Category Archives: tequila

A Citrusy Celebration

Miss Mojito’s good college pal just started medical school in Norfolk, and a trip east was in order to help her friend explore a new town. We chatted over champagne, enjoyed a few tapas and indulged in the kind of reminiscing that old friends do so well.

Of course, a weekend of good times isn’t complete without a signature cocktail. To celebrate our friend’s accomplishments, tequila was the drink of choice. As August comes to an end, my goal is to make the most of summery drinks while I still can! I’ve been reading about the Cantarito, aIMG_0160 citrus and tequila drink that uses grapefruit soda, and decided that this weekend was as good as any to give the delectable mix a test run.

Unfortunately, grapefruit soda proved harder to come by than I had hoped. (I hear a Mexican market might be my best bet for finding this particular beverage, so I’ll report back on grapefruit soda cocktails once I’ve put my hands on a bottle.) I improvised with grapefruit juice for flavor and agave nectar syrup for sweetness. What this drink lacks in fizz it makes up for in flavor.

Since our friend just moved into her (stellar) apartment only a week ago, she was a bit short in the housewares department. So, as you can see from the photo, plastic cups came to the rescue!

A Modified Cantarito
Serves two.

  • 1 oz. fresh lime juice (about 1 small lime)
  • 1 oz. lemon juice (about 3/4 medium lemon)
  • 1 oz. orange juice (about 1/2 orange)
  • 1 oz grapefruit juice (Miss Mojito recommends Simply Grapefruit)
  • 1 teaspoon agave syrup
  • 4 oz. tequila
  • Orange slices, for garnish
  • Ice

Pour all of the ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake well. Pour over ice and serve with orange slices.

IMG_0195What shoes did I wear while Cantarito-concocting, you might ask? Well, it’s a pair that has absolutely nothing to do with the Cantarito, but I’m so utterly obsessed with them that I had to share. I got these brown leather peep-toes at Target for a steal at $30. But, lucky you, they’re now available on Target.com for $14.98! I promise you’ll find yourself creating excuses to wear these Frye-inspired, Mossimo sandals. Plus, they’re a stellar transitional shoe as we head into September: the peep-toe sandal styling screams “summer” while the brown leather nods to fall. And despite the 3.75-inch heel, they were just comfortable enough for some nightlife exploring in Norfolk.

Posted by Miss Mojito.

Lakebound

One of Ms. S&C’s favorite escapes of the year is just days away. Every August, (for the past six years or so), Ms. S&C joins some of her best friends in the world for an extended weekend getaway at Seneca Lake, Ny. Activities include: canoeing, horseshoes, lots of cooking, daytime drinking, nighttime drinking, trashy magazines, laughing, party games (Celebrity and Apples to Apples are faves), bonfires, plenty of shenanigans. Hell, it is just a lot of fun sitting on the dock or on the porch (both overlook the water).

Seneca-Lake-Bench.002

As you may expect, there is always a well-stocked bar at the lake. Last year, popular cocktails included Pimm’s Cup and S&C’s Watermelon Lemonade. Surprisingly, Ms. S&C has yet to drink a watermelon cocktail this season (though she did have a great watermelon agua fresca at Oyamel recently). So, she is going to bring back the-fruit-that-was-destined-for-cocktails (plus, a great option when serving a crowd of 10 or more), and make Watermelon Margaritas and Tequila-Soaked Watermelon Wedges.

Watermelon Margaritas
adapted from the Food Network recipe, serves four

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups seedless watermelon, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 4 ounces tequila
  • 2 ounces Cointreau or Triple Sec (orange flavored liqueur)
  • 1 1/2 cups ice
  • Lime wheel or watermelon wedge, for garnish

Directions:

Combine all ingredients into a blender and puree until smooth. Garnish rim of glass with a lime wheel or a watermelon wedge and serve immediately.

Optional: For frozen margaritas, place cut watermelon in a plastic bag and freeze for a minimum of 2 hours.

Tequila-Soaked Watermelon Wedges
courtesy of Martha Stewart, serves four

Ingredients:

  • 1 small seedless watermelon, red or yellow, quartered and cut into 1-inch-thick wedges
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup tequila
  • 1/4 cup Cointreau or Triple Sec
  • 2 limes, halved or cut into wedges
  • Flaked sea salt or coarse salt

Directions:

Arrange watermelon in a single layer in two 9-by-13-inch baking dishes. Bring sugar, water, tequila, and Triple Sec to a boil in a small saucepan. Cook, stirring, until sugar dissolves, about 1 minute. Let cool slightly. Pour syrup over watermelon wedges, and refrigerate for at least 45 minutes.

