Watermelon Basil Martini

There’s few things more reminiscent of summer than fresh, juicy watermelon. It’s the perfect treat on a hot day.

I had a giant watermelon at home needing to be used and figured I’d try my hand at adding an adult twist to this childhood favourite. Did you know that watermelon’s are 92% water and full of vitamins? You’re basically have a health drink with this cocktail 😉.

My recent spud.ca order includes a beautiful new bottle of vodka from Confluence Distilling, out of Calgary, Alberta. The vodka is made from local, glacially-fed water and Albertan grains and has a smooth finish to it. And we all know how much I love supporting local.

I’m so pumped that I can order local beer, wine and spirits online with my Spud grocery order. Makes it so easy and convenient to discover new, local companies.

If you’re looking for a way to use up some leftover watermelon, then look no further than this delicious martini I’ve crafted for you.

Watermelon Basil Martini

Yields 1 drink

You’ll Need:

  • 1.5 ounces vodka
  • 0.5 ounces St. Germain
  • Aprox. 2 cups of watermelon
  • 2 basil leaves
  • Splash of fresh-squeezed lime
  • Basil and watermelon, to garnish
  • Ice

Directions

Cut up your watermelon and put it in either a juicer or high-powered blender, along with your basil leaves. After you blend it, run it through a fine-mesh sieve to remove any remaining chunks.

Combine vodka, St. Germain liqueur, lime juice and watermelon juice in a cocktail tin with a couple pieces of ice. Shake and pour into a martini glass and garnish with a cube of watermelon and a basil leaf.

Cheers, enjoy this taste of summer!

Lilac and Lychee Gin Rickey

Lilacs are one of my favourite spring flowers. They have the most incredible scent and make such a beautiful, full bouquet. I’m lucky my mom has two trees in her yard that I get to raid as much as I want!

Unknown to a lot of people is the fact that lilac blossoms are actually edible. The petals can be used to make a lilac sugar for baking, or a sprinkle of flowers for garnish, or my favourite–in a simple syrup for cocktails. It adds a light, floral note to your drinks as well as a hint of beautiful colour.

Today’s cocktail is a delicious Lilac and Lychee Gin Rickey. It’s light, fruity and a perfect summer patio sipper. You’re going to love it! If you can’t get your hands on lilacs for this simple syrup, lavender would work well too.

Lilac and Lychee Gin Rickey

Yields 1 drink

You’ll Need:

  • 1 ounce gin
  • 0.5 ounces lychee liqueur (we used Soho)
  • 1.5 ounces cranberry juice
  • 0.25 ounces fresh-squeezed lime juice
  • Dash of lilac-infused simple syrup (recipe below)
  • Soda water, to top
  • Fresh lilac petals, to garnish
  • Ice

Directions

Combine gin, lychee liqueur, cranberry juice, lime juice and lilac-infused simple syrup in a cocktail tin. Stir and pour into a cocktail glass filled with ice. For a layered look, top slowly with soda water. Garnish with lilac petals, ogle at its beauty, then stir gently and enjoy!  

Lilac-infused Simple Syrup

You’ll Need:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup lilac blossoms
  • 4 blueberries (for colour)

Instructions:

Remove stems and leaves from lilac blossoms, otherwise they can make your syrup bitter. Gently rinse blossoms in a fine mesh strainer and put aside.

Add water and sugar in a small pot, whisking together until sugar is dissolved. Bring to boil then add lilac blossoms and blueberries. Simmer for about 20 minutes.

Pour mixture through a fine mesh strainer to remove all the lilac petals. Allow syrup to cool to room temperature then store in a jar or bottle. Syrup will keep in the fridge for up to three weeks.

Hope you enjoy this delicious summer cocktail, be sure to follow along on Instagram (@alexandtribe, @chandeliers.and.champagne) to see what else we come up with and tag us in you pics if you recreate any of our cocktails.

Cheers!

Easter Butterscotch Bird’s Nest Recipe

Easter is definitely not going to be normal this year. Corona Virus social distancing measures mean we won’t be having a big family dinner. There will be no community egg hunts and no cute Easter Bunny photos. There’s plenty we can do to make it special for our kids though and one of those things is making fun Easter treats!

These birds nests were so easy to make–all you need are four ingredients. You don’t even have to bake them! My kids had so much fun helping me both make them, and eat them.

Butterscotch Bird’s Nests

Yields approx. 15 nests

Tools:

  • Muffin tin
  • Wax paper

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag of butterscotch chips (250g)
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 4 cups of Chow Mein noodles
  • 1 bag of Cadbury Mini Eggs to decorate

Directions:

Melt your butterscotch chips and peanut butter in a medium saucepan over low heat, stirring continuously until melted.

Pour the mixture into a large mixing bowl with your Chow Mein noodles and stir well to combine.

