How These 6 Liquor Brands Prioritize the Planet

Not only are we in the midst of a global pandemic, we’re also in the grip of the sixth great extinction—a “biological annihilation” of species worldwide as a result of human activity—including planetary climate change, leading to extreme weather events…

Not only are we in the midst of a global pandemic, we’re also in the grip of the sixth great extinction—a “biological annihilation” of species worldwide as a result of human activity—including planetary climate change, leading to extreme weather events, damaged marine ecosystems, and negative impact on crops. Suffice it to say that after reading that, you might want a drink. Luckily, you have the option to pour a drink that plays a small part in helping the planet. In an effort to challenge the industry’s reliance on energy-intensive processes and the production waste, many liquor producers are becoming more sustainability-minded, whether that means using less glass to make bottles or turning scraps from other industries into a liquor’s main ingredient. Get ready to mix your favorite cocktail, comforted by the knowledge that you’re giving the environment a helping hand. Here are six beverage producers who are doing their bit for the planet right now.

Avallen Calvados

Going back to the very beginning, it seems as though Avallen Calvados could have been any liquor, but sustainability brought the company to one specific fruit: “We started with a blank sheet of paper and firstly looked at the raw materials used to make alcohol,” Tim Etherington-Judge, founder of Avallen, explained in an email. “After detailed analysis, we settled on apples as the best from a sustainability point of view.”

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Watermelon Smash

The watermelon smash is a refreshing summer drink that pairs melon with lime, rum and vodka. Serve over crushed ice!…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

The watermelon smash is a refreshing summer drink that pairs melon with lime, rum and vodka. Serve over crushed ice!

Watermelon smash

Here’s a watermelon drink idea that’s the definition of refreshing: the Watermelon Smash! This fruity spin on the classic Whiskey Smash is delicately sweet, the best combination of pure melon with fresh mint. Pairing vodka and rum adds intrigue in flavor (though you can opt for just vodka for simplicity). Serve with crushed ice, and it’s a stunning signature drink for sipping poolside or next to the grill.

What’s a watermelon smash?

The watermelon smash is a spin on the Whiskey Smash using watermelon, fresh mint, and vodka. The Whiskey Smash originated in the Victorian era as a cooling summer cocktail, and was first published in a bartender guide in 1887. That first smash had lemon, mint, whiskey, and sweetener, and served with crushed ice. Many variations have popped up over time, like the Berry Vodka Smash and the Gin Basil Smash.

The watermelon smash is another fruity spin: for this recipe we used both vodka and rum to bring extra nuance in flavor. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Watermelon cubes (or watermelon juice)
  • Fresh mint
  • Vodka
  • White rum
  • Lime juice
  • Simple syrup
  • Crushed ice
Watermelon smash drink

How to make crushed ice!

The most characteristic part of a smash cocktail? The crushed ice! What’s the best way to crush ice? Luckily, we’ve tried a bunch of methods and found the best way. And no: you don’t have to whack at ice with a rolling pin! Here’s the best way to crush ice:

  • Place the ice in a blender.
  • Fill the blender about halfway with cold water. This is the important part! The water helps everything blend to a uniform size.
  • Pulse until it’s uniformly crushed! Then strain. Pick out any large chunks with your fingers, but this method should result in a great texture.

How to make a watermelon smash: 3 tips

Once you’ve got your crushed ice, let’s get started! Here are a few tips for making this drink (or skip right to the recipe below):

  • Use watermelon cubes or make the juice. If you’re planning to make more than one drink, make Watermelon Juice in a blender first.
  • Muddle the mint gently to release the oils. Here are all our tips on How to Muddle Mint, including equipment.
  • Use vodka and white rum for best flavor, or go just vodka. We love the flavor combination of both! But if you don’t have rum on hand, just vodka is good too.
Watermelon smash

More watermelon drinks

Watermelon is our favorite summer fruit for cocktails! Here are a few more of our top watermelon drink ideas:

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Watermelon smash

Watermelon Smash


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 drink
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

The watermelon smash is a refreshing summer drink that pairs melon with lime, rum and vodka. Serve over crushed ice!


Ingredients

  • ½ cup chopped watermelon (or ¼ cup watermelon juice)
  • 4 large mint leaves, plus more for garnish
  • 1 ounce* vodka
  • 1 ounce white rum (or use all vodka)
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons simple syrup
  • Crushed ice, for serving

Instructions

  1. Make the crushed ice.
  2. Add the mint to a cocktail shaker and muddle it gently. Add the watermelon cubes and use the muddler to release all of the juice. (If you’re using watermelon juice, simply muddle the mint first then add the juice in Step 2.)
  3. Add the vodka, rum, lime juice and simple syrup. Fill with ice and shake until cold.
  4. Fill a lowball glass with the crushed ice, then strain in the drink. Garnish with additional watermelon slices and mint.

Notes

*To convert to tablespoons, 1 ounce = 2 tablespoons

  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Shaken
  • Cuisine: Cocktails

Keywords: Watermelon smash

A Couple Cooks - Recipes worth repeating.

