Coconut Coladas

Happy Summer! (insert emoticon of sun) I’ve been going kinda emoticon crazy on Instagram lately. I’m so excited for these warm nights, eating dinner outside, drinking cocktails with friends, and sharing some of my favorite summer recipes.
My friends at Veev sent me a bottle of their new Vita Frute cocktail to try out. This coconut colada flavor is made with coconut water and pineapple juice already mixed in with their Veev Acai spirit, and it’s under 125 calories per serving. Basically you can just add ice and enjoy! But you must know me by now. I like to “shake things up,” so I made a couple summer cocktails to pair with their coconut colada.
I love pina coladas so when I got this bottle I immediately started thinking of relaxing on the beach and cocktails that I would like to enjoy while on vacation. I created a Lime & Kiwi cocktail and a Lava Flow (which is pina colada with strawberry sauce). I also tried to keep the calories low by using real fruits and a coconut milk beverage instead of coconut cream which is typically used in pina coladas.  You can find the coconut milk beverage next to the soy milk and almond milk in your grocery store.
Lime & Kiwi Coconut Colada
4 oz Veev Coconut Colada
1 kiwi, scooped 
juice of 1 lime
3 Tbs simple syrup 
ice
 
Blend the lime juice, kiwi fruit and simple syrup in a blender. Pour into a glass filled with ice. Top off with Veev Coconut Colada and stir.
 
Strawberry & Coconut Colada (or Lava Flow Colada)
4 oz Veev Coconut Colada
4 oz coconut milk beverage
strawberries with tops removed
3 Tbs simple syrup
ice
 
Blend the strawberries with 4 oz of coconut milk beverage and simple syrup. Pour into a glass filled with ice. Top off with Veev Coconut Colada and stir.
 
Simple Syrup
4 Tbs white sugar
4 Tbs hot water
 
Dissolve the sugar in the hot water. There is a little extra so you can add more syrup to your drinks to taste.
 
How are you spending your summer? This was not a paid sponsorship so you can trust that all these ideas are my own =) Show me your coconut colada creations by tagging #crazy4coconutcolada
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Margarita Bar

Margarita Bar

Cinco de Mayo is a big holiday in Los Angeles with the large Mexican population. I love celebrating it. Who wouldn’t love to drink margaritas, eat $1 tacos and sing along to this playlist in mumbled (or drunken) Spanish? My dentist office even called me yesterday to invite me to their Cinco de Mayo celebration complete with a taco man serving tacos before having your teeth cleaned.
My friend Luci from Luci’s Morsels came over and we created a DIY margarita bar for your Cinco de Mayo celebration. Simply place fun ingredients out and let your guests create their margarita to their likeness. Here are some of the ingredients we used.
Some other fun ingredients you could use for mix-ins are watermelon chunks, sliced jalapeño, mango chunks, mandarin segments, or basil. The possibilities are endless! We chose to do a lime-chili salt to add an extra kick to every sip.
photos by Luci of Lucis Morsels
The margarita mix I used is how my favorite margarita bar makes them; just limes, agave sweetener and your favorite tequila. Create the margarita mix beforehand and have your guests add their desired ingredients to a cocktail shaker, muddle together then pour into a salt-rimmed margarita glass. Luci decided to create a strawberry, blackberry and cucumber margarita, and I made a pineapple and mint margarita.
Bring out the chips and guacamole and you can all it a party! Feliz Cinco de Mayo!
Ingredients:
Margarita mix:
(makes 1 liter)
1 cup tequila (I used my husband’s favorite, Tequila Corralejo)
1/4 cup lime juice
1 cup water
1/4 cup agave sweetener (more or less to taste)
ice
 
Chili salt: 
1 part chili seasoning like Tajin
1 part kosher salt
 
Mix-ins:
strawberries
blackberries
frozen or canned pineapple chunks
lime wedges
tamarind (scraped out of the pod)
mint
anything else you like 🙂
 
Step 1: Rim your glass with a lime wedge then salt. You can do this for your guests beforehand if you prefer.
 
Step 2: Have your guests place their mix-ins into a cocktail shaker with ice, muddle with a muddler or the end of a wooden spoon.
 
Step 3: Add margarita mix then shake. Pour into your glass and enjoy!

Honey Bourbon Cocktail

This is the first post in my new Cheers! section.  I’m no mixologist, and I don’t know the difference between whiskey and whisky (a true mixologist explained the difference to me once but I can’t remember – maybe one too many drinks?), but I do enjoy mixed cocktails and I’ve been wanting to learn to make them at home minus the $12 per drink price.
I was inspired from a drink that I tried at a lounge in Downtown L.A.  It was a smooth blend of whiskey (or whisky) and honey.  Here, I’ve added my own twist.  I used W.L.Weller Special Reserve bourbon, blood orange bitters, honey, and lemon for a smooth and easy to drink cocktail.  This bourbon has a warm, soft aroma.  I love the golden, honey color of the cocktail once everything is stirred together.

Ingredients:
(makes 1 drink)
1 1/2 oz. of bourbon or whiskey. I used W.L. Weller Special Reserve Bourbon.
1 oz. of honey syrup = 2 Tbs. honey + 3 Tbs. boiling water (use the extra for more drinks)
dash of blood orange bitters (I got mine at BevMo) or any other type of bitters
squirt of 1 lemon wedge
lemon wedge for garnish

Bring the water to boil and add honey to the pot.  Remove from heat as soon as the honey melts.  Set in fridge to cool.  Once the honey syrup has cooled down, combine all the ingredients into a cocktail shaker and stir.  I like to stir it up instead of shaking so that the honey doesn’t settle on the bottom of the cocktail shaker.  Pour into a chilled martini glass, and garnish with a lemon wedge.

As the flu season is coming around, I can imagine this drink served up warm. Bourbon, honey, lemon… sounds like a good prescription to me! Cheers!