I'm not known for my fondness of green dyed beer. In my family St.Patrick's day starts with a Guinness and ends with an Irish whiskey. Somewhere in between there's an Irish breakfast and some soda bread. We wear green, we don't drink green.
Green dyed beer is unanimously an American construct. Not in the least bit Irish, except maybe in inspiration. In fact, Irish people were still being introduced to green pints well into the 1980s. Yet every year, pints and pints of emerald colored beer march across bars from coast to coast in honor of St. Patrick. What I'd like to know is who was the first person to think, "you know beer is good, but green beer? You might just have something there!"
Some say the inspiration for the green colored beer may have come from the Irish tradition of "drowning the shamrock." On St. Patrick's night, the last pint or more appropriately the last glass of whiskey, gets a shamrock added to it in honor of the whiskey swigging saint himself. Then once the glass is empty, the drinker tosses the drunken shamrock over their left shoulder, which I can only think is for luck. I actually kind of love this tradition and am totally going to christen the last drink of the night with a shamrock. Though sadly I think my drowned shamrock will probably be fake... cause I have no idea where to find a real one. Also what happens if you drink the shamrock? Is that like less luck? Someone weigh in here!
It's quite possible that this was the inspiration for Dr. Thomas H. Curtin, the supposed creator of the green dyed pint. In 1914 Dr. Curtin, a coroner's physician, decided to contribute to his Bronx social club's festivities by bringing a round of brightly green beer. It was of course a hit and a number of fans asked for his recipe. All he would say of the ingredients was that he added a drop of "wash blue" to an unspecified volume of beer. Considering the number of recipe's now on the internet for how to make green beer (really ya'll?! You need a recipe for adding food coloring to beer?!) he hardly need bother being so cryptic. Especially since he most likely kinda poisoned his guests. "Wash Blue" is an iron powder that was added to laundry to brighten the whites. Probably not the greatest thing to have people guzzling by the pint. What doesn't kill you right?
However, there is also an article from 1910 that claims that a bartender at the First Avenue Bar in Spokane was serving green colored pints to patriotic Irishmen or anyone else who wanted to enjoy them. The journalist covering the story had one of the most priceless reactions. He wrote, "It tastes like beer, but looks like paint," which seems like his first impression. Then he had a few two many and thought he needed to elaborate his description of the beer. He added " or rather like deep green waves in mid ocean with the sun striking through them." Drunken poetry.
It tastes like beer, but looks like paint,
Straight from Seedlip Garden 108 cocktail inspiration page, the Watermelon sour involves a watermelon basil Shrub, egg white and Seedlip Garden 108. I followed this recipe for watermelon shrub and muddled the basil in the bottom of a shaker.
1 ¾ oz. Seedlip Garden 108
2/3 oz. Watermelon Shrub
2-3 fresh basil leaves
Muddle the basil leaves in the bottom of a shaker. Add ice, Seedlip, shrub, and egg white. Shake vigorously. Strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with a thin watermelon slice.
Fresh from my own garden, the Enviable Green-tini, combines fresh flavors of summer into this refreshing cocktail.
1.5oz. Seedlip Garden 108
3/4oz. Lime Juice
1/2 oz. sweetener
Muddle the mint in the bottom of a shaker pint. Combine the Seedlip, lime, sweetener and egg white over ice and shake vigorously. Strain into cocktail glass and garnish with pea shoot or mint sprig.
Roots Good for You
I studied abroad in Korea when I was a kid and my host mother continuously said, “it’s good for you” about everything. Seriously everything that was Korean was good for you. Even M&M’s. This cocktail is actually excellent for you and great as an after-dinner sipper to aide in that digestion.
1.5oz. Seedlip Garden 108
1oz. Carrot Juice
2 oz. ginger beer
1/4oz. Apple Cider Vinegar
In a shaker pint, smash the thyme. Add ice and shake the apple cider vinegar, Seedlip, carrot juice, and egg white. Shake. Strain into cocktail glass and top off with the ginger beer. Garnish with a sprig of Thyme and reap the benefits!
French Polynesia 75
It being summer, the heat and sitting poolside have me dreaming of a tropical beach and a festive cocktail in coconut. The French Polynesia 75 attempts to bring some of that to my back yard by combining a brightly bubbling, hibiscus infused beverage to the table. Sans coconut vessel.
