Limoncello Iced Tea with Lemon Ice Cubes

Hot afternoons out on the patio are within reach, so it’s time to add some bright, happy cocktails back into your roster.  This refreshing cocktail would be great on a warm, Summer day served in a large pitcher to be shared amongst friends!

Limoncello Iced Tea with Lemon Ice Cubes
Serves 4
4 Tea Bags (I used Lemon Green Tea, but Regukar Orange Pekoe would work)
1L Water
2 Lemons (1 sliced, 1 for rinds)
3/4 Cup Limoncello
1/4 Cup Simple Syrup (1 cup water, 1 cup organic cane sugar, boiled and cooled) – Optional for additional sweetness

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For the Iced Tea
In a large pot, bring 1L of water with 1/2 sliced lemon to a boil. In a large shatterproof container, add the tea bags and pour in the hot water. Let steep for at least 5 minutes. Remove tea bags, (if you’re going for additional sweetness, pour in simple syrup at this point) stir and set aside in fridge to cool.

For the Ice Cubes
Taking the rind from one lemon, add to an ice cube tray and freeze.

To prepare the drink, add the tray of the lemon ice cubes and the remainder of Lemon slices to a large pitcher. Add Limoncello. Pour in the Iced Tea and fill to the top. Stir with a wooden spoon. Serve in a large, tall glass with a lemon slice as garnish (make sure each glass gets plenty of ice). Enjoy!

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4 Rosés to Try this Summer

I’m a fan of rosé – Spring, Summer, Winter or Fall.  If you haven’t jumped on the wagon yet, it’s time you get on-board – rosé has come back in a big way.  Along with Chardonnay, Rosés have cleared their (undeserving) poor reputations and made a serious comeback over the past few years. I’m no Sommelier…but I know a good rosé when I taste one! Here’s a few you must try – ranging from extremely affordable to a great bottle to celebrate a special occasion (like the arrival of nice weather!)

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Simboli Pinot Grigio Rosé
This Pinot Grigio rosé is never leaving my roster. The price for the quality is unmatched. This wine is ever-so slightly sweet and very light with a fruity nose. For around $13, this one is a must-try.

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Gérard Bertrand Côte des Roses
The first thing you notice about this wine is how simply beautiful the bottle is. This wine is slightly dry with obvious hints of rose petals but still on the fruity side. This rosé would pair nicely with some BBQ veggies and hummus. About $18.

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Château d’Esclans Whispering Angel 2016
This is hands down my favorite rosé (fun fact: also Kelly Ripa’s favorite rosé). It is extremely easy to drink, with a floral and fruity scent. It is very, very refreshing and on the more dry side. Pair with anything. Or on it’s own. Whatever, just try this one if you haven’t already (it might be hard to get your hands on these days). About $27

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La Crema Pinot Noir Rosé Monterey 2016
La Crema is known for excellent wines, and like their namesake, they are truly smooth. This rosé is a Pinot Noir so its a bit darker and has a fruity, almost grapefruit aroma. It’s definitely the most vibrant of the bunch, with its undertones of fresh berries. This would pair nicely with an full evening meal as the sun sets on a warm, summer night. About $30

frose-frozen-rosePicture and Frozé recipe from Bon Appetit

Bonus: for those Ultra hot Summer nights, grab your favorite and make a Frosé!  It’s exactly what it sounds like – a Frozen Rosé – almost like a granita…only boozier!

Santé!

 

Easter Cocktail: Blackberry Gin with Rosemary

What better way to celebrate Easter with your family and friends than with a refreshing, pastel-colored beverage?  The blackberries release a slight hint of sweetness and the rosemary brings out the juniper in the Gin. This cocktail is not only super easy but looks beautiful when served on a white tray to enhance the light purple color. Give it a try – you’ll only need a small bottle of gin for 6-8 drinks (depending on how strong you like them)!

