Brent’s Best Margaritas

Brent’s Best Margaritas

Quality tequila matters according to my brother-in-law Brent, and so does zesting the limes over the pot to catch all the oils. This is the kind of margarita making details that make all the difference. He should know as he’s been mixing up margaritas for us, the family and friends for years. It’s something we all look forward to every summer.

We all sit patiently under an umbrellaed table, just sheltered enough from the blazing mid-afternoon sun and can hear him juicing and mixing away through the screened patio door. We wait as patiently as we can and are awarded a puckering, yet refreshing blast of lime margarita. They’re fantastic, and as you will see in the recipe, they can be served up 3 different ways. Brent was gracious enough to part with his recipe and I’ve kept it very close to his original because it’s hard to mess with a drink that’s already so darn good.

As luck would have it, my husband was in Arizona this spring and was able to buy me a bottle of Patron at a very good price, so I was able to keep to true to quality ingredients. It comes through in the taste, as does the fresh lime juice and zest. So cheers to my brother-in-law Brent for his wonderful recipe, his gracious nature to mix and pour for us and the smiles this fantastic margarita brings to all our faces.

Other great summer beverages!

Zesty Michelada

Apple Lime Slush

Raspberry Vodka Lemonade

Brent's Best Margaritas
Print Recipe
    Servings
    6- 61/2 ounce servings
    Servings
    6- 61/2 ounce servings
    Brent's Best Margaritas
    Print Recipe
      Servings
      6- 61/2 ounce servings
      Servings
      6- 61/2 ounce servings
      Ingredients
      Servings: 61/2 ounce servings
      Instructions
      1. Bring water, sugar and lime zest to a full boil, stirring occasionally to dissolve sugar. Allow mixture to boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and cool completely. Can be made up to 2 days in advance and kept chilled.
      2. Strain chilled syrup into a medium size pitcher and stir in lime juice, lemon juice, tequila and triple sec.
      3. Combine fine sea salt and a small amount of lime zest in a shallow dish that is wide enough to fit the rim of your serving glass. Wet the edge of the glass rim with a lime wedge and dip in salt.
      4. Serving option #1 Fill a cocktail shaker half full with ice. Add 6 1/2 ounces of margarita mix and shake for 30 seconds. Pour into prepared glass and serve immediately.
      5. Serving option #2 Fill a prepared serving glass 1/4 full with ice and top with 6 1/2 ounces of margarita mix. Serve immediately.
      6. Serving option #3 Freeze margarita mix in a sealable shallow container until firm. Scoop out into a prepared serving glass and serve immediately.
      Recipe Notes

      The frozen version of this recipe is undiluted with ice from shaking and/or serving and therefore slightly stronger in taste.  As the slush melts it chills the glass and softens to slurpable goodness.  My favourite!

      Affiliate Disclosure

      I may receive compensation for purchases made through this site, at no cost to the purchaser. Compelled to Cook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com
      Earl Grey Punch

      Earl Grey Punch

       

      Whether it’s for Mother’s Day, Easter, or wedding shower, Earl Grey Punch is a lovely sipper! But don’t be fooled by the name, this punch packs a punch with its white rum and apricot brandy. Only slightly subdued by a generous dose of citrus juice from limes, oranges and lemons, it’s not for your grandma’s punch bowl with the glasses hanging off the side. It’s fresh and bright with a small undertone of earthiness from the tea, making it the perfect afternoon cocktail.

       

      Two glasses filled with Earl Grey Punch rest on a white tray draped with a light blue cloth, orange ribbon and fresh mint.
      Earl Grey Punch
      Print Recipe
        Servings
        4 - 6 ounce cocktails
        Servings
        4 - 6 ounce cocktails
        Two glasses filled with Earl Grey Punch rest on a white tray draped with a light blue cloth, orange ribbon and fresh mint.
        Earl Grey Punch
        Print Recipe
          Servings
          4 - 6 ounce cocktails
          Servings
          4 - 6 ounce cocktails
          Ingredients
          Servings: 6 ounce cocktails
          Instructions
          1. In a small bowl combine white rum and loose earl grey tea. Allow mixture to sit for 1-2 hours.
          2. Strain rum and add to a small pitcher. Add remaining ingredients except for ice and mint, stir to combine.
          3. Pour over ice and garnish with fresh mint leaves if desired.

