Muddled Blackberries

Happy Memorial Day, Friends! Today is a day to appreciate the great gift of freedom that we are blessed with here in good ol’ USA! Thank you to all who have served our country, past and present to protect our liberty.

If you ask me, there is no better way to celebrate Memorial Day than sitting outside, cooking, eating and drinking with great friends and family! I wanted to share with you three, porch-worthy drink recipes that include my newest obsession: muddled blackberries.

My recent love of blackberries started with a blackberry mojito I made a few months ago that was featured in my Fruity Cocktails post. That love only grew when I discovered the beauty of muddled blackberries. Here are a few blackberry beverages to share with your friends this holiday weekend!

Blackberry Sangria

Red wine (I used Merlot)
4 blackberries
1 tablespoon sugar
2 lime wedges
2 orange wedges
splash of lemon juice
Ice

In a plastic cup or cocktail shaker, muddle the blackberries with the sugar. Add the juice of one lime wedge, one orange wedge and the lemon juice. Stir. Fill a cocktail glass with ice. Add the fruit mixture. Add the second wedge of lime and orange for looks. Top off with wine. Stir and serve.

Blackberry Mojito

12 mint leaves
4 blackberries
1/2 lime, cut into 4 wedges
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 ounces white rum
1/2 cup club soda
Ice

In a plastic cup or cocktail shaker, muddle the blackberries, mint and sugar. Squeeze the juice of two of the lime wedges. Add the rum. Stir. Fill a cocktail glass with ice. Add the fruit mixture. Add the remaining lime wedges for looks. Top off with club soda. Stir and serve.

Blackberry Spritzer

4 blackberries
1/4 lime
1 tablespoon sugar
Club soda
Ice

In a plastic cup or cocktail shaker, muddle the blackberries and sugar. Squeeze the juice of the lime. Stir. Fill a cocktail glass with ice. Add the fruit mixture. Top off with club soda. Stir and serve.

Cheers!

Fruity Cocktails

I have always been a big fan of girly drinks. I remember when I was younger, I was most excited to turn 21 so I could order cute cocktails from fancy restaurants with fruits and umbrellas galore. On my 21st birthday, my parents took me to TGI Fridays where I ordered the cutest cocktail I could find: a blackberry mojito. I think it was that day that I realized that being a grown up was going to be awesome!

I thought it would be fun to share with you a couple of my favorite ways to spruce up a simple cocktail by making them yummy and adorable. The general rule here is that you can make just about anything better by adding fruit into the drink or on the rim.

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Mojitos are one of my favorite summer drinks! From scratch, they’re made with muddled mint and limes, rum and club soda. I usually just use half rum and half mojito mix, such as Master of Mixes brand. Even if I’m using the mix, I like to throw in some fresh mint for fun anyway.

I like to add some fresh fruit to my mojitos as well. They don’t add a ton of flavor, but they look pretty and make for a nice snack as you go. Try blackberries or sliced strawberries.

If you have a dark beer or a sweet liqueur, always add ice cream! Try making a pina colada blended with ice cream instead of ice or making a quick float!

Salt around the rim of a margarita is a must, but the fun doesn’t stop there. Try rainbow sprinkles, coconut, graham cracker crumbs or celery salt.

My best friend is also a lot cooler than me and got to spend some time in Europe recently. She brought back some Pimm’s with her and made me a killer breakfast cocktail with it. I’m not sure exactly what was in there, but I know it was basically OJ, lemonade (I think!), Pimm’s and topped off with a good handful of fresh blueberries! Like I said, adding fresh fruit makes everything better!

Last but not least, I love turning Champagne into a quick and delicious bellini by adding a little fruit juice or nectar. At a work party, my boss had a super simple bellini station with Champagne, apricot nectar and fresh raspberries. It’s also great with some fresh squeezed grapefruit juice.

Cheers!

 

 

 

XOXO EmJoyable

Before today, I hadn’t seen an episode of Gossip Girl since January, when I was sleeping on a blowup mattress in my brother’s basement in NYC. So when I stumbled upon Season 4 on NetFlix this evening as my man was on his way out the door for the night, I knew exactly what was in store for my night: several solid hours of trashy TV served along with a side of cold pizza and a frosty glass of Grey Goose and Crystal Light.

As tempted as I was to push my blog aside for the night and indulge in a few of my guilty pleasures, I figured I’d just capitalize on my hours spent in front of the TV and post it here. I’ve decided to share with you the five most important things I learned from Gossip Girl over the years. 

5. Almonds with Yogurt 
I had heard of yogurt with granola, but yogurt with almonds was a GG gift. I never would have thought of the combo if it wasn’t for the episode when Jenny starts going crazy and sends her minions off to get her skinless almonds on her yogurt that she ends up dumping or Eric’s head. Either way, I came out with my new favorite breakfast — probably the best thing Jenny ever did for anyone.

4. Fashion 
I’ve never claimed to be very fashionable. I like simple things, like solids, stripes and bows. However, GG confirmed my beliefs that high-fashion isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be. Sometimes seeing the things these girls sport makes me feel like my navy cable-knit sweater (however boring it may be) reins superior. 

3. Tights
We all know how I feel about tights (and if you don’t, catch up here). So while I’ve always had a thing for this darling winter accessory, GG taught me to be a little more saucy with them. On top of my standard black, grey and sweater-knit tights, GG gave me the inspiration to add red, plaid and dark purple to the line-up. 

2. Fancy Cocktails
Since the GG bunch were sophomores in high school, they were sipping on top-shelf martinis in long-stem glasses on the steps of the Met. I’ve never quite had the pleasure of doing quite that, but I am such a sucker for anything that ends in -ini: appletini, frostini, flirtini, etc. A perfect night out requires a pair of black heels, freshly applied mascara and a drink with at least 3 different fruit-flavored liquors. 

1. Good friends
I know as well as anyone that best friends fight, sometimes even more than good friends. I have had my share of stay-up-crying-till-2AM, call-each-other-every-name-in-the-book, stomach-wrenching fights with really, really great friends, but it happens. But it shouldn’t happen weekly for five years. Even though Serena and Blair have had some really great friend moments, I would never push my best friend in a fountain. Sometimes you need to be around really crappy people just to feel better about your own life, and GG really fills that role for me.