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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I have a little Fall-inspired cocktail to share today as we gear up for the weekend: Apple Cider Sangria. I made this last weekend and it delicious — I love creating a pitcher of pre-made drinks when having friends over, it’s nice to have something already prepared so you can dive right into the party! To make the sangria, I chopped up two small apples, a half an orange, a few slices of lemon, and some cinnamon sticks and poured a bottle of red wine over the top. I let the red wine soak in the fruit overnight, and right before it’s ready to be served, I poured in a can and a half of hard apple cider (I used Down East cider — one of my favorites and totally delicious on its own — which is why I finished the other half of the second while making dinner!).  Be sure to scoop out some of the fruit into your glass when you serve it — cheers!

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I don’t know about you, but I am ready to celebrate America tomorrow, bring on the flags and the hot dogs and the fireworks! And bring on the cocktails too. In preparation for 4th of July celebrations, I whipped up a cocktail recipe that’s both festive and refreshing: the Berry Sangria Spritzer. In a pitcher, combine a large handful of mixed berries (raspberries and blueberries were my mixture of choice), and few sprigs of fresh mint. Fill the pitcher with white wine — sauvignon blanc works well — and let the pitcher sit in the fridge overnight so the berries infuse into the liquid. When you’re ready to serve, scoop out a few of the berries into a glass over ice, and pour out the wine mixture so the glass is 3/4 of the way full. Fill the glass the remaining 1/4 of the way with plain or berry soda water and garnish with some fresh mint. The result is a light cocktail that  is perfect for a sizzling hot summer day!

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