3 oz. lemon juice
1/5 oz. sweetener
4 dashes hibiscus bitters
Shake the Lemon juice and sweetener together over ice. Strain into a flute and stir in the hibiscus bitters. Top with tonic water and garnish with a hibiscus flower.
Let my love for the Paloma be known! I could not imagine 6 weeks of summer without one of these delicious beauties to sip on.
1/2 oz. lime juice
pinch of salt
In a tumbler filled with ice, add lime juice and salt. Stir. Fill to the brim with Grapefruit soda and garnish with lime wedge
Right now the cucumber plant in my folks back yard is going insane, which means they have more cucumbers than they know what to do with and since I live down the street, so do I. Since I don’t want a mess of jarred pickles following me through the winter, I devoted my remaining stock to this refreshing cucumber cooler. Juiced or blended and strained, making cucumber juice will make quick work out of a bunch of cucumbers. Trust me.
4oz. Cucumber juice
2 tbsp. lime juice
¼ tsp sweetener
cucumber round or strip
In a tumbler, combine the cucumber juice, lime juice, and sweetener. Stir to combine. Add ice and top to the brim with ginger ale. Garnish with cucumber round or strip!
This isn’t your childhood lemonade stand. Take the lemonade into grown up territory with this refreshing blend of lemon, herbs, and seltzer for a thirst quencher this summer.
4 oz. lemonade (low sugar preferable)
2 tsp fresh herb of choice
Club soda or seltzer
In a tumbler, muddle the fresh herbs. I used Basil and Thyme, but would also highly recommend using lavender, rosemary, and mint. Fill the glass with ice and add the lemonade. Stir to incorporate. Top off with the club soda. Add a straw (paper or biodegradable of course) and sip in the sunshine!
Since it’s summer time, elevate this grapefruit mocktail by grilling your grapefruit for a bit of smoky character. Don’t hesitate to char the rosemary before letting it mellow in the simple syrup either. Serve these up at a Sunday brunch end enjoy!
3 Tbsp. Grapefruit Juice
Juice of ½ lime
1 2inch piece of Cucumber
2 Tbsp. Rosemary Simple syrup
In a tumbler, combine the grapefruit juice, lime juice, and rosemary simple syrup over ice. Stir well to incorporate then top off with the club soda. Garnish with a strip of Cucumber and fresh rosemary.
Making Rosemary Simple Syrup
Combine equal parts water and sugar into a small pot. Use a 2-3 inch piece of fresh rosemary or 2 tbsp. dried and add to the pot. Bring to boil, stirring till the sugar dissolves, then reduce heat to medium low. Let simmer a few minutes more (3-5). Let cool then remove the rosemary. If you used dried rosemary, use a fine mesh strainer to remove the rosemary. Pour into an airtight container or glass bottle.
I wish I had coconuts on hand to drink this tropical combo out of, and maybe a hammock, and a tropical breeze. Someone just send me to the Caribbean. The sweet blend of pineapple with coconut water is mellowed by the quick bite of lime juice to balance it all out. Excuse me, an island state of mind is calling.
2oz. Pineapple Juice
2oz. Lime Juice
In a tumbler (or better yet a coconut) pour the pineapple juice and lime juice over ice. Fill to the brim with coconut water and enjoy!
My challenge has ended since starting the research for this post, but the big takeaway from the whole experience is that sometimes you don’t want a drink. You want something to signify the end of your day. Something to sit back and sip on that says good job, you made it through and now it’s time to relax. Normally this would be a beer, a glass of wine, or on a bad day whiskey neat. However, by pushing myself to not have alcohol I found that these mocktails gave me the same satisfaction. Cheers!
I have been to Nashville a few times before, usually associated with work, and typically with a schedule so booked it left little time for me to explore. So when I found out I was going to be there for a week for the 2018 Craft Brewer’s Conference, I made sure to block out some time to explore. What I found was that there were lots of reasons to raise a glass in Nashville. Here are some of my must visits!
