Dirty Pickle Martini

Written on August 15, 2013 at 4:47 pm , by

Cocktails, Anyone?

Inspired by one of my friends’ favorite shots–the Pickle Back, a whiskey shot chased with pickle juice–the Dirty Pickle Martini is crisp, sour and salty all at once. Though I prefer all of my martinis made with gin, the Dirty Pickle Martini is especially tasty when made with gin. Get ready to say “Cheers!” with this super satisfying and lip puckering cocktail.





Get the recipe: Dirty Pickle Martini



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Healthy Helping: 6 Teas to Know

Written on July 26, 2013 at 9:30 am , by

Is tea really the new coffee? You can decide that on your own. But for those of you who are tea fans like myself, let’s take a look at how our bodies benefit from drinking different types of teas. Not a tea drinker? Then it might be time to convert! With the six different types of tea below, you’ll have no problem finding one that’s right for you!

1. Black Tea

Compared to other teas, black tea has the highest caffeine content and helps to maintain cholesterol levels, cardiovascular function and a healthy circulatory system.


2. Green Tea

Green tea is often popularized as one of the healthiest teas and with good reason too! Green tea has shown to prevent clogging of the arteries, burn fat, counteract oxidative stress on the brain, improve cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of stroke and neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.


3. Oolong Tea

Often served in Chinese restaurants, oolong tea can be a healthy part of your weight loss plan. When it comes to skin disease like eczema, a study revealed that if drinking one liter of oolong tea can provide moderate improvement in your skin after a month.


Add a little glamour to your cup of tea with this Sparkling Tea made from black tea


4. White Tea

White teas are full of healthy antioxidants and are the best tea for your skin and complexion. As white teas are the purest and least processed of all teas, they have the most potent anticancer properties and need to be brewed carefully.


5.Herbal Tea

Herbal teas such as peppermint, ginger and lemongrass are rich in vitamin C. In addition, they help relieve stress, aid with stomach and digestive problems and strengthen your immune system.


6. Chamomille Tea

Chamomille tea comes from a flowering plant like a daisy and can reduce menstrual cramps, control your cold and help with sleep.


After a stressful day at work, try out this Relax Already Apple Tea made from chamomille


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Source: teavana.com and healthmeup.com


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Tito of Tito’s Vodka

Written on July 12, 2013 at 10:15 am , by

Tito’s Handmade Vodka founder and master distiller Bert “Tito” Beveridge (yup, that’s his real last name… clearly he was born for this business) has endured a long road to success with a lot of sips of vodka along the way (he tests every single batch himself)! The native Texan started out as a geophysicist, worked on dynamite-blasting oil reserves, dabbled in sub-surface mapping and analyzing ground water, and even tried out mortgage banking before he found his true calling: vodka distilling. What began as a hobby (he used to make small batches for friends) has become his passion. Today, Tito’s is one of the fastest-selling and fastest-growing micro-distilleries on the market and was just named the exclusive vodka of United Airlines. We sat down with him (over a drink, of course) to find out more:

Tito and Stella

  1. If you could spend a weekend cooking with Rachael, what would you make? Asian vegetable stir fry with tofu. Chicken fried venison with cream gravy. Dove breasts sautéed with garlic. Redfish with lemon. Breakfast would be French toast one day and chip beef on toast the next.
  2. Drink of choice? Titos with sparkling mineral water, a squeeze of lime and a squeeze of orange.
  3. What cocktail trend are you most excited about right now? Fresh fruit muddled with Titos and seltzer water
  4. #1 guilty pleasure? Rum raisin ice cream
  5. Best gift you’ve ever received? Kids
  6. Best gift you’ve ever given? An Audi
  7. What would you want your last meal to be? (Calories don’t count!) Deluxe Mexican dinner at blanco cafe in San Antonio. It is a beef taco. A chalupa. Guacamole. 3 cheese enchiladas with beef sauce and onions. Rice and beans. Flour tortillas and a Big Red to drink.
  8. You have an afternoon completely free to do anything you want — what’s it going to be? Go fishing on a creek.
  9. What’s your #1 rule to live by?  Try hard with a lot of love in your heart.
  10. What’s your go-to dish if you want to impress someone? Turkey

Tito and Roscoe


-Ariana Phillips


Visit titosvodka.com for more info.

