May Entertaining: Memorial Day Backyard Party

It’s a three day weekend. Time to grab a watermelon, eat some frozen champagne and dress up like a cocktail!

May Entertaining: Memorial Day 2018 Gift Guide // stirandstrain.com

It’s the official start of summer. So let’s tap a (watermelon) keg, freeze up the champagne (pops), and break out the patriotic bunting and vodka. You’re going to need some shades out there in that sun, so they might as well resemble your favorite cocktail. And if that’s too loud a statement, put your favorite spritz on your shoes instead.

1. Bunting 2. Cocktail Sunglasses 3. Aperol Spritz Shoes 4. Tiki Pin 5. Frozen Champagne Pop 6. Watermelon Keg 7. Watermelon Martini Pop 8. Star Swizzle Sticks 9. Crystal Head Vodka

Catch up on all the gift guides here!

What You Should Be Drinking This Mother’s Day (or World Cocktail Day)

Mom wants a lot of Rosé, some frozen drinks by the pool, and a whole lot less whining from you.

Drunken Apple and Rosé Sangria

Sweet Corn and Strawberry Smash

Rosé Champagne Cocktail

Frozen Negroni Cocktail Slushies // stirandstrain.com

Frozen Negroni Two Ways

Sparkling Grapefruit and Lillet Rosé Sangria

Siegert’s Sparkling Cocktail: Earl Gray Tea and Angostura Amaro for Mother's Day and World Cocktail Day // stirandstrain.com

Siegert’s Sparkling Cocktail (Tea and Amaro)

May Entertaining: Cinco de Derby Party

Giddy-up! ¡Olé! It’s a Cinco de Derby Cocktail Party brought to you by Master of Mixes!

May Entertaining: Cinco de Derby Gift Guide // stirandstrain.com

Place your bets! Does your trifecta include Blood Orange Margaritas? Minty Mint Juleps? Three Sheets to the Wind? (I’m definitely putting all my money down on those three)

When Cinco de Mayo and the Kentucky Derby fall on the same day, everyone’s lucky. So, it’s time to throw a party of dueling cocktails! Mix up a giant punch bowl of Master of Mixes Blood Orange Margaritas, or make some ice cold batches of super minty Mint Juleps with a little help from Master of Mixes Mint Syrup (with extra mint garnishes please!). Stir it up with a pony or two, and tip back a festive cup to drink them all out of. And if you’re headed to the races later, slip a little into your lucky flask.

1. Party Banner 2. Cactus Cups 3. Tassel Napkins 4. Pony Cocktail Pick 5. Master of Mixes Blood Orange Margarita Mix 6. Master of Mixes Mint Syrup 7. Silver Punch Bowl 8. Opera Glasses 9. Horseshoe Flask

 

If you’d like to learn more about Master of Mixes and their naturally flavored, delicious mixers (and take a peek at their over 45! different flavors), please visit them at MixologyPro.com!

Sparkling Gin Lemonades with Rose and Violet Gelées

Sparkling Gin Lemonades with Flower- Infused Boozy Gelées for Easter Brunch // stirandstrain.comThis post was made in partnership with Truvia. Recipe and ideas are my own.

This summer one of my best gal pals is packing up her family and leaving SoCal for humidity and real winters on the east coast. Boo. As much as I’d like to sit and cry about it, we’ve decided to go full on into crafting and get togethers as much as possible before she leaves.

Our biggest project together will be for Easter. This year we’ve decided the adults should have some candy fun too. So, we’ve come up with a fun brunch cocktail DIY that we can make, eat, AND drink. Intrigued? Read on!

Sparkling Gin Lemonades with Flower- Infused Boozy Gelées for Easter Brunch // stirandstrain.comI’m not a giant candy fan, but I do love jelly candies. Jelly beans, pâtes de fruits, those weird orange slices found in the bulk candy section… all of them are favorites of mine. And, if you’ve been a long time reader you know I also love making edible cocktails in the “gelée” way. This week we’ve teamed up with Truvia Natural Sweetener, the zero calorie sweetener with natural sweetness from the stevia leaf that gives you that sweet touch without all the calories! The stevia-based sweetener is also twice as sweet as regular sugar, which means you only need to use half as much! Truvia also comes in several different varieties but today we’re using the zero-calorie Natural Sweetener for the base of our gelées and our cocktail syrup. Truvia Natural Sweetener dissolves crystal clear so there are no lumps, bumps, or crystals floating around in the gelées.

