caramel apple cider vodka cocktai;

Caramel Apple Cider (Vodka Cocktail)

Don’t you just love fall? The cool crisp air, the beautiful colors of leaves, and all the flavors unique to the season. One of my favorites is apple cider, a delicious fresh beverage that is always best in fall. Apple cider vs apple juice – what’s the difference? Apple cider is the term used in the US and Canada for an unfiltered, unsweetened, non-alcoholic beverage made from apples. (Wikipedia) Liquid is extracted from the apples, and is typically cloudy appearing due to the presence of fine apple particles in suspension. It is traditionally considered a “fresh” beverage but all US

Medicine Ball tea in a clear cup

Starbucks Medicine Ball Tea (Copycat – Medicine Bomb)

September is here, which traditionally means back to school. And somehow, that always seems to translate into the beginning of cold and flu season. I’m willing to bet that this will still be true, even in a social distancing world. When my children were little, I swear they were just mobile Petri dishes, happy to share their germs with every other kid in their orbit. What is Medicine Ball tea? Lucky for us all, an enterprising barista at Starbucks came up with a drink called the “Medicine Ball” which is intended to help us all fight the common cold. Several

2 Bacardi mojitos

Bacardi Mojito

Today I am celebrating. My little corner of the Internet has reach a milestone. What you are currently reading is . . .  drumroll please! . . . post number 200! Why only yesterday, I was on post number 100. (Cranberry Spritzer, in case you were wondering.) Busy with recipes and posts (and the occasional family visit), I sometimes lose track of time and place. All I can say is, thanks to the many who’ve been so supportive! Clearly, a cocktail is required. Throughout the summer, I’ve been growing a big pot of mint, and because it’s calling to me,

Sugar Free Lemonade

Sugar-Free Lemonade

Summer is here! And lemonade is definitely my fav summer drink. I’m a big fan of tart ‘n sweet in one glass. But the sugar? Not so much a fan. Oh, the taste, for sure. But those carbs? It’s too hot to burn all those extra calories! So I was excited to learn about lemonade made with sugar alternatives. I stock these for when I want to go low carb in order to help my jeans fit. The great thing about making your own lemonade is that you’re in control of the overall sweetness of the final beverage. Win!! How

Impeachment Margarita

Impeachment Margarita

(Im-Peach-Mint) February 22 is an interesting date. Not only is it George Washington’s actual birthday (as opposed to the “observed” day), but it also happens to be National Margarita Day. And for this year, what better way to recognize both those commemorations and a singular event of our times than with an Impeachment Margarita. No matter where you stand on impeachment (and “trials” that don’t call witnesses), we can take pride in the founding fathers who built safeguards – although imperfect – into our political process to bring the holder of the nation’s highest office to account. No matter the

Cranberry Spritzer

Cranberry Sauce Cocktail (Cranberry Spritzer)

Happy Black Friday! (That sounds wrong, doesn’t it?) For some of us this is a day of (un)rest, right after Thanksgiving. If you’re not out shopping, you’re dealing with leftovers. In either case, this cocktail made from cranberry sauce (found at Thug Kitchen) comes in so handy. Aren’t we always looking for new ways to use leftover cranberry sauce? A cocktail is just a little different from a lot of the other recipes you’ve probably seen. So fun! How to make this cranberry sauce cocktail Do you have a cocktail shaker? That will make this easier. But if you don’t,

image

White Russian

Coffee and vodka flavors A couple of interesting holidays this week. October 1 is National Coffee Day and October 4 is National Vodka Day. Hmm… combine coffee liqueur with vodka and – White Russian, anyone? Some history of the White Russian This recipe comes from liquor.com, where the drink is described as “decadent and sophisticated.” It was created in the 60’s when someone added a little cream to a Black Russian. For those movie buffs and mixologists (aka bartenders), the White Russian had a bit of a “stodgy” reputation until “The Dude” re-branded it in the 1998 movie, “The Big

