September 11th, 2010 - Barbara Feiner
A glass of freshly squeezed lemonade is one of summer’s culinary hallmarks.
Unfortunately, ordering said glass at a restaurant can send you into a sugar coma. Most lemonades are sickeningly sweet, masking the true star of the classic beverage: tart lemons.
As summer comes to a close, pick up some organic lemons at your local farmers’ market or natural/organic food store, and start squeezing. Cut the sweetener in standard recipes by 50%, and then tweak the drink to please your personal palate.
Read More:Spiced Lemonade
August 24th, 2010 - Barbara Feiner
Nothing beats sipping a tall, cold Blueberry Mojito while grilling outdoors.
The combination of fresh mint and blueberries is super-refreshing, and the drink can be prepared with or without alcohol. (For a virgin mojito, top off the glass with lemonade or club soda in lieu of rum.)
Here’s the best part: All of the ingredients should be available at a well-stocked natural and organic food store.
Makes 1 drink
1 cup fresh mint leaves
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon sugar
4 tablespoons blueberries, fresh or frozen, divided
1/2 to 3/4 cup lemonade
Splash of club soda
1 ounce light rum
1/2 ounce dark rum
Mint sprig and lime slice, for garnish
- In a tall 16-oz. glass, add mint leaves, lime juice and sugar. Mash the ingredients with the back of a spoon or muddler until fragrant.
- Add 2 tablespoons of the blueberries, and mash until juicy.
- Fill the glass three-quarters full with ice. Add lemonade until the glass is two-thirds full.
- Add splash of soda, light rum and remaining blueberries; stir.
- Slowly pour dark rum into the drink so it floats on top.
- Garnish with a sprig of mint and slice of lime; serve immediately.
Recipe developed by Lewis & Neale for the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council
Read More:Organic Blueberry Mojito
May 4th, 2010 - Barbara Feiner
Whether you’re celebrating Mother’s Day with a home-cooked brunch or taking Mom to her favorite restaurant, start the celebration with this trendy cocktail.
Cilantro, ginger and lime add an exotically flavorful flair. Prep time is only 5 minutes, and all of the ingredients should be available at a well-stocked natural and organic food store.
Write a special toast for Mom, and you’re good to go!
Cilantro Lime Fizz
Makes 2 servings
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 ounces gin
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro leaves (without stems)
1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract (not imitation extract)
1 cup ginger beer
Fresh cilantro sprigs
- Mix lime juice, gin, cilantro leaves and almond extract in a cocktail shaker with a muddler or wooden spoon, until cilantro is crushed.
- Add 2 cups ice cubes; shake until well mixed and chilled.
- To serve, strain over ice cubes in highball glasses. Fill glasses with ginger beer.
- Garnish with cilantro sprigs.
Recipe and photo courtesy of McCormick
Read More:Cilantro Lime Fizz
December 30th, 2009 - Barbara Feiner
John Rothstein, beverage manager and mixologist at Buddakan in New York City, knows that maple syrup adds complexity to cocktails.
We’re toasting the new year with his twist on the traditional lemon drop (vodka, lemon juice, sugar).
Rothstein blends light maple syrup and lemon juice with tequila, Sauvignon blanc and St-Germain, an artisanal liqueur made from freshly picked elderflower blossoms. To add some heat, he infuses the liqueur with jalapeño before mixing the drink.
Check out Laura’s review of organic vodkas before you go shopping.
Sweet & Spicy Maple Lemon Drop
1¾ ounces tequila
1½ ounces Sauvignon blanc
3/4 ounce jalapeño-infused elderflower liqueur (i.e., St-Germain)
3/4 ounce fresh lemon juice
3/4 ounce 100% pure light maple syrup
- Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker.
- Shake and strain into chilled martini glass.
- Garnish with a lemon spiral.
Recipe and photo courtesy of the Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers
Read More:Sweet & Spicy Maple Lemon Drop
December 18th, 2009 - Barbara Feiner
I’ve been on a vanilla kick this week, posting stories on my must-have extract brand and a holiday recipe for Creamy Vanilla Sweet Potatoes.
My final vanilla-themed entry is today’s wonderfully wintry cocktail recipe. Add Vanilla Peppermint Pattitinis—a vodka-infused peppermint pattie on ice—to your Christmas or New Year’s Eve bar menu. Trust me, your guests will swoon.
All of the ingredients should be available at your local natural and organic food store. Bottom’s up!
Vanilla Peppermint Pattitini
Makes 2 servings
- 2 ounces vodka
- 2 ounces half-and-half or cream
- 1 heaping tablespoon hot cocoa mix
- 1/4 teaspoon pure peppermint extract
- 1/2 teaspoon pure chocolate extract
- 1/2 teaspoon Tahitian vanilla extract (or Madagascar or Mexican extract, if preferred)
- Chocolate syrup
- Mini candy canes
- Add all ingredients, except the syrup and candy canes, to a shaker, and shake vigorously.
- Pour into chilled martini glasses.
- Garnish with a swirl of chocolate syrup and a candy cane.
Recipe and photo courtesy of Nielsen-Massey/ARA
Read More:Vanilla Peppermint Pattitini
July 13th, 2009 - Barbara Feiner
For me, summer is the best season for cocktails. Seasonal organic fruits can star in a variety of creative drinks, including:
But many people think of summer as a “timeout” from normal routines, which means they tend to drink more, says Scott Walters, PhD, an associate professor of public health at The University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston. This contributes to a higher incidence of hangovers, assaults and driving under the influence.
“Our research has suggested that people can reduce the amount of problems they encounter by adopting simple drinking strategies to slow or spread out their drinking,” he says.
Dr. Walters offers the following tips:
- Decide ahead of time how many drinks you will have or when you will stop drinking.
- Alternate between alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages.
- Avoid doing “shots” of liquor.
- Drink plenty of water, and put extra ice in your drink.
- Don’t mix different types of alcohol.
- Drink slowly. Don’t gulp, chug or try to keep pace with others’ drinking. Eat before or during drinking.
- Keep track of the number of drinks you consume.
Read More:A Cocktail Caveat
May 29th, 2009 - Barbara Feiner
A vesper is a martini-style cocktail that first became popular in the James Bond novel Casino Royale, written in the 1950s by the talented Ian Fleming. Bond instructs the bartender how to prepare his drink, and we can reasonably assume it’s shaken, not stirred.
Our weekend recipe is a summery, party-ready variation, with kiwifruit as the star attraction. If you’d prefer to make a mocktail, substitute 6 ounces of white grape juice and a dash of bitters for the alcohol.
Prep time is only 3 minutes, and most of the ingredients should be available at your local natural and organic food store. Cheers!
Makes 2 cocktails
2 kiwis, peeled and chopped
2 ounces vodka
2 ounces gin
2 ounces Lillet Blanc (a French wine made with citrus liqueur)
1 cup ice
Muddle kiwifruit, vodka, gin, Lillet Blanc and ice in cocktail shaker. Shake all ingredients; strain into two sugar-rimmed martini glasses. Garnish with unpeeled kiwifruit slice.
Recipe and photo courtesy of Zespri Kiwifruit
Read More:Kiwi Vesper (Cocktail & Mocktail)