Thirsty Thursday: Skinny Coconut Mojito Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup fresh mint
  • 1 lime cut into wedges
  • 2 tablespoons simple syrup
  • 1/4 cup rum
  • 1 cup coconut water
  • sparkling water

Instructions

  1. In the bottom of a shaker, muddle the fresh mint and the lime wedges. Add the simple syrup, rum and coconut juice. Fill the shaker with ice and shake for about 15-20 seconds.
  2. Strain into two glasses and top with sparkling water.

Thirsty Thursday: Watermelon Margaritas with Watermelon Rind Garnish Recipe

Ingredients

Simple Syrup
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
Watermelon Juice
  • 4 cups cubed watermelon
Watermelon Margarita
  • 1 oz simple syrup
  • 1 oz lime juice
  • 1 oz watermelon juice
  • 1 oz silver tequila
  • 1 oz triple sec
  • Black sea salt

Instructions

Simple Syrup
  1. Combine sugar and water together in a medium sauce pan and heat over low heat until sugar crystals have dissolved.
  2. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Watermelon Juice
  1. Puree watermelon in a blender until smooth.
  2. If desired, strain pulp from juice using a fine mesh sieve or a metal coffee filter.
  3. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Watermelon Margarita
  1. Wet the top of a glass with a wedge of lime and dip in sea salt.
  2. Combine simple syrup, tequila, lime juice, triple sec and watermelon juice in a cocktail shaker with ice.
  3. Shake vigorously and pour into prepared glass.
  4. Garnish with watermelon rind or lime wedges.

The Best Gins To Drink On World Gin Day

This week is Negroni week, a celebration of the iconic Italian cocktail. But, what’s a Negroni without gin? It’s just a strange concoction of vermouth and Campari, that’s what. I don’t know about you, but that really doesn’t sound as refreshing. Gin is where the magic is at!

If Negronis aren’t your thing, you can sip gin and tonics all summer long (or various other gin-based cocktails) without ever needing a change of pace. Or, if you’re really feeling frisky, enjoy some gin on its own. Since June 10th is World Gin Day, the time is right to stop by your local liquor store and buy a bottle of gin you might not have tried before. But, in a market full of various gins, how do you pick the brand that suits your tastes?

Scotland is more known for its whisky, but with products like Caorunn, that’s slowly changing. This unique, small-batch gin is infused with five botanicals foraged from the Speyside region of England’s neighbor to the north.

Victoria Pink Gin

This gin is given its color and flavor through a combination of bitters, but that doesn’t keep the juniper flavor from coming through. It adds a nice layer of complexity to mixer-neutral drinks like G & Ts and opens the door for a whole range of custom cocktails.

Spirit Works

This northern California distillery is cranking out some seriously great spirits. One of its best is its gin. It all starts with organic California Red Winter wheat that is milled, mashed, fermented and distilled into its gin base before adding juniper and myriad California botanicals.

Hendrick’s

Another Scottish gin, Hendrick’s has only been produced since 1999, but is already one of the most respected gins in the world. On top of the usual juniper and other botanicals, Hendrick’s also adds cucumber and Bulgarian rose to give it a unique taste, perfect for your favorite cocktails.

Plymouth

Since 1793, Plymouth has been making this London Dry Gin using the same seven botanicals (juniper, coriander, orange peel, lemon peel, cardamom, angelica, and orris). This smooth, herbal gin is just about as perfect as a gin gets.

Tanqueray No. 10

Tanqueray is one of the biggest names in the gin world. Its No. 10 was made for bartenders to mix with. Its name comes from the number ten still it’s produced in. This gin is different from regular Tanqueray because, on top of the usual botanicals, it has a distinct citrus presence that makes for exceptional gin and tonics.

The Botanist

Yet another Scottish gin, Botanist is a truly one-of-a-kind spirit. Made by famous peaty Scotch brand Bruichladdich, Botanist is made using traditional flavors like juniper as well as botanicals and herbs only found on Islay, the island the distillery calls home.

Monkey 47

If England is the country most known for gin and Scotland and the US are up-and-coming, it might surprise you that Monkey 47 comes from the Black Forest of Germany. The name comes from the 47 ingredients and the 47% percent alcohol. It might sound like a gimmick, but this gin won a gold medal at the 2011 International Wine and Spirits Competition in London.

Fords

If you buy a spirit from the 86 Co., you can be pretty much guaranteed it’ll be great. Fords Gin is a collaboration between Simon Ford and Master Distiller Charles Maxwell. It’s produced in London at Thames Distillers and is made up of 9 botanicals, including: juniper, coriander, bitter orange, and jasmine.