Sparkling Gin Lemonades with Flower- Infused Boozy Gelées for Easter Brunch // stirandstrain.comSince we have three different flavors, the two gelées and the syrup for the cocktails, it’s easiest to start with one large batch of simple syrup then divide and conquer! If you want to have your own get together like us, you can assign your friends each a flavor station. I’m including some notes on batches below if you want to create more flavored edible cocktails than just the ones I’m providing.

Sparkling Gin Lemonades with Flower- Infused Boozy Gelées for Easter Brunch // stirandstrain.comThe fun part of this cocktail is the tiny edible cocktail garnishes, but let’s not overlook the actual cocktail too! Brunch almost always means sparkling cocktails, and while you could easily pop open a bottle of bubbly, I like my brunch cocktails with a bit more character. An easy one to use as the base is to make sparkling gin lemonades. I always make a fresh batch of lemonade during the winter, because: hello, SoCal; lemons practically fall from the sky here during the winter/early spring. I like ginger lemonade but this cocktail is so versatile, any variation, or just plain lemonade, would work. Lemonade is also a great base for a cocktail because you have your sweet, sour and a touch of bitter. So all you need is the booze part! I’m including just a straight lemonade recipe below, but feel free to play with what you like. For the sparkling part, I like a sparkling water, but you could get extra fancy and pop that bubbly anyway to top these off. The effervescent bubbles meld the flavors of the lemonade and the herbal notes of the gin (use an American batch here, not a London Dry, so it’s not all juniper and a touch of a softer palate), and of course: bubbles = brunch.

Sparkling Gin Lemonades with Flower- Infused Boozy Gelées for Easter Brunch // stirandstrain.comAs for the gelées, and since it’s finally spring (!!!), I’m playing with the idea of flowers. There are a few ways you could incorporate flower aroma into your gelées, from making syrups to using flower infused spirits, but today we’ll use rose water and creme de violet to flavor them. I’ll be using the Truvia Natural Sweetener to make a simple syrup, and then will add the flavors to the divided batches. These firm up super quick, so if you make them in the morning, you’ll definitely be snacking on them come brunch time.

This Easter brunch theme has me feeling spring big time! I hope you all enjoy a few flowery gelées and a nice glass of sparkling gin lemonades. Cheers!

Sparkling Gin Lemonades with Flower- Infused Boozy Gelées for Easter Brunch // stirandstrain.comSparkling Gin Lemonade Cocktails with Rose and Violet Gelées (makes 2)

3 ounces American Style gin
2 ounces lemonade (recipe follows)
4-6 ounces sparkling water

rose and violet gelées for garnish (recipes follow)

In a shaker 2/3 filled with ice, pour in gin and lemonade. Shake 20 seconds to combine and strain into two rocks glasses filled with ice. Top with sparkling water and garnish with rose and violet gelées. Serve immediately.

Lemonade Recipe

1-1/2 to 1-3/4 cups simple syrup, sweeten to taste (see notes for big batch simple syrup)
1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
4 cups water

In a large pitcher, combine simple syrup, freshly squeezed lemon juice and water. Stir to combine. Refrigerate until ready to use. Will keep up to one week in the refrigerator.

Sparkling Gin Lemonades with Flower- Infused Boozy Gelées for Easter Brunch // stirandstrain.comRose Gelée Recipe

1-1/2 cups simple syrup
2 packets gelatine
1 teaspoon rose water
1/2 cup vodka
pink food coloring, optional

  • In a small sauce pan, pour in simple syrup. Sprinkle gelatine packets over the simple syrup and let bloom for 1-2 minutes. Turn heat on high and bring to a simmer, whisking gelatine to combine. Remove from heat and stir in rose water and vodka. Add food coloring if using. Stir to combine and pour into a small baking tray or molds if using.
  • Refrigerate for two hours. You can then remove from molds, if using, or cut into shapes and garnish cocktails. *I used these mini cutters to make the shapes!

