Rosés to get your Summer Started
Published in Huffington Post June 2016
Rosé is on trend to be everyone’s go-to choice for a refreshing summer sip. Whether it’s on your porch, poolside, or at the beach. Here are a few reasons to drink it,( from Charles Smith), ( like you needed one), and our picks for every budget and every reason!
It’s Sexy: The beautiful, soft, light pink color of Rosé makes it the sexiest of all wines. The seductive color is a result of how it’s made – by lightly pressing red grapes.
It’s Fresh: Rosé is the most naked of all varietals; whereas other wines need to age, Rosé doesn’t need any aging – it comes out ready to drink.
Drink it Anytime, Anywhere: It is the ultimate picnic wine, to have on a porch in the sun with friends or during a Friday lunch. It makes any day better and inspires you to let loose.
Easy to Pair: Because of its simplicity, it goes well with anything – cheese,BBQ, even fish tacos. It doesn’t have to be complicated – just enjoy it.
A few favorites to have on hand, because Summer is busy, be ready:
All Day Affair
One of the “must have” Rosés from Provence, with the sexy shaped bottle and “Whispering Angel” name that have made it an entertaining essential! Look for ripe red fruits, with hints of flowers in this crisp, dry Provence Rosé. This blush babe goes straight from lunch to cocktails to midnight dancing without missing a beat. Chateau D’Esclans, Cotes de Provence Rosé, Whispering Angel. $ 24.95
Available at Sherry Lehmann Wine & Spirits.
Le Rosé de Mouton Cadet has a delightfully fruity fragrance of berries and pink grapefruit making it a perfect rosé for lunching in the garden until late afternoon. It’s also a divine picnic wine! $14.99
Ride the rosé wave all summer with SAVED ‘Magic Marker” Rosé. A Provincial style dry pink, it’s refreshing and crisp with grapefruit and strawberry notes. Just the thing to cool you down from the summer sun, pack a few bottles in your beach bag and enjoy the perfect day at the beach. $15.
Be a rebel like winemaker Charles Smith and get your friends together for a party! Fragrant with aromas of melon, cherry and camellias, light pink in color, and a palette pleaser, make this Vino Rosé easy to enjoy. I recently had friends over for cocktails on the porch, and we ending up tearing it up a bit, as I kept pouring and they kept drinking.
The only question was… Is there more?
Charles Smith ViNO Rosé, Available Nationwide $12.
Racquets and Rosé
A lively dry rosé perfect for the sport set. Complex with strawberry, floral, and citrus notes, it pairs perfectly with tennis, golf, and gossiping, all active sports in my book. Speaking of books, perfect for summer book clubs!
2015 Guigal Cotes du Rhone Rosé. Available everywhere $15.
Celebrate in gorgeous style with Moet & Chandon’s 2008 Grand Vintage Rosé.
Aged for seven years, it’s a popping of the cork worth waiting for! Vivid, and deep pink in color, with notes of lime zest and blood orange. Perfect for that special anniversary, wedding celebration, birthday, or everyday celebrations that are special to us. Available nationwide for $69.99
Warm days turn into cool balmy evenings, which call for the perfect glass of crisp Rosé. Light, refreshing, and bursting with fruit and floral notes Truvée Rosé hits the spot. New from the McBride sisters and made on California’s Central Coast, this wine hits all the right buttons.
Try it with summer salads, soft cheese, and fish tacos. Available nationwide $ 15.
Grown on the coast of Tuscany, Alie Rosé is summer in every sip. Crisp and full flavored with touches of melon and peach, this seaside sipper with a luminous pink hue is the rosé to enjoy at all of your gatherings by the water. The name is inspired by a sea nymph who is a symbol of beauty and sensuality. Now, who wouldn’t want to drink this wine? $18.
Not included because it’s Hollywood, but because it’s a fabulous rosé! Perfect for a dinner party under the stars, this famed Pitt-Jolie rosé from Chataeu Miraval in Provence is full of fruit and spice and will have you seeing stars, well the magical ones that fill the summer skies.
Miraval, Cotes de Provence Rosé, Pitt-Jolie Perrin 2015 $26.95
This bright bubbly from Ruffino has brunch written all over it! It’s crisp style, with hints of strawberry and rose petals make it dance in your mouth! It pairs perfectly with quiche, raspberry muffins, and melon. Keep a few extra bottles chilled as the brunching crowd may linger. Sparkling Rosé, available nationwide $ 14.99
Golden Globe’s Soiree!
The red carpet season will officially begin with the kick-off of the Golden Globe Awards this weekend from Hollywood. It’s also the perfect time for you to kick off your year in high style with a glam filled gathering!
Here are the basics for throwing a tinseltown worthy soiree:
Invites: Send out a gold and glittery invitation via e-mail, (evite and paperless post are good choices).
Decor: Pop into the party store for a red carpet runner ( check the wedding aisle of craft stores), sparkly glitter strewn on tables and golden balloons strung with gold metallic ribbon hanging from the ceilings make for a festive backdrop.
