Countdown with Cocktails- Day 1: Lemon Cucumber Mint Detox Water

After a long week of eating and drinking, a little detox and rehydration is in order for New years Day. This refreshing drink combines lemons to help cleanse and alkalize the body, cucumber for its rehydration properties and mint for a little natural sweetness and flavor, as well as helping to calm the stomach and aid in digestion.

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Lemon Cucumber Mint Water

  • 4 thin slices cucumber
  • 4 thin slices lemon
  • 2 sprigs of mint

Place cucumber, lemon and mint in a collins or pint glass. Muddle lightly with a muddler or back of a wooden spoon.

Add ice and fill with filtered water, stir to combine.

Countdown with Cocktails- Day 2: French 77

What better way to celebrate New Years Eve than a champagne cocktail?! This cocktail is called the French 77, but the ratio used is very common and can be used to make many different cocktails. The French 77 features the very delicious combination of St. Germain Elderflower liqueur and gin. This combination is very fragrent and full of botanicals. The sweetness of the St. Germain goes perfectly with gin's other classics partners, lemon and carbonation.

If you want to modify this cocktail, try swapping the gin for cognac or the St. Germain for Cointreau (for a sparking White Lady). If you switch out both the gin and St. Germain for cognac and Cointreau, you get a sparkling version of the Sidecar cocktail. You can also do complete makeover and switch out the gin for tequila, the lemon juice for lime juice and the St. Germain for Cointreau to create a sparkling Margarita.

French 77 champagne elderflower

The French 77

  • 2 oz Gin
  • 1/2 oz St. Germaine Elderflower Liqueur
  • 1/2 oz simple syrup
  • 1 oz lemon juice
  • Dry champagne or other sparkling wine

Shake the gin, St. Germain, cimple syrup and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker with ice.

Strain into a chilled champagne flute and top with the champagne.

Garnish with a lemon twist.

Countdown with Cocktails- Day 3: Chocolate Strawberry Sorbet Cocktail

This next cocktail is the ultimate dessert drink. Mr.s Pea and I were inspired by a cocktail lounge in Portland, Oregon named Fifty Licks, to create a cocktail that you can enjoy sipping and with a spoon. We paired the the traditional flavors of berries and cream with chocolate to create this luscious libation.

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Chocolate Strawberry Sorbet Cocktail

  • 1 oz chocolate liqeuer or Irish cream liqueur
  • 1 oz vodka
  • 1 oz cream
  • 1 scoop strawberry or raspberry sorbet

Combine everything but the sorbet in a shaker filled with ice

Shake for 30 seconds so the cream thickens

Put a scoop of the sorbet in a chilled cocktail or margarita glass

Strain cocktail around sorbet in cocktail glass

Garnish with strawberries or rapsberries and mint sprig, serve with a spoon

Countdown with Cocktails- Day 4: Blood Orange Margarita

While the juice of an orange is a little too sweet for a margarita, its cousin, the sour blood orange, a favorite of the Mediterranean, makes a perfect cocktail. In America, blood oranges are just starting to come into season, so now is the perfect time to start looking for them. However, if you like the fruit’s flavor, San Pellegrino makes a sparkling blood orange juice that is available year round at most specialty grocery stores. This drink becomes more like a paloma margarita hybrid, substituting the blood orange soda for the grapefruit but still using orange liqueur.

Blood Orange Margarita

Blood Orange Margarita

  • 2 oz 100% agave blanco tequila
  • 1/2 oz Cointreau
  • 1/2 oz lime juice
  • Aranciata Rossa San Pellegrino (Blood Orange)

Combine tequila, Cointreau and lime juice in a shaker with ice. Shake for 15 seconds and strain into ice filled rocks glass

Top with blood orange soda and garnish with orange wedge

Countdown with Cocktails- Day 5: Spiked Chai Latte

Mrs. Pea loves chai tea, so when I discovered that there were chai tea concentrates, I knew I had to figure out a way to incorporate it into a warm cocktail that she would enjoy. For the liquor portion of this recipe, I knew that amaretto’s sweet almond flavor would pair perfectly with the spiciness of the chai, but I also wanted to give it some more depth without going too sweet or give any alcohol burn, so I chose Korbel’s XS which is their VS brandy infused with orange and vanilla. If you like Chai Tea, you’ll love this drink.

Spiked Chai Latte

  • 2 oz Korbel XS Brandy or other brandy
  • 1/2 oz Amaretto
  • 2 oz Chai tea latte concentrate
  • 2 oz Whole or 2% milk
  • Whipped cream and cinnamon to garnish

Combine Chai Concetrate and Milk in a mug, then warm in microwave

Stir in Brandy and Amaretto

Top with whipped cream and sprinkle with grated cinnamon

Chai tea

Countdown with Cocktails- Day 6: Orange Marmalade Gingersnap

Mrs. Pea’s family in Florida sent us a beautiful citrus gift basket that contained orange marmalade which reminded me that I had seen it used as a sweetener in cocktails, and thought it would make a great addition to a twist on one of our favorite cocktails made with whiskey and ginger liqueur. The flavors of this cocktail are somewhat of a sampling of different winter and holiday smells and tastes, but work so well together that when combined, they form a sweet and spicy cocktail that is sure to remind you of a delicious holiday dessert.

Orange Marmalade Gingersnap

 

Orange Marmalade Gingersnap

  • 1 tsp. orange Marmalade
  • 1/4 oz. Domaine de Canton Ginger Liqueur
  • 1/4 oz. Cointreau
  • 1 1/2 oz. Whiskey
  • 2 dashes Cranberry bitters
  • 1 orange slice
  • 1 tbs superfine (baker’s) sugar
  • 1 tbs ground cinnamon

Combine the cinnamon and sugar on a plate

Moisten the rim of a cocktail or martini glass with the orange slice and then place the rim of the glass in the sugar and cinnamon mixture

Put the orange marmalade in the bottom of a shaker, add bitters, Cointreau, Domaine de Canton and whiskey.

Fill shaker with ice and shake for 15 seconds.

Strain into rimmed cocktail glass