STRAWBERRY SEASON is HEAVENLY

Who can resist a big basket of strawberries? We certainly can’t, so when we saw a beautiful flat of the juicy fruit we decided we had to find a way to integrate them into our cocktail menu. Besides ~ it’s FRIDAY! So here’s another G+LaR simple cocktail ~ The STRAWBERRY KISS.  This is a seasonal {and admittedly slightly girlie} cocktail that’s delightfully balanced. We’re pretty sure you’ve got the ingredients for a Lemondrop, so add that basket of sweet strawberries and kick-start your weekend. You’re about 10 minutes away from cocktail heaven!

STRAWBERRY KISS

Strawberries for sweetness ~ Lemons to create the balance. Smooches!

Strawberries for sweetness ~ Lemons to create the balance. Smooches!

TOOLS ::  Shot glass, cocktail shaker, fine mesh strainer, muddler*
GLASS :: Martini or Coupe
EXTRAS :: Lemon and strawberry slices to create garnish
SERVINGS :: 2 cocktails

4 oz.  Vodka
2 oz.  Fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 oz.  Simple Syrup
3 Strawberries, each cut into quarters

HOW TO MAKE IT ::

  • Put the 3 cut strawberries, the Simple Syrup and the Lemon juice in shaker.
  • Muddle ingredients well.
  • Add Vodka and ice to shaker.
  • Shake it like you mean it! Shake for at least 45 seconds or so.
  • Hold metal strainer over cocktail glass and pour cocktail through strainer into glass.
  • Top drink with lemon wheel and strawberry garnish if desired.
  • Enjoy!

NOTE ::
* If you don’t have a Muddler, just use a wooden spoon.
* For a bit of extra “Kiss”, top drink with your favorite Champagne or Prosecco. Absolutely DELISH!

WHISKEY + LEMONADE = ALL AMERICAN HOLIDAY FUN

On this Memorial Day we hope your American flag is flying proudly and you are enjoying the company of friends and family. To help celebrate this beautiful day, we are happy to share an all American classic ~ the LYNCHBURG LEMONADE. We figured nothing is more old school on a holiday than lemonade and since our followers voted for WHISKEY last week, we married delicious lemonade with Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7 for a thirst-quenching libation. Named after the hometown of the Jack Daniel’s distillery in Tennessee, the LYNCHBURG LEMONADE is a great addition to your BBQ party. So get your Americana on ~ wave a flag, thank a veteran and enjoy the holiday!

LYNCHBURG LEMONADE

An American classic ~ lemonade and Tennessee whiskey

An American classic ~ lemonade and Tennessee whiskey

TOOLS ::  Shot glass
GLASS :: Highball
EXTRAS :: Lemon and cherry to create garnish
SERVINGS :: 1 cocktail

1 oz.  Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7
1 oz.  Triple Sec
1 oz.  Sour mix
4 oz.  Lemon-lime soda

HOW TO MAKE IT ::

  • Fill glass with ice – fill ice all the way to the top!
  • Place all liquid ingredients into Highball glass and stir to combine.
  • Top drink with lemon wedge and cherry garnish.
  • Enjoy!

PARTY LIKE A BOND GIRL

Bond … James Bond. That’s right. We have discovered a true vintage martini straight out of a James Bond novel. When Casino Royale was written in 1953, the VESPER MARTINI was introduced and the novel clearly stated how to make it. The martini was named after Bond’s love interest in the novel, Vesper. In the movie Casino Royale, 007 states the drink was named after her “because once you have tasted it, you won’t drink anything else.” After test-driving this cocktail, we have to agree. Simply delish, Dahling…

You’ll need to swing by a store to pick up a bottle of Lillet {pronounced lee-lay} for this cocktail. Lillet is a French Aperitif made from a blend of wine, liqueurs, fruits and herbs and it is fantastic! This recipe calls for the Blanc version {there are 3 varieties} and we will be releasing more recipes throughout the summer to help you enjoy this bottle so it will be a perfect addition to your summer bar. Besides, it’s an aperitif so just chill it and enjoy after dinner. Lillet Blanc has a beautiful golden color with candied orange, honey, lime and mint aromas. Again, deeeeeelish!

VESPER MARTINI

Party like it's 1953 ~ James Bond style

Party like it’s 1953 ~ James Bond style

TOOLS ::  Shaker filled with ice
GLASS :: Martini
EXTRAS :: Lemon to create garnish
SERVINGS :: 1 cocktails
INGREDIENTS ::
3 oz. Gordon’s Gin {a London-based Gin, this was specified as the brand in the original recipe so to stay true to 007, we recommend it here}
1 oz. Vodka {your choice}
½ oz. Lillet Blanc

HOW TO MAKE IT ::

  • Place all liquid ingredients into ice-filled shaker and shake it like you mean it!
  • Strain contents into chilled martini glass
  • Top drink with a large, thin lemon peel. We like to peel lemon directly over the martini so the essential oils from the lemon drop directly into the glass.

NOTE ::
Not everyone is a big fan of Gin. Sometimes, that’s because you’ve never had a good Gin drink so we’re asking you to suspend your dislike and give this a martini a try. It’s from James Bond! If for some reason you simply cannot handle the Gin, G+LaR created a modification so you can still enjoy this cocktail. We eliminated the Gin completely, used 3 oz. of Vodka and increased the Lillet slightly to ¾ oz. and loved the result. So do not despair all you Gin naysayers, just go with the Vodka and you can still party like a Bond girl.