Sipsmith

Opened in 2009, Sipsmith was the first copper-pot still distillery to begin production in London is almost two-hundred years. Its London Dry Gin is made to taste like a classic London Dry. The base is Macedonian juniper berries, but also has ground almond, cassia, orris, and coriander.

St. George Dry Rye

This 100% rye gin was designed to be enjoyed by whiskey fans and gin fans alike. It’s spicier than most gins because the base, instead of being a neutral grain spirit, is in-aged rye. The addition of six botanicals (including juniper) adds the flavor gin fans expect from this unique gin.

Thirsty Thursday: Blueberry Crush Recipe

A refreshing cocktail for your next party, featuring fresh mint, tart lemon and sweet blueberries.

Ingredients

  • Handful of blueberries
  • A few fresh mint leaves
  • 1 ounce simple syrup
  • Juice from half a lemon
  • 2 ounces vodka
  • Ice
  • Soda water

Instructions

  1. In a cocktail shaker, smash together blueberries and mint with the simple syrup.
  2. Add lemon juice and vodka and shake together with ice.
  3. Strain into a glass; add a handful of ice and top with soda water to serve.

Thirsty Thursday: Pineapple Mint Moscow Mules

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 ounces Ginger Beer
  • 1 tablespoon Lime Juice
  • 2 – 3 tablespoons Fresh Pineapple Juice
  • 1 1/2 ounces Vodka
  • Crushed Ice
  • Sprig of Fresh Mint
  • Wedge of Fresh Pineapple

INSTRUCTIONS:

FOR THE FRESH PINEAPPLE JUICE

  1. Cut off the top and the bottom of the pineapple. Then, cut the skin off the sides. Slice the fruit away from the center core and cut the fruit into cubes. Place the fresh fruit in the blender and blend on the “whole juice” setting, if available. If not, blend on high until completely smooth, adding a small amount of water if needed.
  2. Then, fit a mesh metal strainer over a large 8 cup sized glass measuring cup. Line it with a paper towel. Pour the pureed pineapple over the lined strainer and allow it to strain through until all the juice has made its way into the measuring cup and all that remains in the paper towel is the leftover pulp.
  3. Alternatively, you can juice the pineapple in a juicer according to manufacturer instructions.

FOR THE FRESH PINEAPPLE MINT MOSCOW MULE

  1. Fill a copper mug 2/3 of the way full with crushed ice.
  2. In the mug, combine 1 tablespoon of lime juice, 2 – 3 tablespoons of fresh pineapple juice, 4 ounces of Ginger Beer, and 1 1/2 ounce of vodka (omit for a mocktail. Stir to combine.
  3. Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint leaves and a wedge of fresh pineapple.

Thirsty Thursday: Blackberry Sage Gin Smash with Candied Sage Leaves Recipe

Blackberry Sage Gin Smash with Candied Sage Leaves is a deliciously fresh cocktail that really brings out the floral notes in the gin.

Ingredients:

  • 4 oz Hendrick’s gin
  • 1 oz lime juice
  • 12 blackberries
  • 10 sage leaves
  • 1 oz simple syrup
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup sugar + more for dusting
  • Club soda

Intructions:

  1. Bring 1/3 cup water and 1/3 cup sugar to a boil over medium heat. Once the sugar is dissolved, dip 2 sage leaves carefully in the hot simple syrup, shaking off the excess. Roll the leaves in a light coat of sugar and lay flat on a plate to cool and harden in the refrigerator.
  2. In a shaker, muddle together blackberries with 8 sage leaves. Pour in gin, lime juice and simple syrup and fill with ice.
  3. Shake and strain evenly between into two glasses filled with ice.
  4. Top with club soda and garnish with extra blackberries and candied sage leaves.

Thirsty Thursday: Frozen Raspberry Peach Sangria Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 bottle of red wine (pinot noir)
  • ⅓ cup brandy
  • 1 cup frozen raspberries
  • 1 cups frozen peaches
  • 1 navel orange, peeled
  • 1 cup ice cubes
  • juice of 1 lime (about 3 tablespoons)
  • 2 tablespoons agave nectar

Instructions

  1. Add all the ingredients to a blender, mix until smooth and serve.

Where To Find The Best Specials On Cinco de Mayo

Get ready friends, Cinco de Mayo is here. That means you have no excuse for missing out on margaritas, Coronas, and every cheese and salsa-covered form of Mexican fare. Even if you don’t want to get tipsy on tequila and Tecate, you can still take advantage of the various Cinco de Mayo food deals and drink specials at restaurants all across the US.

