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This has been a week. A week. That I am so, so thankful has come to an end. If I ever needed a cocktail on a Friday, it would be now. An extra-large giant glass filled with basically everything in my liquor closet. Yes, I have a liquor closet. It has some coats and kitchen appliances in it, too, but mostly a ton of liquor. I’d take a picture to show you, but I’m actually kind of embarrassed about it. It’s really a bit out of control and you might actually think I have some sort of problem if you see it. Let’s just say I like variety in my cocktails and I hate running out to the store at the last minute. And really, when you start to build up a proper bar, you start to realize just how many bottles you need.

But back to my week. I won’t bore you with details on how Chris got ridiculously sick while we were in Virginia last week and how seeing that I’m married to him, it was inevitable that I would get ridiculously sick part-way through this week, too. I’ve been barely making my way through each day in some weird sort of haze and passing out in bed at 8:00 p.m. each night (if you know me, this is the opposite of normal). Finally on Friday night, I’m starting to feel somewhat close to normal again. But I don’t want to push my luck, so I’m thinking this evening calls for a cocktail and bed.

My blood orange obsession is still going strong and will give that extra boost of vitamin C. Plus, I think this habanero simple syrup is just the thing my sinuses need. See what I just did? This cocktail is purely medicinal, friends. You’re welcome.

Blood Orange Habanero Cocktail (serves 2):
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  • 6 blood oranges (about 1 C blood orange juice)
  • 2 oz. lime juice
  • 2 oz. habanero simple syrup (see recipe below)
  • 3 oz. vodka

Habanero Simple Syrup:

  • 1 C sugar
  • 2 C water
  • 1 habanero pepper, minced

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First comes the simple syrup. I’ve mentioned this a bunch of times before, but I hate chopping peppers because I obviously don’t like getting the oils on my fingers (hello, contacts). That’s one reason I’m obsessed with my Chef’n VeggiChop. It minces my habanero right up for me.

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Bring sugar and water to a boil over high heat. Once the water is boiling, add in minced habanero and lower to a simmer.

Let mixture simmer for about 5-7 minutes. Strain mixture into a bowl or container like a mason jar and put in fridge to cool.

While my simple syrup was cooling, I squeezed all my blood oranges. And obviously got juice all over my white shirt. I’ll never learn to wear an apron.

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Put 1/2 C blood orange juice, 1 oz. lime juice, 1 oz. habanero simple syrup, and 1 1/2 oz. vodka in a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake well.

Pour into an ice-filled glass.

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Repeat with the rest of the blood orange juice, lime juice, vodka, and more simple syrup for the second glass. And garnish the glass with a pretty blood orange slice and lime… And even a habanero if you can figure out a way to get it on there and aren’t worried about burning anyone’s lips off.

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You’ll have leftover habanero syrup, too, so you can use it all week long. To clear those sinuses.

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Chris actually called this the best cocktail I’ve ever made. And I’ve made a lot. And he’s drank a lot. So, I’ll certainly consider that a compliment. I do know that the way to his heart is spice. And blood oranges. Just a couple of his favorite things.

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But I agree that this did have many of the elements of the perfect cocktail. It was naturally sweet from the blood oranges and the habanero syrup had this super discrete spicy undertone. It kind of crept up on you and went just perfectly with the citrus.

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It also made me feel a little bit like I was on an island. But a super classy, strawberry daiquiri, piña colada-free island. Don’t get me wrong, I love a Miami Vice while poolside on a vacation. But I’d so much prefer something like this. Especially if it were all-inclusive. Actually, that could get a tad bit dangerous.

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On that note, I’m pretty sure I need a vacation now. But hey, tomorrow’s March! And that means we’re one step closer to spring in Boston. Kind of hard to believe after the last few days of frozen-ness… but it’s definitely giving me faith to go on. Kind of like how Cocktail Friday works for me on a weekly basis. We can do it together, friends. One step closer to spring… And the next Cocktail Friday.

OK, I’m off to crash in my bed and hope I feel a bazillion times better in the morning. Happy weekend!

What’s your normal bedtime? I’m crazy and never go to sleep before midnight… Except for this week.

[Sues]

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