Gourmet Veggie Mama

Category Archives: Cocktails

The Jasmine

Campari, to me at least, is a warm-weather spirit. I’m so glad, now that temperatures are climbing, and it finally feels like spring outside, that I get to experiment with it some more.

I know it sounds weird, but what first drew me to the Jasmine was that I read an article in which it was described as tasting just like grapefruit juice… yet it contains not a drop of actual grapefruit juice. I was intrigued, so I had to see for myself how these flavors played off each other.

the jasmine

As it turns out, the Jasmine does taste a lot like grapefruit juice — only better. Plus it’ll give you a nice spring buzz. Cheers!

5.0 from 1 reviews

The Jasmine
Author: 
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
Ingredients
  • 3 oz gin
  • ½ oz Campari
  • ½ oz Grand Marnier (or Cointreau)
  • juice of 1 lemon (about 1½ oz)
  • lemon twists for garnish
Instructions
  1. Combine the gin, Campari, Grand Marnier and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker filled with ice.
  2. Shake well and strain into two cocktail glasses. Garnish with a lemon twist, if desired.

 

Sailor’s Ale

I bought a bottle of Flor de Caña gold rum right before I got pregnant with Amelia, around this time last year. I was really looking forward to experimenting with some rum cocktails… and then I was sidelined. So, imagine my surprise when I pulled the bottle out of the back of the bar… and it was mostly empty.

Sigh. The hubby hadn’t realized it was anything special, and thus had been using it to spike his limeade when he went to the pool last summer. A lot.

But, onward and upward!

rum

A toast to Sailor’s Ale — originally a concoction of rum, ginger syrup, lime and dark beer. However, I didn’t quite feel like making ginger syrup, and I happened to have ginger beer on hand (everyone in our neighborhood is currently obsessed with the Moscow Mule), so I made it more like a slightly tricked-up version of a Dark and Stormy — just heavier on the lime.

sailor's ale

It was delicious, refreshing and perfect for this weird patchwork of winter and spring we’re currently experiencing. Drink up!

Sailor’s Ale
Author: 
Recipe type: cocktail
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 3 oz gold rum
  • juice of 2 limes
  • ginger beer (1 can)
Instructions
  1. Combine the rum and lime juice in a shaker filled with ice. Shake well and strain into 4 rocks glasses (each will be about half full).
  2. Top each glass with about an ounce of ginger beer. Stir gently. Garnish with a lime slice, if desired.

 

Snow Falling on Agave

My mom gave me the most thoughtful Christmas present this year: A book of “literary-inspired” cocktails called Tequila Mockingbird (ha!), a bottle of Z Tequila to mix with, and (just for kicks) a gift card to Barnes & Noble. What a way to combine a couple of my greatest pleasures! While I look forward to trying out a few of the recipes from the book, none of the tequila-based drinks grabbed me, so I decided to break open the new bottle to try out a great drink from one of my favorite wine bloggers, SAHMmelier — the charmingly named Snow Falling on Agave (actually a Prado in disguise).

snow falling on agave

The combination of tequila and maraschino liqueur is not one I would have thought to try, but it was lovely. This drink is herbal-tasting and smooth — the tequila doesn’t back much of a punch at all. The “snow” is the foamy white layer on top of the drink formed by the egg white when shaken with the drink. Cheers!

Snow Falling on Agave
Author: 
Recipe type: cocktail
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
Ingredients
  • 3 oz tequila
  • 1½ oz freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 oz maraschino liqueur
Instructions
  1. Mix all the ingredients in a shaker filled with ice.
  2. Shake vigorously until cold and strain into two cocktail glasses.

 

Happy New Year!

… a day late and a dollar short, I know, I know. But I have a good excuse! Her name is Amelia.

 Amelia

This little cutie arrived on December 10, and let me tell you, this whole mom-of-two thing is not for sissies! We are all doing fine, though, and settling into our new routine (such as it is).

