Cocktail Time: Grown Up Jungle Juice

I have to admit, when it comes to cocktails, I like fruity drinks. In fact the less of the alcohol you can taste, the more happy I am with the concoction. For a while now I’ve been looking for a fruity, adult punch type drink, and I’ve never quite come across what I was looking for, so I made this. This, lovely, fruity combo that really packs a punch.

When I was finished I let Jamison taste it, even though this isn’t his type of drink at all and his face was priceless. He informed me this is similar “hunch punch” and was often served at frat parties he attended with friends. I had heard of hunch punch, but someone never actually tried during my years in college, probably because I was a huge dork, and I went to a frat party all of once in my time at UT. I wasn’t impressed and drank nothing. I might have been there for all of 30 minutes, if that long. My roommate insisted I go along with her and we walked around Frat Row after a football game. The whole thing didn’t make of an impression on me, other than not being impressed. It’s funny how that notion sticks with you. I think it was the equivalent of, “Hey, hold my beer and watch this!” and that just wasn’t me thing.

Anyway…I got sidetracked again didn’t I? I’m good at that. 😉

Another thing this reminds me of is the Jungle Juice they used to serve in the school cafeteria when I was growing up. I don’t know why, but it does. It’s probably the Kool-Aide component come to think of it; I think Jungle Juice was a fruit punch as well, which would explain the similarity. The idea of the Jungle Juice stuck though, and thus Grown-Up Jungle Juice was born.

This is definitely a drink to share. It makes a large pitcher of goodness, and did I mention how strong it was? Of course I did! 😉

What You’ll Need:
1 lid full of Kool-Aide Fruit Punch mix
1 – 12 ounce frozen pineapple juice
4 cups of lemonade
1 cup of peach schnapps
1 cup of dark rum
1 cup of triple sec
1 cup of limoncello or limoncino
1 cup of Everclear
1 bottle of sweet red wine (Note: I used a bottle of muscadine wine from Savannah Oaks Winery in Tennessee.)
1 cup of whipped cream vodka
1 cup of Absolut Mandarin vodka

First off, again let me warn you…this stuff is STRONG!! You’ve got a lot of alcohol here, mixed with a little juice, and a splash of Kool-Aide for fun. This is a stay where you are sort of drink, not a have a glass and go drive sort of libation. Stay where you are, have fun with friends, tell some stories, relax, but not drive. Do not drive.

And yes the Kool-Aide is a little low brow, but who cares…this is a fun drink, not a sophisticated sort of deal. If you want sophisticated, make some sangria. This is more of a beachy, party, have fun, be silly with your friends sort of drink.

Now let’s make some Jungle Juice!

You’ll need a very large pitcher, at least a gallon. Add all of your ingredients and stir to mix. Chill at least an hour before serving. If you want to make it really fun you can put it in the freezer and let it get slushy, like I did as you can see in the picture above, which might take a while depending on the temperature of your freezer.

Notes: You can different kinds of juice if you like. You could even leave out the Kool-Aide and add a bottle of cherry juice instead. If it’s too sweet, you can water it down with a little lemon-lime soda or even plain sparkling water.

Apocalypse Cocktails: End of the World Cherry Chocolate Martini

Apocalypse Coctails: End of the World Chocolate Cherry Martinis!

Apocalypse smapocalypse. It’s kind of amusing when people get all stirred up over something completely innocuous. Silly humans, we get riled up over the most basic things that are simply put out there by suggestion with no evidence to back it up. If there are aliens out there they are laughing at us I promise…hell I’M laughing at us! 😉

Anyway…

All of the hoopla about the Mayan calendar ending (or as I like to see it, the Mayan Y2K) made me start thinking about an end of the world cocktail! I posed the question on Facebook and asked if you were making such a cocktail what you’d put in it and I got the answers vodka, absinthe and moonshine. Vodka I actually had on hand, because well vodka is good, vodka is my friend! Then I saw some cherry juice at the grocery store and the cocktail idea flooded in soon after.

Chocolate and cherries? It’s like a Black Forest Cake in a cup!

