Showing posts with label Orange juice. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Orange juice. Show all posts

23 May 2009

Video: Beautiful Fruit and Floral Cocktails Served with Chocolates!

From Denny: This NBC video was developed for Valentine's Day but these cocktails are good year 'round. The one demoed in the video is most unusual and refreshing for the summer season.

Where's the chocolate? Not in the cocktails but I'd definitely serve these cocktails with a side dish of your best dark chocolates to complement the fruit and floral tastes.

Here are the recipes:

L’Amour de Fleur

Michael Cecconi



• 1 ounce pink peppercorns

• 1 ounce kosher salt

• 2 ounces sugar

For the drink

• 2 ounces gin

• 1 ounce fresh lime juice

• 1 ounce simple syrup

• 1/2 ounce Rothman and Winter crème de violette (Available at Astor Wines and Morrell)

• 4-6 mint leaves

• 1 pinch dried lavender flowers (available at Dean and DeLuca and Kalustyan’s); give them a good crush before you drop them in the shaker

• Edible pansy flowers (optional; available at Kalustyan’s)


For the drink’s spice rim: Coarsely grind pink peppercorns in either a spice grinder, mortar and pestle, or mini-processor; mix with salt and sugar in a bowl, then pour onto a plate. Moisten a rocks glass with simple syrup, then dip it into the spice mixture. (There should be enough spice mixture left over for several cocktails.)

For the drink (serves 1): Combine all of the ingredients in a shaker; add ice, shake, and then pour through a julep or other fine strainer into an ice-filled, spice-rimmed rocks glass. Garnish with an edible flower sprinkled with a bit of the spice mixture.

The Honeysuckle Rouge

From: Michael Cecconi


For spiced red wine and honey syrup:

• 2 bottles inexpensive red wine

• 3 star anise pods

• 2 cardamom pods

• 2 bay leaves

• 2 cinnamon sticks

• 5 cloves

• Zest of 1 orange*

• Zest of 1 lime*

• Zest of 1 grapefruit*

• Zest of 1 lemon*

• Pinch of salt

• 2 cups honey

• 1 cup hot water

For the drink

• 2 ounces Anejo Tequila

• 2 ounces Spiced Red Wine and Honey Syrup

• 1/2 ounce lemon juice

• Thin round of lemon for garnish in cocktail


For the Spiced Red Wine and Honey Syrup:
Combine all the ingredients, except for the honey and hot water, in a large pot, bring to boil and reduce to roughly 1 pint (about 25 minutes at a hard boil). Pour through a fine strainer and set aside. Stir honey and water together until fully mixed. Combine one pint of the spiced red wine with one pint of the honey syrup. The spiced red wine and honey syrup will keep in a refrigerator for a week and freezes well, too.

*Save fruit for juicing or eating.

For the drink (serves 1): Combine tequila, spiced red wine and honey syrup, lemon juice, and ice in cocktail shaker. Shake and strain into a chilled martini glass, then garnish with a thin slice of lemon.

Sparkling Sunset

From: Michael Cecconi


For the pomegranate syrup

• 2 cups sugar

• 1/4 cup water

• 1 quart pomegranate juice*

For the drink

• 3/4 ounces pomegranate syrup

• 1 ounce fresh orange juice

• 1 ounce Plata (silver) tequila

• 2 ounces dry sparkling wine


For the Pomegranate Syrup:
Combine sugar and water in a medium-size pot over high heat, and boil until the syrup thickens and uniform bubbles appear on top (around 15 minutes; do not allow syrup to caramelize). Reduce the heat to low, and slowly, carefully add the pomegranate juice, stirring constantly. Turn off the heat, cool, and refrigerate. The Pomegranate Syrup will keep for a week and freezes well.

*Juice fruit like you would a grapefruit: Cut it in half and then use a countertop citrus juicer to extract the juice.

For the drink (serves 1): Pour pomegranate syrup into a flute. Combine tequila, orange juice and ice in a cocktail shaker, then shake. Using the back of a spoon, strain the liquid into the flute, on top of the pomegranate syrup. Top with the sparkling wine, then serve to guests with a small spoon and encourage them to stir the ingredients together.

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27 January 2009

Recipe: Marinated & Grilled Duck Breasts with Orange Ginger Sauce

Marinated and Grilled Duck Breasts with Orange Ginger Sauce

Serves 6

From: LSU Art Professor Michael Crespo whose passion for art is as great as his passion for cooking food all over the world.


