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Archive for the category “Beverages”

Organic, Shaken and Stirred: Cocktail Recipes

Organic, Shaken and Stirred: Hip Highballs, Modern Martinis and Other Totally Green Cocktails is an awesome new collection of recipes by Paul Abercrombie, published by Harvard Common Press.

I had the pleasure of being asked to look at a copy of the book and give my take here on Smorgasbite- thanks Paul!

I enjoyed sampling several of the cocktail recipes -delicious- and I enjoyed drooling over the rest.  The photography is exquisite and the ingredients- muddled blackberries, fresh mint, crystalized ginger- are, shall we say, top shelf.  That said, not too many of the recipes can be made with ingredients just lying around the house (save you tropical island dwellers, perhaps) so it pays to plan and shop accordingly.  Meanwhile, while the book calls for organic spirits (rum, tequila, etc) – regular will do.

I’m happy to be able to share with you a recipe.

Coming in Hot!

2 organic strawberries, hulled
4 slivers peeled and seeded organic jalapeno chile
3/4 ounce freshly squeezed organic lemon juice
1.5 ounces organic repasado tequila
1/2 ounce organic agave nectar

In a cocktail shaker, muddle the strawberries, 3 of the jalapeno slivers, and the lemon juice until well mashed.  Add the tequila and agave nectar, and fill the shaker with ice cubes.  Shake vigorously, then strain the mixture into a chilled martini glass.  Garnish with the remaining jalapeno sliver.

Lastly, Paul writes a great blog about all things cocktail at, you guessed it, organicshakenandstirred.com

Happy Hour Recipe using Leblon Cachaca de Brasil

When I was in seventh grade my dad went on a business trip to Brazil and brought me back a t-shirt that said, “BRASIL.”  Kids at school pointed to it and said, “Your shirt is spelled wrong.  You’re supposed to spell it with a z, not an s.”  Oh, the worldly intelligence of Midwestern preteens.

Anyhow, it’s happy hour!  Leblon Cachaca is a delicious liquor that will help you forget all of your disturbing junior high memories.  Cachaca (pronounced ca-SHA-sa) is a spirit distilled from sugar cane juice, made in Brasil as it’s spelled on its beautiful glass bottle.  It is the third most consumed spirit in the world behind only vodka and soju/shochu.

Where has it been all my life?  (…And what is soju/shochu…?)

Here’s a recipe for a delicious, classic caipirinha.  (Step-by-step photo instructions here.)

The Leblon Caipirinha

  • 2 oz Leblon Cachaca
  • 1/2 Lime
  • 2 tsp Superfine sugar or 1 oz Simple Syrup (or sweetener of your choice)
  • Glass-Rocks

Cut the lime into four wedges. Muddle the lime and sugar in a shaker. Fill the shaker with ice and add Leblon Cachaça. Shake vigorously. Serve in a rocks glass. Garnish with a slice of lime.

The Leblon website has dozens of other recipes (mixed drinks, party drinks, frozen drinks) and some cool videos, too.  Thanks to Matthew and Miranda for the sample and viva Brasil!

POM Pomegranate Margaritas, Salt-Kissed

Whip up a batch of pomegranate margaritas to greet guests during the holidays.  I guarantee everyone will have more fun, sooner!

POM makes fabulous pomegranate juice that’s pretty widely available.  To delight anyone who doesn’t care for a margarita (or is underage), serve it plain or mixed some freshly-squeezed lime juice over ice.

POM Pomegranate Margaritas for 4

Adapted from Southern Living‘s Pomegranate Margaritas

What I Changed (Reflected Here) and Why: Omitted the simple syrup because I hate cocktails that are overly sweet and because making simple syrup seemed like extra work; Maintained liquidity by shaking with ice a bit longer; Rubbed cocktail glass rims with salt.

1 1/2  cups POM pomegranate juice
3/4  cup  tequila
1/2  cup  fresh lime juice (about 6 limes)
1/4  cup  orange liqueur (such as Triple Sec)
Ice cubes

1. Combine pomegranate juice with next 3 ingredients in a pitcher. (This can be done ahead of time.)

2. Rub the rims of 4 cocktail glasses with a wedge of lime and, one at a time, tip upside down into a plate with a shallow level of salt.  Twist cocktail glass until coated, then stand upright.

3. Just before serving, pour desired amount of pomegranate juice mixture into a cocktail shaker filled with ice cubes. Cover with lid, and shake 45 seconds.

4. Remove lid, and strain into chilled cocktail glasses. Repeat procedure with remaining pomegranate mixture.

Recipe can easily be doubled or tripled.  You know, if you’re expecting a crowd.

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