Join the Zen and Tonic book release tour and Enter the Pimp my bar cart giveaway. Over $500 in cocktail swag!

Join the Zen and Tonic book release tour and Enter the Pimp my bar cart giveaway. Over $500 in cocktail swag!

Win a signed copy of Zen and Tonic and $500 in cocktail swag! To celebrate my newly released cocktail book Zen and Tonic I’ve gotten together with awesome vendors to offer one lucky reader a fantastic price package valued at $500. Following is a list of the cocktail swag we are given away. all you need to do is click the link below: a Rafflecopter giveaway The Lineup Meet my wonderful tour hosts. I extend my deepest gratitude to these talented people whose websites and blogs continue to inspire me in the realm of food, drink and health. I will be updating this page daily, and as their posts pop up, I will link them here so you can follow along.  I’ll also be posting links daily on facebook, twitter and Instagram. SheKnows.com – recipe feature and interview, April 5, 2016   Stir & Strain – review and giveaway, April 5, 2016 Love and Victory – interview and recipe feature, April 6, 2016  www.craftandcocktails.co www.sarahjenks.com  www.bitbyafox.com www.womenandwiskies.com www.hollyandflora.com April 15, 2016 www.cassandco.com www.thetraveldiet.com www.juiceguru.com www.mmagazinemilwaukee.com http://www.gastronomista.com http://www.cassandraericsson.com Giveaway As a thank you to all the fans, supporters and friends, and participating retails for helping me say thank you for making Zen and Tonic Blog Tour a Possibility. Below is a list of the cocktail swag we are giving away. It is over $500 worth of gifts and party favors. Signed Copy of Zen and Tonic Love & Victory personalized decanter $60 The Barbarian bar tool $44.98 The Healthy Bartender “Zen & Tonic” tank $36.99 and “mind body spririt(s) baseball jersey $36.99 The Spice Lab mixology salt set $54.95 The Glass Dharma straw set...
The Fundamentals of Ice

The Fundamentals of Ice

Ice serves two purposes in cocktail making: First, to chill the cocktail while shaking or stirring, while also diluting the drink ever so slightly to drinking perfection. Second, to keep the finished cocktail chilled while you enjoy it. The type of ice you use when shaking and serving also dramatically affects your drink. Ice cubes are used when you want to keep your drink cold without diluting it. Fresh 1- to 2-inch cubes work best: the larger the cube, the slower the melting process. Crushed ice is used in stronger cocktails that are meant to be diluted. To make your own, simply fill a shaker one-third of the way with ice and muddle until broken up. Or use an ice bag to crush. Ice sphere: You can now purchase ice molds to make large ice spheres, which allow the flavor of your drink to open up without getting watered down too quickly. Filling the ice mold with an edible blossom can create a fragrant and attractive garnish. Molds: Using fun shaped molds can create interest in itself. I like to use leftover freshly squeezed juices and freeze them to add to my water, sodas, and spirits. Punch wreaths: If you have a Bundt cake pan, you can fill it up with distilled water, citrus wheels, and an assortment of berries and freeze it. Place it in the center of a punch bowl to cool and add flavor as the ice melts. Flavored ice cubes are like jewelry for your drink—eye-catching and loaded with personality. They’re also functional: As the cubes melt, they add hints of flavor, turning even a plain...
The 101 on Garnishes

The 101 on Garnishes

Besides adding a decorative touch to your drink, garnishes should also provide integral, complementary flavors and aromas. A strategically placed citrus peel on a side of a drink that a guest can rub and squeeze will release just a touch of aroma to stimulate the senses. Edible flowers, fruit, berries, and leaves can also be used wedged between ice cubes and the glass to create overall sensory impact. I use rose petals in a similar fashion in the Blushing Rose Sangria in my book Zen and Tonic. Citrus twist Cut the ends off your citrus fruit and make an incision lengthwise, halfway through the fruit. Using your thumb, separate the rind from the flesh of your citrus fruit until you have removed the entire peel. Roll up the whole peel and cut into pieces to make curly twists. Fans You can make attractive fans using pears, apples, and strawberries. Simply pick a fruit with a firm flesh. Slice your fruit very thinly, leaving a tail at the bottom. Spread out the slices in a fan shape. Make sure to soak your fruit in lemon juice to prevent browning. Salt or sugar rims Sugars and salts can be flavored with crushed flowers, herbs, and spices. Get creative! I also love to use an assortment of pink Himalayan and black Hawaiian salts and brown and flavored sugars. You’ll find that the smaller the crystals, the easier to coat the rim. For salt or savory rims, cut a slot into a wedge of lime and gently rub around the rim of a glass before coating. For a sweet rim, do the same...
Superfruit Sangria