4 Tablespoons achiote powder (paprika with a dash of cayenne pepper can be substituted)

6 cloves garlic, passed through a garlic press (or very finely minced)

½ cup canola oil

½ dry red wine

6 duck breasts with skin (about 6 ounces each), trimmed

Orange Ginger Sauce (recipe follows)


Directions: Combine the achiote, garlic, canola and wine in a non-reactive bowl and stir together. Place duck breasts and marinade in a reclosable plastic bag and marinate overnight (at least 8 hours) in the refrigerator.

Heat an outdoor grill. Grill the duck breasts, skin side down, over medium-low heat until brown and the fat has rendered. Flip and cook, meat side down, for about 3-5 minutes for medium-rare. Slice the duck breast on an angle, spoon the Orange Ginger Sauce over and garnish with chives.
Serves 6.

Orange Ginger Sauce


2 Tablespoons peeled and julienned ginger (do not mince)

1 ½ cups freshly squeezed orange juice

1 teaspoon orange marmalade

1 Tablespoon butter

2 Tablespoons lemon juice

Salt cayenne pepper

¼ cup pine nuts

Directions: Combine the ginger and orange juice in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced by half.

Stir in the marmalade, butter, lemon juice, salt and cayenne to taste. Stir in the pine nuts and keep warm.

Note: For other recipes visit my other fun blog:
Romancing The Chocolate

02 January 2009

Recipes: Hot Drinks in Cold Winter

Even in Louisiana come January the temperature drops down cold enough to drink hot, spiked cider or mulled wine. December 11th, in 2008, just 3 weeks ago it actually SNOWED in south Louisiana! AND the snow stayed on the ground for two days before it all melted off. Pretty amazing as we made snowmen on our front lawns just like I did as a kid when our family lived in Maine for a few years. Will wonders never cease?

However, what was joyful for us silly Southerners was not a lot of fun for our Northern and Western and even Midwest cousins in the country. Even now so early in the New Year the majority of the country has been experiencing record snowfall and cold. This is when those hot winter drinks come in handy to warm our insides.

Hot, Spiked Apple Cider

Per serving: Take a cup of cider or apple juice and heat it in the microwave. Now drop a shot of rum into it. You could also add other variations: orange juice, cranberry juice, cinnamon, cloves and orange slices. Just make sure you add the liquor AFTER heating the juice.


This is really popular all over America in cold weather: Wassail. Often it's used to toast good things to others like wishing them good health. You get to look like the great guy giving good cheer to others while sipping a yummy drink. Now aren't you clever?!

Bring a pint of water to a boil on the stove. Add a cup of your favorite honey, 5 whole cloves and 3 sticks of cinnamon. Heat for 5 minutes. Add a sliced lemon and now an entire bottle of good red wine. Heat to a simmer and serve with a lemon slice.

Mulled Wine

Now here's a cold weather drink that's as old as the hills! It's been around for at least 500 years since the Middle Ages. There is no hard and true recipe just the basic ingredients you can experiment with at will to your personal taste.

The basic recipe starts with a bottle of inexpensive hearty red wine. Add a couple of cinnamon sticks, some cloves and 1 cup of sugar. Add the mixture to a saucepan and warm it until the sugar dissolves - without boiling - and then serve it in a cup with either a cinnamon stick as a garnish or for Christmas try a peppermint candy cane.


This one is often served to revive folks at ski resorts.

To your cup of hot cocoa just add to spike it: a shot of rum, brandy OR peppermint schnapps. Garnish with an orange peel or even marshmallows.

The variations used are: peppercorns, bay leaves, cardamom, nutmeg, brown sugar, anise, rosemary, brandy, herbal tea, citrus slices as garnish too.

Hot Buttered Rum

Into your mug place 1 teaspoon sugar, 1/2 teaspoon butter and 4 whole cloves. Now add a shot of rum. Stir well and fill with boiling hot water.

Variation: Some people replace the butter with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Add brown sugar, honey, cinnamon, vanilla and nutmeg.

Hot Toddy

Lots of variations on this theme with hot tea.

Fill a mug 3/4 full with hot black tea like Luzianne (not a bitter tea like other national brands. These guys specialize in taking the bitterness out of black tea and now have moved on to developing their own coffee line!).

Add a shot of scotch, 1 Tablespoon of honey and a slice of lemon.

Variations: Can use rum, brandy or bourbon.
Add cloves, a cinnamon stick or a grind of nutmeg - even a dash of Angostura bitters (which has an orange flavor).

Note: For other recipes visit my other fun blog –
Romancing The Chocolate
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