Flower Power: Hibiscus Spritz

We feel like we are living in the tropics with the strong Texas heat and steamy humidity.  As they say, “When you can’t beat them, join them.”  The equatorial weather has inspired us to try using a tropical hibiscus in a few cocktails.   The results surpassed our expectations, and they will for you too when you try out our Hibiscus Spritz.

We have been curious about making cocktails with this safe-to-drink tropical flower for a few years.  However, we had never quite figured out how to get enough hibiscus blooms to get the job done.  Rhonda always has a hibiscus plant or two on the patio, but plucking and gathering blooms all summer long didn’t seem like an efficient way to make the hibiscus syrup.  After some research we realized you could purchase hibiscus blooms on the internet (The Spice House). We lucked out and found some at our local Sprout’s.   Finding the blooms, which can also be called flor de Jamaica, is the most difficult part of this cocktail.

After you get the dried hibiscus blooms, you will need to make some hibiscus syrup.  We used 4 cups of water, 1 cup of dried hibiscus blooms, 1 cup of sugar and 2 tablespoons of lime juice.  Bring the water to a boil.  Reduce the heat and add the blooms, sugar and lime juice. Simmer for 10 minutes.  Allow to cool.  Strain liquid into a container that can be covered and stored in the refrigerator.  This will make about 4 cups of hibiscus syrup.

Place vodka, hibiscus syrup and lime juice into a shaker filled with ice.  Shake vigorously and strain into a cocktail glass filled with ice.  Top off with ginger ale. We always like to use diet so Craig can watch his waistline.  Garnish with a lime wheel or use a hibiscus flower if you have one available.  (See we told you that finding the hibiscus blooms was the hardest part!)

If you are viewing this post via email, visit us at www.theblindpig.blog for a full printable recipe for the Hibiscus Spritz.

This cocktail has a light, fruity flavor and a gorgeous, rich, red color.  It is definitely going to be one of our easy go-to cocktails the next time we have guests on the patio. 🙂  Who knew the power of this potent flower could make such an impact?

 

 

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

No Fuss Drinks for Hot Summer Days

Last week The Blind Pig Gang (plus a couple extras) spent a few days on the beautiful Lake of the Ozarks.  It was a much needed change of scenery and get away for all of us.  This week in Texas it is predicted that we will hit over 100 degrees on the thermometer.  When it is hot outside, no one wants to spend lots of time prepping a drink.  You want something cool trickling down your throat and fast!  To help you with your thirst on hot days, we have compiled a list of some of our favorite no fuss drinks.

No Fuss Drink #1:  Borghetti Coke Float

This yummy drink has 3 basic ingredients. Caffe’ Borghetti, Coke and Vanilla Ice Cream.  Mix them all together in your glass, sit back and enjoy summer like a kid.

No Fuss Drink #2: Cucumber Gin Spritz

Cucumber Gin Spritz

Cool as a cucumber did not become a popular saying for nothing.  The cooling and refreshing flavor of cucumbers with a little spritz makes this beverage a very refreshing cocktail.

No Fuss Drink #3: Mint Highball

We shared this drink with you a few weeks ago.  It’s made our list again with its two basic ingredients and minty flavor. What can be more refreshing than mint?

No Fuss Drink #4: Paloma

This  Mexican cocktail, which is Rhonda’s go-to summer drink, had to make the list.  Hey friends, Kroger now has Squirt soda, so you can make a Paloma even easier!

No Fuss Drink #5: Raspberry Mojito

Cubans knew what they were doing when they invented mojitos for hot, humid weather.  Our fun twist on a traditional mojito has the light flavor of berries to help you cool your toes.

No Fuss Drink #6: Salty Dog

The Salty Dog is an easy candidate for this list.  It has two basic ingredients with a cucumber for garnish. Mix some vodka with a little grapefruit soda, plop in a slice of cucumber and head for the pool.

No Fuss Drink #7: Tequila Watermelon Fizz

This easy refreshing drink is made with tequila, seltzer water and watermelon.  It’s light, refreshing and doesn’t weigh you down in the summer heat.

