CELEBRATE the 4th WITH A WATERMELON MARGARITA

Across the US today, Americans will celebrate the 240th anniversary of our country’s independence with parades, fireworks, rodeos and concerts. The 4th of July festivities often include picnics and parties, complete with that summer party staple ~ the watermelon. What is it about those juicy slices of watermelon that scream SUMMER?! I love it! But that’s not all. I love that you can use it in a cocktail too. This WATERMELON MARGARITA is fun to make and bursting with all the fantastic flavor of summer a watermelon has to offer. Add a little tequila, an orange and you’re off to 4th of July greatness! Can’t ya just taste it?!

Cheers to America!

WATERMELON MARGARITA

Make the watermelon juice ahead of time to speed up production ~ trust us...you'll want more than one!

Make the watermelon juice ahead of time to speed up production ~ trust us…you’ll want more than one!

TOOLS :: Shaker, blender or muddler
GLASS :: Highball
EXTRAS ::  Kosher salt to rim glass, straw
SERVINGS :: 2 cocktails

INGREDIENTS ::
*  3 c. diced watermelon, juiced and strained {see below}
*  4 oz. silver Tequila {we like the lighter flavor of a silver with the watermelon}
*  5 oz. fresh watermelon juice
*  ½ fresh orange, juiced
* 1 oz. Cointreau or Triple Sec
* 1 heaping tbsp. of Minute Maid LIMEADE frozen concentrate

HOW TO MAKE IT ::
Salt rims of glasses with some Kosher (or margarita) salt.
Fill each glass to the top with ice.
In an ice filled cocktail shaker, add all liquid ingredients and shake it like you mean it! You need to really blend those ingredients together, so shake for about a minute.
Strain cocktail into ice-filled glasses

To make the watermelon juice: Place diced watermelon in blender and juice until all chunks are gone. Strain through a fine wire mesh strainer to capture all pulp. Discard pulp. If you don’t have a blender, you can always muddle your watermelon in a shaker and strain. Works just as well!

PUMPKIN SHANDY

Sometimes nothing beats an ice cold beer served in a chilled glass. Pumpkin Ales are original American style ales that are often released as seasonal fall beers by many breweries. There’s no doubt that fall is the season for pumpkin flavors and we’re thrilled to bring you a drink that turns the tastes of the season into a delicious shandy. Traditionally made with lemon and beer, this fantastic twist on the classic shandy was designed by Kyle Ford, Cointreau’s master mixologist. You’ll love how the citrus flavor plays so well with the spicy pumpkin ale.

For other Pumpkin Ale inspired cocktails, check out the article I wrote for TheGoodStuff for some recipes.

Pumpkin Shandy

TOOLS :: Cocktail shaker, strainer
GLASS ::  Old Fashioned/Highball
EXTRAS :: thin slice of orange + fresh grated nutmeg for garnish
SERVINGS :: 2 cocktails
INGREDIENTS ::

  • 2 oz. Cointreau
  • 2 oz. fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 heaping spoonfuls of Pumpkin Butter (we love Trader Joe’s version)
  • 8-10 oz. Pumpkin Ale

DIRECTIONS ::
In an ice-filled cocktail shaker, add Cointreau, lemon juice and Pumpkin Butter. Shake well and use a fine wire strainer to double strain the mixture evenly between two cocktail glasses. Top each with beer. Stir to combine and garnish with orange slice and grated nutmeg.

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.

 

TASTE THE SEASON :: HOLIDAY LIQUEURS

When the holiday season comes around, we can’t help but indulge in food and drink spiced with classic holiday flavors like gingerbread, peppermint, vanilla and the ever-sweet cinnamon. This time every year, drink manufacturers introduce their long-awaited seasonally spiced products. In order for you to take full advantage of these flavor wonders, we’ve found a number of holiday liquors that may help you to step away from that Pumpkin Spice Latte and embrace the flavors of December with a few delish cocktails! Three holiday liqueurs, eight cocktail choices. For a full list of cocktails visit The Good Stuff, and get your holiday imbibing started with the cocktail we created below. Oh, joyful yuletide!

THE QUEEN’S MEN
The first gingerbread man is credited to Queen Elizabeth I, who knocked the socks off visiting dignitaries by presenting them with one baked in their own likeness. Cheers to all the Queen’s gingerbread-men!

TheQueensMenTitle

TOOLS :: Cocktail shaker, bar spoon
GLASS :: Martini or coupe
EXTRAS ::  cinnamon stick for garnish
SERVINGS :: 2 cocktails

INGREDIENTS :

  • 4 oz. Aged Rum {you can substitute with Bourbon if you’d like}
  • 2 oz. Hiram Walker Gingerbread Liqueur
  • 1 oz. Tuaca
  • Good splash of Cointreau
  • 1 heaping barspoon of Fig Butter {Trader Joe’s has a great one}

HOW TO MAKE IT ::
In an ice-filled cocktail shaker, add all ingredients. Shake well {shake it like you mean it!} and double strain mixture evenly between two cocktail glasses. Garnish each drink with a cinnamon stick.

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.