All posts by emzmommie02

Berry Ginger Sangria

I know, I know, I haven’t been blogging. Now that the kid is back at school, I have more time to do the fun things. Such as, having an old fashion with a buddy of mine. We were discussing cocktails.  ( We had already discussed kids and spouses.) He told me the secret to his Sangria is Strawberry nectar.  Hmmm.   So I borrowed  his secret ingredient and ran with it.

This  glass is raised to you MH.



1 bottle of Apothic Red

1 can of Jumex strawberry nectar

2 limes thinly sliced

1 plum thinly sliced

1 12 oz bag of frozen mixed berries

1/3 cup of orange vodka.

1 lt of spicy ginger soda.(non alcoholic)

Mix  first 6 ingredients in a 2 lt pitcher.  Let rest for 1-3 hours so  berries melt, dilute  and absorb some of the alcohol. Before serving pour in a little over half of the ginger soda. Stir.  Pour over a glass of ice and top off with a little more ginger soda.





Cooler by the Lake

As I write this, my darling friend Dana is busy prepping for one of her famous –or shall I say infamous —“Lady Brunches”.  Let it be known, this is no hoighty-toighty affair.  No white gloves or party manners allowed.

Her goal here today is to help us womanfolk savor the fresh, gentle breath of Summer. However, Summer seems to have stumbled on its way to embrace us.  Our arms are open wide. Summer, where is your hot breath? (This brunch was supposed to be outside!)

Turns out, cozy inside is where we shall be. And Dana has outdone herself –yet AGAIN—whipping up a fresh, beachy, liquid breeze of a cocktail that we like to call “Cooler by the Lake”.  The perfect salute to the steamy days and sultry nights ahead. (We hope.)

She is also serving up a Rip-Roaring Ricotta, Leek and Olive Tart, a Silly, Silly Salmon Dip and a Groovy Grilled Chicken Salad.  Heaven. With friends like Dana, who cares about the weather!

Cooler by the Lake Cocktail Recipe

  • 3 TAZO Passion Tea bags
  • 2 quarts of warm water
  • 1/3 cup of sugar
  • 2/3 cup Smirnoff Sourced Pineapple Vodka
  • 2 liters  of 7 up
  • You will need two 2 quart pitchers
  • Fill 2 quart pitcher with warm water, add the 3 tea bags and let sit in refrigerator for a minimum of  3 hours.
  • Remove tea bags. Add sugar. Stir until dissolved.
  • In an empty pitcher, pour 1 quart of tea, 1/3 cup of vodka and 1/3 of the bottle of 7up.
  • Add tons of ice.  Makes 2 Pitchers.

Cranberry Whiskey Crush


The Holidays are here. That means lots of holiday parties. Your holiday cocktail party needs a signature drink,  in addition to the wine and champagne.  The drink should be festive and somewhat out of the ordinary but easy enough to whip up as each guest arrives.

cranberry crush

I give you the Cranberry Whisky Sparkler.  Whiskey has never been on my preferred liquor lists. It seemed to heavy, too dark for my tastes. I have had quite a few requests for a cocktail using it this winter. So  I have jazzed it up with cinnamon, allspice and “cutie” orange peel. Mix this  with cranberry ginger ale and you have a delicious drink.

Makes 8 drinks.





2 cups of Jameson  Irish Whiskey

2 Cinnamon sticks

12 allspice berries

1 Cutie Orange Peel ( or an orange peel with very little pith)

2 Liter of Cranberry ginger ale

Garnish : Sliced orange slice, Fresh cranberries.


infused whiskey

Combine first 4 ingredients in a glass bowl with lid. Leave on counter for 4 or more days. The whiskey will turn a really toasty brown shade. When ready to serve remove the Peel and the cinnamon sticks. Pour into measuring cup or flask  for easy pouring.

Pour 2 shots of whiskey into short glass filled with ice. Top with cranberry ginger ale and sliced orange. you will have a few allspice berries still floating around. I think these add to the garnish.





Apple glenfiddich cup

Fall is here. The  piles of leaves, the  mounds of apples, the molding pumpkins. The final push of yard work.  Raking the leaves, putting away the patio furniture, making deals on who will pick up the molded halloween pumpkins without the Hazmat suit. Ignoring the question “Why are you not helping? ” La la la.. All I hear is   Maple, cinnamon, apple. YUM..

