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

Santa Barbara Sling

We’re putting a spin on a classic today!Santa Barbara Sling | CaliGirlCooking.com

Who here has heard of (or enjoyed) a Singapore Sling before? I sure hadn’t, but I stumbled upon it one day in my cocktail research and knew I had to try it for a couple of reasons:

Reason #1: Gin

You probably know it’s one of my faves since it shows up in so many of my cocktails, like this Fresh Thyme and Plum Gin Fizz, this Turmeric Gin & Ginger Cocktail, and this You Go, Gin Coco (to name a few.) I’m down to try any and all gin drinks!

Reason #2: Pineapple

By now you know that this California gal has some Hawaii roots, and I believe that this tropical fruit can make just about any recipe ten times better.

It was pretty obvious that I needed to give this drink a shot, so I decided to interpret it in my own way (with the ingredients I had on hand in our liquor cabinet) and the Santa Barbara Sling was born!

Before I get into the recipe, here’s a quick recap of the OG Singapore Sling: It’s rumored to have been created way back at the beginning of the 19th century by a Hainanese bartender named Ngiam Tong Boon, who worked at the Long Bar in the Raffles Hotel in Singapore. It was originally just called a “gin sling,” but apparently it had an identity crisis. To this day, there are tons of iterations of this recipe, so it was only natural that I make it my own and give it a local California touch!

Santa Barbara Sling | CaliGirlCooking.com

This Santa Barbara Sling has a pretty large number of ingredients, but most of them are items you might already have in your liquor cabinet or pantry. I didn’t feel like tracking down the unique liqueurs the original recipe called for, like Cherry Heering and Benedictine, so I did my best to find the closest substitutes I could that I already had on hand.

Instead of Cherry Heering, I simply used some of the juice from a jar of maraschino cherries, and instead of the Benedictine, I used it’s more common counterpart here in the US, Jaegermeister. Because the cherry juice was non-alcoholic (and because I love gin) I also upped the amount of gin the recipe calls for.

Despite the numerous ingredients, the Santa Barbara Sling comes together in a snap. Once you have all of the ingredients, you simply pour them together in a glass over a hefty serving of ice, give the mixture a nice stir, and enjoy.

Santa Barbara Sling | CaliGirlCooking.com

My interpretation of this cocktail turned out quite tasty (if I do say so myself) and, after the week I’ve had, all I want to do today is sit out in my backyard with a good book and a Santa Barbara Sling in hand. I hosted my FEED Supper pop-up dinner last night, and it was a smashing success! It was quite a lot of work doing everything on my own (and did I mention they turned off our power for a couple of hours on Thursday morning?) but the payoff was totally worth it and we had a great turnout. Unfortunately, I still have a lot of work to get done today, but that’s the price I pay for all of the fun travel plans I have ahead!

That’s right folks, my marathon month of traveling continues next week when the hubby and I take a long weekend trip up to Napa (right in the middle of harvest! So excited.) Then I’m back for a few days and off on a plane to Hawaii the following week with my dad. I convinced him to come along on a “work research” trip with me and I’m so excited to have some one-on-one time with him. We definitely have lots of eating planned, but we’re hoping to also find some fun farm tours or other excursions to go on while we’re there. Please let me know in the comments if you have any ideas or suggestions!

But, since it’s Friday and I plan to work as little as possible while still getting everything done that I need to, I’m going to just leave you with this, the tropical, tasty and refreshing Santa Barbara Sling!

Santa Barbara Sling | CaliGirlCooking.com

Santa Barbara Sling

5 minutes

Total Time: 5 minutes

Yield: Makes one cocktail

A Santa Barbara take on the classic Singapore Sling - a gin-based cocktail with pineapple juice and a few other secret ingredients.

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Fill a highboy glass three quarters of the way full with ice. Add ingredients to glass and stir to combine. Serve with a lime wedge for garnish.
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http://www.caligirlcooking.com/2016/10/14/santa-barbara-sling/

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Santa Barbara Sling | CaliGirlCooking.com

 

One for me, one for you.

Indian Summer I

Summer isn’t over yet!

