Papaya Margarita

Hi friends!

 The past few days the weather here has been amazing. Warm, sunny, calm winds, basically exactly what you would dream up if you were casting “perfect weather” in a film. So, I’ve wanted nothing more than to be outside. This weekend we spent Saturday in San Francisco eating lunch at a restaurant right on the pier with lots of good friends. It would have been great even if the weather was crappy, but it made it that much better that we were able to wear dresses and soak up some rays. Then on Sunday we got our patio furniture all cleaned off and ready for many, many dinners outside this summer, I did some work in the garden, washed the cars, and sat basking in the sun for about an hour. All in all a perfect, sunny weekend. After I came in the house, I wanted a cold, delicious drink, and the papaya margarita was born.
Now I have to confess, in my current state I haven’t actually tried this version of the drink but my husband gives his full approval. I will also tell you that all you have to do is substitute the tequila with sparking water and you have a delicious, pregnancy-friendly version of the drink!
I have been loving papaya lately. I get mine at Trader Joe’s and they are always really good. I usually buy a couple at a time and get one more ripe and one that’s really green. That way, by the time I finish the ripe one the green one has ripened up and is ready to eat!
For this cocktail you need about 1 cup of chopped papaya – which makes 2 cocktails. A half of a large papaya should give you enough to make 6 or 8 though, so drink up!
You need to blend the papaya into a puree in a blender with 1 tablespoon of water (per 2 cups). You are left with a pretty thick puree, but don’t worry – you’ll dilute it with the tequila (if you’re lucky!) :)
Next, juice up 2 limes. Combine the lime juice with the papaya puree and 1 tablespoon agave syrup. Shake really well to combine. The puree should be thinner now thanks to the lime juice. Add 6-9 oz of tequila (depending on how you’re feeling!) and shake well. Pour over a cup filled with ice. Garnish with a lime slice.
This is a perfect summer drink. It’s light, refreshing, fruity, and slightly sweet. I think it will be a staple on your summer happy hour menu!

Recipe: Papaya Margarita


  • Makes 2 cocktails
  • 1 cup papaya chunks
  • juice of 2 limes
  • 1 tablespoon agave syrup
  • 6 to 9 oz tequila
  • ice
  • lime for garnish


  1. Blend papaya into a puree with 1 tablespoon of water. Add juice of 2 limes and agave syrup and shake well. Add tequila and shake again.
  2. Fill a glass with ice and pour the shaken cocktail over (do not pour through the top holes of the cocktail shaker! You’ll lose all the papaya puree. Instead, take the top totally off and pour.)
  3. Garnish with a lime and enjoy!



Bourbon Soaked Cherries

Hey there!

You guys ready for a holiday cocktail?! I am! I’ve spent the day Christmas-ing it up! We got our tree set up and decorated  and the house is looking Christmas-y and smelling like a Christmas Tree thanks in part to our freshly cut tree, but mostly due to my favorite candles from Bath & Body Works. Fresh Balsam. Run to your nearest BBW and pick up a few (or 20) asap!

So, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here. Including some cookies baking in the oven as we speak (more on that to come!), all that’s missing is a Christmas cocktail.

Not for long!


These cherries are so easy to make, but the catch is, you have to let them marinate for 4-6 weeks before you can use them. So make them now and they’ll be ready for the holidays!

Michael drinks a lot of Manhattans. They are one of his favorite go-to cocktails, which I am fully on board with for two reasons. #1 I like them too and usually get a sip and #2 I always get to eat the cherry that comes with it

Every once in a while, I’ll get something a little fancier than a plain ol’ maraschino cherry. One that the bartender pulls out from under the bar in a jar full of cherries and liquid. Those are the ones I can’t wait to get my hands on. This is my attempt at recreating them.

It seems you can marinated cherries in all sorts of liquors and liqueurs, but I chose bourbon because, well, I like bourbon!

The very simple process involves just dissolving sugar in the bourbon and then pouring it over pitted cherries. You can use frozen just as well as fresh. This time of year fresh ones would be pretty hard to come by! I used cherries I pitted and froze this past summer, but you could pick some up in the freezer section of your local grocery store.

