Grapefruit Hibiscus Vodka Soda Cocktail

Grapefruit Hibiscus Vodka Soda RecipeI usually don’t like using odd ingredients. I won’t even make a recipe if it requires some off the wall thing that I’ve never seen at the store. But there is one exception to this rule. Cocktails. I LOVE using unique ingredients in cocktail recipes. So when I saw this Hibiscus Liqueur I knew I had to try it. I also knew that it wouldn’t be overly sweet and would have a bit of an herbal note, which are two of my favorite qualities in cocktails. And grapefruit juice. I’ve grown to love it. So I knew it would be the right pairing to create a Grapefruit Hibiscus Vodka Soda Cocktail.

Grapefruit Hibiscus Vodka Soda RecipePlus I really like the branding on the liqueur bottle. And even though using the label has never lead me to a good wine, which I always hope it will, I decided to give this a shot anyway. This time, I was not disappointed. All the other ingredients are straightforward and fresh. It’s almost ridiculous how simple this cocktail is to make.

Grapefruit Hibiscus Vodka Soda Cocktail RecipeSqueeze your fresh juices (grapefruit and lime – if you don’t have fresh grapefruits use Trader Joe’s grapefruit juice. It’s my fave) in to a shaker. Add your vodka, hibiscus liqueur and agave syrup. Shake, shake, shake it up.  With ice.

Grapefruit Hibiscus Vodka Soda RecipeAnd here is where my crazy comes out. Usually I would strain this into a glass with ice. But on this day, I didn’t like how my ice looked…The drink is chilled from shaking it with ice so it really doesn’t need more, but if you’d like to drink this over ice, please be my guest. Top with soda.

Hibiscus LiqueurThis just opened up a whole new world for me. I think I’m just going to add this to all my favorite cocktails. The deep color adds a nice tone to the cocktail. And it adds flavor without being BAM, in your face.

Grapefruit and lime cocktail idea. I know it’s still winter. Although today was 75 degrees (California, I don’t hate you). But fresh citrus makes it taste like summer in your glass no matter what time of year you use it.

Grapefruit Hibiscus Vodka Soda RecipeSo simple. Pretty. Delicious. Make these.

Grapefruit Hibiscus Vodka Soda Cocktail
 
This super simple cocktail recipe has a fun twist of an unusual liqueur.
Recipe type: Cocktail
Ingredients
  • 1 oz. grapefruit juice (fresh squeezed or Trader Joe's)
  • ½ oz. lime juice (fresh squeezed)
  • 1 oz. vodka (or more if you like it on the strong side)
  • ½ oz. Hibiscus Liqueur
  • ½ oz. agave syrup
  • 2 oz. club soda
Instructions
  1. To a cocktail shaker add grapefruit juice, lime juice, vodka, hibiscus liqueur, and agave syrup.
  2. Add ice to cocktail shaker and shake you heart out.
  3. Strain in to a low ball glass (with or without ice).
  4. Top with soda water.
  5. Drink up.

 

 

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Iced Tea Bar for BabyShower.com

Set up an Iced Tea Bar for your next baby shower.My latest post for BabyShower.com is up! Head on over to their site to see how I set up a refreshing iced tea bar and what flavorings I used. Hint: they aren’t your average flavors…

Strawberry Mint Moscow Mule #StreamTeam

Strawberry Mint Moscow Mule Recipe. #spon #StreamTeamYou all might remember that I am part of Netflix’s #StreamTeam. As a way to announce their newest animated, original series, The Adventures of Puss in Boots (now playing), they’ve asked us to talk about our own favorite four-legged friends. So I made a Strawberry Mint Moscow Mule recipe for you. “Huh?” you say…

Animals for home decor - Indian elephant and Jonathan Adler ceramic hedgehog.You see, my family doesn’t have any animals. From allergies and renting a home to our lack of interest in caring for animals, we are an animal free home. I guess that isn’t entirely true. I really love my Jonathan Adler ceramic hedgehog my husband got me for Valentine’s a few years ago. And I love this colorful woven elephant I picked up at a Furbish Studio dinner at Alt Summit last year. These are the kinds of animals that thrive in my home. So unless they are electronic or super cute home decor, we won’t be getting animals any time soon. So my favorite animal is a Moscow Mule. I think that totally counts.

