Frozen Piña Coladas

It is time for our very first guest recipe! This blog is a family affair. Our friends are a HUGE part of the success of this venture and they are always happy to be our taste testers and brainstorming partners. We have four ride-or-die friends that have made living in the South worthwhile, and they ALL can make a mean cocktail. This specific drink was made by a member of our “Raleigh Babes” crew, Jessie, for our Fourth of July, lakeside shindig and we freaked out at how amazing these were. I have been saving this recipe specifically for National Rum Day and am thrilled that the day is finally here!

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Let me tell you a bit about Jessie, the Piña Colada connoisseur. Most importantly, she is incredibly generous. She is quick to give heartfelt compliments, always happy to supply excessive amounts of cheese for a game night (although is there such thing as too much cheese…), teaches us how to be crafty, and always says yes to a day of treat yo’ self. She even let us take over her kitchen for this photo shoot and use her belongings as props!! She also takes a big ass wagon to the farmer’s market – no shame in the fresh produce game – and has a greener thumb than the rest of us. She’s awesome!

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Now, back to the alcohol. Pictured above is the day that this delightful beverage entered my life. This Piña Colada recipe is perfect for hot days at the lake, lazy days at the beach, and any day when you need something a little extra. We also forced Jessie’s husband into taking this photo as we yelled, “THIS NEEDS TO GO ON THE BLOG!!”.

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So here is Jessie’s famous Piña Colada recipe! This is a no fuss, no waiting around for fresh fruit to freeze, and no fancy juicing type of drink. Grab some frozen pineapple out of the freezer section, some pineapple juice (even better if it is has coconut water in it like this), cream of coconut, coconut milk, limes, and a ton of rum.  Throw all of it in a blender and add more frozen pineapple or ice as needed. Top with more rum if you are feeling extra boozy and drink up!

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Total Time: 15 minutes

Serves: 4 generous portions

Ingredients:

  • 4 ounces light rum
  • 4 ounces dark rum
  • 1 12oz bag frozen pineapple
  • 6 ounces cream of coconut
  • 2 ounces pineapple juice
  • 2 ounces unsweetened coconut milk
  • Juice from 1 lime
  • Cubed ice

Instructions:

We recommend packaged frozen pineapple chunks and pineapple juice, but you are more than welcome to cut up a fresh pineapple and freeze it on your own if you have time. We used pineapple juice with coconut water for added flavor, but use whatever you prefer or have available. Add all ingredients to a blender and start with about 1/2 cup of ice. Add more ice as needed to reach desired consistency. Top with additional dark rum if you are feeling frisky and enjoy!

Cherry Limeade Margarita

It’s National Tequila Day! Which, let’s be honest, might as well just be Margarita Day. Yes, yes, there is already a day dedicated to margaritas (February 22nd to be exact) but why not have two holidays for this special nectar of the agave plant?? Today, I am honoring tequila with this Cherry Limeade Margarita.

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I have a thing about cherries. Anyone with me? Cherry-flavored things remind me of cough syrup and other super artificially flavored candies. And don’t get me started on the maraschino cherry… no thank you to those bright red sugar bombs. There is only one time a year that I get excited about cherries, and that is dark, sweet cherry season. No bright red colors or super sweet additives – just dark, luscious cherries from Washington State or Oregon. YUM.

Additionally, as most Americans, I am an Amazon prime member and can never go back to 3-day delivery or shipping that costs more than $0. I am even more devoted now that Whole Foods gives me a hefty discount on a few select items each week with said membership. This week, I walked into my neighborhood Whole Foods and what do I see? Fresh, dark cherries marked at 50% off. A gift from the gods I say. And then that same day, what appears on my doorstep? Oh, that brand new blender I purchased on Amazon Prime Day… obviously my first thought goes to a frozen beverage. Thanks, Amazon.

So here lives the frozen Cherry Limeade Margarita, perfect for a celebration of booze. I pitted my fresh cherries and put them right into the freezer for this cocktail to ensure a smooth consistency. Once they were frozen, I threw them into my blender with tequila, Cointreau, lime juice, a little simple syrup, and a few handfuls of ice. Simple, delicious, and worthy of my $10 sale-priced bag of cherries.


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Total Time: 10 minutes (plus time to freeze fruit)

Serves: 2-3

Ingredients:

  • 3 ounces tequila
  • 2 ounces Cointreau
  • 2 ounces lime juice
  • 1 ounce simple syrup
  • 1 cup dark cherries, pitted
  • Handful cubed ice
  • Sugar and lime zest for rim

Instructions:

Pit your cherries and freeze them for about 2 hours until firm. You can use frozen cherries from the freezer section in the off season, but fresh is best. Once frozen, add cherries to blender with remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. Add 1 cup of ice at a time to reach desired thickness.

Prepare your glasses with the sugar and lime zest rim by taking a slice of lime and circling around the edge. Then roll the glass on a plate filled with granulated sugar and fresh lime zest.

Fill prepared glasses with frozen margarita and enjoy!

 

Tequila Time Bomb

It is the weekend before a mid-week holiday and July is charging towards me like a ball of fire. Literally. It is so stinking hot and my poor AC unit is struggling to keep up with my desire to live life wrapped in a blanket and sweatshirt. I am also living the single life for the next ten days as the resident photographer takes a cross-country road trip to Vegas. He has decided to swap out a week of cocktail photos for sunsets and open roads. So here I sit, blasting AC to cool an entire house for me and some animals who would rather lay in the sun, and binging on Netflix shows. Nailed It season two, anyone?

