Cocktails

Margaritas

Everyone loves a great margarita! It’s been popular in the U.S. since the early 50’s, and there are a lot of opinions on what makes a great margarita.

Margarita
Poppy’s Margarita from my book Sips & Apps that features a housemade Spicy Chipotle-Lime Sour

A classic ‘rita is typically made with tequila, fresh lime, a touch of simple syrup or agave nectar, and triple sec or orange liqueur. Let’s review our options.

The Tequila choices are vast:

    Silver is ideal for a fresh, bright margarita or made with fresh fruits.
    Reposado is aged a minimum of 2 months – 12 months in wooden casks. This light aging process rounds out a few of the rough edges found in many unaged tequilas.
    Añejo is aged more than 1 year and wonderfully smooth. It’s best for sipping on their own, but use it in a margarita if you like or add it as a float for depth of flavor.

Margarita MUSTS include starting with a good tequila, using FRESH SQUEEZED lime juice, orange liqueur (triple sec, Grand Marnier, or Cointreau) or a squeeze of orange works great too. Now sweeten to taste with a touch simple syrup or agave nectar.

Some like salt rims; some do not. I’m 50/50 and like a half rim of salt (my preference being kosher). Or there are tasty salt rimmers:check out my video for Sweet Citrus Salt. And of course, there are the “add-ins,” a splash of cranberry juice, pomegranate, fresh berries … the possibilities are endless!

Here is a basic margarita recipe you can get creative with:

Basic Margarita Recipe

Makes 1 cocktail

1 1/2 – 2 oz tequila of your choice
3/4 oz fresh squeezed lime juice
1/2 – 3/4 oz simple syrup or agave nectar (thinned out a bit)
1/4 oz orange liqueur (triple sec, Cointreau, or Grand Marnier)

Build drink in a cocktail shaker. Fill with ice, cap and shake.
Pour into a glass, garnish with a lime wheel, and enjoy!

So starting shaking and cheers to a great margarita! –Kathy

Posted by Kathy on May 13th, 2016  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Cocktails, Recipes

Pucker Up Rhubarb is Here!

Spring is definitely here when you see the vibrant stalks of rhubarb piled up at grocers and farmers markets.

Rhubarb stalks range in various colors from pale green, sometimes speckled with pink, to fully pink and bright red. The color depends on the variety and is not a guide to quality or degree of sourness. Be careful and make sure to discard rhubarb leaves right away as they are poisonous.

Rhubarb
Rhubarb ready to be made into a d’lish dish!
(Photo courtesy of
SteadyHealth.com)

Rhubarb is of course wonderful in classic pies. But for a little something different, try my recipe for Roasted Rhubarb and Honey Mousse for a unique, spring dessert. Sliced rhubarb is tossed with sugar and then slow-roasted to a tender syrupy goodness then chilled and folded with honey-sweetened whipped cream.

And though we love rhubarb in all things sweet – it’s not just for desserts. Try it in a new savory preparation such as in my Ginger Rhubarb Vinaigrette, it’s so tastydrizzled over spring’s other food star – fresh halibut. Yum!

Don’t forget about the drinks! Quench your thirst and whip up a batch of my Rhubarb Myer Lemon Ade. This pretty, pink-hued beverage is a great party sipper or add a shot of vodka or gin for a refreshing spring cocktail.

So celebrate spring in a tart and tasty way with delicious rhubarb! -Kathy

Roasted Rhubarb Honey Mousse
Makes 6 servings

1 pound rhubarb, trimmed and cut in 1-inch pieces (4 cups)
1 cup sugar
———————
3 ounces cream cheese
5 tablespoons honey
1 1/2 cups whipping cream

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Toss together rhubarb and sugar and place in a 9- x 13-inch glass baking pan. Roast, uncovered, in preheated oven for 45 minutes, until rhubarb is soft and syrup is slightly caramelized. Stir thoroughly and carefully after the first 20 minutes.

Refrigerate overnight, or for at least 4 hours, until completely cooled.

Whip cream cheese with 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) of the honey in a mixer until very fluffy. Transfer to a large bowl and fold in chilled rhubarb mixture. Whip the cream with remaining tablespoon honey until firmly peaked. Stir about 1/3 of the whipping cream into the rhubarb-cream cheese mixture to lighten it, then fold in the remaining whipping cream.

Dish up into 6, pretty glasses. Refrigerate until ready to serve, then top with a little plain whipped cream if desired and an edible, spring flower, such as a pansy, or petals of apple, pear or plum tree blossoms.

Note: If selecting edible flowers from your yard, be sure they are edible and have not been sprayed with pesticide or other chemicals. Rinse all blossoms thoroughly.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Ginger Rhubarb Vinaigrette
This tart and tangy vinaigrette is great drizzled over fresh halibut, grilled scallops or other white fish.

