Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Cocktails with the Murphy Girls #cocktails #bookgiveaway

by Leslie Budewitz

Raise a glass with me to celebrate the launch today of BUTTER OFF DEAD, the third Food Lovers' Village Mystery!

Summertime and the living is easy...

Well, it’s summer, glorious summer where I live, but it’s February in Jewel Bay, Montana, and Erin and her pals are excited about the new Food Lovers’ Film Festival they’ve created to warm up the chilly midwinter. It’s a celebration meant for the locals, but hey, no one in Jewel Bay ever minds if a few tourists show up as well.

But you can’t serve food and drink that you haven’t thoroughly tested, right? Certainly Fresca and Erin never would. (I confess, over the years, I’ve gotten less concerned about that and my guests may be guinea pigs now and again.) So Erin, her sister Chiara, and Fresca test some cocktails one evening in Fresca’s living room, with surprising results.

The recipes in my Montana mysteries often feature huckleberries, a tart, wild berry much like a blueberry. Other mountain states, east and west, claim them, but of course, out here we tend to think that the real thing grows only in Montana. As Erin likes to say, “If it’s made in Montana, it must be good.” (Frozen berries can be mail-ordered for the mountain-challenged.)

Cheers!

Leave a comment below for a chance to win a signed copy of BUTTER OFF DEAD, out July 7. OH MY GOSH -- that's TODAY!!!  

And it's also release day for Lucy Burdette's FATAL RESERVATIONS! Food critic Hayley Snow sets aside her knife and fork when her dear friend Lorenzo the tarot card reader is accused of murdering his flaming-fork-juggling nemesis. If Lorenzo could read his own cards, he might draw The Hanged Man. He can only hope that Hayley draws Justice as she tries to clear him of murder.

Huckleberry Martinis


  

Commercial huckleberry-flavored vodkas are available, but Erin prefers to make her own. This drink is similar to a Cosmopolitan.

To make the huckleberry vodka:

3 ounces vodka
3 ounces huckleberries, fresh or frozen

Pour vodka over berries in a mason jar or mortar; mash the berries with a fork or a pestle and let sit at least one hour. (The berries can be steeped up to a week.) Strain before using. Makes 3 ounces huckleberry vodka.


To make the drink: 

3 ounces huckleberry vodka
2 ounces triple sec
1 ounce lime juice
1 cup ice cubes


Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Shake until the outside of the shaker is frosty or your hands are cold. Strain into two chilled martini glasses.

If you prefer a sweeter drink, add ½ teaspoon simple syrup to each drink.

Serves 2

Huckleberry Margaritas

Serve on the rocks or blended, with salt or without.



To make the huckleberry tequila:

3 ounces tequila
3 ounces huckleberries, fresh or frozen

Pour tequila over berries in a mason jar or mortar; mash the berries with a fork or a pestle and let sit at least one hour. (The berries can be steeped up to a week.) Strain before using. Makes 3 ounces huckleberry tequila.

To make the drink: 

3 ounces huckleberry tequila
2 ounces triple sec
1 ounce lime juice
1 cup ice cubes for on the rocks, two ice cubes for blended
lime wedges

On the rocks: Combine ingredients, except lime wedge, in a cocktail shaker. Shake until the outside of the shaker is frosty or your hands are cold. Strain into two glasses. Serve with a lime wedge.

Blended: Add first three ingredients to blender with two ice cubes. Pulse and pour into glasses. Serve with a lime wedge.

If you prefer a sweeter drink, add ½ teaspoon simple syrup to each drink. For salted rims, shake salt onto a saucer. Run a lime wedge around the rim of each glass and dip the glass into the salt.

Serves 2

Leave a comment below for a chance to win a signed copy of BUTTER OFF DEAD, third in the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries, out July 7.  (Open till noon, Thursday, July 9; please include your email address.)


From the cover:

As the national bestselling Food Lovers’ Village mysteries continue, the merchants of Jewel Bay, Montana try to heat up chilly winter business with a new film festival. But their plans are sent reeling when a dangerous killer dims the lights on a local mover and shaker …

In an attempt to woo tourists to Jewel Bay and cheer up the townies, Erin Murphy, manager of the specialty local foods market known as the Merc, is organizing the First Annual Food Lovers’ Film Festival, popping with classic foodie flicks and local twists on favorite movie treats. But when her partner in planning, painter Christine Vandeberg, is found dead only days before the curtain rises, Erin suspects someone is attempting to stop the films from rolling.

To make matters worse, Nick—Erin’s brother and Christine’s beau—has top billing on the suspect list. Convinced her brother is innocent and determined that the show must go on, Erin must find who’s really to blame before Nick gets arrested or the festival gets shut down. And as the anniversary of Erin’s father’s death in a still-unsolved hit-and-run approaches, her own beau isn’t so keen on her leading role.

But the closer Erin gets to shining a spotlight on the killer, the more likely it becomes that she’ll be the next person cut from the program…


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. 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, on Facebook, or on Twitter.

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