 

Try one or try one each day of the week! So which drink are you going to cool off with first?  We’d love to hear about it.

 

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

Red, White and Blue Smash

Happy Fourth of July everyone!!  This year it feels a little bit different than in year’s past, but it is still important to mark the birthday of our nation and celebrate the freedoms we all hold dear.  To help you with the festivities, we are sharing the Red, White and Blue Smash.  It is a delicious concoction of vodka, grapefruit and basil.  If you are lighting your own fireworks or watching them virtually, this beverage will add to your 4th of July celebration!

Like most beverages on this site, we have stripped this drink down to the essentials.  It is an easy, tasty and fresh drink to make no matter how your 4th Festivities take shape.  To make the Red, White and Blue Smash, you will need premium vodka, grapefruit juice, (ruby red makes a redder drink), fresh basil, grapefruit soda, and fresh blue berries for garnish.

Place two basil leaves and vodka into a shaker.  Muddle for about 15 seconds.  Add grapefruit juice and ice.  Shake for another 15 seconds.  Pour mixture over ice into a rocks glass.  Take another basil leaf and clap it between your hands.  This helps to release the oils and aromas in the basil.  Add the basil leaf to the rocks glass.  Top off with grapefruit soda ( we used Q Drinks grapefruit soda).  Garnish with fresh blueberries and another basil leaf.

If you are viewing this post via email, visit us at www.theblindpig.blog for a complete recipe for the Red, White and Blue Smash.

How are you celebrating your 4th of July Holiday this year?  We wish you a safe and fun-filled weekend.  May your sparklers sparkle brightly and your firecrackers not be duds!

 

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

Celebrate Father’s Day with a Fernet Branca Collins

Looking for a cocktail to help dad feel special on his important day?  The Fernet Branca Collins is a perfect cocktail to mix up for dad.

This new twist on the traditional Tom Collins replaces the gin with Fernet Branca.   The herbal flavors of Fernet Branca paired with the citrus sweetness of lemon makes for a delicious summertime cocktail sipper for the patio or golf cart.

We’ve shared posts with you previously with Fernet Branca, such as,  the La Branca, Fernet and Coke, and the Fernet Hot Toddy (one of Rhonda’s favs).  You may remember that Fernet Branca is low in alcohol and high in flavor. Since Fernet Branca is one of Craig’s favorite amaros, we thought it was a perfect time to share the Fernet Branca Collins with you.

To make the Fernet Branca Collins you will need Fernet Branca, fresh squeezed lemon juice, simple syrup and club soda.

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

Like most of our recipes, this is easy, tasty and fresh!  Mix one up today for dad (or mom) and let us know what you think.

Cheers to our Blind Pig Dad, Craig,  who we couldn’t imagine our world without! The piglets and I love you very much!

To all of the dads that come in many shapes and forms.  You are appreciated and you are loved!  Have an awesome Father’s Day!

 

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

The Blind Pig Berry Festival

Fresh vegetables and fruits are one of our favorite parts of summertime blog posts, which is why one our most used tag lines is: Easy, Tasty, Fresh!  As we looked back at past blog posts, we realized some definite patterns in our posts.  One pattern that overwhelmingly stood out to us was how many recipes that we had with berries.

Berries are the best — nature’s candy! Berries complement many cocktail and dessert recipes, so this week we are going to feature some of our past posts that included berries, such as, Strawberry Prosecco Cake or Tequila Strawberry Lime Ice Cream Pie, both of which we have made recently at The Blind Pig household.   Welcome to our Berry Festival by taking a look back with us.  Perhaps this is a good time to try out one of these fabulous recipes that you haven’t tried yet.

Strawberry Prosecco Cake

This dessert requires a little extra effort, but is certainly worth the effort.  The sponge cake is drenched in prosecco and frosted with a whipped cream frosting.  Delish!  It’s the ultimate summer dessert.

Tequila Strawberry Lime Ice Cream Pie

Tequila Strawberry Lime Ice Cream Pie is an easy dessert that will impress family and friends.  The salty pretzel crust pairs nicely with the sweetness of the strawberry ice cream and tequila.

