Belizean 75

This drink is brought to you with so much looooove.

Belizean 75 | CaliGirlCooking.com

I know Valentine’s Day is behind us, but this Belizean 75 holds a very special place in my heart for multiple reasons.

First, you all know that the French 75 is one of the hubs’ and my absolute favorite cocktails, so much so that it was one of the two signature drinks we served at our wedding. I mean, anything involving both bubbles AND gin is a winner in my book. I love them both to pieces.

Second, we first got to taste a “Belizean 75” on our honeymoon shortly thereafter which, although not quite what we expected, did have a few fond memories going for it. This drink is definitely one of them and I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to make my own version at home.

I ordered the Belizean 75 the day we got back to our resort after being evacuated due to the hurricane, and, let me tell you, after being stuck in a $100 a night eco-lodge that flooded and had no power OR water after the storm hit it was like tasting the nectar of the Gods. Forget the plentiful glasses of red wine and steaming seafood platters that were constants at our Francis Coppola-owned resort, I just wanted this incredibly cool and refreshing cocktail on repeat.

Belizean 75 | CaliGirlCooking.com

The main difference between a Belizean 75 and a French 75 is that local rum is used in place of gin, and any variety of local citrus is used in place of the standard lemon juice. I’m not too sure what variety of citrus they used at the Turtle Inn, but I had some blood oranges laying around and boy, did they add just the right zing of color to this cocktail!

I love this cocktail because it is incredibly easy to make and uses very few ingredients, ones you’ll likely have on hand already without requiring an extra trip to the store. All you’re going to need is sparkling wine, rum and fresh-squeezed citrus juice! I would just recommend that whatever citrus juice you use isn’t too tart, since there is no added sweetener in this drink (bonus – less of a hangover the next day!)

Belizean 75 | CaliGirlCooking.com

The blood oranges I used were perfect and lent that lovely pinkish hue. Despite what it looks like in the photos, I did use the exact same amount of blood orange juice in each drink, the pulp of one of the blood oranges was just a lot darker than the other. But that’s nature for ya!

Now I know today isn’t a “special” Friday per se (although if you ask me, every Friday is pretty dang special) but that’s no excuse to forego making a Belizean 75 or two. Whether you’re getting together with girlfriends or just want an easy at-home Happy Hour drink for you and your honey, this cocktail will do the trick. And with another round of nasty weather headed our way, I’d say we need as many tropical drinks as we can get to make us forget all the rain. Am I right?

Belizean 75 | CaliGirlCooking.com

Stay safe and dry this weekend my friends! Xx

Belizean 75 | CaliGirlCooking.com
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Belizean 75
Prep Time
5 mins
 

This cocktail is a fun, tropical riff on the classic French 75, using local rum instead of gin and fresh blood orange juice instead of lemon. The ultimate refresher!

Course: Drinks
Servings: 1 cocktail
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 1 ounce fresh blood orange juice (or other fresh citrus juice)
  • 1 ounce rum
  • 4 ounces sparkling wine
Instructions
  1. Combine orange juice and rum in the bottom of a champagne flute. Slowly pour the sparkling wine over top. Garnish with a blood orange wheel, if desired.

Belizean 75 | CaliGirlCooking.com

21 Valentine’s Day Cocktails and Mocktails

Love is in the air! <3

21 Valentine's Day Cocktails and Mocktails | CaliGirlCooking.com

Since today is the last Friday before Valentine’s Day, I thought it most appropriate to put together a fun roundup of Valentine’s-themed cocktails for you.  Whether you’re planning on going out to eat, or cooking a romantic meal for two at home, I’m confident you’ll be able to find something you like here (there are even mocktails for those of you who choose to abstain from alcohol.)

The hubs and I haven’t yet decided what we’re going to do on our first Valentine’s Day as a married couple but, not to sound cliche, I’d really be happy doing anything just a little extra-special with him!

I don’t know about you, but putting together this list only made we wish that this holiday was a week long event so we would have time to try more of these delicious drinks. So, without further ado, here it is!

