ϟ White Lightning Sangria ϟ

There are lots of different ways to make sangria. Red wine, white wine, pink wine; hints of vodka and brandy- someday I’ll try them all! But I was poking around the internet the other day and found a recipe for White Lightning Sangria; the name was too fun to pass up. I made up my own version of the drink for this post! As I’ve mentioned before in terms of punch, pre-mixed cocktails are perfect at parties. You control the quantity and quality of the liquor, your guests still get a buzz, everybody wins! Feel free to change up the fruit according to what you have/prefer. I think fresh berries in this would be amazing!

Sangria (adapted from Food Network.com, makes 6-8 servings depending on cup size)

– 1 bottle chilled white wine (the bottle of Sauvignon Blanc I used was on sale for $5.99 #class)

– 1/2 cup vodka

– 2 oz Grand Marnier

– 1/2 cup white grape juice

– 1/2 cup strawberry compote (or strawberry syrup)

– 1/2 grapefruit, sliced

– the other half of said grapefruit, juiced

– 1 green apple, sliced

– 1 lemon, sliced

– 1 orange, sliced

– seltzer or ginger ale

Pour wine, vodka, and Grand Marnier into a pitcher along with the fruit and juice . Chill for at least an hour, then add seltzer/ginger ale to your liking before serving (or add more wine woooo!). For an extra hit of lighting, sprinkle chopped pieces of crystallized ginger into each glass. Serve over ice if desired. ϟ



Espresso Martini

Well, it’s happened. I finally found it. The best cocktail. One that involves booze, coffee, and coffee-flavored booze. Now, hold onto your heart-rates because I’m gonna tell you how to make it. But maybe just have one, unless you have a burning desire to wake up on in bed at 5 am with the beginnings of three different DIY projects under you, your computer playing Diners Drive Ins and Dives at the highest possible volume and your shoes still on. Not that this happened to me or anything.

Anyway, let’s make a cocktail.

Martini (from kahlua.com)

– 1 1/2 oz. Kahlua

– 1 oz. vodka

– 1 fresh shot espresso (or maybe go for just a shot of plain coffee)

Pull the espresso shot. Add Kahlua and vodka to a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the coffee and shake well. Strain into a martini glass with one or two chocolate covered espresso beans and a twist of lemon.

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Barbotage Spécial

Happy 100th post, Spices and Spatulas!! To celebrate, I thought we’d have a little toast (and by we, I mean myself and my computer, but feel free to break out the bubbly while you read some of my #feelings) with a festive champagne cocktail.  It’s taken me well over a year to really get into the blog and post regularly, but I’m ever so glad I did. I’m an avid list-maker, but I tend to get sidetracked, so having at least one aspect of my life where I’m relatively obligated to do things from start to finish and keep up on a regular basis is really wonderful. Much as I hate to admit it, there’s something to be said about setting goals for oneself, even if they’re as simple as “post something twice a week” or “upload pictures right after image editing”. It’s truly a comfort to think that there are (maybe) at least a handful of people out there who are regular readers of my ramblings, and I’m so unbelievably grateful. I hope you all stick around for my next 100 posts!

Just in case anyone was wondering, I’ve polished a few things- now super professional with About and FAQ pages~

Okay, I’m sure at this point you’re really ready for a drink, so here we go! It packs quite the punch, I hope you’re ready.

Barbotage (adapted from siroter.com)

– 1/2 ounce cold lemon juice

– 1 ounce cold orange juice

– 1/2 ounce cognac

– 1 tsp. Grand Marnier (or Cointreau, or Triple Sec)

– chilled Brut champagne (mine was $6.99- jealous??)

Pour cognac and Grand Marnier into a champagne flute (or a goblet if you’re me and that’s all you have in your dorm room). Add the orange and lemon juice. Top with champagne. Here’s to you!

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ninety eight

Hot Tea Toddy

There have definitely been nights this winter where no matter how many pairs of socks/blankets/overcoats I put on, I just can’t get warm. Maybe it’s because I have poor circulation and am pretty much always cold, sometimes to the point where my lips and fingernails turn blue- cute, amiright? But I’m sure there are others out there who understand this problem. As with many seemingly unsolvable troubles, I have discovered the answer: alcohol. Alcohol fixes many things. And try as you may to warm yourself with clothing or heat, nothing beats a good drunk blanket. Thank you alcohol! This recipe is a take on the classic hot toddy, with the added benefit of tea (I used decaf though- for me, this is a sleepytime drink). Although I do think this would make a pretty rockin’ summer daytime drink if put on ice. Kinda like buzzed sweet tea. I’m a fan. I bet you will be too. As much as I love warm cocktails, I’m getting pretty sick of the cold weather here in New England. Hopefully by posting a very wintery drink I will jinx things and spring will actually begin?

