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Comida Latina, Drinks, Recipes, Sweets

Ginger Cardamom Rompope

November 7, 2017
Rompope is the Mexican version of eggnog, the creamy, sweet Christmas drink. This non-alcoholic version is made with cardamom, nutmeg, and fresh ginger.

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Toma Leche. All opinions are 100% mine.

The holidays are here! Let the fun begin with this non-alcoholic Rompope flavored with fresh ginger, cardamom, and canela. A perfect way for kids and adults alike to Toma Leche this holiday season!

I am kinda-sorta thrilled that the holidays are around the corner. I really wish I could stop time this part of the year and have enough hours in the day to get all the necessary stuff done and have time for all the things that make this season so special. Picking the perfect gift! Christmas cookies! Luxurious evenings by the fire!(if we had a fireplace, that is).

In fact the thing I think I love the most about the holidays is it gives us all an excuse to be a kid again and especially relive those sweet moments that have made this time of year so special.

Rompope is the Mexican version of eggnog, the creamy, sweet Christmas drink. This non-alcoholic version is made with cardamom, nutmeg, and fresh ginger.

From now until New Years I try to keep that magical glow in the house and in this case milk is my fairy dust of choice. Ever since I was a kid, the first sign of the holidays has always been a milky, ice-cold cup of eggnog or in this case the Mexican version, rompope.

Rompope is the Mexican version of eggnog, the creamy, sweet Christmas drink. This non-alcoholic version is made with cardamom, nutmeg, and fresh ginger.

If you’ve never had rompope it is very similar in flavor to eggnog but so, so much easier to make at home. While traditional eggnog can take up to three weeks to cure, rompope takes little more than 30-40 minutes on the stove and a couple hours to chill in the fridge.

Rompope is the Mexican version of eggnog, the creamy, sweet Christmas drink. This non-alcoholic version is made with cardamom, nutmeg, and fresh ginger.

My version is sweet and creamy with a tickle of heat from fresh pieces of ginger and the warm glow of cardamom, nutmeg, and fragrant canela or Mexican cinnamon.

Fresh whole milk is essential to making the best rompope and when asked me for fun ways to drink milk, I immediately thought there is nothing better than an icy cup of rompope. It goes perfect with the most wonderful time of the year!

Ginger Cardamom Rompope
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Rompope is the Mexican version of eggnog, the creamy, sweet Christmas drink. This non-alcoholic version is made with cardamom, nutmeg, and fresh ginger.
Author: Kate
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 4 cups milk
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 stick canela (Mexican cinnamon)
  • 5 pods cardamom
  • ¼ piece whole nutmeg
  • 2 inch piece ginger, sliced
  • 6 egg yolks
Instructions
  1. Combine milk, sugar, canela, cardamom, nutmeg, and ginger in a large saucepan. Stir to dissolve sugar.
  2. Place over medium heat and bring to a boil, careful the milk will try to boil over, just remove from the heat for a moment, let it bubble back down, then return to heat and continue to boil gently.
  3. Let cook, untouched, until it reduces to about 2½-3 cups, about 30 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, whisk egg yolks in a medium bowl until smooth and fill another large bowl halfway with ice and water (in other words, make an ice bath).
  5. Slowly whisk hot milk into egg yolks then place bowl over a small pot of simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Stir constantly until mixture is slightly thickened and the temperature reaches 175°F, about 5 minutes.
  6. Strain mixture into a clean bowl and place bowl in the ice bath. Let cool, stirring occasionally.
  7. Transfer to a tightly-sealed container and refrigerate until cold.

Christmas Cookie Swap Menu

Cardamom Ginger Rompope

Mega Mexican Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ginger-Lemon Sandwich Cookies

Cranberry Lime Cookies

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One More Thing

Did you love this post? I want to know! Leave me a comment and snap a photo for Instagram. Tag @holajalapeno so I can see your beautiful creation! Your feedback is super important to me. If you run into trouble shoot me a message on Instagram and I’ll walk you through it.

Also, don’t forget to sign up for my weekly newsletter, lots of good stuff there too!

 

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Comida Latina, Dairy Free, Drinks, Recipes

Pick Your Poison Horchata Bar for Halloween

October 24, 2017
Make this fun horchata bar that is a hit with kids and adults alike for this year's Halloween party. Using syrups means everyone can make their own flavor!

Halloween is right around the corner and you might be thinking of gathering with friends for a little trick-or-treat bash. I partnered up with Torani Syrups for a fun horchata bar idea that is a hit with both ghouls and goblins.