That said, I plan to be around more in the coming weeks… and I’m reinstating Cocktail Thursday!* I’m not really up to cooking much just yet — thank goodness for friends and family and frozen meals — but we’re getting there… so we’ll start with drinks and simple, make-ahead meals, yes? Alright then.

*Yep, a cocktail now and then is fine while breastfeeding.

All of that said, I am honored and pleasantly surprised to again be on the Austin Chronicle’s list of the Top 10 Austin Food Blogs. Check out the list — there are some great finds on there! There are several of my old favorites on there, and a couple of new ones that I’m eager to check out.

I’ll be back next week with a fun new cocktail — promise!

Margaritas, Anyone?

It’s that time of year again — August, aka too-hot-to-do-anything month. So why not have a margarita to cool down and chill out?

Fresh fruit margaritas -- Learn.Act.Live.Love

Head on over to LiveMom and check out my latest article on margaritas to beat the heat. With lots to choose from — from the traditional to the out-there (avocado, anyone?) — there’s bound to be something your style. Cheers!

Gourmet Veggie Mama is 2!

Happy second blogiversary to me! It’s hard to believe that my modest little website is turning 2 already. It has been quite a second year! I ran a marathon, made the jump to being a self-hosted site (which was a good decision… I think?), tried my hand at video, went to my first-ever blogger conference (TechMunch, which was great), cooked a lot of delicious food and mixed more than a few mean cocktails. Many bottles of wine were killed over the course of the year, but I like to think they didn’t die in vain. Oh, and I got knocked up and battled wicked morning sickness and food aversions that made it really hard to enjoy (or write about) food.

Earlier this year, Gourmet Veggie Mama was named one of the Top 10 Austin Food Blogs* by the Austin Chronicle. I am still humbled by that recognition — this started out as my creative outlet, and a place to write about the meals I cooked for my family, and it has grown into something more than that.

* Go check out the list — there are some great finds on there!

I want to say a big thank you to everyone who reads, regularly or occasionally, comments and otherwise follows along. I appreciate each and every one of you more than you know, and this whole thing would be no fun at all without you. I don’t know what the next year holds — with a new baby on the way, everything is likely to be topsy-turvy for a while — but here’s hoping for much more kitchen (and cocktail) creativity to come! I hope you’ll stick with me for the journey… and I just might be posting about baby food again this time next year. But I promise it won’t all be baby food.

In honor making it to 2, I’m taking a leaf from my own book from last year and making a list of my 10 favorite recipes from the past year, listed in no particular order. I hope you enjoy them — and if you’ve tried any of these recipes out, I hope you’ll take the time to let me know how you liked them, if you haven’t already. I may not be a professional photographer (puh-lease) or food stylist, but I’m trying to hone the art of recipe writing, and I always appreciate your constructive feedback.

Here’s to another fabulous year!

1. Chard and Mushroom Enchiladas with Hatch Green Chile Sauce.

Chard and Mushroom Enchiladas ~ Gourmet Veggie Mama

It’s Hatch green chile season again, and this recipe is one reason I can’t wait to get my hands on some of those green beauties!

2. Chocolate Budino.

Chocolate Budino ~ Gourmet Veggie Mama

This is not just any pudding. It’s delicious, creamy, ultra-rich chocolate decadence. Sometimes simple is best.

3. Creamy Roasted Tomato and Orzo Soup.

Creamy Roasted Tomato Orzo Soup ~ Gourmet Veggie Mama

Ah, I miss soup weather… but someday it’ll be here again. Here’s the perfect creamy tomato soup to pair with a grilled cheese.

4. Bourbon Peach Cobbler.

Bourbon Peach Cobbler

Bourbon peach cobbler. In a cast iron skillet. Need I say more?

5. Caramelized Tofu with Ramen Noodles and Kale.

Caramelized Tofu with Ramen Noodles and Kale

This is a recent one, but it’s so good, I just had to include it. It’s such an easy, no-press way to prepare tofu, and the sauce is absolutely delicious.

6. Freshly Pressed.

Freshly Pressed ~ Gourmet Veggie Mama

I really fell in love with gin this year (sigh…), and this cocktail is just the perfect mixture of delicious grapefruit and gin, made a little more complex with a splash of bitters.

