All posts filed under “Drinks & Cocktails

Charred Lime Mojito_Katherine Sacks
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Charred Lime Mojito

Say what you want about social media, I love using platforms like Instagram and Pinterest for the wealth of inspiration they collect. I’m constantly finding new recipes, ingredient ideas, or restaurants to try out. Just this week I’ve been inspired by my Berlin friends making homemade lilac and elderflower syrups, tempted to try a new restaurant in New York City by a food magazine editor, and introduced to snake fruit by a blogger traveling through Bali. And I looked through tons more lovely photos, inspiring and temping me into the kitchen.

Last week when I noticed a few ladies charring their limes, I thought the combination of earthy and tangy flavors would be great for a cocktail. When grilling season gets going, these are super easy to prepare—just score halved limes on the grill until nice charred marks appear. You can also achieve the same look and taste in the oven; set the halved limes on a sheet tray and cook under a hot broiler until well charred. Add mint, rum, and something sweet, and you’ve got a great take on the mojito. TH and I aren’t eating sugar this month, so I’ve swapped in coconut water for the classic sugar syrup in my recipe. I like the faint coconut flavor it brings to the drink, but if you aren’t a fan of coconut, use simple syrup to taste. I’m also excited to try out the charred limes in marinades, dressings, and for garnishing tacos and tortilla soup.

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Healthier Hot Chocolate_Katherine Sacks
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Healthier Hot Chocolate

You might have noticed by now that I have a massive sweet tooth. I’m the kind of gal who can easily eat her way through a piece of shiny glazed chocolate ganache cake, and then say “Yes please!” to a plate full of beautiful macaron. And although I fully embrace my sweet tooth, I am aware that in order to stay healthy, and avoid lots of cavities, my sugar intake must be curbed to some extent. In January, I tried to help kick my sugar habit by giving it up for a month, as a fresh start to the year and a lesson in moderation. While I know I will never be someone who gives up sugar entirely, my sweet tooth has learned some temperance. But a treat once in awhile is more than okay. And with Valentine’s Day just around the corner, a sweet treat made to share is certainly in order.

This hot chocolate is my new favorite thing, because not only does it satiate all my sweet cravings, it’s actually good for you. I picked up some maca powder last year, planning on making Sarah’s nutbutter cups, but the project went forgotten in my cupboard. I finally thought about it again this month, wanting something sweet, but a bit healthier. Sarah explains all the wonderfulness of maca —stress reliving! nutritional powerhouse!—as well as the raw cacao and spices over on her recipe, so head there for an in-depth look at why this is no ordinary hot chocolate. I’ve also added some hemp protein powder for a nice boost of protein, essential fatty acids, fiber, and vitamins. Adjust the mixture of milk and water for a creamier drink, and add more or less spices depending on your taste. Enjoy and Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Strawberry Hugo

Strawberry Mint Hugo Cocktail

I took a very early morning train a few weeks ago to Rüdnitz, a small town an hour outside of Berlin, to spend the day working on our CSA farm. The farm belongs to Roberto and Sanna, two amazingly generous people who are dedicating their energy towards creating a sustainable, biodynamic farm that supports a wide network of community members in Berlin.

Unfortunately, I didn’t check the weather report, and chose a very rainy day to visit. We spent the morning hours in the strawberry fields, picking row after row of tiny red juicy strawberries. As the rain came down all around me, I thought about the situation. It was a little cold and I was soaked through, but this was one day in my life, and I was picking the strawberries for myself and the other members of the CSA community. Tasting the juicy strawberries, fresh from the fields, was an incredible experience, and as one of the helpers put it, the strawberries I would receive in the CSA pick-up the next day would be so much sweeter knowing what hard work went into collecting them.

Our friend Charlotte was in town last month from Hamburg, and she asked if we had tried the German summer cocktail Hugo yet. At that point, I hadn’t heard of the drink, but made a point to try one immediately. A combination of sparkling wine, soda water, peppermint, lime, and elderflower syrup,  it’s a refreshingly bright way to enjoy the summer. After the long day at the farm, a nice cool cocktail was definitely in order. For this version, I replaced the elderflower syrup for a quick strawberry one, and added a handful of the fresh mint we’ve been growing on the windowsill. Floral and sweet, it was so nice to sip the fruits of my hard work. This German cocktail is definitely becoming our drink of choice for the summer.

Freshly Picked Strawberries

Strawberry Hugo
Servings: 2 drinks
8-10 very ripe strawberries, tops removed
¼ cup simple syrup 

4 pieces mint, chopped plus additional for garnish
Prosecco or sparkling wine
Sparkling water

Combine strawberries, syrup, and a few pieces of mint in a cocktail shaker and use a masher or fork to throughly mash. Shake vigorously, then strain into two glasses. Fill the glasses three-quarters of the way full with sparkling wine and top off with the sparkling water. Garnish with mint and enjoy!