- First, have you all checked out our summer bar cart and beyond picks?! You need Negroni socks.
- Also, we have Blue Hawaii Popsicles and you should really already be enjoying them.
- I like the idea of drinking “weird” rosés instead of just plain old rosés.
- I love cider and I’d love to see it explode onto the market.
- I’m fine with having a bite to eat at a winery but don’t make me sit through a GD comedy show there too.
- Yeah, sure, dress my salad with a Margarita. I’m cool with that.
- Looking for the prettiest cocktails in Boston? There’s a list for that.
- It’s summer so you need to know how to pair wine and watermelon.
- I’m all for choosing to drink or not drink or however you’d like to live your life, but really, sober curious just sounds dumb to me.
- And finally, I’m totally fine with a baby opossum accompanying my $1 Applebees cocktails thank you.
There are so many events you need to buy things for during the summer. I think we covered them all here. Let’s make a drink…
You’re going to most likely be outside this summer…a lot. So take happy hour with you with an outdoor bar cart. And fill it with cans of rosé and a few summery bar tools. Need to take your cocktails to the beach, or a lake, or, I dunno, a forest? You’ll never lose your spot with a bright, sunny cooler. And if you plan to just live in the water all summer long: floating cup holders! Oh, and did you remember to buy Dad sometime for Father’s Day Sunday? Send him some socks… Negroni socks.
Catch up on all the gift guides here!
This post was made in partnership with Truvia®. Recipes and ideas are my own.
If you’re a regular reader around here then you know I am a big fan of all things tiki. And if you’re new, well, I’m a big fan of all things tiki! So, for our latest round of Boozy Popsicles for summer, I decided to revisit the very first tiki drink that I made years ago for our very first tiki party: The Blue Hawaii cocktail. This is a memorable drink for its bright blue hue thanks to Blue Curacao, and this kind of technicolor drink is what many people might associate tiki drinks with (along with tiny paper umbrellas).
At the time of the party I went out and bought one of those giant drink dispensers. Standing around making tiki drinks to order was not how I wanted to spend my entire evening. I filled it with this drink thinking to myself, this is way too much; no one is going to consume this much of a blue drink. Well, to my surprise they did, and there were a number of people bummed when it was all gone. Why? Because it’s just a great, easy drinking cocktail: rum, blue curaçao, citrus, pineapple, and coconut cream. And this winning combo easily translates into a flavorful popsicle.
To sweeten up these popsicles, we’re using Truvia® Natural Sweetener packets along with fresh citrus instead of the bottled sweet and sour mix that is usually called for in this recipe. That means your popsicles will have fewer calories, and none of that gross synthetic stuff, thanks to zero-calorie Truvia. And they will taste just as sweet! I love using the Truvia packets for these recipes because it means one less thing I have to measure, just count out a few packets and you’re done.
Also, if you’re looking to make these non-alcoholic, just sub the white rum with a bit more pineapple juice and coconut cream. Or add in a few more pineapple chunks! These jewel-toned popsicles are so beautiful everyone’s going to be asking for one!
Now, the look of these popsicles will change depending on what kind of popsicle mold you have. I have a lay-flat kind like this, however, you might have the kind that is vertical. You can layer these any way you’d like. Or even just mix everything together and freeze. It’s really up to you and won’t change the taste.
Ok, let’s make some popsicles! Tiny paper umbrellas optional!
Blue Hawaii Popsicles
makes 5, 3-1/2 ounce popsicles
5 ounces coconut cream
4 Truvia Natural Sweetener packets
10 pineapple chunks
1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
4 ounces white rum
3 ounces freshly squeezed lemon juice
3-1/2 ounces pineapple juice
blue food dye
- Mix together the coconut cream and Truvia Natural Sweetener packets. Set aside.
- If you have the lay-flat molds, insert popsicle sticks. If not, skip this step for now.
- Place pineapple chunks in the mold and then pour in coconut cream evenly between molds.
- Freeze for about an hour.