Superfruit Sangria

Sangria, the sweet and savory Spanish punch made with wine and sweetened seasonal fruits, is always the hit of the party. And it couldn’t be simpler to make. Here’s how to infuse this favorite party pleaser with an assortment of super berries, for a fun and healthy new flavor combination. 1 bottle red wine 1 cup blackberries 1 cup raspberries 1/4 cup dried goji berries 1 cup pomegranate juice 1/2 cup lemon juice 1 lemon, cut into wheels 1 lime, cut into wheels 1 orange, cut into wheels Sparkling water, organic lemon soda, kombucha, or sparkling wine, for serving Combine all the ingredients, except for the sparkling water, in a large pitcher and refrigerate overnight. Add the sparkling water before serving. Make sure to distribute the fruit evenly in the cups for extra delicious servings of superfruits. Superfood Spotlight This sangria is rich in the polyphenol resveratrol, the heart-healthy and antiaging antioxidant. A few simple twists are all you need to bring your sangria to fresh new heights. The type of wine you choose will determine the flavor you’ll create, so here are a few guidelines: Pinot noir, with notes of cherry, pairs beautifully with bright herbs, such as basil, and lighter red fruits, such as cherries, raspberries, and cranberries. Cabernet, bold and muscular, works well with peppercorns, blackberries, and cinnamon. Shiraz, smoky and peppery, wonderfully suits blueberries, vanilla, star anise, and cloves. Sauvignon blanc, light and grassy, doesn’t overpower kiwis, limes, and honeydew. Riesling, sweet and crisp, is a good match for ginger, peach, and mangoes. Prosecco, crisp and sparkling, complements citrus, tangerine, blood orange, and...
Spirits of Choice

Spirits of Choice

Why Buy Organic Alcohol? Buy organic alcohol for the same reasons you’d buy organic food: to avoid artificial additives, and to help promote sustainable farming practices and environmentally friendly packaging. And because it tastes amazing, helps prevent hangovers, and if you’re going to mix healthy nutritious ingredients, your alcohol and mixers should be a pure and quality product as well. Organic List of Spirits Below are my picks for spirits, including wine, sake and mixers for your home bar, with special attention given to small-batch, organic, and artisan producers that maintain sustainable practices and are impeccable with their ingredients; because no drink can ever rise above the quality of its ingredients. Note: Please find many more great quality products listed in the resources section at the back of the book. 1. Square One Vodka Square One helped pioneer organic hard-alcohol production when it released vodka made with certified organic American-grown rye in 2006. The company now has a few flavored varieties with a great one with infused organic cucumbers. 2. Rain Organics Vodka It’s made from 100 percent organic white corn sourced from a single farm in Illinois and distilled in Kentucky earning a Double Gold Medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition this year. 3. Prairie Organic Vodka Another stellar organic vodka, Prairie is made in Minnesota, and stands out because the farmers who grow the corn for it also own the distillery, converting the leftover corncobs and other biomass into biogas to power the stills. 4. Copas Blanco Tequila This is a 100 percent agave tequila. The company also makes añejo, reposado, and special-release tequilas—including an...
Spirited History

Spirited History

Drinking to good health might sound like an oxymoron, but a closer look at the history of spirits shows that healing ailments has always been at the root of cocktail culture. In fact, cocktails were originally created in early pharmacies and apothecaries all the way up until the beginning of the twentieth century. Prepared Tinctures The earliest known pharmacist-prepared tinctures, bitters, elixirs and tonics where made with herbs, flowers, fruits and yes, even vegetables laced in alcohol, which preserved their healing properties. These potions where custom made using botanicals grown right in the apothecaries to ensure freshness and potency, then shaken or stirred and given to the patient as a prescriptive. A Restorative Cocktail  These restorative cocktails served people well, curing ailments ranging from an upset stomach to scurvy. In fact, what is simply known to modern cocktail lovers, as a gin and tonic, was first introduced by the British East India Company to prevent malaria amongst its soldiers in India. Cocktail’s Curative Qualities It wasn’t until 1906, that the government got involved and began to move alcohol-based cocktails out of pharmacies and into the cocktail bar, where their curative qualities became an...

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