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Fall Apple and Pear Sangria

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Just because its fall does not mean that you have to abandon fruity cocktails. This recipe allows you to hang on to a fabulous fancy drink, while embracing the flavors of fall. I made this for a harvest girls’ night out, but it would also work well for a Sunday Funday football gathering. I also plan to add it to my Thanksgiving menu this year. The added bonus is that the potency of the wine is cut by the fruit, soda, juice, so it is a nice cocktail to sip on throughout a party. So sit back, sip away, and enjoy the fruits of your labor!

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Fall Apple & Pear Sangria

Ingredients:
1 bottle of white wine (I used a sweet white blend)
3 cups of apple cider
1 cup of club soda
1/2 cup of brandy
2 chunks of fresh ginger cut into 1 inch pieces
2 apples (I used Pink Lady)
2 pears (I used Bosh & Anjou)

Preparation:
1. In a saucepan, simmer the apple cider and ginger for about 5-7 minutes. Remove the ginger and set aside to cool.
2. Meanwhile, mix the wine, club soda, & brandy in a large pitcher.
3. Wash the apples and pears, and then slice horizontally through the core, creating thin large circles. Remove any
seeds. Set aside.
4. Add the cooled cider to the pitcher and mix well.
5. Add the sliced fruit and chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour. You can make it up to several hours ahead.

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Blood Orange Margaritas

1-IMG_2901Over the past year, I’ve developed a passion for blood oranges. I don’t know why, I just think they’re cool.  I’ve tried blood orange infused vodka, blood orange spiked lemonade, blood orange martinis, blood orange balsamic glaze, and yesterday, I struck gold with blood orange margaritas.

It was 4th of July, and my husband took all of the kids to the pool, so I could cook and prepare for an evening picnic.  I cooked, cleaned, and vacuumed the downstairs. The house was clean, empty, and quiet, so I decided that I deserved a cocktail. I chose to make myself a fresh margarita, so I pulled out my little juicer, a big glass, the tequila, and a handful limes, but when rummaging around in the fruit drawer, I found two lonely, forgotten blood oranges. Hmmmm… I wondered if they would work in my margarita.

Oh boy! Did they ever work! These margaritas were spectacular! Even my husband, who is not a fan of margaritas (a huge character flaw, I know, but I love him anyway…) thought they were tasty. They were so good that I debated having one for breakfast this morning. It’s kind of like orange juice, right?

No worries, my better judgment prevailed, and I opted for coffee, but you can bet, if I were on a tropical vacation, without my kids, I’d be having one of these suckers with my breakfast!  But for now, I’m not on vacation, and I have three kids who want to go back to the pool this afternoon, so my margarita indulgence will have to wait for socially appropriate, responsible-parent cocktail consuming hours (tonight, after the kids go to bed). As a consolation, to get them off my mind, and preserved in cyber eternity, I am sharing the recipe with you.

I promise I don’t have a drinking problem. They’re just that good! I implore you to try them.

 

Ingredients:

8-9 limes

2 blood oranges

½ Cup of tequila

2/3 cup of Grand Marnier

1 full batch of Simple Syrup

Crushed ice

 

Preparation:

  1. Juice the limes (about 1 cup of juice)1-IMG_2888
  2. Peel the blood oranges and puree them in a blender, then strain the puree in a fine sieve, pushing the pulp through with a rubber spatula.1-IMG_2884
  3. Mix lime juice, strained orange puree, tequila, Grand Marnier, and simple syrup.1-IMG_2894
  4. Pour into a glass over the crushed ice.
  5. Garnish with a slice of lime and a slice of blood orange.1-IMG_2878

** How to make simple syrup– In a small sauce pan, combine 1 cup of water & 1 cup of sugar. Bring to a boil and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Allow it to cool.

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Raspberry Margarita

I know it’s February, in Pennsylvania, but I am a summer girl. I go through withdraw from all things warm and sunny, so sometimes I buck the season and remind myself that the best part of the year is not too far away. Take for example last night, some of the girls in my neighborhood got together for a mommy/kid mixer. I was planning to bring a bottle of white wine to nicely complement my shrimp dish, but then I decided it was too cold to pack up the kids and head to the liquor store. What to do? While scouring the freezer for the bag of shrimp, I stumbled across a forgotten can of limeade, sitting next to a baggie of frozen raspberries, and the wheels of my mind started to turn. I was going to recapture the brief feeling of summer. Dump. Mix. Taste. Smile.

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It was the right call. The pitcher looked beautiful, and the tart taste of lime and raspberry hit the spot! Now I’m just waiting for that random spring day to prematurely break out my flip flops…

Raspberry Margaritas

(Makes 1 large pitcher)

Ingredients:

  • 2 (12 ounce) can frozen limeade concentrate
  • 16 ounces of tequila (or more if you are so inclined)
  • 12 ounces of triple sec
  • 12 ounces of club soda
  • 1 1/2 cups of frozen raspberries (or mixed berries)
  • crushed ice
  • 1 lime sliced into wedges for each glass or sliced into circles to float in a pitcher
  • margarita salt (to rim glasses if desired)

Directions:

  1. Combine limeade,tequila,triple sec, club soda, and berries in a pitcher, mixing well.
  2. Pour into a margarita or large goblet with crushed ice. Rim with lime and salt if desired.
  3. Serve with lime slice as a garnish.

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Lavender Pear Martini

Lavender Pear Martini

The scent of lavender

and the kiss of a pear

will help you relax

and not pull out your hair!

Ingredients:

1 oz. of vodka

3 oz. of pear nectar

1 oz. of lavender syrup

Mix and serve chilled in your favorite martini glass.

Lavender Syrup:

Boil 2 cups of water with 1-2 cups of sugar (adjust the amount of sugar based on how sweet you like your drinks) & 3-4 tbsp of lavender. Boil for 5 min. Then strain and set aside to cool. I added 2 drops of red & 2 drops of blue food coloring to make it look purple.

If making a large batch,  mix 2 large cartons of pear nectar with 2-3 cups of vodka (more or less to taste) in a pitcher. Add lavender syrup and mix well. Serve chilled.

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Serendipitous Sangria

Serendipitous Sangria

A sip by the pool
A mommy time-out
A night with the girls is what it’s about
So sip without guilt
Just rest and de-stress
This punch you’ll soon see…that it is the best!

Ingredients:
• 1 large bottle or Moscato or other white wine
• 1 2L bottle of Fresca
• 4 cups of diced, frozen tropical fruit—(available pre-cut in the frozen foods section)

Preparation:
1. Mix wine & soda, add fruit, and stir.
2. Serve in a glass pitcher or large beverage dispenser.