Once again it’s time for one of our favorite made-up holidays, National Tequila Day!

Tequila Thyme Lemonade

Tequila Thyme Lemonade

July 24th is celebrated as National Tequila Day, but Dedicated Readers will know that pretty much everyday is NTD around here!

Okay, so let’s celebrate with a drink recipe, shall we?

Tequila Thyme Lemonade

Most of the goods... be sure to use your best rocket-shaped cocktail shaker!

Most of the goods… be sure to use your best rocket-shaped cocktail shaker!

2 oz  Silver Tequila (break out the good stuff for this…)

1/2 oz  Lemon Juice (fresh-squeezed of course)

1/2 oz  Simple Syrup (you know how to make this by now, don’t you???)

2  Generous Lemon Wedges

6  Sprigs of Fresh Thyme

It's simple as syrup...

It’s simple as syrup…

Put the lemon juice, one of the lemon wedges, five of the thyme sprigs and the simple syrup into your shaker and muddle to break down the lemon and thyme. Add the tequila and a good handful of ice or two and shake until well-chilled (or until the darn shaker gets so cold you can’t hold the sucker any longer!).

Hope this isn't too much of a strain for you...

Hope this isn’t too much of a strain for you…

Take a spiffy glass and add some fresh ice. Strain the tasty liquid into same…

"i'm ready for my close-up..."

“I’m ready for my close-up…”

Garnish with the remaining thyme and lemon slice, take a couple of pictures, and drink away!

Tequila Thyme Lemonade

Tequila Thyme Lemonade

Since it’s predominantly tequila (and not like that’s a bad thing…) this is a slow-sipping beverage, but it doesn’t seem too strong at all. Tart and refreshing, this is a great drink to celebrate National Tequila Day on a steamy day in July!

This recipe came from Total Wine, so a big two thumbs-up to them! Hope you try and enjoy this! Please be sure to Like and Share with your adult-beverage-loving friends!

Back to the kitchen (with a stop at the bar on the way…), see you again soon!

 

Margarita of the Month: June 2014 – Watermelon Margarita (Market-Fresh Mixology Version)

Nothing signals the onset of summer to me much more than watermelon – good watermelon that is…

Watermelon Margarita – Market-Fresh Mixology Version

you can get it pretty much year-round, but it’s late spring/early summer that it really starts getting good (normally when the price goes down and they start going on sale is a good indicator of them being in season)!

Market-Fresh Mixology

Market-Fresh Mixology

So when my-favorite-melons started to look better, I pulled out a copy of a cocktail book I’d been sent a little while back: Market-Fresh Mixology, Cocktails for Every Season by Bridget Albert. This book has drinks based around the seasons of the year, emphasizing what fruits, veggies and herbs are in best at each time of the year, and how to incorporate them into a lovely libation (more on the book later).

So let’s make a margarita…

Watermelon Margarita (Market-Fresh Mixology Version)

4 Cubes  Fresh Watermelon (each 1″ square or so, seeds removed)

1 1/2 Ounces  Fresh Sour Mix (2 parts fresh lemon juice to 1 part simple syrup)

1 1/2 Ounces  Silver Tequila

1/2 Ounce  Triple Sec

For Rim Ingredients (also see note below)

4 Tsp  Super Fine Sugar

1 Tsp Sea Salt

1 Tsp  Crushed Pink Peppercorns

Lime Wedge

To rim the glass, mix the sugar, salt and peppercorns on a small plate. Rub the rim of the glass with the lime wedge and roll the rim of the glass in the sugar mixture and set aside.

In a cocktail shaker muddle the watermelon with the lime juice until it’s pulverized. Add the fresh sour, tequila and triple sec. Throw in a couple of good handfuls of ice and shake well. Strain the drink into the prepared glass and garnish as desired (lime wheel, watermelon piece, etc.). Now drink up! This recipe makes one decent sized drink. And since it’s got watermelon in it, I’m deeming it a healthy cocktail!

Watermelon Margarita - Market-Fresh Mixology Version

Hibiscus Mini Flower Crystals and Watermelon Margarita

Note: Since I didn’t have any pink peppercorns on hand, I decided to try out another goodie I’d been sent to test out: Mini Herb Crystals from Fresh Origins Microgreens. There are seven flavors of these little crystals which are made from the fresh herb, flower or fruit mixed with cane sugar, in this case I used the Hibiscus flavor. You can also mix these with a bit of salt for that sweet-n-salty rim if you like. They also make larger crystals of the same materials that can be used on cookies, cupcakes and the like. These are some interesting products that are worth a look.

Watermelon Margarita – Market-Fresh Mixology Version

A few more notes on the book… the author (who has appeared on Iron Chef America on the Food Network) opens with a nice section with “Home Bar Essentials” then the main section of the book has recipes for each of the four seasons and wraps up with some recipes for infusions also keyed to the seasons (can you say Savory Onion Infusion for Fall?).

