Every year at our annual New Year’s Eve celebration, I stock the bar with the usual suspects (champagne, wine, beer) and then add one signature drink to the mix that is festive and easily prepared in advance. This year my color scheme is revolving around mints and golds, so I thought a peachy colored drink would look great on the bar. After some brainstorming, I landed on a grapefruit juice based cocktail that I’m calling the ‘Grapefruit Sparkler.’ To make a batch for yourself start with a pitcher or carafe and mix together 3 cups of chilled grapefruit juice, 1 cup of white rum, and 1/4 cup of elderflower liquor — use this ratio to double or triple the recipe depending on how large your party is. To serve, pour the mixture 3/4 of the way full in a flute and top the remaining 1/4 of the glass with a bubbly prosecco and a sparkly drink stirrer — cheers!

Grapefruit Sparkler Cocktail 1 Grapefruit Sparkler Cocktail 2 Grapefruit Sparkler Cocktail 3Find similar champagne flutes here: Anthropologie | Waiting on Martha

The Harvard Common Press is celebrating their New England ties by hosting a virtual cookbook potluck with a bunch of local food writers. So when they reached out to me to join on the fun, I of course said yes and said I’d bring the cocktails! I dug through the Harvard Common Press’ book Party Drinks! and found one recipe that seemed like the perfect fit for the occasion: a Ward 8 — named for the 8th Ward of the city of Boston. In a cocktail shaker over ice you pour 4 oz of Rye, 1/2 oz of Grenadine, 1/2 oz Simple Syrup, and fresh lime juice. Shake it up, strain it out into two glasses, and garnish with an orange and cherry, and of course give a clink of the glass and toast to something fun!

partydrinkspartydrinks1partydrinks5partydrinks3partydrinks6Please note: Harvard Common Press sent me a complimentary copy of Party Drinks!; all photographs and opinions are my own. 

There are a few ‘trigger’ ingredients that I look for on a cocktail menu when I’m making a drink selection, and the tartness of grapefruit of is always one of my trip contenders. I mixed up sweet and herb-y drink to balance the tart grapefruit flavor in a tasty drink with Brugal Rum. To make one yourself, follow these instructions: in a rocks glass over ice add 1 tsp of honey, fresh grapefruit juice (1-2 grapefruits, depending how much juice you can get out of them!), and 1.5 oz of Brugal White Rum. Stir vigorously, and garnish with a sprig of fresh thyme – swirl it around in the glass to release some of the flavors into the drink, and enjoy!
Thyme Grapefruit Punch Ingredients Thyme Grapefruit Punch

Brugal Rum provided me with sample products to test, all opinions are my own. 

I’ve got another fun rum cocktail for you today after some more experimenting with Brugal Rum — a blueberry basil smash. My idea for this drink came from a peruse through my fridge, I had some leftover blueberries and basil that were ready to use! To make your own version of this drink, follow these steps: In a cocktail shaker, muddle 1 tsp of sugar, 2-3 lime wedges, a handful of blueberries, and a few sprigs of basil. Pour 1.5 oz of dark rum over the muddled mixtures and shake with ice. Pour in a glass and top with soda water; serve with a fresh lime wedge and a striped straw for good measure! Blueberry Basil Smash Ingredients Blueberry Basil Smash Muddling Blueberry Basil Smash _edited-1 Blueberry Basil Smash _

It’s been awhile since I’ve shared a cocktail recipe — the past few weeks have been jam packed with summer fun, but I’ve barely been at home to test out new ideas! The folks at Brugal sent me some of their rum last week to test out, so I took this as the perfect occasion to get mixing! I was inspired by a blood orange soda that I grabbed at the store and paired with some elderflower liquor and fresh citrus:

  • 1.5 oz of Brugal rum
  • 0.5 oz of Elderflower Liquor
  • 2.5 oz of Blood Orange Soda
  • Fresh Lemon juice
  • Ice

Pour rum and elderflower liquor over ice and stir. Top with blood orange soda and a squeezed wedge of fresh lemon juice. Serve with a lemon garnish.

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Please note: Brugal Rum provided me with product samples, all opinions and recipes are my own. 

