Disclosure: I founded and run The Denver Bloggers Club. We host monthly event. Our last event was sponsored by Sprouts Farmers Market. Sprouts provided compensation and free catering trays and supplies. All opinions are my own.
Last week the Denver Bloggers Club hosted a two-hour “happy” hour event. Oh, yes, we were happy.
That’s because this was a cocktail-making party hosted by the generous and ever insightful Barb Kiebel of Creative Culinary. She opened her home to us and showed us exactly how to make a fruit-infused margaritas of our own. Barb is quite the cocktail making guru – featuring a new cocktail on her blog each week!
I have to admit, I’m a bit of a novice when it comes to cocktail making. It’s embarressing, I know.
I actually have no clue what I’m doing.
Somehow I pulled off making this drink.
But Barb set me straight as she showed us all how to make a margarita base using tequila, organic liquor as well as lemon and lime juice (all gluten-free ingredients, I made Barb show me all the labels – but you should read labels carefully too).
With the base ready to go, Barb showed us a fun way to take these margaritas to the next level. She certainly has accumulated a few tricks over the years.
Her first trick is she grates fresh oranges, lemons and limes, then allows the grates to dry out before mixing the grated citruses with a Kosher salt and sugar blend. She uses these delicious concoctions to rim her margarita glasses. It’s a fun way to create an even more beautiful, colorful and tasty drink.
Barb also uses fresh fruits in many of her custom cocktails (thank goodness we had all these fresh fruits from Sprouts on hand!).
Barb taught us all how to muddle the fruit. I’ve never heard of muddling before this event – boy am I a novice!
Muddling is when you take fresh fruit (or a variety of fresh fruits and herbs) and press those fruits inside a cocktail shaker in order to extract the juices. I muddled a combination of strawberries, orange slices and fresh basil. I had to put some muscle into it!
After muddling my choice fruits, I added the margarita base to the shaker and vigorously shook all the ingredients together. I then poured the margarita and fruit juices into a salt-sugar rimmed glass, garnished the glass with a strawberry and proceeded to Barb’s studio to photograph my creation before drinking it.
(Barb also told us some other secrets to photographing a cocktail. I just can’t share her secrets here because she shared them in confidence.)
I got to chat with my blogger friends as I enjoyed my cocktail concoction. These ladies inspire me so much!
We also snacked on fresh fruits and vegetables provided by Sprouts Farmer’s Markets. Just look at these beautiful catering trays (ignore the gluteny ones – those were for the other guests). Sprouts really sources fresh, quality produce.
Here are a few of my blogger friends with their cocktail creations.
At the end of the event, everyone got to take home a Sprouts reusable bag filled with orange blossom soap, lemonade, mineral water and lemon cookies.
Overall, this happy hour event was a success – thanks to Barb, Sprouts and each and every blogger who came to share an afternoon with their creative blogger friends!
PS: Look at this adorable cup Jennifer McLeland of Holistic Head to Toe made for me! It’s hard to see in the picture, but it says “Keep Calm and Blog On – Denver Blogger’s Club.” So cute! (Thanks Jen!)
- Create the base margarita as directed by Creative Culinary
- 4 strawberries
- 2 basil leaves
- 1 orange slice
- Lime wedge (for rim of glass)
- Sugar + Kosher salt mixture (for rim of glass)
Prepare the margarita base by .... Set aside.
Prepare your glass by rubbing a lime wedge on the rim of a glass and then dipping it in a sugar and salt mixture. Fill glass with ice. Set aside.
In a cocktail shaker, add strawberries, basil leaves and orange slice. Muddle the ingredients together to extract all the juices and flavors.
Add about 6 oz of the margarita base to the cocktail shaker, cover and then vigorously shake everything together.
Pour the liquid contents (use the strainer at the top of the cocktail shaker) into your glass.
Garnish with a strawberry and enjoy!