Summer Sippers, Tequila…

Margarita SQ

I love Margarita’s….always have.  Over the years, I’ve refined my taste for them…originally loving the super sweet, slushy kind you get from one of those big Margarita machines, but now loving the traditional kind, good tequila, lime juice, ice, salt and a splash of Grand Marnier.  But you don’t always have to choose a Margarita to enjoy Tequila in a cocktail.  And no, I am not talking about shooters, (I’ve done plenty of that when I was younger!) or even the old-fashioned Tequila Sunrise…oh the memories of that… But so many other fruity options are available to enjoy your Tequila!

One thing I am so excited to talk to you about…that my family is sick of hearing me talk about, is my new-found obsession lately with Podcasts!  I have a few favorites, some are Social Media related, pertaining to my new business, but the rest are all food-focused.  My favorites include America’s Test Kitchen, Spilled Milk…and recently, The Sporkful  had a Tequila podcast, and it’s a must listen.  Do you have any Podcasts you are obsessed with that you want to share with me?

Taken straight from The Sporkful blog, “Like so many people, Dan was scarred by tequila at a young age, and hasn’t been able to drink it for years. In Sporkful Episode 159, he sets out to overcome his aversion and learn to appreciate good tequila with help from Ilana Edelstein, author of The Patron Way: The Untold Inside Story of the World’s Most Successful Tequila.  Dan rates each tequila they taste by how strongly it evokes the “hot car trunk” rating in which that fateful bottle was stored so many years ago, and Ilana shares recipes for a couple of her favorite tequila cocktails.” 

It’s very informative when it comes to how Patrón is made and classified.  I am TOTALLY trying her recipe for Margaritas that includes Squirt! 🙂  You can also sign up to be a member of the Patrón Social Club with access to recipes, events etc.

So I don’t really have a “recipe” for you today, as when I drink Tequila, in the past, it’s been as a basic Margarita.  However, I did make a small batch of Rhubarb Syrup the other day, you can find the recipe here, and because I used the green variety of Rhubarb, it ended up looking much like a normal Margarita!  So here’s the basic recipe for that drink…you can play with the amounts…

Tequila, choose a good one, like Patrón (2oz. +/- per drink)

Grand Marnier (orange & cognac, 1/2oz. +/- per drink)

Lime juice, fresh limes…or if you have to, the best mix you can find/buy

Rhubarb Syrup (see link above for recipe, 2oz. +/- per drink)

a splash of something bubbly…I used Seagrams Orange Citrus sparkling seltzer water

Ice

Rhubarb Margarita

If you are paying attention, you’ll notice the drink above is slightly pink….I may have added a bit of Pomegranate juice to it….so it looked more “rhubarb-like”…don’t hate me 🙂

Anyway, here are some great ideas of ways to enjoy Tequila beyond the typical Margarita!

Tequila Cherry Mostarda from Mama Knows (Best) Her Cocktails

Another great cocktail I found on Mama Knows (Best) Her Cocktails is for a Tequila Tonic.  It include Coconut Water and a Ginger Simple Syrup…um YUM!

These Fresh Pineapple Margarita’s from Gimme Some Oven look insane!  So fresh & sweet!

I pinned this recipe for Lime Sorbet Margarita’s from Real Simple Magazine a long time ago and know they would make a great refreshing drink this summer!

So many cocktails are emerging lately with Watermelon as a main ingredient!  What says summer more, right?!  The Watermelon Tequila Cocktail from Bobby Flay via Food & Wine is just the ticket!

How about a Cucumber Margarita?  Or a Celery Margarita?  Or even a Red-Chile Guava Margarita?  They are all here in this list of Margarita Recipes from Chow.com

Hope you’ll take a break from this awesomely hot summer we are off to, and enjoy one of these great Tequila cocktails!  Please share with me any great recipes you have for Tequila as well!

Until next time, cheers! ~Shawn

Summer Sippers, Wine…

Sangria

I love Pinterest.  Can I just say that?  Seriously, I swear, it has become a search engine for me and all things food & beverage!  I “googled” the search term “cocktails made with wine” while researching for this blog post and the second listing in Google was a link to a board on Pinterest titled Cocktails Made with Wine.  Click on the link to see this board; it’s pretty incredible how creative people are with wine!  Gone are the days, where the only way you found wine, other than by itself in a glass, was as a spritzer!

Fruit

In putting together this post, I decided my focus was to be Sangria.  I had many friends share their Sangria recipes with me.  One of those, listed below, was given to me by husband & wife foodie duo, Lynne & Keith Morioka.  It’s what I will be making next!  I was also surprised to see what a popular drink it has become, with so many delicious variations on the traditional white or red Sangria.  We are gearing up for a birthday-Father’s day camping weekend and so I thought it would be fun to make a batch to bring with us.  I decided to try the Grilled Citrus and Grape Sangria.  In the future, I am going to try to gently smoke some fruit for a Sangria too!

Apothic

St. Germain Sangria-  “we hosted a party last summer, and I made this up to be our signature cocktail for the party, and everyone loved it. Even the people who normally are just beer drinkers were loving it…”  Sounds like a winner! 🙂

Here’s what you’ll need to make it:

1 bottle of Sauvignon Blanc
3/4 cup St. Germain
1/2 cup Simple Syrup (you could probably substitute fine sugar if you want, but reduce the amount if you do)
3/4 cup San Pellegrino Limonata
1/4 cup White Grape Juice
1 Green Apple (Diced)
1 Pear (Diced)
Some White Grapes (cut in half)
Club Soda

Combine everything but the club soda together in a pitcher, and chill for several hours. When ready to serve, pour some club soda in the glass, pour Sangria in to top it off. I prefer not to have any ice in the glass, as I don’t like to water my Sangria’s down as the ice melts. With the fruit, I think that I actually used less than a whole apple and less than a whole Pear. The fruit will soak up the booze, so make sure that you eat that too!

And another recipe, from the wonderful John Michael Lerma was for his famous Hollywood Sangria.  Sounds like another winner to me!

JOHN MICHAEL’S HOLLYWOOD SANGRIA
4 bottles Cabernet Sauvignon, warm
1 bottle White Zinfandel, warm
4 cups freshly squeezed orange juice
1 ½ cups pineapple juice
1 can lemon-lime soda
¼ cup Grand Marnier
3 oranges, cut into slices or stars
3 limes, cut into slices or stars
6 strawberries, sliced
Additional fruit for garnish
1. Place all ingredients into a large glass or ceramic container. Cover and let flavors blend while warm for 2 hours, then refrigerator overnight. Serve in decorative glasses filled with ice and fresh fruit. Serves 24 or more.

Pineapple Sangria

Another gorgeous Sangria recipe I found on Pinterest was that of this Pineapple Sangria, Erin’s Food Files.  She graciously allowed me to use her picture, which makes my mouth water!  I love how she uses Pineapple soda as well!

Yet another food blogger friend’s recipe for Diane’s Sangria

Cooking Channel’s Tropical Sangria

Food and Wine’s Watermelon Sangria

Bon Appetit’s Stone-Fruit Sangria

How Sweet It Is, food blog’s Blood Orange Sangria

Girl versus Dough shares her Sangria Slushies, totally a grown-up snow-cone in my book!  In this same post, she shares a recipe for White Wine & Elderflower Sangria, so be sure to check that out too!

Here’s hoping for a long, hot summer, where we can sit back and enjoy these perfect Sangria recipes!

Until next time, cheers!

Shawn