Violet Gelée Recipe

1-1/2 cups simple syrup
2 packets gelatine
1/2 cup creme de violet

  • In a small sauce pan, pour in simple syrup. Sprinkle gelatine packets over the simple syrup and let bloom for 1-2 minutes. Turn heat on high and bring to a simmer, whisking gelatine to combine. Remove from heat and stir in creme de violet. Stir to combine and pour into a small baking tray or molds if using.
  • Refrigerate for two hours. You can then remove from molds, if using, or cut into shapes and garnish cocktails. *I used these mini cutters to make the shapes!

Notes:

  • The gelées are best used within a few hours, discard after 24 hours.
  • The main ratio for making a gelée is 1:1 (one cup liquid to one gelatine packet). The only issue I have had in the past is with pineapple juice. You will need to cut it with water as the gelatine does not bloom and hold when there is just straight pineapple juice. You can vary the amount of alcohol (or make it nonalcoholic) but do not go more than 50% alcohol in your liquid ratio.
  • If using molds to make the gelées, use silicone, as there is no need to grease and they pop right out.
  • To make a large batch of simple syrup for all 3 recipes: combine 3 cups water and 3 cups Truvia Natural Sweetener in a medium sauce pan over medium high heat. Bring to just under a boil, whisking to dissolve Truvia. Remove from heat, whisk again. And cool to room temperature. Use immediately or refrigerate in an airtight container up to two weeks.

For more information on Truvia and all their products, please visit their site at www.truvia.com.

24 Karat Irish Coffee whiskey - Chila 'Orchata - spiced coffee - coconut cream - gold

24 Karat Irish Coffee with Chila 'Orchata // stirandstrain.comThis post was made in partnership with Chila ‘Orchata. Recipe and ideas are my own.

Next week is St. Patrick’s Day, and while some of you out there might be stockpiling green food coloring and cheap beer, I implore you, back away from that green squeeze bottle and pick up… a coffee.

24 Karat Irish Coffee with Chila 'Orchata // stirandstrain.comNow there might be some purists out there who like their Irish Coffee in the straight, no nonsense way: Irish whiskey, coffee, cream. And that’s all good and fine, but I did not create this website to just stick to the classics. So, for those of you looking for a way to make an Irish Coffee even better (yes, I am saying I like my version better), then let’s talk about how to do just that.

24 Karat Irish Coffee with Chila 'Orchata // stirandstrain.comI’ll just say that we’re going to leave the Irish whiskey where it is; you really don’t need to change that part. But now here’s the fun parts: Chila ‘Orchata and spiced coffee syrup. Today we’re teaming up with Chila ‘Orchata, the most delicious blend of Puerto Rican rum, real dairy cream, Tahitian vanilla, and cinnamon, to make an iced version of this classic drink. Why iced? Because I drink about 3 cups of iced coffee a day and prefer that over hot. Also, I get to make more yummy coffee syrup this week and change it up by adding some warm spices to it. Playing off of the vanilla and cinnamon in the Chila ‘Orchata, I’m adding some additional cinnamon and star anise to the coffee syrup; it’ll be a warm spice bomb to the chilled booze.

24 Karat Irish Coffee with Chila 'Orchata // stirandstrain.comAnd while you could definitely top yours off with plain old whipped cream, I’m going the coconut cream route with just a touch of sweetness from maple syrup. You can actually pick up coconut whipped cream at the grocery store now, but if you have a can of coconut cream at home and a whipper, I’m including how to make it in the notes below. The coconut cream pairs really well with the cinnamon and spices, and I prefer mine barely sweetened to offset the sweetness in the drink (another plus to making your own coconut whipped cream is the ability to control the sugar going into it).

Because it’s not St. Patrick’s Day without a little gold, I’m garnishing the whole thing with edible gold leaf. It maaaay be too pretty to drink, but I’ll try anyway. And I hope you do too! Cheers!

24 Karat Irish Coffee with Chila 'Orchata // stirandstrain.com24 Karat Irish Whiskey

2 ounces Irish whiskey
1 ounce Chila ‘Orchata
1 ounce spiced coffee syrup, see recipe below
1 shot espresso, chilled (optional, see note below)
whipped coconut cream (see note below)
edible gold leaf

In a shaker 2/3 filled with ice, combine the Irish whiskey, Chila ‘Orchata, spiced coffee syrup and espresso shot, if using. Shake for 20 seconds and strain over fresh ice in a rocks glass. Top with whipped coconut cream and a gold leaf garnish.

