Showing posts with label cocktail. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cocktail. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

How to Make a Candy Apple Cocktail (with or without Spirits) for #Halloween by Cleo Coyle

Marc and I are celebrating Halloween with a fun, little cocktail that may not be scary, but it is wicked good! This Candy Apple drink has all the flavor and color of a good old candy apple. You can make it without alcohol or with spirits—an apt notion for Halloween.

However you mix it, we hope you'll drink with scary good joy!

~ Cleo

Cleo Coyle's 

Candy Apple Cocktail

Cleo Coyle has a partner in
crime-writing—her husband.
Learn about their books
by clicking here and here.

Our drink recipe gives you great versatility. You choose your favorite ingredients and method of preparation:

* Make it a virgin drink (without alcohol) or spike it as much or as little as you like.

* Mi
x it by the glass, the pitcher, or even in a punch bowl. 

The pomegranate juice, added to the natural apple juice, provides good-for-you antioxidants--and a bloody good color for Halloween. Finally, have fun with the garnishes...

We like the idea of crusting the rim of each glass with cinnamon-sugar, which not only lends delicious flavor to each drink, but style to your service. 

You can slice an apple (through its equator) and slip the slice onto to the glass rim, as you would a lemon or lime slice. Or...

Try our idea of decorating the serving table using maraschino cherries on long skewers to mimic the look of candy apples. 

Whatever you do, we hope you have fun with the recipe, and... 

May you have a spirited Halloween!

Cleo Coyle's 
Candy Apple Cocktail


2 parts apple juice, no sugar added
   (or chilled sparkling apple cider)

1 part pomegranate juice 

(optional) vodka or gin or white rum, to taste

(optional) cinnamon schnapps (such as Goldschlager), to taste

Maraschino cherries

Cinnamon sugar (*see method below)

Ice cubes


For a Candy Appletini: Spread a generous amount of your cinnamon sugar onto a flat plate. Moisten the rim of your martini glass and place it rim-side down into the plate of cinnamon sugar. Gently turn the glass until the rim is coated with the mixture.

Into a cocktail shaker, Mason jar, or pitcher, pour the apple juice, pomegranate juice, and the optional alcohol. Add ice cubes, stir well, and pour into your glass (or glasses), straining back the ice.  

For a Virgin Cocktail: Prepare any glass as described above by crusting the rim with cinnamon sugar. Fill about half the glass with the chilled sparkling apple cider. Add the chilled pomegranate juice. Stir gently to mix the liquids. Garnish with an apple slice or maraschino cherry on a wooden skewer and enjoy!

Making punch for a party: Follow the ingredient ratios above and spike it as much or as little as you like. Do not add ice to the punch bowl or pitcher, which will only water down the flavor of the drink. Instead, fill ice trays with the 2:1 ratio mix of apple juice and pomegranate juice and add those frozen apple-pom cubes to your punch bowl or pitcher to keep the drink tasting great for a longer period of time.

*How to Make Cinnamon Sugar: Mix 1/4 cup of white granulated with 1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon. This is a basic ratio, but you can vary it, adding more or less cinnamon to your own taste.

Another great idea for a party is to make 
candy apples to serve or simply to decorate the table.

Click the buttons below for Cleo's recipes...

Candy Apples with Honey 
instead of corn syrup


Candy Apples for Grown-ups!

(how to spike candy apples)

Eat (and read) with joy!

~ Cleo Coyle

New York Times bestselling author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries

Friend me on facebook here.
Follow me on twitter here
Visit my online coffeehouse here.

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Our bestselling hardcover is
now a bestseller in paperback!

Coffee. It can get a girl killed.

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A Mystery Guild Selection
A Baker & Taylor "Trends" Pick
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The Coffeehouse Mysteries are bestselling
works of amateur sleuth fiction set in a landmark
Greenwich Village coffeehouse, and each of the
15 titles includes the added bonus of recipes. 


See mini plot summaries 
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Marc and I also write
The Haunted Bookshop Mysteries

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with mini plot summaries, 

Or learn more about the 
books and meet Jack Shepard, 
our PI ghost by clicking here.

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Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Cheers to the holidays -- and a double #bookgiveaway


My holiday gift to you: One lucky reader will win two signed copies of GUILTY AS CINNAMON---one to keep, and one to give away. Comment below for a chance to win.  

I like to joke that research for my books means eating. And that's kinda true. But when I was writing GUILTY AS CINNAMON, I knew I needed to understand more about the business of being a chef. So I devoured chef lit—memoirs and nonfiction about kitchen life. One fun discovery was BLOOD, BONES & BUTTER: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef by Gabrielle Hamilton, founder and chef of Prune in New York. I learned a lot about cooking and the business of running a restaurant, but also how freedom and weirdness are key ingredients. Chef Hamilton described a scam that worked its way into CINNAMON, after I finally figured it out!

