Category Archives: beverages

Rhubarb Mojito

I love rhubarb and I love mojito’s so what better cocktail than this winning combination of two favorite tastes! A delicious simple syrup made with rhubarb not only infuses the  cocktail with the taste of rhubarb but it creates a beautiful pink hue to the beverage!  You’ll love kicking off your summer with this beverage in hand!

From by the bay wishing you, delicious rhubarb food memories!


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Rhubarb Simple Syrup


4 cups fresh chopped rhubarb

lime rind

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup water


In a medium saucepan combine sugar, water, rhubarb and rind. Bring to a boil, stirring, until sugar has dissolved and rhubarb has softened. Using a fine mesh sieve to strain. Allow to cool. Store in a glass jar in the refrigerator until ready to use. Will keep for one week.

Rhubarb Mojito


3 ounces rhubarb syrup

1 ounce lime juice

1 lime wedge

2 ounces white rum

5 mint leaves

1sprig mint


sparkling water


Place mint leaves and 1 lime wedge into a sturdy glass. Use a muddler to crush the mint and lime to release the mint oils and lime juice. Add rhubarb simple syrup and lime juice, and muddle. Do not strain the mixture. Fill the glass almost to the top with ice. Pour the rum over the ice, and fill the glass with carbonated water. Stir. Garnish with the remaining mint. Enjoy!

Spicy Bloody Mary with Pickled Tomatillos

This Spicy Bloody Mary recipe is my light version of one of my favorite drinks. I use low sodium vegetable juice as the base of the drink. Instead of horseradish, I gave my bloody mary it’s heat from fresh slices of jalapeno peppers and hot pepper sauce. This combination makes for a light and refreshing drink. Garnish with olives and pickled tomatillos and enjoy!

From by the bay, wishing you spicy and pickled food memories!


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Spicy Bloody Mary with Pickled Tomatillos

Makes 3 to 4 drinks


16 ounces low sodium tomato or vegetable juice

4 ounces good quality vodka

1/2 teaspoon red hot pepper sauce

1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce ( I like to use bourbon barrel aged)

2 jalapeno peppers sliced

1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

juice of 1 lemon

pickled tomatillos and green olives


Combine all ingredients except tomatillos and olives in a pitcher. Mix well. Pour into glasses filled with ice. Garnish with picked tomatillos and green olives.

Recipe for pickled tomatillos below.

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Pickled Tomatillos


1 1/2 cups distilled white vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon sea salt
1 peeled garlic clove
1 teaspoon cumin seed
1 jalapeno
1 pound tomatillos, husks removed, cored, washed, and into quarters or eighths depending on size


Heat vinegar, sugar, salt, and 3 cups water in a medium saucepan until simmering. Put garlic clove, jalapeno and cumin seed into 1 widemouthed pt. jars. Fill jars with tomatillos, pushing down to pack. Pour hot brine over tomatillos to fill each jar to the top. Seal with lids. Chill to develop flavor, at least 1 day and up to 1 month.

Homemade Pear Soda

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First weekend after Labor Day and  the signs of fall are here by the bay – the beach parking lot is no longer filled with sunbathers but antique cars for the annual fall show, acorns are falling on my back deck with a few brown leaves , the evenings are getting cooler but the day are still warm. There is an abundance of pears and apples at the farmer’s market.  With the days still warm I wanted to make something refreshing to drink after my walk to the antique car show, then I  remembered a pear soda a tried just a few weeks ago. Pear soda is not easy to find, so I took advantage of the pears I bought at the farm stand to make my own soda. So much simpler than shopping for it in stores. It’s perfectly refreshing! Enjoy!

From by the bay wishing you delicious fizzy pear food memories!


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Pear soda

3 pears
2 cups water
2 cups sugar

optional: pear slices to garnish


Peel, core and cube pears. Place in a medium saucepan with water and sugar. Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes.  Use a potato masher to mash pear.  Use a fine mesh sieve to strain mixture pressing the liquid through with a back of a spoon and cool. Pour 1/4 cup pear syrup in a glass and top with soda water. Enjoy!

Note: if you don’t want to throw the pear mash out put back in saucepan, add a 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger and a 1/2 cup of fresh or frozen whole cranberries and cook stirring ocassionally, until cranberries burst. Cool and serve it’s like a cranberry pear sauce.

