We’re so close. The fall season and all that comes with it- the changing leaves, the scent of cinnamon, and the onset of denim and cozy sweaters- is so close it’s almost tangible. Although my thermometer is protesting, I’m ready to dive head first into autumnal everything, and today we’re going to start with this sweet tea old fashioned.
It’s no secret that I love bourbon. Very few things expose my Kentucky roots like my adoration for the sweet and subtle burn of that perfect amber liquid. Today we’re going to transform my favorite bourbon cocktail, a classic old fashioned, by adding Red Diamond Sweet Tea. The combination of those two quintessential Southern things makes for a winning, drinkable combo that is just perfect this time of year.
This sweet tea old fashioned requires very few ingredients, but because of this, we want to opt for the highest quality possible. We first start with a peel of orange and a few dashes of bitters. Muddle the two together in an old fashioned glass until the oils in fruit are released. Next we add 2 ounces of high-quality Kentucky bourbon and a hefty pour of chilled Red Diamond Sweet Tea. Finish it off with an extra-large ice cube and enjoy. Seriously, it’s that simple.
Sweet tea is a staple here in the South, and it’s no secret that my go-to fave is from a locally founded company, Red Diamond. Made simply with tea leaves, water, and sugar, Red Diamond Sweet Tea is free of preservatives and concentrates and has that perfect classic flavor that every glass of good Southern sweet tea should. The combination of bourbon and sweet tea makes for an old fashioned that is slightly sweeter and more drinkable than the classic cocktail. Because there are so few ingredients and very uncomplicated preparation involved, this is a great cocktail to batch for a group of friends.
I hope you’ll give this sweet tea old fashioned a try sometime this fall! Be sure to pick up a gallon of Red Diamond Sweet Tea and give a toast on my behalf. Have a great weekend and happy fall y’all!
If you like this sweet tea old fashioned you should try:
This sweet tea old fashioned is a Southern spin on the classic bourbon cocktail!
2 dashes orange bitters
2 ounces bourbon
6 ounces chilled sweet tea
Muddle the strip of orange peel and bitters together in an old fashioned glass until the orange peel has released some oils. You’ll notice a strong orange scent in the glass. Add the bourbon and sweet tea. Add a large ice cube and enjoy!
If you’ve followed along on this blog for any length of time you know I’ve just had a baby. It’s weird- pregnancy is so all-consuming that it’s easy to forget what life was before. There’s just so many physical (okay, emotional and mental too) limitations for those 9 months. But now that we’ve welcome baby Charlie into the world and I’m beginning to get back to my (new) normal, I’ve enjoyed the slow tiptoe back into a non-pregnant lifestyle and the things I missed out on for a few months. Perfect example: bourbon. I love bourbon. I missed bourbon. Now, post-pregnancy and able to enjoy an adult beverage from time to time, I’m really digging grown-up drinks, and this bourbon ginger sweet tea is so up my alley.
This is a seriously simple cocktail to throw together. Kentucky bourbon, lime juice, and ginger beer are combined with sweet tea and poured over a tall glass of ice to make a cocktail that is kind of a mash-up of a bourbon mule and sweet tea. Because no shaking or blending is needed, this also happens to be a great cocktail to batch for a crowd and share on the last of this season.
To make a really good bourbon ginger sweet tea we need really good ingredients. Sweet tea is a staple here in the South, and it’s no secret that my go-to fave is from a locally founded company, Red Diamond. Made simply with tea leaves, water, and sugar, Red Diamond Sweet Tea is free of preservatives and concentrates and has that perfect classic flavor that every glass of good Southern sweet tea should. To the tea we add fresh lime juice, quality Kentucky bourbon, and just a smidge of ginger beer. The lime juice and ginger beer balance out the boozy sweetness of the bourbon and sweet tea, and all together these ingredients make up a cocktail that is seriously easy to drink. Pace yourselves, people.
If you’d like to batch this bourbon ginger sweet tea for a crowd, pull out your calculators and get computing! I recommend stirring the ingredients together just before serving and allowing guests to pour their own over glasses of ice. If you want to make these ahead, just leave out the ice and the ginger beer until just before serving to keep the cocktail slightly fizzy and to prevent it from getting watered down. Serve each tea in a tall glass and garnish with a lime wedge if you’re feeling extra fancy.