Indian Summer I | CaliGirl Cooking

It seems like as soon as the calendar turned to September 1, the Internet started exploding with all things pumpkin, apple and spice. But let’s not forget that we technically still have two whole weeks before we officially say au revoir to the warmest season of the year!

Granted, I do have some tasty fall-themed recipe ideas lined up for you in the coming weeks, but before we get to that, I wanted to leave you with a couple more summer-inspired cocktail recipes, the first of which I’ll be sharing with you today. Yes, they are both called Indian Summer (hence the “Indian Summer I” and, next week, the “Indian Summer II”) but although there will be a couple of similarities (mostly the beautiful orangeish-red color) they each are pretty darn unique in their own way.

Indian Summer I | CaliGirl Cooking

My friend Vanessa and I came up with these Indian Summer cocktail recipes in preparation for our other friend’s “Convention of Cocktails” birthday party we attended over Labor Day weekend. Basically, everyone teamed up in groups of 2 or 4, and had to come up with a unique cocktail recipe. Then the birthday gal and her hubby-to-be made the rounds and tasted everything, eventually deciding on a winner. Isn’t that such a great party idea? We definitely all need to start planning some of those.

We actually decided to make the Indian Summer II for the party (which I’ll be sharing next week,) but I dare say this Indian Summer I would have put up just as much competition against the other drinks vying for the prize.

We knew the birthday gal liked bubbles, so needed to create something that had at least a splash of sparkling wine in it if we had any chance of winning. My hubby also just so happened to have received a new product to try, Ciroc Mango Vodka and, because it was getting rave reviews, had been encouraging me to make up a cocktail recipe with it.

Indian Summer I | CaliGirl Cooking

Vanessa and I decided to combine the mango vodka with the bubbles, some date caramel for sweetness (yes, you can get it premade…I used this exact one for the recipe!) and a healthy dash of Aperol to really bring that sunset color home. If nothing else, this Indian Summer cocktail was going to be a beaut!

But boy, it did not end up letting down in taste either. You get some fantastic tropical flavor from the mango vodka (to always remind us of these glorious summer days), the perfect healthy sweetness from the date caramel, a balance of bitter from the Aperol, and of course….BUBBLES!!!! We also just had to garnish with a fresh lime wedge to cap off the summery feel and add just a touch of acidity. Do we have all of the tastes covered or what?

The great news is, you can adjust this drink with a little more or less of each ingredient, depending on how sweet, bitter or acidic you like your cocktails to be. Taste too strong? Try adding a tad more date caramel. Don’t like the bitterness of Aperol? Use less (or none at all, although then you’ll really be missing out on that beautiful color.) It’s totally up to you!

Indian Summer I | CaliGirl Cooking

Indian Summer I is the perfect drink to savor these last few beach weekends, before we start cozying up indoors and devoting our weekends to watching football. So go grab yourself these ingredients, order some date caramel, and whip some of these up ASAP. We’ll squeeze out every last ounce of the season as if our lives depended on it!

Indian Summer I

5 minutes

Total Time: 5 minutes

Yield: Makes one cocktail

A sparkling wine cocktail with tropical mango and lime flavors to help say farewell to summer.

Ingredients

  • ½ teaspoon date caramel
  • 1 ounce mango-flavored vodka (we used Ciroc Mango)
  • ½ ounce Aperol
  • 3-4 ounces sparkling wine (depending on glass size)
  • Lime wedge for garnish

Instructions

  1. Add date caramel and vodka to a champagne flute. Stir together so date caramel isn’t just sitting in the bottom of the glass.
  2. Add Aperol, then sparkling wine, and garnish with a lime wedge.
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http://www.caligirlcooking.com/2016/09/09/indian-summer-i/

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

Indian Summer I | CaliGirlCooking.com

 

Oh heeeey bae….

If you liked this recipe, you might also like:

Tropical Matcha Chia Pudding

Full-on long weekend recovery mode right here.Tropical Matcha Chia Pudding | CaliGirl Cooking

And this Tropical Matcha Chia Pudding is helping us keep on keepin’ on.

How was everyone’s long weekend? Do anything fun? Eat (or drink) anything delicious? Tell me, tell me! I want to hear all about it. This Labor Day weekend was a tad bittersweet for us. When it comes to long weekends, we’re usually the ones to jump at the chance to go on a short trip somewhere or go visit our family. Unfortunately, due to recent injuries, we had to stick at home this year, but we still managed to squeeze in some fun!