Toddy (adapted from 200 Cocktails)

– 1 1/2 oz brandy, whiskey, or rum (I used whiskey)

– 1 tbsp honey

– 1 decaf English Breakfast tea bag

– 1/4 lemon, sliced

– 1 cup boiling water

Place the liquor, honey, and tea bag in a mug. Add the water and lemon (squeezing for juice). Let steep for about 5 minutes, then remove tea bag.


eighty four

Cranberry Lime Prosecco Punch (with a Cranberry Ice Block)

This is such a festive punch! Very fresh and tart, and only a little boozy. I love making punch bowls to serve at parties, it lasts for quite a long time and when it’s finished all you have to do is wash a bowl! It also prevents leaving the host of the party with 15 quarter-full bottles of wine because someone wanted a slightly oakier Chardonnay than the 3 bottles that were already opened. Yeah, I speak wine. Jealous? Another great thing about punches is that you can make them as weak or as strong as you want. YOU and you alone control how much booze actually goes into the bowl, which can really help keep a party budget down if you want to entertain but offering a full bar isn’t in the cards. This recipe is made with Prosecco, an Italian sparkling white wine, but punch possibilities are truly endless! I even found one made with beer- classsssssy! Maybe I’ll try my hand at that sometime.

Quick word on ice blocks: they may look fancyridiculous, but honestly they are worth it. Who likes watery almost room temperature drinks? Not I! That’s where the ice blocks come in: they stay frozen for pretty much as long as a bowl of punch lasts, keeping it cold and delicious and not the least bit watered down. Also they’re SO PRETTY, which is always a plus in my book.

Check out this fun Gin Punch I made last year as well!

Cranberry Ice Block

– 4 cups water

– 2 cups fresh canberries

Place the cranberries in a METAL bundt pan. Boil the water and pour gently pour it over the berries (hot water will slightly cook the berries so they’re less tart, which makes for better snacking when as the block starts to melt. The color also gets crazy vibrant and pretty!) The water may look cloudy but it will freeze clear. Freeze the block for several hours or overnight until solid, being careful not to nudge it (as someone clearly did to my block, making an awkward glacier-like portion of an otherwise beautiful ring. Life is hard).

Punch (portion size varies depending on how large your serving cups are, but it should get you about 15-20 modest glasses)

– 3 1/2 cups cranberry pomegranate juice (be sure to use pre-chilled juices and wine!)

– 4 oz. lime juice

– 2 cups pineapple juice

– 1 cup ginger ale

– 2 bottles Prosecco

Pour the cranberry juice into the punch bowl and then un-mold your ice ring (run the mold under hot water until it slides out, then GENTLY place it cranberry side up over the juice). Add the rest of the ingredients and stir to combine. Make adjustments according to your taste and enjoy! I served it in this, a super cool cake plate that doubles as a punch bowl when you flip it over, but a simple large bowl will obviously suffice!

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sixty six

The St-Germain Cocktail

Who loves St-Germain? I tried it for the first time at the beginning of the summer and I could not be happier. If you don’t know, St-Germain is sweet liqueur made from elderberries. And it’s French. If I really had to describe the flavor I would have to say it tastes like fairy dust and orangepeachpeargrapefruitapricot. And for that level of specificity, you’re welcome. Needless to say, you should probably give it a try sometime. My favorite way to drink St-Germain is super simple: 1 oz. of the liqueur with club soda and wedge of lemon. Simple and so refreshing. But if you’re interested in a more fancy cocktail, this recipe is the way to do it. The St-Germain cocktail involves champagne or sparkling wine, club soda, and a wedge of lemon. Doesn’t sound that different from what I just explained a sentence earlier, does it? Well, things are not always as they appear. You’d never know it, but there’s something about adding sparkling wine to a cocktail that instantly makes you feel like you’re wearing dark lipstick and casually thinking about existentialism. So you should probably get on this.

