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Almond Joy — It Doesn’t Have to Be a Candy Bar

by Michele September 12th, 2014| Cocktails, Martinis, Mixed Drinks
DSCN4958Dessert cocktails really don't much more for me.  Oh sure, there was a time in my life when a chocolate or espresso martini was an exciting drink.  In fact, I have to admit that sometimes they weren't dessert drinks, they were pre-dinner drinks.  Now, something like that almost never fits anywhere into my drinking repertoire.  Except when I can make it myself to control the sweetness and consistency.

Yes, I am a picky drinker.

I do have sugar cravings, and sometimes it doesn't mean that I want a cookie or piece of candy, just a bit of sweetness to end the
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Blackberry Cider- Dressing up a Bottled Beverage

by Michele September 5th, 2014| Cocktails, Mixed Drinks
blackberry ciderI don't like beer; I never have. I find its taste to be off-putting and not enjoyable in the least. However, having discovered hard cider a couple years ago, I find most to be quite tasty.  (The most does not include ciders that are more beer-like.)  The discovery of hard cider has been quite useful.  When in a bar with a bartender who doesn't seem to know his way around the bar, an order of hard cider (tap or bottle) is much safer than any mixed drink.

It is true that hard cider is just fine on its own.  At
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Backyard Blackberry Spritz- A Fun Use for Those Berries

by Michele August 29th, 2014| Cocktails, Mixed Drinks
blackberry spritzerWe have blackberry bushes in our backyard.  Over the last year or so, we have spent several weekend mornings cleaning out their area.  We removed scrub bush, weeds, and ferns, and our blackberry bushes not only grew bigger but they also produced more berries.  Instead of having enough for the kids to pick and eat before the bowls ever returned to the kitchen, our bushes now produce a couple pints a week at the high point of the season.

So, what is one to do with all of these blackberries? In our house, simply leaving the blackberry bowl on the
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Swamp Water- Try This Murky Beverage If You Dare!

by Michele August 22nd, 2014| Cocktails, Mixed Drinks
swamp_waterOver four years ago I referenced Swamp Water in an article for a different cocktail recipe.  Yet at no time since then have I shared this recipe.  While I've been served Swamp Water a few times over the past few years, I never have made a batch.  See, this recipe is always made by my good friends, OT and Vicki.  Taught to them back in the day at U Wisconsin, La Crosse, it has stood the test of time as a great cocktail to serve to a crowd.

There are several interesting things about this beverage.

  • First, it is
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Simple Peach Cooler- No Muddling Required

by Michele August 15th, 2014| Cocktails, Mixed Drinks
peach coolerLast week I wrote about the peach cocktail that I made with some overripe peaches.  It was a truly delectable drink.  Although it didn't require much time, it did require you to muddle some peaches.  This can be problematic if you don't own a muddler. It also can be problematic if you just want to pour and shake (or stir) a few ingredients.

While it wasn't my goal to create a more simplistic peach cocktail, this one practically fell into my lap.  Whenever my husband and I go to the liquor store, I always dig through the nip bin.  Quite
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Peach Cobbler Cocktail — Just as Nice on Ice

by Michele August 8th, 2014| Cocktails, Mixed Drinks
peach cobbler cocktailIt isn't quite peach season in New Hampshire, but it is in other parts of the country.  As I eagerly anticipate the arrival of local fruit, I have been enjoying the peaches shipped in from southern states.  (Feel free to gasp in horror at this point.)

With a couple peaches in our fruit bin on a Saturday evening, I began to consider how I could use them.  The peaches were ripe and tender, in fact they were slightly past the point of firmness.  They would be the sort of peaches that drip down your arm if eaten by hand. Rather
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Fresh Blueberry Cocktail

by Michele August 1st, 2014| Cocktails, Mixed Drinks
fresh blueberry cocktailIt is blueberry picking season in New Hampshire!  Living just down the street from a blueberry farm means that we go blueberry picking at least twice each summer.  Our first excursion was two weeks ago, when the season was early.  Although the picking was decent, it would've taken a while to collect enough blueberries to make jam. So, instead we picked for about half an hour and brought several pounds home.

With that many berries on our hands, some definitely needed to be frozen.  Having locally grown berries in our freezer makes a winter night feel a bit more like
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Piña Colada — Take Me to a Tropical Beach

by Michele July 25th, 2014| Cocktails, Frozen Drinks
pina coladaI tend not to make piña coladas at home very often for two simple reasons.  First, they are heavy; I'm not quite sure how a drink such as this would go with a meal.  Second, the few attempts I have made produced watery drinks that lacked frozen cohesion.  In fact, the last time I had a good piña colada was six years ago, poolside in Hawaii.  Oh yes, those are fine memories. . . basking in the sun at the pool's edge, sipping a piña colada on a lazy afternoon.

While I haven't spent the past six years crying myself to sleep,
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Blueberry Pie Martini

by Michele July 18th, 2014| Cocktails, Martinis
blueberry pie martiniShall I continue with my regular mantra about how I don't like heavy, creamy drinks nor overly sweet drinks?  My best friends like to harass me about it, it makes my husband smirk, but it is true.  So, you may be looking at the title of this cocktail and wondering why I would be sharing a recipe that has any similarity to a pie.

There are several reasons for this.  First, I adore blueberries.  In fact, I adore all berries that I ever have met: strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, cranberries, and so forth.  Second, blueberry pie isn't cloyingly sweet.  Sure, there's
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English Aperol Cocktail

by Michele July 11th, 2014| Cocktails, Mixed Drinks
spirits-295623_1280Continuing my quest to find different uses for Aperol, I played with a variety of ingredients from my liquor cabinet, pantry, and refrigerator.  I have to admit that there were two or three tries that will never see the pages of Parched No More.  One sip, maybe two, confirmed that the cocktail was not worthy of consuming.  However, I was not going to be a quitter; I would persevere until I found a beverage that tasted good and utilized Aperol.

With a little luck, I finally found a combination that worked well- gin, bitters, lemon juice, and Aperol.  I wasn't
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Aperol Cocktail: Sunshine and Summer on the Rocks

by Michele July 4th, 2014| Cocktails, Mixed Drinks
bar-375650_1280Last week I started this series of articles with a simple, sparkling cocktail, the Aperol Spritz.  This week's recipe is just as simple and refreshing.  Paired with vodka, it packs more of a punch than last week's recipe, but it still is fairly tame.  Using vodka as the spirit, there is no fight over which flavor will shine.  The Aperol is the winner in this battle of flavors.

To add more freshness to this cocktail, I suggest muddling an orange wedge.  It will give extra notes of brightness.  Combine the flavors of the muddled orange with the look and smell
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Aperol Spritz: Bubbles with Bite Will Refresh You

by Michele June 27th, 2014| Cocktails, Sparkling
sundowner-344094_640Aperol is one of my favorite ingredients to use in cocktails during the summer months.  This slightly bitter aperitif makes a delightfully refreshing cocktail. Although it can be served on its own as a sipping beverage, that doesn't suit my palate due to its thicker consistency.  However, when added to a little of this and little of that, it makes a delightful cocktail that is perfect for sipping.

I make a few different cocktails, but I will start with the most bubbly of the concoctions.  There's something about sipping a drink that is effervescent on a hot summer afternoon. Between
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