Mild Lipstick Mandarin Cocktail

Heat

 

I saw Trisha Yearwood make this Lipstick Mandarin cocktail using serrano chiles, but I wasn’t sure if my crew could handle that kind of heat so I tweaked the recipe a bit.  Even this cocktail was too spicy for my Mom, but my husband and I enjoyed the mild heat you get after each lovely sip.  You can also add more orange flavor by adding the peel of one orange to your simple syrup and let it steep for 15-20 minutes and then pull out the orange peel.

 

Ingredients:
1 lemon, cut in half
Extra fine sugar, to rim glasses
4 small slices jalapeno pepper, plus more for garnish
4 ounces mandarin or clementine vodka
4 ounces fresh squeezed orange juice
2 ounces cranberry juice
2 ounces Simple Syrup
Ice

Directions:
Chill 4 martini glasses.  Rim each with a lemon half and then dip in sugar.  Squeeze into a shaker the lemon juice from the halves you used to rim the glasses.  Place the pepper pieces in the shaker and muddle.  Add to the shaker: mandarin or clementine vodka, orange juice, cranberry juice and simple syrup. Top with some ice, shake and strain into the glasses. Garnish each with a small slice of jalapeno pepper.

Simple Syrup:
Combine the sugar and 1 cup water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.  Stir until the sugar dissolves.  Remove from the heat and cool.

Cinco Mexican Cantina Restaurant

Last night my husband and I dined at Cinco.  This restaurant has 4  locations around the Atlanta area.  We dined at the Akers Mill Road location.  The atmosphere of this restaurant inside was really nice.  I really liked the decor and there is dining available on the rooftop too.  I did some research ahead of time and found out the that chips, salsa, salads and tacos requested using corn tortillas were gluten-free.  While I was there I asked if the braised beef enchiladas were made with corn tortillas and I was told they were so I order that and a Cinco Margarita.  They make the margaritas pretty strong, but I enjoyed it.  The salsa served with the chips was smoky and had just enough kick that you could feel it, but not too potent.  We ordered guacamole to start and that arrived late…..about 2 minutes before our entrees.  The service at this location is just plain slow.  We were scheduled to see a show after dinner so I had to be forceful in asking where our guacamole was and in requesting the check. 

The guacamole was okay.  It could have used some salt.  As a matter of fact, many items could have used some salt in my opinion and there are no salt and pepper shakers on the table.  The enchiladas were pretty good.  I enjoyed the meat, but I would’ve liked to have seen a little more sauce on the plate.  They were served with black beans and jalepeno corn.  I can attest to the fact that the corn was fresh since I found a few corn silks on my plate.  The beans could have used more seasoning. 

All in all I think this restaurant was an experience that just lacked a little more flavor.

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