World Cup Fever: French 75

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Today we are sharing our final post in our series for the World Cup.  Three fifths of The Blind Pig household was in mourning after the England/Croatia match up this week.  We were hoping that we would be sharing another version of a gin and tonic with you for our finale post.  However, for those of you that do not follow World Cup soccer, France and Croatia made it into the finals.

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Photo by Blind Piglet #2.  He’s such a great photographer!

The Blind Pig family are fans of the French.  We visited France in 2015 had a wonderful experience.  You gotta love those Nutella crepes!

french 75

Since we do not know of any great Croatian cocktails to share with you, which we are sure there are many, we are going to share the French 75 with you this week.  The French 75, or also known as Soixane Quince by the French,  is an easy, tasty, and fresh recipe that is made with gin, simple syrup, lemon juice and sparkling white wine.  It is the perfect drink to serve as a refreshing summer beverage or after dinner with a dessert.  Beware, since the drink is mainly gin and sparkling wine, it can sneak up on you quickly.

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If you are reading this post via email, visit our website for a printable version of the recipe.

French 75

Yield: 1

French 75

Ingredients

  • 1.5 ounces of gin
  • 4.5 teaspoons of simple syrup
  • fresh squeezed lemon juice from 1/2 lemon
  • prosecco or champagne

Instructions

  1. Fill shaker with ice.
  2. Add gin, simple syrup and lemon juice.
  3. Shake for 15 seconds.
  4. Pour into a champagne flute.
  5. Top off with champagne or prosecco.
  6. Garnish with lemon rind.
https://theblindpig.blog/2018/07/14/world-cup-fever-french-75/

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Will you watch the World Cup finals on Sunday or will you just have a French 75 and call it a day?  Give it a try.  We would love to know what you think about it.

  

Disclaimer:  The beverages on this site are meant for adults 21 years of age and older.  We do not condone underage drinking, and never drink and drive.

Soup of the Day: Gin and Tonic

Happy weekend, friends!  We hope that your July 4th was festive and fun.  We kept the holiday low key by staying close to home and hanging out with our good friends, Dawnette and John, on the back patio.  We had great food and great cocktails, but we are not talking about those today.  Today we are again commemorating the World Cup! (Yes, it is still going on for those of you who are not soccer fans. ;)) Did you see the amazing game between England and Colombia the other day?  It was a crazy combination of fitness, drama, skill and a wrestling match.  England came out on top, so today we are tipping our hats to the English and saying, “Cheers,” with their preferred cocktail of a Gin and Tonic.

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gin and tonic

So if the word gin freaks you out and makes you think only serious drinkers would partake, let us be the first to dispel that myth.  A gin and tonic is actually quite a light and refreshing drink.  If you are not a fan of sweet drinks, try out a gin and tonic.  It has a dry crisp taste, and the tonic water gives it a bubbly freshness.  You can add a little flavor with your favorite fresh garnish.

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The basic gin and tonic is made with 1.5 ounces of gin poured over ice in a rocks glass.  Top off with tonic water, and garnish to your liking.  We garnished ours with blueberries, strawberries and fresh mint from our garden.  By adding any fresh fruit or herbs as an addition to this cocktail you can tailor it for any season or occasion.

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You may have noticed that we went with the Q drinks Indian Tonic Water for our cocktail.  We introduced you to Q drinks in our post about the Paloma.

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Gin and tonics are great for social situations.  At your next gathering create a gin and tonic bar.  Have various favors of tonic water available, such as, lemon, grapefruit, cranberry, lemonade and more.  Provide various fresh fruits and herbs for garnish and let your friends do the rest!

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Whether you are watching the England play Sweden tomorrow or you just want to relax in your hammock in the backyard, try out a gin and tonic and raise a little toast to our friends across the pond!

  

Disclaimer:  The beverages on this site are meant for adults 21 years of age and older. We do not condone underage drinking, and never drink and drive.

World Cup Fever: Salud, Mexico!

Did you sip on a little Fernet and Coke while watching the Argentina World Cup Game?  This week we are continuing with our World Cup series with a nod to our neighbors to the south – Mexico.

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Everyone knows that tequila is the prized liquor of Mexico, and most Americans equate tequila with margaritas.  However, we are not featuring a margarita for our tribute to Mexico.  The origin of the margarita is debatable, but it is more popular with Americans than most Mexicans.  Mexicans prefer premium tequilas and like to sip their tequila neat — plain with no mixers.

paloma

We are featuring a popular Mexican cocktail called the Paloma.  The Paloma is an easy, tasty and fresh drink made with grapefruit soda, lime juice and tequila.   It is easy to see why this refreshing beverage is so popular in Mexico.

