Category Archives: Drinks

Vodka Macerated Cherries

It’s that time of year again where fruit is in season, and a few weeks ago, cherries were on sale at my local market. I’ll be honest and tell you that as I do like cherries, they are not my favorite fruit. I know those folks like my father-in-law who will show up to a picnic with a bag of them and chomp away at them, and I recall my dad sitting around on a couch nibbling on them for some time as well, but me? Well, not so much. I did buy them with the idea that my kids would make an attempt, or better yet, my wife make an attempt at eating them, but a few days later, I still saw the lonely bag of cherries. I ultimately knew that if I was not going to take matters into my hands and do something about the cherries that they would most likely go to waste.

That’s when I remember seeing a show about removing the seeds from the cherries by using a straw. Yes, a straw. I figured what a better way to see if the straw technique actually worked, rather than buy some pitter gadget. The straws worked. That’s when I thought of macerating cherries for the upcoming cocktail season.

Vodka Macerated Cherries

I’ve made macerated cherries in brandy some time ago, and they were awesome, so why not soak them in vodka, right?

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • Fresh cherries, pitted, approximately 1 bag
  • Vodka
  • Mason Jar
  • Straw or cherry pitter

How can it get any easier than that right?

Using a straw (I use a metal straw), insert into the center of the cherry, at the stem side, and push the pit through the cherry. Repeat. You can also wear gloves while doing this as the cherry juice stained my hands for a few days. No lie.

How to make vodka macerated cherries

Once the cherries have been pitted, fill them to the top of a mason jar. I used a large mason jar, just because I wanted more cherries. Once filled, pour in your favorite vodka all the way to the top. Seal with the lid, and cover tightly.

Place in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks. When you are ready, for some out and enjoy, otherwise serve them in some sparkling water, white soda, or place a couple on a skewer in a great summer time cocktail. Enjoy!

Easy Iced Coffee

I’m a big fan of drinking coffee in the morning, and granted I only drink about a cup and a half, or so, but my body and mind needs it before heading into work. We have been using a Chemex for some time now, and love the idea of the pour over coffee.  There is something about the slowness, the body, and ultimately the taste that keeps us brewing with the Chemex.  My wife and I, however, have not mastered the quantity of coffee that we brew on a regular basis, and with that said, I was about to do something about it. It was killing me that I would pour out about another cup or so of leftover coffee prior to cleaning the Chemex, and I was no longer going to let it go to waste. Bring on easy iced coffee.

There is no magic to this iced coffee, trust me. It’s so simple to make, is perfect to drink on a hot summer morning, and is great for the remaining use of coffee. I typically brew with local coffee from Colectivo, however this time I decided to try a blend from Anodyne Coffee. Whatever the case, use what you love.

Easy Iced Coffee

Ingredients:

  • Leftover coffee, room temperature
  • Ice cube tray
  • Cream, to your liking (optional)

This was also a good use of my ice cube tray, which I purchased last year to make craft cocktails. The tray itself it deeper and wider than a standard tray, so it fits two cubes nicely into a glass.

How to make iced coffee

Pour the coffee into the ice cube tray, and freeze. When you are ready, place a couple of cubes into your drinking glass, or pour over your cream, or milk. I actually pour a bit of hot coffee over the cubes as well to begin the melting process.

What’s great about this, is you typically have frozen cubes after you end your drink which is great, because as they continue to melt you still get more coffee, and who doesn’t love that, right?

Shamrock Shakes

It was not too long ago where I was driving past a McDonald’s and noticed the sign that Shamrock shakes were there. That just brought back memories of getting that shake around this time of year, in late February and March. The creamy, minty flavor is just hard to beat. Every Sunday when my kids go to Sunday school, they beg, yes beg, for McDonald’s. I typically decline their request, but do give in from time to time, and as I declined their request this week, I was going to offer them something that would I knew would remind them of McDonald’s and make them extremely happy. This is where the shamrock shake came into action.

Shamrock Shake Recipe

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of 1% milk
  • 6 cups of vanilla ice cream
  • 1  tsp peppermint extract, use more if you want more peppermint flavor
  • 1 1/2 tsp green food coloring
  • Whipped cream, to your liking

Doesn’t get any easier than that, right?

Add the milk to a blender, then add in your ice cream, peppermint extract, and green food coloring. Blend until smooth.

How to make a shamrock shake

Pour into your serving glass and top with whipped cream. Serve with a straw, and suck away.

My kids loved these shamrock shakes, and they were pretty much identical to those of McDonald’s. So skip the drive through next time and make your own. Your kids will thank you for it. Hope you enjoy.

Shamrock Shakes
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 5
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups of 1% milk
  • 6 cups of vanilla ice cream
  • 1 tsp peppermint extract, use more if you want more peppermint flavor
  • 1½ tsp green food coloring
  • Whipped cream, to your liking
Instructions
  1. Add the milk to a blender, then add in your ice cream, peppermint extract, and green food coloring. Blend until smooth.
  2. Pour into your serving glass and top with whipped cream. Serve with a straw, and suck away.

 

Homemade Snow Cone Syrup

The start of summer in Wisconsin has been off to a slow start in terms of really hot temperatures. Don’t get me wrong, I am not complaining. I would much rather have a 78 degree day over a 94 degree day, any time of the year. The perfect temperatures have not stopped my kids from running around outside all day, whether they are taking long bike rides, or going fishing, or just running around the yard playing tag, and well, I’m all for that. When they come running through the door, they all need something, whether that is a cold drink, a cup of ice, or what they are all after, a snow cone.

I purchased a snow cone maker last year, I believe, from Target, and one very similar to this one. It was on clearance, and as I was skeptical that this would fall apart after a few uses, I figured those few uses would really excite the kids. To this day, we have probably made well over 300 snow cones, typically filled with fruit juices, well, up until recently. Lately I have been making a sour mixture that was recommended by one of my colleagues at work. It is basically a simple syrup with about a cup of lime juice, and half a cup of lemon juice, both which are strained before going into the cooled syrup. I tried that out on my kids and they were in heaven. It had the perfect balance between sweet and tart.

Homemade Snow Cone Syrup Recipe

And that got me thinking…

What if, just what if, I took that same concept of simple syrup and added a packet of Kool-Aid? I made a batch, and well, let’s just say it was spot on and a perfect snow cone syrup.

Let’s get started.

  • 2 cups of granulated sugar
  • 1 cup of water
  • 23 oz packet of Kool-Aid mixture
  • Shaved Ice

Begin by adding the sugar and water to a saucepan. Bring this to a medium heat, and cook to melt away all of the sugar, about 7 minutes or so. Once all of the sugar is melted, remove from the heat.

How to make snow cone syrup

Add in the packet of Kool-Aid. My daughter decided to pick Ice Blue Raspberry Lemonade. Mix well, and let cool before using.

When you are ready to make the snow cone, shave the ice, and add them into your glass, or snow cone holder. Spoon in the cooled syrup until all of the shaved ice is covered. Serve with a spoon or straw, and you have yourself one heck of a refreshing snow cone, and one with enough sugar that will keep your kids charged for quiet some time.