This is the 35th year of the Craft Brewer’s Conference and its arrival in Nashville means the beer scene here is bursting at the seams with potential. About a year ago there was a change to the alcohol laws, raising the level of alcohol in beers allowed from 6.2% to 10.1%. That meant that breweries were able to craft higher gravity beers highly sought after by their drinkers, and that restaurants and bottle shops would be allowed to sell those items. Breweries from within Tennessee and outside of it flooded into the market. Tennessee now boasts 66 craft breweries, up from 24 in 2011, and 19 of those craft breweries reside in Nashville! With the Craft Brewer’s Conference and the World Beer Cup being held in Nashville, literally thousands of brewer’s from around the globe flocked to the Music City.
I have been to Tailgate twice now, and each time I have tried something I have never had before. Their Music Row location is an ideal starting spot for a pint or two. This past time, my three favorite brews were the Guava Wheat, Sake Kolsch, and the Negroni IPA.
I got a flight of six beers on my last visit, trying their Mexican styled beer Dos Perros, the Pale ale, the dark and smoky Sue, and three selections from their Embrace the Funk line. Hands down the favorite was the Trio from the Embrace the Funk line. It's brewed as a Tennessee tribute and triple threat. Tennessee brewery making a raspberry beer aged in Tennessee wine barrels that previously held Tennessee whiskey. Seriously you can not get more Tennessee than that.
Nashville's cocktail scene is constantly evolving and luckily for us, it just keeps getting better and better. The mix of artfully designed spaces, soft spoken speak easy hideouts, and seriously unique takes on classics brings a variety of options to the bar. Sometimes you can find all on the same street too, which makes for a memorable bar crawl. Since I was there for the Craft Brewer's Conference, my last visit was devoted mainly to beer, but I managed to persuade my group to a couple of select spots I just couldn't pass up.
The bar of the Patterson House is tucked behind a velvet green curtain, which a delightful hostess will direct you through after she has set your places. One of the rules at The Patteson House is that you must be seated to get a drink, which means there is no standing room and never anyone leaning over your shoulder to order a drink. You silence your cell phone as you enter, because talking on the cell phone isn't allowed and the atmosphere just encourages you to disconnect for a moment.
When you order a drink, once you decide from their extensive menu that offers selections divided by main spirit then by how adventurous your palate is, remember to be patient. It's one of the rules and the manner in which the Patterson House bartenders go about their craft should be admired. Handcrafting each drink perfectly from parts to shake to pour is clearly their sole focus.
I could have stayed at this bar all night, and in fact we went back twice. Not only were our drinks beyond delicious and the bar snacks a wonderful compliment, but the bartenders are a joy to chat with. You can feel their passion for what they do just pouring out of them and I don't often meet people who get as excited about a new strange spirit or fresh ingredient as I do. As for drinks I enjoyed the Naked and Famous (Mezcal, Aperol, Lemon, and Yellow Chartreuse) and the As it Stands (Mezcal, Carpano Antica, Passionfruit liqueur, Campari, and Absinthe). My step dad fell in love with a drink called the Ruby Revolver (Rye whiskey, Lemon, Cynar, White Creme de Cacao, Grapefruit liqueur, and Angostura bitters) which I have successfully been able to recreate at home for him.
Just do yourself a favor and make this a must visit. Even if there is a line this place is so worth the wait. I plan to go back every time I'm in Nashville.
Nashville has as much to offer on the food scene as it does the entertainment scene. Seriously there are a plethora of restaurants offering the iconic Nashville Hot Chicken, tacos, barbecue, ramen, and everything in between. Finding those local hidden gems that dish up something unique to the area are one of my favorite memories of anywhere I travel. Right up there with shopping the local bottle shops.
Speaking of hot chicken, it is a Nashville specialty and something that is on nearly every menu in the city. Some places are dedicated hot chicken shacks, serving fried chicken drenched in hot sauce and spice with white bread and pickles by the basketful. Others have reimagined it as sliders, skewers, salads or anything else. I think I even saw hot chicken sushi, which I will 100% admit was just a bit too odd of.a fusion for me. You can't leave the city without trying at least a bit of hot chicken, even mild.
*Note: There are some hot chicken shacks which take no mercy on newcomers. They delight in tormenting those who ask for mild by giving them atomic hot. You've been warned.
We dined here for both breakffast and dinner. For breakfast, they start out bringing a fresh cinnamon roll made from brioche to the table. I wish I had the opportunity to snap a picture, but with our hungry crowd the delicious bun didn't stand a chance. I did however get the opportunity to snap a photo of the Queen Bee cocktail (lemon, creme de violette, vodka, St Germain, simple syrup, and bee pollen) before I finished it off.