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The Paloma is made with three ingredients, tequila, lime juice and grapefruit soda.

We made ours with our favorite tequila, Corralejo, Q grapefruit soda and fresh squeezed lime juice.  We have used Q drinks in the past as mixers for our guests, but have not shared it with you on our blog.  Q drinks makes a variety of mixers, such as, tonic water, soda water, grapefruit soda and ginger beer.  Their philosophy is to make sure that the mixer you use is as good as the liquor you are mixing it with.  We have noticed a difference in our cocktails when we use Q drinks.  The drinks have more flavor and a better taste profile.   Q drinks can be found at Total Wine and other liquor stores.  If you do not want to try grapefruit soda with your Paloma, you can also  use Squirt or Jarritos grapefruit soda, which can be found in most grocery stores.

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Serve a refreshing Paloma this summer.

Paloma

Yield: 1

Paloma

The Paloma is a refreshing alternative tequila cocktail to the typical margarita.

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces of Corralejo Tequila (Reposado or Silver)
  • 1/2 ounce of lime juice
  • Q drinks grapefruit soda

Instructions

  1. Place ice in a shaker.
  2. Add tequila and lime juice. Shake.
  3. Strain into a Collins glass or serving glass.
  4. Top off with grapefruit soda.
  5. Add lime for garnish.
https://theblindpig.blog/2018/06/30/world-cup-fever-salud-mexico/

It is extremely hot across the United States this week, so what could be better than sipping on a cool beverage like the Paloma?  Change things up a bit and serve a refreshing Paloma at your next summer social.  We would love to hear about it if you do.  Have a great weekend!

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Disclaimer:  Beverages shared on this site are intended for adults 21 years of age and older.  We do not condone underage drinking, and never drink and drive.

Spirited Chocolate Orange Bars

This week was the summer solstice which officially ushered in Summer.  There are many reasons that we love Summer.  One reason is that it is filled with countless cookouts, family reunions, and casual get-togethers with friends.  We never want to show up empty-handed for these casual occasions.  Of course, Craig is always popular because he can supply a beverage or two, but we like to show our appreciation to the host and hostess with other treats, too.

spirited chocolate orange bars

Rhonda snipped this recipe from the Dallas Morning News about a year ago during their annual bake off competition.  We adapted the recipe submitted by Rex Poland of Dallas, and just recently had time to try it.  When you show up at the family reunion with this sweet treat, you will be the favorite cousin for sure!

The ingredients are mostly basic things that you have in your pantry or fridge – unsalted butter, semi-sweet baking chocolate bars (we used Ghirardelli chocolate) , eggs, sugar, cream cheese, freshly grated orange zest, and heavy cream.  You will need some Kerrygold Irish Cream and Cointreau for the spirit in the Spirited Chocolate Orange Bars.  There is one ingredient that was a bit tricky for us to find – plain chocolate cookies, such as Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers.  We did not find these on the cookie aisle.  With some help from our handy dandy Kroger manager, we discovered that they are kept near the ice cream sundae supplies on the baking aisle.

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The recipe is easy to follow but has several steps.  First you crush the cookies and melted butter in a food processor. Then you press the crust in a 8 X 12 inch baking pan and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Next  melt the chocolate in a microwave and set aside.

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Beat eggs and sugar in a mixing bowl.  In a separate bowl beat cream cheese. Then beat the egg mixture into the cream cheese.  Divide the cream cheese mixture in two bowls.

Stir in melted chocolate into the one bowl of cream cheese mixture.  In the other bowl of cream cheese add orange zest and Cointreau.

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Gently pour each mixture over the cookie base and swirl gently with a spatula.  Bake about 25 minutes.  Turn off the oven and cool with the door ajar to room temperature.

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While the bars are cooling, prepare the ganache.  Melt semi-sweet chocolate in the microwave.  Heat heavy cream to a hot temperature.  Combine the cream and melted chocolate, and 1 ounce of Kerrygold Irish Cream stirring until smooth.

Spread ganache over the top of the cooled bars and refrigerate for 3 hours.  When ready to serve cut the bars into squares and serve.

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If you are viewing this post in an email, visit our site for a printable version of the recipe.