Spray your muffin tins with cooking spray and add a spoonful of your mixture into each compartment. If needed shape them slightly so they look like nests.

Leave the nests for about 20 minutes to set, then carefully transfers to parchment or wax paper, and lightly shape them again if needed. Add your mini eggs into the middle of the nests and you’re done!

Hope you have fun making these with your kids, be sure to tag me on Instagram if you do (@alexandtribe). Hope you find a way to have a great Easter while staying home!

Happy Easter!

Alex

Earl Grey’s Royal Gin Fizz

How’s everyone doing? Hope you’re staying home and staying safe ❤️. This social distancing stuff is weird; it’s so opposite of my general nature, I thrive on being busy and social. I’m not going to lie, this isn’t easy, but I know it’s necessary and so we’ve stayed home for the last three weeks or so.

Wanting to feel a sense of normalcy, my bestie Holly and I decided to attempt our first virtual cocktail making hangout. We put the little ones down for a nap, fired up FaceTime on the iPad and crafted a new cocktail for everyone to try! It was fun (except for the part where my bottle of prosecco exploded on me while I opened it 🤦🏼‍♀️ haha).

We’ve been wanting to try a foamy cocktail for awhile now. I’m not going to lie, the idea of adding a raw egg white to my drink made me a little weary, but I can assure you that it’s totally flavourless, it just adds an awesome foamy topper to your drink.

This cocktail was so good. By now you’ve probably already realized I love gin and a tea-based cocktail, so this one was right up my alley! Delicious, refreshing, slightly citrusy–I’ll definitely be making it again!

Earl Grey’s Royal Gin Fizz

Yields 1 drink

You’ll need:

0.75 oz Gin (we used Eau Claire Distillery Parlour Gin)

0.75 oz Earl Grey-infused simple syrup (recipe below)

0.5 oz fresh-squeezed lemon juice

1 egg white

2-3 oz of champagne or prosecco

Handful of ice

Earl Grey tea leaves, finely chopped, to garnish

Directions:

Combine gin, Earl Grey-infused simple syrup, fresh lemon juice and an egg white in a cocktail shaker.

Start with a dry shake: shake the concoction vigorously, without ice, to emulsify the egg white. This will help give the egg a nice whipped and foamy texture.

Then, do a wet shake: add some ice and shake again to help cool the drink.

Double strain into your cocktail glass and slowly top with Champagne or prosecco – about two to three ounces (careful, the drink foams up quickly).

Lastly, add a dusting of finely chopped Earl Grey tea leaves to garnish. Or, a sprig of lavender or a twist of lemon would work great too!

Earl Grey-infused simple syrup

Yields enough for 3-4 cocktails

You’ll need:

1/2 cup water

1/2 sugar

2 Earl Grey tea bags (I used Blue Hour)

Directions:

Boil equal parts sugar and water in a medium sauce pan until the sugar fully dissolves. Remove from heat and steep the tea bags for 5-6 minutes.

Allow it to cool before using. The simple syrup can be stored in your fridge for up to three weeks.

Hope you enjoy our latest cocktail. We’re loving in some crazy times right now, I’d say we all deserve a weekday treat! Stay hone & stay safe and be sure to tag us on Instagram (@alexandtribe @chandeliers.and.champagne) if you make any of our cocktails!

Cheers 🥂 Alex & Holly

Instant Pot Pancake Bite Recipe

Well, we’re on week three of laying low and staying home over here. I’m grateful that everyone in our family is healthy and safe and that we can do our part to help flatten the curve–this pandemic is scary stuff.

Being at home 24/7 means snacks are flying off the shelves over here. Pretty sure the sole role of being a parent is fetching your toddler snacks. All day long.

Whenever I can, I try to have nutritious, easy-to-grab snacks available that my kids can help themselves to. I like having them on hand for myself too, let’s face it, as a mom you don’t always have an opportunity to sit down and have a proper meal.

These Instant Pot pancake bites are easy to make and have added protein, which is great, because my kids don’t always get enough. I’m not going to lie, the texture took me a minute to get used to. Cooking them in the instant pot gives them a slightly rubbery texture–but you get used to it after the first couple.

You’ll need a silicone mold to cook these pancake bites in. I’m actually using one I had leftover from when my kids were babies and I made them purées to freeze. Here’s a link to one on Amazon.

Feel free to switch up the ingredients in these. Blueberries or chocolate chips would be tasty, or you could add a flavoured protein powder to up the protein even more!

