Category Archives: Beverage

Vanilla White Russians

 

In anticipation of the upcoming New Year, I wanted to share this recipe for a twist on the classic White Russian.

“Common knowledge” dictates that one not ever drink milk with alcoholic beverages. That extends to pretty much any dairy product. I believe this is due to fear of it curdling in one’s stomach? Or perhaps the extra unpleasantness should it find its way back up.

Whatever the reason, the White Russian looks at that rule and laughs. Milk and alcohol dance a lively jig together on your taste buds, with sugar and coffee joining in. I highly recommend this uber-simple yet totally classy beverage for your bell-dropping soiree!

Made infamous by “the Dude” in the movie “The Big Lebowski“, this three-ingredient hard-hitting cocktail is like dessert in a glass.  Classically only three ingredients: vodka, Khalua, and heavy cream. Variations include different types of liquor, addition of chocolate, or as the Dude uses, powdered creamer (not recommending that route).

This particular variation I made because I happened to have Patron cafe rather than Khalua. Since Khalua is a coffee-flavored rum-based liquor, I figured a different coffee-flavored liquor would work just as well! And I do love the smooth taste of Patron, so I figured why not go for it?

And I also do not buy heavy cream, but did have some french vanilla coffee creamer. What a perfect cherry on top! (Speaking of, I bet something cherry, like amaretto or Disaronno, would also make a phenomenal addition!)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup creamer
  • 1 oz Patron cafe
  • 1 oz vodka
  • 3-5 ice cubes

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Step 1: Fill a glass with a few ice cubes.

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Step 2: Pour about half a cup of creamer (or milk, or heavy cream) into the glass.

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Step 3: Add in one shot each of the Patron cafe and vodka.

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Stir it and and sip! This lightly coffee, hint of vanilla, just a tingle of liquor beverage goes down smooth. Watch yourself, just like real Russians these can be dangerous!

 

If you do choose to indulge in adult beverages, please have a designated driver and get home safely. Happy 2015 everyone!

Recipe Review: Food Babe’s “Ravishing Red Juice”

 

For those of you who don’t know, the “Food Babe” aka Vani Hari, is a food activist, passionate foodie and educator, and creator of fabulous health-promoting recipes. Any questions you have about your food, or questions you didn’t even know you should have asked, check her out.

You may know that I have a juicer, and am trying to incorporate more fresh juice into my diet, if only as an easy way to get more veggie goodness. I love me some vitamins and phytonutrients! So one day I was reading through some of Food Babe’s writings, and found her juicing advice and recipes. There was one in particular that intrigued me: The Ravishing Red Juice.

Getting its ravishing red color mainly from beets, this juice has blood-cleansing capabilities, immune-boosting ginger, and hair/skin/nail magic from carrots. Toss in some cooling cucumber and power greens, this baby is the complete package! And for those who don’t like juices because of the bitterness, SUGAR is made from BEETS! So yeah, this juice basically has all the ingredients to totally rock.

I altered Vani’s recipe slightly by throwing in half a lemon because I had a bag and I love citrus in everything, and leaving out the apple since I had none of those and the beet sweetened it enough for me. If you want your juice even more palatable throw in the apple, sure. Other than that, let the good times roll!

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Ingredients:
  • 2 thick carrots
  • 1 big red beet
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 1 cucumber
  • 2 inches of fresh ginger root
  • 3 full kale leaves
  • Handful of parsley

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Step 1: Wash all your veggies well and shake off excess water. Cut up the veggies, and get your juicer and two glasses ready.

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There are two ways to do this. You can either juice everything into one big cup then split it up (or drink a mega-juice!) or you can split up all the ingredients into two even piles.

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Step 2: Alternating between hard ingredients (like carrots, cucumber, lemon) and softer ingredients (kale, parsley), juice all your veggies. The beets give up this glorious, deep magenta-red juice that gives the drink its name.

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Step 3: Mix your drink to ensure no pulpy chunks, and enjoy! The slight tang of ginger and lemon effectively erases any bitterness from the palate. The beet juice is delightfully sweet, but not overpowering. And if you want it overly sweet, like I said add in some apples or even berries.

 

 

To health, wealth, and vitality.

