REFRESHING + DELICIOUS WATERMELON COCKTAIL

Today is National Watermelon Day! It’s true — there’s a day dedicated to celebrating the amazing qualities of this luscious summer fruit. What is it about watermelon that makes it simultaneously cooling, refreshing and thirst-quenching all at the same time? We just love it!

There’s something about this wonderfully juicy fruit that seems to conjure up memories of backyard BBQs and picnics in the park. With these joyous feelings surrounding this summer fruit, we decided it was time to dream up a new watermelon cocktail recipe. Now you can shake up a few drinks, get your summer smile on and create a few more happy (watermelon) memories.

Juicy sweet and irresistibly fresh, watermelon juice is like pouring summer into a glass. This easy seasonal sipper features fresh-muddled watermelon combined with Limoncello, fresh lemons, vodka, and a hint of orange to provide a concoction ideal for sipping your way through a summer afternoon.

Watermelon Cocktails are like summer in a frosted glass!

Watermelon Cocktails are like summer in a frosted glass!

GIDGET’S WATERMELON COOLER

TOOLS: Cocktail shaker, muddler, fine mesh sieve
GLASS: Collins
EXTRAS: Watermelon ball and lemon wheel for garnish
SERVINGS: 2 cocktails

INGREDIENTS

4 oz. vodka
4 oz. fresh watermelon juice
1 3/4 oz. Limoncello
1 3/4 oz. Grand Marnier
Juice from 1 lemon (in a pinch for fresh lemons? You can sub a good scoop of frozen lemonade concentrate)

HOW TO MAKE IT:

Cut about 1 cup of fresh watermelon into chunks and place into cocktail shaker. Using muddler, press to make juice. Pour through a fine-mesh sieve into a cup, pressing on solids to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard solids. Once juice is made, assemble all ingredients into an ice-filled shaker. Shake it like you mean it, then strain into ice-filled glasses. Garnish, serve and enjoy!

BLUEBERRY COCKTAILS ~ I THINK I’LL HAVE ANOTHER!

Yes, July really is National Blueberry Month and last week we started you off on your blueberry cocktail journey with a yummy tequila cocktail named ZIGGY. This week we have a simple and refreshing cocktail that introduces you to the delicious Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur, a beautifully packaged liqueur produced in France. It contains syrup made from crystallized Chinese baby ginger, Grand Champagne cognac, orange blossom honey from Provence, France and an oh-so delicate touch of vanilla. You’ll be happy to add it to your home bar and even more excited when you shake up this lovely libation. And when we say lovely, we really mean it! The gorgeous color this cocktail presents once mixed inspired it’s name. 

Launch into National Blueberry Month with this beautiful libation!

Launch into National Blueberry Month with this beautiful libation!

VIOLET BEAUREGARDE

TOOLS :: Cocktail shaker
GLASS :: Collins
EXTRAS ::  Basil + blueberries for garnish
SERVINGS :: 2 cocktails

INGREDIENTS ::
4 oz. Vodka
3 oz. Blueberry Basil syrup {get the recipe HERE}
2 oz. Domaine de Canton
2 lemons ~ make fresh squeezed juice

HOW TO MAKE IT :: Assemble all ingredients into an ice-filled shaker. Shake it like you mean it then strain into ice-filled glasses. Garnish, serve and enjoy!

Gidget_VioletB2

BLUEBERRY COCKTAILS FOR NATIONAL BLUEBERRY MONTH

July is National Blueberry Month and we think there’s no better way to celebrate this wonderful little berry than by mixing it into our summer cocktail menu. It’s well known that blueberries are packed with antioxidants and loaded with vitamin K and vitamin C. They’re also high in fiber and low in calories, so it’s no wonder the month of July is dedicated to enjoying these little blue dynamos.

Did you know that blueberries are grown in 35 states in the U.S. and that the U.S. produces over 90% of all the blueberries in the world? Now that they’re in full harvest and likely tempting you as you stroll through your local farmers market, we’re going to help you take advantage of this fruit bounty. We’ve rounded up a few blueberry cocktail recipes to help you make the most of this sensational super-fruit! Visit our latest article on TheGoodStuff for a variety of blueberry cocktails and read below for one of the cocktails we created exclusively for them!

