{Recipe} Ice Cold Remedy For A Heat Wave

I had my first swizzle cocktail in New Orleans: crushed ice, muddled fruit, rum, seltzer and not sure what else but it was perfectly refreshing. Well it wasn’t my first, I’ve had rum cocktails with crushed ice before but just never called it a swizzle. It’s like having a snow cone, only more grown up, and what better way to beat this heat wave we’ve been having? I don’t know about where you live but here in the Northeast we’ve been having temperatures near 100 degrees and some days with a heat index of 110! Who can cook in those temps? Pass me a swizzle please!! It’s the perfect ice cold remedy for a heat wave!


The bartender wrapped ice in a towel and pounded it to bits with a large mallet and it immediately took me back to my childhood. Mom with ice nestled in her little hands and crushing it to pieces with the back of a large spoon in one fell swoop. The ice shattered perfectly into bits and was added to all sorts of juices and drinks. Ice had to be crushed, she told me, we wouldn’t want anyone choking on a big piece of ice and something else about it being uncivilized. So I did what I was told and crushed it everytime.


That was during a time when we froze ice in containers or used those trays with the removable blades! Remember those? I was always afraid I would cut myself with it! The cubes were large and never really released easily so you wound up banging tray wherever you could! I still do it every once in a while out of habit even with all the fancy ice cube trays out there…ice in hand, a large spoon and a steady whack. 🙂 I do like munching on ice and this cocktail is so refreshing, especially when the heat outside is unbearable. Just pretend like the temps are in the perfect 80s, no humidity and there’s a cool breeze coming in!


I made this cocktail with coconut vodka, blueberries and spiced it up with a spicy blackberry simple syrup that I used when I made my spicy soda. This syrup will keep for 2 weeks if refrigerated and can be used for all sorts of cocktails.



Coconut Vodka and Berries Swizzle
Cuisine: Cocktail
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1
  • 2 oz Spicy Blackberry simple syrup
  • 2 oz coconut flavored vodka
  • Club soda
  • Ice
  • 3-4 blueberries
  • Mint leaf
  • Lemon slice
  1. Crush the ice and fill glass to the top
  2. Add simple syrup, vodka and top with club soda
  3. Add blueberries, lemon wedge and garnish with mint leaf


A Refreshing Blood Orange Cocktail

It’s cold outside but warm indoors and sometimes you just want to kick back, have a refreshing cocktail and just dream of summer. It’s also a great time to take advantage of seasonal citruses like blood oranges and spruce up a classic margarita cocktail. This sweet and tart fruit gives the margarita that extra tang and the spicy merken will just make you want to lick all around the rim! It’s all very simple, just squeeze a blood orange, a lemon and lime…


Wet the rim your glass with a lime and dip in Merken spice…


Get some good tequila, ice, simple syrup, lime slices, stir, sip and transport yourself to a sunny beach with warm sand at your toes, hear for the waves crashing in the distance and just breathe…


Wordless Wednesday: A Hump Day Habanero Mojito Fix

Habanero Mojito

Habanero Mint Mojito – muddle mint, sugar, lime wedges, habanero slices, add ice, white rum, seltzer and sip.

Wordless Wednesday: Spicy Shrimp Dishes

I’m starting my Wordless Wednesday series with a few words… Every so often I come across amazing recipes, meals or styled feasts that just leave me, well speechless. These are the ones that inspire and make you want to pull out that mixer you haven’t used in ages, buy ingredients you normally wouldn’t stock or just simply make you drool! You know, the ones that just make you say *sigh*.

So every Wednesday I’ll be posting recipes from other great home cooks or professional chefs that inspire me to pull out my apron…yes, I have one, or two and hope you’re inspired too!

Shrimp Satay with Spicy Peanut Sauce from Closet Cooking

Spicy Shrimp and Avocado Crostini from Whipped Baking

Bloody Mary Shrimp Cocktail from Kitchen Runway

Shrimp Ceviche from Muy Bueno

Spicy Firecracker Shrimp from Picture the Recipe

Spicy Chipotle Chocolate S’mores Ice Cream

Noticed I haven’t been cooking much? Well if you have its not because of a shortage of recipes, it’s just Summer. During this time of year I like to spend as much time outdoors as possible and if its hot out I definitely don’t want to be in the kitchen. If you’ve been reading my last few posts you’ll know how much I’ve complained about all the heat and humidity in the past month or so and haven’t wanted to turn on stove or oven! Well this past week has actually been very nice around here. Temps have been in the 80s with low humidity and well it’s just perfect for cooking so you may start seeing some solid foods on here soon! 🙂 Until then here’s a cool, creamy, spicy chocolate ice cream treat to hold you over.

