The colder it gets outside the more I love to cuddle up with a good blanket and a hot drink. Teas, coffees, ciders… I have no favorites. Hot Toddy’s tend to be on a regular rotation at my house when the temps get cooler. I particularly love a good traditional hot toddy (check out this post or this post for a good, simple hot toddy recipe) but, today I felt like mixing it up a bit and making myself a hot toddy with an salted caramel apple twist. I honestly don’t know if it is better to call it a hot cider or hot toddy… but, either way, it is tasty and hot.
Salted Caramel Apple Hot Toddy
- 3/4 oz UV Vodka‘s Salty Caramel Apple Vodka
- 1 oz Buffalo Trace Bourbon Whiskey
- 4 oz Hot Apple Juice
- Optional: Sprinkle of sea salt, sprinkle of nutmeg & apple slice for garnish
- Heat apple juice on stove top and pour into a mug or brandy glass
- Pour in bourbon and flavored vodka
- Top with garnish of your choice… I chose all three!
FTC Disclosure: UV Vodka sent a bottle of vodka for me to try out. All opinions are my own.
In the spirit of the new year I’m looking back on some favorites… since I try to post cocktails on Saturdays for my Saturday Spirits posts I thought I’d share my top five favorite cocktail posts of 2014! These five are the cocktails that I loved the most out of the ones I shared this past year.
This cocktail has to be my favorite of the year… not because it is complex or anything. But, I loved the flavor of the home-made lollipop paired with the sparkling wine. I featured this drink at my Hey Girl— Ryan Gosling themed birthday party.
Spiked Ice Cream (without an ice cream maker)
Not quite sure this one counts as a cocktail really… but, it definitely counts as a favorite. These easy spiked ice cream recipes don’t even need an ice cream maker.
A good lemon drop should be sweet and tart both. This Lemon Ginger Drop gives you the sweet, the tart & an added kick of spice!
Never underestimate the greatness of a good ole’ fashion martini. Twists on the classic martini can make an old favorite a new favorite with ease.
I guess I really like a kick in my cocktails. This Jalapeno Margarita recipe was inspired by the best margarita I’ve ever had.
The “Top Posts” blog posts that are going around seem to get a 50/50 response to whether people enjoy them or not. Regular readers are probably bored by them because they have read all of the posts within the list… but, new readers get a quick hit list of posts to check out. I thought about this when deciding whether or not to include a couple of my own “top” posts lists. If anything else, it is a good form of blog maintenance for me so that I can keep track of what readers like to read and what I like to write. So, with no further ado… here are the top 5 posts visited on my blog in 2014 according to Google Analytics:
Most visited post of 2014:
My top post of 2014 was the free printable blog planners. Check out the 2014 blog planner edition of the printables. Don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter… the 2015 edition is coming very soon and blog subscribers get first downloads!
Second highest visited post of 2014:
My second most visited post of 2014 are the potluck printables I created. Click on over to download the free potluck printables! If you liked those potluck printables then you might like the holiday potluck printables and facebook invite cover images I created. Pin them for next year.
Third highest visited post of 2014:
My third post that vistors frequented the most is actually a favorite from 2012— First Birthday Activity Ideas. I loved this party so much… but, we had even more fun at the kiddo’s second birthday a Town Themed birthday party filled with tons of town-themed party ideas!
Fourth highest visited post of 2014:
My fourth post that readers seemed to visit the most is another free printable post— Free Printable Mini Cupcake Toppers. The Luck in Love party (another highly visited post) featured these adorable toppers. I think they’d make for a cute Valentine’s party element.
Fifth highest post visited in 2014:
My fifth highest post that readers popped in to view is a DIY project that will be perfect for you upcoming Spring parties… it’s just around the corner after all! These DIY Cherry Blossom Branches are beautiful decorating the home or as a centerpiece at a party.
Continuing with all the oyster goodness (sorry for my followers that are not a fan… I will give oysters a break soon!) I have one more quick way to make a tasty topping for your oyster platters. At my recent Black, White & Gold birthday celebration I served to different platter of oysters. I served a briny oyster with champagne granita and a sweeter oyster with tabasco and lemon. I always love a good oyster with tabasco and lemon. However, these champagne granita topped oysters were AMAZING. I could have eaten a dozen of them myself!
Oyster tips from Whole Foods Market:
- The smaller they are, the sweeter they are
- Shucking is about finesse, not power
- The Sweet Spot – There’s an open area in the back of the shell when the knife stops turning, twist the knife and pop the shell open
- Protection – Wear a thick glove to protect your hand and use a rag to hold the oyster for leverage
- History – Find out where the oyster is coming from. They should always have a tag. If they don’t have a tag, you don’t want that oyster!
- If you’re hosting an event or just craving oysters, Whole Foods Market can shuck them in-house for you!
- Oysters are best 2-3 hours after being shucked.
- Prime time for oysters is now through February; the colder the weather, the better the oyster!
- Check out my post on shucking oysters here!
- Check out my tabasco shaved ice topping for oysters here!
- Check out even more oyster topping ideas on the Whole Foods Market Blog.
How To Make Champagne Granita Topped Oysters
- 2 cups of champagne or sparkling wine
- 1/2 cup sugar
- Shucked Oysters – Use a briny oyster to pair nicely with the sweetness of the granita. Shuck the oysters yourself or you can do what I do and ask the nice people at your local Whole Foods Market to shuck them for you.
- Pour 2 cups of champagne into a bowl with 1/2 cup sugar.
- Stir until sugar is dissolved.
- Pour solution into a pan or tupperware item, cover and put in freezer.
- After 1 hour take a fork and break up the partially frozen mixture. You want to sort of drag the fork in lines along the mixture.
- Put mixture back in freezer. Repeat step 4 a few times until the mixture is a sort of snow cone consistency.
- Top oysters with a spoonful (about a teaspoon) of champagne granita and serve immediately.
Serving a less briny oyster? Pair it with little slices of lemon and tabasco for guests to use to taste or a top with a spicy tabasco shaved ice!
This post was not sponsored by Whole Foods Market even though it sort of reads like it is… I learned a lot about oysters when I visited the store for an oyster tasting and then have visited several times since to purchase oysters and feed my oyster addiction.