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

Total Eclipse

I’m going creepy-crawly on you today!!

Total Eclipse | CaliGirlCooking.com

Look at that dark-as-night cocktail. So spooky! The Total Eclipse is here to stay, at least until Monday 😉

Since I’m going to be in Hawaii with my pops for Halloween (hunkered down in our hotel chowing on some sort of Korean takeout, no doubt, because no way will we be venturing into the streets of Waikiki on such a crazy evening), I figured I’d start the celebration a little early and make an eerie black cocktail to get in the Halloween spirit.

My secret to the crazy color of this tasty Total Eclipse? Activated charcoal! Guys, I think I may have found a new favorite ingredient for turning any and all recipes the darkest shade of black.

Total Eclipse | CaliGirlCooking.com

I have to admit, I’m not the first one to jump on the activated charcoal cocktail bandwagon. I first tried a drink using this new “it” ingredient when I attended this year’s Santa Barbara Fermentation Festival Cocktail Competition. The theme was “Year of the Mule,” and I’m pretty sure I tasted every single version of a mule under the sun. The one with the activated charcoal really stood out, though. Not necessarily because of the taste (it was reminiscent of some sort of tincture or cough medicine), but because of the crazy color! I immediately knew I had to do some research on this new and intriguing ingredient.

Lucky for me, Amazon now sells everything under the sun, and I was easily able to snag an ample bag of activated charcoal. Now I just had to figure out what to do with it!

A quick brainstorm sesh with the hubs (my go-to for all things cocktail) led to using some sort of white rum. Maybe the midnight color of the charcoal made us think of pirates? No idea. We just knew we didn’t want to use any alcohol that had any color to it, so as not to mess with the already inky color of the drink.

Total Eclipse | CaliGirlCooking.com

Activated charcoal doesn’t have much of a taste to it, which makes it perfect for mixing into cocktails just for color. When I was researching, I found an article from Food & Wine stating that bartenders used to use squid ink to lend a black-ish color to their drinks. Unfortunately, this was a bit limiting, as the squid ink imparted somewhat of a saline flavor into whatever they were making. With the activated charcoal, you don’t have to worry about that!

Because there’s not much taste, I decided to make a slightly modified version of my favorite light rum cocktail that has loads of flavor – the mojito! Of course, I had to tinker with it a bit to make it my own, and thus the Total Eclipse was born. Pretty spooky-cool, huh?

The recipe is incredibly simple. You’ll need all of the basic mojito ingredients – white rum, lime juice, fresh mint, simple syrup, soda water – plus some angostura bitters. Don’t leave these out! They were the final nail on the coffin for this drink (pun completely intended.) And of course, we can’t forget the star of the show, the activated charcoal!

Total Eclipse | CaliGirlCooking.com

We’re going to muddle, shake and stir for this Total Eclipse, because we need all of the flavors to combine “just so.”

We first muddle the fresh mint with the simple syrup right in the glass.

Now we throw the rum, activated charcoal, and lime juice into a cocktail shaker with a good dose of ice and give it a good shake.

Next step is to pour this into the glass with the muddled mint, ice and all.

A splash of soda water, a dash of angostura bitters, and a little stir, and you’re good to go!

I don’t know what your plans are for the weekend (or Halloween, for that matter,) but if you’re looking to scare a delicious drink into someone, this Total Eclipse is most definitely your answer.

You’ll have to mix some up and enjoy them for me while I’m busy eating my way through Oahu!

Total Eclipse | CaliGirlCooking.com

Total Eclipse | CaliGirlCooking.com
Print
Total Eclipse

A spooky, jet-black cocktail just in time for Halloween! Activated charcoal lends the inky color, while rum, fresh mint and lime juice give it all the flavor.

Servings: 1 cocktail
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 3/4 ounce simple syrup
  • 5-7 fresh mint leaves
  • 2 ounces white rum
  • 1/4 teaspoon activated charcoal
  • 1/2 ounce fresh lime juice
  • 2 ounces soda water
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
Instructions
  1. Place simple syrup and mint leaves in the bottom of a rocks glass and muddle to combine.

  2. In a cocktail shaker loaded with ice (about enough to fit in the rocks glass), add the white rum, activated charcoal and lime juice. Shake vigorously for 15 or so seconds, then pour into rocks glass.

  3. Top with soda water, then bitters. Stir to combine all of the ingredients. Garnish with a fresh mint sprig, if desired.

