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.

Margaritas just happen to be my favorite cocktail. Fresh citrus, tequila, and triple sec – they sing in a perfect symphony. A symphony that adapts well to a newcomer in the mix. Like, ripe juicy mango for instance…

Gotta throw up props for this margaritas simplicity. While I usually have to make a fruit-based simple syrup for many of my fruit margs, which is little bit more time consuming – this one involves dumping in a bag of frozen mango chunks, some margarita mix, a little mango nectar, and your booze. Blend. Drink. Repeat.

Now, I’m a margarita on the rocks kinda gal, not usually into this frozen hulabaloo. However, I consider this a game changer. It was like drinking a fresh mango – it has that thicker mouth feel that mango lends. Even the husband, who isn’t into tequila, enjoyed it. I know ya’ll will too!

This recipe makes about 4 big margaritas, perfect for summer entertaining or a girls night get-together.

Shoutout to the good folks at Drizly for sponsoring this post. Did you guys know you can have pretty much any spirit you’ve ever desired delivered right to your door these days? Wonders of technology. They’ve got all kinds of great recipes too. Be sure to check them out!

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by the good folks at Drizly. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Happy New Years Eve! In light of the holiday,  I thought it only appropriate to share a festive cocktail this evening. And, I’m still working on using up those cranberries leftover from Christmas…

Fruit crushes are kind of synonymous with the Eastern Shore, we’ll take any fruit – muddle it with vodka – add a little seltzer – and call it a day. While they’re very popular in the summertime months, I really feel like the best time for them is in the winter – when citrus is at it’s peak.

I made a cranberry syrup by simmering some frozen cranberries, some sugar, and water on the stove. The cranberries will burst open and soften to a lovely consistency form a lovely chunky syrup. Syrup can be refrigerated for up to a week, which is handy.

he syrup is then combined with vodka (word to Tito’s, my go-to favorite), a splash of Triple Sec , a squeeze of fresh orange juice, and a splash of seltzer. And served over ice. A great way to keep the sparkle of the holidays burning a little longer while you have those cranberries to use up!

I hope everyone has a safe and Happy New Year! Best wishes to all in the coming year.