Everyone gets to “Pick Their Poison” if you will, adding a shot of their favorite flavor to a homemade horchata base. For adults I like to stock the bar with some dark rum as well—adults can handle a little actual poison every once in a while.

As far as the syrups go, Torani has so many to choose from, and sugar-free ones too if you’ve got some health conscious folks in your midst. For Halloween I like to stock my horchata bar with fall flavors. Some of my favorites include:

Have a fun and safe Halloween everyone!!


Pick Your Poison Horchata Bar for Halloween
 
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Make this fun horchata bar that is a hit with kids and adults alike for this year's Halloween party. Using syrups means everyone can make their own flavor!
Author:
Serves: 6 servings
Ingredients
  • ½ cup sliced almonds
  • ½ cup long grain rice, like jasmine
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 2 cups rice milk
  • Your favorite Torani Syrup (I like to choose fall flavors like Brown Sugar Cinnamon, Buttered Rum, and Salted Caramel)
  • Dark Rum, optional
  • cinnamon sticks, optional
Instructions
  1. Combine almonds and rice in a blender. Add boiling water and let sit 15 minutes.
  2. Cover loosely with a paper towel and blend on high 1 minute, or until smooth. Strain into a pitcher and stir in rice milk. Chill until cold.
  3. To serve, place bottles of syrup, horchata, glasses, ice, rum (if using), and cinnamon sticks on the bar.
  4. Let your guests make their own horchata flavor by filling a glass with ice, filling with horchata, and adding a shot (about 1 tablespoon) of syrup and a shot of rum (for adults), stir to combine with a cinnamon stick.

P.S. Torani is offering 10% off and free shipping for ¡Hola! Jalapeño readers! Sign-up for their newsletter to get your discount!

P.P.S. Other fun Halloween Party Recipes

One More Thing

Did you love this post? I want to know! Leave me a comment and snap a photo for Instagram. Tag @holajalapeno so I can see your beautiful creation! Your feedback is super important to me. If you run into trouble shoot me a message on Instagram and I’ll walk you through it.

Also, don’t forget to sign up for my weekly newsletter, lots of good stuff there too!

And Lastly, this post was not sponsored by Torani Syrups, but I’m partnering with them on other projects. Thank you for supporting the brands that support ¡Hola! Jalapeño. 

 

 

Comida Latina, Dairy Free, Drinks, Recipes

How to Make a DIY Chambord Sangria Bar

August 17, 2017
A DIY Chambord Sangria Bar is where it's at this summer! You make the fruity sangria base with Chambord and nectarines and let your friends do the rest.

This post has been sponsored by Chambord. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Must be 21 or older to consume alcohol. Please drink responsibly.

A DIY Chambord Sangria Bar is where it's at this summer! You make the fruity sangria base with Chambord and nectarines and let your friends do the rest.

How much time have you spent with your girlfriends this summer? If you have young kids home from school, the answer is probably none. We’ve been off traveling through Europe all summer long which was magical, amazing, memories I will cherish forever, and all that, but I really miss shooting the breeze with my ladies.

There is nothing like an out-and-out pow-wow with your girls. It is something I’m almost positive no mom does enough. So before summer is out I want to encourage you to call up a few friends, kick your adorable husband and children out the house, and have some serious girl time. It feels good to remind yourself every once in a while what life was like before your heart belonged to another.

When my pals at Chambord asked if I would come up with a summer drink recipe it seemed a perfect opportunity to offer up a fun idea for an easy Girls Night Out. These last days of summer always seem to be the hottest so ice-cold sangria is basically all I’m thinking about where entertaining is concerned. But instead of making one pitcher how about you let your friends make their own combinations by putting together a sangria bar?

Here’s the deal: You make a fruity nectar for the sangria by cooking down some fresh nectarines with a little sugar, water and lavender then blending the nectarine mixture with Chambord.

If you’ve never tried Chambord, girl it is time. Chambord is a black raspberry liqueur made with XO cognac. It has a dark berry flavor with hints of vanilla. Aside from making delicious sangria, you can also add a splash or two in a glass of sparkling wine to make one of my favorite Champagne cocktails.  

This nectarine-black raspberry puree will be the base from which everyone can add their preferred type of wine (red or white), their favorite sparkling juice or ginger beer, and their choice of fruits and herbs.

