World Cucumber Day is June 14! Of course, I’m going to celebrate by putting cucumber in something boozy. And, as of late, frozen. (Because, Texas.)
I chose to work with Hendrick’s Gin for these recipes because the spirit already has a delightful cucumber note. (After macerating and distilling most of the botanicals with the alcohol, rose and cucumber essences are added.) And they get a kick out of cucumbers. They even have a cucumber blimp.
I wanted to try something a little different to add a peppery note to a Cucumber Collins (which is delicious, but not complex enough), so I added a little watercress. Watercress is incredibly inexpensive and also makes for a fun garnish.
Cucumber Watercress Collins
2oz Hendrick’s Gin
1oz fresh lime juice
0.75oz simple syrup
5 cucumber slices
Muddle lime, syrup, cucumbers, and about 10 watercress leaves in a cocktail tin. Add the gin and ice, then shake until well chilled. Strain into a Collins glass over fresh ice, then top with club soda. Garnish with a small bunch of watercress leaves.
Special thanks to Feo Forte from Rapscallion for the help workshopping this cocktail!
As you may have noticed lately, I’ve been a little obsessed with alcoholic popsicles. I’ve gotten a little bit of a wild hair to add a kick to things that aren’t meant to be boozy. Go ahead … call me an anarchist.
Combine liquid ingredients and stir. Place a few slices of cucumber in each popsicle mold, then pour liquid over. Add sticks, then freeze overnight or for at least eight hours.
Not in the mood to make your own drinks? Stop into your favorite drinking establishment this evening and see if they’re offering a special cucumber drink to celebrate the day.
DALLASITES: There are quite a few local establishments that will be offering special Hendrick’s options to celebrate. Maybe I’ll see you there! (Visit District 30, Rapscallion, Dish, The Fairmount, Public School 214, The Standard Pour, Dragonfly at Hotel Zaza, Parliament, Bowen House, The Mitchell, Stock & Barrel, Boulevardier, and The Londoner locations in Colleyville and Addison for features and/or specials tonight!)
Now, a little on the Negroni: it’s a classic Italian cocktail that has been around since the early 1900s that is made with equal parts gin, Campari, and red vermouth with an orange peel garnish, served on the rocks. Campari is a bright red, bitter, Italian liqueur that gives this drink its unique flavor profile. The Negroni is considered an apéritif, which the Italians will sip before a meal to prepare their stomachs.
I know that we’ve all had a traditional Negroni or two this week, so to stir things up a little, I tried my hand at Strawberry Negroni Popsicles for a pool party yesterday! These pops are as easy to make as they could be and are a perfect way to cool down in this oppressive heat.
STRAWBERRY NEGRONI POPSICLES
1 1/2 lb strawberries, hulled
6 T turbinado sugar (Sugar in the Raw)
2.5 T Seersucker Gin
2.5 T Campari
2.5 T Sweet Vermouth
1 T Orange Flower Water
Combine hulled strawberries and sugar in a blender, let them sit for 10-20min, then blend until smooth. Add other ingredients and blend for another 20 seconds. Freeze in popsicle molds for at least 8 hours.
Summer is coming … and it’s going to be a rough one, so being poolside with a cocktail and something cold is going to be the way to cope. Since all day pool parties aren’t always conducive to mass amounts of liquor, I figured out a little less aggressive way to up my booze intake … and get some extra vitamin C while I’m at it–Orange Cava Popsicles.
Made with a few simple ingredients, the easy to make popsicles are a perfectly refreshing poolside treat. Just freeze overnight and, voila, a boozy treat to cool you off … and they look pretty damn cool, too.
Orange Cava Popsicles
1 cup Segura Viudas Brut Cava
1.5 cups orange juice
0.5 cups water
3 tablespoons agave syrup (or other flavored syrup to your liking)
Combine liquid ingredients and mix until the syrup is dissolved. Place an orange slice in each popsicle mold, then fill with the mixed liquid leaving a little room for expansion from freezing. Depending on your molds, either place sticks in the molds immediately, then freeze overnight, or let freeze for one hour before placing the sticks.
If you want to go full-tilt basic, grab some fresh juice (or some extra cava) and drop your popsicle in. The drink will change with every sip since the popsicle will gradually melt into it!
While it’s hot outside, it’s really tough to still look cool … and even harder to keep your cool when entertaining. Luckily, my friend Jaclyn Mittman is giving me some outdoor entertaining pointers for my summer parties. Her biggest advice: texture.
