Moscow Mule

I used to be a margarita or gin and tonic person in the summertime but I have a new favorite refreshing cocktail to share! A friend introduced me to the Moscow Mule during my special trip to Charleston. All I need now is a copper mug to drink it in. 🙂

My friend used a special South Carolina Ginger Beer and I was afraid that it would never taste the same without it. Well, thank goodness for Trader Joe’s! Their Ginger Beer has the little bit of spice that made the South Carolina version amazing. Perfect.

This recipe is a combination of an all recipes.com version and my friend’s concoction. Great!

Yield: Serves 1

  • 1 1/2 fluid ounces vodka
  • 1/2 fluid ounce lime juice (about 1/2 a lime)
  • ice cubes
  • 1/2 cup ginger beer, or about 1/2 of a bottle (I used Trader Joe’s)
  • splash of seltzer, optional
  • 1 lime wedge for garnish
  1. Pour vodka and lime juice into a mug; add ice cubes and ginger beer. Stir to combine.
  2. Add a splash of seltzer, if desired, to decrease the sweetness.
  3. Drop a lime wedge into the mug for garnish.

Note: The classic Moscow Mule is served in a copper mug.

To make a Watermelon Moscow Mule variation add 5 T pureed, strained watermelon juice.

One Year Ago:

Two Years Ago:

Three Years Ago:

Tropical Carrot, Turmeric, & Ginger Smoothie

This smoothie is the most unusual I’ve ever made- or tasted. It’s spicy but not too spicy. Savory but not too savory- thanks to the orange and mango. Super healthy. It was very ORANGE too! 🙂

This recipe was adapted from Bon Appetit, contributed by Claire Saffitz. I substituted chia seeds for hemp seeds and dried turmeric for fresh. I was too cold to add the ice! It was a perfect lunch with a small handful of walnuts.

Yield: about 2 cups, one serving

  • 1 blood or navel orange, peel and white pith removed
  • 1 large carrot, scrubbed, coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup frozen mango chunks
  • ⅔ cup coconut water
  • 1 tablespoon shelled raw hemp seeds
  • ¾ teaspoon finely grated peeled ginger
  • 1½ teaspoons finely grated peeled turmeric
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup ice
  1. Using smoothie or ice crush setting, purée orange, carrot, mango, coconut water, hemp/chia seeds, ginger, turmeric, cayenne, salt, and ½ cup ice in a blender until smooth. (I used a Vitamix.)

One Year Ago:

Two Years Ago:

Three Years Ago:

Watermelon and Tequila Cooler

This drink SCREAMS summer to me! So far, I have only enjoyed one of these fruity and fabulous cocktails on my back porch (which was lovely, by the way!)… but I know I’ll have one on the beach this summer as well. 🙂 Maybe at an outdoor concert too? I can’t wait!

This sweet and refreshing cocktail (Sandia y Tequila Fresca) was adapted from El Chino Latino Cocina. Great!

Bringing it to Fiesta Friday #73, co-hosted by the amazing bloggers Juju @ Cooking With Aunt Juju and Michelle @ Giraffes Can Bake. Cheers!! 🙂

Yield: Makes 1 drink

  • 1 cup watermelon
  • 1 oz tequila
  • 2 T fresh lime juice
  • 2 T agave nectar
  • ice cubes, for serving
  1. Cut the rind off the watermelon and remove the seeds. Cut enough chunks to measure 1 cup and put in a blender. (I used a Vitamix.)
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and puree until smooth.
  3. Pour over ice in a margarita or other cocktail glass. Serve cold and enjoy!

One Year Ago:

Two Years Ago:

Green Smoothies!

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My sweet husband gave me a Vitamix blender for Christmas even though he was a little bit scared about being served green shakes for breakfast (& possibly even lunch too!). These smoothies are “green” but contain tons of fruit so they are sweet enough to transition even the skeptics out there. A great way to start a healthy 2015!! 🙂

My preference is for room temperature concoctions- the flavors really shine. The Orange Smoothie (above) is my favorite. It is unbelievably creamy with just a hint of cinnamon. The recipe is from celebrity trainer Tracy Anderson, via popsugar.com. Green and yummy!!

Orange Smoothie

Yield: 1 large or 2 small smoothies

  • 1 1/2 cups baby spinach
  • 3 oranges, peeled
  • 1 medjool date, pitted
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  1. Add all the ingredients into a blender and blend until desired consistency. (I used the Smoothies setting on the Vitamix.) Enjoy immediately.

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This super creamy, fluffy, and silky smooth smoothie is my husband’s absolute favorite. It is delicious and filling. This recipe was adapted from Food 52, contributed by Gena Hamshaw.

Avocado Smoothie

Yield: 1 large or 2 small smoothies (4 smoothies of the size pictured above)

  • 1 banana, peeled, room temperature or frozen
  • 1/2 cup mango, fresh or frozen
  • 1/2 small or medium avocado
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 1/4 cups milk (almond, soy, oat, rice, or cow milk)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Place all smoothie ingredients in your blender and blend till very smooth and creamy. Add a little more milk as needed, or a few ice cubes if you want it to be frostier. (I used the Smoothies setting on the Vitamix.) Enjoy immediately.

