FROM THE KITCHEN OF: Julie Reiner from Oprah Online
TOTAL TIME: less than 15 min MAKES: makes 7-8 drinks
Sometimes I crave a good cocktail. This time, it was a mojito. I was on a mission to make a good mojito from scratch. I even had most of the ingredients—rum leftover from my wedding last September, fresh chocolate mint picked from a friend’s garden and raspberries from the farmers’ market. I had asked Facebook fans for recipe suggestions, but I ultimately found one I couldn’t pass up. Julie Reiner is a mixologist in New York City and showcased a tasty mojito recipe on Oprah’s website. Why I decided to try this recipe was because it was set up like a “make-your-own mojito station” served with a variety of fruits. This way, you could entertain guests rather than be a bartender all night.
After having my fair share, I could definitely see myself making this over-and-over. The ratio of rum, lime juice, simple syrup was quite the perfect base. It wasn’t too sweet or too strong. Even if it was too strong, adjusting the taste with club soda helped. This is a cocktail recipe every one should have in their back pockets.
handful of mint leaves
1 pint of raspberries
bottle of club soda
1/2 cup of water
1/2 cup of sugar
2 cups of white rum
1. Pick fresh mint. If you have a herb garden, or have a friend that has an herb garden, pick some fresh mint. Our friend + neighbor right down the road allowed us to pick some of his chocolate mint from his backyard. Thanks, Chris!!
2. Make the simple syrup. Simple syrup is just equal parts water to sugar. Place the water and sugar in a small saucepan over low heat on the stove. Stirring occasionally, the water simmers and the sugar dissolves leaving a clear liquid. This process literally takes a few minutes. Set aside and let cool.
3. Squeeze the limes. I highly recommend using a lemon squeezer. The lime juice doesn’t flow out so easily just using your bare hands. The squeezer helps to get every last drop of juice. I actually used 6 1/2 limes to 3/4 cup of lime juice.
The Today Show has a super cute blog called Bites. Contributor Leslie Sbrocco from ThirstyGirl.com posted “Stock up on summer wines: 20 under $12” a few days ago. This is a fantastic post and wanted to share with you her recommendations especially because she finds wines under $12! Now, that’s my kind of budget. I love good inexpensive wine, I even think it tastes better! Haha. Who wants to pay more than $15 or more on a bottle when there are so many out there that are darn good for less than $12. Here’s several Leslie recommended. For her full list, you can check it out here.
A few whites, a rose and some reds (my favorite):
2009 Indulge Wines Pinot Noir, Central Coast $20 (1.5 liter pouch = two bottles/$10 each)
You’re hard-pressed to find a Pinot worth drinking under $15 much less one in a bag. This red is light, refreshing and captures the pretty red berry character of Pinot Noir. It’s a winner by all standards.
2009 Tapena Verdejo, Spain $10
Pronounced ver-Day-ho, the lemony sipper zips up freshness and a hint of honeyed complexity.
Barefoot Riesling, California $7
Bright and light with sweet fruit flavors, chill this white down, unscrew, and enjoy.
2008 Dow “Vale Do Bomfim,” Douro, Portugal $12
Portugal is offering some of the best red bargains these days and this dry, concentrated red is the perfect partner for summer grilling.
2009 Casillero del Diablo Chardonnay, Chile $10
From the iconic Concha y Toro winery, this sun-kissed, soft white is a crowd pleaser.
2009 Cupcake Vineyards “Red Velvet”, California $10
Cupcake cooks up Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon and other red varieties for a smooth, drinkable red (yes, you can pair it with red velvet cake).
From the kitchen of: Isabel Canfield
Happy St. Patty’s Day! I know most of you will be living it up tonight, drinking your green beer or Guinness, but I have to be good because I gave up alcohol for Lent. Yes, I know. I’m crazy. I’ve been doing well, but let me tell you how tempted I was to add some rum to this drink I made for you today. In the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day, I wanted to give you a relatively green drink you can keep virgin or add some spirits. It’s totally up to you. Obviously, I kept mine alcohol-friendly, while Jared added some Whiskey. Either way, this mint lemonade was ultra refreshing, not too sweet and not too tart. Enjoy it this weekend when the temperature is suppose to warm up!
Makes about 6 glasses
3/4 cup of simple syrup (3/4 cup water + 3/4 sugar)
1/2 cup of fresh lemon juice (2-3 lemons)
1 cup of ice
4 cups of water
1. Make the simple syrup. In a small saucepan, pour 3/4 cup of water with 3/4 cup of sugar and heat to low-temp. Let the sugar dissolve completely through so that the syrup is clear. Takes about 5 minutes or so. Set aside and let cool.
2. Squeeze the lemon. About 3 lemons should give you 1/2 cup of lemon juice.
3. Mix lemonade together. Add a cup of ice, the lemon juice, simple syrup and 4 cups of water in a pitcher. Stir with a wooden spoon. You can stop here and drink the lemonade as is. If you like mint, continue on! Please note that you be the judge of how sweet or tart you like your lemonade. Taste it to see you need a touch more lemon juice.
Thank you ALL so much for participating in our first Pretty Tasty Things giveaway! A random number was selected from the 29 eligible entries. #10 is the lucky number so congratulations to Ellen for winning a brand new 6-cup Bialetti Espresso Maker! I hope you enjoy it as much as I have with mine, but more importantly I hope you try making café con leche! Please let us know how it turns out. Note to self, throw out the first batch of espresso you make. It tastes a little metal-ish. Not very tasty, believe me. That was my first mistake. Congratulations, Ellen! I’ll be sending you an email soon.
I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend. I’m going home for the night to visit my Dad for his 65th birthday. We got him 2 golf shirts mainly because he is crazy about golf. On his actual birthday, I called to wish him a Happy Birthday. I maybe spoke to him for less than a minute because he was on the 11th hole on the golf course. Man was on a mission! I certainly do look forward to eating at home this weekend. Nothing like home cooking, Filipino-style. Check back next week where I’ll have a DIY and a tasty Filipino recipe I know you will want to check out. Tagay!
I’m thrilled to announce Pretty Tasty Things’ first giveaway! You have a chance to win a brand new 6-cup Bialetti espresso maker made in Italy and make all the café con leche you could ever want! All you have to do to be eligible to win is:
LIKE our Pretty Tasty Things’ Facebook page
SUBSCRIBE to get email updates located on the sidebar to the right
And then you must
LEAVE A COMMENT on this post indicating which one you did
So, once you’ve either LIKE’d our Facebook page and/or SUBSCRIBED via email, you must leave a comment on this specific blog post indicating how you’re staying connected with Pretty Tasty Things. Deadline to enter is 5 p.m. EST on Thursday, March 3. Please one entry per person. A random winner will be announced on Friday, March 4. Good luck!