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.

 

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

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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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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.

It’s Beginning to Look Like Christmas

Hello friends,  did you enjoy some Kerrygold French Toast for breakfast this weekend?  Our family had a busy weekend.  One half of the family went South for an out-of-town hockey tournament and the other half went North to move our daughter’s stuff out of her sorority house.  Although we were busy doing other things we still managed to put some finishing touches on our Christmas mantel and make some yummy treats!

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Along with holiday decorations, our family loves to bake and entertain during the holiday season.  Rhonda likes to try out new baking recipes and Craig likes to be the official taste-tester.  This week’s treat is an old recipe that Rhonda got from her friend, Kim, years ago when baking holiday treats — Menta Truffles.  These truffles are so easy and taste sooo good, that they have stayed a family holiday staple for years — with a few tweaks here and there, of course.  Rhonda always makes these and places a few into our holiday goody bags that she shares with friends and family.

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When you see how easy these are, you will shout, “Get out!”  There are only 4 easy ingredients that you need.

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First melt the chocolate chips.  We usually melt them in the microwave in 45-30 second bursts. Don’t overcook or you will have to start from the beginning.

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When the chocolate chips have melted to a nice consistency, add a tub of chocolate frosting.  With both the chocolate chips and the frosting, choose whichever you like best.  Our family prefers milk chocolate, so that is what we usually use.  However, we have made it with semi-sweet before and it also tastes nice.

After mixing the frosting into the melted chips, add 1/4 cup of liqueur to the mix and incorporate fully. We used Branca Menta so our truffles will have a nice minty taste.  You can also use Kerrygold Irish Cream for a double chocolate taste or try Caffe Borghetti which gives the truffles a coffee flavor. Yummy!

Now, chill the dough for 1-2 hours. This is a very important step.  If you don’t chill the dough, it is nearly impossible to do the next step.

After chilling for 1-2 hours, scoop out about 1 spoonful of dough and roll into balls. (No snickering!)

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Melt the almond bark using the same method that you used for the chips.  We melt half of the almond bark at a time.  It is easier to work with when it’s freshly melted.  Place about 2 balls into the melted bark and coat evenly.  Scoop out with a fork and let excess bark drip into the bowl.  Place on parchment or wax paper and let harden.  You can add extra sprinkles or crushed peppermints to the top for garnish.  An alternative to dipping in almond bark, is to roll the truffles in cocoa, crushed nuts, or coconut.

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Menta Truffles

  • 1 can chocolate frosting
  • 1 package chocolate chips
  • 1/4 Branca Menta Liqueur
  • 1 package of almond bark

Melt chips.  Add frosting and liqueur.  Chill for 1-2 hours.  Roll into balls. Roll in cocoa, nuts, or coconut or cover in melted almond bark.

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Can you believe how easy this recipe is?  It is a huge hit in holiday baskets or served on holiday dessert trays. Let us know if you try it out!