If you, like me, are doing all you can to soak in these last few days of summer, give this bourbon ginger sweet tea a try. It’s seriously refreshing and makes for a great treat to sip on day or night. Many thanks to Red Diamond for sponsoring this post and to you all for supporting brands that make Wood & Spoon possible. If you give the recipe a try, let me know what you think in the comments section below! Happy Monday!
If you like this bourbon ginger sweet tea you should check out:
Sunday- the day of rest. The day for couch naps and leisurely suppers; the time for extra cups of coffee and folding laundry. To help get you in full-on relaxation mode, I’m sharing a sweet summery cocktail and a few photos from George’s 2nd birthday. Grab some limes, pop a squat, and lets dive into these ginger margaritas!
A few days ago we had a number of friends and family members over to celebrate our George. On what ended up being the hottest day Alabama has seen all spring, about 30 kids and 30 adults sweat it out in the backyard of our rental home to honor our little buddy with popsicles, balloons, guac, and tacos.
The party was loads of fun, and I’m so grateful for a handful of folks are eager to love our family. I am, however, still learning how to host people in our home. While I love being surrounded by people I love, I haven’t quite figured out to be at rest in it and just let everyone have a good time. Type A party planners out there- how do you do it? How do you relax long enough to enjoy the party yourself?
Luckily I had the help of Sam Jones, who was standing by to take photos, my mother, pro-babysitter and dishwasher extraordinaire, and my dear friend Rayne who made sure the pitchers of booze stayed brimming and iced down all evening long.
To make sure the adults stayed well-hydrated, we had a variety of margaritas- both frozen and on-the-rocks lime margs, rosé margs, and a single batch of ginger margaritas, a bright and refreshing drink that I’ve been enjoying a whole lot lately. Because sharing is caring, I’m serving up the recipe for those ginger margaritas to you today to enjoy at your own backyard bashes. After all, our guests need to be served well, right?
To make these ginger margaritas, we start with the syrup. Fresh ginger root is peeled and roughly chopped before being cooked with sugar and water on medium heat. Once the sugar has dissolved and the syrup has begun to simmer, remove the pan from heat and allow the spicy ginger to infuse into the sugar syrup. Chill the finished syrup in the fridge for future use.
When you’re ready to make your ginger margaritas, simply combine fresh lime juice, tequila, and your pre-made syrup in a tall shaker filled with ice. Shake, shake, shake until icy and pour the mixture into a salt-rimmed glass. These ginger margaritas are super refreshing, a fun and unique take on everyone’s favorite summertime cocktail. This is a beverage that will ensure your party guests come back to all of your future parties- even the hot and sweaty backyard ones.
Happy Sunday to you and thanks for taking a break with me. Enjoy these ginger margaritas during your Sunday day drinking and be sure to check out more cocktails and party inspiration below!
If you like these ginger margaritas you should check out:
These ginger margaritas a bright and refreshing, a unique and delicious take on everyone’s favorite tequila cocktail!
For the margaritas:
1 ounce silver tequila
1 ounce lime juice
1 ounce ginger syrup
For the ginger syrup:
2/3 cup freshly peeled and sliced ginger
¾ cup sugar
¾ cup water
To make the margaritas:
Pour the ingredients into a tall shaker and fill with ice. Shake vigorously for 30 second to allow the ice to melt and the mixture to chill. Pour the contents of a shaker into a salt rimmed glass and enjoy!
To make the ginger syrup:
Combine the ingredients in a small saucepan and cook, stirring occasionally, on medium-low heat until simmering. Allow to cook for an additional 25 minutes on low heat. Strain the ginger out of the syrup and chill in a heat proof container until cold.
The syrup recipe will produce enough to make several margaritas.
Only fresh ginger will work for this recipe. Ginger powder, bottled minced ginger, and pickled ginger are not recommended.
Last week, I polled my Instagram followers to find out what cocktail they would be most excited about double fisting for the margarita week celebration that is now upon us. The toss up was between fresh ginger margaritas or rosé margaritas, and although the race was tight, it turns out y’all are a bunch of basic, summer water-loving fools like me. Rosé margaritas FTW!
