CINCO de MAYO ~ The Grand Margarita

That’s right ~ Cinco de Mayo is here and at Gidget and LaRue we’ve been thinking ahead so you can be ready to host that perfect Cinco de Mayo cocktail party. We decided to stay classic with the cocktail for the holiday and are here to give you the G+LaR GRAND MARGARITA. This delicious and refreshing drink uses fresh limes and the recipe is simple. In fact, it’s as easy to remember as 3-2-1 + 1! It might look like math, but it will yield the best thing math has to offer. We recommend using Silver Tequila over a Gold because the lighter taste works well with the fresh limes. The “+1” in this drink, and the ingredient that created its name is Grand Marnier, which provides a delicious orange flavored smoothness to the cocktail. So with just a little shopping you’ll be ready to don a sombrero and flamingo dance in your backyard while enjoying a Grand Margi ~  Cha-cha-cha! Happy Cinco de Mayo ~ Love, G+LaR

GRAND MARGARITA

It's as easy as 3-2-1 + 1

It’s as easy as 3-2-1 + 1

TOOLS ::  Shaker filled with ice
GLASS ::  Old Fashioned
EXTRAS ::  margarita or rough sea salt, ¼ lime per drink for garnish
SERVINGS :: 2 cocktails

{Just remember ~ 3-2-1 + 1}

3 oz. Silver Tequila
2 oz. fresh lime juice {generally the juice from two and a ½ good limes ~ juice enough to yield 2+ oz.}
1 oz. Grand Marnier {Cointreau is also good}
1 oz. Agave syrup {+/- to taste based on the tart factor of your limes}

HOW TO MAKE IT ::

  • Cut limes in half and juice, saving one half lime aside for garnish.
  • Using cut side of lime, rim your glass and dunk into margi salt to coat rim.
  • Fill glasses to the rim with ice. Lots of ice. Nobody likes a warm margi so load ‘em up!
  • Cut left over ½ lime in half and place onto rim of glasses.
  • Place all liquid ingredients into ice-filled shaker and shake it like you mean it! Then shake it again for good measure.
  • Strain contents into your ice-filled glasses.

NOTE ::
Grand Marnier, along with the fresh limes, are what gives this drink its unique and refreshing flavor. The Agave syrup is another important ingredient because it provides a smokier sweetness you can’t find in regular bar syrup. That said, if you simply do not have these ingredients on-hand, you can substitute Triple Sec for the Grand Marnier and bar syrup for the Agave syrup. The overall flavor of this Margi will change as you change the ingredients, but with the fresh limes you will still get a refreshing cocktail you’ll love to drink and share with your friends.

LEMONDROP’S LITTLE SISTER

We’ve had so many great comments about last Friday’s LEMONDROP that we thought we’d introduce the drink’s little sister ~ THE GIMLET. It’s true! For this classic cocktail we use limes instead of lemons and Voila ~ GIMLET.  Try to select limes that have a thin skin, since these tend to produce more juice then their thick-skinned counterparts. If limes are hard to come by, check out our “G+LaR Tip” below. Have fun, happy FRIDAY and enjoy this old-school-now-cool vintage cocktail!

TOOLS ::  Shaker filled with crushed ice {we like ice chips in our drink & this is how you get them out of your shaker}
GLASS ::  Martini
EXTRAS ::  lime wheels for garnish
SERVINGS :: 2 cocktails

Delish citrus ~ The Gimlet

Delish citrus ~ The Gimlet

THE GIMLET
4 oz. Vodka
2 oz. fresh lime juice {generally the juice from two good limes ~ juice enough to yield 2 oz.}
1 ½  oz. simple syrup {+/- to taste based on the tart factor of your limes}

HOW TO MAKE IT ::

  • Place ingredients into ice-filled shaker and shake it like you mean it! The colder the better.
  • Strain contents into your martini glass
  • Garnish with lime wheel and enjoy!

NOTE ::
Oftentimes limes are hard to find, are too expensive or (quite frankly) they’re just not that fresh. Truth be told, fresh fruit will always yield the best cocktail and it’s our #1 recommendation but if for some reason you simply cannot find good limes, our go-to-in-a-pinch substitute is Minute Maid frozen Limeaid. That’s right…frozen Limeaid. The secret is ~ don’t unfreeze it! For the recipe above, substitute two heaping teaspoon scoops of frozen Limeaid for the lime and simple syrup. Boom ~ Gimlet!

SIMPLE, SIMPLE, SIMPLE!

The Strawberry season is here in full swing and we are happy to let you in on this surprisingly delicious desert. With only 3 ingredients this simple desert is guaranteed to be a hit. So much in fact, that we’re willing to bet your friends will be serving it at their next party too! So embrace the weekend with a bottle of chilled Prosecco and this (soon to be your favorite) fresh Strawberry desert!

p.s. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it…you’ll be surprised at how good it is!

STRAWBERRIES WITH SOUR CREAM & BROWN SUGAR

Give it a try ~ you'll love it!

Give it a try ~ you’ll love it!

TOOLS :: Decorative Glass Bowl and 2 small glass bowls
INGREDIENTS ::
2 pints fresh Strawberries
½  cup sour cream
½  cup brown sugar

HOW TO MAKE IT ::

  • Wash and dry strawberries
  • Place in glass bowl
  • Place sour cream and brown sugar in separate bowls

HOW TO EAT IT ::
Dip Strawberry in sour cream, then dip into sugar

Enjoy!