Prosecco Summer Dessert

Prosecco Summer Dessert is such an easy summer dessert, you will wonder why you haven’t made it sooner.  Made with angel food cake, fresh berries, cool whip and vanilla pudding, it is ready for guests in no time.

Raspberry Margarita

The Raspberry Margarita is a great twist on a skinny margarita classic. It is perfect for summertime pool sipping.

Raspberry Mojito

Rum and Prosecco combine in this cocktail to give it a light refreshing taste.

Strawberry Aperol Spritz

A twist on a crowd favorite, the Strawberry Aperol Spritz is a delightful fresh summertime cocktail.

Strawberry Basil Margarita

The bright colors in this cocktail help to create a beautiful patriotic beverage for summer holidays.  The strawberry and basil flavors are a wonderful combination added to a wonderful skinny margarita base.

Blackberry Kiwi Mocktail

Red berries aren’t the only popular berries during the summer, blackberries make great cocktails too!  This mocktail is a huge hit on a hot summer day.

Savannah Special

We’ve featured this whiskey based drink with blackberry simple syrup in many posts before.  It is a summertime hit with a surprisingly light finish.

Grown Up Berry Lemonade

We couldn’t complete this post without suggesting an easy berry lemonade to fix for your picnics and lake trips.  A few simple basic ingredients and you are good to go with some spiked berry lemonade!!

All of these recipes are just the right amount of berry with a bit of summer mixed in. Enjoy them wherever your summer may take you.

We have many new followers joining us each week.  Welcome to The Blind Pig Blog.  We are happy you stopped by.  Let us know what you think. We would love to hear from you.

 

 

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.

 

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.

Umbrella-worthy Drinks for Summer

We’ve had a lot of fun posting and sharing with you this summer.  Although summer is not over yet, and here in Texas we still have many hot days to get through before we feel the first cool breeze of fall, we thought we would take time to look back at past posts and share with you our all-time umbrella-worthy cocktails.  What is an umbrella-worthy cocktail?  It is a cocktail that is especially good to drink beach or poolside that is not too heavy, can cool you down, and doesn’t look bad with an umbrella accessory.  Ready to see what drinks we picked?  Well, here you go….

The Royal Hurricane

The Royal Hurricane

If there ever was a drink that was meant to be adorned with a cute umbrella, it was this one.  High on flavor, freshness, and overall summer appeal, The Royal Hurricane is a hit at any pool party or sunset cruise.

Italian Mojito

The Italian Mojito has a great flavor with a zip of mint to help any hot summer day feel a little bit more refreshing.  Serve with crushed ice to up the umbrella factor.

La Branca

Let’s party like they do in the Mediterranean and enjoy life like the Italians.  Whether you are gazing out at the blue waters of the Mediterranean or the water in your local lake, this yummy alternative to the usual margarita is sure to put some flair into your afternoon.

Paloma

Rhonda’s go-to drink on a hot summer day.  It’s so easy to make and so refreshing.  You can’t go wrong with a Paloma.  It will make you feel like you are on a beach in Mexico watching an amazing sunset over the Pacific.

Day Drinking

The very name of this easy, light cocktail just begs for a cute umbrella.  As a close friend to the Paloma, no need to stop at just one.

Spiked Watermelon Lemonade

Just looking at this drink you know it is going to be a crowd-pleaser.  It is refreshing, sweet, and has summertime fun written all over it!

Grown Up Berry Lemonade

Who doesn’t crave refreshing lemonade on a hot summer day?  Make sure the kids know that this one is for mommy.  It is easy to make on short notice and long on summertime satisfaction.

Some Like It Hot

This drink turns up the heat, but satisfies on a hot day.  If you are into spicy drinks, this one is calling your name.  Don’t forget the umbrella!

Tequila Watermelon Fizz

The Tequila Watermelon Fizz is a very easy drink to make on the go at the lake or the beach.  It is light on ingredients and even lighter on calories.  No guilt here while you are sipping this in your bikini by the pool.

Strawberry Basil Margarita

The Strawberry Basil Margarita has been our cocktail of the summer.  What tastes more like summer than some strawberries combined with the zip of fresh basil?  It is truly a treat for all of your senses.