<3 BE

 

 

Lingonberry-Pear Shots

 

This is something that sounds exotic, but if you live anywhere near an IKEA you can obtain delicious lingonberry extract for about $5. I bet you could find it online or at a local grocery store too, if you look. Or substitute in whatever berry you enjoy instead. Apple, raspberry, pumpkin, cherry, blueberry…

I recommend something red, because the red juice and pear layered is very festive. This would be adorable at a holiday party or get-together.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 oz lingonberry extract
  • 1/2 oz rum
  • 2 tbsp pear juice
  • Small piece of pear

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Step 1: Pour in the juice concentrate. This should be the heaviest, so if you pour the other layers carefully they shouldn’t mix.

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Step 2: Splash in 2 tbsp pear juice. I opened a can of pears and used the juice in there, plus the fruit as garnish.

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Step 3: Carefully pour on the rum, cut a slit in the pear and wedge it onto the glass.

And there you have it! Totally adorable lingonberry-pear shooters. You could also make this into a full-out beverage by using 1-2 cups sparkling flavored water and adding rum, berry, and pear juice.

Cranberry Wassail

 

As the weather cools off, we crave warm hearty meals and hot beverages to keep warm and for comfort. Wassail is a traditional holiday drink of mulled cider, usually drunk as part of wassailing, an old English drinking ritual to bring about a bountiful apple harvest the next year.

While we no longer follow this tradition of singing and drinking in apple orchards (though it sounds pretty fun…) you can make your own low-key version of wassail at home any time. Traditional wassail is made with a base of wine or hard cider, or even brandy or sherry, to which you add spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, or ginger, and add apples or orange slices and simmer it for hours.

This version requires a microwave and five minutes.

Ingredients (per cup):

  • 1 tbsp wassail spices
    • (if you don’t have this, make your own by combining 1 tbsp cinnamon, 1 tbsp nutmeg, 1 tbsp ginger, and 1 tbsp cloves)
  • 1 1/2 cups any juice (I used cranberry pomegranate)

That’s it if you want it virgin, or add:

  • 1/2 cup rum, vodka, or brandy
  • or 1/2 cup red or white wine

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Step 1: Mix the spices into the juice, and microwave or heat on a stove until warm. Serve with a cinnamon stick stirrer to be fancy.

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Step 2: Optionally, add some red wine or hard liquor to really amp up the warming capability of the drink. A guaranteed holiday party pleaser.

Product Review: Steep and Go

 

As you may know from my earlier post all about the Health Benefits of Tea, tea is very good for your health for many reasons. Whether you drink it hot with honey or over ice, tea can contribute to a happy, healthy lifestyle.

I am always looking for new tea flavors to try, and new ways to get more tea into my days. I have a tea pot and cups that a friend gave me for a birthday which I love, it strains the loose leaves and you can pour right out of the pot. I have a tea kettle my thoughtful brother gave me which has that classic whistle to it. And I am always on the lookout for new and exciting tea companies and products.

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One day over a year ago, a friend who is a fellow tea lover recommended I check out The Tea Spot website. Located in Boulder, they are a local Colorado tea company producing high-quality loose leaf tea blends and tea products. Their website is also packed with educational information about tea, as I referenced.

As I’ve collected more loose leaf tea, I have enjoyed the winters much more. Unfortunately, during the summer I don’t want hot tea and I’m too lazy to brew it hot then cool it in the fridge before drinking hours later. The Tea Spot has found a solution! The cold brew steep and go.

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This plastic miracle has an adapter which allows it to fit onto most standard sized water bottles. The top is a pop-up nozzle which clicks closed for no spills, and the bottom part is a filter which keeps loose leaves out of your mouth, and in your bottle.

To answer commonly asked questions when people see mine:

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1. How long can you steep the tea?
As long as you want. I put it in the bottle at night, stick it in the fridge, then take it with me the next morning.

2. Doesn’t it get bitter?
Nope, not at all. I think this is because you put it in cold–room temp water rather than boiling water; it doesn’t release as many tannins.

3. How much tea do you use?
You only need about 1 heaping teaspoon per 16 oz bottle of water. And I’ve re-used the leaves for two brews with success.

You can choose to add sweeteners such as honey or splenda, but after one or two bottles I grew to prefer the taste of simple green tea. The only thing healthier is pure water!

When I first received the steep and go, I tried to put it onto a bottle directly. I could not get it to tighten, because I didn’t realize there are two adapter rings, one the color of the steep and go, and another clear plastic one. Both sides are slightly different sizes, such that the adapters can make the steep and go fit four different bottle types! The Tea Spot also has a re-useable bottle for the steep and go, which will definitely be my next purchase.