I went for stone fruits because my stone fruit guy was at the Farmer’s market and you’d have to be crazy to pass up his selection of black plums, nectarines, and peaches. But really whatever fruit looks good where you are is game. Other options would be berries of all sorts, watermelon, or really any kind of melon, you get the idea. As for the herbs I like to use fresh basil and mint. The Chambord sangria base has lavender in it, so you could pick up on those notes and have some fresh lavender flowers for adding to the drinks as well. I have lots of lavender growing in my yard, so I pick the flowers to use in my cooking all the time. You can buy lavender online or if you can’t find any, that’s okay, just leave it out.

Cut all the fruit in pieces small enough to fit in the glass and set it out on a table or bar along with the Chambord Sangria Base, washed and dried herb leaves, glasses, ice, open bottles of wine, and a nice selection of sparkling juices and/or ginger beer. The final touch is drink stirrers for combining the cocktail and a cute little recipe card to help everyone know what to add to mix the perfect drink!


Chambord Sangria Bar
 
Prep time
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Total time
 
A DIY Chambord Sangria Bar is where it's at this summer! You make the fruity sangria base with Chambord and nectarines and let your friends do the rest.
Author:
Serves: 6 drinks
Ingredients
For the Chambord Sangria Base:
  • 3 ripe nectarines, pitted, peeled, and chopped
  • 1½ cups water
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 5 lavender buds
  • 1 cup Chambord
  • For the Bar:
  • 1 bottle chilled white wine
  • 1 bottle chilled red wine
  • 1-3 bottles chilled sparkling juice (get a couple of different kinds for variation. I got sparkling lemonade and sparkling berry lemonade)
  • 1-4 bottles chilled ginger beer
  • 3-4 different types of ripe fresh fruit, sliced
  • 1-2 types of fresh herb leaves (about 1 bunch each)
Instructions
  1. To make the Chambord base, combine nectarines, water, sugar, and lavender in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil stirring until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat to a simmer and let cook until fruit is soft, about 5 minutes.
  2. Let cool then transfer mixture to a blender, add Chambord, and blend until smooth. Transfer to a serving pitcher, cover, and chill until cold. You can do this the day before if you’d like.
  3. Arrange all the elements on a table or bar for everyone to help themselves.
  4. To make a drink, add a few pieces of ice to a wine glass. Then add 1 part Chambord base with 1 part wine and 1 part sparkling juice or ginger beer. Add a few pieces of fruit and some herb leaves, stir and enjoy.

 

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Comida Latina, Dairy Free, Drinks, Recipes

Pink Grapefruit & Cilantro Spanish Gin Tonic

July 9, 2017
This pink grapefruit Spanish gin tonic is an ultra-refreshing sipper for summer. Flavored with cilantro-grapefruit syrup and a hefty splash of tonic.

Are you familiar with Spanish Gin Tonics? I wasn’t until a few months ago, and now I can’t stop drinking them. I am normally late to the game. I rely on my well-healed, childless friends to keep me up to date on what happens in the world after 9pm and apparently its Spain, Gin, and Tonic Water, plus other stuff.

Spanish gin tonics are like regular ‘ol English gin and tonics except lighter, more flavorful, and without that bothersome and word in the middle. They are frequently served with lots of garnishes so you can mix and match what you’d like in your drink. They also switch up the tonic and sometimes substitute mineral water, soda water, or (in this case) fresh fruit juice.

pink grapefruit Spanish gin tonics

Here’s how I like to Spanish-up my GT

First, make a herbal syrup. It is pretty common in a Spanish gin tonic bar to have a variety of herbs to choose from when making this style of cocktail because they highlight the flavors in gin. I made a syrup with cilantro and grapefruit rind. At first it might seem like a ridiculous amount of cilantro, but trust me, just do it.

Second part: use a big balloon wine glass. This will make all the difference I swear. Fill the glass halfway with ice then add some of the chilled syrup, your favorite gin, and fresh-squeezed, kinda sour, kinda sweet pink grapefruit juice. Stir until the syrup dissolves and top with fizzy tonic water. Do not use the stuff in the little cans from Trader Joes—it was gross (sorry Trader Joes).

pink grapefruit gin tonic

That’s it. Drink. Repeat. Sit in the sun. Enjoy.