Recipe Notes

Click the links in the body of the blog post to purchase activated charcoal from Amazon.

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!

Total Eclipse | CaliGirlCooking.com

 

Trick or treat?!

Belizean Rum Punch

Hello from Placencia, Belize!

Belizean Rum Punch | CaliGirl Cooking

Boy, has it been an amazing week so far. We arrived at our resort on Monday afternoon, and have been truly soaking it all in. We’ve had the perfect balance of adventure and relaxation, even despite a few thunderstorms here and there. That’s just what we get for going to Belize during its rainy season!

Nevertheless, we’ve hiked, traveled to private islands, snorkeled, gotten pampered at the spa…It’s not going to be easy hopping on a plane to leave bright and early tomorrow morning!

We’ve also most definitely been enjoying all of the local food and drink over this past week. We sprang for the all-inclusive package at our resort, and let me just say they have been feeding us well! Lots of seafood, lots of fresh fruit and veggies and definitely lots of delicious cocktails.

Belizean Rum Punch | CaliGirl Cooking

Since we’re in Belize right now, I thought that for this week’s cocktail I’d share a local classic – Belizean Rum Punch! This drink is all things tropical – coconut, rum and pineapple come together to transport you to your own private island. It’s somewhat similar to a Mai Tai, but gets its own unique twist with a couple of special ingredients.

I have to admit that I’m no alcohol-layering expert, so don’t get put off by this drink looking like Pepto Bismol. I promise it doesn’t taste anything like it! It’s simply the grenadine and the coconut milk coming together that gives it that bright pink hue. And it’s so delicious!

Belizean Rum Punch | CaliGirl Cooking

I’m going to keep this post short (because I want to enjoy every last minute we have here in this beautiful place!) but trust me when I say you want to give this Belizean Rum Punch a shot ASAP. You all may not be in Belize with us, but in this summer heat I know you’ll enjoy it just as much as we have been! XO

Belizean Rum Punch

5 minutes

Total Time: 5 minutes

Yield: Makes one cocktail

A delicious cocktail hailing from Belize, featuring pineapple, coconut and rum that will transport you to a tropical hideaway.

Ingredients

  • 1 ounce white rum
  • ½ ounce Grenadine
  • ½ ounce sweet ‘n’ sour mix
  • ½ ounce orange liqueur
  • ¼ cup coconut milk
  • ¾ cup pineapple juice
  • 1 ounce dark rum

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients except dark rum in a cocktail shaker with ice.
  2. Pour into a highball glass.
  3. Float dark rum on top.
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Belizean Rum Punch | CaliGirlCooking.com

Now please excuse me while I go enjoy my tiki drink.

Orange-Mango-Coconut Boozy Bobas

Why, oh why did I not think of this sooner?

Orange-Mango-Coconut Boozy Boba | CaliGirl Cooking

I’ve taken the Taiwanese frosty favorite bubble tea (or boba) and turned it into a cocktail. Yes sireee I sure did. It was the perfect refresher on Sunday afternoon when we returned from the 110 degree heat of San Luis Obispo/Santa Margarita. Chris and I sucked these Orange-Mango-Coconut Boozy Bobas down like we were coming off of a weekend full of too much laughter and indulgence (oh wait, we were, weren’t we?) And with the holiday weekend upon us, I’m sure those remaining tapioca pearls (i.e. the “bubbles”) will be put to VERY good use.

Speaking of, what are everyone’s plans? We’re looking forward to spending some time down at the beach and on our friend’s yacht watching the fireworks on the 4th of July, and we’re sooo hoping to get our tan on since our wedding is now less than a month away…eeek! June gloom please stay away because this bronzin’ progress needs to start, like, ASAP.

So, for those of you who have never heard of bubble tea or boba before, allow me to give you some background. Boba originated in Taiwan in the 1980’s and it has really taken off since then. I first started drinking it when I lived in Hawaii, and boba shops have slowly been popping up all over the rest of the U.S. ever since (in fact, we have our very own “805 Boba” at the mall here in Santa Barbara!) There are two generic categories of boba, the first being a mix of fruit and some sort of milk and the second being the fruit mixed with just ice and syrup for a more “slushy” version. Add some chewy tapioca balls to either of these combos and you have your bubble tea. The trick is slurping it up with a specially designed, ultra-wide straw so you get the tapioca balls and the fruit mixture in every single sip. It’s refreshing because of the fruit, yet strangely satisfying because of the chewiness of the tapioca. These could certainly pass as a snack!