I have not yet tried to run it through a dishwasher, but if put on the top shelf the plastic seems hardy enough to not melt. I will likely end up hand-washing this every dozen uses or so.

Besides loose leaf teas, they now offer whole leaf tea bags as well. You may wonder, what makes these tea bags different from ones I can buy at Wal-mart? Let me allow them to explain:

The differences between loose leaf tea and traditional tea bags are numerous, and it goes far beyond the surface. The leaves used in most bags are actually the “dust and fannings” from broken tea leaves. This is a huge compromise in quality from full leaf tea. Finely broken tea leaves have lost most of their essential oils and aroma. When steeped, they release more tannins than whole leaf tea, resulting in bitter astringent brews. The material, shape, and size of the bags themselves are also important factors. Most tea bags constrain the tea leaves, keeping them from expanding to their full flavor and aroma potential.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t like the sound of “tea dust” as a beverage.

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Health benefits of tea

 

A huge portion of the world begins each day with a warm, caffeinated beverage. While coffee dominates the Americas and continental Europe, tea is preferred in most of Asia and the former Soviet Union, at least according to the Pew Research Center’s interactive map. The playing field is becoming more leveled, with many countries beginning to drink both beverages in almost equal amounts. And this is great news not only for tea and coffee producers, but also for our health in general.

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The science on coffee has gone back and forth for decades, from coffee being a heart-harming stimulant to an antioxidant-rich elixir. As for tea, the data have been nothing but encouraging. As of yet, “no solid data exist concerning harmful effects of tea consumption” (ScienceDaily) but you should consult a doctor if you are thinking about drastically increasing your consumption or attempting to use tea to treat or cure any disease and/or symptoms.

 

Types of Tea

The average person usually considers “tea” to be any type of beverage made by steeping something in warm/hot water. The definition of true tea is any beverage which contains leaves from one particular plant — Camellia sinensis — and includes only four varieties: green, black, white, and oolong. Anything else (like herbal “tea”) is an infusion and isn’t technically tea.

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Photo from SeacretSpa website “Green Tea Extract

The Camellia sinensis is a small evergreen plant but can grow up to 8 feet in the right climate. It needs moist air and mostly warm days with direct sunlight to grow best. The deep shiny green leaves are harvested in the first blush of spring, with the outermost three leaves and bud considered the best tasting for tea. To learn about different ways to prepare tea and more, visit The Tea Spot website.

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Photo from the fascinating Tea4U blog.

Tea contains various amounts of caffeine based on how the leaves are prepared.

Herbal infusions
Herbal infusions are made by steeping fresh or dried herbs, flowers, and/or berries in hot water. These include but are not limited to: spearmint, lemon balm, rose hips, licorice, ginger, rooibois, chamomile, hibiscus, and more.

Generally since they do not contain actual tea leaves they are 100% caffeine-free, though they may offer many health benefits and an array of flavors and scents. Steep infusions for 6-7 minutes in freshly boiled water for the best effect.

White
This type of tea is the most delicate and subtle of all teas. The leaves are not rolled or processed in any way, and the leaves are generally picked while still tightly enclosed in leaf buds. Those become Silver Needles tea, and if the next two lower leaves are picked and also not processed, they become White Peony white tea.

Caffeine content ranges from 10-15mg per cup. Steep 2-3 minutes in freshly boiled water.

Green
This type of tea is made by gently heating the fresh leaves directly after plucking. This prevents oxidation, and the dried leaves retain their green color. Sometimes charcoal or smoke is used during the heating process to impart extra flavors.

Steep 2-3 minutes in freshly boiled water at 160–190° F. Chinese green teas contain about 30–35 milligrams of caffeine per 8 oz cup, and Japanese green teas contain 25 – 30 milligrams of caffeine per 8 oz cup. 

Oolong
This type of tea is semi-oxidized, putting them halfway between green and black tea. The caffeine level and antioxidant amount are also halfway between black and green, making them healthy yet also palatable. For this reason oolongs are most sought after by tea connoisseurs. All oolongs are grown in either China or Taiwan.

Preparation of oolong teas requires pure water at 190–205° F. They may be infused multiple (3–7) times, each steep lasting 1–3 minutes. The caffeine content of oolong teas decreases dramatically from the first to the third brew, about 30–50 mg/cup in first cup, 15–25 in second, and 5–10 in the third.