Tables with votive candles and small glass vases filled with roses set a sophisticated tone. Most grocery stores have roses in the floral section making them an easy find and cost effective.
Lite Bites: Set a buffet table for ease of hosting duties, fill it with star shaped polenta cakes with sautéed spinach and melted gorgonzola cheese. Puffed pastry cut into star shapes, sprinkled with sausage, cheese and baked also make festive fare. Fancy pizzas with apples, arugula and goat cheese with a light crust are tasty and filling.
What’s a good viewing without popcorn? Set-up a popcorn bar or station with favorite toppings like white cheddar, melted caramel sauce, chocolate candies, and flavored salts.
Cocktails: Bubbly is a must-have, prosecco, sparkling wines, or champagne. How fun is Moet & Chandon’d Golden Globes Mini Caddy, perfect for guests to grab, pop, and watch! Sparkling wines are nice on their own like Secco Italian bubbles, or with a splash of something divine.
A festive mixer for your bubbly drinks is always a tasty hit. One of my favorites is light and sweet, adding just the right touch of glam.
1 ( 750ml) bottle champagne
8 oz. St Germain Elderflower Liqueur
8 oz. Lemon flavored seltzer
Dash of fresh lemon juice
lemon twist for garnish
In a small pitcher, mix all ingredients. Fill champagne flute one-third full with mixer, top off with champagne, garnish with lemon twist and serve.
You can also have a movie or show themed cocktail or two pre-mixed and ready to go.
Edible golden stars or golden sugar for glass rims adds a bit of wow, and can be found in craft stores.
1 (750ml) bottle champagne or prosecco
8 oz. Grey Goose Le Citron
8 oz. pineapple juice
4 oz. Clementine or tangerine juice
In a pitcher mix the Grey Goose and juices together. Pour mix into a champagne or coupe glass until one third full. Top with champagne and serve.
Games: Star trivia is great to play during commercials, and the “big sip” everyone takes whenever someone’s speech runs overtime is classic!
The best part about hosting a Golden Globes party is getting dressed up and joining in the Hollywood bash, use these simple tips and recipes for a top night!
12/15 Huffington Post Taste
Celebrate the season with fun and festive cocktails that take your holiday entertaining to the next level. All perfect for adding the spirit of the season to your Christmas and other holiday celebrations. Cheers!
Carlyle Punch Rich in tradition and full of festive flavor, this take on the famous Carlyle Punch from the New York Landmark hotel is a perfect batch of holiday cheer.
Serves 10 10 oz. Southern Comfort 6 oz. Raspberry Vodka 8 oz. Cranberry Juice 6 oz. Orange Juice 6 oz. St-Germain liqueur 4 oz. Freshly squeezed limejuice 4 oz. Simple Syrup 10 dashes Angostura Bitters 1 bottle (750ml) Moet Brut Champagne to top
In a large pitcher or punch bowl filled halfway with ice, pour Southern Comfort, vodka, St. Germain liqueur, juices, and simple syrup. Mix well, add bitters and top with champagne. Garnish with cranberries and raspberries and serve.
Photo by Jack Deutsch
Light and refreshing, ideal for a pre-dinner or as a pick me up après holiday shopping with girlfriends.
Serves 4 1 bottle (750ml) Martini & Rossi Prosecco 6 oz. St-Germain liqueur 2 oz. Pear liqueur 4 oz. Sparkling water Lemon twist for garnish
In a bar glass mix St. Germain, pear liqueur, and sparkling water. Stir gently and pour to fill one-third of each champagne glass. Top with Prosecco, twist lemon over cocktail to release oils, drop in glass and serve.
Photo by Jack Deutsch
Holiday HO HO
What better time than the holidays to indulge in a decadently rich beverage? This version of the timeless heavenly holiday beverage adds a twist to tradition, enjoy!
Serves 10 24 oz. Casamigos Añejo Tequila 24 oz. Amontillado Sherry 1 Dozen Whole Eggs 3 tsp. Freshly Grated Nutmeg 16 oz. Superfine Sugar 32 oz. Whole Milk 24 oz. Heavy Cream
In a large bowl using an electric mixer beat the eggs and sugar and blend until smooth. Slowly add tequila and sherry, blend well. Add all other ingredients and mix until sufficiently blended. Refrigerate and let sit 4 hours or overnight. Pour into punch bowl, sprinkle with nutmeg, and serve.
Photo by Jack Deutsch
Sangria Bonita Light and airy, perfect to mix up a pitcher for brunching and lunching these holidays with your family and friends. Serves 8
1 bottle (750ml) Taittinger Brut Champagne 6 oz. Grand Marnier 6 oz. passionfruit nectar 2oz. Freshly squeezed lemon juice Diced fruit for garnish
In a pitcher mix together Grand Marnier, passionfruit nectar, and lemon juice. Slowly pour in champagne. Add fruit and serve.
