drinks

drinkpagetextLet’s just face it. Sometimes being an adult does come with privileges. We don’t actually have to eat green veggies if we don’t want to. And we get to drink. Upon occasion. Always in moderation. Never while driving.

So one of the things I love to do is make up my own mixed drinks. Here the page with the recipes…just in case… And if that page isn’t for you, I want to acknowledge that. The parent who is recovering. Or is in the process of recovery. Or who is thinking it might be the best path. Or for whom not drinking is a personal choice for any reason. For you, this section isn’t about fun, or relaxing, or laughter. It is real work, every day. Day after day. I see you. And I honor you. And I respect this page isn’t for you. xoxo.

Here are the drinks I’ve had fun concocting. I am no bartender. I have no training. This is all just tossing together a little of this and a splash of that. Enjoy the recipes and the evenings {but please, not all at once}.

 

 A couple of mixing notes:

Simple syrup really is that. Simple. Put a pot on the stove, heat 1 cup of water, dissolve 1 cup of sugar. Remove from heat. Chill. Can be stored in the frig for a couple of weeks.

Sweet & sour syrup. Just a variation on the above. Put a pot on the stove, heat 1 cup of water, dissolve 1 cup of sugar. Add ½ cup of lemon juice, ½ cup of lime juice. Remove from heat. Chill. Can be stored in the frig for a couple of weeks.

The ‘parts’ I refer to below really is up to you and your measuring device. A traditional jigger has two sides, one measures 1 oz., the other 1.5 oz. It all depends on how big a drink you want to make…

 

Homemade Candy Cane Vodka.

candycanefirst, all I can say is YUM. seriously, yum. Next, this was one of those classic moments when you think you are doing something original, then you google it to see it is already a thing. However! Mine is a bit different. All the others call for you to grind / blend / practically puree your candy canes before adding them to the vodka. Let me tell you, there is no need. Alcohol dissolves sugars just fine thank-you-very-much. So bless science, be lazy, and totally skip that step. {however, if you do want a crushed candy cane rim for your glass, you will need to pulverize at least one. Or buy a bag of pre-crushed. yes, they sell it}.

750 ml bottle of vodka
15 6″ candy canes

unwrap candy canes. Place them in any container {it is fun to watch the process in a glass jar, but that is just me}. Pour vodka over the top. Watch. Wait. A few hours later, voila! {if you want it all to go faster, then by all means, grind the canes up into small particles first}.

Serve either over ice or mixed with tonic water–usually a 1:4 or 1:3 ratio, depending on your personal spirit strength preference. If you want a crushed candy cane rim, rub the rim with a lime wedge, then roll on a plate of crushed canes. Merry Merry!

 

The first drink I ever tried to make…

 The Lemon Drop

1 part lemon vodka
1 part simple syrup
1 part lemon juice

I know. So straight forward. And yet I mixed and tried and researched and applied, and really, this is the best way to go. It is very tart. So if you want a little less zing, go with regular vodka. If you want a little mellow, use vanilla vodka. And if you are adventurous? Well, then use whatever vodka you please.

Pour just a little sugar in a saucer. Take your glass and rub the rim with a slice of lemon. Twist it in the sugar. Drop a handful of ice cubes into a cocktail shaker. Pour all ingredients over the ice. Lid on. shake away. Pour into your sugar rimmed glass & enjoy.

 

in fact, a different kind of vodka leads me to…

The Cherry Lemonade

1 part cherry vodka
1 part simple syrup
1 part lemon juice

Kelli and I created this one on the fly- with only minutes to spare before a weekend escape. Sometimes spontaneity + the ingredients on hand = downright deliciousness. Rim your class and mix as mentioned above.

 

continuing on our theme of the lemon drop, brings us to my new seasonal favorite:

The Summer MoDa

Named in honor of the women of our Mother-Daughter group, we gathered on what was the hottest night of the summer. And when it hits the triple digits in the PNW, we all tend to melt. So we needed something cool and refreshing after a hot day of parenting. Here was my heat-wave brain storm:

1 part raspberry vodka
1 part simple syrup
1 part lemon juice

raspberries
raspberry sorbet

Begin again with the sugar / lemon juice rim. Then drop a few frozen {or fresh!} raspberries in the bottom of your glass. At this point, you have a couple of options. You can go ahead and generously fill your glass {as we did with dinner} or…you can fill it leaving plenty of room for…a generous scoop of raspberry sorbet {hellllo, dessert}. Drinking it as the sorbet melted right in? heavenly.

Serenity. {now.}

This one is dedicated to my brother and his fabulous wife. We gather with kids, parents & grandparents each summer for a week on the shores of Lake Chelan. And while some might call it a ‘vacation’, it sometimes feels more like a ‘trip’. Because even if we are away from our homes, we don’t get to escape our parenting lives. Which means we often look at one another and say ‘serenity. now’. This drink was a total hail mary. I’d come prepared to share the fabulous lavender cosmo from Ramblin’ Jacks…but it turned out we could find exactly none of what we needed to make it. So Alex bought a little of this and a bit of that, and what resulted was leagues away from what I had wanted…but we still hit serenity.

2 parts orange vodka
splash of grand marnier {about 1/4 of the vodka}
1-2 parts cranberry juice {to taste}
muddled lime

Muddle your lime slices. Add in your liquids. shake. pour. if you want a bit of bubbles, add either tonic water or seltzer.

 

The Introvert.

a quiet drink, light in color, that will sneak up on you. And provide a lovely evening conversation.

1 large part raspberry vodka
1 small part lime juice
1 small part simple syrup
Mix. Pour. Add tonic for sharp note, seltzer for a sweet one.

The Molly Mercato.