A DELICIOUS COMBINATION

Now that you’ve got your basket filled with a pint or two of blueberries, you might also notice the smell of summer herbs is bursting from every fresh veggie aisle in your grocery store — are we right? Just as you’re passing the lettuce section, a deliciously sweet smell hits you — its basil! It makes you pause for a minute and take a deep breath in. “Mmmmmm!”

Are you lucky enough to have this in your backyard? Mmmmm...basil!

Mmmmm…basil!

Some of you might be lucky enough to have this amazing herb right in your backyard. To get you started on your blueberry cocktail journey, you’ll need a bunch of basil along with those berries, because we’ve discovered that blueberries and basil make an amazing base for delicious summer cocktails!

BLUEBERRY BASIL SYRUP

Put aside about a half hour to make this Blueberry Basil Simple Syrup and refrigerate until ready to mix up a few outstanding drinks for your next gathering.

Little Blue Dynamos!

Little Blue Dynamos!

TOOLS :: Medium saucepan, stirring spoon, fine wire mesh strainer
SERVIINGS ::  Makes about 1 1/2-2 cups

INGREDIENTS ::
– 1 cup water
– 1/2 cup sugar
– Zest from one lemon {be careful not to get too much of the white pith in the zest}
– 1/2 cup fresh blueberries
– 1 cup packed fresh basil sprigs

HOW TO MAKE IT ::

In saucepan, stir together all ingredients over medium heat until the sugar has melted. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until slightly thickened, about 15 minutes. Using fine wire strainer, pour contents into a bowl, pressing blueberries and basil against the strainer to release all juices. Discard solids. Let cool to room temperature, then pour into airtight container and store in the refrigerator until cold. Your syrup will last for up to 3 weeks.

TIME FOR A BLUEBERRY COCKTAIL!

Now that your yummy blueberry basil syrup is ready, here is a cocktail to entertain your friends and celebrate National Blueberry Month in style! This first cocktail adds a blueberry basil twist to your traditional margarita. We’ll be releasing another Blueberry cocktail tomorrow so come back for a visit!

Gidget_Ziggy

ZIGGY

TOOLS :: Cocktail shaker
GLASS :: Highball
EXTRAS :: Limes and blueberries for garnish
SERVINGS :: 2 cocktails

INGREDIENTS ::

  • 4 oz. Silver Tequila
  • 4 oz. Blueberry Basil Simple Syrup
  • 2 oz. Cointreau
  • Fresh-squeezed juice from 2 limes

HOW TO MAKE IT ::

Assemble all ingredients into an ice-filled shaker. Shake it like you mean it, then strain into ice-filled glasses. Garnish, serve, and enjoy!

Gidget_Ziggy2

 

YOU MADE IT TO FRIDAY!

After a hellofa week, we think it’s time to grab a bottle of tequila and start celebrating the fact that we did it ~ we survived the week. Even though shots of tequila are the fastest means to an end, we love all the citrus available this time of year so why not slow it down a little and enjoy the evening? This little wonder will have you slowin’ down and heating up at the same time. The combination of fresh grapefruit and tequila – enhanced by sweet vermouth – will set your weekend off on the right track.

KISS ME QUICK

KissMeQuick

TOOLS :: Shaker
GLASS :: Highball
EXTRAS ::  Fruit for garnish
SERVINGS :: 2 cocktails

INGREDIENTS ::
5 oz. Silver Tequila
1 1/2 oz. Sweet Vermouth
3 oz. fresh squeezed grapefruit juice
1 oz. fresh squeezed lime juice
1 1/2 Tbsp of orange marmalade
1/2 oz. simple syrup

HOW TO MAKE IT :: Assemble all ingredients into an ice-filled shaker. Shake it like you mean it and pour into ice-filled glasses. Serve and enjoy!

DSC_0276

COCKTAILS FOR A CROWD ~ A SANGRIA ADVENTURE!

