limes and sugar in an old-fashioned glass. Fill with crushed ice and add Cachaça.


PHOTO
Aug 3
6:53 pm
7 notes
Happy birthday to me! What better way to celebrate than with tiny alcoholic jello cupcakes? I found this recipe (and many more I’d like to try) for Birthday Cake Jello Shots on the blog Erica’s Sweet Tooth. Cake vodka, cream soda, cran and heavy cream gelled together into an adorable cupcake shape and topped with whipped cream and sprinkles - they’re any girls dream! (Note: The boys in my life were pretty fond of them too).

Birthday Cake Jello Shots (from the blog Erica’s Sweet Tooth)Recipe adapted from Jelly Shot Test Kitchen

+ 2/3 cup cream soda

+ 2/3 cup cranberry juice cocktail
+ 1 tbsp heavy cream
+ 2 envelopes plain gelatin*
+ 2/3 cup cake-flavored vodka
+ Few drops food coloring, if desired
+ Whipped cream - fresh or store-bought
+ Sprinkles for garnish

- Lightly spray the mold with non-stick spray and wipe excess off with a paper towel. Don’t overdo it or the residue will affect the taste of the jello.
- Pour the soda, juice, and cream into a medium saucepan and sprinkle the gelatin on top. Allow the gelatin to soak for 2-3 minutes, then begin to heat on low, stirring constantly until gelatin is fully dissolved (about 5 minutes).
- Remove saucepan from heat and add vodka and food coloring.
- Pour into molds and chill for several hours, or until set.
- Remove from mold, top with whipped cream, and enjoy responsibly!

*The original recipe suggests 2-3 envelopes, depending on how long your jello shots will be left out (more gelatin for more time). I opted for 3 because we were traveling an hour to get to the party, but I found them to be a little too firm , so I suggest you stick with 2 and plan accordingly for the best results!

Recipe yields 30 small jello shots using this mold

Happy birthday to me! What better way to celebrate than with tiny alcoholic jello cupcakes? I found this recipe (and many more I’d like to try) for Birthday Cake Jello Shots on the blog Erica’s Sweet Tooth. Cake vodka, cream soda, cran and heavy cream gelled together into an adorable cupcake shape and topped with whipped cream and sprinkles - they’re any girls dream! (Note: The boys in my life were pretty fond of them too).


Birthday Cake Jello Shots (from the blog Erica’s Sweet Tooth)
Recipe adapted from Jelly Shot Test Kitchen

+ 2/3 cup cream soda
+ 2/3 cup cranberry juice cocktail
+ 1 tbsp heavy cream
+ 2 envelopes plain gelatin*
+ 2/3 cup cake-flavored vodka
+ Few drops food coloring, if desired
+ Whipped cream - fresh or store-bought
+ Sprinkles for garnish

- Lightly spray the mold with non-stick spray and wipe excess off with a paper towel. Don’t overdo it or the residue will affect the taste of the jello.
- Pour the soda, juice, and cream into a medium saucepan and sprinkle the gelatin on top. Allow the gelatin to soak for 2-3 minutes, then begin to heat on low, stirring constantly until gelatin is fully dissolved (about 5 minutes).
- Remove saucepan from heat and add vodka and food coloring.
- Pour into molds and chill for several hours, or until set.
- Remove from mold, top with whipped cream, and enjoy responsibly!
*The original recipe suggests 2-3 envelopes, depending on how long your jello shots will be left out (more gelatin for more time). I opted for 3 because we were traveling an hour to get to the party, but I found them to be a little too firm , so I suggest you stick with 2 and plan accordingly for the best results!

Recipe yields 30 small jello shots using this mold

PHOTO
Jul 11
8:45 am
20 notes
Octane Coffee in Grant Park serves up better cocktails than most bars.
Peruvian Pine cocktail : Grapefruit bitters, Pisco, Zirbenz Pine, Cocchi Americano

Octane Coffee in Grant Park serves up better cocktails than most bars.

Peruvian Pine cocktail : Grapefruit bitters, Pisco, Zirbenz Pine, Cocchi Americano


PHOTO
Jul 9
8:00 pm
7 notes
It’s-a-spicy-Friday! 
Here’s a little back story on this drink. A Caipirinha is Brazil’s national cocktail made with a liquor from fermented sugarcane juice called cachaça, lime and sugar. In the States we use vodka and call it a Caipiroska. I’m lucky I can escape to Brazil just down the street at Ziba’s Wine Bar.
Pepper Pear Caipiroska : vodka, habanero pepper, soda, limes

It’s-a-spicy-Friday! 