Spirited Chocolate Orange Bars

Yield: 2-3 dozen

Spirited Chocolate Orange Bars

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces of plain chocolate cookies, such as Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 3.5 ounces of semi-sweet baking chocolate, such as Ghirardelli
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup of sugar
  • 16 ounces of whipped cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1.5 tablespoons of freshly grated orange zest
  • 1 ounce of Cointreau liqueur
  • For Ganache:
  • 5 ounces of semi-sweet baking chocolate
  • 1/4 cup of heavy cream
  • 1 ounce of Kerrygold Irish Cream

Instructions

  1. Prepare an 8 x 12 inch shallow baking pan by lining the base with foil, extending 2 inches over long sides.
  2. Pulse cookies in a food processor until fine. Add butter and process to combine. Press mixture over base of pan and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  3. Heat oven to 325 degrees. Melt chocolate in a microwave on low power in short bursts. Stir in between to avoid over cooking. Set aside to cool.
  4. In a mixing bowl, beat eggs and sugar until smooth. In a separate bowl, beat cream cheese. Beat egg mixture into the cream cheese and divide into two.
  5. Pour half of the cream cheese mixture into a medium bowl and stir in cooled melted chocolate. In another bowl, combine the other half of the cream cheese mixture with the orange zest and Cointreau, stirring well.
  6. Gently pour each mixture over the chilled crust. Swirl gently with the tip of a spatula. Bake approximately 25 minutes. Turn off the oven and cool with the door ajar, to room temperature. When the baked crust and filling has cooled, spread ganache over the top. Refrigerate 3 hours or over night. Cut into bars. Store in airtight container.
  7. Ganache:
  8. Melt 5 ounces of chocolate in a microwave. Heat 1/4 cup of heavy cream in microwave to hot temperature. Combine chocolate and cream. Stirring until smooth. Add in 1 ounce of Kerrygold Irish Cream and stir until smooth and combined.
https://theblindpig.blog/2018/06/23/spirited-chocolate-orange-bars/

This recipe has a few extra steps, but the final outcome is definitely worth it.  The chocolate and orange flavors compliment each other nicely for a tasty treat. Will you bring Spirited Chocolate Orange Bars to your next casual gathering?

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June Bonus Post: Fernet About It!

It’s time for another Blind Pig Blog bonus post.  We continue our series to celebrate The World Cup by raising our glass to the country of Argentina.  Argentina is known for its amazing soccer teams and one of the world’s most beloved and famous players — Lionel Messi.

While watching The Cup, we drink as the Argentinians do by sipping on a Fernet and Coke, which has been rumored to be one of Messi’s favs!

Fernet Branca is an all natural aromatic bitter or amaro.  Its highly herbal aroma and flavor comes from over 40 herbs, spices and roots which are gathered from 4 continents. Aloe ferox, chamomile, angelica, and saffron are just a few of the herbs and spices that make this unusual bitter. The original recipe was created in Italy in 1845, by Bernardino Branca and the family recipe is still a closely guarded secret to this day.

fernet spices

Bartenders and mixologists love Fernet.  It is so popular within the service industry that it is called “The Bartender’s Handshake.”  If you offer to do a shot of Fernet with the bartender, you will be fast friends.

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The Argentinians love to drink a splash of Fernet with their Coca-Cola.  In fact, they like it so much that Fernet Branca built its only distillery outside of Milan in Argentina.   The strong flavor of the Fernet with its medicinal taste is not for everyone, but it is a taste that one can acquire.  The sweetness of Coke or Diet Coke definitely helps.

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To make a Fernet and Coke you fill a rocks glass with ice.  Add an ounce and half of Fernet Branca.  Top off the glass with Coke and enjoy.

Watching the World Cup this week?  Craig will definitely be watching and sipping on his favorite spirit — Fernet Branca. Give a Fernet and Coke a try and let us know what you think!

 

Disclaimer:  The beverage on this site are meant for adults 21 years of age and older. We do not condone underage drinking, and never drink and drive.

 

 

From Russia with Love

There are a few things every four years that cause business as usual to come to a halt in The Blind Pig household.  You may or may not be aware that on Thursday, the 2018 World Cup commenced.  Since then, soccer, or football as the rest of the world calls it, has been running on our TV almost 24/7.  Craig and Blind Piglet #2 are huge soccer fans, and don’t like to miss out on any of the action.  In honor of the World Cup, we are going to feature some cocktails with some World Cup flavor over the next few weeks.

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Since the World Cup is hosted by Russia this year, our first idea was to feature a Moscow Mule.  However, we feel that has probably already been done, so we made a little twist on the Moscow Mule to create the Watermelon Mule.  Whether you are a soccer fan, or your feet have never touched the pitch, the Watermelon Mule is a beverage that can be enjoyed by all.

watermelon mule

The Watermelon Mule is a great summer drink, and is easy, tasty and fresh.  Add 1.5 ounces of Seagram’s Watermelon Vodka to a rocks glass or mule mug.  Fill with ice.  Top off with ginger beer and a squeeze of lime juice.  Garnish with a wedge of watermelon and a lime.