Easy strawberry mint Moscow Mule Recipe. #spon #StreamTeamI love a good Moscow Mule but I wanted to do a strawberry variety. I know it isn’t quite strawberry season yet, but the strawberries at my local store looked pretty good so I picked some up to create a twist on one of my fave cocktails.

Mashed strawberries and mint are the perfect way to jazz up a standard Moscow Mule recipe. #spon #StreamTeamAlthough a simple syrup is a really great way to get flavor in to a cocktail, I don’t enjoy the sweetness. So for this, I decided to mash the crap out of them. If I had had a little more time, I would have added just a smidge of sugar and let the berries macerate a bit to produce more juice. But I’m super impatient. I added chopped strawberries to my jar, added a few fresh mint leaves and then smashed them all up with a muddler.

Delicious Moscow Mule recipe with strawberries and mint. #spon #StreamTeamThen I made a pretty standard Moscow Mule but added some of the strawberry smush. If you’ve never made one, you simply add all the ingredients to the cocktail shaker (except the ginger beer – shaking that up would end up with you wearing it due to the carbonation) and shake.

Moscow Mule Recipe with strawberries and mint. #spon #StreamTeamI was super excited to get to try out my new copper mugs that my mom got me for Christmas. LOVE them! Thanks, mommy!

Moscow Mule with strawberries and mint. #spon #StreamTeamJust because we don’t have animals of our own doesn’t mean that they aren’t part of our lives. My youngest son LOVES animals! He lights up when he sees puppies.  He loves to read about all kinds of animals. And he LOVES to watch shows about or staring animals. When he saw the previews for The Adventures of Puss in Boots, he got super excited and asked if we could watch it right then. Netflix is his favorite place to watch shows about animals.

Moscow Mules in Copper Mugs. #spon #StreamTeamHe loves any of the “Buddies” movies, like Snow Buddies. Milo and Otis is a fave.  He only continued to watch Annie because of Sandy. And Air Bud? Forget it. Don’t even try talking to him when that is on.

Strawberry Mint Moscow Mule Recipe. #spon #StreamTeamIf my husband has his way, one day we will probably have an animal. Until then, I’ll just keep the Moscow Mule around.

Strawberry Mint Moscow Mule #StreamTeam
 
If you love a Moscow Mule, you'll love this yummy twist!
Recipe type: Cocktail
Ingredients
  • 1½ oz. vodka
  • ½ oz. fresh lime juice
  • a handful of fresh strawberries
  • a few leaves of fresh mint
  • Ginger Beer
Instructions
  1. In a small jar or bowl, add the fresh strawberries and 4 mint leaves and muddle together.
  2. In a cocktail shaker, add vodka, lime juice and strawberry mixture.
  3. Add ice and shake.
  4. Strain over fresh ice in short glass or copper mug (taking care that the strawberry pulp may block the strainer)
  5. Top with ginger beer.
  6. Take 3 mint leaves and clap them between your hands.
  7. Serve with mint leaves on top of the cocktail.

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Ice Cream Float Bar

Set up an ice cream float bar for your next party. *Tillamook sent me coupons to purchase the ice cream for my son’s party. How cool is that?!

For the last few years we have kept our kid’s parties small. Gone are the days of my over the top kid’s parties. But I still like to make them special and memorable. That often means trying to do things a little bit differently. Most parties serve ice cream and soda. So this time I decided to set out an ice cream float bar. It was a total hit.

Set up an ice cream float bar for your next party. I’m mess averse so I didn’t want to set this out for the kid’s to do themselves. The kids range in ages from way too little to scoop their own ice cream to old enough to know that if they scoop their ice cream themselves they can get crazy. I brought out all the ingredients in the kitchen and recruited my sister-in-law to help me make them for the kids. I went to Bev Mo to buy all kinds of flavored sodas and picked up one 2 liter bottle of root beer. Because root beer floats. I picked up some standard flavors for the Tillamook ice cream including vanilla, strawberry and chocolate. And picked up one odd ball flavor – mint chocolate chip, in case anyone wanted to get crazy. We brought in the kids two at a time and they got to pick their flavors. There was lots of mixing.  Let me tell you, that blue cream soda was a hit. I had one taker for the banana soda and everyone skipped the pineapple.

