Search Results for seasonal: winter

bloody valentine aka blood orange negroni

February 13th, 2015

You guys, Valentine’s Day is right around the corner… like tomorrow. Aaron and I have gotten to the point where we no longer even try to get reservations somewhere because it’s bound to be a crowded mess. Instead we’ll have a nice evening in, and then go out another night to celebrate. A slight tangent here, did I ever mention that we started dating on Valentine’s day, like a million years ago? I may or may not have thrown a singles dinner on Valentine’s Day just so I could get him over to my place. Luckily he basically never left, and here we are 12 Valentine’s Days later, sipping these amazing cocktails.

A riff on a negroni (which is one of the simplest cocktails ever), I simply added an ounce of blood orange juice (yay for citrus season!) to the classic drink and called it awesome. Well, actually I called it a bloody valentine because it just seemed right, but call it whatever you want. It’s at least delicious and perfect to make for you and your favorite person (or you could just make two for yourself, I won’t judge).

Cheers! To Valentine’s Day, Galentine’s Day, or just a day for a good drink.

Bloody Valentine aka Blood Orange Negroni

makes two cocktails

2 ounces blood orange juice, fresh squeezed
2 ounces campari
2 ounces sweet vermouth
2 ounces gin
2 slices blood orange, for garnish, optional
1. Cut two round slices of a blood orange and set aside.

2. In a mixing glass or cup filled with ice, combine the blood orange juice, campari, vermouth, and gin. Stir gently for around 10 seconds, then strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with the orange slice and enjoy!

Pomegranate Mojito

November 14th, 2014

Fall in San Francisco means pomegranates have made their way to the local farmers’ markets. Before I moved here, I’d never touched a pomegranate, let alone purchased one at the farmers’ market. I’d heard stories of friends trying to open them—ruining clothes, countertops, etc—so there’s no wonder why I was late to warm up to them. But I decided to take on the challenge and, to my relief, it was easy peasy. I used this tutorial and five minutes later I had a jam jar full of ruby red pomegranate seeds, which of course beckoned me to make something… specifically something of the cocktail variety. I figured since I’d need to muddle the pomegranate seeds anyways, I might as well add an herb. One thing led to another and before I knew it, I’d created a mouthwatering pomegranate mojito.

This cocktail doesn’t rub the cold weather in your face with lots of warm spices like many this time of year, instead it’s bright and juicy, sweet (but not toothache-sweet) and boozy. The pomegranate, lime and mint work brilliantly together while the rum and seltzer support and help round out the fruit-forward flavors. It’s just another reminder why I love this city and it’s produce. You can bet I picked up another pomegranate this week.


Pomegranate Mojito

makes one cocktail

I muddled fresh pomegranate seeds, but I totally understand if this seems like too much work. Pomegranate juice can be swapped out, but just a heads up, some variety’s may not have the beautiful ruby red hue that fresh pomegranate juice provides.

1 Tablespoon pomegranate seeds or 1 ounce pomegranate juice1 sprig of fresh mint, plus more for garnish

1 ounce simple syrup

1/2 ounce fresh lime juice

1 1/2 ounce dark rum

1-2 ounces seltzer or club soda

1. In the bottom of a cocktail shaker, bruise the mint leaves and pomegranate seeds.2. Add the simple syrup, lime juice, rum and ice, then shake for about 10 seconds. Strain into a collins (or tall, skinny) glass filled with ice. Garnish with more mint and enjoy!



salty dog

January 23rd, 2014

This is one of those cocktails that I’m totally bummed I didn’t try earlier. It’s so simple—grapefruit juice, gin, and salt for the rim—and so totally delicious!

I’d never been a huge grapefruit fan, my memories of it being simply bitter and sour, but lately that’s changed. Now I enjoy the way that bitter flavor perks up my tastebuds. A friend mentioned this drink a while ago and as soon as I began craving grapefruit, I figured it was high time to give it a try. I mean, I’m a sucker for a salted rim (hello margaritas!), so that didn’t hurt my interest in whipping one up. It was love at first sip—juicy, refreshing, and totally delightful. It’s the perfect drink to mix things up at brunch or simply as a evening drink. Go ahead and give it a chance, I think you’re going to love it as much as I do.

