In Category: ‘Cocktail Hour’



Whiskey Apple 1 The Simplest Whiskey Apple Cocktail




Just the other night, I wanted a cocktail.  I wanted something that was tasty and kind of interesting.  My pre-baby self would have made something intricate and kind of a pain in the ass.  But I like doing that and I find it relaxing.  I still do.  For the most part.  But the other night, I was tired and just wanted to curl up on the couch with a cocktail in hand.  Simple.  And since it was evening and the baby was already sleeping, I had to use ingredients I just happened to have in the house.    Oh, and I had nothing in the house.

So.  Whiskey, apple juice, orange juice and a hit of cinnamon.  You guys, it was delicious.  And interesting.  And easy.  And you probably have it sitting in your house right now.  You could definitely make it more complicated and I’m guessing it would be so delicious with this Spiced Simple Syrup I made a few years ago.  But you don’t even have to go there.  This one here is one step above just pouring whiskey over ice.  Which is nice if you’re in to that kind of thing, but try this little concoction if you want something a little lighter, and a tad bit wintery.   Enjoy!
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The Simplest Whiskey Cocktail


2 oz Whiskey

1.5 oz apple juice (I used the unfiltered from Trader Joes)

.5 oz orange juice (I squeezed a Cara Cara Orange, but you could use juice too, even easier!)

Dash of cinnamon


Throw it all in glass with ice, stir it for a tiny moment and then sit on your couch. Enjoy!



August 4, 2016 Frosé All Day


One of my favorite things about rosé is that it’s easy.  Uncork, pour, done.  But if you spend a little bit of time with it, going one step further and freezing/blending it is totally worth it.  Frozen rosé is the drink of the summer, I’m telling you!  It’s everywhere I look and I’m real excited about it.  So so so good guys!


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The first recipe I saw was on Bon Appétit, you can find it right here.  It’s pretty simple and really delicious!   I’ve been using this La Granja rosé from Trader Joes.  It’s heavier and darker than I would ever choose for drinking, but works perfectly for frosé.  Since you lose a lot of the flavor when you freeze it, you want to start with something that has a lot of flavor.  Also, it’s like $5.00.

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Bon Appétit’s Frosé


1 750 ml bottle hearty, bold rosé (such as a Pinot Noir or Merlot rosé)

½ cup sugar

8 ounces strawberries, hulled, quartered

 ounces fresh lemon juice


Pour rosé into a 13×9″ pan and freeze until almost solid (it won’t completely solidify due to the alcohol), at least 6 hours.

Meanwhile, bring sugar and ½ cup water to a boil in a medium saucepan; cook, stirring constantly, until sugar dissolves, about 3 minutes. Add strawberries, remove from heat, and let sit 30 minutes to infuse syrup with strawberry flavor. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a small bowl (do not press on solids); cover and chill until cold, about 30 minutes.

Scrape rosé into a blender. Add lemon juice, 3½ ounces strawberry syrup, and 1 cup crushed ice and purée until smooth. Transfer blender jar to freezer and freeze until frosé is thickened (aim for milkshake consistency), 25–35 minutes.

Blend again until frosé is slushy. Divide among glasses.

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So, after making the rosé recipe about a dozen times, I thought I’d start to play around with it a bit.  I’ve got two now that I’m LOVING!  This first one is a bit boozier and a bit richer.  It’s real real good.

Boozy Orange Frosé


750 ml bottle of rosé

2 oz strawberry simple syrup

3 oz Chambord

2 oz Orange Juice


Follow the same directions as above, just using these new ingredients!

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You know how Trader Joe’s is ALL ABOUT THE MANGO this season?  Like, it’s in every single one of their products?  I’ve been inspired to pick up fresh mangoes whenever I’m there and I just happened to spot one when I was making a batch of frosé. It just felt right.  I threw in a whole mango and it was perfection.

Mint & Mango Frosé


750 ml bottle of rosé

1 mango (peeled and de-seeded)

2 oz mint simple syrup (sugar, water, 5 springs of mint)


To make the mint simple syrup, combine 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water in a saucepan and heat until sugar is melted.  Add five sprigs of mint and cool. (same as the strawberry simple syrup above, just swap the strawberries for mint.)