Instant Pot Pancake Bites

Yields 7 pancake bites

Tools:

  • Silicone mold
  • Instant Pot with trivet
  • Tinfoil

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of protein pancake mix (I used Kodiak Cakes)
  • 1 cup of water
  • 4 tbsp of Chocolate peanut butter powder (I used the Kraft one, but PB2 or protein powder would also work)
  • 1/2 cup of diced banana

Directions

  • Pour 1.5 c water into your Instant Pot, lower your trivet inside your Instant Pot
  • In a medium sized bowl mix together the pancake mix, peanut butter powder and water. Add additional water if it’s too dry
  • Add diced banana and stir to mix.
  • Pour batter into your silicone mold till they are 3/4 full
  • Cover egg mold with tinfoil and lower it into your Instant Pot on top of your trivet
  • Set your Instant Pot to manual for 9 minutes
  • Allow the pressure to naturally release for 5 minutes, then release the rest of steam
  • Carefully lift mold out, remove foil, allow to cool enough to handle mold
  • Flip silicone mold over on to a plate and pop each pancake bite out of each hole

You can eat these immediately or they freeze well too!

Hope you enjoy this recipe. If you make it for yourself be sure to tag me on Instagram (@alexandtribe).

Stay safe and stay home!

Xo Alex

Boozy Lucky Charms Milkshake

It probably shows my age that all I can think to write right now is “my milkshake brings all the boys to the yard, and they’re like, it’s better than yours, damn right, it’s better than yours.” I’ve got to say though, the addition of booze to a mint chocolate chip milkshake probably does make mine better than yours. It’s magically delicious!

You didn’t think Holly and I could let a fun holiday pass without making a themed cocktail did you? This one is a double whammy for all the moms out there too, because you get to be the hero that makes your kiddos an adorable, fun St. Patrick’s Day milkshake along with a delicious boozy one for yourself. Win, win!

To make our recipe kid-friendly, all you have to do is eliminate the Bailey’s. To avoid having to wash your blender in between batches, I’d suggest blending together everything except the Baileys, poring some into a glass for the kids’ then adding the Baileys and giving it a quick mix for the adult version. We poured the kids’ into these adorable mason jar shot glasses (as if our 3 year olds need more than that 😂). They were soooo excited when we showed them the final product. This would be a perfect way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day at home as a family.

Boozy Lucky Charms Milkshake

Yields 1 drink

You’ll Need:

Directions:

In a blender, combine Baileys, ice cream, milk, vanilla and ice cubes. Blend until silky, adding  in a tad extra milk – or Baileys, lol – if it’s too thick. Serve in an old-school milkshake glass for extra points, top with whipped cream and Lucky Charms marshmallows and enjoy!

Hope you enjoy this decadent St. Patrick’s Day treat. Since it looks like we’ll all be celebrating the holiday at home this year, this is the perfect fun treat for the whole family. If you whip this up this year be sure to tag a picture of it on Instagram!

Sláinte!Holly (@chandeliers.and.champagne) and Alex (@alexandtribe)

Pimm’s Iced Tea Recipe

If I think Spring thoughts, and drink Spring drinks, will that magically make Spring appear in Edmonton? Probably not, but this cocktail is so good I don’t even care that it snowed this weekend…again.

I’ve been wanting to make a honey-based cocktail for awhile now, so I was excited to partner up with the Edmonton Home + Garden Show to make a cocktail using some delicious honey from Good Morning Honey, a family-owned and operated apiary just outside of Edmonton.

Good Morning Honey is going to be presenting on the main stage at the Home + Garden Show on Friday, March 19 at 1pm. They’ll be doing a presentation on how to make Beeswax Wraps! How fun is that? There’s going to be tons of other great presentations and activities taking place over the course of the weekend, you can find out more here.

Let’s get back to the honey though! We love honey in our house. I like to use it as a substitute for sugar when I’m baking and occasionally in cocktails too. This cocktail that Holly and I crafted has the perfect mix of sweetness from the honey and tartness from the lemon. Its my first time trying Pimm’s No.1, a gin-based liqueur, but it won’t be my last! This drink is one I’ll be mixing up all summer long on the patio, it’s that good.

Pimm’s Iced Tea

Yields 1 drink

You’ll need:

  • 2 ounces Pimm’s No. 1
  • 6 ounces (¾ cup) brewed Orange Pekoe tea
  • 2 tsp honey (we used Good Morning Honey)
  • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Mint sprig
  • Ice cubes
  • Citrus wedges, sliced strawberries and cucumber ribbons, to garnish

Directions:

Brew Orange Pekoe tea and while warm, add honey. Stir and allow to cool (we placed our tea and honey in the fridge).

Add Pimm’s, lemon juice and mint sprig (or about 6 mint leaves) to a cocktail tin and muddle with a muddling stick or the back of a spoon.

Line the side of a second glass with a thin slice of cucumber. Fill glass with ice and strain the mint mixture into the glass. Top with tea and honey.

Mix, garnish with sliced strawberries and a citrus wedge and serve.

I hope you love this cocktail as much as I do! If you try it yourself, be sure to tag @alexandtribe and @chandeliers.and.champagne on Instagram.