3-INGREDIENT HAPPY HOUR SNACK

We have 3 items for you to add to your shopping list before Friday night cocktail hour. The good news: you can get all 3 of these ingredients at one store! Just stop by Target, Safeway, Trader Joe’s, Vons, etc…any supermarket near you to grab what you need for this delish and easy-peasy, lemon-squeezy appetizer. All you need is Naan bread, a jar of marinated artichoke hearts, fresh Parmesan cheese and about 15 minutes to have the perfect accompaniment to your TGIF cocktail.

ARTIE’s EASY-CHEESY FLATBREAD

Just ask Artie ~ he LOVES it!

Just ask Artie ~ he LOVES it!

TOOLS :: Cooking Sheet, Cutting Board, Measuring Cup and Pizza Cutter
EXTRAS :: Flat Platter for serving

INGREDIENTS ::
2 Naan Bread {Flatbread can be purchased at any grocery store, Trader Joe’s and even Target}
½  cup chopped Marinated Artichoke Hearts
½  cup shredded Parmesan Cheese

HOW TO MAKE IT ::

  • Place Naan Bread on cooking sheet. Spread artichoke hearts evenly on both breads. Sprinkle shredded Parmesan cheese on top.
  • Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 5-8 minutes until cheese is melted.
  • Slice with your pizza cutter and serve!

NOTE ::
We love the marinated flavors and oil provided by the jar of artichoke hearts, but if that doesn’t fit into your flavor preference, feel free to sub out canned artichoke hearts and this is a delicious recipe.

HAPPY HOUR No4

 

Not sure about you, but it’s been a long week here at G+LaR so we decided it was time for another HAPPY HOUR post! So on this beautiful Thursday, May 9th we looked up a few FACTS to celebrate the day. Did you know that on this day in 1914 President Wilson proclaimed Mother’s Day? It’s true! If that isn’t enough, back on May 9th, 1868 the city of Reno was founded and if you rocket forward to 1992, it was the final episode of The Golden Girls on NBC! Those are all FACTS. We have another FACT for you: Did you know that the DAIQUIRI ~ in it’s original form ~ was never blended? Again…true! We want all of you to embrace this FACT and celebrate Mother’s Day this weekend with an original DAIQUIRI. We figured it was time to show rum a little love and what better a way to do that then with a refreshing vintage cocktail like the DAIQUIRI.

ORIGINAL DAIQUIRI

Forget the blender ~ you'll love this shaken Daiquiri ~ truly a classic

Forget the blender ~ you’ll love this shaken Daiquiri ~ truly a classic

TOOLS ::  Shaker filled with ice
GLASS ::  Coupe or Martini
EXTRAS :: Lime for garnish
SERVINGS :: 2 cocktails

4 oz. Light Rum
2 oz. fresh lime juice {generally the juice from two and a ½ good limes ~ juice enough to yield 2+ oz.}
2 heaping teaspoons of powdered sugar

HOW TO MAKE IT ::

  • Cut limes in half and juice, saving one half lime aside for garnish.
  • Cut left over ½ lime into disks.
  • Place all liquid ingredients into ice-filled shaker and shake it like you mean it!
  • Strain contents into glasses and top drink with lime disk for garnish.

NOTE ::
It’s the powdered sugar, in our opinion, that gives this drink its unique and old-school Daiquiri flavor. Don’t be light on the sugar, especially if the limes are tart. If you don’t have powdered sugar, you can always sub in 1 oz. of simple syrup, but we think it alters the taste. We think you’ll be so surprised by the flavor of this non-blended vintage cocktail that you’ll never order a blended version again! ENJOY ~ love, G+LaR

EASY APPETIZER FOR CINCO de MAYO

Yesterday we introduced you to our Grand Margarita, so today we’re following that tequila-lime wonder with a tasty appie to serve at your Cinco de Mayo fiesta. The CHA-CHA-CORN-SALSA is sure to wake up any chip on your platter or you can use it to liven up a chicken dish as well. We’re sure you won’t be surprised to see you’ll be able to use those limes again…seems to be our trend this week. Gotta love that fresh citrus! Now you’re all set for throwing a great Cinco de Mayo party and we’re fairly certain that the CHA-CHA-CORN SALSA, when combined with the Grand Margi, will have your guests eating and drinking their way into a conga line of fun at your party.

Even your chips will be happy with the Cha-Cha-Corn Salsa!

Even your chips will be happy with the Cha-Cha-Corn Salsa!

CHA-CHA CORN SALSA

TOOLS :: Medium mixing bowl, colorful serving bowl and basket for chips
EXTRAS :: Lime slice for garnish

INGREDIENTS ::
1 can sweet corn {drained}
1 can black beans {drained and rinsed}
1 can rotel {diced tomatoes and green chilies}
¼ cup finely chopped sweet onion
3 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
1 lime

HOW TO MAKE IT ::
Juice your lime.
Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl.
Add fresh lime juice and toss to coat.
Chill for at least 1 hour before serving.
Place your Cha-Cha-Cha Corn Salsa in a colorful bowl and serve with a basket of your favorite tortilla chips.

Don’t forget the Grand Margarita!