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by Sarah Steimer

I’ve never been a huge Bloody Mary fan, but this may have turned me. You can, of course, leave out various ingredients such as the kale or the bacon.

  • 3/4 cup tomato juice
  • 1 small kale leaf, stem removed and roughly chopped
  • a few dashes Worcestershire sauce
  • a few dashes hot sauce, to your liking
  • 1-2 shots vodka (or you can cheat like me and use whiskey – I just can’t get into vodka)
  • 1 cup ice cubes
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • lemon, optional
  • 1 strip bacon, for garnish
  • cherry tomato, for garnish
  • 1 small kale leaf, for garnish

Add the tomato juice, kale, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce and liquor to a food processor. Pulse until the kale is blended into the drink to your preference (you can always strain some out if you choose). Add the ice cubes, crushing a bit before hand if your blender is a little weak like mine.

Season with the salt, pepper and lemon, adjust to your taste (maybe even adding more liquor or hot sauce if you really need it).

For the bacon garnish:

You could crumble the bacon and add it straight into the drink itself, but I really loved the look of this garnish.

Take one piece of raw bacon and arrange in a squiggle or another cool shape it on a wooden skewer — NOT a metal or plastic skewer. Place the skewered bacon between four paper towels, two on the bottom and two on top. Microwave on high for 1-2 minutes.

* Power Trio is our July guide that features BLT recipe ideas — including bacon, leafy greens and tomatoes, minus the two slices of bread. See all of our Power Trio BLT recipes here.

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by Sarah Steimer

An Old Fashioned is such a velvety, old lounge drink and adding spice and warmth plays right into that.

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 cardamom pods (or a sprinkle of cardamom powder)
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 12 ounces sweet bourbon (or whiskey)
  • 1 orange, cut into 8 wedges
  • 8 maraschino cherries

Place the water, sugar, cardamom, star anise and cinnamon in a small sauce pan over medium heat until the sugar dissolves, being sure to mix occasionally.

Bring the mixture to a boil, cover, then remove from heat. Strain the whole spices from the simple syrup mixture.

Divide the cherries and oranges between four cups and muddle (no muddler? Just use the end of a wooden spoon or another blunt-ended object). Mix the bourbon into the simple syrup mixture and whisk. Ladle the drink into each cup.

If you want to dress the drink up even a little more, mix about 2 tablespoons of sugar with 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon on a small plate. Wet the edges of you glasses before adding any ingredients and rim with the sugar-cinnamon mix.

Makes four Old Fashioneds.

Recipe adapted from: spoon fork bacon

**For the month of January, we’re offering a few recipes for warm alcoholic drinks to take into cold winter nights. All “Warm and Buzzy” recipes can be found here.

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by Caitlin Saniga

If you're going to skimp on anything in this recipe, don't let it be the cinnamon stick. It adds a burst of flavor.

If you skimp on anything in this recipe, don’t let it be the cinnamon stick. It adds a burst of flavor. Served cold or at room temperature, this drink also makes a great shot.

Correction (Jan. 28,2013): In the original version of this recipe, the wrong type of alcohol was called for. The recipe has been updated to include the correct type of alcohol.

  • 4 cups apple juice
  • 4 cups apple cider
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup high-proof alcohol, such as Everclear or grain alcohol*
  • 4 cinnamon sticks

I found out about this drink because my mom’s *book club* served it at one of their get-togethers. I’m sure they had very interesting discussions that day.

In a large pot, combine the apple juice, cider and sugar. Bring to a boil and stir, cooking until sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and add the alcohol. Divide the drink between 4 mason jars or large mugs. Add a cinnamon stick to each glass. Serve warm.

Makes 4 servings.

* Be careful! This drink is so smooth that the high-proof alcohol can sneak up on you. If you want to play it safe, add only 3/4 cup alcohol. In fact, there are two versions of Everclear — a 151 proof and a 190 proof. If you use the 190-proof version, I advise you to use only 1/2 cup-3/4 cup. And if you live in one of the states where it is illegal to sell Everclear, use a high-proof rum instead.

**For the month of January, we’re offering a few recipes for warm alcoholic drinks to take into cold winter nights. All “Warm and Buzzy” recipes can be found here.

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by Sarah Steimer

I served this in a slow cooker set on "warm" at a holiday soiree I threw last month. A white sangria is a nice alternative to a red wine sangria at parties - think of which would show up on a couch when it gets spilled.

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • zest of 2 lemons, cut into strips (if you have time)
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice from 2 lemons
  • 4 whole star anise*
  • 4 cinnamon sticks*
  • 12 whole cloves*
  • 2 bottles dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc
  • juice from 1 orange
  • 1 apple, thinly sliced
  • 1 pear, thinly sliced
  • 1 orange and 1 lemon, thinly sliced crosswise

Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker or large saucepan until heated through. If heating in a slow cooker, keep set to “warm” during the party. If using a saucepan, transfer to an insulated container for serving, such as a dutch oven, or sturdy glass bowl. Serve in paper or glass cups, as plastic can give you some problems when using hot liquids.

*Don’t want to purchase a whole jar of spices? Lots of fresh markets and spice stores will offer these ingredients in bulk – meaning you can literally pick out four star anise and not worry about what to do with 30 extra.

Serves 12.

Recipe adapted from: Martha Stewart

**For the month of January, we’re offering a few recipes for warm alcoholic drinks to take into cold winter nights. All “Warm and Buzzy” recipes can be found here.

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by Sarah Steimer

Treat yo'self*

  •  2 cups apple cider
  • 2 tea bags – choose something mild, such as rooibos
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 shots of bourbon or whiskey
  • water

Fill two glasses with 1 cup of cider each. Bring your water to a boil on the stove, then let it sit for about a minute (don’t want to burn the tea). Add the water and a tea bag to the cider. Distribute the 1 tablespoon of honey and two shots between the glasses.

Garnish with a thin slice of apple, cut width-wise so you can see the seed star. You could also try rimming the glass with sugar and cinnamon for an extra kick.

Makes two glasses, served hot.

*

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by Sarah Steimer

Because this doesnt have a lot of ice cubes in it, it's not a truly "frozen" margarita. So I added a cube to my drink so it would stay cold.

  • 1 1/2 cups frozen strawberries
  • about 5 fresh basil leaves
  • 3 ice cubes
  • 2 shots tequila
  • 1 shot orange liqueur (Triple Sec)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons honey (may need more, depending on the sweetness/tartness of your strawberries)
  • juice of two limes

Combine all ingredients in a blender. Garnish with a strawberry and a basil leaf.

Makes two to three servings.

Recipe: Sarah Steimer

Photo: Sarah Steimer

*Throughout July, “A Dip and a Sip” will feature our favorite salsa and margarita recipes — all of which can be found here.

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by Sarah Steimer

Finally a use for my Fiestaware. (Finishing a glass while I write this - sorry in advance for errors.)

  • 1/2 cup tequila (NOT ENOUGH, ADD MORE)
  • 1/4 cup orange liqueur – aka Triple Sec
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup simple syrup (equal parts water and sugar)
  • 6 thin slices cucumber
  • 6 thin slices jalapeno
  • Salt for glass rims (optional)

Combine all ingredients in a pitcher. Let sit in the refrigerator for at least an hour so the flavors can combine.

Serve over ice in salt-rimmed glasses. Makes about two glasses.

Recipe adapted from: Confections of a Foodie Bride

Photo: Sarah Steimer

*Throughout July, “A Dip and a Sip” will feature our favorite salsa and margarita recipes — all of which can be found here.

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