Tag Archives: beverage

Citrus Sunshine Cooler

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Citrus Sunshine Cooler - Pook's Pantry
I love tea.  Warm temperatures call for pitchers of iced tea or sun tea sitting on the porch letting Mother Nature do the work for you.  Cooler weather brings spicy teas infused with cinnamon and cardamom or my favorite English Breakfast.  Recently, I wrote a post for a new grocery store in town and I discovered they have a bulk tea section.  I zeroed in on this particular tea, full of dried citrus and hibiscus.  I brought it home and opened the bag.  The smell of that tea was absolutely intoxicating.  I knew it would be lovely as is, but that’s not really my style.  So I started poking around in the fridge and freezer to see what I had stashed away.

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Cherry Coconut Rum Slushie

Cherry Rum Slushie
It’s summer, people and I am all about the stone fruit right now… particularly cherries. We’ve gone through 5 pounds in a week and a half. I’ve put them in baked goods, drinks, yogurt, etc.  I must admit, this super simple libation might be my VERY favorite way to enjoy this ruby red fruit.

Summer drinks, particularly slushies,  shouldn’t be overcomplicated.  No one wants to spend an hour prepping ingredients for a drink that is meant to be sipped poolside in the summer sun.  This little libation has 3 ingredients:  blackberry soda, cherries and coconut rum.  I feel compelled to warn you about one teensy thing…  it goes down very easily and for a lightweight like me that means I’m on the train to “Tipsy Town” with only two drinks.   

This cherry rum slushie has quickly become my favorite summer sip for a few reasons.  First and foremost, it is delicious!  The fact that it is only 3 ingredients and it comes together in roughly five minutes flat is a close second.  The best reason – you can make a big batch and serve everyone at once.  

Grab a bottle of coconut rum, some fresh cherries, call your friends and celebrate summer!

Cherry Rum Slushie

Fire up that blender!
Cherry Rum Slushie
Yields 2
A super simple summer drink with only 3 ingredients!
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Prep Time
4 min
Cook Time
1 min
Total Time
5 min
Prep Time
4 min
Cook Time
1 min
Total Time
5 min
  1. 8.4 oz blackberry soda, frozen in ice cube trays
  2. 1/2 cup coconut rum
  3. 1 cup fresh cherries, pitted
  1. Combine all 3 ingredients in blender until smooth.
  2. (about 30 seconds)
  1. I used Izze blackberry soda. They did not sponsor this post, I wasn't compensated in any way... We just like it.
Pook's Pantry http://www.pookspantry.com/
Used in this recipe:
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White Wine Blood Orange Spritzer

2.1One of my favorite memories from childhood is having my grandfather’s siblings and their spouses at our house.  There were 10 of them  (including my grandparents) and they would get together regularly.   We would rearrange the living room to accommodate everyone,  kitchen chairs lined up beside the sofa and I would find myself seated on the floor at their feet.

This “mini-reunions” are where I learned about my grandparents and great aunts and uncles,  I heard stories about their childhoods and often I heard the same story re-told by someone else with a slightly different perspective than the original storyteller.  It was incredibly entertaining to see this group of elders challenging each other and trying to convince the other that their recollection of the same event was rather skewed.

My all time favorite story was one my grandfather told about the farmer and the watermelons.  He worked for a farmer when he was a kid and made 10 cents a day.  He gave half of that to his mother and the other half he kept for himself.  This was during the depression, so although it wasn’t much money,  he was lucky to have anything at all.  Somehow, my grandfather and one of his brothers got the bright idea that they would go to the farmer’s field at night and take a watermelon.  This was stealing, and they knew it, but they were hungry and didn’t really figure the farmer would miss one melon…  They were wrong.

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Cold Remedy Tea -Kitchen Rx

Kitchen Rx - Cold Remedy Tea

The Kitchen Prescription.  This tea has been my “go-to” for years when I’m under the weather. Lemon, mint, ginger and honey tea soothes your throat and warms you up to get you get through even the worst colds.  Winter in most of the northern states is serious.  Temperatures hovering in the single digits for weeks on end, plummeting to -20 at night, leaving you so cold that you simply can not shake the chill no matter how many layers you pile on.    I hate winter,  let me rephrase:  I loathe winter.  I loathe the snow and ice, the freezing temperatures, the slipping and sliding down sidewalks that haven’t been cleaned, chipping an inch of ice from the windshield, car doors that are frozen shut…  You get the picture.