Ahhh it’s finally time…summertime is right around the corner and the entertaining season is upon us. What a better way to spend some time soaking up that extra Vitamin D than to gather with friends and family outdoors and throw a party? As the days get warmer and the sun burns brighter, nothing welcomes the season like an ice-cold cocktail, but serving cocktails to a crowd can burden you with mixing cocktails vs. mingling with guests. So we have the perfect crowd-pleasing—and summer loving—cocktail plan. SANGRIA!

Sangria is the Spanish name for a sugar-sweetened wine and fruit cocktail. Rumored to be first introduced to the US at the 1964 World’s Fair, Sangrias are a seasonal favorite for spring and summer, which is why they are a great choice for outdoor grilling and parties.
The fun part about Sangria is that there are endless combinations of wine and fruit for you to choose from. Feel like peaches? There’s a Sangria for that! How about apples + oranges and a little lemon? There’s a Sangria for that, too!

Better yet, Sangrias are meant to be made ahead of time, saving you prep time on party day. To get you started, we’ve created a simple and light white wine Sangria, with some ideas for fun presentation.

Let’s get this party started!

DECORATIVE ICE

Sangria is made in batches so you need a lot of ice to cool the large volume of liquid. To add in a fun and functional element to your Sangria, consider putting a little time into making a decorative ice mold to keep things stylish and cool! We love Tovolo’s Sphere Ice Molds as the perfect accent to your Sangria. Adding citrus pieces to the slow melting 2.5” sphere brings out the added flavor of your cocktail as it melts. With just three easy steps you’re on your way to beautiful ice!

Gidget_Ice1Step One:

Select the fruit you’ll use in your Sangria. Lemons and oranges are great choices, as are a few limes. Slice your citrus fruit thinly and set aside. Try a citrus peeler for a long strand of lemon or orange.

Gidget_Ice2Step Two:

Arrange fruit inside of the mold. You can wedge pieces into the mold or curl the citrus strand and place into sphere. Slowly pour water into mold up to the fill line and cover. Freeze overnight.

 

 

Gidget_Ice3Step Three:

Run molds under warm water to release and place into bowl. Keep in freezer until ready to add to your Sangria.

 

 

 

ENDLESS SUMMER SANGRIA
GidgetEndlessSummer 2
Now that you’ve got your ice made, this Sangria is ideal for a crowd and makes for a delicious and memorable party drink. For our wine we went with a Sauvignon Blanc, a wine often described as crisp, elegant, and fresh. Add a little brandy and other summer-loving fruits and your guests will polish off every last drop. Cheers to an Endless Summer!

TOOLS :: Pitcher, large stirring spoon, strainer + punch bowl or beverage dispenser
GLASS :: Highball
EXTRAS :: large ice cubes {they minimize melting} and fruit for garnish
SERVINGS :: 15-20 cocktails

INGREDIENTS
1.5L bottle Sauvignon Blanc
1/3 c. sugar
1 1/2 c. Brandy {We used Christian Brothers Honey Brandy}
1/2 c. Triple Sec
1/4 c. fresh squeezed orange juice
1/4 c. fresh squeezed lemon juice {Meyer lemons}
1-2 thinly sliced apples
1-2 thinly sliced oranges
1 thinly sliced lemon
1 1/2 c. Club Soda

Pour wine and sugar into pitcher and stir to combine until sugar dissolves. Add Brandy, Triple Sec and fruit juices and stir to combine. Add apples and oranges only and chill mixture overnight. Make garnishes and set aside. Just before serving, add lemons and club soda, stirring to combine mixture. Pour mixture and fruit into ice-filled beverage dispenser. Provide ice and glasses. Stir Sangria every hour to ensure flavors combine.

Your fancy-schmancy ice spheres look just amazing as they chill your Endless Summer Sangria!

Your fancy-schmancy ice spheres look just amazing as they chill your Endless Summer Sangria!