Now I know being “basic” gets a bad rap, but let me clarify by saying that there is no shame in loving things that are universally good. Rosé wine is so delicious and refreshing that I’m fine to chalk it up among the masses of other Americanized favorites. If yoga pants, La Croix, and sharing photos of your coffee on Instagram can continue to find a home in today’s society then certainly we can all make a little room for the most aesthetically pleasing wine of this millennium, right?
As it turns out, rosé and the classic margarita are a match made in heaven. I got the idea for this beverage from another cult favorite, Jeni Britton Bauer’s Jeni’s Ice Creams. She recently sent me one of their newest flavors, “Frosé” sorbet, and she recommended topping a scoop with a tequila floater. Booze and dessert? I was sold.
It only took a few tries and a couple of tipsy Tuesdays to land a recipe for these rosé margaritas. I found that a restrained pour of tequila, a generous amount of lime, and just enough simple syrup could combine with a half serving of rosé to make a beverage that reads equal parts wine and marg. Truly, this combo is one serving at all future summer bashes.
Making rosé margaritas is simple! Combine one ounce each of lime juice and tequila with an ounce and a half of simple syrup in a tall shaker. Fill with ice and shake, shake, shake, until the mixture is seriously icy. Pour the contents of the shaker into a salt-rimmed glass and top with four (yes, four) ounces of your favorite rosé wine. I’d recommend one that isn’t too sweet so that the cocktail is balanced. Give the drink a stir and TA-DA! Rosé margarita heaven.
This recipe can easily be batched for a crowd. I’d recommend doing the math and shaking the tequila, lime juice, and simple syrup in a large beverage Tupperware. Pour the contents into a large pitcher, stir in the appropriate amount of wine, and serve immediately. I’m not saying you’re going to be everyone’s new BFF, but let’s just assume this to be another universal truth. If you make these rosé margaritas, they will come.
Happy Margarita Week to you all and special thanks to Kate of Hola Jalapeno! She’s known in these parts for hosting the most KILLER marg party, so be sure to check out her site for a massive amount of other thirsty bloggers who are sharing lime and tequila-infused treats this week. Happy Monday to you and happy drinking!
If you like these rosé margaritas you should check out:
These rosé margaritas are the classic Mexican cocktail with tequila and lime combined with ultra refreshing summer wine. You can easily batch these to serve a crowd, perfect for outdoor parties!
1 ounce silver tequila
1 ounce fresh lime juice
1–1/2 ounces simple syrup (made with equal parts water and sugar)
4 ounces rosé wine (I prefer one not too sweet)
salt for rimming glass
In a tall shaker, combine the tequila, lime juice, and simple syrup. Fill the shaker with ice and shake vigourously for 30 seconds. Pour the contents of the shake into a salt-rimmer glass and stir in the rosé wine. Add additional simple syrup to taste (depending on your rose wine) and serve immediately.
Break out your glassware and some bar snacks because it’s time for show and tell! Today I’m spilling the details of my recent trip to Charleston, SC for the Saveur Blog Awards , and we’re going to talk the ins and outs of these boozy pinot ritas! If you’re curious and thirsty, you most definitely came to the right place!
Two weeks ago, we traveled to Charleston as a family, Brett and I the captain and co-pilot to a crew of squirmy Cheerio-throwers in the backseat of our packed-to-the-brim SUV. The kids did terrific on the ride there, in large part due to Mickey Mouse, Cheez-Its, and sugar-coated cereal that I shoved in their mouth any time they opened it to cry. #survival
In place of the luxury accommodations we usually opt for, we selected an Airbnb on King Street that boasted quick access to restaurants, coffee shops, and (let’s be honest) Jeni’s Ice Cream. The Saveur events didn’t start until Sunday, so we spent just over 24 hours in the city as a family. It’s fun to watch your kids explore new places, and at 3 and 1, Aimee and George found a bit of adventure everywhere we went. Living room chairs and tables were new jungle gyms. Sidewalks were their ultimate playground for jumping, dancing, and crawling. Friends, I learned last weekend that my kids, given enough patience and nap time and ice cream, are willing and able to travel. While the trip was not without a few hiccups or emergency diaper changes, I think we really have a shot at a future of family traveling. TBD.
