Advertisements

Category Archives: Beverages

Cranberry-Lime Infused Vodka

Ok…tired of my Keto recipes. Get ready for Christmas with this festive infused vodka! Makes a perfect hostess gift….do it NOW!

7bae93d76b77ba0482cd95b83d4c2496

1 16 oz. glass bottles with toppers (mine have corks)

1 bag fresh cranberries (I counted 150 berries…LOL).

2 limes, peeled with as little pith as possible

2 tbsp sugar

Vodka

Using a knife, pierce each cranberry so the vodka can seep into the berries.  (I took each one and pierced it with an icepick using a cutting board underneath). Alternately fill each bottle with the cranberries and the lime peels. When bottle is full of berries, add sugar. Pour vodka into the bottle until full. Allow to sit and mature for 2 weeks to a month. Be sure to shake the bottles every couple of days to help the flavors meld.

Advertisements

Mojitos by the Pitcher

We first came to like mojitos when our friend Karen made them at her house in Merida. We dubbed her Queen of the Mojitos, While in Cuba we also enjoyed them at Bodeguita del Medio which is where Ernest Hemingway came to love them as we are told. Some historians would have us believe that they date back to the 1600s and Sir Francis Drake coming ashore in Cuba..??? Summertime and the living is easy, right? What better way to enjoy a sunny day by the pool them with a pitcher of mojitos. Another recipe blissfully discovered on Pinterest!

(If you’ve been following this blog for some time you may recall my earlier recipe according to Hemingway),

Mojitos by the Pitcher (Kitchen is My Playground)

Total Time 15 mins Prep 15 mins

Ingredients    Servings 10

  • 10 limes, fresh pulp and juice
  • 30 leaves of fresh mint1/3 cup sugar (originally 3/4)
  • 1 cup white rum
  • 1 bottle of Sprite 600 ml. (original was Club soda)

Directions

  1. Place lime juice, mint and sugar into a pitcher.
  2. Using a muddle stick mash to release mint oils, and dissolve sugar into juice.
  3. Add rum and lots of ice topped with club soda or Sprite. Adding more club soda or Sprite to glasses if a lighter drink is desired. Fill glasses with ice before pouring!
  4. Garnish with fresh mint and lime slices.

 

Perfect Lemonade

Time to make my annual limoncello drink, which takes 15 yellow lemons. The only problem is that I have the fruit of 15 lemons left after I remove the necessary peel. When life gives you lemons (or Costco), the only thing to do is to make lemonade, right? Pinterest to the rescue once again… It was great…you be the judge of how much sugar to add….

 

Perfect Lemonade Recipe (Simplyrecipes.com)

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6.

For more intense lemon flavor, grate the zest from one fresh lemon and add the zest to the simple syrup as you are making it. Once the sugar has dissolved in the water remove from heat and let the zest seep in the simple syrup for several minutes, then strain out the zest when you add the simple syrup to the lemon juice.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup white, granulated sugar (can reduce to 3/4 cup) I used 1/2 cup
  • 1 cup water (for the simple syrup)
  • 1 cup lemon juice
  • 2 to 3 cups cold water (to dilute)

Method

1 First make a “simple syrup”. Place the sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Stir so that the sugar dissolves completely and remove from heat.

2 While the water is heating for the simple syrup, juice your lemons. Depending on the size of the lemons, 4 to 6 of them should be enough for one cup of juice.

3 Pour the juice and the simple syrup sugar water into a serving pitcher. Add 2 to 3 cups of cold water and taste. Add more water if you would like it to be more diluted (though note that when you add ice, it will melt and naturally dilute the lemonade). If the lemonade is a little sweet for your taste, add a little more straight lemon juice to it.

Refrigerate 30 to 40 minutes.

Serve with ice, sliced lemons.
Read more: http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/perfect_lemonade/#ixzz4BwfxF5jH

Substitutes for Alcohol and Wine in Recipes

Came across this on the weekend while I was looking for a substitute for the Guinness in my steak marinade recipe. Thought I would share it with you. www.whatscookingamerica.net

Following is a general list of non-alcoholic substitutes that can be used when cooking with alcohol is simply not an option. Choose the option that best matches the flavor of the dish you are making:

Amaretto – Non-Alcoholic almond extract. Substitute 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon almond extract for 2 tablespoons Amaretto.

Anisette – Anise Italian soda syrup or fennel. Also use the herbs anise or fennel.

Beer or Ale – Chicken broth, beef broth, mushroom broth, white grape juice, or ginger ale.

Bourbon – 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons of non-alcoholic vanilla extract.

Brandy – Water, white grape juice, apple cider or apple juice, diluted peach or apricot syrups. Substitute equal amounts of liquid.

Champagne – Ginger ale, sparkling apple cider, sparkling cranberry juice, or sparkling white grape juice.

Coffee Liqueur – To replace 2 tablespoons of liqueur, use 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of chocolate extract mixed with 1 teaspoon of instant coffee, which has been mixed in 2 tablespoons of water. Can also substitute expresso, non-alcoholic coffee extract, or coffee syrup.

Cognac – Juice from peaches, apricots, or pears.

Cointreau – Orange juice or frozen orange juice concentrate.

Creme de menthe – Spearmint extract or oil of spearmint diluted with a little water or grapefruit juice.

Grand Marnier or Orange-Flavored Liqueur – Unsweetened orange juice concentrate or orange juice. Substitute 2 tablespoons unsweetened orange juice concentrate or 2 tablespoons orange juice and 1/2 teaspoon orange extract for 2 tablespoons Grand Marnier.

