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    THE NIBBLE’s Gourmet News & Views

    Trends, Products & Items Of Note In The World Of Specialty Foods

    This is the blog section of THE NIBBLE. Read all of our content on TheNibble.com,
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Archive for Cocktails & Spirits

FOOD HOLIDAY: Celebrate National Mojito Day

July 11th is National Mojito Day, and the Hard Rock Cafe is mixing up a storm. They sent us three recipes.

The classic Mojito is a blend of white rum, club soda, sugar/simple syrup, lime juice, mint leaves and ice. To vary the recipe, mixologists switch out the drink’s original muddled mint flavor with coconut, strawberries or other fruits.

RECIPE: STRAWBERRY MOJITO

Ingredients For 1 Drink

  • 1 ounce/3 tablespoons strawberry purée (purée fresh or frozen berries in food processor)
  • 8-10 mint leaves
  • 10 lime cubes*
  • 2 ounces Bacardi Dragonberry Rum†
  • Club soda
  • Garnish: mint sprig, strawberry
  •  
    Preparation

    1. MUDDLE strawberry purée, mint leaves and lime cubes well in a shaker.

    2. ADD rum, pineapple juice and ice and shake with ice.

       

    mojitos-varied-hardrockcafe-230

    Strawberry and classic Mojitos. Photo courtesy Hard Rock Cafe.

     
    3. STRAIN into a Collins glass with optional ice; top with club soda. Garnish with a mint sprig and a notched strawberry.
     
    RECIPE: PINEAPPLE COCONUT MOJITO

    Ingredients For 1 Drink

  • 1 ounce/3 tablespoons Piña Colada mix
  • 4 pineapple chunks
  • 10 lime cubes*
  • 2 ounces Bacardi Coconut Rum
  • ½ ounce pineapple juice
  • Ice
  • Club soda
  • Garnish: mint sprig, toasted coconut
  •  
    *Cut each wedge of fresh lime into three “cubes.” This helps with the muddling.

    †Baccardi Dragonberry rum is flavored with strawberries and dragon fruit. Dragon fruit doesn’t have a lot of flavor per se, but it does enable a more interesting name than simply “strawberry rum.”

     

    MagicalMysteryMojito-cucumber-hardrockcafe-230

    Magical Mystery Mojito. The mystery: How
    can a gin-based drink be called a Mojito?
    Photo courtesy Hard Rock Cafe.

     

     
    Preparation

    1. MUDDLE colada mix, pineapple and lime cubes well in a shaker.

    2. ADD rum, pineapple juice and ice and shake with ice.

    3. STRAIN into a Collins glass with optional ice; top with club soda. Garnish with a mint sprig and a spoonful of toasted coconut.
     
    RECIPE: MAGICAL MYSTERY MOJITO

    We’re not sure why the Hard Rock Cafe calls this gin-based drink a Mojito. Gin does not a Mojito make, so don’t be confused: This is a teaching moment. We love the combination of gin, cucumber and elderflower liqueur. With another name, this is a tasty cocktail. (Our favorite use: elderflower liqueur and sparkling wine are a heavenly combination.)

    Ingredients For 1 Drink

  • ¾ ounce Monin Cucumber Syrup
  • 8-10 mint leaves
  • 1½ ounce Hendrick’s Gin
  • ½ ounce St. Germaine Elderflower Liqueur
  • 1 ounce fresh lime juice
  • Club soda
  • Ice
  • Garnish: cucumber spear and mint sprig
  •  

     
    ‡The cucumber is a fruit native to India; it spread to Europe during Roman times. Cucumber juice is used in traditional Mediterranean and Indian beverages for its cooling effect. Monin Cucumber Syrup can be added to sweet or savory teas, lemonades, cocktails and mocktails.

     
    Preparation

    1. MUDDLE the cucumber syrup and mint leaves well in a shaker.

    2. ADD gin, liqueur and lime juice and shake with ice.

    3. STRAIN into a Collins glass with optional ice; top with club soda. Garnish with a mint sprig and cucumber spear.

     
    MOJITO HISTORY

    The mojito (mo-HEE-toe) is a quintessential Cuban cocktail. The name derives from the African voodoo term mojo, to cast a small spell.