Breakfast here was fantastic, so much so that I got dinner to-go on the last night I was there. The in house made pasta was fantastic, if a touch al-dente. I must admit that I did not try their gelato. I'm a bit of a gelato perfectionist and therefore very picky, but it looked fantastic. I'm sure it was delicious.
Bar Taco is inspired by the beach cultures of Brazil, Uruguay, and Southern Califorina. With a wayfairer flair, this restaurant boasts a very laid back atmosphere with a focus on fresh ingredients with minimal fuss. White washed walls accented by woven basket lighting and plenty of beach inspired decor provide a perfect backdrop for one of their signature cocktails and a trio of tacos delivered on a silver lunch tray. Their signature beverage list includes fresh juices, bottled or canned beers, and an excellent selection of craft cocktails. The margarita is one of my favorites.
The street tacos are all unique combinations, including some veggie options and small enough that three makes a meal which allows you to diversify your plate and try a little of anything. There. are also a selection of different sides to accompany your tacos. Do not miss an opportunity to have the grilled corn. Seriously street corn grilled, topped with cotija cheese, lime, and a red pepper spice blend is one of the most delicious things you will have there.
If you though delisious stopped at the tacos, be sure to save room for dessert. The churros, fried strips of dough covered in cinnamon sugar, are served up with a warm cup of mexican dipping chocolate with a sprinkling of salt. *drool*
You will probably be in need of a siesta after the delicious meal but you will definitely remember it. I'm more than happy to have more than one reason to keep going back to Bar Taco every time I'm in Nashville.
Each heaping basket of chicken is served on white toast with a pickle, as is traditional for hot chicken, and comes with a side and slaw. The sides are a line up of southern favorites including a fan favorite of Pimento Mac and Cheese and Southern Style greens. To quell the heat they offer a selection of beers, local and domestic, as well as sweet tea, free squeezed lemonade and sodas.
Expect a line and a few minutes wait heading in the door. This place seems to be non stop busy from the moment the doors open to after they close, but its one of those places that is well worth the wait. Also they don't trick you with the heat levels like some other hot chicken shacks (disclaimer above) so you are in safe hands here.
Let's be honest, stateside Cinco de Mayo has morphed into another great excuse to celebrate with a cool beverage. As if Monday to Wednesday wasn't enough of a reason. Most people don't even know what Cinco de mayo is in celebration of. Seriously, I just asked my mom (my amiga in crime) what she knew or wanted to know about Cinco de Mayo. She replied that she knew Cinco de Mayo was the celebration of Mexican Independence. *facepalm*
My madre is a perfect example of what most people think Cinco is about. The celebration of Mexican Independence with frozen margaritas and cheap tequila shots with a salt and lime kicker. We are so mistaken.
So what are the facts? May 5th is not the day of Mexican Independence. That is on September 16th. Cinco De Mayo is the celebration of the Battle of Puebla. On May 5th, 1862, the Mexican army defeated the French Empire in a hard fought victory. Though the French overran the Mexican forces in following battles, this victory was a significant morale boost for the Mexican forces who defeated the better equipped and larger French forces.
In regional areas of Mexico, primarily Puebla, this day is celebrated with ceremonial parades, fiestas, and
re-enactment held yearly near the Mexico City International Airport.
In the United States, Cinco de Mayo is a celebration of Mexican culture. Often celebrated with parades, fiestas, Mexican food and drink, and usually many a sombrero and poncho decked out amigo. Cinco de Mayo in the States is more than just an excuse to crack open a couple of Pacificos over a plate of nachos. Or worse, the dreaded tequila shots with a salt start and a lime wedge back.
So how can you up your Cinco game this year? By mixing up some authentically Mexican cocktails! We've put together a list of 7 Cinco worthy cocktails to bring the fest to your fiesta!
The Paloma is easily one of Mexico's most favorite and. the States more under represented of the south of the border cocktails. This grapefruit and tequila concoction has been dwarfed in the states by the margarita, but definitely deserves center stage on your bar.
Crafted from a blend of lime, grapefruit soda, salt and tequila, this cocktail has the citrus and salt kick to wake up the palate and pair beautifully with Mexican cuisine or just a hot day. It's my go to for the summer, especially the beach.