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Watermelon Mule

Yield: 1

Watermelon Mule

The watermelon mule is a great twist on the traditional Moscow Mule. It makes a great summer drink.

Ingredients

  • 1.5 ounces Seagram's Watermelon Vodka
  • Ginger Beer (about 1/2 can or bottle)
  • juice from 1/2 lime
  • lime wedge and watermelon wedge for garnish

Instructions

  1. Pour 1.5 ounces of Seagram's Watermelon Vodka in a rocks glass or mule mug.
  2. Add 1/2 cup of ice to glass.
  3. Top off with ginger beer and a squeeze of lime juice.
  4. Garnish with a wedge of lime and wedge of watermelon.
https://theblindpig.blog/2018/06/17/from-russia-with-love/

It’s refreshing.  It’s tasty.  It’s like summer in a mug!  Now you are ready to sit back and relax in your hammock or watch a World Cup match.

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We hope all of our favorite dads are having a wonderful Father’s Day.  We appreciate all loving fathers, and want to send a big cheers to our favs — Tom, John, Kirby, Alan, Ryan, Kregg, Chad, Todd, Chris, Jeff and Ken!

   

The White Negroni

We are wrapping up Negroni Week with a special beverage that makes the classical cocktail lovers happy, as well as those who prefer a drink that is less alcohol forward.  In this post we are also sharing some entertaining ideas to help you plan that special guy’s day cookout or get-together.

white negroni

The White Negroni debuts an aperitif that is new to us called Lillet. (Lillet, pronounced “Lee- Lay”, rhymes with “hey” not “Gillette”.  Rhonda mispronounced it and the kind man that works at Total Wine set her straight.)  Lillet is a French aperitif wine that comes from Bordeaux, France.  Oui, oui!  We noticed it smelled similar to white cooking wine when we first opened the  bottle.  We substituted Campari in our White Negroni with Lillet to lessen the bitter taste that you can get with Campari. Since Lillet is clear colored, it gives the drink a white hue, rather than the traditional red hue of the Italian Negroni.

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Note to self:  this drink is best stirred not shaken. To make the White Negroni you need 3/4 ounce of Malfy Con Limone Gin, 3/4 ounce Lillet Blanc, 1/2 ounce Carpano Blanco.  You combine all of the ingredients in a shaker, stir and serve over ice.  Use a lemon or orange twist for garnish.  We chose to serve ours over a large cube of ice to give it a more sophisticated look.

White Negroni

White Negroni

Ingredients

  • .75 ounce of Malfy Con Limone Gin
  • .75 ounce of Lillet Blanc
  • .5 ounce Carpano Bianco

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a shaker over ice and stir.
  2. Strain over fresh ice and garnish with a lemon or orange twist.
https://theblindpig.blog/2018/06/08/the-white-negroni/

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Since the Lillet is easier on the palate than  Campari, this drink is a smoother than a typical negroni.  It can please all types of cocktail lovers that you may be entertaining.  Even Rhonda said that she could sip on the White Negroni!

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Because steaks, bacon, mac and cheese and savory cheeses pair nicely with negronis, the White Negroni or the Italian Negroni makes a great cocktail to serve your dad and guests for Father’s Day.  We joined in the latest trend by pairing ours with an easy to put together meat and cheese board.

cheese and meat board

Will we see you sipping on an Italian Negroni or White Negroni at your next gathering?  We would love to hear about it if you do!  Follow us on Instagram @theblindpigblog for other great summer drinks and Father’s Day ideas.  Have a great weekend.

Disclaimer:  Drinks on this website are meant for adults 21 years of age and older.  We do not condone underage drinking, and never drink and drive.

 

Italian Negroni

italian negroniHey friends, June 4th kicks off National Negroni week.   We have been saving our Italian Negroni just for this special occasion.  “Never tried a negroni,” you say.  If you are into classic cocktails, this week will be a real treat for you.

Negronis are said to have come about in Florence when an  Italian count suggested that the club soda in his Americano be replaced with gin. The key words in the above sentence are Italian and gin.  The negroni is an Italian creation.  Typically when most bartenders think of gin, they do not grab for an Italian gin.  To properly bring the negroni back to its original roots, we are pairing it with an all Italian cast.