Cocktail (makes one)

– 2 parts Champagne or Dry Sparkling Wine (I used Prosecco because I’m exceedingly fancy and not at all a poor student)

– 1 1/2 parts St-Germain

– 2-3 parts Club Soda

– lemon wedge

Combine liquid ingredients in an ice-filled glass (I used my new fancy Dizzy Cocktail Glasses, because the name thoroughly excited me). Garnish with lemon. Put on party dress and be cooler than all your friends. Sip often.

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Jam Cocktails

I recently found out about jam cocktails, and oh my goodness my life has been changed for the better. I honestly don’t know why I hadn’t thought of this on my own. I’m constantly jazzing up cocktails with muddled fruit and simple syrup; jam is essentially those two ingredients combined! Plus the little pieces of fruit in jam have been cooked, so they’re softer than your standard muddled fruity chunks. Now there’s no chance in awkwardly choking on your drink while someone talks to you about the patriarchy and mistakes your coughing for ignorance at a cocktail party! (Or maybe that’s just my life..aheh). Also, maybe you wouldn’t necessarily think about this, but the little bit of thickness that is the consistency of jam really does add a new level of intensity when mixed into a cocktail. I do believe that jam would be a fantastic addition to any standard drink (gin and tonic, gimlet, martinis even), but I came up with two of my own just to get everyone excited. I want another one just typing this. Also, a really great thing about these is they make equally delicious mocktails. Once you take away the hooch it’s not just soda water or juice. So you’re welcome, world!

Peach Mango Jam Cocktail (makes one modest drink)

– 1 or 2 ounces vodka

– 1 tbsp peach jam (I used this)

– 1/2 cup mango lemonade (they also make a peach lemonade, which would work quite well here too, I just couldn’t find any!)

– pinch of ground ginger

– pinch of ground cloves (my favorite part of this drink. Don’t omit them, you’ll be sorry!)

– orange slices

– crystalized ginger slices

In a cocktail shaker combine vodka, jam, lemonade, and ground ginger with lots of ice. Shake well. Pour into a glass and garnish with orange slices and crystalized ginger. Sprinkle ground cloves on top.



Mixed Berry Pomegranate Jam Cocktail (makes one modest drink)

– 1 or 2 ounces vodka

– 1 tbsp mixed berry preserves (I used this)

– 1/2 cup cranberry pomegranate juice

– splash of lemon lime seltzer

– frozen berries

In a cocktail shaker combine vodka, preserves, and juice with lots of ice. Shake well. Pour into a glass with a splash of seltzer. Garnish with frozen berries (the more you add, the longer your drink will stay cold without getting watery!)



thirty seven

Vegetable Juice Bloody Marys

If you’ve ever met me, odds are I’ve told you about how much I hate tomatoes. I mean, really, they’re squishy and have pulp and seeds and oh my god #srsly I can’t. Just thinking about them right now. Oooof. HOWEVER, I love ketchup. I love tomato sauce. I love tomato soup. I don’t know, man. It’s just weird. Right now you’re probably thinking “But no! Tomatoes are the candy of the earth! The apple of the vegetables-that-are-actually-fruits! There’s nothing better than a freshly sliced tomato on a bagel!” Welllllll I don’t believe you. I’m sorry, I just don’t.

Annnnnnyway, that was an extraordinarily long-winded way of saying that even though I identify as a Tomatohater, this recipe is a drink of tomatoes and it is delicious. I don’t know why. Maybe because it’s like a refreshing tomato soup you don’t have to eat with a spoon and that’s always exciting. Or maybe it’s because of the vodka. G’head, you be the judge.

(Also, in case you’re wondering why I specified that these are vegetable juice bloody marys is that I think it’s just the most flavorful choice. By all means, feel free to use plain jane tomato juice or even bloody mary mix! But I can promise it won’t be as delicious as these)

Bloody Marys (makes one drink)

– Ice

– 1 or 2 ounces Vodka

-Low Sodium Vegetable Juice (I think this one is the best)

– 1 Lemon

– about 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

– Green olives (I like the big ones with pimentos. None of those fancy Whole Foods olive bar finds. Those should be saved for devouring in front of the fridge with the door still open when no one is looking)

– Salt and pepper

Place a few ice cubes and about half a lemon’s worth of juice into the bottom of your glass. Add the vodka. Fill the glass most of the way full with vegetable juice. Add the worcestershire sauce, then salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with lemon and lime slices and (if you’re me) about 6 olives. Enjoy!



thirty one


Spring has finally (FINALLY) really arrived in my neck of the woods, which basically means one thing..well, maybe two: pastels and festive drinks. I ask you, what’s more retro than that?

