Mango Crush for Easter!

The weather is finally getting warmer in Saratoga Springs! The daffodils are blooming, and brewers are putting out their summer offerings. We’ve been developing Easter cocktails all week, and now are getting down to business on some new Spring beer.

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As the weather is warmer I wanted to go with a type of sour beer, but without the minerality of a gose; there is plenty of salt in ham, so i wanted something to help balance out that flavor. The Southern Tier Brewing Company has come out with MANGE CRUSH SESSION SOUR ALE.

It is made with mango purée and milk sugar. It is a 4.0 beer. It’s not as sour as other beers in this category. The sweetness from the milk sugar tones down the sourness. If I was going to rate the sourness on a 1 to 5 scale, I would give it a 1.

When poured it has a beautiful spring-yellow hue, with a white foamy head. There is minimal lace in the glass once the head dissipates. You can smell the mango, but also a hint of lemon. It is not bitter at all, and will compliment well typical Easter side dishes.

I enjoyed the light, fruity character of this beer, with that subtle sour twist. Try it as you celebrate Spring!

Amp Up Your Easter Brunch Cocktails

We’re inspired by the first buds of Spring in our upstate New York gardens. We have to enjoy it with gusto, because Spring lasts about two weeks max up here. Easter is one holiday we like to spend as a family catching up after a winter of hibernation. Excited by the idea of seeing our tribe, and feeling the warm weather, we’ve amped up for a new spin on cocktails for Easter brunch. All of these drinks feature our latest cocktail obsession: carrot juice!

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The color of carrot juice drew our initial attention. Such a bright orange hue offers an eye catching cocktail. And truthfully, we could pull off a few winter pounds, so the health punch offered by a beta carotene hit has a draw. And finally, its darn tasty! Carrot juice offers a hearty flavor, making it a welcome companion to a variety of spirits.

We’ve put a spin on three of our faves. Substitute orange with carrot juice for a play on mimosas, that we call Bougie Bunnies. Swap tomato for carrot juice and make a spicy Bunny Maria, as a play on Bloody Marys. And saving the best for last, a Bunny Colada will become one of your favorite Spring and Summer Cocktails.

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BOUGIE BUNNYS (Carrot Juice Mimosas)

This is the easiest drink you can imagine, which makes a tasty and dynamic twist on a brunch classic. Two ingredients is all you need: Carrot Juice and Prosecco.

Fill a champagne flute glass with 1/3 Carrot Juice, and top off with a sweet Prosecco. Boom! Done.

I usually advocate for a dry sparkling wine (like Cava) for mimosas because of the sweetness of orange juice. But carrot juice is far less sweet than orange so I suggest using a Prosecco that is sweet, as every Prosecco varies in sugar content. If you like super sweet, consider using a Spumante instead.

You’re shooting for 1 part carrot juice to 2 parts Prosecco.. Be sure both parts of this drink are cold, as in a few steps short of freezing. If you pour these ahead of time you might need to stir them briefly. The carrot juice is weighty, and I’ve noticed they settle if left unattended, though I doubt you’ll want to leave them because they are so delicious.

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BUNNY MARIAS (Carrot Juice Spicy Bloody Marys)

Bloody Marys are my go-to brunch drink, and the spicer the better. We’ve created a spicy (to taste, of course) twist on tradition by using carrot instead of tomato juice, and using Mexican hot sauce instead of traditional Tabasco. We also rim the glass with Tajin, the magical Mexican spice blend that makes any savory flavor you could possibly imagine taste better, instead of traditional celery salt. Tajin is available nationally, so seek it out. You’ll be glad you did.

per serving:
8 oz carrot juice
4 oz vodka
Juice of 1/4 lemon
3 splashes of Worcestershire sauce
1 T. jalapeño hot sauce (we prefer Cholula, but Tobasco makes a fine version) to taste, obviously
1 t. horseradish (optional, if you’re not a fan)

Mix all ingredients in a glass, or multiply the recipe as needed and mix in a pitcher. A few stirs will do it. Taste, and add any element you’d like more of. Serve over a glass filled with ice.

1/4 of a lemon
Any assortment of olive, pickle or pickled pepper you can fit on a toothpick

Sprinkle some tajin onto a small plate. Rub the lemon parts around the rim of the glass and dip the glass into the spice. It’s that easy. If you can’t find Tajin substitute paprika or chili powder (or both) mixed with a little salt.

Garnishing a Bloody Mary has become limitless in recent years. Last summer I had one served with a garnish twice the height of the glass, which included a fried chicken wing. I didn’t mind, tbh. Tradition suggests at least an olive or two. I’ve always liked the look and aroma of a lemon slice. Cornichons, those tiny pickles, are also traditional. My advice is raid your favorite olive bar for ideas and don’t limit yourself. Skewer all you find onto a tooth or cocktail pick and top each glass.

In the case of these Bunny Marias, a slender carrot still attached to its greens just seemed cool. Peel if you must, but usually these slender beauties have such a delicate peel, you might skip that.

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We’ve saved the best for last. I could drink these fluffies all day and all night:

BUNNY COLADAS (Carrot juice Pińa Coladas)

You can certainly make these babies in larger glasses, but they can be rich- not as rich as a traditional piña colada- but they do very well as a mini-cocktail. We had intentions of placing a homemade macaroon on each glass, but we loved the glass rimmed with slightly toasted coconut so much that we’re planning to serve these cookies on the side. These drinks are not as sweet as a traditional colada, so the cookie’s creaminess compliment the drink well.

per serving:
4 parts carrot juice
2 parts coconut vodka (We use Shipwreck because it is 36% alcohol. Malibu is 20%. No judging….)
1 part Cream of Coco - both solids and liquid (NOT coconut milk)
Splash of pineapple juice
Healthy squeeze of lime

Shake all ingredients with a few cubes of ice. Strain into glasses or small pitcher if you’re making a large batch.

These can be on the sweet side depending on how much cream of coco you use. You can definitely reduce the amount of sugar hit by reducing this amount to your preference without losing the coconut flavor.

1/2 c sweetened coconut
1/4 c milk, cream or sweetened condensed milk

Toast the coconut on a baking sheet under a broiler until it just starts to toast. Don’t leave the oven during this process, because it can brown so, so quickly. Mound the coconut on a small plate. Pour your milk into another small plate. Dip the glass into the milk, and then into the mounded coconut. Enjoy!

We’re not nutritionists, but we can rationalize these carrot juice substitutions are going to make these drinks healthier…. BUT, without question we know this twist will make these cocktails very tasty, and a dynamic addition to a traditional brunch.

If you try any of these recipes, drop us a line here, on Facebook or Instagram and let us know the results. We love seeing pics, too!

HAPPY EASTER everyone. May your Spring be long, and your hangover be short.



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This is an American IPA made in Canada. Cool, eh? It pours a satisfying raw yellow, with a clean haze.

Notes of citrus and pine tickle your nose with a frothy white head. These flavors are the first to hit your palate, followed by mango. There is a beautiful lace on the glass. It finishes with grassy notes on the back of the tongue.

Get this one for your Super Bowl party! This would be a great match with pizza and wings.