If you like Pina Coladas…

Written on July 10, 2013 at 10:00 am , by

…and getting caught in the rain. – Rupert Holmes


Escape (Pina Colada Song)- Rupert Holmes (Music Video)

Before I ever had my first Piña Colada, I knew they were something special, based entirely on their oft-repeated mention in Rupert Holmes’ “Escape (The Pina Colada Song)“–a 1970s rom-com in song form with an undeniable sing-a-long and body swaying quality. Think about it, have you ever been in a bar and not heard people sing along with this tune? I think not.


Fun fact: In the original song lyrics, Holmes said “Humphrey Bogart,” but ended up changing the lyrics to “Piña Coladas” to conjure the idea of escaping to an island vacation. (Can you imagine if he hadn’t changed the lyrics to Piña Colada? We would probably have never heard the song.)


So today–and all summer long–we celebrate the Piña Colada (“strained pineapple”), a Puerto Rican concoction made of rum, coconut cream and pineapple juice. While the creation of the drink has been debated, it is widely believed that bartender Ramon “Monchito” Marero created the exotic sipper in 1954 to delight the bar’s wealthy tourist clientele.


Now, less than 100 years later, we can find this tropical flavor in all types of different forms beyond the beverage–from cakes to ice cream and even lip gloss to body wash. So let’s think outside of the “glass” this year, and celebrate National Piña Colada Day with jelly shots! Find out how to make them after the jump!


Pina Colada Jello Shots

Photo by Levi Brown

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I Heart Watermelon Cocktails

Written on June 13, 2013 at 12:00 pm , by

Pink cocktails are my guilty pleasure. They simultaneously appeal to my inner girly-girl and taste a-maz-ing, and yet, I rarely order them in public. After bartending many years ago on the opening night of the first Sex and the City movie and making over 200 Cosmopolitans, I don’t think I (or any other bartender for that matter) can look at a pink drink in the same way. That being said, I do make an exception for watermelon cocktails. Juicy sweet and irresistibly fresh, watermelon–in juice or puree form– is like putting summer into a glass. So when there’s a watermelon cocktail on a menu, you better believe I’m gonna order it, but since that can get expensive, here’s a few of my favorite watermelon drinks that you can make at home.



Photo by Plamen Petkov


Get the recipes:



Watermelon Quencher

Watermelon Quencher

This lovely libation from our Editor-in-Chief, Lauren Purcell, and her sister, Anne, will put smiles on everyone’s faces. Use a couple drops of red food coloring to tint the sugar-salt mixture for a colorful cocktail rim.

Watermelon-Plum Sangria

Watermelon-Plum Sangria

Two kinds of plums and a half of a watermelon is all you’ll need for this thirst-quenching sip. Use a melon baller to scoop balls out of the watermelon, then plop ‘em into your pitcher. How easy is that?!

Melon Patch Champagne Cocktail

Melon Patch Champagne Cocktail

From our “Year of Champagne Cocktails” recipe collection, this June-inspired sparkler combines slightly sweet watermelon, botanical-infused gin and savory rosemary to create a crisp, clean and ultra-refreshing concoction.

Watermelon Mint Cooler

Watermelon Mint Cooler

Mint and lime heighten the cooling and refreshing factors in this 4-ingredient cocktail. Make it by the pitcher for the easiest signature party cocktail ever!


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Battle of the Citrus Cocktails: Lemon versus Lime


Battle of the Citrus Cocktail Sippers

Written on June 6, 2013 at 3:08 pm , by

When the summer hits its peak and its so hot and humid that I’m sticking to my car seat, I always crave the most quintessential thirst-quenching summer drink–an ice cold, lip-puckeringly sour and slightly sweet lemon- or limeade. While sure, water is probably the best choice to hydrate, it’s the citrus fruit’s bracing acidity that delights my palate and makes these beverages so crave-worthy. To get into the Thirsty Thursday spirit, we’re ditching the innocent lemonade stand version and going for the more liquored-up libations. Check out the two classic cocktails featuring lemon and lime and leave a comment saying which concoction you’d prefer. Cheers!



Battle of the Citrus Cocktails:
Lemon versus Lime

Lemons Limes



Clean with an intense and bright acidity.



Sweet with a subtle, floral acidity.

