Alpine Mud | A White Sage, Wild Mint, Milk, Chocolate + Bourbon Cocktail

Alpine Mud Cocktail | White Sage, Wild Mint, Milk, Chocolate + Bourbon - offbeat + inspired

The second (and final) recipe of my Juniper Ridge Wildcrafted Tea collaboration with Kristan Raines of The Broken Bread is a bourbon cocktail that I’m absolutely head over heels for — and just in time for National Bourbon Heritage Month!

I infused whole milk with JR’s White Sage & Wild Mint Tea and fresh mint leaves, whipped in some melted semi-sweet chocolate to create a “muddy” chocolate milk, chilled the mixture, then poured it over ice and a shot of bourbon. This is a total comfort cocktail. The hints of crisp mint and sweet sage combined with the smooth, milky chocolate and spicy bourbon remind me of a darker, more decadent milk punch. It’s the perfect fall/winter beverage with a fresh, outdoorsy twist.

Kristan and I decided to make little videos to share along with our cocktail recipes, so please watch and I hope you enjoy!

A huge thank you to Brad Nolan of Bradley Quinn Photography for filming this, to AJ Hochhalter for the incredible music I used, and to The Livery crew for letting me play with tea and bourbon in their stunning space for an afternoon! I’m always blown away by the talents and generosity of my friends here in Lexington.

The following photo series captures the creation of 4 Alpine Muds and an evening in my tiny kitchen with good friends who were visiting from Nashville. The perfect closing to a long weekend.

I do hope you give this recipe a try! Leave a comment and tell me what your favorite fall/winter cocktails are — and if you make this one, let me know how you liked it! I would love to hear from you!

Don’t forget to hop over to The Broken Bread today for “The Greenleaf” — Kristan’s take on a Juniper Ridge Wildcrafted Tea Cocktail!

Alpine Mud Cocktail | White Sage, Wild Mint, Milk, Chocolate + Bourbon - offbeat + inspired

Alpine Mud Cocktail | White Sage, Wild Mint, Milk, Chocolate + Bourbon - offbeat + inspired

Alpine Mud Cocktail | White Sage, Wild Mint, Milk, Chocolate + Bourbon - offbeat + inspired

Alpine Mud Cocktail | White Sage, Wild Mint, Milk, Chocolate + Bourbon - offbeat + inspired

Alpine Mud Cocktail | White Sage, Wild Mint, Milk, Chocolate + Bourbon - offbeat + inspired

Alpine Mud Cocktail | White Sage, Wild Mint, Milk, Chocolate + Bourbon - offbeat + inspired

Alpine Mud Cocktail | White Sage, Wild Mint, Milk, Chocolate + Bourbon - offbeat + inspired

Alpine Mud Cocktail | White Sage, Wild Mint, Milk, Chocolate + Bourbon - offbeat + inspired

Alpine Mud Cocktail | White Sage, Wild Mint, Milk, Chocolate + Bourbon - offbeat + inspired

Alpine Mud Cocktail | White Sage, Wild Mint, Milk, Chocolate + Bourbon - offbeat + inspired

Alpine Mud Cocktail | White Sage, Wild Mint, Milk, Chocolate + Bourbon - offbeat + inspired

Alpine Mud Cocktail | White Sage, Wild Mint, Milk, Chocolate + Bourbon - offbeat + inspired

Alpine Mud Cocktail | White Sage, Wild Mint, Milk, Chocolate + Bourbon - offbeat + inspired

Alpine Mud Cocktail | White Sage, Wild Mint, Milk, Chocolate + Bourbon - offbeat + inspired

Alpine Mud
White Sage, Wild Mint, Milk, Chocolate + Bourbon

2 cups whole milk
3 White Sage & Wild Mint Tea Bags from Juniper Ridge
About 2 tbsp. fresh mint leaves, torn
10 oz. semisweet chocolate chips
1 oz. bourbon per 8 oz. tumbler (I used Buffalo Trace)
Ice
Whole mint leaves for garnish

Place chocolate chips in a medium bowl and set aside.

Add milk to a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat.

Remove from heat and steep teabags and 1 tbsp. of the torn mint leaves for 10 minutes.

Remove the teabags, set them aside and bring the milk to a light simmer. Remove from heat and immediately strain into the bowl of chocolate chips (removing the torn mint leaves), stirring until the chips are melted. I like to keep the chocolate from melting completely because I enjoy that “muddy” texture in the finished cocktail, but if you prefer it smooth, stir until the chocolate is completely dissolved. If the mixture cools before the chocolate is fully melted, reheat and keep stirring!

Add the used teabags to the chocolate milk along with the rest of the torn mint leaves. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

Remove teabags from the bowl and pour mixture into a glass pitcher or jar. At this point, you can store it in the fridge or use right away.

Fill up to six chilled 8 oz. tumblers about 3/4 with ice. Pour a shot of bourbon into each glass, then add your infused chocolate mix to fill. You can transfer the contents to a shaker at this point, or stir to combine. Garnish with fresh mint leaves and enjoy!

Douglas Fir Spring Tip Whipped Sweet Butter

Douglas Fir Spring Tip Whipped Sweet Butter - offbeat + inspired

Kristan Raines (of The Broken Bread) and I recently teamed up to create a few recipes infused with wildcrafted tea from Juniper Ridge. I’m so excited to be collaborating with this girl. She is incredibly talented, sweet as can be, and her recipes and food photography are hypnotizing. If you haven’t already checked out her work or followed her on Instagram, you must!

