Today is officially my last day at my job.  I wish I could tell you that I’m going to be able to work full-time on this blog which would make me so happy but that’s not the case.  Here’s the short of it: my office was relocated from Philadelphia to Connecticut and I didn’t want to make the move.   Fortunately, I’m taking a new job starting Monday.  The past year and nine months since we’ve known about the move have been stressful, gut wrenching and tiring.  Watching friends and co-workers leave to go to other jobs was sad.  Watching everyone getting packed up and spending the last week in an empty office was even sadder.  So because of our “end” and because the summer heat is in full force, why not celebrate it all with a fruity, coconuty cocktail like these Pink-a-Coladas?

Cranberry juice, coconut water, pineapple juice and coconut rum are mixed together for a perfectly summery sweet warm weather cocktail.  I’m not the biggest fan of coconut water and since the rum is already strong enough, I’m not really sure it’s necessary.  Don’t worry if you don’t have some.  Coconut rum and pineapple juice is already so good together but adding in some tart cranberry juice cuts down some of the sweetness which makes these cocktails go down waaaaaay too easily.  As bittersweet as my job’s move has been, I don’t know what else to do but just raise my glass and say…Cheers!  Here’s to new beginnings.


The ingredients:


Combine first 4 ingredients in a large pitcher.


Serve over ice. Garnish, if desired.


Additions:  None

Omissions:  None

Substitutions:  None

Overall Rating:  Love It

Source:  Coastal Living Magazine

Mixed Citrus Margaritas

You know how I told you the other day that I’ve been really stressed at work?  Say hello to last night’s dinner: Mixed Citrus Margarita.  Enough said.


The ingredients:


In a large pitcher or jug combine the tequila, juice, liqueur, and sugar to taste.


Serve over ice with lime wedges.


Additions:  None

Omissions:  None

Substitutions:  None

Overall Rating:  Like It

Source:  Better Homes and Gardens magazine

Maple-Bourbon Sour

I gotta tell you, after spending this week enduring Hurricane Sandy-turned Nor’Easter-turned nightmare and the ensuing loss of power for days, I was just ready to go home, sleep in my own bed and make some food.  But I was tired.  And by tired, I mean tuckered-out tired.  My good friend Jodi put up with my sorry self since Sunday while I waited for the power to be restored in my freezing cold house.  Finally, the power came back last night and it really is such a relief to flip on a lightswitch and get light.  Plus, there really is nothing better than sleeping in your own cozy bed.  Because I anticipated losing power this week, I figured it was a great opportunity to bring you something that doesn’t require the use of electricity and helps that lonely time go by faster: Maple-Bourbon Sour.

Bourbon is mixed with nothing but maple syrup and lemon juice.  Sounds kind of crazy but the sweetness of the syrup and sourness of the lemon balance each other out while the smoky maple complements bourbon perfectly.  When I got home last night, I really didn’t have the patience to make one of these but instead poured myself a red wine and tucked myself into bed while I watched tv.  In the dark.  Yes, after complaining about losing power, I barely turned a light on when I got it back.  All I really wanted was my tv.  I’m a loser.  After seeing what happened to the New Jersey coast this week, I’m grateful that my biggest problem was a loss of power. I have to say that this week has been an emotional and heartbreaking time for those of us in New Jersey.  I didn’t grow up here but I’ve been here long enough to know just how special and important the Jersey shore is to the people who live here (and yes, it’s really called the “shore” here, not the “beach”).  It’s not just a stupid tv show (which I refuse to watch), it’s a way of life and a piece of the people here.  It’s their heart and soul.  And it will recover.

The ingredients:

Combine bourbon, maple syrup, and fresh lemon juice, stirring well.

Pour mixture into a cocktail shaker filled with 1/2 cup ice.  Cover and shake.

Strain mixture; divide evenly between two glasses.  Serve over ice, if desired.

Additions:  None

Omissions:  None

Substitutions:  None

Overall Rating:  Love It

Source:  Cooking Light Magazine

Chocolate Margarita

One Saturday morning a couple weekends ago I was in my kitchen whipping up some food enjoying the background noise of the Food Network when I heard Marcela Valladolid say these two words on her show Mexican Made Easy: Chocolate Margarita.  I spun around, ignored everything that I was cooking, and stopped to watch as she made this bizarre yet intriguing cocktail.  My first thought was that I had to make it and the second thought was that I probably already had the ingredients to make it.  After a quick scan of my fridge, it was confirmed:  I could make this anytime I wanted.

Tequila, chocolate liqueur, and orange liqueur are mixed with chocolate syrup, cream, almond extract and a pinch of cinnamon to make a rich, creamy, chocolatey and strong dessert cocktail.  I used fat-free half-and-half in place of the cream and rimmed the glass with nonpareils instead of bittersweet chocolate (just because it was prettier).  This cocktail has tons of flavor so it’s hard to have more than one.  But it’s a margarita, right?  You really don’t need more than one.

The ingredients:

Rim glasses with chocolate syrup and shaved chocolate or nonpareils.  Combine all of the ingredients, except ice, in a pitcher.

Working in batches, transfer the mixture to a shaker full of ice.

Shake and pour into the prepared glasses. Serve cold.

