Jalapeño-Watermelon Margaritas

Watermelon Jalapeño Margaritas

This twist on a classic cocktail is sweet, spicy and PERFECT for summer!  Get creative and try adding any smoked salt to the rim for a smoky layer that will pair perfectly with the sweet & spicy elements in the cocktail.

This recipe works best if you have a juicer to juice the watermelon and jalapeños. If you don’t have a juicer – don’t worry! See our variation below.

Watermelon Jalapeño Margaritas
2 ounces tequila (blanco)
2 ounces watermelon, juiced
½ ounce freshly squeezed lime juice 
½ ounce jalapeño juice
½ ounce triple sec
Coarse salt or smoked salt for rim

Preparation:
Juice your watermelon, jalapeño and lime in a juicer and set aside. Make sure you wash your hands thoroughly after juicing the jalapeño. Rim your glass with coarse or smoked salt. The easiest way to do this is to lightly wet the rim with a lime wedge and place the rim on a plate filled with salt. Next, place all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with a handful of ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a cocktail glass full of ice. Garnish with fresh watermelon slice.

Variation (If you don’t have a juicer…)
Muddle 1/2 – 1 jalapeño (depending on how spicy you like your drink) in the cocktail shaker. Chop the watermelon into small cubes and puree in a blender or food processor until smooth. Strain the juice into a cocktail shaker along with the remaining ingredients. Shake, strain and garnish!

Watermelon Jalapeño Margaritas

Watermelon Jalapeño Margaritas

Enjoy.  ~Crystal

Herb Cocktails for Spring

Spring Cocktails

Spring is here and with an abundance of fresh herbs at our fingertips my neighbor and I decided to experiment with mint, basil, gin, ginger and freshly squeezed juices. Refreshing and perfect for the warm weather ahead!

Basil LeafHerb Limeade Basil LeafStrawberry BasilBasil Leaf Gin & Ginger


Herb Limeade

Herb Limeade

4 ½ ounces gin
3 leaves fresh basil, roughly chopped
3 leaves fresh mint, roughly chopped
1 ounce fresh lime juice
1 ½ ounce honey, heated up (allow to slightly cool)
Splash of club soda
Lemon Sugar Rim

Preparation:
Place the herbs, gin and lime juice in a cocktail shaker and muddle. Add ice and honey and shake vigorously. Strain into a cocktail glass rimmed with lemon sugar. Float soda water and garnish with more mint leaves. Makes 2 cocktails

 Tip: to make sugar stick to the rim of your cocktail glass,  wipe rim with lime wedge. Also, we decided to warm the honey a bit, it allowed for better mixing.

 

Strawberry Basil

Strawberry Basil

3  ounces gin
1 ounce fresh lime juice 
½ ounce triple sec
1 – 3 strawberries
3 leaves mint and basil, roughly chopped.
Lemon sugar rim
Splash club soda

How to Make Strawberry Basil

Preparation:
Combine all ingredients except the club soda in a cocktail shaker. Muddle the strawberries and herbs together. Slice remaining strawberries and add to glass. Add ice and strain into a cocktail glass rimmed with lemon sugar. *Note: smaller pieces of herbs made its way into the cocktail so I ended up straining the leaves out after I took the photo above.

Gin & Ginger

Gin & Ginger

2 ounces gin
½ orange, juiced
½ ounce agave nectar
1 teaspoon ginger, grated
3 mint leaves, torn

Preparation:
Place all ingredients in a shaker with a handful of ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with orange slice and mint leaf.

~Cheers to tasty libations and the beautiful warm days ahead of us! Crystal

Which cocktails are you enjoying this spring?

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Perfect Pomegranate Libations

It’s pomegranate season and with a tree in the backyard producing several of these exotic fruits, we decided to experiment a bit. Sure, the deep red seeds are a wonderful accessory to salads and soups but today we’re bringing them to the cocktail world. Deseeding and juicing a pomegranate sounds intimidating, but we have some easy tips below to get you started.

Happy Thirsty Thursday.


Pomegranate Manhattan

1 ½ ounces Rye Whiskey or Bourbon (you can use brandy if other options aren’t available)
1 ½ ounce fresh pomegranate juice 
1 tsp. superfine sugar
2 – 3 dashes of Angostura bitters

Preparation:
Place all ingredients in a shaker with a handful of ice. Shake vigorously until sugar has dissolved and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with fresh pomegranate seeds or maraschino cherry.

Pomegranate Margarita

1 ½ ounces silver tequila
1 ½ ounce fresh pomegranate juice 
½ ounce triple sec
2 ounces fresh lime juice
½ – 1 ounce simple syrup or agave nectar
Course salt for rimming (optional)

Preparation:
Rim glass with course salt. (optional) Place all ingredients in a shaker with a handful of ice. Shake and pour over ice. Garnish with fresh pomegranate. Tip: to make salt stick to the rim of your cocktail glass,  wipe rim with lime wedge.

Aprons & Stilettos

1 ½ ounces vodka
1 ½ ounces  fresh pomegranate juice 
Juice from ½ blood orange, about 1 oz  (navel orange is fine, but if used I would decrease the amount of triple sec)
½ ounce Triple Sec
¼  ounce elderflower liqueur 
Sugar Rim

Preparation:
Place all ingredients in a shaker with a handful of ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a cocktail glass rimmed with sugar.  Tip: to make sugar stick to the rim of your cocktail glass,  wipe rim with orange wedge.


Pomegranate Tips: 

What’s the best way to deseed and juice a pomegranate? First, fill a large bowl with water, cut the pomegranate into quarters, submerge the fruit and begin removing the seeds underwater. The membrane will float and the seeds will sink. Remove the membrane and drain water with a colander.

Next, you have two options for juicing. The first method, and the method I prefer, is to quickly pulse the seeds in a blender and strain using a sieve in order to remove the seeds / pulp. The second method, which my sister shared with me, is to cut the pomegranate in half and juice on a juicer as you would with a lemon. Be careful and make sure you have your APRONS on as the seeds have a tendency to pop and stain.