This week is  a scotch based drink.  Not normally a scotch drinker but Hubby went to the liquor store without me.  I made him open up the bottle on a Saturday afternoon at noon and decided I would create, while he does fun stuff like cleaning out the garage and bagging leaves. He hasn’t noticed the pumpkins yet. After suffering inside for an hour and a half this is what I came up with.

scotch  hard apple cider
scotch hard apple cider

2 ounces of scotch

1 tsp organic maple syrup.

Hard apple cider

1/4 tsp of blood orange bitters.

Cinnamon stick

Orange peel, sliced apples

2 Allspice berries


Pour 2 ounces of scotch put into short glass. Add one Tsp of maple syrup and stir until blended. Add ice and 4 oz of hard apple cider and bitters.  Garnish with cinnamon stick, allspice berries, sliced apples and a bit of orange peel.


Hubby enjoyed the creation after his afternoon of labor. The grumpy tween lost and had to toss the pumpkins..




Halloween Sangria

Yes, I have been on sabbatical.  No mixology. Only drinking wine and beer.


I didn’t feel I should write about how to open a bottle of wine.



Or even  how to use the worlds greatest beer opener.



But Halloween is here.  The kid and her posse are begging for sustenance  from strangers.  Unsupervised.   Being proud of this development milestone I have made a special Halloween Sangria.  If you are still unlucky enough to have to accompany your small creature out, please enjoy this  drink in  roadie form.  Store in this.

wine tote






1 Bottle of Apothic dark red blend

1 cinnamon stick

1 tsp of crystallized ginger

1 julienned apple and pear

1 cup of apple cider

1 sliced orange

1/4 cup of blueberry  lemon simple syrup ( see Blueberry Margarita blog)

3 shots of vodka or brandy

1/2 liter of Fresca or 7up

Julienne  apple and pears place in bottom of pitcher. Add Cinnamon stick and ginger.


Continue adding all items except the Fresca or 7up. let sit in refrigerator until time to serve then add the soda product and serve over ice..

Happy Halloween . Be safe!



Blueberry Margaritas

Needed to bring a cocktail to a pool day with the girls. No time to infuse. I made a blueberry simple syrup,  added some Tequila, limes and 7up.

Recipe for blueberry simple syrup.   Plan ahead, it takes an hour to make but you get enough for 3 pitchers.

1 1/4 cup sugar

1 1/4 cup water

2 pints of blueberries

1/3 cup fresh lemon juice.

2 tsp of lemon zest.

 blueberries cooking


Add everything but the lemon juice into a pot.   Give it a mash with a masher a few times to get it going. Cook for 10 mins on low.


It will begin to look like this.

Cooking berries


It is still watery at this stage.  Add the lemon juice now. Cook for another 10 minutes.  It should be at a light boil. Stir every now and then.


berries 20 mins cook


Use a wooden spoon to smoosh any whole berries.



thick enough to stay on spoon after a finger swipe


The sauce should be dark purple by now. Test the thickness by dipping a spoon into the sauce and your finger through it. Everything should stay stuck to the spoon except where your finger was.

Let cool. Then strain   through a mesh strainer to remove the skins. This takes me 15 minutes. I still have a crappy little strainer. Mash the skins against the metal to get all of the juice out.

strain off the skins


The skins have uses.   I stirred them into a glass of bubbly moscato Added a great flavor to the wine.



You can make this syrup and store it in the freezer for up to 3 months. I freeze it in 1 cup containers. Then you are ready for a cocktail anytime.

Margarita Recipe.

1 cup blueberry simple syrup

1 cup tequila

Juice of 1 lime and 1 slice lime for garnish.

3 cans of 7up.

Get a pitcher fill 1/4 way up with chopped ice pour blueberry syrup. Add tequila and limes. Stir. Add 7 up.

No post on friday this week. I am heading across the pond on holiday to see what European cocktails I can discover. I will post photos on Facebook of future inspirations.






Skinny Pina Colada

That Pineapple vodka you have in your fridge. What can you with it?

Martini?pineapple martini

Yes, you can drink it shaken with ice and a sprig of rosemary. Poured into your ice cold martini glass. Yummy, but  this is an evening cocktail.

I’d like to offer a daytime option.


skinny pina colataThe skinny pina colada.

1 shot pineapple vodka

1/2 of a can of coconut flavored Lacroix water

1 Scoop of pineapple sherbert.

All of these items are best mixed when fully chilled.  Served over crushed ice.


Perhaps after a tough day at the pool you need to recharge your electrolytes.   Problem solved.

