Beverages

Top 5 Hot Cocoa Recipes

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Nothing is better than sitting in front of a fireplace and enjoying a delicious cup of hot cocoa. I can see it now: mesmerizing flames dancing in the night while you sip on a hot, creamy cup of chocolatey goodness. But really, while not everyone has a fireplace, everyone can have the perfect cup of hot cocoa. All you need is the right recipe and we are here to give you just that! read more →

Now Trending: Cold Brew Coffee

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Cold Brew Coffee Preparation

Cold brew coffee is one of this year’s hottest trends, and chances are you can find it at your local café, whether that is a Starbucks or the corner shop. Its popularity isn’t simply due to the waning summer warmth—trendy cold brew coffee is distinctly different from iced coffee, which is simply regular hot coffee or espresso served over ice.

The name says it all when it comes to cold brew. Instead of steeping the coffee grounds with hot water over a short period of time, cold brew takes up to 24 hours to steep and uses cold or room temperature water. No heat is involved at all. This significantly changes the way the coffee grounds and water interact. Many people find cold brew to be a smoother, sweeter, and less acidic drink than coffee or espresso. You can be the judge!

Some cafés and bars are mixing things up even more by adding nitrogen gas to coffee and serving it on tap. The mouthfeel of this nitro cold brew will be more akin to a creamy stout than a cup of coffee.

cold brew coffee

If you want to make cold brew at home, you probably already have the tools you need. Here’s the key steps to a great cup of cold brew coffee:

  • Decide how much coffee you want and then measure your coarse coffee grounds and cold or room temperature water in a 1:8 ratio. So, if you’d like 12 ounces of coffee, you’ll need 1.5 ounces of grounds and 12 ounces of water.
  • Mix the grounds and water together in a bowl, French press, Mason jar, or anything else you have handy. If you don’t have a lid, cover the container with plastic wrap.
  • Leave it be for 12-24 hours. You can put the container in the refrigerator if you want, but that’s not necessary.
  • Strain the contents of the container through a coffee filter or, if you’re using a French press, just press the plunger to the bottom. Discard the grounds and pour the strained liquid into your glass.
  • Enjoy! Because cold brew coffee has less acidity, many people drink it black. You can also add milk or sugar if that’s more to your liking.

Cold brew coffee stores great in the refrigerator, so it’s easy to make a big batch over the weekend for a quick grab and go cup during the week.

Comment on our Cold Brew Facebook Post and tell us if you like Cold Brew or prefer standard iced coffee! A lucky poster will receive a Cooks Innovations gift!

What is the Best Margarita Recipe?

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classic margarita

We can all agree that a palatable Margarita contains three basic ingredients—tequila, lime, and Triple Sec. Still, there is much debate over what makes the best margarita recipe truly the best.

According to the Smithsonian, more than one person claims to have created the world’s first Margarita. However, most historians agree that the Margarita was initially shaken and poured in Mexico in 1938 at the hands of restauranteur Carlos “Danny” Herrera.

That year, Herrera met aspiring actress Majorie King, who was allergic to all types of hard liquor—except tequila. To make his drink more palatable, he combined the ingredients he used in tequila shots, salt and a lime wedge—and turned it into a refreshing drink. The rest is beverage history.

What makes a “perfect” Margarita?

Search the web for the best margarita recipe, and you’ll surely be bombarded with a whimsical barrage of delicious-looking photos and recipes that seem nearly the same.

How do the top food and beverage experts rank the best margarita recipe, and most importantly, can we make it at home?

According to the experts…

margarita cocktail

Bon Appetit Magazine:

  1. 100% Agave Tequila is a MUST. The most recommended type of tequila for the “perfect” margarita is the dark Reposado.
  2. Include Triple Sec or Cointreau.
  3. 1 to 1 ¼ ounces of Lime Juice—don’t skimp!
  4. Salt on the Rim
  5. On the Rocks

CHOW Magazine:

  1. 100% Agave Tequila (no specification on style, but brands like 1800 and Don Julio are mentioned)
  2. Use Cointreau, not Triple Sec
  3. Lime Juice (the amount is unspecified)
  4. Salt or no salt—both are acceptable
  5. Stir—do not shake

Tequila.net:

  1. 5 ounces of 100% Agave Tequila
  2. Add 2 teaspoons of Agave Nectar (We LOVE this touch)
  3. Add 1 oz. of Lime and Ice
  4. Salt is optional
  5. Mix, swirl, or stir to dissolve agave nectar, then shake!

 Esquire Magazine:

  1. 2 oz. Silver Tequila (100% agave)
  2. 1 ounce of Cointreau
  3. 1 ounce of lime juice
  4. Cocktail glass
  5. Shake, then strain into the glass.

As you can see, a few things vary in these margarita recipes, like the use of salt on the rim, whether your tequila choice should be Silver or Reposado, and whether to use Triple Sec or Cointreau. What is clear is that a few simple ingredients can make a fantastic drink.

We, at Cooks Innovations, have a few best margarita recipe suggestions of our own…

Without any further suspense, here is our recipe for the Best Margarita:

  1. 5 ounces of Reposado Tequila (our favorite brand is Cabo Wabo)
  2. ½ ounce of Cointreau
  3. 2 teaspoons Agave Nectar
  4. 1 ounce Island Dave’s Sweet and Sour/Margarita Mix (Organic, Natural, Made with Key Limes)
  5. No salt
  6. A squeeze of lime
  7. Shake and strain over ice into a cocktail glass.

Love Margaritas? Follow us on Instagram for the Most Beautiful, Best-Tasting Margaritas throughout the entire month of July!