Red White and Blue: Berry Basil Sangria

Red White and Blue: Berry Basil Sangria

This is a light and refreshing sangria that is perfect for summer and the festive colors make it the go to drink for the 4th of July. Want to make a pitcher for the kids, substitute the wine with white grape juice.

1  1.5 liter bottle of Pinot Grigio

1 cup water

1 cup sugar

1/4 c basil

1 c white grape juice

1 c strawberries washed and cut into quarters

1 cup blueberries

1/2 liter club soda

Place Strawberries and blueberries in a large pitcher, cover with 1 cup of wine and place in refrigerator for at least 1 hour- overnight.

Basil Berry Sangria

In a small sauce pan add sugar, water and 4 large basil leaves. bring to a boil and stir until sugar dissolves and then turn off heat and let cool. This is a basil simple syrup. It is great for many mixed drinks. I like it with Gin and tonics.

Basil Simple Syrup

Add 1/2 basil simple syrup (straining the leaves out) the rest of the wine, grape juice, and club soda to the pitcher with the fruit.  Taste and add more simple syrup if needed ( This will depend on your tastes and the sweetness of your wine) Add some more fresh basil leaves. Serve over ice. Garnish with more basil and fruit if desired.

Red White and Blue: Berry Basil Sangria, perfect drink for the 4th of July

What the heck is that?, Adventures at the Produce Stand and Cactus Pear Margaritas

As you may or may not know, I am a sucker for produce stands and farmer’s markets. I love to look at all the fresh offerings begging me to take them home and invent some new recipe. My younger son also likes to go and find the one fruit or vegetable that he has never tried before. This time it was cactus pears, and well you know I wasn’t going to say no.

So we got them home but now what, I had no idea what part was even edible much less what to do with it. Thank god for Google, my son had already told me no salsa, so after researching a bit I found that really the only other thing to do was a margarita. Well I  had no problem and he was game as long as I didn’t put the tequila in his, if he only knew what he was missing, but he has at least 6 more years before he finds out. Now to figure this “pear ” out.

First step was to peel it, the easiest way is to chop off the ends and then run your knife down the fruit and then carefully remove the peel in one big chunk.

This fruit is full of seeds which are edible but not appetizing, we tried a little piece, it tastes like a not so sweet melon, or a slightly sweet cucumber. Very refreshing though, would be yummy without those pesky seeds.

I threw my fruit into a food processor and pureed it, then strained the seeds out with a sieve, not the easiest process, but worth it in the end. I was left with the juice.

I added the juice from my 2 pears, the juice of 1 lime, 2 T agave nectar, and 2 cups of ice to the blender, and pureed until smooth.

I split this between 2 glasses and added a shot of tequila to mine, my son added Sprite to his, we garnished them with lime and pieces of the cactus peel.

Pretty darn tasty, not too sweet and very refreshing, I could probably drink a lot of these, they go down smooth, but thankfully we only bought 2 pears.

Halloween Cocktail: The Dark and Spooky

This Halloween cocktail is a play on the traditional dark and stormy. It’s made a little more gruesome with a black sugar rim and gummy insects or worms. Make it a mocktail for kids and non drinkers by omitting the rum and adding some fruit juice.

The Dark and Stormy Cocktail

Black sugar (found in the cake decorating aisle at the grocery during Halloween season)

lime wedges

ice

2 oz spiced rum (Captain Morgan, Sailor Jerry’s etc…)

6- 8 0z ginger ale or ginger beer

assorted gummy insects and worms (found in candy aisle at Halloween)

Take a highball glass and run a lime wedge around the top of the glass, dip into black sugar poured on a small plate or saucer.

Add ice, rum and ginger ale or beer. stir then add gummy creatures and serve.

 

 

 

The Shark Bite : A perfect drink for Shark Week

I saw this post on Facebook this morning…

I thought perfect, now that the olympics are over, I needed something to do. Shark Week is starting today. Now I just need a drink to accompany it. I took the traditional Snake Bite (CIder and Lager mixed) and tweaked to fit the theme.

*Also great for a Sharknado Viewing Party

Take 1/2 bottle hard cider and a 1/2 a bottle of Beer (Lager) Pour into a pint glass. Take a gummy shark (they have them for $1 at 7-11s)and cut a small slit horizontally across the belly. Place on the rim of the glass.

Then if you want to go a step further and who doesn’t take red food coloring and drip about 3 drops down the side of the glass.

The food coloring will gradually turn the drink red, like blood.

Mocktail version:Try it with Apple Juice and Sprite or Ginger Ale for the kids.