Photo by Jack Deutsch
Under the Mistletoe A holiday favorite that’s thirst quenching and not too fruity, have these simple ingredients on your bar cart so you’re cocktail ready!
Serves 4 8 oz. Grey Goose Vodka 4 oz. apricot brandy 8 oz. Fresh tangerine juice 4 dashes orange bitters Two pinches ground cloves In a bar glass or small pitcher, filled with ice, mix all ingredients. Strain into glasses, and serve.
2015-12-17-1450380511-6113561-16_LakeComo_00014.jpg Photo by Jack Deutsch
Rudolph’s Ride Shiny and bright, just like his nose this libation will light up your celebration!
Serves 4 4 oz. Campari 4 oz. peach schnapps 2 dashes orange bitters Soda water to top Lemon zest, orange slice
In a bar glass or small pitcher, pour the Campari and peach schnapps, stir, and top with bitters and soda water. Pour into ice filled glasses, over each glass, squeeze the oil from the lemon zest over the drink and discard. Garnish with orange slice and serve.
2015-12-17-1450380582-8111584-2_Aspen_00016.jpg Photo by Jack Deutsch
Polar Espresso There’s nothing like an afternoon coffee cocktail enjoyed leisurely over the holidays. So delicious it makes a perfect substitute for dessert too!
Serves 4 8 oz. Patron XO Café 4 oz. Vanilla vodka 4 oz. Kahlua 4 oz. espresso or strong black coffee
In a pitcher filled halfway with ice, mix all ingredients. Let chill and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with fresh whipped cream if desired.
Holiday Crush As most of us are overindulging in the cookie tin, here is a refreshing drink that is light on the calories, you have to make up for it somehow, it might as well be the cocktails.
Serves 4 6 oz. Svedka vodka 3 oz. St. Germain liqueur 8 oz. Zevia Grapefruit Citrus 3 heaping teaspoons pomegranate seeds Grapefruit chunks
In a pitcher, muddle pomegranate seeds and grapefruit with the elderflower liqueur, add vodka and Zevia Grapefruit Citrus, top with ice and serve.
Peppermint Delight Super indulgent, great for those office and ugly sweater parties. Serves 4 8 oz. Kahlúa Peppermint Mocha 4 oz. ABSOLUT Vodka 4 oz. Espresso 2 oz. half & half Shake all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with peppermint stick or espresso bean, serve.
Autumn is here, time to decorate your home inside and out with vibrant colors and textures of all that fall has to offer. From pumpkins and gourds, to mums, vines, berries and leaves, this season is abundant with all you ‘ll need to make your home spectacular.
It’s getting chilly out, sweater on the patio weather, and the afternoons and evenings are tailor made for wine and cheese out of doors. But as the weather is changing so is your taste for wine — something more crisp, with hints of pears and apples and ruby colored reds that warm you as the leaves fall and breezes blow.
Here are a few of my top picks for a festive, flavorful autumn:
Clos du Bois California Cabernet Sauvignon
With hints of of mocha, bittersweet chocolate, and flavors of juicy dark berry, the Clos du Bois California Cabernet Sauvignon is perfect for serving guests at a football tailgate, fireside get together or any fall soiree.
Inspired by the changing of the seasons, Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Harvest Spiced Red Blend is perfect served as an easy-to-make mulled wine – simply heat and garnish with an orange slice, cloves optional. A unique blend with strong notes of red berries, cinnamon, vanilla, and clove, it’s an approachable, easy-drinking seasonal wine to enjoy with family and friends.
Frei Brothers Reserve Chardonnay, Russian River valley
Hailing from Sonoma’s most renowned cool-climate regions, this chardonnay displays flavors of green apple, orange zest and apple pie. A must have for picnics the orchards or autumn alfresco afternoons. $17.99
Eden Ice Cider
In the style of iced wine, Eden’s single varietal dessert cider is elegant with a burst of tropical fruit, vanilla, caramel, and Christmas-cookie spices. It’s been rested in French Oak for one year lending a sweet complexity, which is a perfect match for spiced nuts, blue cheese, and cured meats while taking in autumns kaleidoscope of colors.
Flowers Perennial Red Blend 2011
A dark ruby, complex and flavorful wine made by combining multiple grapes together at harvest and allowing them to simmer and ferment together for a spectacular result. Ideal for cool autumn afternoons by the fire. $42.00
Domaine des Baumard Savennieres 2011 Chenin Blanc, Loire France
This has a nice caressing feel, with quince, Anjou pear, crème fraîche and green plum notes that all glide through the pure, minerally-framed finish. An echo of quinine adds length.”
Chateau Beauchene Cotes du Rhone Grand Reserve 2012
Leathery, spicy , with fresh fruit and rhubarb flavors it delivers a plush profile. Perfect for the football games and Sunday dinners. $14.99
Melville 2012 Estate Viognier Verna’s Santa Barbara County
Golden yellow, ( perfect for fall), with a combination of kiwi, tangerine, emerging while notes of sugar and honey drift about. Ideal for pumpkin patch picnics and Sunday brunching.
