Breakfast Margarita

The time off while Smak was in redesign was both refreshing and incredibly weird. The timing could not have been more perfect - work has been insane with advertising and promotion starting for the Kid's Choice Awards that are airing later this month. Late nights and long days have been a commonplace over the last few weeks. But what I loved most about the slight influx of free-time (not sure this is the correct word choice) is that I was able to catch up on some of my own blog reading.

Most of the inspiration that I get comes from other bloggers online - food, fashion, travel - I read it all.

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Yummertime. Brock + Chris. San Francisco. These guys are great - I've been following their site for a while now. As I was sitting reading their blog for hours the other week, I fell upon the holy grail of cocktails - the breakfast marg.

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I am a sucker for a good Bloody Mary, even a mimosa from time to time, but when life hands you limes, you better break out the tequila and make yourself a breakfast margarita!

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| Breakfast Margarita |

2 oz tequila 1 spoonful of apricot jam 3/4 oz lime juice 1/4 oz agave nectar

Combine all ingredients into a cocktail shaker, shake hard, and pour over ice. Garnish with a lime wedge, an apricot wedge, and  a sprig of mint for garnish (all of which I failed to do...I just wanted to start drinking).

Strawberry Lemonade

How am I just now realizing that I never wished you all a Happy 4th of July? Fail on my part... Anyhow, I hope you had a wonderful holiday weekend with your family and friends. Mine was spent in my parent's backyard with a little bit of bags, an iced cold beer in hand, and burgers and beer brats cooking on the stove. A little music playing, my nieces running around the yard, not worrying about avoiding the throngs of people in the city - it was the perfect way to spend Independence Day! lemons

Sunday afternoon my mom and I decided to pull out the Vitamix and try making homemade strawberry lemonade. Please bear with my while I shamelessly plug Vitamix. After living in NYC for a year, I had developed an unhealthy love for juices and smoothies. Green juices. Berry smoothies. Coconut water. Almond milk. Anything and everything. I knew that I wanted to put my money into something worthwhile and decided to purchase a Vitamix. Unfortunately I am not longer in possession of this amazing blender - let's call it payment to my parents for allowing their adult son to live at home. This thing can do anything - smoothies, make flours, soups! I can do no wrong.

I just discovered Vitamix's newest blender, the S30. How can I get my hands on this guy to try out in my kitchen?

strawberries

When making the recipe I juiced 1 cup of lemon juice and it only came from about four lemons. I did a little adjusting and decided to use about a 1 1/2 cups of lemon juice. Depending on what your taste is, feel free to use as much or as little as you please. I grew up eating lemons. My sister and I would give our little brother lemons to eat as a baby and watch him make faces. It got to the point that none of us made faces when we ate lemons.

We didn't make this batch with vodka, but it'd be a great drink to make for a BBQ or summer party!

strawberry lemonade

s.lemonade

 What about you? Do you have any go-to drink recipes for the summer (alcoholic or nonalcoholic)?

Strawberry Lemonade Recipe from My Baking Addiction

Ingredients:

1 cup sugar 1 cup of water 1 pint fresh strawberries 1 cup fresh lemon juice (I ended up using 1.5 cups) 4-6 cups cold water (this will vary depending on your taste, I only used 4 cups) 1 cup vodka (optional)

Directions:

  1. Make a simple syrup by combining the sugar with 1 cup of water in a saucepan. Place over medium heat and heat until the sugar in completely dissolved; swirl the pan occasionally. Let cool.
  2. Once the simple syrup has cooled, puree strawberries in a blender with ½ cup water.
  3. In a large pitcher, combine strawberry puree, simple syrup and lemon juice. If using the vodka, add it to the pitcher and stir to combine.
  4. Add 4-6 cups of cold water. The amount of water you use will depend on your taste, so add as little or as much as you want to achieve your perfect sweet/tart balance.
  5. Serve over ice. If desired, garnish with fresh strawberries and lemon slices.

Blueberry Smash

Here she is, the final recipe from 2012's 4th of July.

I discovered St-Germain while I was living in New York City. While working on competitive research for a presentation that my company was giving to Cointreau, I searched out a number of competitors and fell upon St-Germain. The liqueur comes from France, where elderflowers are picked for a few short weeks every year. Due to the limited resources, only so many bottles of St-Germain are produced each year, making it exceedingly special and rare.

Quick little warning...this drink is potent. The only liquids in the recipe are pure alcohol. Any other liquids come from melted ice, juices from the fruit, etc. That being said, this drink has the potential to sneak up on you without much notice.

That friendly notice aside...this drink is delicious. The combination of flavors compliment each other so well. I initially thought that the alcohol would overpower all of the other flavors, but that was not that case at all. In fact, they worked perfectly together. The recipe calls for mint leaves, but in my absent-mindedness, I forgot to pick mint from out backyard and bring them to the lake house. I was worried that I would be able to tell that something was missing... Nope! I think the Blueberry Smash would be great with mint, but it is not an ingredient that is an absolute must. Feel free to try it both ways! That's the great thing about cooking - if it doesn't seem right, you can tweak the ingredients, add things, etc. Make it your own!

It is strange to think that today is July 19th. That means that it is almost August, that I will be turning 25-years old in 15 days, that schools will be starting up again in about a month's time, that my TV shows will be beginning again. I hate to say it, but summer is approaching the home stretch. So take advantage of all it has to offer - the summer heat, the humidity, the summer thunderstorms, the days at the beach or pool.

Make Summer 2012 the best it can be - end it with a bang!

Blueberry Smash

2 lemons, sliced into rounds 2 limes, sliced into rounds 1 cup fresh blueberries 1/2 cup (loosely packed) fresh mint leaves plus sprigs for garnish 1 1/2 cups vodka 3/4 cup St-Germain (elderflower liqueur)

  • Using a muddler or the handle of a wooden spoon, coarsely mash lemon and lime slices, blueberries, and mint leaves in a large pitcher. Stir in vodka, St-Germain, and 2 cups of ice cubes.
  • Divide drink among coupe or highball glasses; top with more ice cubes. Garnish each drink with a mint sprig.