The best part was all of the delicious food and drink that were consumed. We attended a Convention of Cocktails on Sunday (yep, my friends are the coolest and have cocktail competitions for their birthday parties) and my good friend Dez hosted a CaliGirl Cooking Night for me last night!

Guys, this was soooo fun and I highly recommend that all of my food blogger friends jump on this train. Basically, Dez invited over a bunch of our friends, and asked each person to contribute a dish using a recipe from my blog. Everyone was told to come armed with empty stomachs and feedback for how easy the recipe was to follow, whether I missed anything in my instructions, if there was a part they didn’t understand, etc. Let me tell you, it was just EPIC and my heart felt so full seeing everyone enjoying all of the recipes I work so hard to create for you all.

It was also the perfect way for me to do a “soft” kick-off for my newest venture, Celebrations by CaliGirl Cooking! Yes, that’s right, this gal is stepping into the menu planning/food and beverage consultation world and I couldn’t be more excited. In a nutshell, I’m here to help anyone (including you!) that needs just a little (or a lot of) guidance in planning a menu for any special occasion you may be celebrating. I’ll have more details coming to the site soon, but in the meantime, if you’re curious, drop me a line. I always love to hear from you!

Tropical Matcha Chia Pudding | CaliGirl Cooking

But as per usual, I’m digressing again. What I REALLY want to tell you guys about today is this Tropical Matcha Chia Pudding, because I’m pretty darn excited about it. As I mentioned when I made these Coconut-Vanilla Chia Pudding Parfaits, it took me a while to jump on the chia pudding train. I always add chia seeds to my smoothie in the morning, but for that very reason it took me a while to feel the urge to make some other sort of breakfast involving the gelatinous superfood.

You may have seen a little teaser for these during my @bloglovin_food Instagram takeover this past weekend, and I’ve been getting so many requests for the recipe! Well wait no longer, my friends, it’s coming right at ya today.

To be honest, I was so surprised at how easy it was to make a matcha version of chia pudding. Like, why haven’t I been seeing more of this all over the inter-webs? Seriously, so simple. Much like our beloved matcha lattes, we just whisk matcha powder into almond milk, and then we add the chia seeds and just a touch of honey. Pop it in the refrigerator overnight and you’ll be ready to enjoy Tropical Matcha Chia Pudding first thing in the AM!

Tropical Matcha Chia Pudding | CaliGirl Cooking

Seriously, aside from chopping up the macadamia nuts and pineapple, there will be no other prep time required once you pull this pudding out of the refrigerator. If that’s not considered a grab-and-go breakfast, I don’t know what is!

Before I leave you with the recipe, let me just say that this Tropical Matcha Chia Pudding has got alllll the right flavors. The soft and silky matcha chia pudding is balanced out by the crunch of the macadamia nuts and the sweet hit from the fresh pineapple. And the coconut! We can’t forget the coconut. Because could we really call this a TROPICAL Matcha Chia Pudding without it?

Tropical Matcha Chia Pudding | CaliGirl Cooking

Tropical Matcha Chia Pudding

10 minutes

Cook Time: 8 hours

Total Time: 8 hours, 10 minutes

Yield: Makes 2 large or 4 small servings

A tropical twist on the favorite overnight chia pudding recipe, featuring matcha powder, fresh pineapple, macadamia nuts and toasty coconut.

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Pour matcha powder into almond milk and whisk vigorously to combine (try to get as many chunks of the matcha out as possible.) Whisk in honey, then add chia seeds.
  2. Let sit for 10 minutes, and then stir again, breaking up any large chunks of chia seeds. Place in refrigerator at least 8 hours or overnight.
  3. In the morning, remove chia pudding from the refrigerator. Scoop into individual serving vessels and top with macadamia nuts, pineapple and coconut flakes.
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http://www.caligirlcooking.com/2016/09/07/tropical-matcha-chia-pudding/

*This post contains affiliate links. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

 

Tropical Matcha Chia Pudding | CaliGirlCooking.com

Little cup o’paradise!

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.