When you’re making chocolate ice cream, the most important thing is to use a good quality chocolate. The smoother and creamier your chocolate, the smoother your ice cream. I used a wonderful handcrafted chocolate bar that a friend picked up for me while traveling to North Carolina. Escazu Artisan Chocolates makes small batch chocolates from the actual cocoa beans which they get from various countries. Knowing this just makes you appreciate the chocolate more since you know someone took special care in making it. I had the chipotle chili and vanilla chocolate bar and used about half to make the ice cream. The recipe also called for cocoa powder so I used a good quality cocoa powder and spiked that one up with a little cayenne pepper as well.

Chop the chocolate into fine pieces so it’ll dissolve easier when you’re melting it down.

Once your ice cream is made you can enjoy it however you like but I chose to make things a bit more interesting.

I crumbled graham crackers, chopped up chocolate and added mini marshmallows to mine for a crunchy, chewy and spicy chocolatey treat. S’mores are usually messy and the crackers always break when you bite down into it so you’re left with melted chocolate all over the place and bits of crackers everywhere. Well, I wanted the flavors but without the mess and all without a campfire…or stove top which is what I did sometimes!  A fun idea for events or parties is to set up an ice cream bar and let everyone get creative with toppings.

The ice cream came out silky smooth and the spice built up nicely. This will definitely be a summer tradition going forward in my household!

Spicy Chocolate Ice Cream

1/2 c sugar
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1/8 tsp chili powder
1/8 tsp nutmeg, optional
3 tbsp chipotle chile chocolate, chopped
1 c milk
1 c heavy cream
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla

S’mores Mix-Ins

1 c mini marshmallows
chocolate, chopped
graham crackers, crumbled

1. Mix half the sugar, cocoa powder, chili, nutmeg in a sauce pan. Over medium heat pour in the milk and stir well. When the milk mixture heats up add the chocolate, stirring constantly so it all melts. Let mixture come to boil and remove from heat. Do not let it boil over.

2. In a bowl beat the remaining sugar with the eggs until its light. Stir in the hot mixture very slowly and continue stirring while you’re doing this until all is well combined.

3. Stir in heavy cream slowly and add the vanilla. Refrigerate the chocolate mixture for at least 4 hours or overnight.

4. Make the ice cream per your ice cream maker’s instructions.

5. Once you have your ice cream, mix in the marshmallows, crackers and chopped chocolate.

Spicy Jalapeno Lemonade

What’s better than an ice cold lemonade during these humid days of August? A spicy ice cold lemonade! It’s a kicked up version of the ones from your old lemonade stand days and one you’ll enjoy just the same. Lemonade always evokes childhood memories of being carefree, without a worry in the world and of Mom.

My Mom always always made the best lemonades. Go ahead, roll your eyes but she did! She always added something extra and later learned that was the Dominican style lemonade…with a little vanilla extract. She added it to our orange juice or Tang (remember Tang? lol I believe the early astronauts had it too!), she added it to our papaya shakes and our morir sonado (similar to an orange julius) and today I do the same but add my own little twist…extra spice!

I got these cool ice cube trays with slots for lemon or lime slices and thought it would be great to make lemonade ice instead of water. This will ensure that your lemonade doesn’t get watered down and you’re left with a lemony, tart, cool  drink!

You can insert a whole slice but I cut mine in half since I didn’t have the height in my freezer. Either way it’ll work.

Spicy Jalapeno Lemonade

5-6 Lemons
1 Qt Water
Sugar or Agave syrup, to taste
1 tsp vanilla extract
2-3 slices of jalapeno

1. Squeeze the lemons, except for one, and mix with water, sugar and vanilla extract to make the lemonade.

2. Slice remaining lemon and insert into ice cube trays filled with lemonade. If you don’t have trays similar to above get creative and cut your lemons to fit your trays.

3. Add the jalapeno slices and let lemonade chill in the refrigerator so it can get nice and spicy. Drop in your lemonade ice and enjoy!