Seasonal Cocktails

Getting back to reality is proving to be harder than expected. I love what I do, but this holiday break has been pretty great! We’ve enjoyed amazing times with family and friends, and have enjoyed a lot of really good food and drinks.

People always talk about the weight they gain over the holidays because its a time of excess. Excess love, excess food, excess drinks, excessive fun! It isn’t often that you get to see so many of the people you love all at once, and returning home really is bittersweet.

My friends can tell you, I make a mean cocktail, and what better way to combat those back to reality blues than with a fun zany cocktail! I made two great options that I will share in this post that are perfect combinations using seasonal ingredients!

dsc_0464-copy

The first cocktail, I call the Spicy Mexican. Between the ginger and the jalapeño, you will really feel alive!

What you need:

  • 2 oz añejo tequila
  • 2 oz lime juice
  • 1 oz ginger liquore
  • sliced fresh ginger
  • sliced fresh jalapeño
  • agave syrup to taste

I recommend making this drink early to let all the flavors mingle together. It’s an ideal option if you’re having a party to make in big batches and let marinate for a few hours.

Mix together all of your ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake until well blended.

Serve in a martini glass or glass of your choice with a few slices of fresh ginger and jalapeño in the glass, and a wedge of lime of the edge.

dsc_0469-copy

Now this next drink, I call the Hot Johnny.  It’s the Hot Johnny because you use apple cider (Johnny Appleseed), and its best served warm!

What you need:

  • 8 oz of apple cider
  • sliced fresh lemon
  • cinnamon sticks
  • star anise
  • 2-4 oz of bourbon whisky

Warm up your cider on the stove top or in the microwave.

Add in the bourbon (amount is up to you, depending on how strong you want it), one cinnamon stick, one star anise, and a slice of lemon.

This is another great one to make in big batches for a party.  It will truly warm you from the inside out, and make you feel perfectly in season with your cocktail choice!

Dark Chocolate Energy Bars

dsc_0164

This past weekend we had a really fun event at Lululemon in Greenwich, CT in collaboration with Countdown Fitness.  The team at Countdown Fitness is awesome, and the ideology behind it is really fascinating.  I started training with them about 5 weeks ago, and I really feel great and am already seeing more muscle definition.

Our event was a way to marry fitness with healthy eating. It is so important to eat well while you exercise or you will never see results.  If you eat cheeseburgers and pizza every day, you may still get stronger, but you won’t see yourself getting into shape. And let’s be honest, a big part of working out is to look good (and feel good of course)!!

As I have learned from years in sales, having food at any event is a great way to get attention.  Everyone always wants a free sample so I made these tasty dark chocolate energy bars as a special treat.  They can easily be made gluten free, but these are not.

dsc_0162

What you need for these energy bars:

  • ⅔ cup prunes
  • 1½ cups water
  • ¾ cup coconut flakes
  • ¾ cup flour
  • 1 cup large flake oats
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • ½ cup dark chocolate chocolate chips
  • ½ cup pumpkin seeds, toasted
  • ¼ cup hemp hearts (optional)
  • 1 banana, mashed
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup

Pre-heat your oven to 350F.

Put your prunes and water in a small pot and let it come to a boil.  Once boiling, remove them from the heat and let them sit for 10min.

dsc_0161

Toast your coconut and pepitas (pumpkin seeds) in a dry pan over medium heat until starting to brown.

Put all of your dry ingredients into a bowl and mix together including the chocolate, coconut, and nuts. Mix in your smashed banana and the syrup next.

dsc_0163

Using a blender, hand blender, or food processor blend up your water and prunes to make a paste. Add it to the mixture and use your hands to mix it all together.

Spread it across a sheet pan and make sure they are nicely packed down. Bake in the oven  for 25-30min.

Cut them immediately, but let them cook before you eat them.

Feel free to add in more chocolate or dried fruit to your liking, but as they are, these are nice and tasty.