10 Winter Cocktails Huffington Post Taste
Winter blues? Just because you’re freezing cold, over holiday entertaining, want to stay in and watch movies this weekend, doesn’t mean you should.Invite some friends over for winter cocktails that are fun, easy to mix up and will chase any chill away.
Put some old funky favorites on your Sonic Boom, light some candles, serve some lite bites for nibbles, and watch the temperature rise. Let’s get our winter groove on, shall we?
The Showstopper This champagne cocktail is perfect for pouring during awards season, it has a variety of sensational flavors, just like the variety in this year’s Oscar nominees. #Hollywoodwhatsyourdream
8 oz. St. Germain liqueur 8 oz. Pomegranate juice 4 oz. peach puree or peach nectar Juice of 1 lime, freshly squeezed 1 bottle (750ml) Moet & Chandon champagne, chilled
In a small pitcher filled with ice, mix together St. Germain, pomegranate juice, peach nectar, and lime juice. Mix well. Strain into champagne flutes to fill bottom third of each glass. Top with chilled champagne and serve.
Chocolate Martini Decadent and sexy, this martini is sure to keep you warm and satisfied. Perfect for a ski weekend or winter weekend with friends. #poursomesugaronme Serves 4 8 oz. Absolut Vanilla vodka 4 oz. Kahlua Chocolate shavings for garnish
Pour vodka and Kahlua into a cocktail shaker, fill with ice, and mix well. Strain mixture into glasses. Garnish with chocolate shavings and serve.
Sake Martini Boss got you down? The perfect remedy for an utterly long work week. Invite some friends over, mix up a batch, put some retro tunes on, and let the party start. #fridayoptional Serves 4 8 oz. vodka 12 oz. lychee syrup 4 oz. Sake 2 oz. agave nectar
In a shaker filled with ice mix together all ingredients. Shake well, pour into glasses. Garnish with a lychee fruit if desired.
Passion Fruit Mojitos This pastel hued cocktail will transport you to a calming sun drenched sea of aqua blue. #tropicstransported Serves 4
20 oz. light rum 2 oz. mint infused simple syrup 12 oz. passion fruit nectar 1 lime, cut into slices, plus more for garnish 12 mint leaves 4 cups crushed ice Seltzer to top
Muddle the mint, lime slices, and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker. Pour in the passion fruit nectar and rum, and shake well. Divide mixture evenly between four glasses. Top each glass with crushed ice, a splash of seltzer, and a lime twist for garnish. Serve.
Singapore Sling This pink lady, affectionately known as the sing-sling is a consummate party pleaser, so be sure to mix up a double batch and put the back-up in the fridge to chill. #slingemback Serves 4
8 oz. Tanqueray Gin 4 oz. Maraschino liqueur 4 oz. Cointreau 2 oz. Grenadine 2 oz. Lime juice 8 oz. Pineapple juice Dash of bitters Pineapple slices for garnish
Pour all ingredients into a pitcher filled with ice. Mix well. Pour into ice-filled glasses, garnish with pineapple wedge, and serve.
Basil Peach Martini Deliciously fresh, these decidedly summer flavors are guaranteed to give you a warm weather buzz in the gray depths of winter. #wintersgarden
Serves 4 8 oz. Svedka PeachVodka 4 oz. Pear liqueur 4 oz. Peach nectar 4 oz. White cranberry juice
Pour all ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice and mix well. Strain into glasses and serve.
Bourbon Smash Serve up some warm Southern hospitality with a batch or two of my version of the Nashville classic, the Whiskey Smash. #whiskeytango
8 oz. Makers Mark Bourbon whiskey 8 mint leaves 2 oz. agave nectar 2 lemons quartered Seltzer
Combine all ingredients except bourbon in a large glass or cocktail shaker. Using a muddler or wooden spoon, smash together the ingredients, add the bourbon and shake well. Strain into glasses filled with crushed ice, top with seltzer, garnish with mint and /or lemon wedge, and serve.
Lemon Lush Bright and cheerful, this yellow colored cocktail is sure to lift your spirits, think of it as your liquid therapy session. #sunshinecocktail Serves 4 1 bottle (750ml) Skinnygirl Prosecco, chilled 4 oz. Limoncello 2 oz. Mint-infused simple syrup Mint sprigs for garnish
In a small pitcher with one cup of ice, mix the limoncello and mint simple syrup. Pour mixture into bottom third of each champagne glass. Garnish with mint sprig and serve.
Pink Grapefruit Margaritas Although George Clooney and Rande Gerber prefer to drink it neat or on the rocks, their tequila mixed with a bit of citrus and a touch of sweet vitamin C never tasted so good. Make a batch, put on some island tunes and float away. #alwaysdrinkwithfriends
Serves 4 12 oz. Casamigos Tequila Blanco 4 oz. Grand Marnier 4 oz. Pink grapefruit juice, freshly squeezed 2 oz. lime juice, freshly squeezed
Pour all ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake it like you mean it. Strain into ice filled glasses, garnish with lime wheel if desired, and serve.