- While the cream layer is freezing, mix the blue layer by combining lime juice, white rum, lemon juice, pineapple juice and blue dye.
- Remove popsicle molds from freezer, pour in blue mixture, add popsicle sticks if using vertical molds, and place back into freezer. Freeze at least 8 hours or overnight.
- To serve, remove from freezer and let stand about 5 minutes. Gently remove and serve!
- First, ICYMI: Spiked Horchata is one of our new favorite drinks for summer!
- But I don’t WANT to say goodbye to Caña Brava rum...
- Apparently yeast lasts a much longer time than I suspected. AND you can make beer from the ancient stuff.
- Wine lovers rejoice! There’s a beer for you.
- World Gin Day was this past weekend, and if you need a dictionary about gin, this is your book (also the illustrations are lovely).
- Oh and hey it was also National Rosé Day so you should definitely preorder Ashley Rose Conway’s book about ROSÉ!
- Have you heard of Träkál?! Patagonia is bringing us something new.
- How many of you out there are drinking Bloody Marys at airport bars? My usual order is a double whiskey on the rocks.
- Come for Bloomingdale’s white sale, stay for the craft brewery next door!
- And finally, Kristin over at Dine By Design did a through written job on lots of the topics we talked about in our IGTV segment on cocktail gardens. Head over to her page and check it out!
This post was made in partnership with Kerrygold Irish Cream. Recipe and ideas are my own.
Before moving to Los Angeles almost two decades ago, I had never come across Horchata on the east coast. Not to say that it didn’t exist there, but in the Irish and Italian neighborhoods I grew up in, tacos came from blue boxes and that was the extent of my Mexican cuisine knowledge. When I first arrived here and discovered soft tacos, I also was introduced to the sweet, milky, cinnamon flavored drink called Horchata.
At first I was a little skeptical, who drank milk made of rice (this was before it was cool to drink MYLK)?! But once I tried a sip, I was hooked. Now, Horchata, which can be found beyond Mexico into South America and Spain, as well as similar variations in other cultures, is not necessarily made of rice. Ground nuts and seeds are also common. Here in Los Angeles we mostly are served Horchata made of rice and sweetened with vanilla and cinnamon.
While sitting outside recently enjoying a glass and finally welcoming some warmer temps here, I thought to myself: this would taste excellent as a cocktail too. So, today, in collaboration with Kerrygold Irish Cream, I’ve created an almond based version, heavy on the cinnamon and vanilla, with some spicy notes from gold rum, and a creamy finish with hints of chocolate from the Kerrygold Irish Cream.
This is delicious on its own, but I wouldn’t turn down a side of tacos to have along with it!
Kerrygold Spiked Horchata
1-1/2 ounces gold rum
1 ounce Kerrygold Irish Cream
3/4 ounce cinnamon-vanilla syrup (recipe follows)
1-1/2 ounces almond milk
freshly grated cinnamon for garnish
In a shaker 2/3 filled with ice, combine the gold rum, Kerrygold Irish Cream, cinnamon-vanilla syrup, and almond milk. Shake 20 seconds and strain into a pint glass filled with crushed ice. Grate fresh cinnamon over the top and enjoy!
In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine sugar, water, cinnamon sticks and vanilla bean pod. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly to dissolve sugar. When sugar is dissolved, remove from heat, cover, and let sit two hours. After two hours, strain into an air-tight container. Keep refrigerated up to two weeks.
- First, we kicked off our boozy popsicle summer series over on Instagram. There’s coffee in them so you can eat them at breakfast.
- Tales of the Cocktail is a little over a month and a half away!
- Wanna pay to have rats crawl around you and your cocktails? Of course.. you do??
- A few beer ideas for your summer drinking.
- Need drinks but don’t want to leave the pool? Try one of these swim up bars.
- If there’s alcohol in your drink, it’s never going to be healthy for you...
- However, one of these drinks from this bar *might* be!
- Non-alcoholic beers you might want to drink?