Once you let the cherries marinate, you can toss them in your Manhattans, muddle them into a cocktail, or mix the cherry-infused bourbon with some spiced cider for a seriously festive drink. Whatever you want to use them for, make these cherries asap. They are sure to make your holiday a little merrier.


Recipe: Bourbon Soaked Cherries


  • 1 pound pitted cherries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups Bourbon Whiskey


  1. Place cherries in a 1 quart canning jar.
  2. In a small sauce pan, heat the sugar and whiskey over medium low heat, whisking constantly just until sugar is dissolved.
  3. Pour mixture over the cherries and refrigerate 4-6 weeks. Cherries will keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 year.


Ginger Peach Whiskey Smash

Hallelujah!!! It’s FRIDAY!

No only is is FRIDAY (did I mention I am excited!) but this weekend is also one of my very best friends’ wedding! Woohoo! I am so excited to go celebrate with the beautiful bride!

Speaking of celebrations…want to turn a normal evening into a party? This ginger peach whiskey smash IS FOR YOU!

It’s no secret I love whiskey. I love it any way I can get it. But what I really love is when someone tells me they don’t like whiskey and then I make them a cocktail and they love it. Guys, whiskey isn’t just for shots and car bombs. It actually goes really well with the sweetness in lots of different fruits. Exhibit A: Peaches.

Once again, I overdid it at the farmer’s market on peaches. I just can’t help myself.

So, when I was staring at a fruit bowl full of peaches and simultaneously feeling the need for a mid-week cocktail (don’t judge! ;) I knew just what to do. So I sliced up the peaches, slit off the skins (and promptly devoured them), and grabbed some more goodies. I’ve been kind of obsessed with ginger lately, and I thought it would work really well here, so I grated some up to throw in the shaker. Then, I tossed in the peaches and got my muddle on.

Next, it’s time for the good stuff. Pour in your whiskey and shake baby shake. If you like your cocktails a little bit sweeter, feel free to add some honey or agave, too. But my peaches were super sweet and I like my cocktails on the less sweet end, so I thought it was just perfect as is.
You also have a choice. To strain, or not to strain. That is the question. My answer is always: NOT to strain. I love me some pulp. My hubby and plup do not get along. So we’ve got one strainer, one non strainer in the fam. What about you?
Strain, or not! over ice and top with a splash of club soda. Garnish with a slice of peach.
Whatever you are celebrating this weekend, even if it’s just the weekend!, this cocktail will make things just a little bit sweeter!

Recipe: Ginger Peach Whiskey Smash

Summary: Make 2 cocktails


  • 1 peach, sliced and peeled
  • 1″ piece of ginger, grated
  • 1/2 cup whiskey
  • club soda
  • agave or honey *optional


  1. In your cocktail shaker, combine peaches and ginger. Muddle until smooth.
  2. Add whiskey (and agave or honey if using) and shake vigorously for several minutes.
  3. Strain (or not!) over ice.
  4. Top with Club Soda and garnish with a peach slice.




Cucumber Ginger Sparkler

Hey there! Iiiiiiiiiit’s Monday! I know I know. Monday. AND it’s the first day of school! So I dunno about you, but I could definitely use a cocktail. This is the perfect cocktail to reassure yourself that summer isn’t over quite yet.

There are all kinds of infused vodkas out there. I mean, you walk into BevMo and you can pretty much get any flavor you want! There are the regulars like vanilla, citrus, berry, and the more out there ones like blood orange and whipped cream, and everything in between. For this cocktail, you get to make your own cucumber-ginger infused vodka and let me tell you it will be way better than anything you can buy in the store!

You can make a batch of this infused vodka as big or as small as you need. The recipe is for one cocktail, but you can double, tripple, quadruple it, or more! This would be a great brunch cocktail for those guests who don’t love mimosas or Bloody Mary’s, it is definitely light and refreshing enough to drink before noon!

When you get to the bottom of this drink, make sure to snack on the vodka soaked cucumbers-they aren’t just for garnish people!!!