What You’ll Need:
4 cups of black cherry juice, chilled
1 – 11.5 ounce bottle of Perrier, chilled
1 cup of Godiva Chocolate Vodka, from the freezer
1 cup of Whipped Cream Vodka, from the freezer

Mix ingredients in a large pitcher until well blended. Drink immediately or keep chilled in the fridge until ready to serve.

Notes: If you wanted to put a cherry in the drink that would be a neat addition, or you could rim the glass with sweetened cocoa, or top with whipped cream. I like this straight up though.

Cocktail Time: Red Hot Apple Pumpkin Martinis

Red Hot Apple Pumpkin Martinis

When I was a child growing up in Tennessee, my mom’s family always came down from her hometown which was about 3 hours from where we lived, each Thanksgiving for lunch. My mom made a fabulous spread with turkey and dressing and corn casserole and yeast muffins and deviled eggs and sweet potatoes and all sort of other yummy surprises. Her spread was large, fabulous and wonderful and it really took it out of her to prepare such a feast.

As I’ve gotten older, most of the years since Jamison and I married, we’ve had Thanksgiving here in Maryland and I’ve done the traditional Thanksgiving feast. This year? Not happening! I need a break! I briefly thought about taking a break last year and didn’t, but this year I was determined to make Thanksgiving easy on myself so I made reservations instead! My plan for Thanksgiving is to wake up, eat breakfast, then we’ll go with Jamison’s family to eat lunch, come home and relax and maybe have a cocktail or two along the way! That sounds like my kind of holiday!

This martini takes your classic fall flavors of pumpkin, apple and cinnamon and throws them together in a fabulous martini that will quickly become a fall favorite. The cinnamon gives it a bit of a hot kick and it just comes together perfectly! If you like the tastes of harvest, this is the martini for you!

Red Hot Apple Pumpkin Martinis

What You’ll Need:
1 cup of Apple juice or apple cider
1/3 cup of Atomic Hots Cinnamon Vodka or cinnamon schnapps
1/2 cup of Pumpkin Pie Vodka
1/4 cup of heavy cream or half and half
2 tablespoons of cinnamon syrup
Ice
Cinnamon sugar

Add all ingredients except the cinnamon sugar to a martini shaker and gently shake.

Rim the martini glasses with cinnamon sugar and pour mixed martini into prepared glass and dust the top of the drink with more cinnamon sugar if desired.

Red Hot Apple Pumpkin Martinis

Drink and enjoy!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Notes: As always don’t drink and drive!

Cocktail Time: Flirtini!

Flirtini

I always loved the show Sex and the City, in fact even now when I see it on reruns when flipping channels I usually stop and watch. In one of the episodes the girls are at a rooftop barbeque at Samantha’s new place in the Meat District with her transvestite neighbors and the drink of choice is a “Flirtini”. The dialogue goes on to reveal it’s a martini made with pineapple juice, vodka and champagne and I noted that on my iPod a few years ago and promptly went on to forget about it until a few weeks ago, when I decided it was time to play around with the drink.

I’m a huge fan of pineapple, so instead of just using pineapple juice, I decided to go with pineapple vodka as well. I also thought since it was a shout out to Sex and the City I’d go with pink champagne just for the hell of it. What I came up with was a really fun, really fabulous little cocktail that is just perfect to share with your girlfriends when you’re having a lovely girl’s night in! If you like pineapple this is the drink for you!

What You’ll Need:
A martini shaker
Ice
1 cup of pineapple juice
1/2 cup of pineapple vodka
1 cup of pink champagne

Flirtini

Gather your ingredients and place the ice, pineapple juice, pineapple vodka and champagne in your martini shaker. Shake gently to mix and pour in to a martini glass to serve.

Flirtini

Quick, simple and fabulous!

Oh and public service announcement: Don’t drink and drive!

Notes: You can serve it over ice, or not. I like to serve it over ice as I like really cold drinks. You ingredients are chilled though so that is up to you. You can also use regular vodka or champagne. If you use regular vodka the pineapple flavor will not be as strong.

