Down South Where I (Wanna) Stay……

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This past weekend, we went down to San Antonio for the long weekend, because we had nothing better to do. Just kidding. I’ll tell you why, later.

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We got to see the Terminator(Aspen) and spend some time with family for Jaelan’s birthday. But, more importantly, we got away from the blistering cold! We did come back to about half a foot of snow.

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I was able to check out a couple of coffee spots, Local Coffee and Press Coffee. Both were awesome spots and served a great cortado. I found Press Coffee a little cozier and less crowded.ย Xavier and I tried out the Esquire Tavern on the Riverwalk for desserts and cocktails for Valentine’s. I highly recommend. Great space and atmosphere, and a little history. We had the VDay special and the pulled pork sandwiches, and the Bitter Flip cocktail. We couldn’t squeeze in Fiddy Shades, but maybe that was a good thing?

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We also went on a hike with the girls at a nearby park for VDay. May just be a new tradition. Right before we finished:

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Xavi: How many miles have we hiked?
Aspen: 5 days!! We walked for 5 days, Xavi!! (She sounded angry)

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I think she was tired by then, lol. It was only a couple of miles, jeez.

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Here are a few more photos. Sadly, I did not get any shot of the Riverwalk, next time. Have a great rest of the week!! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Game of Thrones Mixing: 9/10

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*If you have not seen the latest episode, skip to the recipe*

This episode was action packed and was all about Jon Snow. Plus there were giants and mammoths. Giants AND Mammoths. But, I decided to make a drink after Ygritte. I couldn’t decide between her and Jon Snow, and I even thought about doing one for both, but I eventually decided on Ygritte. I have a feeling that I will get a chance to make a Jon Snow cocktail for the last episode of the season. Also, how is it that there is only ONE episode left, ONE!?

Ygritte

Ygritte is one of my favorite female characters in the show, after Cersei and Danaerys. She is strong, wild, and not afraid to kill…anyone, even Jon Snow.

It seems like every episode since like the second one, a major character dies in this show, which is part of what makes it awesome. This week, sharp-shooting Ygritte goes down. Her best moment was last season, ย when she put like 6 arrows into Jon Snow for turning his back on her.

In this episode, on the eve of the war between the Crows and the Free People, she makes it clear that she wants to be the one to destroy Jon Snow. Ygritte, in full rage and fury to avenge her broken heart, kills like a bunch of Crows. When she finally sees Jon Snow, and has the chance to take him out, she stares a little too long(without the rage and the fury), and is killed by the little elevator boy, with one arrow. Ironic. In the end, despite all of her badassery, she couldn’t do it. She couldn’t put more arrows into Jon Snow, and kill him. She ends up dying in the arms of Jon Snow and tells him that they should have stayed inside their cave.

Episode 9: The Ygritte Cocktail

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This drink looks good and it is. It’s refreshing and there is just enough zest and sweetness. I made two small changes. I like it better with ginger beer, instead of ginger ale. I also added a tad bit more of cranberry juice, and it was perfect. You can find the recipe here.

1.5oz Vodka (I used Reyyka, because Wildlings and Ygritte are cold)

0.75oz Cranberry Juice

0.5oz Fresh Lemon Juice

a splash or two of ginger beer (I used Cockbull)

2 large strawberries

Muddle strawberries in a shaker. Add vodka, cranberry juice, and lemon juice, and ice. Shake and strain into a rocks glass. Garnish with strawberry and ENJOY!!

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*Game of Thrones images from hbo.com*

 

 

 

 

Game of Thrones Mixing: 7/10 and 8/10

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If you have not seen the last episodes, skip to the recipe!

There has been plenty of action in the last 2 episodes, and I barely got through the bye week. But, here we are, and for both episodes, It’s all about the Prince Oberyn Martell, the Red Viper. For episode 7, because how awesome was it that he dramatically volunteered to be Tyrion’s champion!? Awesome. For episode 8, because as much as I loved his badassery, did you see how he went out!? Smashing, literally. I wanted him to win, I really did, but then again…..

