Short-Cut Roast Duck Noodle Soup

Roast Duck Noodle Soup

It’s that time again….

Chúc Mừng Năm Mới!!

Tết – the Lunar New Year! And this year marks the Year of the Monkey….the Fire Monkey. Which means if you were born the years of the Dragon, Snake or Ox — good things should be coming your way. As for me, I’m of the Horse and as long as nothing “ominous” is slated, I’m totally good with that.

Roast Duck Noodle Soup
In honor of Tết, I decided to share with you a “short-cut” version of Roast Duck Noodle Soup. What’s the short-cut? I run out to Sam Woo BBQ to pick up one of their roast ducks! And I’ll be honest with you, there’s not one part of me that feels bad doing it either.

Their Cantonese style ducks are stuffed with bean paste, scallions and MAGIC….before getting a shellac of a honey mixture to get the skin crispy and brown. The duck is then chopped up and served with either a plum sauce or a dark dipping sauce that at first glance looks like an oily soy sauce. But it’s more of a rich, umami filled broth. DEFINITELY ask for extra because that’s what I add to the soup to give it some extra OOMPF!

No Sam Woo BBQ in your area? BUMMER! But any local Chinese BBQ spot – or even restaurant, will do the trick. Just be sure to ask for the broth-like dipping sauce.

Roast Duck Noodle Soup

In addition to the dipping sauce, the soup consists of stock (duck -if you have it, otherwise chicken is fine), toasted spices and aromatics, as well as a few pieces of the roast duck. I usually just throw in the wings and duck head since I’m not one to gnaw on either of those parts.

Roast Duck Noodle Soup
After the soup simmers for some time, it’s ladled over some egg noodles, bok choy and served with pieces of the roast duck. Easy Peasy!

The dish is my quick nod to Mì Vịt Tiềm – which is Vietnamese Roast Duck Noodle Soup. However, since the duck isn’t marinated in Five Spice, the soup and duck itself isn’t as dark as traditional Mì Vịt Tiềm. It’s also doesn’t have the deep flavor that Five Spice imparts which is why I like to make a spice sachet of toasted anise, coriander, black pepper and cinnamon to mimic it.

Roast Duck Noodle Soup
Once again Friends, let me say Chúc Mừng Năm Mới!! 

May this Year of the Monkey bring you and your loved ones Health, Luck, Laughter and endless Adventures……

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Short-Cut Roast Duck Noodle Soup
Serves 6

Ingredients:

2 star anise
6 cloves
½ cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
2 dried bay leaves
1 small white onion
3 inch piece of fresh ginger
4 garlic cloves, slightly smashed
4 quarts low sodium duck stock or chicken stock
1 quart water
1 store-bought chopped Peking/Cantonese style roast duck with dipping broth/sauce
kosher salt
fish sauce
Maggi seasoning (or low-sodium soy sauce)
2 cups sliced shiitake or oyster mushrooms
2 scallions, diced
12 ounces fresh Chinese egg noodles
1 small bunch bok chok, trimmed and washed
½ cup cilantro leaves
Thai chilies, minced

 

Place the star anise, cloves, cinnamon, coriander and peppercorns in a small skillet. Over low heat, toast the spices for 2-3 minutes; frequently shake the skillet to toss the spices. You’ll want to toast them until they’ve browned but not burned. Transfer the spices to a small plate to cool completely. Once they’ve cooled, place them with the bay leaves in the center of a square piece of cheesecloth. Gather up the edges of the cloth and tie it into a bundle with kitchen twine. Set aside.

 

Using tongs to hold the onion, carefully char the exterior over an open flame of your stove burner—rotating the onion to char evenly. Set aside and repeat with the ginger. This can be done under the broiler of your oven as well.

 

Pour the duck stock, water, about a cup of the duck dipping broth/sauce and sachet of spices into a large pot. Add the duck wings, duck head (if included), charred onion, charred ginger and garlic into the pot and bring the liquids to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 30-45 minutes, periodically skim off and discard any impurities that may have formed. Stir in 1-teaspoon salt, 1-tablespoon fish sauce, 1-tablespoon Maggi and add the scallions and mushrooms. Simmer for another 15-20 minutes.

 

Bring another large pot of water to a boil. Boil the egg noodles according to the package until al dente. Remove the noodles from the pot (save the boiling water) and drain in a colander. Divide the noodles amongst six bowls. Drop the bok choy into the boiling water and stir around for 30 seconds. Remove the bok choy and divide amongst the bowls.