Once the blog awards crew arrived, the weekend really amped up. I was thrilled to see my dear friend Erin for a second time, and I even got to meet my long-time interwebs lady friend, Rebecca. These two, along with the multitude of other beautiful faces I met throughout the weekend, filled the days with laughter and served as excellent sources of encouragement and relation. Sometimes, as a blogger, you start to feel a little like an island, and it was so reassuring to hear from friends who are in the thick too.
The kind folks at Saveur set up a fabulous weekend of events for the finalists, including tours of Charleston, cocktail parties, pub crawls, and even panel discussions where we got to hear from industry experts about the ins and out of marketing, brand management, publishing, and social issues within the food industry. Yes, I met Deb, the fairy Godmother of blogging, and yes, she is as delightful and charming and sincere as you might have gathered from her writing. We heard from a number of other authors and even a few Southern entrepreneurs like Carrie Morey and Brooks Reitz.
My biggest surprise of the weekend was how kind everyone was! Sure, we were all on our best behavior for the weekend, but I was still shocked at how quickly I grew to like so many of the other bloggers and Saveur staff members. It kinda felt like a weekend of summer camp, except there was a ton of booze, the food was great, and no one woke up covered in shaving cream or sunblock. Basically, it was just really rewarding to share in the excitement with a lot of like-minded people, and that was probably the best part of the whole trip.
I was honored to bring home the Reader’s Choice Award in the Best Baking and Sweets category. Although I attribute the win, in large, to the votes of my husband and my crazy-dedicated Selma friends, I am also aware that much of the success of this baby blog has been due to the help, encouragement, and inspiration that I’ve received from other blogger friends like Erin and Rebecca. It’s kinda like that scene from “Mean Girls” where Katy Herron breaks her homecoming crown into pieces and throws bits of it to other girls in the crowd; any win I experience in this new “career” is shared with the beautiful friends who have sewn into this site. It’s a thrill to bring home a trophy, but the joy comes with the people who earned it with me. I will forever pinch myself with delight that I get to do something I love so much and that other people, like you readers, want to be a part of it. So thanks. Y’all are the best.
Alright, now let’s talk about these pinot ritas. This recipe was inspired by a cocktail we enjoyed on our recent trip to Portland. Leading up to the awards weekend, we were promoted by Savuer to create a seasonal cocktail recipe using tequila. The winning cocktails were shared at the opening ceremony night, and although my cocktail didn’t win, I couldn’t stand to not share the recipe with you all. Made with a pinot noir simple syrup and classic margarita ingredients, these pinot ritas are sweet, tart, and boozy in all the right places. You need them. So let’s learn how to make ’em.
We start by preparing the pinot noir reduction. Simply cook down the red wine with a bit of sugar until it becomes thick and syrupy. You can prep this in advance and store it in the fridge for up to two weeks. Once the reduction has cooled, the preparation of the pinot ritas is rather like making a classic margarita. Add some tequila, orange liquor, lime juice, and the pinot noir syrup to a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake, shake, and shake some more until the whole thing is iced down and well combined. Pour the contents of the shaker into a salt-rimmed glass and garnish it with a lime wedge. Easy as pie, these pinot ritas are a simple, surefire way into the hearts of both wine enthusiasts and tequila lovers. Everybody wins.
So whip up a glass (or four) of these pinot ritas to start your week off on the right foot. These boozy treats are perfect for the fall and are a must-make in the weekends ahead. Give them a try and let me know what you think! Thank you again for all of your votes, support, and enthusiasm for baking and sweets. You guys make this worthwhile and I couldn’t ask for any more than what you’ve given me. Cheers to you!
If you like these Pinot Ritas, you should check out:
Made with a pinot noir simple syrup, these pinot ritas a sweet and tart, wine-flavored take on the classic margarita. Make one or batch it for a crowd!
