Fresh Summer Cocktail

We know that we have been absent for a few weeks.  We’ve had a variety of things going on and haven’t been able to post.  You may know that Piglet #3 is a senior in high school and will be graduating at the end of this week.  We’ve had several special events that pertain to the end of high school and the end of the school year that have diverted our attention from the blog.  Since he’s our last piglet, we know that we can’t get these days back.  Our Blind Pig readers are the best and understand our priorities.

To break our radio silence, we are sharing twist on one of our refreshing cocktails that we posted last summer on Father’s Day weekend.  You may remember the Fernet Branca Collins with its zesty herbal flavor and light lemon fizz.  If you live in the Dallas area, you can get a Fernet Collins at Northern Italia, Billy Can Can and Numero 28.

Our twist is a simple ingredient substitution where you substitute Branca Menta for Fernet Branca.  The Branca Menta Collins is a little sweeter than the original recipe and has a yummy mint flavor.  Both cocktails are delicious and very refreshing. Both are perfect summer sippers.

To mix up this refreshing drink you will need Branca Menta, freshly squeezed lemon juice, simple syrup, and club soda. Pop in a sprig of fresh mint and a slice of lemon for garnish and enjoy!

If you are viewing this post via email, visit us at www.theblindpig.blog for a complete recipe for the Branca Menta Collins.

Try out the Branca Menta Collins this week and let us know what you think!

 

Disclaimer: Beverages on this site are meant for adults 21 years of age and older. We do not condone underage drinking. Drink responsibly.

Cool Off with a Refreshing Mint Highball

Summer showed up in full force in Dallas this week.  We had temps in mid-90s, but it feels like 102.  It would be a great week to try out our Just Peachy Popsicles that we shared with you last week.

During the hot summer months we are always looking for a cool refreshing drink that does not require a lot of fuss and extra prep.  Who wants to be mixing a drink when you really want your feet dangling in the pool? The Mint Highball is an easy summer drink to fix for one or many.  In less than 5 minutes you can be sipping minty freshness while cooling off near the water.

If you like a good Mojito, the Mint Highball will quickly become one of your summer favs.  This refreshing beverage is made with Topo-Chico Carbonated Mineral Water and Branca Menta Liqueur.  It tastes similar to a Mojito without all all of the sugar and extra calories.  The typical Mojito runs around 250 calories, but the Mint Highball hits a low bar with 135.

If you  are viewing this post via email, join us at www.theblindpig.blog to get a full printable recipe for the Mint Highball.

With the right amount of fizz and mint, this beverage is sure to make it into you regular summer rotation.   We can tell you that it already has made it into ours! Ready to try the Mint Highball?

 

Disclaimer:  Beverages on this site are meant for adults 21 years of age and older.  We do not condone underage drinking.  Drink responsibly.

 

Menty Brownies

 During this time of COVID, comfort foods are making a come back, and what is more comforting than a pan of brownies right from the oven?  Brownies are an easy versatile goody to bake.  You can make them from scratch or make them from a box.  No matter how you mix these treats up, they are easy crowd-pleasers for a variety of occasions.

We always keep a couple boxes of brownie mix on hand, because the piglets wander into the kitchen a few times a month and decide to mix  up a batch.  This week we are sharing a fun and incredibly easy Blind Pig Twist on your favorite brownie recipe.

Our version of this American classic is made with a hint of Brancamenta Liqueur and some Andes Mints layered in the middle.  The minty goodness enhances the flavor of the chocolate and is a tantalizing variation on the traditional chocolate brownie.

As we said above, start with your favorite brownie recipe.  To enhance the mint flavor of the brownie add 1/2 ounce of Brancamenta Liqueur to the batter when mixing.

Prepare your baking pan as usual with cooking spray.  Pour 1/2 of the batter into the bottom of the pan.

Place a layer of Andes mints evenly over the bottom layer of batter.

Top off with the remaining batter.  Bake as directed.

After  removing the brownies from the oven, allow the brownies to cool.  Cut into small squares and serve.

As you can see in our photos, there is a small sliver of the Andes mint that can be viewed from the side of the brownie.

These brownies have the right amount of mint flavor — not too much not too little.  One word of warning to you. These did not last long at The Blind Pig household.  If you do not intend to share these with others, DO NOT make them when others are present!

What do you think?  Are you going to mix up a batch of Menty Brownies today?

 

Oreo Menta Shake

It has been a long week friends.  Without a lot of good news, we thought that we would share a little pick me up.  At the point that Rhonda is writing this post, Craig is having his second virtual happy hour of the week.  How do you have a virtual virtual happy hour? Schedule a zoom meeting with your closest friends, grab a cocktail and happy hour it up! The Oreo Menta Shake would be a great concoction for a virtual happy hour.