Additions:  None

  • Omissions:

Bittersweet chocolate


  • Fat-free half-and-half

Overall Rating:  Like It

Source:  Mexican Made Easy, Food Network

S’mores Sea Salt Martini

I’m a birthday girl.  Meaning I love my birthday.  Not only is it the one day of the year where I can truly do whatever I want without any outside influence from anyone else, but I also get to celebrate another year of my life.  I’ve never been one to moan and groan about my age.  It is what it is and I can’t do anything about it.  Rather than be sad or depressed that I’m yet another year older, instead I look at it as I’m a year younger than I’ll be next year!  Some people don’t like a big fuss about their birthdays and that’s fine.  And honestly, I don’t like a lot of fuss about mine either – I just like to celebrate it.  When my birthday falls on a weekday, I always take the day off.  Period.  My boss makes fun of me, saying he doesn’t know anyone who likes their birthday as much as I do but the reality is that I just know that working is the last thing on Earth that I want to do.  Even if I have no other plans, you won’t see me at work.  My birthday is this Sunday so since I’m already off, I’m taking a nice long weekend.  I’m heading to the beach today and then heading to Baltimore with my girl friends tomorrow just to get out of Dodge for a while and let off some steam.  And I’m planning on taking these S’mores Sea Salt Martinis with me.

S’mores flavored vodka is mixed with half-and-half and served in a chocolate-sea salt rimmed martini glass.  I’m a big fan of Three Olives Vodka so when I saw the S’more flavored bottle, I didn’t know whether to be excited or frightened.  But I went for it because if I were on a deserted island, I would want to have s’mores with me.  So why not a s’mores cocktail too?  This cocktail is good but I think I’m going to experiment with it a bit.  I’d probably omit the salt, mix chocolate syrup in with the half-and-half, and maybe add in some Baileys or chocolate liqueur.  There are all kinds of possibilites with this.

Anyway, having your birthday in the middle of the summer could be a real bummer as a kid.  For people whose birthdays fell during the school year, I got to watch as they had their lockers decorated, cookies were brought in, and people chimed “Happy Birthday!” as they passed in the hall between classes.  Not only that, but if they had a party planned for the weekend, it became all everyone talked about on Friday at school.  When your birthday is in the summer, you don’t get any of that (although a co-worker made me brownies and decorated my office with streamers yesterday).  On the bright side, I never had to go to school and I always got to go to the pool.  So there.  My mom always made my birthdays special so they are still special to me.  She doesn’t get anymore birthdays so I will celebrate each and every one of mine for as long as I can.  Now as an adult, around where I live, everyone disappears for the shore in the summer.  So it’s kind of like being a kid all over again.  But that’s ok, I’m used to it.  Later on today, I’ll be at the shore too.  Have a great weekend, everyone!

The ingredients:

Dip the rim of martini glass in chocolate syrup and coat with sea salt. Drizzle the chocolate syrup inside the martini glass.

Pour vodka and half and half into a martini shaker filled with ice.

Shake and strain into martini glasses.

Garnish with toasted marshmallows if you prefer.

Additions:  None

Omissions:  None


  • Fat-free half and half

Overall Rating:  Like It

Source:  Three Olives website

Sangria Bonita

Sangria is one of my favorite cocktails because it’s not limited to any particular season and can be enjoyed year-round. Red wine sangria with stone fruit or apples is great for fall and winter while white wine sangria with citrus or berries is great for spring and summer.

This Sangria Bonita is a light, fresh white wine sangria that, instead of being weighed down by fruit juice, is lightened up with a little bit of orange liqueur and sparkling water. A pretty tossing in of colorful limes, lemons, oranges, and raspberries make this a picture perfect cocktail. I used Pinot Grigio but if you prefer a drier wine, consider Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc. Also, use any of your favorite spring or summer fruits here. That’s the great thing about Sangria – you can throw in any wine, juice or fruit you want.  Bonita, indeed!

The ingredients:

Pour 1 bottle dry white wine into a pitcher and add in ½ cup orange liqueur, and 3 tablespoons sugar, stirring until sugar dissolves.

Add in half a bottle of sparkling water.

Add slices of your favorite fruit. I used a mineola orange, lime, lemon, and a handful of fresh raspberries. Chill up to 1 hour before serving and garnish each serving with fresh mint if you like.


  • Lemon slices


  • Mint


  • Raspberries for strawberries

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Coastal Living Magazine

Citrus Sangria

I know, it has been months since I’ve posted a cocktail on this blog. Shame on me! I’d like to say that it’s because I haven’t been drinking but anyone who knows me knows that’s just stupid. During the winter, I primarily drink red wine (it keeps me warm!) but now that the weather is getting warmer and the sun is cheerfully out, what better time to introduce a new cocktail? I’m in love with sangria and am willing to try just about any concoction out there. Hence, this Citrus Sangria. This is so unbelievably simple – just white Zinfandel, white grape juice and fruit. I’m not normally a white Zin fan but this sangria is incredibly light and refreshing, making it great for a brunch cocktail. Feel free to substitute the white Zinfandel with a fruity white wine (like Pinot Grigio) if you prefer. Have a great weekend everyone!

The ingredients:

Pour the entire bottle of white zinfandel into a pitcher.

Add in white grape juice.

Drop in slices of fresh oranges, lemons, and limes.

Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions: None

Overall Rating: Like It

Source: Southern Living Magazine

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