GIDGET’S PUMPKIN MARTINI

We’ve accepted the fact that fall is here and are ready to cozy up with warm sweaters and festive cocktails. But we aren’t suggesting you only sip Irish coffees for the next three months. This season brings a new roster of autumn-appropriate cocktails for your sipping pleasure.

This drink’s wonder-ingredient is Spicy Pumpkin Infused Vodka which takes a bit of time but is well worth the effort. The great news is that once you’ve made a batch you can sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labor with this season-worthy martini. You can also include the recipe with a beautifully packaged bottle of the infused vodka as a hostess gift as you enter into this party season.  Either way, ENJOY!

GIDGET’S PUMPKIN MARTINI

pumpkin-martini

Anything pumpkin makes us happy this time of year, so we wanted to create a cocktail that was the best of these flavors without being overly sweet.

TOOLS :: Cocktail shaker, strainer, 2 small plates
GLASS ::  Martini or Coupe
EXTRAS :: Granulated sugar with Pumpkin Pie Spice for glass rim
SERVINGS :: 2 cocktails

INGREDIENTS :: 
4 oz. Pumpkin Spice Vodka Infusion
2 oz. Captain Morgans Original Spiced Rum (dark)
1 oz. Disaronno liqueur
1 oz. Christian Brothers Honey Brandy
1 oz. Half and Half
2 heaping teaspoons of Pumpkin Butter

HOW TO MAKE IT ::
On a small plate, mix together three teaspoons of granulated sugar and three shakes of pumpkin spice. On second small plate add five tablespoons water. Dip glass rims into water briefly then dip into sugar mixture to rim glasses in pumpkin sugar. Add all ingredients to an ice-filled shaker. Shake well and use a fine wire strainer to double strain the mixture into cocktail glasses.

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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

 

6 FABULOUS CHAMPAGNE COCKTAILS

If you’re ever in doubt about what beverage to serve for New Year’s Eve, you can’t go wrong with champagne. It’s low in calories, puts everyone in the mood to celebrate and who doesn’t love the sound of pop and fizz! Bubbles seem to be the perfect way to end the year, so raise your glasses one last time this year and ring in 2015 with one of these delicious champagne cocktails.

Visit our latest blog HERE for some excellent champagne cocktail ideas and a few good Champagne 101 tips! Here are a few last minute cocktails to get you started. CHEERS!

From left to right :: Champagne Cocktail, Kir Royale and Limoncello Sparkle

From left to right :: Champagne Cocktail, Kir Royale and Limoncello Sparkle

Champagne Cocktail – The champagne shines through in this classic ~ with a hint of added flavor from spirits, bitters and citrus peel.

  • 1 sugar cube
  • 6+ shakes of Angostura bitters
  • Champagne
  • Lemon or orange peel twist, for garnish

Soak sugar cube in bitters and drop into glass. Top with champagne and garnish with lemon peel.

Kir Royale – The Kir Royale is a swanky champagne and cream de cassis (black currant) cocktail that looks and tastes great. This cocktail can be served year-round.

  • 1/2 oz. Creme de Cassis
  • Champagne
  • Lemon twist or blackberries, for garnish

Fill flute with champagne, top with creme de cassis and garnish.

Limoncello Sparkler – This sparkling cocktail gets an added dose of sweetness and sun thanks to a splash of limoncello. The recipe comes from Kim Haasarud’s book, 101 Champagne Cocktails.

  • 1 oz. Limoncello
  • 1/2 oz Cointreau
  • Champagne
  • Lemon peel twist, for garnish

Combine the limoncello and Cointreau in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a champagne flute. Top with champagne and garnish.

 

CRANBERRY + POMEGRANATE HOLIDAY COCKTAIL

Exciting news for Gidget+LaRue ~ We submitted an original cocktail recipe to Sunset Magazine for their Holiday Cocktail Party contest and we won! We’re happy to send you over to Sunset to get our delish cocktail, the POM & CIRCUMSTANCE where you’ll also find lots of other yummy ideas for your holiday festivities. Perfect timing too ~ the cocktail uses your leftover cranberry relish! Enjoy!

Visit SUNSET for the recipe!

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Thank you Sunset! So honored to be selected! Photo source :: Sunset Magazine. T

Thank you Sunset! So honored to be selected!
Photo source :: Sunset Magazine.

 

HALLOWEEN COCKTAIL ~ MIDNIGHT SPELL

There’s something magical about the perfect blend of flavors in a cocktail. This libation provides that spark with the rich simple syrup blending subtly with the natural spices of the bourbon and the pumpkin ale. We launched this on TheGoodStuff – the online magazine we contribute our cocktails to {check them out here}. ENJOY and Happy Halloween!

