Category Archives: cocktails

FIESTA THEMED SHOWER spicy cantaloupe margaritas

TA-DA!  Here are some images from the baby shower that Treadmill Mom and I hosted last month.  A lot of our inspiration came from a fiesta themed birthday party featured on Hostess with the Mostess.

In addition to the origami paper banners, we made tissue flowers.  They were so easy and fun to make:

We followed the simple tutorial from MADE, and used floral wire to secure the tissue flowers to bamboo skewers.  They are so bright and cheerful that I can’t bear to take them down yet.

Our mamacita-to-be is having a boy, so we made this pennant (which now hangs in his nursery).  Inspired by Andrea at Strawberry Chic, you can download the alphabet letters from Martha Stewart:

The menu included Smoky Shredded Chicken Tacos (recipe coming soon), homemade Corn and Cheese Tamales, Pineapple Skewers, Mango and Black Bean Salad, Spiced Up Brownies, and Limeade Cupcakes (adapted from the Tasty Kitchen, I substituted limeade for lemonade).

And because every baby shower should come complete with cocktails, we made margaritas.  Inspired by our dinner at The Mission in Scottsdale, Treadmill Mom and I spent approximately a gazillion hours making cantaloupe sorbet for these suckers…. but it was soooo worth it.


Following Test Kitchen’s recipe, we stock piled cantaloupe sorbet in our freezers:
1 medium sized cantaloupe, coarsely chopped
1 cup sugar
Pinch Salt
2 TBSP fresh lemon juice
1 TBSP vodka
Process ingredients in food processor until smooth, then refrigerate until chilled.  Pour into ice cream machine and run until it resembles soft serve.  Store in freezer (I used large yogurt containers, sealed with plastic wrap and lid) for up to one week.

Infuse a 750 mL bottle of tequila with one habañero pepper that has been seeded and sliced in half.  Peppers can vary in spiciness, so check your tequila after 5 hours–you may need to remove the pepper as it will get HOT.  Our peppers were duds, so we left them in the bottle and it was fine.

Margaritas (yields two):
6 scoops of sorbet
1/4 cup spicy tequila
1 shot triple sec
4 ice cubes
2-3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Blend until smooth!



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The Longneck ‘Rita

“An ounce of pretension is worth a pound of manure….”

The above quote is one of my favorites.  Please keep it in mind while reading this post (bonus points if you know where it came from).  WARNING: if
you ‘re craving a freshly squeezed lime margarita with fancy hot pepper infused tequila, move it right along, because  you’re not going to find that here.  I’ll post the fancy cocktail next month.  Until then, here is the “Whisky Tango” version of the popular drink.  Also known as the “White Trash” or “Beer Margarita”, my friends are big fans of the “Longneck Rita”.

It’s perfect for “emergency” situations.  We had such an emergency on Friday evening, when the outside temperature reached 70 degrees.  SEVENTY. DEGREES. That’s a big deal for us Vitamin D starved Oregonians.

Tequila (don’t waste the good stuff here), Triple Sec, Beer (technically it should be a bottle of Mexican beer, but we stock the Vitamin R’s around here), and fresh all natural Limeade Concentrate.

In a pitcher, mix together:
1 can limeade
3/4 can tequila (use the empty limeade can)
1/4 can triple sec
1 bottle of beer

Fill blender 3/4 full of ice.  Pour in enough of the mixture to BARELY cover the ice–but not completely.  Blend longer than you think you should–this thing should resemble a slushy from 7-11.  Classy.

Stay tuned for next month’s posting on the margarita inspired by our trip to The Mission Restaurant and Lounge in Scottsdale.  It’s the best margarita that I’ve ever had.  Ever.


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COCKTAILS yazi ginger vodka

We rang in the New Year with good friends, great food, and (too) many cocktails.   The big trend in vodka right now is ginger and our favorite, Yazi,  is distilled right here in Hood River.  The following recipes were the crowd pleasers and come with the following disclaimers:  For the GINGER MINX, use only freshly squeezed grapefruit juice.  For the SWEET HEAT, you don’t need a HazMat suit, but you will need gloves for handling the habanero peppers (any cocktail that requires you to suit up is serious business).    CHEERS!

GINGER MINX created by Adam Wilson of Beretta San Francisco 
2 oz ginger vodka
1 oz fresh lime juice
3/4 oz cointreau (or triple sec)
1 oz  fresh grapefruit juice
1/2 oz honey syrup (combine equal amounts of honey and water to make syrup)
3 dashes bitters
grapefruit twist or candied ginger for garnish (optional)

Combine all ingredients into a cocktail shaker,  shake until icy cold, strain and serve up.

SWEET HEAT created by Alex Straus of Suite 700 at Hotel Shangri-La in Los Angeles
1-1/2 oz ginger vodka
1 small slice habanero pepper, seeded
3/4 oz agave syrup
3/4 oz fresh lime
candied ginger for garnish (optional)

Put on your HazMat suit, gently muddle the habanero slice in a shaker.  Add the rest of the ingredients, with ice, and shake until icy cold.  Strain and serve up.

photo credit HERE
original recipes HERE

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This particular entry is long overdue, but worthy of a post nonetheless.  A month ago, we celebrated my dear friend’s birthday, Kentucky Derby style–and had so much fun!  The menu was a Southern inspired team effort–and each person brought it!  The fare included: BBQ ribs, mac ‘n cheese, green salad with roasted beets and shallot vinaigrette, cornbread with honey butter–and of course, lemony mint juleps.  Here are some photos from the day, followed by the julep recipe (thanks to teammate Kerry Lee!).  

LEMONY MINT JULEPS from Summer Cocktails by Penelope Wisner
1 1/2 oz bourbon
1 1/2 oz mint syrup *recipe below
1 lemon wedge
1 sprig mint
Fill a highball glass with crushed ice, then add ingredients.  It will produce a small (but STRONG!!!) cocktail.  

*Mint Syrup: 
4 cups sugar
2 cups water 
bring to a low boil, stir to dissolve sugar–about 5 minutes, remove from heat to cool

1 1/2 cups tightly packed mint leaves: 
blanch herbs in boiled water, just til they wilt,  drain immediately then plunge into ice water bath.  Drain and squeeze out as much water as you can, chop coarsely.  

In small batches (to avoid explosions), put hot sugar syrup and chopped herbs into a blender and puree.  Strain into a container and store in the refrigerator. 

As a side note, we also had a kickass, DIY, photobooth (shout out to the boys at Dirty Fingers for donating a huge bicycle box to such a worthy cause).  It provided some serious entertainment….I highly recommend one for your next party!  A few tips to ensure photobooth success: 

  • use a camera that has a remote attachment and tripod
  • props make a huge difference
  • invite fun people to your party
Abide by those simple rules, and you too can witness the following shenanigans: 

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