In celebration of our Irish heritages and as a toast to St. Patrick’s Day this week, we thought that we would share a special adult shake with you with a little mint to savor.  The Oreo Menta Shake is an easy adult shake to create, and tastes just as delicious as it looks!  The Branca Menta adds just enough minty kick to this smooth, creamy concoction.  It will have you feeling like you found the end of a rainbow.

Before we get started with how to make the Oreo Menta Shake, we would like to share a fun story with you.  We are always interested in how various products get their start.  We have used Fernet Branca Liqueuer in a few of our other recipes that we have shared with you on the blog.  Fernet Branca, which has been around since 1845, is like the grandfather to Branca Menta.  Branca Menta was created in the 1960s. Apparently a famous Italian Opera singer named Maria Callas was known to drink Fernet Branca along with a touch of mint syrup before each performance.  The Branca family were huge fans of Maria Callas.  They were very flattered that she drink their product, but were confused why she felt that she needed to “improve” on their creation.  Inspired by her idea, the Branca family began to produce and sell both Fernet Branca and Branca Menta. So the next time you have a sip of Branca Menta, you can think about Maria Callas and her contribution to the liqueur family.

To make the Oreo Menta Shake, you need some mint chocolate chip ice cream (we prefer Blue Bell), some crushed Oreos and mini Oreos for garnish, milk and Branca Menta Liqueur.

Place the ingredients together in a blender and pulse until creamy and smooth.  Pour into serving glasses and garnish with mini Oreos on cocktail skewer or toothpick.  We gave our glasses a little extra flair by rimming the glasses in chocolate syrup and rimmed in crushed Oreos. You can sprinkle some crushed Oreos over the top of the shake for extra flavor and appeal.

If you are viewing this post via email and would like a full printable version of our recipe for Oreo Menta Shake, visit us at www.theblindpig.blog.

The Oreo Menta Shake makes a great dessert when hosting guests.  This is definitely going to be on our summertime menu for gatherings at our house!  What about you?  Are you already making plans for sunny summer gatherings with friends?

 

Disclaimer: Beverages on this site are meant for adults 21 years of age and older. We do not condone underage drinking.  Drink responsibly.

Sip On This: Espresso Menta

We got a pleasant surprise in Texas yesterday!  It snowed.  We know our friends up North are thinking, “Big deal,” as they roll their eyes, but the people who live south of the Mason Dixon line don’t always get to experience the fluffy white stuff as often as you, so it is quite a newsworthy event.  At The Blind Pig Headquarters we did not get much more than a slight dusting, and to be quite honest, we received more sleet than snow.  However, in Denton, Texas, just a mere 45 minutes west of us, they had enough snow to go sledding and make respectable snowmen.  Of course we had to take full advantage of the opportunity to have snow in our Blind Pig Photos for the week, so make sure to take note.

We would love feedback from our readers, so don’t forget to click on our survey link at the bottom of our post!

This week we are sharing an easy delightful little cocktail called the Espresso Menta.  It has two of our familiar ingredients, Caffe’ Borghetti and Branca Menta.  Yes, we use these ingredients a lot.  We assure you it is for two good reasons.  Reason #1:  Both Borghetti and Branca Menta are excellent liquids.  They are superior to other liquors in their respective categories.  We won’t give you all the details here, but trust us.  Others do not have the same craftsmanship or quality.  Reason #2:  We try to give you multiple recipes that can be made with the same ingredients.  No one wants to purchase a whole bottle of something and only use 1 ounce.  By sharing multiple recipes with the same ingredients, you are able to see the versatility of the ingredients and recipes that we share on TBPB!

The Espresso Menta is a versatile cocktail that can be used as an after dinner drink, a sipping cocktail with appetizers, or even served as a brunch cocktail.  The espresso and mint flavors pair nicely with chocolates and sweets for a dessert cocktail.  The coffee flavor makes it a wonderful brunch beverage, and the combination of the two produce a fantastic cocktail to sip slowly.

The Espresso Menta is made with only 2 ingredients — Caffe’ Borghetti and Branca Menta.  We added a sprig of mint for garnish, because you’ve got to accessorize!! To make the Espresso Menta, place your Branca Menta bottle in the freezer for about an hour to chill.  Next pour 1.5 ounces of Caffe’ Borghetti and 1 ounce of Branca Menta over a cup of ice in a shaker.  Shake until the shaker becomes chilled.  Pour into a small sipping cocktail glass.  Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint.  Sip and enjoy.

The Espresso Menta is a great cocktail to serve when entertaining, because there is little prep. The flavors will have your guests wondering how you found this gem of a cocktail.  You can tell them about us, or maybe you want to keep your source a secret?

We would love to hear from you and get your feedback on what you would like to see on The Blind Pig Blog.  Please take a few minutes to complete this brief survey.  Thanks!

