Monday, December 29, 2014

Budget Booze - Part IV

Sweet Sweet Sangria

Sangria Blanco y Rojo

Sangria is the all time budget-friendly boozy beverage.

Why?

Because you can get away with using the cheapest ingredients, most of which are probably already in your fridge or freezer, and everything will turn out fine. In spite of all this, restaurants charge between 10 and 20 bucks for a pitcher of what was probably made with leftovers. Below I have a recipe for a pitcher of sangria. Try making some at home! It's easier than you think and will please a crowd in a pinch. Unless they read this blog, I guarantee your guests will never know how cheap it is to make, and probably won't care when they realise how good it is.


Here's How You Do It
Total Prep Time: 7 minutes
Serves 6 to 10


Ingredients


2 Cups of Red - OR - White Wine - For red sangria, use the red wine, for white sangria use the white wine, the other ingredients will pair well regardless of what type you use. Have some leftover wine from a party? This is a great time to use it.


4 Cups of Fruit Juice - You can use the cheapest, safely drinkable juice you can find, but if you're making white sangria, stay away from reddish juices like cranberry or grape as it will tint the sangria, thus defeating the purpose of making it white.


1 Cup of Fruit - coarsely chopped - Have a can or jar of fruit cocktail you never use? Extras or leftovers from a fruit platter? Leftover fruit salad? Throw it into the sangria.


1 Lemon - OR - 2 Limes - thinly sliced


1/2 a Cup of Mint Leaves - Optional - The mint adds a nice refreshing note, but it isn't necessary


3 or 4 Tablespoons of Honey, Maple, Pancake, or Corn Syrup - Optional - If the sangria isn't sweet enough for you, add the syrup


Some leftover liquor - Optional - Sometimes you find yourself with a bottle containing a few tablespoons of vodka, rum, or some fancy liqueur from a party that - while totally drinkable - isn't worth pouring into a glass or adding to a cocktail shaker. You can throw it into the sangria.


Equipment


1 Knife and Cutting Board


1 Pitcher


1 Wooden Spoon


Measuring Cups


Throw all the ingredients into a pitcher and stir to combine. If you're using the mint leaves, be sure to mash them a bit with the wooden spoon to release the oils.


You are now ready to serve!


Next time I'll be teaching you MY cure for hangovers.


Salud!


And Happy Holidays!


-Samantha R. Gold

Questions? Comments? Requests?

Bring it on!

I can be reached at:  for.the.culinarily.challenged@gmail.com

Trolls will be unceremoniously deleted and dismissed.














Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Budget Booze - Part III

Dandy Shandy

Ginger Ale Shandy

Are you a beer lover tired of drinking it alone because your friends or relatives are put off by its taste?

Shandy just might be the solution.

A shandy is a beer cocktail consisting of beer mixed with a non alcoholic beverage. Like training wheels on a bicycle, it's a good way to win people over to beer drinking because the non alcoholic ingredient mutes the bitterness of the beer. Plus it's budget friendly. Once they get used to drinking shandy, you can slowly increase the ratio of beer in the recipe until the "training wheels" can come off and they can drink beer without gagging.

For my shandy recipe, I opted to use blonde beer, as I find the taste just subtle enough not to put my drinkers off, and yet prominent enough for them to know they are actually drinking beer.

Here's How You Do It
Total Prep Time: 3 Minutes or Less
Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients

1 Large Can (740 mls) of Blonde - OR - Any other light tasting Beer

6 Cups of Ginger Ale - OR - Lemonade - OR - Lemon Lime Soda i.e. Sprite or 7Up

Equipment

1 Pitcher

Pour the beer into the pitcher and add the non alcoholic ingredient of your choice.

Serve!

Next week, I'll show you two versions of that party favorite: Sangria!

Cheers!

-Samantha R. Gold

Questions? Comments? Requests?

Bring it on!

I can be reached at:  for.the.culinarily.challenged@gmail.com

Trolls will be unceremoniously deleted and dismissed.








Monday, December 8, 2014

Budget Booze - Part II

Mother's Rum Punch

Mother's Rum Punch

When I reached legal drinking age, my parents insisted I throw a party. They told me to invite everyone I knew, and that they would even provide the booze. The night of the party, a dozen or so of my friends were just settling in to my parents' dining room when my mother brought in a large bowl of red liquid. It had lemon slices and berries floating in it, and fizzed pleasantly on the tongue.