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Easter Blackberry Gin with Rosemary
1 372 ml bottle of Gin (I used Bombay Sapphire)
1 bottle Soda Water (I used Perrier)
1 Pint of Blackberries
1 Pack of Rosemary
Cheese Cloth
Mason Jar
Ice to serve
Optional: Simple syrup

Wash half a pint of blackberries and place into a piece of cheese cloth. Tie the loose ends into a knot. Place into your mason jar. Add two small sprigs of Rosemary. Pour in the bottle of Gin. Gently (do not pulverize!) squeeze down some of the blackberries with the end of a wooden spoon to release some of the blackberry juice. Cover, and leave in the fridge for at least 24 hours (if you can leave it for 48-72, that would be even better!)

Once your Gin has sat for a few days, it’ll turn into a beautiful purple color.  Fill your tumblers halfway with ice.  Add a few blackberries.  Pour a shot (or two – depending on the size of your glass) into your tumblers.  Fill the remainder of the glass with soda water. Garnish with a sprig of rosemary. Serve to guests to drink right away!

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If you prefer your drinks on the sweeter side, you can always add a little bit of simple syrup before you add in the Soda water. I wouldn’t reccomend substituting the Soda for 7Up or Sprite, though – it will take away from the delicate blackberry and rosemary flavors.

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Cheers!

Single on Valentines Day? Plan a Date with Yourself!

Well, that time of year is next week – when those in love, or just freshly into a relationship, wonder if they will be surprised at the office with a bouquet of flowers or if maybe a foot rub is in the cards after a home-cooked meal. If you find yourself single, there’s no reason you shouldn’t be made to feel special on this V-Day – even if your significant other is…well, yourself!

love-pink-heart-we-heart-Favim.com-2386603 For the Homebody
Plan an at-home date with yourself. Light some candles, put on some of your favorite chill tunes, indulge in some flowers, pour a glass of rose and draw yourself a nice bath to unwind. There’s plenty you can do to treat yourself! Pampering yourself shouldn’t be limited to Valentines Day – look to incorporate a date night with yourself at least once a month. You’re worth it!

Fleur-de-Lys Roses, Landeau, $208 CAD | Figuier Candle, Diptyque, $86 CAD | Body Polish, Herbivore, $38 CAD

love-pink-heart-we-heart-Favim.com-2386603 For the Social Butterfly
You might be the last (wo)man standing right now, the last of the singletons amongst your friends. That doesn’t meant you can’t treat yourself to a night out of the town.  There’s nothing wrong with going out solo, and, who knows, you might find yourself having a dirty martini at the bar with someone interesting! Indulge yourself in some fun clothes and accessories that you can wear out – and will carry through to the Spring.

 

Faux Red Leather Satchel, $33.90 CAD | Bauble drop Earrings, $9.90 CAD | Heart and Soul Patched Sweater, $52.43

love-pink-heart-we-heart-Favim.com-2386603 For the Techie
If you’re not the type to want to have a sensual solo evening or a night out with your awesome self, then you might just want to treat yourself to a cool gift that will leave the light on for you when you’re working late. The Phillips Hue Wifi lights are not only a great way to get into the whole Smart Home craze, but they are also super convenient! You can turn on your lights remotely via your smart phone, no matter where you are. You can also dim them from your phone or set them on a timer for when you know you won’t be coming home (heyyy there, you vixen, you…)
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Philips Hue Starter Kit
, $169.00

So whoever you are, whatever your relationship status,  make sure to prioritize some time for you on this Valentines Day!

5 Bright + Boozy Cocktails to Make this Summer

With a brutal winter under our belts and a super-soaked Spring, I feel it’s only fair we have a hot, dry Summer – and what better way to quench your thirst than with some fun cocktails!

DSC_9511Picture by Design Love Fest

In the name of research, I scoured the internet (and might have tried a few of these – again – strictly in the name of research) to find these colorful beverages. Give them a try! Continue reading