‘adult beverage’ Category

  1. strawberry basil margarita

    June 6, 2014 by Angie

    I have a basil plant on the windowsill in my sewing room that I have managed not to kill for three weeks now. I know this good fortune won’t last much longer so I’ve been putting fresh basil in a lot of things. I have noticed that fresh basil is a trend in cocktails but was kinda skeptical. I decided strawberry and basil doesn’t sound too far out. I made this strawberry basil margarita loosely based on this recipe from Betty Crocker.com. I gotta say: strawberry and basil go really well together.

    strawberry basil margarita


    about 10 strawberries, hulled
    3 medium sized basil leaves
    2 oz tequila
    2 tbsp orange liqueur
    1/2 cup crushed ice
    another strawberry and basil leaf for garnishing


    1. I only have an immersion blender so I cut the strawberries into smaller pieces and put them in the immersion blender container with the tequila and orange liqueur. Blend until smooth.

    2. Add the basil leaves. I pulled them apart into smaller pieces first then blended them into the strawberry mixture.

    3. Add the crushed ice. If you have a real blender, you can use ice cubes and blend them in.  Immersion blenders aren’t great at chopping ice so I used small pieces from my refrigerator door ice shooting apparatus. I blended the ice into the drink a little but I think it would have been better to just add the crushed ice without blending so the drink can be sipped slowly without getting watery.

    4. Pour into a glass and garnish with a strawberry on the rim and a basil leaf.

    use up that basil!

    I thought this was delicious and, with almost three shots in it, you only need one. If you have a real blender it would make sense to make a bigger batch, which would mean adjusting the quantities, of course. Something closer to the Betty Crocker recipe would be a good start because it makes two servings. I really don’t see the need for added sugar though since the strawberries have such a nice sweetness already.

  2. low sugar mimosa

    June 5, 2014 by Angie

    I so dearly love a good mimosa. I usually only let myself have them on vacation or a special occasion because of all the sugar in the orange juice. Alas, I have found a way to enjoy them more frequently! Trop 50 orange juice has half the sugar of regular orange juice. I think it tastes the same and they make a no pulp one. It’s like they knew about me.

    Cheapish Champagne & Reduced Sugar OJ

    The ingredients: the champagne doesn’t have to be expensive to taste delicious.

    Robbie pops champagne!

    Robbie popping bottles in da kitchen.

    The preparation is so simple I’m insulting you by writing it here. I don’t have time for a tiny champagne flute so I use a wine glass. I pour a healthy serving of champagne in there then a tiny bit of Trop 50 orange juice, maybe a tablespoon. It’s all it takes to flavor things up nicely. I don’t even stir. What a great lazy weekend drink.

    low sugar mimosa

    A low sugar mimosa.

  3. French 75 with vodka

    May 3, 2014 by Angie

    This drink is sooooo fancy. It’s an old school champagne cocktail invented at Harry’s New York Bar in Paris in 1915. I made it with vodka instead of gin because yuck, gin. I’m really into this drink because not only is it delicious, but champagne and vodka have relatively high alcohol content and are relatively low in calories and carbs.

    French 75 with vodka


    1 shot of vodka (I am partial to Tito’s.)
    about 1 tbsp of lemon juice
    chilled champagne
    1 maraschino cherry
    lemon twist for garnish


    1. Pour a shot of vodka into a champagne flute.

    2. Cut a lemon in half. Save one half for later. Cut a off small ring from the center edge then squeeze the juice from the remaining piece into the flute.

    3. Make a lemon twist garnish from the lemon ring by cutting through one side and almost to the rind of the other side. Remove the pulp. Twist into a pretty shape.

    4. Drop a maraschino cherry into the bottom of the flute.

    5. Fill with champagne then place your lemon twist garnish on the edge of the flute.

    Traditionally, a little fine sugar is added but I think it tastes just right without it. You could add some fine sugar or stevia to taste if you like sweeter drinks.

    Robgeleen at Harry's New York Bar in Paris

    Once upon a time in 2011, we went to Harry’s New York Bar in Paris. It was a great time.

    Harry's New York Bar in Paris

  4. tito’s mean and clean

    March 4, 2014 by Angie

    I wish I could take credit for this recipe or the name but I can’t. Robbie and I have made our best approximation of my favorite drink from Square One Burgers, Tito’s Mean and Clean.