A Spring-Ready Vodka Soda That’s Anything but Basic

We’ve teamed up with Belvedere Vodka—the product of 600 years of Polish vodka-making tradition—to bring you a classic drink makeover that’s primed for warm weather. Meet the Belvedere Spring Bloom: a citrusy, herby take on vodka soda that’s perfect for…

We've teamed up with Belvedere Vodka—the product of 600 years of Polish vodka-making tradition—to bring you a classic drink makeover that's primed for warm weather. Meet the Belvedere Spring Bloom: a citrusy, herby take on vodka soda that's perfect for National Cocktail Day (and beyond). Since Belvedere's made with Polska rye and purified water, and distilled by fire—with no sugar or other additives—it'll complement the drink's fresh, clean flavors.

Want to shake it up at home? Have all the ingredients delivered to your doorstep in one handy Cocktail Courier kit, including a grow-your-own herb jar to keep those garnishes coming all season long.

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Apple Pie Vodka

This article is from Delicious Everyday.
This Apple Pie Vodka has all the warmth of your favorite holiday dessert! Infused with cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, clove, and ginger, this vodka makes for the perfect holiday drink! To make this fall-inspired a…

This article is from Delicious Everyday.

This Apple Pie Vodka has all the warmth of your favorite holiday dessert! Infused with cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, clove, and ginger, this vodka makes for the perfect holiday drink! To make this fall-inspired alcoholic drink, just add your favorite apple and pie spices to your favorite vodka and wait for the best fall drink you’ve...

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Confinement and Lockdown Strategies

As of last week, France has gone back into lockdown, which prompted a 454 mile (730km) traffic jam as people tried to get in and out of the city. The lockdown is expected to last a month and while it’s not ideal, it’s not nearly as restrictive as the lockdown we had last spring and everything from taking a walk to going to the grocery…

As of last week, France has gone back into lockdown, which prompted a 454 mile (730km) traffic jam as people tried to get in and out of the city. The lockdown is expected to last a month and while it’s not ideal, it’s not nearly as restrictive as the lockdown we had last spring and everything from taking a walk to going to the grocery store was tense and fraught as there was less information as the Covid-19 virus is spread, and masks were in short supply.

On the second day of the current lockdown, I went to get a few groceries and there were people on the streets, people eating food in front of restaurants, people in offices, and even the local vodka shop was open. (Bookstores, however, are closed as they’re not considered essential businesses. Interestingly, large supermarkets can remain open, but aren’t allowed to sell books either.)

The situation is evolving and my hunch is there will be more stringent measures put into place, a feeling shared by everyone I’ve spoken to here. But unlike last spring, I have enough baking chocolate, flour, and sugar, to last for a couple of months. (Almost everyone I’ve spoken to has also agreed that this lockdown is likely to continue through Christmas.) For the record, I’m not a hoarder. Because of what I do, I always have a few month’s worth of baking ingredients on hand because, well…you never know, do you? Last time I was caught without any chocolate, which in my line of work is considered “essential.”

Continue Reading Confinement and Lockdown Strategies...

Homemade Sweet Potato Pie

Homemade Sweet Potato Pie
This Sweet Potato Pie recipe is subtly spiced, has a layer of brown sugar baked onto the crust, and gets a little kick from bourbon.
READ: Homemade Sweet Potato Pie

Homemade Sweet Potato Pie

This Sweet Potato Pie recipe is subtly spiced, has a layer of brown sugar baked onto the crust, and gets a little kick from bourbon.

READ: Homemade Sweet Potato Pie

Creamy Vodka Sauce Pasta with Toasty Rosemary Breadcrumbs.

Pasta with the creamiest vodka sauce for the win tonight. It’s a major dinner win, trust me.  And right now, we’re allllll about the easy dinners over here.  While the stay-at-home fatigue hasn’t sent us out to dinner yet, it’s kind of whipped us in the kitchen. Give me easy easy easy!  So, vodka sauce! […]

The post Creamy Vodka Sauce Pasta with Toasty Rosemary Breadcrumbs. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

Pasta with the creamiest vodka sauce for the win tonight.

creamy vodka sauce pasta with rosemary toasted breadcrumbs

It’s a major dinner win, trust me. 

And right now, we’re allllll about the easy dinners over here. 

While the stay-at-home fatigue hasn’t sent us out to dinner yet, it’s kind of whipped us in the kitchen. Give me easy easy easy! 

tomato paste with sautéed onions and garlic

So, vodka sauce!

This comes together in one pan, then you toss the pasta right in. Top with golden toasty rosemary breadcrumbs and you’re set!

Smells like heaven, tastes even better.

vodka sauce with cream swirl

Because this creamy sauce is a DREAM.

It’s no secret that tomato sauce has never been my favorite. In fact, I loathed it growing up and didn’t end up truly enjoying it until I was pregnant with Max! Thankfully, that stuck and ever since, I’ve been able make and love things with tomato sauce.

tossing pasta in vodka sauce

However! Before that, as long as it was a tomato cream sauce? I could get on board. And now, I’d never pass that up. It’s light but decadent at the same time.

making rosemary bread crumbs

For this vodka sauce, we’re using tomato paste. I absolutely love this trick – it’s what I use to make the sauce for my homemade spaghettios. It really adds a rich depth of flavor and also allows the sauce to be super smooth. There are no tomato chunks! 