For the frosé, follow the directions above as well!

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So, it’s almost the weekend.  It’s going to be summer time hot.  These three new friends will keep you in excellent company!  Enjoy!

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July 13, 2016 Summertime

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Oh ya’ll, it’s summertime.  The Valley has hit 108 degree highs so far and I’m sure it’s only going to get worse for us.  When it’s this hot, I want nothing more than a refreshing cocktail!  After a long (ok, longish) “winter” of wine, I’m so excited to get back into the swing of cocktail creating!

This one started with some things I just had hanging out in the fridge…  A whole watermelon & some pineapple juice!  It was so hot and we were hanging out in the “pool” (please see here… I make fun, but it’s been kind of amazing and my husband loves it so much!).  So, pool drinks require rum.  And lots of it.  You guys, it’s real good and so satisfying!   Enjoy!


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2 oz dark rum (I used Whalers)

2 oz coconut rum (Malibu Rum takes me back to the college days!)

2 oz canned pineapple juice

2 oz watermelon juice*

3 sprigs of mint (2 sprigs torn, 1 for garnish)



In a cocktail shaker, mix the rum, the juices and the torn mint.  Shake and pour over ice.  Enjoy!

* Watermelon juice is so simple because watermelon is something like 95% water!  I throw chunks into a blender, blend, and then strain.  There’s not a whole lot left in the strainer, so if you like a little pulp, then skip that last bit!  You could likely do the same with the pineapple if you wanted to make your own juice!


I hate the word mocktail.  It’s terrible, and kind of defeats the purpose, because it sounds like something children should drink.  I’ll come up with something better and let you know.

So, theres no alcohol in this cocktail.  And I don’t even care.   I can guzzle this all day long.

It’s blackberry & blood orange & mint & heaven.  All together.   I bet if you add some vodka or gin, that would be pretty delicious too.   Let me know!
Blood Orange Mint Mocktail 0001 Blood Orange & Mint Mocktail


My dear friend Jen is on maternity leave after having her second baby and I’m doing a little filling in for her!  Head over to her blog Sun + Daughter for the recipe and the cutest pictures of her little ones!

February 13, 2015 Passion Fruit Cocktail


About five years ago, I wanted to cover the front fence in our yard.  It’s so Americana, it hurts.   White picket fence surrounding the yard.  Eventually we’d like to pull it out and build something more structurally sound, but for now, it works real well.   So I bought a pretty vine that makes really pretty flowers.  I didn’t really realize at the time that (a) those flowers would turn in to passion fruits or (b) that the vine would take over the ENTIRE fence.   I’m so happy on both of those points though, thrilled really! 

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But passion fruits are tough for a few reasons, especially when they’re on the sidewalk.  I think people steal them.   My husband thinks I’m crazy, but I’m so absolutely sure that we have at least half of them go missing before they’re really ready to come off the vine.  I’m torn on taking them early and risking them never fully ripening.  Or letting them stay and risking someone else taking them.   Normally, I wouldn’t mind.  Feed the neighborhood!   But, it takes a dozen of these little suckers to make anything that might feed more than one person.  So I want to hoard them like a crazy person.
So I stalk the vine and hide them behind as many leaves as I can.  Seriously, crazy person style.
But now I have seven, so I can do something!   First up, a cocktail so heavenly that I made mine with sparking water instead of champagne and it was delicious.  I would drink ten of them.  And I could really, because it’s fruit and water!  But if I was you, I’d make it with champagne.

Passion Fruit Cocktail 0001 Passion Fruit Cocktail

Basil Passion Fruit Cocktail
1 oz Passion Fruit Juice & Pulp
1 oz Basil Simple Syrup
Basil Simple Syrup
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
4 large basil leaves
Make the Basil Simple Syrup – put sugar & water in a small pot and bring to a simmer, just until sugar melts.   Add basil leaves and allow to soak until basil leaves start to turn, around 20 minutes.   You can easily make larger batches, just add equal parts sugar and water, then as much basil as your heart desires.
Mix the Cocktail – Slice open the passion fruit and pull out everything inside; pulp, juice and seeds.  Depending on the size of your passion fruits, you might need one or two. Mix 1 oz of the pulp/juice/seeds with 1 oz of the Basil Simple Syrup in a cocktail shaker with ice.  Pour into a coupe, holding back the ice.  Top with champagne.  Enjoy!
Honestly, you could use the passion fruit juice/pulp and simple syrup mixture with sparkling water.  Or gin.  It might even be really lovely with bourbon.  It’s incredible and super flexible!

