Tequila with lemon, cayenne, and honey ice cubes

When driving through the southwest, I lingered in the larger cities for the sole purpose of testing out Mexican restaurants. (This is likely the ninth time I've discussed my passion for Mexican cuisine, and it shan't be the last, folks.) The colorful interiors, the infectious energy, the salsa bars, and the laundry list of tequila drinks, were all things that make my heart thump like a bandurra.

In my opinion, tequila is one of the sexiest liquors. It's a dance beside the campfire, a drive around the red mountains.  We drank tequila in college, but the josé shots in my attic bedroom were nothing like the tequila I had upon moving west. No, this was smokey and smooth and that tequila was hangover-y. This tequila, this *new!!!* tequila was tequila that sang with the stars and skipped in the dust. 

Tequila is big in Los Angeles. So are juice cleanses. This city may lack clear roads and cheap gas, but you will never ever ever have difficult finding tequila or a juicery. Angelenos love to detox and retox and name their juices all sorts of sexy names, like cream party.

*note: the cream party is d-e-l-i-c-i-o-u-s!!!! it's from juice served here. they aren't even paying me and I'm advertising for them because I love them that much. 

The hot lei is also a winner. It's reminiscent of that cayenne and maple syrup detox drink that Beyoncé apparently used to get skinny for Dreamgirls, but it's also got pineapple and agave. I've never successfully completed a juice cleanse. I've tried it a few times always accidentally ate everything. I could do a juice cleanse if it included the following things: cereal, tacos, chocolate, almond butter, red wine, gjelina take away, hemp milk, five dollar manhattans, sushi, and in-n-out. 

That being said, I love juices. I love the way they come in a million different flavors, I love the way the way their colors blend with one another to create a rainbow of vitamins and minerals. But what I really, really love is turning them into cocktails.

This cocktail is easy; simply freeze a lemon cayenne drink into ice cubes and serve with cold tequila and a tajin rim (Have you guys had tajin??? I didn't until I moved here, and then I exploded because it's spice-y, lime-y, sugar-y, and perfect). With the Mexican spice and ironic detoxing qualities, this drink is perfectly Los Angeles, and well paired with sweat and cutoff shorts. Campfire optional. 


Tequila with lemon, cayenne, and agave ice cubes

*if you want to make your own lemon cayenne juice, blend 1 cup of chopped pineapple with 1 cup water, 1 tbsp cayenne, 1 tbsp honey, and the juice of one lemon.  

Pour the lemon detox drink into an ice cube tray. Freeze for at least 3-4 hours, or overnight. 

Run a lemon wedge around the outer rim of two glasses. Pour the tajin into a bowl, and dip the glasses into the center, twisting them to coat each of the outer sides with tajin. 

Divide the ice cubes between the two glasses. Add 2oz of tequila and 1.5oz of triple sec to each glass. Serve with additional lemon wedges, if desired. 

16oz of lemon cayenne juice

4oz good tequila (olmeca altos is yum)

2oz triple sec

2 tablespoons tajin

lemon wedges

 

 

 

 

 



- stay cozy!

Blood orange margaritas with rosemary salt

There so much joy to be had in rolling around on the floor.  

As we progress into adulthood, we learn to control our bodies ( to an extent), especially when out in public. Children, however, are different. They see their bodies as tools to express, things that reveal play and power using flurried hand motions and skips and dives and rolls. I see it all the time when nannying; these five and six year olds fling themselves off the playground and into the sand, allowing their bodies to make all sorts of contact with the earth. Maybe it's the excessive amount of sugar from a dunkaroo or choco-taco...who knows!! Regardless, I like it when Ashley, my yoga instructor, tells us to take happy baby. I look at my legs and toes and think "WOW, these things are COOL!" I feel like one happy baby!!

We began Ashley's class the other day by recalling something that filled us with pure joy. For her, it was a baby goat that she used to sleep with in her family's barn. For me it was a baby crane. 

Before my Ammie and Poppop died, they lived in a condo in Florida that overlooked a forest of tropical trees and a flat golf course. Their home was dusted with lemon yellow furniture and potted plants and the pantry was filled with the same staples that my father had grown up enjoying: TandyKakes, peanut butter, and english muffins. 

One year we spent our spring break at the condo. My brother and I slept in twin beds in the guest room, while my mother and father camped out on the pullout in front of a console TV. In the morning we'd have breakfast out on the veranda. Poppop would drink coffee and read the paper, his grapenuts topped with a sliced banana. I'd do the same, but swap the newspaper for a Judy Blume book. In these early hours of morning, occasionally a family of cranes would gently plow their way through the palms and the brush. The babies followed their mothers, trusting they were being led to nourishment, and opening their mouths in a hungry "KAHHH!" The orange trees held the fruits as if they were planets, floating among the green and bursting with their acidity. My brother and I would eat them and let the sweet citrus explode onto our skin. It was the definition of happy place.