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Bloody Mary Mix with Candied Bacon

 I recently rediscovered the Bloody Mary at brunch a few weeks ago.  The reason I abandoned this wonderful drink was due to all the poor tasting versions I had over the the years.  You can only drink watered down tomato juice with a splash of vodka so many times before giving up. The Bloody Mary I drank a few weeks ago was something completely different. It had the best quaility ingredients and as we know that can make all the difference!! So I set out on the happy task of making my own bloody mary mix and then to make it extra special I added a candied strip of bacon to stir the cocktail. The mix is peppery with from the fresh horseradish, with some heat from the cayenne and a freshness thanks to all that lemon juice. Make sure the Bloody Mary is icy cold to really enjoy all the flavors. Dipping that sweet crispy candied bacon into the cold spicy Bloody Mary and taking a bite  really is heaven!  I suggest a pitcher for your next lazy weekend!!

From by the bay, wishing you Bloody Mary food memories and don’t forget the bacon!


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Bloody Mary Mix with Candied Bacon

Makes approximately 32 ounces of mix


  • 1 (25-ounce) jar tomato passata,  preferably San Marzano or best quality tomato juice
  • 3 tablespoons freshly grated horseradish or best quality prepared grated horseradish
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice from 4 to 5 lemons
  • 3 celery stalks, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon fine grey sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 8 slices bacon, 1/4 inch thick, best quality
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar

Place tomato passata in a bowl. In a food processor add the celery and 1/4 cup water and blend. Strain liquid into a cup.  You should have about 1/4 cup liquid. Discard the solids and add the celery infused water to the tomatoes.  To the tomato base add horseradish, lemon juice, remaining 1/4 cup water, vinegars, salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper and cayenne. Refrigerate until ready to use. About an hour before serving preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place bacon, brown sugar and 1 teaspoon black pepper in a bowl.  Mix well. Place slices  bacon flat onto the parchment paper. Sprinkle any remaining sugar on the bacon. Cover bacon with a second sheet of parchment. Place a second baking sheet on top of the parchment. This will keep the bacon flat while cooking. Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes, remove top baking sheet and parchment paper and let continue to bake another 10 minutes or until crispy and a dark brown color. Remove from oven and place on rack to cool immediately.

To make Bloody Mary:

Take 3 parts bloody mary mix to 1 part vodka. Mix well. Serve chilled or over ice. Place a slice of candied bacon into each bloody mary just as you serve.



Watermelon Lemonade

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In the dead heat of the summer, nothing is more refreshing than an icy cold fruit drink. Lemonade is  the most traditional of these beverages. Considered the quintessential American drink, it’s made with a simple syrup of sugar and water  mixed with more water and lemon juice. By adding other fruit purees you can make all kinds of variations . My favorite is watermelon lemonade, the ultimate refreshment. With the height of summer upon us, have an ice cold pitcher ready to serve to quench your thirst. 

From by the bay , wishing you refreshing food memories!

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Watermelon Lemonade
4 cups watermelon, cubed without the rind
4 cups cold water
1/2 cup fine granulated sugar
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
In a  food processor add the watermelon with 2 cups of water and puree. Strain into a bowl. In a medium sauce pan make a simple syrup by bringing the sugar and 1/2 cup water to a boil. Once the sugar is dissolved remove from heat . Add to the water melon mixture with the remaining water and lemon juice. Mix Well. Place in a jar and refrigerate until cold before serving.Serving options:
1. with a splash of vodka for a hard lemonade
2. with a splash of sparkling water
3. with a sprig of mint or basil
4. with sparkling wine
5. with some berries
6. Freeze into a slush or popsicle

Summer Agua Recipes

I just returned from a vacation visiting San Francisco and the surrounding areas. I highly recommend it! While shopping, I was struck by the number of small shops offering fruit flavored water to their guests. After buying so many bottles of fruit flavored water, I loved the idea of making my own.  When I returned to by the bay on Long Island, I did a little research. I discovered that agua fresca is Mexican in origin, frequently found in the traveling street markets, used to tempt shoppers. One of the most popular agua is made with watermelon. I quickly bought some watermelon and oranges to make my own flavored waters for the weekend. I am using less sugar then usually suggested in these recipes, as it’s my preference to have the water be less sweet and really taste the fruit flavor. The first recipe is for a watermelon agua, you could easily switch out the watermelon for cantaloupe or strawberries. The second recipe is for an orange flavored water. I am thinking to experiment next weekend making fresh ginger with the cantaloupe or cucumber water with mint. There are endless possibilities. Both recipes below are fantastic and it’s a great way to beat the heat!