Tom Collins





Tom Collins


Gin, Lemon Juice, Simple Syrup
or Sugar, Club Soda



Gin, Sweetened Lime Juice (or Lime Juice
and Simple Syrup), Lime Wheel
Created in the 1800s by Stephen Price of the Garrick Club in London, this drink was originally called a “John Collins” after the club’s pleasant headwaiter, John Collins. However, with the rise of English old tom gin–such as Hayman’s or Ransom–the drink’s name eventually morphed into the “Tom Collins,” paying homage to it’s signature ingredient.





First described in 1928 as a cocktail of gin, lime and soda, author Raymond Chandler described the drink as 50-50 Rose’s lime juice and gin in The Long Goodbye.



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Blackberry Cocktail

Written on May 30, 2013 at 3:48 pm , by


When I was little, I used to steal eat blackberries off of my neighbors’ bushes. Perhaps it was the act of rebellion or how glossy and shiny those just-picked black beauties were, but no other berry has come close to becoming my favorite since then. So in honor of peak blackberry season–which runs from June to August–we’re mixing up these berry delicious cocktail coolers!




Blackberry Cooler Cocktail


Blackberries are a great summer cocktail ingredient. Not only do these berry beauties add a dash of color to your concoction, but they’re also loaded with antioxidants and can satisfy your sweet tooth without adding any extra sugar. (For example, 1 cup of blackberries has 7 grams of natural sugar and is only 62 calories.)



While I’ve always considered the classic Bramble cocktail–gin, lemon juice, simple syrup, blackberry liqueur and berries–to be my go-to berry (cocktail) beverage, I’ve recently switched over to this Blackberry Cooler Cocktail. Indeed super similar to the bramble, this cooler cocktail–hah, get it?! Well at least I’m laughing–adds cooling mint leaves and elderflower liqueur. To make this cocktail even prettier, add in other colorful citrus fruits or berries and top with a dash of soda to add a hint of effervescence. Yum-o!


Get the recipe: Blackberry Cooler Cocktail




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Party Pitchers

Written on May 17, 2013 at 11:37 am , by

No one wants to get stuck playing bartender at their own party, but as the hostess with the mostest you still want a “signature shindig cocktail.” Ugh, what a dilemma. Enter our solution–drumroll, please–the party pitcher! Not only are these big-batch cocktails (and mocktails) perfect for any soiree, they’re also super-customizable and allow your guests to help themselves, freeing you up to have fun and par-tay! Take a look at five of our favorite concoctions below. Oh and did we mention that they’re all make-ahead too? Cheers!

Tropical White Sangria

Colorful and fruit-filled sangria pitchers are always a hit at parties, especially when they look as gorgeous and colorful as this one. Play around with different combinations of fruit and infuse for up to 6 hours before serving for optimal flavor.

Get the recipe: Tropical White Sangria 

The Original Bloody Mary

We had to include the Original Bloody Mary since some of the best parties start before noon–hey, no judgment! Impress your guests with an assortment of garnishes like celery, pickles, olives, fruit, shrimp or even oysters!

Get the recipe: The Original Bloody Mary

Pineapple-Lime Cooler

This tequila-spiked cocktail is the perfect solution for a taco night sans the hassle of margaritas. Add in other tropical fruits like mango and passionfruit to make this Pineapple-Lime Cooler even cooler!

Get the recipe: Pineapple-Lime Cooler

Bourbon & Peach Sweet Tea Punch

Hey party people, this punch is for you! Dating back over 300 years, classic punch recipes have be known to feature dozens of ingredients from booze to fruit juices. We kept it simple though and cut off our ingredient list at five–sweetened tea, bourbon, peach nectar, lemon juice and sliced peaches.

Get the recipe: Bourbon & Peach Sweet Tea Punch 

Watermelon Agua Fresca

Don’t leave the kids out of the party pitcher fun with this refreshing non-alcoholic agua fresca (Spanish for “fresh waters”). Popular in Mexico and Central America, our special recipe features one of our favorite summertime fruits, watermelon.

Get the recipe: Watermelon Agua Fresca


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Pimm’s Cup, anyone?

