Indulge: July Summer Sips

Can you believe it’s already July? No matter where you are at, summer sun is shining and temperatures are going up! At CLD, we are cooling off with some of these awesome, refreshing drinks that feature in-season ingredients (with a non-alcoholic sipper for Christina, of course!).

Indulge and enjoy the heat!

Hamptonite

FinishedDrink-2

Who doesn’t love fresh summer berries? And if you are going to drink wine in the heat, a great rose is the perfect pairing. After a few weeks in the Hamptons, these two ingredients came up all the time, so let’s marry the two! This drink was also inspired by the Mason Shaker’s “The Frenchie”

Ingredients;

– A handful of your favorite berries (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries)

– A wedge of lemon

– 5 mint leaves

– A glass (5 ounces) of light rose wine)

Toss all ingredients in a shaker and muddle well. Add ice, shake and strain into your favorite wine glass. Top with extra berries and mint leaves.

Fresh Strawberry Lemonade

9c3c977e5e586e8d3c6061c4147c87c4Make this by the pitcher!

– 1 cup fresh lemon juice

– One cup simple syrup (infuse with mint or vanilla bean for extra yumminess!)

– 2 cups water

– 2 cups sparkling water or soda

– One pint strawberries, sliced

Add lemon juice, simple syrup, water and half of the strawberries to a pitcher and refrigerate for at least 2 hours to let strawberries infuse. When ready to serve, strain out the infused berries, add soda and fresh strawberry slices and serve.

Watermelon Cooler

839d788599cd8420ba2480dc4174546d– 1/2 cup watermelon juice

– 4 slices of cucumber

– 1/2 ounce lime juice

– A few mint leaves

– 2 ounces of vodka

– Sparkling water

Muddle cucumber, mint, lime juice and vodka in a shaker. Top with ice and watermelon juice and shake. Serve over ice and add sparkling water.

Enjoy those hot summer temps and these luscious drinks responsibly 🙂

 

Indulge: Summer is Coming…

While the “official” start of summer is still a month away, we all know that Memorial Day Weekend is where the summer parties get started! Temperatures are starting to climb all over the country, meaning this is the time to fire up the BBQ, fill that cooler with ice and goodies, and to start celebrating the summer season.

Today at CLD we are whipping up a tasty dessert that is a fantastic ending to any type of food fiesta. It features nectarines, although any stone-fruit will work! Stone fruits (plums, peaches, nectarines, apricots, or any new hybrid of those), are starting to pop up at local farmers markets. They have a fairly limited season, so grab them up while you can! This dish is perfect for those that may be not 100% ripe yet, as they get to soak up some butter and sugar to soften up 🙂

Nectarine Up-Side-Down Cake

IMG_3478Adapted from recipe from damndelicious.net

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and divided
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 4 nectarines, sliced into 1 1/2-inch thick wedges

Procedure:

  • Pre-heat oven to 350 Degrees Fahrenheit.
  • In a bowl combine flour, sugar, soda, salt. Gently stir to combine.
  • In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, half of the melted butter, and eggs.
  • Pour the wet ingredients over the dry and stir with a rubber spatula. Don’t over mix, just stir until ingredients are just combined.
  • In either a cast-iron skillet or 9-inch cake pan, add the remaining melted butter to coat the bottom and sides of the pan. Scatter the brown sugar over the pan, followed by the slices of nectarines–in an artful manner, of course!
  • Pour the cake mixture over the top of the nectarines and smooth the top.
  • Bake approximately 40-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
  • Let cool for about 10-15 minutes, run a knife around the edge of the pan.
  • Place a plate/cutting board large enough to cover the pan on top of it, then flip the whole thing over, and remove the pan.  Viola!

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This recipe is also easy to divide in half for smaller parties. No matter where you are this weekend or what/if you are celebrating, please be safe and responsible! Hoping everyone has a fantastic long weekend!!

Indulge: Cinco Para Dos!

Cinco de Mayo is just around the corner… on a Monday (sad face).

So why not get the party started a little early this weekend? We have a few recipes here that are just the right size for two so you can perfect them for the crowd you might have on Monday!

Pitcher

Chunky Guacamole

Guac afficionados unite! Avocados have finally become readily available almost everywhere, so this tasty treat is easy to always have ready.