I do like to sauté some shallots and garlic to start, but once that tomato paste goes in, it’s the heart of the sauce. 

creamy vodka sauce pasta with rosemary toasted breadcrumbs

Then, it’s time to deglaze the pan with some vodka! This helps to emulsify the sauce and create a silky coat-the-back-of-the-spoon feel. You’ll want to eat it right out of the pan.

Or take a big hunk of sourdough to it. Yummm.

creamy vodka sauce pasta with rosemary toasted breadcrumbs

The best part about vodka sauce is that it so lightly coats the noodles, but coats them completely. It’s like a silky blanket that covers the pasta and is perfect with crunchy breadcrumbs and parmesan on top. 

creamy vodka sauce pasta with rosemary toasted breadcrumbs

This dish paired with the perfect salad and a glass of pinot noir is all we need.

creamy vodka sauce pasta with rosemary toasted breadcrumbs

Pasta with Creamy Vodka Sauce

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Creamy Vodka Sauce Pasta with Toasty Rosemary Breadcrumbs

This pasta with vodka sauce is silky and creamy and flavorful! Top with rosemary breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese. It's the best.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 people
Author How Sweet Eats

Ingredients

  • 1 pound pasta (I like a short cut noodle here)
  • 1 cup reserved pasta water
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • salt and pepper
  • ½ cup tomato paste
  • 3 tablespoons vodka (I like Tito’s)
  • cup heavy cream
  • cup finely grated parmesan cheese, plus more for topping

rosemary breadcrumbs

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ cup seasoned panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary

Instructions

  • Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Once boiling, cook the pasta according to the directions. Be sure to reserve 1 ½ to 2 cups of pasta water for the sauce!
  • While the water is boiling, heat the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Once melted, stir in the shallots and garlic with a big pinch of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until the onions soften. Add in the tomato paste and stir, cooking for 5 minutes. The color will darken - this is where the flavor is!
  • Stream in the vodka and stir, scraping the brown bits and flavor from the bottom. Stir in ½ cup of the reserved pasta. Stir in the heavy cream and parmesan, stirring until the cheese melts. Taste and season the sauce with more salt and pepper if needed.
  • Add the pasta to the sauce and toss well. If needed, you can stream in more of the pasta water until it’s creamy and silky. Top with the rosemary bread crumbs and a sprinkle of parmesan. Serve immediately.

rosemary breadcrumbs

  • Heat the butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Once it’s sizzling and even browning a bit, stir in the breadcrumbs and rosemary. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring often, until golden and toasty, Throw on top of the pasta!

Notes

slightly adapted from delish

 

creamy vodka sauce pasta with rosemary toasted breadcrumbs

I can taste it through the screen!

The post Creamy Vodka Sauce Pasta with Toasty Rosemary Breadcrumbs. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

The Perfect Pumpkin Pie Recipe

The Perfect Pumpkin Pie Recipe
A classic pumpkin pie recipe – smooth, creamy, and just moderately spiced. The best pumpkin pie you’ll ever eat!
READ: The Perfect Pumpkin Pie Recipe

The Perfect Pumpkin Pie Recipe

A classic pumpkin pie recipe - smooth, creamy, and just moderately spiced. The best pumpkin pie you'll ever eat!

READ: The Perfect Pumpkin Pie Recipe

How to Make Vanilla Extract

How to Make Vanilla Extract
This homemade vanilla extract is made from just two ingredients (vanilla beans and vodka) and takes less than 10 minutes to prepare. Let it sit for at least one month (longer is better!) and it’ll be ready to use for baking …

How to Make Vanilla Extract

This homemade vanilla extract is made from just two ingredients (vanilla beans and vodka) and takes less than 10 minutes to prepare. Let it sit for at least one month (longer is better!) and it'll be ready to use for baking or to give as a gift.

READ: How to Make Vanilla Extract

Cosmopolitan Cocktails and Roasted Nuts with Rosemary

I’ve had my blog for a while, over twenty years now, and one of the first recipes I posted on it was for a Cosmopolitan cocktail. Back then, in the 1990s, Cosmopolitans were still the rage. Much of it was due to Sex in the City, where they were the drink of choice for four women who were close friends, trying to find their way…

I’ve had my blog for a while, over twenty years now, and one of the first recipes I posted on it was for a Cosmopolitan cocktail. Back then, in the 1990s, Cosmopolitans were still the rage. Much of it was due to Sex in the City, where they were the drink of choice for four women who were close friends, trying to find their way in New York City, navigating through boyfriends, parties, careers, and cocktail bars. During their get-togethers, the cocktail of choice was always a round of Cosmos.

Roasted Nuts with Rosemary

The cocktail become somewhat of a cliché and faded from popularity as the craft cocktail movement elbowed in. But everyone once in a while, I still like a Cosmopolitan.

Continue Reading Cosmopolitan Cocktails and Roasted Nuts with Rosemary...