Pink Grapefruit and Cilantro Spanish Gin & Tonic
 
Prep time
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This pink grapefruit Spanish gin tonic is an ultra-refreshing sipper for summer. Flavored with cilantro-grapefruit syrup and a hefty splash of tonic.
Author:
Serves: 1 drink
Ingredients
For the Grapefruit-Cilantro Syrup:
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 3 thick pieces grapefruit rind
For the drink:
  • ice
  • 2 ounces fresh-squeezed pink grapefruit juice
  • 2 ounces gin
  • ½ ounce grapefruit-cilantro syrup
  • 2 ounces tonic water
Instructions
To make the syrup:
  1. Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan and place over medium heat. Whisk until sugar is dissolved. Add cilantro and grapefruit rind and bring to a simmer. Simmer 5 minutes.
  2. Cover and remove from heat. Let cool completely. Strain and chill in the refrigerator until ready to use. Keep syrup covered in the refrigerator for up to a month.
To make the drink:
  1. Combine all the ingredients in the order they're listed in a large wine glass. Stir to combine and garnish with a pink grapefruit slice and sprig of cilantro if you'd like.

pink grapefruit gin tonic

One More Thing

Did you love this post? I want to know! Leave me a comment and snap a photo for Instagram. Tag @holajalapeno so I can see your beautiful creation! Your feedback is super important to me. If you run into trouble shoot me a message on Instagram and I’ll walk you through it.

Also, don’t forget to sign up for my weekly newsletter, lots of good stuff there too!

 

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Comida Latina, Dairy Free, Drinks, Recipes

Skinny Cherry & Lime Leaf Margaritas

May 22, 2017
This skinny cherry margarita made with fresh sweet cherries and fragrant lime leaves is a cocktail you can sip on all summer and not feel an ounce of guilt.

Hello! Hello! Who’s interested in kicking off a Monday with a margarita? Heeyyyy!

I’m partnering up, once again, with my pals at Powell and Mahoney to create a summer cocktail that tastes amazing and will keep you looking good in that bikini, you little beach vixens. Meet the Skinny Cherry and Lime Leaf Margarita.

WHAT IS A SKINNY MARGARITA ANYWAY?

Amongst Powell and Mahoney’s many delicious cocktail mixers is their Skinny Margarita Mix and it is the key ingredient to having your margarita and drinking it too. Their Skinny Margarita Mix is a low-cal mixer made with lemon and key lime juice then sweetened with agave syrup and a little pear juice to cut down on the sugar and keep it refreshing.

I wanted to use fresh fruit to accent all the fruit flavors in the mix and settled on big, juice-packed sweet cherries because they are just coming into season and, more importantly, require basically no work other than plucking out the stems and tossing them in the shaker—it’s important to keep the work level low when making a cocktail, amiright?

The lime leaves are an addition that if you don’t have a lime tree might seem a tad obnoxious but let me explain. I adore cooking with kaffir lime leaves. Also known as Thai lime leaves they are the very distinctive flowery-sour flavor in Thai curries and noodle dishes. They can be found in most Asian grocery stores or easily ordered from Amazon, so substitute them in this margarita if you don’t have a lime tree in your backyard.

However, if you happen to have a lime tree or know someone who does, did you know you can use the leaves to cook with? Snap one off a stem and break it in half, stick it up to your nose and be prepared to inhale a most sublime fragrance. That is what you add to your food (or in this case, cocktail) when you use the leaves.

HOW TO MAKE A SKINNY CHERRY MARGARITA

To make the margarita combine the cherries and leaves in a cocktail shaker and crush them with all your might until the cherries are mostly pulp and the leaves are bent and smashed into submission. Add the margarita mix, a good handful of ice (I like crushed), and the tequila. Then shake-a-shake-a lots of times.

At this point you can strain the drink over fresh ice in a salt-rimmed glass (salt not optional). It will be sharp with cherry flavor and bright shots of lime. You can also just pour the whole shebang into the glass; bits of cherry, lime leaf, and all. A warning on this method though; the pits will still be in there which doesn’t really bother me and I like the added flavor from having the fruit in my drink but if it bothers you, you can either pick out the pits (which is rather cumbersome) or just go with the straining method, up to you.


Skinny Cherry & Lime Leaf Margarita
 
Prep time
Total time
 
This skinny cherry margarita made with fresh sweet cherries and fragrant lime leaves is a cocktail you can sip on all summer and not feel an ounce of guilt.
Author:
Serves: 1 drink
Ingredients
  • 12 sweet cherries, stems removed
  • 4 lime leaves (or kaffir lime leaves)
  • crushed ice
  • 2 ounces Powell & Mahoney's Skinny Margarita mix
  • 2 ounces silver tequila
Instructions
  1. Rim a large glass with salt and fill with ice.
  2. Combine cherries and lime leaves in a cocktail shaker and crush with a muddler until cherries are smashed and have released their juice.
  3. Add remaining ingredients and shake until cocktail shaker is beaded with sweat. Strain margarita into prepared glass and drink up!

