blood orange negroni

blood orange negroni | The Clever Carrot

5 PM is a magical time in our house. I call it rush hour…

When the clock strikes, my darling little boys morph into CRAZED monsters. They scream. They break things. The cats fear for their lives. It’s like they’ve been cast by a spell! If you have little kids, you know exactly what I’m talking about about.

Enter: husband with cocktail.

clementines | The Clever Carrot

One night (after the craziness had settled down), my husband made me a blood orange negroni. I’ve never had one before and to be honest with you, I was kind of bummed. When I think of a negroni, I picture an old man’s drink. My grandpa loves them.

But an old man’s drink it is not!

My negroni was wonderfully light and refreshing. It was made with campari, gin, sweet vermouth, and a splash of blood orange soda (Trader Joe’s strikes again!) He even garnished it with thinly sliced clementines. Très chic.

blood orange negroni | The Clever Carrot

So now I’m a negroni fan. I love the slightly bitter, slightly sweet taste with hints of heavenly orange (I guess Gramps was onto something…) It makes a wonderful aperitif as well. Two can play at this game, rush hour!

*If you can’t find blood orange soda, substitute with fresh orange juice (navels, clementines, or blood oranges will work too). Add club soda and a little agave syrup if you like it sweet.

blood orange negroni
 
Author:
Serves: 1
Ingredients
For the drink
  • 1 oz. campari
  • 1 oz. gin
  • 1 oz. sweet vermouth
  • blood orange soda
Garnish
  • clementines, thinly sliced
Instructions
  1. Combine campari, gin, sweet vermouth, and pour over ice.
  2. Top with blood orange soda and stir well.
  3. Garnish with thinly sliced clementines.
Notes
*If you can't find blood orange soda, substitute with fresh orange juice (navels, clementines, or blood oranges will work too). Add club soda and a little agave syrup if you like it sweet.

winter berry smoothie

Winter Berry Smoothie | The Clever Carrot

My freezer needs a serious makeover.

I don’t know about you, but my freezer is jammed packed with stuff from a million years ago. Open at your own risk (bombs away!!)

During a recent excavation I stumbled upon a lost treasure; frozen summer berries.

Summer Berries | The Clever Carrot

Luckily for me, my kids love to pick berries. Every summer I take them to Patti’s Berries & Bunches and they clean the place out. We come home with bushels of juicy strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries. Whatever they don’t eat gets stashed away in the freezer and is usually forgotten about.

Until today…

Winter Berry Smoothie | The Clever Carrot

For this smoothie, I puréed handfuls of frozen berries with apple cider- that’s my secret ingredient. Apple cider sweetens the drink ever so slightly and is a nice compliment to the berries. I also left out the dairy.

I can’t even begin to tell you how energized I felt after drinking this. I was so revived and refreshed, that I proceeded to empty out the dishwasher, vacuum the stairs, and fold a mountain of laundry in record time. Then I re-organized my closet.

Summer Berries | The Clever Carrot

If your freezer looks anything like mine, I feel for you. It’s like the black hole. But who knows- maybe you’ll stumble upon a packet of frozen berries yourself. Sometimes all you need is a little smoothie to beat those winter blues.

winter berry smoothie
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 1 c. mixed berries, frozen
  • 1- 1¼ c. apple cider
  • Honey or agave syrup to taste
Instructions
  1. In a blender, combine the frozen berries and apple cider.
  2. Process until smooth, adding extra juice if it seems a little too thick.
  3. Add honey or agave syrup to sweeten if necessary.

winter white cosmo

winter white cosmo | theclevercarrot.com

 Inspired by the holidays, this winter white cosmo is a seasonal take on the classic cosmopolitan.

Simply mix citron vodka with white cranberry juice, cointreau, and a hint of fresh lime.

Traditionally you would serve these in a martini glass, but if you’re too clumsy to hold it properly (like me…) just use one of those chic stemless glasses instead. Pour over ice and no one will know the difference!

Garnish these festive tipples with sugar covered cranberries and sprigs of fragrant mint. For a party, make a big batch in advance and chill until ready to serve.

winter white cosmo
 
Author:
Serves: 1
Ingredients
For the cocktail
  • 3 oz. citron vodka
  • 1 oz. white cranberry juice
  • ½ oz. cointreau
  • 1 oz. fresh lime juice
Garnish
  • fresh mint
  • sugar covered cranberries*
  • red toothpicks or wooden skewers
*Substitute with frozen cranberries or raspberries
Instructions
  1. Fill a small glass with ice.
  2. Combine the cocktail ingredients and mix well. Adjust with extra lime or cranberry juice to suit your taste. There should be a fine balance between sweet & tart. Alternatively, you can shake up your ingredients with ice and strain into chilled martini glasses.
  3. For the garnish, skewer mint sprigs and sugar covered cranberries (2) onto a toothpick. Place on the rim of the glass (not in the drink) so that the sugar doesn't melt. Let your guests use it to stir their cocktail. *See note below.
  4. Serve straight away!
Notes
* You might find that toothpicks are too short to balance on the rim of your glass. Substitute with wooden skewers instead. Cut them down to your desired size and proceed with the garnish.