Drinks


If you’re not down with crowded bars and green beer this St. Patrick’s Day, try making some of your own verdant libations at home. They’ll probably end up saving you money (and a possible DUI) versus going out on the town.

Check out these fun and creative cocktails I’ve found on some seriously tasty-looking food and drink blogs.

Dancing Leprechaun (Science of Drink) – Simple to make, refreshing and, as the author states, “It is admirable concoction for active celebrating.”

Grasshopper Ice Cream Cocktails (Dine and Dish) – A frosty take on the classic Grasshopper cocktail that consists of vanilla ice cream, Creme de Menthe, Creme de Cacao and Irish Whiskey…and that’s it. (Be careful with this one!)
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yoohoo_martini

While thumbing through an in flight magazine on the red-eye to San Antonio a few years ago, I stumbled across this fabulous cocktail recipe — the Hooville Martini. Whoever thought of using Yoo-Hoo as a mixer is a genius.

The Hooville was created for the bar menu at the trendy Ketchup restaurant in L.A., which features classic comfort food dishes with a gourmet twist. Their drink list also features other memorable kid beverages, like Sunny D and Kool-Aid, updated into playful and creative cocktails. “The Hooville takes on the creamy and chocolatey Yoo-Hoo, but with added almond flavor, since what goes better with chocolate than almond? It’s a nutty, rich tasting cocktail that makes a really good after-dinner drink,” says Ketchup’s bar manager, Darius Karsas.

I also think this would make a great breakfast or brunch drink, like an adult chocolate milk with a little ‘hair of the dog’.

Recipe after the break:

For a fun flavor variations, why not use Kahlua or your favorite flavored liqueur in place of the amaretto? Or try it caffeinated by using espresso-flavored vodka, thus giving it a mocha-like taste.
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Here’s another one from ye olde recipe vault: the Cucumber Mint Saketini (and because sake isn’t just for sake bombs). A fresh drink for a fresh start (no matter what time of the year).

Sake is one of those underrated alcoholic beverages, in my opinion, that most people only drink when going out for sushi. Hot or cold, filtered or unfiltered, are pretty much your only options when it is offered on a drink menu. Until now.

Mixologists are featuring this rice-based alcohol in many hip new cocktails. There are numerous versions of the “Saketini”, most containing vodka and/or gin along with various liqueurs, juices, syrups, etc. So for those of you who don’t like the flavor of filtered sake, you can now enjoy it in one of these new-fangled concoctions.

If you don’t want to drop ten bucks on a “Saketini” at a fancy schmancy bar then make it yourself at home. I whipped up this fabulous and easy sake cocktail (see recipe below) for my New Year’s Eve bash as the featured drink of the evening (until, of course, we popped the champagne). Unless you’re a sake connoisseur the cheap stuff will suffice because, hey, you’re going to be mixing it with other flavors anyway, right?
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IMG_1931Last weekend I was fortunate enough to indulge in Disney’s International Food and Wine Festival at EPCOT Center. This marks the 14th year of an event that promises the chance to eat and drink your way around the world without ever having to break out your passport.

After attending this event for the past few years, I was pleasantly surprised to see that a majority of the regional menus had changed (after being exactly the same for the past few go-arounds) and that they’d added a few new cuisines, now up to 25 different international marketplaces. There were also more culinary classes and wine tastings to attend this year, many involving well-known food and wine celebrities like Iron Chef Cat Cora (who has a new restaurant, Kouzzina, that just opened at Disney’s Boardwalk), Andrew Zimmern (host of Bizarre Foods on the Travel Channel), the Deen Brothers (yes, Paula’s boys) and lying TV chef Robert Irvine.
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skittles_vodka

Skittles are pretty tasty by themselves (excluding those chocolate abominations), and vodka is just wonderful, but maybe not on it’s own. So what if you combined the two? Skittles-infused vodka: two great tastes that taste great together. You get the sweet, synthetic flavors and a great buzz all in the same swallow. I stumbled across this entertaining article about how to infuse vodka with Skittles candy.

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