The Edmonton Home + Garden Show runs March 19-22 at the Edmonton Expo Centre, grab your tickets here. I’m also giving away a pair or tickets over on my Instagram page!

Cheers! Alex & Holly

Very Cherry Gin & Tonic

While the practical side of me knows that we’ve got another month or two of winter left, the optimist in me sees a couple days of above zero temperatures and a bit of melting snow and breaks out the jean jacket and spring drinks.

We’re in a bit of a warm spell here in Edmonton, so my blogger bestie Holly and I decided to play around with some decidedly spring-like flavours to update a classic gin & tonic.

I’ve never really bought into the adage that ‘if something isn’t broke, don’t fix it.’ I think most things can benefit from a bit of refinement, cocktails especially. I don’t want to brag or anything, but Holly and I nailed it with this twist on a gin & tonic.

The star of the show is the Cherry Gin from my favourite Alberta distillery, Eau Claire. It’s a London Dry-style gin that is infused with sour cherries and more than 12 unique botanicals. It doesn’t have a super strong cherry flavour, just enough tartness to really elevate your cocktail, and give it a beautiful pink colour. We played up the cherry flavour with the addition of muddled blueberries and cocktail cherries. Hope you enjoy our updated G&T.

Very Cherry Gin & Tonic

Yields 1 drink

You’ll need:

1.5 oz Cherry Gin (we used Eau Claire Distillery)

3 cocktail cherries

2 tbsp of blueberries

Juice of half a lime

Lime round to garnish

Tonic water, to top

Ice

Directions:

Skewer a cocktail cherry and a few blueberries on a cocktail pick and set aside. Muddle remaining cherries and blueberries in a cocktail yum with the lime juice and cherry gin. Strain into a Copa de Balon or large Burgundy red wine glass filled with cubed ice. Top off with tonic water and lightly stir. Garnish with cocktail pick and lime round, serve and enjoy!

Hope you enjoy this delicious, updated gin & tonic. Be sure to tag us on Instagram (@alexandtribe @chandeliers.and.champagne) if you make any of our drinks!

Cheers, happy Thursday 😘

Alex & Holly

Strawberry Lemonade Frosè

There are so many ways to say I love you on Valentine’s Day. My favourite would have to be through good food and good drinks. Food and booze are my love language haha.

So, with that in mind there was no way Holly (@chandeliers.and.champagne) and I could let a holiday like Valentine’s Day go by without whipping up a delicious, festive cocktail — a beautiful, pink frosè.

I’ve had frosè a few times before on restaurant patios in the summer. Frankly it’s always been hit or miss. Some are delicious and some just fall a bit flat on flavour — a problem Holly and I fixed with the addition of a secret ingredient, pink lemonade concentrate.

Frosè is actually quite easy to make, you just need to be a prepared a bit in advance, since the rosè has to be frozen the night before. Other than that, you just throw a couple of ingredients in a blender and voila, you’re done!

Strawberry Lemonade Frosè

Yields 1 pitcher

You’ll need:

1 bottle of dry rosè (we used La Vile Ferme)

1/2 cup of simple syrup

4 tablespoons of pink lemonade concentrate

1/2 cup of fresh strawberries

1/2 cup of ice

Directions:

Pour your rosè into ice cube trays and freeze overnight.

When you’re ready to make your frosè pop the frozen rosè ice cubes into a blender with all of your other ingredients and blend until it’s a slush-like consistency. Pour into your glass and enjoy immediately.

Hope you enjoy this fun, pink cocktail! It’s the perfect addition to your Valentine’s(or Galentine’s) day menu. Be sure to tag us on Instagram (@alexandtribe @chandeliers.and.champagne) if you make our frosè!

Happy love day friends!

Xoxo Alex & Holly

Chocolate Peanut Butter Energy Balls

As a busy mom, finding time to eat healthy can sometimes be a challenge. If things are crazy (and let’s face it, with a one and three year old at home, it usually is) I tend to reach for the easiest thing to eat–bagel, store-bought muffin, chips or other junky items.

That’s why I like to try my best to have healthy, grab-and-go snacks available that fuel my body with nutrients so I can keep up with my crazy brood.

I love eating energy balls either first thing in the morning with my cup of coffee, or right after a workout to refuel my body. These energy balls have just enough sweetness in them too to help satisfy any sweet cravings I may have throughout the day.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Energy Balls

Yields: 20 energy balls

You’ll Need:

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup natural peanut butter or nut butter of your choice
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup chocolate protein powder – I used Aura Complete Protein
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips

Directions:

Add all of your ingredients except chocolate chips to a food processor or high powered blender. Once everything is mixed together stir in chocolate chips.

Roll into balls and place in an airtight container in the fridge for at least 20 minutes for the balls to set.

Hope you enjoy this healthy snack!

Alex