Monday, June 27, 2011

Perfecting Your Daiquiris for Summer

Perfect daiquiri recipes for your summer get togethers
With summer nearly upon us, or here already depending on where you live it's time to crack out your favorite daiquiri recipes.   The basic daiquiri is a perfect blend of rum, sugar syrup and lime juice and is fantastic anytime of the year, but summer is when the frozen daiquiri makes a very welcome appearance.

I love making up a batch of frozen daiquiris and hiring a frozen daiquiris machine (I think they're officially called a frozen drinks machine!) so that people can serve themselves at a summer party.

frozen daiquiris machinesMargaritaville Tahiti Frozen Concoction Maker, DM3000
I am definitely tempted to get my very own frozen daiquiri machine and this one seems perfect because you can make more than one drink. Imagine a daiquiri of your choice and a margarita of your choice and an alcohol free frozen drinks for sober drivers, moms to be or children.

This machine would certainly get the party started in style and having read the reviews I am even more tempted....... it would certainly save on the rental, plus it's available for those impromptu gatherings as well....

If you have one please let me know how you've found it in the comments.

In the mean time have you perfected your daiquiri making skills for the upcoming summer? Whether you decide to stick to classic daiquiri recipes or embrace some frozen daiquiri recipes we do all have our favorites don't we? I love the abundance of strawberries in summer which is why I want to talk strawberry daiquiris (my hubby is muttering about an abundance of mango, but as I don't like them and I'm writing this I'm going to stick with strawberries!)

How to Make Strawberry Daiquiris

Strawberry Daiquiri Recipes

Strawberry Daiquiri By The CulinaryGeek
from Chicago, USA
If you're making your strawberry daiquiri during the strawberry season then you'll often find that they are sweet enough to not require any added sugar so be sure to taste them first (the overly sweet bagged concoction of strawberry daiquiri concentrates that are available are enough to put you right off the drink!).

Here is a recipe that doesn't call for ice, just in case your teeth are feeling a little sensitive or you don't think it's a warm enough day for a frozen drink -

Sugar Free Strawberry Daiquiri Recipe

This makes four servings so it's perfect for when your closest girlfriends come over.

6 oz rum
4 oz fresh lime juice
1 pint strawberries, hulls removed, reserving 4 for garnish

Place all of the ingredients into a blender and process until blended smooth.

Pour the mixture into 4 tall glasses and garnish with the reserved strawberries.

Homemade Strawberry Daiquiri

Frozen Strawberry Daiquiri Recipes

Please don't buy those bags of mix, making your own can be so easy by following some of these recipes -

Super Quick Strawberry Daiquiri Recipe with Frozen Strawberries

1 cup light rum
2 cups frozen whole strawberries (1 16-ounce bag)
1/3 cup sugar
3/4 cup of lime juice

First of all place your rum and lime juice into your blender and then add sugar allowing it to dissolve.

Add a few strawberries to the blender; pulsing to break them up then add more until mixture is nice and smooth.

Pour into chilled or frozen glasses as room temperature glasses allow your daiquiri to thaw too quickly. If it's an impromptu gathering and you don't have any chilled glasses then fill the glasses with ice before starting to make the daiquiris and empty them before adding the drink - it will help to cool the glasses down quickly.

Frozen Strawberry Daiquiri with Fresh Strawberries

2 parts light rum
1 part triple sec
5 large strawberries
1/2 cup crushed ice
lime juice as needed

Add all of the ingredients to the blender including just a little squeeze of lime juice and blend until the mixture is smooth - taste to see if you need a little more lime juice or not.
Rim the edge of a martini glass with lime juice and then fine sugar and fill with the strawberry daiquiri.

The best Strawberry Daiquiri recipes for your summer time parties.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Party Decorations (and cocktails) for your 4th of July Party

Celebrate Independence Day in style with some of these party decoration ideas, and a few of these drinks too.
I discussed some fantastic red, white and blue cocktails last time, but you need more than just cocktails to have a good 4th of July and I love the idea of decorating your table with these Patriotic Top Hats.

Patriotic Top Hats (1 dz)

Pop a couple on each table as table pieces and you’ll get a very festive feel at the beginning of the party and you know that as the party wears on people will start wearing them, rather like the paper hats we all don at Christmas dinner.   At the end of the party you’ll find a number of people will leave wearing these hats which will act as a reminder of what a great time they had at your place.

American Flag

If you’re after a stunning looking shooter then an American Flag is the drink for you –

1 part grenadine
1 part white crème de cacao
1 part blue curacao

Pout the grenadine into the bottom of a shot glass, layer the crème de cacao on top and then layer the blue curacao on the top of that.

