Cool Down With A Blackberry-Mint Libation

Blackberry-Mint Cocktail | Aprons & Stilettos

It’s hot. Real hot.

This morning I left the South Bay at 4am to head back to Sonoma wine country and when I walked outside I noticed it was surprisingly warm – 67 degrees to be exact. 67 degrees at 4am! I couldn’t believe it. From that moment on I knew it was going to be another hot one in Northern California.

Aprons Herb Garden

When I returned home after work, I spent some time taking care of my herb garden as I was out-of-town all weekend. While I was watering, the aromatic notes of mint, basil, rosemary and lemon balm captivated my thirst for a refreshing patio cocktail. I decided to rummage through my cocktail bar to see what concoction I could whip up in order to satisfy my craving. Using the ingredients I had on hand, I composed this easy to make and delightfully refreshing gin-blackberry-mint cocktail. The sweet, tart, and slightly bitter flavors in the berries perfectly complemented the mellow and refreshing notes in the mint.

Blackberry-Mint Cocktail | Aprons & Stilettos

Blackberry-Mint Libation

1 1/2 ounces gin
1 teaspoon agave nectar
Handful of blackberries (4-5)
Handful of fresh mint (4-5 leaves…depending in how “minty” you like it)
1/2 lime, freshly juiced
Soda water, float
Ice
Cocktail shaker

Muddle the blackberries, mint and gin in a cocktail shaker. Add ice, nectar and lime juice. Shake and strain in a glass filled with ice. Float with soda water and garnish with a mint sprig.

 

Looking for more herb-inspired cocktails? Check out:

 

Which cocktails are you enjoying as the weather heats up? Share with us on twitter @ApronsStilettos. ~Cheers, Crystal

Win A $50 Gift Certificate to Nobella Grace Boutique

Happy Day Dress | Nobella Grace

Happy Day Dress | $29 | Small

Aprons & Stilettos is excited to partner with Nobella Grace Boutique to give away a $50 gift certificate to one lucky reader. How do you enter?

  1. Check out the new arrivals on Nobellagrace.com (if you haven’t already!)
  2. Learn more about this fabulous boutique from our latest blog post: Nobella Grace: A Costal, Boho Chic, Free Loving Boutique. Further instructions on how to enter are located at the bottom of the blog post. Good luck!

We will then pick a winner at random.*

Also, don’t forget to connect with Aprons & Stilettos on Twitter and Nobella Grace on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter.

Cheers! ~Crystal Peterson

*The giveaway began April 30th and will run through May 14th. Giveaway is open to all U.S. residents. After the May 14th deadline, a winner will be selected from the comments section on this blog post at random and notified via e-mail. Thank you for participating!

Mozzarella Stuffed Turkey Meatballs

Turkey Meatballs

Another one of my “go-to” meals are stuffed meatballs – spicy Italian sausage meatballs, sweet Italian sausage meatballs or chicken meatballs topped with an easy pesto-tomato sauce. Several years ago, I was introduced to this easy-to-make sauce while watching a cooking show on the Food Network and it’s still a staple in many of my dishes today. Last night I didn’t have sausage in the refrigerator however I had ground turkey, fresh herbs, cheese and bread crumbs – voilà!

  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh oregano, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 teaspoons fresh basil, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • Olive oil
  • Extra parsley for garnish
  • 1 tub bite size fresh Mozzarella balls

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine all ingredients, except the oil and Mozzarella balls, in a bowl. To form each ball, take a handful of the mixture and wrap it around a piece of mozzarella. Drizzle olive oil over the meatballs and bake for 15 – 20 minutes or until meatballs are cooked through and are evenly browned. Top meatballs with homemade pesto-tomato sauce and garnish with extra parsley.

Pesto-Tomato Sauce

  • 1 tub good quality fresh pesto (or homemade pesto)
  • 1 can quartered or halves tomatoes
  • Salt & pepper, to taste

Add the tomatoes to a saucepan over medium heat and mash with a potato masher. Add salt and pepper to taste and simmer for about 8 – 10 minutes. Turn off heat and stir in a 1/2 cup of pesto. Serve over meatballs with your favorite red wine. Some excellent wine choices would be a Super Tuscan, Sangiovese, Rioja or even a Merlot.

~Cheers! Crystal