thirsty thursday: iced drunken spice latte feat. bizzy
this week, thirsty thursday is getting a bit of a boost because it’s also national coffee day. [see what i did there?!] booze meets coffee… 2 of my favorite things being celebrated in one super holiday?! talk about a great day!
a few months ago, i partnered up with bizzy to bring you an easy fix for all of your cold brew cravings, and i’m super excited that we’ve joined forces again to bring you a boozy iced coffee recipe… and a giveaway! [more details on this later!]
’tis the season for all things pumpkin spice, but since it’s been in the 90’s this past week in l.a., i’m not quite ready to make the switch to hot coffee.
enter: bizzy! this iced drunken spice latte is the perfect way to balance out the fall season with the summer temperatures.
- 1 shot of bizzy cold brew concentrate
- 1 shot of kahlúa pumpkin spice
- 1 shot of half + half
- 2 tbsp. of canned coconut milk
- optional garnish: whipped cream + nutmeg
- in a cocktail shaker, combine the bizzy, kahlúa, half + half, and coconut milk.
- shake until well mixed.
- pour over ice, top with a garnish of whipped cream and nutmeg [and a festive paper straw] if you’re into that kinda thing.
- sit back, relax, sip, and enjoy!
interested in giving this whole cold-brew-at-home thing a try?! you’re in luck, because the team over at bizzy will be giving one lucky winner a free bottle of bizzy [that’s 6 cold brews!] along with a few little extra goodies from me!
to enter, head over to my instagram [@bananasandbellinis] for all of the details, and be sure to share this with all of your cold brew obsessed friends… the winner will be announced next thursday, october 6th!
thirsty thursday: coconut mango spritzers
we’re juuussstttttttt about in the swing of a 3-day weekend [and the official kick off of summer… yay!], and because i’m sure many of you will be hosting parties, making homemade brunches or enjoying breakfasts in bed, a morning cocktail seemed most fitting for this week’s thirsty thursday post. and these coconut mango spritzers will be the perfect addition to your holiday weekend mornings [or any weekend morning, as far as i’m concerned]! best of all? you only need 3 ingredients… it truly could not be easier!
for each of the coconut mango spritzers you will need:
- 1 part champagne [i did use prosecco because it was what i had on hand… still good!]
- 1 part peach + mango coconut water [i used vita coco]
- 1 part mango la croix
- unsweetened coconut flakes [optional]
you’ll want to create this drink in traditional champagne flutes, so that it will be super easy to measure out. first, fill each flute about 1/3 of the way with champagne, add the la croix until the glass is 2/3 full, and then top with the coconut water. that’s it!
the la croix gives this baby a little extra fizz [it is a spritzer after all] and the vita coco adds a little additional flavor… if you’re feelin’ it, you can even sprinkle a few unsweetened coconut flakes on the top as a fun garnish.
cheers… and happy memorial day!
p.s. these tips for staying balanced during holiday weekends help me make it through all of the celebrating year after year… they’re tried and true, and if you put them into practice, you won’t be sorry!
thirtsy thursday: spicy cucumber margaritas
yes, i’m well aware that it’s not quite thursday yet, but since tomorrow is cinco de mayo, i wanted to make sure this post was up a day early, just in time for all of your balanced celebrations!
one thing you should know about me is that i effing love margaritas. for whatever reason, they have always been my favorite cocktail… maybe it’s because i associate them with the summertime, and sitting on the beach, soaking up the sun… but anyways, it was inevitable that i’d be experimenting with making my own, and what better a day to share the recipe with you than cinco de drinko?! [and there will be more where this came from, i can promise you that!]
this spicy cucumber margarita is pretty much the perfect balanced cocktail. the tequila will get you feelin’ a little loose while the cucumber will help keep you hydrated [and gives the drink a really light and crisp flavor] and finally, the jalapeño will not only add a little kick, but help boost your metabolism, too.
for 2 spicy cucumber margaritas you will need:
- 1 cucumber, thinly sliced
- 1 small jalapeño, seeds removed + thinly sliced [more or less to taste]
- juice squeezed from 4 limes
- 1/2 cup tequila blanco
- 2 tsp. raw honey [more or less to taste]
- coarse kosher salt, sweet chili powder + cane sugar for rim
- a few cucumber + jalapeño slices set aside for garnish
- place the cucumber and jalapeño slices, lime juice, tequila and honey in a blender. blend until smooth.