- Negroni Week is coming soon! Go pick some bars to drink at!
- And finally, Diageo is going to be giving 26 weeks of maternity AND paternity leave. WAY! TO! GO! DIAGEO!!
We are currently running through a pint of strawberries every few days at our house. Regardless of the weather outside, it doesn’t really feel like summer to me until the berries start rolling in. As per usual, I overbuy and then have to look for ways other than just straight eating them. So, for this month’s Make or Buy, we’re looking at strawberry liqueur!
Strawberry liqueur is super versatile, and I think especially tasty during the summer, but also nice to have on hand as summer turns towards fall. You can splash it into some club soda, flavor a multitude of cocktails, but my most favorite way is to use it in a Margarita (because of course!). If you make it, please let me know how you use YOUR bottle!
- Readily available online and in stores
- Long shelf life (6+ months)
- Consistent flavor and color
- Muted strawberry flavor and color
- Cannot change viscosity or sweetness level
- Alcohol is more pronounced than strawberry flavor
To Make: Strawberry Liqueur
- Short wait time to make
- Fresh strawberry flavor and strong strawberry aroma
- Bright, beautiful color
- Can adjust sweetness levels
- You must make the liqueur
- Not immediately available
- Flavor and color may not be consistent
- Bad batch of strawberries can ruin flavor of liqueur
And how do they compare in a cocktail? Well, of course I had to try both liqueurs out in my Strawberry Margarita recipe. Usually I would also add fresh strawberries in, but since I was testing out to compare side by side with the liqueurs I left them out (but I do highly suggest adding a few slices and muddling them in!). The store bought liqueur had a strong strawberry taste and slightly spicy flavor added to the Margarita. The color was significantly darker as well. The homemade liqueur Margarita was lighter in flavor, color, and body. Not necessarily a bad thing, just different. Both were definitely strawberry in aroma but each one on opposite ends of flavor and color.
1 pint (16 ounces) strawberries, roughly chopped
1-3/4 ounces vodka
2 cups sugar
1 cup water
- Combine the strawberries and vodka in an airtight jar. Shake to combine and let sit for three days in a cool, dark place. After three days, strain through fine cheesecloth or a nut bag (my preferred way!) and make sure all small bits are removed. Discard strawberries.
- Next, make the rich syrup by combining sugar and water in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir constantly until sugar is dissolved and let the mixture come to a boil and immediately remove from the heat. Let cool to room temperature and combine with the strawberry liquid. Let sit an additional day to meld. Then liqueur is ready to use. Store in a cool, dry place or refrigerator up to three months.
1-1/2 ounces tequila blanco
3/4 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
1 ounce strawberry liqueur
salt for rim
strawberry slices for garnish, optional
First, squeeze your lime juice and set aside. Using the spent lime shell, rub around the outside rim of the glass and roll rim in salt. Set glass aside. In a mixing glass filled 2/3 with ice, combine, tequila, lime juice and strawberry liqueur. Shake 20 seconds and strain into prepared glass. Optionally add strawberry slices to glass to garnish.
I’ve unearthed this forgotten column that I started years ago since there has been a genuine interest in cocktail gardens as of late. Over on Instagram there have been a few conversations now about growing herbs, flowers, and plants for use in cocktails. This could mean just a garnish, or ingredients for an infusion or a tincture.
I LOVE that readers have been getting more interested in this subject but I am not an expert in this field by any means. So recently I asked my friend Kristin from Dine By Design if I could interview her and talk about what’s growing in her incredible garden. You can catch the whole video on Stir and Strain’s IGTV or, even easier, just watch the video below!
During our discussion on herbs, Kristin introduced me to this lovely coconut thyme, which really smells tropical, but also of thyme, and I knew I had to make something with it. A few weeks ago I shared this delicate, vermouth based cocktail using your standard thyme, Thyme for Tea. And if you like that flavor then I really think you’ll love this more robust thyme cocktail.