Here’s a little back story on this drink. A Caipirinha is Brazil’s national cocktail made with a liquor from fermented sugarcane juice called cachaça, lime and sugar. In the States we use vodka and call it a Caipiroska. I’m lucky I can escape to Brazil just down the street at Ziba’s Wine Bar.

Pepper Pear Caipiroska : vodka, habanero pepper, soda, limes


PHOTO
Jul 6
7:49 pm
3 notes
Me and the hubs went to one of my favorite restaurant/bars, the Iberian Pig (Atlanta). Noticing the cocktail menu didn’t offer ups any tequila libations, we asked the bartender if he had any off-menu ideas. He whipped out a little black notebook and mixed up this beauty borrowed from the Tabard Inn in Washington, DC. The moral of the story? Sit at the bar!
Tabard cocktail : Milagro Reposado Tequila, Lustau Amontillado Sherry, Drambuie, Orange Boat, Fresh Thyme

Me and the hubs went to one of my favorite restaurant/bars, the Iberian Pig (Atlanta). Noticing the cocktail menu didn’t offer ups any tequila libations, we asked the bartender if he had any off-menu ideas. He whipped out a little black notebook and mixed up this beauty borrowed from the Tabard Inn in Washington, DC. The moral of the story? Sit at the bar!

Tabard cocktail : Milagro Reposado Tequila, Lustau Amontillado Sherry, Drambuie, Orange Boat, Fresh Thyme


PHOTO
Jun 27
11:51 am
5 notes

Strawberries + Mezcal + Jar + 2 weeks = Strawberry Infused Mezcal

Strawberries + Mezcal + Jar + 2 weeks = Strawberry Infused Mezcal


PHOTO
Jun 23
9:29 am
6 notes
Cherry season is May through August - which is now! Go get ya some! And when you’re thinking of all the wonderful things you can do with them, don’t forget you can get them drunk. Spiced brandied cherries will dress up any cocktail or dessert and are sweet to give as a gift. And they’re unbelievably easy to make. Pitting them is the hardest part but there are many tricks out there.
Here is the recipe I used from local foods.about.com: 






1 1/2 lb. cherries
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup water
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
4 cardamom pods
2 whole cloves
2 whole allspice
1 cinnamon stick
1 cup brandy
1-quart jar with lid
Directions:
Pit the cherries and set them aside.
In a medium saucepan bring sugar water, lemon juice, and spices to a boil. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook until the mixture is slightly reduced and thickened, about 10 minutes.
Turn off the heat. Stir in the brandy and the pitted cherries.
Use a slotted spoon to transfer the cherries to a 1-quart jar. Pour enough of the cooking liquid over the cherries to cover them completely. Twist on lid.
Process in boiling water for 10 minutes, let cool, and store in a cool, dark place (such as a cupboard) for at least 6 weeks before using. Once opened, keep chilled. Alternatively, you can forgo the hot-water processing and store in the refrigerator.

Cherry season is May through August - which is now! Go get ya some! And when you’re thinking of all the wonderful things you can do with them, don’t forget you can get them drunk. Spiced brandied cherries will dress up any cocktail or dessert and are sweet to give as a gift. And they’re unbelievably easy to make. Pitting them is the hardest part but there are many tricks out there.

Here is the recipe I used from local foods.about.com: 

  • 1 1/2 lb. cherries
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 4 cardamom pods
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 2 whole allspice
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 cup brandy
  • 1-quart jar with lid

Directions:

  1. Pit the cherries and set them aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan bring sugar water, lemon juice, and spices to a boil. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook until the mixture is slightly reduced and thickened, about 10 minutes.
  3. Turn off the heat. Stir in the brandy and the pitted cherries.
  4. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the cherries to a 1-quart jar. Pour enough of the cooking liquid over the cherries to cover them completely. Twist on lid.
  5. Process in boiling water for 10 minutes, let cool, and store in a cool, dark place (such as a cupboard) for at least 6 weeks before using. Once opened, keep chilled. Alternatively, you can forgo the hot-water processing and store in the refrigerator.

