It’s the time of year when I start to look forward to local strawberries popping up. Or at the very least, some big beautiful berries that hail from Florida or California. I figured they were the perfect candidate for our second installment of the #CrushFridayVA series here on the blog!

Fresh sliced strawberries are macerated in sugar, and then given a quick pass through the blender to break apart – you’re aiming to keep some chunkage going on in the strawberry still. I love to see that in a cocktail, it let’s you know that it’s the real deal!

That puree is then mixed with vodka, fresh OJ, triple sec, and a splash of sparkling water – the standard crush ingredients. I happened to have some strawberry flavored sparking water, so I went with that, and it was a nice addition.

It’s light and refreshing and bubbly. And you can’t beat that gorgeous berry red hue with a stick. It has me yearning for the warm days of summer that are knocking on our door. Happy Friday, y’all!

I’m delighted to report that my obsession with the marriage of coconut and lime has continued. I’ve been enjoying the zingy combination in these coconut macaroons forever now, have been thinking about translating it into a cocktail form.

Virginia Tourism is currently running a #CrushFridayVA campaign, encouraging people to actually use their vacation days, and get out there to enjoy everything our beautiful state has to offer. But, being the lush that I am, my mind immediately went to the libation when I saw the hashtag.

And in all honesty, what better way to crush Friday then by enjoying a cocktail on my front porch here on this perfect little island that I call home? So, I’ve decided to make sharing a new crush recipe on Friday a weekly thing over the next couple of months here on Tide & Thyme, or until the various crushable fruits run out at least!

Now, I’ve turned many random fruits into margaritas in the past, but by swapping out tequila for vodka – well…by golly then you’ve got a crush on your hands. And, besides the usual suspects of orange and grapefruit, is pretty much uncharted territory here on the blog. Which frankly, is pretty damn lame…

Anywho, I figured a Coconut Lime Crush would be an ideal first candidate. Rich and sweet Cream of Coconut acts as the base, along with fresh lime juice. A generous splash of vodka and triple sec, then topped off with some sparkling water. It’s a light and refreshing cocktail that is perfect for springtime sipping. Get out there and get your crush on y’all!

Well, we managed to make it through the Christmas season – now for the onward trudge to New Year’s. We’ve been super busy around here making merry for the past couple of weeks, and busy with school and Cub Scouts prior to that. It’s nice to have this time to kick back with family and relax, with no obligations other than maybe an evening get-together with a few friends down the street…

Drinks are in order, of course. And with as cold as it’s been the past couple of days, one that warms your bones and your belly is the only way to go. I’ve been missing the chai lattes from Sea Star Cafe now that they’re closed for the season (is it March yet?) – so I decided to do a boozy riff on that.

I used the fruit cream liquor Amarula, made by fermenting the marula fruit found in Africa. They’re doing a campaign through the end of the year to donate $1 for every bottle sold to WildlifeDirect to help save African Elephants. Delicious drinks and a good cause – win/win.

So, about that latte. I brewed a really strong chai concentrate, that can be kept in the refrigerator for up to a week. Then, when I was ready to put it together I just warmed the concentrate. Topped off with some steamed milk and froth, and a dash of cinnamon.

The flavors of the chai – cardamom, cinnamon, star anise, black pepper, and ginger all played beautifully off of the fruity richness of the Amarula. It was such a treat, the flavors all together really reminded me of rice pudding. But like, the best rice pudding that you’ve ever had in your life….

It would be great as just a plain chai latte too, without the booze. Then again, where’s the fun in that?

Summer is in full swing here on Chincoteague Island, officially. During the week the boys and I spend alot of time in the pool, or at the beach…but on the weekends we’re usually found on the boat. With the 4th of July weekend upon us, I thought it appropriate to share this mermaid-inspired margarita.

Mermaids happen to be crazy popular right now. But for a girl who’s had saltwater running through her veins since birth – I’ve always felt a kindship to them. Even more so now that I’ve gotten into sea-glassing and beachcombing. I can’t help but feel like those salty sirens sent up those pieces from the depths just for me to find…

Incidentally, I’ve always felt a kinship to tequila too. So, it was only natural to  combine those two things here on the blog eventually. Fresh margarita mix, combined with tequila and triple sec, and the addition of Blue Curacao to give it it’s signature blue hue. Don’t be lazy and buy the store-bought mixer, it takes all of three minutes to make your own. And once you do, you’ll never go back. Trust me.

I did a sugar-salt combination on the rim, I love the salty/sweet combo – much like the attitudes of my homegirls under the waves. Added some fresh lime zest too, loved the pop of color and flavor that it lent.

Garnished with a lime wedge skewered onto a dinglehopper , it’s a cocktail that I’d be proud to serve to any mermaid. Maybe I’ll come across one in our boat journeys this weekend…will make sure to have all the ingredients on hand, just in case one shows up.