February 2, 2015 Drinking While Pregnant


Pre-pregnancy, a lot of my social life revolved around drinking.  We would hang out in the front yard with our friends and a bottle of rosé.  We would walk down to a local bar and catch up on the week over a few cocktails.  Dinners had wine.  Social gatherings had beer.  And I’m a big fan of all of it!

Nothing has changed really, except that I can’t imbibe.  So, sitting on a blanket in the front yard has kind of lost that je ne sais quoi.  I’ll have the occasional glass of red wine with a special dinner, but the days of curling up in front of the fire place with a few bottles of wine and my love are over, at least for a bit.   And that’s OK.  Surprisingly, I don’t miss it all as much as I thought I might.  We have to be a bit more creative with a free time, but I’ve seen more of Los Angeles and even my own neighborhood over the last five months.  I’ll be back to the cocktails as soon as I can, but for now, I’ve come up with a few ways to make gatherings a little special for myself.

When we have people over, go out, or when I would normally create something to drink, I’ve found that still making something special still makes me feel like an adult!  Nothing like drinking a plastic bottle of water while everyone else sips on something pretty to make you feel like a total outcast.  So, I pick up interesting bottles of sodas or waters when I see them.  Sometimes I’ll doctor them up, sometimes I’ll just pour them into a pretty glass or pull out an interesting ice cube.  I can’t tell you how much better sparkling water in a champagne flute taste!  Really, do it.  Even if you can drink champagne like it’s water, bring a flute into your office and sip that water while you work.  Monday will be so much nicer! You feel like an adult, like a real person… and dammit, that’s important when everything else in your life is feeling a little bit upside down!   So, break out the crystal, pour in your water/soda/juice add a sprig of something that smells amazing and relax!
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A girlfriend of mine found these at Cost Plus World Market and it is fabulous!   There are a few flavors… Fuji Apple. Meyer Lemon, Bartlett Pear & this Georgia Peach.  It’s a little bit sweet, but something a little more exciting than sparkling water or plain juice.  I’m guessing that this, along with a shot of Bourbon and that sprig of rosemary would be really amazing.  Like, perfect for a summer day in the front yard amazing.  I know it’s only February, but I can almost taste the summer cocktails!


I’ve been a bad blogger.  But it’s because I’ve been a bad drinker.  I’ve quit.  Well, kind of.  Just for 9 months!

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“We’re usually red or rosé folks, but the newest Hazel will probably prefer white.  Baby Hazel, summer 2015″

Pregnancy has been a lovely time and I’ve really enjoyed it!   I miss tequila like crazy, but the occasional glass of red wine has been a suitable substitution!   So, I’m only making cocktails when someone else can enjoy them as I hate to waste good booze.  But this syrup I’m going to tell you about… It’s good in a cocktail.  It’s good in a cocktail.  It’s good in tea.  It’s pretty much good all around and it makes even a glass of sparkling water feel extra special.  And wintry.

I mixed this up for some of my lady friends last month and it got rave reviews!  I just left the whiskey out for myself and I still enjoyed it… it’s pretty special icon wink Whiskey Spiced Cocktails… and where have I been!?

The syrup is totally personal and you could add whatever spices you have on hand!   I like Cardamom seeds, cloves & coriander seeds (crushed a little bit in a mortar & pestle) and nutmeg, but you could really use anything you liked.

Whiskey Spiced Cocktail 0001 Whiskey Spiced Cocktails… and where have I been!?


Spiced Syrup


1 cup brown sugar

1 cup water

Spices, about 1/4 teaspoon each (cardamom pods, cloves, coriander seeds, nutmeg etc.)

