Drinks

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! ❤

_______________________________
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!

Advertisements
Drinks

Day 5 of A Week of Holiday Cocktails – Hōkū

Hoku

It’s day 5 of our Week of Holiday Cocktails and I have to admit, out of all of the drinks, I couldn’t wait to share with you all this one…..the Hōkū

At it’s core, it embodies each level that I look for in the flavor profile of an ideal cocktail. It’s highly aromatic, packs a great level of citrus acidity and well—it’s quite strong. Furthermore, the Hōkū is a nod to South East Asia and the Pacific Islands.

Hoku

The Hōkū begins with a Kaffir Lime Infused Gin. Kaffir limes are prevalent in Southeast Asian cuisine and have not only a distinct flavor but appearance. On average they are the size of a small golf ball but have a bumpy exterior. They have a wonderful citrus tone that is reminiscent of lemongrass.

To make Kaffir Lime Infused Gin, place 15-20 kaffir lime leaves that have been slightly torn in a mason jar (or other resealable container). Add the zest of 1-2 kaffir limes and top off the jar with your choice of gin. Cap the jar and refrigerate for about 2-3 weeks, shaking the jar every few days. You’ll be surprised how well the kaffir limes pair with gin and it really adds such an unexpected kick.

Hoku

The other wonderful component to this drink is starfruit. Not only are they quite pretty but they’ve got a unique, subtle flavor. To me, starfruits taste a bit like a grapes with a hint of citrus. I muddle starfruit with the kaffir lime infused gin, kaffir limes and a bit of sugar. The juices are then topped off with tonic water. As for the name, Hōkū is the Hawaiian word for star.

The Hōkūs pictured here were quite near and dear to my heart as I was able to use the starfruit from our mom’s old tree that now resides at our aunties home. Our mom was so proud of this tree as the fruit it grew were small but had the perfect starfruit flavor. She would often make a homey Vietnamese soup with them – Canh Khế or a bright Vietnamese salad – Gỏi Khế. Somehow I don’t think Mom would have been surprised to find that I’ve used her starfruit in a cocktail 🙂

And with that friends — Ōkole maluna! (Bottoms up!)

__________________________________

Hōkū
Serves 2

Ingredients:

1 cup roughly chopped fresh starfruit
1 small kaffir lime, cut into quarters
1 teaspoon raw sugar
4 ounces kaffir lime infused gin*
ice
tonic water, about 6-8 ounces
2-3 dashes bitters
starfruit slices and kaffir lime leaves for garnish (optional)

In a cocktail shaker, muddle the starfruit, lime, and raw sugar. Add the gin and fill the shaker halfway with ice. Vigorously shake for 15-20 seconds and strain the liquids between two glasses filled with ice. Top off each glass with the tonic water and add a dash of bitters to each. Garnish with starfruit slices and kaffir lime leaves.

Drinks

Toasting the Oscars with a “Sparkling Tangerine Tiger”

Sparkling Tangerine Tiger

I adore Oscars Season. The movies, the glitz, the fashion, the glamor, the festivities….

And like the Superbowl, I usually do a spread of my picks for the awards.

Sparkling Tangerine Tiger

At this point, I’ve watched 7 out of the 9 nominees for Best Picture. Not too shabby right?

And since I’m having a little shindig at mi casa to watch the event, my pals and I attempted to create a menu as an homage to some of the films:

Sparkling Tangerine Tiger

To pair with our Oscars bites, I wanted to serve my guests with a cocktail…..or two, or three.

As my nod to Life of Pi, I’ll be shakin’ up a refreshing cocktail using Bombay Sapphire Gin, fresh tangerines, limes, raw sugar, mint and a good dose of sparkling wine. Peppery, bright, refreshing, and just plain lovely. After much consultation from my cocktail lovin’ peeps, I’ve dubbed this concoction, the Sparkling Tangerine Tiger.

Rawwwrrr……

However you choose to cerebrate, hope y’all enjoy the Oscars tomorrow—I know we will!

____________________________________________

Sparkling Tangerine Tiger Cocktail
Serves 2

Ingredients:

1/2 tangerine, cut into small wedges
1/2 lime, cut into small wedges
10 fresh mint leaves
1 tablespoon raw sugar
2 1/2 ounces Bombay Sapphire
ice
6 ounces sparkling wine
*garnish with additional mint leaves, lime wedges and tangerine wedges

In a shaker, muddle the tangerine, lime, mint and sugar. Add the gin and shake well.

Fill two glasses with ice. Strain and divide the liquids amongst the two glasses. Top each glass with 1/2 of the sparkling wine. Garnish with citrus wedges and mint leaves.