PHOTO
Jun 18
6:26 pm
5 notes
JCT Kitchen in Atlanta, GA, is synonymous with the best-fried-chicken-you’ll-ever-eat-in-your-life. Not surprisingly, they serve kick ass cocktails. I’ll be honest, sometimes this blog gets hard because all the bars seem to serve the same stuff. I’m a little tired of cocktails with ginger beer, a few drops of “name any herb” bitters, or muddled whatever’s on hand. JCT’s list of cocktails makes me remember why I started this blog - a search for unique libations to share with anyone else who has a passion for cocktails. Now after saying all that, you might be surprised that I selected the only cocktail on the menu that had BEER in it. Not only beer, MILLER HIGH LIFE! Why? Because I don’t see that anywhere else! And you know what? It rocked my world! I like to think of it as a perfectly balanced gourmet beer margarita sweetened with thyme goodness.
Double Cross : No. 209 Gin, Miller High Life, Thyme Syrup, Lemon

JCT Kitchen in Atlanta, GA, is synonymous with the best-fried-chicken-you’ll-ever-eat-in-your-life. Not surprisingly, they serve kick ass cocktails. I’ll be honest, sometimes this blog gets hard because all the bars seem to serve the same stuff. I’m a little tired of cocktails with ginger beer, a few drops of “name any herb” bitters, or muddled whatever’s on hand. JCT’s list of cocktails makes me remember why I started this blog - a search for unique libations to share with anyone else who has a passion for cocktails. Now after saying all that, you might be surprised that I selected the only cocktail on the menu that had BEER in it. Not only beer, MILLER HIGH LIFE! Why? Because I don’t see that anywhere else! And you know what? It rocked my world! I like to think of it as a perfectly balanced gourmet beer margarita sweetened with thyme goodness.

Double Cross : No. 209 Gin, Miller High Life, Thyme Syrup, Lemon


PHOTO
Jun 13
8:01 pm
7 notes
It’s about time I jumped on the Boozy Pops bandwagon. I was first inspired to go for it when I saw the People’s Pops: 55 Recipes from Brooklyn’s Coolest Pop Shop recipe book (which I don’t own, feel free to send me a copy!). Since the book wasn’t available yet I searched the internets and discovered a plethora of recipes, but the one that always got the best reviews was the Bittersweet Chocolate Bourbon Pop. And ya’ll know I love me some Bulleit Bourbon. The ingredients and directions are simple, but the pop is a rich chocolatey sin, with just a tease of bourbon flavor to savor.
Here’s the recipe from Finecooking.com:+ 1/2 cup granulated sugar + 3-1/2 oz. bittersweet chocolate (70% to 72%), chopped + 2 Tbs. Dutch-processed cocoa powder + 1/8 tsp. table salt + 2 Tbs. good-quality bourbon
Directions: Put the sugar, chocolate, cocoa powder, salt, and 2 cups water in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly. Transfer to a 4-cup glass measure (or any container with a spout for easy pouring). Let cool at room temperature for 30 minutes. Stir in the bourbon and divide the mixture among eight 3-oz. pop molds or wax-lined paper cups. Freeze until just set, about 3 hours. Insert craft sticks and freeze until completely set, about 4 hours more. When ready to serve, unmold or peel off the paper cups.
Side note : The mold I purchased was the Norpro Ice Pop Maker, which I have absolutely no complaints about. But I do recommend reading the user reviews for tips on how to use it the most efficiently.

It’s about time I jumped on the Boozy Pops bandwagon. I was first inspired to go for it when I saw the People’s Pops: 55 Recipes from Brooklyn’s Coolest Pop Shop recipe book (which I don’t own, feel free to send me a copy!). Since the book wasn’t available yet I searched the internets and discovered a plethora of recipes, but the one that always got the best reviews was the Bittersweet Chocolate Bourbon Pop. And ya’ll know I love me some Bulleit Bourbon. The ingredients and directions are simple, but the pop is a rich chocolatey sin, with just a tease of bourbon flavor to savor.

Here’s the recipe from Finecooking.com:
+ 1/2 cup granulated sugar 
+ 3-1/2 oz. bittersweet chocolate (70% to 72%), chopped 
+ 2 Tbs. Dutch-processed cocoa powder 
+ 1/8 tsp. table salt 
+ 2 Tbs. good-quality bourbon

Directions: Put the sugar, chocolate, cocoa powder, salt, and 2 cups water in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly. Transfer to a 4-cup glass measure (or any container with a spout for easy pouring). Let cool at room temperature for 30 minutes. Stir in the bourbon and divide the mixture among eight 3-oz. pop molds or wax-lined paper cups. Freeze until just set, about 3 hours. Insert craft sticks and freeze until completely set, about 4 hours more. When ready to serve, unmold or peel off the paper cups.

Side note : The mold I purchased was the Norpro Ice Pop Maker, which I have absolutely no complaints about. But I do recommend reading the user reviews for tips on how to use it the most efficiently.


PHOTO
Jun 11
8:28 pm
7 notes