Dark and Stormy Cocktail

YIELDS | 2 SERVINGS

PREP TIME | 5 MINS

COOK TIME | NA

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A Dark ’n’ Stormy is a yummy and SIMPLE cocktail made with dark rum and ginger beer. I add a little simple syrup and lime juice and garnish it with lime. I like to serve this drink in stemless wine glasses for a MOODIER vibe than in the traditional highball glass. Add vodka if you prefer more of a “Mule” type cocktail. ⁠

INGREDIENTS

* 2 ounces dark rum
* 4 ounces ginger beer
* 2 ounces simple syrup, optional
* 1 lime, juice from 1/2 the lime and the other have sliced for garnish
* ½ cup ice plus cubes for glasses

INSTRUCTIONS

Add all the ingredients including simple syrup, if using, to a shaker, shake well and pour over ice and garnish with a lime slice.

NOTES

Gigi’s Peach and Bourbon Sangr

YIELDS | 1 Pitcher, about 6 SERVINGS

PREP TIME | 10 MINS

COOK TIME | X MINS

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Fresh, juicy peaches, mixed with sweet nectar and bourbon make this cocktail especially light and refreshing with a kick from Kentucky Bourbon. This is a great transitional cocktail and once you make this recipe you may not go back to traditional sangria again.

INGREDIENTS

* 1 lb fresh yellow peaches, sliced, about 3-4 medium plus a few slices for garnish
* 10-12 sprigs fresh thyme
* 1/4 cup sugar or to taste, optional
* 1/2 cup peach liqueur or peach schnapps
* 1/4 cup bourbon
* 1 bottle light wine such as Sauvignon Blanc or Rose.
* One cup peach nectar
* Club soda to top off.

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Mix all the ingredients together and let sit for at least 30 minutes to allow the thyme to infuse the mixture.
2. Pour into ice-filled glasses, top off with club soda.
3. Garnish with a slice of peach, a couple thyme sprigs, optional.

NOTES

Cucumber and Fennel Cooler & Cocktail

YIELDS | 4 SERVINGS

PREP TIME | 10 MINS

COOK TIME | 10 MINS

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One sip of this refreshing elixir and you’ll feel like you just stepped into a fresh, breezy spa. I make this light cocktail often during the warm summer months when fresh cucumbers are abundant. This delicious concoction is equally as yummy with or without the spirits. Bonus: You can make the fennel simple syrup days in advance and store it in the refrigerator.

INGREDIENTS

* 1/2 cup sugar
* 1/2 cup filtered water
* 2 tbsp fennel seeds
* 5 mini seedless cucumbers, chopped, plus 1 cucumber thinly sliced for garnish
* 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice, plus 4 slices lemon for garnish
* 1 cup gin,
* Club soda
* Ice
* High speed blender or food processor

INSTRUCTIONS

1. In a small saucepan, over medium heat, bring the water, sugar, fennel seeds and lemon juice to a simmer and stir until the sugar dissolves.

2.Turn the stove off and let the mixture steep for 10-15 minutes. Strain into a high speed blender. Discard fennel seeds.

3.Add the chopped cucumbers to the blender and purée for 10-15 seconds or until the mixture is well combined. Strain into a measuring cup.

4.Fill 4 rocks glasses with ice.

5.Divide the cooled fennel cucumber syrup among 4 glasses and add 2 oz gin, if using, and top with club soda. Garnish with a sprig of mint and slices of cucumber and lemon.

NOTES

Watermelon and Cucumber Slushy

YIELDS | 4 SERVINGS

PREP TIME | 10 minutes plus freezing time

COOK TIME | 0 MINS

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Luscious, watermelon and cucumber, slushy and/or very EASY adult beverage. Full of juicy watermelon, fresh cucumber lime and mint. No extra sugar but big on taste!

INGREDIENTS

* 6 fresh mint sprigs
* 1 medium, hothouse cucumber, peeled and chopped, Reserve a few slices for garnish
* 4 cups frozen watermelon chunks
* 1/4 cups fresh lime juice
* 3/4 or more vodka, optional

INSTRUCTIONS

1. In a high speed blender, add the cucumber, vodka if using, lime juice and frozen watermelon chucks and blend about 10-20 seconds or until it reaches the desired consistency. 


2. Pour into cocktail glasses and garnish with mint sprigs and cucumber slice. If using vodka, you may want to add additional ice as the slushy may melt a little quicker than if not using alcohol.

NOTES

Happy Drinking!

savory Sweet Tomato Jam

YIELDS | 1.5 Cups or 6-8 SERVINGS

PREP TIME | 10 MINS

COOK TIME | 1 hr 30 MINS

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I love the versatility of this recipe. Smear this spoon-licking jam on warm bread buttered with brie or creamcheese or place a spoonful between a slice of ham and cheese for a savory sweet sandwich. You will want to make a double batch. It is that versatile!

INGREDIENTS

* 2 pounds tomatoes, Roma, plum or a combination, cored and roughly chopped.
* 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
* 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
* 2 plump garlic cloves, minced
* 1 teaspoon kosher salt
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
* 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
* 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes or to taste
* Crackers, bread and cream cheese, optional

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Add all the ingredients to medium-sized, heavy pot with lid or dutch oven. Over medium-high heat, bring the mixture to a boil and stir.
2. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture has thickened to a jammy consistency about 1-1/2-2 hours. Season to taste with additional salt and or red chili flakes.
3. Pour the jam into small glass containers or canning jars, seal the lids and refrigerate until ready to use. Use within 2weeks.
4. Serve chilled tomato jam with warm bread, hearty crackers and with a side of cream cheese, if using and a glass of white wine or a good beer.

NOTES

What Do You Eat with Tomato Jam?
* Spread it on crackers over brie or cream cheese.
* Add it to grilled ham and cheese sandwichs
* Try it with eggs of any kind, scrambled, sunny side up, omelet.
* Makes a great condiment for hotdogs and cheeseburgers
* Marinate chicken and fish with it for a savory and smoky taste

Homemade Mulling Spice

YIELDS | 8 SERVINGS

PREP TIME | 5 MINS

COOK TIME | 0 MINS

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The types of spices used in mulling spice mixtures varies but it usually consists of some combination of allspice, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and occasionally cardamom and peppercorns. I like to add dried Clementine peel. Steep this herbaceous, warm blend in wine and cider. The longer you steep the stronger the flavors. Expecting a crowd? Pour a gallon of wine or cider into a crockpot and add 3 tablespoons of the spice blend and heat on low. Bonus, your home will smell amazing too. A jar of this blend would make a wonderful hostess or holiday gift too!

INGREDIENTS

* ⅓  cup cardamom pods
* ¼ cup allspice berries
* ¼ cup whole cloves
* ¼  cup star anise pods
* ⅓ cup dried orange or clementine peel
* ¼ cup black peppercorns, optional

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Place cinnamon sticks, cardamom pods, allspice berries, cloves and star anise in large zip top bag.
2. Crush with rolling pin a few times to break larger spices and release the oils.
3. Add dried orange or clemintine peel and peppercorns to the bag and toss to mix well. Store until ready to use
4. Use 3 tablespoons of spice mix per gallon of apple cider or wine. Steep over simmering heat for 20-30 minutes, strain and enjoy.

NOTES

If making a small batch; mix 1 tablespoon blend with one bottle wine and simmer for a few minutes.