To make the Paloma, you will need:
2 oz Tequila Blanco
1/2oz Lime Juice
Pinch of salt
Take the highball glass and fill with ice. Sprinkle the salt right in. That's right. Just add the salt directly into the drink. No silly rims here. Pour in the 2 oz of tequila. My preferred is Espolon Tequila. Freshly squeeze 1/2 oz of lime juice. Makes all the difference. Pop the top on the grapefruit soda and pour to the rim. Go with Jarritos brand if you can find it. If not, I've tried Q Drinks Grapefruit and absolutely loved it. Give the whole thing a quick stir and enjoy. Tell me thats not delicious!
Think of the Michelada as a Mexican Bloody Mary. It's made of the same basic parts, with customizations unique to each bartender, and is best enjoyed the morning after a rough night. A little pelo de perro for the morning after your Cinco.
For the basic outline to a Michelada, you need:
4oz tomato or clamato juice, chilled
1 bottle chilled Mexican lager
1 tbsp of lime juice
1/4 tsp of Worcestershire
1/8 tsp of hot sauce (more if you want spicy)
1/8 tsp of Maggi Seasoning
3/4 tsp salt
Sprinkle of chili powder
Highball glass or shaker pint glass
Over ice, pour in the tomato juice (I hate Clamato juice), lime juice, Worcestershire, hot sauce, and Maggi seasoning. If you are making a big batch (you know for that 6th of May brunch) mix the above ingredients in a pitcher sans ice and put in the fridge.
No one really knows who invented the margarita. Seriously its a mystery. However, there are plenty of stories alluding to the origin, all of which revolve around various ladies with the name Margarita or a variation of it.
However, there is no denying the Margarita's popularity. It often has a place as one of the most ordered drinks in the US, and from frozen to on the rocks offers endless flavor combinations. At the base level, a margarita is defined as a cocktail made with tequila and fruit juice, usually citrus but with the wide variety of flavors possible it could be any fruit juice.
The recipe below is for a traditional lime and tequila, on-the-rocks margarita. Salt rim is totally optional.
2 oz blano tequila
1 ½ oz lime juice
½ oz tripe sec
½ oz agave syrup
Take a rocks glass and run the lime wheel along the edge of the rim. Sprinkle some salt in a shallow dish and press the rim of the glass into the salt. Set the glass upright and to the side. Fill a shaker with ice and combine the tequila, lime juice, triple sec, and agave syrup. Pour in the shaken cocktail with ice from the shaker. Garnish with the lime wheel.
The first truly spring like day, my mind will be entirely on getting outside to sit at my bistro table in the garden. I will rely entirely on a no fuss porch pounder like a beautiful bottle of rosé wine. Happily, rosé has been on the rise in the states, gaining popularity on menu’s and shelf space in many a retailer. Rosé is made by allowing the just pressed juices from red grapes to sit momentarily with the skins to impart a slight rosy hue to the wine. They are an excellent food wine as well, pairing nicely with barbecue, Asian dishes, and bold flavors like garlic. My personal choices to start off the season would be Commanderie de Peyrassol, Sachs Lichine, Calcu, and my favorite “porch pounder” Whispering Angel.
Orange wine was a happy discovery recently. I had a bottle of white I bought in Italy this past November that when I opened it, I discovered was a brilliant shade of amber. I had never tasted an Orange wine, not actually made from oranges, and was completely blown away. Orange wines are made in the style of a red wine. The juice from the white grapes marinates with the skins of the grapes, imparting a light orange to dark amber color to the wine. It also allows for a complexity of flavor and tannins that can allow the Orange wine to stand up to an assortment of meats including roasted, normally a pairing reserved for red wines. I haven’t yet found a favorite, but I highly recommend going into your local wine shop, asking for an orange wine, and taking home whatever you may find.
The Mint Julep is a southern classic, usually associated with the Kentucky Derby. However this easy thirst quencher is excellent even when you are not watching the ponies race around the track. Since bourbon is the major flavor here, make sure you are using a high quality favorite.
8 mint leaves
1/4 oz simple syrup
In a silver Julep cup or a highball glass, muddle the mint and the simple syrup. Pack the cup with crushed ice, pour in the bourbon, and stir . Top off the glass with enough crushed ice to create a dome and add a dash of bitters if you feel so inclined. Garnish with a sprig of mint and get ready to go to the races!
