Tag Archives: mint

Stock the bar.

I like things quick, easy and simple. One of my pet peeves is all the bottles of different liquor you need to have on hand  to make a cocktail. I will see   beautiful drinks on Pinterest. I will think .”Ooh that looks great, but I don’t have any of those things in my cupboard.”  I  hate to buy exclusive, specialty liquors and be stuck with them.  I have spent 55 dollars at the store to get the fixings for a Lemon drop martini.  It called for Tausca  which is a vanilla citrus liquor.

3 yrs later here it is.

3 years later still have some left.
3 years later I still have some left.

I  get bored quickly. With cocktails, with recipes. On Friday cocktail days, I can’t stick with one drink the whole afternoon.  We  always mix it up.  This is what drinkswithdana is all about. Having a few basic ingredients on hand and being able to make a bunch of yummy drinks.  The shrub was a little out of my normal context of things. One thing I can promise is   I will never be  boring.

So what do you need to have on hand??

#1.  Vodka. Don’t go cheap. You don’t need to go too high end. I like Kettle one, Absolute and SKY.  Any  vodkas of this level are good. I pick which ever one is one sale.   I know some people are really nervous with vodka. But we are not making shots. If the drink is too strong add extra seltzer or 7 up.

#2. Gin :  Bombay

#3. Tequila: Jose Cuervo

#4.  Seltzer, Flavored or plain.  I buy one small liter unflavored and a few flavored ones. The grocery store runs them on sale .  They  will sit in the cabinet until you need them.

#5.  7 up, Ginger ale, Sprite.  La Croix. Choose your favorite or whatever is on sale.  I buy the 12 pack cans so they don’t go flat.  I usually buy diet or no calorie,  Again you make your personal sugar or sweetener choice. This is about your happiness,

#6. Wine. In   most of my recipes that include wine, we are flavoring it. High quality is a waste. I try to stay in the $6-9 range. Again sale prices determine a lot. I try to have  on hand   these types of whites: Moscato, Pinot Grigio,  Sauvignon blanc.  Any of these work.  You just need to control for sweetness. For Reds usually I use red blends in Sangrias.

#7. Prosecco.  I found a some great versions for mixing that are between 5.99 and 9.99  a bottle.  I will talk about those in future blogs about prosecco.

#8. Fruit.  I try to stay in season. I am too frugal to spend top dollar for crummy fruit.

Odd popsicles, left over sherbert, other odd left over kid desserts. Ice. Lots of ice..

cucumber mint vodka
cucumber mint vodka

This weeks infusion. Cucumber  Mint Vodka.

1/2 cup of Vodka

1/4 of a large cucumber

5 Mint leaves

Glass bowl or cup.

Wash your cucumber leave skin on, slice thinly, add mint leaves Pour vodka over it. let sit 1-2 days.

 

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Stormy Weather Gardening.

 

No I didn’t take the above picture. I found it on a Canadian Science blog.  I do more than just make drinks  🙂    Sadly, I was not able to find the photographer to give credit.

This week has been the week of super storms. I have been lucky enough to just have plain ol’ thunder and lighting and a little hail. My thoughts and best wishes go out to all of the people who have suffered and luckily survived the storms.

It is pretty dreary here when I look out my window. Grey skies, muggy dampness. I really want to crawl into bed and watch shows on Hulu. But no,  I think if I go to the plant nursery I can talk to all the  people who work there.  (Of course this is the moment the Hail starts)  I decide to quickly assemble dinner.

Rainboots on . Check.   Off I go.

My main reason for growing herbs is that I like to have interesting fresh things around when I create my drinks.  I love being able to wander out my door and cut a few stalks and muddle them or soak them in a liquor to get the flavors out. So if you want to follow and plant along I hope this to be an guide.  It will make it easier to make my drinks if you have the same basics growing around as well.

I didn’t find all the plants I was looking for.  I am still on the hunt for a lemongrass and a lemon verbena. I learned at the nursery that this spring  the plants are a month behind where they normally are. So there is still plenty of time for you to get your herbs in the dirt.

I like to plant on rainy days. I figure the cooler weather keeps the plants from going through shock and I don’t have to water for a few days.   Here are the new additions  to my pots.

English thyme
English thyme

Thyme. I  normally use this on  roast chicken and in stews but I have great hopes for it in cocktails this summer.

Sweet Basil and Spicy Basil
Sweet Basil and Spicy Basil

I also picked up 2 types of Basil. The sweet basil is great for pesto and fresh mozzarella and tomatoes.  The Spicy  Basil isn’t spicy but a more intense basil flavor.  It has a woodier stem,  I think it will be hardier outside. I haven’t grown it before  so I am curious to see what my preference will be. Side note: See how the Sage in the picture is coming back? The stems are purple and green leaves are forming.. YEA!!

Sweet mint and spearmint.
Sweet mint and spearmint.

The spearmint is sweeter and sharper than the sweet mint. We will have to  experiment to see how much of a difference  there is when we make a drink.  Soon as the rain stops. I need to spray paint my pots again. They were a plain brown and that was too boring so one can of silver  spray paint later. Ta da  beauty.. This pot has sat outside  for 2 years. The paint lasts awhile.

Get your hands dirty planting!! Great things will grow.

keep an eye out for Stormy weather the drink!!

 

 

 

 

Spring in your step

Spring is here. The daffodils are blooming. My tulips are fighting their way out of the damp dark earth.  I  am turning my face into the sun any chance I can get.   Spring is the time I start my garden. I have a tiny little patch of dirt next to the driveway and 4 planter pots. I kiss my manicure goodbye and dig dig dig.

I go to Home Depot to buy most of my plants. I grow my herbs in pots. I plant Sage, Rosemary and Basil in one.

This is Rosemary and sage. The sage is from last year. It looks dead but will be green and beautiful in 2 weeks.
This is Rosemary and sage. The sage is from last year. It looks dead but will be green and beautiful in 2 weeks.

I put Mint in a second pot. You can never have enough mint. Especially for summertime cocktails. I have tried other varieties of mint, such as; Chocolate mint, Grapefruit mint Peppermint. I haven’t found them to add any extra excitement to the drinks.

This is sweet mint. It will fill the pot come back every year

This is sweet mint. It will fill the pot come back every year

Lavender. This is going to be my summer to see if I like lavender in my cocktails. I keep seeing drinks on pinterest so my curiosity is peaked.  If I hate it, I will make panty drawer sachets for everyone. 🙂

IMG_2135[1]

Lavender.

This weeks drink started out as a sangria with Apples and Pears. My kid ate the pear. I am too lazy to go to the store for one pear. It also has a moscato wine. I didn’t have a bottle of that in my wine drawer so I am making  an Orange ginger sangria. Life is always evolving. Don’t stress just go with the flow and mix it up.

Orange ginger Sangria

Orange Ginger Sangria
Orange Ginger Sangria

1 bottle of riesling wine.

1/3 cup of ginger infused vodka ( see below for recipe)

1/4 cup triple sec.

1 thinly sliced orange

1  thinly sliced  granny smith apple ( or whatever you have)

1 can of diet or reg ginger ale.

Mix first 5 ingredients into a pitcher. let sit for  an hour or two.  ( more doesn’t hurt but overnight gives you mushy apples)

Add can of ginger ale  to the pitcher right before serving. Serve over ice.

Ginger Vodka
Peel  one chunk of ginger the size of your thumb. Slice it thin. Soak in 1/3 c of plain vodka over night. Strain.

Update:  For reason I had  a 2/3rd cup of this left over. I poured it over shrimp and used it as a marinade..  Then popped the shrimp on the grill.  Amazing marriage of flavors. YUM!!