I am an anomaly, I know; how I grew up in French, Irish and German households and do not like either beer or wine, I will never know. I do however enjoy Cocktails made with Vodka, Tequila and Rum. Another challenge I have just to make this even more difficult, is that I tend to try and avoid sugar. If I make baked goods, I only take a small taste. Don’t get me wrong, I love sugar, but that is the problem, I like it too much. If I am going to blow a sugar splurge on something, it is going to be German chocolate cake or a fudge brownie, not a cocktail. So besides the natural sugars that would be in a fruit juice I use, or a garnish, I try not to use anything with excess sugar. This can make it challenging to get a drink when I am out on the town, which leaves me limited to Diet Soda and hard liquor. But when I am at home, I can experiment a little more and have come up with a few favorites I would like to share. For starters, infused vodka is very popular right now and I certainly like to use them as well. I am not necessarily promoting Smirnoff, there are a lot of good vodka’s out there. But they have a wide variety, decent price and it is a decent quality. Good for trying out new flavor mixes to find your favorites. Today I am soaking a shot of Smirnoff triple distilled with blueberries, cherries and blackberries for the mixes I will finish posting tonight. Certainly I could have purchased flavored vodka in each of these, but I really do not drink that much. I have too much running around to get done and kids to chase after. Which is also why, if I am going to make some cocktails I want to make is special and really enjoy them. When having a dinner party we serve beer and wine and then I do the prep work for one or two of these drinks so there are options for everyone. I will put a shopping list at the bottom, which includes what I needed for the garnish, which you could certainly skip. Here are four of my favorites, and with a little mixing and re-matching of the ingredients there are many, many great combinations.
I had tried some “light” margarita’s and found them watered down and lacking flavor. So I set out to make a drink that had a good strong tequila and lime flavor but was also a little sweet and refreshing. This is what I came up with and drink it often on the rocks. For the sake of the blog I made it frozen. Basically it is Sprite Zero, a shot of tequila and lime juice over ice but here are the frozen directions. Perfect on a hot Arizona evening.
4 cups Sprite Zero
2 shots tequila
2 tbsp lime juice
lime slices for garnish
Mix ingredients together, stir well and pour into ice cube trays. This will fill 2 ice cube trays, and you should have once cup left over, put that in the refrigerator until the ice cubes are ready. They will not freeze all the way, but will hold their cube shape in a white cube. For one large drink, or a few small, put the ice cubes in the blender along with the one cup of cold mix. Blend until slushie consistency. Scoop into a glass and if someone wants a little more tequila in their drink, this would be the time to add it. Pour it over the ice, stir, garnish with lime slices and serve.
3C ~ Vodka
I love a good coffee drink, and served hot or cold, this one is delicious. I said 3C, Vodka, because this would also be good with tequila, or brandy. I served this one chilled. The cherries and whip cream are going to add a little sugar, you could skip them if desired
4 oz Coffee, brewed and then chilled
1 oz Coffee Mate, Sugar Free, Sweet Italian Cream
1 oz Cherry Vodka (I soaked three cherries in vodka all day and then used the vodka in the drink and cherries as garnish)
1 squirt of whip cream, more or less to taste
Shake all ingredients except the cherries over ice, strain into serving glass and then garnish with cherries and serve. If you soak your cherries all day in vodka and then use them as garnish, warn your guests, these are going to be sweet little vodka bombs.
This is my current favorite, and it is great with any berry vodka. My good friend Meghan made me Huckleberry infused vodka, which works perfect with this recipe. Today I soaked blueberries in the vodka all day. Again, those blueberries are going to be sweet vodka bombs.
8-12 oz Sprite Zero
1/2 shot blueberry vodka
1/2 shot whip cream vodka (or if like me, one shot of each….your choice)
Blueberries to garnish
Serve over ice, stir well.
I am lucky to have easy access to fresh lemons, pretty much year around. So I usually make up some lemonade with Stevia as the sweetener. I added a link to the Stevia website where I got the lemonade recipe. If I am travelling to a friends party, I will take with me individual packets of Crystal Light Lemonade already poured into a bottle of water, Stevia also makes lemonade packets, which I have only just started to see in the store. I really like the blackberries with the lemonade, I have also mixed with tequila instead of vodka.
8-12 oz Lemonade
1 shot blackberry vodka
Blackberries and lemon zest to garnish
Serve over ice, stir well.
Vodka – either flavored or plain, or both depending on which drinks you want to try. Whip cream vodka is a must for the BerryWhip.
Crystal Light, Lemonade (or make your own)
Coffee Mate- Sugar Free- Italian Sweet Cream, creamer
Blackberries, blueberries, cherries, limes and lemons
Plenty of options for flavored Vodka
Made my own