Satsuma Margarita

I have plenty of satsuma’s from our trip to Southern Orchards so for Taco Tuesday, I decided to make satsuma margaritas. A major ingredient in margaritas is an orange flavored liquor like Triple Sec, Cointreau or, my favorite, Gran Marnier. Added with the intense flavor of the satsuma and it makes one irresistible cocktail.

Sweet and tart and very refreshing!

Satsuma Margarita

1 ½ ounces Tequila Reposado (I used Cazadores)
2 ounces satsuma juice
1 ounce orange liquor like Triple Sec or Gran Marnier
1 ounce lime juice
1 tablespoon agave nectar, optional

Peel and separate the segments from a satsuma. Rub one segment along the rim of each glass and dip the edge into flake salt. Drop another segment into each glass with some ice.

Put the tequila, satsuma juice, orange liquor and lime juice in a cocktail shaker with several pieces of ice and shake until ice cold. Taste for sweetness and add agave nectar as necessary. Strain into the prepared glasses.

Balance a final satsuma segment along the rim and serve.


Satsuma Fortuna Cocktail

Michelle and I went by a U-pick satsuma orchard outside of Mobile, Alabama just a little ways off I-10. For $20 you got use of a clippers, a red wagon and could fill a 5 gallon bucket with the citrus from the trees of Southern Orchards (they also ship for those out of area) .

For those who don’t know, satsumas are a type of mandarin orange that grows in the South but is a more cold tolerant, so it grows outside of the citrus areas of Florida. They are quite sweet – especially if you can hold off harvesting until after the first freeze.

Once we got to my house, we juiced our haul. Aren’t they just gorgeous?

I drank nearly a quart as we were juicing! I reserved some of the liquid sunshine for Michelle to make a satsuma cheesecake and some of the juice I froze to drink through the coming long, dark winter. What wasn’t already reserved, we used to make a cocktail that is sort-of a love child of a Bahama Mama and a Pina Colada.

Who wouldn’t be fortunate to have parents like that? It is very refreshing and those who don’t have satsumas can also make it with orange juice.

Satsuma Fortuna Cocktail

4 ounces pineapple juice
4 ounces satsuma juice
3 ounces cream of coconut
2 ounces spiced rum
2 ounces light rum
1 cup ice

Place all the ingredients in a blender and pulse until smooth. Pour into festive glasses to serve. Makes 2 strong drinks – feel free to reduce the alcohol.

Choose wisely grasshopper

In yet another example of the importance of proper punctuation, I took the words of Master Po from the 1970’s tv show, Kung Fu, and took out the comma as I am offering a choice of Grasshopper cocktails today.

Classic Grasshopper

1 oz (1 part) Crème de cacao
1 oz (1 part) Crème de menthe
1 oz (1 part) Heavy cream
Pour ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake briskly and then strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
Serve straight up; without ice.

And then there is this one which is like drinking dessert and is sneaky strong!

Grasshopper Milkshake

1 cup mint chocolate chip ice cream
1 oz Crème de cacao
1 oz Crème de menthe
Put all the ingredients in a blender and pulse until well mixed. Serve in an insulated mug.

If you don’t have mint chocolate chip ice cream, use vanilla.

Apple Pie Cocktail

What is a more American way to celebrate the 4th of July than with an Apple Pie cocktail?

I had planned to use apple schnapps but decided to go a different route after talking to the very friendly folks at Martin Wine Cellar about different options (who knew there is apple bourbon?) and exchanging recipes.

Make the apple pie spice sugar by mixing ¼ cup white sugar with 1 tablespoon apple pie spice. If you don’t have apple pie spice, mix 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon, 1 tablespoon ground nutmeg and 1 1/2 teaspoons ground allspice and use 1 tablespoon of the resulting mix.

I made up a pitcher ahead of time and kept it cool in the fridge, so I could enjoy the time with my guests instead of playing bartender.

It is strong, so I wouldn’t recommend more than a couple drinks a person but it sure is tasty with the apples, cinnamon spice and everything nice.

Apple Pie Cocktail

2 parts chilled vodka
1 ½ part apple cider
½ part Fireball cinnamon whiskey
3 drops Old Forester Smoked Cinnamon Bitters

apple pie spiced sugar

Cut an apple into thin wedges. Run a slice around the glass rims and then lightly coat the edges in the apple pie spiced sugar. Drop the apple wedge into the glass.

Stir the vodka, apple cider and Fireball together. Mix in the bitters and pour into the apple pie spiced sugar rimmed glasses.

Cardamon-Honey Cocktail

For pre-dinner cocktails ahead of the tikka masala chicken and rice, I went for a cardamon-honey cocktail. I wanted to keep with the flavors of dinner and figured that making a simple syrup would be a good replacement for agave nectar I usually use with my paloma recipe.

To make the cardamon honey simple syrup, I brought to a boil an equal amount of honey and water. I then poured it over cardamon pods that I had lightly crushed in a mortar and pestle. I let the simple syrup steep until it cooled to room temperature. After I strained it, I placed it in the fridge until happy hour.

The tartness of the grapefruit is tempered by the honey simple syrup. The cardamon and star anise supply a lovely fragrance to make a light and refreshing cocktail.

Cardamon Honey Cocktail

per cocktail:

2 ounces Tequila
2 ounces freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
1 ounce cardamom-honey simple syrup
Star anise for garnish

Combine the tequila, juice and simple syrup in a shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and then pour into a cocktail glass. Float a star anise pod on top.

Summer Cocktail Piña Colada

Pineapples were on sale so I bought one, brought it home and sliced it up. I collected a little more than a cup of the slices and placed them in a bag in the freezer overnight.

Once frozen, they would be perfect for Piña Coladas!