If you’re feeling the Monday madness like I am, give yourself something to look forward to and make one of these the second you walk in the door this evening and all your Monday worries will be washed away. I’ll be raising my glass to you around 5:02…how about you?? :)


Cucumber Ginger Sparkler
Serves 1
  • 4.5 oz vodka
  • ½ cup peeled chopped cucumber
  • 1 inch piece peeled ginger
  • peeled cucumber ribbons
  • 1 tablespoon simple syrup
  • soda water
  • ice
  1. Use a vegetable peeler to peel several cucumber ribbons, set aside.
  2. Chop ½ cup cucumber and pack into an 8oz glass
  3. Add ginger and vodka, let stand at room temperature 20-30 minutes
  4. Strain infused vodka into a tom collins class filled halfway with ice and cucumber ribbons
  5. Add simple syrup
  6. Top with soda water
  7. Stir gently and serve


Blueberry Smash

Happy Friday!!!

This weekend I’m headed up to wine country for two wonderful people’s nuptials. I just love weddings in wine country and knowing the bride and groom I am sure this wedding is going to be a BLAST!

Unfortunately, it is also supposed to be 100 degrees! (seriously, that is the forecast!) So I’m sure we’ll be drinking plenty of “cool-me-down” cocktails (and of course lots of water ;) )

Speaking of cool-me-down-cocktails….you have got to try this blueberry smash!

This cocktail is filled with refreshing, fruity flavors. It’s perfect for lounging with the girls in the sun, or for your backyard BBQ, or for a rainy night inside imagining you are on a beach! Plus, you are getting tons of blueberry antioxidant action making this cocktail 100% good for you…right???

It’s also pretty fun to make because you throw everything into a pitcher and get to smash it all with a muddler. Really get some arm action going here- hey! this drink is a workout too!

After you muddle everything up stir in vodka, soda, and elderflower liqueur. Serve it up over ice. It’s best to let the pitcher sit an hour or so to let the flavors meld-it also helps the color look pretty-but I totally understand if that’s not happening, :)

Have a wonderful weekend!


5.0 from 1 reviews

Blueberry Smash
Recipe type: Cocktail
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • ½ cup loosely packed mint leaves
  • 2 limes, sliced
  • 2 lemons, sliced
  • 2½ cups vodka
  • ½ cup elderflower liqueur
  • ⅔ cup soda water
  • ice
  1. In a large pitcher combine blueberries, lemons, limes, and mint.
  2. Muddle well with a muddler or back of a spoon.
  3. Stir in vodka and elderflower liqueur (if possible, let pitcher sit for 1 hour to let flavors blend), stir in soda water.
  4. Serve over ice.



Raspberry Mint Julep

Hey there!

Happy Monday! So, I noticed that I usually post cocktail recipes on Fridays or Saturdays to get us all ready to jump into the weekend. But you know what? Sometimes you just need a cocktail on a Monday!

Especially when it is this Raspberry Mint Julep! Were you as bummed as I was that I’ll Have Another dropped out of the Tripple Crown Race this weekend? I mean, I’m not a super huge horse racing fan or anything, but I was excited to watch the race and possibly history being made. AND I was really excited to make these cocktails- a twist on the traditional horse racing classic. Even though there wasn’t a history making performance it was still fun to watch and these were a hit! The horse wasn’t in the race, but the theme of the day was still, “I’ll have another!”

I love whiskey.

For those who say whiskey isn’t a day time drink-try this cocktail! You will find whiskey can be just as refreshing as a white wine spritzer, or something that you find refreshing. Has anyone actually ever had a white wine spritzer? I think I have only heard of them in movies being ordered by women with really white teeth. Let me know if you think they are something I need to try out, but for now, I’ll stick with whiskey.

Do you like pulp in your orange juice? Wondering what that has to do with anything? Well, it will determine whether or not you strain this cocktail. Personally, I love pulp in my OJ, or any juice for that matter. Needless to say, I don’t strain this (or really any) cocktails. I love the chunks of fruit and yes, even the raspberry seeds. But, if it’s not your thing, feel free to strain it out.