 

 

 

I love watching the Oscars, tweeting about the gowns, making my guesses for each category — but somehow, me, the entertaining-addict, has never thrown an Oscars party. This year, I’m breaking that streak and having a few friends over for a casual little viewing gathering. As no party is complete without a signature cocktail, I thought I’d experiment with one to make this weekend for sipping during the show. I’m calling my creation the “Golden Statue” for it’s pretty color and a nod to Oscar himself. Here’s how you can make one of your own: In a small pitcher combine one cup of tangerine juice, one-quarter cup of Royal Rose apricot simple syrup, and one-quarter cup of vodka. Stir it together well and divide into four flutes. Then fill the remainder of the flute to the top with chilled prosecco and serve! I made Oscar straws for a festive touch too! aphoto 1 (6)aDSC_0007aDSC_0002aDSC_0005

I have the delicious drink recipes from our Ladies Whiskey Party to share with you today! One of my favorite details from this day  was the incorporation of the recipes into the event — I wrote the ingredients out on brown paper bags and tied them on whiskey bottles to match each drink so it was easy to identify each one. And because the idea of the party was all about sharing these whiskey drinks and making whiskey drinking a bit more approachable, we gave everyone a stack of recipe cards with the ingredients and instructions written out on them so they can recreate them at home. Now, onto those recipes!

aUrbanGrape_StyleMePretty Whiskey Party_Jan2014_003aClassic Whiskey Smash

  •  Half a lemon, cut into wedges
  • 6 mint leaves
  • .75 oz simple syrup
  • 2 oz Buffalo Trace Bourbon

In a shaker, muddle lemon wedges with mint leaves and simple syrup. Add ice and bourbon, shake vigorously. Strain over crushed ice and garnish with a tall mint leaf.

UrbanGrape_StyleMePretty Whiskey Party_Jan2014_093aUrbanGrape_StyleMePretty Whiskey Party_Jan2014_074The Ladies Manhattan

  •  2 oz Michter’s Rye
  • .75 oz Dolin sweet vermouth
  • .25 oz Luxardo maraschino liqueur
  • 2 dashes Regan’s orange bitters
  • Cherry garnish

Stir all ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass, cherry garnish.

aUrbanGrape_StyleMePretty Whiskey Party_Jan2014_097 UrbanGrape_StyleMePretty Whiskey Party_Jan2014_087The Bee Keeper Punch

  •  1.5 bottles Overholt Rye
  • 16-18 oz fresh lemon juice
  • 25 dashes bitters
  • 2 cups honey spice simple syrup (go slowly to taste)
  • 1 bottle inexpensive Prosecco

Combine first four ingredients and chill for several hours. Before serving add Prosecco. Serve over rocks with a twist of lemon.  (To make simple syrup: 16 oz clover honey, 16 oz water, 1/4 cup mulling spices. Bring all ingredients to boil, turn off heat. Steep for 15-30 minutes. Strain the ingredients and cool the syrup.)

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Cocktail Recipes, Ingredients, and Event Space: The Urban Grape, Photography: Brian Samuels, Vintage Glassware: Farm & Fable

Lately I have been following along with Brottle, a  year-long bottled cocktail project, that posts a new bottled cocktail recipe everyday on their instagram account. They post videos with step by step instructions of the recipes on YouTube too, and I’ve watched just about every one — they’re so cute, and the recipes are quick and easy. It’s an idea I can get behind, mix up a bigger batch to keep on your bar cart while entertaining, or bring it along with you as a little hostess gift to a party. And because everything is pre-mixed into one bottle, it makes those cocktail refills a little faster too! So after seeing their greyhound recipe last week, I decided it was time to join in on the fun and make one myself. I switched up the recipe and made my greyhound with 8oz of gin instead of vodka, and  mixed it with 19oz of fresh grapefruit juice. Then once it was time to serve, I poured it over ice and garnished it with a fresh spring of thyme leaves. It was tasty — and now I have a little cocktail waiting for me in the fridge after work tomorrow too!

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If you head on over to Style Me Pretty Living today you’ll see some pictures from a Crafts and Cocktails party my girlfriends and I threw to kick off the holiday season earlier this month. But before I share a few of my favorite pictures from the day, I thought I’d focus on the signature cocktail I whipped up for the event, priorities, right? I called it the Cran-Bourbon Fizz — just a little sweet and a little strong, a perfect combination if you ask me. And the cranberry and anise garnishes look so darn festive, don’t they? Full recipe below!
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Cran-Bourbon Fizz

2 oz Bourbon
.75 oz Grenadine
Seltzer water
Cranberries
Star Anise
Ice

Mix bourbon and grenadine over ice and stir to combine.
Top the glass with seltzer water to taste.
Garnish with cranberries and star anise.

All images by Bring To Light Photography, floral design by Little Flower Cottage

This is a DIY gift that I can nearly guarantee anyone would love to receive, homemade simple syrups. Sometimes I wonder, do they call it simple syrup because it’s so simple to make? I think they might!  I used this recipe, and added  apples for my own twist. Then I packaged it up in mini-mason jars and labeled the tops with brown craft paper, bakers twine, and recipe tags. Experiment with flavors and come up with your own mixture (I’ve used this recipe before too) — it’ll make your gift even more unique when you give it your own spin!

Cran-Apple Simple Syrup 1 Cran-Apple Simple Syrup2 Cran-Apple Simple Syrup3 Cran-Apple Simple Syrup4 Cran-Apple Simple Syrup5

Looking for more DIY present ideas? Check them out here.