Boozy Eats / mezcal / Tequila

Drunken S’mores Ice Cream

07.20.17

Drunken S'mores Ice Cream // Loaded Mezcal Vanilla Ice Cream with Chocolate Ganche Chunks, Graham Cracker Crumbs and Toasted Marshmallows // The Shared Sip

I don’t know if S’mores Week is an actual thing or not, but one of my favorite blogs, Dessert for Two, is celebrating (with these insane mini s’mores baked Alaskas), which is good enough for me! Cue this delicious (and also frozen, due to: insane summer heat wave in California) Drunken Mezcal S’mores Ice Cream!

You know how when you buy ice cream at the store, you rush home SO EXCITED BECAUSE ICE CREAM DUH and then you dig in and it’s often a little…disappointing? I know. Been there. There are never enough mix-ins, AMIRITE? The container says: “loaded with chocolate chunks, swirls of caramel, brownie in each bite!” Reality says: You spend 20 minutes channeling your inner paleontologist, digging through the ice cream to unearth one of the 3 chocolate chunks, then putting the carton back in the freezer where it will accumulate freezer burn and you toss it 4 weeks later. The struggle is so real.

Drunken S'mores Ice Cream // Loaded Mezcal Vanilla Ice Cream with Chocolate Ganche Chunks, Graham Cracker Crumbs and Toasted Marshmallows // The Shared Sip

That’s where homemade ice cream comes in. You can literally add anything you want to your base, and as much of it as your little heart desires. So that’s exactly what I did here. The mix-ins to ice cream ratio is a little embarrassing, tbh. But really this is no time to pretend like we’re counting calories over here. Save that madness for January.  Read More

Aperol / Brunch Cocktails / st. germain / Wine

Rivington Punch // A Summer Spritz

07.10.17

Rivington Punch // Classic white wine spritz jazzed up with rosé, St. Germain, Aperol and raspberry liqueur - the perfect summer cocktail! // The Shared Sip

I’m always looking for a standby summer sip, beyond my go-to margarita or gin & tonic. I love a spritz, but wanted to add a little sweetness and sub in rosé (there is never a wrong time for rosé!) which is basically summer in a glass. I love any chance I get to use my St. George raspberry liqueur too—and it’s great in this drink, since you only use a splash. Topped off with bubbly water and voila—summertime soiree is complete!  Read More

Party Cocktails / Sangria / Wine

Cherry Compote + Peach Sangria

06.27.17

Cherry Compote + Peach Sangria // The Shared Sip

With the summer solstice arriving last week, it’s official: summer is here! Living in wine country (Sonoma County to be specific—we live just south of Healdsburg, a quintessential wine town if there ever was one), I drink a LOT of wine. Kyle and I typically drink a glass with dinner at night, and are often stopping into local wineries.

Cherry Compote + Peach Sangria // The Shared Sip

As much as I love just sipping wine, I also love to play with it in cocktails and food (dessert especially!). I had a chilled bottle of sauvignon blanc that was feeling a little neglected, and the cherries on my counter were at their peak ripeness. Sangria it was!

I can’t believe I’ve never posted a sangria recipe here! If I had to choose, I would probably favorite red sangria over white, but the warm summer months beg for a white wine or rosé sangria. I made a cherry compote using just cherries, sugar and brandy, which I think really adds something to the sangria without loading it up with a lot more booze. Top it off with fresh stone fruit and your afternoon is officially spoken for. Happy summering!

Cherry Compote + Peach Sangria // The Shared Sip

Cherry Compote & Peach Sangria
makes 4 cocktails

  • 1 bottle of crisp dry white wine (I think sauvignon blanc works well here, but you could also use any dry, light white)
  • 1 cup cherry compote (recipe follows)
  • handful of fresh cherries
  • 1 ripe peach, nectarine or similar

Assembly

To 4 wine glasses, add a healthy dollop of the cherry compote (1-2 tbsp). Fill halfway with ice. Add a few fresh cherries and a couple slices of the stone fruit. Top with white wine. Drop an extra cherry and slice of peach on top and you’re set!