For the pinot noir syrup:
8 ounces pinot noir
1/2 cup sugar
For the Pinot Rita:
Margarita salt (Optional)
2 ounces tequila blanco
1 ounce fresh-squeezed lime juice
1 ounce pinot noir syrup (Recipe below)
1/2 ounce Cointreau, or other orange flavored liquor
Lime wedges, for serving (Optional)
To prepare the pinot noir syrup:
Stir the pinot noir and sugar in a small saucepan set over medium heat. Bring to a boil and continue to cook until the contents of the pan have been reduced to 4 ounces, about 15 minutes. Allow to cool and chill completely in a heat-proof container in the fridge. The syrup will make about 4 Pinot Ritas.
To prepare the pinot rita:
Salt the rim of your glass, if desired. Combine the tequila, lime juice, pinot noir syrup, and Cointreau in a cocktail shaker. Fill the shaker with ice and shake vigorously for about 30 seconds. Pour the entire contents of the shaker into the prepared glass. Serve with a lime wedge, if desired.
These sparkling margaritas are so festive, so perfectly tart and bubbly, that I decided to write a little short story about them. I’ll let you read it if you promise not to laugh. You’ll catch on soon enough that I spend a lot of hours of my life reading children’s stories to my babies, and if you’re in the same boat as me, I bet you’ll be able to identify which story this little tidbit is inspired by.
If you give a girl a sparkling margarita, she’s going to want some chips and queso. She’ll go to the store to pick up some cheese, and while she’s there, she’ll see some rainbow sprinkles. It will remind her of her favorite confetti ice cream cake, and she will end up wanting to make it. She’ll buy her queso and sprinkles and then head home to begin baking. While she’s waiting for the cake to bake, she will call a friend to come over for a visit. They’ll sit and chat, laughing over toasty mugs of coffee and cream. And because a cup of coffee isn’t the same without treats to enjoy it with, she will pull a few confetti scones out of the freezer for them to enjoy together. Of course, seeing the sprinkles will remind her of the cake in the oven, which by now has baked a few minutes too long. The girl will curse her oven and dump out the cake, saving a few crumbs to munch on (because even burnt cake is better than none at all, right?) All of those sweet bites will make her crave something salty so she will heat up some tacos from the night before. She’ll need lettuce, tomatoes, and maybe even a sprinkle of cheese, which will remind her of her chips and queso. And chances are, once she starts eating her chips and queso… she’s going to want a sparkling margarita. The end.
“Mercy, someone get this girl out of the house.” I can hear you all now. Yes, it’s probably a bad sign that children’s literature has infiltrated so deep into my thought processes, but the truth remains that if you give this girl some Mexican food, she’s absolutely going to require a marg. So let’s cut to the chase and chat about these sparkling margaritas.
This recipe was inspired by a menu item on one of my favorite local Mexican restaurants. Their cocktail menu spans an entire page, but there’s always a few standouts for me, namely their “St. Rita.” A blend of sour mix, St. Germaine, tequila, and cava, the St. Rita is indeed heavenly. Wanting to enjoy a sweet and fizzy beverage from the comfort of my own home, I started testing recipes and I am thrilled with the outcome.
These sparkling margaritas start similarly to your average marg. Fresh squeezed lime juice, tequila, ice… you know the drill. We add elderflower liquor for a sweet and floral punch before the whole thing gets shaken to oblivion in a cocktail shaker. Once everything is icy and suspended together in that frosty shaker, it gets poured into a salt-rimmed glass and topped with a few ounces of sparkling wine. At first taste, these sparkling margaritas are perfectly sweet and sour, with effervescent little bubbles that make each sip feel like a tastebud fiesta in your mouth. Pure magic.
I’m one of many bloggers who will be sharing margarita and tequila-filled recipes over the next few days for Margarita Week. Kate from ¡HOLA! JALAPEÑO has organized this boozy round-up of recipes to ensure that your Cinco de Mayo party is nothing short of delicious, so I hope you’ll check out the other sites involved.
If you’re looking for an extra bougie (in case you’re wondering, Mom, that means bourgeoisie), South-of-the-border beverage, these sparkling margaritas are the way to go. Pinkies out and enjoy! I’ll be sharing an additional recipe this week on Friday along with a round-up of Mother’s Day breakfast menus, so love your mama and check that out! As always, you can sign up to receive blog posts straight to your email, so if you haven’t done that already, now is the perfect time to do so. Have a great week and Happy Cinco de Mayo!