Old Fashioneds are usually known for their whiskey base, but as you’ve seen on here they are also great with rum, or mezcal. But did you know gin can also fit into this equation? When creating new syrups and tinctures I like to try them out in a very simple cocktail to see how they initially will play with a spirit. Sometimes I just stop there and enjoy the drink. Today’s cocktail lets you enjoy the full aroma of the coconut thyme, via a simple syrup, against the subtle backdrop of a London dry style gin. Any more botanical gins are going to bury that flavor and aroma so steer clear of those. I’ve added a few drops of bergamot bitters to add a little complexity to the mix; it’s simple but works.
Coconut Thyme Gin Old Fashioneds
2 ounces London dry style gin
3/4 ounce coconut thyme syrup (recipe follows)
2 dashes bergamot bitters
In a mixing glass filled 2/3 with ice, pour in gin, coconut thyme syrup and bitters. Stir 20 seconds and strain over fresh ice in a rocks glass.
Coconut Thyme syrup
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
large handful of coconut thyme, cleaned
In a small saucepan over medium high heat, combine sugar and water, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Once the mixture has reached just about a boil and all the sugar has dissolved, remove from the heat and add thyme to the saucepan. Cover and let sit 1 to 2 hours. Strain into an airtight container. Discard thyme and refrigerate syrup for up to two weeks.
Now if you’re thinking, I don’t have a farm, or even a backyard, how am I going to create a cocktail garden? Well, you just need a window, or a grow light! A lot of the items we talk about in the video you can grow in containers, so if that was holding you back from starting your own tiny cocktail garden, consider this the nod to start.
Kristin will have a post soon that I will link to here with more informational links, but if you’re looking for a great resource to start with about growing and using plants in your kitchen or bar, start with The Cook’s Herb Garden. It has lots of photos and tips to help you along to creating a cocktail garden, as well as growing herbs to use in your everyday cooking including how to harvest, store and use what you grow.
I hope that you’ll find this information useful however you’re choosing to use flowers, herbs, and plants in your cocktails. Let us know below or contact us on social with what you’re growing in your cocktail garden.
- First, get yourself one of these chairs. Now go find a pool and your friends.
- Would you like a frozen Negroni? The answer is YES.
- Taco calendars? With tequila? Double yes.
- And speaking of, here is more Margarita recipes than you need…but you’ll want to try them all.
- Now if Mezcal is your thing, and also watermelons… that are frozen. Try this recipe.
- I am on board for putting more glitter in cocktails.
- You stocked up on a bunch of booze for the summer. Don’t ruin it by storing it wrong!
- Oh what’s that? You’d like more frozen cocktail suggestions? How about a frozen Blood and Sand?
- Or maybe you’d like some peaches and rum frozen to perfection?
- I personally like a frozen cocktail with cookies.
- And finally, congrats to Kate from Drinking With Chickens for getting her own nationally celebrated holiday. Thanks for letting me hold your chickens.
- First! If you’ve been thinking about creating a cocktail garden in your home, head on over to our Instagram and check out our IGTV. We interviewed Kristin from Dine By Design about what’s currently in bloom and some fun ideas of things to plant whether you’ve got a whole garden to work with, or just a few containers on your windowsill.
- Second, National Mimosa Day was last week and we celebrated with making a fresh strawberry purée with cardamom and vanilla and pretty much enjoyed drinking Mimosas by the pitcher.
- Boston, you have a pretty good list of places to work and get a drink!
- Shiso leaves in cocktails? Here’s some tips (we talk about shiso in our garden video too!).
- Grenadine too sweet for you? Switch it up with Campari!
- A short guide to what’s what on those cannabis bottles.
- Would you replace your bourbon with this beer?
- Didn’t we just report that Las Vegas had the best cocktails? Well move over Sin City, Singapore is taking the lead.
- Using citrus in your cocktails? Better be diligent about cleaning it or, you know, start growing your own...
- And finally, Vegemite… now for cocktails!