Thirsty Thursday!

Vanilla is our ingredient of the season. So far we’ve made some vanilla-infused vodka (great for milkshakes!), a double vanilla cake, and a savory roasted chicken with vanilla bean.

Hey there, it’s almost the weekend!… and maybe you live somewhere that will actually feel spring-like on this last weekend in March? Our forecast was looking good, but now it’s taken a turn towards cold. So I’ll likely make one (or two) of these, curl up by the fire, and pretend that the snow has melted away.

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Both of the ideas are variations on traditional drinks. We just substituted plain vodka for our (super-simple) homemade vanilla vodka and made another tweak here or there.

This recipe for vanilla-infused vodka includes lime zest. I knew that I didn’t want to limit my bottle of vodka to recipes where I wanted both the vanilla and lime flavors, so I skipped the lime, but both of today’s drinks include lime, and it really is a great pairing. So much so that it’s worth considering keeping a bottle of vanilla-lime vodka on the shelf.

Vanilla Mule

Just a simple twist on the traditional Moscow Mule. Mix together ginger beer, vanilla vodka, and a splash of lime juice. So simple and so delicious!

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Vodka Tonic

This second drink is just a touch more exotic than your typical vodka tonic in that we add a splash of lime shrub. We make a vodka tonic with the vanilla vodka, add about a tablespoon of lime shrub, and then a spray of fresh lime juice if you have it.

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 yum & yum

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Holiday Drinks

Happy Thanksgiving stateside friends!  No matter where you’re reading from, these delicious wintery drinks will be cause for celebration.  Gather your friends and family (or your cat) and start mixin’.

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Homemade Blood Orange Shrub

As you know, it’s orange season! So we’re breakin’ out all the orange recipes including sweet treats, sparkly drinks and even biodegradable cleaners – watch out!

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I talked to the orange today and he said he is totalllllly cool with featuring his cousin, the blood orange, in today’s recipe.  I’m partial to the blood orange margarita, but since I’m getting over a bug I’ll settle for a blood orange shrub soda.  Have you ever had shrub? It’s described as drinking vinegar, but I like to think of it as flavoring syrup.  It’s the perfect concoction to have on hand while you’re mixing cocktails or looking to spice up your seltzer water.

I’ve been on a shrub kick! I was gifted a whole bunch of shrubs from Tait Farm and I’ve been sucking them down all January.  I love having a bubbly seltzer drink to break up the monotony of my normal coffee, tea and water rotation.  You may also remember that shrub is one of my bedside necessities so when Katie gave me Quench by Ashley English for Christmas, I headed right to the shrub recipes.  I spotted this blood orange recipe by guest contributor Marisa from the Food In Jars blog.  I actually modified the recipe by cutting the vinegar by a third.  I thought the apple cider vinegar was a tad overpowering in my first batch.  It could have been that my blood oranges were a different type than those used by Marisa or maybe our oranges were at different ripenesses, whatever it was I hated knowing the apple cider vinegar was trampling all over the tangy blood orange juice. So here it is shrub sippers, an easy way make your own blood orange shrub syrup.

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Blood Orange Shrub Ingredients:

  • 4-5 blood oranges
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

Blood Orange Shrub Instructions:

  • Pour one cup of blood orange juice into a pint-sized ball jar or any glass container with a tight fitting lid.
  • Add one cup of sugar to the juice, put the lid on and give it a shake.
  • Allow the sugar to completely dissolve into the jar.  This may take a couple hours. Feel free to give the mixture a good shake every once in awhile.
  • Add 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar to the mixture and shake to combine.
  • Store this shrub in the fridge when you’re not mixing up tasty drinks and sauces.

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My favorite way to use this blood orange shrub (and all shrubs) is to mix up a little shrub soda. Simply combine a tablespoon or two of shrub with a glass of icy club soda.  You can also use this blood orange shrub to flavor other favorite drinks like iced tea or lemonade.  Shrubs are also delightful cocktail mixers, but I’m getting over a little cold so no suggestions at the moment.  I’ll get back to you on that one 😉

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