Salty Dog

makes 1 cocktail
4 ounces fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice (almost 2 grapefruits)
2 ounces gin1 Tbsp salt, for the rim
1. Place the salt on a rimmed plate. Gently rub the rim of a collins glass on the grapefruit (it can already be squeezed, you’re just looking for a little liquid to help the salt stick), then dip the rim in the salt. Set glass aside.2. In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine the grapefruit juice and gin. Shake vigorously for 10 seconds.

3. Fill your salt-rimmed glass with ice, then strain the cocktail into the glass. Enjoy!

wintry manhattan

December 23rd, 2013

It’s funny being in a place where, in December you can walk outside in a sweater—dare I say even a t-shirt. No chance of snow, no wintry mix, mostly just sunshine. Being from Michigan, then Brooklyn, San Francisco is quite a change weather-wise and to be honest, I’m not missing the weather like I thought I might. We did have a bit of a cold streak the past few weeks and it was enough to get me thinking about cold-weather cocktails.

After years of hearing about it, I finally picked up a bottle St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram last week. Maybe it was me subliminally missing that cold weather, because one whiff of this liqueur and you’re instantly transported to wintertime and warm spices. I’ve been adding it to cider cocktails and it works great in them, but as I was making a Manhattan the other night, I thought, hmmm, that could be delicious. And it was—SO delicious—especially with a little freshly grated nutmeg over top. I’m happy to skip the bitter cold and just warm up instead with this deliciously serious cocktail.

Cheers! To getting festive, staying warm, and enjoying a good drink!

Wintry Manhattan

makes 1 cocktail

1 1/2 ounces whiskey1/2 ounce Italian vermouth

1/2 ounce St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram

1 brandied cherry

dash of orange bitters

freshly grated nutmeg

1. In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine the whiskey, vermouth, and dram. Stir for 15 seconds.2. Strain the cocktail into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a brandied cherry and freshly grated nutmeg.

Milk Punch

December 19th, 2013

Etsy asked me to contribute a favorite holiday cocktail for their blog and you guys—this drink is so good. I may have had to “test” it every day last weekend. But really, I did try it several ways (with/without half and half, with cinnamon, etc) and am so jazzed to share this awesomely delicious, perfect holiday drink that I know you’re going to fall in love with. Head on over to Etsy and get your ingredients ready—you’re guests are gonna love you for it.

spiced sparkling cider

December 6th, 2013

I’ve been easing my way back into life with cocktails and it’s kind of totally awesome. So when we were invited to Thanksgiving at a friend’s house, I was tasked with cocktail duty. At first I felt a little stage fright—it was basically my first foray back into mixing and it was for a group of people, not just Aaron and I. But then I got excited and the ideas started flowing.

The holidays just beg for spices and I love to use them, especially in my drinks. I’ve done a bunch of cider recipes in the past, but somehow I’ve never used sparkling cider—how is that possible?! I guess it takes stepping away for a while to see the totally obvious. So you’re kind of seeing where I’m going with this, I’m sure. I whipped up a batch of spiced simple syrup—just things I had in my spice drawer (these are flexible, use what you have on hand) like cinnamon, cloves, allspice, ginger, nutmeg, cardamom. Your house will begin to smell awesome and you may or may not find yourself dancing to holiday music. Then I busted out the bourbon, a little lemon juice and of course the sparking cider. I did a little test run for a few friends to make sure it’s up to par and the consensus was a solid 6 thumbs up. Whew!

Not only is this drink tasty, but it’s flexible too, which is key for gatherings. If you’re just having a few people over, I’d recommend making the drinks individually—you’ll get better proportions of ice to booze. If you’re having a big ol’ shebang or looking to bring a nice host/hostess gift, mix everything together except the cider for a super easy, unique cocktail for a crowd. Lastly, I think it’s always important, whether large or small gatherings, to have something non-boozy but still special. No one wants to feel left out or have the same old ginger ale again, simply leave out the bourbon and this still makes a delicious drink. Whichever version you make, I guarantee you’ll have happy drinkers.

So cheers! Enjoy all the go-go-going—there’s time to relax next month, right?!