  

Disclaimer: The beverages on this site are meant for adults 21 years of age and older.  We do not condone underage drinking.  Drink responsibly.

 

Menta Daiquiri

Is it hot where you live?  Here in Dallas we have finally hit the triple digits.  Every year we forget how incredibly hot 100 degrees + feels.  It’s like a sauna, oven, the heat miser, whatever…  We try anything to stay cool.  To help cool your taste buds and tummy, we are sharing the Menta Daiquiri with you during this summer heat wave.

When we hear the word daiquiri, we tend to think about overly sweet rum drinks made with whipped cream, a cherry and an umbrella on top. Actually the original daiquiris were made only with rum, lime juice and sugar…. no cherry, no umbrella.  As with many cocktails there are a few different stories circulating about its origin.  However, all stories agree that the drink was invented near a beach town in Cuba named Daiquiri, thus the drink had a name.

Our daiquiri recipe attempts to mimic the original recipe for daiquiris.   We use a few basic ingredients, rum, lime juice, sugar, together with Branca Menta and mint.

To make this refreshing cool treat, you need to get out your blender.  Place your cocktail glasses in the freezer to chill.  To start, add lime juice, sugar, Branca Menta, mint leaves and crushed ice to the blender.  Blend all of this together.  Hint:  If you want fine ice like in most frozen drinks at restaurants, start with crushed ice in your blender.  We happened to have some Sonic ice on hand.  By blending the Sonic ice in the blender we got a fine frozen ice mixture.

After blending the first ingredients, we added the rum a half ounce at a time to the frozen mixture, blending in between.  Pour the frozen mixture into your chilled glasses, and garnish with fresh mint and an umbrella.  Sit back.  Kick your feet up and enjoy the minty coolness as it enters your body.  Ahhhhhh!

 

If you are viewing this post via email, visit us at www.theblindpig.blog for a complete printable recipe for Menta Daiquiri.

Often we have friends that tell us that they don’t like to purchase various bottles of liquor for a recipe, when the recipe only calls for an ounce or two.  We hear you.  That is why we try to share with you multiple recipes that use similar liquor ingredients.  Try some of these recipes out this weekend.  We’d love to hear your thoughts.

Other recipes using Branca Menta that we have shared with you are:

Italian Mojito

Choco Menta Shake

Menta Truffles

Thin Mentas

The Thin Mint

Mojito Ice Cream

Have a great weekend. Don’t melt.  Stay cool!

 

Disclaimer:  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.

Italian Mojito

italian mojitoHey friends!  We apologize for getting our post ready a little late this week.  It was Blind Piglet #2 and #3’s first week back to school.  We had hockey and soccer practices and soccer games and well, you know the drill.  Watching a soccer game in 100 degree heat can start a craving for a light and refreshing beverage.  Thus we decided to share the Italian Mojito with you.

You may remember our Zaya Mojito that we shared with you during the summer of 2017.  This is still one of our easy favs. However, when you see how simple and refreshing the Italian Mojito is, it may make it to the top of your quick and easy cocktail list.

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We first introduced you to Brancamenta, the main ingredient in the Mojito, last summer when we featured Who Needs Half Price Shakes After 8?   Brancamenta is an Italian apertivo-digestivo with a distinctive mint flavor.  It is delicious in many beverages and recipes and is the star of the Italian Mojito.

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To make the Italian Mojito you need a few basic ingredients: Brancamenta, Sprite, (We used Sprite Zero to cut down on calories.) a lime and mint leaves.  Place the mint leaves and juice of half of lime in a  shaker and muddle.  Next add ice and  Brancamenta.  Shake vigorously for 15 seconds.  Pour into a glass and top off with Sprite. Garnish with a mint sprig or slice of lime.

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If you are viewing this post via email, visit our site for a downloadable recipe.

The Italian Mojito is less sweet than a traditional mojito, while still maintaining that refreshing minty flavor.  If you like a little fizz in your drinks, then you will like the energizing bubbles that the Sprite adds to this cocktail.  Give it a try and let us know what you think.  You may find out that it was mint to be!

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Disclaimer:  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

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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

via

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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Mint to be Irish

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This tasty little cordial made with Kerrygold Irish Cream, Zaya Rum and Branca Menta will have your dancing an Irish jig in no time.

Hello friends! We are starting spring break this weekend, and we are looking ahead to St. Patrick’s Day.  We both come from Irish ancestors. Craig’s grandmother’s maiden name was Gertrude Holmes. Rhonda’s grandmother was Mary Dorothea O’Donnell, and Mary Dorothea’s father was Patrick O’Donnell.  Can you really get any more Irish than that?   Whether you are Irish or just want to be, we have a fun little cocktail for you to toast your lads and lassies.  You will believe that you were Mint to Be Irish.

