The 8 Best Margaritas for Cinco de Mayo

Check out this list of spicy, sweet, and intriguing Margarita recipes (by www.liquor.com), just in time for your Cinco De Mayo party!

MargFinal

1. Margarita

  • .75 oz Fresh lime juice
  • 1 oz  Cointreau or triple sec
  • 1.5 oz Blanco tequila

Garnish: Lime wheel  Glass: Cocktail or rocks

Link: http://liquor.com/recipes/margarita/

2.  Guadalajara Silver

  • Sugar
  • Ground cinnamon
  • 1.5 oz Don Roberto Tequila Plata
  • .25 oz Agave nectar
  • .75 oz Fresh lime juice
  • .5 oz Fresh pink grapefruit juice
  • .75 oz Ginger liqueur
  • .5 oz Fresh Granny Smith apple juice

Garnish: Granny Smith apple slices  Glass: Rocks

Link: http://liquor.com/recipes/guadalajara-silver/

3.  St-Rita

  • Salt (optional)
  • 1.5 oz Tequila
  • 1.5 oz St-Germain
  • Juice of 1 lime

Garnish: Lime wedge  Glass: Rocks or Collins

Link: http://liquor.com/recipes/st-rita/

4. Tequila Daisy

Glass: Cocktail

Link: http://liquor.com/recipes/tequila-daisy/

5. Strawberry Basic Margarita

  • 3 or 4 Medium strawberries
  • 3 Basil leaves
  • .75 oz Lime juice
  • .75 oz Simple syrup (one part sugar, one part water)
  • 1.5 oz Jose Cuervo Tradicional Tequila
  • .5 oz Cointreau
  • .25 oz Maraschino liqueur

Garnish: Lime wheel and basil leaf   Glass: Margarita

Link: http://liquor.com/recipes/strawberry-basil-margarita/

6. Breakfast Margarita

  • 1.75 oz Partida Blanco Tequila
  • .75 oz Fresh lime juice
  • .75 oz Cointreau
  • 2 tsp Orange marmalade
  • .25 oz Agave syrup (one part Partida Agave Nectar, one part water)

Garnish: Orange slice Glass: Rocks

Link: http://liquor.com/recipes/breakfast-margarita/

7. Spicy Grand Margarita

  • Salt
  • .5 oz Simple syrup or agave nectar
  • .25 tsp Red pepper flakes
  • 1 small pinch Chipotle chile powder
  • 1.75 oz Reposado tequila
  • .5 oz Grand Marnier
  • .75 oz Fresh lime juice

Garnish: Jalapeño or red chile pepper  Glass: Rocks

Link: http://liquor.com/recipes/spicy-grand-margarita/

8. Fresh Watermelon Margarita

  • 1 Watermelon slice
  • .25 oz Agave syrup (1 part agave nectar, 1 part water)
  • 1.5 oz Don Julio Blanco Tequila
  • .5 oz Fresh lime juice

Garnish: Watermelon slice  Glass: Martini

Link: http://liquor.com/recipes/fresh-watermelon-margarita/

Whiskey Tea by Krystle Turkington

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It has been unseasonably cold this April.  Temperatures all around the United States have been rivaling all-time lows.  For instance, this April in Dallas, Texas the low 40˚F spring air might break the record lows of 1995 (dfw.cbslocal.com).  So, to help get through this chilly spring I’m posting a warm alcoholic beverage to sip on!

Whiskey

Whiskey Tea

1 ½ oz Jameson whiskey

½ oz honey

1 slice lime, lemon, and orange

1 black tea bag

1 cinnamon stick

Hot water

Steep the black tea according to the instructions.  Make sure you do not squeeze the bag when you remove it.  This releases lots of tannins from the leaves and will make your drink bitter.  Squeeze each citrus into the tea and drop the slices in.  Stir with the cinnamon stick and steep the citrus for about 3 minutes.  Remove the slices and if the water is not hot enough just reheat in the microwave for less than a minute.  Add honey and whiskey.  Stir and serve with the cinnamon stick.

Not only is this drink delicious, but this is also my family’s secret remedy to a sore throat and the common cold. So, if it isn’t cold in your home town safe this recipe for the next time you are feeling under the weather.