 

Taste the broth and add additional fish sauce or Maggi as needed. Bring to a rolling boil and then ladle the broth into each bowl. Top each bowl with mushrooms and a few pieces of roast duck. Garnish with cilantro and chilies. Serve immediately with a dish of the remaining dipping broth/sauce.

Rosemary Greyhounds + 15 Super Bowl Recipes

Rosemary Greyhounds
For the past few weeks I’ve been making out like a citrus bandit!

Coworkers have been hooking me up with tons of their homegrown citrus –  grapefruits, meyer lemons, tangerines, and oranges. So for tomorrow’s Super Bowl shenanigans, I will be using up a few of the lovely grapefruits to make a slight spin on one of my favorite cocktails – the Greyhound.

Before I delve into that wonderful goodness, I wanted to make sure that y’all had ample ideas for your Super Bowl spread so that you can fully enjoy game day. And the fun perk? It’s all finger foods!

Starting off is my Hot Buffalo Chicken Dip! Because you just can’t have a football party without dip – and this ones a show stopper with all the flavors of buffalo wangzzzzz.

Drools.

Hot Buffalo Chicken Dip

Love deviled eggs? How about Sriracha? Then we should be best friends….and you should whip up some of these Sriracha Deviled Eggs by the Pioneer Woman. ps. It’s a total touchdown if you add crispy bacon bits on top.

Sriracha Deviled Eggs

If you like Papas Rellenas….
And getting caught in the rain…..

Ok, rain is optional but you’ll swoon over these Cuban potato balls filled with savory ground beef.

Papas Rellenas - Cuban Potato Balls

Crunchy Jalapeno-Bacon wrapped Avocado Fries

No explanation needed.

Crunchy Jalapeno-Bacon wrapped Avocado Fries
Spicy Chicken Flautas – crispy goodness with a kick. You can even fry these up before your friends come over and then keep them warm in the oven.

Spicy Chicken Flautas
Game day parties were meant for busting out the Slow Cookers. You can fix up the food hours and hours before kick off and it’ll keep nice and warm throughout the game.

First up, super easy and reliable BBQ Pulled Chicken Sandwiches.

Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Chicken Sandwiches

And then there’s these humongous, juicy, beef sammies — Slow Cooker Pot Roast Sandwiches. Drippy goodness.

Slow-Cooker Pot Roast Sandwiches
Rather have seafood sandwiches? How about some rockin’ Seafood Burgers? We’ve got crispy salmon and ahi for you to choose from. Added bonus? I share with you how to make the BEST brioche buns ever.

E-V-E-R!!

Seafood Burgers
Not up for waiting hours-upon-hours for the pizza delivery dude to show up? Make your own!

How about a BBQ Chicken Pizza?

BBQ Chicken Pizza
Or for our veggie lovin’ friends – a Spring Skillet Pizza Pie!

Spring Skillet Pizza Pie

If there isn’t some kind of fried chicken at a Super Bowl party, I immediately turn around and leave.

For reals.

How about a big ol’ platter of Vietnamese Style Fried Chicken? They’re crispy, sticky, slightly sweet and savory.

Finger – lickin’ – GOOD!

Xôi Gà Chiên Nước Mắm {Vietnamese-Style Fried Chicken with Sticky Rice}
Now how about some liquid goodness?

Although kickoff isn’t until 3:30pm PST, I’m sure you’ll be up and bustling around in the AM to get ready for the game. And since brekkie is the most important meal of the day, be sure to fix up a big pitcher of Bloody Marys! The more extra garnishes, the better!

Hair of the Dog - Bloody Mary
JELL-O SHOTS! JELL-O SHOTS! JELL-O SHOTS!

Yes, you can still enjoy a JELL-O shot every so now and then. Just amp them up a bit by hollowing out a few limes or lemons and fill them with JELL-O before allowing them to set in the fridge.

Show Stoppin’ JELL-O Shooters.

Jell-O Shooters

By now, you know my deep affection for the Moscow Mule. It’s a fantastic game day cocktail and even if you don’t have the traditional copper mugs to serve them in, sturdy mason jars will be just fine.

But copper mugs are OH-SO-GLORIOUS and keep your drinks so icy cold.

Moscow Mules
Moscow Mules are so nice—I had to show you twice!

This time with Apple Moscow Mules! They’re made with apple flavored vodka, apple cider, bitters and ginger beer.

Swoon.

