It’s hard to believe that we’re in the last few days of official summer before the calendar flips over to fall. With fall temperatures in the forecast it seems like the perfect time to raise one last glass of something summery and tropical. This my mango sunrise piña colada recipe! It’s fruity and sweet and a bit like a vacation in a glass.
It was my dad who first introduced me to the beauty of really good gin cocktails. Late in my college career, I’d go home summers to work an internship at a local architecture firm. My dad and I would often meet on the back porch in the evening after work and he’d make us each a perfect gin and tonic. Perfectly refreshing. Perfectly summer. I’ve been a gin fan ever since. But today I’ve upped the game on the classic gin and tonic with these blueberry beet slushies made with Prairie Organic gin. They may just be the single tastiest cocktail I’ve ever concocted and with blueberries currently in season, you’re going to want to fire up that blender!
Now that it’s unofficially summer, I think we can officially call it sangria season! It’s likely that sangria season is my favorite time of year. Fruity, boozy, winey, super refreshing and perfectly party-ready! Sangria is made for front porch sipping, slow and easy back patio happy hours, and prepping in advance for all of your summer parties. This kiwi limi mint sangria recipe might just be my favorite one I’ve whipped up yet! It’s made with fresh kiwi purée (which is a cinch to make) and loaded with refreshing lime and mint so it’s basically summer’s new best cocktail recipe. Don’t be intimidated by the kiwi purée, friends, please! The addition of simple but fresh ingredients like that make a cocktail recipe come alive and it’s really easy to do. Scout’s honor! (Ooo! Do we think I could earn a badge in cocktail mixing?!) I’ll toast to a long, hot awesome summer with a glass of this one, pals, I hope you do the same!
Over my last decade of blogging I have had the incredible privilege of making friends with loads of amazingly talented people. The camaraderie and the community in this wild little industry of ours is what made me fall in love with blogging from the very beginning, way back in 2008 when I took at stab at writing my very first post. Melissa Coleman of The Faux Martha is one of those people. She’s a tiny little whisp of a lady with an impeccable eye, a knack for making delicious food and a brand new cookbook, The Minimalist Kitchen, among her credits. A couple months ago I received an advance copy of her book, which is now available for sale, and I can’t get enough of it. It’s loaded with tips for how to stock your pantry and your kitchen so you can make really delicious, wholesome meals without having to run out to the store for a bunch of exotic ingredients every time you cook. If your kitchen is anything like mine, it can get overrun with containers of this and cans of that, too many of which go bad before they ever get used. I’m absolutely going to spend some time revisiting those sections of Melissa’s book and purging my kitchen of a lot of the nonsense, because I hate unruly cupboards and that’s precisely how mine are looking and feeling at the moment.
When we travel to Florida to visit family, there’s this open air restaurant we love to frequent where you can sip cocktails overlooking the water and where time moves a little bit slower. Said restaurant is known for their insanely delicious strawberry mojitos to an extent that I’m pretty sure you’re crazy if you go there and order anything else. I’ve been playing around with strawberry mojito recipes for a bit and haven’t been able to nail one that’s as good as theirs. Until now! When we last went to Florida in January, I finally figured out what makes them tick. It’s a combination of loads of fresh strawberries muddled with a big fistful of mint and then a homemade strawberry syrup that packs a ton of strawberry flavor. These are over the top refreshing and perhaps a bit dangerous for that reason! But nothing else quite says strawberry season like this mojito recipe. (Because I’m assured that spring will actually come some day and eventually we might even have a strawberry season. Who knew?!)
Happy 2018, friends! As I’ve done for several years in a row now, I’m easing into January today with a little look back at some of your favorite posts from the year before we jump into the New Year. I usually like to start January a bit slower, spending more time with Baby E, reading a good book or two, and taking time to reflect, make plans and dream up ideas for the year ahead. In so many ways 2017 was truly a banner year, which I’ll ruminate on more later, so I loved taking a look back and digging very unscientifically into the archives to come up with the best of 2017. It’s hard to believe but The Sweetest Occasion turns TEN YEARS OLD in 2018 so I have every intention of making this year the very best one yet in terms of the content we’re producing, the ways I’m connecting with you and in general just trying to take things to the next level this year. I have no clue what that means just yet, but I’ll be working on it! In the meantime, here are 17 of your favorite posts from the last year. Enjoy!
A few years ago Bob and I made our maiden voyage to Key West, which sparked a completely unexpected love affair with the Keys. I’ve been back since and have only fall more in love with the carefree, Cuban meets Caribbean vibe each time I go. This frozen tropical cocktail is entirely inspired by that same salt air in your hair, Jimmy Buffet music playing in the background experience that makes you never want to leave the Keys. In essence, this cocktail is a vacation in a glass. Because it’s sweetened with Truvia Nectar, it’s also a reduced sugar alternative to the typical sugar laden frozen drinks that seem to make the rounds ad nauseum in the summer months. Take it next level with a garnish of fresh pineapple and you’re ready for vacation mode.
There’s a great beachy, open air bar a few miles from where my sister lives in South Florida and the mojitos there are a force to be reckoned with. To be honest, I’m pretty sure there’s nothing special about their mojitos except for the fact that you sip them under palm trees overlooking the water, but that fact alone sets them apart. These mojitos are special not because they make palm trees appear in your backyard, but because they are made with champagne (or your favorite prosecco) and that elevates them entirely. You can skip the traditional rum or keep it in the mix. You can make one just for yourself or a pitcher for all your friends. (I’ve included recipe variations for all of the above.) The key is a good simple syrup, all the fresh mint and limes you can get your hands on and, of course, those bubbles. Bubbly makes everything better and these champagne mojitos are proof of that!
June is one of my favorite months of the year, probably due to associating it with the start of summer vacation as a kid. Even now as an adult, many years past even my college or grad school days, I still love the start of summer! There’s an energy and lightness that comes along with the summer solstice that begs to be celebrated, which is why today I’m joining up with my pals at Dr. Oetker Virtuoso to share this sangria recipe. Appropriately enough, I’ve dubbed it a sparkling summer solstice sangria, and loaded it up with mango and raspberries so it’s super fruity and delicious, but not overly sweet. Paired with your favorite Virtuoso pizza, it makes for the perfect casual summer cocktail hour on the back patio or front porch.
This post was sponsored by Dr. Oetker Virtuoso Pizza. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that help make The Sweetest Occasion possible! Now that Halloween has come and gone, I will admit that I am swiftly shifting into full-on holiday mode. My sister and brother in-law will be coming home from Florida in a few weeks for Thanksgiving …
This cocktail recipe was created in collaboration with Dr. Oetker Virtuoso Pizza. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that help make The Sweetest Occasion possible! You’ve probably heard me preach before about pitcher cocktail recipes being the best way to go for parties. It’s true! If you mix up a big pitcher of cocktails before your guests arrive, it …
I promised over the summer when I shared my grapefruit Moscow mule recipe that I was going hard on Moscow mules from basically now until eternity. I’m making good on my word today, with your new favorite drink of fall! An apple cider Moscow mule made with cinnamon sugar, fresh apple cider and ginger beer, …