MIDNIGHT SPELL

The Midnight Spell ~ CraftBeer cocktail to keep handy all Fall + Winter long
TOOLS :: Cocktail shaker
GLASS :: Old Fashioned/Highball
EXTRAS ::  thin slice of orange + candied ginger for garnish
SERVINGS :: 2 cocktails

INGREDIENTS ::
4 oz. Bourbon {we used Bulleit}
6-8 oz. Pumpkin Ale
2 oz. Cointreau
1 oz. Ginger syrup {The Ginger People – Ginger Syrup is perfect}
1.5 oz. Brown Sugar Simple Syrup {recipe below}

HOW TO MAKE IT :: 
Brown Sugar Simple Syrup :: In a high-sided saucepan over medium-high heat combine 1 cup water with 1 cup brown sugar. Bring to boil, stirring constantly to ensure sugar is dissolved. Turn heat to low and simmer 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Strain syrup into container and keep refrigerated for up to 3 weeks.

In an ice-filled cocktail shaker, add Bourbon, Cointreau, ginger syrup and Simple Syrup. Shake well {shake it like you mean it!} and split mixture between two ice-filled cocktail glasses. Top each with beer, stirring to combine. Garnish with orange slice and candied ginger.

COCKTAILS FOR DEAR OLD DAD

Father’s Day is an occasion to mark and celebrate the contribution that your own father has made to your life. Many people give cards or gifts to their fathers. On this day you can show your love and respect to your father by simply spending some time with him and what a better way to create new memories and relive old ones than with a classic, homemade cocktail? Here are 4 manly & spirited cocktails to get your Father’s Day off to a perfect start. Whether your Dad is a Whiskey, Rum or Beer drinker, Gidget + LaRue has you covered! Check out our latest blog on our cocktail partner’s site HERE and spend some time enjoying cocktail time with your dear old Dad!

Spend some time with Pops...with a cocktail in hand!

Spend some time with Pops…with a cocktail in hand!

GUILT-FREE CINCO de MAYO COCKTAILS

I’ve found a way to don a sombrero and indulge in all the wonderful Cinco de Mayo cocktails without the guilt of overindulgence in calories! It’s true. With a bit of measuring and the willingness to step outside of that calorie-loaded margarita routine, you are on your way to celebrating Cinco de Mayo in style with this under 250-calorie cocktail.

Let’s get started by heating things up a bit. Spicy & smoky green jalapeno peppers are delicious, but also pretty darn HOT! This cocktail – the Hot Madre –provides that pepper flavor without the bite of a jalapeno. Start out with a pepper-flavored vodka (I used Absolut Peppar and it worked great) and cool it down with the addition of a little fresh pineapple.

glr_hotmadre_cincodemayo_1

HOT MADRE

TOOLS :: Cocktail shaker, wire strainer and ice,
GLASS ::  Martini
SERVINGS :: 1 cocktail
EXTRAS :: fresh pineapple slice for garnish,

INGREDIENTS ::
2 oz. Absolut Peppar Vodka (or similar pepper flavored vodka)
½ oz. simple syrup (1:1 sugar to water)
4 good chunks of fresh pineapple

HOW TO MAKE IT ::
Fill shaker halfway with ice cubes.
Add pineapple and simple syrup, then muddle.
Add more ice and the vodka. Shake it like you mean it!
Double strain into martini glass and garnish with pineapple.

The Hot Madre is a simple, low-cal cocktail and is certain to spice up your Cinco de Mayo party. If you’re feeling a little more daring and want to keep those calories in check, we recommend going old school with a new twist on tequila shots!

At around 150 calories each, these power-packed little shots from Liquor.com are easy, delicious and pretty darn fun with the following mixology-influenced additions.

Tequila Furnace – This version kicks up the heat with just a few drops of Tabasco sauce swirled into the tequila shot and a bite of lime to finish it off.

Snap, Crackle, Drop – The addition of Angostura bitters and a few twists of freshly ground pepper give this shot a medium heat rating but a five stars for flavor.

Agave Drop – This mini cocktail provides all the flavors of a margarita with agave nectar and fresh lime, right there in a tasty little package.

Spanish Raindrop –  As Liquor.com aptly states, “If only the precipitation in the U.S. was this delicious…” We have to agree. This shot takes a bit of effort, but the sherry, fresh lime and flaming orange zest make this a cocktail worth trying.

You’ll be off to a good start with these low-calorie Cinco de Mayo cocktails. Try the Hot Madre martini or one of the other daring mini-cocktails with a kick. Either way, “Stay thirsty my friend.”

TAX DAY RELIEF ~ THE CORPSE REVIVER

Regardless of whether you did your taxes yourself or paid someone to trudge through the effort on your behalf, let’s face it – taxes are no fun. They’re exhausting and stressful and once finished, we’re often left feeling relieved but dead tired. We’ve come up with a way to revive your spirits! Awaken you from the toll taxes have taken on your life! Now that Tax Day is done, we want you to celebrate in style with a CORPSE REVIVER No2!

Aptly named because of it’s purported ability to bring a painfully hung-over person back to some semblance of life, the CORPSE REVIVER No2 dates all the way back to 1930 and provides delicious citrus notes and a well balanced sweet, floral flavor with the use of Lillet Blanc and gin.

