Photo: Matt Bites
These homemade refreshers are the perfect accompaniment for any party. Instead of opening a bottle of wine or putting beers on ice for your next get together, try filling glass punch bowls and pitchers with brilliant tart red hibiscus water, sweet and sour tamarind water, or chia limeade for an extra dash of color and charm to the table.
Chia Lime Agua Fresca
Makes 9 cups
2 quarts water
1 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup chia seeds
Several sprigs of fresh sage for garnish (optional)
Stir together the water, lime juice and sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Stir in the chia seeds and garnish with the optional sage sprigs. Serve in tall glasses over ice.
Hibiscus Agua Fresca
Makes 1 1/2 quarts
2 quarts water
3/4 cup dried Jamaica or hibiscus flowers
1/2 cup sugar or honey
Orange slices for garnish
Bring the water to a boil. Add the flowers and return to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook 10 minutes. Stir in the sugar or honey, strain into a pitcher and refrigerate. Serve cold over ice with slices of orange as garnish.
Tamarind Agua Fresca
Makes 2 1/2 quarts
1 1/2 pounds dried tamarind pods or 1 pound pulp with seeds
1 gallon water
1 cup sugar
Remove and discard the hard outer pods of the dried tamarind. Combine the remaining dried tamarind or the prepared pulp with the water and bring to a boil.
Cook over medium heat about 30 minutes, or until the flesh is very soft, occasionally stirring and mashing with a whisk to break up the flesh and separate the seeds. Strain and discard the solids. Cool to room temperature and chill. Serve in tall glasses with plenty of ice.
Fresh Fruit Liquados
Liquados are lighter than milk shakes and can utilize virtually any fruit that is well ripened.
Makes 1 quart
2 1/2 cups chopped ripe fruit, such as 1 banana plus 10 strawberries, 1 small cantaloupe, 1/4 pineapple, 2 peaches or 2 kiwis plus 1 banana
1 1/2 cups cold milk
2 cups chopped ice
3 tablespoons honey
Combine the fruit with the milk, ice and honey in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Pour into tall glasses and serve immediately.
This citrusy margarita with a hint of refreshing mint sets the mood for your winter escape to the tropics and sends the blues packing. Tangerines are packed full of Vitamin C and fiber, and some studies show their peels may lower cholesterol.
Makes 1 cocktail
2 ounces freshly squeezed tangerine juice
1 pinch tangerine zest
1 squeeze lime
5 fresh mint leaves
1 splash simple syrup, to taste
Ice, for cocktail shaker
1 1/2 ounces reposado tequila
1 ounce sparkling water
1 mint sprig, for garnish
1 tangerine peel twist, for garnish
In a cocktail shaker, combine tangerine juice, zest, lime juice, mint, and simple syrup. Using a muddler or the back of a spoon, mash the mint to release flavor. Add ice and tequila. Shake thoroughly, pour into a chilled glass, and top with sparkling water. Stir lightly. Garnish with mint sprig and tangerine peel twist and serve immediately.
Spice up those winter blues with a ruby red margarita made with the abundant blood oranges of the season and a little muddled jalapeño. Shake up a few at home with this recipe from Chefs Mary Sue and Susan or visit Border Grill Mandalay Bay and Border Grill Forum Shops for a delicious variation on this spicy and tart cocktail served with a mole rim.
Makes 1 cocktail
1 slice jalapeño or serrano chile, with seeds
2 ounces tequila blanco
1 1/2 ounces freshly squeezed blood orange juice*, preferably Moro
3/4 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
3/4 ounce agave simple syrup**
Ice, for cocktail shaker and glass
1 strip blood orange peel, for garnish (optional)
1 slice jalapeño, for garnish (optional)
Place chile slice in a cocktail shaker and using a muddler or the back of a spoon, pound and crush to release flavor and heat. Add tequila, blood orange juice, lime juice, and agave simple syrup. Fill cocktail shaker with ice, cover, and shake thoroughly to combine.
To remove jalapeño seeds, double strain mixture by pouring through the cocktail shaker strainer and a small wire mesh strainer into a rocks glass filled with ice. Garnish if desired and serve immediately.
* Straining the blood orange juice to remove the pulp creates a more concentrated flavor and a smoother juice.
** To make agave simple syrup, combine equal parts agave nectar and boiling water. Cool and store in refrigerator until ready to use.
Photo: Ariana Lindquist
Just mix up a pitcher of our full-bodied Bloody Mary mix and set alongside a bottle of Vodka, a bucket of ice, and some cleaned celery ribs. Your guests won’t need any instruction.
1 large can tomato juice
2 tablespoons freshly grated horseradish
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1 teaspoon celery seed
4 dashes Worcestershire sauce
4 dashes Tabasco
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Pour tomato juice into a large glass pitcher and add horseradish, lime juice and Worcestershire sauce. Place celery seeds in mortar and smash, then add to pitcher and whisk to incorporate. Season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.
For each 4 ounces of Bloody Mary mix add a 2 ounce shot of vodka. Pour into glass with 1 to 2 veggie ice cubes (see recipe below) and garnish with a couple of celery or jicama sticks.
Veggie Ice Cubes
1 large cucumber
1 to 2 jalapenos
1. Puree tomatillos, cucumber and jalapeno in a blender. Strain with a fine mesh sieve. Pour into a plastic container and fill up to 1-inch. Place in freezer. Once completely frozen, crack into ice pieces and add one to two pieces to bloody Mary.