Mother’s Day is just around the corner, and this year I wanted to give the moms in my friends circle something handmade and useful that they will actually like!Read More
Get into the Christmas spirit with these Apple Cinnamon Whiskey Smashers. It’s a smooth and warming cocktail that’s easy to create, refreshing, and delicious. Bonus…this drink can be made ahead of time for easy holiday entertaining, and will you thaw you from the inside out!Read More
Lately my body hasn’t been tolerating alcohol very well, which is a huge bummer, because this is the season for drinking! There’s so much to celebrate! So I’ve had to create a delicate balance between a really healthy diet and gaps in between my drinks so that it doesn’t make me sick.
One of the things I enjoyed this season is this drink. I love the dark smoky feel of it. Feels like there should be a lit cigar next to it (I’m totally against cigars and cigarettes though). I was feeling a little down that my North Pole Cake didn’t turn out quite as expected, so I made this to cheer myself up. This is a great drink to whip up for family and friends at your next holiday gathering. You’ll put in a little work making the rosemary simple syrup, but, come on guys. Isn’t this drink worth it?
CRANBERRY ROSEMARY SPRITZER
1 bottle prosecco
2 ounces peach schnapps
4 teaspoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
4 ounces pom juice
1 small bottle mango flavoured soda water
6-8 sprigs rosemary
1/2 cup fresh cranberries
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup water
2 slices oranges
Add 1 cup of water to a small pan with 2-3 sprigs of rosemary, bring to a boil.
Add sugar to boiling water and stir until sugar dissolves.
Remove from heat, strain rosemary leaves and set to cool.
Wash cranberries. Set aside.
Pour Prosecco evenly into 4 cocktail glasses.
Add .5 ounces of peach schnapps, .5 ounces rosemary simple syrup, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, 1 ounce pom juice and a splash of mango soda water to each glass and stir.
Add 1 tablespoon of cranberries to each glass.
Allow the cranberries time to float to the top of the glass and garnish with 1 sprig of rosemary.
This pear Bellini recipe is the perfect party drink. It’s unexpected and delicious and who doesn’t love when you bring out the bubbly? You also don’t have to buy top of the line brands since the pear juice will give whatever sparkling wine you are pairing with it a little help in the quality department.Read More
I'm just getting back from a really short girls trip to Miami for the weekend. I can't believe Halloween has essentially come and gone! Because Halloween is on a Wednesday, every Halloween party was this weekend, meaning I didn't get a chance to dress up at all. Travelling doesn't allow for costumes and unfortunately my friends weren't up to a Halloween party but we did enjoy some sites and sounds at R House in Wynwood on Friday. Every Friday there is ladies night with tasty champagne for only $1 per glass. You really can't beat that. People came in costumes and if you were driving around Wynwood this weekend, you would've seen everything from Reno 911 cops to black panther and other superheroes.
With all of the excitement I was really inspired to create one more ghoulish drink. Since my martini glass broke, I knew I needed to buy another one I looked for a martini glass in several stores, but just wasn't able to find one. I was ready to give up. But I decided that just because I couldn't find the right glass didn't mean I couldn't still enjoy the drink. Sure presentation matters but after the stress of packing, rushing to meet deadlines and facing returning to work, I needed a little something to help me mellow out.
To make this spooky drink, all you need is a peach flavoured drink like , a little bit of vodka and some Brandy. A squeeze of fresh lime really bonds the flavours. It's spooktacular!
2 oz vodka
1.5 oz peach nectar
1 oz cherry brandy
.5 oz fresh lime juice 1 lime yields about 1 1/2 oz of juice
Wet the edge of a martini glass and press into gold sanding sugar and set aside.
Add the vodka, peach nectar, and cherry brandy to a cocktail shaker filled with ice.
Shake and strain into a martini glass.
Garnish with an orange peel twist, a cherry, and a cuddly spider.
Check out these other holiday drinks for a spook-ta-cular celebration!
Fitted with a copper and white straw, the lace-covered ghost makes an excellent swizzle stick. Make extras by tying lace squares over large cotton balls on top of straws or skewers, and add faces with felt or markers. But this drink is so cute, how could it ever be spooky?Read More
Look out fellas! There’s a new summer drink taking over BBQs in the backyard! Whip up a big batch in a pitcher and enjoy these with some friends. It’s literally like a long island iced tea and a shandy had a baby.Read More
Tomorrow is Cinco de Mayo and I still don't have anything planned to do. I've got to work an event and then there's the Carnival concert with Machel, but it just doesn't feel like enough, you know? So while I figure that out, I came up with this refreshing margarita. I was so excited to drink it, I forgot to salt the rims of my glasses, oops! And if there's no way you can make this in time for tomorrow, don't worry! Margarita’s are not just for celebrating Cinco de Mayo – they’re a refreshing, everyday summer cocktail. And combining the bright flavors of citrus with tequila shouldn’t break your calorie bank.