4: Carrot Mimosa
Many cocktail menus have been entertaining the more vegetal side of ingredients and I am thrilled by the onslaught of not so sweet, herbaceous, and feel good that these combinations have been bringing to the glass. About time veggies made it to something more fun then a juice cleanse. What could possibly be more suited for your Easte brunch then having some Carrot Mimosas?! The Easter bunny would be so proud! Now I can have my veggies and drink them too!
1 part carrot Juice
1 part Prosecco
Mix both ingredients into a champagne flute or coupe and garnish with a baby carrot!
Nothing welcomes warm weather quite like a Mojito. Seriously this Cuban cocktail is crafted with just five ingredients and served up with a warm breeze. It is a bit more labor intensive then I had initially planned for this post, but there really is nothing quite as satisfying as sipping a cool mojito on a warm day.
6 mint leaves
3/4 oz simple syrup
3/4oz lime juice
1 1/2 oz white rum
1 1/2 oz club soda
In the bottom of a shaker, muddle the mint. Add ice, simple syrup, lime juice, and white rum. Shake well and pour the entire contents into a highball glass. Don’t strain it, you are going to want the mint. Top off with the club soda and lean into the warm weather.
This classic cocktail was crafted pre Prohibition and sadly forgotten during the Noble Experiment. Luckily, its making a comeback and justly so! The beautiful florals and brigh lemons make for a refreshing wake up call to your taste buds. The fact that the delicate indigo color with a bright red cherry at the bottom of the glass resembles a flower doesn’t hurt the spring revival either.
1/2 oz Maraschino Liqeuer
1/4 oz Creme de violette
3/4 oz lemon juice
In a shaker with ice, combine the gin, maraschino liqeuer, Creme de Violette, and lemon juice. Shake well and strain into a cocktail glass or coupe. Garnish with a maraschino cherry in the bottom of the glass. Cheers to spring and those who are bringing this delicious cocktail back!
Though the margarita may be better known, in part to the frozen cocktail craze and ready made cocktail pouches, the Paloma is truly Mexico’s favored cocktail. To really enjoy an authentic Paloma, you need to have grapefruit soda. In a pinch grapefruit juice and club soda will work, but nothing compares to the sweet, tart, bitter and bubbly combo of the grapefuit soda. This recipe calls for a pinch of salt, as well. While some people will want to rim the glass with salt, my vote is to just toss it into the mix. Trust us. World of difference.
1/2 oz lime juice
pinch of salt
Combine the tequila, lime juice, and salt in a highball glass with ice. Give a stir and pour in the grapefruit soda. Primavera is here and we haven’t a care!
I recently took a trip to Italy and got to visit the city of Venice. One of the things we booked was a walking food tour with Venice Bites Food Tours. First of all, the tour was fantastic and an absolute must if you ever visit Venice, but you can read more about that in my Italy post. The final stop on our tour, we learned about Aperol Spritz cocktails and Venice’s own special brand of Aperol called Aperol Selectivo. It’s somewhere in between Campari and Aperol, beautifully straddling the line of bitter and sweet and actually changing with the drinkers palate. Since it is near impossible to find outside of Venice, you will have to decide between Campari, a touch more bitter, or Aperol, slightly sweeter. Either way the cocktail was bitter, bright, and bubbly with just enough sweet to off set the bitter. I could not have asked for a better after dinner beverage. One of the key aspects to getting this cocktail correct is ensuring that it is made using prosecco. Some will try and cheap out by serving it with club soda, but be sure to ask for it with prosecco. Total difference.
4 1/2 oz prosecco
2 1/2 oz Aperol
Fill a highball glass with ice. Pour in the Aperol and fill with prosecco. Garnish with an orange wedge! Saluti!
Limoncello is known for that palate cleansing pop and is often enjoyed as an after dinner digestif. I enjoy using it in this light sangria as a way to refresh and awaken your palate. Also sangria is one of those make and forget it kind of things that just gets better the longer it mellows. A pitcher of sangria is an excellent way to maximize your time in the sun and with company! So whip up a pitcher and head outside!
1/2 cup limoncello
1 cup lemonade or pink lemonade
1 750 ml bottle of sparkling wine ( I used Prosecco since the bubbles are big and lively)
Fresh berries (strawberry, blueberry, raspberry, black berry or all four!)