As for Juniper Ridge…they’re adventurers who have mastered the art of fragrance. They hike, they camp, and they capture the beauty of places like Big Sur, Siskiyou, or the Yuba River, in a scent. They make soaps, room sprays, incense, cologne, beard oil, you name it. And from plant to bottle, they handle the entire process. I never thought much about the craft of fragrance-making, but I’ve developed a deep respect for it since I started using JR products in my apartment. I’ve been burning their White Sage Campfire Incense for weeks now and can’t get enough. It transports me to a dewy forest in early fall at dawn, with bacon crackling over a fire pit. Their Siskiyou Cabin Spray takes me to a cliff overlooking a sea of sweet pines in summer. I can’t get over how they’ve so perfectly bottled up the intensity of these enchanting destinations. Here’s a snippet from their “About” page that sums it up beautifully:

“We make our fragrances throughout the West Coast—on dirt roads and trails, around campfires, and in our Oakland, California workshop. All to capture the quiet beauty of the Mojave Desert at sunrise, or a late-season Sierra trailhead with winter right around the corner.”

Thoroughly inspired by that magic, Kristan and I set out to craft one dessert and one cocktail each with our wild teas. We sought to keep it simple, celebrating the earthy beauty of the tea in true JR fashion, and today we’re both sharing our desserts! I infused date-sweetened heavy cream with the Douglas Fir Spring Tip Tea, then whipped it into a fluffy butter before finishing with a sprinkle of the dried leaves. This isn’t a typical dessert in that it’s more of a dipping side to accompany anything that goes with sweet butter — but I love that versatility. My first instinct was to pair it with some tart apple slices. Divine! I love how the cream carries the fresh, woodsy flavors of fir and spring tip so smoothly.

[Recipe at the bottom!]

Douglas Fir Spring Tip Whipped Sweet Butter - offbeat + inspired

Douglas Fir Spring Tip Whipped Sweet Butter - offbeat + inspired

Douglas Fir Spring Tip Whipped Sweet Butter - offbeat + inspired

Douglas Fir Spring Tip Whipped Sweet Butter - offbeat + inspired

Douglas Fir Spring Tip Whipped Sweet Butter - offbeat + inspired

Douglas Fir Spring Tip Whipped Sweet Butter - offbeat + inspired

Douglas Fir Spring Tip Whipped Sweet Butter - offbeat + inspired

Douglas Fir Spring Tip Whipped Sweet Butter - offbeat + inspired

Douglas Fir Spring Tip Whipped Sweet Butter - offbeat + inspired

Douglas Fir Spring Tip Whipped Sweet Butter - offbeat + inspired

Keep an eye on our blogs tomorrow for the cocktail recipes (with video!), and check out The Broken Bread right now for Kristan’s delicious dessert: White Sage & Wild Mint Chocolate Mousse!

Douglas Fir Spring Tip Whipped Sweet Butter

2 cups heavy cream
2 Douglas Fir Spring Tip Tea bags (Juniper Ridge) for steeping
1 Douglas Fir Spring Tip Tea bag for sprinkling
2 Medjool dates, pitted

Bring the heavy cream to a simmer over medium heat.

Remove from heat and add the 2 tea bags. Cover and steep for 10 minutes.

Remove the tea bags and chill the cream for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator.

While the cream is chilling, finely chop the dates and press them with the back of a spoon to make a paste.

When the cream is done chilling, add the date paste and half the contents of the remaining tea bag and blend with a hand mixer until a butter forms, about 5 minutes. It will look a little chunky, but keep mixing until the mixture is stiff and has the consistency of a whipped butter.

Scoop butter into a small serving bowl, sprinkle with some of the leftover dried tea and use right away, or cover and refrigerate.

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I’ve had to get creative with my coffee lately. I’ve done pretty well avoiding dairy ever since my Whole30 detox, probably because it wasn’t one of my main vices to begin with — but when I’m not in the mood for black coffee, I go straight for the half and half. I’ve tried substitutions like almond milk, and made bold efforts to convince myself that the flavor was similar enough…but it just plain wasn’t.

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Visiting Paris has been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember. Seeing Julie & Julia for the first time dug the well a little deeper, but the thing that pushed me over the edge into trip planning mode was moving to Lexington, Kentucky. It’s not a coincidence that two of the three “Lexington Love” posts I’ve done so far have been about French/European-inspired eateries. There’s an atmosphere and an old-world charm built into a French crafted experience that just can’t be matched. Dozens of restaurants in this city have phenomenal food, trendy interior design, friendly hosts and personality that instantly turns first-timers into regulars — but Le Deauville French Bistro at 199 North Limestone makes you believe you’re actually in France.

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Keep reading!

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Fatigue – I had been having regular fatigue and a really hard time getting to sleep at night prior to W30, but now I have energy all day and I’m sleeping much better. I first noticed the change when I didn’t have my usual late-morning crash — the one after the coffee and breakfast wear off and all I want to do is crawl back into bed and pass out for 3 hours. There’s also much less tossing and turning at night which makes a world of difference.

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Keep reading!

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1. Meeting the Samsung family and getting to experience their creativity up close. When I was invited to attend the launch of Samsung’s “Chef Collection” range of kitchen appliances at their NYC showroom (aka, the Samsung Living Atelier), I was a little intimidated. That’s a massive company. I didn’t know what to expect at all. To my pleasant surprise, I arrived at the Atelier last Wednesday and was instantly blown away by how welcome I felt. The space was big and light with kitchen setups everywhere. I wanted to drop everything and start cooking. The people were all smiles and excitement. The room was buzzing with anticipatory chatter. We couldn’t wait for the chefs to appear and for the new collection to be unveiled.

Keep reading!