Raspberry Mint Juleps

The Mint Julep…. the official drink of the Kentucky Derby!  Anyone who is into horse racing will be familiar with this drink.  On average over 120,000 mint juleps are served each year at the running of the Kentucky Derby.

Growing up on a Thoroughbred horse farm in Michigan for years my parents would head down to Kentucky each May to watch the Kentucky Derby and enjoy the traditional Mint Juleps.  As the years went on the Mint Julep became a staple at our family gathers, BBQ’s and dinners.  Although my parent’s would enjoy this drink they called delicious, I usually passed over having one and opted for a different drink.  Why?  I am not a big fan of mint. I know, I know! How can I not like mint??  Mint is one of those flavors that no matter how much I try to like it — I just don’t!  So drinking an entire Mint Julep was just out of the question for me.

So I am sure you’re wondering, if I do not like mint how in the world did I end posting about a Raspberry Mint Julep?  Well, a few months ago while Mark and I were at Mom & Dad’s having dinner they were all enjoying their juleps and I was feeling left out.  Looking around my Mom’s kitchen I noticed she had some strawberries sitting there for us to snack on.  My mind began to wander – Strawberries and bourbon? It should work, right?  So, I walked over and made myself a custom “mint” julep but instead of using mint I replaced he mint leaves with strawberries. Winner, winner chicken dinner!!!  The drink was amazing and I loved it!!!

Since then I have used peaches and raspberries in place of the mint leaves in my juleps — the raspberries being my favorite “substitution” to use.  Mark loves the traditional mint flavored juleps; however, every once in a while he wants to add a little spice to his so I will add the fruit in addition to the mint leaves (like the recipe below does) so he then gets the best of both worlds.

I know that adding fruit to the julep is far from tradition but for those who would love to add a little twist to a traditional drink, or for those who do not like mint, give it a try — I promise you’ll love it!!

Raspberry Mint Juleps

Raspberry Mint Juleps
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Ingredients:
Handful of fresh Raspberries
3-5 Fresh Mint Leaves
1/2 Ounce Simple Syrup
2 1/2 Ounces Bourbon
1/2 Teaspoon Sugar
Ice

Directions:
In a large cocktail glass add a small to medium sized handful of fresh raspberries along with the sugar and the mint leaves. Muddle the mixture together.

Add the simple syrup and the bourdon and stir to combine. Add the ice and enjoy!

Note: to make simple syrup just add equal parts sugar and water into a small sauce pan. Heat the mixture over medium heat until the sugar is completely dissolved and the mixture is clear. Cool the mixture down and store in an air tight container in the refrigerator.

Source: Meghan’s Original

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Bahama Mama

Last August when Mark and I got married we really wanted to have two specialty cocktails at our wedding receptions instead of just an open bar. I spent weeks trying to pick out which drinks we were going to have. I poured over website after website trying to find a drink that I knew would appear to the general masses. I had already picked out the first drink, which was going to be a Strawberry Long Island Iced Tea and all I had left to do was to find the second drink. In addition to the rest of the wedding planing needless to say I was getting quite stressed. Anyone who has ever planned a wedding will know what I am talking about it!

One day, while Mark and I were out at dinner with my parents and some of their friends we got talking about a recent trip to the Bahama’s they had all gone on. In each and every story one drink kept coming up in their conversation — the famous Bahama Mama!  After asking one of my Mom’s friend, Linda, what was in the drink and how to make it — I knew instantly that this would make the perfect second drink at our reception.

We received so many compliments on our choice of specialty drinks. At the end of the day this is the perfect drink for a party, BBQ, summertime — well, really — ANYTIME!

Bahama_Mama-1

Bahama Mama
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Ingredients:
1 1/2 ounce Malibu Rum
1  1/2 ounce Captain Morgan
1 1/2 ounces Orange Juice
2 2/1 ounces Pineapple Juice
1-2 tablespoons of Grenadine
1/4 cup Ice

Directions:
Combine all of the ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake till well mixed. Serve in a cocktail glass and garnish with an orange or pineapple wedge.

Source: adapted slightly from Linda Carey.

Strawberry Long Island Iced Tea

Spring time…. That means that grilling, outdoor parties, and the consumption of adult beverages is coming!  I am so excited for spring and summer to get here that I am literally jumping out of my shoes with excitement!  A few weeks ago here in Michigan we saw temperatures close to 60 degrees!  It was so nice to be able to take our three dogs for a mile long walk through downtown Mason, and once we got home we dusted off the grill and made BBQ chicken, grilled pineapple and grilled vegetables!   As we sat there enjoying our dinner I realized that a nice frosty “adult” beverage, with bright spring n’ summer flavors, would have made our meal complete!

I have plenty of drink recipes that I plan to share with you over the next couple of months, but I wanted to start with this one!  Why?  Because it is by far, my favorite adult beverage to drink during the summer time!   One important fact about myself — I love strawberries, and I love strawberry flavors drinks!!  

I know, I know — A Long Island Iced Tea requires 5-6 different kind of liquors, which compared to most drinks is a lot!  (For those who like to cheat and take the “semi-homemade” way there is a premixed Long Island Iced Tea mix that you can buy and use!)  However, making this drink fresh yields a much tastier beverage and one you can customize until your heart is content.  To do so — just select a different flavored fruit mix instead of the strawberry!  I have tried peach, mango, and raspberry — all have turned out amazingly delicious! 

This drink goes well with just about anything that you can cook up outdoors! So — fire up your grill (once the weather warms up) and enjoy a nice frosty beverage while you relax! 

Strawberry Long Island Iced Tea

Strawberry Long Island Iced Tea
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Ingredients:
.50 ounce Vodka
.50 ounce Tequila
.50 ounce Rum
.50 ounce Gin
.50 ounce Triple Sec
1.50 ounce Sweet & Sour Mix
Splash of Daily’s Strawberry Margarita/Daiquiri Mix

Directions:
Mix all the ingredients together in a glass filled with ice. Pour everything into a drink shaker and give it a few brisk shakes. Pour the mixture back into the glass and garnish with a lime. Enjoy!!