Remove watermelon from syrup, and arrange on a platter. Squeeze limes over melon, and season with salt.

Note: The longer the watermelon soaks, the more flavorful it becomes — one reason to save any leftover slices. Yeah right, leftover slices.

posted by Ms. S&C

Pink Panther

At a recent dinner party for some girlfriends at my apartment, I was in need of a festive cocktail to provide ultimate refreshment on a hot summer day. For a girly gathering, I decided a girly drink was in order.

I’ve been dying to try the Pink Panther since I read about it in Eric Felten’s column for The Wall Street Journal. In this particular column, Mr. Felten examines the role of women in bar tending history, culminating in a recipe from New York bartender Aisha Sharpe, prepared especially for the James Beard “Women in Food” culinary gala.

The Pink Panther is an intoxicating–and simple–mix of lime juice, grapefruit, agave nectar and tequiPink Pantherla, muddled together with pink peppercorns. The pink peppercorn, which isn’t actually a peppercorn but a berry, lends a hint of sweet and mildly spicy flavor. Truth be told, the end result isn’t all that pink, as you can see from the picture, but it is all that tasty.

You’ll note that this recipe calls for reposado tequila, which got me thinking about the different types of tequila and just what makes one different from the other. Tequilas labeled “silver” or “platinum” are the purest form of the liquor – clear and unaged. Reposado, meanwhile, has been rested and aged. You can also find extra- and ultra-aged versions, but reposado is the first stage of aging. It’s typically a shade of gold, a color imparted from the aging process in oak barrels. The aging takes anywhere from two to 12 months. The reposado flavor tends to be a bit smoother than unaged versions.

But whatever type of tequila you have on hand, this recipe is one to try!

Pink Panther
Courtesy of Aisha Sharpe and Wall Street Journal.
Serves one.

  • 1 ½  oz reposado tequila
  • ¾ oz fresh ruby-red grapefruit juice
  • ½ oz fresh lime juice
  • ¼ oz agave nectar
  • 2 dozen pink peppercorns

Muddle half the peppercorns in a shaker together with the lime juice. Add the other liquids, shake with ice, and strain into a stemmed cocktail glass. Float the other pink peppercorns on the drink for garnish. [Note: Miss Mojito decided to serve her version on the rocks, and without the garnish.]

Posted by Miss Mojito.

Beach Twists

A Wednesday-through-Sunday beach vacation with friends from high school and college was the perfect chance to put a multitude of cocktails to the test. It was a relaxing, laid-back affair, so exotic experimentation was not at the forefront of Miss Mojito’s train of thought. Rather, this was an opportunity to mix good ingredients in new and interesting ways with refreshing results.

DRINK: Frozen Margarita blended-margarita
TWIST: Grapefruit Juice
1 cup of tequila, ½ cup lime juice, 1/3 cup Triple Sec and a pitcher full of ice make up a standard batch of frozen margaritas. A ½ cup of pink grapefruit juice adds a splash of color and a touch of tang to this beachy concoction.

DRINK: Salty Dog
TWIST: Lime Juice
2 ounces of gin, a large splash of grapefruit and a salted rim go into a traditional serving of the Salty Dog. We found a ½ ounce or so of fresh lime juice to be a nice addition.

DRINK: Sangria
TWIST: A frozen version
A good friend shared her recipe for a frozen sangria that was the perfect easy beach drink – it was fun, fruity and light enough for some daytime-appropriate imbibing. The night before, mix a bottle of fruity white (we used a pinot grigio), a can of frozen lemonade concentrate and OJ in a bowl. Freeze overnight, then mix and serve the next morning. Repeat as needed to prevent beach-related dehydration throughout the course of your vacation.

Posted by Miss Mojito.

Heart’s Inspiration

My mother and I whipped up a batch of Cranberry Margaritas as our Christmas Eve pre-dinner drink. We liked them so much that we cranberrymargarita21repeated them again on Christmas day, and more recently for a Sunday evening get together. They’re tart and a tiny bit sweet, and they mix up quickly in a blender. Plus, they translate easily into a virgin-version for your pregnant sister-in-law (just add a bit more lime juice and a splash of OJ in place of the tequila and Cointreau)! Given their heart-toned hue, they make for a festive Valentine’s drink, too.