And she made me crave the Negroni, a cocktail made with gin and Campari. Have I said, I don’t like gin? And Campari is too bitter for me. But this drink—wow.

Then we went to Seattle, for research. I-90 in central Washington was clogged with construction and we got to our hotel in the Pike-Pine corridor late, hungry, and thirsty. We walked a couple of blogs to the Odd Fellows Café in the old Odd Fellows Hall, two doors down from the great Elliott Bay Book Company, and two blocks from my alma mater, Seattle University.

Where I drank a Negroni sbaglatio, made with sparkling wine instead of gin. Wow. Plus you can drink two and still walk home.

(When we took these pictures, we hadn’t found the little tool for cutting the perfect orange peel. You don’t technically need it. But you know you want it.)

My version of the Negroni comes from Gary Regan, author of the Joy of Mixology, which Mr. Right found in said Elliott Bay Bookstore. Sandra’s spiced nuts are my variation of a recipe found in Vij’s Elegant and Inspired Indian Cuisine, by Vikram Vij and Meeru Dhalwala, the husband-and-wife team who run Vij’s in Vancouver, B.C. Road trip!

Garam masala is an Indian spice blend that’s as individual as the cook. GUILTY AS CINNAMON includes the Seattle Spice Shop’s version, created by Sandra, the shop's master mixologist. Make your own, or use a commercial version, as I did for this batch. My house is redolent with cloves and cardamom. And the sweetness the mango adds is a nice complement to the cayenne.

The perfect pairing for your holiday entertaining, for a party of twenty or one. Just save some for me.

The Negroni 

For each drink:

1½ ounces Campari
1½ ounces sweet vermouth
1½ ounces gin
1 orange twist (a strip of peel, about 1/2 inch wide and 3 to 4 inches long, twisted to release the oils)

Pour the liquor into an ice-filled rocks glass, and add the peel.

Best drunk outdoors on a deck overlooking a freshly mowed meadow or water. Or anywhere, actually.

For a Negroni Sbagliato, substitute champagne or sparkling wine for the gin. Drink lore says a bartender created it by grabbing the wrong bottle; sbagliato means “mistaken” in Italian. An inexpensive sparkling wine, on the dry side, like Freixenet (pronounced “fresh-eh-net”) Brut from Spain or Yellow Tail from Australia, will do nicely. Plus the wine will add a touch of international flair! No need to worry about opening the bottle. Just uncrimp the wire cage and remove it, place one hand over the cork, and turn the bottle, not the cork, until you hear that satisfying pop.

Sandra’s Spiced Nuts

1 pound raw almonds or cashews, or a mix
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon kosher salt or another crystal variety
1½ teaspoons amchur, or mango powder
1 tablespoon garam masala
1½ teaspoons ground cayenne

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

In a large bowl, stir together the nuts, oil, salt, and spices.

Spread the nuts on a baking sheet and roast about 10 minutes, stirring once to cook the nuts evenly. (If the edges of the nuts start to brown, pull them out to avoid burning.) Place the baking sheet on a rack; the nuts will continue to brown slightly as they cool.

Remember what Pepper says about spice blends: They take a few hours to marry and mellow, so these are best made ahead. They’ll keep several weeks if stored in a tightly sealed container.

Makes 1 pound.

Recipes from GUILTY AS CINNAMON (Berkley Prime Crime, December 2015)

Do you have a favorite holiday libation? 

Leave a comment, with your email address, to be entered for a chance to win two signed copies of GUILTY AS CINNAMON, the second installment in my Seattle Spice Shop mysteries---one for yourself and one to give a friend! Contest ends at midnight, Wednesday, December 16. 

Leslie Budewitz is the author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and the Spice Shop Mysteries—and the first author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction. The president of Sisters in Crime, she lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat Ruff, a cover model and avid bird-watcher.

Connect with her on her website or on Facebook.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

10 Lucky Foods for a Happy New Year and A Pomegranate Champagne Cocktail from Cleo Coyle

Behold the Pomegranate
Champagne Cocktail

Why pomegranate? Because pomegranate is one of the foods believed to bring good luck in the New Year. That's why my recipe for you today is a beautiful Pomegranate Champagne Cocktail, along with tips on how to open, de-seed, and enjoy this highly healthy fruit. But first...

Did you know that many cultures believe you can eat your way to a better tomorrow? Here is a fun list of 10 "Lucky Foods" to start 2015 right.

