Luxardo Cherry Trifle with Botlle

Luxardo Cherry Trifle

Luxardo Cherry Trifle

According the Oxford Dictionary a Trifle is British noun meaning.

a cold dessert of sponge cake and fruit covered with layers of custard, jelly, and cream.

I love trifles as they are a great way to use odd pieces of  this and that and compose into a comforting dessert enjoyed by all. You can make a large one or series of smaller individual ones for your guest in glasses when entertaining. I have served trifles when catering and they are always well received. I’m not going to provide an exact recipe , but show you how I assembled this through pictures and words. Add your own embellishments. I used Luxardo products as my flavor basis and theme. I love the richness, sweetness, aroma and flavor of the luxurious maraschino cherry  liqueur. A jar of the cherries is really a worthwhile splurge to amp up your cocktails, deserts, or mocktails. My new thing as the weather gets warmer is to add a cherry and some of the syrup to my lemonade.  This trifle uses both the liquer and about half the jar of cherries. You can use more if you wish.


The Components of The Trifle are:

Close up of Cherry Trifle

Crème Anglais ( a thin custard) ( Here is a good recipe you will need to double.)  Save half of your crème to fold into the  Whipped Cream.

I actually used 7 yolks, and 3/4 cup of sugar that I grinded old dried vanilla beans in ( I never throw anything away and this was left from homemade extract). You can infuse a split vanilla bean in the milk/cream as it heats. I wanted a yolkier custard. Be sure not to overcook as it will curdle and scramble quick. If it does, you may save it by running it through a blender. It should coat a spoon but it wont be very thick. Also another pro tip is to strain your custard  through a fine mesh sieve when complete, before cooling.

Heavy Cream whipped ( I always use 40 percent heavy whipping cream)

( About 3-4 cups whipped until stiff. Add some  of Luxardo Cherries syrup and a few teaspoons of sugar to sweeten. You will be adding sweetened  cooled cream anglais  to this as well, so be careful with the sugar.

Frozen Cake ( yellow cake, pound cake, chocolate cake , etc.) I always have some plain cake in the freezer left over from a project. You want a denser cake to absorb the liqueur.

Luxardo Liqueur

Luxardo Cherries

Cocoa Powder

Step One:

Make a Bottom layer of Frozen Cake cut into cubes. Drizzle Luxardo Liquor over the cake to soak.  Don’t over drench.

Soak the Cake with Luxardo Liquer

Step Two:

Pour Crème Anglais over the soaked cake

Pour Creme Anglais on top of  Luxardo soaked cake




Step Three:

Add some Luxardo Cherries sporadically around the edge.

Add Luxardo Cherries

Step Four:

Cover first layer with Whipped Cream mixed with half of the Cream Anglais. Add some of the Luxardo cherry syrup to the mix and fold gently. Be sure your bowl is cold  when whipping.

WhIpped Cream mixed with Creme Anglais for Luxardo Cherry Triffle

Step Five:

Repeat all the steps until bowl is filled. Sprinkle top with a dusting of Cocoa Powder.

Chill and allow to set for several hours before serving , so the flavors meld.








Mango Caipirinhas

One of my favorite drinks is a Caipirinha. I remember being introduced to them by an old friend named Andy ,who had a Brazilian girlfriend and sought to educate me on many things Brazilian. We were at a Brazilian music event in Chicago and I drank eagerly  much to my hung over  regret the next day. They taste so good, but will sneak up on you.This cocktail had found a way into my cocktail repertoire.

In Rio de Janerio recently , I stayed hydrated with a variety of juices from the Sucos Bars scattered on every street,excellent icy cold beers, Mate Tea served from a steel drum containers that blend lemon juice and yerbe mate , plenty of water, and wound the day down with  nice Caipirinhas in traditional or exotic fruit varieties like passion fruit or mango. I felt like a Carioca ( native of Rio de Janerio). The abundance and profusion fruits in Rio amazed me. I wish I could have sampled more. Hortifruti has a amazing selection of fruits and vegetables  indigenous to Brazil. The food,climate, and lifestyle make this the perfect destination to visit. I really felt a connection in Rio and will return.

caprhrina 3

Caipirinhas are considered Brazil’s national drink. This pleasant sweet yet acidic cocktail with a kick, consists of limes, sugar, and cachaça ( a spirit made from sugar cane juice,as rum is as well)served over plenty of ice. The original simple form is wonderful, but many like to add a fruit infusion, based on the abundance and variety of fruits. If you don’t have cachaça, there is always a Caipiroska  or Caipivodka using vodka in place of cachaça.


Mango Caipirinhas
Recipe type: Cocktails
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
  • 2 shots cachaça
  • 1 lime cut into wedges, then quarters
  • 4 tsps sugar, preferably raw sugar.
  • half of a mango cubed and cut into small pieces.
  • Crushed Ice
  1. Muddle lime, sugar, and mango fruit together.
  2. Add crushed ice to shaker.
  3. Pour cachaça over fruit and ice and shake to blend,
  4. Serve in a chilled glass with the ice.


