Thirsty Thursday

Cheers to National Spanish Paella Day!

It’s National Spanish Paella Day — you know, that rice and seafood dish stemming from Spain. And what goes better with a great paella than a great Spanish cocktail like Sangria to wash it all down? ¡Salud!

 

Tropical White Sangria

 

Watermelon-Plum Sangria

 

Spanish Kalimotxo

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Spring into Happy Hour with a Green Machine Champagne Cocktail

Happy first official day of spring! Whether you’re surrounded by sunlight or still shivering in your sweaters, use today as an opportunity to drink something seasonal: our Green Machine. Made with earthy green tea, tart lime juice and a sprig of mint, this green cocktail is perfect for brunch or a night in. You may even gain a little bit of hope for warmer weather!

 

 

 

Green Machine

Ice

2 ounces chilled prepared green tea

1 1/2 ounces fresh lime juice

1/2 ounce agave nectar or honey

Champagne

Fresh mint

 

In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, add green tea, lime juice and agave nectar or honey; shake well. Strain into 2 flutes, then top with champagne. Garnish with fresh mint.

Tip: Look for matcha green tea to create the greenest hued cocktail.

 

 

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Thirsty Thursday: What’s the Deal with Sweet Tea?

In our brand new April issue, we explore the Southern side of brunch, including a fabulous recipe for Sweet Tea Punch. But what makes Southern sweet tea different from regular iced tea? Only the way you order it. Traditionally in the north, if you were to order iced tea, it would come unsweetened. However, most southerners are drinking their tea sweet, and must specifically ask for unsweet tea if that’s how they prefer it. No matter your tea choice, there are plenty of twists and takes that will brighten your day, any time of year.

 

 

Try this recipe for Sweet Tea Punch at your next brunch or get-together, plus get our best sweet tea tips:

 

Sweet Tea Punch

9 black tea bags

3/4 cup honey

1/3 cup (packed) golden brown sugar

1 large bunch fresh mint

2 pints blood orange or regular orange sorbet

1 – 2 cups American whiskey, such as bourbon or rye

Soda water

3 limes, sliced into rounds

 

In a large bowl, combine the tea bags, honey and sugar with 6 cups boiling water and stir until the honey and sugar dissolve. Let steep for 4 minutes. Discard the tea bags and add half the mint. Let cool completely at room temperature. Strain; discard the mint. Chill until cold, about 3 hours.

Add one scoop sorbet to each of 8 pint glasses. Top with 2 to 4 tbsp. whiskey and a few torn mint leaves. Divide the tea among the glasses, then top with a splash of soda water. Garnish each glass with a lime slice. Serve with a straw or a long spoon. Makes 8.

 

Tip: Classic Southern sweet tea is made with white sugar, but the combination of honey and brown sugar gives this version a richer flavor. Spike the punch with as mush whiskey as you’d like.

 

Tip: The tastiest way to make iced tea is to brew it with hot water–a steamy soak extracts more flavor. But it can also make your drink murky if the tea cools too quickly. For the best results–minimal clouds and maximum flavor–let the prepared tea come completely to room temperature before sticking it in the fridge.

 

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Thirsty Thursday: Ring Around the Rita

Just because the Olympics are over, doesn’t mean your cocktail rims have to go back to being bare. With warm weather approaching soon, we’re getting ready for margarita season, and there’s always more than one way to top your tequila! Pair fruity margaritas with these new sweet and spicy rims, and you’ll have yourself enough margarita combinations to last you through spring!

 

 

1. Cantaloupe Margarita: Cinnamon & Sugar

Add sugar and spice, and this drink will taste nice! The warm heat of the cinnamon pumps up the mellow taste of the canteloupe.

 

2. Pineapple Margarita: Old Bay Seasoning & Black Pepper

This savory mixture may seem more at home in a bloody mary than on a margarita rim, but the black pepper and secret spices give the sugary juice a kick!

 

3. Strawberry Margarita: Cocoa Powder

One taste and you’ll swear you’re sipping on a chocolate-covered strawberry. How decadent does that sound?!

 

4. Cranberry Margarita: Sugar & Grated Lime Zest

Pucker up: This pairing starts out sour (thanks to a lime juice rim*), turns sweet, then finishes with a tart, cranberry-filled exclamation point!

*Tip: Dampen the rim with a lime wedge before dipping it into the mixture

 

 

 

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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: 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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