    According to Bacardi Rum, the drink can be traced to 1586, when Sir Francis Drake and his pirates unsuccessfully attempted to sack Havana for its gold. His associate, Richard Drake, was said to have invented a Mojito-like cocktail known as El Draque that was made with aguardiente, a crude forerunner of rum, sugar, lime and mint.

    Around the mid-1800s, when the Bacardi Company was established, rum was substituted and the cocktail became known as a Mojito. Here’s the original Mojito recipe.

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Frozen Lemon Sparklers

    Celebrations.com sent us this frozen cocktail recipe from Becky Hardin, who recreated it based on the Lemon Bar Freeze from The Lemon Bar in Neptune Beach, Florida. “These Frozen Lemon Sparklers aren’t exactly the same as the Lemon Bar Freeze,” says Becky, “but they are pretty darn close.”

    The vanilla Greek yogurt adds delicious creaminess to a traditional frozen lemonade cocktail.

    You can make it “mocktail,” without the vodka, or you can substitute gin or tequila.

    And here’s how to make the best sugar rim.

    RECIPE: FROZEN LEMON SPARKLERS

    Ingredients For 3-4 Drinks

  • 1 can frozen lemonade concentrate
  • 3 tablespoons vodka (or lemon vodka if you have it)
  • 1 cup water (use the can from the concentrate)
  • 1 cup vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Ice
  • Optional garnish: lemon wheels
  •  

    Hardin-frozen-lemon-sparkler-celebrations.com-230

    Stay cool by the pool with this frozen lemon cocktail. Photo courtesy Becky Hardin | Celebrations.

  • Optional: sugar to rim glass (use sanding sugar/sparkling sugar if you have it)
  • Straws for serving
  •  

    Preparation

    1. PREPARE glasses with optional sugar rim.

    2. COMBINE all drink ingredients into a blender and fill with ice. Start with a handful of ice and keep adding as necessary. Blend on high/ice crush until smooth.

    3. FILL the glasses and serve immediately with a straw.

    Visit Celebrations.com, a member of the 1-800-Flowers family, for more creative entertaining ideas.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Red, White & Blue Soft Drinks & Cocktails

    red-white-blue-berries-herradura-230

    Drink red, white and blue for July 4th. Photo
    courtesy Herradura Tequila.

     

    You can turn any clear drink into a July 4th cocktail or mocktail, as Herradura Tequila has done with its “Red, White & Blueberries” Cocktail.

    Just start with a clear spirit or mixer, layer on other flavors (clear liqueurs, coconut water, etc.)

  • Club Soda
  • Mineral Water
  • Seven-Up/Lemon Lime Soda
  • Tonic Water
  • Gin, Tequila or Vodka
  •  
    RECIPE: TEQUILA RED, WHITE & BLUE

    Ingredients For 1 Drink

  • 1½ ounces silver/blanco tequila
  • 2½ ounces coconut water
  • ¼ ounce agave nectar
  • ½ ounce lime juice
  • Ice cubes
  • Optional: crushed ice
  •  
    For Garnish

  • Blueberries and raspberries
  •  

    Preparation

    1. PLACE berries and crushed ice in the glass.

    2. COMBINE drink ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Shake and strain into the glass.
     

    Find more cocktail recipes at Herradura.com.
     
      

    Comments

    FOOD HOLIDAY: National Vanilla Milkshake Day & A Spiked Milkshake

    Twist and Shout Shake-hardrockcafe-230

    Shake guinness and spiced rum with vanilla ice cream. Photo courtesy Hard Rock Cafe.

     

    Get ready for tomorrow, June 20th: National Vanilla Milkshake Day. Here are two spiked vanilla milkshakes courtesy Hard Rock Cafe.

    RECIPE: SALTED CARAMEL VANILLA MILKSHAKE WITH
    GUINNESS & SPICED RUM

    Hard Rock calls this the “Twist and Shout.”

