I’m not going to lie to you. Sometimes when a blogger is working on a post they choose things based on color. I knew a pink cocktail idea would go great with my girl’s night post so I grabbed a bottle of strawberry lemonade. I’ll tell you another secret. Sometimes we don’t add alcohol to the drinks we are shooting. For the most part, I shoot my recipes at 10 am. For me, at least, that is not prime drinking time, so the drinks usually go wasted. What I’m really trying to tell you is that this cocktail recipe started out as a sham and ended up being really delicious and something I think you guys need to make this summer. It’s a simple champagne float that is full of flavor and it is crazy easy to make. No measuring required!
Have you heard of infused wine? It’s where you take fresh herbs, and maybe some citrus, and let it flavor your wine. I’m a big fan of fresh herbs (and wine, duh) so I decided I needed to try this out for myself. I’m not sure why this isn’t more of a thing. It seems like a super simple way to add your personal touch to a beverage. It is both hippie and Martha Stewart at the same time. And it is SO easy to do! The only hard part is letting the wine sit long enough to pick up the flavors…
I’m not an apple juice drinker. I don’t love any juice really. I’m not in to sweet drinks and if I was forced to drink juice, it would be orange juice. Unless I’m at a legit juice place. Then I’ll drink anything. In college, I found a spot that made green apple juice (my apple of choice) and I drank way too much of it. Until I turned 21 then I drank other things, like mojitos…So no one was as surprised as I was when I tasted this Honeycrisp Fresh Pressed Apple Juice from Tree Top and fell in love with it. Tree Top was a sponsor of a recent conference I attended and they served this fresh pressed honeyscrip apple juice in their booth with fresh herbs. It doesn’t taste like regular apple juice. It’s SO much better. It’s the perfect amount of tart and sweet and the flavor is crazy amazing. So of course I had to make a cocktail with it. It just seemed right. I wouldn’t have thought that a mojito recipe could get even better with apple juice but it totally did.
I had never heard of a honeycrisp apple until a few years ago. I’ve always shunned red apples in favor for the tart Granny Smith. But there is something about the honeycrisp that I can’t get enough of. Unfortunately, neither can my sons. They currently aren’t in season as demonstrated by the $13! I just spent for 5 apples at my grocery store on my last trip. But I can’t quit them. This honeycrisp apple juice is easy to find at your store in the non-refrigerated juice section. Go get it. And then make a mojito with apple juice. When I set about wanting to work this juice in to a cocktail I tried a lot of different things. I mixed it with tequila. Nope. I tried some rum. Nuh uh. I didn’t want this cocktail to read too “fall”, which apple juice can easily do. A mojito? No, that would never work. Would it? As I was three cocktails in at this point, I decided to give it a shot. (I didn’t drink all of those first two cocktails, or did I???) But guess what? A mojito recipe with apple juice is AMAZING! It was super refreshing and an awesome summer drink. The recipe is really easy to make and the only specialty ingredient you need is the Tree Top honeycrisp apple juice (which I promise is not hard to find like some specialty items). Elderflower drinks were so hot a few years ago. I’m guessing you have a bottle of that already. If not, it is also not hard to find. You don’t have to make a mojito in a cocktail shaker, I like to because it gets everything super chilled which is what you want in a summer drink. Plus I skip the carbonated water so you won’t spray yourself with your drink if you do shake it up. Not that that has ever happened before… Squeeze in some fresh lime juice.
Add your fresh mint and muddle gently. Add the apple juice. Let me just pause here to tell you how hard I had to fight my kids off this bottle of juice. They were so in to it, based on our obsession with honeycrisp apples plus they like to be all up in my business when I’m trying to save things for blog posts. AND I wanted to make sure I got some of the rest of the juice once this post was done. Next I added the vodka and the elderflower liqueur.Then ice. Because cocktails are fantastic when they are icy. Shake well. And pour over ice. I know you can get more mint flavor if you muddle the leaves right in the glass you are drinking from but I still got the mint flavor this way too. I think the mint and the fresh lime juice really brighten the cocktail. The elderflower gives it a slight floral note and the result is this super delicious, flavorful but light and extra refreshing drink. I love bitters for finishing off a cocktail and adding a little more aroma. The one I used had flavors of grapefruit and hibiscus mixed with island spice flavors.Top it with fresh mint and drink up! I will be making these again for sure. And I’ll probably have a glass of the Tree Top honeycrisp apple juice every morning also. If you haven’t had it, go find it! A mojito recipe is a classic but this twist with apple juice is sure to be your new favorite summer cocktail.
- 4 oz Tree Top Honeycrisp Fresh Pressed Juice
- 1 oz vodka
- 1 oz elderflower liqueur
- Juice of half a lime
- 12 mint leaves plus some to garnish
- 4 drops flavored bitters (optional)
- To a cocktail shaker add your fresh lime juice and about 12 mint leaves.
- Muddle the mint in to the juice.
- Add the apple juice, vodka and elderflower liqueur.
- Add ice and shake well.
- Strain in to a glass of ice (I used a tall glass, but any will work. I think traditionally these are served in rocks glasses)
- Top with flavored bitters and garnish with mint.
- Drink up but enjoy responsibily!
*I was sent a few bottles of Tree Top Honeycrisp Fresh Pressed Apple Juice to create these cocktails.
Rosé all day. It’s the perfect pink drink to sip on a warm summer’s afternoon. And for those times when you are just chilling with your homies out on the patio, I’ve created the perfect playlist. Rosé and rap go together like Puffy and Mace. They are great on their own, but better together. I’m also sharing my favorite rosés to pick up for your summer entertaining. Word.
If you’ve read this blog for any length of time you know that I love a good Moscow Mule. I’ve shared many varieties of this fine summer cocktail and today I have another vodka mule recipe to share with you.
A few weeks ago I went up to Los Angeles for the launch party for a delicious new flavor of Absolut. Oak by Absolut is full of flavors like caramel, cinnamon and vanilla but not in a flavored vodka kind of way. No, this vodka is aged in barrels and the flavor notes are picked up during that process. It adds a richness and warmth to the vodka that you would normally find in whiskey. It is the perfect ingredient to switch up a classic vodka mule recipe. And perfect for your summer imbibing.
My boys are about 2 1/2 years apart in age. At times they get along famously. And others they act like, well, brothers. But there are two things they can agree on. They LOVE soda (which they don’t get often). And Netflix (which they watch all the time). Recently they’ve become interested in my world of cocktails. With all the special tools and specialty ingredients, they are always asking questions about drinks and wanting to use the strainer or jigger. I decided to create a non alcoholic sangria that is totally kid friendly as a special treat. And while there isn’t much soda in this recipe, it’s still enough to make the kids feel like it’s a special occasion.