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!

Clean Eating | Medjool Date + Vanilla Bean Café Au Lait De Coco

Clean Eating | Medjool Date + Vanilla Bean Café Au Lait De Coco - offbeat + inspired

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.

Keep reading!

Lavender-Honey Iced Latte

Lavender-Honey Iced Latte - offbeat + inspired-7

I’m a little obsessed with making flavor infused simple syrups (as evidenced by the excessive number of my recipes that include them in some form). The flavor combinations are endless and, in my opinion, it’s one of the easiest and most fun ways to add variety to drinks like iced tea, lemonade, cocktails and of course, coffee.

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I’ve got a Whole30 update for you! It’s been a little over a month since I “started” the detox. I put that in quotes because I kinda sorta maybe cheated for the first week straight. Oops. But after that, I dove headfirst into it. I started cooking every night, stopped having frozen margaritas every time we went out for dinner (my weakness, especially at Pepe’s and Le Deauville…), and basically followed every rule I was aware of consistently for the last month. Here are my most notable results, 3 solid weeks in:

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.

Keep reading!

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I’ve been Whole30-ing for the last week now, and I’m currently straddling the line between “what was I thinking” and “I can’t believe how obscenely necessary this was”. I’m smack-dab in the middle of the hangry phase, as detailed in the official Whole30 Timeline, and a new beast has recently reared its ugly head. The giant brownie hallucination. They don’t talk about this particular monster in the W30 description, but it’s very, very real. I’m restricted from having wheat, grains, legumes (including peanuts), added sugars (including agave and honey), all dairy and any kind of baked dessert (even if it’s made with W30-compliant ingredients!). This leaves that giant, wonderful, horrifying brownie as an amalgam of absolutely everything I’m not allowed to eat right now — which is probably why it’s attacking me in my sleep.

Keep reading!

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Japanese Method Iced Coffee

Summer is officially here! That calls for fresh farmers’ market produce, backyard barbecues and, of course, cold drinks. I’ve shared before how to make smooth, full-flavored, cold-brew coffee for drinks like a caramel iced latte or coffee cocktail. While I love that method, it takes about 8-12 hours for the coffee to steep – and let’s face it…sometimes a craving for iced coffee hits when you don’t want to wait that long.

Keep reading!

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Samsung Living Atelier Recap + "Risotto Style" Pasta Inspired By Chef Eric Frechon - offbeat + inspired

The NYC trip last week was a huge success. I had so much fun at the #SamsungLivingAtelier event with the Club Des Chefs and walked away truly inspired. The highlights of the trip for me were so many, but I’ll focus on my top 3:

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.

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Ginger + Honey Sparkling Lemonade - offbeat + inspired-3

I used to think I didn’t really like lemonade – until I made it last summer for the first time with actual lemons. I should have started making the real stuff a long time ago, because now I’m completely hooked. There’s simply no substitute for the crisp, tart and sweet flavor of real, homemade lemonade.

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Coffee-Maple Candied Bacon - offbeat + inspired-5

What’s better than bacon? Candied bacon with rich, earthy flavors of coffee, sweet maple syrup, caramelized sugar and spicy black pepper.

This recipe is dangerously easy to make, with only a few ingredients: bacon, freshly roasted coffee (I like using a full-bodied, dark roast such as FreshGround’s Sumatra Aceh), sugar, maple syrup and a touch of black pepper. Word of advice? Make this in small batches – or at least have friends over to share the results with. Otherwise before you know it, you’ll have consumed a shameful amount of bacon all by yourself. (Yup, I’m speaking from personal experience.)

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Lexington Love | Adventuring With Ruthie - offbeat + inspired

This is the most exciting time of year for me. Especially this year. I’m settled in to the downtown apartment — a gorgeous, old 3-story building on North Limestone. Our little nook is on the third floor above Le Deauville French Bistro, across the street from a blooming school courtyard. The city is popping with color now, which means it’s time to break out the list of springtime shenanigans and start hacking away. One of them was to have my dear friend Ruthie Lindsey come up from Nashville for a visit! If you follow me on Instagram, you know how much I love this girl. Goofing, laughing, heart-to-hearts, dance parties, music listening and exploring — all part of the typical, wonderful craziness.

When she pulled into town, we only had a vague idea of what the next 3 days were going to look like, but knew we were going to spend one of them shooting everything we possibly could. Ruthie’s personal style is just one of the hugely inspiring things about her, so we decided to show a few of her favorite looks in a few of my favorite Lexington locales. The rest of this post will serve as a photo journal of that day with outfit and location credits. I just love showing off this little city, especially alongside one of my favorite gals!

Keep reading!