Cherry Compote
adapted from Bon Appétit

  • 1 cup fresh cherries, pitted and sliced in half
  • 1/4 cup brandy
  • 2 tbsp sugar

Bring all ingredients to a boil in a saucepan; reduce heat to low. Simmer until cherries begin to release their juices, about 10 minutes. Remove cherries from pan and let the sauce continue to thicken until it’s a syrupy consistency, about 20 minutes. Add cherries back to the sauce and store in an airtight container in the fridge. Keeps for about 2 weeks.

 

Party Cocktails / Vodka

Harissa Bloody Mary with Antipasti Kebabs

05.27.17

Harissa Bloody Mary with Antipasti Kebabs // The Shared SipTo me, a bloody mary is right up there with a margarita—a super simple drink, but a total go-to. I love that you can tinker with it based on what you’re in the mood for (olives? lemon? lime? spicy? mild?). For this take on the cocktail, I wanted to use harissa to add spiciness, rather than my usual tabasco. If you’re not familiar with harissa, don’t worry—I wasn’t either. It’s only recently been added to my kitchen, as I saw it incorporated in more recipes I wanted to make.  It’s a chili pepper paste that originated in North Africa, but is probably most often associated with Middle Eastern cuisine. You can find it at most specialty markets in the international aisle—and it keeps well too, since you’ll be using it sparingly.

Harissa Bloody Mary with Antipasti Kebabs // The Shared Sip

For the kebabs, use whatever you love! I built mine with a mixture of my favorites: spicy dill pickles, sweet cherry peppers, balls of mozzarella and an assortment of charcuterie. This would be great for a bloody mary bar at a party—guests could show off their kebab creations! Who doesn’t love a bite with each sip?

Harissa Bloody Mary with Antipasti Kebabs // The Shared Sip

One other note: I used a store-bought mix for the base of this. I KNOW. Blasphemy, right? Not so fast. There are so many great bloody mary mixes out in the market these days, to slave over the exact spice additions to tomato juice sounds a little silly to me. Plus, you can totally jazz up a store-bought mix, too. In addition to the harissa, I added celery bitters, a squeeze of lime juice,  a dollop of horseradish, and a dash of chipotle chili powder. So good.


Harissa Bloody Mary with Antipasti Kebabs
makes 2 cocktails

  • 2 cups bloody mary mix, of your choosing
  • 4 oz vodka – I used Humboldt Distillery Organic Vodka
  • 2 teaspoons harissa
  • 1 tbsp horseradish (more or less to your liking!)
  • 4 dashes Fee Brothers celery bitters
  • 2 wedges of lime, squeezed
  • pinch of chipotle chili powder
  • For the rim: combine equal parts old bay and salt.

Assembly

Rim two highball glasses with lime, then dip into the Old Bay/salt mixture. Combine all other ingredients in a shaker with ice, including the lime wedges. Shake until very cold, about 20 seconds. Strain into the rimmed glasses filled with fresh ice. Top with an antipasti kebab!

brandy / Cognac

Brandy Old Fashioned

05.10.17

Brandy Old Fashioned // The Shared Sip

If you’ve never had a classic Old Fashioned, first: shame on you. Second: it’s one of the best cocktails in existence. Perfectly boozy, sweet and bitter, it covers all the cocktail bases. A traditional Old Fashioned is made up of bourbon or whiskey, a sugar cube or simple syrup, and bitters. Of course, there are many variations—I just had one in NOLA with demerara simple that was to-die-for—and it’s a classic that begs for a little experimentation.

I had a brandy old fashioned at Sonoma Cider just up the road in Healdsburg (PSA: their new taproom is awesome). Besides crafting some amazing ciders, they also distill their own apple brandy. Though I did try a flight of 6 ciders (no brainer there), I also snagged their cocktail menu and ordered up their brandy old fashioned. It was perfectly sweet, unique, and a drink I knew I wanted to recreate at home.  Read More

Travel

New Orleans Cocktail Guide!

04.27.17

New Orleans Cocktail Guide // The Shared Sip

Earlier this year, my BFF and I decided to meet in New Orleans for a weekend of girls-only eating, adventuring, and—of course—cocktailing. She flew in from NYC, I from San Francisco, and we arrived in NOLA ready for a long weekend of catching up and exploring the city together.