    Ingredients For 1 Shake

  • 2 ounces Guinness Draught
  • 1 ounce Bacardi OakHeart or other spiced rum
  • ½ ounce dark Crème de Cacao
  • ½ ounce chocolate Syrup
  • ½ ounce Monin Salted Caramel Syrup
  • 2 scoops vanilla ice cream
  • Optional garnishes: crispy bacon or candied bacon, whipped cream
  •  

    1. COMBINE ingredients in a blender. Pour into a tall glass.

    2. GARNISH as desired and serve.

     

     

    RECIPE: VANILLA & PEAR MILKSHAKE WITH BEER & VODKA

    Want something fruitier? Hard Rock’s “Voodoo Brew” is a beer-based shake with blueberry vodka and pear syrup.

    Ingredients For 1 Shake

  • 2 ounces Shock Top or other Belgian white ale
  • 1 ounces Smirnoff or other blueberry vodka
  • ¾ ounces Monin desert pear syrup
  • 2 scoops vanilla ice cream
  • Optional garnishes: fresh blueberries, pear slices, whipped cream
  •  
    Preparation

    1. COMBINE ingredients in a blender. Pour into a tall glass.

    2. GARNISH as desired and serve.
     

    Here’s another vanilla milkshake recipe and the history of the milkshake.

     

    smirnoff-blueberry-vodka-bkgd-230

    Use beers, liqueurs or flavored vodkas to spike conventional milkshakes. Photo courtesy Smirnoff.

     

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Olive Oil Martini

    olive-oil-martini-foodista-230

    A slick of olive oil may seem unusual atop a
    Martini, but it adds a nifty layer of texture
    and flavor. Photo courtesy Foodista.com.

     

    Many people enjoy an olive or two in their Martinis. Whether you do or you don’t, try an Olive Oil Martini.

    It’s a relatively new concept developed by the Chile Olive Oil marketing folks, to create a new cocktail experience and showcase the high quality of olive oils from Chile.

    A drop of top-quality extra-virgin olive oil is floated atop the drink, adding a bit of fruity olive oil flavor and providing a balm-like slick to the lips.

    You can use any premium EVOO you have to mix up a special Father’s Day cocktail. Simply mix your favorite Martini recipe, and float a quarter-teaspoon of oil on top.

    Or, try this fusion of a Martini and a Margarita (via the Cointreau), a recipe from Chile Olive Oil:

     
    RECIPE: CHILEAN EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL MARTINI

    Ingredients For 1 Drink

  • 1 orange segment
  • 3-5 fresh basil leaves
  • 3 ounces vodka
  • 1/2 ounce dry vermouth
  • 1/2 ounce Cointreau or other orange liqueur
  • 1/4 ounce simple syrup
  • 1/4 ounce Chilean Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  •  
    Preparation

    1. MUDDLE the orange segment and basil leaves in a cocktail shaker.

    2. ADD vodka, vermouth, Cointreau, simple syrup and olive oil; then add ice and shake well.

    3. STRAIN into a martini glass and float a drop of Chilean extra virgin olive oil over the top.

     

    ABOUT OLIVE OIL FROM CHILE

    Chile’s unique geography provides valleys to successfully grow any olive cultivar under optimal growing conditions in a Mediterranean-like climate, with cold rainy winters and hot and dry summers.

    The country grows Arbequina, Arbusana, Barnea, Coratina, Empeltre, Frantoio, Koroneiqui, Leccino, Manzanilla, Picual and Racimo varieties. The summer heat lets the olives reach optimum maturity, with great fruit expression.

    Because of the quality imparted by the climate, the country produces extra virgin oil exclusively. There are no oils that have to be classified in lower rankings such as Virgin or the generic Olive Oil. (See the different types of olive oil.)

    Streamlined New World production enables the olives to go from tree to oil in less than twenty-four hours—important to preserve the qualities that enable the oils to be classified as extra-virgin. The olives are picked, cold-pressed and bottled right at the orchard, delivering great freshness.