 Influences and Perspectives : Brazil

Cocktail Hour with Espolon Tequila

First off I want to thank you all for the comments on my last post. The Jassn Ceramic knives are so beautiful and fun to work with. They are making my kitchen chores go by so swiftly with beautiful clean and swift cuts. I wish everyone could win, but there can only be one winner. Don’t forget my readers get a 15 percent discount with the code Coco Cooks. So click on to the Jassn advertisement on my sidebar and order away! The winner is Milaxx! Congrats and enjoy preparing your vegetarian fare with them.


Now are you ready for cocktail hour? Tequila! I have had some crazy experiences with Tequila. Like most people years of drinking inferior stuff made me ill or do things I perhaps shouldn’t have. I recall years ago while in school in Paris , naively starting the night off with Champagne , then moving on to Margaritas with some friends. All I remember in one moment I was the rest room checking my lipstick and the next on a cafe chair curbside passed out about to have some water thrown on me to wake up. I had no idea how I got out there. So needless to say for years I avoided the stuff. Until I started working on and off in the restaurant industry and was able to try the better brands and see the distinction between fine Tequilas and other brands that will not be named. Now I know there are smooth, affordable tequilas like the award winning Espolon. I was lucky enough to receive  samples  of both the Tequila Blanco and the Tequila Reposado and create some cocktails. I found these two were smooth enjoy and sip alone, but worked well in cocktails as well.

Handcrafted with 100% pure Blue Agave, Espolón is an award-winning collection of super-premium
tequilas that celebrate real Mexico and highlight its storied culture through classic 19th century Mexican
artistry and iconic imagery. Espolón’s label illustrations portray the stories of characters Guadalupe,
Rosarita and Ramón, a proud rooster and symbol of national pride, as they relive significant moments in
Mexico’s rich history.
Espolón Tequila is distilled and bottled at Destiladora San Nicolas, an artisan distillery in the Los Altos
(Highlands) region of Jalisco, Mexico. San Nicolas sets the standard for tequila production and was
awarded the “Best Tequila Factory in Mexico” by the School of Architects and Engineers of Jalisco.
Master distiller Cirilo Oropeza brings decades of expertise and careful craftsmanship to the creation of
Espolón Tequila, applying as much artistry to the liquid as you will find on the label.
Espolón favors craftsmanship over mass production—to extract richer, more intense flavors, they cook
their agave piñas for 18 to 20 hours (versus the industry average of 12), and their distilling process lasts
5½ hours (versus the industry average of 3½). Two award-winning expressions are now available in
select US markets, Blanco and Reposado, each with a unique label featuring Guadalupe, Rosarita and
Espolón Tequila Blanco
Inspired to the bone, Guadalupe and Rosarita join Father Miguel Hidalgo in his brave campaign for
Mexican independence from Spain. As depicted in this label’s scene the couple fight fiercely, and
with undying passion. As Ramón the Rooster crows his shrill battle cry, the brave army of
revolutionists clash against tyranny, against the cruel caste system, willing to sacrifice everything
for the cause. And although their bold efforts would fall short, this movement set the stage for
Mexico’s eventual independence.
Espolón Tequila Blanco
 Unaged – direct from distillation.
 Clear in color with a platinum cast.
 Delicate, sweet agave; floral, tropical fruit and lemon zest aromas with a hint of pepper.
 Soft mouth-feel, light to medium-bodied palate with bright agave flavor; notes of pepper,
vanilla bean and grilled pineapple.
 Elegant, clean finish that ends with a hint of spice.
Espolón Tequila Reposado
Spain’s Hernando Cortés captured the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan, conquering its people and
building Mexico City in its place. As illustrated in this label, Guadalupe and Rosarita revel in the
markets of this new metropolis, yet a pair of devilishly toothy grins hint at their true intentions.
Driven by a passion for Aztec civilization—as their spirits had once played a role in this complex
culture—our couple scheme to infuse elements of Aztec culture into every market in the country.
Guided by Ramón the Rooster, they vow that generations would remember this great fallen
society’s impressive achievements.


My favorite soda is a Mexican brand called Jarritos Grapefruit Flavor or Toronja and I made a classic Paloma , Mexcios favorite cocktail with the Tequila Blanco. Crisp refreshing and light .

With the Tequila Reposado I had some fun. I made a cocktail with some Goya frozen Passion Fruit Pulp. I will call Passion Buzz.

Paloma Cocktail and Passion Buzz with Espolon Tequila
Recipe type: Cocktails
Cocktails with Espolon Tequila
  • For the Paloma
  • 1 shot Espolon Tequila Blanco
  • Jarritos Toronnja or other Grapefruit Soda
  • Ice
  • For the Passion Buzz ( 1 pitcher)
  • 1 package Goya Frozen Passion Fruit Pulp ( keep frozen)
  • 1 cup simple syrup
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 cup Espolon Tequila Reposado
  • Sparkling water or Soda
  • ice
  • Colored sugar for rim
  1. For the Paloma
  2. In a glass with ice our 1 shot of Espolon Tequila Blanco .
  3. Top off with Jarritos Toronja soda.
  4. Garnish with a lime.
  5. For the Passion Buzz
  6. In a blender add the frozen Goya Passion Fruit Pulp broken into chunks.
  7. Add simple syrup, Espolon Tequila Reposado, juice of 1 lime and few more ice cubes.
  8. Blend to a puree and it should be icy and slushy.
  9. Taste and add sparkling water to suit your tastes . Mix
  10. Dampen rim of glass and dip in colored sugar .
  11. Pour cocktail and enjoy.