One More Thing

Did you love this post? I want to know! Leave me a comment and snap a photo for Instagram. Tag @holajalapeno so I can see your beautiful creation! Your feedback is super important to me. If you run into trouble shoot me a message on Instagram and I’ll walk you through it.

Also, don’t forget to sign up for my weekly newsletter, lots of good stuff there too!

This cocktail post is sponsored by Powell & Mahoney, all opinions are my own.

Comida Latina, Dairy Free, Drinks, Recipes

Pineapple Hibiscus Margarita + Salsa de Cacahuate {Creamy Peanut Salsa}

May 5, 2017
This Pineapple Hibiscus Margarita is made with fresh pineapple puree, organic blanco tequila, and hibiscus syrup. Perfect to celebrate Cinco de Mayo!

Happy Cinco de Mayo!!

I hope it is warm where you are, you’ve got the hot sun on your face, and an icy margarita in your hand.

Pineapple Hibiscus Margarita

I am blown—seriously blown—by the generosity and creative spirits of all my fellow food bloggers who have participated in this year’s Margarita Week. Really my cup, literally and figuratively,  runneth over with margaritas and gratitude and inspiration of all the gorgeous, gorgeous work that went into creating this year’s recipes and posts. It is all in good fun—a week dedicated to tequila and margaritas couldn’t be anything but—that being said, I know the time and effort it takes to pull off such jaw-dropping work and for that I want to thank each and every one of you for contributing your talents.

Pineapple Hibiscus Margarita

My contribution is a fruity concoction I created with my friends and sponsors of Margarita Week, Azuñia Tequila. Their Organic Blanco Tequila is so smooth and gentle. It is the tequila you want to be drinking if you think you don’t like tequila or have had too many bad experiences with the crap tequila of all of our college days.

Pineapple Hibiscus Margarita

Whenever I open the bottle and take in the aroma, pineapple is always the first thing that comes to mind, so it’s a no-brainer that I choose to make a pineapple margarita—I really had no other choice.

Hibiscus Pineapple Margarita

Because Azuñia prides itself on being an organic tequila I like to keep my cocktail that way too and use only organic ingredients in the drink. Ripe, buttery organic pineapple, organic limes from my own tree, and even organic granulated sugar in the syrup. It may seem a little nitpicky but I think it makes a difference in the final drink.

Pineapple Hibiscus Margarita

The finishing touch is the hibiscus salt on the rim which comes from The Spanish Tin. It has just a hint of smoke from smoked paprika with all the tart tang of ground hibiscus flowers and the perfect amount of flaky sea salt. I highly recommend looking them up, they have a seasoning for just about any occasion.

Pineapple Hibiscus Margarita

And because we all need something to snack on while we’re sipping our margaritas in the sun, I’ve got a quick little salsa for you that is one of my favorites from Baja. I don’t think it originated there (I’ve read recipes of peanut salsa hailing from Chiapas to the Yucatán) but the first time I had it was in Valle de Guadalupe so it always makes me think of Baja California.

Salsa de Cacahuate

It’s a spicy, creamy salsa made from arbol chiles and ground peanuts. You can find the full recipe here!

Have a fun and festive Cinco de Mayo my loves! For lots more Margarita inspiration we’ve got everything from cupcakes to cocktails over on the Margarita Week page and follow along on social with the #MargaritaWeek hashtag!

If you’re looking for Azuñia Tequila, check the map to see where you can find a bottle in your area!

