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.

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.

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.

Let Freedom Ring with a Strawberry Basil Margarita

Hey Blind Pig Friends, how was your Fourth of July?  Ours was very low key.  We stuck close to home and hung out by the pool.  While soaking up the sun we got a hankering for some Strawberry Basil Margaritas.  Our garden has been overflowing with herbs this summer thanks to the extra rain that we have been getting this season.  It is a shame to let all of those herbs go to waste without capitalizing on the fresh twist that they can add to cooking and mixing cocktails.  We know that Strawberry Basil Margaritas are not our own invention and are not anything new on the up and coming bar scene, BUT since this is our blog we thought we would remind you about a crowd pleasing summer cocktail.  We included our “Umbrella Worthy” stamp of approval on this recipe, as well.

To make this delicious drink you will need fresh basil, fresh strawberries, Monin Strawberry Flavored Syrup, agave nectar, fresh limes and your favorite tequila.  When making margs we always start from our basic Skinny Agave Margarita recipe.  However, since we used the Monin Strawberry Syrup, we backed off of the agave nectar slightly.

Place the tequila, strawberry syrup, agave nectar, and lime juice in a shaker over ice and shake for 20-30 seconds.  Pour into margarita glass filled with ice — we used sonic ice! Take a basil leaf and clap it between your hands.  This releases the flavors and aroma of the basil.  Place in cocktail.  Garnish with fresh sliced strawberries, and enjoy!

If you are viewing this post via email, visit us at www.theblindpig.blog for a full printable recipe of our Strawberry Basil Margarita.

This cocktail is so yummy, so fresh, so tasty!  It is a great cocktail to serve at any neighborhood cookout or if you are just chilling by the pool.  What is your favorite by the pool drink?

 

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.

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.

Savannah Special

A few weekends ago Blind Piglet #1 was home to celebrate her birthday, and wanted a special drink to share with friends. Next weekend we will be traveling to MIZZOU to see her cross the stage and graduate with honors.  As a special treat, we concocted a delicious cocktail that is perfect for all kinds of spring and summer celebrations!  Whether you are celebrating a birthday, a grad, a mom, or don’t need a reason, CHEERS!

This lovely little cocktail is perfect for large batches. We made a pitcher which yielded about 5 drinks.

To start you need blackberry simple syrup.  We used our usual simple syrup recipe, but added a pint of blackberries.  After sugar has dissolved, remove simple syrup from heat and cool.  After cooling, strain blackberries from mixture.

Next , add 1 cup of whiskey, 1 cup of lemon juice, and 3/4 cup of blackberries simple syrup to a pitcher.  Stir.

Add 1 cup of sparkling wine or tonic water.

Garnish with a sprig of rosemary and fresh blackberries.

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

This delicious drink is the just the right amount of sweet without overbearing the drink.  The sparkling wine gives it a light bubbly texture and flavor.  It is a fun little celebratory cocktail.

Cheers to all the grads and moms this weekend!  We would like to send a special salute to special moms in our lives — Bonnie, Ruth, Jennifer, Heather, Paula, Rosemary, LeeAnn, Dee, and Kayla.  We hope that you have a wonderful Mother’s Day!

 

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.

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.

branca menta

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.

italian mojito1

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.

italian mojito3

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!

italian mojito4

  

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.

Some Like It Hot

some like it hot

The mercury rose very high this week in Dallas.  One day the temperature felt like it was over 114 degrees.  We love summer, but even that is a little too hot for us.  However, it did pose the perfect opportunity for us to share with you a new cocktail — Some Like It Hot!

We came up with the idea for this beverage when we were out to dinner one night and started up a conversation with the bartender.  He was telling us about his drink ideation projects, and we got on the subject of how trendy watermelon and jalapeno are right now.  The conversation got us thinking … we had Seagram’s Watermelon Vodka at home and plenty of fresh jalapenos in our backyard garden.  Thus a star was born!

some like it hot2

To make this delicious watermelon and spice flavored drink we followed the same recipe from our Jalapeno Popper Margarita that we shared with you in the summer of 2017.  We replaced the tequila with Seagram’s Watermelon Vodka to give the drink a refreshingly, summery, watermelon flavor.

If you are viewing this post in your email, you will need to visit our site to view the recipe for Some Like It Hot.

some like it hot1

Try Some Like It Hot and let us know what you think?  What have you been doing to stay calm and cool during these hot days of summer?

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