If you like these sparkling margaritas, you may also like:
Sparkling margaritas are a sweet and bubbling version of the classic cocktail, flavored with elderflower liquor and champagne.
1 ounce lime juice (about 1 lime)
1–1/2 ounce elderflower liquor (like St. Germaine)
1 ounce tequila blanco
1/2 ounce simple syrup (optional-see notes)
2 ounces sparkling wine ( or cava/champagne)
Combine the lime juice, elderflower liquor, tequila, and simple syrup (optional)in a shaker and fill with ice. Shake vigorously for about 30 seconds. Pour the contents of the shaker in a tall glass and top with the cava. Stir gently and enjoy!
Serve with a salted and sugared glass rim, if desired.
I prefer a dry sparkling wine for this recipe.
If you prefer a sweeter cocktail, add the 1/2 ounce of simple syrup. This is optional and should be used according to your taste.
At the end of April, my mom and I created a summer bucket list- a list of projects and goals we wanted to complete before fall came rolling through. Initially, I was determined to tick each and every item off that list. I’d finish sewing a few quilts, piece together George’s baby photo album, and shed the remaining pregnancy pounds, among a number of other tasks that I was sure I’d finish with ease.
I was wrong.
Had my summer bucket list included eating an entire ice cream cake by myself, binge watching every episode of “Naked and Afraid” on my DVR, or successfully maintaining a sports bra/t-shirt hybrid of a farmer’s tan, then this summer would have been crowned an all out success. Instead, my biggest success of the summer was keeping two humans alive (three, if you count my husband), and finally sleeping through the night myself without an extra kick in the pants from my good friend, melatonin.
One silver lining of those summer nights and my struggling bucket list are the cocktails. Ohh, the cocktails.
I have honey basil margaritas to thank for a lot of my summer nights. Made with classic margarita ingredients and the added bonus of a honey simple syrup and fresh basil, these honey basil margaritas are incredibly refreshing and the perfect mix of sweet, sour, and salty. This is a cocktail made for sunset-watching on the beach, summer barbecues, or (if you’re like me) when the witching hour is strong and mama just needs a little something to take the edge off.
The honey simple syrup is made like any other simple syrup, by boiling equal parts water and sugar (in the form of good quality clover honey) until it’s dissolved. After being chilled, the syrup is muddled with the basil before being shaken to oblivion with the lime, tequila, and orange liquor. You can store your syrup in the fridge for two weeks and I highly recommend shaking it up with some of your other favorite citrus-based cocktails (French 75, anyone?)
I’m sharing this recipe for honey basil margaritas in participation of #DRINKTHESUMMER , a virtual cocktail party being hosted by Sherrie of With Food + Love . Even though summer is short, it is always plenty generous with a bounty of produce that is worthy of celebration, so be sure to check out her post where she will be sharing the names and recipe links of the other bloggers involved.
If you made a summer bucket list and failed to complete it, don’t fret. Just drink up what’s left of the summer and look forward to all that fall has to offer.
To see more of #DRINKTHESUMMER , click to the host site here .
Made with fresh basil and a honey simple syrup, these honey basil margaritas are a refreshing, summery take on the Mexican classic.
For the honey basil margaritas
3/4 ounce honey simple syrup (recipe below)
4 medium sized basil leaves
2 ounces tequila
1/2 ounce orange liquor
1 ounce lime juice
For the honey simple syrup
1/2 cup good quality clover honey
1/2 cup water
To prepare the margaritas
In a shaker, muddle the basil leaves with the honey simple syrup. Add the remaining ingredients and fill the shaker with ice. Shake for 30-45 seconds. Pour into a salt-rimmed glass and enjoy!
To prepare the honey simple syrup
Combine the honey and water in a saucepan over medium heat. Stirring occasionally, bring to a boil and then remove from the heat. Allow to cool on the stove or in a heat-safe container in the fridge. Store in the fridge for up to two weeks.