By Krystle Turkington

Six Strategies to Score Bargains in Hawaii

English: View of Kailua

English: View of Kailua (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

USA TODAY April 5, 2012

Hawaii: Get your lei without laying down a fortune

While Hawaii tourism may have taken it in the board shorts during the Great Recession, these days, the Aloha State is riding a new wave of popularity.

Nearly 8 million travelers arrived here last year, shattering the previous high-water mark set in 2006, and prices for everything from convertible rentals to luaus are rising in their wake.

According to industry tracker STR, the average cost of a Hawaii hotel room jumped to $233.30 a night in February — the highest rate in the country, up 13.1% from a year ago. Even at those prices, 85.6% of hotel rooms were occupied — a full 10 percentage points higher than rival Florida.

But you can still score bargains on a vacation in paradise if you plan carefully. Six strategies:

1. Don’t book your trip over the Christmas holidays or midsummer.

After a brief spate of price-cutting on new Mainland routes, “Hawaii airfares are generally on the rise, and seasonal variations are extreme,” notes BeatofHawaii.com‘s Jeff Tucker. “Best pricing and availability is based on pukas (holes), when airlines have small numbers of discounted seats,” particularly on weekdays during the spring and fall. But “even if you can only travel in summer, you can significantly reduce all of your Hawaii vacation costs simply by delaying until mid- to late August,” Tucker says. Case in point: Through June 6, fares from the West Coast to Honolulu start at about $230 round-trip ($420 from the East Coast), but zoom up to around $700 and $900, respectively, for peak summer travel (June 7-Aug. 11).

3. Avoid a herd mentality.

Each island has popular resort areas where affordable accommodations are challenging to find, but you don’t have to stray too far to find cheaper lodging prices. “On Kauai, look for accommodations in the Lihue and Kapaa areas, where you can easily save $100 or more per night compared to the more popular Poipu or Princeville resorts,” Beal says. On Maui, you can can save hundreds a night by picking a condo in centrally located Kihei vs. more upscale Kaanapali Beach.

6. Tap into happy hour specials.
“If you want a beer at 4 p.m. and you’re staying in Kailua, there’s an app for that,” Toth says. HappyHourHawaii.com, a searchable website and free GPS-based mobile app expanding to Mainland locales next month, lists happy hour menus and discounts for more than 200 restaurants and bars across the state.

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Full Article: http://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/destinations/2013/04/05/get-your-lei-without- laying-down-a-fortune/2055357/

Administrative Professionals Day

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From my personal experience, holidays always call for friends and family to come together and celebrate the occasion with food and drinks.  So why should a smaller holiday like Administrative Day, this Wednesday April 24, 2013, be any different?  What type of food and drinks would we make to celebrate this holiday dedicated to skilled office professionals you ask?  Just like this special day, once known as Secretaries Day, why not remake a classic?

Lavender Collins

lavender

What I have done here is taken the classic Tom Collins and revamped it with lavender infused simple syrup and a refreshing botanical gin.

1 ½ oz Uncle Val’s gin

¾ oz lavender simple syrup*

Juice of 1 lemon

Club Soda

*To make lavender simple syrup bring equal parts granulated white sugar and water to a boil.  Drop in lavender and remove from heat.  Let the herb steep in the syrup until cooled, then remove and store your new lavender simple syrup in the fridge.

Take a shaker with ice add gin and simple syrup, then squeeze both halves of the lemon inside.  Drop both halves inside the shaker as well so the essential oils in the rind can add some extra flavor.  Shake vigorously and strain over fresh ice in a highball glass.  Top with club soda and serve with a lavender garnish.

As for food, how about having a two martini lunch?  To avoid that afternoon slump, I included one spicy martini to give you a natural adrenaline kick, and one caffeinated martini for that needed boost.

martinilunch

Hot n’ Dirty Martini

2 oz Stoli Hot vodka

½ oz olive brine

Salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and paprika for rim

Pepperoncini and olive

Mix spices and rim half of a chilled martini glass.  Shake vodka and olive brine with ice and strain into prepared martini glass. Put pepperoncini and olive on a skewer and use for garnish.