Orange-Mango-Coconut Boozy Boba | CaliGirl Cooking

Although boba is typically made with a powdered non-dairy creamer or a sweetened condensed milk, I opted to go the more tropical (and healthier) route and use coconut milk for these Orange-Mango-Coconut Boozy Bobas. I figured we’d get plenty of sweetness from the fruit. And boy was I right?

I used a combination of fresh whole mango (cut off the pit, of course) and fresh orange juice with the coconut milk, and added in a hefty amount of ice to get the mixture nice and frothy. You could certainly also use frozen mango chunks and less ice and come up with an even creamier frozen consistency, I just had a ton of fresh mango on hand that I needed to use up. The only other ingredients we need to take this drink from “wow” to “wowza” are the tapioca pearls (which you can find here on Amazon, along with the special straws, so convenient), some white rum, and a little squeeze of fresh lime juice. Tropics – we’re comin’ for ya!

Orange-Mango-Coconut Boozy Boba | CaliGirl Cooking

Now, don’t be intimidated by these odd-looking tapioca pearls (they really look like little turds, pardon my French.) I had never cooked them before either, but it was so easy! Just a little boiling on the stove and tossing in honey and you’ll be good to go. Have no fear.

So, first step would be to “cook” the tapioca pearls, and then set them aside in their cozy honey bath while you make the frozen concoction. Blend together the mango, orange juice and coconut milk, then add in the lime juice, ice and rum.  Scoop the boba into the bottom of the glasses you’ll be serving in, then top them with the slushy, frothy, creamy, delicious Orange-Mango-Coconut mixture. Before you know it, you’ll have your Orange-Mango-Coconut Boozy Bobas in hand sitting out in the warm sun. Does it get any better than that?

Orange-Mango-Coconut Boozy Boba | CaliGirl Cooking

Orange-Mango-Coconut Boozy Bobas

10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: Makes 2 large or 4 small cocktails

An adult spin on the classic Taiwanese bubble tea or "boba." Refreshing orange, mango and coconut with the slightest hint of rum.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup tapioca pearls
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 4 mangos, peeled and cut off the pit
  • Juice of 2 large oranges
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 4 ounces white rum
  • 4-5 cups ice
  • Juice of ½ to 1 lime

Instructions

  1. Cook tapioca pearls according to package directions. Once drained, stir in honey. Set aside.
  2. In a blender or food processor, combine mango, orange juice and coconut milk. Pulse until puree forms. Next, add rum, ice and lime juice and blend again until mixture is even and frothy.
  3. Scoop a couple of tablespoons (depending on how much boba you want in your drink) of the tapioca pearls into each glass. Pour orange-mango-coconut mixture over top. Add an [extra-wide straw|Cook tapioca pearls according to package directions. Once drained, stir in honey. Set aside.
  4. In a blender or food processor, combine mango, orange juice and coconut milk. Pulse until puree forms. Next, add rum, ice and lime juice and blend again until mixture is even and frothy.
  5. Scoop a couple of tablespoons (depending on how much boba you want in your drink) of the tapioca pearls into each glass. Pour orange-mango-coconut mixture over top. Add an extra-wide straw and enjoy!
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Grapefruit Coladas on the Rocks

It’s sweet, sweet summertime and the livin’ is easy, especially when you’ve got Grapefruit Coladas on the Rocks in your hands.

Grapefruit Coladas on the Rocks | CaliGirl Cooking

Let’s be real here, the summer is all about everything coconut and tropical. Because, by golly, if we can’t live on an exotic island somewhere (even though, to be fair, I did at one point in time) then we’re going to transport ourselves there in spirit by eating allllll of the foods that we would be enjoying if we were sitting on a white sand beach under a palm tree with the ocean lapping at our toes. Sound good?

I have to admit, although I don’t often think of all of the things I miss about living in Hawaii, when I get a hold of a tropical cocktail such as a mai tai or a pina colada, the memories come flooding back. I immediately want to be transported to some sort of body of water with the sun shining down on me and Hawaiian music playing in the background, no cares or “To Do” lists in sight.

But, since we can’t always get what we want and be on a white sandy beach in Hawaii all the time, we have to compromise. Right? Maybe with something like these Grapefruit Coladas on the Rocks?