GARDEN FRESHNESS IN A COCKTAIL GLASS

Weekends during the spring and summer are often filled with trips to the farmers market or harvesting the wonders of your newly planted garden. Both locations offer a bounty of fresh herbs that just beg to be mixed into an array of cocktails. Herbs can add so much flavor to your cocktails whether they are muddled into the drink, cooked into a syrup or used simply for garnish for a fragrant hint of garden goodness. Follow us on a cocktail journey through your garden and you’ll be thrilled at how quickly you’ll be running out for that last snip of mint during a friend-filled Friday night bash!

Sometimes the simplest of things can bring the utmost of pleasure. Take this 3 ingredient wonder which transitions your winter bourbon into summertime brilliance. The addition of St. Germain brings the honey-scented elderflower into your cocktail, catapulting your bourbon into the flavors of summer.  All you need to add is a few fresh sprigs of lavender from the garden which, when combined with a lemon twist, create the perfect herbal swizzle stick for this delicious drink.

GidgetSpringtimeSmash 2

Gidget_SpringtimeSmash 1

SPRINGTIME SMASH

TOOLS :: Mixing glass, bar spoon, strainer
GLASS :: Highball
EXTRAS :: Fresh sprig of lavender, lemon peel, large ice cubes {they minimize melting}
SERVINGS :: 2 cocktails

INGREDIENTS ::
5 oz. Bourbon {we used Knob Creek here}
1 oz. St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur
4 dashed Angostura bitters

HOW TO MAKE IT :: Add bourbon, St. Germain and bitters into an ice-filled mixing glass. Using barspoon, stir until very well chilled, approximately 30 rotations. Strain cocktails into ice-filled glasses. Using lavender sprigs and lemon, swizzle cocktail gently to release flavors. Leave garnish in glass.

GET BRUNCH STARTED RIGHT WITH AN EASTER LILY COCKTAIL

The Easter bunny’s not the only one who can bring treats to your Easter brunch celebration! How about a delicious cocktail to kickstart your brunch menu?

The foundation for this cocktail is a drink that debuted in New Orleans, called the Ramos Gin Fizz. Created by a guy named Henry C. Ramos in 1888, the original instructions dictated that it be shaken for a total of 12 minutes, requiring a bit of a bartender relay. We’ve modified the recipe and the shaking method (Hello blender!) to make this easier for all you hostesses out there! Trust us – this cocktail is known for its deliciousness and its ability to kick-start many a brunch celebration, so plan to greet each of your guests with an Easter Lilly as they arrive ~ the perfect set up for a beautiful day.

The ultimate "cocktail appetizer".

The ultimate “cocktail appetizer”.

EASTER LILY

TOOLS :: Blender
GLASS :: Highball or Wine Goblet ~ your choice
EXTRAS :: Fresh ground nutmeg for garnish
SERVINGS :: 2 cocktails

INGREDIENTS ::

  • 4 oz. gin {you can use Vodka if you want, but give the gin a try!}
  • 1 oz simple syrup (1:1)
  • 1/2 oz. fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz. fresh lime juice
  • 1 fresh egg white
  • 2 oz. heavy cream
  • 1 tsp Orange Flower Water
  • 1 oz. club soda, chilled

HOW TO MAKE IT :: Combine the first 7 ingredients in a blender without ice and blend on low to combine for 1 minute. Add 1 cup of ice to liquid ingredients and blend on medium-high for at least 2 minutes. Pour into a glass, top with club soda and stir. Garnish with ground nutmeg.

Leprechaun’s Kiss – St. Patrick’s Day Cocktail

How many times will you hear, “Kiss Me! I’m Irish!”on St. Patrick’s Day? This simple cocktail provides a fun twist on an classic and gives you an after-dinner drink option with the flavor of a Thin Mint or Peppermint Patty (no pun intended!). Besides, don’t you think that kissing a leprechaun would be sweet?! Read how to make our Leprechaun’s Kiss below and then take a look at our other St. Patrick’s Day lucky green cocktails we put together for our partner, TheGoodStuff!

We think that a green cocktail in your hand counts as wearing green for St. Pat's so ENJOY!

We think that a green cocktail in your hand counts as wearing green for St. Pat’s so ENJOY!