Espresso Martini

1 oz Patron X.O.

½ oz Kaluha Midnight

½ oz amaretto

~ 5 roasted almonds

Touch of milk

Take all the ingredients and shake with ice.  Strain into a martini glass and enjoy. Keep in mind if you don’t like milk in your coffee you can always skip it.

By Krystle Turkington

Happy Hour 101: Healthy Wine Pours

Happy Hour 101: Posts geared toward diners thoughts on things the restaurant industry could improve upon or to give props on what they love!

Today’s Topic: Healthy Wine Pours

Who doesn’t love a healthy glass of wine! I know I do! When dining at a restaurant, I have noticed that some locations use a cocktail carafe to measure wine before they pour it into my wine glass. I know that restaurants may believe that this is a fancy way of doing things, but some diners may take it as being cheap.

What do you think? Do you think using a carafe is a classy or cheap way to present your wine?

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Hawaiian Rainbow Happening Now!

Rainbow over Hawaii’s state capital and palace!  #hawaii @happyhourpalhi http://t.co/n53AnAkhgK Photo: Instagram by @HappyHourPal

ʻIolani Palace, in the capitol district of downtown Honolulu in the U.S. state of Hawaiʻi, is the only royal palace in theUnited States used as an official residence by a reigning monarch and is a National Historic Landmark listed on theNational Register of Historic Places. Two monarchs governed from ʻIolani Palace: King Kalākaua and Queen Liliʻuokalani. After the monarchy was overthrown in 1893, the building was used as the capitol building for theProvisional GovernmentRepublicTerritory, and State of Hawaiʻi until 1969. The palace was restored and opened to the public as a museum in 1978. -wikipedia

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Hawaii: In Real Life ~ Happy Hour Pal

A Hawaii-based app for finding happy hours is going national, and we met one of the founders

By Melissa Chang on April 17, 2013
MELISSA

– See more at: http://www.nonstophonolulu.com/blogs/urbanmixplate/hawaii-in-real-life-happy-hour-pal/#sthash.vw46ET5V.dpuf

Many of you — about 1800, to be exact — already follow Happy Hour Hawaii (formerly known as @HappyHourHawaii) on Twitter and Facebook and enjoy the updates on where the best happy hours in town are. The people behind the account, Carey and Brandon Bennett, also created a website and free phone app to help you easily find happy hours around you when you’re on the go (or wandering aimlessly, as I might do).

Well, get ready, America. The Hawaii-based app, which has already been downloaded 30,000 times since its launch last year, is about to go national. The Bennetts have started transitioning everything called “Happy Hour Hawaii” to be “Happy Hour Pal,” a more general name she can use in other markets. By May, the website, social media channels, and app will be completely changed over, and they will have a presence in Portland, OR, as well as Long Island, NY to start, as they begin their journey to expand in markets across the country.

If you haven’t downloaded the free app yet, why not? It is a quick way for you to find happy hours, business information, the restaurant menus, maps, GPS-based directions, check-in rewards and more, plus you can share the information with friends. You can search using almost any parameter (i.e. cheeseburger, near 96814, at 4 p.m. on Thursday) to make it even easier. The app is available for iPhones, iPads, and Androids, so you have no excuse (unless you have a Blackberry, in which case you’d have to just use the website). And did I mention it’s free?

So how does this app make money if it’s free to consumers? Participating restaurants pay a flat, monthly membership fee, simple as that. It’s not just a fee to be posted on the site; the Bennetts help promote the happy hours through their social media channels and generate reports to measure results, demographics, and more.

Cat Toth and I sat with Carey recently to find out more about the app before it hits the big time. Check it out!

– See more at: http://www.nonstophonolulu.com/blogs/urbanmixplate/hawaii-in-real-life-happy-hour-pal/#sthash.vw46ET5V.dpuf

http://www.nonstophonolulu.com/blogs/urbanmixplate/hawaii-in-real-life-happy-hour-pal/

http://www.hawaiiirl.com/2013/04/happy-hour-pal-talks-story-with-catherine-toth-and-melissa-chang-happyhourpal-thedailydish-melissa808/