Now that I am older, I still read Judy Blume and coo over baby animals, but I've found ways to adult-ify my citrus. This includes adding tequila, triple sec, and rosemary salt to blood orange juice, in order to create a beverage that feels like happy baby and vacation. Citrus is crazy in season right now, and we have about a month left, so get juicing! If you end up laying on your back, remember to admire your toes. 

blood orange margaritas 

Ingredients 

4 ounces of blood orange juice(about 4 oranges, juiced)

4 ounces of silver tequila (i like Milagro, but you do your thing)

2 ounces of fresh lime juice (about 1 lime, juiced)

2 ounces of triple sec

1 teaspoon of agave nectar 

rosemary salt for the rim 

blood orange wedges to garnish 

rosemary sprigs to garnish 

 

Directions

Run a wedge of lime around the top of your serving glasss. Dip the top of the glass into the rosemary saltat a 45-degree angle and roll it from side to side to catch the salt. Add ice cubes and set aside. 

Fill a large cocktail shaker with ice. Add the tequila, triple sec, agave, and juices. Shake for 20-40 seconds and strain the liquid into the glasses. Garnish with a slice of blood orange and a sprig of rosemary, if desired.

*I got my rosemary salt from my friend Alyssa, who got it from The City Farm.  You can find a recipe here. 

-Stay cozy

Apple cider margaritas

You guys are the best.  Seriously, thank you for reading and for reading faithfully. You put up with me going on and on about various baked goods, random travels, my love for blankets, and etc.  But we can drop the act. It's okay. We all want the same thing: a good drink after a day's work. 

So here you go. 

Tequila seems fitting for a sticky afternoon and apple cider is positively designed for the fall season, so it seems appropriate that in California, where both of these worlds collide, we drink apple cider margaritas.

The first time I sipped a margarita it came in a yard-stick-sized plastic cup. And I said, "OKAY. LET'S."

I kid you not, fellow cozies. It was in Aruba, where the congo lines danced in a slurry of khaki shorts. At the same restaurant, I later discovered you could swap turns down the waterslide for free shots of rum punch.  I ended the afternoon soaking wet and inhaling a plate of nachos.

Since Aruba, I've upped my margarita game, saving them for Ketel One visits and the occasional splurge to a well-reviewed Mexican restaurant. I like it when the tequila is slightly smokey, and dances with the lime juice in a sexy tango. The subtle kiss of orange liqueur tickles the back of the tastebuds after cold salt meets hot lips. There's something sexy about a margarita, and so it's no surprise that they like to make their appearances in the kind of weather that demands a bikini bottom. 

But as my yearning for colder weather increases, I've made an exciting discovery. Margaritas CAN BE COZY. Hell, these margaritas are even wearing infinity scarves and hopping on the hayride. These are the kinds of margaritas that want to tag along on the trip to the cornmaze, and get chased by high school drama students dressed up like Freddy Kreuger. These margaritas are fireplace margaritas. 

On my first go with cozy margaritas, I used a silver tequila,  but in retrospect they'd probably be even better with a gold or mezcal. I bet the smokiness would add something special to the sweet n' spicy duo of apples and cloves. I also used a combo of granny smith/gala apple slices, as I like the mixture of sweet and tart. And aesthetically, red and green are ca-yuuuute. 

Apple cider margaritas 

Ingredients 

500 ml (or just over 2 cups) of cold spiced apple cider 

4.5 oz (or 3 shots) of  good tequila 

1.5 oz (or 1 shot) of grand marnier or triple sec

1.5 oz (or 1 shot) of lemon juice

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp cloves

1/2 granny smith apple

1/2 gala apple

2 lemon wedges 

cinnamon sugar mixture (for rim dusting)

 

 

Add one cup of ice into a pitcher. Pour in the first four ingredients and stir to mix. (You can also divide this recipe by 2, and make an individual serving using a shaker.) Add the cloves and cinnamon. Shake or stir the mixture, allowing the spices to disperse themselves throughout the rest of the drink. 

Cut the apples into thin slices. Using one lemon wedge, squirt some juice onto the edges of the apples. Set aside. 

Spread the cinnamon-sugar mixture onto a plate. Rub the rib of two mason jars or other desired serving glasses with the remaining lemon wedge. Turn the glasses upside down and dip into the the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Fill the glasses with ice, and then the margarita liquid. Add sliced apples, as desired.  

Serves two thirsty, flannel-loving people. 

That's all from me, folks. I'll be busy this week scouring the dollar stores for cheap-o Halloween decorations and packing (!!!) for this weekend's ChiTown visit with (!!!!!!!!!) the ladies from 1373 South Main Street.

-stay cozy