Classic Margarita

a classic margarita with homemade mix.  Recipe on kokocooks.com

When I go out, I tend to order one of three cocktails: margarita, mojito, or martini.  Guess I like my alcoholic drinks that start with ‘m.’  I don’t drink too much during the school year when my schedule gets hectic, but during these glorious summer days I definitely enjoy some beverages on the patio. When it comes to tequila, I usually just drink a shot, but lately I’ve been into making my own margaritas.  The classic lime with a hint of orange will always be my favorite flavor, especially when made with homemade margarita mix.

classic margarita with homemade mix. Recipe on kokocooks.com

original recipe

Classic Margarita

Yield: 2 servings

Classic Margarita

Ingredients

1 batch margarita mix
4 oz. tequila (I like a good blanco)
1.5 oz orange flavored liqueur (like triple sec, or Grand Marnier)
Salt (optional)
Ice
Lime slices for garnish

Instructions

  1. Stir together the margarita mix, tequila, and orange liqueur in a pitcher. Wet the rim of the glasses, and dip in salt. Pour into glasses with ice. Garnish with lime. Drink. Repeat.
http://kokocooks.com/2015/08/classic-margarita/

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Homemade Margarita Mix

You won't be able to stop making tasty margaritas with this homemade mix. Recipe on kokocooks.com

I was at the supermarket the other day, and noticed an incredible sale on limes: 12/$1.  What a deal!  I remember Shawnda’s story about scouring the city for limes at a good price so she could stock up on margarita mix.  I’ve never thought to make my own mix – usually I only drink margaritas when I’m out – but seeing all those lovely limes convinced me to try.  I filled a bag and dashed home.

You won't be able to stop making tasty margaritas with this homemade mix. Recipe on kokocooks.com

The limes I got were extra juicy – it only took six limes to make 1 cup of juice.  There must have been some bumper crop somewhere.  The margarita mix is a little strong, because I anticipated that it would dilute a bit when added with ice.

classic margarita made with homemade mix. Recipe on kokocooks.com

adapted from The Brewer & The Baker

Homemade Margarita Mix

Homemade Margarita Mix

This recipe is meant to be a little stronger, to accommodate when ice is added to the final drink. If storing the mix for a later use, add a 1/4 c of water before using.

Ingredients

1 c fresh lime juice (6-10 limes)
3/4 c water
1/2 c sugar

Instructions

  1. Place ingredients in a saucepan and heat over medium-high until sugar has melted, stirring occasionally. Let cool.
  2. Use immediately, or store in the fridge for 5-7 days. Alternately, freeze and pull out when you're ready to make margaritas.
http://kokocooks.com/2015/08/homemade-margarita-mix/

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Cherry Vodka Limeade

 

I frequently get asked, “How do you manage to do all that you do?”  My glib answer is usually, “Well when something’s gotta give, it’s usually house work.”  Which is totally true.  When things get busy, stuff like laundry, dishes, and keeping the house looking decent fall way down on the priority list.  In March, I added another ball to juggle, so to speak.  I accepted a freelance job that kept me incredible busy all spring.  So along with all that house work, blogging became a casualty of my schedule.  I can’t say too much about my new job, but every so often I get to work here:

With the school year completed, I’m thoroughly enjoying my days off.  I celebrated my first week of freedom hosting a little get together with some friends.  We played through chamber music, ate lunch, and kicked back with these fruity drinks.

Let me tell you, all the stress of the past few months slipped away with each sip of this drink.  If you’re a fan of cherry limeade slushes, then this drink is right up your alley.  The non-alcoholic version also tastes great.  It’s the perfect cocktail for the hot months ahead.

original recipe

Cherry Vodka Limeade

Cherry Vodka Limeade

Ingredients

12 oz. frozen limeade, thawed
¾ c grenadine
1 ¼ c cherry vodka
2 ½ c club soda
Extra
Ice cubes
Lime wedges

Instructions

  1. Combine first four ingredients in a pitcher and stir.
  2. Pour into glasses half filled with ice. Garnish with lime wedges
http://kokocooks.com/2014/06/cherry-vodka-limeade/

