Archive of ‘Dips & Sips’ category

Watermelon Caipirinhas



Today’s World Cup Cocktails are Watermelon Caipirinhas.  It is a variation on the famous Brazilian Caipirinhas which are lime based.  This version has a splash of lime but watermelon is the star.  Fresh and fruity this cocktail is just as light and delicious as the original recipe however it contains a bright snap of juicy watermelon sweetness.



I was asked a question about the muddler I described in the Brazilian Caipirinhas recipe. There are all sorts out there with price points varying widely.  The one I use I picked up in the kitchen aisle of Target.  The only job of a muddler is to mush the ingredients together and so unless you are planning on lots of muddling the wrong end of a wooden spoon works just as well.  I fall into the muddling often crowd and so I am happy to own one.

The process for this cocktail is simple.  Cut 6-7 cubes of watermelon (about 1/2-3/4 cup total).  I find a riper watermelon works the best.  Place the cubes into a cocktail shaker.  There are two routes you can go with the sweetener.  Either 1 oz. Simple Syrup or 1 TBLS. sugar.  I prefer simple syrup (recipe below) but sugar will work fine.  If you are using sugar add it to the watermelon now and muddle together (if adding simple syrup you’ll add it after the watermelon has been muddled).  The watermelon should resemble a puree but not be completely smooth and liquid and the sugar should be dissolved.  Once muddled add the simple syrup if using, 1 tsp. lime juice and 2 oz. Cachaca.  Cachaca is a Brazilian liquor made of sugar cane.  If you don’t have Cachaca you can substitute vodka (which would change it to a Watermelon Caipiroska).



Fill the shaker to the top with ice, cover, and shake, shake, shake.  This cocktail needs to be icy cold.  I shake it until I can barely hold onto the shaker for fear of freezing my fingers.  Yes, that cold.

Pour your newly created Watermelon Caipirinhas into a highball glass.  This cocktail does contain some of the watermelon pulp.  If you don’t like that texture make sure you really muddle the watermelon well at the beginning to obtain the consistency you like.  Garnish with a wedge of watermelon and sit back and enjoy!

Simple Syrup

1 cup water + 1 cup sugar.  Heat in a saucepan, stirring.  Bring to a boil and cook until sugar dissolves.  Cool.  Store in a jar in the refrigerator.  (Is wonderful in ice tea)!

Brazilian Caipirinhas


Brazilian Caipirinhas

There is nothing like Brazilian Caipirinhas to kick off World Cup madness!  I love the World Cup and so this is a time which can’t come quickly enough for me.  As with the Olympics I always try and explore the food and drink not only of the host country but some of those participating in the event.  This World Cup is in Brazil which offers a multitude of wonderful food and drink opportunities to enjoy during this month long celebration.  The first stop on the culinary tour must be Caipirinhas.  Not only is it the National Cocktail of Brazil it is also mind boggling delicious!  It is a powered up limeade for grown ups.  Fruity, ice cold and delicious this is a hot weather cocktail which should be in every well rounded drink rotation.

The foundation of the drink (apart from limes) is a Brazilian hard liquor made from sugar cane called Cachaca.  Really there are only a few ingredients.  Lime, Cachaca, sugar and ice.  Four. That’s it.  There are lots of variations using all sorts of fruits instead of limes which are also delicious, however, I thought today I would make the original lime version.

Brazilian Caipirinhas


I allow one lime for each cocktail although limes can vary greatly in size and amount of juice they contain.  The limes I used for mine today were on the small side and so I used a whole one for each cocktail. With a larger lime you may only need 1/2.  Cut the lime in half.  Cut each half into 4 slices.  Muddle the 4 slices with 1 TBLS. sugar in the bottom of a highball glass.  I chose to do this in a cocktail shaker as I like mine extra cold and shaking the muddled lime, sugar, cachaca with ice in the shaker produces a much colder cocktail.

The secret to the muddling is to release not only the juice from the limes but also some of the oil from the peel without destroying it completely.  I do not like a grainy cocktail and so I make sure the sugar really dissolves at this point.  If you don’t have a muddler (which looks like a little baseball bat sometimes with spikes on the bottom) you can use the wrong end of a wooden spoon.  Muddling is really just what is sounds like, pressing and mushing the ingredients together.  Okay, that was the most difficult part of making this cocktail.  Not difficult I know but it gets even easier from here on out.

