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

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

Blueberry mint simple syrup is super easy to make, I whipped up a batch this weekend to top off prosecco for a sweet, seasonal cocktail. To make the syrup, combine one cup of sugar, half a cup of water, a handful of fresh mint leaves, a few pieces of lemon rind, and two cups of blueberries in a saucepan. Bring all of the ingredients to a boil, and let them cook down for about 10 minutes. Next, strain the berries, leaves and rind and leave the liquid in a bowl to cool down. I was impatiently awaiting a cocktail, so I cooled mine in the freezer for a short time. After cooling, strain the syrup one more time. To make the cocktails, pour a glass of champagne or prosecco three-quarters of the way full, and then add the simple syrup to taste–  I like mine a bit sweeter, so I added about one full tablespoon to my drink. Then garnish with lemon, mint, and fresh blueberries — and cheers! I’m thinking ways to use the leftover blueberry mint simple syrup — perhaps on a bowl of vanilla bean ice cream?

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We had a little “Sunday Funday” at our apartment this weekend — the arrival of our monthly cheese delivery from Murray’s (best wedding gift, ever) called for a celebration. So my buddy Taz came over to enjoy some cocktails and bites to close out the weekend. We made one of my favorite snacks — goat cheese crostini — and whipped up a fresh batch of blueberry mint simple syrup to top off some prosecco cocktails. And the talented Taz took lots of pictures, so come back tomorrow to check out the recipes!

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All Images by Bring to Light Photography