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Ice Cream Sundae Martini

I recently developed a few drink recipes for Epic Vodka.  Of the four flavored vodkas I received, I was most excited about the whipped cream vodka.  A friend said, “I could drink this straight all night,” and I had to agree with her. I immediately [Read more…]

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Watermelon Agua Fresca

I’m going to talk “photography” for a bit.  <Disclaimer> I am a totally self-taught photographer.  I am very far from being an authority on the subject. <end Disclaimer> Pictures of drinks really pop when you can see the light through the glass, especially if the drink is translucent. Since the front of the subject (the drink and jar) tends to come out dark, bouncing the light onto the front is common practice.  These photos are my attempt at this (known as back lighting) – I just wish the reflector board wasn’t so visible on the face of the jar.

 

About the drink: So refreshing!  Making juice from watermelon is a snap – just blend with a little bit of water and go. It’s even easier if you use a seedless variety.  The juice is a little thick because of the pulp, no more than a smoothie or a frozen drink. (Mmmm…frozen daiquiri.)  This juice has a lightly sweet flavor – not as sweet as commercial juice.  It was a hit among all in the house – including the picky toddler.  As pink is his secret favorite color, he loved drinking the “pink watermelon juice.”

If you visited the earlier, you know there’s a giveaway going on, sponsored by Flavors of Summer.  If you haven’t seen it yet, please enter!  Information about the sponsor can be found below.  Winners will be announced during a PinChat Live on July 3rd.  Click the icon below to see some of the other participating bloggers are bringing to the Virtual Picnic.

original recipe

Watermelon Agua Fresca

Yield: 8 cups

Watermelon Agua Fresca

Ingredients

1½ c water, divided
½ c sugar
One 4.5-5 lb watermelon, cut into chunks
⅓ c fresh lime juice

Instructions

  1. Make a simple syrup by combining ½ c water with the sugar. Heat in a saucepan until sugar has melted, stirring occasionally. Set aside.
  2. Place another ½ c of water with half the watermelon. Blend until smooth. Pour into a pitcher. Repeat with remaining ½ c of water and remaining watermelon. Pour into pitcher with rest of juice.
  3. Stir in the simple syrup and lime juice. Drink should be slightly sweet, but not sugary. Serve immediately or cover and chill until ready to serve.
http://kokocooks.com/2013/06/watermelon-agua-fresca/

 

“Celebrate Sweet Vidalia Flavors of Summer with the great tastes of fresh Vidalia Onions, Avocados from Mexico, Gourmet Garden Herbs, Johnsonville Italian Sausage, mangos, watermelon and Stemilt Cherries. Great food and good friends make everyday a party to remember so start entertaining and visit www.flavors-of-summer.com for recipes, coupons and entertaining tips.”

Virtual picnic logo

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Strawberry Sangria


I couldn’t let Brunch Week go by without mentioning a drink.  Speaking of, just a few more hours until the giveaway closes.  Be sure to enter to win some of the envious prizes.

pinchat

Winners will be announced on during a live PinChat on Saturday.  Click on the above picture to follow the #BrunchWeek 2013 board.   Visit the board tomorrow between 2:00-3:00 p.m. Eastern time to find out who the lucky winners are.  Participators in the PinChat will also be eligible to win a Lodge prize package, including a beautiful cast iron skillet.

I wanted to make a different type of drink from the usual brunch fare.  There have been so many interesting drinks made by my fellow brunching bloggers during the week, I wasn’t sure I could come up with something original. I made this drink when I had an abundance of strawberries in the house – I tend to get overzealous at the U-pick farms.  This white version is a little lighter than the red sangria.  The soda gives the drink sweetness, while also toning down the alcohol content, making it a perfect brunch beverage.

Here are the #BrunchWeek recipes for today.