1 ripe avocado

1/4 cup diced white onion

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Juice from 1 lime

Salt and Pepper

Your favorite hot sauce

Dice or cube the avocado (here’s a great tutorial) and put into a bowl. Squeeze fresh lime juice over the avocado, then top with onion, cilantro, a good sprinkle of salt, 2 big grinds of pepper and as many dashes of hot sauces as your heart can handle!

Want your guac chunky? Run a small knife across the ingredients to slightly break up the avocado more, then stir ingredients together. Want it nice and smooth? Mash everything with the back of a spoon, a potato masher, or puree in a blender.

And another fun tip: if you don’t want to have that dreaded feeling of, “I went through the whole bag of chips again!” pick up a bag of baby bell peppers. Slice them in half and you have the perfect little dippers!

Guac

Citrus Margaritas for 2

I have this adorably small pitcher that holds just the right amount of liquid for about foursmall margaritas–once again perfect for 2!

Variety of citrus: lemon, orange,, grapefruit

6 ounces Tequila (a gold tequila works best for this, like a reposado or anejo)

2 ounces Triple Sec

2 ounces Agave Syrup

4 ounces fresh lime juice (about 4-6 limes)

Kosher salt

Slice up your citrus (about half of each type of fruit and put slices in a pitcher. Add all remaining liquid ingredients and gently stir with a spoon. You can slightly bruise or press into the citrus slices to release their flavor.  Fill the pitcher with ice and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. When ready to serve, grab your favorite (small) glasses and run a slice of lime around the rim of the glass. Put the glass in a small layer of salt to coat and garnish your glass with a slice of citrus. Half pint mason jars work great for this!

Pitcher 2

Enjoy everything responsibly and have a great Cinco de Mayo!!

 

 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving! Whether you are hosting a feast in your own home or traveling out to family and friends, no Thanksgiving would be complete without some custom cocktails! How else would we survive this holiday??

DSC_0251 Partridge in a Pear Tree

This is one spicy and potent martini! The combination of spiced rum and cinnamon is sure to warm you right up.  Be sure to visit our Facebook page for instructions on making your own homemade pear vodka!

¾ oz pear vodka 

¾ oz spiced rum

¾ oz Amaretto (or other almond liqueur)

¾ oz vanilla vodka

1 oz pear nectar or juice**

pinch of ground cinnamon

Put all ingredients into an ice filled shaker and shake away. Pour into a chilled martini glass and enjoy.

*If you made home-made pear vodka, keep the pear you used for your infusion. Puree that pear and freeze it for a great substitution for pear nectar.

Autumn Apple

DSC_0221Recipe courtesy of Chef Paco Solano, Executive Chef & Owner of Solano’s Bistro in La Quinta, CA. Another libation with a cinnamon kick! This is Chef Solano’s take on an autumn mojito.

2 oz Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey

3 tbs diced apple (any variety works or substitute with 1.5 oz of apple juice)

¾ oz lemon juice

¾ oz honey or simple syrup

5 mint leaves

Club soda

In a shaker, muddle the whiskey, apple, lemon, syrup and mint leaves. Fill shaker with ice and shake away. Pour contents into an ice filled Collins glass and top with soda. Garnish with apple slices and mint.

Pumpkin Pie Martini

Thanksgiving isn’t complete without pumpkin pie! If you don’t have time to whip up a whole pie, these martinis can be made in a flash and are just as delicious.

1 tbs pumpkin puree

1 oz vanilla vodka

½ oz spiced rum

½ oz maple syrup

1 oz heavy cream

Pumpkin pie spice

Vanilla sugar or crushed graham crackers

Wet the edges of a martini glass and dip the rim in either vanilla sugar or crushed graham crackers. Put glass in freezer to chill while making martini.

Combine the puree, vodka, rum, syrup, heavy cream and a few sprinkles of pumpkin pie spice in a shaker with a few ice cubes. Really shake the contents with the ice to make the cream super frothy. Pour the mixture into the chilled martini glass. Put a final shake of pumpkin pie spice on the top of the martini.

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Please enjoy these cocktails responsibly (no matter what crazy relative you are seated next to!). From all of us at CLD, no matter where you are or whom you are celebrating with, we hope you have a fantastic Thanksgiving!