Some Holiday Cheer With Prairie Organic Vodka

We are knee deep in the holiday season. This time of year is all about fabulous cocktails to go with great food. Just as we are concerned about the quality of what we eat, we should  apply that criteria to our our wines and spirits. If you are like me , I love to roam the aisles and see all the exciting new brands in spirits category. Its refreshing to see innovative, creative and organic brands sharing space and competing with the more mainstream brands. Prairie Vodka has caught my eye this holiday season and is a favorite of the actor Jeremy Piven (Chicagoan’s have great taste). I have provided  some cocktails for your guests this holiday.Cheers and  Enjoy ! I shall be back back with some cookie posts and a giveaway or two soon.

Actor -Jeremy Piven-as an advocate for green and sustainable living Piven recently contacted Phillips Distilling Co. about his affection for Prairie and that his Malibu home’s bar is completely stocked with their vodka.

Prairie Organic Vodka is made with great respect for people and communities; the result of a unique partnership between a fifth-generation distilled spirits company and a co-op of over 900 Minnesota farmers who are stakeholders in the brand.Taste:

Prairie Organic Vodka is beautifully smooth. With hints of melon and pear on the nose, creaminess on the palate, and a bright, smooth finish, it rivals most luxurious vodkas in the world


Prairie Organic Vodka begins with certified organic #2 yellow corn raised by the farmers who own the distillery. In order to be certified organic by the USDA, the growing process cannot use genetically modified seeds, artificial fertilizers, hormones, weed controllers, or pesticides. It’s a lot more work for the farmers at a much steeper expense. In fact, Prairie’s organic corn costs more than twice as much as conventionally farmed corn but the result is well worth it; a natural and ideal base for making luxury organic vodka.


Prairie Organic Vodka is one of a handful of spirits certified kosher by The Orthodox Union and organic by the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) which requires that the entire process, from the field all the way to the shelf, be completely free of synthetic chemicals, pesticides and genetically modified seeds and enzymes.

  • Sustainable Production key points:
    • Corn kernels are removed, dried, then milled and blended with water.
    • The leftover cobs and other biomass are converted to biogas energy for heating the stills.
    • Natural enzymes are added to convert starches to sugar, then natural yeast converts the sugar to carbonic acid and alcohol.
    • Alcohol is removed via column distillation, and leftover distillers grains are returned to farms for re-use as feed



Red Hawk

  • 2 parts Prairie Organic Vodka
  • 2 parts pomegranate juice
  • A squeeze of fresh lemon juice

Shake over ice and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a fresh mint leaf.

Lady Killer

  • 2 oz        Prairie Organic Vodka
  • .25 oz     Aperol
  • .5 oz       Fresh Grapefruit Juice
  • .75 oz     Fresh Lemon Juice
  • .75 oz     Simple Syrup
  • Dash     Fennel Extract

Shake with ice and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with frozen pomelo tossed in honey & ouzo.

The Prairie Cranberry Ginger Martini


  • 3 oz. Prairie Organic Vodka
  • 2 oz. cranberry ginger puree
  • 1 squeeze fresh lime


Combine ingredients and ice in a shaker. Shake well, strain into a martini glass, garnish with a few cranberries. Cranberry Ginger Puree: Combine 2 cups frozen cranberries, 2 tbsp fresh ginger; 4 cups water, 1 orange, juiced and zest; 1 cup sugar; 1 pinch of salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, simmer for 10 minutes; remove from heat and let cool. Blend until smooth and strain.


Hot Buttered Rum with Apple Cider… A Witches Brew for the Great Hallow Tweet

There was an old cabin in the woods. It was rumored that there lived an witches coven who blended magical brews in their cauldrons.  It was only on  Hallows Eve that the town folk were fearless. The aromas of cinnamon and spice filled the air  and beckoned anyone in their vicinity to their door. Taking the young ones trick or treating left most exhausted and the siren call of a warm fire and a hot drink could not be turned down. Upon entry one is greeted by other townsfolk who were lured by the promise of warmth and hospitality.

“Yummm, There is no Eye of Newt or  Toe of Frog in this brew!” a guest proclaimed.

” Oh, There was some bubble, bubble, but it really wasn’t much of a toil and trouble to make. Would you like the recipe?” asked the witch?


Hot Buttered Rum With Apple Cider

Serves  4 small cups or 2 big mugs

  •  2 cups Apple Cider
  • 1 cup Dark Rum or more depending on taste
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons  Brown sugar
  •  a  few cloves to taste
  •  1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • Whipped Cream
  1. In a saucepan  melt butter with brown sugar. Do not burn sugar.
  2. Add cinnamon, nutmeg,  cloves and cider.Heat until almost a boil.
  3. Add rum and lower heat to simmer a few minutes.
  4. Strain while pouring into cups.
  5. Top with with whipped cream.