Apple Moscow Mules

And finally, we’re back to where we started–with the wonderful Greyhound.

Traditionally, Greyhounds are a simple cocktail made from vodka and grapefruit juice. Easy-peasy.

I usually like to add a splash of simple syrup to offset the natural bitterness from the juice. Which is perfect for my slight spin on the Greyhound as I like to add simple syrup that is infused with fresh rosemary.

Rosemary Greyhounds
The floral rosemary compliments the flavors of the grapefruit so well that you’ve got to stop yourself from guzzling it down too quickly!

The steps below are for a single serving but it’s just as easy to make a full carafe of it and have it sitting in a chilled bucket at your Super Bowl spread or brunch table….. you get where I’m going with this.

Enjoy Folks and have a Fantastic Super Bowl!

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Rosemary Greyhounds
Serves 1

Ingredients:

½ cup sugar
½ cup water
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
ice
1½ ounces premium vodka
4 ounces fresh grapefruit juice
additional rosemary & grapefruit wedges for garnish

In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and water over medium low heat. Bring to a low boil and stir until the sugar has dissolved Stir in the rosemary sprigs and take off the heat. Allow the syrup to come to room temperature. Remove/discard the sprig and pour the syrup into a resealable container. Refrigerate for a few hours prior to use.

Fill a tumbler or other glass with ice that has been rimmed with sugar. Add the vodka, 1-2 splashes of rosemary simple syrup (depending on sweetness preference), and grapefruit juice. Stir gently and garnish with rosemary and grapefruit wedge.

Cheers!

Avocado Toast with Smoked Salmon and Poached Egg

Avocado Toast
Early last Sunday morning I found myself rummaging around my seestrah‘s fridge for some breakfast inspiration. I wasn’t in the mood for a laborious dish because I was on the brink of h’angry……

And quite frankly, that’s not a pretty sight.

I ended up pulling out eggs and some leftover smoked salmon and guacamole from the night before. Yup, it was Avocado Toast time! How absolutely trendy of me.

Now usually, when I fix up some Avocado Toast, I smash up some ripe avocado and add a bit of spice. But seeing how I had some delish guac at my disposal, I opted for that route.

Avocado Toast
As for the egg, I had initially wanted to fry it up—I love the crispy edges. But this gal is a sucker for an oozy-goozy poached egg that essentially makes a sauce from itself once you break into it. So wonderfully divine, so deliciously decadent.

And before I even had a chance to take a proper pic on a camera (instead of my phone), I had gobbled it all up.

Oh well, guess I’ll have to make it again to reshoot it.

Happy Saturday! <3

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Avocado Toast with Smoked Salmon and Poached Egg
Serves 1

Ingredients:

½ ripe medium sized avocado
½ teaspoon lemon juice
kosher salt
black pepper
red pepper flakes
1 slice bread, toasted
3 ounces smoked salmon
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 large egg
chopped cilantro to garnish

In a small bowl, mash the avocado with the lemon juice, 2-3 pinches salt, 1-2 pinches black pepper and 1-2 pinches red pepper flakes. Spread the avocado mash (or guacamole if you have it) over the toasted bread and place the smoked salmon slices on top.

Fill a pot ¾ full of water and bring to a rolling boil. Pour in the vinegar and slightly lower the heat. Crack the egg into a small bowl. Take a spoon and swirl it around quickly in the pot to make a whirlpool in the water. Slowly pour the egg into the center of the whirlpool. The movement of the whirlpool will help the egg form but you can also use a spoon to help it along. After about 2-3 minutes, use a slotted spoon to remove the egg. Gently blot it dry with a paper towel and place on top of the toast.

Sprinkle the kosher salt and black pepper over the egg. Garnish with the chopped cilantro and serve immediately.

DIY Taco Seasoning Blend

Taco Seasoning Blend

Let’s talk about one of my favorite pantry staples — Taco Seasoning.

Taco Seasoning?

Yes! Taco Seasoning!

It’s one of the items I tend to grab for at least once a week. I use it to season all of my taco fillings, in fajitas or enchiladas, when I make huevos rancheros or chilaquiles — and even as a dry rub for chicken, pork, beef, or seafood before grilling it.

Heck– I’ll even throw in a few pinches when I’m scrambling eggs.

Totally versatile.

Taco Seasoning Blend
And if you’re like me, you grew up using the prepackaged envelopes of seasoning. Don’t get me wrong–that stuff’s delicious and completely nostalgic. But the problem I’ve always had is that although I would use the store-bought seasonings, I would still find myself adding cumin or smoked paprika or whatever it was to get the exact flavor profile I liked.