1. Sparkling Pomegranate Party Punch
Sparkling Pomegranate Party Punch | 21 Valentine's Day Cocktails and Mocktails on CaliGirlCooking.com
Recipe here.
2. Strawberry Old-Fashioned
Strawberry Old-Fashioned | 21 Valentine's Day Cocktails and Mocktails on CaliGirlCooking.com
Recipe on The Wooden Skillet
3. Chambord Citrus Tonic
Chambord Citrus Tonic | 21 Valentines Day Cocktails and Mocktails on CaliGirlCooking.com
Recipe on Berly’s Kitchen
4. Aperol Punch
Aperol Punch | 21 Valentine's Day Cocktails and Mocktails on CaliGirlCooking.com
Recipe on Taste and See
5. Rosemary, Fig and Date Tequila Smash
Rosemary, Fig & Date Tequila Smash | 21 Valentine's Day Cocktails and Mocktails on CaliGirl Cooking
Recipe here.
6. The Bourbon Sweetheart
Bourbon Sweetheart | 21 Valentine's Day Cocktails and Mocktails on CaliGirlCooking.com
Recipe on The Gastronom
7. Pomegranate Rose Gin Fizz
Pomegranate Rose Gin Fizz | 21 Valentine's Day Cocktails and Mocktails on CaliGirlCooking.com
Recipe on Ahu Eats
8. Whiskey Champagne Cocktail
Whiskey Champagne Cocktail | 21 Valentine's Day Cocktails and Mocktails on CaliGirlCooking.com
Recipe on Ann’s Entitled Life
9. Agua de Jamaica (Hibiscus Lime Cooler) with Coconut Water
Agua de Jamaica (Hibiscus Lime Cooler) with Coconut Water | 21 Valentine's Day Cocktails and Mocktails on CaliGirlCooking.com
Recipe on The Worktop
10. Chocolate Covered Strawberry Martini
Chocolate Covered Strawberry Martini | 21 Valentine's Day Cocktails and Mocktails on CaliGirlCooking.com
Recipe on Just a Little Bit of Bacon
11. Cranberry Lime Mocktails
Cranberry Lime Mocktails | 21 Valentine's Day Cocktails and Mocktails on CaliGirlCooking.com
Recipe on My Wife Can Cook
12. Pink Champagne Cocktail – Two Ways
Pink Champagne Cocktails - Two Ways! | 21 Valentine's Day Cocktails and Mocktails on CaliGirlCooking.com
Recipe here
13. Grapefruit, Thyme and Elderflower Cocktail
Grapefruit Thyme Elderflower Cocktail | 21 Valentine's Day Cocktails and Mocktails on CaliGirlCooking.com
Recipe on The Girl on Bloor
14. The Best Bloody Mary
The Best Bloody Mary | 21 Valentine's Day Cocktails and Mocktails on CaliGirlCooking.com
Recipe on The Domestic Dietitian
15. Amortentia – Harry Potter Love Potion Punch
Amortentia - Harry Potter Love Potion Punch | 21 Valentine's Day Cocktails and Mocktails on CaliGirlCooking.com
Recipe on Cookilicious
16. Blueberry Lemon Drop Cocktail
Blueberry Lemon Drop | 21 Valentine's Day Cocktails and Mocktails on CaliGirlCooking.com
Recipe on Platings and Pairings
17. Sparkling Elderflower Pomegranate Spritzers
Sparkling Elderflower Pomegranate Spritzers | 21 Valentine's Day Cocktails and Mocktails on CaliGirlCooking.com
Recipe on Home and Plate
18. Berry Mint Iced Tea
Berry Mint Iced Tea | 21 Valentine's Day Recipes on CaliGirlCooking.com
Recipe on The Purple Ladle
19. Rose Sangria
Rose Sangria | 21 Valentine's Day Cocktails and Mocktails on CaliGirlCooking.com
Recipe on Grey is the New Black
20. Blue Q Margarita
Blue Q Margarita | 21 Valentine's Day Cocktails and Mocktails on CaliGirlCooking.com
Recipe on Pass Me Some Tasty
21. Raspberry Mint Gin Smash
Raspberry Mint Gin Smash | 21 Valentine's Day Cocktails and Mocktails on CaliGirlCooking.com
Recipe here

Pineapple, Fennel and Lychee Shrub

Have you heard the news? Shrubs are so hot right now!

Pineapple, Fennel and Lychee Shrub | CaliGirlCooking.com

At least in Santa Barbara, but looking at our hip, vibrant cocktail scene (thank you, shmancy college town) I’d venture to guess that shrubs are taking the mixology nation by storm. This Pineapple, Fennel and Lychee Shrub has quickly become my go-to cocktail/mocktail (yes, there are both alcoholic and non-alcoholic versions) and I’m pretty sure you’re going to love it just as much as I do.