     

    olive-and-co-chile-230

    There are scores of Chilean olive oil brands available in the U.S. Photo courtesy Olive Oil & Co. | Chile.

     

    As a result, Chilean oil has become well known around the world for its quality, racking up awards in internationally recognized olive oil competitions.
     
    EXTRA VIRGIN VS. VIRGIN OLIVE OIL

    Extra Virgins are the fruitiest, finest, most olive-y oils, and are priced at a premium. “Fruity” means that the oils have pleasant, spicy fruit flavors characteristic of fresh ripe or green olives. Ripe fruit yields oils that are milder, aromatic, buttery and floral.

    To be classified as Extra Virgin, the olive oil must have low acidity—a maximum free acidity of 0.8%. Anything higher is simply “virgin” olive oil—good enough for cooking but not for savoring.

    Chilean extra virgin olive oils have acidity levels as low as 0.2%! Discover more at ChileOliveOil.com.
     
    KNOW YOUR OLIVE OIL

    Check out these olive oil terms.

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Tequila Cupcakes

    hornitos-prohibition-LaBamba-tequila-cupcake-230

    Tequila cupcakes: something different for
    Dad. Photo courtesy Hornitos Tequila.

     

    For Father’s Day, Prohibition Bakery in New York City, which specializes in baking with booze, has created a special cupcake, featuring new Hornitos Black Barrel tequila (more about it below).

    Called the La Bamba cupcake, it features all the mixings of a perfect cocktail but takes the form of a high-end mini-cupcake. Inspired by one of Hornitos signature cocktails, the La Bamba has a full taste that highlight’s Hornitos Black Barrel and is topped with icing and a pinch of salt. Look closely and you’ll find all the ingredients of a conventional cocktail.

    RECIPE: TEQUILA CUPCAKES

    Ingredients For 48 Mini Cup Cakes

    For The Cake

  • ½ cup ginger beer
  • ½ cup butter, unsalted
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup sour cream or full fat plain yogurt
  • ¾ cup flour
  • 4/5 cup sugar
  • 7 tablespoons minced ginger
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  •  
    For The Frosting

  • ½ cup butter
  • ¾ box of confectioner’s sugar
  • ¼ cup añejo or extra-añejo tequila
  • 1 teaspoon fresh-squeezed lime juice
  •  

    For The Garnish

  • ¼ cup coarse salt
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne or chili powder
  •  
    Preparation

    For The Cake

    1. PREHEAT oven to 325°F.

    2. BEAT eggs and sour cream in an electric mixer.

    3. COMBINE flour, sugar, baking soda and salt in another bowl.

    4. COMBINE ginger beer and butter in a small saucepan and heat until butter melts.

    5. SLOWLY POUR ginger beer/butter mixture while the mixer is running. Slowly add the dry goods to wet and beat until incorporated. Add minced ginger.

    6. FILL lined cupcake tins 2/3 with batter. Bake for 10 minutes and let cool on a cooling rack.

     

    For The Frosting

    1. BEAT butter with paddle attachment of an electric mixer until fluffy.

    2. TURN dial to low speed and add the confectioner’s sugar.

    3. SLOWLY STREAM in the tequila and lime juice, and beat until smooth.

     

    For The Garnish

    1. COMBINE salt and cayenne pepper in a small bowl. Toss until fully mixed.

    2. FROST cooled cupcakes and sprinkle with cayenne salt.

     

    hornitos-black-barrel-230

    Limited edition Hornitos Black Barrel tequila. Photo courtesy Hornitos.

     

    ABOUT HORNITOS BLACK BARREL TEQUILA

    Hornitos Black Barrel Tequila is a limited release that provides a very different tequila experience. The nose is distinctly whiskey-like, with a complex layering on the palate of wood, fruit and spice.

    The goal was to create a super smooth, 100% agave tequila, uniquely triple-aged to deliver complex whiskey notes. Tequila traditionalists may question the approach, but those seeking the new and different will likely be delighted.