This margarita recipe is simple enough to whip up at the last minute but complex enough to have a great flavor. I love that you can scale them up to make a large bowl of punch for your Cinco de Mayo party (to serve alongside your favorite skinny chicken tacos, of course!). Then, all you need to decide is if you’re a salt-rimmed on-the-rocks margarita lover or you prefer no-salt and crushed ice.
Goombay Smash Margarita
- 1 12 oz. Goombay soda
- 1 part tequila
- 1 part rum
- 1 lime wedge per glass
- In a cocktail mixer, combine the soda, tequila and rum.
- Coat the rim of your glasses with the lime wedge then dip the rim in salt
- Pour beverage into salted glasses then add the lime wedge. Enjoy! Happy Cinco de Mayo everybody! Party responsibly!
This is going to be the most difficult Christmas for my family. On Saturday, I lost my step-father. His name was Michael Allen (Mike). He had been on dialysis for the past three years, but showed a rapid decline in health over the past two months. He had to retire from his day job and soon couldn't drive any more. He began to fall a lot and it became harder and harder to pick him up when he fell. It's still hard to talk about him in past tense.
On Saturday, after my mother picked him up from dialysis, he had what appeared to be a heart attack then silently slipped away. My mum tried to resuscitate him but with one final cough he was gone. We had learned in November that he only had about three months to live but after his last round of dialysis on Thursday, I knew he wouldn't make it to the New Year.
No matter how prepared we were, it still hurt. My mum said she was still shocked and some days it still doesn't feel real, but each passing day does make it easier. We've pretty much cancelled Christmas in our home, but I had to make a few gifts to show my heartfelt thanks to friends who have really supported me throughout the year. The first gift up is an infused whiskey for one of my best friend's Krista. I'd like to think Mike would've enjoyed this as well.
I used a half pint of Jack Daniels because she loves Jack Daniels. I looked up a few options for infusions with whiskey and found coffee and vanilla and vanilla and cherries. I figured, why not just combine both?
How to Infuse Booze
The only even slightly tricky part of infusing alcohol is narrowing down the flavors and deciding the amounts. You can infuse with almost anything: herbs, fruits, vegetables, nuts, coffee, spices, candy…you get the idea.
- Canning or mason jars, or large glass bottles with lids (make sure you can fit your ingredients in the mouth of the bottle)
- Alcohol of choice
- Infusion ingredients
- Packaging/ribbon and labels if you’re gifting
Put your infusion ingredients in the alcohol, cover tightly and store in a cool, dark place (a pantry is great). If you’re using fresh fruits, veggies or herbs, be sure to thoroughly wash and dry those ingredients first—use organic if possible.
Remove the ingredients after they’ve infused to your liking (see tips below), then strain the booze into your desired jars or just keep in your infusion vessel to use at home. If you’re gifting these, include a label, some pretty ribbon or packaging, and perhaps a cocktail recipe. It’s really that simple!
- To make sure you are able to infuse long enough, it’s best to start early—about 3 weeks before you want to gift or use the booze. If you get the flavor you want before that time, simply fish out/strain out the infusion ingredients, and store the booze until you’re ready to use or gift it.
- The ratio of infusion ingredients to alcohol varies. If I’m free-styling with my own combo, I look up a similar recipe, and use that as a basic guideline. You can always adjust.
- If you accidentally infuse too long, you can dilute with plain, unflavored booze as a last resort
- The longer everything sits in the alcohol, the stronger the flavor. It’s a good idea to taste your mixture every 5 days or so to see where it’s at.
- Generally, the more porous and intensely flavored the ingredients (coffee beans, fresh herbs), the quicker they will add flavor. This isn’t an exact science, which is why it’s good to taste as you go! If your lemon-basil vodka is getting too herb-y, remove the basil halfway through and let the lemon peel sit alone for longer.
- Vodka, brandy and whiskey are my favorites to work with. The booze is less nuanced, so complementary flavor profiles are easier to come up with.
- Rum or tequila will work too, although they lend themselves mainly to warm spices like cinnamon or clove, or tropical fruits like mango and lime.
- Gin is a little trickier since the juniper berry flavor is already very pronounced. I’ve seen recipes for infused gin using cucumber, citrus, lavender and earl grey tea, though.
- Middle-shelf alcohol is your best bet. No need to buy the most expensive, but don’t go bargain basement either! No amount of flavoring can salvage cheap booze :)
- If working with citrus, use only the peel (where the oils of the fruit are contained), and make sure to scrape off the bitter pith before using
- If you have trouble picking a flavor, think about how you would use the alcohol. Is it meant for sipping or to use in mixed drinks? For instance, if your infused vodka will be used in Bloody Mary's, think about what will work with that flavor profile.
Vanilla Cherry & Coffee Infused Whiskey
- 2 vanilla beans (split down the middle or 2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract) + 1/8 cup coffee beans, slightly crushed with a mortar and pestle—or a plastic bag and wooden spoon
- 4-5 dried or fresh cherries (no need to pit)
If you try this or any infused alcohol recipe this holiday season, don't forget to tag me on Instagram @life_by_olivia. Stay safe and do not drink and drive!