One of last year’s fave cocktail concoctions was most certainly this Fruity Bourbon Fizz, which combined tart cherry juice, bourbon, lemonade and sparkling wine with delightful results. For a recent mother’s day celebration, I was eager to put the cherry juice to good use again.
The R.W. Knudsen brand makes a delightfully tart, organic black cherry juice that has become more widely available in grocery stores as of late. The flavor is quite potent and a little certainly goes a long way – making it a great mixer for a crowd.
Since I already had tequila on hand, I decided to meld the liquor with the juice in a vibrant Cherry Margarita. Given the pow packed by the cherry punch, I like to give my guests a fair warning and introduce this as a Tart Cherry Margarita, so they’re fully prepared for the pucker that inevitably follows the first sip. Feel free to mellow out the tartness level with some extra agave syrup for sweetness – but personally, I find the bite refreshing!
A pitcher full of cherry tequila goodness.
- 10 ounces tequila blanco
- 6 ounces freshly squeezed lime juice
- 4 ounces tart bottled cherry juice
- 1 tablespoon agave nectar
- Fresh cherries (optional)
Combine all ingredients in a large pitcher and stir well. Serve in chilled glasses over ice, with optional fresh cherries as a festive garnish.
Posted by Miss Mojito.
It’s that time of year again. It’s that time when Ms. S&C and her splendid group of girlfriends compile ten of their favorite things, meet for dinner, draw names, and exchange baskets of goodies.
At this year’s basket exchange party, Ms. S&C scored a jar of pickled asparagus (perfect garnish for bloody mary’s), delicious wasabi-flavored almonds, and a slew of beauty-related items: night cream, Olivella soap, and hair removing cream (bathing suit season is right around the corner, you know).
Here’s what Ms. S&C put in her (mostly) health-and-wellness themed basket:
- GT’s Organic Raw Kombucha — Yes, the documented health benefits are a bit conflicting, but Ms. S&C is convinced that this fermented tea beverage — which she drinks three times a week — is great for her digestive health and her skin. (And now she wants to make her own.)
- Incense — Until about six months ago, Ms. S&C probably hadn’t purchased incense since college. But — as part of a new age-y streak — she is at yoga four times a week, at the acupuncturist once a month, taking daily Chinese herbs, drinking crazy fermented beverages, and lighting Champaka.
- Dried apricots — A perfect snack, with a handful of cashews or a spoonful of almond butter. This treat is also great when served with pork or duck (try cooking with carmelized onions). Salty+Sweet=Yummy.
- Cloth napkins — Ms. S&C likes to use cloth napkins for everyday use (and bright colors means that stains don’t show as much).
- Nude-colored lip gloss — Ms. S&C loves the dark-smokey-eyes and nude-colored nail polish and shiny nude lips look. She also likes the “Perfectly Nude” brand from Sephora.
- Yoga — It is hard to put yoga in a basket. So, Ms. S&C’s love of yoga came in the form of a strap this year.
- Dark chocolate — This is Ms. S&C’s indulgence item. She has a fondness for fancy dark chocolate, and Mast Brother’s has a special place in her heart. (So does Vosges for that matter.)
- Misha’s coffee — Hooray for local artisanal coffee! (And kudos to Whole Foods for carrying it.)
- Running/workout playlist — Ms. S&C loves making playlists (it’s a recurring item in her basket), and this year she adapted a running mix she shared awhile back.
- Recipes — Thomas Keller’s roast chicken and crispy kale and are (excuse my language) fucking phenomenal.
And while there wasn’t anything cocktail or shoe-related in her basket, Ms S&C’s friends definitely came through, as gin, vodka, and sparkling rose all made an appearance.
Now, of course, Ms. S&C wants to know: What favorite things would you put in your basket? Share in the comments below!
PS) You can check out Ms. S&C’s favorite things from 2009 and 2010.
posted by Ms. S&C
In January, the Huffington Post made one particularly spot-on trend prediction in the world of cocktails – and it’s a trend that I’ve particularly enjoyed exploring as of late: herbal infusions. Food & Wine has noticed a similar trend in their 2011 cocktail guide, commending to its readers a non-alcoholic Almond-Fennel Cooler.
I’ve long been a fan of using basil in my cocktail concocting (Basil Gimlet, anyone?), and we’re all familiar with the king of herbal cocktails, the Mint Julep. It’s high time I got experimental with some herbs that are more off the beaten path in mixology, particularly as more fresh herbs are in season this summer.
Most recently, I jumped on the herbaceously trendy cocktail bandwagon with the Intimate Secretary, a pleasing blend of grapefruit vodka*, rosemary syrup, lime and club soda, at Balliceaux in Richmond. The herbal notes temper the sweetness of the syrup with eminently drinkable results.
So, how else might we meld herbs and cocktails? Taking a nod from Balliceaux, I’m eager to try my hand at other herb-infused syrups by making a basic simple syrup (bringing equal parts sugar and water to a boil, then simmering until liquid reduces by about half), adding herbs while the syrup is still hot and letting it steep while the syrup cools. What do we think about …
- Thyme Syrup + Vodka + Homemade Lemonade + Vanilla
- Lavender Syrup + Gin + Prosecco
- Cilantro Syrup + Tequila + Grapefruit + Club Soda
Miss Mojito wants to know: Have you had any success with herbaceous cocktail mixing?
*Why haven’t I tried this before? And does grapefruit-infused gin exist? Immediate investigation required.
Posted by Miss Mojito.