Greetings, earthlings. I am writing to you from a distant and remote place called motherhood. The land where sleeping hours are few, the air smells of sour milk, and tiny people undo every household task you attempt to accomplish. For example, that laundry you just folded? It’s now stuffed in the back of the toy box. Oh, and that diaper you just changed? Yeah, you’re gonna want to strap on some latex gloves for what’s going on in there now. And those new shoes you just bought? Well, they’re filled with puddles of spit up that poured off you shoulder, dripped down your back, and finally squished its way under the soles of your feet.
Don’t even get me started on nursing bras. Nothing says “I’m feeling sexy” like covering your utilitarian lady parts with thicks mounds of flesh-toned fabric that’s all rigged up with elastic and plastic hardware. Doesn’t that sound so attractive? Come at me, boys.
Don’t get me wrong- I am honored to identify as a mother. It’s the greatest and most triumphant joy I’ve ever known. But sometimes, Stella just needs to get her groove back, okay?
Almost a year ago, Brett and I were supposed to travel to Mexico. Refresh your memory of the tragic traveling disaster here if need be, but the CliffNotes version is that we lost a passport and had to cancel our trip the night before we were scheduled to leave. Thankfully, as luck would have it, yours truly and her no longer passportless hubby are leaving today for a redemptive trip to Mexico. Solo. No chi’rens. Hallelu-yer.
The glorious thing about this trip?
NO SPIT UP. NO DIAPERS. NO 3 AM WAKEUP CALLS. NO GRANNY PANTIES.
Just me, my man friend, the Mexican sunshine, and maybe one or four cocktails (before noon).
Yes, I will most certainly cry when we hug the babies goodbye. There may be some moments of homesick at night before bed. And let’s be honest, there’s no way I’ll be able to escape my bestie, the ever-present Medela breast pump. But I have the nasty habit of putting my marriage on the back burner for the sake of wearing my mama hat full time, so I need this trip. We need a breather.
Today I’m sharing a cocktail recipe with you. By the time this get posted, I will most certainly be on a beach with a cocktail in my hand, and since it’s Monday, I’m thinking you’re going to want to get in on this beverage action too.
Grapefruit Moscow mules are the drink of the minute in our house. My husband and I have been making these all summer, and I just can’t get over the spicy freshness that is the ginger beer and citrus combo. My summertime requirement for alcoholic beverages is lime and effervescence so grapefruit Moscow mules are on the money.
Once you know a good base recipe for a mule, you can create any number of beverages. My standby recipe is 1.5 ounces of liquor (traditionally vodka), 3/4 ounce of lime juice (about half of one big and juicy lime), and 4 ounces of ginger beer. From there, you can add fruit juice, trade out the vodka for flavored liquor like blood orange vodka or even bourbon like in this recipe, or add infused simple syrups to amp a sweet and subtle flavor.
These grapefruit Moscow mules have the summery addition of some grapefruit juice and just a touch of simple syrup so that those ginger beer bubbles don’t completely light you up, however, if you prefer ultra spicy mules, you can skip the syrup. This recipe can easily be doubled, tripled, or even multiplied by 24 for a crowd (I’ve tried it!).
I hope you all have a terrific week, and take the chance to make some grapefruit Moscow mules this evening as a reward for making it through Monday. You’ve probably earned it.
Grapefruit Moscow mules are a spicy and refreshing take on the traditional mule, containing fresh grapefruit juice and a little sweetness from simple syrup. Make this recipe for one, or a little extra for a crowd!
1–1/2 ounces vodka
1/2 ounce fresh grapefruit juice (the juice of about 1/4 of a grapefruit)
3/4 ounce lime juice (about 1/2 lime)
1/4 ounce simple syrup
4 ounces ginger beer
Combine vodka, fruit juice, and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker and fill to the top with ice. Shake well, about 30 seconds, and pour into a mule mug or highball glass. Add ginger beer and stir gently to combine. Garnish with grapefruit peel.
You can substitute bottled grapefruit juice here if you’d like. Just give it a taste prior to serving as it may need less simple syrup.
White sand, the smell of Coppertone, fish tacos, yes. But mostly, margaritas.