- on a small plate, combine a little salt, chili powder and cane sugar [about a tsp. of each should be good]. wet the rim with a leftover piece of lime, and then dip into salt, chili powder, sugar mixture.
- place several ice cubes in each serving glass along with one cucumber and one jalapeño slice.
- pour blended mixture over the ice, garnish glass with cucumber and jalapeño, top off with a fun paper straw [or a paper umbrella] and enjoy!
happy cinco de mayo! [and as always, no drinking + driving!]
thirsty thursday: mint + honey spiked moonshine tea
finally the day has come for the first installment of the thirsty thursday series! guys, i’m seriously so excited about this. why, you ask?
well, first and foremost, i’ve been noodling on the idea of incorporating more cocktail recipes into the mix [see what i did there?] here at bananas + bellinis for a while now… after all, there is an alcoholic beverage mentioned in both the blog name and tagline, so it just seemed appropriate.
second, i think this is going to be a great way for me to begin building out my niche a little better. while health, wellness, and creating a balanced lifestyle have always been my passions and the focus of this blog, i think zeroing in on a few more specialized topics will really help me set myself apart from the other healthy lifestyle bloggers out there.
and finally… just because who the hell doesn’t enjoy a cocktail from time to time? even better if the cocktail contains natural ingredients instead of all that artificial sh*t… amiright?!
now, i knowwwww that iced tea is technically a summer drink, but i snagged a sample of a sweet iced tea at expo west a few weeks ago and had to experiment with it [and it’s basically always summer in l.a., duh]. what did i come up with? this mint + honey spiked moonshine tea. read on.
ingredients for 2 servings:
- 2 shots of vodka [1 oz. each]
- 16 oz. moonshine mint + honey sweet tea
- 2 tsp. raw honey
- 1 lemon, sliced
- a few sprigs of fresh mint [plus extra for garnish]
- ice cubes
- place several ice cubes, about 4 fresh mint leaves, one lemon slice that’s been cut into quarters, and 1 teaspoon of raw honey in each of your serving glasses [these look especially cute served in mason jars].
- in a cocktail shaker combine the vodka and sweet tea with ice; shake, shake, shake it up! [my mason jar shaker is from sharper image, similar to this one.]
- pour the cocktail mixture into your serving glasses and stir, topping off with a squeeze of lemon juice [to taste].
- garnish with a lemon slice, a sprig of mint and a paper straw.*
[and remember to never drink + drive!]
*best enjoyed outside in the sun, preferably in a hammock, while reading a book and listening to mellow acoustic jams.
vodka lemonade with ginger, basil + chia seeds
happy memorial day weekend, everyone! i don’t usually post on saturdays, but i wanted to make sure i did something a little holiday weekend-themed for you guys since it is memorial day weekend, and what better way to kick it off than with a bananas + bellinis approved cocktail recipe?!
as we all know, based on the name of my blog alone, i love being healthy, but i also love having fun, enjoying life and throwing back a few cocktails every now and then. but, while i am all for going out with your friends and enjoying your poison of choice, what i’m not all for is the sh*t that often comes along with it… drinks mixed with soda, juice from concentrate, high calorie mixers, syrups, you get the idea.
with that being said, i’ve recently become inspired to start experimenting with mixing up my own cocktails using all natural ingredients. i really feel like i’m living the bananas + bellinis mission statement… seriously, being a mixologist might be my true calling.
so, here’s my first creation: a summer-inspired vodka lemonade recipe. i kept the ingredients natural, fresh and healthy. the chia seeds might seem like a weird addition, but trust me, as a superfood, they serve a purpose! the measurements below are what you will need for one drink.
- 1 shot of vodka
- 1/2 c. all-natural ginger ale [i love bruce cost]
- 1/2 c. club soda
- the juice from one large lemon [about 1/4 c.]
