This post was created in sponsored collaboration with Chila ‘Orchata. All thoughts and opinions are my own. For more information about Chila, visit on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest. This message is intended for those of age 21+, please enjoy Chila responsibly.
A Tres Leches Martini made with Chila ‘Orchata Cinnamon Cream Rum is the perfect beverage to sip while wishing you were vacationing on a Caribbean island or while you’re spending an afternoon with your girlfriends on a patio.
Though the trees are finally sprouting a few buds and we’ve had a few glimmers of sunshine here and there, Chicago isn’t exactly known for it’s warm, lush, spring weather. The expression “April showers bring May flowers” was probably coined here.
Luckily, Chicago has a way of making you fall in love all over again, just when you’re about to hop on the next plane south and call it quits. This past weekend we had two beautiful, glorious, wonderful days of sunshine. I wish I could have captured that little slice of spring in a bottle, but being a realistic adult, I know that isn’t actually possible.
The next best way to cure a case of the grey sky blues? Shaking up a batch of cocktails that will take you on a whirlwind trip to the Caribbean, Central America, and Tahiti — all in a single sip.
This month, I partnered with Chila ‘Orchata to throw a sweet and simple spring brunch for a few girlfriends. Even though I made a couple of savory dishes, the theme of the menu can be summed up in one word: sweet.
There’s no better way to celebrate spring or summer weather than by channeling vacation with the richness of Puerto Rican rum, the spice of cinnamon horchata, and the sweetness of Tahitian vanilla.
Chila ‘Orchata, combines the goodness of Puerto Rican rum with real dairy cream, Tahitian vanilla, and a sprinkle of exotic cinnamon. Inspired by horchata, a creamy milk-based drink flavored with spices like vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg, Chila is a fanciful flavor name for the Latin American inspired cinnamon cream rum.
I tried it for the first time in November and because of it’s creamy consistency, immediately thought “winter” until I tasted it and discovered that it’s actually quite light and refreshing as an after-dinner drink over ice or for a special treat, in another Latin American inspired cocktail.
Before we talk cocktails though, let’s start with the sweet and simple spring brunch menu.
Even when the focus is on sweets, you’ll want to add something savory to the mix to balance out the sugar. I love to make a super simple flatbread with brie, dried cranberries and either some green spring onions or chopped leeks. You can buy the base of the flatbread pre-packaged in the bread section of any high end grocery or gourmet food store and serve the rest of the brie with you favorite crackers or toast points.
Another easy option is to make a quick smoked salmon and goat cheese quiche. I’m addicted to lox or smoked salmon, so I chopped up some leftover lox and folded some goat cheese into my egg mixture, but it’s easy to customize the recipe with cheddar or bacon if you’re cooking for an anti-lox audience (as I would if I were cooking for say, my boyfriend or my brother).
As far as the sweet treats go, I love to stick with simple additions that you know people will like. I used to create elaborate recipes for parties, but the truth is, most people just want simple sugar cookies and cinnamon coffee cake.
In addition to some iced sugar cookies that I picked up from a local bakery, I served a dense vanilla pound cake that pairs nicely with strawberries and whipped cream (bonus points if you make this Chila-infused whipped cream to go with it).
If you skip the whipped cream, then you’ll need to round out your menu with a smooth, creamy cocktail. Chila is perfect for mixing with just about any flavors: strawberry, peach, raspberry and key lime are all refreshing options, but I like the idea of channeling the island vacation vibe with something richer, like this creamy, smooth Tres Leches martini.
Tres Leches cake is a sponge cake soaked in three kinds of milk: evaporated milk, condensed milk, and heavy cream. It’s usually frosted with fresh whipped cream and garnished with maraschino cherries, but you can skip all of that and break out your cocktail shaker for your next spring gathering.
All of these recipes were made for entertaining, and taste even better when eaten outdoors, preferably in a garden or in the presence of some type of floral arrangements. I live in the city but I have a large balcony off my living room, making it easy to keep most of the food indoors for quality control, but still enjoy the surprise spring sunshine.
- 6 ounces sweetened condensed milk
- 2 ounces evaporated milk
- 2 ounces Chila 'Orchata Cinnamon Cream Rum
- 1 ounce vanilla vodka
- Cinnamon and vanilla bean (optional, as garnish)
- Place the first four ingredients in a cocktail shaker full of ice. Shake well, until mixture is frothy and drink is chilled. Pour into a martini glass or coupe glass and lightly dust with cinnamon. Garnish with a vanilla bean or maraschino cherry. Serve and enjoy.