    Tito's Mean & Clean


    3-4 ice cubes
    1 shot (or 2 if you’ve got to catch up) of Tito’s Handmade Vodka
    club soda
    juice of half of a lime


    1. Put 3-4 ice cubes in a tumbler glass.

    2. Pour in a shot of Tito’s. It really is a great vodka.

    3. Fill almost to the top with club soda. I buy 2 liters of the Publix brand. It’s cheap and tastes good.

    4. Squeeze the juice of half a lime into the drink. Stir.

    I think a straw is necessary. You can garnish with a lime wedge if you want to go all out.


  5. Old Fashioned

    December 23, 2013 by Angie

    Robbie loves an Old Fashioned. My goal was to copy the beautiful “Old Fashioned Old Fashioned” they make at Ciro’s Speakeasy in South Tampa. Robbie and Conner were my guinea pigs. They say that my version is nearly identical. Success!

    Old Fashioned

    Ingredients (for one Old Fashioned)

    simple syrup: 4 oz of water and 3 tbs of Florida Crystals sugar (this is enough for 4-6 drinks)
    3 drops of Angostura Bitters
    tiny amount of orange extract (less than 1/8 tsp)
    1 and 1/2 shots of Darby’s Reserve Rye Whiskey (or the rye whiskey of your choice)
    several ice cubes


    1. Make the simple syrup by boiling the water and stirring in the sugar until it’s dissolved. You can store any extra syrup in a sealed container in the refrigerator. The guideline is 2 parts sugar to 1 part boiling water. I used such a small amount of water that it started boiling away instantly so I didn’t strictly adhere to the 2:1 proportions but the drinks were still delicious.

    2. Get your drink glasses out. Into each glass, pour one spoonful of simple syrup, three drops of Angostura Bitters, and a tiny amount of orange extract. Stir.

    3. Pour a shot and a half of rye whiskey into each glass. Stir to mix.

    4. Add the ice cubes and stir again. I used around six ice cubes per drink. Throw a cherry into each glass.

    5. Get classy krunk.

  6. mulled wine

    October 17, 2013 by Angie

    I’ve been wanting to try mulled wine all year. Hot spiced wine sounds so cozy and delicious and warm the way it’s described in the Song of Ice and Fire books. I discovered hot toddies last year in Denver and they quickly became a favorite drink so I knew that mulled wine, which is basically a warmed sangria, would be my kind of beverage.

    glass of mulled wine

    I looked at a lot of recipes online and talked with my friend who has made it before. I knew I wanted to use up a bottle of Merlot we had been given (it’s the thought that counts but we couldn’t bring ourselves to drink Merlot unaltered!) and that I should use whole spices instead of ground. I most closely followed this recipe. Details below!


    1 750 ml bottle of Merlot
    3 tbs Bourbon
    2 tbs honey
    1 orange, rind peeled, segments separated
    10 whole cloves
    2 cinnamon sticks


    1. Peel the rind off the orange and set it aside. Separate the orange into segments.

    2. Pour the entire bottle of wine into a pot and turn the heat to low.

    3. Add the rest of the ingredients adjusting the honey to taste.

    4. Cook on low for about half an hour. You want the wine to get warm but never to boil because you’ll cook off the booze and that would be a tragedy!

    5. Carefully ladle the mulled wine into glasses so that no whole spices or orange rind end up in the glasses. I put some orange segments and a cinnamon stick in mine to add to the flavor as I was drinking it.

    pot of mulled wine

  7. Drinking Day: Brooklyn Brew Shop Everyday IPA

    May 1, 2013 by Angie

    We put the beers in the fridge Sunday night and Robbie cracked one open Monday night. They’re REALLY carbonated and not as hoppy as Robbie would like but the taste is pretty good!

    Everyday IPA

    There was sediment at the bottom so he poured it slow and didn’t get a full glass. Overall, it was fun to try brewing at home but it was a lot of work for eight beers when we could buy twelve delicious ones at Publix in ten minutes. I’m glad we tried it. Maybe the key is to do five gallon batches to make it worth all the work.

  8. Bottling Day: Brooklyn Brew Shop Everyday IPA

    April 16, 2013 by Angie

    The time to bottle the beer has come and gone. We didn’t have any helpers this time and we were trying to keep the room dark for the beer’s sake so the photo quality really suffered.

    Everyday IPA after 2 weeks

    This is what the beer looked like after fermenting for two weeks.

    First we had to sanitize everything including all the used beer bottles.