From by the bay wishing you fruity food memories!
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Watermelon Agua (Water)
3/4 pound watermelon, diced without the rind
4 cups water
2 tablespoons fine granulated sugar
juice of one lime (optional)
In a  food processor add the watermelon with 2 cups of water and puree. Strain into a bowl. Add the remaining 2 cups of water , sugar and lime juice. Mix Well. Place in a jar and refrigerate until cold before serving.
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Orange Aqua (Water)

1 inch piece of orange zest
2 oranges peeled and quartered
4 cups water
2 tablespoons fine granulated sugar
orange slices
In a food processor add the oranges and zest with 2 cups of water and puree. Strain into a bowl. Add the remaining 2 cups of water and sugar. Mix well. Place in jar along with orange slices and refrigerate until cold before serving.

Cocktails by the Bay – Forever Blue

Article first published as Cocktails By the Bay – Forever Blue on Technorati.

My parents were of the Mad Men generation, where cocktails were the standard and they always had a name. My parents had an interesting library of books, among them were exercising with Jack Lalanne , Betty Crocker Cookbooks and Better Homes and Gardens – the Garden Book. Tucked in the corner there sat two tiny  pink books called  A Guide to Pink Elephants. I loved to flip through these little books looking at pictures of cocktails, not really understanding a thing about them. As an adult I rejected the idea of  mixed drinks with names as corny and old fashioned,that is, until I arrived to Hong Kong for the first time. There I was sitting at the hotel bar with sweeping views of the Hong Kong Harbor and a menu just filled with cocktails that had names. It changed my whole perspective. It appears that mixed drinks are making a resurgence, so how could I resist coming up with a few cocktails for summer here by the bay? Of course, they needed to have blue curacoa as an ingredient. What could be better than sipping on a cool drink that looks as cool as the water you are sitting next too. Move over Don Drapper.

From by the bay wishing you the bluest of food memories!
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Forever Blue Bay Cocktail
Take one champagne flute, add 2 teaspoons blue curacoa, 1 squeeze of orange juice and top off with champagne. Give a quick stir and enjoy!
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Cool Blue Bay
Take a glass and add 1 tablespoon blue curacoa, 4 tablespoons vodka, 1/2 cup limeade and 1/2 cup club soda. Add a slice of lime. Make sure all ingredients are cold , stir and drink!

Cinco de Mayo Party

Celebrate this cinco de mayo with these easy recipes – guacamole, cool cucumber salsa and watermelon agua spike with silver tequila!
From by the bay wishing you happy cinco de mayo food memories!
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Serves 4
3 Haas avocados, ripe
3 tablespoons lime juice
1/4 cup scallions, chopped
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1 teaspoon sea salt
In a medium bowl add the lime juice and sea salt , let the salt dissolve. Cut and remove flesh from avocado and place into bowl with lime juice /salt along with scallions and mash with fork. Add ingredients listed below depending on the version you are making and mix well. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.
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Cool Cucumber Salsa
2 English Cucumbers, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup red onion, chopped
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon fine granulated sugar
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 lime, juice and zest
Mix all ingredients in a bowl and place in a refrigerator for at least two hours before serving.
Note: You can also use regular cucumbers, but remove the seeds before chopping. It’s easiest if after you peel the cucumber slice length wise in half , take a spoon and scoop out the seeds.You might want to add a little more sugar to taste, sometimes regular cucumbers are little more bitter.
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Watermelon Agua (Water) with Tequila
Serves 4
3/4 pound watermelon, diced without the rind
4 cups water
2 tablespoons fine granulated sugar
juice of one lime
1/2 cup silver tequila
In a  food processor add the watermelon with 2 cups of water and puree. Strain into a bowl. Add the remaining 2 cups of water , sugar, tequila and lime juice. Mix Well. Place in a jar and refrigerate until cold before serving.