Muddle the berries and mint for a quick minute in a pitcher. Add the limoncello, lemonade, and sparkling wine. Give a stir and pour into glasses with ice. Garnish with a fresh berry and a lemon wheel. Enjoy with your friends till the pitcher runs out!
10: Lillet Rosé Spritz
Full disclaimer, I adore Lillet! I usually keep a bottle of Lillet Blanc in my bar at all times. It makes for amazing cocktails and is wonderful just poured over crushed ice. This year I discovered Lillet is making a Lillet Rosé. Be still my beating heart! Not one but two of my favorite spring time beverages in one?! Of course I immediately went out and bought a bottle (or two). This stuff is absolutely delicious on its own, and would be completely set off by an excellent but easy cocktail like a spritz, which can be assembled in a pitcher, stirred, and enjoyed at your lesiure.
Full pitcher of Lillet Rosé Sprits
1 750 ml bottle of Lillet Rosé
1.5 c Pomegranate Juice or Strawberry Lemonade
1 750 bottle of Prosecco, Chilled
Pour all into a pitcher, stir, and enjoy in a champagne coupe! Feel free to garnish with fruit or edible flowers for some whimsy.
I’m sure you are a bit parched after that delicious list! I know I am. Soon as a warm day comes, it will be quite the decision on what to make first. Either way I’m sure there’s something on here to fit the bill and the tastes of anyone out there. Be sure to share your first Spring concoctions! Cheers ya’ll!
With yet another St. Patrick’s around the corner, I thought I might bring to light what the holiday originated as and ways to celebrate that you might actually remember the next day. Also a few other options to imbibe that are more Irish than green dyed beers, and far more delicious.
St. Patrick’s day, or the Feast of St. Patrick, began in celebration of the patron saint of Ireland, St. Patrick who died March 17th, 461. It was made an official celebration in the 17th century to commemorate the arrival of Saint Patrick and Christianity to Ireland, as well as the heritage and culture of the Irish. On this day, the Lenten fast was suspended and people were allowed to indulge in feasts and imbibe alcohol. As the Irish people migrated around the globe, they brought the celebration of St. Patrick’s day with them. Today it is celebrated around the world in various fashions, but always with parades, shamrocks, and the wearing green. St. Patrick utilized the shamrock to illustrate the Holy Trinity to the Irish, and thus became an iconic image associated with the saint. The method of celebrating through drinking likely developed due to the suspension of the Lenten fast for the day. The holiday is still celebrated as a national and religious holiday in Ireland, but in many other parts of the world it is a celebration of Irish culture and heritage, and to some a day of drinking.
My mother is very proud of our Irish heritage. My ancestors on her side came over ages ago and we have visited Ireland twice, once while I was studying abroad there. There are certain things that she is so particular about for her St. Patricks day that she will riot if they don’t meet her standards. I’ve seen it happen ( we called it the red basket incident and that pub manager will never be the same.) One of those things is her Irish breakfast. By far my favorite way to celebrate prior to and after St. Patrick’s Day, the Irish breakfast is the perfect base to a day of pints or cure to a night of too many pints. It consists of bacon, sausages, black and white pudding, beans, fried egg, potatoes in creamy butter, Irish soda bread or scones with marmalade, and a steaming cup of Barry’s tea. Yes, we really eat all of that. Ever since the Red Basket incident, my mother and I spend time and energy either tracking down the best (most accurate) Irish breakfast in town, or more favorably, ordering the proper ingredients online and making our own. FoodIreland.com is a most excellent source and the things not in the breakfast pack, I make from scratch. The perfect Irish breakfast pairs nicely with a pint of dry Irish stout.