I made one batch with spiced rum and the other with light rum. Both very good and refreshing. I ended up adding a tablespoon of simple syrup to the spiced rum to mellow it out but taste yours and see if it needs any sweetening.

You don’t need to be tired of your lady to enjoy these – they are a great way to end a week and an even better way to end July.

Piña Colada Cocktail

½ cup spiced or light rum
½ cup coconut milk
½ cup frozen pineapple chunks, plus fresh for garnish
1 cup ice

Add rum, coconut milk, pineapple chunks to a blender with ice. Blend until smooth.

Pour into 2 glasses.

Garnish each glass with a swizzle stick filled with pineapple chunks.

Fresh Peach Schnapps and Tequila Cocktail

The Peach Tree On The Southern Wall


The peach tree on the southern wall
Has basked so long beneath the sun,
Her score of peaches great and small
Bloom rosy, every one.
A peach for brothers, one for each,
A peach for you and a peach for me;
But the biggest, rosiest, downiest peach
For Grandmamma with her tea.
Christina Georgina Rossetti


I bought a bunch of peaches from Chilton County, Alabama (home of the best peaches on the planet) and decided that I wouldn’t save the best for Grandma’s tea but rather to make a cocktail.

Sweet and juicy, like the fruit itself. Be careful of the sneaky kick from the alcohol!

Fresh Peachy Tequila Cocktail

1 ripe peach, peeled and sliced
1 teaspoon lime juice
2 ounces tequila
1 ounce peach schnapps
1 tablespoon agave nectar

Toss the peach slices in the lime juice both for flavor and for them to keep their color. Place the peaches and the liquid and all other ingredients with about a cup of ice in a blender and blend until smooth.

Serve over ice.

Lambrusco Sangria

We opened a rather large bottle of Riunite Lambrusco to have with grilled steaks and didn’t manage to finish it that night.

So I decided to turn it into sangria. It makes a lightly effervescent and very refreshing drink. I basically used the fruit in the fridge – I would have added about a cup of grapes (peeled) had I had any or a banana. You want a mix of citrus and other mild fruit flavors that will commingle with liquids but still retain their shapes.

The basic rule of thumb is for every 2 cups of Lambrusco, add about 1 cup of other flavoring liquid – I like a mix of orange juice and triple sec. A full bottle of wine is about 3 cups.

The perfect accompaniment to the cicadas, katydids and laughter that were the music to our socially distant cocktail hour on a lovely June evening.

Lambrusco Sangria

1 orange or 3 tangerines/clementines/satsumas, peeled and cut into rounds
1 apple, peeled, cored and cut into chunks
1 peach, peeled and cut into slices
½ cup cantaloupe chunks
3/4 cup orange juice
¼ cup triple sec
2 tablespoons agave nectar (more as necessary)
2 cups Lambrusco

In a pitcher, stir together the fruit pieces. Add in orange juice and orange liqueur and agave nectar. Let sit for at least 30 minutes for the flavors to marry.

Stir in Lambrusco and ice cubes. Stir vigorously and taste for sweetness. Add more agave nectar, if needed. If it isn’t effervescent enough, add a splash of club soda or sparkling water. Serve over ice, placing some of the fruit in each glass.


Lemon Margaritas and Nachos

It was Tuesday yesterday and I was out of taco shells. We had to settle for nachos instead. Que lastima!

To make the nachos, I took a pie plate and made a multi layer recipe by layering tortilla chips, then ground beef that had been browned with cumin, chili powder and chipotle powder, some canned black beans I warmed in a saucepan and lots of Monterey jack pepper cheese. I then made another layers and slid it in the oven until the cheese melted.  It went on the table with some salsa and we dug in.

I basically do a layer for each person eating on it – with two us, I did two layers and it only takes 5 minutes in a 400 degree F oven but, when doing more layers, add in more time but watch it to make sure it doesn’t burn.

Served with a lemon margarita because sometimes life gives you lemons.

Lemon Margarita

¼ cup fresh lemon juice
½ cup tequila
3-4 tablespoons agave nectar

Zest a lemon before squeezing into a shaker. Squeeze more lemons to get ¼ cup juice. Add in the tequila and 3 tablespoons agave nectar. Shake well with ice. Taste and add more agave nectar, if necessary.

Mix the zest with coarse salt. Rub one of the squeezed lemon rinds onto the rim of two cocktail glassed and coat the rims in the lemon salt. Pour in the margarita and enjoy!



Blackberry Mojito

The other night, I pulled out the mortar and pestle and most of Michelle’s bar supplies in order to play mad scientist with a batch of blackberries and limes. After a few experiments, I came up with a delicious blackberry mojito using more of the blackberries Michell had picked and a generous helping of Cajun Spice Old New Orleans Rum. The drink was so delicious and refreshing. It went really well with the pulled pork sandwiches that Michelle and I had with our friend, Lydia.

Mojitos usually include mint but none of our pots of mint had survived the most recent dry spell, and I didn’t really want to use the dried mint in a cocktail so we skipped that step. While our drinks were excellent without it, next time, I will add some to the muddling.

Optional – top with a splash of club soda. I didn’t have any, so we just enjoyed the drink in all its intensity.

Blackberry Mojito

Blackberry simple syrup
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
2 cups blackberries, fresh or frozen

Add the water and sugar to a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir regularly until the sugar is dissolved. Pour over the blackberries and let sit for 30 minutes, mashing the berries. Pour the simple syrup through a sieve to remove the seeds. Put in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Per drink:
1 lime, quartered
handful of blackberries
1/4 cup rum
2 tablespoons blackberry simple syrup

Muddle together the quartered lime and blackberries in a shaker. Add the rum and simple syrup and shake well with some crushed ice. Strain as you pour over ice.