Orange peel, three 3″ strips

2 cinnamon sticks


Add all ingredients to a sauce pan and heat until sugar is melted.  Allow it to cool, stirring occasionally.  Strain throw a fine mesh sieve and store, refrigerated, in an air-tight bottle.


Whiskey Spiced Cocktail


2 oz Whiskey

Juice of 1/2 Lime

1 oz Spiced Syrup

Sparkling Water


Add whiskey, lime juice & simple syrup to a shaker of ice.  Shake and strain into a glass with ice.  Garnish with cinnamon sticks or orange peel. Enjoy!



Pumpkin season is my jam.  I love all the pumpkin breads, and cookies and pies and desserts.  I spend most of the year waiting until it’s appropriate to make all of the things on my “Things Made With Pumpkin” Pinterest board.  It’s a sickness.

So, I knew I wanted to try a pumpkin cocktail.  I knew I wanted to use real pumpkin as opposed to syrup.  And I knew I wanted it to be thick and delicious.  My good friend Heidi tasted bad cocktail after bad cocktail with me.  Really y’all, they were terrible.  I tried really hard to use your basic pumpkin puree… healthy, delicious.  But it just wasn’t cutting it.   Pumpkin Pie Filling to the rescue.  I’m sure there’s more sugar in it than I would have had to add to the pumpkin puree, but what you don’t know won’t hurt you, yeah?

Seriously, this is so good, I even made it for breakfast today.  Despite the name of this blog, on a Friday at 9 am, I’m not really craving whiskey.  So, I replaced it with a banana and it was heaven.  Maybe I’ll make a second one for lunch icon smile The Drunken Pumpkin Cocktail

Drunken Pumpkin Cocktail 2 The Drunken Pumpkin Cocktail


Drunken Pumpkin


1 part whiskey

1 part milk

1.5 part pumpkin pie filling (I used Libbys)


Cinnamon Stick, Pumpkin Pie Spice or Nutmeg for garnish



Add ice, whiskey, milk & pumpkin pie filling to blender.  Blend on high for one minute, or until ice is broken down.  Pour into glass and garnish with a cinnamon stick, pumpkin pie spice or nutmeg.  Enjoy!


Choosing A Bottle of Rose 2 Choosing The Perfect Bottle of Rose

(Domaine Saint Mitre, Chateau La Galiniere Cuvee Le Cengle, Commanderie de la Bargemone)

When it’s really hot outside, and I feel too lazy to make a cocktail, all I want is a bottle of rosé.  From May through September, there is always at least one bottle in the fridge, waiting for me.  Sitting in the front yard with a pretty pink bottle on ice, chatting with my neighbors as they take the evening (or afternoon) walks… well, there’s nothing better.

I want rosé to be simple, and unassuming.  I don’t want to taste too much of it, it should be pretty quiet.  While I don’t necessarily have a favorite vineyard, or a favorite bottle (ah, there are so many out there!), I do have two simple rules when I head to my favorite wine shop.


1. It should be from Provence, France.  Now, I’m sure there are other places that make a pretty good bottle of wine, but Provence has never let me down and other areas seem to be a little more hit and miss.  Mostly, too sweet for my taste.

2. It should be the lightest, faintest, just-a-hint-of-color pink.   That middle bottle up there, that’s almost too dark, but it’s delicious, so I let it slide.  Anything darker and it just misses the mark for me.


The hardest part about rosé is that I haven’t found a grocery store bottle that works, so you do have to make an extra stop at a wine shop or liquor store.  But, I promise it will be worth it!

And one other favorites… Chateau de Campuget Costieres de Nimes.


It’s really summertime, and for me, that means lots of fruit and lots of cocktails.  But I really can’t stand drinks that are too sweet.  So, all of our requirements are met here, without too much sweet and not too much sugar.  All around, delicious.
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Watermelon Whiskey Cocktails


2 oz rye whiskey

2 oz watermelon juice

1 oz Chambord

.5 oz lemon juice

3 sprigs of rosemary (2 for shaking, 1 for garnish)


Pour all ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice.  Shake well and then strain into a glass.  Garnish with the last sprig of rosemary.  Enjoy!