Tag Archives: cocktail

Thirsty Thursday: Jalapeño Margaritas


Over Christmas, my parents shared one of their favorite new cocktails that they like to make when they are camping with friends in the summertime:

Jalapeño Margaritas

This cold weather has me wishing it were summer! Just mix one of these up and you can be whisked away to summer in a heartbeat. {Although, if you are wearing your bathing suit, you’ll probably want to sit in front of the fire instead of on a lounge chair outside right now.}

Even if you aren’t fond of jalapeños, you will most likely like this margarita. You’ll taste that subtle hint of heat that gives the beverage flavor, not overpower it with too much spice. I think it’s a well-balanced recipe!

Here’s their friends’ recipe they’ve been using:


That last item is 2 Tbsp of agave. 🙂

My parents have added one more step. They let the margarita mixture sit in the fridge for a few hours for the flavors to meld. You can serve with a slice of lime or throw in a piece of jalapeño if you wish.


We found these so refreshing!

What’s a drink that reminds you of summer?



Sparkling Wine Cocktails for New Year’s Eve


Ahhh… The Bubbly. It makes every occasion more special. This Wine Wednesday, I’m offering up a few sparkling wine cocktails for the New Year! This will liven up your usual bubbly toast and offer some alternatives to those who don’t normally enjoy a dry bubbly.


Remember, all Champagne must come from the Champagne region of France to be called such. However, it can be expensive. In all of the cocktail recipes below, feel free to substitute any sparkling white wine, as long as it is dry. {We’ll have a more in-depth lesson Champagne vs. Sparkling Wine at a later date.}



  • 1 part crème de cassis
  • 5 parts Champagne

Pour crème de cassis in a glass, gently pour Champagne on top.

Optional: Add a twist of lemon zest for garnish.

Variation: Substitute raspberry Chambord for the cassis.



  • 1 part Guinness (or other stout), slightly chilled
  • 1 part Champagne

Pour the Stout into a half-pint glass or flute. Carefully add the Champagne on top. When you sip, the heavier stout will slip under the wine, so you’ll enjoy a taste of both!



Variation 1:

  • 1 oz Triple Sec
  • 4 oz Champagne
  • Splash of cranberry juice

Variation 2:

  • 1 oz cranberry juice (choose a brand with no sugar added)
  • 1 tbsp Grand Marnier
  • 4 oz Champagne

Add the cranberry juice and Triple Sec or Grand Marnier to a flute and top with Champagne.

Optional: Garnish with an orange slice or drop in a few frozen cranberries for fun.



  • Splash of peach juice or peaches in simple syrup
  • 4 oz Champagne

Add the peach juice or peaches in simple syrup to the flute. Top with Champagne.

Optional: Garnish with a fresh peach slice.



  • Frozen strawberries or raspberries
  • 4 oz Champagne

Fill the bottom of the flute with frozen strawberries or raspberries. Top with Champagne.

Optional: Coat the frozen strawberries with sugar first and let sit for a while. Garnish with a ripe, fresh strawberry.



  • 1 oz Ruby Red Port
  • 4 oz Champagne

Pour the port into a flute, then add the Champagne.



  • ½ oz gin
  • ¼ oz lemon juice
  • 4 oz Champagne

Shake the gin and lemon juice with cracked ice; strain into a flute and top with Champagne.

Optional Variations: Add an orange slice for garnish, vary the amounts of the ingredients, add a bit or powdered sugar or a splash of Cointreau.



  • 2 oz orange juice
  • Splash crème de cassis (sunshine) or 1 oz grenadine (sunset)
  • 2 oz Champagne

Add the orange juice and cassis or grenadine to a flute. Top with Champagne.

Optional: Plop in a Maraschino Cherry.


The two that I have not yet had are the Black Velvet and the Nelson’s Blood. I’m looking forward to trying them this New Year’s Eve!  Please give one or more of these a shot and come back to let me know your favorites.

What are your plans for New Year’s Eve?

Do you celebrate with any traditions?


Suddenly Sangria…


Sangria anyone?!

I absolutely love Sangria in the summer months. Don’t you?

I had a different post in mind for this Wine Wednesday; but when Kat posted on Cocktail Week, asking readers about their favorite cocktail, I professed my undying love to St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur.