Which lead me to nix the whole thing and start making my own—-and that’s the beauty of homemade taco seasoning. You can add and omit whatever tickles your fancy.

I tend to lean towards a deeply smoky (hence the ancho and smoked paprika), earthy (which explains the heavy hand in cumin) and spicy (cayenne, smoked paprika, red pepper flakes) blend.

Taco Seasoning Blend
I do believe the variations in chili powders and paprikas add a complexity but if you don’t have all of the varieties on hand, just sub as needed (ie. replace standard chili powder for ancho). It won’t have the same flavor but it’ll still be dreamy.

You may also notice that the amount of salt I’ve listed below is fairly low compared to the other proportions–but keep in mind, you’ll likely be salting the rest of your dish at various times, so add accordingly.

If stored in airtight containers, the blend will last for several months–though I seem to end up making a new batch up every month or so. And because of this and the fact that it’s easy to double or triple the recipe, they’ll make for great gifts!

Happy Seasonings!

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DIY Taco Seasoning Blend
Makes approximately 8 tablespoons
Ingredients:

½ tablespoon ancho chili powder
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
¼ teaspoon cayenne powder
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
½ tablespoon gochugaru (Korean red pepper powder), omit if you don’t have any
1 tablespoon cumin powder
¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
2 teaspoons dried Mexican oregano
½ teaspoon garlic salt
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon black pepper

In a bowl, carefully whisk all the ingredients together until well incorporated. The blend can be used right away or stored in an airtight container for 5-6 months.

Nini’s Sweet 16 Surprise Party

Nini's Sweet 16

On Saturday we somehow managed to successfully throw my niece, Nini (aka Stephanie), a surprise Sweet 16 Birthday Party. It was quite a covert operation since the birthday gal lives in the house where the party was to be held and all of the decorations and prep items were hidden in various nooks and crannies.

But we pulled a fast one on her.

Nini's Sweet 16
It all actually started with her big seester – my eldest niece, Nina. We had been brainstorming ideas for her upcoming birthday but nothing stuck. At one point when Nini was out of the room, Nina suggested that we throw her a surprise party with all of her favorite things. What a good big seester!

Delish Food…..

Her Near and Dear Friends…..

Succulent Plants…..

All things Gold and Copper…..

Photo Booth…..

Her Fav Candies…..

Nini's Sweet 16

Come to think of it, I’m not sure if Nina had “family” on that list…but I’m going to say it was a given.

With a date and theme in mind, we were off to the races — full party planning mode.

Eldest seester gave the thumbs up to have the meal catered to give us a little breathing room. We brought in our local taco caterers who set a taco and nachos station in the backyard. The spread was full of pollo, carne asada, carnitas, bright yellow nacho cheese, guacamole, rice, beans and ALL of the fixings.

Nini's Sweet 16

This freed up our time a bit to focus on a dessert bar….because let’s face it, apparently we can’t throw a party these days without one.

Capitalizing on her recent macaron lesson with me a few weeks ago, Nina made a bunch of Matcha Macarons filled with Chocolate Ganache. Nini loves green tea and loves chocolate–and we all love macs so it was a no-brainer.

Eldest seestrah baked up several batches of New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookies –another one of the birthday gal’s favorites.

Nini's Sweet 16

The dessert bar included her favorites candies such as Peppermint Patties, Reese Peanut Butter Cups, Sour Gummy Straws and Red Vines that guests filled their goodie bags with.

As for me, I was tasked with the birthday cake (more on that later) and even whipped up a couple dozen cake pops at the last minute.

Nini's Sweet 16
And before we knew it, it was time for the birthday girl to come home to her party. I think you can tell from the look on her face below that she was truly surprised! Success!

Version 2

The night was filled with lots of food, laughter, a few games, LOTS of sweets, presents and endless–and I’m talking ENDLESS selfies!

Oh those teenagers….

We even set up a photo “booth” that was well taken advantage of by the dozens and dozens of teenagers. But get this—they would still take selfies while they were having their pictures taken! I kept asking if they wanted me to take the photos for them but they politely declined. Perhaps normal poses just aren’t cool…. I may never understand it.

Nini's Sweet 16

Let’s talk a bit about the cake.

For years, Nini has been obsessed with succulents —she’s absolutely nuts about them!  So when it came time to talk about cakes, the design choice was already made.