I will put my single lady plans on hold for one day this week though and throw back a few frozen cocktails to ring in the 4th of July. Now listen. The 4th of July is very special to me. Not because I bleed red, white, and blue and want to chant “USA” with sparklers in hand all day (although sparklers DO make everything better) but because it was a holiday always spent with my grandparents in a Prowler camper somewhere in the middle of the United States. Bear with me – I promise we will get to the cocktail.

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Now, these vacations were a chance for our parents to get some time away from two screaming girls, time for two screaming girls to bond over a shared twin bed converted from a couch, and an opportunity to explore national parks with our grandparents. We waited for geysers in Yellowstone, pretended to rock climb in the Badlands by jumping off tiny boulders, and painted Christmas ornaments under the awning during rainy afternoons that still hang on my own tree to this day.

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These trips are certainly over now, and squeezing into a pull-behind camper is no longer the preferred method of family gatherings. But these holidays spent on the road with family are what I associate with early July – and I hope you spend yours with the explorers and adventures in your life. (And protect the National Parks, ya’ll)

These trips were also an opportunity to celebrate my grandma’s birthday, July 3rd, by splurging on ice cream bars from the camp store. My preferred treat from the freezer chest? The Bomb Pop. These red, white and blue ice pops changed your mouth purple and left stains all over your hands. They were sweet, a little bit tart, and the BEST summer treat. You can imagine how thrilled I was to see them in my freezer section advertised as “THE ORIGINAL!” last week. This advertisement is 100% accurate. The annoying white plastic is still hard to rip open, the stick still leaves you with sticky fingers, and the blue raspberry section continues to be the best flavor of them all.

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First things first, I ate two of these things straight from the box. Then I decided to be an adult about it and add some alcohol to the situation in order to consume a third. I present to you… the Tequila Time Bomb. This drink goes down smooth and hits you just as you finish the last bit in your glass. The frozen component is tequila, triple sec and lots of lime juice. Essentially, a frozen margarita. The sweetness comes in from the popsicle and it truly gets better with every sip.

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This drink comes together quickly, just add your tequila, triple sec (or other preferred orange liqueur), lime juice and crushed ice to a blender. Mix it up, add your bomb pop and you are ready to ring in the 4th of July!


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Total Time: 10 minutes

Serves: 2-3

Ingredients:

  • 4 ounces tequila
  • 3 ounces triple sec
  • Juice from 3-4 limes
  • 1-2 cups cubed ice
  • Bomb pops

Instructions:

Add tequila, triple sec, lime juice and ice to blender. Start with 1/2 cup of ice and add incrementally until you get your desired consistency. I made mine pretty thick and used just under 2 cups of ice. I also taste tested along the way and added a little more lime juice or tequila based on my preferences. Pour blended cocktail into a tall glass and serve with a bomb pop!

Note: If you really want the juices to melt into the cocktail quickly, leave your bomb pops out on the counter while you are blending the cocktails and they should be softer by the time you add them to the glass.

Strawberry Frosé

Ya’ll. Summer is here to stay and you know what that means… frosé season. Frosé is out in full force here in Raleigh and I can’t exercise any restraint. I don’t really care if I look silly slurping a glass of hot pink slush in a fancy wine bar. I adore this icy wine concoction and I would order it all year long if I could.

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I probably over-indulge in frosé during the summer months because I have never been able to replicate the smooth consistency at home. I always find that my frosé is watery and filled with ice chunks – no thank you. After many failed attempts and glasses of watery wine – I am pleased to present this perfectly silky smooth, strawberry frosé! Make it once and you will be hooked all summer long. The great thing about this recipe is that it makes quite a few servings with just one bottle of wine. You can easily scale this up for a party and impress your friends with this frozen pink treat!

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So. Here is the scoop. Start by freezing your favorite brand of rosé wine in a shallow baking dish overnight. The wine will not freeze completely and you will be left with little crystals of wine slush. This is important because it will reduce the amount of ice needed to get the right consistency and does not water down your frosé.

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Add the wine slush to your blender with vodka, lemon juice, simple syrup, ice cubes, and frozen strawberries.

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I only used half of my wine because I was making 3-4 glasses – but the recipe is easily doubled to use your full bottle. I also am a super basic snob and begged for someone to buy me Rosé Vodka for my birthday. I like to think it adds a little extra something special here, but regular vodka works just as well!

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This strawberry frosé comes cat-approved and you should go make some right now.


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Total Time: 4 hours + 10 minutes

Serves: 3-4

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 bottle rosé wine
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 2 ounces simple syrup
  • 3 ounces vodka (I use Rosé Vodka)
  • Up to 1 cup ice

Instructions:

Pour half a bottle of rosé wine into a shallow baking dish and place in freezer for at least 4 hours. Remove once you can scrape the top with a fork and create ice crystals. The wine will not freeze into a solid block because it contains alcohol. A little bit of liquid is fine. While you wait, prepare your simple syrup with equal parts granulated sugar and water (see previous recipe for instructions).

Once your wine is frozen into an icy slush, pour into a blender with frozen strawberries, lemon juice, simple syrup, and vodka. Add a little bit of ice to get the mixture going and blend until combined. I added more ice cubes until I reached the thick consistency I was going for – but use your own judgement. I did not need more than 1 cup of ice to get a thick frosé.

Pour into your preferred glasses, garnish with fresh mint, and serve with a straw!