Tag Archives: Vodka

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.





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.


Strawberry Basil Lemonade

I love strawberries.  Especially fresh  ripe strawberries. These are still growing. I hope I am around to enjoy the ones growing in my garden, so I will make do with store bought ones.

I had another week of  being really busy. What happened to my cushy life that included time for a nap???? Soon summer will be here and I will have more time to play. Isn’t that what summer means, playtime and relaxation?

I needed a pitcher of drinks. I am having people over and  I am not patient enough to be fussing over martinis.  One pitcher of strong drinks that I can cut with seltzer water for those folks who don’t need this as badly as I do.

Here it is.

1 can frozen pink lemonade. (or 1 packet of crystal light lemonade)


1/2 cup Strawberry Basil Vodka

6 Strawberries sliced.

1 Lemon thinly sliced.

1/4 cup of plain Vodka.

1 sprig of Basil

1 sprig of Mint

Slice strawberries and lemons, Place in Pitcher with 1/2 c plain vodka.


Toss in fridge and run around and solve assorted problems. ( there really isn’t a reason to wait)

Come back  and pour in strawberry basil vodka

remember this??
remember this??

Add sprig of Basil and Spring of Mint

fruits and vodka and herbs

Mix lemonade  according to directions on package in another container.  Pour into  pitcher. Add Ice.

Strawberry Basil Lemonade

Taste. if too  potent mix into a single glass 1/2 cup Strawberry basil lemonade and 1/4 c seltzer.




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.


Vodka Infused Basil/ Surprised by the sweetness


One half cup Vodka.  6 large  clean Basil Leaves.  Let soak for 2 days minimum. 4 days Max. Give it a taste after the first day. Just a fingertip taste.  You will be surprised by the sweetness.


I have been thinking a lot about happiness lately.   Why?? I have been unusually happy for the past year.

For decades I searched and hunted for happiness. Looked to other people for my fix . I would make deals. Once I  do this and this, then I will be happy.    I was  wrapped up in  the idea of happiness. I was so busy trying to make it happen. Too stressed  by it all to feel anything but the disappointment of not being “happy”.

Strange thing was I was so busy trying to be happy, I didn’t realize that it was right there the whole time. Happiness comes down to the  “now.” It is inside of this specific moment. You just need to look. The five minute snuggle in the morning.  Hearing your child’s day was “fine”( Kid is in middle school . Fine is a huge descriptor. ) After weeks of trying, getting the step right in my Zumba class. The routine of a Sunday night, family curled up  watching  Mythbusters, eating chinese food. Fighting over the last crab rangoon. These are the moments of my happiness. They are not big moments. Not like the first step or first words. These are the little moments that will be my fondest memories.

Slow down and take time to look at the beauty that surrounds you. Take a deep breath and listen to the giggles of your kids , goofy things done by your spouse and pets.  We get caught up in all of the noise of the world. The tweets, the emails, the immediate influx of so much data.  Everything is BIG BIG BIG. We forget to  really look. We forget to  really listen. I mindfully decided to value the time I have. To value the people I am with in that moment. To stop worrying about where I should be. What I should be doing and just breathe in the moment.  Be in the here and now. I was strangely surprised by the sweetness of the moments around me.  I choose to savor the moments. Relish all the little things. So yes, I am simply happy.

Enjoy your happiness. Wherever  you may find it.

Plant your basil this week .  Grab a pot of mint as well.   Your world is full of smiles.



The Cracked Fibula

I always enjoy a visit from my mother. We always stay busy.  Fun fitness classes. Walks downtown for Starbucks. Trips to the fabric store to redo some chair cushions.  Always doing something.

This trip turned out different. Mom broke her leg in a spin class. The Doctor said it is the hardest bone to break. My mom doesn’t do anything small. If she is doing something, it is all or nothing. Well it has been a challenge this trip for the both of us to find a balance. Mom still thinking she can go to the gym and just pedal with one foot vs. the fact that crutches are difficult to maneuver around.

I have been creating interesting meals by cleaning my fridge as we were all leaving for spring break in a week.  Lots of meals. Meals that would make DH and the kid happy as well as mom.  Sadly I was too tired to create a drink on Wednesday, but come Friday I needed a margarita. I bought the Kirkland brand which was yummy but wasn’t enough to stop the voices in my head.

So being that I still had a bowl of those darn cuties, which weren’t going to travel, and wouldn’t last till we got home, I needed to find something to do with them.  So. I juiced them and made another cocktail.

The Cracked Fibula

2 shots of Kettel Vodka.

2 shots of blue coroco  ( orange liquor.)

2 juiced cuties.

1 can of La Croix orange.

Take a tall glass. Pour in the liquor and vodka and cutie juice.  Stir. Add a bunch of ice.  Top with La Croix.

I like using La Croix as a mixer. No sugar and light flavor. If you find this a little tart you can use 7 up instead.

If you would like to make a pitcher of this I think slicing the cuties like you would a lemon slices would make the pitcher look nice.


I am off to Florida for spring break. I will find a new drink for next week. Then the week after that herb planting will start..

Hope you have found some sun..