Which meant it was time to bust out the fondant. When I mold fondant decorations, I like to start at least a week out before the event to allow ample time for them to air-dry and harden a bit. This helps to keep the figures’ shapes as well as sets the color of the dye.

Below are a few of my previous fondant works:

Nini's Sweet 16
I’ve always kind of enjoyed playing with fondant—it’s essentially Play-Doh! I just wished it tasted better than it does but at least it’s fun to mold.

Nini's Sweet 16

My succulents were not 100% botanically correct, but I think they ended up pretty cute. In addition to coloring the actual fondant, I used powdered food color to paint the tips and edges of some of the leaves for some added depth.

Nini's Sweet 16

As for the cake itself, or “sponge”, I opted for a dense chocolate cake. For stacked cakes, I’ve always had issues with sponges that were too light (chiffon cakes, etc.) or if they were too moist. I find that they just don’t have the structure to hold up to the stacking weight which leads to a giant hot mess.

After the cakes were baked and cooled (I do this the night before I decorate the cake), it became time to level and tort them. And to be honest, this is my least favorite part. It’s tedious and time consuming but if you don’t do it properly, your cakes will be lopsided. Grab a handy leveler to help your cause out.

To fill and frost the cakes, I opted for the tried and true Swiss Meringue Buttercream. Not only is it delicious but it’s a good stable frosting. The layers were filled with a coffee flavored buttercream and the exterior of the cakes were frosted with vanilla buttercream to keep the color white.

Nini's Sweet 16

And if all goes well, all of your hard work and patience while torting will yield beautiful clean layers and lines in the cake.

Nini's Sweet 16

Once each cake layer was frosted and smoothed out, I placed the top tier slightly off centered for a bit of whimsy. I then took a Wilton 2A round tip to pipe an quick pearl pattern at the base of each tier.

Nini's Sweet 16
Next, as my seester said, came the fun part – figuring out the placement of the succulents. This is where I wanted to go a bit nuts and throw them all on. But my inner voice and my eldest seester talked me out of it.

Nini's Sweet 16
All in all, I was quite pleased with the final look of the cake and Nini really loved it –which if that doesn’t earn me the auntie of the year award, I don’t know what will……

Nini's Sweet 16
Happy Sweet Sixteen, Nini Love! <3

Nini's Sweet 16

Sunday Family Dinner with All of the Crew

December 2015 SFD
About two times a year we can wrangle all five Nguyễn siblings at our monthly Family Dinners. It’s not for lack of desire but with one brother in New York, one seester in San Francisco, two seesters in Orange County and me in San Diego–it can be a logistical nightmare.

But when it does happen, it’s chaotically wonderful.

December 2015 SFD

With all of the sibs in town last month, we managed to squeeze Fam Din in between our Cousin’s wedding, multiple Christmas parties, and the most important— the release of Star Wars.

All very, VERY important events for us.

I’m not kidding gang–although I was off from work for the last two weeks of December, I was up in Orange County the entire time with some type of event each day. Let’s just say, at the end of my vacation–I needed a vacay from my vacay.

December 2015 SFD

But back to our Fam Din!

We held it the next day after our younger cousin’s amazing wedding. He’s been like a little brother to the five of us so it was extremely special to witness his truly perfect day. And because we knew it was going to be a fantastic party, we planned ahead for a very low key but comforting menu for dinner.

A nod to rustic Italian and Tuscan fare.

December 2015 SFD
And since I’m me, I couldn’t resist snapping away at some pics of the fam bam. How often do I get all of my kiddos (minus the fur babies) in one shot?

This particular one is freaking hilarious. Maya, Lucas, Nini and Nina are pros having been subjected to my photo shoots every month but the youngest three munchkins’ faces below have me DYING!

Leonidas is rocking the ultimate pouty face.

Kaelani has the petrified “Is this really my family?!?!?” look.

And Luna is giving me the “Hurry up before I flip over!” face.

Classic.

December 2015 SFD

Then at some point, I channeled the inner prom-photographer in me and snapped a couple of the sibbies.

Representing Tustin…..

December 2015 SFD
Representing San Francisco…..

Wait! How did Kaelani sneak in this one?

December 2015 SFD
Representing New York…..

Or is technically Manhattan?

Um. You get the picture.

December 2015 SFD
And finally, Representing Fullerton…..

December 2015 SFD
Somewhere along the lines, my two eldest munchkins, who are now both taller than me, decided to lick my face.

Gross.