Makes 4 servings

1/2 cup chopped fresh rhubarb
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon sambal oelek
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
1/3 cup canola oil

In a medium saucepan, combine rhubarb, sugar, vinegar, ginger and garlic, and cook over medium heat until rhubarb is tender, about 4 to 5 minutes. Cool to room temperature.

In a medium bowl, whisk together mustard, salt, sambal, and chopped cilantro. Whisk in the cooled rhubarb mixture. Then gradually whisk in the canola oil, emulsifying the vinaigrette. Set aside at room temperature while you are preparing the fish.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Rhubarb Meyer Lemon Ade
“Bee” sure to use regional honey whenever you can to add some delicious local flavor! For a sophisticated non-alcoholic cocktail, shake about 4 ounces in a cocktail shaker with ice and serve strained in a large martini glass and garnish with a long lemon twist.

Makes about 6 cups or 8 servings

2 large Meyer lemons (or substitute regular lemons)
1 cup local honey
4 cups water
4 cups diced fresh rhubarb
———————
water as needed
lemon wedge for garnishing

With a potato peeler remove only the yellow skin of the lemon, then with a sharp knife slice the zest into fine strips.

Cut lemons in half and squeeze the juice into a 4-cup or 8-cup measure. Do not strain juice — you want to keep all the pulp — just pick out any seeds. Add the lemon peel strips, cover and refrigerate.

Meanwhile, place honey, 4 cups of water, rhubarb and minced rosemary in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a slow simmer and cook, uncovered, for about 4 – 5 minutes until rhubarb is tender. Remove from heat and let sit at room temperature until cool. Strain through a fine mesh strainer, letting the juice drip through. To keep the juice clear, do not press. (You can let this strain overnight, refrigerated, if you wish.)

Then add the juice to the measuring cup containing the lemon juice and peel. Stir, and add water to make 6 cups total. Pour into a decorative pitcher.

Serve about 6 ounces (3/4 cup) over ice in tall glasses with a lemon wedge.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Liquid Kitchen™

Posted by Kathy Casey on April 28th, 2016  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Cocktails, dessert, Foodie News, KOMO Radio, Recent Posts, Recipes

Juicing for Joy

As you walk the isle of the grocery store these days, you’ll soon notice the rows and rows of new juices readily available. What is all this juicy business? Well for starters, it’s an easy and d’lish way to get your recommended daily allotment of fruits and vegetables, and not to mention lots of vitamins and nutrients.

So what to do? Got the bucks to buy a bottle? It is pretty convenient to pop into a shop and pick up your favorite blend but over time it can be more expensive than your daily cup of joe.

How about buying a home juicer? Making juice from home can be an investment in time and money up front but with a little planning it truly is the best way to enjoy a juice filled lifestyle and the fresher the juice, the better the health benefits too!

Here’s a favorite blend of mine that you can play with the proportions to fit your pallet. I suggest doing 3 parts veggie or root juice to 1 part fruit juice and any salty, spicy or sour juices should be added to taste.

Beets ( In addition to being sweet and oh so pretty, they are high in antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory benefits)
Celery (It has a touch of natural saltiness, bright flavor, and it’s a natural diuretic)
Slice of fresh ginger
Apple
Lemon Juice

Want a powerful punch of antioxidants? How about whipping up a delicious Green Juice like this one from Sunkist.

 


Photo from Sunkist.com
 

Made with fresh squeezed grapefruit and orange juice, fresh pressed cider , ginger, and kale juice.  Yum!

Oh and did I mention that fresh veggie juices are great  as a mixer for cocktails too! That’s right. The juicing trend is moving into Happy Hour. Here is one of my favorite cocktails for spring: Make it with your favorite gin!

Carrot Collins
Honey Mint Carrot Collins
 

The carrot juice adds a subtle sweetness and a beautiful color, while playing well with the botanicals of the gin. Find this recipe and more at www.liquidkitchen.com

Happy Juicing!  –Kathy

Staying Toasty with a Hot Toddy!

Winter warmers are the best. They can be the remedy for those aches and pains that come along with the dreaded winter cold or flu OR they can warm your bones after a long day out on the slopes.

One of my favorites is the Hot Toddy. For decades people have used the hot toddy as a natural remedy for easing that tickle in the throat. Think of it like chicken soup, but with a bit more kick!

The reason it works is that the whiskey eases our congestion and helps you fall asleep.

Now let’s make one:

  • -Combine your favorite whiskey (about 1 1/2 ounces) with spiced herbal tea OR just hot water.
    -Drizzle in local honey.
    -Add squeeze of fresh lemon.
    -Don’t forget the cinnamon stick for stirring!