Written on May 9, 2013 at 4:00 pm , by

For whatever reason, the majority of chick literature I’ve read is set in England where the women seem to drink two things regularly: tea and Pimm’s No. 1. So what’s the deal with this Pimm’s No. 1? I wondered. Is it light like a vodka or dark like a whiskey? Is is sweet like a Moscato or more bitter like other international aperitifs? And what the hell is a Pimm’s Cup? Well folks, with the weather warming up, it’s high time to get to the bottom of this spirit and say cheer’s as the British do!






The Facts:

  • Pimm’s No. 1 has been around since the 1820s when London fishmonger and bar owner James Pimm created it as an oyster chaser.
  • Only “six people” are rumored to know the family’s secret blend of gin, liqueurs and fruit extracts.
  • After No. 1 became popular, the company rolled out five more numbered Pimm’s varieties. Each with a different base spirit, like scotch or brandy.
  • Flavor profile: Spicy, bitter and sweet with a dominant herbaceous character and a hint of citrus.
  • Appearance: Reddish brownish in color similar to tea.
  • Illustration by Alan Witschonke


Now, on to the fun part: The cocktails!

Pimm's Cocktail Recipe

Get the recipe: Pimm’s Cocktail


While Pimm’s No. 1 can (and should) be enjoyed all year-long, most people tend to enjoy it most in the spring and summertime and I can see why!

  1. At only 25% alcohol by volume, this is the type of spirit you can drink all day without feeling–how do I put this lightly?–rundown.
  2. The combination of sweet, bitter and spicy continually refreshes your palate so you don’t get bored.
  3. You can make a (lazy) Pimm’s Cup in less than 30 seconds, unlike other more involved cocktails like mojitos or juleps which require muddling or sangrias which need time to infuse.


Traditionally, a Pimm’s Cup simply consists of one part Pimm’s and roughly three parts lemonade, lemon soda or ginger ale in a tall glass over ice with a slice of cucumber. While the classic–some may say lazy–version of the cocktail is delicious, I challenge you to take it up a notch and add other ingredients like cucumber, ginger, lemon, lime, orange, mint and strawberry. (This list could go on, but I’ll stop there.)


Even though this may be more work, you’ll find it’s worth the effort as each new ingredient reinvents the cocktail and gives you something to snack on afterwards–hello Pimm’s-infused cucumbers! For instance, in my personal favorite combination, muddled cucumber imparts a cooling and refreshing sensation, ginger adds a hit of natural spiciness and lemon brings in a necessary hint of acidity and brightness. So refreshing! However you choose to enjoy your Pimm’s Cup though, make sure to say “Cheers!” to “Pimm’s O’Clock!



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Mix Up Your Margaritas

Written on April 30, 2013 at 5:33 pm , by


Once, in a moment of utter confusion, I asked my friends “So, when is the Cinco de Mayo happening?” to which they responded with only laughter until I figured out what I said wrong. “I meant, the party, people. When is the Cinco de Mayo party happening?!” With the “fifth of May” quickly approaching, we’re doing a round up of margaritas for this day of celebration!




Cinco de Mayo, not to be confused with Mexico’s Independence Day, commemorates the Mexican army’s victory over France at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. While only a minor holiday in Mexico, Mexican-Americans and Americans widely observe the day by celebrating Mexican heritage and culture through parades, music, food and parties (like the aforementioned)! So what cocktail would be a better choice to cheers with than a margarita featuring Mexico’s very own homegrown spirit, tequila? Take a look at a few of our favorite recipes below.


Beer Margarita Recipes

Beer Margaritas

Hey, don’t knock it, ’til you’ve tried it! This refreshing margarita-beer hybrid is a great way to kick-off brunch and ease into a day of celebrating.


Jalapeno Margarita recipe

Jalapeno Margarita

Get hot! Spicy jalapeno simple (sugar) syrup gives this margarita its kick of heat. To save time or make this drink on the fly, muddle seeded jalapeno slices in the bottom of the glass before building the cocktail.


Sparkling Margarita Floats Recipe

Sparkling Margarita Floats

This blend of cocktail and dessert is the perfect way to finish your fiesta! Get creative and mix it up with different flavor combinations like tangerine or raspberry sherbet.


5 News Ideas for Margarita Rims

5 News Ideas for Margarita Rims

There’s more than one way to top your tequila! Experiment by pairing your margarita with different sweet, spicy and savory rims and you’ll never drink the same margarita twice!




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