Believe it or not, shrubs have actually been around since the colonial era in the late 16th century. The original definition of a shrub (according to good ol’ Wikipedia) is a vinegared syrup mixed with water, spirits or carbonated water. Back in the day, shrubs were useful for many reasons: they were easy to smuggle across country borders, they had “medicinal” qualities, and they were a way to preserve spring and summers’ bounties of fresh fruits to enjoy deep in the heart of winter.

I have to admit, I had heard a lot about shrubs, but hadn’t really delved into exploring them until recently. I ordered a Pineapple Ginger Shrub when we were trying out a new bar in town a couple of weeks ago, and I couldn’t get enough! I ordered mine straight up with carbonated water, which was delicious enough, but the bartender assured me it tasted even better with alcohol added to it. Now that I’ve tried a bunch of different concoctions out myself, I don’t doubt him!

After enjoying my Pineapple Ginger Shrub so much, I knew I wanted to try my hand at making something similar at home. My first task was getting my hands on some drinking vinegar, which proved easy enough with a quick search on Amazon. As soon as my eyes came across McClary Bros.’ Pineapple Fennel Seed flavor, I knew I had to order it. Two days later, the drinking vinegar was on my doorstep and I was ready to shrub it up.

Pineapple, Fennel and Lychee Shrub | CaliGirlCooking.com

Now, like most drinking vinegars do, I knew this tart elixir was going to need some sweetening up. When I found myself in the Asian section at my local grocery store looking for a completely unrelated ingredient, my eyes fell on good ol’ canned lychee. (My fave! I’ve even made my own signature cocktail out of it, the Lychee Lightning.) I had a sneaking suspicion that it would be the perfect sweetener for my Pineapple and Fennel Seed drinking vinegar, and boy was I right! The Pineapple, Fennel and Lychee Shrub was born.

But enough of me gushing about my newfound love for this (apparently) OG ingredient, let’s get to the recipe! This one’s a little different than my usual cocktail posts, because the base recipe is actually the non-alcoholic version. Don’t fret, though, because I tasted through a few different options for alcoholic additions (oh, the things I do for you) and have included my notes/recommendations on those as well.

Once you have all of the ingredients, this Pineapple, Fennel and Lychee Shrub comes together in no time at all. There’s no pureeing or shaking or cutting or peeling, just a simple stir of the base ingredients and a top-off of club soda.

Pineapple, Fennel and Lychee Shrub | CaliGirlCooking.com

If you don’t have a grocery store with a good Asian section near you, have no fear, the canned lychees can also be found on Amazon along with the McClary Bros. Pineapple and Fennel Seed Drinking Vinegar.

Finally, there’s a reason I chose to share this with you today, as we head into this food and booze-filled Super Bowl weekend. This Pineapple, Fennel and Lychee Shrub is THE perfect drink for sipping on while you’re watching the big game, because the amount of alcohol you add (if you choose to add any at all) is completely up to you. I recommend 1.5 ounces for a regular cocktail strength, but you could easily use less if you want to pace yourself, or forego it altogether if you’re the DD (while still enjoying a tasty drink to boot!)

And if you want to make this before you have time to get a hold of this particular shrub, I highly recommend you use whatever flavor you can find and try your hand at a winning flavor combination. The possibilities are endless!

Pineapple, Fennel and Lychee Shrub | CaliGirlCooking.com

Pineapple, Fennel and Lychee Shrub | CaliGirlCooking.com
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Pineapple, Fennel and Lychee Shrub

A delicious, refreshing drinking vinegar concoction that can be made with or without alcohol with the distinguishing flavors of pineapple, fennel seed and lychee.

Course: Drinks
Servings: 1 cocktail
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 ounces McClary Bros. Pineapple and Fennel Seed Drinking Vinegar
  • 2 ounces lychee juice (from canned lychee)
  • 1 1/2 ounces alcohol of your choice (optional, see notes for recommendations)
  • 4 dashes Angostura bitters
  • Club soda
Instructions
  1. In a tall glass, combine drinking vinegar, lychee juice, alcohol (if using) and bitters. 