Coffee Talk Ideal for curling up by the fire, or as a respite between dinner and rolling up the rug for dancing, this sultry cocktail will keep you warm through anything. #fireinthehole Serves 4
8 oz. Patron XO Café Incendio 8 oz. espresso Heavy cream for garnish
Pour espresso into coffee cups, add Patron XO Café Incendio, top with a dollop of fresh cream and serve.
Recipes and photos adapted from It’s 5 o’Clock Somewhere, The Stylish Girls Guide to Fabulous Cocktails, and Sparkle & Splash, all by Colleen Mullaney and available on Amazon.
My new book Sparkle & Splash is out! Perfect for adding a bit of fizz and fabulous to any soda or cocktail! click the link below to order your copy today!
Here’s a sneak peak!!
Whether your heading to the beach, lake, park or backyard patio, be sure you have these fun and festive essentials on hand to ensure a summer worthy good-time!
Clos on the Go
Whats better than a chic beach bag that turns into a chair? Well, that’s not why we really love it, we love it because its fun, Trina Turk designed, and holds a perfectly chilled bottle of Clos du Bois Chardonnay, two plastic wine glasses, a corkscrew, a fabulous yellow Trina Palm Springs Block beach towel, and playing cards! Can you say sunny side up?
Cooler that Cares
Everyone needs a summer cooler, and this one is chic for a few reasons, its bright orange and retro patterned, but most importantly, Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi has joined forces with No KId Hungry to support this worthy cause through sales of the Caring Cooler. Keep your wine chilled, support charity, and be chic, all at the same time!
An updated modern fresh take on a silk shift…
Be my Guest
You’ll be sure to top the guest list with this delectable cake, a bit salty, and a bit sweet, something for everyone’s tastes. Have it delivered to your destination ahead of time to make your summer life easy breezy.
Set the Table
Perfect for the patio, or to bring along to a barbeque, this crabby clawed set will show off any salad you’re serving.
It’s a wrap
Chilly evenings call for a light layer. These turkish scarves have all that, in a rainbow of colors, and super soft, you might have to get a least a few fro the season.
- A catastrophic shortage of limes is making for cocktail conumdrums on a global scale. Between the heavy rains knocking blossoms off the trees, a bacteria infesting the citrus trees, and the drug cartels hijacking delivery trucks,(really?), there is a now a black market for these magical little green orbs.
Have no fear, and let us think, there is other citrus to add to your drinks!
Here are a few of my springtime favorites, just pour, squeeze, and enjoy!
Tasty and tangy, perfect for a brunching bunch. They’re packed with zesty grapefruit and lemon and a delicious way to start your sunshine day with the three C’s: coffee, croissants, and cocktails.
8 oz. Patron Reposado Tequila
4 oz. Limoncello
4 oz. Freshly squeezed ruby red grapefruit juice
2 oz. Freshly squeezed lemon juice
Seltzer to top
4 grapefruit wedges for garnish
In a pitcher filled halfway with ice, pour tequila, limoncello, ruby red grapefruit juice, and lemon juice. Mix well, pour into ice filled glasses, garnish with grapefruit wedges and serve.
Gin is a little bit retro, the classic go-to libation. Fresh and fruity this gin and tangerine concoction is just right for the promise of spring. You know gin is the confession libation, I’ve heard many a confession while mixing up pitchers of these, sometimes you pour another and sometimes you run.
8 oz. Tangueray gin
4 oz. freshly squeezed tangerine juice
2 oz. raspberry juice
Combine all ingredients in a pitcher or bar glass and mix well. Pour into ice-filled rocks glasses, garnish with fresh raspberries and serve.
Like a fashionable belted trench, these will put a spring in your step and warm you up on those
damp chilly spring days. The lemon gives it a sunny lift, and the basil adds a bit of garden spice.
8 oz. vodka
4 oz. limoncello
2 oz. freshly squeezed lemon juice
8 basil leaves, plus 4 sprigs for garnish
In a cocktail shaker, muddle the basil leaves with the vodka. Add the limoncello and lemon juice. Fill the shaker with ice and shake well. Strain into martini glasses. Garnish each glass with a sprig of basil and serve.
Thirst quenching delightfull-ness, I make them by the pitcherful on weekend afternoons. Like colorful candy, this cocktail is a sweet addiction.
8 oz. Brugal extra dry light rum
4 oz. St-Germain liqueur
2 oz. simple syrup
1 1/2 cups watermelon chunks
10 mint leaves, more for garnish
Seltzer to top
In a pitcher or large bar glass, muddle the watermelon chunks with the mint leaves and simple syrup. Add the rum and St-Germain, mix well. Add crushed ice, stir well, and pour into glasses. Top with seltzer, garnish with mint sprig, and serve.
Cocktails please…All gussied up with a handsome herringbone pattern, these cocktail plates are ready for happy hour! they also do double duty as appetizer or dessert plates.
