Summer Garden Bloody Mary Mix

I have to brag a little about this recipe. “Summer Garden Bloody Mary Mix” is a homemade tomato juice cocktail mixer using ripe, juicy tomatoes, jalapeño peppers and fresh basil and parsley. It is full of summer garden flavors with a little “zip.” This tomato cocktail mixer recipe is delicious — much better than anything you will find in a retail store. And it is easy to make, too. Just roast the tomatoes and jalapeño peppers, saute the onions and celery. Then let everything simmer on the stove with a few more seasonings as the aroma of fresh herbs fills the air. Strain out the solids, dip the rim of glasses in course salt, add vodka and we are ready to go and enjoy the hot summer morning — in the shade.

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Blueberry Lemonade plus a “Moscow Mule” Cocktail Variation

I can’t think of anything more refreshing than a glass of home-mixed lemonade on a hot summer day. And we have plenty of hot summer days here in Louisiana. I decided to add blueberries from my backyard to make a “Blueberry Lemonade” aromatic variation. Then why not kick things up a notch and make a “Blueberry – Lemon Moscow Mule?” That cocktail hit the spot, too. I added frozen blueberries and fresh mint for garnish to my icy summertime drinks.

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Holiday Moscow Mule

A “Moscow Mule” is a great tasting cocktail although it has nothing to do with Moscow or with mules. Traditionally, the mixed drink is made with vodka, ginger beer, a squirt of lime juice and it is served in a copper mug. Last summer, a friend introduced us to these cocktails. She even took the extra effort to make her own ginger beer and purchase copper mugs for serving the drink. Of course, I had to look up the history of these drinks and mix up one myself. I learned that there are plenty of ginger beer brands for sale in retail stores so you don’t need to make your own beer “from scratch.” And there are many variations to this cocktail. This year, I’m making a “Holiday Moscow Mule” with ginger beer, cranberry juice, Louisiana vodka and rosemary for garnish.

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Sipping Mimosas and Sightseeing in New Orleans

We enjoy taking days trip to New Orleans and just bumming around. Usually we’ll try out a new restaurant, stop for beignets and coffee au lait and visit an attraction. On New Year’s Day we planned to eat brunch the Ruby Slipper restaurant and later stop by Audubon Park to see an impressive live oak tree. I’ve included a recipe for mimosas, an orange juice cocktail, which is found on brunch menus in these New Orleans restaurants.Tree of Life - cropped - IMG_20151230_162720-cropped

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