Sparkling Mint Juleps

Sparkling Mint Juleps

Happy Friday!

Hold on to your giant fancy hats – the Kentucky Derby® is coming up in a few weeks, so we’ve partnered with 14 Hands Wine (a.k.a. the preferred wine of the Kentucky Derby) to bring you a fresh spring cocktail. What is it? A twist on a traditional mint julep – it’s minty, it’s tangy, and it’s sparkly!

Sparkling Mint Juleps Sparkling Mint Juleps

The classic mint julep is made with mint, bourbon, simple syrup and crushed ice. Instead of the simple syrup, I took the liberty of adding lime juice and sparkling wine instead. I think bubbles make everything better and 14 Hands Brut, with its apple and citrus flavors, is the perfect addition.

Sparkling Mint Juleps Sparkling Mint Juleps

I hope you give this one a try this weekend or while you’re enjoying the Derby on Saturday, May 6th!

Also – tune in to Facebook Live on April 27th at 2pm (central). I’ll be making Derby drinks a (including a delicious and refreshing rosé cocktail that’s pictured above!), along with some pretty party bites.

Winter Spiced Moscow Mule

Winter Spiced Moscow Mule

Hello from Holiday Vacation-land… aka, my parents house where Jack and I have been spending the week. We flew in just in time to have a white Christmas before the snow melted. Other than spending time with family, we’ve been spending time in the house because we’re really not winter people. I binge-watched Shirley temple movies, Jack fixed my parents computer. We’ve been eating my mom’s christmas cookies and I’ve been working on a few new recipes – spending time in front of the stove is the best way to stay warm around here! All in all, it’s been a much needed relaxing week.

We’re heading home tomorrow to spend New Years Eve with friends and I’m excited to make this cocktail.

We often mix kombucha into our cocktails, but it didn’t occur to me until now to use it in a Moscow Mule in place of the ginger beer! This cocktail couldn’t be easier to put together – it’s just a splash of vodka, kombucha, and a squeeze of orange. For garnish I added cranberries and a sprig of rosemary.

Sweet Tea Sparkling Apple Cider

Sweet Tea Sparkling Apple Cider

Happy almost-Thanksgiving week! Do you have your menu set? Are you getting together with family or having a Friendsgiving? Either way – here’s a sweet and oh-so-pretty cocktail that would be lovely for your turkey day.

Sweet Tea Sparkling Apple Cider Sweet Tea Sparkling Apple Cider

This one couldn’t be easier: mix apple cider with iced tea, let it chill for about 2 hours with diced apples, cinnamon sticks and star anise. When your guests arrive, pull it out of the fridge and serve with sparkling wine. That’s it!

Sweet Tea Sparkling Apple Cider Sweet Tea Sparkling Apple Cider

Skinny Caipirinhas

Skinny Caipirinhas

With the Rio Olympics coming to a close, it’s time to celebrate with Brazil’s national drink – Caipirinhas! Jack and I have some fond Caipirinha memories – we actually spent our honeymoon in South America and our first stop was Rio. On our first night we had dinner at a great restaurant in Ipanema, the name of which I can’t remember (before the blog I was terrible at taking travel notes). The waiter insisted that we have the “national drink of Brazil.” He explained to us what Cachaça was and we felt like we were experiencing a truly special exotic drink. That is, until we got back home to the US to realize that Caipirinhas are on every cocktail menu everywhere. Oh well. Common or not, we still like ’em.

This is a lightened up version – I cut back on the amount of liquor (and sugar) and topped off our cocktails with Topo Chico, my sparkling water of choice.

And now for a little trip down memory lane:

The epic view from Christ the Redeemer, or as Jack liked to call him: Concrete Jesus. A cloud had just moved and everyone put their cameras up to capture the view.

Rio Rio

You can’t tell from the size of this photo, but this was Jack’s favorite t-shirt that says “Save a cow, eat a vegetarian.”

Rio

We took our trip just after Rio had been selected for the Olympics and this sandcastle monument on Copacabana beach was the only sign of it at the time:

Rio

Boozy Root Beer Floats

Boozy Root Beer Floats with homemade vegan vanilla ice cream

Let’s cut to the chase – I love root beer floats. Oh, by the way, this is Jack posting once again. That’s not to say that Jeanine doesn’t love root beer floats, but when we got an opportunity to work with a beer company that brews alcoholic root beer, I knew I would be writing this post.

The first question I had, of course, was “boozy root beer? Is it good?” Well I’m glad to say that yes, BEST DAMN Brewing Co.’s hard root beer is really good and tastes just like root beer.

Root beer floats may be one of my favorite treats in the world, because they bring me back to childhood. Growing up, my dad would make floats for the two of us all the time. He wouldn’t just pour root beer over any old ice cream either – they were a special treat. He would use the fancy vanilla ice cream with the specks in it and he’d try out different root beers to see which one was the best. Root beer floats are something to be made with love and care.

Boozy Root Beer Floats with homemade vegan vanilla ice cream

So here I am, decades later, and I’m sharing an adult root beer float with all of you. And just because we are who we are, we couldn’t just leave well enough alone and use store-bought ice cream. So we decided to do one of our other favorite things and make some ice cream on our own.

We made homemade vanilla ice cream with a base of coconut milk and cashews. It’s creamy without cream, and incredibly delicious.

Needless to say, this brought me back – well except for the booze part.

Boozy Root Beer Floats with homemade vegan vanilla ice cream Boozy Root Beer Floats with homemade vegan vanilla ice cream