Here we go!

Bahama Breeze

Visit any Bahama Breeze location to get $5 margaritas. On top of that, many locations are also celebrating the day with outdoor Cinco de Mayo parties where you can purchase $5 margaritas, $3 beers, and two-for-$5 tacos and empanadas.

Beef ‘O’ Brady’s

The popular chain restaurant might not be known for its Mexican food, but that didn’t stop them from offering a $5.99 Cinco de Mayo taco special (two tacos, chips, and salsa).

California Pizza Kitchen

California-based chain will be celebrating Cinco de Mayo today by offering customers its Fresh Agave Lime Margarita for $5 at participating locations.

Charlie Brown’s Steakhouse

Stop into Charlie Brown’s Steakhouse today to get $4 Coronas and $5 dollars margaritas all day.

Chili’s

If you stop by the popular restaurant chain, you can purchase a special Cinco de Mayo cup. For only $5, you can have it filled with your favorite beer or a margarita.

Chuy’s

Chuy’s will be celebrating Cinco de Mayo by offering drink specials all night. This includes frozen margaritas, floaters and various Mexican beers.

El Pollo Loco

In celebration of Cinco de Mayo, El Pollo Loco is getting downright crazy (get it?). Visit the company’s website to get coupons to get a variety of deals special for the day.

Margaritas Mexican Restaurant

Feeling hungry? You can get all-you-can-eat nachos at Margaritas Mexican Restaurant until 4 p.m. today. This deal is good for every nacho style on the menu.

Marie Callender’s

To celebrate the holiday, Marie Callender’s is offering $4 house margaritas and $6 ultimate margaritas. Don’t worry if you can’t find a time to get in today, this deals lasts until May 7th.

Moe’s Southwest Grill

The restaurant chain is celebrating Cinco de Mayo by launching its new Moe-Rita, a family-friendly (alcohol free) margarita made with limeade, lemonade, orange, and other flavors. If you’re lucky, you can also get a free T-shirt (at some locations) and others are offering $5 burritos.

Schlotzsky’s

Visit any Schlotzky’s location and purchase a Fiesta Chicken Meal Deal (a small fiesta chicken sandwich with chips and a small drink) for only $5.

TGI Fridays

The famous chain is offering premium Casamigos tequila shots for $5, $3 Dos Equis Drafts. and $5 Sauza ‘Ritas.

On the Border

Do you love the magical mixture of tequila, lime, and triple sec? Well, you’re in luck. On the Border is celebrating Cinco de Mayo by offering $5 margaritas all day.

Taco Cabana

Visitors to Taco Cabana in Texas can win free Taco Cabana for a year. Customers can enter the Cinco de Mayo-related contents on the restaurant’s Facebook page.

TacoTime

Look through your cushions to find all of your hidden change. But, you won’t need much because TacoTime is offering $0.79 tacos all day long today.

Tijuana Flats

The Mexican food chain is offering myriad Cinco de Mayo deals throughout the weekend, including $2 draft beers today and on May 6th and 7th, customers can get $2 drafts, $2 chips and salsa, $2 tacos, and $2 churros.

Beer Can Be a Better Pain Reliever Than Tylenol

As if you needed another reason to grab a cold one, a new study suggests having a few beers relieves your pain better than popping some over the counter painkillers.

The study, led by Dr. Trevor Thompson from the University of Greenwich, and published in The Journal of Pain, found that raising your blood alcohol content to the legal limit of .08%, or about three or four beers deep, elevates your pain threshold significantly. This was according to a meta-analysis of 18 different studies looking at the effect of different dosages of alcohol on subject pain response.

Based on the research, Thompson says alcohol is an effective analgesic (or pain reliever) that “delivers clinically-relevant reductions in ratings of pain intensity,” which probably isn’t too surprising if you’ve ever been in a bar fight or taken a drunken tumble. Not much hurts when you’re three sheets to the wind. What is surprising, however, is that the pain relieving power of alcohol was actually shown to be more powerful than paracetamol, or what’s more commonly known as acetaminophen or Tylenol.

Now, this doesn’t mean you should knock back a six-pack every time you have a headache, but it does highlight an oft-overlooked positive aspect of alcohol consumption. Of course, if you drink too much, you’re really just postponing pain until the next morning.