LEPRECHAUN’S KISS

TOOLS :: Shaker
GLASS :: Martini
SERVINGS :: 2 cocktails
INGREDIENTS ::

  • 2 oz. Creme de Menthe {green}
  • 2 oz. Creme de Cacao {white}
  • 2 oz. Heavy cream {in a pinch, you can use half-and-half}

HOW TO MAKE IT ::
Add all ingredients to a shaker and fill with fresh ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Gidget_LeprechaunsKiss

OLD HOLLYWOOD COCKTAILS FOR YOUR OSCAR PARTY

From red carpet interviews and designer ball gowns to acceptance speeches and parties, the Academy Awards are hard to resist watching. And we’ve found that the best way to enjoy the show is with a bunch of friends and, of course, a delicious cocktail in hand.

While any good cocktail will do, we’ve discovered a number of recipes that are inspired by classic movie stars. We’ve done some research on the Golden Age of Hollywood and its classic cocktails. Who knew the French 75 played a role in Casablanca?! This year, elevate your Oscars viewing party by mixing up one of these delicious old Hollywood cocktails and raise a glass to all the nominees — and Neil Patrick Harris! Lights, camera, cheers!

With such glamour and history, we think the best salute to 87 years of the Academy warrants an elegant martini bar for your awards party. With recipe cards and the simplest of ingredients, your guests will be shaking & stirring their way into Hollywood’s Golden Age in no time. To learn all about the movies in which these delish martinis played a starring role, and for more cocktail + movie trivia, visit our latest article HERE.

With just a few simple ingredients and some instruction signs your guests will be mixing and shaking away!

With just a few simple ingredients and some instruction signs your guests will be mixing and shaking away!

For all Martinis:
Tools: Cocktail shaker, ice, strainer & garnishes. Recipe cards for instructions (optional)

Gibson Martini

  • 2 oz. Bombay Sapphire Gin
  • Splash of dry vermouth (use the bottle’s cap, fill halfway and add)
  • Cocktail onion

Shake with ice and strain into glass. Garnish with pearl onion.

Classic Martini

  • 2-1/2 oz. Vodka
  • Splash of dry vermouth (use the bottle’s cap, fill halfway and add)
  • Twist of lemon rind

Shake with ice and strain into glass. Garnish with lemon twist.

Dirty Martini

  • 2 oz. Vodka
  • Splash of dry vermouth  {use the bottle’s cap, fill halfway and add}
  • 1/2 oz. olive juice from jar
  • 1-3 green cocktail olives

Shake with ice and strain into glass. Garnish with two olives.

Here’s a printable PDF of the martini signs. We backed them with black glittery paper found at the craft store to give them a bit more ‘umph’!

OscarMartiniBarSigns

9 Tempting Chocolate Cocktails

Conversation hearts, truffles galore and heart-shaped boxes of chocolates — these are the symbols of Valentine’s Day for many lovers around the world. So chocolate lovers, rejoice! The partnership of spirits and chocolate is a match made in heaven, and we’re here to help you create a divine chocolate cocktail for that special someone in your life.

We’ve decided to take Cupid’s happy day to a new level with a list of oh-so-tempting chocolate martinis to help you take full advantage of Valentine’s Day. Grab a friend, a loved one or both, and celebrate St. Valentine with one (or more) of these delicious concoctions.

Gidget+LaRue created this exclusive cocktail for our online magazine partner, TheGoodStuff, to prove that a martini doesn’t need chocolate syrup to be yummy! This martini’s chocolate flavor comes across subtly at the end of each tasty sip. Sweet cherries, smooth vanilla and a pop of chocolate make for a delicious combination that’s sure to please.

For a full list of 9 different chocolate cocktails to get your Valentines Day visit our article HERE. 