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In the cold weather, this pear smoothie was perfect made with a room temperature banana; I may prefer it with a frozen banana in warmer weather though. Perfect this time of year when delicious apples and pears are so readily available. So tasty! This recipe was adapted from LoveandLentils.com.

Pear-Spinach Smoothie

Yield: 1 large (giant!) or 2 small/medium smoothies

  • 1 cup milk (almond, soy, oat, rice, or cow milk)
  • 1 cup baby spinach
  • 1 forelle pear (or any small pear will do) (I used half of a large d’Anjou pear)
  • 1 banana, fresh or frozen but preferably frozen
  • 1/2 a small apple (I used a pink lady)
  • 1 medjool date, pitted
  1. Add all of the ingredients into your blender and blend at high speed until smooth. (I used the Smoothies setting on the Vitamix.) Enjoy immediately.

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This smoothie is tangy and loaded with raspberries. My son even approved! It is less creamy than the others but very fresh and frosty. This recipe is from Vitamix.

Ruby Emerald Smoothie

Yield: 1 large or 2 small smoothies

  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) water
  • 1 cup (150 g) red grapes
  • 1 medium apple (5 1/2 oz/156 g), quartered, seeded
  • 1 cup (65 g) coarsely chopped fresh kale, spine and stem removed
  • 1 cup (140 g) frozen unsweetened raspberries
  1. Place all ingredients into the blender (or Vitamix) in the order listed. Process on high speed or on the Smoothies setting. Enjoy immediately.

One Year Ago:

Two Years Ago:

Blueberry Margarita

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The first time I tasted this cocktail, I thought it may become my new favorite. After having it a few times now, I am sure it is my new favorite! 🙂 It was extra-special because my husband made it with our fresh-picked Long Island blueberries. This recipe was adapted from Food and Wine, contributed by Todd Porter and Diane Cu.

Yield: Makes 1 drink

  • 2 generous tablespoons fresh blueberries
  • 1 generous tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 2 ounces tequila
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Simple Syrup
  • a dash of Triple Sec
  • Ice
  • Kosher or sea salt for rimming the glass
  1. Rub the rim of a rock or margarita glass with a lime wedge. Swirl the rim through a small pile of kosher or sea salt. Add ice cubes to the glass.
  2. In a cocktail shaker muddle the blueberries and lime juice until the blueberries are pulverized. Let sit for a few minutes.
  3. Add the tequila, Simple Syrup, Triple Sec and a handful of ice to the shaker. Add a leftover rind or two from the limes. Shake vigorously for 15 seconds, and then strain into the salted glass.

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One Year Ago:

Watermelon Sangria

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This is a sweet and festive summer punch- fun for a crowd. I loved the presentation with the skewered watermelon too. This recipe was adapted from Food and Wine, contributed by Andrew Zimmerman of Del Toro Café in Chicago. Chef Zimmerman created a summer version of this traditional Spanish punch with vodka instead of brandy. Cheers to summer & Happy Fiesta Friday #24 at The Novice Gardener! 🙂

Yield: Makes 6 to 8 drinks

  • 2 pounds seedless watermelon, peeled and cubed, plus 1/2 pound watermelon cut into balls with a melon baller and skewered on picks
  • 1 bottle dry white wine
  • 6 ounces citrus vodka
  • 4 ounces Cointreau or triple sec
  • 4 ounces Citrus Syrup, recipe below
  • Ice
  1. Make the Citrus Syrup: Combine 3/4 cup water, 3/4 cup granulated sugar, 2 1-inch strips lemon zest, and 2 1-inch strips orange zest in a small saucepan. Cook until sugar is dissolved. Set aside to cool.
  2. In a blender, puree the watermelon cubes. Pour through a fine strainer into a pitcher. (Makes approximately 4 cups.)
  3. Add the white wine, vodka, Cointreau and cooled Citrus Syrup. Stir and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Stir again, then pour the sangria into ice-filled white wine glasses and garnish with the skewered watermelon balls.

One year ago:

Mango Margarita

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My kids and I go through cases of mangoes- fighting for the last piece. Margaritas are my favorite cocktail. You see why this is the perfect recipe, right? 🙂 Perfect for Mother’s Day! Perfect for Fiesta Friday #16 at The Novice Gardener too! I didn’t join the party last week and have to make up for it this week with two contributions. (My fabulous Mother’s Day dinner will be next….)

This recipe was adapted from Food and Wine, contributed by David Yan of Casa Noble Estate. We added a little bit of granulated sugar to the chile powder coating on the rim of the glass. My kids enjoyed a non-alcoholic version as well. Super tasty!

Yield: Makes 2 drinks

  • 1 cup ice
  • 1 lime wedge
  • 3 ounces tequila
  • 1 small mango—peeled, pitted and coarsely chopped (3 ounces)
  • 1 1/2 ounces fresh lime juice
  • 1 tsp chile powder
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • 2 ounces Cointreau
  • 1 1/2 ounces agave nectar
  • 3 ounces Italian grapefruit soda
  1. Spread the chile powder and granulated sugar in a dish. Moisten the rim of a margarita glass with the lime wedge; dip the rim in the chile powder to coat.
  2. In a blender, puree the mango. Add the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. Pour into the glass and serve.

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One Year Ago:

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