Next, add ice and top with 2 1/2 ounces cachaca (either into the highball glass or the shaker).  If in the shaker the put the top on and shake away, pour (don’t strain) into a glass and enjoy (If in the highball glass give it a stir and you too can enjoy).

I am sure that Brazilian Caipirinhas will quickly become a summertime favorite just as they are here in our home.  We had a little get together this last weekend and served them with a spicy guacamole.  One word.  Amazing.  Enjoy the World Cup and while you are watching join in the fun with a little taste of Brazil!

Blackberry Martini Recipe

 Blackberry Martini Version One

I love a quest.  Right now I am on a quest to find the most delicious Blackberry Martini recipe I can find.  I have scoured the internet and my library of cocktail, mocktail, entertaining and hors d’ouvers cookbooks and have compiled quite a list of drinks.  Some sound yummy and some sound quite non-yummy…or is it un-yummy?  The trick is going to be a cocktail with lots of berry flavor without the cloing sweetness inherent in many of the recipes I have tried.

This is Blackberry Martini version one.  A rather simple concoction of blackberries, vodka, Blackberry liquor, simple syrup and lemon perrier.  Yep.  Lemon Perrier.

Verdit?  It was enjoyable enough.  It had a bit of a kick.  I liked the sparkle but don’t know how much the lemon Perrier added.  I did not like the blackberry bits which ended up floating on the surface of the drink.  And the berry taste wasn’t…well…berry enough.  I think version two might need a kick of another berry…raspberry perhaps.  This is a good one for those that adore blackberries straight up, no chaser.

Blackberry Martini Volume One
Prep time

Total time


Straight up Blackberry flavor in this Blackberry Martini
Recipe type: Cocktail
Serves: 1.5

  • 5 blackberries
  • 2 Tbls. Blackberry Liquor
  • 2 Tbls. Simple Syrup
  • Splash of Lemon Perrier
  • Ice

  1. Mix all ingredients in a cocktail shaker.
  2. Shake until very cold.
  3. Strain into a chilled martini glass.
  4. Serve!


The Joie de Vivre Cheese Board

Joie de Vivre Cheese Board ~ Nesitng with Style

One of my goals with this blog is to be ever mindful that I would like the spirit of Joie de Vivre to permiate my life and the life of my family.

joie de vivre is defined as joy of living; enjoyment of life; ebullience, a keen enjoyment of living, carefree enjoyment of living and a delight in being alive.

We are good at celebrating special occasions but I don’t think we think about making life every day an excersise in that same spirit.  Don’t get me wrong…it is difficult to think about a carefree enjoyment of living when the oven broke with dinner still in it, there is a missing soccer cleat and we needed to be out the door 5 minutes ago.

Wine and grapes ~ Nesting with Style

The idea for me is to try and integrate the concept of JdV (Joie de Vivre) as a thread in the fabric of our family life every day.  It isn’t difficult.  It isn’t expensive.   It isn’t time consuming.  What stops me from doing it?  I just forget to take the time to look up from my busy days and add some sparkle.  It is taking the time to pour that ice tea into beautiful glass with a spring of mint.  It is buying a bunch of tulips at the store and having that beauty to look at for a week on the kitchen table.  It is pulling together a little cheese board, pouring a glass of wine and sitting with the love of my life for 15 minutes on a Friday night right after work. That is Joie de Vivre.

This is the little something that will be waiting come this Friday (not this exact one…this was my late lunch).


Putting this lovely together is not at all difficult, time consuming or expensive.  Two types of cheeses (whatever is in the fridge), dried fruit, grapes, cookies or crackers, quince paste, wine, and a few serving items.

Cheese Board 101 ~ Nesting with Style

To assist in having all the goodies on hand to produce a lovely cheese board for yourselves I have put together this little checklist.  Save it to your phone and the next time you are at the market open it for inspiration!

Cheeseboard Checklist ~ Nesting with Style

Download the checklist here: