Archive for ‘Drinks & Cocktails’

October 23, 2015

Pumpkin Bourbon Flip

Pumpkin Bourbon Flip

Pumpkin-mania is here folks. Lattes, beer, ice cream, pie – you name it. If it’s Autumn, it’s pumpkin.

A lot of people make fun of the pumpkin craze, but I for one welcome our new pumpkin overlords. Pumpkin and its other squash-kin are delicious, vibrant, versatile, and cheap. They are great in a wide array of sweet and savory dishes and the perfect antidote to cold-weather gloom.

However, even though pumpkin dominates Autumn like no other seasonal vegetable and pairs great with all things sweet and creamy, there is a surprising lack of pumpkin cocktails.

Enter the Pumpkin Bourbon Flip.

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November 26, 2014

Spiced Cranberry Sangria

Spiced Cranberry Sangria 2

Do you want to know a secret?

The best place for cranberries at your Thanksgiving table isn’t in a sauce or baked into an overly sweetened dessert – it’s in your wine glass.

Cranberries are the feature ingredient in this festive sangria, bestowing some of their signature tartness to compliment to the warm, sugary notes of brandy. In turn, they absorb some of the sweetness from the other ingredients, making them palatable – dare I say enjoyable even – to eat themselves once you’ve finished your drink.

Set against a backdrop of cinnamon, nutmeg, clove and orange, this sangria blends classic Spanish influences with holiday flavors for an unique, belly-warming beverage. And while cranberries are a Thanksgiving mainstay, this recipe would be equally suited for any wintertime holiday. Cheers!

p.s. When it comes to the cranberries, I have to put a plug in for Starvation Alley Farms. In addition to being locally owned by the wonderful Oakes family down in Long Beach, WA, they’re easily the best-tasting cranberries I’ve ever had.

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September 9, 2014

Rhubarb Mojito

Rhubarb Mojito

Hm? What’s that I’m working on over here, you ask?

Oh, just jazzing up a regular ho-hum mojito with summer’s best seasonal ingredient: Rhubarb.

The tart, assertive flavor of rhubarb is the perfect addition to this classic recipe that combines fragrant mint with tangy lime and a hint of sweet simple syrup. It’s presence in the cocktail is subtle, but nonetheless makes you wonder why you’ve been drinking your mojitos the old-fashioned way all this time.

With just one additional step/ingredient beyond the regular recipe, the only limiting factor will be the rhubarb on the shelves of your grocery story. I’m a little late to the game when it comes to extolling to virtues of rhubarb since we’re nearing the end of its availability, but that just means you won’t be able to procrastinate before you go buy some!

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October 28, 2013

The Pumpkineater


I know it’s been almost a month since my last post, but I swear things will be different this time! I’m a changed blogger! I promise I’ll update regularly!

To be honest it’s a little hard to feel too bad. I was actually away on another vacation (tough life) in New York City and Boston with my girlfriend and just didn’t have time to write up a post. Neither of us had ever been before, and we had an amazing, whirlwind of a time exploring both cities!

I can’t say that all the food we had was the best part of the whole trip, but was pretty darn amazing. From foraged foodie heaven in Brooklyn to papaya dogs to adorable and affordable fine dining in Cambridge, the east coast did not disappoint. When we got back to Seattle though, the first thing I wanted to try my hand at wasn’t any kind of dish – it was a cocktail.

One night we found ourselves out to dinner at Ruby Foo’s, a Pan-Asian restaurant near Broadway. The food was fine, nothing that special, but they had a seasonal pumpkin cocktail that was truly excellent. A festive combination of pumpkin and rum, with autumnal spices and sweetness. I neglected to write down the name or ingredients, but when I got home I knew I had to try making it myself.

After a little tinkering I came up with the recipe below. It’s not quite the same as Ruby Foo’s – it has more apple flavor and isn’t quite as sweet – but I think it’s just as good, if not better. It’s definitely the perfect cocktail to enjoy Halloween with this year!

