Menu Monday: Easy Rum Punch

Oh, rum. Delightful, delightful, rum. This rum punch is easy to throw together for a last-minute get together and is sure to please the tastebuds.

Ingredients:2014-12-31 19.17.40

  • 1 bottle silver rum
  • 1 bottle pineapple banana juice
  • 1 bottle orange  peach mango juice
  • 2 bags frozen pineapple chunks
  • 1 bag frozen mango chunks

Directions:

  1. Mix everything together in a bowl (I save half in the fridge and refill later).2014-12-31 19.34.10
  2. Drink up!

    2014-12-31 19.36.08 HDR

    psst: this photo was taken on New Years Eve. I do not still have a tablecloth with holly on my table in March.

Review: Time & Oak Whiskey Elements

Note: I purchased these Whiskey Elements fair and square and my review is in no way influenced by anything other than the quality of the product.

A few months back I backed a Kickstarter for a great new company out of Portland, Oregon called Time & Oak. Time & Oak far exceeded their Kickstarter goal for their unique little creation: “Whiskey Elements”.

On their Kickstarter page, Time & Oak describe state the Whiskey Elements will “Customize the flavor of your favorite whiskey and improve the quality in 24hrs. After a year of development, 6 patents filed, hundreds of samples tested, 3 ovens destroyed and a couple nights we don’t really remember, you can now get 3 years of aging ‘effects’ (time travel not included) in just 24 hours, and have complete control over the flavor. ”

Needless to say, Vaughn and I were very excited to try this thing out! Our Whiskey Elements arrived in the mail this week, and we were eager to share with you our results.

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The Whiskey Elements are sturdy and well constructed little pieces of wood.  We had the standard elements, though they do come in different flavors.

The basic idea is that you put the stick in a bottle of whiskey for 24 hours, and it changes the flavor. Vaughn and I were ready to be guinea pigs.

Vaughn chose a cheaper Whiskey that neither of us had tried before. At about $15 a bottle, this whiskey is a basic Canadian Whiskey.

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We reserved a small amount of the whiskey for comparison, 2014-12-15 21.38.37 plopped in our whiskey element, and waited….

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24 hours later, we were ready to taste.

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First we tried the un-treated whiskey. Vaughn called it “incredibly unremarkable”. In fact, I was really not impressed by it at all. It was very basic and had no really unique flavor. It was smooth in the mouth but burned going down. Overall, I gave it a big thumbs down and I will not buy that brand again. 2014-12-16 22.05.13

Next, we poured the “elements” whiskey.

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Immediately we noticed a difference, even in the smell. The taste was so much smoother, and the burn was gone. It might have been my imagination but it almost tasted a little sweet to me. It’s hard to describe, but the Whiskey had a totally different flavor profile.  Honestly,  I would not have drank the stuff before, but with the elements it was a really great flavor and drinkable on it’s own.

I am excited to try this in a higher quality whiskey or one that I actually enjoy, a bourbon perhaps. We also received with our Kickstarter package some Scotch Elements specifically for scotch that I look forward to trying out.  We recieved a pretty great package as part of our Kickstarter, but for $12.00 you receive two Whiskey Elements which are good for two fifths of Whiskey or one half-gallon, which is a pretty good deal. I plan on purchasing the flavor sets soon to give those a try.

Overall, we would highly recommend this product.

 

 

Wonderful Wednesday: Halloween Cocktails

Halloween is the best! I am looking forward to revealing my very Marvel Halloween costume. One of my favorite parts of Halloween are all of the “spooky scary” excuses to get a little tipsy. Here are a few of my favorite Halloween cocktails from across the interwebs.

  1.  Mr. Hyde’s Potion from Today’s Nest– This sweet Vodka drink is delightful, but still sets the mood for a fierce and frightening Halloween imbibement.

    original_Sam-Henderson-Halloween-mr-hyde-cocktail-beauty_002_v_lg

    copyright Today’s Nest

  2. Morgue-A-Rita also from Today’s Nest- a twist on the classic cocktail, this is another fun haunted drink that’s good on the pallate.

    original_Sam-Henderson-Halloween-cocktail-morgue-a-rita-beauty-vert2_lg

    copyright Today’s Nest

  3. Dark and Stormy Death Punch by Food & Wine– this rum punch is made much more spooky by garnishing with a cherry stuffed lychee eyball.

    copyright Food and Wine

    copyright Food and Wine

  4.  Black Lagoon by Martha Stewart – This Vodka cocktail has the spirit of Halloween, and the rosemary lavendar syrup makes for a unique and antique flavor. I love this drink!

    property of Martha Stewart

  5. Bleeding Heart Martini by Martha Stewart-this gin martini is the perfect drink, made even more spooky by the pickled beet garnish reminding me of Snow White’s evil, heart stealing nemesis.

    property of Martha Stewart

    Hope this sparks your interest in tasty Halloween drinks! Have a fun holiday and drink responsibly!