While we’re talking of the American flag – buy a whole lot of them to add as decorations in your food, drinks, on your table etc.   You can never have too many American flags on Independence Day!

USA Plastic Flags (144 pc)

Now if your get togethers are anything like mine then half of the guests will prefer to drink beer instead of cocktails (silly people!) and if you’ve got a keg on hand for them then you’ll need some patriotic cups to drink from.

Patriotic Plastic Flag Cups

Of course if you’re serving bottles or cans then your guests can drink out of them instead – whatever is easier I always say.

Another great idea for table decorations are these cute Patriotic rubber duckies.   I first came across these a few months ago and fell in love with them – I also love celebriducks so I guess I was bound to love these.

Patriotic Rubber Duckies

Now you could just scatter them around or you could decide to revive the 80s cocktail – the fluffy duck and make the drink in larger glasses with ducks floating in them.   Here’s the recipe for a fluffy duck –

Fluffy Duck

1 part white rum
1 part advocaat
1 part cream

Add the rum, advocaat and cream to a cocktail glass (I like to use a hurricane glass personally) and then slowly top up with lemonade.   Be aware that the cream and lemonade have a chemical reaction to each other which causes the drink to rise and froth (tastes delicious, but if you add the lemonade too quickly it can get messy).

Before we go here’s another drink for your 4th of July get together –

4th July Lemonade Drink (bear in mind this is not your usual lemonade – it is an alcoholic cocktail!)

1 part Jack Daniels
1 part triple sec
1 part sweet and sour mix
4 parts lemon-lime soda

Pour Jack Daniels, triple sec and sweet and sour mix into a cocktail shaker with ice and shake well.   Pour into a highball glass and top up with the lemon-lime soda, stirring gently.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Red, White & Blue Cocktails

The 4th July will be upon us in no time so it's time to start thinking of what cocktails we want to be serving up - how about a collection of red, white and blue cocktails?

There are a number of different red cocktails from the super easy Bloody Mary to a Campari Cocktail and more.   I've actually compiled a collection of red cocktails for Valentines day on another page, but you could give them more of a patriotic name and use any of them at your 4th July celebrations - Red Cocktails.

Bloody Mary

1 part of vodka
tomato juice
celery salt
Worcestershire sauce
Tabasco sauce

Pour 1 part of vodka into a highball glass that has ice in it, top up with the tomato juice.    Add a dash of celery salt, Tabasco sauce and a couple of dashes of Worcestershire sauce, give it a stir and it's done.

Campari Cocktail

2 parts Campari
1 part vodka
1 dash Angostura Bitters

Pop all of the ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice and shake well.   Strain into a cocktail glass to serve.

Now let's move onto white cocktails and personally I think the best white cocktail is the White Russian and as the saying goes 'forget the rest and have the best,' but I'm thinking you probably want a selection of drinks so here are a few more ideas.    Hair of the Dog and Brandy Alexander are two other white cocktails that you can choose from.

Hair of the Dog

1 part Scotch whisky
1 1/2 parts single cream
1/2 part honey

Gently mix all of the ingredients together and pour into a shot glass over ice to serve.

White Russian

2 parts vodka
1 part kahlua
1 1/2 parts cream

This is served in an old fashioned glass over ice and there are a number of different variations on the mixing of it - although it can be nice to float the cream on top in this case I think you should make it the way I do so that you have a 'white cocktail.'    Pour all of the ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice and shake well before straining into an old fashioned glass over ice.

Now let's talk about blue cocktails.   One of my favorite ways of creating a blue cocktail is by using Blue Curacao and when it comes to summer cocktails you don't get many that are as refreshing as the Blue Lagoon.   Other blue cocktails include the Sapphire Martini and the Blue Carnation.

Sapphire Martini

2 parts gin (frozen)
2 dashes dry vermouth
2 dashes blue curacao

Take a chilled cocktail glass and add your dry vermouth and blue curacao - swirl around the glass to add a coating before pouring in the gin.   It's very important that the gin has been kept in the freezer over night as this martini is best served extremely cold.   Be aware that this is a very strong cocktail that would do the likes of Winston Churchill or Ernest Hemmingway proud.

Blue Carnation

1/2 part white cream de cacao
1/2 part blue curacao
2 parts cream

Now this is a delicious, creamy cocktail which is always a plus in my books and it's also incredibly easy to make as you simply pop all of the ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice and 'shake, baby, shake,' next strain into a cocktail glass to serve.

So there you have it some red, white and blue cocktails for your 4th July celebrations - have fun and be safe. Remember to make sure you have some designated drivers and have drinks available for them, a really easy way of creating red, white and blue drinks for drivers is by using lemonade and food coloring.   For more great ideas check out my Mocktails page.