An evening eating out at Mercato and then heading to talk {and taste!} with Molly Wizenberg of Orangette with Amanda, Kelli & Megan. What could be better? Here’s my version of what we drank that night.

1 large part rhubarb shrub {the ‘big’ side of the jigger}
1 large part vodka
1 small part ginger liqueur {the small side}
1 small part lime juice

For the rhubarb shrub, you’ll need 2 pounds of rhubarb {cut into 1/4 inch pieces}, 1 c. white wine vinegar, 1 c. sugar. Combine the rhubarb, white wine vinegar, and sugar over medium high heat. Stir often & bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook until rhubarb is broken down into strands – about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and pour into fine colander, with pan below for catching the juice. Allow juice to drip for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Shrub juice can be jarred and stored in refrigerator for a few weeks.

Mix ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. pour into glass. add seltzer for a lighter note.

 

La Petite Paris.

This just might be my favorite new drink. The joy comes from the Esprit de June, which, sadly, is hard to find in my part of the Pacific Northwest. In a pinch, any elderberry liqueur will do {as will green grapes}.

1 large part Esprit de June
1 small part lemon juice
1 small part simple syrup
2 basil leaves
5 red grapes
seltzer

muddle grapes and basil leaves. Add in your liqueur, syrup and juice. shake. pour. if you want a bit of bubbles, add seltzer.

 

 

Mojito {finally!}.

I tried making a mojito a couple of summers ago and finally gave up. In short, they were disgusting. This summer I decided to try once more. The difference? Growing my own mint & finding a fabulous light rum — Pacific Rum.

1 large part light rum
1 small part simple syrup
1 small part lime juice
10 mint leaves
lime wedge

muddle the lime wedge and mint leaves. add rum, simple syrup, and lime juice. shake. strain into your glass, or pour in- depending on whether or not you want the look of the lime & mint leaves. Drink as is, or add soda water. Ahhh, summer.

 

The next drink is in homage to one found at a local bar. There it was called ‘The Day Tripper’. This is my version.

 Think Key Lime Pie. In a glass.

1 part vanilla vodka
1 part crème de cacao
1 part lime juice
1 part cream
1 graham cracker

Use cream. Really. Worth every sip. Crush the graham cracker into crumbs. Spread the crumbs on a saucer. Take your glass and rub the rim with a slice of lime. Twist it in the crumbs. Drop a handful of ice cubes into a cocktail shaker. Pour all ingredients over the ice. Lid on. shake away. Pour into your glass. Doesn’t it just say picnic no matter what time of year?

 

The Chandler

{because it is a cherry drink. Like Chandler Bing from Friends. Chandler Bing. Bing Cherries. Ok. The name might be a stretch. But it is my drink, and you are stuck with it. Although you can happily rename it and I will never be the wiser.}

1 part cherry vodka
½ part grenadine
1 part sweet & sour syrup
3/4 part amaretto

soda water

You know the drill: drop a handful of ice cubes into a cocktail shaker. Pour all ingredients excluding the soda water over the ice. Lid on. shake away. Pour into your glass. Add as much {or little} fizz as you’d like.

 

The Creamsicle

Ahhh, the memories of childhood. In a grown-up glass. This one uses both sides of the jigger.

1.5 oz vanilla vodka {the ‘big’ side of the jigger}
1 oz triple sec or cointreau {small side}
6 oz of orange juice {4 of the big side}
½ – 1 oz of half and half {1/2 -1 of the small side}

This recipe changed ingredient ratios wildly over the course of the evening we created it  {yes, I mean you gym girls}. This was the final result. Please feel free to continue the trial and error to your taste bud’s delight. Once more: drop a handful of ice cubes into a cocktail shaker. Pour all ingredients over the ice. Lid on. shake away. Pour into your glass. Ahhhh….

 

Need a drink for autumn? Something fun for the holidays? I introduce to you…

The Fresh Scratch

12 oz. fresh or frozen cranberries
1 c. sugar
3/4 c. red wine vinegar
an actual lemon {for zest & juice}

This drink involves making a ‘shrub’ which I learned about from Sunset mag., and adapted as follows:

On the stove, heat 2 cup of water {med heat is a fine setting}.  Zest & juice your lemon. Add all of the above ingredients to the water. Stir often. When the sugar is dissolved, reduce the heat and cook until most cranberries have burst {5 -10 minutes}. Strain the mixture, and press any excess juice from the berry pulp. Discard the pulp. This ‘shrub’ can now sit happily in your frig up to 3 months {thank you, vinegar!}.
Now on to the drink.

1 part shrub
1 part vanilla vodka
soda water

Once again, drop a handful of ice cubes into a cocktail shaker. Pour all ingredients excluding the soda water over the ice. Lid on. shake away. Pour into your glass. Add as much {or little} fizz as you’d like. And if what you’d like is a pretty recipe-card print out of this one? You can find it here.

 

This last drink comes with its own irony. I had promised Stacee her own drink, and for a year I sipped here, and tasted there, and finally found one I wanted to make. It is based off a cocktail I tried in Tacoma called the coconut martini. And here’s what I have so far. It’s coming along…but there is still a little something missing…if you try it and have inspiration, please let me know…

 The Writer’s Block

1.5 oz lemon {or vanilla} vodka
0.5 oz coconut rum
1.5 oz coconut milk
1.0 oz pineapple juice

Drop a handful of ice cubes into a cocktail shaker. Pour all ingredients over the ice. Lid on. shake away. Pour into your glass. Well???

And there will be more to come. Whitney, we still need to take yours for a test drive {a taste test, no actual driving!}. Kristy, yours needs one more night to refine.

And YOU? would you like a drink? just let me know your favorite ingredients or flavors…

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