image

Green Smoothie

Perfect for the dog days of summer Before I get into the makings for the Green Smoothie, here’s a reminder close to my heart: I’m a former dog(s) owner and August 26 is National Dog Day. If you share your life with (wo)man’s best friend, give your lifelong pal(s) an extra treat today. It’s also the “dog days of summer,” signaling the beginning of the end of summer. A quick and nutritious and non-stove meal (aka smoothies) always comes in handy. A green smoothie is nutritious and delicious Smoothies, in fact, are a “two-fer,” combining “deliciosity” and nutrition. Typically low

image

Pineapple Kiss

As mentioned before, August 16 is National Rum Day so I think it’s time to post at least one recipe using rum. And this Pineapple Kiss is super simple. It’s another one of those recipes that started with a restaurant menu. I took note of the description and played with the proportions at home. The final combination was perfect: sweet and refreshing with mild tropical flavors of pineapple and coconut. Perfect for a hot summer day, like a pineapple-flavored kiss on the shores of Maui. Enjoy! Some pineapple facts Did you know? The pineapple (Ananas comosus) is a tropical plant with an

image

Kahlua Mudslide

Some call this a copycat There are so many recipes for ice cream drinks that use Kahlua. Many use a combination of liqueurs, but I wanted to keep it simple. The following is called the “Applebee’s copycat” by some, which implies that Applebee’s invented it, but I can tell you for certain that I made this Kahlua Mudslide long before I heard of Applebee’s. You see, I was in college (I told you it was a long time ago) and my roommate’s boyfriend went to Mexico for spring break. He came back with many bottles of Kahlua. (Let’s just say,

image

Red White and Blue Vodka Slush

Perfect for 4th of July This recipe for Red White and Blue Vodka Slush is just pure fun. I wanted something relatively simple, but entertaining for the holiday, something that stands out, like – what else for July Fourth? – red, white and blue Vodka Slush! How to make Red White and Blue Vodka Slush I first thought of using three different beverages but quickly realized that the logistics were terrible: Make big pitchers and store them in the fridge? Who has that kind of room? I mean, we need some food at this gathering too, right? So, I decided

image

Mimosa Sunrise

Why a sunrise drink? Today, June 21, is the summer solstice. For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, it is the longest day of the year. What better way to commemorate this day than with a sunrise drink? (No, I don’t mean a drink at sunrise. Unless you are so inclined of course. No judging here!) My first thought was tequila sunrise, but I wanted something different, so I tried a Mimosa. Mimosa – always a good choice So fun! I’m pretty sure you could drizzle grenadine into any orange juice based drink and make the lovely sunrise effect.

martini

A Lemon Martini for National Martini Day!

Good Morning! June 19 is National Martini Day. So, of course, my decision for what to make was already made for me. A martini, obvi. But which one? A lemon martini seemed like the best choice. What would 007 say? The traditional martini is made with gin and vermouth, garnished with olives or a lemon twist. Purists will say to only stir a martini. Some, like James Bond, feel martinis should be shaken not stirred. I for one, do NOT intend to disagree with 007.   What I think is much more fun is the development of martinis with all

image

Cranberry Grapefruit (Vodka) Kiss

It all started here. . . Here in Madison, Wisconsin there used to be THE perfect (to me) restaurant. It had something for everyone: think bar food, wonderful salads and appetizers, my favorite cranberry grapefruit vodka drink, decent prices, plenty of seating, a casual, friendly crowd, and in the summer a HUGE outdoor patio. Those who live in Wisconsin LOVE places with outdoor seating, even though it’s relevant only 3-4 months of the year. It makes up a tiny bit for those days of winter. ⛄️ So, I was particularly sad when this restaurant closed. Something about using the (truly

image

Margarita Slush

Margaritas are a must for Cinco de Mayo Cinco de Mayo is almost here, and I couldn’t let go of this theme without a Margarita recipe! I have to tell you, margaritas hold a special place in my heart.  It started when I first moved from Central Wisconsin to the “big city” of Madison. I was a senior in college and joined a high school friend and her roommates in their bachelorette pad.  I vividly remember their reaction when they realized I came with a blender and about 15 pints of frozen strawberries from my parents’ berry patch.  What a