Kahlua – Coffee or chocolate-flavored liqueur. Substitute 1/2 to 1 teaspoon chocolate extract or substitute 1/2 to 1 teaspoon instant coffee in 2 tablespoons water for 2 tablespoons Kahlua.

Kirsch – Syrup or juices from cherries, raspberries, boysenberries, currants, or cider. Substitute equal amounts of liquid.

Peppermint Schnapps – Non-alcoholic mint or peppermint extract, mint Italian soda syrup, or mint leaves.

Port Wine, Sweet Sherry, or Fruit-Flavored Liqueur) – Orange juice or apple juice. Substitute equal amount of liquid.

Rum (light or dark) – Water, white grape juice, pineapple juice, apple juice or apple cider, or syrup flavored with almond extract. Substitute equal amounts of liquid.

Sake – Rice vinegar.

Sherry or Bourbon – Orange or pineapple juices, peach syrup, or non-alcoholic vanilla extract. Substitute equal amount of liquid 1 to 2 teaspoons vanilla extract.

Southern Comfort – Peach flavored nectar combined with a small amount of cider vinegar.

Tequila – Cactus juice or nectar.

Triple Sec – Orange juice concentrate, orange juice, orange zest or orange marmalade.

Vermouth, Dry – White grape juice, white wine vinegar, or non-alcoholic white wine.

Vermouth, Sweet – Apple juice, grape juice, balsamic vinegar, non-alcoholic sweet wine, or water with lemon juice.

Whiskey – If a small amount is called for, it can be eliminated.

Vodka – White grape juice or apple cider combined with lime juice or use plain water in place of the vodka.
Wines:

Claret – Diluted grape juice or cherry cider syrup.

Gewurztraminer – White grape juice combined with lemon juice.

Grappa – Grape juice.

Port Wine – Concord grape juice with some lime zest added, cranberry juice with some lemon juice added, or grape juice concentrate. Substitute orange juice or apple juice for lighter ports.

Red Wine – Red grape juice, cranberry juice, chicken broth, beef broth, vegetable broth, clam juice, fruit juices, flavored vinegar. Substitute equal amount of liquid.

White Wine – Water, chicken broth, vegetable broth, white grape juice, ginger ale, white grape juice.

Sweet White Wine – White grape juice plus 1 tablespoons Karo corn syrup. Substitute equal amount of liquid.

 

 

Limoncello Liqueur

We first tasted limoncello while in Sorrento and fell in love with it. You can buy it at the liquor store but it can be pricey and a little too sweet. Just in case you are wondering it is a great after dinner drink served in small liqueur glasses, ICE COLD. I apologize for not sending this sooner, but honestly thought had…que lastima! If any of you are interested I have a great cake recipe for using this…mmm…

Italian Limoncello – How To Make Limoncello

Prep time: 20 min           Total time: From 40 to 80 days

Ingredients:
15 lemons*
2 (750 ml) bottles 100-proof vodka or 1 (750 ml) (we only get 40 proof here)
4 cups granulated sugar
5 cups water (filtered tap water or distilled water)

* Choose thick-skinned lemons because they are easier to zest. The lemons must be yellow and not tinted with green.

Step One:

Wash the lemons with a vegetable brush and hot water to remove any reside of pesticides or wax; pat the lemons dry.

Carefully zest the lemons with a zester or vegetable peeler so there is no white pith on the peel. NOTE: Use only the outer part of the rind. The pith, the white part underneath the rind, is too bitter and would spoil your limoncello.

Step Two:

In a large glass jar (1-gallon jar with lid), add vodka. Add the lemon zest as it is zested.

Cover the jar and let sit at room temperature for at least (10) ten days and up to (40) days in a cool dark place. The longer the mixture rests, the better the end taste will be. (There is no need to stir – all you have to do is wait.) As the limoncello sits, the vodka slowly takes on the flavor and rich yellow color of the lemon zest.

Step Three:

In a large saucepan, combine the sugar and water; bring to a gentle boil and let boil, approximately 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat and let the syrup cool before adding it to the Limoncello mixture.

Add cooled sugar mixture to the Limoncello mixture (from Step One).

Cover jar and allow to rest for another 10 to 40 days.

Step Four:

After the rest period, strain the Limoncello; discarding the lemon zest.(I leave the zest in) Pour strained Limoncello in bottle/bottles (of your choice) and seal tightly.

NOTE: Coffee filters or cheesecloth work great for straining the mixture if you don’t want the zest in the drink. Moisten the filters before beginning the straining process.

Keep your bottle/bottles of Limoncello in the freezer until ready to serve. Serve ice cold from the freezer. If it freezes hard, run it under a little warm water for two minutes.

Grapefruit Mimosas @ Champagne

We don’t know a lot of people who like champagne…LOL. If someone happens to give you a bottle, this recipe is great for an afternoon by the pool! And…it is a great way to use it up quickly…

Grapefruit Mimosas

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons Triple Sec
  • 1/2 cup fresh squeezed ruby red grapefruit juice
  • 2 cups Champagne
  • 1 slice ruby red grapefruit, cut into quarters

Directions

Place 1 tablespoon of Triple Sec in each of 4 Champagne flutes. Top with 2 tablespoons of the grapefruit juice and 1/2 cup of champagne. Garnish with a wedge of the grapefruit and serve.

Note: this recipe makes a classic, old-fashioned mimosa (more Champagne than grapefruit juice). Should you prefer a more juice-laden drink, feel free to experiment so that the proportions suit your taste.