- 2-3 basil leaves, shredded into large pieces
- 1 tsp. chia seeds [optional]
- fill your glass about half full with ice cubes.
- add the vodka, ginger ale, club soda and lemon juice; stir well.
- mix in the chia seeds and basil [the chia seeds will float up to the top].
- garnish your glass with a lemon slice and a paper straw, serve immediately.
wine pairing class with synesthesia
today i want to talk about putting the whole “balance” thing that i always talk about into practice. i mean, this blog is called “bananas + bellinis” for a reason. monday funday is definitely a thing, and it’s a thing i like to take part in on occasion. this week, monday funday came in the form of an intro to wine pairings class with synesthesia at bamboo 52 in new york. we weren’t sure what to expect, but had a great time learning all about the different types of wine and how to properly taste them, eating cheese and of course, getting a little tipsy.
there were six of us in the class and there was an abundant amount of wine, cheese, bread and fruit for all of us. amanda, the instructor and owner of synesthesia, was enthusiastic, warm and extremely well-versed in all things wine. she made everything easy to understand, made sure everyone felt included and kept things really fun. i plan on taking all of the things i learned from her and someday hosting amazing dinner parties with perfectly paired food and wine. the main things i took away from the class were:
- don’t be cheap [this can be applied to any aspect of life, but we’re talking wine right now]
- wines from coastal areas will be lighter, fruitier wines
- when you taste wine, swishing it around in your mouth allows it to hit all the areas of your tongue so that you can make sure you are tasting all of the flavors
- sauvignon blanc is the best cooking wine
- cabernet sauvignon can go with any of the cheeses
- pinot noir pairs well with pizza [clearly this was the most important thing for me to know about]
so, if you need something to do on a cold monday night this winter and you want to put the whole balance thing to work, definitely think about taking one of these classes. you’ll have fun, learn about alcohol, and get drunk. you can thank me later.
miracle hangover cure: milk thistle extract
as you probably know, one of the recurring themes here at bananas + bellinis is balance, simply because i believe that in order to live a healthy life, you have to live a happy life and happiness doesn’t come from deprivation, restriction or self-inflicted punishment or criticism. i know from personal experience that depriving yourself, obsessing over your food intake and criticizing yourself for your appearance, weight, financial status, life choices, etc. does not lead to happiness… at all.
one thing that i’m not afraid to share is my love for going out and enjoying myself over a few drinks. cocktails, beer, wine… i like all of it. i believe that in moderation, having a drink or two… or three… is perfectly fine and nothing to feel bad about. now, with that being said, there is one kinda out there, health nut thing that i do to give my liver a little prep and that is incorporating milk thistle extract into my supplement regimen the day of an event I know i’ll be drinking at.
milk thistle extract is something that i was introduced to when i was doing a 30-day mind-body cleanse last january and it has seriously changed my life. milk thistle is a plant and the extract that comes from its leaves is known for its ability to detoxify and protect the liver and its vital functions, so obviously this stuff has a place when it comes to the prevention/cure of hangovers.
you can purchase milk thistle extract in tincture or pill form [i prefer the tincture] and take it during the day when you know you have a happy hour or a birthday party to attend. you can put a dropper full in your water or tea as much as you would like throughout the course of the day [the taste isn’t strong] or directly into your drink while at the event. the morning after a night of drinking, especially if I’m not having an #iwokeuplikethis moment, i’ll also put a dropper full into a glass of ice cold water and before i know it, i’m back to 100%.
of course, this trick is much less effective if you drink a lot, a lot or if you start mixing alcohol [that’s never a good idea and I can’t help you there], but give this a try the next time you go out for a few drinks and I promise you won’t know how you ever lived without it.
images courtesy of the glamorous housewife
eurotrip recap part 1: oktoberfest 2014!
happy friday, guys! i hope you had a great week and have lots to look forward to this weekend. rather than doing another recipe or post about “try this to be healthier!” today, i thought i would close off the week with a recap of the first leg of my recent trip to europe, which was spent in munich, germany at oktoberfest!
