Drinks

Happy Mulled Wine Day!

Here’s a fun fact that’s sure to ease your Monday blues: It’s Mulled Wine Day! Mulled wine is a classic cocktail that’s perfect for these chilly nights. It’s spicy, sweet and just strong enough to warm you from the inside out. While we usually associate white wine with being chilled, here’s a mulled wine recipe that calls for pinot grigio. It’s light, spiced and just sweet enough, it may even make your Monday feel like Friday. Cheers!

 

 

Spiced Mulled White Wine

 

1 lemon

1 (750ml) bottle white wine, such as pinot grigio

1/2 cup honey

1 1-inch piece ginger, peeled and sliced into rounds

8 whole cloves

6 star anise pods

1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns

 

Using a peeler, zest lemon. In a saucepan, bring zest and remaining ingredients to a simmer over medium. Remove from heat, cover and let steep 10 minutes. Makes 4.

 

 

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Thirsty Thursday: What’s a Horchata?

You may have heard of this authentic Mexican beverage, and you may have even tried one at some point, but do you know what, exactly, a horchata is? Made from rice or almond milk, a horcahta is a refreshing, cinnamon-spiked beverage with an extensive history tracing back to ancient Egypt. As the story goes, the horchata was created to serve on hot summer days without the risk of spoilage (a true horchata is dairy-free), and is comprised of a mixture of homemade almond and rice milk, cinnamon and sugar. Our version, however, is quick and easy, but still tastes authentic as ever. The best part? You can serve it warm for these chilly winter days!

 

 

Cinnamon Horchata

4 cups unsweetened rice milk

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 cinnamon sticks

1 1/2 tsp. pure almond extract

ground cinnamon

 

In a saucepan, bring rice milk, sugar, cinnamon sticks and almond extract to simmer over medium. Cook, stirring, until sugar dissolves, 5 minutes. Serve hot, or let cool and pour over ice. Sprinkle with ground cinnamon. Serves 4.

 

 

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Thirsty Thursday: Happy National Margarita Day!

National Margarita Day is a great excuse to enjoy our favorite tequila-based drink and remind yourself warmer weather is upon us! (Seriously, it has to be.) Rather than stopping by your go-to Mexican joint, mix it up and try a margarita recipe with a twist. These three cocktails put a flavorful spin on the traditional margarita, but still keep your taste buds in check with the holiday. Cheers to that!

 

Peach-Basil Margarita

Serrano-Cilantro Margarita

Mellow Yellow Margarita

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Cocktails, Anyone? The Rosy Mimosa

Just two short days stand between you and the weekend, and even less time stands between you and happy hour. No matter what time your drinking activities begin, you should enjoy this blushing twist on a brunch classic: The Rosy Mimosa.

 

 

Not only do you swap out champagne for sparkling rosé wine, but also try using the juice of a Cara Cara orange, an extra juicy, low-acidity navel orange that’s pretty in pink. Here’s the full recipe:

 

Rosy Mimosa

1 part Cara Cara orange juice

2 parts sparkling rosé

 

Combine juice and rosé in a champagne flute and enjoy! Does it get much simpler than that? Cheers!

 

 

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Thirsty Thursday: Wake Up Your Water!

Six weeks into the new year, you may feel a little less motivated to stick to some of those New Year’s resolutions. But all it takes is some smart decision-making and a little bit of effort to make healthy food exciting again. What could be easier than water?! It’s something you drinking regularly anyway, so let’s give it a facelift. Here’s how to stay hydrated and healthy.

Instead of floating a few wan slices of cucumber or orange in your H2O, puree the produce with a little water, strain it and mix in some more water. The refreshing result, known as agua fresca, will taste like a liquid distillation of the ingredient. Try it with any fruit or vegetable you love. Hydration just got a whole lot tastier!

 

 

Agua Fresca Fiesta

 

2 cups diced cantaloupe, pineapple or English cucumber, or 2 cups whole raspberries or pomegranate seeds

6 cups cold filtered water

Ice, for serving

 

1. Place the fruit (or vegetable) in a blender with 2 cups water. Blend on low speed until finely chopped but not pureed.

2. Pour the mixture through a fine sieve set over a bowl; press on the solids. Transfer to a pitcher; add the remaining 4 cups water. Skim and discard any foam that rises to the top. Pour the drink into ice-filled glasses, and enjoy all day long!

 

By Tula Karras

 

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Thirsty Thursday: Try the New Kumquatte

The baristas at Treehaus (one of our staff’s favorite coffee shops) are at it again! If you thought the Bacon Latte was unheard of, just wait until you try Director of Coffee, Tanner Jacobsen’s, newest creation: The Spiced Kumquatte. Tag lined as “A Creamsicle trapped in a latte,” this fusion of kumquat, mulling spices and vanilla will change the way you think about flavored lattes forever.