Spiced and sparkling cider, 3 ways

single cocktail

serves one
1/2 ounce spiced simple syrup (recipe below)
1/2 ounce lemon juice
dash of bitters
1 1/2 ounce bourbon
3 ounces sparkling cider
cinnamon stick, for garnish
1. In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine the simple syrup, lemon juice, bitters, and bourbon. Shake for about 10 seconds.2. Strain into a glass, top with sparkling cider, and garnish with a cinnamon stick. Enjoy!


multi-serve cocktail

serves 16
1 cup spiced simple syrup (recipe below)
1 cup lemon juice
25 dashes bitters
3 cups bourbon
2 bottles sparkling cider (there will be some left over)
cinnamon stick, for garnish, optional
plus a large glass bottle 
1. Use a funnel to pour the simple syrup, lemon juice, bitters, and bourbon into a large glass bottle. Close the top and give it a good shake.2. When ready to serve, add a few cubes of ice to a glass, then pour equal amount of the bourbon mixture and cider into the glass. Garnish with cinnamon stick if using and enjoy.


non-boozy cocktail

serves one
1/2 ounce spiced simple syrup (recipe below)
1/2 ounce lemon juice
dash of bitters
3 ounces sparkling cider
cinnamon stick, for garnish
1. In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine the simple syrup, lemon juice, and bitters. Shake for about 10 seconds.2. Strain into a glass, top with sparkling cider, and garnish with a cinnamon stick. Enjoy!


spiced simple syrup

makes about 1 cup

Use whatever spices you have on hand—although I do recommend at least doing the cinnamon stick.

1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 cinnamon stick
2 whole cloves
2 cardamom pods
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1/2-inch chunk fresh ginger 

1. In a medium saucepan, dissolve the sugar in the water over medium-high heat and bring to a boil.2. Add the spices—I use a tea infuser to keep them all together—and simmer for 10-25 minutes. The syrup should slightly thicken.3. Remove from heat and let cool completely. Once the mixture has cooled, remove the spices and either use immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

happy hour: westward!

January 11th, 2013

Well hello again and happy belated 2013! This time of year I find myself feeling a little angry about the weather—it can be bitter cold here in NYC (although I haven’t had much to complain about this year). Luckily, my favorite winter fruit, blood oranges arrive at just the right time to bring a little sunshine into my life during these cold, gloomy months.

This week I used my inaugural haul of blood oranges to make two versions (boozy and non-boozy) of a drink I’ve dubbed Westward! I created this little number not only because I love these juicy fellas but because I have big news to share. In less than two weeks, the Carámbula household is packing up and heading to sunny California—San Francisco  to be exact (so I’ll add foggy into the equation)— home of blood oranges!! It’s been a totally crazy (did I mention I’m almost 7 months pregnant) whirlwind decision, but I couldn’t be more jazzed about it! I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am to explore a new city with new farmers markets, restaurants, and shops.

So, a big old cheers is due… Cheers to a new year, to big changes, and of course, blood oranges.


makes 1 cocktail

2 ounces fresh squeezed blood orange juice
1/2 ounce cinnamon-infused simple syrup, recipe below
1 1/2 ounces vodka (optional)
1-2 ounces seltzer water
2 blood orange slices


1. In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine the blood orange juice, simple syrup and vodka, if using. Shake vigorously for about 10 seconds.

2. Strain into a tall collins glass filled with ice. Top it off with seltzer water and add the blood orange slices and a straw, giving it a little swirl to incorporate the seltzer.

3. Enjoy!

Cinnamon-infused simple syrup

1 cup sugar
1 cup water
2 cinnamon sticks
1. In a small saucepan stir together all the ingredients over medium-low heat.

2. Simmer for 10-15 minutes and let cool completely.

3. Strain out the cinnamon sticks and store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

kumquat + ginger fizz

February 17th, 2012

Hellloooo happy hour! I’ve been waiting for you all week! Thank goodness I have a long weekend to look forward to, because this week was a whopper. One thing I know, this little number is a perfect way to ease on into the weekend. Kumquats muddled with a little ginger liqueur, then paired with rum is the perfect way to to revive the spirit and jumpstart your weekend festivities. Whew!

Cheers! To then end of a long week, kumquats and long weekends!

kumquat + ginger fizz
makes 1 cocktail

4 kumquats, sliced and deseeded
1/2 ounce simple syrup
1 ounce ginger liqueur (Domaine de Canton)
1 1/2 ounce white rum
seltzer water

In a cocktail shaker, muddle the kumquats with the simple syrup until you’ve muddled all the juice from the kumquats.

Fill the shaker with ice and add the rum and ginger liqueur. Shake vigorously for 10 seconds. Strain into a tall glass filled with ice. Top it off with seltzer water, garnish with a kumquat slice and a straw. Enjoy!