Spiced Coffee Syrup

½ cup strong espresso
¾ cup sugar
2 cinnamon sticks
1 star anise, whole

Combine espresso with sugar in a saucepan over medium high heat. Stir to dissolve sugar. Bring to almost a boil and lower to a simmer. Add cinnamon and star anise. Reduce until thickened about 15 minutes. Remove from heat, cool and refrigerate in an airtight container. Will keep up to 2 weeks.

Notes:

  • If you like your coffee bev to be even more coffee-y, you can add in an additional shot of espresso.
  • To make your own coconut whipped cream using a whip cream canister: add the solids from a can of chilled coconut cream (refrigerate the can for 3+ hours in advance) into the canister with about one tablespoon of the coconut water from the can. Then pour in 2-3 tablespoons of maple syrup to taste or leave out if you prefer unsweetened. Attach the nozzle, give a good shake to combine, and charge the canister with N2O. Store in the fridge until ready to use. Will keep for 2-3 days refrigerated. I use this whipped cream dispenser and these N2O cartridges.

For more information on Chila ‘Orchata, please visit their website at chilaorchata.com.

{Now Closed} Giveaway // NIPYATA ShamRock It Boozy Piñata

Giveaway // NIPYATA ShamRock It Boozy Piñata on stirandstrain.comThey say everyone has a little Irish in them on St. Patrick’s Day (although I actually have a little Irish blood in me). So, in preparation for St. Patrick’s Day, today we’ve got a little gold for you at the end of the rainbow. And by gold, I mean booze and by rainbow, I mean a giant shamrock piñata filled with it. And you can get it for free.

We’ve teamed up with NIPYATA!, the purveyors of booze filled piñatas, to give one lucky Stir and Strain reader their own giant booze-filled shamrock piñata. Make your St. Patrick’s Day party that much more special by having you and all your pals beat the crap out of this symbol of luck.

If you’re feeling lucky, enter below for your chance to win a NIPYATA! ShamRock It Piñata (retails $100) and get up to 12 entries to win. Open to US residents 21+ only (not available in AK, AL, AR, HI, ND, OK, PA, SD, UT, VT and WY). Giveaway ends March 10, 2018 at 11:59 PST. For more information on NIPYATA! and to check out all their awesome piñatas, please visit them at nipyata.com. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Make It: Angostura Amaro Chocolate Truffles

Make It: Angostura Amaro Chocolate Truffles // stirandstrain.comThis post was made in partnership with The House of Angostura. Recipe and ideas are my own.

This past holiday season I discovered the insanely delicious and ridiculously easy recipe that is the chocolate tart. Folks, if you can melt some chocolate in a bowl, stay with me here because it’s about to get even better.

Add amaro to that chocolate and BOOM: adult dessert nirvana.

Make It: Angostura Amaro Chocolate Truffles // stirandstrain.comWhy am I using so many superlatives here? Because I feel like I stumbled upon a recipe that really is that easy and that tasty. And the best part is that this recipe is easily adaptable too.

Showing up a Valentine’s Day with a giant chocolate tart might be OK, but it’s not the norm. No one wants to stare down at an empty pie tin knowing how much damage they’ve done. They want vague numbers, they want… chocolate truffles.

How many truffles did you start with? Who cares! They’re all gone, but you swear you only ate a couple. Truffles are magic like that. And they’re even more magical with the addition of booze.

Today we’re showing you all another way to incorporate some boozy goodness into your food with this Angostura Amaro Chocolate Truffles recipe. They require a little more work than a tart, but handing over a box of handmade truffles to someone shows how much you care about them.

We teamed up with Angostura this month to highlight cool ways you can use their products in your food and as well as drinks. For the truffles, we paired the chocolate with their Amaro di Angostura. The amaro has a sweet and slightly spiced flavor profile that isn’t too heavy on the bitter. It adds a nice richness to the chocolate but doesn’t overpower it. We think you’ll like them a whole lot!

Ready to roll? Let’s make some truffles!