We got together for a quick tablescape lesson and some tequila cocktails … because, summer. Scroll to see what we got into.
What inspired your tablescape?
Rustic summer. I love the look of the distressed wood with modern, elegant pieces like gold flatware and matte black dinnerware. The white peonies and eucalyptus offered even more texture and elevated the entire table without having to add a lot of color. I tend to stick with neutrals so this tablescape reflected my design style perfectly.
Where can we get this setup … like STAT? Target has the best, affordable pieces for entertaining! And the best part is it’s so reasonably priced that you can have multiple sets/motifs.
What is your best advice for entertaining?
Texture! Add texture to the table by adding in layers with a table runner, napkins, or florals and plants. Also alcohol. Alcohol is a must when entertaining.
Music can also completely set the tone and mood for any party. When entertaining, I stick with Spotify for their pre-made playlists based on mood or the type of party you’re throwing. I know I can let it play and not have to worry about it the rest of the time. Also, a great Bluetooth speaker is the way to go. I love the JBL Xtreme Splashproof Wireless Speaker for parties. (NOTE FROM SUSIE: feel free to use my boozy playlist!)
Do you have any special tips or tricks for summer entertaining?
Make sure you’re wearing something breezy, because the host is always running around. Also, make sure you’re providing guests with water, shade, and (if possible) fans! (And did I mention alcohol?)
Since it’s warm outside, we obviously needed something to cool us off. Enter: tequila cocktails. We went for something that was light but potent–TheResting Garden Margarita. Plenty of tequila and some fresh juice keeps this recipe light and drinkable and the grilled mango garnish makes it gorgeous to boot.
The Resting Garden Margarita 1 3/4 oz Roca Patrón Silver 1/2 oz Patrón Citronge Mango
1 oz fresh lemon juice
3/4 oz agave syrup
6 sage leaves (plus more for garnish)
Pinch of salt
Grilled mango slices
Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake with ice to chill. “Double strain” the drink by pouring it through a fine mesh strainer into an ice-filled old fashioned glass. Garnish with sage leaves and a grilled mango slice.
We went with Roca Patrón Silver as this recipe doesn’t have much going on … so you can taste the quality of the tequila. (Because good liquor shouldn’t be covered up, y’all.) If you haven’t tried Roca Patrón Silver, it has notes of black pepper, a citrus nose, and a smooth taste.
What made you start your blog, JaclynMittman.com? I originally started my blog as a place to share my beauty findings and to be able to review makeup products I used regularly. As it turns out … people wanted to read it. It has turned into beauty, fashion, lifestyle, and more!
What is your go-to sunscreen this summer?
I swear by Aesop’s Avail Body Lotion with Sunscreen. It doesn’t feel heavy like most sunscreens and it easily absorbs and doesn’t leave a white cast on your skin. It also smells incredible!
Kind of loving your outfit … it’s perfect for summer. Where can we get it? Top – Choies Black Off Shoulder Half Sleeve Blouse in black, $11.90 Shorts – Madewell San Diego Cover-Up Shorts in strokedash, $39.50 $29.99 Heels – Steve Madden Christey Heel in black suede, $109.95
I like to entertain … like … a lot. The worst part, though, is being forced to be tied to the bar so you can make everyone drinks or to keep it tidy when the one messy friend inevitably spills all the things. (Dammit, Linda.) Say “adios” to playing babysitter to the bar and batch out a cocktail (or three) for your Cinco de Mayo fiesta.
For Cinco de Mayo, the easiest thing to batch out is, of course, margaritas. And (hold on to your sombrero), the US imported 12.3 million cases (yes, M-M-M-M-M-million) of tequila in 2014 … and Texas is apparently one of the top 10 tequila consuming states in the US. So yeah, a drink with tequila is a slam dunk.
This Cinco de Mayo, I’ll be visiting family in Pennsylvania to celebrate my grandmother’s 90th birthday. Luckily, on her last visit to Dallas, my mom and I introduced her to margaritas … and she loved them. Needless to say, once I land in the Keystone State, I’ll be swinging by a liquor store to pick up the makings of this remixed margarita just for her.
So, why Sauza? It’s made with 100% blue agave in Jalisco, Mexico the same way it has been made since 1873. The agave is put into production within 48 hours which gives the tequila a crisp flavor.
Perfect Pear Margarita (serves 8)
2 cups Sauza® Signature Blue Silver Tequila
1/2 cup lemon Juice
1/2 cup lime juice
1 cup simple syrup
1 cup pear syrup
Mix all ingredients in an ice-filled pitcher. Serve in margarita glasses garnished with a rosemary sprig and lime wheel. (Ignore the color … because it’s delicious!)