Black
This type of tea is made by fully oxidizing tea leaves to produce a rich brown-black or brown-red brew. After the leaves are picked they are crushed or rolled, allowed to oxidize fully, then fired in an oven.

Black tea is the most popular tea in the Western countries, likely due to its caffeine content of 40-60mg per cup. All black teas originate from China, India, or Sri Lanka.

Yerba mate
Pronounced “yer-ba mah-tay”, this is an ancient medicinal drink deeply ingrained in many cultures of South America such as Brazil and Argentina. Though not a tea, as it contains no C. sinensis leaves, Yerba Maté is an appetite suppressant and is high in Vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, and manganese.

Mate has 35mg caffeine per cup, and contains many other chemicals which drinkers claim mellow the experience, providing focus and alertness without negative side effects. Yerba Maté should be steeped for 6–7 minutes using hot, but not boiled water. Boiling water can make mate bitter, just like tea.

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Health benefits of drinking tea

The claims of health benefits from teas are varied and wide-spread. Tea as herbal medicine is a thousands of years ancient practice. Native Americans, native Asians, middle Easterners, have long regarded tea as a cornerstone of health, happiness and wisdom.

With the rise in power of Western nations and the increasing rigor of scientific study in health, more and more evidence supporting the health benefits of tea is being found. Studies have shown that some teas may help with cancer, heart disease, and diabetes; encourage weight loss; lower cholesterol; reduce risk for Parkinsons and Alzheimers; and bring about mental alertness. Tea also appears to have antimicrobial qualities.

I could write up a huge list of all the ailments tea is said to relieve or cure, but instead I will direct the science-minded to the fact that the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition featured 11 articles from the 5th international scientific symposium on Tea and Human Health concerning the various health benefits of tea.

Various types of tea contain catecholamines, EGCG, antioxidants, and flavonoids; compounds we are terrible at reproducing in a lab, which is a good thing. These delicate molecules are released as the tea leaves are steeped in hot water, and absorbed by our body when we drink it. Although a lot of questions remain about how long tea needs to be steeped for the most benefit, and how much you need to drink, nutritionists agree any tea is good tea. Still, they prefer brewed teas over bottled to avoid the extra calories and sweeteners.

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Photo from Examine: “Green Tea Catechins

For a simpler list, check out the TIME article “13 Reasons Why Tea Is Good For You“. You can find information on the various types of tea and their health benefits at WebMD. While not all the health claims of tea are verified, there are as yet no negative findings. Most teas are benign, but the FDA has issued warnings about so-called ‘dieter’s teas’ that contain senna, aloe, buckthorn, and other plant-derived laxatives. These could be harmful to your health.

The FDA cautions against taking supplements that include:

  • Comfrey
  • Ephedra
  • Willow bark
  • Germander
  • Lobelia
  • Chaparral

If you live in Zone 7-9 in the US and feel inspired to grow your very own tea bush(es), check out Go Organic Gardening for tips and info on how to grow, harvest, prepare, and more.

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How to stay cool, plus a Keurig give-away!

 

Summer is winding down, but there are still a few scorchers ahead. And even through the fall and winter, sometimes it’s nice to have a frosty beverage pick-me-up. Iced drinks are my number one favorite way to keep cool, as they taste great and also cool your internal body temperature, making it easier to beat the heat.

It’s no secret that I love my caffeinated beverages, and have finally figured out the secret to Perfect Iced Coffee. This trick works with tea, juices, or any other drink as well. Try it yourself and see how great it is to no longer have watered-down drinks that are still icy cold.

This summer, Keurig is sponsoring a nation-wide #StayCool contest! If you share a photo of how you stay cool on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook, you are entered in a contest to win a Keurig K Cup and other fun goodies!

  • On your mobile device, take a photo and share it on Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #StayCool & #Sweeps. Make sure to share your location!
  • Your photo will appear on the interactive map where you can see how everyone else is riding out the summer heat. You’ll automatically get a chance to win a Keurig® brewer and Brew Over Ice K-Cup® packs!

In other exciting news, The Budget Epicurean is partnering with Keurig for a K Cup beverage give-away! Readers who enter will have the chance to win:

  1. A variety pack of Keurig K Cups
  2. Coupons for BOGO K Cups
  3. An ebook with drink recipes

Top three entries will receive the prizes in order. One other mode of entry is to send an email to BudgetEpicurean (at) gmail (dot) com with your name and how you #StayCool! Raffle ends 8/25/2014. Winners will be notified and posted about on 8/26/2014.