Cocktail Time: Fruity Watermelon Sangria

Fruity Watermelon Sangria

I love Sangria…

It’s a fresh, crisp, fun, little drink…

In short it’s just perfect for summer! And summer is definitely here!

Sangria is fabulous, especially in summer, but I caution you, this stuff has a lot of alcohol in it, so this is more of a stay in for the evening sort of drink, than a go somewhere after you’d had some type of beverage. It’s especially fun to make in the summer when so much fresh fruit is available locally!

Now let’s talk some Sangria!

What You’ll Need:
1 cup of watermelon chunks (Note: I like to cut the chunks pretty small, about the size of a grape, but of course square.)
1 cup of blackberries
1 cup of cherries, pitted
1 cup of blueberries
1/4 cup of organic cane sugar
1 bottle of watermelon wine (Note: I used Solomons Island Winery’s NV Mist Watermelon White Merlot, which is from a winery here in Maryland.)
1 cup of pineapple vodka
1 cup of key lime vodka
1 cup of lemon vodka
1 cup of triple sec or orange vodka, or heck both if you’re feeling really crazy!
Fruity Watermelon Sangria

The fun part about sangria is you literally just dump it in a very large pitcher (I prefer to use glass.) and then stick it in the fridge for at least 6 hours, stirring occasionally to let the flavors meld.

And remember, just to reiterate, you need a very large pitcher to do this! The bigger the better!

This is what I like to do…

Place the fruit in the bottom of your pitcher and toss a bit to mix.

Sprinkle sugar over the fruit and let it sit for 10 minutes.

Add wine, vodkas and triple sec and stir to mix.

Place in the fridge for at least 6 hours before serving!

To serve you can serve it straight up or over ice.

Fruity Watermelon Sangria

Notes: You could use other kinds of fruit. Peaches would be fabulous, or chunks of pineapple, or strawberries, etc. If you like it, throw some in! That’s the joy of sangria, it really is a mix and match sort of drink, so throw in what you like! This is just perfect for that backyard picnic or cookout, or even coupled with a cool salad for dinner on a very hot day. Mix it up! If you can’t find watermelon wine you could use a sweet picnic type wine, either red or white, it’s up to your tastes. I’ve done this before each with The Gollywobbler Red and White Wines from Saint Micheal’s Winery too, which is also a Maryland winery.

Cocktail Time: Cotton Candy Martini

Cotton Candy Martini

It’s Friday so why not make a fun Friday night cocktail? Nothing could be more simple, or more fun than a Cotton Candy Martini! Here is a quick little entry for an easy little cocktail. So grab a friend or two, a martini shaker and let’s celebrate Friday. TGIF!

What You’ll Need per person:
1 cup of pineapple juice
2 shots of cotton candy vodka
Ice
Cotton candy

This is a very simple cocktail and takes next to no time to make.

In a martini shaker add pineapple juice, cotton candy vodka and ice and shake until mixed.

Pour mixture in to a martini glass. Drop a hunk of cotton candy into the drink itself. It will melt instantly and sink to the bottom of the glass. You can use whatever color of cotton candy you like. I used a pink/blue mixed variety.

Garnish with another hunk of cotton candy on the rim of the glass, careful not to let the cotton candy touch the drink.

Cotton Candy Martini

Enjoy!

Notes: If you can’t find cotton candy vodka then just add a bigger hunk of cotton candy and use plain vodka instead. You could also add in some white grape juice if you wanted as well.

Cocktail Time: Triple Chocolate Martini

Triple Chocolate Martini

I’ve been intrigued lately by all the different types of vodka that are available. It’s amazing what is out there. I mentioned before I had discovered whipped cream and cotton candy vodkas, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg!

Now I love chocolate, I’ve mentioned it before, many, many times, so when someone told me that Godiva made a chocolate vodka well I couldn’t not get a bottle and then you’ve just got to play around with a new “toy” and in this case the “toys” would be my new martini shaker and martini glasses. I had been looking for glasses that were a bit different than just your standard glass and when I saw the ones pictured in this entry I instantly fell in love! I love cobalt glass, and I loved how this glass had the cobalt rim, bottom and swirl. I also love how it is basically stemless!