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Just like the lucky three leaf clover, this cocktail is made with three delicious spirits — Kerrygold Irish Cream, Zaya Rum, and Branca Menta.

Add 2 ounces of Kerrygold Irish Cream, 1 ounce of Zaya Rum, and 1/2 ounce of Branca Menta to a shaker.  Top with a scoop of ice and shake for 20-30 seconds.  Pour into a small cordial glass and garnish with a mint leaf.

Yummo!  This tasty sipper will have you kissing the Blarney Stone and dancing an Irish jig.

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Visit our website to get a printable version of the recipe.

We would love to hear if you try Mint to Be Irish or any of our ideas on our blog.  Be on the lookout for a bonus post coming in the next week.

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

Double Menta

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Have the girl scouts been out and about in your neighborhood?  They are in full force around the Dallas area selling their boxes of irresistible confections.  Thin mints are one of our favs, but this year we are making our own grown up thin mints. We shared one of our favorite mint liqueurs with you in other posts like,  3 Hot Chocolates With a Twist and Who Needs Half-Price Shakes After 8?Who Needs Half-Price Shakes After 8? Branca Menta is the perfect amount of mint to give these chocolate cookies a little zip. Not a cookie person?  No worries!  We have a thin mint in a glass for you, as well.

branca mentaWe found the cookie recipe last March on Liquor.com with a few minor adjustments we made it our own.  Start by whisking together the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.

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Then beat the sugar and butter until creamy with a mixer.  Slowly add the eggs and the extracts.  Next add the flour mixture slowly to the mixer until combined. The dough is super sticky.  (We will talk about that more in a moment.)

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Chill the dough for at least 30 minutes.  Do not skip this step or it will become very difficult to work with later.

Preheat the oven to 350° F.  You will need to roll the dough into little 1 1/2″ balls.  To make this easier, wash your hands carefully.  Then spray your hands with cooking spray.  (You will be glad you did!) Scoop a spoonful of dough out of the bowl and into your hands. Roll the dough until a nice ball forms.  Since you chilled the dough and sprayed your hands with cooking spray, the balls form nicely and do not stick to your hands!

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After rolling the dough, flatten the balls with the bottom of a glass.  Remember how you sprayed your hands with cooking spray?  Spray the bottom of the glass before flattening the cookies.  It keeps the cookies from sticking to the bottom of the glass.  The recipe calls for making the discs about 1/4″ thick.  We couldn’t get ours quite that thin.

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Bake the cookies, and flip them to the other side to bake after about 4 minutes.  Bake for a total of 8 minutes.  Let the cookies cool slightly on the tray and then transfer to a cooling rack.

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Meanwhile, you can melt the chocolate chips.  Instead of using a double boiler, we usually melt our chips in the microwave.  We set the cook time for no more than 30 seconds each interval.  After 30 seconds is up, we remove the bowl, stir, and return to the microwave for 15-30 more seconds until the chips are melted and smooth.

Dip the cooled cookies into the chocolate one at a time to coat.  Shake off excess chocolate and place on parchment paper to set.

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Now you are ready for some delicious homemade Thin Mentas!  While these cookies do not taste exactly like the cookies the Girl Scouts sell,  they are still a delicious treat.

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Thin Mentas

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 5 tbsp butter, softened
  • 1 large egg plus 1 large egg yolk brought to room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons of Branca Menta
  • 1/2 tsp peppermint extract
  • 12-18 ounces of semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In a larger bowl on a mixer stand beat together the sugar and butter on medium speed until creamy.  Reduce the speed and add first the egg and then the egg yolk, beating well after each addition. Beat in the extracts.  Slowly beat in the flour mixture until just combined.  The dough will be super sticky.

Shape the dough into a ball and chill for 30 minutes.  After chilling the dough, shape the dough into 1 1/2″ balls and place on cookie sheets.  Flatten with the bottom of a glass till about 1/4 inch thick.  Bake the cookies for about 4 minutes, remove flip and bake for another 4 minutes until dry and crisp and firm around the edges.  Let the cookies cool slightly on the cookie sheet and then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Melt chocolate chips in the microwave at 15 second intervals stirring until smooth.  Dip cookies into the melted chocolate and turn to coat .  Shake off any excess chocolate and place on parchment paper to cool.

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 The Thin Mint

Add one part Branca Menta and one part Seagram’s Cookies and Cream Vodka in a rocks glass.  Place in the freezer for 15 minutes.  Then sit back and drink your girl scout cookies.

Which will you try first?  The drink or the cookies?  We would love to hear about what you think.

DISCLAIMER: THE BEVERAGES ON THIS SITE ARE MEANT FOR ADULTS 21 YEARS AND OLDER.  WE DO NOT SUPPORT OR ENCOURAGE UNDERAGE DRINKING.  ALWAYS DRINK RESPONSIBLY AND NEVER DRINK AND DRIVE.