One taste, and - despite the fact that it seemed to be alcohol free -  it was deemed delicious and the bowl was emptied in a matter of minutes.

I brought the bowl back to the kitchen where my parents were hanging out. My mother stared at the empty bowl and said very quietly:

"You know I put rum in there, right?"

My mouth dropped open, and thrusting the bowl at her, I ran to see how my guests were faring. Not surprisingly, one or two people had already passed out.

Needless to say: it's my mother who taught me how to mix drinks, and to this day, I swear by her punch recipe to oil my guests in a pinch.

Here's How You Do It
Total Prep Time: 7 minutes
Serves 6 to 10


Ingredients

2 or 3 Cups of Rum - use the cheapest, but safely drinkable rum you can find. I used Bacardi Superior white rum, but anything will do.


1 Can of Frozen Concentrated Fruit Punch - any punch will do.


6 Cups of Ginger Ale - Once again, the brand doesn't matter.


1 Cup of Berries - Fresh or Frozen (the latter will chill your punch without ice) Optional


1 Lemon - Sliced - Optional


Ice - Optional


Equipment


1 Large Bowl or Pitcher - A heavy salad bowl will do the job, as will a mixing bowl, or you can get a pitcher at the dollar store.


1 Wooden Spoon


Measuring Cups


1 Knife and Cutting Board - if adding the lemon.


Pour the rum into your bowl or pitcher.


In the same bowl or pitcher, prep the frozen punch according to the instructions on the can.


Pour in the Ginger Ale.


Add the berries and lemon slices, if using.


Stir the whole thing with a wooden spoon and serve as is or over ice!


Next week, I'll show you how to win over beer haters with that pub classic: shandy!


So keep on reading!


-Samantha R. Gold

Questions? Comments? Requests?

Bring it on!

I can be reached at:  for.the.culinarily.challenged@gmail.com

Trolls will be unceremoniously deleted and dismissed.








Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Budget Booze - Part I

The Cheapskate's Amaretto Sour

The holidays are a-coming and a lot of us will be entertaining friends and family. The cost of entertaining is high, partly because we have to spend all day before the party cleaning our homes so our friends and relatives don't think we're pigs, but also because feeding and getting your guests drunk can get pretty expensive. While you can get a bottle of wine for as little as ten bucks, cocktail ingredients such as hard liquor, fruit, and juice, are all pretty costly.

I'm here to help.

In the next few entries, I'll be showing you ways to get your guests drunk on a budget.

The secret is to keep things sweet. For some strange reason, sugar enhances the effect of alcohol on our systems. I have no idea why that is, and couldn't find a study on the subject anywhere. All I know is that the sweeter the drink, the drunker you get on a smaller amount. That means that you can get away with using very little costly liquor if you make the drink sweet enough.

All that said, let's get boozing!


The Cheapskate's Amaretto Sour

If you order an amaretto sour in a bar or club, it will probably run you between 5 and 8 bucks plus tip.  That's a whopping 10 dollars for a drink you can make easily and cheaply - in bulk, no less - at home! It takes all of 3 minutes to prepare, will easily oil a crowd of 4, and tastes just like anything you'd get in a bar or club for a fraction of the price. When making this, be sure to use the cheapest - but safely drinkable - amaretto you can find.  You also need to warn any  guests with nut allergies, as the base for this cocktail is almond liqueur.  

Here's How You Do It
Total Prep Time: Approximately 3 minutes.
Serves 4 to 6 OR 2 people out to get really drunk

Ingredients

2 Cups of Amaretto - this is a sweet almond liqueur that's about 24% proof. You can find it in any liquor store, and with holidays coming, you can probably get it on sale. Be sure to buy the cheapest amaretto you can find, as its flavor won't matter too much as long as it's relatively almond-ey.

1 Can of Frozen Concentrated Lemonade

Equipment

1 Pitcher or Jug - You can get these at the dollar store for about 2 bucks

1 Wooden Spoon

Measuring Cups

Measure out 2 cups of Amaretto and put it in the pitcher.

In the same pitcher, prep the frozen lemonade according to the instructions on the can (dump in the frozen concentrate + using the can that used to contain the concentrate, add 3 to 4 cans of water).

Stir it with a wooden spoon to combine and you're good to go!

Stay tuned for next week when I'll be showing you how to make my mother's famous rum punch!

-Samantha R. Gold

Questions? Comments? Requests?

Bring it on!

I can be reached at:  for.the.culinarily.challenged@gmail.com

Trolls will be unceremoniously deleted and dismissed.