beverages

Hazelnut Chocolate Banana Smoothies

Hazelnut Chocolate Banana Smoothies

Smoothies and summertime go together like...chocolate and bananas :) Today's crazy easy recipe is for a refreshing smoothie that will satisfy your sweet tooth while remaining on the healthier side. 

Nutiva is one of my favorite organic plant-food companies. Their products are well-priced, delicious, and their brand is transparent. Recently, Nutiva sent me some samples of their new Organic Hazelnut Spread, which comes in Classic and Dark flavors. Despite the rich, decadent flavor, it contains 40% less sugar than the leading brand, and comes in jars or packets for on-the-go snacking! I love the individual packaging because they're so easy to use and help with portion control. On top of all that, they're gluten free and vegan :) 

Today I decided to whip up some smoothies - all you need to do is blend your favorite milk, some ice, a banana, and some Nutiva Organic Hazelnut Spread together and you're in smoothie heaven. Add in some chia, honey, other fresh fruit, or chopped chocolate to make it extra decadent. Let's get blending :) 

Lychee Ginger Mint Fizz

Lychee Ginger Mint Fizz

I had a delicious Lychee Smash at a Vietnamese restaurant with my girlfriend Tracy, and it inspired me to recreate the drink at home. These flavor profiles are perfect with each other; fizzy ginger and bright, fresh mint, tart lime juice and sweet lychee fruit. This drink can easily become a cocktail with 2 oz ounce of rum, making it a twist on a Mojito or Caipirinha. Let's get drinkin :) 

Refreshing Detox Juice

Refreshing Detox Juice

If you're just getting started juicing at home, it may seem daunting. Just keep in mind that it’s all about experimenting. My favorite juice is as easy to make as A-B-C: apple, beet, carrot. I like adding different fruits and veggies to this base juice, depending on what I’ve got at home. Apples, beets, and carrots are great to buy in bulk and have on hand. As usual, organic fruits and veggies are best if it’s in your budget. 

Palomas

Palomas

For a little fizzy twist on the classic margarita, the Paloma is the perfect cocktail. My girlfriend Kayla introduced me to this grapefruit and tequila cocktail on an afternoon where we turned Happy Hour into a $100 outing. Needless to say, I've been ordering them ever since. The Paloma is a refreshing combination of sweet and tart grapefruit juice or soda, lime, and a nice salty rim. Top off this 5 minute cocktail with club soda for a bubbly finish. I love using fresh squeezed grapefruit juice, but you can also use Squirt or Grapefruit Jarritos! :) Let's get drankin!

Spiked Freckled Lemonade

Spiked Freckled Lemonade

Fourth of July is just around the corner! I’ve never made lemonade before because I was honestly kind of confused - is lemonade just hella lemons and water? How many lemons would you need to fill an entire pitcher? I feel like it would take a ton of lemons to make some good lemonade. But then I experimented in the kitchen and can now share with you that making lemonade is super easy and in fact, is a ton of water! This recipe is really perfect for summer - the base is just a really, really delicious lemonade. But I’ll show you how adding pureed strawberries can make the most refreshing Freckled Lemonade ever. And as usual, you can spike it with booze if you choose :)

Branca Menta & Bourbon Iced Tea

Branca Menta & Bourbon Iced Tea

Summer is officially here and that means COCKTAILS. In San Francisco, summer doesn’t necessarily exist until September, when we have Indian Summer: warmer weather and beautiful sunsets. But that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy a nice summer drink after work :) 

I wanted to try experiment with some different recipes that incorporated Brancamenta this summer, and here is a really delicious one that will have you reaching for another glass. It’s a nice little spin on iced tea spiked with bourbon, Brancamenta, and finished off with refreshing mint. I made a batch after work last week and I was so surprised at how well balanced it tasted, and how much of a punch it packed. I ended up making quite a few glasses that night :) 

Strawberry Margarita Jello Shots

Strawberry Margarita Jello Shots

It’s Cinco De Mayo, and what better to celebrate with than Strawberry Margarita Jello Shots? One thing I hate about jello shots is loosening the jello up with your finger, and then trying to get it all out of the tiny little cup. Call me lazy, but I wanted to get around this. Solution? Make the jello shots in fresh strawberries :)