Take me to Margaritaville

No, I’m not a Jimmy Buffet¬†fan, come to think of it, I don’t think I’ve ever heard the whole¬†song. I just thought this would be a catchy title. It was all about drawing you into my bloggy web.

Living in Houston means, among other things, that you live in Tex-Mex country. It also means sweltering heat 9 months out of the year. Luckily, those 2 little facts make a Margarita a necessity. Simple as that. Margaritas are how we quench our thirst and cool down from the heat in Houston.

You know I like my cocktails, so I’ve dubbed myself something of a Margarita connoisseur. I’ve had good ritas and awful ones. Sometimes they taste great, but don’t have a punch, while others are all punch with absolutely no flavor. Personally, I like mine to be tart and sweet and punchy. Frozen with salt. That’s what I’m talking about.

Some places, most of them, really, will offer the top shelf margaritas. I say go for the house Margarita first, if that’s not good, don’t waste your time or money¬†on the rest. Top shelf ingredients are supposed to make a basic better, but if the basic recipe sucks…, you catch my drift.

Here I’m sharing my ‘recipe’ for basic Margaritas. No fancy ingredients, but this is a very good ‘rita. So if you feel you must use top-shelf liquors instead of some Sauza Gold and Triple Sec, you can do so without any reservations, but don’t skimp on the fresh fruit juices.

Margarita YAY YAY!

Orange juice, 1/2 oz
Lime juice, 1 1/2 oz
Lemon juice, 1/2 oz
Tequila (I use Sauza Gold), 2 oz
Triple Sec, 1 oz
Sugar, to taste (2 tbsps)
Ice
Coarse salt for the rim

This is how it goes, for 2 large glasses: Mix the juices and liquors with sugar, until it dissolves. Put it into the blender with ice and crush.

Rim the glass with a lime wedge, then dip it into the salt. Pour the frozen goodness into the glass, drop a straw in it, and guzzle it down. How could you resist? See that straw beckoning for you?

Cookingly yours,
Anamaris

That Bloody Mary!

There’s this place in the French Quarter called Yo’ Mama’s. They serve 2 of my must haves when in the area. A Peanut Butter Burger¬†and THE best Bloody Mary’s I’ve ever had. Since I’m still having FQ withdrawals and because¬†it is Social Friday, I thought I’d try my hand at the Bloody Mary, a first.

When in New Orleans, the only way to¬†have a Bloody Mary is spicy, at Yo’ Mama’s extra spicy is how they serve them. Watching Erica put it¬†together is like watching a mad scientist at work. A bit of this, a lot of that, splash and sprinkle then garnish with the popular spicy pickled green beans and olives and you’re in business.¬†Obviously she has it down to a¬†science, but I’m going to attempt to offer some measurements. As with any drink or food, adjust it to your personal taste.

N’awlins Spicy Bloody Mary
Makes 2 cocktails

4 oz  Vodka
V8 Juice (about 1 cp)
1 tbsp horseradish
2 tsp celery salt
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp hot sauce (such as Tabasco, Crystal)
1 tsp ground black pepper
Juice of 1/2 each fresh lime and lemon
Olives and pickled green beans for garnish
Splash of olive juice
Few dashes of cayenne pepper

Didn’t I tell you she was a¬† mad scientist? Combine all the ingredients, except for the garnish, and stir. Fill a glass with ice (a tumbler if you’re being modest, a highball glass if you’re really going for it).

Here’s the interesting part, she doesn’t shake it or do a lot of stirring. She pours it from one glass to another about 5-6 times to mix¬† it before serving.

As I mentioned, adjust to your taste. I like mine with lots of horseradish and black pepper, not to mention quite spicy. Enjoy!

Drinkingly yours,
Anamaris

Drink me, I’m Irish!

Oh, St. Patty’s Day. I remember rushing out after work and commencing a night-long celebration filled with green drinks. No longer¬†inclined to drink dye-colored drinks, I’ve decided to acquaint myself with a few traditional, or not so much so, Irish inspired drinks.

Feel free to pop open your favorite bottle of Irish Whiskey and whip one or all of these up. I can tell you we enjoyed the research!

Irish Buck


1 1/2 ounces Irish Whiskey
1/4 oz fresh lime juice
2 oz ginger ale

Combine whiskey and lime juice pour over ice into a tumbler or Collins glass. Top with ginger ale or ginger beer. For garnish, top  with a lime wheel. The Hubbs and I liked this one, it was nice and refreshing.

Wild Irish Rose


2 oz. Irish whiskey
¬ĺ oz. lemon juice
¬Ĺ oz. grenadine, to taste
2 oz. soda water

Pour all ingredients into an old-fashioned glass filled with ice. Stir & serve. This was Hubbs’ favorite. We did add a bit more grenadine, probably a full ounce per drink. It was yummy!

Irish Kilt Martini

2 oz Irish Whisky
1 oz Scotch
1 oz lemon juice
1 oz sugar water
3 dashes of Angostura bitters

Combine all the ingredients in a shaker filled with ice, shake and strain into a chilled martini glass. This was my favorite. Lemony, sweet, tart and the bitters gave it a hint of clove. Oh yeah.

Lemon Drop Martini

I’m sorry. I’ve neglected my responsibilities in the bartending department. I know. It’s a terrible, unforgivable offense. I will do better. How about I make it up to you with this little yummy gem?

Lemon Drop Martini
Makes¬†2 servings; trust me, you won’t be able to stop at 1

3 oz vodka
1 oz orange liqueur (like Triple Sec, Grand Marnier, etc.)
2-3 tsps sugar
1-1/2 oz fresh lemon juice (about 2-3 lemons)
Ice cubes
Martini glasses
Sugar for dipping
Lemon twist/peel

Yes, you want fresh lemon juice. Suck it up!

First, get your glasses ready. I like to fill my glass with ice and water, then I put them in the freezer while I mix the drink.

Second, dissolve the sugar: if you have a cocktail shaker, use that, otherwise a glass or measuring cup will do. Combine the sugar and vodka until completely dissolved. Then add the lemon juice and orange liqueur, and half-fill with ice; shake well.

Shake it until¬†it feels like your hands will freeze… :-0 Set it aside, it’s time to rim the glasses.

Empty the glasses and let the water drain a bit.  Take a lemon wedge and rub it all around the edge of the glass so it is barely moist. Pour some sugar on a shallow plate, then dip the edge of the glass into the sugar.

Pour strained cocktail into the prettied-up martini glass and garnish with a lemon twist.

I like red

I wanted a festive looking cocktail to serve to my fam-friends on Thursday. I wanted something red and tart, sweet and refreshing. This is what I came up with. I’m calling it a Cranberry Cooler. I served it as punch for Thanksgiving dinner, but I’m giving you measurements for a couple of tumblers.

First I made some cranberry infused simple syrup by combining 1 cp fresh cranberries, 2 cps sugar, 2 cps water and the peel of 1/2 orange (optional). Bring this to a boil until the berries get puffy, then strain mashing the berries.

Cranberry Cooler
3 tbsp Cranberry syrup
2 oz white rum
1 oz triple sec
1 oz orange juice
Juice of 1 lime

Mix all the ingredients and pour into 2 tumblers filled with ice. Top it off with diet ginger ale or sparkling water.

Oh yeah!