    Clean bottles

     Clean beer bottles and a jug of sanitizer.

    Next we dissolved three tablespoons of honey into a half cup of water and poured that into a sanitized pot. Then we tried to use the setup that came with kit to pump the beer out of the carboy and into the pot with the honey mixture without carrying all the sediment over. The kit setup is tubing with a (crappy) clamp and a racking cane. It didn’t work out so we switched to the auto-siphon setup I bought because I read a lot of reviews where people said the kit’s plan didn’t work for them. Auto-siphon is far superior!

    Once the beer was in the pot with the honey mixture we had to re-sanitize the auto-siphon and tubing then pump the beer/honey mixture into bottles. We got eight bottles total.

    Happy bottler

    Happy worker bottling his beer using the auto-siphon.

    Next Robbie sanitized the bottle caps and used the neat bottle capping machine I bought as part of his birthday brewing set to clamp the caps onto the bottles.

    Neat bottle capper

    Neat bottle capping machine

    Capping the bottles

    Capping away

    Now we wait two weeks while these precious babies sit in the darkness of our spare bedroom. I’ll be back to report on their drinkability!

  9. skinny white russian

    April 5, 2013 by Angie

    Mad Men returns on Sunday! I’ll be enjoying a Skinny White Russian as I watch the two hour premiere. It’s another easy to make adult beverage. Start with a rocks glass with some ice in it. Pour in a shot or 2 of vodka, a shot of coffee liqueur, then top it off with unsweetened soy milk and stir.

    Skinny White Russian Ingredients

    The coffee liqueur I got is really strong so I think I’ll go with 3/4 of a shot next time. I couldn’t drink these all night because they’re too decadent but it’s a very tasty dessert drink to start the evening.

    Skinny White Russian

  10. Brewing Day: Brooklyn Brew Shop Everyday IPA

    April 1, 2013 by Angie

    On Saturday we completed step one of our first batch of homebrew. We are using a one gallon kit made by Brooklyn Brew Shop to brew their Everyday IPA. (Robbie exclusively and very selectively drinks IPA.) Our friends Conner & Tessa came over and helped out. Our puppy Sookie was here too to supervise/interfere/cute it up.

    Here’s a photo of the kit box with the ingredients that came inside. It came with almost everything needed to brew the beer, but not quite. We had to get some of our own equipment in addition to the kit including a six quart stock pot (you really need 3 big pots to accomplish this), a bottle of StarSan sanitizer, a gallon of distilled water, a spray bottle, a metal funnel, and a fine mesh strainer. We used a slotted metal spoon, measuring cup, measuring spoons, and two big pots that we already had. We also bought some stuff for the bottling step which happens in two weeks but I’ll blog about that when the time comes.

    Beer Making Kit

    Brooklyn Brew Shop Everyday IPA Beer Making Kit. You’re looking at the grain, the hops, and the yeast.

    Brooklyn Beer Shop’s detailed instructions and an instructional video are available on their website so I won’t bore you with the all the details here. Enjoy a rundown of the major steps with photos!

    1. Wash and sanitize EVERYTHING.

    Dramatic Sanitization

     Robbie dramatically sanitizing the mesh strainer.

    2. The Mash: Cook the grain in water while keeping the temperature within the desired range.

    The Mash

    3. The Sparge: Collect the wort from the watery grain mash then recirculate the collected wort through the grain one more time.

    The Sparge

     Robbie straining the wort.

    Sookie supervises

     Sookie supervises the homebrewing process.

    4. The Boil: Boil the wort and add the hops in stages. At the end of the boil, you give the wort an ice bath.

    The Boil

     The wort is spinning with newly added hops.

    Ice Bath

     Here’s the ice bath we created in the sink. We had to get it to down to 70 degrees before the next step.

    5. Fermentation: The last part of Day 1 involves pouring the wort through a strainer and funnel into the gallon fermenter then pitching in the yeast and shaking it around. After that, we set up a blow-off tube ending in a bowl of sanitzier and put the future beer in a dark, safe place. On Tuesday we’ll switch the blow-off tube for the airlock and two weeks from Saturday we get to move on to bottling.

    Tessa holds the strainer

    Tessa holds the strainer while Robbie pours the beer-to-be into the fermenter.

    Action shot: shaking the yeast

    Robbie shakes the yeast “aggressively”, as instructed.

    That’s all for now – more in about two weeks when we bottle the beer!