1 cup pear purée
1⁄4 cup Sugar in the Raw
1⁄2 tablespoon fresh ginger, chopped
1 cinnamon stick
1 pinch grated nutmeg
In a medium saucepan, combine all ingredients over medium heat and stir until sugar dissolves fully. Reduce to low and simmer for 10 minutes. (The syrup will thicken-up slightly.) Strain and store in an airtight container in a refrigerator for up to two weeks.
I was given the chance to participate in this campaign and was sent items from Sauza to promote.
Hey, y’all … I’m Susie’s new friend! My new mom adopted me a couple weeks ago from TLC Rescue where my name was CeeLo (because I have really short arms … I get those from my corgi mom) and Susie changed my name to Tullamore D.O.G., but you can call me Tully. (She said that she wanted to name me after one of her very favorite things … Tullamore D.E.W. Irish whiskey!)
The last two and a half weeks have been a big change for me … I went from running around in the country alone stealing pies from windowsills to hanging out in a condo in Dallas with food set right in front of me when I want it. Oh, and my human takes care of my doodoo. (One less thing to worry about, you know?) Life is good. Now … I’m not saying that everyone should go out and get one of my buddies I was at camp with, but they sure would appreciate it.
Tonight we tried on our St. Patrick’s Day parade outfits … do you like my green paws!? (The tip of my tail is green, too … you can see it on my mom’s Snapchat–@susieoz–along with a bunch of other cute videos of me being adorable.) Susie got me some super cool hair spray made just for pets and a bowtie so I could look cool on Greenville!
To make things even MORE fun my first couple weeks at my new home, my birthday is tomorrow, Saint Patrick’s Day!!! I have a Pup-pie to look forward to, but I wanted to tell y’all about a few of my mom’s favorite Irish whiskey cocktails so you can celebrate along with me! I even put them in order of easiest to more difficult to help you out. You’re welcome, human.
I hope you have a great time celebrating … I’ll see you all on Greenville!
1 shot Jameson
1 shot pickle juice
You know what to do …
MIDORI GREEN EYED GINGER 1 part Midori® Melon Liqueur
2 parts 2 GINGERS® Irish Whiskey
2 parts Ginger Ale
Build in order over ice in a tall glass. Garnish with a lemon & lime half moon wheel on the rim.
TRADITIONAL IRISH COFFEE
1 jigger Tullamore D.E.W. Irish whiskey (or 1.5oz)
1 cup of fresh, high quality hot coffee
1 tablespoon brown sugar
Real whipped cream
Combine Tully and coffee, add sugar, and stir until the sugar is fully dissolved. Top with whipped cream.
CRABBIE’S MOSCOW MULE
3–4 mint leaves
¾ oz lime juice
½ oz simple syrup
1½ oz vodka
Crabbie’s Original Alcoholic Ginger Beer
Muddle the mint gently in the bottom of your glass. Add the lime juice, simple syrup and vodka, fill with ice, then top with Crabbie’s.
I am embarrassed to admit that I haven’t seen but one of the 2016 Oscars Best Picture nominees … and I just watched it last night. Needless to say, I’m going to need something to keep me entertained since I haven’t a clue what is going to be going on. Enter: alcohol.
So, to prepare for the 88th Academy Awards watching situation, I got a little crazy and ordered some edible gold to make a fancy cocktail instead of taking the time to actually watch the movies. I’ve included the recipe for the cocktail I will be sipping on tonight below along with some other drink options.
THE GOLD MAN
2oz Basil Hayden’s Bourbon
1/2oz honey syrup
1oz lemon juice
3 orange slices, quartered
garnish: edible gold flakes or an orange slice
Muddle the oranges and honey syrup in a cocktail shaker. Add ice, lemon juice, and shake until chilled thoroughly. Strain into a martini glass.
Too lazy to slice and shake? Pop into the grocery store for a bottle of PIPER-HEIDSIECK champagne (the only champagne served AT the Oscars ceremony) or one of the Coppola Winery’s Director’s Cutcollection wines (seems fitting for FILM awards). Just make sure you plan your booze pick-up for after noon … because Sundays in Texas are ruled by TABC. The Man sucks.)