Bottoms up!…these dotty glasses are great on a bar cart for spring entertaining or artfully arranged on a tray.
Color Splash…Lighten up with these color block throws, ideal to bring spring freshness to your living room, or brighten up outdoor spaces.
Lounge Act…Set your spring night aglow with these cube lanterns. Brightly colored frames add a pop of color to indoor and outdoor tables. Try them by the front door too!
Fresh cut daffodils layered with orange blossoms and honeysuckle make for a cheerful and welcoming fragrance. I have one candle for my office and one for my living room. Spring it on!
Fresh Press…Colorful casual place mats set a warm tone for entertaining. Perfect for brunching, lunching, or easy springtime dinners.
Sweet Treats…Divine and delicate, these macaroons are by far my favorites! The flavors are rich and unexpected, just the thing to awaken your taste buds after hibernation! I keep a box in my fridge, you never know who might pop by for a glass of Spring-time bubbly.
With no signs of spring, I headed out to Cali for a quick trip of sun, fun, and fabulous.
We started with dinner at the Hotel Bel-Air where the scents of jasmine,citrus,and lavender intoxicate you even before the wine arrives. Dining in the open air lantern filled space was heaven, and dinner was more of that.
Saturday was a quick dip in the pool then off to cruise the PCH , top down and glorious sunshine! Lunch was Nobu in Malibu, and a glass of rose at Nikita next door.
Back to meet friends in Santa Monica at the Huntley, which has spectacular views from the penthouse bar. Of course the day wouldn’t be complete without gimlets and dinner at the Ivy by the Shore. Whats not to like about cocktails, fried chicken, and red velvet cake? Yum!
My dose of sunshine and happiness complete, I am back East looking for spring through my rose colored glasses. They are cocktail glasses of course.
Oscar Oscar! 4 Red Carpet-Worthy Cocktails for the Oscars
With Hollywoods biggest night upon us this Sunday, it seems fitting to celebrate red carpet style.
Invite some friends and neighbors over, put out some snacks, light a few candles, and mix up some star worthy cocktails. Whether you’re defying Gravity, Money Hungry, Hustling, or just Blue. Here are a few of my contenders for this years Oscar:
This libation is the most stylish accessory on the red carpet to date. The tasty combination of Chardonnay, triple sec, cranberry juice, and lemon-lime soda. This ruby-hued drink is topped with an orange slice for extra glam.
1 bottle (750ml) Clos du Bois Chardonnay
4 oz. triple sec
8 oz. Cranberry juice
12 oz. lemon-lime soda
Orange slices for garnish
In a pitcher filled with 2 cups of ice cubes, pour the chilled Chardonnay. Add the triple sec and cranberry juice. Gently pour the lemon-lime soda and stir. Pour into 4 glasses, garnish with orange slice and serve.
6 oz. Ciroc
6 oz. unsweetened coconut water
4 oz. pineapple juice
Juice of 1 lime
twist for garnish
In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, pour all ingredients. Shake well and strain into martini glasses. Garnish with a twist of lime and serve.
Red Carpet on the Rocks
6 slices fresh ginger, peeled
12 oz. Inniskillin Icewine Riesling
4 oz. pear nectar
3 dashes Angostura bitters
Nutmeg to garnish
In a bar glass, muddle ginger, add Riesling, nectar, and 1 cup ice. Shake well and strain into 4 ice-filled glasses, sprinkle nutmeg on top of each cocktail, and serve.
After Party Hustle
6 oz. Basil Hayden’s Bourbon
Juice of 1 lime
4 slices jalapeno
4 oz. pomegranate juice
1oz. agave nectar or simple syrup
Seltzer to top
In a bar glass, muddle lime juice, jalapeño, and simple syrup. Add pomegranate juice, bourbon and shake well. Strain into ice filled collins glasses, and top with seltzer. Garnish with lime wheels and pomegranate seeds.
Sweet things for your Valentine, my hot picks for Huffington Post…
This Valentine’s Day, have your Valentine falling for these unique, whimsical and romantic gifts.
Romance is in the air. Created with the finest ingredients the Aerin Fragrance collection with five distinct scents: Gardenia Rattan, Amber Musk, Lilac Path, Ikat Jasmine and my favorite for this time of year, Evening Rose. Choose one that tells your story.
The Deep Chill…has set in…add some sparkle to your snowy days with glittery snowflakes. Hang them from painted branches, chandeliers,mantels, and mirrors. Simply trace a snowflake using a cookie cutter on your favorite glitter paper, cut out, and hang, now these flakes I don’t mind a bit!
Pantone’s color of the year is Radiant Orchid. Simply blooming with confidence and magical warmth that intrigues the eye and sparks the imagination. It is expressive, creative, and embracing, a vibrant mix of fushia, purple, and pink, Radiant Orchid radiates happiness with just one passing glance.Find your Purple Passion with a new pair of shoes for spring, electrifying velvet fabric, in your culinary feats, and on your nails and toes!