Set up an Ice Cream Float bar for your next kid's party.I had forgotten to purchase the straws with spoons on the ends but the kids still really loved them. We had monster faces to add-on their straws and they were all set. They loved comparing the colors of their floats.

Set up an ice cream float bar for your next party. You can easily set up a float bar for an adult party too. Along with the flavored sodas you can also set out some Irish Cream, or other flavored liqueur.

Set up an ice cream float bar for your next party. Don’t be dumb. You don’t need me to give you the steps to make a soda float.

Set up an ice cream float bar for your next party. This chocolate ice cream + strawberry soda number was delicious.

Set up an ice cream float bar for your next party. Thanks to all the artificial colors the soda gets super foamy and bright. Yeah chemicals!

Ice Cream FloatI bet you want to go make yourself a float now, don’t you.

Thank you, Tillamook, for providing me the ice cream for my son’s birthday party. And thank YOU for supporting the companies that give me free ice cream and allow me to share cool things with you.

 

Best Champagne Punch Recipe

Best Champagne Punch Recipe.This is the best champagne punch recipe. The only one you’ll ever need. It is my family’s go-to celebratory recipe and we’ve been serving it for years. But if you get the chance you really should serve it to your friends out in the middle of the desert. All images via Tammy Mendoza.

Photo shoot out in Palm Springs.Since we were headed out to Palm Springs to shoot some new head shots, we thought it would be fun if we shot a recipe post while we were out there. This is the type of stuff that is so fun for a creative person. So often I have these big ideas in my head but the logistics to pull them off are a little bit too much for one person, or on account of family time constraints. I was SO excited to be able to sneak away with Tammy and Lauren and get to do something totally different.

Champagne and the desert. Two of my favorite things. We found this gorgeous little spot to set up in and got the bottles popping.

Best Champagne Punch RecipeAnd then started assembling the ingredients. This punch is pretty citrus-y so its refreshing and flavorful.

Add the champagne.What I love about champagne punch is that it works well for a crowd and because of all the other ingredients, you don’t need to splurge on the good bubbly. A super cheap bottle is perfect. And since this is SO yummy, you will need to make several batches. Know that going in and have several batches prepped ahead of time.

Slice citrus fruits for an easy garnish for your punch.Usually the garnish is some citrus slices. If you want to get crazy, you can add fresh raspberries. The pop of pink is a really fun touch. And edible flowers would be even more lovely.

Champagne in Palm Springs.Although this is a punch and your natural instinct might be to run towards your standard punch bowl, you should change things up a bit. I like to serve this Here I decided to use a vase to serve the punch in.

Make champagne punch and serve it in something other than a punch bowl to keep things interesting. I love to use things for something other than their intended purpose.

Delicious citrus champagne punch.But if that’s not your jam, simply make several batches and serve them in mismatched glass jars. Empty wine bottles are perfect for this. And this is a great way to make sure that all your guests can get their beverage quickly without having to wait for the ladle.

Best champagne punch recipe..How gorgeous is this?! It really makes me want to throw a whole desert party.

Fur coats and champagne punch in Palm Springs.

Best Champagne Punch Recipe
 
Best champagne punch recipe. Citrusy and refreshing, this punch is perfect for all your festive gatherings.
Serves: 3 quarts
Ingredients
  • 1 can (46 oz.) Pineapple Juice (cold)
  • 1 bottle (28 oz.0 Club Soda (cold)
  • 1 can (6 oz.) Frozen OJ Concentrate (thawed)
  • 1 bottle Champagne or Sparkling Wine (chilled)
  • 1 lemon or lime, finely sliced for garnish
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries for garnish (optional)
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients, stir and serve.
  2. Garnish with a slice of fresh lemon or lime.
  3. Can be made the night before but wait to add the club soda and champagne until ready to serve.
  4. Should at least plan to double or triple the recipe. It is a crowd pleaser.

All images by Tammy Mendoza of Dez and Tam Photography 

*I did not create this recipe. Years ago, before blogs and Pinterest, when you found a recipe you liked, you wrote it down and emailed it to all your friends and family. The source for this recipe is long gone. If you know the source, please share! I like to credit when credit is due!