Don’t underestimate the amount of tequila a small woman can put away when it’s appropriately mixed with lime, salt, and a little bit of sunshine. On tropical vacations, I always feel like I’m in some weird Bermuda Triangle of alcohol tolerance where my upper limit for liquor is suddenly similar to that of like, a 250 lb. Irish biker dude that hangs out in bars and takes his coffee with two shots of Bailey’s. I shudder to think of what the cabana boys must think of my poor liver at that point in time, but what is that saying about “work hard, play hard?” Yeah, let’s do that.
Our flight to Mexico last fall was to land mid-morning, giving us ample time to travel to our resort, check-in, and wiggle a pasty body into last summer’s bikini. By noon, I would be (over)due for a margarita.
This is, at least, what was supposed to have happened.
At 5pm the evening before our 5am flight to Mexico, my husband announced that he could not find his passport. We spent the next several hours plowing through stacks of papers, pulling sweaters off of shelves, looking through all of our luggage, bags, and purses, and even lifting up the coffee table for a peek. I looked between every book on my bookshelf, in the back of that weird, tiny cabinet that is above the refrigerator, and in the medicine drawer.
Spoiler alert: we never found it.
I can’t really articulate the things going through my mind at that point, nor would my thoughts at that time be appropriate to share on the Internet with you kind folks. You come here for recipes, not to read about the evil torture I was plotting for my husband. Although I was mega-bummed, my frustration and disbelief was outweighed by the look of devastation on Brett’s face. He works so hard for our family and he had earned every second of that vacation. We were both equally disappointed and discouraged.
Eventually, we decided to throw in the towel and I called to cancel our flight. I spent the next hour on the phone with the airline and I think we can all agree there is nothing worse than that.Forty minutes of automated conversation with a smattering of elevator music, all endured in hopes of finally talking to a REAL PERSON?? And then, can you even be sure it’s a real person? I’m convinced they’ve hired robots, which would actually be impressive if some scientist has already figured out how to create machines that are even more annoying that any human being I’ve ever met. I submit that a superior option to these world-dominating telephone robots would be Siri or even Scarlet Johannson from that movie “Her”. Or maybe they could hire Matthew McConaughey or Morgan Freeman to do the voice prompts? These have got to be better ideas than what we’re currently working with.
I was moments away from a mental break when Brett announced we still just needed to get away. We had airline credit now, a babysitter lined up for the weekend, and a few days off work; we might as well spend those days on the road to somewhere else instead of sitting at home, salivating over the margaritas that should have been.
When we got home, I made a margarita for Brett and a cocktail for myself that was almost too good for words. I was really proud of this creation until just recently when I discovered it was not ingenious and, in fact, was a near dead-ringer for Mexico’s most popular cocktail: the Paloma.
Have you all tried one of these? If my research serves me well, a traditional Paloma consists of tequila with a splash of grapefruit soda and a wedge of lime. In light of a margarita, I have unknowingly turned a blind eye to this delicious beverage for years! No longer.
The version I mix up for myself contains fresh grapefruit and lemon juice, tequila, simple syrup, and a few mint leaves muddled in for good measure. I told Brett they were called Grapefruit Tejitos because in my mind, I was drinking a flavored mojito made with tequila instead of rum. These cocktails are refreshing, tart, and multi-faceted in flavor. With a salt-rimmed glass, they make me feel like we never missed that flight to Mexico last fall and we’re laying on the beach right at this very moment. Sigh. Maybe this fall.
I think these tejitos (it has a ring to it, doesn’t it?) would be a perfectly unique way to celebrate Cinco de Mayo in a couple weeks, or, at the very least, to celebrate the start of this weekend. Give them a try and let me know what you think!
If a mojito had a love triangle with a grapefruit and some tequila, these grapefruit tejitos would be the outcome. This beverage is refreshingly balanced in flavor, offering both sweet, tart, and floral notes.
6 large mint leaves
2 ounces tequila blanco
1 ounce Cointreau or another orange flavored liquor
1 ounce simple syrup
Juice of 1 lemon
Juice of 1/2 large grapefruit
Salt (for rimming glass)
Muddle mint in the bottom of a martini shaker.
Add tequila, Cointreau, simple syrup, and fruit juice.
Fill shaker up with ice and shake vigorously for at least 30 seconds or until ice has begun to dissolve.
Serve in a salt rimmed glass with additional ice, if desired.