Anyway…I got sidetracked by my glass love. Let’s get back to the martini!

A few weeks ago I played around with an idea for a chocolate martini and it was good, but this version turned out so much better! I decided to just go all out chocolate for this one. Chocolate drink, chocolate drizzle, chocolate whipped cream. I’m a firm believer that there is no such thing as too much chocolate!

What You’ll Need for the Chocolate Whipped Cream:
1 cup of heavy cream
1/4 cup of organic cane sugar
1/3 cup of cocoa

In a bowl of a mixer add all three ingredients. Mix on low until incorporated and then turn to high and beat until stiff peaks form.

What You’ll Need for the Martini:
1 shot of Godiva Chocolate Liqueur
2 shots of Godiva Chocolate Vodka
1 shot of Chocolate Whipped Cream Vodka
1/2 cup of sparkling water
Ice
Chocolate or hot fudge sauce
Chocolate whipped Cream (see above)

In a martini shaker add chocolate liqueur, and the two vodkas, along with the sparkling water over ice and shake to mix well.

Add two or three tablespoons of chocolate sauce to the bottom of a martini glass and then pour the martini mixture over the chocolate. Top with the chocolate whipped cream.

At this point you can serve the drink as is:

Triple Chocolate Martini

Or you can drizzle on a little more chocolate sauce:

Triple Chocolate Martini

Now it’s time to sit back, relax and enjoy a little piece of chocolate heaven!

Notes: Be careful because this is a bit strong if you have a low alcohol tolerance such as I do. I keep all of my vodka in the freezer, but I like to shake it with ice anyway. The colder the drink the better!

Cocktail Time: Creamsicle Martini

Creamsicle Martini

Last month Lex’s Brownie troop had a Friday night activity at a Paint Your Own Pottery studio. There is a restaurant up the street from the studio that is one of my favorites in the area and since she was to be occupied for a few hours we thought we’d make a date night out of it after we dropped her off with her troop.

After I figured out what I wanted from the menu I was perusing their drink menu and they had so many different varieties I wanted to try, one of which was a Creamsicle Martini. That night I ended up trying their Lemon Drop Martini and their Chocolate Martini, but the Creamsicle variety kept popping in to my head. The description of the drink was intriguing, and it mentioned the addition of whipped cream vodka. Whipped cream vodka? I had never heard of it! It sounded too good to be true! So after that night I started asking around to see if anyone had ever heard of it. I didn’t find anyone in my immediate acquaintance that had in fact heard of such a delight. I wasn’t deterred though and decided to see if anyone in our area carried this mysterious vodka.

The next time I was on the other side of town I stopped by the liquor store, which ironically is across the parking lot from a very popular local church. One of the doctor’s at our doctor’s office, who actually attends to the church, jokingly refers to their church “the liquor store church”, which is neither here nor there at the moment, but amused me greatly.

Anyway……

When I went in I not only found the whipped cream vodka, but I also found that the same company made a cotton candy variety as well, which you’ll hear more about in the future I am sure. Needless to say both bottles made it home with me and I was happy to discover that both of them taste great alone, but why would I want to stop there?

A few nights ago I decided to play around with the whipped cream vodka and see if I couldn’t come up with a creamsicle martini of my own and I was completely satisfied with what came about. This has a similar taste to those creamsicle bars some of enjoyed as children, but it most definitely has that adult kick that makes it a fabulous martini. Trust me, if you like orange, this is the drink for you!

What You’ll Need Per Person:
1 bottle of Izze Sparkling Clementine fruit soda
~OR~
1 cup of tangerine juice with 1/2 cup of club soda or seltzer
~AND~
2 shots of whipped cream vodka
1 shot of vanilla vodka
A generous dollop of whipped cream

In a martini or cocktail shaker add all ingredients minus the whipped cream and shake well. If you don’t store your vodka in the freezer you’ll want to add some ice cubes too to chill the mixture.