  2. Fill glass ¾ of the way full with crushed ice.

  3. Top with club soda.

Recipe Notes

If you’d like to add alcohol to your shrub, follow these recommendations based on your personal preferences: Add white rum for a tropical feel, add gin for a more floral taste, add vodka to keep the current flavor profile but give the drink some kick, and add whiskey to bring out the spicier notes. My personal favorites were the rum and the gin!

This post contains affiliate links. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for continuing to support the brands that make CaliGirl Cooking possible!

Pineapple, Fennel and Lychee Shrub | CaliGirlCooking.com

Elder-Berry Tea Cocktail

Who’s ready for a tummy-warming treat?

Elder-Berry Tea Cocktail | CaliGirlCooking.com

I hope everyone is, because today I’m bringing you a warm, fruity libation that’s going to get you through the rest of these winter months. That’s right, this Elder-Berry Tea Cocktail is going to be the only thing you want to make while the weather is still well under 60 degrees in most parts of the world (and if you’re in a tropical locale, get thee to some good air conditioning and you’ll be just fine while sipping on this deliciousness.)

I’ve been meaning to bring you another tea cocktail for a while now (you may recall this Warming Ginger Tea Whiskey Cocktail I brought you last year, which was a huge hit) but I’ll have to admit the inspiration was slow-coming. But with all of the crazy weather we’ve been having in our neck of the woods (and all over the country, from what I’ve been seeing,) I didn’t want to put this off any longer. There’s nothing like a hot, alcohol-ridden beverage to get you feeling nice and cozy on a cold, rainy day!

In fact, I wish I’d had the ingredients for this Elder-Berry Tea Cocktail while we were down in Southern California this past weekend. We braved the pouring rain to make the long trek to Palm Springs on Friday night to visit Grandma, then drove to Santa Clarita for a baby shower on Saturday, then down to Ontario Saturday night for the brother-in-law’s girlfriend’s birthday, then over to Seal Beach (again in the pouring rain) on Sunday because the hubs had a meeting there all day Monday.

I was supposed to drop my man in Seal Beach and drive back to Santa Barbara on Sunday, but I decided to crash with him and wait out the storm. I’m so glad I did! It turned out to be a beautiful day to do some touristy things and I actually got a lot of work done without all of the usual distractions I have at home.

But, lesson learned, I will now be sure to have all ingredients for Elder-Berry Tea Cocktails on hand whenever I am on a road trip, especially with a weather forecast like that!

Elder-Berry Tea Cocktail | CaliGirlCooking.com

So this week I took the liberty of sorting through my tea stash in the pantry and all of the random alcohol we have on hand, and decided to see what I could make. I ended up coming across some Twining’s Blueberry & Apple tea and some random berry-flavored vodka.  Match made in heaven! I was also reminded that we had a beautiful bottle of elderflower liqueur just hanging around our liquor cabinet, and I thought it would be the perfect slightly floral, slightly sweet addition to the toasty concoction I was heating up. I was right.

This Elder-Berry Tea Cocktail comes together effortlessly once you have all of the ingredients gathered up. It’s also the most brilliant shade of red, and might just be the perfect drink for you to surprise your SO with on Valentine’s Day <3

Elder-Berry Tea Cocktail | CaliGirlCooking.com

If you can’t specifically find the Twinings Apple & Berry flavor of tea, any berry tea will do just fine. They do have a Twinings Wild Berries tea on Amazon which I think would be the perfect substitute in lieu of any other options.

We get this cocktail started by soaking our tea bags in the berry-flavored vodka and elderflower liqueur while our water is heating up. This gets the extraction started and makes sure the drink will not be watered down. Once the tea kettle has started whistling, simply pour the hot water over the booze-teabag mixture and allow to steep for at least 5 more minutes.

Voila! Your Elder-Berry Tea Cocktail is hot and ready to go. Now how’s that for a TGIF?

Elder-Berry Tea Cocktail | CaliGirlCooking.com

Elder-Berry Tea Cocktail | CaliGirlCooking.com
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Elder-Berry Tea Cocktail
Prep Time
10 mins
 

A warm, fruity and boozy cocktail to get you through those cold-weather days, berry tea is spiked with berry-flavored vodka and elderflower liqueur. 