BudgetEpicurean Keurig giveaway, by Rafflecopter.

This is why I was super-pumped to get a Keurig K-Cup brewer! IMG_4471

I’ve long laughed at the idea of a one-cup wonder, as I tend to brew a big ‘ol pot of java on Monday and use it throughout the week (or freeze it… hint hint). However, I’ve been more and more curious as tons of new options come out for this bad boy. What if I only wanted one cup of hot coffee? What if I wanted to try a new type of tea? What if I wanted cold tea?

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Well, now Keurig has the answer to all these dilemmas! Hot tea, any kind you want, just one cup, and no tea kettle required. Cold tea, perfect for sunny days, porch sipping, or watching your show on the couch. Coffees, flavored coffees, decaf too. All at the touch of a button.

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I have to admit, I’ve only tried a few varieties so far and I’m already in love! This guy had earned its counter space the first day I had it. Set-up was a breeze, and it was ready to brew within minutes of leaving the package.

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The first thing I tried was the Vitamin Burst acai berry Cold Brew. It smelled delicious the second it began brewing.

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Simply fill up a tall glass with ice cubes, pop in the cup, and hit ‘brew’. Easy peasy.

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This is a 24 oz cup I think, and it was done in less than a minute.

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I just popped on some berries and a cute umbrella as garnish, and enjoyed!

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The flavor is delightful, refreshing and light. I found the highest brew setting was just sugary enough for me, though you could choose lower amounts of water if you like it stronger.

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Trying to re-create the ice cube “splash” on the box. =)

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The Keurig obviously works wonders for coffee. For just one cup in the mornings or afternoon, pop in your favorite and hit the button. You can have six people with six different favorites, and serve up a hot fresh round in minutes. My counter is now half dedicated to beverages.

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The brew-over-ice coffee is equally wonderful. Yes you will get some watered down effect, unless you use my tip

In case you missed it above, The Budget Epicurean is partnering with Keurig for a K Cup beverage give-away! Readers who enter will have the chance to win:

    1. A variety pack of Keurig K Cups
    2. Coupons for BOGO K Cups
    3. An ebook with drink recipes

Top three entries will receive the prizes in order. One other mode of entry is to send an email to BudgetEpicurean (at) gmail (dot) com with your name and how you #StayCool! Raffle ends 8/25/2014. BudgetEpicurean Keurig giveaway, by Rafflecopter!

Disclaimer: Keurig machine and K-Cups were provided by Keurig Green Mountain, Inc., all opinions are those of the Budget Epicurean.

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Tropical Sunrise Shots

Summer is a great time for tropical drinks. Vodka is wonderful and orange juice is good for you, so make a Tropical Sunrise shot! You can also use tequila for a Tequila Sunrise. Perfect for beach parties or patio sitting, it gets you in the summer mood.

Ingredients:

  • 1 oz tequila
  • 1 oz orange juice
  • Splash grenadine or cherry juice
Step 1: Pour cold orange juice into a shot glass. Then carefully pour vodka on, if slow enough they won’t mix and will create two layers. I used raspberry vodka because that’s what I had and it adds another fruity flavor.
Step 2: Slowly pour in a dash of cherry juice, which should sink to the bottom. It makes a layered, colorful shot that’s delicious and pretty!

Please enjoy responsibly.

Perfect Iced Coffee

 

If you ever tried to make an iced coffee at home only to end up with lukewarm, watery coffee; or if you’ve ever tried to make a homemade Frappuccino and ended up with cold coffee-scented water, this post is for you.

My friend B is a bit of a Starbucks addict. Any time the S word is mentioned, off we go for venti frappuccinos. Because of the significant toll this takes on your wallet, we started experimenting at home. Regular hot coffee is a no-brainer; it is far cheaper to brew your own in the mornings, saving you $1-4 per day. About $5 per pound of coffee and $1 for 100 filters will give you a few months of java.

The problem is when it heats up outside, a steaming cup of coffee isn’t so desirable. When you pour hot coffee over frozen water, physics dictates that you end up with a watery, tasteless, lukewarm beverage. Then she came up with the most brilliant idea ever: freeze extra coffee into coffee cubes!

