Posts Tagged ‘Easy Cocktails’

Cocktail Hour: Gin & Tonic


G & T ingredients

In my opinion, no Beach Week would be complete with out a recipe for the perfect Gin & Tonic. Sweet, citrusy and a little bit woodsy from the spices in the gin, a cold G & T says summertime like no other cocktail  I know. My father-in-law happens to make the best G & T’s around and I took pictures of his super secret process.

You’re welcome.


G & T supplies

First cut a lime into 1/4 inch rounds. Fill a glass with ice. Only use the best ingredients. Juicy limes, Bombay Sapphire Gin and Schweppes tonic water (Richard likes the mini bottles of tonic best.)


Gin pour


Pour the glass 1/3 full of Bombay Saphire gin. The golden ration is 1/3 Gin to 2/3 Tonic.


Tonic Water Pour

Now add the tonic water, fill up the rest of the glass.


LIme Cut

Cut each lime round in half and squeeze one lime half into the drink.


Lime Squeeze

Yep, lime squeeze close up. I actually like mine with one more lime half squeezed in but it’s a matter of taste.


Stir with the knife

Now here is the super secret part that makes these G & T’s so great. Stir the lime into the drink with the knife used to cut the limes. Brilliant.


RTH with G & T

Done. Now take yours out to the porch and enjoy.

Thanks Richie!



Cocktail Hour: Spring Inspired Cocktails



Rose Sangria pour

Here are three simple cocktail recipes featuring the flavors and produce of spring.

These may not be the hippest or most complicated cocktails on the block, but they are delicious none the less. While we love to order an old-time inspired throw-back cocktail when we’re out, we don’t stock Aperol, grapefruit bitters or Amaro in our home kitchens. Quick to concoct with ingredients you can easily find for a last-minute soirée.


Grapefruit Margarita

Grapefruit Margaritas
Makes 1 large pitcher

1 quart fresh grapefruit juice
2 cups Simply Limeade
2 cups white tequila
1 cup fresh lime juice
¼ cup Triple Sec
5 limes, quartered into wedges
Finely ground Himalayan pink salt for serving (available at Trader Joe’s)

Mix all liquid ingredients in a large pitcher and chill in refrigerator for at least 2 hours.  Taste for flavor, adding more tequila if needed.

Rim your glasses by dampening them with a lime wedge then dip in finely ground pink salt. Serve each margarita over ice with a wedge of lime.


Fresh Coconut Cooler

Fresh Coconut Cooler
An old favorite, the best part of this unusual cocktail is that you can eat the fresh coconut flesh as you go.  Also, the coconut water hydrates you as you imbibe, boosting your day-drinking longevity.

Makes 4

4 fresh young coconuts (can be found at Thai markets, Whole Foods or health food stores)
12 ounces rum or vodka
1 lime, quartered into wedges
4 long straws and long spoons or 4 spoon straws

Use a sharp knife to carefully make a square cut in the top peaked part of the coconut. Remove the square and add alcohol to taste, about 1-2 shots per coconut.  Add a few ice cubes and a spoon/straw and enjoy!


Rose Sangria pitcher

Rosé Wine Sangria
Makes 1 large pitcher
Read your bottle of rosé to see what fruit are in the wine and add the same fresh fruit to your sangria.  Our rosé had flavors of raspberry and tangerine so we made sure to add them both. Use frozen berries as ice cubes to keep your glass cold.

1 bottle rose wine, chilled
1-1/2 cups fresh lemonade, chilled
½  cup Triple Sec
2 tangerines, sliced
1 lemon, sliced
2 strawberries, sliced
2 cups sparkling French lemonade (Trader Joe’s has a great one), chilled
1 cup frozen raspberries

Combine the first six ingredients–rosé through strawberries– in a large serving pitcher. Chill in refrigerator at least 1 hour before serving so the fruit has time to macerate.  Add the sparkling French lemonade and frozen raspberries and serve immediately.




How to set up a Prosecco Bar

sorbet in prosecco

photo by Beth Liebetrau


Every experienced hostess knows one of the best ways to make your guests feel comfortable when they arrive in your home is to have a self-serve drink station set out. This can be a simple as a bottle of open wine and a bottle of sparkling water or as involved as a full spread of liquors and mixers. For a large family gathering, a shower or a festive dinner party we love to set up a Prosecco Bar.



photo by Beth Liebetrau


Prosecco is an Italian light sparkling white wine like French Champagne but at a quarter of the price. A nice bottle of Prosecco will cost you about $7-$10 (we love Zonin Prosecco available at Trader Joe’s.)  Arrange a few bottles of Prosecco in an ice bin with an array of sorbets and juices and invite your guests to mix to their hearts’ desire. Set out champagne flutes and lots of tall spoons or stirrers, cocktail napkins and mini ice cream scoopers for the sorbet. Don’t forget sparkling water for guests to mix with juices and sorbets for an non alcoholic version!


sorbet above prosecco

photo by Beth Liebetrau

Mixers– Choose a few different sorbets, juices and maybe a flavored syrup for your guests to play around creating their perfect fizzy cocktail.

Sorbets– A mini scoop of sorbet in a chilled glass of prosecco dissolves to flavor the drink and keep it chilled. Just make sure to add the prosecco first and the sorbet second—sounds counterintuitive, we know — or you’ll have a mess on your hands.
Lemon sorbet
Strawberry sorbet
Raspberry sorbet
Peach sorbet

Fresh squeezed orange or tangerine juice
Fresh Squeezed Lemonade lemonade
Sparkling Italian sodas (blood orange or lemonade works well)
Fresh or frozen peach puree (You can order white peach puree for a classic bellini or try Ina’s recipe or use Looza brand peach nectar )

Fruit Garnishes– Fresh raspberries and whole strawberries

Meyer Lemon Simple Syrup– see our recipe below

Meyer Lemon Simple Syrup
Makes 2-1/3 cups

2-1/2 cups granulated sugar
Full 1 cup water
1 cup of fresh Meyer lemon juice (you can substitute 2/3 a cup fresh lemon juice and 1/3 a cup of orange juice to replicate the flavor of the Meyer lemon)

Combine the sugar and water in a nonreactive 2-quart heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. All the sugar crystals should completely dissolve. Remove from the heat and pour into a clean medium-size bowl. Let cool completely before using. Simple syrup can be stored in the refrigerator, indefinitely, if kept in an airtight container. Makes 2-1/3 cups.

Combine 2/3 a cup of simple syrup with 1 cup fresh juice and pour into large squirt bottle or pitcher.  Chill until ready to use.

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