Course: Drinks
Servings: 1 cocktail
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 1 berry-flavored teabag
  • 1 1/2 ounces berry-flavored vodka
  • 1/2 ounce elderflower liqueur
  • Hot water
Instructions
  1. Place teabag in a tea cup and add vodka and elderflower liqueur.

  2. Place a tea kettle filled with water over high heat and bring to a boil. 

  3. Once tea kettle is whistling, pour hot water over tea bag and liquor mixture to fill the tea cup. Enjoy immediately.

Elder-Berry Tea Cocktail | CaliGirlCooking.com

Kentucky Coffee

Because when you’re snowed in there’s no other way to go.

Kentucky Coffee | CaliGirlCooking.com

This is what I found myself doing when we were stuck in Lake Tahoe for a couple of extra days. I was out of drafted blog posts and needed a cocktail to share with you all. The fam bam brainstormed what we had to work with and this is what we came up with: Kentucky Coffee!

That’s right, this is my stranded-in-a-cabin take on the classic Irish coffee, and let me tell you, it is sooooo good. My mom doesn’t even drink straight up coffee (mochas and lattes are more her jam) and she went back for Kentucky Coffee seconds. It’s that good.

Kentucky Coffee | CaliGirlCooking.com

Yes, we were stranded in Tahoe for a bit longer than anticipated, but it’s likely that by the time you’re reading this we’ll have dug our way out of that winter wonderland and made our way back to reality.

Not that we minded the extra time too much. We had a blast just being cozy in our cabin, building snowmen and jigsaw puzzles, and dipping in the hot tub for as long as we could handle. It was such a great time with both sides of our families, time that we will most definitely cherish and try to do more often. Because when you’re stuck in the snow, who else do you want to be with (and enjoy cocktails with) other than those you hold most dear?

So here’s what I did: I brewed up a bit of our huge stash of coffee (no way we’d run out of that on a trip to Tahoe) and I quickly simmered up some fresh mint simple syrup. We had a stash of bourbon on hand (which was a much better option than the tequila my sister brought along for margaritas) so of course that was a necessary ingredient for (and inspired the name for) Kentucky Coffee as well. Finally, I took advantage of the mixer we found in our AirBnB rental and whipped up some fresh whipped cream to top everything off. Do not skip this part! It really makes the drink.

Kentucky Coffee | CaliGirlCooking.com

Probably the best (a.k.a. funniest) part of creating this super tasty Kentucky Mule was the photography, which is best narrated by the photos below. Since we had planned on coming home Wednesday morning, I didn’t have any of my photography props with me at the cabin, so I had to make do. I must say the insane amount of snow made a pretty sick backdrop, but I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t challenging to get the right shots! Thanks to my pops and sis for capturing my dedication (and super cute hairdo) in the process of shooting this recipe.

Kentucky Coffee | CaliGirlCooking.com

Kentucky Coffee | CaliGirlCooking.com

Kentucky Coffee | CaliGirlCooking.com

I hope you all are staying warm, dry, and well-lubricated with drink in this New Year. You made it through the first week of 2017, so time to celebrate with a warming mug (or two) of Kentucky Coffee!

Kentucky Coffee | 21 Recipes to Get Hygge With on CaliGirlCooking.com
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Kentucky Coffee
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
25 mins
 

There's a new boozy hot coffee drink in town, and it's full of bourbon, mint and whipped cream. The perfect cold weather cocktail!

Course: Drinks
Servings: 2 cocktails
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 4 ounces bourbon
  • 2 ounces fresh mint simple syrup
  • 1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
Instructions
  1. Pour 2 ounces of bourbon and 1 ounce of fresh mint simple syrup into the bottom of two coffee mugs. Stir to combine. 

  2. Add ½ cup of brewed coffee to each mug.

  3. In a small bowl, use an electric mixer to whip the cream until stiff peaks form. Divide whipped cream amongst both mugs. Garnish with a fresh mint sprig if desired and serve warm. 

Recipe Notes

To make the Fresh Mint Simple Syrup: Combine 1/2 cup of water and 1/2 cup of sugar in a small saucepan with 10 fresh mint leaves. Bring to a boil and stir until sugar dissolves and mixture reduces slightly. Remove from heat at this point but it's not necessary to let the syrup cool to room temperature since you're adding it to a warm drink.

Kentucky Coffee | CaliGirlCooking.com

 

The snow doesn’t bother me anyway…

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