7. Orecchiette with Kale and Breadcrumbs.

Orecchiette with Kale and Breadcrumbs ~ Gourmet Veggie Mama

This pasta is creamy, garlicky, kale-y deliciousness. And there’s just something about that quirky little ear-shaped pasta that makes it extra good.

8. Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding with Coffee Bourbon Sauce.

Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding with Coffee Bourbon Sauce ~ Gourmet Veggie Mama

Oh yes, I infused my own coffee bourbon… and this was the most awesome thing I made with it.

9. Chickpeas and Spinach with Garlic Aioli.

Chickpeas and Spinach with Garlic Aioli ~ Gourmet Veggie Mama

This is a delicious Middle Eastern-inspired dish finished off with a dollop of homemade garlic aioli. The best part? The aioli is incredibly easy to make, and it absolutely makes this meal.

10. Whole Wheat Blueberry Muffins.

Whole Wheat Blueberry Muffins ~ Gourmet Veggie Mama

I don’t quite know what it is about these muffins that makes them so perfect. They have the perfect, tender crumb, and they’re just amazing. Plus, this recipe is how I first discovered the wonders of white whole wheat flour.

Campari Cocktails

Note: This is one of a series of guest posts I’ll be hosting over the next few weeks to spice up Cocktail Thursday. Today’s guest is Christl Denecke, who is a good friend of mine from back in Northern California (who heralds back to my lawyer days). Although she’s not a food blogger, we happen to share a great love for cocktails, so I feel very confident in sharing a couple of her recipes with you. And, if you are in Northern California, please look her up — she has her own estate planning practice (Denecke Planning), and she helped the hubby and I with our wills a couple of years ago. I highly recommend her — not just because she’s a friend, but because she’s a damn good lawyer. Photo credit goes to Steven Ginzburg, Christl’s intrepid assistant (and husband).

Since August is now upon us, I thought I might make some refreshing cocktails to help us get through these steamy evenings.  And the perfect summer cooler is Campari.  This carmine-colored, Italian aperitif has a bitter-orange flavor — a cooling counterpoint to sweeter mixers.

My favorite hot weather drink is Campari and tonic, the exotic cousin of that old standby, the gin and tonic.  Like the bitter-juniper taste of gin, the bitter-orange flavor of Campari provides an excellent counterpoint to the sweet effervescence of tonic water.  It pairs well with a hammock and a good book.

Campari and Tonic

For something a little more elegant, try an Americano – not the caffeinated beverage that perks up many a Monday morning, but an invigorating cocktail with sweet vermouth tempering Campari’s bite.  Add a squeeze of lemon and some sparkling water to create a smooth quaff with a hint of fruit.

Americano

Sante!

Campari and Tonic
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 part Campari
  • 3 parts tonic water
Instructions
  1. Build over ice in a juice glass.
The Americano
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 oz Campari
  • 1½ oz sweet vermouth
  • sparkling water
Instructions
  1. Build over ice in a highball glass and finish with a squeeze of lemon.

Virgin Kentucky Sidecar

You know what’s great? Sidecars. I like all of the variations I’ve tried on this classic drink, and one of my all-time favorites is the Kentucky Sidecar.*

* Of course. It has bourbon. As a side note, I am flabbergasted that it looks like I’ve never blogged this favorite drink of mine, so that has to happen soon, obvs. 

So, the other night, when the hubby offered to whip me up a virgin version of his own invention, I was much obliged… and it was so tasty that I have to share it with you here. Go for the real thing if you can, but if you a non-imbiber, whether permanently or temporarily (*sigh*), I can highly recommend this as a substitute. Cheers!

