Cherry Cocktail & Mocktail

cocktailmocktail

I love cherries! Do you? The good news is that cherries are in season right now, and they cost slightly less than an arm and a leg to purchase. I have subscribed to receive a Bountiful Basket this summer, and a recent add on was 16 lbs of red cherries. I split the order with a friend and was faced with the daunting task of deciding what we should do with 8 pounds of cherries. I came up with a Cherry Cocktail & Mocktail recipe for you!

190

My master plan had been to just freeze the cherries, but I need to de-pit them first. We didn’t have a cherry pitter, so my husband got all redneck and made one out of a fork. It made quick work of seven pounds of cherries!

I decided to try my hand at creating a cocktail and mocktail for the 4th of July with the extra cherries we did not freeze!

cocktailmocktail

The cocktail is a Chocolate Covered Cherry Sangria. Really, did you expect anything else? Y’all know I love my sangria.

0081

Chocolate Covered Cherry Sangria

Ingredients:

  • Chocolate flavored red wine. My favorite is the brand ChocolatRouge and it is sold at Publix. The brand has two different chocolate wines: one is labeled Dark Red and the other is labeled Rich Chocolate flavors. In the picture above, I am using the Dark Red. This is more of a red wine with a hint of chocolate. If you want more chocolate punch, use the Rich Chocolate.
  • 1 cup chocolate flavored vodka. I used Pinnacle Whipped Chocolate.
  • 2 cups black cherry juice. I found this at Publix with the organic juices.
  • 3 cups ginger ale
  • 1 cup cherries

Directions:

  1. Mix the red wine, vodka, and black cherry juice. Add the ginger ale a little bit at a time as it rises and fizzes. Add the cherries. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.

IMG_5878

This version was made using the Rich Chocolate Flavors of the ChocolatRouge. Not as visually appealing, but it was tasty! It had more of a chocolate milk flavor and texture.

*****

I made this Cherry Limeade for the kids to enjoy during our 4th of July celebration. It was a big hit, and my husband loves it!

2321

Cherry Limeade

*adapted from Cooking with Paula Deen

Ingredients:

  • 4 cans lime flavored sparkling water (La Croix or Aquafina)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups black cherry juice
  • 1 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 10 oz cherries
  • Lime slices

Directions:

  1. Juice your lemons and limes. You need 1 cup of fresh lime juice and 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice.
  2. Add to your pitcher. Pour in your black cherry juice.
  3. Add sugar and stir vigorously until dissolved.
  4. Add the sparkling water, one can at a time.
  5. Stir.
  6. Add the cherries and sliced limes. You can also use lime slices as garnish on your glasses.
  7. Refrigerate overnight for best results.

Are you a cherry fan? What’s your favorite cherry recipe?

Frozen Peach Sangria

IMG_5970

Have I got a recipe today for you! Ready? Frozen Peach Sangria. Go ahead, imagine it. It is as delicious as it sounds.

Side note: I wonder sometimes what you people must think of me and my alcoholic recipes. I promise I do not drink every night. I drink maybe one night a week, and even then it is only 1 glass of wine. A few weeks ago, I texted a friend to tell her I was making sangria for my 4th of July BBQ. “Of course you are!” was her response. Well, at least I am consistent.

IMG_5970

Frozen Peach Sangria

Ingredients:

  • Peaches or nectarines (or a mixture of both – I also added in two apricots!)
  • Sugar
  • Water
  • Moscato wine
  • Ice cube trays

I used 6 peaches, 6 nectarines, and 2 apricots and it made three ice cube trays. You’ll get about 10 drinks out of three ice cube trays and one large bottle of wine.

IMG_5967Directions:

  1. Make a simple syrup: place 1/2 cup of water and 1/2 cup of sugar into a saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and let cool.
  2. Peel your peaches, nectarines, and/or apricots and cut the fruit into chunks.
  3. Add fruit and simple syrup to blender. Blend until smooth, and then pour into your ice cube trays.
  4. Freeze until solid. At that point you can pop the cubes out and place them in a zip lock baggie.
  5. To make your frozen sangria, simply pop out a few cubes and place in your blender. Add wine and blend. You may need to add more wine to make it a drinkable consistency – just play with it until it is the way you like it.

This reminds me a lot of Outback’s Wallaby Darned. It is very very good!

What’s on your menu this week?

Red, White, & Blue Sangria

IMG_5794

Thank you, everyone, for your understanding about my unexpected absence from the blog last week. My grandmother passed away a little over a week ago and I just wanted to take some time away to spend time with my family.

**********

The winner of the It Works! giveaway is Mary Ellen Satori!

**********

This week I have a whole series of posts related to the Fourth of July! This was supposed to post last week, but… we will just forge ahead and talk about all things patriotic this week!

First, let’s talk decorations. I’m absolutely crazy about decorating for the holidays. There is just something about a fun tablescape (I’m channeling my inner Sandra Lee) to set the patriotic mood. I decorate for almost every holiday (and a few non-holidays as well) and I’m always on the hunt for inexpensive decor. My go-to shops are Walmart, Target’s dollar spot and holiday aisles, Hobby Lobby, and Party City. I save everything I use and then re-purpose it in some way the next year.

IMG_5780

For example, most of the decor above came from Hobby Lobby: the balloons, the bunting, the fabric, the napkins and hats, and the mini-lanterns. I’ll reuse everything for Veteran’s Day, Memorial Day, and of course the 4th of July.

I also made some fun treats to enjoy while we watch fireworks.

IMG_5791

The cones are just waffle cones that I dipped in white chocolate and sprinkles. The strawberries  were cleaned then dipped in white chocolate and then in blue sprinkles. Super easy and a big hit with the 4 year old!

Lastly I want to leave you with the perfect drink recipe for your festivities. Make it the night before and then sit it out for your guests to enjoy all day or night long!

IMG_5794

Red, White, & Blue Sangria

Ingredients:

  • One bottle white moscato
  • One bottle sweet red wine
  • Sugar
  • Vanilla
  • Apples
  • Berries: raspberries or strawberries and blackberries or blueberries. Or all!

Sangria could not be easier to make. The best part of it is that you can really customize it and add whatever you want.

Directions:

  1. Add both bottles of wine to a pitcher. This makes a large pitcher but if you are making this for a crowd you’ll want to double the recipe. I never use expensive wine – I almost always choose Cupcake, Barefoot, or Yellowtail brand. You just want a moscato and a sweet red wine.
  2. Make your simple syrup. You can skip this step if you find the wine is sweet enough on its own. Simply add 1/2 cup of sugar and 1/2 cup water to a saucepan. For this recipe I added a splash of vanilla and brought the mixture to a boil. Turn to simmer and let the syrup thicken. I let this sit for 30 minutes and then poured into the pitcher with the wine.
  3. Add your fruit. You’ll want something red, white, and blue to match the theme. I used apples as the white, strawberries as the red, and blueberries as the blue. You could use raspberries, blackberries, cherries… make it your own!
  4. **Optional: add liquor to make it a little stronger. Flavored or plain vodka would be a good match. I’d start with 1/2 cup and increase if you are doubling the recipe.
  5. Let the sangria cool in the fridge 2 hour to overnight.

See? Easy peasy right?

Come back tomorrow for Delish Delights – I’ll be sharing the recipe for my famous grits n’ greens casserole!