Golden Globe Cocktails
Posted: 01/10/2014 12:23 pm
Let the award season begin! The 71st Golden Globe Awards is this Sunday January 12th. The evening is sure to be filled with glamour, gorgeous people, and of course globe inspired cocktails. As your hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler will suggest you take a sip when they do, I have put together a few cocktails that are globe worthy indeed.
Transform your space in no time with flowers from the local market, take-out in posh bowls, and candles flickering about.Mix up a batch or two of these superb cocktails, throw on your heels, and let the awards season begin!
Outer Space Spritzer
1 bottle of Prosecco (I like Skinnygirl for calorie counting)
2 cups Organic limeade
Lime wheels for garnish
Into a pitcher, pour the limeade. Top with prosecco and mix lightly. Pour into glasses, garnish with lime wheel and serve.
8 oz. Tanqueray London Dry Gin
2 oz. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 oz. honey
1 bottle Champagne (Moet & Chandon) to top
Lemon twist and brandied cherries for garnish
In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, pour gin, lemon juice, and honey. Shake well. Pour evenly into glasses, top with champagne, garnish with a lemon twist and brandied cherry and serve.
8 oz. New Amsterdam Citron vodka
4 oz. peach puree
3 dashes orange bitters
1 bottle Champagne (Moet & Chandon)
In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, pour vodka, puree and add bitters. Shake well. Pour evenly into glasses, top with champagne, garnish with edible gold stars, and serve.
Ah, the new year has begun! Time for resolutions, cleanses, and rebooting yourself and refreshing your home. Try candles in citrus scents, like cilantro–orange ( meant to invigorate), or geranium ( meant to soothe), I light mine during the day in my office to keep me inspired and warm. Keep one in the kitchen to heighten your senses and keep them out of hibernation!
Happy Holidays! It’s the Most Wonderful time of the year, so lets
get started! First on the list, Decking the Halls…
String the lights, hang the garlands and bows, and fill every empty container with glittery ornaments for instant holiday panache!
It’s Thanksgiving Time! Turkeys have been the longstanding symbol of Thanksgiving for over 300 years! So set a festive menu,create a rustic tablescape, craft up some fun turkey projects for the kids, and whip up a batch of my seasonal cocktails!
There is so much to be thankful for!
As we gather around the table with our friends and family this Thanksgiving and share all of the good things in life we are thankful for, serve some tasty cocktails for every generation gathered.
Better by the batch, pitcher-full or punch bowl, especially if the relatives are coming.
Light and refreshing, a perfect start to a holiday full of feasting!
4 oz. Vikingfjord Vodka
2 oz. Allspice Dram liqueur
1oz. freshly squeezed lemon juice
4 oz. sparkling apple cider
dash or two of Baked Apple Bitters
Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Strain into ice filled rocks glasses. Garnish with apple slice if desired, and serve.
Tastes like a caramel apple with vanilla and citrus tones, mixing deliciously with tangy sweet apple notes. I make a batch of these just for Uncle Peter.
6 oz. Absolut Vanilla
2 oz. Tuaca liqueur
6 oz. apple cider
1 oz. freshly squeezed lemon juice
Combine all ingredients in a shaker filled with ice. Shake and strain into glasses. Serve. Note: this cocktail is also delicious warm with a dash of cinnamon.
A deliciously sweet and satisfying cocktail evoking the flavors of the season.
4 oz. The King’s Ginger (ginger liqueur)
4 oz. Vikingfjord Vodka
1 oz. simple syrup
Dash each, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger
In a cocktail shaker mix all ingredients together. Strain into glasses. Garnish with gingersnap cookies. Serve.
Perfect for warming up after the annual Thanksgiving football game. Or better yet, bring a thermos-full to the backyard.
1 bottle Chianti such as Villa Cerna
4 oz. Grand Marnier
Juice of 2 fresh clementines
5 Allspice berries
3 Star anise
2 Cinnamon sticks
1 tsp. ground Ginger
1 tsp. Lemon zest
In a medium saucepan combine all ingredients and simmer on low for up to 1 hour. Strain berries, star anise, and cinnamon sticks from pan. To serve: transfer into heat resistant pitcher or ladle from saucepan.
The Loose Goose
Perfect by the fireside visiting with friends far and near. Make a batch or two, I heard Aunt Betty is coming.
8 oz. Wild Turkey whiskey
4 oz. limoncello
8 oz. freshly squeezed orange juice
Dash Orange bitters
In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, mix all ingredients well. Strain into ice filled glasses, garnish with lemon wheel if desired, and serve. Better get Aunt Betty first.
Deep and rich, with cherry and orange mixing with the Pisco. The seltzer adds the perfect light finishing touch.
8 oz. Pisco Portion
4 oz. cherry brandy
2 dashes orange bitters
Orange seltzer to top
Combine first three ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Strain into glasses. Top with orange flavored seltzer. Garnish with a cherry and serve.