Pour the mixture into a glass and top with a generous dollop of whipped cream.

Serve immediately.

Creamsicle Martini

Notes: There are so many possibilities with this drink. If you like you can mix the whipped cream in to the drink before drinking, or you can simply leave it at the top. I’ve tried it both ways and it’s fabulous either way.

As I mentioned before if you don’t have or can’t find the Izze Clementine soda then you can simply use tangerine juice and mix in club soda. It has the same effect, though it does change the taste slightly, but either way you won’t be disappointed with the overall result.

You could also add the zest of an orange on the whipped cream topping the drink, or an orange slice to add a little pizazz.

Cocktail Time: Sangria

Sangria

Recently I had a whim that I wanted to make sangria. I had never had sangria before believe it or not, but when has that ever stopped me? I looked at various sangria recipes and of course ended up going out on my own as is often the case.

This time of year is the perfect time to make sangria, with all of the fresh fruits available! I like to make it ahead of time and let the flavor meld during the day in the fridge. It’s a really simple, yet really great drink to make. It’s the perfect summer time treat!

What You’ll Need:
1/2 to 1 cup of organic cane sugar (Note: If you’re using a sweeter wine, use less.)
1 bottle of white wine
2 cups of dark rum
2 lemons, cut into wedges
2 limes, cut into wedges
1 peach, cut into wedges
Chunks of watermelon

Place sugar in the bottom of a pitcher and add wine and rum and stir well. Squeeze lemons, limes and peaches into the pitcher and then drop the fruit in as well. Add watermelon and stir.

Place in the fridge for at least 6 hours stirring here and there to ensure that the sugar dissolves completely. Serve chilled and you can even serve it over ice if you like.

Sangria

If you’re running low you can always add more wine and/or rum, along with a bit of sugar. I’ve even added red wine to a dwindling pitcher that had white wine in it to begin with, and switched from rum to lemon vodka when I’m refilling the pitcher. It’s a very easy mix and match drink and the bits of sangria soaked fruit are a nice treat too!

Now let’s talk a minute about strength…This stuff is pretty strong! It’s almost straight alcohol with a bit of fruit juice for fun. One glass and I feel it, but keep in mind my metabolism sucks and it doesn’t take much to make me tipsy. Regardless though drink with caution! ;oP

Notes: You can use any kinds of fruit that you like. Blueberries are a nice addition as well, but you knew I’d go for the blueberries! ;oP

Cocktail Time: Frozen Blueberry Margaritas

Cocktail Time! Frozen Blueberry Margarita

I love blueberries and Alexis does too. Sometimes though we don’t eat them fast enough and I often end up with blueberries in the freezer to keep them from going bad. The frozen variety are perfect for blueberry sauce, muffins, blueberry cheesecake, blueberry ice cream or even to eat as a nice little frozen treat, but why not take them to another level?

A few weeks ago I decided to make some margaritas, but I didn’t want to make just the general version. I thought about many things and finally I thought it might be nice to throw in some frozen blueberries and see how that would turn out. It turned out well! If you like blueberries and want a margarita with a twist then this is the drink for you!

What You’ll Need:
2 cups of freshly squeezed lime juice
1 cup of simple syrup
1 cup of triple sec
3/4 cup of tequila
2 cups of frozen blueberries (Note: These were local blueberries that I froze myself. In theory the ones you buy at the grocery store should work as well, though I haven’t tried them.)
Organic cane sugar for rimming the glasses

Cocktail Time! Frozen Blueberry Margarita

Dump all of your ingredients into the jar of your blender and blend until mostly smooth.

I actually like little frozen blueberry bits in my drink, but if you want something a bit smoother then you can strain the mixture before putting it into the glass.

Cocktail Time! Frozen Blueberry Margarita

Wet the edge of your glasses and dip them into organic cane sugar. Pour the blueberry margaritas into the glasses and serve.

Notes: When I’m making a straight up margarita I prefer to rim the glasses with salt, but when it is a fruity version I prefer sugar.