I have been patiently waiting for cotton candy grapes to arrive. I LOVE cotton candy (it is super good in my champagne) so I knew I would like these grapes. They are only available at certain times of the year, and they do sell out quickly.
Run, don’t walk, to either a Fresh Market, Whole Foods, Kroger, Sam’s Club or a Trader Joe’s to get some of these babies! These grapes are so good. They are so sweet, they taste better then a lot of candy I’ve tried. That’s big, because candy is my JAM!
Cotton candy grapes are distributed by a company called Grapery. They are actually produced in the USA.
In an article recently in Real Simple magazine they stated, “distributed by the Grapery since 2011, a California-based company that cultivates table grapes, cotton candy grapes are juicy green spheres that naturally taste like the pink dessert. David Cain, a horticulturalist, developed the grape in an effort to give consumers more varieties of the bite-sized fruit, similar to the way that there are multiple kinds of apples, he told NPR in 2013. Without genetic modification or including artificial flavors, Cain made the grapes taste like cotton candy by hybridizing two different species of the vine-ripened fruit that highlights its naturally sweet taste.”
photo by Grapery
So, I have a great idea for you. Why not freeze the grapes and use them in your drinks like little ice cubes. Especially wine and champagne! Just wash and freeze and you’ve got a delicious, sweet ice cube! Mine are freezing now.
Mint juleps aren’t for Derby anymore! Don’t you just love a mint julep? Not the ones they serve in masses at the track, but the real, homemade type. I love a good mint julep and they are so easy to make. I wanted to share my version of a summertime strawberry mint julep.
You have to start with the real deal, which is homemade simple syrup. Don’t be scared, it’s not hard. And if you make a batch of it, it will last several weeks. Or, at least until you run out of bourbon!
The recipe for simple syrup is 1 cup of water, 1 cup of sugar and a sprig of fresh mint leaves. Tear the leaves off of the stim, but don’t tear the leaves. You will be fishing those out as the syrup cools.
Boil the mixture until the sugar is dissolved. Should be about 3 minutes. While cooling remove the mint leaves. Let cool completely then put in a storage container ( I use an olive oil dispenser). You can keep it in the refrigerator for about a month. Ok, so now you have your base. Here’s the recipe:
- 2 parts Bourbon (use a middle of the road bourbon, you don’t have to use Pappy)
- 1/2 part simple syrup
- 1/2 part lemon juice
- several strawberries
- a fresh sprig of mint
Place your strawberries in a glass and be sure to muddle them until they have broken up. Add all ingredients, including ice to the shaker and shake, shake, shake. Pour into a julep cup, Moscow Mule cup or a highball glass. Garnish with the fresh mint.
Yes, you read it correctly. Glitter beer is a real thing! I’m not really a beer drinker but I might have to try some of this. Has anyone tried any of it?
After doing some research about this totally fun product I’ve found that glitter beer is a hot new trend according to CraftBeer.com. Glitter beer is currently being made from several brewers including Sasquatch’s Gold Dust Woman, a New England IPA. The glitter is completely edible and safe. I know what you’re thinking, you won’t have an issue on the back-end. 🙂
Some folks may think that the glitter dust contained in the beer comes from Unicorns, but that is incorrect!
“The glitter is called Luster Dust, which is made from sugar, maltodextrin and mica-based pearlescent pigments,” according to Madeline McCarthy of Sasquatch Brewery in Portland, Oregon.
Personally I would like to see the beer a lot more glittery but this is certainly a start! Cheers, xoxo.
Memorial Day is a holiday to reflect upon what sacrifices people have made in order for us to live in this wonderful place called America. It’s also a great time to reconnect with friends and family.
Over the weekend I’ve been able to spend time with some of my oldest and dearest friends that I don’t get to see very often. I’ve also spent time with some of my close friends cooking out, sitting by the pool and just spending time catching up.
Today I went over to my friend Maggie’s house to sit by the pool. Her dog, Jack Woods, is sort of a doggie celebrity. He’s very rare and has a bloodline that traces to a Westminster Dog Show winner. Jack loves the pool, especially floating. Check out these super cute floats that I found at Walmart.com. Remember the other day when we discussed TopCashBack.com? Well guess what? I used the site and got 10% cash back for these super cute floats. I just ordered them thru the TopCashBack.com site and then picked them up. No shipping costs and they were ready to be picked up within an hour! Look how cute they are! Who doesn’t love a lollipops and cupcakes?!