Too lazy to cook, too? (Seriously? Do something with your life. jk) Plano residents can call LASH Delivery and order one of their two Oscar-themed food packages–the Foreign Film Package (Bruschetta from Campisi’s and Caramel Flan from El Norte Mexican Grill) or the Red Carpet Package (a Hummus Trio from Zoe’s Kitchen and Summer Rolls from Mango Thai Cuisine).Each package is $20 (+$7 delivery fee) and can be ordered through 9pm on 2/28.
Basil Hayden’s Golden Spice 1 part Basil Hayden’s Bourbon
Sparkling Apple Juice
Add Basil Hayden’s Bourbon to a champagne flute. Fill the remainder of the glass with sparkling apple juice. Garnish with a sliced apple.
CELEBRITY COLADA ½ crushed pineapple
1 cup crushed ice
1 cup vodka
2 cups cold Coco Joy Water
Combine pineapple, ice, vodka and Coco Joy Water in a blender and pulse until smooth. Garnish with limes.
GREY GOOSE LE FIZZ
35ml GREY GOOSE vodka
25ml ST-GERMAIN® elderflower liqueur
20ml fresh lime juice
70ml chilled soda
Pour all ingredients except soda water into a cocktail shaker. Shake briefly over ice and double strain into a chilled flute. Top with soda water. Garnish with a stirrer.
GOLD BAR PUNCH
1 bottle VSOP Cognac
1 bottle Powell & Mahoney Lemon Sour mixer
½ bottle Powell & Mahoney Ginger mixer
1 cup fresh pineapple juice
1 cup cold water
Mix together VSOP Cognac, P&M Lemon Sour mixer, P&M Ginger mixer, pineapple juice, and water. Chill for several hours before serving. When ready to serve, pour into a large punch bowl over the gold bar ice block. Top with 1 bottle chilled Champagne and stir. Add orange slice. To make the gold bar ice, fill a loaf baking pan with boiling water (this will ensure clear ice). Add edible gold flakes to the pan and stir. Place in freezer overnight. Prior to serving, run the outside of the pan under hot water to release the ice block. Serves 10.
In other news, there are some ridiculous facts about the Oscars from WalletHub:
25 Years Old: Jennifer Lawrence is the youngest person ever to earn four acting nominations
$3,500: Average cost of preparing a Hollywood actress for the red carpet
$220K: Value of the 2016 Oscar Swag Bag
39 Years: Between Sylvester Stallone’s two Oscar nominations for his portrayal of Rocky Balboa
45 Sec: The amount to which acceptance speeches will be cut down this year, thanks to individual shout outs scrolling on the bottom of the screen.
Christmasy drinks can be a little intimidating … at least by name. I mean, who decided to call a creamy nutmeg treat egg nog or delicious apple cinnamon goodness hot buttered rum? (What is a nog anyway?) Well … as scary as the name “hot buttered rum” is, it adheres to the cardinal rule of life (or at least Paula Deen’s rule): adding butter makes it better. Unfortunately the name isn’t an misnomer.
I found myself in Plano recently and happened into Holy Grail Pub. Our waitress hardly finished saying the whole phrase “hot buttered rum” before I yelled that I’d have one. After two sips I demanded the recipe and she nicely obliged. I whipped up HALF a batch for a recent holiday party, and, even though it wasn’t even a tad cold outside (what the heck’s up with this weather?!), it was the first to run out. (I’ve also had three attendees ask for the recipe, so I thought posting it was easier.)
HOT BUTTERED RUM (recipe from Holy Grail Pub in Plano)
1 gallon unfiltered apple cider (I really love the cider at Trader Joe’s)
2 Gala apples, cored & sliced 1/16” thick
2 Bartlett pears, cored & sliced 1/16” thick
3 oz fresh ginger root, peeled & sliced thin
4 cinnamon sticks
1 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
3/4 cup brown sugar
3 cups Sailor Jerry spiced rum
1/2 cup butter
Mix all ingredients in a HUGE saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer. Simmer for at least 30 minutes. Serve warm and garnish with an apple or pear slice and cinnamon stick.
(Makes a whole lot.)
Some quick tips when making this:
plan ahead on the size of your saucepan (it really makes more than you expect)
if you’re using a beverage dispenser, strain out the solids before you put it in as it’ll clog the nozzle
make this ahead of time … it’ll make your house smell ah-mazing
If you’re not into butter in your drinks or making giant batches of drinks, here’s a simpler version that you can spice up as much as you’d like.
SIMPLE SPIKED CIDER
2 parts apple cider
1 part spiced rum
1 dash cinnamon
Mix, warm, and add the following ingredients as desired: apple slices, pear slices, fresh orange juice, orange bitters, cinnamon sticks, more rum