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In our Italian Negroni we use 3 Italian liquors: Malfy Originale Gin (We told you about Malfy Limone in the Cucumber Gin Spritz.), Carpano Antica Vermouth (which we told you about in our Carpano Sangria recipe last summer), and Campari.  The Italian Negroni is a true classic cocktail with an aggressive taste profile.

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This recipe is so easy to make.  Pour 1 ounce of Malfi Gin, 1 ounce of Carpano Antica Vermouth, and 1 ounce of Campari into a rocks glass.  Garnish with an orange peel and ice.  We chose to use one of our ice spheres in our cocktail.

Italian Negroni

Yield: 1

Italian Negroni

Ingredients

  • 1 ounce Malfy Orginale Gin
  • 1 ounce Carpano Antica Vermouth
  • 1 ounce Campari

Instructions

  1. Pour all ingredients into a rocks glass.
  2. Garnish with an orange peel and add ice.
https://theblindpig.blog/2018/06/02/italian-negroni/

This cocktail is a great beverage to serve dads on Father’s Day, or for a guys’ night out.  Let us know if you try it out!

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Disclaimer:  The beverages on this site are meant for adults 21 years of age and older.  We do not condone underage drinking, and never drink and drive.

Move Over Paciugo Part Due: Mojito Ice Cream

mojito ice cream

Happy Memorial Day weekend, friends!  We hope that you are out soaking up the sun or spending the weekend with friends and family.  Most importantly, don’t forget why you have this three-day weekend that kicks off the summer in the first place.  It is to remember those who have fallen in service to our country.

Memorial Day Quotes

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Nothing says summer like the taste of homemade ice cream.  Ever since we brought you Kerrygold Ice Cream last summer, we have been wanting to try out some other variations of this easy, tasty treat.

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We are not going to take you through all of the steps of making the ice cream with photographs, because to tell you the truth, they would look almost exactly the same as our first ice cream post. But we will tell you that instead of adding Kerrygold Irish Cream to the mixture, this time we added 1 ounce of Zaya Rum and 1 ounce of Branca Menta.  The addition of rum and mint flavors to the ice cream gave it the familiar taste of a cool, refreshing mojito.  Serve it in a small serving dish with a fresh sprig of mint on the side.

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So easy! So fresh! Just the right refreshing dessert for summer.

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Follow the recipe on our Kerrygold Ice Cream post.  Give it a try this weekend and let us know if you like it.

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Bonus Post: Corralejo Lime Guac

corralejo lime guac

It’s time for our May bonus post.  This month’s bonus is an easy, tasty, fresh recipe that you can whip up with a Mexican meal or if friends are dropping by for a last minute visit.

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With the fresh ingredients of avocados, cilantro, tomatoes, onions, jalapenos, lime and a splash of Corralejo Anejo Tequila, your guests will be singing your praises.  We had family visitors from California last weekend, and wanted to serve a tasty meal with little fuss.  The guac was a hit and so easy to make.  It was a great compliment to chicken enchiladas and a Santorita!

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First slice avocados into a molcajete or other bowl. Smash avocados with a fork.  Next add diced tomato, diced cilantro, diced onions, and jalapenos.  Mix together with the avocados.  Blend in the juice of 1 lime and .5 ounces of tequila.  We used Corralejo Anejo Tequila.  Anjeos are aged 1-3 years, so they have more flavor that comes through in the guac than a regular blanco tequila which is not aged and bottled immediately.   Add a pinch of kosher salt.  Serve with blue corn tortilla chips.  Yummo!

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If you are viewing this post in your email, visit our website for a printable version of the recipe.

Corralejo Lime Guac

Corralejo Lime Guac

Corralejo Lime Guac

Ingredients

  • 3 ripened avocados
  • 1/2 onion diced
  • 1 jalapeno diced
  • 1 medium tomato diced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro chopped
  • 1 lime juiced
  • .5 ounces of Corralejo Anejo Tequila
  • a pinch of kosher salt

Instructions

  1. Cut avocados in half. Remove the pit. Slice avocados and scoop out with a spatula or spoon. Place slices in a molcajete or bowl. Mash with spoon or fork.
  2. Dice onion, tomatoes, jalapeno, and chop cilantro. Add to avocado mixture.
  3. Squeeze juice of lime and add to mixture along with .5 ounces of tequila.
  4. Mix well.
  5. Add a pinch of salt and serve with blue corn tortilla chips.
  6. Serve immediately or chill in the refrigerator tightly wrapped in plastic wrap.
https://theblindpig.blog/2018/05/24/bonus-post-corralejo-lime-guac/

Try out this tasty recipe this Memorial Day weekend while you are enjoying the views at the lake.  Let us know what you think.