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We then pop these into a plastic bag in the freezer, and use them when the hankering for an iced coffee hits. They can also be blended into your own version of a frappuccino. Feel free to add in sugar, honey, creamer, cocoa powder, Hershey’s syrup…

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This saves money twice: extra coffee is not wasted, it is instead frozen for later. Also you can use that frozen coffee for two different types of frozen caffeinated beverages during the warm summer months.

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Step 1: Just fill your mug with coffee cubes, and pour more coffee over it. It is best to let the coffee cool down, or even put it in the refrigerator to chill before pouring. Physics still says hot liquid over frozen things will cause it to melt. =)

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Step 2: Add in your creamer and/or flavorings.

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Step 3: Give it a mix, and enjoy! Take your iced drink to work, school, the pool, a picnic, whatever. If you want a Frappuccino, simply fill a blender with coffee cubes, pour in a cup of cool coffee and flavorings, and blend until smooth. You can add whipped topping, cinnamon, Khalua… whatever your heart desires.

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Enjoy non-watery iced coffee every summer from now on!

 

Cinco de Mayo drink: Margarita Spritzer

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

 

 Most people will be celebrating early since the 5th of May is a Monday, so I figured I’d post this early as well. 

As with most holidays, I always wonder how they started and what they really mean. As I dug into the history of this one, I was surprised and learned quite a bit. 

Most people tend to think this holiday commemorates Mexico’s Independence Day, but that is not true. Mexico’s independence day is actually September 16th, not May 5th. The 5th of May is the day a Mexican city won a huge battle with the French. For a great 2-minute video, check out the History Channel

In 1861, Mexico was so far in debt to so many countries that the president Benito Juarez declared that they could not pay back any countries they owed. This made the French super mad, and they invaded. Good cheese isn’t cheap, you know.

So the French rampaged across Mexico, winning battle after battle. Then on May 5, 1862, in the state of Puebla, the Mexicans finally defeated the French, despite being less prepared, not well trained or equipped, and outnumbered 2:1 on the battlefield!

The French quickly regrouped and eventually took Mexico City, but that euphoria of an unlikely victory tasted sweet. Just like a cold margarita. The victory was so inspiring, American generals began using it as “inspiration for the Union struggle in the Civil War”. (*All quotes from the History Channel video mentioned above)

Mexican-Americans, and Americans of all kind, took to remembering that battle every May 5th with food, drinks, parades, dancing, game, and bullfights (from About.com “Cinco de Mayo – the Basics“). Over time, the holiday died down in most of Mexico, except in Puebla where the battle was originally won. However, north of the border we never got out of the habit, and Cinco de Mayo is still celebrated every year with margaritas, Meixcan food, and other festivities. And now you know the “surprisingly American history behind this Mexican holiday”.

So to celebrate these brave Mexican fighters who didn’t want their tacos replaced with baguettes, make yourself a big ol’ pitcher of these Margarita Spritzers! With less “extras” and sugar, this version of the lime classic is lower on calories but big on taste, and how hard it hits is up to how much tequila you pour!

This margarita requires NO triple sec, the source of most margarita’s zing and pucker, but it’s also a sugar bomb with calories galore. This is a super simple recipe, with endless customization choices.


Ingredients:

  • 1 oz gold tequila
  • 1 oz simple syrup*
  • 1 oz lime juice
  • 1 cup soda water (lemon-lime flavor is best)
  • Salt for rimming if you like
  • Fresh lime slices for garnish

Step 1: *Simple syrup – add 1 cup sugar, 1/2 cup brown sugar, and 2 cups water to a pot. Bring to a gentle boil, or at least heat until all sugar is dissolved. Chill for ~1 hour.

Step 2: On two flat plates, pour onto one a tbsp lime juice and on the other some sea salt. Take a glass, and rub the rim in the juice. Then swirl it around in the salt so it sticks.

Step 3: In a shaker, combine (per drink) 1 oz tequila, 1 oz simple syrup, and 1 oz lime juice. Shake with ice until cold.

 Step 4: Pour over ice in rimmed glass, and top with soda water. Stir and garnish as desired.

Try any juice you like in place of lime; cherry, pomegranate, strawberries. I’m a total purist and prefer simply lime over ice, but you can blend it if you must. Check out CookingChannel‘s list of top 20 Margarita Recipes for inspiration.

This 5th of May, raise a glass to those brave Mexicans who kept the French in France and enabled this long tradition of May festivity. ¡Que viva México!


What do you do on May 5th? Do you celebrate Cinco de Mayo? Do you have any special margarita recipes I need to know about?