I’m having a little bit of trouble coming to grips with the fact that summer is coming to a close this week, I’m not quite ready for the warm weather, and beach days, and patio cocktails (and mocktails!) to end. This weekend I had a girl’s night with some my girlfriends and we enjoyed the fading summer with some al fresco dining and porch swinging and all around warm-weather merriment. In preparation for our hang out I set up a make-your-own style margarita bar with all of the essentials, and thought I’d share a few of my tips for setting up a margarita bar of your own. Once you have the tools, the garnishes, and ingredients in place, it’s super fun to let your guests mix up their own cocktail creations.Margarita Bar 1 read more

When I was visiting my family recently I told my mom I’d be in charge of the signature cocktail for a get-together she was hosting. The proximity to Cinco de Mayo left me no choice, I had to go with a margarita. My mom agreed, but noted that her friends may not be as adept at holding their tequila as I am (I’ll take that as a compliment!) so I decided to experiment with a sangrita recipe — margarita inspired with a sangria flair. I made this in a big batch so it was easy for guests to self-serve. Start with a clear pitcher and 4 limes quartered and squeezed in the bottom. Next I poured in about 2 cups of ice, 2-3 tbsp of sugar, 1 cup of tequila (or more, depending on taste!), and 2 bottles of Izze Sparkling Clementine. Stir it all up and let it sit in the fridge for about 20 minutes to chill and combine the flavors. When you’re ready to serve, pour a glass halfway full of the margarita mixture and top with a light, crisp rosé (try a sparkling rosé too!). A few festive straws are all you need to finish off the drink (PS: how cute is my mom’s Target bar cart?), and luckily between the two of us we have a life-time supply of those!
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A trip to Texas this past spring turned me on to jalapeño margaritas, and a recent dinner at Besito put watermelon margaritas on my mind.  When Breville sent me one of their powerful blenders to try I thought this was the perfect time to combine the two! It’s got the tang of lime, the heat from the jalepeno-infused tequila, sweetness from a bit of agave, and the pureed watermelon gives you a majorly refreshing taste. I blended up a big batch, which was helpful since they were so tasty they disappeared fast. Now, the real question is, how have I lived this long without a blender in my life? Full recipe for your own summer-cocktail enjoyment below! 

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It was a very festive weekend — we celebrated my little brother’s high school graduation with a big backyard fiesta! I think my sister and I started planning this party almost a year ago when we realized our baby brother’s graduation was impending — we love to throw a good party and this was a big reason to celebrate. The theme was inspired by some mexican blankets that we found at a thrift store for a few bucks a piece, and thought they would make awesome table linens for a summer fiesta. We had a taco bar for dinner and a make your own margarita station with festive drink stirrers. For decorations I ordered tons of papel picado and we strung the banners all along the backyard fence and above the bar. Of course it wouldn’t be a fiesta without a few piñatas too (and I brought some confetti cannons which were a hit!). It was a perfect day of food, family, and fun.
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There is no better day than Cinco de Mayo to add a little extra flair to your cocktail, am I right? Which is why I made some pinata-inspired drink markers for our margaritas this year. Here’s how you make them: first, trace the bottom of your margaritas glasses on a piece of card-stock and cut out the circle. Then cut into the center of the circle about halfway, and cut out a smaller circle a little bigger than the circumference of the glass stem. Using strips of colored tissue paper, use fringe scissors to cut fringe. Cover the card-stock circle with glue and then start to wrap the fringed tissue paper around the outside. Repeat and layer on each new color until you’ve covered the full circle, and tuck the ends of the inner layer underneath the center circle to finish. Then slip your little pinata-inspired drink marker on to the bottom of your margarita and get ready to fiesta (think about making them in different colors to help your party guests identify their drinks!).

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I have one last recipe to share from our Taco Date Night party, and of course I saved the cocktail recipe for Friday! These orange mango margaritas are going to be a summer staple, I just know it.  I loosely chopped up 2 small ripe mangoes, and squeezed the juice of two giant oranges into a food processors, and blended the mixture until it was a smooth puree. Then I strained the remaining mango pieces out of the mixture, leaving just the juice behind in a measuring cup. Over ice in a cocktail shaker I mixed 2 ounces of tequila, 2 ounces of the mango-orange juice, a squeeze of a fresh lime, and a half an ounce of Grand Marnier. Shake it up, and strain it into a glass, and serve with a lime wedge. With all of that fruit in there, it’s basically like a healthy smoothie (with tequila), right?a aDSC_0051 aDSC_0054aDSC_0062

To help you recreate this party look at home, Hattie Sparks has a special offer for my readers: 20% OFF your online purchase with the code DOMESTIKATE today through Monday 3/17 – happy shopping!

Please note: I was gifted some of the materials used in this post. All opinions and recipes are my own.