    First, Black Barrel is aged in American oak barrels for 12 months (typically they are used Bourbon barrels), like a traditional añejo tequila (see the different types of tequila).

    Adding to this complex flavor, the Black Barrel is then moved to deeply charred American oak barrels for four months. This aging adds caramel flavors and the richness, golden amber color and smoky notes traditionally found in whiskey.

    For the last leg of the triple aged experience, the tequila is aged in specially-toasted American oak barrels for two months. This imparts a creamier, vanilla character that adds depth and complexity, and rounds out the smoothness of the body.

    Yes, you can drink shots of Black Barrel while enjoying the cupcakes.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Cucumber Water, Cucumber Vodka

    cucumber-herb-water-230

    No more bland water at the table. Photo by
    Maria Bacarella | IST.

     

    When warm weather brings a bounty of fresh produce, we want to fresh produce it everywhere—including in our water glass. While any fruit or vegetable can be infused into a glass or pitcher of water, we especially enjoy cucumber and fresh herbs like thyme or rosemary.

    The simplest addition of a slice of cucumber and an herb sprig turns a nondescript glass of water into a special drink. You can layer on flavors as you like: a slice of lemon, lime or apple, for example.
     
    HOW TO MAKE CUCUMBER WATER

    1. ADD half a cucumber, cut into 1/8″ slices, to a two-quart pitcher. If it’s a waxed cucumber, use a carrot peeler to remove most of the waxy peel before slicing, but leave some decorative “stripes” by peeling the cucumber vertically, leaving long strips of peel at 1″ intervals.

    Variation: Look closely at the photo and you’ll note that both slices and strips of cucumber were used. Although it’s easier to eat the slices, the combination of slices and strips adds visual interest.

     
    2. CUT a lemon and/or lime into 1/8″ slices, removing the seeds. Add to the pitcher, along with sprigs of fresh rosemary or other favorite herb.

    3. FILL the pitcher with water. Refrigerate for 4 hours or more to chill and let the flavors infuse. When you’ve drunk up all the water, you can refill the pitcher and re-infuse the same cucumber and lemons, although you’ll get a lighter infusion.

     

    CUCUMBER VODKA

    Summer also reminds us that it’s time to break out the cucumber vodka. It’s a trending (and welcome) flavor, produced by organic distillers such as Crop Harvest, Prairie, Rain and Square One, as well as conventional brand such as Effen, Pearl and Skinnygirl.

    (Note to gin lovers: Gordon’s makes Crisp Cucumber Gin, but you may have to get someone to bring it back from England. We haven’t been able to find it in the U.S.)

    To make flavored vodka, natural flavor essence is added to the distilled vodka (which can be made from a variety of grains, including corn, rye and winter wheat). The fresh aroma of cucumber is a result of the same process used to capture the aromatics of flowers and other plants in natural fragrances.

    We love what the essence of crisp, cool cucumber does to vodka. Cucumber vodka gives a contemporary spin to familiar cocktails like the Bloody Mary, Gimlet, Tom Collins and Vodka Tonic. We drink Square One cucumber vodka straight up (and our food bucket list includes arranging a taste test with the other brands).
     
    CUCUMBER VODKA COCKTAIL RECIPES

    These recipes are courtesy Prairie Organic Spirits.

    Garden Cocktail

    Ingredients

  • 2 ounces cucumber vodka
  • 2 one-inch cubes seedless watermelon
  • 1 diced lime (bitter ends removed)
  • 1 ounce agave nectar
  • 1 cucumber slice
  • Salt
  •  

    bottle-cocktail-squareone-230

    Cucumber adds a crisp touch to vodka. Photo courtesy SquareOne.

     

    Preparation

    1. LIGHTLY salt the rim of the glass.

    2. COMBINE all ingredients in a shaker. Shake with ice and pour into a rock glass over ice. Garnish with a slice of cucumber.

