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One of the best things about owning a restaurant is getting to try out all sorts of new food and drink recipes "for the good of the company". Every now and again I stumble into inspiration for a new recipe for Caliente. Usually it is a salsa or sauce I think would be interesting to try with our food. Sometimes it's a different way to cook our braised pork or a new option of veggies to add to the menu. This time it was a trip to the liquor store that sparked my creative culinary juices. 

Last year during the holiday season Kahlua released some seasonal flavors of their coffee liqueur. One of the flavors was Peppermint Mocha. Sounds delicious. I can tell you that it is, in fact, delicious. So, as a Christmas "happy" I bought my girlfriend a bottle so that we could make festive White Russians, her favorite cocktail. This new twist seemed to be something right up her alley and we were both very excited to make a White Russian with this new flavor of Kahlua. Well, the drinks we made were indeed delicious, but we thought it lacked a little something.  It didn't seem "Christmas-y" enough. Instead, it was just a tiny bit different from a regular ole White Russian. After a few cocktails and some thought, we realized what was missing. You see, the thing about peppermint is that it is both minty and sweet, and the Kahlua just didn't add enough sweetness.

That's when the inspiration came to me.  I wanted a for-real "Christmas-tasting" drink and was determined to make one. I decided to play around with peppermint schnapps as an addition to the traditional White Russian recipe. This got me half way there. Since the White Russian is already a drink that reminds me of a dessert, I thought it would be a nice addition to add a little sweetness. That's when I decided to use vanilla flavored vodka. That did the trick! The perfect balance of sweet, creamy and minty! A perfect cold-weather drink to enjoy with friends and family after a big Christmas dinner. So, from me to you, cheers to a happy holiday season and a happy and healthy New Year. 


"Christmas-Tasting" Peppermint White Russians:
1 part     Vanilla Vodka (no brand preference, they are all delicious!)
1 part     Peppermint Schnapps
2 parts   Coffee Liqueur (Kahlua or any other brand is fine)
4 parts   Milk (whole milk is best in my opinion)

*** A "part" is whatever measurement you want to use. Could be a cup, could be a jigger. As long as it is an equal amount every time.  It all depends on how many drinks you are planning to make.

Pour this delicious mix over a few pieces of ice and stir. Garnish with a mini candy cane and a sprinkle of cinnamon-sugar on top.

 
 
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Caliente Breakfast Bowl and Taco
In case you haven't heard, Caliente is now serving breakfast.  Yup, you read it right... Breakfast the Caliente way.  Hattiesburg is a particularly unique market for restaurants.  It seems like people get stuck doing the same things without thinking about what new and unique possibilities are available to them.  This is an understandable cycle to fall into.  I myself get caught going round-n-round doing the exact same routine throughout the week.  And of all the things to get systemized in your daily routine, breakfast seems to be at the top of the list.  This is precisely the reason Caliente wanted to start serving breakfast!  McDonalds, Wards, IHOP, Waffle House and the other usual suspects have held a vice grip on the breakfast market without offering anything particularly unique or flavorful (in my humble opinion).  Caliente is a perfect option to mix up your early morning routine.  Not only do we freshly prepare everything each morning, but we give you a totally different mix of flavors to start your day with.  Breakfast Burritos, Tacos and Bowls featuring bacon and chorizo are the main items on our menu.  They can be complimented with sides of Ancho-Chile Cheese Grits, Tater Tots or an Apple and completed with a drink of your choice to round out the full Breakfast Combo, and thus the full Caliente Breakfast experience.  Just like our lunch and dinner service, the customer gets to choose each ingredient while our "morning-people" staff happily prepare it for you.  Since you get to choose each ingredient, this is particularly good for those who may be selective eaters or those who are looking to make health conscience decisions.  For all of you who are coffee drinkers, Caliente offers $.50 coffee every day when you bring your own mug (#BYOM).  Along with all that, we have recently decided to add Bottomless Mimosas to our weekend options!  Every Saturday and Sunday you can get all the mimosas your little heart desires for just $12.  As I have mentioned before in this blog, Caliente is all about having fun.  What is a better way to start off your weekend than delicious mimosas and a hearty breakfast?  (that question is rhetorical... there is no better way)  So, break your routine and spice up your morning with some Caliente Breakfast this week.  We are open 7 days a week from 7:00-10:30a.

 

    Owner/Founder of Caliente Grille, Charles Arinder.

    I consider myself just a normal guy who started a restaurant right out of college. I try to shoot it straight and tell you the real story of entrepreneurship, food, learning on the fly, and the oh so glamorous life of a restaurateur. 

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