 

 

Jacobsen has put hours of thought and effort into each element of this drink, and it definitely shows. First, he combines fresh kumquats with mulling spices and reduces the liquid into a simple syrup. Then, he adds the syrup to espresso, and pours in steamed milk that has been infused with orange zest and vanilla (being the competitive latte artist that he is, you can always expect a beautiful design). He garnishes his caffeinated creation with a fresh kumquat slice that’s been soaking in the kumquat syrup, which only gets more potent and delicious over time.

 

Jacobsen recommends that you eat your kumquat garnish with a swig of the latte, as the the flavor profiles of the two go hand in hand. After nibbling, I took my first pure sip of the latte and I could tell this was going to be an enjoyable experience. Right when the drink hits your tongue, you can taste the strong flavors of espresso and spices. Only as you begin to swallow does a clean  flavor of orange hit you. The drink is both refreshing and comforting, as the mild orange flavor keeps it light while the mulling spices remind you that it’s still winter. This drink truly is a Creamsicle trapped in a latte, or as Jacobsen personally describes it, “like eating the outside layer of a Creamsicle.” At $5 plus tax for 8 ounces, Jacobsen has successfully created the most expensive specialty coffee drink in NYC (a fact in which he takes pride).

 

 

Even the handmade sign proves Jacobsen’s dedication to his line of work. But don’t wait around to get your hands on one–this latte will only be available until he dreams up something crazier. Which–judging by his creativity–will be very soon (I got a hint about a $12 frappucino for the summer…would you buy it?).

 

 

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Thirsty Thursday: Irish Coffee Week

Did you know the fourth week of January is considered to be Irish Coffee Week? Neither did we. But now that we do, we no longer need an excuse to make and drink one of our favorite seasonal cocktails every day for the next 7 days. In order to keep it interesting, though, we’ve gathered some recipes with unique takes on the classic drink, including fun ingredients like peppermint and chocolate. So grab your Baileys and get to it!

 

Hot Maine Mudslides

Baileys Cocoa

Baileys Alpine

 

Cheers to January!

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Happy Thirs-tea Thursday!

Did you know January is National Hot Tea Month? Well now that you do, it’s time to celebrate! Among with the New Year’s resolutions, diets and cleanses, drinking tea is one of the healthiest ways to detox this month (not to mention, it’ll keep you warm and cozy in these frigid temperatures!). So trade your Cosmo for a Chamomile and your Old-Fashioned for an Oolong, and start sipping those benefits! Here are some ideas to get you started:

 

Sparkling Tea

Relax Already Apple Tea

DIY Chai

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Thirsty Thursday: Citrus Season!

Lemons, grapefruits, oranges, oh my! Citrus fruits are especially fresh between January and March, and rather than throw segments over salad or yogurt, we’ve got a more fun idea: Create delicious cocktails with them! The tangy juice cuts through light alcohols or sparkling wine and adds an inherent sweetness without any additional sugar. The result: A refreshing and colorful cocktail that’s perfect for brunch or happy hour. Try these drinks this year:

 

Blood Orange Mimosas

Lemon Liqueur

Grapefruit Vesper

Cheers to a delicious citrus season!

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Thirsty Thursday: Be a Fizz Whiz!

It’s the day after New Years and if you bought a few too many bottles of bubbly, have no fear. While you’re more than welcome to mix champagne into Sparkling Bourbon Cocktails, Sparkling Negronis or Passion Fruit Fizz Sours, may we recommend you try something totally different by mixing it into sauces, sorbet and more! Try a few of our simple, sparkling ideas!

 

Vino-grette: Whisk equal parts leftover bubbly, OJ and EVOO with some grainy mustard, balsamic vinegar, sliced scallions and chopped basil. Season, then toss with greens.

 

Bubbly Cheese Fondue: In a saucepan, bring one part bubbly to a simmer and whisk in two parts shredded cheese until melted and smooth. Rub the inside of a fondue or other heavy-bottomed pot with a cut garlic clove. Transfer cheese mixture to the pot and season with ground nutmeg and salt. Serve with cubed bread.

 

Champ-pan Sauce: In a skillet, cook sliced onion in butter until translucent; add chicken and mushrooms and sauté until cooked through. Transfer chicken to a plate and add bubbly to the skillet. Stir in heavy cream, butter and chopped tarragon. Simmer until thickened; drizzle over chicken.

 

Spiked Sorbet: Make a simple syrup by boiling equal parts bubbly and sugar in a pan until reduced by half; refrigerate overnight. In a food processor, blend frozen berries and mangoes with a splash each bubbly and the simple syrup, scraping the bowl frequently. Freeze, stirring every 15 minutes, until firm.

 

Written by Daisha Cassel

 

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