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Entries in vodka (2)


A Speedy Race to Poolside Transition

Occasionally, I (Elana) break from the normal Italian food love fest and talk about eating as it relates to this triathlon training thing that I do.

I do not want to bore you with split times and racing stats. What I do want to bring you is the following:

Wack-a-doodle stories of me forgetting my pants, practically getting blown off mountains, flopping around helplessly in the water and the food it takes to get me to and from these places.

As it's summer, triathlon racing season is in full-swing. In addition to the normal swim/bike/run race sequence, an athlete must deal with two timed transitions. 

The first involves a completely ungraceful wetsuit stripping (aided by copious amounts of Body Glide and cursing) and bike mounting.

The second features a bike dismount, and a footwear change (also occasionally involving cursing) for the run. I have often reviewed my transition times trying to determine what the %$^& I was doing in there for so long. My hair? Having a tea party? Certainly not signing autographs, I can tell you that much.

Here are some of the things I keep in my transition area:

And let's not forget the bicycle! It's a lot of gear. Some of these items are designed to make me go faster, like the Rudy Project aero helmet. It has the added bonus of making me look like a 1950's space traveller:

It's an aggressive look out of context, but with the full effect of the bike, it all works out:

But while there is much talk of these two race transitions, not much is said about "T3", the final transition. How does one smoothly segue from rabid badger, frothing-at-the-mouth-athlete crossing the finish line to normal, reconstructed person ready to party poolside? This part, I can handle.

Last year at my first Full Throttle triathlon in South Beach, I learned about the Vonder Slide. A fabulous Big Lebowksi-inspired ice-blended drink. The drink was named after my teammate Karen who put the whole ice-blended variation on it.

This year Karen updated the drink. Zico Coconut Water was a sponsor of the Nautica South Beach Triathlon. I love race sponsors. They set up tents at the finish line and give away free samples! Sometimes unlimited amounts of them! Such was the case with Zico, who generously filled Karen's tri bag (a bag large enough to fit a small person inside) with mini Chocolate Flavored Zico's.

Upon our return to our hotel, we waltzed up to the poolside bar, 8,000 Zico's in hand and demanded (in a nice way) that the bartender make us Vonder Slides with our chocolate coconut waters. Which she did. Repeatedly and with great success (see the first photo).

Now, before I launch into the recipe for these little masterpieces, I should note the pro's and con's of coconut water. Please keep in mind this is NOT an exhaustive list.

PRO's: great hydration capabilities, lots of electrolytes, potassium, vitamins, etc.

CON's: Natural laxative.

Now, don't misunderstand...the above con is not truly all that bad. It's great to keep things moving in way. However, let it be a warning to those unfamiliar with coconut water. You might want to approach with caution or moderation. Or both.

Without further ado, here is the recipe for the Zico Coconut Water Vonder Slide Update:

* None of the companies mentioned in this post, including Zico are paying me to say any of this. I promise.

What You Need:
Makes 2 drinks
A blender
Ice - 2 scoops
2 8 oz chocolate Zico coconut waters (or 1 large one)
1/4 cup Kahlua
1/4 cup vodka
1/4 cup almond milk (healthy version) or half and half for a creaminess

What To Do:
Throw all the ingredients in the blender and whip it up to your desired consistency. You can add more ice if it's not icy enough for you.

Once you have established your desired consistency, pour your concoction into tall glasses.

Don't forget the straws!

Head to the pool - make sure you've changed out of your race clothes and into your bathing suit!

Hand any hardware that you may have collected along the way to The Box. He'll hang on to it for you.


Popsicles with Punch!

A popsicle can be a nostalgic treat in the warm summer twilight. While enjoying one, can't you just hear the crickets chirping, and the salty bay water gently lapping onto the dock across the street while lightning bugs glimmer in the yard?

Well, I can. Maybe you're not having the right kind of popsicles.

You might try these. These popsicles and frozen treats have a little kick - provided by various alcoholic ingredients. You can serve them at happy hour. Just keep them separate from the kids' desserts.

First up is a Gin and Ginger Granita. For me good time, relaxing porch-sittin' involves a nice gin and tonic. This frozen version is even better.

Gin and Ginger Granita

What You Need:
Note: 1 "part" in this recipe refers to 1 shot glass's worth of an ingredient.
2 parts Gin (I used Hendrick's)
1 part minty simple syrup (recipe from Poet in the Pantry here.
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped and peeled fresh ginger
1 1/2 cups water
Juice from 1 lime
Optional: a few slices of cucumber, chopped and peeled
Equipment: a blender, ice cube trays (I used a silicone version)

What to Do:
Throw all the ingredients in a blender and pureé.

Pour into ice cube trays and pop them in the freezer, and let them freeze overnight.

The next days, you can transfer your gin 'n' ginger cubes into a bowl and crush with a fork. They should decompose into a perfect crushed ice texture.

Divide into small bowls and serve.

My family spends a lot of time watching golf in the summer time. Especially my dad who enjoys doing so with his eyes closed while horizontal on the couch. I'm not much of a golfer, but I do applaud the golfer-inspired beverage choices like the Arnold Palmer. Especially frozen and combined with vodka.

Arnold Palmer Pops

What You Need:
1 cup Iced Tea (I used the Turkey Hill brand. It has a slight lemony-sweetness that is not overpowering)
3 large lemons
1 part minty simple syrup
1 cup water
2 parts vodka - divided equally among the iced tea and lemonade
Equipment: Cone shaped paper cups or popsicle forms; popsicle sticks

What To Do:
To make the lemonade, squeeze the juice from three large lemons into a pitcher.

Add in one part minty simple syrup (you can use more if you like your lemonade sweeter, so give it a taste) and the 1 cup of water and remaining 1 part vodka.

Place it in the refrigerator to keep it fresh while you're dealing with the iced tea portion.

Combine the Iced tea and 1 part vodka in a small pitcher or measuring cup.

Pour this mixture into your popsicle forms, only filling them half way.

Pop your half-filled forms in the freezer. When they are starting to freeze but still slushy (give them about 2 hours), stick the popsicle sticks into the centers of each form so that they stand upright.

After the iced tea half-popsicles have frozen, pour the rest of the molds full with the lemonade.

This is how you will get the two-toned effect you see in the photo.

Let them freeze overnight.

The White Russian drink has a special place in my heart. I love the creaminess combined with the deep richness of Kahlua. This drink is just asking to be made into a creamsicle. So let it be done. And eaten:

White Russian Creamsicles

What You Need:
1 part vodka
2 parts Kahlua
1/4 cup half 'n' half
3/4 cup water
Equipment: Dixie paper cups or popsicle forms; popsicle sticks

What To Do:
Combine all ingredients in a pitcher or large measuring cup and stir to combine.

Pour into popsicle molds and stick them in the freezer. After the are partially frozen (allow a few hours depending on the temperature of your freezer), place the popsicle sticks in the center so they stand upright.

Allow to freeze overnight.