One or two of these cocktails at the end of the day today and I see your Monday getting much brighter. “Somebody’s got a case of the Mondays” might take on a whole new meaning :)


Raspberry Mint Julep
Recipe type: Cocktail
  • 1 pint raspberries
  • ½ cup loosely packed mint leaves
  • ⅓ cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 cup whiskey
  • ice
  1. Blend raspberries, mint, and sugar in a blender
  2. Stir in whiskey
  3. Pour over ice
  4. Makes 4 cocktails


Watermelon Mint Margarita – Happy Cinco de Mayo!!

Happy Cinco de Mayo Friends!!!!

I absolutely love food/drink based holidays. But then again who doesn’t?! My love for Cinco de Mayo probably has to do with these three factors: my love for chips and salsa, guacamole, and tequila!

So today to celebrate I’ll be drinking lots of these! My sister is coming down to visit and it’s supposed to be really nice today and I can’t think of anything better than sitting in my backyard, catching up with my sis, with one of these in hand!

Lets be honest, well probably also be drinking these, and these, and these!!! ;)

I first tried this refreshing libation on our New York trip. We had just spent an uncharacteristically warm afternoon at the Yankee game and needed something cool with a little zing. This definitely fit the bill! Almost as soon as I got home I set off to recreate the magic!

The trick of this cocktail is that the watermelon isn’t juiced or blended, it just gets muddled right there in the cocktail shaker with the lime juice, honey (you could also use agave syrup) mint, and tequila. Then, you add the ice and shake it like a salt shaker so the watermelon breaks up even more. Speaking of salt, I LOVE salt on margs, but this version doesn’t really need it- I think I might try a sugar rim though, it is a holiday! Also,  I always use blanco tequila for margaritas, I just think it tastes best.

The recipe I recreated is for one drink, but if you are having a Cinco de Mayo fiesta you could easily make a big batch, stick it in a pitcher in the fridge, and make all your guest very happy!


If you need some more Cinco de Mayo cocktail motivation…

Avocado Margarita

Blood Orange Margarita

La Paloma Hermosa


What are your Cinco de Mayo plans???

Watermelon Mint Margarita
  • watermelon, cut into about 1″ cubes (4 cubes per drink)
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1½ teaspoons honey
  • 5 mint leaves
  • 3.5 oz blanco tequila
  1. Muddle about 4 watermelon cubes in a cocktail shaker
  2. Add honey, lime juice, and mint
  3. Muddle again
  4. Add tequila and fill shaker with ice
  5. Shake well-very well!
  6. Pour drink, ice and all into your glass or mason jar
  7. Garnish with mint leaves and a slice of watermelon


La Paloma Hermosa

Happy Friday!

Best day of the week right? Who’s feeling like a cocktail? Is it weird that I am raising my hand as I type?

It is supposed to be a ridiculously nice weekend in northern California and I can’t wait to fix me up a big batch of these! I first had this delicious concoction at Mateo’s Cocina Latina in Healdsburg, CA. I think it must have been a combination of me raving loudly about how amazing it was and the fact that I drank it at world record speed that made the barenter turn to me at the bar and ask, “Do you want the recipe?” It’s possible I shouted “Yes!” a little too excitedly, but I don’t think so. :)  Continue reading →

Bourbon and Banana Cupcakes

Oh what a Happy Friday it is!! :)

Im sending you off to the weekend with a double duty recipe. It’s a cocktail and a sweet treat all rolled into one! Pretty awesome right? Besides, who doesn’t need a little Bourbon on a Friday anyway?!?

These cupcakes were born out of one of those overwhelming desire to bake. Do you every get that feeling? I was just sitting on the couch watching some basketball with Michael and all of the sudden it was like, “I-am-going-to-go-crazy-if-I-don’t-bake-a-cupcake-right-this-second.” You know what I mean? Or is it just me?! :/

After you get that feeling the next logical step is to stand in the middle of your kitchen and spin around in slow circles until something strikes your fancy. At this point it is usually good to be home alone because if you have a spouse/roommate/friend in the house with you they may start looking at you like you have completely lost it, but just go with the process.