oktoberfest was the entire reason this trip even happened. one sunday funday last summer, a group of friends and i somehow ended up on the topic… and a few weeks later we had hotel rooms booked. no other plans, no flights, just a hotel in munich for the first weekend of oktoberfest. hotels and hostels book up fairly early since it’s such a huge event that attracts binge drinkers from all over the world, so having this locked down early is something you need to do if you don’t want to sleep in a public park all weekend [yes, i know people who have done this].
day 1: we arrived in munich on the friday before oktoberfest began, so we had some time to explore the city before the madness started. we grabbed a few beers and walked through the city, eventually over to the oktoberfest grounds to scope everything out and then made our way to the englischer garten, a beautiful park located outside of the city center. the seehaus beirgarten sits on the park’s small lake, which is where we decided to have our first steins, brezn [pretzels!!!] and other traditional german fare.
[enjoying our first steins of the weekend at the seehaus biergarten.]
day 2: saturday, september 20th. the first day of oktoberfest 2014. the day we had all been anticipating for months was finally here! we woke up early, like… 5:00am early… and made our way to the schottenhamel tent, where the mayor of munich taps the honorary oktoberfest kegs every year. obviously, when checking something like oktoberfest off of your bucket list, it’s really necessary to go big or go home. the doors would open at 9:00am and the first steins would be served at 12:00pm, but getting there early was the only way to have a chance at getting a seat inside the tent. unfortunately, arriving at 6:00am was still not enough time to guarantee us a seat. by the time we made it into the tent, all of the tables were taken and we had no choice but to sit outside, still at schottenhamel tables, but away from all of the official keg tapping festivities. so, if you ever plan on going to the first weekend of oktoberfest and want to see the tapping of the kegs, get on line like, four or five hours early.
as always, we made the best of a not-so-ideal situation and as soon as the beer started flowing, it didn’t matter that we were outside… we were in munich at oktoberfest drinking beer by the stein. i mean, how bad could life really be at that point?
[our first official oktoberfest steins at the schottenhamel tent… prost!]
we eventually wandered out of the tent and explored the rest of the festival a little bit. oktoberfest isn’t only about drinking [although this is certainly the primary focus] and there are other things to do, like eat german style food [pretzels, bratwurst, schnitzel, apfelstrudel, etc.], play games and win tacky prizes and ride the carnival rides. it was also fun to see all of the people dressed in trachten [traditional bavarian dress] and to walk around and take in the ridiculousness of seeing drunk people just passed out all over the place… ahhhh, oktoberfest.
[girls dressed in dirndls… next time i will get one of my own!]
[do not be fooled, this ride was not scary…. at all.]
[just a couple of people that i don’t know taking a midday nap in the middle of the street!]
day 3: so, this day…. this day… was really, really something. we got ourselves to the hofbräu tent around 10:30am [sundays at oktoberfest are typically a little quieter than saturdays], waited only 15 minutes before securing a table and got down to business. we quickly made friends with our neighbors [some guys from norway, a few from canada, a very drunk german kid who loved how i met your mother], attempted to learn a german drinking song or two and before i knew it, I had lost track of how many steins i had finished. the rest of the day was all a blur if you know what i mean, but one of the highlights was riding the swing ride towards the end of the day [disclaimer: i do not recommend doing this at the end of the day, but you know, just do you]. here are a few gems from the day.
[hofbräu tent… aka heaven]
[the quality isn’t great, but you can get a feel for the inside of the hofbräu tent.]
[the gang with our new friends from norway!]
[the swing ride… try to get this out of the way before you start drinking.]
[this is what pure happiness looks like, everyone.]
i have to say, this was literally one of the best days of my entire life. there was so much beer, i was with some of my best friends, i got to see an old friend and made some new ones and just thrived off of the happy, care-free atmosphere. oktoberfest, i’m kinda obsessed with you.
needless to say, we have already booked hotel rooms for oktoberfest 2015. yea, it was that fun and i can’t wait to do it again, this time, as an old pro.
has anyone else ever been to oktoberfest? what was your favorite tent? would you go back again or was once enough? share your experiences in the comments section below!
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