Whenever I host a dinner party, I get caught up in the dinner menu, appetizers, and drinks. Dessert is usually the last thing on my mind. And after a full day of prepping, cooking, and hosting, I want to serve something easy. A scoop of ice cream is the easiest of desserts, but it’s also kinda boring. Solution: affogatos. An affogato is just a scoop of vanilla ice cream with a shot of hot espresso poured over. As the espresso melts the ice cream, it basically becomes a sweet and creamy latte. I topped mine with a sprinkle of cacao nibs for a little crunch. Yummm!
Margaritas are the popular choice with Mexican food, but if a paloma is on the menu, that’s what I’m ordering. Palomas are typically made with tequila but I prefer using a smoky mezcal. It gives the drink an unexpectedly smooth bite that works well with the sweetness of the grapefruit.
Makes 1 drink
- 2.5 ounces fresh grapefruit juice
- 0.5 ounce fresh lime juice
- 1 teaspoon agave nectar
- 2.5 ounces mezcal
- club soda
- grapefruit garnish
- Combine grapefruit and lime juices with agave nectar in a glass.
- Stir in mezcal. You can use white tequila if you don’t have mezcal on hand.
- Fill the glass with ice. Top with club soda and grapefruit garnish.
You just need Irish whiskey, cream, simple syrup, and your favorite cold brew coffee. Cold brew is coffee that’s been slowly brewed without any heat over a period of hours. I used Stumptown‘s version (available at any Whole Foods) for its rich and subtly sweet flavor — excellent for a coffee cocktail. If you don’t have cold brew on hand, you can use regular drip coffee, but be sure to brew strong and let it cool completely.
- 6 parts cold brew coffee
- 2 parts Irish whiskey
- 1.5 parts simple syrup
- 1.5 parts cream
- In a cocktail shaker, add coffee, whiskey, and simple syrup. Fill with ice and shake vigorously for 5 seconds (enough to cool, but not dilute the mixture).
- Strain into chilled collins glasses filled with ice.
- Carefully top with heavy cream.
- Add a cute straw and enjoy!
Pimm’s & Lemonade is a refreshing cocktail that will always remind me of my first day in London during my celebratory post-college trip to Europe. My friends and I settled into a pub along the Thames and carelessly spent the long summer afternoon sipping Pimm’s & Lemonade and snacking on
fries chips. It was absolute bliss.
Over the weekend, I made a large pitcher of Pimm’s & Lemonade to celebrate the last day of summer. Drinking this in my living room didn’t quite live up to the London experience, but it was still a nice way to end a season.
- Fill a large pitcher with ice
- Mix equal parts Pimm’s, chilled lemonade, and ginger ale
- Add in hulled & halved strawberries, cucumber spears, orange, lemon, and lime slices, and a generous handful of mint leaves
- Stir and serve in collins glasses
Going to the farmer’s market on Saturday mornings has become a sort of ritual in my apartment. Picking up fresh, seasonal ingredients for the week is both exciting and challenging. There are so many ingredients that I have no experience cooking with, but sometimes I buy it anyway and figure it out later. It makes for some surprising results.
My roommate spotted a beautiful and fragrant bunch of lavender at this morning’s market. We stood there debating whether to buy it – what would we even do with it? Dry it out for lavender sachets? Bake lavender shortbread? Mix up lavender cocktails? How about all of the above? Sold.
Lemons, gin, and simple syrup are staples in our apartment so I was able to whip these up pretty quickly.
Makes 1 drink
- 0.5 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 1 oz simple syrup
- 2 oz gin
- Fresh lavender, ground
- Club soda
Add lemon juice, simple syrup, and gin to a collins glass. Roughly grind lavender using a spice grinder or mortar and pestle. Add to glass and stir. Fill the glass with ice and top off with club soda. Garnish with a sprig of lavender.
In celebration of today’s landmark marriage equality rulings, I suggest you mix yourselves (and your loved ones) a drink or two and give a toast to those people continually working towards equality for all– and of course to all the fabulous weddings to come here in California!
I personally love the above Cocktail Swatchbook, not only for it’s genius drink categorization (recipes are sorted by whether they serve 1, 4, or 6+ people), but also for the adorable vintage barware recommendations Mrs. Lilien includes with each beverage swatch. If you haven’t done so already, I suggest you also check out her namesake blog, sure to delight with great drink recipes, fab party planning and outfits, and wonderfully rhyming posts.
June is the end of grapefruit season in California, so I decided to take advantage by making grapefruit mojitos. I used the same recipe I used when making blood orange mojitos, but instead of sugar, I used mint-infused simple syrup. This was a great mid-afternoon cocktail for a sunny weekend.
To make infused simple syrup, just combine equal parts sugar and water in a saucepan. Over low heat, stir frequently until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat, and as the mixture cools, add your herbs. I put in a generous handful of orange mint sprigs. Let steep until completely cool.
This weekend, it’s the Kentucky Derby and Cinco de Mayo. Two great reasons to gather friends and serve up some delicious cocktails. I just bought a rosemary plant for my window herb garden, so it was only natural I snip a few sprigs for cocktails. Not just for garnish, but to make rosemary simple syrup. Simple syrup is just that – simple. Never buy it in the store because it’s full of preservatives and is often made with high fructose corn syrup. Just combine equal parts sugar and water and boil gently, stirring often, until sugar is dissolved. To infuse it, I just tossed in a few sprigs of rosemary to the mixture. Once cool, place it in a tall glass with ice. Pour gin and lemon juice and stir. Top it off with club soda, add your garnish, and serve!
Makes 1 drink
- 2 oz gin
- 1 oz rosemary simple syrup
- 1 oz lemon juice
- Club soda
- Lemon slice and rosemary sprig for garnish
Happy weekend friends! I’ve got lots of chores and shopping on my To Do list this weekend, and thankfully some amazing weather to get it all done in. I’m thinking I need to get some new accessories for some upcoming events I’m attending, and I’m dying over these Lulu Frost earrings— they are a recreation of their signature vintage pieces, and would go with just about anything!
Also on my wishlist, I have been thinking on and off about getting myself a Mini M.A.C, which would be perfect for running around town and going out to dinner. I was excited to learn this week that for a limited time Rebecca Minkoff will be offering a select few Mini M.A.C colors with monograms, so it seems there is no time like the present to buy one! I have also heard, however, that RM will be having a sample sale in San Francisco on May 18th, so I might wait until then to see if I can score something great.
This weekend is also Cinco de Mayo, and SF will be celebrating in full force. I have plans to head down to the Ferry Building on Sunday for Hecho en San Francisco to indulge in some bites from Nopalito and Tacolicious. I’m also planning to try making a Paloma, based on a recipe I saw on Style Me Pretty Living. Nothing sounds better than some fresh squeezed grapefruit juice with tequila and soda water right now!
What are your plans for this weekend?
With a thriving orange mint plant and the blood oranges I got at the farmer’s market on Saturday, I had to make mojitos. I followed a standard mojito recipe, but replaced limes with blood oranges and used orange mint instead of spearmint. The result was sweet and refreshing – perfect to sip during my lazy afternoon watching reality TV.
Makes 1 drink
- 1.5 oz white rum
- Half blood orange, cut into wedges
- 5 orange mint leaves (spearmint works as well) + more for garnish
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- Club soda
Add rum, blood oranges, mint, and sugar to a collins glass. Muddle the ingredients together then top with ice. Pour club soda over the ice, stir, add garnish, and serve!