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          Affiliate Disclosure

          I may receive compensation for purchases made through this site, at no cost to the purchaser. Compelled to Cook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com
          Almond Milk Chai Latte

          Almond Milk Chai Latte

          Does your heart or head rule winter?

          For those of you being in the upper northern hemisphere like myself know all too well about bitter cold winds, endless shovelling and icy roads.  This same blistery cold also brings beautiful hoar frost, sparkling snow, ice skating and snowmen.  I guess it’s all about perspective!

          Let your heart rule!

          Warm and comforting, Almond Milk Chai Latte appeals to the heart with its frothy top, myriad of warming spices and fragrant aroma.  It’s a simple way to forget the shortness of the days, snow removal and frostbite.

          It’s easier than you think…

          Chai is black tea infused with spices like cardamom, cinnamon, pepper, clove and ginger.  Some include star anise or fennel seeds, nutmeg and allspice. Each having their own unique flare.  I like mine with a little less clove but with a hint of sweetness.  The wonderful thing about making your own chai concentrate is you can make just how you like it. 

          Making your own chai mix is quick and easy.  It’s a matter of simply simmering desired spices and steeping them with black tea.  The concentrate can be made ahead and stored in the fridge for up to a week.  The concentrate merely needs to be warmed and mixed with your favourite milk or milk alternative for a warming cup anytime the mood strikes. Getting that perfect frothy top is easy too with the help an Amazon Milk Frother Enjoy! 

          Be sure to try the warming and boozy Blueberry Tea if you’re looking for something a little stronger to warm you up.

          Almond Milk Chai Latte
          Print Recipe
            Servings Prep Time
            4 8 oz servings 15 minutes
            Cook Time
            20 minutes
            Servings Prep Time
            4 8 oz servings 15 minutes
            Cook Time
            20 minutes
            Almond Milk Chai Latte
            Print Recipe
              Servings Prep Time
              4 8 oz servings 15 minutes
              Cook Time
              20 minutes
              Servings Prep Time
              4 8 oz servings 15 minutes
              Cook Time
              20 minutes
              Ingredients
              Servings: 8 oz servings
              Instructions
              1. Crush cardamom using the bottom of a small pot or metal measuring cup. Remove seeds and discard shells. Continue to crush cardamom seeds along with peppercorns, cloves, star anise, cinnamon stick and nutmeg until well broken down. It will take 10-12 good crushes to break down the whole spices. Bring 2 cups of water to a simmer in a small pot (preferably with a pouring spout) Add crushed spices along with ground ginger. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
              2. Remove from heat and stir in loose black tea. Cover and steep for 10 minutes. Stir in brown sugar and strain through a fine-mesh sieve. Will yield approximately 2 cups of chai mix.
              3. Warm and froth almond milk. Pour 1/2 cup hot chai concentrate into a mug and top with 1/2 cup of almond milk and a spoonful or two of froth. Sprinkle with ground cinnamon if desired and serve immediately.
              Recipe Notes

              -2% milk can be used if desired.

              -you can grind the whole spices using an electric spice grinder as well, however, crushing by hand works just fine.

              -almond milk or milk can be frothed using an emersion blender, by shaking, commercial frother, espresso machine frother or a mini hand-held electric whisk. You can find these items in My Amazon Store under "The Extras"

              -the chai concentrate will keep in a sealed container for up to a week in the fridge.