Brunch Drink Recipes

Mango Lime Bellinis by Cook the Story

Breads, Grains, Cereals and Pancake-type Yums

Souffle Pancakes with Bacon Flowers by Jane’s Adventures in Dinner
Mini Breakfast Pizzas by Sweet Remedy
Turkey, Brie and Raspberry Waffle Bites by Vanilla Lemonade
Glazed Doughnut Pancakes by The Domestic Mama & The Village Cook
Whole Wheat Blueberry and Sour Cream Pancakes by Sarcastic Cooking

Meat, Poultry, Fish and Legume Brunch Recipes

Thai Orchid Salmon Salad by Culinary Adventures with Camilla

Egg Recipes

Crouque Monsieur Strata by White Lights on Wednesday
American Girl Chip and Ham Scramble by The Vintage Cook
Sausage, Egg, & Veggie Casserole by Katie’s Cucina

Potato Recipes

Poutine Hash by The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen

Brunch Dessert Recipes

Vanilla Bean Cookie Bars by Rachel Cooks
Candied Bacon Brownies by {i love} my disorganized life
Turtles French Toast by Cravings of a Lunatic
Chocolate Chiffon Cakee by Love and Confections
Dark Chocolate-Orange & Walnut Banana Bread by The Kitchen Prep

original recipe

Strawberry Sangria

Strawberry Sangria

Ingredients

Half a bottle dry white wine
⅓ c gin
juice from 2 oranges
juice from 1 lemon
2 c sliced strawberries, plus more for garnish
3 c lemon-lime soda
Orange slices for garnish

Instructions

  1. Pour wine, gin, orange juice, lemon juice, and strawberries in a bowl. Cover and chill overnight.
  2. The next morning, fill a pitcher halfway with ice. Pour wine mixture into pitcher (including strawberry slices.) Add soda and stir. Pour into glasses and serve with fresh strawberry slices and orange slices.
http://kokocooks.com/2013/05/strawberry-sangria/

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Blueberry Lemonade

Blueberry season in Florida started at the end of April, and went through early June. By the time we had a free weekend to go picking, most of the u-pick farms had closed. Luckily we found a place still open. And even luckier, the berries were organic. And luckier still, the berries were incredibly sweet and ripe. We picked 5.5 lbs, and they didn’t last long in the house.

One way we’ve used up the berries was in this blueberry lemonade. We tasted some at the blueberry farm, and I immediately tried to make my own. It was tricky finding the right balance of sweet but not too sugary. This drink is a perfect refresher for those hot summer days ahead.


Original recipe

Blueberry Lemonade

Blueberry Lemonade

Ingredients

1 c fresh blueberries
½ c fresh lemon juice
1/3 c sugar
3 c water

Instructions

  1. Place blueberries into a medium saucepan. Pour a little bit of water in the bottom – just enough to cover the bottom of the pan. Heat until the water starts to boil. Remove from heat, and crush blueberries with a potato masher. Pour blueberries into a fine mesh sieve. Strain the juice into a large pitcher and discard the solids. Add the lemon juice and sugar; mix until sugar dissolves. Add the water. Chill in the refrigerator. Serve over ice.
http://kokocooks.com/2011/06/blueberry-lemonade/

Place blueberries into a medium saucepan. Pour a little bit of water in the bottom – just enough to cover the bottom of the pan. Heat until the water starts to boil. Remove from heat, and crush blueberries with a potato masher. Pour blueberries into a fine mesh sieve. Strain the juice into a large pitcher and discard the solids. Add the lemon juice and sugar; mix until sugar dissolves. Add the water. Chill in the refrigerator. Serve over ice.

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Strawberry Mojitos


We went strawberry picking again, and had another 10 lbs. of berries to use. I started making strawberry mojitos that night, and was addicted to them for a short while. I made non-acoholic versions and drank them with breakfast. This drink was especially refreshing since the weather has been in the mid to high 80’s.


Original recipe

Strawberry Mojitos

Strawberry Mojitos

This recipe fills a 12 oz. glass.

