Showing posts with label non-alcoholic drinks. Show all posts
Showing posts with label non-alcoholic drinks. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Some Cranberries—for Drinking!

RileyAdamsFoodBlogPostpic_thumb_thumb[3]While food gets the top billing for Thanksgiving, I’d like to also give a shout-out to the drinks that help make the holiday special, too.

We rotate the hosting responsibilities for Thanksgiving from year to year. Usually, whoever isn’t hosting brings some new wines to try—and probably a new winter beer for me to try, since I’m a beer fan.

But it’s also fun to try some festive drinks that tie into the holiday. Which is why I’ll focus on cranberries as a drink option today. :)

Because my children always feel left out if they don’t have their own, special, non-alcoholic holiday drink, I’m including a recipe for a cranberry punch, too.

First of all, the loaded stuff— :)

1290550094581Cranberry Vodka

2 oz vodka
4oz cranberry juice
2 oz ginger ale

Mix together and serve over ice.

And now one for anyone who doesn’t want the vodka--


Cranberry Pineapple Punch
1 can (19 oz) unsweetened pineapple chunks (keep the juice)
1 bottle (40 oz) cranberry cocktail
1 L bottle chilled ginger ale

Combine pineapple and cocktail in a punch bowl.

Add ice and gently stir in ginger ale.

Because cranberries aren’t just for eating! :)

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Hope you have a wonderful holiday.

Riley Adams/Elizabeth Spann Craig

Delicious and Suspicious (July 6 2010) Riley Adams

Pretty is as Pretty Dies –Elizabeth Spann Craig

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Friday, June 18, 2010

Tale of the Virgin Mojito by Cleo Coyle

I'm a cheap drunk, meaning very little coin at the bar will get me loopy.

I'm sure this isn't much of a revelation to anyone aware of my partiality for the most classically sobering of beverages (i.e. coffee, which I normally take via an IV drip beside my writing desk).

My husband is the same way when it comes to alcohol. We enjoy a nice, cold beer on the weekend; a glass of vino with dinner every now and again. For the most part, however, cocktails are a special occasion thing and not part of our daily routine.

That's mostly why I came late to the mojito. The drink, which is basically a Cuban mint julep, has been trendy for some time now, but I only got around to trying one about two years ago. Well, let me tell was love at first sip!

I sampled the mojito a few more times, even began to make them at home. But, it seemed to me, a pattern was emerging. A short time after I drank my little Cuban friend, I started feeling annoyed, antsy, even argumentative. Was I imagining it? Hmmm....

I couldn't help thinking of one of our rescued stray cats. We took in Mr. Fellows when he was a very tiny kitten. He loves us. We love him. And he's about the most pleasant, even-tempered, genuinely happy feline in our house. BUT...get a little catnip into this puss and he starts to growl and proceeds to pick fights with every furball who passes his paws.

So I'm thinking maybe there's something to my pattern, too. I mean, beer and wine don't have a negative impact on my mood. So I tried my rum mojito one more time and decided I was not imagining it. Sad but true, too much white rum sends me to the Dark Side.

This is one reason my "Virgin Mojito" was born. The other reason is my realization that the refreshing experience of sweetened lime and mint over ice was the real attraction for me all along.

Do I miss the rum buzz? Not really. I mean, I could try switching the alcohol to bourbon, essentially making the drink a mint julep. Maybe next time I'm at a party or in a bar I'll give it a test. I'm not really that concerned. At heart, I'm a relentlessly sober sort of person anyway, more workaholic than alcoholic. Which isn't to say I wouldn't consider a trip to the Dark Side again...if tempted.

Until then, my quickie Virgin Mojito recipe will have to do. It's one I especially enjoy during New York's long, sticky summers.

Finally, I still can't help wondering if the rum thing is all in my mind. Do any of you have a type of alcohol that sends you to the Dark Side?

Cleo Coyle's
Virgin Mojito

Servings: 1


10-20 fresh spearmint leaves
1 wedge of fresh lime
2 or 3 ice cubes
ginger ale
1 thin slice of fresh lime


"Muddling" the mint is the only real technique to get right here. To "muddle" something for a cocktail means to crush it in the glass with a utensil. Bartenders have a device called a muddle, but the prongs of a fork will do the job just as well.

Step 1 - Place your mint leaves in the bottom of your glass and squeeze the juice from you lime wedge onto the mint. 

Step 2 - Use the prongs of a fork to muddle the dampened mint. (You are crushing the mint to release its essential oils.)

Step 3 - Drop the spent lime wedge into the glass and toss a few whole ice cubes on top of it all. (Note: A classic mojito uses crushed ice, but I like the whole cubes, which serve as a kind of strainer, keeping the mass of crushed spearmint leaves away from the rim of the glass so you can sip the drink without most of the leaves getting in your way.)

Step 4 - Fill the glass with ginger ale, place the slice of lime on the rim and...

Drink with Joy!

~ Cleo Coyle

New York Times bestselling author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries

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