Posts filed under happy hour collection

Off to the Races - It's Derby Day!

Kentucky Derby 

What do you think off when you hear someone mention the Kentucky Derby? I'm going to guess that elaborate hats, red roses and mint juleps are a couple of the first things that come to mind, quickly followed by horses. You might also think of throwing your own Kentucky Derby party.  Below we'll share recipes perfect for making your Derby party a hit but first, history...

The Kentucky Derby is steeped in tradition. Here are a few fun facts:


The Kentucky Derby has run continuously since 1875, even through the Great Depression. 

The land was acquired by Colonel Merriwether Lewis Clark, grandson of William Clark, of Lewis & Clark fame. 

1932: The first thoroughbred winner was draped in garland of roses

The Kentucky Derby was always a fashion forward event. Men and women were expected to dress up in their finest. However it wasn't until the 1960's that the wearing of elaborate hats took off. 

1938: The Mint Julep became the official drink of the Kentucky Derby. The reason for the silver cup? Rumor has it that jockey's were awarded sterling silver julep cups as a reward for first prize (and they look a bit like a trophy cup). 
 

 Flowers by  Love, Anji ,  Pope's Mint Simple Syrup , Julep cup and barware by  Happy Hour Collection , Cake by  Followthatfork.com , Photos by  Nathan Hubble

Flowers by Love, Anji, Pope's Mint Simple Syrup, Julep cup and barware by Happy Hour Collection, Cake by Followthatfork.com, Photos by Nathan Hubble

Now that you know a little bit about the history of the Kentucky Derby, it's party time! Here we'll get the party started by sharing two great recipes. First, I'll share the recipe for the Mint Julep and here you can find an absolutely delicious Chocolate Bourbon cake recipe by Nathan Hubble, www.followthatfork.com. 
 

Mint Julep

1 oz Pope's Mint Syrup 

2 oz Bourbon 

Crushed ice

Mint for garnish 

Julep cup

First things first... crushed ice. There are a few ways to approach this ingredient... first the crushed ice setting on your fridge, a blender or my favorite a Lewis bag and ice mallet. Why the Lewis bag & Mallet? The canvas Lewis bag actually wicks away extra moisture from the ice making a drier ice and therefore not watering down your drink from the get go. It also seems to produce a finer crushed ice than many of the blenders out there (no large chunks of ice mixed in with the fine ones). Not to mention it's oddly satisfying to smack ice with a hefty wooden mallet. 

Now it's time to make your mint julep! Add 1 oz Pope's mint syrup, 2 oz bourbon into your julep cup,  at this point I'd give it a quick stir to incorporate the syrup and the bourbon. Add crush ice to the rim and stir again frosting the outside of the julep cup. Top with more ice creating a little dome. Give your mint a slap or two against your palm to release the oils (this adds to the drink by bringing the lovely aroma of mint right to your nose). Add the mint to your julep cup, don your fancy hat or smart bow tie (or cravat if you prefer) and cheer on your favorite horse!

*We did say Derby party, right? Here are few quick tips to make life simpler, after all who wants to spend the whole time crushing ice and mixing mint juleps? The night before or morning of, crush lots of ice and store in in a ziploc bag in the freezer. The day of: wash and cut your mint sprigs for garnish,  place them stems down in a cup of water to keep them fresh. In a large pitcher, pre-measure and mix the bourbon with the mint syrup, store in fridge until ready to use. When it's party time fill your julep cups with ice, pour bourbon & mint mixture over top, garnish with mint, serve and cheer on your favorite horse! 
**not a bourbon lover? sub your favorite vodka, no one ever needs to know ;)

 

 

 

 

 

Sources: "Kentucky Derby History," www.kentuckyderby.com/history/kentucky-derby-history. Churchill Downs Inc. Web 06 May 2017

Summer BBQ Cocktail & Cooking Ideas

Ever wonder what to bring to those summer BBQ's you keep getting invited too? 
 

We have quite a few easy and delicious cocktail mixers to bring either as a host /hostess gift or to mix up refreshing summer cocktails. Or maybe you have a shrub sitting in your fridge that you bought, made a few cocktails and now you don't know what to do with the rest. Never fear! 

New Day Cleveland kindly had us back in the studio to talk about easy summer cocktail mixers you could bring to your friend's house as a gift (or be the hit of the party and bring the cocktail)! We also mixed up a cocktail and a main dish using Element's Pineapple Turmeric shrub. Below you'll find the recipes and the link to the episode. 

Hawaiian Pineapple shrub Chicken Kebabs

Marinade ingredients:

1/2 cup Element's Pineapple Turmeric Shrub

1/4 cup soy sauce

2 green onions chopped

1 tsp sesame oil

1 TBS canola oil

2 cloves minced garlic

1 TBS fresh ground ginger or 1/4 tsp ground ginger

1/2-1 tsp crushed red pepper

1 TBS honey (optional)

black pepper to taste

4 chicken breasts thawed & cubed

1 red pepper, cubed

1 green pepper, cubed

1/2- 1 pineapple sliced into 1/2 thick cubes (save the pineapple peel and core to make an easy pineapple beer...recipe coming soon)

wooden skewers soaked in water 

Whisk together marinade ingredients. Set aside about 1/4 cup.  Assemble skewers alternating peppers, chicken, pineapple and so on. Place in a shallow dish and cover with marinade. Cover and let marinate for 45min - 1 hour in the refrigerator. Grill until chicken is cooked thoroughly. Approximately 10-15 minutes total , turning kebabs every 2-3 minutes. Pour reserved marinade over the kebabs for extra flavor. 

*vegetarian option: use firm tofu or cubed portobello mushrooms instead of chicken

--->Be careful not to over marinate the chicken.  Shrubs are vinegar based and will over tenderize the chicken if left to marinate too long. One hour is plenty of time for the chicken and veggies to soak up the flavors.

 

Lake Erie Swizzle

1 oz dark rum

1 oz gold rum

1/2 oz Cointreau (or triple sec)

3/4 oz Element Pineapple Turmeric Shrub

3/4 oz Orgeat Works Toasted Almond Orgeat

1/2 oz fresh lime juice

2-4 dashes Full Measure Aromatic Bitters

Crushed ice

Tall Swizzle Stick

Collins Glass or tall thin tumbler

Mint for garnish

Measure Ingredients into Collins glass. Place swizzle stick in glass. Fill glass 2/3 full of crushed ice. Swizzle making sure to work the swizzle up and down the glass to thoroughly incorporate ingredients. When glass is frosted and ingredients are blended, remove the swizzle stick and top off with crushed ice. Add bitters, garnish with mint and enjoy! 

* for a little extra flair top with a little drizzle of Pope's All Natural Grenadine. Adds a lovely red color that filters down the glass. 

Please note if you're like me, almost every recipe is a guideline not a rule. Feel free to experiment and make it your own, after all the best recipes are the ones that you and your family love. <3