After an enormously huge breakfast, many hit the pubs (those that don’t attend a parade or church) and begin a day of drinking. Unfortunately it may involve those brilliantly green pints. Many question (or should question) the arrival of green beer to the St. Patrick’s day scene and all I can say about it is that it is a gross commercialization. Anything green sells on St. Patrick’s Day here in the States. Dyeing beer green allows for bars to sell lighter domestic brews by the truck load. The best way to celebrate St. Patrick’s day is with a perfect pour pint of Guinness. Many other beers try and edge in on Guinness’s domination of St. Patricks day but to my honest opinion, no one can touch them on March 17th. Now people will argue that they can’t drink a lot of Guinness because it is too filling, or too many calories, or higher gravity than a domestic, but all of these are false. Guinness holds a special place in my heart as it was my first beer ever (had at St. James Gate in Dublin) and that I later had the opportunity to work for them. Guinness is not a filling beer, actually only about 125 calories, and boasts an alcohol of 4.2% ABV. It comes across as a filling beer as it is a Nitro pour which means smaller bubbles than other beers and thus the illusion of thickness. Dark beer does not always mean heavy or high gravity. The color comes from the roast of the grain.
A perfect pour of Guinness is essential to enjoying the draught. This consists of pouring Guinness from the draught in just the right way to ensure the best taste possible. The bartender should hold the glass at a forty five degree angle, nozzle close to the glass but not touching. They should pour while slowly righting the pint until it is just shy of the harp. Then let it rest. A proper Guinness is worth waiting for and this is the number one mistake that newbies make. It takes just shy of two minutes to let the Guinness settle out and then the bartender will top it off. This creates that beautifully ivory cap. Always have your Guinness "Proud of the brim" which means it should almost look like it will spill over the top but it won't. Now you can have a sip.
Other than my pint of Guinness, I have also been known to nurse a bit of Irish whiskey on the day. Either way ther are many other options to the dreaded green beer or (and I really despise these) the beer bomb drink where you drop a shot of baileys into a half filled pint of Guinness and chug it. So for those who would rather a cocktail versus a beer or whiskey, I have included a couple of favorites for the festivities.
* Please note for these cocktails: I use the Guinness Extra Stout or Guinness Foreign Extra Stout. The Guinness draught with the Nitro pour tends to react funny with some of the ingredients used, so for cocktails I don't use it. I do highly encourage having a pint on St. Pats though!
1 part Guinness (1 1/2 oz)
1 part chilled sparkling wine (1 1/2oz)
Pour both into a champagne flute and enjoy! Slainte to your classy side!
3oz Bloody Mary mix
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1oz Lime Juice
1/8tsp smoked paprika
1/8 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp horseradish
1 oz vodka
3 oz Guinness
Stir all but the Guinness in a tumbler with ice, making sure the spices and horseradish mix in well. Top with the 3 oz of Guinness. Garnish with green olive, pickle, and a salt and vinegar potato chip.
1 scoop vanilla ice cream
1 oz Irish Whiskey or Irish cream
3 oz Guinness
Sprinkles cause why not
Grab a brandy snifter or other large bowl glass. Put the scoop of Ice cream in first, then top with the 3 oz of Guinness and the 1 oz of Irish Whiskey. Add sprinkles cause you can damnit.
3 oz hot coffee
1 oz Irish Whiskey
1 tsp sugar
1 oz fresh cream, whipped cream, or better yet, Baileys infused cream
Put the sugar in the bottom of a mug. Pour in the hot coffee and Irish Whiskey and stir to dissolve the sugar. Top with the fresh cream and enjoy as you wake up.
This St. Pats, my mother, like many others, is struggling with allergies. One or two of these and she forgets she has a stuffy nose.
3oz hot tea or cider
1 oz Irish Whiskey
1 1/2 tsp honey
Lemon Wedge studded with cloves
Put the honey in the mug and top with the hot tea or cider and the Irish Whiskey. Stir well to dissolve the honey. Add in the lemon wedge with cloves and use the spoon to smush the lemon wedge against the side of the mug. Drink up to cure all that ails you.
Finally to my favorite and usually final thought on St. Patrick’s Day. The Irish Toast!
In all this world, why do I drink?
There are five reasons why to drink
Lest we be dry
And any other reason why
Here’s to a long life and a merry one
A quick death and an easy one
A pretty girl and an honest one
A cold pint and another one
May you have all the happiness
And luck life can hold
May all your rainbows
End in a pot of gold!
My friends are the best friends
Loyal, willing, and able
Now lets get to drinking
All the glasses off the table!
Cheers to all your celebrating on St. Patricks day! Be safe, be fun, and be green. Just don’t drink green!
Celebrating all that we raise, sip, guzzle, clink, drinks and most affectionately cheers with!
Beer & Breweries
Food And Drinks
Must Eat At Places
Non Alcoholic Drinks