Happy Friday, guys! Everyone had a good week? It’s still been super busy around here with baseball, and cub scouts, and everything else we have going on. But in all the rushing around the past few days, I did manage to squeak out a few minutes to come up with this week’s #CrushFridayVA recipe!

My youngest talked me into buying a watermelon at last week’s grocery store trip. So I went with that for this week!  It was okay, but not like the melons you’ll find locally in another couple of months. We only are about half of it, and I figured the other half would be perfect for a cocktail. I’ll tell you, this whole crush thing has been great for using up the rest of the fruit that’s still hanging out by the weekend!

This recipe couldn’t be easier, and one batch makes quite a few cocktails. Fruity and fresh, it really hits the spot on the porch at happy hour – especially now that it’s warming up. Speaking of happy hours on the porch, I’m hosting a cocktail crafting class at the Chincoteague Cultural Alliance next Friday. If you’re local (or in-town for the weekend!) and want to join us, you can sign up on their site. It’s going to be tons of fun.

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.

One of my favorite things in this world is a soft chewy pretzel. Sadly, most of the pretzels you find commercially these days are just sub-par excuses for what a pretzel should be – doughy twists of sadness. Sure, they’re edible dunked in mustard or cheese sauce, but I’m trying to live my best life y’all. Life is too short to eat shitty pretzels.

I’d made pretzel buns a few years ago, and they were surprisingly easy. Not to mention that they turned out absolutely delicious, and gorgeous. I was worried about the whole boiling process, but it was no big thing  – it’s as easy as cooking pasta.

These pretzel bites use the same process. There isn’t much rising time for the dough, so they can be made in a relatively short timeframe – perfect for snacking/munching/party purposes. They’re addicting, and you can’t help but eat “just one more”.

Then, there’s the sauce. Beer and cheese are awesome together to begin with, but in liquid form – kicked up with a little mustard and Old Bay? Pure heaven in a bowl. Do yourself a favor and pick up a six-pack on your way home one night soon, make these pretzels, and enjoy someone’s company – or Netflix and your couch. No judgement.

Source: adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction

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!