By the time you finish the drink, hopefully that cough will have calmed down a bit. And you’re feeling a bit sleepy so you can get some much needed rest.

Toddy

Check out these 6 inspired recipes on Wine Enthusiast

Be sure not to over-indulge as more than one may actually have the reverse effect on your symptoms. So stick to one and you should be good to go.

Cheers! –Kathy

 

Posted by Kathy on February 25th, 2016  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Cocktails, KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, Recent Posts

Sipping Scandinavian

Ballard, long known for its rich Scandinavian heritage, has a new exhibit at the Nordic Heritage Museum called SKAL (pronounced “sk-OOL”) Scandinavian Spirits.

Skal

This exhibition explores the cultural history of Scandinavian libations, the most famous being aquavit (sometimes spelled “akvavit”). I can tell you that it’s delicious! And being a good Scandinavian myself, I’ve drank my fair share of it and I am thrilled to see this sip become hip.

But what is it? Aquavit, like vodka, is a spirit distilled from either grain or potatoes. After distillation, it is distinctive flavor comes from a blend of herbs and spices like caraway, fennel, and dill.

Great for sipping, I also like to add this into cocktails from Nordic-themed Bloody Mary’s as well as in my Citrus Scandi (aquavit, vodka, Cointreau, orange, and fresh grapefruit).

Citrus Scandi Cocktails and Citrus Splash fresh oysters!

Citrus Scandis & fresh oysters with a Citrus Splash!
For recipes, check out this episode of Liquid Kitchen.

What’s really exciting is that the Northwest is producing some pretty great aquavit: Portland’s House Spirits produces Krogstad and in Seattle the Old Ballard Liquor Company crafts several unique styles of aquavit.

Old Ballard Liquor Company proprietor Lexi is also the visionary behind the pop-up restaurant Tumble Swede, which celebrates a mash-up of Scandinavian and Pacific Northwest cuisine. Make sure to keep an eye out for her next pop-up.

So stop on by the Nordic Heritage Museum the exhibit runs until February 28th.

Skal! -Kathy

 

Posted by Kathy on January 28th, 2016  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Cocktails, events, Foodie News, KOMO Radio, Recent Posts, Recipes, Small Screen Network, videos

Classics. Perfected. on Luxury Daily

Fairmont Hotel & Resort’s new cocktail menu is a “statement on the cocktail culture at all of its properties.” Liquid Kitchen collaborated with these Tastemakers in a first-of-its-kind mixology meeting to fine tune and modernize the Classics. Read more about it in this article from Luxury Daily.

LuxuryDaily

Posted by Kathy on January 22nd, 2016  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Cocktails, Press, Recent Posts

Speed Rack: Shaking it up at the Speed of Lighting!

In 1895, the US Federal Commissioner of Labor combed through the census to gather info on laborers. There were 55,000+ men behind the bar and only 147 women. That all changed after Pearl Harbor when Rosie the Riveter was matched by Bessie the Bartender!

Did you know that one of the most famous bartenders in history was a woman? London -1899, Ada Coleman created the Hanky Panky Cocktail and soon became the head bartender at the illustrious American Bar in The Savoy Hotel.

Ada Coleman
Ada making her Hanky Panky cocktail at The Savoy

Back to today: on January 31st (mark your calendars) some serious stirring and shaking is about to happen in Seattle, thanks to the return of Speed Rack. This all-female speed-bartending competition raises money for breast cancer education, prevention, and research.

SR_Postcard_Seattle_FRONT

Women bartenders from Seattle and Portland will go head to head in round robin mix-offs, while the crowd sips and cheers their favorite contenders on! This is defiantly a spirited event – in all ways.

The Winner of the upcoming Seattle event will then get the opportunity to compete in the Grand Finals, where the champion will be crowned Miss Speed Rack USA!

I’m looking forward to judging and seeing all our NW ladies shine! Make sure to get your tickets! -Kathy

Hanky Panky Cocktail
Makes 1 cocktail

1 1/2 oz gin
1 1/2 oz red vermouth
2 dashes Fernet Branca
Garnish: orange peel twist

Measure the gin, red vermouth, and Fernet Branca into a mixing glass. Fill with ice then stir. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with an orange peel twist.

Posted by Kathy on January 21st, 2016  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Cocktails, Contests, events, Foodie News, KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, Recent Posts, Recipes

Fairmont: Classics. Perfected. on Hotel F&B

Last summer, the Liquid Kitchen hosted the Fairmont Tastemakers in developing and finalizing their global cocktail menu – “Classics. Perfected.” Check out the article from Hotel F&B (UK) introducing the mixology team and covering the brands used for the program.

 

Posted by Kathy on January 19th, 2016  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Cocktails, Foodie News, Press, Recent Posts
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