              Affiliate Disclosure

              I may receive compensation for purchases made through this site, at no cost to the purchaser. Compelled to Cook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com
              Apricot Brandy Sparkler

              Apricot Brandy Sparkler

              Cheers to a new year with Apricot Brandy Sparkler!

              Apricot Brandy Sparkler is my way of saying goodbye to 2018 and cheers to the new year ahead. Can you believe another year is already over?  Where has the time gone?  It is the sentiment I have often felt, but with the approaching new year, I have a sense of accomplishment and a strong purpose moving forward.  While 2018 was still a year of routine, plucking forward just trying to keep up with work, household and blogging, it was also a year that a few things got done.

              One of my greatest joys this year was the construction of our new deck/outdoor space, and for many, it would not be a big deal.  For me however, it was a project that was put off for a variety of reasons for many, many years.  It was also designed and built by my husband, who did an amazing job. It ’s a beautiful space, complete with furniture and gas fireplace.  I love it and couldn’t be happier to share it with family and friends or simply sit quietly spending quality time with my husband.  

              The Year Ahead…

              The past year was also a year of learning and working hard to create our first video for Mark Bouliane/Overland Explorer, which follows my husband and me on our over-landing adventures.  Creating and editing video is definitely a skill and has its own set of challenges. We are both excited to improve this skill and have fun being creative.  We hope it’s the first of many videos for both of us, which leads me to another goal for 2019.  Video production for Compelled to Cook is set for my 2019 to do list, as is monetizing my food blogging efforts.  Both are substantial goals for myself but definitely in the realm of possibility.  The learning, progress and firsts are what excites me for 2019.  So, even though 2018 must go, the new year looks amazing and I’m ready to get started.  How about you?

              Author: Compelled to Cook, from “Cooks Workshop” Cocktails & Party Drinks 1984

              Apricot Brandy Sparkler
              Print Recipe
                Servings Prep Time
                1 cocktail 10 minutes
                Servings Prep Time
                1 cocktail 10 minutes
                Apricot Brandy Sparkler
                Print Recipe
                  Servings Prep Time
                  1 cocktail 10 minutes
                  Servings Prep Time
                  1 cocktail 10 minutes
                  Ingredients
                  Servings: cocktail
                  Instructions
                  1. Combine vodka, apricot brandy, lemon juice, and Grenadine in a cocktail shaker. Fill half full with ice. Shake until cold, about 30 seconds. Pour into a champagne glass and top with champagne. Serve immediately.

                  Holiday Punch

                  Holiday Punch

                  This refreshing all-purpose beverage gets named Holiday Punch for this time of year, but truthfully, it’s wonderful anytime you have a gathering. It takes no time at all to mix together and has a festive flair with the addition of cranberries. 

                  It’s a game changer really! Why? Because it’s also very, very good with vodka or white rum.  So those who want to live it up a little can, while non-drinkers, designated drivers and kids also have something great to drink.  

                  It will allow you to free up some of your valuable time not having to fuss with cocktails and making sure everyone has a drink poured.  I find that if you serve this Holiday Punch and put out bottles of wine, most everyone is happy and can serve themselves. Not to mention it’s rather yummy to sip on with or without alcohol.  Cheers!

                  Author:  Compelled to Cook

                  Holiday Punch
                  Print Recipe
                    Servings Prep Time
                    6 litres 15 minutes
                    Servings Prep Time
                    6 litres 15 minutes
                    Holiday Punch
                    Print Recipe
                      Servings Prep Time
                      6 litres 15 minutes
                      Servings Prep Time
                      6 litres 15 minutes
                      Ingredients
                      Servings: litres
                      Instructions
                      1. Trim ends from oranges, limes and lemons. Cut into 1/8' slices.
                      2. Add cranberry juice, pineapple juice and ginger ale to a large punch bowl or beverage dispenser with a spigot. Stir to combine and top with fruit. Serve immediately.
                      Recipe Notes

                      -If liquid ingredients are not chilled prior to mixing, serve over a small amount of ice if desired.