New Orleans Cocktail Guide // The Shared Sip

If you’ve never been to NOLA, you’ll quickly discover that it’s probably one of the most charming, cultured and interesting cities in the U.S. Full of tradition and nostalgia, the city culminates into this amazing metropolis where historic buildings and creole cooking are juxtaposed against trendy cocktail bars and innovative restaurants. One second you’re sauntering down Royal Street in the French Quarter, and the next you’re perusing your way through a hipster marketplace in mid-city. It feels both packed with stories from centuries past, and begging for new stories to be created by tourists and locals alike.

New Orleans Cocktail Guide // The Shared Sip

First, the food: unreal. I am not exaggerating when I say we were consuming something edible approximately 80% of the time we were in New Orleans. On the last day, we had about 2 hours to kill before heading the airport, and so we scarfed down muffulettas and pimento cheese sandwiches at Cochon Butcher, then proceeded to Johnny’s for shrimp po-boys directly afterwards—and mind you, we had already stuffed our faces that morning on biscuits and doughnuts for breakfast at District Donuts. I don’t think either of us ate for 48 hours after we got back to our respective cities. That’s NOLA in a nutshell.

New Orleans Cocktail Guide // The Shared Sip

New Orleans Cocktail Guide // The Shared Sip

Second, the cocktails. We visited many gems, but I think my favorites were Cane & Table and Seaworthy. Cane & Table has a tiki bent, with really innovative and interesting cocktails. The vibe is hip and sleek, bright and airy, located in the heart of the French Quarter. Seaworthy is in the CBD, and is darker, more speakeasy-esque, with tiny tables and kind waiters. Both are cozy and inviting, and spots you won’t want to tear yourself away from at the end of the night.

New Orleans Cocktail Guide // The Shared Sip

When you can’t eat or drink anything else (I’m not familiar with this phenomenon, but maybe you are), there’s so much to do in NOLA—we took a bike ride through the Garden District, rode the street cars through the city, and even ventured out on a swamp tour (so cool!). I already can’t wait to go back.

Ready to hop on a plane? Download my cocktail guide to New Orleans before you go!

New Orleans Cocktail Guide // The Shared Sip

Boozy Eats / Coffee Liqueur

Banana Bread with Coffee Liqueur Glaze

03.27.17

Banana Bread with Coffee Liqueur Glaze // The Shared Sip

Don’t get me wrong—I love creating cocktails. But sometimes I like to play with liquor outside of the high ball. Enter: this spongy, non-too-dense, delicious banana bread topped with a sweet coffee liqueur glaze. YUM.

The bread can be thrown together in minutes, and the glaze is even simpler. Highly recommend working it into your weekend morning rotation. And while you’ve got the coffee liqueur out, don’t be afraid to throw a splash (glug?) of it in your latte. It’s the right thing to do.

Banana Bread with Coffee Liqueur Glaze // The Shared Sip

Banana Bread

Find the full recipe over on How Sweet It Is!

Pro tip: Do NOT skip the turbinado sugar on the top of the bread—it. is. perfection.

Coffee Liqueur Glaze

Whisk all ingredients together until smooth. Pour over cooled banana bread. Allow to set 20 minutes before slicing. Enjoy!

Gin / sake

Sake East Side

03.22.17

Sake East Side // The Shared Sip

My introduction to sake was back in college—gathered with friends around wooden tables on a Friday night at one of Davis’s few Japanese restaurants, taking advantage of sushi specials and all-you-can-drink sake deals. I remember $2 bullets of Asahi and Sapporo poured into small glasses, with chopsticks hovering in parallel over the top. A shot of sake was poured, balanced on the chopsticks, and we yelled (obnoxiously, as college students do): Ichi, ni, san—SAKE BOMB! With a pound of our fists on the table, into the beer slipped the sake and we chugged until we could see the person across from us through the bottom of the glass. It was one of the more sophisticated times in my life.

Sake East Side // The Shared Sip

Sadly, that was as far as my exposure to sake went. I never grew to like hot sake—something about the sourness and the warmth made my stomach turn. Cold sake was a little better, but nothing I felt compelled to seek out.

Recently, though, I set out on a mission to make homemade dumplings—and because I love a good theme night, I decided to make a sake cocktail to go with them. I scoured the internet for inspiration (my search terms were something along the lines of “sake cocktail for people who don’t really like sake”) and I came across a recipe from Food & Wine that sounded perfect—cucumber, mint, lime and gin—I was convinced I would barely even notice the sake.

