Spiced Mocha Lassi

This is a terrific recipe from Bobby Flay and the only thing you need to do in advance is make the spiced coffee ice cubes. They are well worth having in the freezer as the flavors are incredible when you drop a cube into this drink. A wonderful and different breakfast drink.

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Serves 4


2 cups hot espresso
1/4 cup sugar
1 strip orange peel
8 whole cloves
2 cinnamon sticks
2-inch piece fresh ginger, roughly chopped


3/4 cup to 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (or more to thin down the drink)
1 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
1 ripe banana, peeled and chopped
2 tablespoons Dutch-processed cocoa powder

Make the spiced coffee ice cubes:
Combine the espresso, sugar, orange peel, cloves, cinnamon sticks and ginger in a medium bowl until the sugar dissolves.
Cool to room temperature, and then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours. Strain the coffee mixture through a fine-mesh sieve set over a large bowl and discard the solids. Divide the mixture among 2 ice cube trays and freeze until solid, at least 2 hours.

Make the lassi:
Add 3/4 cup orange juice, the yogurt, banana and cocoa powder to a blender and puree until smooth (if you’d like the lassi to be a bit thinner, blend in the remaining 1/4 cup orange juice).
Add a few spiced ice cubes to the blender and puree. Pour the lassi into glasses and add 2 more spiced ice cubes to each glass.
Serve immediately.

Coquito (A gorgeous Latin cocktail)

Delicious and a show stopper! Try it for a Thanksgiving or Christmas cocktail instead of the usual eggnog!

Makes about 8 servings

3 egg yolks
15 oz cream of coconut  (Use the Coco Lopez brand from the supermarket)
15 oz evaporated milk
8 oz condensed milk
1/2 pint vanilla ice cream
2 cups white rum (like Bacardi)
1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

In a large blender combine all the ingredients.
Pour into a large pitcher and place in the refrigerator for about 2 hours.
Serve chilled


Cranberry Liqueur

This is slightly adapted from “The Essential New York Times” recipe book by Amanda Hesser.

Yields 2 cups

2 cups cranberries
1 cup + 2 tbsp sugar
1/2 cup water
12 oz vodka
2 cinnamon sticks

Combine the cranberries, sugar and water in a saucepan and bring to the boil.
Boil until cranberries are soft and start to pop, about 10 minutes.
Transfer to a blender or food processor and puree.
Pour into a jar and add the vodka and cinnamon sticks.
Refrigerate for a minimum of 1 week and up to 3 weeks.

Strain through a fine mesh sieve lined with cheesecloth if you don’t want any straggling seeds.

Serve and/or refrigerate and it will last for up to 1 year!

Masala Chai (Hot spiced Indian tea)

Another great recipe from “One Perfect Bite” fellow food blogger.

1 cup water
4 tsp Darjeeling or other loose black tea
2-3 crushed green cardamon pods
1-inch piece peeled fresh ginger, smashed
2 cups milk
3-6 tsp sugar

Place water in a 2 qt saucepan and bring to the boil
Add loose tea leaves to water. Stir in the crushed cardamon pods and smashed ginger.
Add the milk and bring the mixture to a rolling boil. Simmer, stirring regularly, for 5 minutes.
Add sugar to taste. Simmer for 1 minute longer or until the sugar is fullydissolved.
Strain the mixture through a strainer into cups or tempered glasses.
Yield is about 3 servings

Fresh ginger ale with lemongrass

This is a ginger ale for grown-ups, a spicy, not-too-sweet, ultra refreshing drink that combines fresh ginger, lemongrass and chilies in a way you’ve probably never had them.
It makes 1 quart of syrup, enough to make at least 10 glasses.  The syrup keeps for weeks, refrigerated

Thanks to Jean-Georges Vongerichten.

1lb fresh ginger root, unpeeled and cut into small dice
2 stalks lemon grass, trimmed and roughly chopped
2 small chilies, stems removed
1 1/2 cups white sugar
soda water
lime wedges

Combine the ginger, lemongrass and chilies in a food processor and process until minced, stopping the machine periodically and scraping down the sides, if necessary.

Place the puree in a saucepan with the sugar and 1 quart water. Bring to the boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium and simmer for about 15 minutes.
Turn off the heat. Cool, then strain and chill.

To serve, place about 1/4 cup of the syrup in a glass full of ice. Fill with soda water, taste and add more syrup if you like. Garnish with a lime wedge, then serve

Red Rooster

This is a fabulous frozen alcoholic slushy I keep in my freezer for entertaining in the warmer months. Everyone loves it as it’s refreshing and packs a punch.
It’s wonderfully easy to prepare and just sits in your freezer waiting to be scooped into an ornate glass and served with a mint leaf or a slice of orange on the side of the glass.

Red Rooster           Makes about 2 quarts

1 1/2 quarts cranberry juice cocktail
1 (6-ounce) can frozen orange juice concentrate, defrosted
2 cups vodka

Combine all of the ingredients in a large plastic container. Stir well.
Freeze for several hours. it will not freeze solid, but rather, achieve the consistency of a slushy.
Scoop into wine or martini glasses and serve.