The Pumpkineater (serves 4)


  • 1/4 cup of pumpkin purée
  • 1 cup of spiced apple cider
  • 1 cup of dark rum
  • Ice


  1. Combine all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker along with a generous handful of ice. Shake for 30 seconds to 1 minute until thoroughly chilled.
  2. To serve, strain the chilled cocktail equally into each of the glasses and drop one ice cube in to keep it cold while you enjoy!
July 21, 2013

The Bayfield Breeze

Bayfield Breeze

Sorry about the lack of posts recently – I was on vacation!

Now, not too many people choose Bayfield, Colorado (pop. 2,361) as their vacation destination, but it’s a special place for me. All my relatives on my mom’s side live out there, and every summer growing up we’d make the three-day road trip down to see them. It was three weeks of sun, thunderstorms, fishing, swimming, bicycling, relaxation, outdoorsiness and – of course – family.

IMG_2054So needless to say, when I was able to make it down this year for our big “Christmas in July” reunion, I was super excited!

And luckily for you all, I managed to pick up a few new, delicious recipes from all my family out there. This cocktail, made by aunt Christy, is a refreshing drink that’s best served with a bright sun and light breeze. It seemed only fitting to name it after Bayfield!

The Bayfield Breeze is light, chilled and ever-so-slightly sweet. Pear, peach, and white cranberry are all subtle flavors that impart a wonderful meld of fruity flavors. None of the three are cloying or overpowering however, allowing each to shine through in drink. It’s the perfect way to beat the heat – whether you’re in Colorado or Washington!


The Bayfield Breeze


  • 1 part pear vodka
  • 1 part white cranberry peach juice
  • 2 parts ginger ale
  • Ice, to serve


  1. Combine all the ingredients into a glass and enjoy!
January 5, 2013

Adult Capri Sun


I don’t know about you all, but I grew up in the 90’s. I watched Boy Meets World and Hey Arnold, played Age of Empires and Pokemon and listened to Smashmouth and Third Eye Blind. It was a pretty awesome time to be a kid.

So when my good friend David recently decided to host a 90’s party, you can probably imagine I was pretty psyched. It wasn’t until I arrived that I realized just how awesome the night would be, however. David had a whole assembly line set up, and told me that we were going to be injecting vodka into capri suns. Needless to say, I immediately asked if I could put these bad boys up on the blog.

These little pockets full of sunshine are the perfect alcoholic take on 90’s nostalgia. They taste almost exactly like the kind you used to drink after soccer games – delightfully over-processed, vaguely sweet and full of fruit-like flavors that you’ll never be able to identify – with just a hint of boozy goodness.

Whether you’re playing a pickup game or hosting your own 90’s themed party, these Adult Capri Suns will bring fond memories to your mind and rosiness to your cheeks!

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August 4, 2012

Watermelon Margarita

I love margaritas – an extension of my love for tequila in general – but they always given me terrible heartburn.

I know, I know. I sound like an old man. But the sugar from the triple sec and the citric acid for the lime juice make my stomach feel like a Smokey the Bear PSA gone wrong. This drink, on the other hand, goes down just fine.

Watermelon gets rid of all the problems with a traditional margarita while holding onto all the benefits. It tones down the citrus and sweetness, making it infinitely more drinkable. At the same time the more mild notes of watermelon allow the tequila to shine through while still resist being overwhelmed by the alcohol. It’s smooth, woodsy and faintly fruity, all in perfect proportions.

With Seattle weather finally getting wise to the fact that it’s summer, there’s nothing like a nice cold drink in the sun. Make it this one.

Watermelon Margarita

  • 3 parts watermelon juice
  • 2 parts tequila
  • 1 part triple sec
  • 1 part lime juice
  • Ice, as desired


  1. Combine all the ingredients together in a cocktail glass of your choosing. Stir lightly until evenly mixed. Garnish with a lime wedge.
May 5, 2012

Sangria Margarita

How do you make a shot of tequila on Cinco de Mayo even better?

Serve it up with more booze, wine and fruit!

This recipe brings together the best of two great drinks. It’s sweet, but not overly so, and the sweetness comes more from the fruit than artificial flavorings. The tequila and grand marnier impart a clear margarita flavor while being balanced by the dry, slightly buttery wine. The base is accented by hints of cinnamon and citrus. And, most importantly for Cinco de Mayo, it’s quite strong.

