Whiskey & Women: An Interview with Sandra Spalding of Twin Liquors

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Let me give it to you straight: I really like whiskey, straight. I’m not afraid to act like a lady and drink like a man. Well the former is questionable, but whatever (sorry PopPop!) The old fashioned is my go-to cocktail and I’m often drawn to the whiskey section on a bar menu. Last fall, I pretty much fell in love with apple cider old fashioneds and even though the cider sorta makes it a seasonal drink, I’ve been able to quit the habit. I love the touch of sweetness the cider adds! I did a cocktail class for a bachelorette party and was excited to make the ladies some blackberry bourbon smashes! It was a hit!

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Watermelon Gin Fizz & Blackberry Bourbon Smash Cocktails

Treaty Oak Blackberry SmashY’all, I’ve really been stepping up my cocktail game this summer. It all started a few years when I decided that vodka went down a little too easy and reminded me waaay too much of college, so I started trying out different spirits. It didn’t take long for whiskey to become my new drink of choice and my love affair with old fashioneds began. I love trying out new whiskies and they each have their own flavor and depth. They are also perfect for sipping, which is way more my style nowadays 🙂

My friend JJ asked me to help out with her sister’s bachelorette party a few weeks ago. She suggested a cocktail making class so I got my wheels turning. I reached out to Treaty Oak, a local distillery, that produces some of my favorite spirits to partner with us. First off, the thought of teaching 17 girls how to make cocktails was a teensy bit intimidating. Seriously, like what if I mess it all up or someone is allergic to strawberries or the awful dreaded one vocal person doesn’t like something so then everyone else’s opinions get swayed, yikes! Well, obviously I got over those fears and started getting really excited about making some new cocktails that I thought would be perfect for a girls day at the pool!

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Mango Basil Spritzer

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For the holiday weekend I whipped up this little gem of a frozen spritzer cocktail. Super fresh and light, it’s perfect for these hot Texas summers. I made this drink with the help of my friends at the National Mango Board. They sent me over some delicious mangoes and these festive straws and let me go at it. One of my favorite flavor combinations is mango and basil, have you ever tried it? The fruitiness of the mango really balances well with some fresh herbalicious basil. I mean, I may have spent a good 5 minutes just sniffing the basil, wait, you mean you don’t do that? I really just can’t get enough of the herbs, plus it’s high basil season which means this leafy herb is extra potent right now. Even better, this cocktail only requires 3 ingredients so its perfect to make on the fly for guests or by the pitcher for gatherings.

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All you need are:

2 cups fresh sliced mangoes

1 bottle of bubbles

1/4 fresh basil leaves

optional: ice

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Add the fresh mango and basil to a blender.

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Pour in the bubbles.

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Add a little ice for texture and coolness. About a cup of ice, the more ice, the more thick the drink will become once blended.

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Blend until smooth, about 45 seconds in the blender and serve! Yup, that’s it!

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Pretty sure I will be keeping this cocktail around all summer! What’s your favorite summer cocktail?

*The National Mango Board sent me mangoes to make this post. The recipe and thoughts are all my own.*