There is a good variety of unique recipes and the photos are nice, but not all recipes are illustrated. There are several recipes I really want to try (Blackberry Cinnamon Mojito anybody?), but be aware that many of the recipes do call for specific syrups (that you’ll have to make from provided recipes, like lemongrass syrup or lavender syrup) and a wide number of specific liquors that you may not have on hand (so unless you have an ultra-well stocked bar, you’ll have to make a trip or two to your local liquor emporium). If you’re the adventurous imbiber and want to expand your collection of adult beverage concoctions I’d recommend taking a look at Market-Fresh Mixology.

 

Thanks to Agate Publishing and for providing the book and Fresh Origins for the flower crystal samples. And in effort of Full Disclosure, I was given the book and samples free of charge, but all opinions/comments are strictly mine and objective.

 

We’re back to the kitchen, and of course, the bar! See you soon!

 

If you enjoyed this recipe, please be sure to “like” and “share”!

 

 

Margarita of the Month: August

Pineapple and Black Pepper Margarita

Pineapple and Black Pepper Margarita

While nosing around for something interesting for the Margarita of the Month, I came across an unusual recipe on the Patron Social Club site for a Pineapple and Black Pepper Margarita… this combo piqued my curiosity enough to give it a try… and I’ve had an adobo fetish the past few months, so I think the black pepper must be calling to me…

The unusual suspects...

The unusual suspects…

Pineapple and Black Pepper Margarita

3 oz  Silver Tequila (of course the original recipe specifies Patron)

1 oz  Patron Citronge (or other good orange liqueur)

2 oz  Lime Juice (fresh of course)

2 oz  Pineapple Juice (okay, you can use a can for this)

1/4 oz – 1/2 oz Agave Syrup

Fresh Ground Black Pepepr

Pineapple pieces for garnish

Put the tequila, orange liqueur, the juices and agave into your shaker. Grind some pepper in… how much is kind of a guess… I put three good grinds… maybe 1/8 teaspoon?

Throw in a handful of ice cubes, put on the top and shake away! The outside of the shaker will get moist and almost frosty when the time is right…

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Pour into a glass…

And no, that's not a smudge on the glass - it's the sad remnant of what was a Mickey head.

And no, that’s not a smudge on the glass – it’s the sad remnant of what was a Mickey head.

Add a slice of pineapple to the rim and give another grind of black pepper on the surface and drink up!

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The recipe makes two drinks or so…  this is definitely a different one, but I enjoyed it! As always, if you give it a try please post your thoughts in the comments!

Back to the kitchen, and of course the bar… see you soon!

Margarita of the Month: June

Light & Easy Watermelon Margarita

Light & Easy Watermelon Margarita

Faced with an excess of watermelon (which is not a bad thing) around the kitchen after the Memorial Day weekend, I sought an alcoholic way to use up the plethora of moist melon, and came up with a pretty simple, light and refreshing version of a watermelon margarita… so let’s dive right in, shall we?

Light & Easy Watermelon Margarita

4 cups cubed seedless Watermelon (or thereabouts)

3 ounces Silver Tequila

1 ounce Grand Marnier (or Cointreau or other orange liquor)

1 ounce light Agave Nectar (or Simple Syrup)

1 1/2 ounces fresh Lime Juice

Sugar and lime wedge for rimming the glass if desired

Now here comes the hard part: put everything (except the sugar and lime wedge) into a blender and process until nice and smooth…

It shoudl look somthing like this... assuming you also have a blender that's about 100 years old...

It should look something like this… assuming you also have a blender that’s about 100 years old…

sugar the rim of you glass if desired, add a few ice cubes and pour the melony goodness over!

Drink me!

Drink me!

With little added extra sugar/sweetener, be sure to make this with nice and ripe watermelon – this is perfect for a day by the lake/pool/beach or just a hot day in the backyard while grilling – heck, it’s pretty good just while inside too…

Give it a try – let us know what you think! Back to the kitchen.. and the bar!

well, sort of…

DSCF3096

If you listen to any Disney-centric podcasts, or frequent any Disney related message boards, the subject of “Four Parks in One Day” inevitably comes up…

How feasible is it to visit all four Walt Disney World parks in a single day? What highlights would you show someone who’s never been to the World if you took them to all the parks in a day? And so on…

A while back this sort of talk got me to thinking about the fun that could ensue from having Four Margaritas in Four Parks in a Day… and after mentioning this idea (and some other, somewhat idiotic alcohol-related quests) to Miss Bonnie I thought not much more about it.

Until late February that is, and the Best Holiday of the Year, National Margarita Day, came around!