Grapefruit Coladas on the Rocks | CaliGirl Cooking

It’s supposed to reach the 90’s here in Santa Barbara this weekend, so refreshing cocktails are definitely on my mind. There is also a raging wildfire just north of Santa Barbara proper, so the smoke is heavy in the air and there’s a brownish haze hanging over the ocean. Many families are being evacuated and, as the affected area is rural and full of farmland, many animals are being evacuated as well. It’s troubling times like these when simple things such as a tropical cocktail can lift spirits (if only slightly) and encourage camaraderie. So let’s all raise our glasses and learn how to make these delicious drinks to share with our nearest and dearest.

Grapefruit Coladas on the Rocks | CaliGirl Cooking

I love this recipe because it is the perfect combination of California sunshine and Hawaiian flavor. Instead of using the typical pineapple that we see in a classic pina colada, we sub in fresh grapefruit juice. We also serve this concoction on the rocks. Maybe I just like throwing back my alcoholic beverages a little too quickly, but I can’t get past the brain freeze that is eternally present when guzzling blended drinks. Is that just me?

Nevertheless, you could certainly blend this drink up if frozen drinks are more your thang. In fact, my inspiration for this flavor combination came from the Grapefruit-Coconut Sorbet that my boys over at Probably This recently shared. I saw it and my taste buds immediately started dancing. So good!

So obviously rum is our liquor of choice for these Grapefruit Coladas on the Rocks. Most pina colada recipes use both white and dark rums, but we’re just going to stick to the white stuff to keep these cocktails lookin’ as fine and pure as they deserve to be.

Grapefruit Coladas on the Rocks | CaliGirl Cooking

We use fresh squeezed grapefruit juice because, why not? There’s no need for a fancy juicer to make fresh grapefruit juice, so no excuses. We don’t go quite as far as MAKING our own coconut milk, but the high-quality canned stuff will do just fine.  The other secret ingredient I threw in here is some of my favorite Sonoma Syrup Co. Vanilla & Almond Syrup. Have no fear, though, if you don’t have any on hand. You can always buy some here, or simply whip up some vanilla simple syrup (I’ve included a recipe below) and add a dash of orgeat to get the same kind of flavor.

That’s it! One small thing to note: because this cocktail contains coconut milk and a highly acidic juice, it will tend to separate a bit if left sitting. There are two options for this situation: (1) don’t leave the drink sitting and consume it as fast as you can or (2) give it a simple stir with a straw or stir stick.

I love this cocktail recipe because it’s simple, with very few (but very fresh) ingredients, and it’s not overly sweet.  It’s perfect for a lazy day poolside, any time you’re wishing you were on a tropical vacation somewhere, or really just any time you want that touch of tiki in your life.

Grapefruit Coladas on the Rocks | CaliGirl Cooking

We’re headed to a wedding in Santa Ynez this weekend, so be sure to follow me on Snapchat or Instagram to see the daily play-by-play. It’s been a while since Chris and I have been on an actual “vacation” (even if for one night only) and I’m really looking forward to having some QT with my main squeeze. We are getting ready in just over a month after all!

I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend, filled with friends, family and plenty of Grapefruit Coladas. Cheers!

Grapefruit Coladas on the Rocks

10 minutes

Yield: Makes 2 cocktails

A twist on the classic pina colada using fresh grapefruit instead of pineapple and a touch of vanilla simple syrup. Equally as delicious and refreshing as the original!

Ingredients

  • 6 ounces fresh grapefruit juice (juice from about 2 grapefruits)
  • 4 ounces coconut milk
  • 4 ounces white rum
  • 2 ounces Sonoma Syrup Co. Vanilla-Almond Simple Syrup OR 1 ½ ounces vanilla simple syrup (recipe below) and ½ ounce orgeat
  • Wheel of grapefruit to garnish

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients (except garnish) in a cocktail shaker filled halfway with ice. Shake vigorously for about 30 seconds, then pour into two rocks glasses. Garnish with grapefruit wheel and enjoy!

Notes

To make the Vanilla Simple Syrup: Combine one cup water, one cup sugar and the seeds from one vanilla bean in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and stir until sugar dissolves completely. Remove from heat and let cool before using.

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Grapefruit Coladas on the Rocks | CaliGirl Cooking

Gimme two Grapefruit Coladas….

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