5 Summer Cocktail Ideas for Lounging on Hammock Day

hammock-1July 22nd is Hammock Day — which is perfect for the middle of July because all we want to do is lounge in a hammock and sip a cold cocktail. So we came up with a list of fun and easy cocktails to drink on Hammock Day.

CocktailsTea with a Kick

Peachy Hard Iced Tea 

  • 1/3 cup peach liqueur
  • ¼ cup TB spiced rum
  • 1/4 cup peach schnapps
  • 1/8 cup vodka
  • 1 cup sweet tea
  • Lemon wedges

Combine the first four ingredients and pour over two glasses of ice. Stir in tea. Squeeze in lemon to taste. Makes about 4 servings.

Citrus with Spice

Moscow Mule

  • ¾ cup vodka
  • Fresh lime juice from 1 lime
  • 3 cups ginger beer

Combine vodka and lime juice in a shaker with ice and shake it up. Pour over four glasses of ice and top with ginger beer and gently stir. Garnish with lime slices. Makes about 4 servings.

Cocktails-2

 

Berry with a Bang

Berry Shandy

  • 3/4 cup blackberries or raspberries, muddled
  • 4 bottles light beer (a lager like a pilsner is best)
  • 1 (12-oz.) container frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
  • 1 TB blackberry or raspberry jam
  • 1/2 cup vodka

Stir together ingredients. Pour over ice. Garnish with lemon slices. Makes about 6 servings.

Melon with Marvel

Watermelon Sangria

  • 1 small watermelon, seeded and cut into chunks
  • 1 750ml bottle white wine (dry is best – a sauvignon blanc or a white Burgundy would be ideal)
  • ¾ cup vodka
  • ½ cup triple sec
  • ½ cup simple syrup

In a blender, puree watermelon into a juice and strain through a sieve or a cheese cloth to remove chunks. Combine the strained juice with remaining ingredients and refrigerate for two hours, stirring occasionally. Serve over ice. Makes about 7 servings.

You don’t have to have a cocktail to enjoy the day in a hammock, but if you have a hammock, this is a reminder to get out there and enjoy it while the weather is lovely.

Happy Hammock Day!

Items We Adore: LTD’s Product Picks for the Week

We can’t help but think about planning our gardens and getting outside now that it’s finally spring. And the weather we want was exactly what was on our minds while flipping through the catalog pointing out our top product picks for the week:

Solar-lighted-bird-feeder

Bronze-finished Solar-Lighted Birdbath has a classic style that adds a graceful accent to your landscaping. The bowl is shaped like a lily pad, and a leafy branch rises from the center to provide birds with a place to perch. A songbird statue completes the birdbath. At night, a solar-powered LED light illuminates the base. Additional reflectors multiply and enhance the light. The light automatically turns on at dusk.

Log-shelves

Lodge Log Shelves have the realistic look of chopped wood that adds a touch of nature to your home. Buy one or several to store or display books, collectibles, framed photos and more.

insulated-wine-tumbler

Set of 2 Insulated Wine Tumblers features double-walled construction to keep your drink cool longer. It also keeps the glass from sweating in your hand or on a table. These unique glasses have wine-glass shapes built into the interior. They have lids that slide open and closed with a push. The lids prevent spills and keep insects and dirt out of your beverage.

Harmony-Bells

Create an atmosphere of peace and tranquility with this Set of 3 Harmony Bells. Each iron bell is fitted with a wooden clapper to produce a soothing sound. The rustic brass finish shimmers like burnished gold in the sun. Perfect as a garden ornament hanging from a hook near your door or a tree branch anywhere in your yard! Comes on a thick rope hanger.

 

Folding Deck Table sets up in seconds and folds down flat when not in use. This attractive wood table comes with metal clamps and brackets that easily secure it to a porch or deck railing. Great for outdoor entertaining, the folding table is also ideal for decks or balconies with limited space.

Folding Deck Table sets up in seconds and folds down flat when not in use. This attractive wood table comes with metal clamps and brackets that easily secure it to a porch or deck railing. Great for outdoor entertaining, the folding table is also ideal for decks or balconies with limited space.