Not only are mojitos an adorable shade of pale green, they were the perfect pre-finals treat last week. In my opinion, lime + mint is one of the best combinations ever. It just tastes like warm weather and picnics and flowers and sundresses and hi I’m a girl. Anyway, I actually left my room and walked to the grocery store to spend 4 whole dollars on a little bushel of fresh mint, liberated quite a bit more than your average coffee cup’s worth of simple syrup from my campus cafe, cracked open a cheap bottle of rum (the budget of a college student rocks, don’t you agree?) and made a pitcher or two of these bad boys to ring in the end of the semester! Even with my frugal ingredients, they were actually super delicious- clearly more of a testament to how rad mojitos are than any sort of funky describing I could do..

ps- as much as I love pouring and stirring on the floor of a comically small dorm room, now that school is over I can get back in the kitchen and post more real recipes!

Pitcher o’Mojitos (serves 6 normal people or 2 college students on your average Wednesday night. Just kidding. Sorta)

– juice of 10 limes or 1 1/4 cups bottled

– 20-30 leaves of fresh mint (seems like a lot but this is no joke. Put them all in or else)

– 3/4 cup of simple syrup (you can buy a bottle of this magic liquid at any grocery store or see the recipe at the end of the post if you don’t feel like putting real pants on/leaving your house)

– 1 cup white rum

– club soda

– ice

Put the lime juice, mint leaves, and simple syrup into a pitcher. Using a wooden spoon, get out all your aggressions I MEAN gently muddle the ingredients until all those great minty oils are released. Add rum and fill the rest of the pitcher up with club soda. Pour into ice-filled glasses and garnish with fresh lime slices and more mint. This recipe isn’t super duper sweet or strong, which I actually prefer when it comes to pitchers of drinks, but feel free to add more of any of the ingredients to your taste!

Simple Syrup

– 2 parts water

– 1 part sugar

In a medium saucepan bring the water to a boil. Dissolve the sugar into the boiling water, stirring constantly. Once the sugar is dissolved, remove the pan from the heat. (Don’t let it boil for too long or the syrup will be too thick). Allow to cool completely.

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twenty nine

Gin Punch with Glitter Ice Block (New Year’s edition)

Yes, you read that correctly. I am in fact about to blog about something I made on New Year’s Eve, well over two months ago. And ironically my New Year’s resolution was to stop being lazy and cook/blog more instead of watching so much Netflix and eating in the dining hall every night. Ahem…

I’ve also realized that either 1) WordPress changes its entire website layout several times a month (/week/day) so that it’s completely and entirely different every time I (admittedly rarely) go to blog and awkwardly scroll around looking for where to log in for a full five minutes or 2) I log in so infrequently that I honestly forget what the website looks like (and still have to awkwardly scroll around looking for where to log in). So now that you know all this- and I’m sure you were just dying to know- on to the mini recipe!

So did you know that gin punch was the precursor of the Tom Collins? Well, now you do! This recipe is straight outta Gourmet Magazine circa 1967, where it states that this punch is “a party in a bowl” so…I think you better get ready. Gourmet doesn’t mess around. The ice block was something my co-New-Year’s-party-host/head of the Party Planning Committee/life coach created. And it was brilliant. Just wait ’til you see. Final notes on this recipe: Retro? Check. Looks adorable photographed? Check. Moving on.



– Juice of 20+ oranges (Yeah. This didn’t happen. The juice carton is a thing also.)

– Juice of 12+ lemons (See above)

– 2 qts. gin

– 4 jiggers of grenadine (Unless you’re me. In which case it was more like 10…)

– 6 dashes bitters (We actually nixed this. But you don’t have to.)

– 2+ qts. soda water

– Orange and lemon slices

– Ice block/cubes

– Punch bowl

Combine and enjoy; if you’re using the ice block be sure to put it in before the soda water to reduce splashing on party clothes. This is the most delicious thing you’ll ever drink.


Ice Block

– Water

– Metal Bundt Pan or bowl

– Edible gitter (optional) ((But really it’s not.))

Fill a *METAL* Bundt pan (we used a swirly one, because it is beautiful) with water and pour in a few teaspoons of edible glitter. Freeze overnight. Let defrost just long enough so that it un-molds, and if it’s being really difficult run water around the pan. Place it in the punch and go crazy! Here is a list of other awesome things you could add to the ice before freezing it: mint leaves, berries, fruit slices, etc.