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The Red Viper Cocktail:

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This is a version of the blood and sand cocktail, which I’ve had a few times, so I already know that I like this drink and that it’s good. Because, scotch. I didn’t have any blood oranges or blood orange liquer, so, I substituted regular navel orange juice. Also, the recipe can be found here, and is meant to represent House Martell, but the Red Viper is the only one we’ve seen so far, so it’s the Red Viper Cocktail in this blog ๐Ÿ™‚

1oz blended scotch( I only have single malt scotch, so I used Jameson)

1oz navel orange juice

3/4oz sweet vermouth

3/4oz Cherry Heering

Place all ingredients in a shaker, fill with ice, shake, and strain into a cocktail glass. ENJOY!

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**Game of Thrones images from hbo.com**

Negroni Week 2014!!

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Negroni Week 2014 is coming up this week. As a newbie to the world of cocktails, the Negroni is one that I am trying to develop a taste for. It is definitely an acquired taste. The Negroni is an IBA official drink and so very easy to make. I like the classic recipe with a few dashes of triple sec, but I also enjoy a grapefruit variation. I can’t wait to try other takes on this cocktail.

For the week of June 2-8, Imbibe Magazine and Campari, have teamed up to launch Negroni Week. Bars around the country, and the world, will celebrate this awesome cocktail while trying to raise funds for various charities. You can find out more about the event here. So, think restaurant week, but for a cocktail.

Bars will be serving up their classic and unique variation of the Negroni, and donating proceeds from each Negroni sale to the charity of their choice. Here, in Kansas City, there are several bars that are participating and I have already eyed a few that I have yet to visit. You can find the list of participating KC bars here. The charity that a majority of the bars here are supporting is the Children’s Center for the Visually Impaired. So, this is another great opportunity for you to help out our kids in need and enjoy a classic and timeless cocktail. CHEERS!!

Here is my favorite Negroni recipe:

1oz gin

1oz sweet vermouth

1oz Campari

a few dashes of triple sec

garnish with orange peel

Place all ingredients into a shaker, fill with ice, shake, strain into an old-fashioned glass, and ENJOY!!

 

*Negroni Week image from imbibe.com*

Game of Thrones Mixing: 5/10

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Well, as I write this post, it dawned on me that we are at the half way point of the season. This means that there are only five episodes left! Why is it going by so fast!? Here is a drink that you can enjoy with your mom this weekend, it has coffee ๐Ÿ™‚

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Episode 5: The Night’s Watch Cocktail

This episode had a few things going on, and really, there were a lot of characters and places to chose from. Also, I thought Cersei was, “nice”, in this episode, well as nice as she can get. I decided on the Night’s Watch cocktail for this episode. Not sure if it was the feminist in me, but I thought they did the most good, by burning down Craster’s Keep and the mutineer’s. There was a lot of wrong going on in that place and it needed to be burned down. I also like the fact that Jon Snow allowed the remaining women to decided their fate, stay outside of the wall or to come with the Night’s Watch.

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This cocktail is a Black Forest rendition, which if very fitting to the Night’s watch: black and predominantly coffee. However, I did an overhaul with this drink because I had one major issue: not enough alcohol content. Also, I did not have Benedictine on hand so I substituted with B&B. B&B is a less sweeter version. The recipe that I started with can be found here.

The first time I made this, I hated it. As previously stated, too much coffee and not enough liquor. Here is my weird version that I liked:

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2.5oz coffee, brewed and chilled(I used Heartbreak Coffee)

0.5oz dark rum

1/4oz B&B

1/4oz Maraschino

1/4oz Franjelico

Place all materials in a shaker, add ice, shake, strain into a flute, and ENJOY!

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*Game of Thrones images from google.com*

 

 

 

Kentucky Derby , Boxing, and Basketball!!

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Since we are that much closer to Kentucky here in Kansas/Missouri, The Kentucky Derby is pretty popular here, or another reason to throw a party and imbibe. There are a few Derby parties being hosted by restaurants and bars around town. Being from Texas, and I guess too far south, I didn’t hear too much about Derby growing up, except who won the race, probably because Cinco de Mayo is more popular down there. So, in honor of Derby weekend, I thought I would try my hand at a couple of Kentucky Derby traditions, a Derby Walnut Pie and Mint Julep Cocktail.