And then you get sick.   Watery eyes, stuffy nose, scratchy throat and a cough that rattles your insides like gunfire.   You have been taken down by the common cold.   Once it gets you,  it takes weeks until you start to feel human again.  

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Tom & Jerry

It has come to my attention recently that some of you only know this pair of names as a cartoon duo.

As soon as there is a chill in the air, I start craving this drink.  Think of it as a warm, boozy milkshake. Doesn’t that sound amazing?! It’s even better than you think…

I won’t lie, it isn’t one of those “Oh, I’ll just pull a bottle down and shake” kind of drinks.  It takes a little planning and effort, but the end result is worth the 10 minutes of energy it requires.

This drink has such a loyal fan base that there are special “Tom & Jerry” punchbowl sets with matching mugs.  I kid you not…  Here’s a pic to prove it:

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Hard-Pressed Bourbon

A few days ago I had the good fortune to spend time with family members I haven’t seen in awhile and met some new ones for the first time.  Those of us that live far away from the rest of our clans aren’t able to be a part of each others daily life, so the chance to gather in one place for a few hours is extra special.

We had a lovely afternoon sharing food and stories, laughing and catching up with each other.  At times we are all so busy in the day-to-day that we fail to take a few minutes to just say “hi” to people we care about.
It was a chance for all of us to do just that and make a few more connections on Facebook, of course!

Connecting over food is a common experience for everyone on every continent, of every color and every religion.  It is good for us to acknowledge the commonality that ties us all together instead of focusing on the differences that fracture us.   Food is definitely one of those common denominators   It is an integral part of almost every celebration from birthdays to weddings, holidays, family gatherings, get-togethers with friends, etc.

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I’ll have what she’s having…

I’m not really sure why,  but when I think of strawberry daiquiris, I think of the 80’s.   Things like parachute pants and rubber bracelets,  big hair and Duran Duran.  Considering I was barely a “tween” in the mid-80’s and not yet the cocktail connoisseur I am today, there really is no basis for this. 

But, here’s the thing… no one seems to tip back fruity drinks with little umbrellas anymore, everything is a “skinny” something or another now.  Not that there’s anything wrong with watching your caloric intake, but sometimes a girl needs a drink.  A proper drink- made in a blender, served in a pretty glass with a little garnish.

I’m sure most of us can’t even remember the last time we had one (unless of course that’s because you had MANY), which is a shame because it really is one of those great summer drinks.
Well, I intend on bringing this little libation that could back into the spotlight.

If you’ve never had a strawberry daiquiri made from actual strawberries, then you are in for a treat.  The drinks made from that bottle of  chemical-laden red stuff can not begin to compare with one made from fresh ingredients.  The sweet fragrance of ripe strawberries filling your kitchen is enough to start your mouth salivating.

There will be no sickly sweet, artificially flavored mixes that are a most unnatural and slightly unnerving shade of red.  Just berries, rum, some sugar & a splash of lime juice blended with some ice & you are well on your way to one of the best things you can put in a glass.

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(Lemon) Thyme on my Hands…

Golden Lemon Thyme
Well, the rain finally ceased only to bring unseasonably hot weather for a few days.  Everyone looked like they were wilting, including the little pots of herbs I keep on the windowsill.  Herbs are one of my favorite things to add to nearly anything. 
In cooking their use is obvious, but most people don’t utilize them in other ways where they can really bump up the flavor.  Tossing a handful of herbs in with salad greens,  fresh chopped herbs sprinkled over grilled or roasted vegetables, vinaigrettes,  drinks, even ice cream… adding them to both sweet and savory dishes can really make a difference in the flavor of the final dish.
With the sudden heat, I immediately wanted lemonade…  not being able to resist my ever-present need to put herbs into whatever I can, I started snipping.  The fact that I am almost never without lemons was a definite plus.
In my dream world,  there are little mason jars filled with delectable drinks lining the shelves of the refrigerator in my outdoor kitchen… each guest able to saunter over and choose which of the many options tickle their fancy. 
In reality, I have a kitchen that is so small I have seriously considered applying for “Worst Kitchens in America”.   My tiny Brooklyn apartment won’t be gracing the pages of Architectural Digest anytime soon, but I can still have my mason jars of lemonade lining a shelf in my fridge…