Cocktail of the Week: Cranberry Mimosa

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I’ve still got cranberry juice in the fridge and it’s still Autumn… So, I guess I better figure something out here, huh? I can’t use straight cranberry juice because that would pucker the face of anyone who drank it into some unimaginable nightmare. That is an easy enough fix with some simple syrup. But, what can I do with cranberry juice? Ah, I know, a mimosa!

The ingredients

The ingredients

Cranberry Mimosa

  • 1 part Prosecco
  • 1 part cranberry juice w/ simple syrup

Pour juice and syrup into flute glass, add Prosecco. Garnish with thyme and cranberries if desired (or you have them.)

Note: Only use simple syrup if you’re using 100% cranberry juice. If you bought regular cranberry juice, or as it is sometimes called cranberry cocktail, you don’t need to worry about sweetening it. I mixed the juice and simple syrup in with a 2:1 ratio.

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I had doubts about this cocktail. I couldn’t imagine how bad it would have been if I went with pure cranberry juice but with it sufficiently sweetened this turned out wonderful the dry Prosecco works well with the tartness of cranberries. This cocktail would be a perfect pair with fowl, so give it a try with your Thanksgiving dinner and let me know what you thought!

Cocktail of the Week: White Linen

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I know it’s moving into Autumn, and for a few days it even felt like that here in Northern California but now? Now, it seems were back at the tail end of summer. Blue skies, warm or even hot days… With an Indian Summer in full effect, I decided to make another summer cocktail, a White Linen. This is a deliciously refreshing cocktail that was born right here in “Norcal” at the Shady Lady bar in Sacramento (or Ella’s they share a bartender.)

The ingredients

The ingredients

White Linen

  • 1 1/2 oz gin
  • 1/2 oz St. Germain
  • 1/2 oz simple syrup
  • 1 oz lemon juice
  • 5 or 6 thin English cucumber slices

Combine everything with ice in a shaker and shake well. Strain into glass with ice, top with soda water, and garnish with a cucumber slice.

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If you like cucumbers, and gin, you’re going to like this cocktail. If you happen to be in the midst of an unusually mild winter or preternaturally long summer you can’t go wrong with a White Linen. The hint of fresh cucumber, the sweetness of elder flower. A lovely cocktail.

Winter Garden 2014, Planting

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Despite the finale for this year’s summer garden, I wanted to put in a winter one. And then attempt to keep it safe from dogs, rabbits, slugs, and all the other assorted pests that did the summer garden in.  Fingers crossed!

First I turned the soil over, put in some top soil and fertilizer, and then turned it over again. I’ve done this enough times that it is becoming old hat. Next came the soaking. I wanted to make sure the soil was moist at least three to four inches down. After this was complete D and I went to the local Ace and picked out from their selection of winter seedlings and seeds. We got arugula, broccoli, broccolini, celery, collared greens, kale, chard, bok choy and Chinese cabbage. The planting went quickly and soon all the seedlings were in.

seedlings

seedlings

The arugula and broccolini seeds were spread into the box or a pot and then everything was watered down again. Sadly, right after we put the garden in we had a heat spell and the broccolini in the pot all withered and died.

After the garden was put in I put in new stakes and new netting around the boxes to keep the rabbits and dogs out. During the summer this worked wonderfully. Sadly, the dogs quickly discovered that the netting was no real obstacle and trampled over it and my seedlings to lie in the beds and eat the recent compost. And my Chinese cabbage. And my broccoli. *sigh*

chard and kale

chard and kale

I didn’t put in slug traps either. And much of the collared greens at this point have been eaten. I’m going to have to get those in soon or there won’t be anything to show this winter. At least, the arugula is coming in quite nicely and none of the pests seem interested in the kale and chard.  *fingers crossed*

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Cocktail of the Week: Cranapple Cider Cocktail

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Expect to see a lot of apple cocktails in the coming weeks as we move further into fall. Good guesses for other themed cocktails this fall would include:  pumpkin, pomegranates, cinnamon, and spice. I apologize now for using the atrocious portmanteau, cranapple, but cranberry apple cider cocktail is even more of a mouthful and so beauty concedes to brevity.

The ingredients

The ingredients

Cranapple Cider Cocktail

  • 2 oz. cranberry juice
  • 1 oz. fresh orange juice
  • 1 oz. vodka
  • 1 bottle chilled hard cider

Fill glass and cocktail shaker with ice. Add cranberry juice, orange juice and vodka to shaker and shake until chilled. Strain into glass. Top off with hard cider and garnish with apple slice.

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This looked so good when I first heard of it and I double-checked to make sure it called for just cranberry juice (most cranberry juices are a mix of grape, apple, and cranberry concentrate, with the cranberry making up the smallest portion). It did. But, and this has been my experience every time a cocktail has called for actual cranberry juice, the cranberry flavor ends up overwhelming everything else in the cocktail.

The Cranapple had the sour tart of cranberry and not much else. The cider I used (Crispin) is a particularly strong variety but then only thing from it I could discern in the drink was the carbonation. In the future I’ll reduce the amount of cranberry juice and increase the amount of orange juice. I might not shake it either but try to layer the liquids into the glass.

Not a bad cocktail, especially if you like cranberries. I was just a little disappointed.