     
    Cucumber Mary

    Ingredients

  • 2 ounces cucumber vodka
  • ½ cup tomato juice
  • Squeeze of fresh lemon
  • Worcestershire sauce to taste
  • Hot sauce to taste
  • 1 thick cucumber slice, notched
  •  
    Preparation

    1. COMBINE vodka, tomato juice, lemon, Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce in a shaker.

    2. SHAKE with ice and pour mixture (including ice) into a highball glass. Add cucumber to the rim of glass and serve.

      

    Comments

    RECIPES: Cocktails With Black Olives

    dirty-martini-black-olives-califripeolives

    Make a Dirty Martini with black olives instead
    of the green ones. Photo courtesy
    CalOlive.com.

     

    Many people enjoy olives in their Martinis, or a Dirty Martini made with olive brine. But these are green olives, typically stuffed with pimento.

    Why give black olives (ripe olives) the cold shoulder? Here are some recipes from California Ripe Olives to inspire entertaining. Try them for Father’s Day!

    BLACK OLIVE MARTINI

    Ingredients Per Cocktail

  • 3 ounces vodka
  • 1 ounce black olive brine
  • 1 teaspoon dry vermouth
  • Garnish: 4 black olives
  •  
    Preparation

    1. FILL a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the vodka, olive brine and dry vermouth. Shake for several seconds to mix, then strain into a Martini glass.

    2. Garnish with a pick of black olives and serve.

     

    A michelada is a Mexican “beer cocktail,” combining beer, lime juice, and assorted seasonings: chiles, sauces and spices. This recipe adds tequila: a perfect fusion for a lover of both tequila and beer.

     

    RECIPE: BACK PORCH BEER COCKTAIL

    Ingredients For 1 Cocktail

  • 1-1/2 silver (blanco) tequila
  • 1/2 ounce lime juice
  • 1/4 ounce black olive brine
  • 1/4 ounce homemade sweet and sour mix (recipe)
  • 1 pinch prepared pico de gallo (fresh salsa—here’s a recipe)
  • 5 ounces Mexican beer
  • Garnish: lime wedge and black olive
  •  
    Preparation

    1. FILL a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the tequila, lime juice, olive brine, sweet and sour mix and pico de gallo.

    2. SHAKE for several seconds until well mixed. Strain into a chilled glass and add beer. Garnish with a lime wedge and one black olive.

     

    Back-Porch-Beer-Cocktail-califripeolives-230

    Something different: beer, tequila and Mexican seasonings. Photo courtesy CalOlive.com.

     
    BLACK OLIVE BLOODY MARY

    Ingredients For 1 Cocktail

  • 3 ounces vodka
  • 1 ounce black olive brine
  • 1 teaspoon horseradish
  • 2 drops hot sauce
  • 1/4 ounce Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 ounce fresh lemon juice
  • 6 ounces tomato juice
  • Garnish: 4 black olives, 4 spicy green beans, 3 pickled carrots*
  •  
    *You can buy pickled vegetables make your own with this pickled vegetable recipe.
     
    Preparation

    1. COMBINE all of the ingredients except for the garnishes in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake for several seconds to mix well.

    2. STRAIN into a new glass with or without ice. Garnish and serve.

    Here’s a photo of the cocktail.

    Find more olive recipes at CalOlive.com.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Coconut Water Ice Cubes

    coconut-water-DeasySetiawatiWidjaja-DRM-230

    Coconut water with coconut water ice cubes
    and a lychee garnish. Photo © Deasy
    Setiawati Widjaja | DRM.

     

    If you enjoy coconut water—or the flavor of coconut in general—you can add a subtle touch of it to your favorite beverages via coconut water ice cubes.

    Use them in juice, iced tea, ginger ale and lemon-lime sodas (and of course, in coconut water itself). It’s an easy way to add a little something-something while cooling your drink.

    Or, try them in a cocktail, like this one, which builds on the ingredients of a Mango Margarita:

    Ingredients

  • 3 ounces blanco tequila
  • 1 oz clear orange-flavored liqueur
  • 1 oz fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons light agave nectar
  • 1-1/2 cups chopped fresh mango
  •  
    Preparation

    1. COMBINE ingredients in a blender. Cover; blend until smooth.

    2. ADD coconut water ice cubes; blend until smooth. Pour into glasses; garnish with mango or lime slices. Makes 4 drinks.