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Miss Bonnie and I, along with several members of the Harem (Mamma Ginny, Papa Harry and Lori Loves Tigger) were going to be in the World on that most Holy-of-Holy Tequila Days, and the ever-wise Bonnie suggested we finally give my goal a try!

Okay, I know Dedicated Readers are saying Four Parks? Four Margaritas? Is there some Magic Place in the Magic Kingdom that serves the Best Cocktail Ever??? Well, sadly no, and even though there is now beer and wine during dinner inside the Beast’s castle, there is not a ‘rita to be had, so for one of the four parks, we’re going to have to fudge a bit…

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One option for the “Fourth Park” could be Downtown Disney (the future “Disney Springs”), and the waterfront Margarita Bar, where they do make a nice beverage…

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but as Miss Bonnie & I were lodging around Crescent Lake, we all decided to meet up there and start our Tequila Trek at Boardwalk Joe’s on (where else but) the Boardwalk.

Boardwalk Joe's Margarita Menu

Boardwalk Joe’s Margarita Menu

Like the kiosk at Downtown Disney, they also make a nice (and also not-inexpensive) drink here… the beverage of choice for this day was the high-end Patron Anejo…

Paron Angejo Margarita at Boardwalk Joe's... do you know how sad it makes me that thae sign on top doesn't light up at night???

Patron Anejo Margarita at Boardwalk Joe’s… do you know how sad it makes me that the sign on top doesn’t light up at night???

this was a nice start to the festivities, but from there we had to get a move on… whereas most of the “Four Park” type events start at rope drop and go to the last fireworks at night, we didn’t start until about 5 in the afternoon, and with two of the parks (Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios) closing at 7 that night, we had a lot of traveling (and drinking) to get in in a short amount of time! And to add to the time constraints, we were only going to use Disney transportation (and our legs) to get from place to place, everyone was taking part in the festivies, and with no sober designated driver no Harem member needed to be behind a wheel during this event!

So we hopped a bus from the Boardwalk Resort to take us to Miss Bonnie’s favorite park (and the home of one of my favorite bars on property) Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Dawa Bar in Harambe Village

Dawa Bar in Harambe Village

When we arrived we quickly hoofed it to the Africa section of the park, and right across the bridge on the left we came to the Dawa Bar in the busy village of Harambe.

If you insist...

If you insist…

The Dawa Bar is a spacious, open-air area next to the Tusker House restaurant, and is a great place to get a respite from the heat of Animal Kingdom. And yes, have a tasty cocktail, or three…

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but on this day, we sadly only had time for one, and the choice du jour just had to be the African Margarita.

African Margarita

African Margarita

This refreshing beverage features a South African tangerine liqueur that is apparently-unobtainable-to-normal-humans (if you know where to find it, drop me a note!) – this flavor makes this different from any other margarita on property, and truly one of my favorites!

Even more African Margaritas!

Even more African Margaritas!

We took a seat to have a quick rest, drank down about half of our drinks, then downed the rest on our way back out of the park to make our next stop in Hollywood Studios.

After the bus arrived at the Studios, we hustled in not long before the turnstiles closed and made our way to the Tune-In-Lounge next to the ’50’s Prime Time Cafe.

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Dedicated Readers know that this is definitely one of my favorite haunts on Property, and home to my Favorite Blonde Czech Bartender (who unfortunately was not there for this weekends festivities, but Ivan, who has served us more than once, was there to take care of our tequila needs).

Bar at Tune In Lounge

Bar at Tune In Lounge

In addition to drinks we also ordered some not-too-bad onion rings to help sop up the tequila.

Onion Rings at Tune in Lounge

Onion Rings at Tune in Lounge

I think the straight-forward Patron Silver Margaritas here are great (and goodness knows I’ve had plenty of them!) – if you’re looking for a good, basic ‘rita on property you could certainly do worse than the one here.

Silver

Patron Silver Margaritas waiting to quench our thirsts…

Now with three drinks, and three “parks” down, we had a bit of time to spare and made the scenic walk from the Studios to (my favorite park) Epcot, and what has become the epicenter of the Margarita World on Property…

La Cava!

La Cava!

La Cava del Tequila in the Mexico pavilion.

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This cozy, and incredibly popular, spot in Epcot was luckily for us sparsely inhabited as we looked for our final drink of the quest, and we were able to snag a table while most of the other Epcot guests found their spots to view Illuminations.

Pineapple Margarita at La Cava del Tequila

Pineapple Margarita at La Cava del Tequila

To wrap up our Margaritafest I chose something a bit different, the Pineapple Margarita – I figured the healthy extra fruity goodness of the pineapple would counteract some of the deleterious effects of all the alcohol – yeah, right

So there you have it dear Dedicated Readers, our festival of Four Parks and Four Margaritas as we celebrated National Margarita Day! It was sure fun and I can’t wait to do it again next year!