St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur

“What does that have to do with Sangria?” you ask? Well…

You see, there are recipes on how to make traditional sangria with red wine, fruit, juice and brandy. However, I’ve collected a few interesting variations along the way. I apologize in advance because I’m not quite sure who to give credit to on all of them. Wineaux friends, if you happen upon this blog and find a sangria recipe that you just know you gave me, please give yourself a shout out!

One recipe that’s particularly raved about by my Wine Tasting hosts came from my friend, Deb:

Sangria with Grand Marnier

In a pitcher, combine the following:

  • 1 Orange, sliced thinly into half moons (with skin on)
  • 1 Lemon, sliced thinly into half moons (with skin on)
  • 1 Lime, sliced thinly into half moons (with skin on)
  • 1 Jar Maraschino Cherries
  • 1 cup sliced fresh strawberries
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 cup Grand Marnier
  • 1/4 cup Brandy
  • 1 bottle dry red wine

Soak the above in refrigerator overnight. Top off each person’s glass with a splash of Sprite, 7UP or Ginger Ale. (Or add it to the pitcher just before serving.)


Here’s another fun variation with different fruits and liquor. Who needs green beer on St. Patrick’s Day?

Irish Sangria

In a pitcher, combine the following:

  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges
  • 2 oranges, cut into wedges
  • 1 small bag of frozen apricots, peaches or raspberries
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2-3 shots of whiskey

Squeeze the juice from the lemon and orange wedges into a pitcher. Toss in the wedges (leaving out seeds if possible), along with the frozen fruit, sugar and whiskey. Mix and chill overnight. Top off each person’s glass with a splash of Sprite, 7UP or Ginger Ale. (Or add it to the pitcher just before serving.)


And then there are the easier, very forgiving versions, that’ll encourage you to just throw in whatever you have on hand.

Easy Sangria

Basic Recipe:

  • 1/2 cup rum or brandy
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 sliced lemon
  • 1 sliced orange
  • 1 sliced lime
  • 1 cored and sliced apple

Squeeze the juice from the wedges of the lemon, lime and orange into a pitcher. Toss in the wedges (leaving out seeds if possible), along with the apple slices, sugar and alcohol. Mix and chill overnight. Top off each person’s glass with a splash of Sprite, 7UP or Ginger Ale. (Or add it to the pitcher just before serving.)

The Variations:

Get creative! Use whatever you have on hand.

  • Liquor – You can use any liqueur you’ve got to give it that kick – rum, vodka, gin, brandy, you name it. Flavored ones are more interesting, of course. Whatever you have is fine. {Read: St. Germain!}
  • Fruit – Any fruit on hand will do. Did you forget about that can of pineapple in the pantry? Drain out the syrup before adding them. Do you have a bag of frozen raspberries or peaches in your freezer? Give those a try. Save a few pieces of frozen fruit to add to your guests’ glasses just before serving. They serve as flavored ice cubes that won’t water down the sangria!
  • Citrus Concentrates – Adding frozen citrus concentrates like orange, lemon or limeade add even more intensity to the flavor.


And while all of the above are fantastic {it’s pretty tough to screw up sangria}, my all-time favorite version of Sangria can be had at Burger Jones. I will go on record stating that it’s The Best Sangria in the Twin Cities.

St. Germain Sangria $9
St. Germain liquor, fresh citrus and
cabernet sauvignon

I have not yet done a Restaurant Impression on Burger Jones; however, expect one in the near future with a second picture of this magnificent Mason jar of Sangria:

St. Germain Sangria

Unfortunately, the drink was removed from their menu this winter and surprisingly never made it back for the spring. I’m not sure why, because it’s pure heaven in a glass jar. However, if you tell them you’d like the St. Germain Sangria, they can still make it for you!

If you’d like to try a white wine sangria recipe with it, try the one on this blog and read more about what St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur is. I’ve had it in a number of martinis and cocktails and have learned that I can’t go wrong. If it’s on the menu and I’m cocktailin’ it, I’m orderin’ it.

I love refreshing Sangria on hot days. Consider stirring up a batch for your 4th of July party.

Where’s your favorite place to enjoy Sangria?

Have you tried Elderflower Liqueur? If so, describe your cocktail!