Aloha electrolyte The Aloha Electrolyte

1 shot of pineapple vodka

2 shots of coconut water

1/2 can of diet 7 up.

1 slice of pineapple that has been soaking in vodka for garnish.

Lots of ice.

Hope you have some beautiful pool days!!!  Keep enjoying summer.

Next week Blueberry Margaritas.


Pineapple vodka.

3 dots and a dash drinksI went to a really kitschy tiki bar called 3 Dots and a Dash.  Really interesting mixology going on. Mescal, Bourbon, lots of Rum, a little pomegranate and some pineapple. The drinks are not cloyingly sweet. If you are  around downtown Chicago you’ll need to check it out. It’s entrance is in an alley. There is a jacketed door guy who needed to see my i.d. Then it is a walk down to a  neon lit Tiki themed basement. It’s a much hipper place than my normal suburban scene.

Pineapple  Vodka reminds me of the restaurant The Capitol Grill. It’s a chain and is found in the suburbs.  No doorman but as you can see from the picture the bartenders wear bowties.  (Bowties are cool.) This restaurant usually has a large glass jar of Pineapple Vodka infusing on their back bar.

Pretty yummy.  Pretty Potent.

pineapple vodka martini at Capitol Grill
pineapple vodka martini at Capitol Grill


My Recipe  is extremely simple.

1 Pre cut  and cored pineapple from the grocery store.

1 cup of vodka.

Pineapple Vodka

Open plastic container pineapple comes in. Pour in Vodka. The herb in the middle is a piece of a stevia plant. The pineapple is sweet enough but I am always experimenting. I would give this 3 days  in the fridge or more. The longer you leave it to marinate, the stronger the pineapple taste is.

Two recipes on Friday for this one..



Vodka Gummy Bears

Vodka Gummy Bears.  Reminds me of a college frat party treat.  I only recently thought of these because I was going to see 22 Jump street with some of my cocktail loving friends. I figured candy and popcorn and beers. What could be better?

They were delicious but very sneaky. Please eat these in moderation to avoid a next day headache.

Making these was a bit of trial and error.

I am a firm believer of keeping everything in the refrigerator. fluffy the coffee pot cat

This is why….


Cats at night are  in all kinds of places they would never be while you are awake.

Using this logic as a guide , I kept my gummy bears in the fridge the entire time. I found this slowed the process.  experimented with putting  them on the counter during the day and in the fridge at night.



Place gummy bears in rows in a 5x8x2 inch dish. ( I found the target brand poof faster than the Haribo brand.) Leave a quarter inch between each bear. They should stick to the dish. Pour Vodka over the bears until they are halfway submerged. Don’t dump them in a bowl and pour vodka on them. They will not separate.  Makes a pretty  picture but you will be stuck with a cluster stuck of bears.

Watch the evolution.



Day 1





Day 2 you will notice that the vodka not absorbed yet is thickening. Pour some more  vodka on top. Let the bears keep soaking.



Day 3

I gave them  a stir. They are bloated and sticky messes. Add more Vodka.


Vodka gummy bears

Day 4:  These little guys are the texture of jello.  In fact the vodka around them is the consistency of jello. This can be your little treat as a reward for all of your patience.


Serving options? I put them in two snack size ziplock bags, because these were going to the movies.  If any of my readers have classy ideas post them on my facebook page. I’d love to see your results.


Cherry Serrano Sparkler

Summer of 2014. Hot days, Mosquitos, Flooded basements. The joys of late June in the midwest. How fondly I remember the 80’s. Summer days were filled listening to Culture Club, Kenny Loggins and Prince. Tanning with baby oil. I’m not sure if my music tastes have improved but I am still the poster child for unsafe sun consumption.  I do wear sunscreen but as I slather my child with SPH50, I spritz a SPH4 on myself and  deeply inhale the fake coconut fumes.  Last week I was invited for a little R&R at a friends pool. Inviting me to your pool guarantees a fantastic cocktail. I was really excited by the cherry tequila I made this week. With Fourth of July on it’s way, I had to give it a patriotic name,

Cherry Serrano Sparkler


cherry serrano sparkler

2 shots of cherry tequila

1 can of diet 7 up

1 tsp of maraschino cherry juice.

3 slices of serrano pepper.

Combine in Tall glass with lots of ice. As the drink sits the peppers give you a bit of heat. At the end of this cocktail it is very spicy and you need to drink another.. You can triple the quantities to make a pitcher.

Sorry about the lack of photos. Had too much fun at the pool.

Happy July 4th!!!