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Blueberry Cosmo — A Nice Spin on a Classic

by Michele September 26th, 2014| Cocktails, Martinis
file0002124046793I know, cosmos are so late 90s.  However, every once in a while, they are a fun drink to revisit.  They looks pretty in their martini glasses, they are light and (hopefully) refreshing.  Since I've had my share of the classic cosmo, I like to explore other flavor possibilities.  When I visit a restaurant or bar, I like to peruse their cocktail menu for different options.  Usually I don't order the cosmo, but I keep the different versions in mind to try at home.

I find that I enjoy most blueberry cocktails, which shouldn't be surprising as I have enjoyed
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Hint of Wine Spritzer — Light and Refreshing

by Michele September 19th, 2014| Cocktails, Mixed Drinks
DSC00472Go to almost any bar or restaurant in the summer months and you will find sangria on the menu.  It must be a popular item, as I noticed this year that most establishments offered both a white and a red version.  I like many versions of sangria -- made with white or red wine, garnished with berries or citrus fruits, served by the glass or carafe.  It has become a favorite make at home drink also, both made in batches and individually.

The other weekend we had a quiet Saturday night at home.  We had planned on going out, but
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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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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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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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Bubbly Berry Lemonade

by Michele June 20th, 2014| Cocktails, Mixed Drinks
berry drinkDuring the workday, my beverages tend to consist of coffee and water.  In winter a cup or two of tea may be added to make the afternoon feel warmer.  In the summer I add seltzer to the mix.  We have a water machine that has a seltzer option, so I can add any flavorings that I like.  My recent favorite is adding a few splashes of lemon juice and a teaspoon or two of simple syrup. This combination produces a mild version of lemonade.  It is slightly sweet and lemony, not a true lemonade but more of a spritzer. 
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Patriotic Cocktail #2

by Michele June 13th, 2014| Cocktails, Mixed Drinks
patriotic cocktail 2So, if Patriotic Cocktail #1 was red (kind of), then Patriotic Cocktail #2 must be. . . blue!  And living a five-minute walk from a blueberry farm, it is quite obvious what would be the main ingredient in this cocktail.  Of course, blueberries aren't in season here right now, but I still have berries frozen from last year's picking.  Of course, if you don't have local berries available, you definitely can use fresh or frozen berries from your store.

Originally, when I planned this cocktail I figured I would rim it with red decorating sugar, making it a mirror image
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