Mint Julep for Derby Week

mint julep

For someone who doesn’t ride horses or follow horse races, Derby Day is more significant to me than you might think.

Why, you ask?

  • My mom grew up in a small town in Kentucky, where horse riding was a popular hobby.
  • I grew up in Hot Springs, AR, the home of the Oaklawn Racing track.
  • I got married on Derby Day in Arkansas in 2012.

I’ve also done some volunteering activities with kids and horses, and I’m fascinated by these beautiful creatures!

mint julep

Additionally, there is such a great food, drink and hat culture around the Derby.

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A Tasty Shrub

summer shrub cocktail

Have you heard of shrubs before?

If you’re into the cocktail world, then you probably have. But, if not, it’s typically a fruit syrup preserved with vinegar (also known as drinking vinegar). I think the story goes that farmers used to preserve their harvested fruit by creating a shrub syrup.

If you’re someone who likes forward, refreshing flavors (and kombucha tea), then you will love shrubs. They’ve got a nice punch, and they bring some complexity to cocktails.

We were lucky enough to score some of Crude Bitters & Sodas barrel-aged black tea shrub, and it made this cocktail so delicious!

summer shrub cocktail

Without even realizing that the shrub was aged in apple brandy barrels, I decided to use our Fair Game apple brandy for the spirit in this one. It was a match made in cocktail heaven!

For the upcoming warm summer days, this Summer Shrub will be your best friend to cooling down and celebrating with others.

*Click or tap on recipe card to enlarge and save.

Simple Saturday: Moscow Mule

moscow mule

It is really is crazy that in almost four years of blogging I haven’t posted a Moscow Mule recipe.

Well, thanks to my brother-in-law getting those fancy copper cups and making us one (and me taking a second to photograph it), the recipe is finally here!

You have probably already noticed by now that we love ginger beer and all things ginger. We try to always have a few bottles of ginger beer around the house, so a delicious cocktail is only a few ingredients away.

moscow mule


For this one, all you need is:

  • Ginger beer
  • Lime
  • Vodka
  • Mint (if you’re feeling like a fancy bartender)

That’s it for a simple, refreshing and satisfying drink.

If you haven’t tried one, it must go on your weekend to-do list (and invite friends over)!

Here’s how you make it:

1. Fill your copper mug (or glass) halfway with ice.

2. Add in the juice of 1/2 lime and 1 1/2-2 oz. of vodka.

3. Top it off with a cold bottle of ginger beer and stir.

4. Garnish with a wedge of lime and a sprig of mint.

Simple Saturday: Dark & Stormy

dark & stormy

We’ve been having a lot of evening storms around here lately, and I’m all about it…especially since I have a covered porch to enjoy them under.

It seems like at least a few nights each week for the past month, we’ve had a spectacular showing of strong wind, dark and grey mixed clouds, and anywhere from light sprinkles to sheets of rain.

There’s something scary about storms, but there’s also something so beautiful about watching them pass when you know you’re safe and dry.

In honor of an evening storm a few weeks ago, we decided to have a Dark & Stormy.

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On the South Side

southside cocktail

It’s really funny how coincidental things are sometimes…but it’s more often than not meant to be miracles, if you ask me.

We go into our daily lives thinking that this world has limits, and amazing things happen (if we’re looking around enough to notice them).

Although these past few weeks have been slammed with full days of life things, so many everyday miracles have been occurring around us.

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A Spring Cocktail

pimm's cup

I’ve been saving this recipe until spring started showing itself, and considering I (and most others in Raleigh) spent yesterday out and about enjoying the 70-degree weather, I think it’s about time.

Whenever I studied abroad in Oxford back in my college years, I remember seeing Pimm’s Cups on menus all over town. I was more of a hard cider girl back in those days, so I never ended up trying one.

The good news is that liquor stores in the states carry Pimm’s No. 1, so I finally got my chance to try this cocktail out!

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Blogsgiving Progressive Dinner Part 1

carolina apple sidecar

This week, I’ve got some real treats coming up on the think fruitful blog! I’m taking a part in a progressive Blogsgiving Dinner that is going to give you so many Thanksgiving and Christmas food ideas it’s not even funny.

I’ve joined with a team of other bloggers to showcase special holiday-inspired recipes all this week!

So get ready for a full week of comforting, tasty recipes for drinks, appetizers, side dishes and more!

carolina apple sidecar

Today, we’re starting off the week with one of my own concoctions that I’m really excited about.

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Simple Saturday: And We’re Back

cucumber g&t

Hello out there!

Did you miss me over the past week? I sure missed you guys and blogging.

I don’t know if you noticed, but I took a little hiatus in the midst of switching my blog from to .org, and I am now officially self-hosting this blog.

Although that may not sound like that big of a deal to some of you, it’s been a long and sometimes tear-filled process for me. But alas, I have conquered the Internet/blogging, if only for a few days!

I hope you’ll find the new look of the blog a little more simple and easy to jump right in to the posts. Don’t worry- there are still lots of recipes and food talk in your future on the think fruitful blog…and maybe even more fun things!

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Simple Saturday: Boozy Mint Melon

image (74)

It’s been quite a while since I’ve put a cocktail up on the blog…and it’s been quite a while since we’ve had liquor in our cabinet.

We’ve been enjoying the local beer scene (Fullsteam, Big Boss, Wicked Weed) and inexpensive but delicious Trader Joe’s wines so much that I haven’t really thought about homemade cocktails in a while.

But, we finally bought a little bit of gin the other day, and I had watermelon in the fridge and mint in the backyard, so I started there.

This Boozy Mint Melon drink is super refreshing, smooth and light (but with a little kick, of course).

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A Drink for Any Weather

It’s been one of those weeks.

The weather has been pretty bipolar.

The work week has seemed longer than it should.

And I seriously don’t know what to wear day to day because of the weather changing so quickly.

No matter what the weather is, it’s always a good time for a cocktail.

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