 

LEMONDROP QUICKIE

As promised, here’s the quick cocktail inspired by our trip to BevMo today ~ The Lemondrop. This drink is easy, but there’s one thing to keep in mind. You need to use real lemon juice. This makes a big difference because the most important part of this cocktail (well, other than good vodka) is the perfect balance of sweet to sour and a real lemon gives you the perfect taste. So grab a few lemons and by all means,  hurry ~ It’s dangerously past cocktail hour already!

If you’re feeling a little fancy, you can always add a special touch to your Lemondrop with a sugared rim. See our special NOTE listed below.

TOOLS ::  Shaker filled with ice
GLASS ::  Coupe or martini
EXTRAS ::  lemon twist for garnish or sugar with lemon rind (see NOTE below)
SERVINGS :: 2 cocktails

LEMONDROP

Fresh lemons make all the difference

Fresh lemons make all the difference

4 oz. Vodka (if you have citrus vodka that works too)
2 oz. fresh lemon juice (which is generally the juice from one good lemon)
1 oz. simple syrup

HOW TO MAKE IT ::

  • Place ingredients into ice-filled shaker and shake it like you mean it! You want these cold!
  • If you’ve got a lot of lemon pulp in your juice, you can double strain through a metal strainer into your glass.

NOTE ::
If you’re looking to be a bit fancy or for just a bit more sweetness to your drink, adding a sugared rim is a good choice. Place about 4 Tbsp of granulated sugar on a small plate. Using a citrus shredder (or the small holes on a regular shredder), zest one lemon rind. Add the rind into the sugar on your plate. Mix together. Using the cut lemon, rim your martini glass with a little lemon juice and dip into the lemon zest sugar to coat rim.

EASY + SOPHISTICATED SPRING APPETIZER

One sure sign of spring is fresh asparagus in the produce aisle. The plant brings a delicate and bright flavor to this wonderful outdoor party appetizer ~ ASPARAGUS WITH DIJON MUSTARD SAUCE. The colors and flavors of this dish will delight your guests (and we won’t give away the G+LaR secret about how easy it is!). When choosing your asparagus, make sure to choose bunches with slightly closed tips and no flowering. The stalks should be bright green and firm.  Once you have your veggies in hand, you can make the sauce the night before to save time. Have fun and add this healthy spring veggie (it’s filled with potassium, vitamins B6 + A + C and fiber) to your next party menu. You’ll be a hostess superstar! 

ASPARAGUS WITH DIJON MUSTARD SAUCE

Beautiful on display and DELISH!

Beautiful on display and DELISH!

TOOLS ::  Large pot for boiling water, bowl filled with ice water, flat serving platter, small decorative bowl for dipping sauce
EXTRAS :: Lemon slices for garnish
INGREDIENTS ::
2 lbs of  Asparagus (approx. 40)
¼  cup mayonnaise
¾  cup sour cream
1 tablespoon of Dijon Mustard
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced

HOW TO MAKE IT ::

  •  Wash and snap the ends off the asparagus to make them an easy size to pick-up as an hors d’oeuvre.
  • Drop them into a pot of boiling water to blanch.
  •  Cook for 2 to 4 minutes depending on the thickness of your stalks (you want them to be crisp, not soggy).
  •  Once blanched, immediately transfer the asparagus into the bowl of ice water until no longer hot.
  •  Keep chilled in the refrigerator.

 Dipping Sauce

  •  Mix remaining ingredients in a small bowl.
  •  Store in refrigerator with asparagus until ready to serve.
  •  Place asparagus on platter and serve sauce alongside.
  •  Garnish with lemon slices

HAPPY HOUR No3 ~ G&T

Have any of you noticed that with this week’s heat wave it feels more like summer than spring? We LOVE it – sunshine, sandals and refreshing cocktails on the patio at night. For this G+LaR Happy Hour, we’re going to let you select your favorite base alcohol ~ Gin or Vodka. This simple vintage cocktail ~ The Gin (or Vodka) + Tonic is perfect for these summer-like days. The key ingredient in this famous drink is tonic water, which owns it’s distinctive bitter flavor to quinine. Did you know that under ultraviolet light, the quinine in tonic water is said to become fluorescent? Hit the tonic bottle with direct sunlight at your next outdoor party and amaze your guests with a great drink and a little science.

For a special addition to your Gin/Vodka + Tonic, see our special NOTE listed below.

GIN [or VODKA] + TONIC

Refreshing and classic!

Refreshing and classic!

TOOLS ::  Swizzle stick
GLASS ::  Collins (tall, thin)
EXTRAS ::  lime or lemon wedge, 4-5 tonic water ice cubes (see NOTE below)
SERVINGS :: 1 cocktail

2 oz. Gin (give St. Georges Botanivore a try)
~or~
2 oz. Vodka (give Hanger One a try)
Tonic Water  (always use the glass bottled tonic, not plastic)
Lemon or Lime wedge

HOW TO MAKE IT ::

  • Place the ice tonic ice cubes in a tall, narrow glass making sure the cubes come near the top of the glass
  • Add the Gin or Vodka, then fill to the top with Tonic water
  • Squeeze your lemon or lime wedge into the cocktail and drop into the glass
  • Using your swizzle stick, stir cocktail until blended

NOTE ::
To make ice cubes, simply fill an empty ice cube tray with tonic water and let the cubes freeze. It only takes a few hours and improves your drink significantly. If you cover any leftover cubes well they will remain fresh tasting in the freezer for a few weeks.