When we got ready to use them it was pretty much a comedy show blowing them up. I thought I might pass out before they were ready to use. After the adventure of blowing up the floats, it was time for a cocktail. I found a great combination that I think you will like. It’s a Strawberry, Thyme and Prosecco cocktail. Here’s the ingredients:
2 cups strawberries (chopped)
1 cup liqueur (limoncello)
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
750 milliliters white wine (sparkling)
Mix this up and you have a perfect outdoor party! I hope your weekend was as nice as mine. xoxoxo
Besides Champagne what should you serve at the royal wedding party? Even though it’s going to be 8am EST (the fun stuff starts a lot earlier) you still want to be creative and fancy. There’s always a Mimosa as an option but I thought you might want to try something different.
I found this traditional English recipe and made a few changes to tie Kentucky and London together. This sounds delicious! xoxo
Royal Balmoral Punch
3 cups Kentucky Bourbon (Makers Mark would be nice)
1 cup tea syrup (to make, combine 1 cup English breakfast tea, brewed strong, then mix while hot with 1 cup sugar until it becomes a syrup)
2 cups fresh apple juice
Top with 2 cups lemonade
Combine ingredients in a punch bowl with ice.
Serve in glass tea cups or champagne flutes
Photo by Elissa Wiehn
Derby is coming! It’s my favorite time of the year in Kentucky. Everything is so festive and fun. Even the weather is going to cooperate. So this week all Bubbly Horse posts will be Derby related.
Let’s talk mint juleps. Not the juleps that you buy at the track, they aren’t very good. Let’s face it, you can’t have a good craft cocktail when you are preparing for the masses!
The key is the simple syrup. It’s soooo easy to make and you can keep it in your fridge for several weeks. All it is sugar and fresh mint leaves boiled down into a syrup. It makes the drink so much better than when you use the mix. You’ll see!
If you don’t have julep cups then use a regular glass. I had a mint julep served in a Moscow mule cup the other day which was really good. Just be creative and have fun! xoxo
Yield: Makes 1 drink
1 ounce minted simple syrup
2 cups crushed ice
2 ounces bourbon (I would use a quality bourbon versus a cooking bourbon)
Fresh mint sprig, for garnish
Add minted simple syrup, then 1 cup crushed ice, bourbon, and splash of water (or not). Add enough of remaining ice to almost fill glass. Stir well and garnish with mint sprig.
It’s almost spring and that means that Derby is right around the corner! Time to celebrate. Everybody knows that I love champagne but Cava is my new favorite. For those of you who aren’t familiar, Cava is Spain’s twin to Italy’s Prosecco. It’s really good and it’s so affordable.
I have a secret that I will share with you. Cotton Candy. Yes, that’s right, Cotton Candy is super good in your champagne. You can buy it at any grocery. Try it you will like it!Cheers xoxox!
T & L had an article the other day about a craft brewery that is opening in Columbus, Ohio. Craft beer is really big these days in not only Lexington but all over the country. There’s so many flavors and styles of craft beer, it’s very interesting.
BrewDog is a Scottish beer company located in Columbus, Ohio. Columbus is a great city and it’s only a 2.5 hr. drive from Lexington. BrewDog is opening a hotel this fall adjoining the brewery. The DogHouse is set to open in September of this year.
The hotel looks really cool. Each room has a beer tap of Punk IPA beer and also mini-bars stocked with beer in the shower. If you love beer, this is the place for you! The boutique hotel will have 50 rooms. The DogHouse will even have a spa that uses products made from beer!
Read more about it here. xoxo
Do you grow mint and thyme? Spring is the time where the herbs start poking their little buds out. I have a mint bed over on the other side of the house that I use quite a bit for recipes. But, you have to be careful with mint because it will take over your yard!
This recipe from Food and Wine looks like an awesome spring and summer cocktail. I can see myself on the patio now! Cheers xoxo
Roof Garden Recipe
15 mint leaves, plus 1 mint sprig for garnish 2 thyme sprigs 1 ounce Simple Syrup 2 ounces vodka 1 ounce fresh lemon juice Ice 1 to 2 ounces chilled club soda
How to Make It
In a cocktail shaker, muddle the mint leaves with the thyme and Simple Syrup. Add the vodka, lemon juice and ice and shake well. Strain into a highball glass over ice, top with the club soda and garnish with the mint sprig.
photo by Tina Rupp
I was watching The Chew the other day and Clinton Kelly made a fabulous champagne cocktail. Bubbles are great all year long but this Lemon Champagne Float will be perfect to celebrate spring! Cheers xoxox
Lemon Champagne Float
1/4 cup strawberry jam (divided)
1/4 cup lemon sorbet (divided)
1 cup champagne (divided)
To the bottom of four champagne glasses, add one tablespoon of strawberry jam. Top the jam with a 1 small scoop of lemon sorbet and top with champagne to serve.
Tip: Use your favorite combination of jam and sorbet to make this recipe your own!