And that was mostly true—this cocktail is refreshing and simple, but I do think the sake adds a little something that can’t be replicated by anything other sake itself. The bottle of sake I used is super reasonably priced ($14—and you’ll get a ton of cocktails out of it, or sip alone), though I think most dry sakes would work well. Even my non-cocktail-loving (or sake-loving) husband guzzled this one down in record time.

Muddle, shake, sip—and skip the sake bombs.

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Sake East Side
makes 2 cocktails; adapted from Food & Wine

  • 8 slices of cucumber
  • 20 mint leaves
  • 4 oz dry sake – I used Momokawa Silver
  • 2 oz gin
  • 1.5 oz fresh lime juice
  • 1 oz simple syrup

Assembly

Muddle cucumber slices and mint in a shaker. Add ice and all other ingredients. Shake until well combined and very cold, about 20 seconds. Double strain into a glass filled with fresh ice. Garnish with a cucumber wheel.

Aperol / Brunch Cocktails / Gin / Party Cocktails / Punch

Billingsley Punch

03.06.17

Billingsley Punch // The Shared Sip

Is there anything worse than having friends over, and then spending the evening chained to the oven/stove/bar, unable to really be present and enjoy their company? Making cocktails for the people I love is the whole reason I started this blog (did the name give it away?!), so I’m always on the hunt for a great batch cocktail that I can make for a crowd—and leave me free to mix and mingle.

This punch is bright and perfect for spring—the orange flavor of the Aperol, the tart citrus, the earthy gin. Double or triple the recipe and you’ll be set for at least an hour or so, leaving plenty of time to catch up with your people, relax, and even snag a sip of your own.


Billingsley Punch
adapted from Death & Co.; makes about 4 cocktails

  • 12 sugar cubes
  • 8 oz club soda or seltzer, divided
  • 6 oz gin (I used Tanqueray)
  • 2 oz Aperol
  • 2 oz fresh grapefruit juice
  • 2 oz fresh lemon juice
  • 4 dashes of Peychaud’s bitters
  • Grapefruit wedges or wheels

Assembly
In a pitcher, muddle the sugar cubes with 4 oz of club soda or seltzer until fully broken up. Add all other ingredients except the remaining club soda or seltzer. Add several handfuls of ice and stir until cold. Strain into a punch bowl and add a large block of ice, if available. Top with the remaining club soda or seltzer, and garnish with grapefruit wedges or wheels.

If you can’t get your hands on a block of ice, keep an ice bucket next to the punch. Guests can build their drink as needed!

DIY / Holiday Cocktails / Ice / Party Cocktails

Conversation Heart Ice Cubes!

02.14.17

Conversation Heart Ice Cubes // The Shared SipHappy Valentine’s Day! Last year I created a fun blood orange cocktail for the holiday, so this year I wanted to do something a little different. I thought about the iconic conversation hearts and wanted to incorporate them somehow into a drink, but nothing felt quite right. I remembered I had this silicone heart mold hanging around my baking wares—some good homemade truffle intentions gone awry. I had some real success with ice a couple years back, so making heart-shaped cubes seemed like a no brainer. Plus: citrus season!

Conversation Heart Ice Cubes // The Shared Sip

You can really use any type of juice you want—I even added some pureed mint to the lime cubes for extra color. Below are a few ideas for inspiration, but do come up with your own variations!

These cubes melt quick since they are so small, but I found they retained their shape when I used them as a topper rather than as a true chilling tool. Plus they float a little better this way.

So instead of going out for some overpriced dinner or picking a fight with your significant other when he doesn’t come home with flowers, make these adorable cubes, pour yourself a G&T, and sip happily to love.

Conversation Heart Ice Cubes // The Shared Sip

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Heart-Shaped Citrus Ice Cubes

 

You can find the silicone molds at Walmart, Michael’s and probably most dollar stores!

Take about 1/2 c. fruit juice of your choice, pour it into the molds, and allow to freeze about 2-4 hours (depending on how big your molds are).

To use, make a cocktail on ice (I like to make a clear drink, like a G&T, so the cubes really shine), and top with a few cubes of your choice.

Ideas for inspiration:

  • Grapefruit juice
  • Blood orange juice
  • Tangelo juice
  • Meyer lemon juice
  • lime juice and pureed mint