Cranberry Margarita
Recipe comes from cocktail.com

  • 1 1/4 cup cranberry juice
  • 1/2 cup sugar (Miss M recommends substantially less sugar – start with 1 Tbl and taste frequently)
  • 1 1/2 cup fresh frozen cranberries, rinsed (freeze on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper)
  • 3/4 cup fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 3/4 cup tequila
  • 1/2 cup Cointreau (orginal recipe calls for Grand Marnier, but Miss M recommends this substitute)
  • Ice

Mix together the first six ingredients. Pour half of mixture in the blender and fill rest with ice. Blend. Repeat with second half of mixture. Makes about two blender batches – which is enough to meet 4-6 people’s margarita desires, depending upon individual thirst levels.valentinesbandolino

For a romantic, flirtatious and Valentine’s inspired footwear choice, this floral suede pair by Bandolino is calling my name. And the coral patent sandals from Banana Republic bring a smile to my face. valentines1

My heart-toned picks might be a bit clichéd and traditional, but isn’t that the point of Valentine’s Day, anyways?

 

posted by Miss Mojito

My Latest Discoveries

Two recent finds in the worlds of both shoes and cocktails have Miss M all a flutter inside, and I was immediately eager to share them with the S&C readers.

While returning a belt to Anthropologie just last week, I came upon a stroke of luck: an Anthroanthro_maryjanes1pologie shoe sale! This is a rare event indeed. I’m a big fan of Anthro’s selection of footwear: it has a slightly vintage vibe, with unique picks that are difficult to find elsewhere. But the prices are far from palatable.

That’s why my heart sang when I spotted a small collection of shoes gathered under a beloved “Sale” sign. And it hit a high note when I met these peep-toe, blue and sliver suede t-strap pumps with a braid detail. Online, the originally $198 shoes are marked down to $99.95. But in-store, I snagged a pair in my size for $50! Oh joy, thy name is Lunar Puzzle Mary-Janes! So get yourself to the nearest Anthropolgie to take advantage of these crazy sales. My guess is that they’re most popular during the season-to-season transitions.

While Anthropologie is expanding my shoe arsenal, a new-to-me discovery is expanding my cocktail repertoire. I was excited to spy Q Tonic at my favorite local wine and cheese shop, River City Cellars. qtonic1Q Tonic is, according to their PR people anyway, “dedicated to making the world’s best tonic water.” Organic agave replaces sugar as their sweetener of choice.

I hope to conduct a tonic tasting this weekend and report back with a tonic-by-tonic comparison. In the meantime, I can’t wait to experiment with and adapt a few of the recipes found over at qtoniq.com. The Q-Cumber Fizz is at the top of my drinks-to-try list.


Q-Cumber Fizz
Developed for Q Tonic by bartender Jim Meehan. Serves one.

1.5 oz white tequila
3/4 oz fresh lime juice
1 oz fresh grapefruit juice
A dollop of Light Agave Nectar (Sweet Cactus Farms Organic)
3 cucumber wheels (2 muddled, 1 garnish)
1 oz Q tonic

  • Add the agave nectar, lime, grapefruit juice and 2 cucumber slices to a mixing glass and muddle.
  • Add the tequila and shake and strain into a fizz glass.
  • Top with 1 oz Q tonic and garnish with a cucumber wheel on the rim of the glass.

Do you have any new discoveries that you just can’t keep to yourself? Do share with the S&C crowd!

Posted by Miss Mojito

Birthday recovery

Ms. S&C’s birthday-cocktail-repeal-day party was a success.  But, it was also a reminder that Ms. S&C is now 32, not 23, and therefore she needs to take it easy next year.  Many thanks to all her friends who stopped by!  Here are a few highlights.

The Drinks:
The jalapeno margarita won the reader poll, so that’s what was served.  The jalapeno infused simple syrup was used in both a traditional and a pomegranate margarita.  While we fixed some fine margaritas, we need to perfect the recipes before we share.  We didn’t want to overdo the jalapeno flavor, but we were much too conservative when making the simple syrup.  Next time we’ll use more than two jalapenos and let the syrup sit overnight before straining.  Other margarita ingredients included: lemon, lime, orange and pomegranate juices, tequila and cointreau.

The Menu:
Our Southwestern-style appetizers included:

  • Zesty bean dip, recipe from the Moosewood Cookbook
  • Guacamole, also influenced by Moosewood Cookbook’s recipe
  • Bacon wrapped stuffed jalapenos 
  • Mini quesadillas
  • Grilled chicken and shrimp skewers
  • Tres Leches cake, from our neighborhood bakery, My Bakery & Café

The Conclusion:
The next day clean up looked a little something like this.  Love you guys.

birthday_cleanup