Pineapple Hibiscus Margarita
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
This Pineapple Hibiscus Margarita is made with fresh pineapple puree, organic blanco tequila, and hibiscus syrup. Perfect to celebrate Cinco de Mayo!
Author:
Serves: 1 drink
Ingredients
For the Hibiscus Syrup:
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup dried hibiscus flowers, rinsed
For the Margarita
  • Hibiscus Salt or kosher salt
  • 2 ounces Organic Blanco Tequila (Azuñia is my favorite)
  • 2 ounces pineapple puree *See Note
  • 2 limes, juiced, plus more for garnish
  • ½ ounce pineapple gum syrup
  • ½ ounce hibiscus syrup
  • pineapple wedges, for garnish
Instructions
To Make the Syrup:
  1. Combine water, sugar, and flowers in a small saucepan and place over medium heat. Whisk until sugar is dissolved and bring to a boil. Let simmer 15 minutes.
  2. Cover, remove from heat, and let cool. Strain and chill completely.
To Make Margarita:
  1. Rub a lime around the rim of a rocks glass. Dip the outside of the rim in the hibiscus salt to coat. Fill glass with ice.
  2. Combine tequila, pineapple puree, lime juice, and pineapple gum syrup with a scoop of ice in a cocktail shaker. Shake vigorously until combined and outside of the shaker is beaded with ice. Strain into the prepared glass. Pour hibiscus syrup over the top, garnish with a lime slice and pineapple wedge, if desired.
Notes
To make the pineapple puree; remove the peel and core from a ripe pineapple and cut into chunks. Add chunks to a blender and blend until smooth. Will make enough for 10-12 drinks. Save any leftover for smoothies.

The hibiscus syrup recipe will make enough for 10-12 drinks.

 

One More Thing

Did you love this post? I want to know! Leave me a comment and snap a photo for Instagram. Tag @holajalapeno so I can see your beautiful creation! Your feedback is super important to me. If you run into trouble shoot me a message on Instagram and I’ll walk you through it.

Also, don’t forget to sign up for my weekly newsletter, lots of good stuff there too!

This post and Margarita Week was sponsored by Azuñia Tequila, all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make this blog possible.

Comida Latina, Dairy Free, Drinks, Recipes

Strawberry Pink Peppercorn Margarita

April 29, 2017
A strawberry pink peppercorn margarita hits all the notes of a perfect cocktail, a little sweet, a little sour, a tad bit spicy, and full of tequila!

Making a strawberry margarita is not half as difficult as you might think, and this one is made even easier with the help of Powell & Mahoney’s margarita mix.

Strawberry Pink Peppercorn Margarita Recipe

Are you still with me? I did say the “M” word (mixer). I know, I know, I thought the same thing too; why would I replace my fragrant, fresh-squeezed lime juice with a high fructose corn syrup gut bomb?

Slow your roll, this stuff is not, I repeat, not the margarita mix of your college days. The Powell & Mahoney Margarita Mix is handcrafted with all natural ingredients and cane sugar, and is the perfect sweet to sour ratio that I’ll admit, I like to drink with the added fizz of a little Topo Chico on any given afternoon when tequila wouldn’t exactly be appropriate.

Strawberry Pink Peppercorn Margarita

I came up with the idea for this Strawberry Pink Peppercorn Margarita when the kids and I were out on a hike a few weeks back and came upon a peppercorn tree hanging heavy with just ripening pink peppercorns. I’m not a huge forager (let’s just say, I’m not always right) but the fragrance of peppercorns is undeniable and these were especially well…peppery. I picked a green one off the tree, cut into it with my thumbnail and held it up to my nose. A flood of black spice filled the air and I quickly filled my pockets with as many as they would hold.

For those of you not wanting to wander around in the semi-arid desert mountains looking for a peppercorn tree, store-bought pink peppercorns will work just as well and you can use them for all kinds of other cooking adventures too—a grilled steak perhaps?

Strawberry Pink Peppercorn Margarita

I love a crushed strawberry margarita so much this time of year when the strawberries are flushed red all the way through and bursting at the seams with juice. All you need to do is pull the stems from a few and crush them in the bottom of your mixer with a muddler or back of a wooden spoon. In this case you’d add the peppercorns too, then shake it all up with tequila and the mixer. Simple as that!

Strawberry Pink Peppercorn Margarita

Head on over to the Powell & Mahoney’s site for the complete recipe and check out their new Margarita Everyday page with tons of fun ideas for Cinco de Mayo!

One More Thing

Did you love this post? I want to know! Leave me a comment and snap a photo for Instagram. Tag @holajalapeno so I can see your beautiful creation! Your feedback is super important to me. If you run into trouble shoot me a message on Instagram and I’ll walk you through it.

Also, don’t forget to sign up for my weekly newsletter, lots of good stuff there too!

 

Dairy Free, Drinks, Recipes

Brandy Ginger Twist Cocktail

February 23, 2017
Brandy Ginger Twist Cocktail

The Oscars are on Sunday and I felt it only right to leave you with some black-tie cocktail inspiration to have with your Thai take-out, or delivery pizza, or if you are really doing it right, fancy appetizers (if its fancy appetizers, can I come over?).