Ingredients

For each mojito, you will need
4-5 fresh strawberries, depending on size
Small handful of fresh mint leaves
3 oz simple syrup (even amounts of sugar and water, heated until the sugar melts, and cooled to room temperature)
2 oz rum
1 1/2 tsp fresh lime juice
Club soda
Lime slices

Instructions

  1. Place strawberries, mint, and some ice (crushed ice works best) in a tall glass. Muddle the ingredients together with the back of a spoon (or a muddler if you have one.) Add simple syrup, rum, and lime juice. Pour in enough club soda to fill the glass. Give the mixture a stir, and garnish with fresh strawberries and lime slices.
http://kokocooks.com/2011/03/strawberry-mojitos/

 

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Chilled Butterbeer

I am a huge fan of the Harry Potter series. I was one of the people who stormed the bookstores at 12:01 a.m. when a new HP book was released. My son’s middle name is James, and one of my friends asked me, “James, as in Harry James Potter?” As much of a fan as I am, this was not so.


I am lucky to have the Universal Studios theme parks practically in my backyard. I’m even luckier that back in June, when the Wizarding World of Harry Potter was getting ready for its grand opening, Universal decided to hire the local orchestra to play a private event a few days prior to the official opening. And I was the luckiest person ever, because Hubs and I got to play in that orchestra! This video is one of the pieces we performed that evening. You can see the back of my head and the scroll of my bass frequently during the performance.


The gig was fantastic – especially for a Potter-phile like myself. We got to wander around Hogsmeade when no one was there. We went on all the rides, were conducted by legendary composer John Williams, saw lots of stars from the movies, and tasted butterbeer (the chilled version and the frozen version.) I can’t decide which one of those experiences I treasured more.

I found an awesome frozen butterbeer recipe on Cook Like A Champion. She used butterscotch schnapps and cream soda to create that delicious buttery taste. I thought that was ingenious! I got the ingredients the very next day. It tasted exactly like the butterbeer I tried at the park. I thought that the ice in the frozen drink diluted the flavor a little too much, so I actually preferred it chilled.
I’ve been trying to think of a way to make a non-alcoholic version. I’m thinking that substituting butterscotch syrup (the kind you use to flavor coffee) for the schnapps would work. I’m not sure how hard it is to get a hold of that flavor. Bakingdom uses butter extract in her version. I’ll have to experiment further on that.
adapted from Cook Like a Champion

Chilled Butterbeer

Chilled Butterbeer

Ingredients

12 oz cream soda
4 Tbs butterscotch schnapps
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 c whipping cream
1 Tbs butterscotch schnapps

Instructions

  1. Combine cream soda, the 4 Tbs of butterscotch schnapps, and vanilla in a pitcher with ice. Stir to mix.
  2. In a small bowl, whip the cream (with a whisk or a hand mixer) until it has thickened but has not yet turned to whipped cream. You want it to be pretty soft. Add the 1 Tbs of schnapps and stir to combine.
  3. Pour butterbeer into glasses. Top with cream.
http://kokocooks.com/2010/11/chilled-butterbeer/

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Tangerine Caipirinha

I made this drink to submit to Joelen’s blog, where she is hosting a Wine and Dine Event. This month features Brazilian cuisine. I didn’t know too much about Brazilian food, but I did know there was a lime drink similar to a mojito. After a little research, I found its name – caipirinha.
A caipirinha is made with cachaça, a sugar cane-based alcohol. Lime and sugar are “muddled,” or mashed together in a glass. Ice and cachaça are mixed in. Since tangerines are in season right now, I decided to substitute it for the lime.

I used two kinds of tangerines. One was small, round, and seedless. This tangerine was great for muddling and garnishing, but the juice wasn’t sweet. My local produce market has a wonderful supply of locally grown honey tangerines, which burst with a pungent and sweet juice. Because they have a ton of seeds, I used them only for the juice. The result was very refreshing – perfect for a summer afternoon (or a warm Florida winter).
Tangerine Caipirinha
2 seedless tangerines, peeled and sectioned
1 1/2 Tbs sugar
Ice
3 oz tangerine juice
3 oz cachaça
tangerine slices
Place sectioned tangerines and sugar in a tall glass. Muddle together with the back of a spoon until juice is just released. Add enough ice to fill the glass half way. Add tangerine juice and cachaça, and stir. Garnish with tangerine slices.

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