Not too much more to say – it’s a bunch of delicious fruit and alcohol. Drink up!

Sangria Margarita

  • 10 strawberries, cut into 1/8 inch slices
  • 1 mango, cored and diced
  • 1 lime, cut into thin slices
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/4 cup grand marnier
  • 1/2 cup tequila
  • 1 bottle of dry white wine
  • club soda


  1. Combine all ingredients except the club soda into a large pitcher. Place in the refrigerator and allow to chill for at least 3 hours, preferably overnight.
  2. To serve, combine 2 parts sangria with 1 part club soda in a wine glass. Garnish with a lime wedge.
March 10, 2012

Cupcake Jello Shots

(This recipe was provided by sweet treats expert Hannah Majeski)

It’s been almost three months since I last posted something that could qualify as a dessert, and twice that since I made use of the “Drinks and Cocktails” category on this blog. So once more I’ve called in the Sultan of Sweets, my sister Hannah, to provide some reinforcement.

You may recall her first guest post where she one-up’d Starbucks by making a delicious version of their cake pops for a fraction of the cost. She’s back this time with a new tasty, and colorful, creation: Cupcake Jello Shots.

Let’s get one thing straight: these ain’t your daddy’s jello shots. What you may recall of jello shots from college (or more recently) isn’t what these little morsels taste like. The consistency is a bit thicker and they have some honest-to-god flavor to them beyond just the alcohol. In this case, that flavor would be cake.

For all the ingredients – coconut, cream soda, etc. – you would imagine that they would taste like an odd hodge-podge with a boozy finish. However, the flavors meld together to embrace the Pinnacle vodka, resulting in a bite sized treat that tastes exactly like cake, even if the texture doesn’t quite match up.

They can be a little tricky to eat (hint: do it in one bite or risk looking very foolish) but these goodies are delicious and fun. If you’re looking to add a little pizzazz to your next party, these cupcake jello shots are just what you’re looking for!

Cupcake Jello Shots

  • 2/3 cup cream soda
  • 1/3 cup coconut milk
  • 1 drop coconut extract
  • 2 packets plain gelatin
  • 1 cup Pinnacle cake-flavored vodka
  • 2 drops blue food dye (optional)
  • Small cupcake wrappers
  • Whipped cream
  • Sprinkles
  1. Combine the cream soda, coconut milk and coconut extract in a medium pot. Pour the gelatin on over the top of mixture and let it sit for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Place the pot on a burner and heat on low, stirring consistently, for about 5 minutes or until the gelatin has dissolved. Add the food dye at this time if you would like (recommended, they look a little weird without dye)
  3. Remove the pot from the heat and let it cool for 2-4 minutes (otherwise alcohol will evaporate). Once cooled, add the pinnacle vodka and mix together.
  4. Pour the jello mix into little baby cupcake wrappers of your choosing and stick them in the refrigerator for at least four hours, preferably overnight
  5. To serve, top each with whipped cream and sprinkles.
July 30, 2011

Southern Storm Cloud

It’s about time this blog had a cocktail on it!

This recipe is a play on one of my favorite mixed drinks – the Dark and Stormy – which combines the exceedingly complimentary flavors of ginger beer and dark rum. For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure of trying ginger beer before, it’s easy to imagine – ginger ale with far, far more ginger!  Both ingredients are spiced and sugary, creating a zesty tempest of a cocktail.

The Southern Storm Cloud substitutes bourbon for the dark rum, giving it a stiffer, more woodsy flavor and providing a delicious contrast to the sweetness and spice of the ginger beer rather than doubling down on it. There are notes of sweetness, but nothing that will leave you with a headache the next morning.  It packs a punch but isn’t too heavy or complex.

All in all, this is a crisp, unique cocktail that’s perfect for starting a happy hour right on your own front porch!

Southern Storm Cloud

  • 1 part bourbon
  • 2 parts ginger beer (I recommend an extra ginger brew)
  • 1 dash of lime juice
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