Have you done any unique “Four Park” things? Or any different adult-beverage-related trips around the parks? If so, please share in the comments!

Back to the kitchen – see you soon!

Margarita of the Month: January

Perfect Proportion Margarita

Perfect Proportion Margarita

This past December, Miss Bonnie and I (along with a few others that share Miss Bonnie’s Genetic Material) took a week-long cruise on the beautiful Disney Fantasy.

The Disney Fantasy as seen from Castaway Cay (photo by Miss Bonnie)

The Disney Fantasy as seen from Castaway Cay (photo by Miss Bonnie)

With that much time on our hands, we partook in more than one Educational Beverage Seminar while on-board…

Photo by Miss Bonnie

Patron? Yes please! (Photo by Miss Bonnie)

one of which was a tequila tasting/margarita making fiesta!

Daniel on the right, Michael in the middle, and Random Cruise Guy on the left...

Daniel on the right, Miss Bonnie’s Eldest Offspring Michael in the middle, and Random Cruise Guy on the left…

So logically a seminar on a Mexican spirit would be hosted by a guy from the British Isles… Daniel the tall, handsome head bartender of the upscale Meridian Bar lead us though a tasting of various types of tequila…

Shots, shots and more shots... (photo by Miss Bonnie)

Shots, shots and more shots… (photo by Miss Bonnie)

and then brought several by-now-only-semi-sober attendees up behind the bar to mix up many types of margaritas.

Shake it baby! Shake it!

Shake it baby! Shake it!

Along the way he shared his recipe for the Perfectly Proportioned Margarita – scalable into any quantity, this is a high-end beverage with not-exactly-inexpensive spirits, although he later gave me some options for a more “everyday” beverage, which we’ll share at a later date…

Why yes, I'd love a margarita...

Why yes, I’d love a margarita!

And yes kids, it makes a Mighty Tasty Drink… so let’s make one, or two… or…

Perfect Proportion Margarita

The goods...

The goods…

4 ounces Good-Quality Silver (Blanco) Tequila (I used Patron)

2 ounces Grand Marnier

2 ounces fresh Lime Juice

1 ounce light Agave Nectar

Add all to a cocktail shaker, throw in a good handful of ice, and shake it baby!

Almost time to drink...

Almost time to drink…

Strain into a salt-rimmed glass (if desired) and garnish with the usual lime wheel… and sip away!

Perfect Proportion Margarita

Perfect Proportion Margarita

It’s hard to argue with Daniel’s recipe for basically the perfect margarita… this makes 2 – 3 nice drinks… well, maybe 1 for me… just use these proportions in whatever quantity you desire!

The exceptionally tall and handsome Daniel with a newly Devoted Fan

The exceptionally tall and handsome Daniel with a newly Devoted Fan

Back to the kitchen – see you soon!

Margarita of the Month: December

Chili Peach Margarita

Chili Peach Margarita

Nothing says Christmas cheer to me more than fruit juice, hot peppers and tequila… okay, not really, but I needed some sort of intro to this drink didn’t I???

Let’s move on…

This recipe was inspired by the Chili Martini Cocktail from the White on Rice Couple site (more on them later).

Taking the main flavors from that recipe, I made the inspired substitution of tequila for the original vodka (genius, ain’t I?) and so we have this month’s beverage – let’s dive right in, shall we?

Chili Peach Margarita

3 ounces Silver Tequila

4 ounces Peach Nectar

1 ounce Agave Nectar or Simple Syrup

1 Fresh Chili Pepper (Thai or Serrano or your pepper of choice – see below)

Whole pepper (or slice of same) as above for garnish if desired

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Chose your chili of choice (the type and volume of pepper will be up to the individuals heat level desired – just give it a go and adjust on the next drink as needed…), halve and seed. Muddle the pepper with the tequila in a cocktail shaker to release the pepper’s flavor (and heat). Add the peach nectar and the sweetener to the shaker. Throw in a good amount of ice and shake like your life depends on it!

Sugar the rim of a glass (yes, sugar). Strain the spicy beverage into prepared glass. Garnish with a pepper (or piece thereof) if you want. Makes two reasonably-sized drinks.

Chili Peach Margarita

Chili Peach Margarita

This is really tasty – and if you like things hot, it’s certainly worth a try! If you make it, please leave your thoughts in the comments!

And yeah, this probably technically isn’t a margarita, but it has tequila so I’m gonna let it pass…

Now back to the inspiration for this….

Todd Porter and Diane Cu are the White on Rice Couple – they are talented photographers, cooks, bloggers and soon-to-be cookbook authors… most of all they are very cool people with a great outlook on life…

Be sure to check them and their site out at whiteonricecouple.com – and if you don’t look at anything else, be sure to watch at the video “Our Life Recipe…”

Sit back, have a drink… I’m back to the kitchen…

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