The official drink of the Kentucky Derby is the mint julep. They sell some 100,000+ of these drinks during the 2 day event. It’s a very simple drink consisting of bourbon, sugar, and mint leaves. I am not too keen on mint flavored drinks, but I decided to give it a go. I did try the pineapple version, but that one calls for gin and not bourbon, and my first try was a fail, so I went for the traditional recipe. The recipe that I followed can be found here.

Mint Julep Cocktail

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2.5oz Bourbon(I used Woodford Reserve)

2tbs sugar

mint leaves

Muddle the mint leaves and sugar in a julep cup. Add the bourbon. Fill past the rim with crushed ice and garnish with mint sprig, sip slowly, and enjoy!

Derby Walnut Pie

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Like the mint julep, the derby pie is the official pie of the Kentucky Derby. It was first served at the infamous Melrose Inn over 60 years ago and by George Kern. The recipe that I used can be found here. I only made a slight change on this one. I thought 1 1/4 cups of chocolate chips was too much so I changed it to 1 cup. I would also suggest baking for a little over 45 minutes.

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1/2 cup flour

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1/2 cup butter

2 TBS Kentucky bourbon

1 cup chopped walnuts

1 cup chocolate chips, semi-sweet

1 tsp vanilla extract

pinch of salt

1 deep dish pie crust

Pre heat oven to 350.

Mix all ingredients in bowl. Pour mixture onto pie crust and bake for 45-50 minutes. Cool before cutting and enjoy with your mint julep while wearing your most outrageous hat and cheering for your favorite horse.

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Also going on this weekend are the NBA playoffs and the anticipated Floyd Mayweather vs. Marcos Maidana fight. I recommend Cinco de Mayo drinks with the Mayweather/Maidana fight :). CHEERS!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Game of Thrones Mixing: 3/10 and 4/10

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Episode 3: The Dragon Lady Cocktail

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This episode was obviously a filler, so I couldn’t decide on which drink to try. There was the total boldness of Cersei and Jamie. There was also Daenarys doing her usual thing, freeing people, being a bad ass, and such. I decided to go with a Daenarys and not the mentally deranged brother/sister couple.

The original recipe is from here.

Of course, I had no idea where the heck to find dragon fruit, so my version is sans the dragon fruit, which is the whole point of the drink. Also, not sure if that is why the color of mine is way different. I also added just a tad bit more mango juice cause I love mango ๐Ÿ™‚ The drink is my favorite so far. It’s sweet with just the right amount of zip from the lime juice, just like Danny ๐Ÿ™‚

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2oz Vodka (I used Tito’s, cause everything is hotter in Texas and dragons spit fire)

1.25oz mango juice

0.5oz triple sec

0.5oz lime juice

Place all materials in a shaker with ice and shake, shake. Strain into a glass and enjoy.

Episode 4: The Wall Cocktail

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This one was an easy choice, I wanted to make something related to the wall and the wights because they have finally made an appearance this season. I thought the insight into the wight’s world was the best part so far, behind Joffrey’s death of course.

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The drink itself, I did not particularly like because of the mint bitters. I don’t really like mint based cocktails. The first try, I put about 3-4 dashes of mint bitters and that was way too much. I also tried it without, and it was more to my liking, but it didn’t have that umph! factor that the bitters provide. If you are like me, limit the mint bitters to 1 or 2 dashes and you should be good.

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Also, the recipe calls for Plymouth Gin, but I like my Ransom, so I went with that(sometimes I don’t follow instructions too well). This is probably why my color is on the greenish side, which is fine with me because it’s kind of my play on the wights/undead.

The original recipe is from here. I did not do the dry ice business.

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2oz gin (I used Ransom, which is probably why my color is different)

0.5oz lime juice

0.5oz simple syrup

1 egg white

1-2 dashes of mint bitters

club soda

Place all ingredients except the club soda into a shaker with ice and shake, shake, shake. Strain into a pre-chilled glass of your choice and top off with the club soda and enjoy!

 

*Game of Thrones images from google.com*