Menu Monday: Watermelon Margaritas

In the summer time, I like sweet and light drinks that are easy to make a smooth to drink.  This Watermelon Margarita recipe is simple to make and totally delicious.

Ingredients (per drink):

  • 1 tablespoon agave
  • 1/2 ounce triple sec
  • 1 ounce tequila
  • juice from 1/4 lime
  • Salt
  • 1 cup frozen melon balls (prepped the night before)2014-07-26 14.32.06

Directions

  1. The night before you plan on drinking this, turn your watermelon into melon balls and freeze in the freezer.
  2. Add 1 cup’s worth of melon balls to your blender cup.
  3. Top with liquor, lime juice, and agave.2014-07-26 14.47.52
  4. Blend well.2014-07-26 14.48.16
  5. Rim your glass with salt.
  6. Fill with the drink mixture.
  7. Drink.

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Menu Monday: Peach Mint Julep

Mint Juleps are my favorite cocktails, and I prefer them over all other booze. Especially when it’s hot and terrible outside, a cool minty drink changes my life and also bourbon is deeelicious. This twist on the classic cocktail is pretty darn easy and needs to go in your mouth right now.

Ingredients:

  • Bourbon
  • Simple Syrup (my friend Alex made fancy mint simple syrup which is delicious but not necessary)
  • Mint Leaves
  • Peach
  • Sparkling Water (optional, some people prefer this drink a little watered down as it is very strong)2014-07-19 20.34.30

Directions:

  1. Slice your peach and muddle one slice in the bottom of your cool cocktail shaker.2014-07-19 20.38.50 2014-07-19 20.39.53
  2. Add 5-6 Mint leaves and muddle together with peaches.2014-07-19 20.40.40
  3. Add ice.
  4. Add 1 shot bourbon and 1 shot simple syrup (if you want to add sparkling water you can sub that in for 1/2 of the simple syrup). To cocktail shakers.2014-07-19 20.41.50
  5. Shake until your hands hurt.
  6. Strain into a cool julep glass or a tumbler.
  7. Garnish with peach and mint and enjoy.2014-07-19 20.43.55

Menu Monday: Jello Shots

Jello shots are a delightful way to kick off a particularly classy night of imbibing. There are all kinds of fancy jello shots recipies that make things far to complicated, but the basic recipe is simple and can be altered for any kind of alcohol you so desire.

Ingredients (for 12 2 oz Jello Shots)

  • One small box Jello Mix
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup alcohol of choice, chilled
  • Jello shot cups (I prefer these, which have lids for easier storage and are easy to eat–and they sell them at the local liquor store)Photo Jun 26, 4 53 01 PM (1)

Directions:

  1. Boil your water
  2. Put Jello powder at the bottom of a bowl.Photo Jun 26, 5 00 25 PM
  3. Pour water over powder, mix quickly until Jello powder is completely disintegrated
  4. Add in chilled alcohol and mix well, again very quickly.
  5. Once all ingredients are combined, pour into shot cups (if you are using 2 oz shot cups I use a 1/4 cup measuring cup and it’s perfect) and chill for at least 4 hours. I usually make mine the night before I plan on serving them.Photo Jun 26, 5 10 33 PM
  6. Voila!20140627-191323-69203135.jpg

Fun Taste Combinations:

  • Tequila + Lime Jello
  • Watermelon Vodka + Watermelon Jolly Rancher Jello
  • Bourbon + Cherry Jello
  • Gin + Lime Jello
  • Rum + Fruit Punch Jello

 

 

Menu Monday: Summer Sangria

I don’t think I need an explanation for why I love Sangria. It is DELICIOUS and an excuse to pretend you are healthy because of fruit. Here is my delightful summer sangria recipe!

Ingredients:

  • 1 Orange, Thinly Sliced
  • 2 limes, Thinly sliced
  • 1 pint strawberries, sliced
  • 1 pint raspberries
  • 1 pint blueberries
  • 1 bottle Rose wine
  • 1 bottle sparkling water
  • 1/2 cup brandy
  • 1/2 cup triple sec
  • optional: 1 bottle elderflower rose lemonade (found at Kroger/Fred Meyer Stores in the Natural foods section)image

Directions:

  1. Put all fruit in the bottom of your containerimage_1
  2. Top with liquid
  3. Stir well

    image_2

    Note: Make sure your container is big enough so you don’t have to switch halfway through 🙂

  4. Chill for at least 1 hour, but as long as possible
  5. Serve
  6. Drink Responsiblyimage