Try one.  Try them all.  What is your go-to umbrella-worthy drink?  We would love to hear about it.

 

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

The Spritz of Summer: Strawberry Aperol Spritz

Summer is now in full swing at The Blind Pig household, and what can make summer better than the perfect summer cocktail?  It is no secret around here that Rhonda loves anything that has spritz in the name, and  lately the Aperol Spritz has been her go-to drink of choice.  It’s low hassle and easy to order or make. We paired this popular drink with strawberries, because what says summer better than anything with strawberries?

This cocktail is very easy to make, but you will need to plan ahead. A day or two prior to making the drink you will need to slice some fresh strawberries and infuse them with some Aperol.  We only infused about a cup of Aperol with a cup of strawberries, because we knew we were only going to be making a few drinks at a time.  If you are planning on making Strawberry Aperol Spritzes for a crew, then you may want to infuse a half of a bottle or more.  Place the Aperol and strawberries in the fridge and wait one to two days.  🙂

When you are ready to serve your drinks, you will need fresh strawberries and orange slices for garnish, strawberry infused Aperol, and a bottle of your favorite chilled prosecco.  Since Aperol Spritzes are usually served with a large cube of ice, make sure you have some on hand.

Add 2 ounces of strawberry infused Aperol to the glass with large cube of ice.  Pour 4-5 ounces of prosecco over the top.  Lightly stir.  Garnish with an orange slice and fresh strawberries.  Delish!

We were surprised by the hint of the sweet strawberries that came through and the Aperol did not overpower the strawberries.  The orange slice gave the drink a nice hint of citrus.  We are used to serving our Aperol Spritzes with an olive, but now may switch to the orange!

If you are viewing this post via email, visit us at www.theblingpig.blog for a printable recipe of Strawberry Aperol Spritz.

The Strawberry Aperol Spritz allows you to serve a great drink to your friends, and still  sit back, relax, and enjoy a delicious toast to summer with drinks, food and friends!

 

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.

Hello Summer!

Happy Memorial Day, friends.  As we reflect on this wonderful holiday that is often associated with a day off work, barbecues, and the kickoff of the summer season, we want to highlight that is actually a day of gratitude and thanks giving.  A great quote that we found sums up the meaning of this day.

“If you want to thank a soldier, be the kind of American worth fighting for.”  — unknown.

This day is not just about remembering our fallen and the sacrifice of their loved ones.  It is also about our responsibility to be good Americans.  In our current political climate, we have the responsibility to be informed citizens, to vote, to volunteer in our communities, and to be good neighbors.  Personally, we have always thought America is a great place.  Let’s be the kind of people worth fighting for.

Okay… on with SUMMAAAAAA! You will love this tantalizing, refreshing, light take on the traditional lemonade.  Our sparkling lemonade recipe is so easy, tasty, and fresh.  Summer always makes us think of sitting on a porch, feeling the breeze gently on your face, watching the world go by as you slurp down a glass of lemonade.  The best part of our Sparkling Lemonade recipe is that it is not too sweet.  It is just the right amount of lemon, mint and sparkle.  It’s refreshing to drink and not too heavy.

To make Sparkling Lemonade you need elderflower liqueur.  We used St. Germain.   You also need 1 1/2 cups of fresh squeezed lemon juice.  For this batch we chose to purchase Santa Cruz 100% pure organic lemon juice.  You also need a bottle of chilled prosecco, fresh lemon slices, and fresh mint.

Add the St. Germain, lemon juice and lemon slices to a pitcher. Stir gently.  We made this ahead of time and chilled it in the fridge until our guests arrived.  Next top off with prosecco and stir again gently.  Add fresh mint for garnish.

For a complete printable recipe of Sparkling Lemonade, visit us at www.theblindpig.blog.

We we posted last week, we have lots more fun summer recipes and surprises for you, so check in with us throughout the summer.

Recent posts you may have missed–

Umbrella Worthy Drink: May Bonus Post — La Branca

Banana Bourbon Cobbler

Savannah Special

Strawberry Prosecco Cake

 

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.