The sage-infused simple syrup, while easy to make is the backbone to this festive holiday libation. Try a batch before or after dinner.
8 oz. Tangueray Gin
2 oz. sage-infused simple syrup
8 oz. Lemon-lime soda
In a cocktail shaker filled with ice mix the gin and simple syrup. Strain into ice-filled glasses and top with lemon-lime soda. Serve.
Sage infused simple syrup: In a bowl mix 1 cup simple syrup with 8-10 sage leaves. Place in microwave for 30 seconds. Stir. Cook for 30 seconds more. Take out and let sit for 20-30 minutes. Strain out sage leaves.
My friends and relatives always ask if I’ll be serving these cocktails over the Thanksgiving holiday. I say, “You must have a celebratory libation to toast the harvest celebration between the Pilgrims and Indians.”
1 bottle Veuve Clicquot champagne, chilled
8 oz. pomegranate-cherry juice
4 oz. Grand Marnier
In a small pitcher mix the pomegranate juice and Grand Marnier.
Pour a dash of juice mix into each champagne flute filling each glass approximately 1/3 full. Top with champagne. Garnish with raspberries if desired. Serve.
This year I’m adding a bit of coffee mixology to the dessert menu with a coffee liqueur made with tequila blanco. Its distinctive flavor earns a spot at the high table. Have it straight, with cream and nutmeg, or pour it over vanilla gelato.
4 oz. Cabo Diablo
8 oz. Coffee
Dollop of Fresh cream
Sprinkle of nutmeg to top
In coffee glasses pour coffee and Cabo Diablo. Place a large dollop of fresh whipped cream on top of each. Sprinkle nutmeg on top and serve.
Halloween is Here! Have a Spooktacular Time !
Time to Fall~ify!
Fill up your planters with cabbages, ivy, and chili-peppers, and of course mums!
Sprinkle a few pumpkins around the base of the planters, add lanterns up your front steps and Presto! Fall~ifying in a Fall Flash!
Fall is here! Cool nights, school days, soccer and football! I’m heading to my first tailgate of the season on Saturday, will be loading up with sandwiches, chips and dips and cider for the kids. Perhaps a tailgate toddy for the bigger fans too!
For your tailgating inspiration check out my feature in Huffington Post. Get packing!
Be sure your game day has a crowd pleasing spread. From gear must have’s, to cocktails and lawn games, this tailgate has spirit to spare! So, no matter what team you’re rooting for, pack up a party that scores with everyone!
Home Field Advantage
Roll-out this clever throw to add a colorful backdrop to your party that is water resistant and warm! Add a team Monogram to boot. Found at Land’s End.
If you’ll be standing for the game, it’s totally on call to have chairs for your tailgate. I love these from Dick’s, they come in a rainbow of colors to match your team, are comfortable and are reasonably priced.
Keep all your supplies “huddled up” in this handsome picnic basket from Williams-Sonoma. Comes complete with everything you’ll need to serve your hungry team in style.
Good looking, melamine glassware is the definite way to go to serve up in winning style.Williams-Sonoma has a great collection of stemless wine and beer glasses to choose from.
Who says you can’t bring it with you? Bring the party into the game with these stainless steel Stanley Thermoses and Flask from West Elm.
To get things started there must be Bloody’s! For the most divine flavor, get some pre-made mix. Fat and Juicy mix uses only premium ingredients for a touchdown taste with every pour.
After the bloody’s at kick-off it’s wine time at halftime! Simi’s full bodied whites and smooth pinots are a perfect paring with fall’s crisp afternoons.
The Longest Yard
No tailgate is complete without a football and a spirited game of catch. Dick’s has a good selection of footballs so you’ll be ready for that perfect pass.
Get everyone in on the action with the hot new game Spike Ball. Easy to assemble, it will keep fans young and old, busy for hours.
Glorious Newport! We were in town celebrating a wedding of dear friends and found time to rent scooters to tour the fabulous Ocean Drive you know those summer “cottages” of the Astors, Vanderbilts, and Doris Duke, pop-in to Castle Hill, whiz by Salve Regina College( my mom and brother studied –partied–there), enjoy cocktails and yacht gazing at the fab 41 North,Newport’s newest Boutique Hotel on the water, and of course shop,( I found the cutest maxi dress at Chance & Lulu)!! And then there was the wedding of Courtney and Mac! We had a welcome party at the Gas Lamp Grille the night before, and for the big day the venue was stunning, Mt. Hope Farm in Bristol on the water, did I say on the water? It was magical. beautiful, festive and fun! The glorious white tent was bedecked with lanterns in pastel hues to go with the massive hydrangeas, lilacs, peonies, and roses that filled every table. We cocktailed on Dark & Stormy’s and Nantucket Lemonades in jelly jars, how fitting and fun! Danced the night away, and finished the affair with brownie sundaes, I know, my kids were jealous too!
If you do get up to the beautiful Newport, check out a few of my favorites mentioned above!
Wishing you a “Life Made Stylish” always. Cheers!!