The Perfect Guide for Chocoholics

Chocolate sales for Valentine?s Day reach more than one billion dollars in the United States each year, Americans eat 12 pounds of chocolate each year, and more than 58 million pounds of chocolate and chocolate candies are sold during Valentine?s week.

chocolate-heart

If you?re a chocoholic you definitely don?t need a holiday to get you thinking about this delicious dark concoction. We?ve got a quick and simple guide to help you see the major differences in chocolates, and figure out what type of chocolate pairs best with wine, fruit, and more. Now you can really perfect your Valentine?s Day dessert.

Cacao vs. Cocoa?

We?ll start with the trickiest question: what?s the difference between cacao and cocoa? Well, nothing. They?re actually the very same thing, just with different spellings and pronunciations. When you see cacao nibs and cocoa powder, you?re seeing the very same thing in different forms. Now that you?ve got that out of the way, let?s look at the three common types of chocolate: white, milk, dark.

White Chocolate

White chocolate is more commonly referred to as a chocolate derivative, because it doesn?t contain chocolate solids.? White chocolate is much sweeter than traditional chocolates, and is made with cocoa butter, sugar, and milk. It pairs well with more delicate flavors, including apple, peach, and strawberry.

Milk Chocolate

Milk chocolate is exactly what it sounds like. Made from cocoa, sugar, and the addition of dairy, milk chocolate is lighter in color and taste, creamier, and sweeter than dark chocolate, but not as sweet as white chocolate.

Dark Chocolate?

Simply made from cacao or cocoa butter and sugar, dark chocolate has the highest concentration of antioxidants, and a slightly bitter taste. An emulsifier or flavor enhancer like vanilla is commonly added, but dark chocolate never contains milk. The percentage of cacao denotes the flavor, and can range from sweet (30%) to bitter (80% or higher).

Chocolate Pairings?

And now onto the fun stuff: the best pairings for chocolate! Take notes so you can bring chocolate to your Valentine?s Day celebration! There are three important things to consider: amount of sugar, consistency and fat content, and preference. If you know beyond a doubt that your significant other hates dark chocolate, just don?t use it!

Wine: The standard rule of thumb with wine is: the darker the chocolate, the darker the wine. Dark chocolate is the recommended wine pairing in most situations. The bitter components of dark chocolate will bring out the sweeter aspects of the wine, but a sweeter option, like milk or white chocolate can bring out the bitter aspects of the wine. (Not a great idea.) Here are a few quick tips to help you choose.

  • White Chocolate: Riesling, Port, Moscato, Tokaji, Sweet Ros?
  • Milk Chocolate: Shiraz, Port, Sparkling Semi-Dry Ros?, Oaked Chardonnay
  • Dark Chocolate: (Most red wines) Red Zinfandel, Bordeaux Blend, Cabernet Sauvignon, Tawny Port

Strawberries: This comes down to both personal preference, as well as the quality of the strawberries. Since you should be melting the chocolate pieces in a double boiler with butter, you can control the consistency, meaning the sugar or cocoa butter content of the chocolate isn?t as important. If you have super ripe and sweet strawberries, bittersweet chocolate works best here, but for lighter or more sour strawberries, both milk and white chocolate will bring extra sweetness for a more balanced bite. For pairing chocolate with other fruits, check out these fruit and chocolate tips!

Ganache: Most people recommend dark chocolate for ganache. When ganache is made, the flavors and sugars are concentrated, so a chocolate with less sugar to start, such as dark, is your best bet. Additionally, ganache is usually paired with something creamy and high in fat, so dark chocolate performs best here.

Fudge: Any! You can use any type of chocolate to make fudge, but if you?re making it at home from scratch, it?s best to use a pure cocoa powder flavor that you love, such as Special Dark or regular Milk chocolate. Just adjust the added sugar to balance the sweetness of the chocolate.

Cookies: Finally, what chocolate to use with chocolate chip cookies? There are diehards out there who will only make their beloved chocolate chip cookies with semi-sweet chocolate chips (milk chocolate), but we say: experiment! That?s the best thing about cookies. They?re already sweet and savory and sometimes a little salty, so you can actually pair most cookies with each type of chocolate, depending on your preference. Try those oatmeal chocolate chip cookies with dark chocolate chunks, and try white chocolate with savory options like Rosemary Brown Butter cookies, Molasses cookies, or Earl Grey Tea cookies.

Image Source: Lulas