The perfect twist on a chocolate martini

The perfect twist on a chocolate martini

FORGET ME NOT

Tools: Shaker, muddler, barspoon
Glass: Martini or Coupe – chilled
Extras: Cherries for garnish {we recommend Toschi’s Black Sour Cherries}
Servings: 2 cocktails

Ingredients:
6 oz. Vodka
1 ½  oz. vanilla simple syrup or use Torani’s vanilla syrup
6 black cherries
3-4 barspoons of cherry juice
Fee Brothers Aztec Chocolate Bitters

Directions:
Place vanilla syrup, cherries and cherry juice into shaker (no ice). Gently muddle the cherries enough to break cherries into bits and release flavor. Add Vodka and ice to shaker and shake it. You should shake for at least 20 seconds. Strain contents into chilled glass. Top each cocktail with two drops of bit

 

 

COCKTAILS FOR AN EPIC SUPER BOWL PARTY

Everyone wants to throw the ultimate Super Bowl party. And nothing makes game day festivities stand out quite like the perfect Super Bowl party cocktails. So if you’re rooting for one of the two teams that made it this year, or even if your team didn’t even make the playoffs, you can still have fun and enjoy sipping on these beverages during the big game. We designed a comprehensive cocktail game plan with a wonderful array of incredible (and team color-appropriate) cocktails, mocktails and beer-tails ~ you can get the full playbook and recipes in our article for TheGoodStuff HERE.

If you want a quick peek at our top two recipes, created in the Gidget+LaRue test kitchen, here you go!

Super Sunday Cocktails for every fan!

Super Sunday Cocktails for every fan!

If You’re Cheering for the SEATTLE SEAHAWKS
The entire city of Seattle is swept up in 12th Man madness as the Seahawks make their way to the Super Bowl- for the second time in 2 years! If you’re favoring the Seattle Seahawks for your Super Bowl Party, here’s a drink to ensure your cocktail playbook is Seahawk ready (Skittles not included but highly encouraged).

THE 12th MAN MARGI

TOOLS :: Cocktail shaker, small plate for salt rims
INGREDIENTS ::
3 oz. silver tequila
1 oz. blue curaçao
1 1/2 oz. fresh squeezed lime juice {~1 lime}
1/2 oz Cointreau
1/2 oz. simple syrup {1:1 sugar to water}
Kosher salt for rim

HOW TO MAKE IT ::
Pour kosher salt onto small dish. Rim each glass with lime wedge and dip rim into salt. Add liquid ingredients into ice-filled shaker and shake until well chilled. Strain into individual ice-filled glasses. Add straw and garnish with lime wedge.

If You Cheer for the New England Patriots

If your team focus is a little further east, let’s take a look at the amazing New England Patriots. As they head to Arizona to appear in their 8th Super Bowl and go for that coveted trophy for a 4th time, let’s celebrate the wonders of New England’s finest – cranberries and maple syrup. If you’re cheering for New England, here are some hometown flavors that will rock your Super Bowl party cocktails.

BRADY (CRAN)BERRY BLAST
Deep Eddy Cranberry Vodka is made using only New England grown cranberries to produce a light taste. All cranberries sourced for Deep Eddy are non-GMO and come from farms with sustainable farming practices.

TOOLS :: Cocktail shaker
INGREDIENTS ::
2 1/2 oz Deep Eddy Cranberry Vodka
1 oz fresh squeezed pink grapefruit juice
1/2 oz fresh squeezed lime juice {~1/2 lime}
1/2 oz. simple syrup {1:1 sugar to water}
Fresh cranberries for garnish

HOW TO MAKE IT ::
Add liquid ingredients into ice-filled shaker and shake until well chilled. Strain into individual ice-filled glasses. Add straw and garnish with fresh cranberries or lime wedge.

 

BECOME A BETTER MIXOLOGIST ~ A NEW YEAR’S JOURNEY

Ok, peeps – we are nearing the end of January and who’s ready to add a FUN New Year’s resolution to your list?! Nothing to do with calories or eating kale. We’re talking about becoming a better…MIXOLOGIST! That’s right. We’re all about self improvement, cocktail-style. Check out our latest article for some great tips on how to up your game this year as a home bartender. We’ve got 3 steps to help you achieve home mixologist greatness. Cheers to that!

Check out our article HERE.

Step1_Stock Your Bar

Step2_Essential Bar Tools Step3_Use Fresh Ingredients