Brandy Ginger Twist Cocktail

This icy drink is a combination of two different cocktails that for some reason scream Hollywood to me; the Japanese Cocktail (which has nothing to do with Japan and everything to do with classy 1920’s glam) and a Ginger Sidecar I had at Zuni Cafe when we were in San Francisco last October.

Brandy Ginger Twist Cocktail

The classic Japanese cocktail is a simple but sophisticated combination of cognac, almond-scented orgeat (pronounced or-zsa, like Zsa Zsa Gabor), and bitters. Zuni’s Ginger Sidecar has brandy, ginger liqueur, orange, lemon, and pineapple gum syrup. Put those two together and your classy Oscar cocktail is served.

Brandy Ginger Twist Cocktail

Let’s Talk About Pineapple Gum Syrup

Pineapple gum syrup is a pineapple simple syrup that packs a punch of pineapple and adds viscosity to the drink at the same time. I found a bottle made by Small Hand Foods at Bev Mo but you can also find it online.

Brandy Ginger Twist Cocktail

How To Make Your Own Ginger Juice

Making ginger juice is pretty self-explanatory. If you have a juicer, stick a big piece of fresh ginger in there (you don’t even need to peel it) and juice comes out. This stuff is for real! Add some to your orange juice in the morning, that’ll get you going. If you don’t have a juicer you can still make ginger juice, but you’ll have to peel the ginger first, and chop it, put it in your food processor and blend until it is a puree. Press the puree through a fine mesh sieve and discard the solids.

Brandy Ginger Twist Cocktail

Cheers Amigos! Have a great weekend!

Brandy Ginger Twist
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Brandy gets a kick in the (fancy) pants from fresh ginger juice, orgeat, lemon, pineapple gum syrup, and bitters.
Author:
Serves: 1 drink
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup (2 ounces) brandy
  • Juice of ½ a lemon
  • 1 tablespoon (1/2 ounce) fresh ginger juice (see note)
  • 1 tablespoon (1/2 ounce) orgeat
  • 1 tablespoon (1/2 ounce) pineapple gum syrup
  • dash Angostura bitters
  • ice
  • lemon twist, for garnish
Instructions
  1. Combine brandy, lemon juice, ginger juice, orgeat, and pineapple gum syrup in a cocktail shaker filled with ice.
  2. Cover and shake vigorously until sweat beads the outside of the cocktail shaker.
  3. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass, shake a few drops of bitters over the top, add a lemon twist and enjoy!
Notes
To make the ginger juice; press fresh ginger through a juicer, no need to peel. If you don't have a juicer, peel a large piece of fresh ginger, chop and blend in a food processor until very finely chopped. Press through a fine mesh strainer. Ginger juice can be kept in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 3 days.

One More Thing

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Comida Latina, Dairy Free, Drinks, Recipes

Cranberry Ginger Margarita Recipe

December 20, 2016
Cranberry Ginger Margarita Recipe @holajalapeno

Merry Christmas!

Since this is the last recipe I’ll post before Christmas arrives I want to wish you all the happiest of holidays. It means the world to me that you are here, showing your love and cooking the recipes and being just downright lovely, lovely people. Thank you. From the bottom of my heart, I mean it. Can I toast you with a Cranberry Ginger Margarita?

Cranberry Ginger Margarita Recipe @holajalapeno

I hope over the next week you will gather together with people you love to celebrate another year, the beauty that is life, and just having a moment of joy in this often crazed existence we all live. And for that, I wanted to leave you with a cocktail, and a beautiful one at that.

I was halfway through developing a straight-up ginger margarita when my eye caught the last of the cranberry agua fresca sitting in the fridge and well, history was made in the form of the most gorgeous-hued cranberry ginger margarita I ever did create.

Cranberry Ginger Margarita Recipe @holajalapeno

Now, of course I’d be overjoyed if you made the cranberry agua fresca and then turned it into this margarita but you certainly don’t have to. I also tried it with store-bought cranberry juice and it tasted just as festive.

I love the little bits of fresh grated ginger

Make sure you use a microplane, you want it really fine but if the thought of ginger strands stuck between your teeth grosses you out you can strain the drink over fresh ice in each glass before serving.

Cranberry Ginger Margarita Recipe @holajalapeno

The final holiday pizzazz comes in the form of a lime and salt rim around each glass which is made by grating a little zest from a lime (use the microplane remember), mixing with some coarse salt and sticking it to the rim of each glass—fancy!