But I probably would have done the same to them. Where do you think they’ve learned it from?

December 2015 SFD
And since our Leo was turning four a few days later, we decided to make Fam Din into a little party for him.

How can he be four already?!?!?

December 2015 SFD
Before dinner, we snacked on an overflowing tray of Antipasti from a local Italian market named Claro’s. They’ve got tons and tons of wonderful imported goods as well as delish cold cuts, cheeses, olives, sandwich counter and plenty of premade dishes you can take home.

Below is their sampling of Asiago cheese, Gorgonzola, bocconcini, salami, prosciutto sticks, olives and cherry tomatoes.

December 2015 SFD
For the main course, we had Roasted Rosemary-Garlic Whole Chickens with new potatoes. Seester marinated the chickens overnight and roasted two of them in the oven and one outdoor in her rotisserie oven. You just can’t beat a wonderfully flavored, juicy roasted chicken.

December 2015 SFD
And you just can’t have an Italian menu without a big ol’ bowl of pasta.

I whipped up a ginormous bowl of Cacio e Pepe using bucatini pasta–because I adore bucatini.

Butter, black pepper, Pecorino, and Parmesan.

December 2015 SFD

Eldest seestrah made Souffle al Formaggio Facile – a Tuscan cheese souffle with mixed greens. We’ve never had an Italian dish like this but heck –how could you go wrong with a cheese souffle???

In fact, this would be a great brunch dish with perhaps a poached egg nestled on top of the greens.

December 2015 SFD

As for dessert, the birthday boy wanted Chocolate Cupcakes and what birthday boy wants, he gets. Well, at least with desserts that is.

Seester P recruited the little munchkins to help bake up a batch of chocolaty cuppies with chocolate frosting –using our go to recipe from Ina.

The kids loved helping out–especially since they got to pipe the frosting on top.

December 2015 SFD

I mean, c’mon. Look at that face.

Could anything be cuter????

December 2015 SFD

Okay…maybe these faces below.

Hey, it was his birthday– and the kid loves chocolate!

December 2015 SFD
And that friends, was only day 2 of my 14-day “vacation” in Orange County.

I’m still recovering. <3

This Month’s Family Dinner Menu

Cocktails: Vino Galore!!!
Appetizers: Anitpasti – Asiago cheese, Gorgonzola, bocconcini, salami, prosciutto sticks, olives and cherry tomatoes
Entrees: Rosemary Garlic Roast Chicken, Roast Potatoes, Cacio e Pepe, Souffle al Formaggio Facile
Dessert: Rich Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream

Jingle Bell Juice – Happy Holidays!

Jingle Bell Juice

Admit it.

At some time in your life (most likely those college days), you guzzled more than a few red SOLO cups filled with “Jungle Juice”.

Don’t hide it…you know what I’m talking about.

Jingle Bell Juice

That ubiquitous red party “punch” that was likely served from one of those huge 5 gallon-orange-water cooler-dispensers.

And by “punch”, it was more like a red Kool-Aid and terribly cheap booze that tasted like a mix of some serious rubbing alcohol and turpentine.

GAG….

Jingle Bell Juice
But we drank it along with the throngs of other collegiate party go-ers because it was ridiculously cheap to make and it did the trick.

We weren’t so smart back then….

But it was fun.

Jingle Bell Juice
For the holidays, I thought it would be a hoot to make a vat of the stuff. But since I’m a big girl now–how about we class it up a bit?

Nothing overboard…just a smidgen. So what does that mean? Quality fruit juices, fresh citruses and top shelf booze. Trust me, it’s worth it.

And in case you’re worried–it still packs one heck of a punch so sip cautiously.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS FRIENDS! <3

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Jingle Bell Juice

Ingredients:

64 ounces cranberry juice
16 ounces pomegranate juice
12 ounces pineapple juice
8 ounces orange juice
4 ounces lemon juice
4 ounces lime juice
1 (750 milliliter) bottle top shelf vodka
16 ounces top shelf white rum
8 ounces Cointreau or other orange liqueur
2 large orange, sliced (more for garnish)
2 limes, sliced (more for garnish)
1 lemon, sliced (more for garnish)
1 cup mixed fresh berries (blackberries, cranberries, raspberries)
1 (750 milliliter) bottle chilled sparkling wine

In a very large vessel, combine everything but the sparkling wine. Stir well and refrigerate for 4-6 hours. Before serving, slowly stir in the sparkling wine. Garnish with extra slices of citrus. CHEERS!