It’s Friday, y’all! And, that means a new fruit crush cocktail here on Tide & Thyme. I’m lame and dropped the ball last week. Little league obligations + field trips + allergies ended up crushing my ass last week…so with all that, I was in no mood to crush a cocktail. Ya feel me?

But the sun has been shining this week, I’ve been cleaning and baking with the windows open. All my favorite spots are opening up their doors for the season here on the island. And *fingers crossed*, we’re hoping to get the boat wet this weekend! The flounders are biting, and I’m ready to start restocking the freezer.

Alas. summer isn’t quite in full bloom for another month or so. And, fruit isn’t available from any of my favorite local farms just yet. Luckily, a halfway decent canteloupe is available pretty much all year at the grocery store. So, I decided to throw that under the bus for the crush this week!

The orange color is just lovely, and the melon flavor and sweetness is on point. So, what are you waiting for? It’s 5 o’clock somewhere! Get out there and crush the weekend, guys.

The Canteloupe Crush

2 cups canteloupe, diced
3 Tbsp sugar
1 orange, juiced
1/2 cup vodka
1/3 cup triple sec
1/2 cup sparkling water or lemon-lime soda
sliced canteloupe, for garnish

Blend canteloupe and sugar in a food processor or blender until completely pureed. We’re talking liquified.

Pour mixture into the bottom of a quart mason jar. Add in the orange juice, vodka, triple sec, and sparking water. Shake to combine.

Fill glasses with ice and pour cocktail over. Garnish glass with a slice of canteloupe.

Makes about 3-4 servings.

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?