Cantaloupe-Mint Caipirinha Cocktails

2_Caipri

If you can’t be at the World Cup, join in with a toast from home! This recipe for Cantaloupe-Mint Caipirinha Cocktails is a fun, not-quite-classic version of the national cocktail of Brazil.

In case you’re out of the loop, the World Cup is taking place right now in Brazil. Since my husband and I can’t be there in person, we’ve been tuning in via TV. To help set the mood and get in the spirit of the games, we’ve been mixing up Caipirinha (pronounced kai-pee-REEN-yuh) cocktails and yelling “gooooooooal” whenever possible.

Caipirinha Cocktails

To be honest, I wasn’t sure I would like this drink, but I think I’m hooked. Really hooked. This drink has a fresh, slightly sweet flavor that includes a hint of tart lime.

Caiprinha is made with cachaça (pronounced ka-SHAH-suh), a distilled liquor made from sugarcane (but don’t confuse it with rum). Cachaça has been made in Brazil since the 1500s, so let me sound it out for you: it’s time you give this drink a try!

One version of this drink we put together – Cantaloupe-Mint Caipirinha Cocktails – takes a little liberty with the simple original. I’ve been reading up on Caipirinhas, and apparently adding fresh fruit like berries or melon is fairly common, too.

Caipirinha cocktails

I like the original recipe, but adding cantaloupe and mint gave these drinks a nice blush color, not to mention a punch of flavor and texture. Most recipes for Caipirinhas call for muddling the lime. Go for it if you need to relieve some stress (and enjoy a little pulp). I simply juiced my limes.

Cantaloupe-Mint Caipirinha Cocktails perfect to enjoy during the warm weather, and they’re wildly appropriate to drink during this year’s World Cup – no matter who you’re cheering for!

Cantaloupe- Mint Caipirinha Cocktails
Serves 2

Strawberry Agua Fresca

Strawberry Agua Fresca

Think of agua fresca (Spanish for “fresh water”) as competition to your standard glass of lemonade on a hot summer day. This recipe for Strawberry Agua Fresca is easy to make and makes a pretty presentation for parties or any warm-weather gathering.

It’s gotten pretty hot here in the Southwest, with temps already hitting 108 degrees F., so I figured, why wait to make this lovely drink! Even if it’s not yet warm where you live, it probably will be soon.

What could be more refreshing on a hot day than an agua fresca? This drink – made simply from fresh fruit, water, sugar (or sweetener) and lime juice – is full of flavor, and it’s colorful and thirst-quenching. Along with a few ingredients, you’ll need a blender or food processor, and a fine-mesh strainer to mix together a bright batch.

Fresh sliced strawberries

Right now I have access to gorgeous, sweet strawberries, and therefore, Strawberry Agua Fresca, but use whatever fruit is in season to make this delightful drink. Consider trying watermelon, cantaloupe, mango, or even peach. I can’t wait to try this drink again, and maybe mix in a few additional flavors like mint, vanilla, or even cucumber (I might also try mixing in some alcohol like rum or tequila). Your standard summer lemonade may have some competition!

Recipe for Strawberry Agua Fresca
Serves 4-6

Dark & Stormy Cocktails

Dark & Stormy

Dark & Stormy Cocktails

It was a dark and stormy night on Halloween weekend. Well, not really. This is Phoenix and it was sunny and 85 degrees today. I just thought it would be a good spooky start to this post for Dark & Stormy Cocktails!

Kids in other parts of the country are bummed out because their winter jackets will probably cover up their costumes when they head out to trick-or-treat (I remember this well growing up). Not here. It’s finally pleasant in the evenings. That means if you want to, you can wear a light sweater or jacket. It seems strange, but in this part of the country, we get so excited for this seasonal turning point! After months of temperatures in the 110-degree range, who wouldn’t be thrilled to wear a jacket?

I’m ready for this treat

Since it’s Halloween (and warm) I thought a recipe for Dark & Stormy Cocktails would make a fun post and a delicious adult refreshment! Besides (and I can’t believe I’m saying this) I need a break from reading and writing about every sort of pumpkin dessert and ooey gooey sugary treat imaginable.

My husband (a former bartender post-college) likes to mix drinks for us to try. I’ve never really liked rum, but by now he’s smart enough to know that if he tells me what’s in a drink before I try it, I won’t drink it if I think I won’t like it. His method is sort of the equivalent to sneaking vegetables into kids’ meals. When I tried this drink, I definitely liked it!

Dark & Stormy Cocktails are traditionally made with Gosling’s rum, ginger beer and lime juice, and is said to be the national drink of Bermuda. It’s usually served as a spring or summer cocktail, but it’s delicious at any time. Dark, stormy or otherwise!

Recipe for a Dark & Stormy cocktails:

Makes one cocktail