Last week we made margaritas but with a twist. When you know the basic recipe for your favorite drink, you can totally change it to what you are in the mood for by adding fruit, flavored simple syrup, herbs, or bitters. Simple syrup is made by combining equal parts of sugar and water, bringing it to a boil, stirring until sugar has dissolved. A mason jar of simple syrup can always be found in our home. That way, when the neighbors stop by, you are ready for an impromptu cocktail hour! It is also effortless to infuse simple syrup, which is a great way to change the flavor of a basic recipe.
Another favorite drink of mine is the Paloma. The Paloma is very easy to customize to your favorite flavors. Add a jalapeno slice to make it spicy. Like floral flavors? Add hibiscus simple syrup. In the mood for smokey swap, the tequila for mezcal The combos are endless.
Earlier this week, I was able to enjoy a little bit of fresh air, sunshine, and exercise by walking up to my local Trader Joes. Due to social distancing, the store is only letting 25 people in the store at a time, which made the line feel more like Disney World than trying to grab a few groceries. (yes, I wore my mask which was made by a super talented friend ) Since I walked up, which is something I do almost every day when the weather permits, I was only able to buy what I could carry in my backpack cooler. I loaded up on fresh fruit and veggies and, of course, a bottle of wine. OK, I also threw in a bag of tortilla chips. Happy Hour ready: homemade guacamole, mango salsa, and a Strawberry Paloma with Chamomile Honey simple syrup by Half- Baked Harvest. Her recipes are creative yet simple. (watch video here).