Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with a Cinco de Pyro

Friday, April 29th, 2016 by

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Margaritas are great and all, but this tequila cocktail involves ice cream, coffee, and fire. Considered an after dinner drink, the Cinco de Pyro (aka “Mexican coffee”) is more conducive to starting the party than winding things down. For a less sweet version, substitute whipped cream for ice cream.

Ingredients (per drink)

1 ½ oz. reposado tequila (high proof)
½ oz. Kahlua coffee liqueur
Hot coffee, we used our Mexican Altura
Vanilla ice cream or whipped cream


Add the Kahlua to your mug and top with hot coffee, leaving room at the top for the tequila and ice cream. Add the tequila to a heat-proof pitcher or sauce boat, and light. Carefully pour the flaming tequila into your glass and top with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Warm Up With A Cup Of Glogg

Friday, January 15th, 2016 by


Our first snow here in New Jersey may have been a light dusting that melted quickly, but we’re taking the opportunity to celebrate winter with this warm, spicy, and boozy Scandinavian drink. Glogg literally means “to glow,” which is exactly what you can expect from your face after a cup or two. It packs a punch. Unlike German mulled wine, vodka and port are added after wine is simmered with spices to ensure no loss of alcoholic potency. Flavored with orange peel, ginger, cardamom, and cinnamon, the aroma is a wonderful greeting after shoveling or brushing off a flake or two as the case may be.


  • 1/2 cup vodka
  • 1 bottle inexpensive red wine, dry
  • 1/2 cup port
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 10 cardamom pods
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 6 cloves, whole
  • 2 star anise (optional)
  • 1/2 orange (zest only)
  • 2 generous slices fresh ginger
  • For serving: 1 cup sliced almonds and 1 cup raisins


Add the orange peel, spices, ginger, and wine to a large saucepan. Heat on low to just below a simmer. Stir in the sugar and cover. Leave the mixture on low heat for 30 minutes, then add the port and vodka and heat until warm. Strain into a heat safe bowl or pitcher. Glogg is traditionally ladled over nuts and raisins (which you can soak in vodka while the wine simmers) in a small cup. You can skip this if you prefer not to eat things at the bottom of your glass. You can easily prepare the wine ahead of time, reheating gently before adding the vodka and port to serve.

A word about the ingredients: there are many variations on this recipe, and it may take some experimentation to create the sweetness and spice level you prefer. The port and sugar make for a sweet drink, so stick with a less sweet wine and adjust the sugar level to your preference. Star anise tends to dominate flavor wise, and may be added at the end (rather than simmered) as a garnish only for a more subtle flavor.

For a nonalcoholic version, check out this recipe for cranberry glogg.

Kona Coffee Grog Recipe

Monday, October 5th, 2015 by

Hurricane Joaquin came and went through New Jersey last week without drama, but we braced ourselves for the worst with this spectacular cocktail. A classic tiki recipe traditionally made with Hawaiian Kona coffee, this drink is served flaming. Perfect for your next power outage! We made this with our Hawaiian Kona Blend, which we created to approximate the real thing at a fraction of Kona’s high price.


Ingredients per serving

3 teaspoons coconut cream
Orange peel
Lemon peel
2 whole cloves
¼ oz Grand Marnier
¾ oz 151 proof rum
Hot black Hawaiian Kona Blend coffee

Add the rum, Grand Marnier, cloves, and a twist each of orange and lemon peel to a heat proof container, preferably metal. Our first attempt with Pyrex was exciting, but now we’re down a measuring cup. Place the coconut cream in a mug, add hot coffee and stir.  If you’re not in the dark already, turn the lights out and hold a lit match or lighter over the alcohol mixture until it catches. Swirl the mixture for a few seconds to let the rum infuse with the citrus and cloves, then pour slowly into the coffee. Experiment with your pour to create a nice show!

Recipe adapted from tikiloungetalk.com.

Thousand-Flavor Syrup Recipe

Friday, July 31st, 2015 by

Thousand Flavor

Hibiscus is a beautiful thing, but a little hard to drink straight up as a tea. Steep the dried flowers and the you get a purply-red infusion that is almost painfully tart. On the lookout for new ways to tame the flavor, we were excited to discover this recipe from Bon Appetit for a sweet, spicy, hibiscus-rose syrup. Try it in cocktails (thousand-flavor gin and tonic anyone?) and over fruit or ice cream.

What you’ll need

1/4 cup sugar

2 cups water

Seeds from 1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise

1 vanilla pod

3 wide strips lemon zest

3 lightly crushed green cardamom pods

1 star anise pod

5 juniper berries

1/4 cup dried rose petals

2 tablespoons dried hibiscus

1 teaspoon pink peppercorns

1 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns

For the full instructions, check out the recipe for Fruit Salad with Thousand-Flavor Syrup.


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