First thing that caught my eye was the bunch of bananas on the counter. As I kept spinning, I remembered I had a container of chocolate frosting in my cupboard that I had leftover from a mass baking event at work (my job is awesome) that I have been meaning to use up. Ok so I had bananas and chocolate. A good combo, but I was missing something. As I spun around my kitchen thinking “Bananas, chocolate, and…,” it came to me, Bourbon of course! Now, I love Bourbon any old time, but I had a feeling it would be fantastic paired with bananas and chocolate in cupcake form. Man I love it when I am right!! :)

Continue reading →

Guinness Brownies!

Happy St. Patricks Day to me!

Who doesn’t love St. Paddy’s Day?! Now, I’m not Irish, but I can appreciate any holiday that is based around eating (corned beef and cabbage anyone?!), drinking (Guinness for all!), and fashion (does everyone have their green outfit/nail polish/eyeshadow ready??), not to mention general merriment and tomfoolery! So, even though I don’t have Irish blood running through my veins, maybe that just leaves more room for Guinness! And Guinness Brownies! :)

These brownies are: decadent, silky, chocolatey, smooth, and RICH. These here are special occasion brownies people. You can’t eat them every day, but that just makes them even more fantastic.

You know how, when you make baked goods, you try to fool yourself by cutting off “little pieces” of whatever it is, because that’s way better than just cutting a big piece and eating the whole thing, but then you end up cutting off enough “little pieces” to make, I dunno, 3 full sized pieces? Yeah, me neither. And it’s definitely not a problem with these brownies.  Continue reading →

Avocado Margarita!

It’s Happy Hour time!!!

Welcome to the weekend folks. What better way to spend an afternoon than by sipping on this delicious cocktail?!

I know, I know, you are already questioning me. Acocado??? In a cocktail?????

The answer, my friends, is YES.

I frequently force ask my husband to “try this and guess that is in it?” He is a great sport about it, and sometimes is right on. The first thing he guessed when I handed him this cocktail? Greek yogurt! Possibly because I put greek yogurt in almost everything, but also possibly because of the creaminess that the avocado gives this cocktail.

There you go again…Creamy? In a cocktail???


To start you muddle up the avocado with the lime juice and cilantro. Then add the tequila and triple sec and agave. Shake it up good with ice.

Strain the cocktail into a glass with a salt rim. I made a mix of celery salt and kosher salt for the rim. Run a lime around the rim and dip into the salt mixture.

Garnish with a lime. Grab some chips and salsa. Sip your avocado margarita and listen very carefully. Yep. That’s me you are hearing as you are loving your drink.

I told you so. :)

Avocado Margarita!

Recipe from 101 Mojitos and other Muddled Drinks by Kim Haasarud (Wiley & Sons 2011).

2 oz Tequilla
0.75 oz Tripple Sec
Juice of 1 lime
1.5 oz agave nectar
Half a ripe avocado
2-3 sprigs of cilantro
Kosher salt / celery salt, for rim *
Lime wedge, for garnish

Kosher / Celery Salt Rim: In a small bowl, mix 1 teaspoon of celery salt with 4 Tablespoons Kosher salt.  Mix well.  To rim the glass, wet outside of Margarita glass with lime wedge and dip into salt mixture.  Set the glass aside.

In a mixing glass, muddle the avocado with the lime juice and cilantro. Add the tequila tripple sec, and agave.  Top with ice and shake vigorously.  Strain into ice-filled, salt-rimmed glass.  Garnish with lime wedge and serve.

Whiskey Smash

It’s Friiiiiiiidaaaayyyyyyy!!!!

Happy Friday everyone! Are you looking forward to the weekend as much as I am?!? If you are ready to kick back and enjoy your weekend make one of these, you won’t be disappointed!

Why, you may ask, is this called a “Whiskey Smash?” Is it because you “smash” up the mint leaves? Or because of how you feel after drinking one? You’ll have to be the judge of that…I know my answer! ;)

I can’t take credit for this cocktail. My hubby’s old roommate, Matt, brought these gems into my life and for that I will be forever grateful! I love whiskey, but even if you don’t I think you will love this drink. It has just the right amount of sweet with the spice from the whiskey and freshness from the lemon and mint. Practically perfect in every way.

Continue reading →

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