Make It: Angostura Amaro Chocolate Truffles // stirandstrain.comAmaro Truffles

227 g (8 ounces) 64% chocolate, finely chopped
80 ml (⅓ cup) heavy cream
30 ml (1 ounce) Amaro di Angostura
Pinch cayenne pepper (optional)
Cocoa powder for dusting

In a double boiler set to a simmer, add chopped chocolate and pour cream over the top. Stir constantly to combine until glossy and no chocolate chunks remain. Whisk in Amaro di Angostura and cayenne pepper if using. Refrigerate for at least two hours, and up to overnight. Once firm, scoop out desired truffle size and roll into a ball. Roll in cocoa powder. Truffles will last, refrigerated, up to 2 months.

If you’d like to learn more about Angostura and their products, please visit them at www.angostura.com

Game Day Snacks with The House of Angostura Angostura Dusted Popcorn and Sweet and Spicy Angostura Sauce for Ribs

Sweet and Spicy Angostura Sauce for Ribs // stirandstrain.comIt’s February and that means we’re waking up from our January slumber around here and getting ready for all the fun this month brings! Like Groundhog Day! Our SEVEN YEAR blogiversary! Valentine’s Day! All those other anti-Valentine’s Day holidays I get press releases about! SUPER BOWL!

Angostura Dusted Popcorn // stirandstrain.comOK, so it’s the last holiday there that we’re focusing on today (although, dang, I’ve been writing here for seven years now!). We’re not super big sports people around my house but since we like throwing parties for our friends, we’ve definitely been known to throw a few Super Bowl parties over the years. This year we’ve teamed up with The House of Angostura to bring you a few ways you can use Angostura in your FOOD, as well as in your drinks!

Today we’re including TWO recipes you can whip up for the big game day. Both are super easy with one being really quick and the other pretty much hands off while you wait.

If you’re looking for a quick snack, Angostura Dusted Popcorn is where it’s at. Angostura Dusted Popcorn // stirandstrain.comClick on the photo for recipe!

Second, here’s a hands off Sweet and Spicy Angostura Sauce for Ribs. RIBS! With AMARO AND RUM!!

Sweet and Spicy Angostura Sauce for Ribs // stirandstrain.comClick on the photo for recipe!

And there you go folks! I hope your football party is made just that much tastier with a little touch of Angostura.

If you’d like to learn more about Angostura and their products, please visit them at www.angostura.com

What You Should Be Drinking for NYE 2017

Let’s ring in the New Year with giant flowing bowls and sparkling cocktails. And shove 2017 out the door!

Desert Rosé Punch // stirandstrain.com

Desert Rosé Punch

The Stinger Royale // stirandstrain.com

The Stinger Royale

Róse Champagne Cocktail // stirandstrain.com

Rosé “Champagne” Cocktail

Brûléed Grapefruit and Mixed Citrus Punch with Vanilla and Piloncillo Reduction // stirandstrain.com

Brûléed Grapefruit and Mixed Citrus Punch with Vanilla and Piloncillo Reduction

Chamomile and Tangerine Sparkling Cocktail for Two // stirandstrain.com

Chamomile and Tangerine Sparkling Cocktail for Two

Spiced Pear Fizz Cocktails with Everclear // stirandstrain.com

Spiced Pear Fizz Cocktails with Everclear

Smoky Sage Punch // stirandstrain.com

Smoky Sage Punch

 

And if you’re looking for a few last minute ideas to decorate your bar cart for your New Year’s Eve party, check out our latest Bar Cart Styling post HERE!

Gift Guide: Smells Like Booze Spirit

It smells like a cocktail, but you don’t want to drink this.

Holiday Gift Guide: Smells Like Booze Spirit // stirandstrain.com

You do want to smell it and lather your body with it! Put it on your lips and chew on it for a little bit after dinner. For your booziest enthusiast friends, those who really, really like spirits, here’s a few stocking stuffer and hostess gifts for all you last minute shoppers out there. And of course, these pair well with an actual bottle of booze too.

1. Pisco Sour Candle 2. Cocktail Lip Balms 3. Bourbon Vanilla Soap 4. Craft IPA Shampoo and Conditioner 5. Scotch-Infused Toothpicks 6. Dark Rum Candle

 

Catch up on all the gift guides here!