Foodie Fave: Champagne Jello Shots

Ok, guys. We’re about to get next level with jello shots – champagne jello shots! The minute I saw this post from Sugar and Cloth I knew I had to share it with you all. Especially with New Years’ Eve right around the corner, these are the perfect compliment to that champagne glass in your hand. Cheers, darlings!

  • 8 oz Champagne or Cava
  • 4 oz Gin
  • 2 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 oz simple syrup (quick recipe below)*
  • 2 packages Knox gelatin
  • Edible gold leaf for garnishing (optional)

Combine the simple syrup and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake well, then pour into a medium saucepan and sprinkle with gelatin. Allow the gelatin to soak for two minutes, then heat over very low heat, stirring constantly, until the gelatin is fully dissolved (about 5 minutes).

Remove from heat and add the gin and Champagne, stirring well to blend. Pour into a very lightly greased loaf pan and chill until fully set, several hours or overnight.

Turn out the set gelatin onto parchment paper, then slice carefully (a thin knife works best) into rectangles or squares.

Garnish with edible gold leaf using a paintbrush (use one you can reserve for food only — you don’t want paint chemicals in your food!). Gold leaf crumbles and sticks to things (like fingers!) easily, so be gentle — just pull off tiny corners with the brush (they will stick), then place them gently on top of the gelée squares.

*If you don’t have simple syrup here is a simple easy recipe. In a small sauce pan over medium high heat, add 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup water. Bring it to a simmer. Watch it closely for roughly 5 minutes until it has a syrupy consistency.

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*Photo: Sugar and Cloth

Happy Eating (and Happy New Years’!), XO.

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Cucumber Cooler

Although the days are getting shorter (I’m sure we don’t need to remind you), summer cocktails aren’t going away just yet! Sure, rose slushies are a thing, but somehow I keep coming back to gin. It could be because I’m pumped to use Wolffer Estate’s new pink gin, or it could be because it’s just so good and versatile. There are countless ways to make a lemon, cucumber, something or other cocktail. And here’s one of those delicious variations. Let’s get one more cocktail in before the end of summer, shall we?

*Makes 1 drink.

  • 2 oz  gin
  • 3/4 oz St. Germain
  • 3/4 oz lime juice
  • 1/4 oz simple syrup (quick recipe for this below)
  • 5 mint leaves
  • 4 slices of cucumber
  • Seltzer water to top it off

In a cocktail glass, muddle together the lime juice, simple syrup*, mint leaves, and cucumber. Top with ice, gin, St. Germain, and seltzer water. Garnish with a cucumber slice.

*If you don’t have simple syrup here is a simple easy recipe. In a small sauce pan over medium high heat, add 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup water. Bring it to a simmer. Watch it closely for roughly 5 minutes until it has a syrupy consistency.

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Happy Drinking, XO.

Ginger Beer & Dare I Say It….Tequila.

Listen, just because this is the 3rd drink post and 2nd consecutive one, doesn’t mean we are saying food isn’t important or that we all need to go on some liquid diet. Although, as hot as this summer is supposed to be…I am not opposed to it at all! Anyway, like many of my post grad peers I swore off tequila after college. Sure I developed a taste for some of the good stuff, but it still wasn’t my drink of choice. (Sidebar Jess and I are both huge café patron fans by the way. what’s not to love? espresso-yum, good alcohol-yum) Ok ok back to tequila in general and its redeeming qualities… As I was saying, if not consumed in copious amounts and as a shooter, it’s not half bad. I even found myself enjoying a tequila tasting with coworkers, sampling various flights of chocolate and chili undertones. So much so, that a colleague of mine even gave me a bottle of some very nice tequila for Christmas. Now what to do with it…I don’t particularly love margaritas or want to waste the time cleaning my blender so I just let it sit on bar for months until I was at my cousin’s and had this lovely little refreshing gem of a cocktail. Boy, I knew drinking and good taste ran in the family, but I was so pleasantly surprised by this drink that it became my poison of choice all summer long.

  • 4 ounces ginger beer
  • 2 ounces lime juice
  • 1 1/2 ounces tequila (She used patron silver, but any good quality tequila will work. It can be the gold stuff too, just please no Jose, cringe).
  • 1/2 ounce simple syrup (feel free to leave out, some people just need a little sweet to counterbalance the bold ginger & lime flavors, I do without it).
  • fresh limes for garnish
  • coarse salt for the rim (this isn’t just to look fancy, the salt compliments the ginger beer well).

The key to make these super delicious is to use frosty glasses! So a few hours (or the night) before, stick your glasses in the freezer. Before serving, rim the edge of the glass with a lime slice and then dip it in coarse salt to coat. Fill the glass with just a few ice cubes. Add the ginger beer, lime juice, tequila, and simple syrup to a shaker with ice and gently shake (you don’t want to lose the fizz of the ginger beer so one quick stir or shake is more than enough) to combine. Pour over ice and add to the glass an extra lime wedge for show. P/S we are not responsible for any hangovers these may cause, because it will be very hard to just have one!

Happy Drinking, XO.

Mellow Yellow

Every summer I would have a BBQ at my NY apartment because it had this lovely, large courtyard with grills and a pool. It was the ideal outdoor space to entertain and while I look at the calendar this year to try and host a BBQ down in Philly I keep getting nostalgic of the four years of fun times we had in my White Plains courtyard. This drink was served in pitchers galore and I am having a major hankering for it now. Especially after my trip to Italy last year, where we went to Sorrento, to an actual lemon grove and did a limoncello tasting! yum! Anyway, I just cant get enough of it. So sit back, relax, and enjoy sipping on this deliciousness in the warm yellow sun on a mellow weekend afternoon!

  • Springs of fresh mint leaves (I would do a small handful)
  • 1 box of blackberries
  • 1 box of raspberries
  • 1/4 cup of simple syrup (equal parts sugar/water boiled mixture)
  • 16 oz. sparkling water (I didn’t do the flavored kind and used plain, but I’m sure if you only have flavored that would also be fine)
  • 1 1/2 cups of Italian Limoncello

Muddle the mint with ice at the bottom of the pitcher, add the simple syrup* & berries. Right before serving pour in the limoncello and top off with the sparkling water.

*Boil 1/4 cup sugar and 1/4 cup water until the sugar is dissolved and stir the mixture until it has a syrup-y consistency. Let it cool before adding to pitcher. Also if you don’t like something too sweet, feel free to leave out or reduce.

This is meant to be served in a tall high ball glass however I don’t think Emily Post would freak if you did a white wine glass. Consume alcohol safely!

Happy Drinking, XO.