The recipe makes either 1 enormous drink or 2 regular-sized drinks so you can either share with a friend or have a very merry Christmas by yourself! Cheers!!

Cranberry Ginger Margarita Recipe @holajalapeno

Cranberry Ginger Margarita
 
Prep time
Total time
 
The most beautiful cranberry margarita to celebrate the holiday. The color alone is reason to make it but then add fresh grated ginger and a lime-salt rim and Happy Holidays indeed!
Author:
Recipe type: Drink
Serves: 2 Drinks
Ingredients
  • 2 limes
  • ¼ cup kosher salt
  • ½ cup cranberry juice or Cranberry Agua Fresca
  • ¼ cup silver tequila
  • 2 tablespoons orange liqueur, such as Cointreau or Grand Marnier
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
  • A few slices candied ginger for serving, optional
Instructions
  1. Finely grate 1 teaspoon of zest from one lime and place it on a small plate. Add salt and rub the two together with your fingers to incorporate. Cut a wedge out of the lime and rub it around the rim of two cocktail glasses. Dip the rims in the salt mixture and set aside.
  2. Squeeze the juice from the other lime into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Add cranberry juice, tequila, orange liqueur, and grated ginger.
  3. Cover and shake vigorously until sweat starts to bead on the outside of the shaker. Divide the drink evenly between the two prepared glasses and garnish with a lime wedge and a few strips of candied ginger.

 

Comida Latina, Dairy Free, Drinks, Popular, Recipes

Cranberry Agua Fresca with Mint and Lime

November 22, 2016
Cranberry Agua Fresca with Fresh Mint and Lime Recipe

Hi There! How’s your Thanksgiving planning going?

Cranberry Agua Fresca with Fresh Mint and Lime Recipe

Not that I want to stress you out, but I have one more thing you might want to add to it. Okay, maybe two, but that’s going to depend on how the rest of this week goes—so let’s be safe and just say one and its a beautiful cranberry agua fresca so we’re going to be okay.

Cranberry Agua Fresca with Fresh Mint and Lime Recipe

Let’s Make Cranberry Agua Fresca

Lucky for you it is a very easy one. A drink! For the kiddos, and non-drinkers, and pregnant ladies. It is very festive—made with fresh cranberries. You are essentially making homemade cranberry juice—pretty cool, right? But it is much easier than it sounds. Just combine fresh cranberries with water and cook until they release their juice (even better if you can let this mixture sit overnight). Strain out the cranberries, add sugar, and your done!

Let’s Make Fun Ice Cubes

The ice cubes make this drink for two reasons:

1. They look super fancy and red carpet.

2. When the ice starts to melt into the drink, the flavor of the fresh mint and lime seeps in to the agua fresca, so it’s perfectly okay, and, actually better, to put the ice in the pitcher and fill it with the agua fresca before guests arrive so the ice has a chance to melt a little bit.

Cranberry Agua Fresca with Fresh Mint and Lime Recipe

Let’s Make It Sparkle

To make it even more special you can make it sparkling by filling the glass halfway with the cranberry agua fresca and then topping it off with sparkling mineral water. We are a Topo Chico house but you can use any sparkling water you’d like.

Cranberry Agua Fresca with Fresh Mint and Lime

Okay, that’s it! As my kids would say, easy peasy lemon squeezy! Now go out there and crush Thanksgiving you turkey maven, you!

Photos courtesy of Beard + Bonnet

Cranberry Agua Fresca with Fresh Mint and Lime Recipe

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 8 servings

A fun, non-alcoholic drink made with fresh cranberries and festive lime and mint ice cubes.

For a sparkling version, fill a cup two thirds of the way with ice and agua fresca, top with sparkling water and serve.

Ingredients

  • 2 (12-ounce) bags fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • For the ice cubes:
  • 2 key limes, or regular Persian limes, sliced
  • the leaves from 1 small bunch mint

Instructions

  1. Wash cranberries and combine them in a pot with the water. Bring to a boil and let gently boil until all cranberries have popped and softened, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
  2. Strain the cranberry juice into a clean pot, discard cranberries. Add sugar to the juice and bring to a boil again, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove from heat, let cool, then refrigerate until cold.
  3. To make the ice, divide lime slices and mint leaves between the wells of a muffin tin. Fill each tin with water and freeze until solid.
  4. To serve, pop the ice cubes out of the tin by running the bottoms under warm water until they loosen. Place in a pitcher and pour agua fresca over the top.
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