Even Ben Franklin himself stated, “in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes”. Well, here at Gidget+LaRue we are done with our taxes and we’re excited to have you try this wonderfully enlivening – and classic – cocktail to get back out there and live a little!

CORPSE REVIVER No2

Taxes are done ~ time to come alive with this classic!

Taxes are done ~ time to come alive with this classic!

TOOLS :: Shaker
GLASS :: Martini or coupe
EXTRAS ::  Cherry – optional
SERVINGS :: 1 cocktail

INGREDIENTS* ::
1 oz. Gin
1 oz. Cointreau
1 oz. Lillet Blanc
1 oz. fresh squeezed lemon juice
½ oz. Absinthe

 HOW TO MAKE IT ::

  • Add absinthe to chilled glass. Swirl to coat insides of glass. Set aside.
  • Add remaining ingredients to shaker filled with ice and shake it like you mean it!
  • Strain into the absinthe coated glass
  • Garnish with cherry (optional)

 

SHAKE UP A VALENTINE’S DAY COCKTAIL ~ JAMES BOND STYLE

Bond. James Bond. This British secret agent embodies all things sexy and mysterious. For an unforgettable Valentine’s Day, we introduce you to a martini straight out of a 1953 James Bond novel, Casino Royale, called the Vesper Martini.

For some secret agent background on this Bond girl libation, here are two of the spirits you’ll need to celebrate Valentine’s Day Bond-style.

1. LONDON DRY GIN. Gin’s characteristic flavor is primarily juniper, enhanced by a variety of other botanicals and/or spices. The traditional style of gin called out in the original James Bond recipe calls for a London Dry style gin. We selected a premium small batch gin, made in a 200-year old distillery near Birmingham, England. How very British, and oh so good.

2. LILLET. Lillet (pronounced li-lay) is a French Aperitif made from a blend of wine, liqueurs, fruits and herbs. This divine wine includes sweet orange peels from Morocco and bitter green orange peels from Haiti. The Vesper Martini recipe calls for the Blanc version, which has a beautiful golden color with candied orange, honey, lime and mint aromas.

Here’s how to make your Bond-worthy martini.

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VESPER MARTINI

TOOLS: Shaker filled with ice
GLASS: Martini
EXTRAS: Lemon spiral for garnish
SERVINGS: 2 cocktails
INGREDIENTS:
6 oz. London Dry gin (we’ve chosen Brokers but Tanqueray or Bombay are also good)
2 oz. vodka
1 oz. Lillet Blanc

HOW TO MAKE IT:

  • Place all liquid ingredients into ice-filled shaker and shake it like you mean it. This martini must be served well chilled so shake it and shake it again.
  • Strain contents into chilled martini glass
  • Top drink with a long, thin lemon peel. Peel lemon directly over the martini so the essential oils drop directly into the glass for that extra touch of flavor.

Whether you’re planning a romantic weekend or a candle-lit dinner with your sweetheart, this simple Valentine’s martini will make your celebration that much more romantic.  Cheers to a happy Valentine’s Day!

vesper-martini

PRESTO ~ It’s PESTO!

It seems as if the smell of summer herbs is bursting from every fresh veggie aisle in our  grocery stores ~ are we right? Just as you’re passing the lettuce section, the deliciously sweet smell hits you…its BASIL!  It makes us pause for a minute and take a deep breath in…Mmmmmm! Some of you might be lucky enough to have this amazing herb right in your backyard. Basil is a vibrant green leaf and is the main ingredient in today’s post: PESTO! Here’s why G+LaR loves Pesto ~ it sounds elegant and it looks gourmet but it is so simple to make! Your guests will be oh-so impressed by your cooking talents when they find out you made this fresh and from scratch. Our PRESTO PESTO recipe is quite versatile and can be used for appetizer spreads, a dipping sauce, grilling marinade and it is also delicious mixed into a simple pasta salad. We’re pretty sure that once you make G+LaR’s PRESTO PESTO it will become a staple for your summer gatherings. An added bonus: your kitchen will smell simply delish!

PRESTO PESTO

Become pesto friends with Basil! Haha!

Become pesto friends with Basil! Haha!

TOOLS :: Food processor or blender, spatula and measuring cup
EXTRAS :: Bowl for serving or container for storage
INGREDIENTS ::

2 cups of fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup of pine nuts ( can be left out if allergic)
1 clove of garlic
1/2 tsp. salt
2/3 cup of olive oil
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

HOW TO MAKE IT ::

  • In a blender or food processor pulse together basil, garlic, pine nuts and salt until finely chopped.
  • With blender or processor still running, add in your olive oil until mixture is thick and smooth.
  • Spoon the blended basil mixture into bowl.
  • Stir in your parmesan cheese and season with more salt to taste.

NOTE ::
Adding salt will keep your basil from turning black.