     
    TO MAKE COCONUT ICE CUBES

    Simply pour 1-1/2 cups of coconut water into standard ice cube tray and freeze.

    For extra fun, buy some silicone ice cube trays in fun summer shapes, and freeze cubes into flowers, stars, suns, trees and sea life.
     
    MORE ABOUT COCONUT WATER

  • Coconut Water Overview
  • Types Of Coconut Water
  • Coconut Water Health Benefits
  • Coconut Water Nutrition
  • Reviews Of Coconut Water Brands
  •  
    MORE TASTY ICE CUBES

    Make tea ice cubes, coffee ice cubes, lemonade ice cubes, etc.

    When they melt, they don’t dilute your drink.

     
      

    Comments

    FOOD 101: What’s A Kir? What’s A Margarita?

    It’s a teaching moment: When is a Kir not a Kir? Or a Margarita not a Margarita? Or a Martini not a Martini?

    Every drink made with vodka is not a Martini, every drink made with Tequila is not a Margarita. Yet, each week we are sent a mis-named recipe that only serves to misinform.

    Capricious cooks and mixologists, professionals and amateurs alike, give names to their recipes through ignorance or selfishness; for example, “We need a cocktail for St. Patrick’s Day. Let’s call this drink an Irish Kir.”

    An omelet is not a frittata. Both are beaten eggs with mix-ins. But for an omelet, the egg is cooked and then folded over the filling, while a frittata blends the mix-ins with the egg and cooks it like a crustless quiche, on the stove top or in the oven.

    Since much of our mission is education that you can imagine the consternation this causes.

    Here’s that “Irish Kir” story. Why didn’t we publish it around St. Patrick’s Day? We wanted to take a moment to note that regular or “royale,” it’s a delightful summer drink.

    So, let’s start at the beginning:

       

    Kir_cocktail-wiki-230

    A Kir is a combination of blackcurrant liqueur and white wine or sparkling white wine. The color is red. Photo courtesy Wikimedia.

     
    WHAT’S A KIR?

    Kir is a drink that was created by a major of Dijon, in France’s Burgundy region. For an apéritif, Félix Kir (1876-1968) added a splash of cassis (blackcurrant liqueur, a specialty of Burgundy) to Aligote, a local white wine.

    The “Kir,” as it was known, became very popular and led to eight different variations, the best known of which, the Kir Royale, substitutes Champagne for the still wine.

     

    green-sparkling-volcano-cocktail-blog.relishinteriors-230s

    Champagne and apple schnapps can be
    called lots of things, but not a Kir Royale.
    Photo courtesy RelishInteriors.com.

     

    THE PROBLEM

    We received a pitch from Benjamin Steakhouse Westchester for a St. Patrick’s Day cocktail called the “Shamrock Kir,” made of Champagne and Apple Pucker. Huh?

    It’s a recipe for a Champagne cocktail, but has nothing to do with Kir, the distinguishing feature of which is blackcurrant liqueur.

    Not to mention, a kir made with Champagne is a Kir Royale—so mis-name your cocktail an Irish Kir Royale, at least! Would any responsible person argue the facts otherwise?

    Said the email:

    “Add ½ oz of Apple Pucker or other apple schnapps to a Champagne flute and top of with Champagne or another sparkling wine. Those of you going to Benjamin Steakhouse Westchester and ordering the drink should be sure you’re getting authentic Champagne and not a less expensive sparkling wine.”

    Those of you going to Benjamin Steakhouse Westchester should ask why they call this drink a Kir of any kind, instead of a “Sparkling Shamrock,” for example.

    The teaching moment:

     

    The publicist who sent this pitch, her client, and all supervisors involved, clearly don’t fully grasp what they’re writing about. Would they call a yellow cake with chocolate frosting a chocolate cake?

    Ignorance isn’t bliss: It’s aggravating! To all those involved: You have the Internet at your fingertips. There’s no excuse not to do your research.

      

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