1) Grapes are eaten at midnight in many Spanish-speaking countries, one for each stroke of the clock. Sweet grapes represent good months, sour less fortunate ones. 

2) Lentils are served in Italy because their abundant seeds symbolize wealth, and when cooked they plump with water to represent swelling fortunes.

3) Collards, kale, and other greens are lucky because they resemble paper money. The more you eat, the more prosperous (and healthier) you’ll become.

for my recipe.

4) Pork is eaten in Europe and America because its fat implies richness, but in Cuba, Spain, Portugal, and Austria hogs are also a symbol of progress because they never move backward. Cookies, candies, and cakes shaped like pigs are considered lucky too.

5) Long noodles symbolize longevity in many Asian countries, and the longer the noodle the better. It’s customary to eat them on New Year’s Day, and the noodles must never be broken or shortened when cooked.

here for
Lucy Burdette's recipe.

6) Black-eyed peas are served in the American South in a dish called Hoppin' John. There are some who believe in eating one pea for every day in the new year. 

7) Cornbread is another Southern tradition. It’s color mimics gold, and sometimes coins are cooked into the bread, bringing additional luck to the person who finds it (without chipping a tooth).

8) Fish is a New Year’s dish in Asia, and is served with the head and tail intact to ensure a lucky year from start to finish. Similarly, in Europe and Scandinavia eating herring ensures abundance because their silvery color resembles coins.

9) Cakes, breads, and fruits in the shape of a ring or circle are good luck, and cookies shaped like coins bring prosperity to those who eat them.

10) Pomegranates are good luck because their color mimics the human heart, their medicinal properties (think antioxidants) promote good health, and their many round arils are believed to bring prosperity.

In ancient and present day Greece, 
a pomegranate is hung above the door throughout the holiday season. When the clock strikes twelve on New Year’s Eve, that pomegranate is smashed against the door. As it bursts open, the fruit's ruby-red arils are revealed. The more arils, the luckier the New Year will be.

To celebrate this old and rather messy tradition, I have a modern pomegranate cocktail that may or may not be lucky, but it will certainly help you ring in the new year with beautiful color and bubbly good cheer.

Cleo Coyle has a partner in 
crime-writing—her husband.
Learn about their books
by clicking here or here.

Cleo's Pomegranate
Prosecco Cocktail


1 teaspoon pomegranate arils (to ride
   the pretty bubbles)

1 ounce (one part) pomegranate juice
3 ounces (three parts) chilled Prosecco

Directions: Place the pomegranate arils at the bottom of each glass. Add the pomegranate juice, and then the cold, sparkling Prosecco. There are many bottled pomegranate juices available, or you can squeeze your juice fresh. Scroll down for more info on this process...

Virgin variation: For a non-alcoholic option, replace the champagne with sparkling water, sparkling apple cider, or bubbly ginger ale.

For tips on cutting and de-seeding a fresh pomegranate, watch a short video by clicking here.

How to juice - After de-seeding the pomegranate and removing any parts of visible white pith, buzz the seeds in a blender or food processor. This will release the pulp and juice from the arils around the seeds. Now you must strain the liquid well to remove the crunchy hulls. Although it's an extra bit of trouble to obtain fresh juice this way, the taste is outstanding compared to bottled, which is why, for an amazing Pomegranate Champagne Cocktail, fresh is best.

May you drink (and eat) 
with joy and have a...

Happy New Year!

~ Cleo Coyle

New York Times bestselling author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries

Friend me on facebook here. * Follow me on twitter here
Learn about my books here

* * *

Once Upon a Grind:
A Coffeehouse Mystery

* A Best Book of the Year
Reviewer's Pick -
King's River Life

* Top Pick! ~ RT Book Reviews

* Fresh Pick ~ Fresh Fiction

* A Mystery Guild Selection

Delicious recipes are also featured in my 14th 
culinary mystery, Once Upon a Grind, including...

* Black Forest Brownies 
* Cappuccino Blondies 
* Shrimp Kiev 
* Dr Pepper Glazed Chicken
* Silver Dollar Chocolate Chip Cookies
* "Fryer Tuck's" Ale-Battered Onion Rings
* Poor Man's Caviar 
* Caramel-Dipped Meltaways

...and many more recipes, including
a guide to reading coffee grinds...

See the book's
Recipe Guide (free PDF)

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Marc and I also write
The Haunted Bookshop

Get a free title checklist,
with mini plot summaries, by clicking here.
Or learn more here. 

For More Recipe Ideas, visit the special
Mystery Lovers' Kitchen seasonal page
"Recipes for a Happy New Year"

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(Recipes, contests, videos, fun info)

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