Tip Tuesday – Stretching Your Wine Dollars

Mango Basil Wine CocktailIf you are having a large party and are on a tight budget you might want to try serving wine cocktails, or as some people know them by – sangria, instead of straight up wine. It makes the wine stretch further and you can usually get away with a cheaper wine since it is mixed with other ingredients. No one will know that you did it to cut costs because they taste oh so good and are very refreshing on warm summer nights.

Mango-Basil Wine Cocktail

Ingredients:

Basil Simple Syrup

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 cup basil leaves

Cocktail Mix

  • 1 bottle inexpensive Pinot Grigio or Chardonnay
  • 2-1/2 cups mango nectar (peach nectar can also be used)
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • Garnish: basil leaves, mango or peach slice

Directions:

To make simple syrup, combine all of the syrup ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, crushing basil leaves against side of pan to bring out flavor, then simmer just until sugar has dissolved. Let cool.

When ready to serve, mix wine, mango or peach nectar, lemon juice and simple syrup in a large pitcher. Pour into glasses filled with ice. Garnish with basil leaf and slice of mango, peach or lemon. You can also make the cocktail more colorful by placing pieces of fruit such as mango, peaches, lemons, raspberries or strawberries right in the pitcher.

Serves 6.

Note: You can also try pureed strawberries in place of mango or peach nectar as they go great with the taste of basil.

Linda's Signature

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Thirst Quenchers

It is getting mighty hot down in here in Florida so refreshing drinks are in high demand!  Here are 2 summer sips that will have you cooling down in no time.

Strawberry-Thyme-Cocktail

Strawberry-Thyme Lemonade

Strawberry-Thyme Lemonade

Serves: 8 – Total Time: 45 minutes, with chilling

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 8 thyme sprigs
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 quart strawberries, hulled & sliced
  • 1.5 cups fresh lemon juice
  • 5 cups water
  • vodka (optional)
  • thyme sprig (garnish)

Directions:

Boil sugar, thyme sprigs, and 1 cup water in small saucepan until sugar is dissolved.  Remove from heat, let cool, and discard thyme sprigs.  Combine thyme syrup with strawberries, lemon juice, and 5 cups water in pitcher and chill for at least 30 minutes.  Serve over ice with a fresh thyme sprig and a splash of vodka.

Pineapple Lime Coconut Spritzer

Pineapple Lime Coconut Spritzer

Pineapple Lime Coconut Spritzer

Serves 8 – Total Time: 45 minutes, with chilling

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups pineapple juice
  • 2 cups coconut water
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
  • 2 cups club soda or sparkling water
  • 1/2 pineapple, cored & cut into triangles (garnish)
  • rum (optional)

Directions:

Combine pineapple juice, coconut water, and lime juice in a large pitcher.  Chill for 30 minutes.  Add in club soda and immediately serve over ice.  Garnish with pineapple wedges and add in a splash of rum.

Christina signature 3

~ Cocktails adapted from Dawn Perry, Spritzer picture from allParenting

Thirsty Thursday – A Limeade with a Punch

With the warm weather upon us and school almost out we will begin to see little entrepreneurs with their lemonade stands in abundance. Of course you won’t find this particular punch for sale there but it is one that will certainly appeal to all your adult friends. It is easy to make either on the rocks or as a frozen drink and provides a refreshing cooler for summer getherings.

Vodka Limeade

Ingredients:

  • vodka limeade12-oz. can frozen limeade concentrate
  • 6-oz. orange juice
  • 6-oz. water
  • 9-oz. vodka
  • 4 cups crushed ice
  • 2 sprigs fresh mint
  • lime slices for garnish (optional)

Directions:

In a large pitcher or jug, mix together all of the above ingredients except garnish. Pour into 5-6 glasses and garnish each with lime slice.

Serves 5-6.

Note: If you are making at home, you can add the mixture, except for mint sprig, to a blender and make more of a slushy drink. Garnish with lime slice.

Linda's Signature