Virgin Kentucky Sidecar

Virgin Kentucky Sidecar
Author: 
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1
 
Ingredients
  • 2 mint sprigs
  • 2 oz lemonade
  • 4 oz San Pellegrino Aranciata (sparkling orange)
  • sugar for rimming glass
  • maraschino cherry
Instructions
  1. Place one of the mint sprigs and the lemonade in the bottom of a shaker and muddle.
  2. Fill the shaker with ice and add the Pellegrino. Shake gently to combine, and strain into a sugar-rimmed glass with ice.
  3. Garnish with the reserved mint sprig and a maraschino cherry.

 

Basil Ginger Cocktails

Note: This is one of a series of guest posts I’ll be hosting over the next few weeks to spice up Cocktail Thursday. Today’s guest is Priscilla Carruthers, AKA The Icebox Queen, who is a personal chef in Austin, Texas who specializes in healthy comfort food. She also writes an inspiring blog of the same name, which draws from her experiences as a chef as well as the local Austin food and wine scene and her “nomadic existence” all over Texas before settling in the capital city. I’m excited to test-drive a virgin spin on the delicious cocktail Priscilla has to offer us… and someday soon, the real thing. Those of us with basil overtaking our gardens this time of year can definitely appreciate this one!

I have the blackest of thumbs. Plants look at me and wilt. Nurseries close the blinds and turn out the lights when I pull into the parking lot. My dogs look at me with disdain when I try again, year after year, season after season, to grow another pot of herbs or a window garden with flowers. Even they can see the foreshadowing of my failure. People gift me with “easy to grow” plants, promising that, “No one can kill mint!,” and warning me to plant it in a pot to fight the spread. They shake their heads when they return to my house, realizing that plants taking over my garden would certainly beat the bare dirt and burnt up oregano that lives there now.

That is, until this time. This time, my mother didn’t just tell me what to do to have a garden, or send me home with a few plants. This time, she came with me to the nursery, and better yet, she came home with me and helped me plant them. And thanks to her, they live. They not only live, they thrive. Thanks to her fairy dusted green thumbs, I have more basil than I know what to do with. It’s starting to flower out there! I didn’t even know basil had flowers.

So this Basil Ginger Cocktail is dedicated to my mother’s verdant thumbs.

Basil Ginger Cocktails

If you don’t have as lush a garden as I do, (she giggles), store-bought basil works just as well, and it only takes a little. If you’d like this to be an adult beverage, I’d highly recommend Dripping Springs Vodka, or Tito’s; otherwise more club soda in place of the vodka would taste just as fine on a hot Austin day.

Basil Ginger Cocktail
Author: 
Serves: 1
 
Ingredients
Ginger Syrup:
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • 2-inch piece of ginger, peeled and diced
Drink:
  • 2 or 3 fresh basil leaves
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 Tbsp ginger syrup, or to taste
  • 1 oz vodka
  • club soda
  • ice
  • 1 lime wedge
Instructions
For ginger syrup:
  1. Bring water and sugar to a boil together in a small saucepan. Reduce heat and stir until sugar is dissolved.
  2. Add ginger, remove from heat, and let steep for at least 20 minutes.
  3. Once the syrup has the ginger strength you’d like, strain into a small jar or pitcher.
For the drink:
  1. In the bottle of a highball glass, muddle the basil with a splash of the lime juice and ginger syrup. (If you don’t have a dedicated muddler, try the other end of a wooden spoon.)
  2. Add the ice, vodka, lime, and syrup. Fill the rest of the glass with club soda.
  3. Give it a swirl and garnish with a lime wedge. Enjoy, and bask in a hot Texas summer with fresh herbs.

 

 

Watermelon-Lime Agua Fresca

Who doesn’t love watermelon? It’s fresh, delicious and even hydrating (though I will just count that as a lucky side benefit). This 4th of July, I’m borrowing a little Latin American culture and turning this American staple into a refreshing drinkable treat.

watermelon-lime agua fresca

Aguas frescas are simply blended whole fruit, water and a little lime. This Watermelon-Lime Agua Fresca is delicious and refreshing, and even the kids will love it (Nora drank it up!). If you want to sneak in a little booze, though, I won’t tell. It is Cocktail Thursday, after all.

Hop on over to LiveMom for the recipe, and happy 4th of July!

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