A hint of heat adds an unexpected twist to this refreshing summertime favorite. The key to striking the right balance with recipe is to start with small amounts of jalapeno and gradually add more until you find just the right level of spice to suit your tastes. It’s a lot easier to add more than it is to adjust everything else to compensate for too much heat. This recipe is great on its own or mixed with vodka or tequila for an adults-only treat.
3 c. water
¾ c. fresh lemon juice (6-8 medium lemons)
1 large cucumber, peeled and cut into chunks
2 t. jalapeno pepper, seeds removed, finely minced
⅓ c. honey, preferably local
Rosemary sprigs with lower leaves removed
Cucumber chunks or slices
Jalapeno chunks or slices
Add water, lemon juice, cucumber, jalapeno, and honey to a blender and blend until completely liquefied. Taste and add more jalapeno and/or honey, if desired. Blend again if necessary.
Pour liquid through a fine mesh strainer to remove any larger particles and transfer mixture to a large pitcher. Place in refrigerator to chill for at least 1 hour before serving.
To serve, pour over ice and garnish with slices of lemon, cucumber, and/or jalapeno. For a fancier presentation, thread chunks of cucumber and jalapeno onto sprigs of rosemary to garnish each glass.
Want a fun and festive way to celebrate the holidays? If so, you’ll definitely want to give these peppermint martinis a try! Your guests will love the crushed candy cane rim that complements the chocolate and peppermint flavors perfectly. TIP: Make sure you use the white crème de cacao for this recipe. The taste of the dark version works well, but it won’t give you the look you are after.
2 oz. vanilla vodka, chilled
1 oz. white crème de cacao, chilled
1 oz. Peppermint schnapps, chilled
For the Rim:
3 oz. peppermint candy, crushed
¼ fresh lime
small candy canes
Place peppermint candy in a plastic bag and cover with a towel. Pound bag with a meat mallet or rolling pin until the candy is crushed into very small pieces. Transfer crushed candy pieces to a flat plate.
Run a small wedge of lime around the rim of a martini glass until it is very well moistened. Turn the martini glass upside down and place moistened rim onto plate of crushed peppermints. Turn the glass gently to ensure the entire rim is evenly coated.
Fill cocktail shaker with ice and add vodka, crème de cacao, and peppermint schnapps. Shake vigorously until thoroughly combined. Strain chilled liquid into a prepared martini glass and add a small candy cane, if desired. Serve immediately.
If you love the rich, creamy taste of classic eggnog, but don’t like the idea of using raw eggs, this recipe is for you. For an adults-only version, add some rum, bourbon, or cognac to taste.
1 ¼ c. sugar
4 c. whole milk
2 t. vanilla extract
1 t. ground nutmeg
2 c. evaporated milk
2 c. half and half
Combine eggs and sugar in a medium glass bowl and whisk until thoroughly combined. Transfer to a saucepan and stir in whole milk, vanilla extract, and ground nutmeg.
In a separate glass bowl, stir evaporated milk and half and half until combined.
Heat egg mixture over medium-low heat while stirring constantly to prevent the milk from scorching. When mixture reaches 160 degrees on a candy thermometer, remove from heat and slowly whisk in evaporated milk mixture.
Cool slightly before tasting. Add more sugar or nutmeg, if desired, before transferring to an airtight container. Refrigerate overnight or until thoroughly chilled. Serve in mugs and garnish with whipped cream, cinnamon sticks, or a dash of nutmeg.
Traditionally, margaritas are considered a warm weather drink, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy this delicious and popular cocktail all year long! This holiday-friendly version lends a festive twist with its bright splash of color and a fun, seasonal garnish.
3 oz. tequila
2 oz. Cointreau (or other orange liqueur)
2 oz. cranberry juice
3 T. fresh lime juice
For the Garnish:
fresh rosemary sprigs, bottom leaves removed, approximately 2-3” long
fresh lime wedges
To make cranberry sprig garnish, carefully thread 3 fresh cranberries onto tough rosemary stems. Set aside.
Fill cocktail shaker with ice and add tequila, Cointreau, and both juices. Shake well and strain into ice-filled glasses. Garnish with rosemary sprigs and lime wedges, if desired. Serve immediately.
Pumpkin pie spice is one of the quintessential flavors of fall. Although you can buy containers of this popular spice, it only takes a couple minutes to whip up your own using ingredients you probably already have on hand. Use what you need and store the rest in an airtight container for several weeks - if it lasts that long! If you can’t get enough of this classic flavor, this recipe combines it with hot coffee, Irish cream and delicious whipped cream for a cozy and satisfying adults-only treat. Enjoy!
Pumpkin Pie Spice:
3 T. cinnamon
1 T. ground ginger
1 T. ground nutmeg
2 t. ground allspice
2 t. ground cloves
Homemade Whipped Cream ingredients:*
1 pint heavy whipping cream
2 T. real maple syrup
1 T. pumpkin pie spice
16 oz. freshly brewed hot coffee
8 oz. Irish Crème
additional pumpkin pie spice, for garnish
* substitute pre-made whipped cream, if preferred.
In a large glass bowl, blend 1 pint of heavy whipping cream with a hand or immersion blender until it doubles in size and changes texture. Then, drizzle maple syrup into the bowl and continue blending until the mixture is light and fluffy. Set aside.
Before brewing, sprinkle fresh coffee grounds with pumpkin pie spice and gently shake to evenly combine the mixture. Brew spiced coffee grounds as usual.
Pour 2 oz. Irish Cream into each cup and top with 4 oz. of freshly brewed coffee. Top with whipped cream and sprinkle with additional pumpkin pie spice before serving.
This watermelon mint lemonade is super easy to make and is so refreshing on a hot summer day. This is one of those recipes you’ll want to tinker around with to find the right flavor combination for your tastes. For example, the amount of water you need to add will vary depending on how juicy the watermelon is and how strong you want the flavor to be. Directions for a mint-infused simple syrup are included. The watermelon adds a lot of sweetness, however, so you may not wish to sweeten it further. It really depends on how sweet or tart you want the final results to be. If you are serving this recipe outside on a warm day, make extra so you can freeze some into ice cubes or an ice ring (if serving in a punch bowl). Using ice cubes made of the beverage you are serving rather than plain water will prevent watered-down drinks as the day or evening progresses. For an adults-only variation, add some citrus-flavored vodka before serving.
Mint Simple Syrup (optional)
½ c. granulated sugar
½ c. water
¼ c. tightly packed fresh mint leaves, stems removed and crushed
6 c. fresh watermelon, rinds removed and cut into chunks
¾ c. fresh lemon juice (6-8 medium lemons)
½ c. cold water, (plus more, if needed)
½ c. fresh mint leaves, tightly packed with stems removed
fresh mint sprigs, for garnish
lemon slices, for garnish
To make the simple syrup, add the sugar, water and crushed mint leaves to a small saucepan and heat over medium-high heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves completely. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and discard mint leaves. Cool completely before using.
Add watermelon chunks, lemon juice and ½ cup cold water to a blender and blend until liquefied. Pour through a fine mesh strainer to remove any larger particles. Taste and add more water, if needed. Sweeten with mint-infused simple syrup, if desired.
Bruise ½ c. fresh mint leaves with fingers to release oils and add to the bottom of a large glass pitcher or jar. If serving immediately, add ice cubes to the container and pour the watermelon mixture over top. Add fresh lemon slices to the container for garnish.
To serve, pour over ice and add a sprig of fresh mint and a lemon slice for garnish
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