Cucamelon Gin & Tonic

A good Gin & Tonic is the epitome of a summer drink in my opinion. It’s funny, I love them, but have no real desire to drink them other than on a hot summer day. They’re just so refreshing!

A Gin & Tonic is such an easy drink to make, but the key is using quality ingredients. Buying a good quality gin and a good quality tonic makes such a big difference in your cocktail. I can’t stand cheap tonic, it’s way too sweet. My favourite tonics are by Fever Tree–especially the Elderflower and Aromatic ones.

A second way to really amp up a classic G&T is through your garnishes. It’s such a fun, easy way to make a good drink a great drink.

For today’s G&T my girlfriend Holly and I used mint, strawberries and cucamelon’s! If you haven’t heard of a cucamelon before, don’t worry, you’re not alone. They are probably the cutest garnish I’ve ever used though.

A cucamelon looks like a teeny tiny watermelon (so cute) but tastes like a cucumber with a hint of lime. Cucamelons may be small, but they’re quite the superfood, packed full of vitamins and minerals, antioxidants and fiber, and are also low in calories. Holly and I were lucky enough to be gifted a bunch of them from our friend Catherine, who grew them in her garden. Here’s how to enjoy them in a G&T.

Cucamelon Gin and Tonic Recipe

Yields 1 cocktail

You’ll Need:

  • 1.5 ounces gin (we used Epitaph Gin)
  • Fever-Tree Elderflower Tonic Water, to top
  • Lime round
  • Half a strawberry, sliced
  • 3 cucamelons, to garnish
  • Mint sprig, to garnish
  • Cubed Ice

Directions: In a cocktail glass filled with cubed ice, combine gin, lime round and sliced strawberry. Top off with tonic water and lightly stir. Garnish with mint sprig and cucamelons skewered on a cocktail.

Hope you enjoy! Cheers!

Five things I love about my Endy Mattress and Pillows

Well, it’s been 100 nights since we got our new Endy mattress and I’m still so happy with our decision.

It’s been 100 nights of comfortable sleeps, less back pain, family movie nights, Sunday morning coffee-in-beds, and nighttime takeovers by my four-year-old. Yup, Coco is a big Endy fan too, thinking we’ll just have to get him his own when we upsize his bed!

If you’re considering buying an Endy for yourself, here’s five reasons why switching to Endy has been so great:

1. The pillow is so comfortable and totally adjustable—you can remove as much or as little foam from its core as you need. It even comes with a storage bag for your excess foam pieces, so you can store them in case you need to add some back in the future.

2. The mattress is firm enough that my body gets the support it needs (hello less lower back pain) but still soft enough to contour to my body.

3. Your mattress is covered by a 100 Night Trial. If you’re not satisfied, you can return it! You literally have nothing to lose by trying them out. And trust me—you won’t be returning it 😉.

4. Endy mattresses dramatically reduce motion transfer—I’m such a light sleeper, so this was huge for me. Between my husband tossing and turning and my four-year-old crashing in our bed most nights, I need all the help I can get getting a restful sleep.

5. My mattress was shipped right to my door, and incredibly fast, which made mattress shopping so much easier!

So, are you sold yet?! Honestly though, I love our new mattress. It’s been a great upgrade and I’m sure we’ll love it for years to come. If you want to learn more, just click here to head to their website. If you have any specific questions just leave me a comment and I’d be happy to help!

Rhubarb Gin Sour Recipe

Rhubarb is one of my favourite garden treats in the summer. I just love the tart, sour taste of it and how well it works in baking.

This year, I was determined to find a fun, new use for it, besides my go-to strawberry rhubarb crumble so I decided to make a rhubarb simple syrup to incorporate into a cocktail! If you don’t drink, this syrup would also taste great in an Italian Soda or on top of ice cream!

This cocktail is fresh, fruity and tart. It reminds me of something you’d order in a restaurant off a fancy cocktail list, however, it’s quite simple. Hope you enjoy!

Rhubarb Gin Sour Recipe

Yields 1 drink

You’ll Need:

  • 2 tbsp of rhubarb simple syrup (see recipe below)
  • 1.5 oz gin (I used Black Fox Farm Haskap Gin)
  • 1 oz of fresh lemon juice (or more to taste)
  • Egg white
  • Ice

Directions

Add your gin, lemon juice, rhubarb syrup and egg white into a cocktail shaker and shake twice, hard, without ice to emulsify the egg. Add ice, shake again and strain into a cocktail coupe. Garnish and serve.

Rhubarb Simple Syrup

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup chopped rhubarb
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar

Directions:

Boil equal parts sugar and water in a medium sauce pan until the sugar fully dissolves. Remove from heat and steep with the rhubarb for 20 minutes.

Allow it to cool, the strain out the rhubarb pieces. The simple syrup can be stored in your fridge for up to three weeks.

Cheers! If you recreate this, or any of my other cocktails be sure to tag me on Instagram @alexandtribe.

Classic Aperol Spritz Recipe

I’ve had a love for all things Italian for a long as I can remember. It’s my favourite country to visit. The history, architecture, beaches, city life, food and drinks; it just can’t be beat.

Enjoying an Aperol Spritz in Rome

There’s no drink, in my opinion, that has as strong a claim to being “Italy’s drink” as an Aperol Spritz. The cocktail is built around Aperol—a semi-sweet, slightly bitter aperitif from northern Italy.

The herby orange-red liqueur was invented by the Barbieri brothers in Padova, Italy in 1919 and was originally designed as a health and diet drink. The recipe, as those for bitters and liqueurs tend to be, is secret, but includes bitter and sweet oranges, rhubarb and gentian.

When the Austrians controlled the Veneto after the Napoleonic wars, they took the local Italian wine and added a splash, or in German, a “spritz,” of water. Over time the water was replaced with sparkling water and the still wine was turned into wine fortified with a liqueur. It wasn’t too long before the liqueur of choice became what we today call Aperol. It gained popularity all over Italy during 1920s to 1930s and it was marketed as a drink for women and people with an active lifestyle.

There are many kinds of Spritzes, but the Aperol Spritz is probably the most popular cocktail in Italy. Along with the more bitter-tasting Campari, Aperol is also one of the most successful Italian liquors overseas.

The spritz has become synonymous with the Italian tradition of the Aperitivo, a drinking occasion associated with the transition between work and play at the end of the business day.

The Campari Group purchased Aperol in 2003 and embarked on a huge advertising and marketing campaign that positioned the Aperol Spritz as a drink for the creatives, the fashionable and the successful. Today it is one of the most popular drinks around the world.

Today my girlfriend Holly and I have put together a recipe for a classic Aperol Spritz for you. It’s the perfect drink to enjoy these dog days of summer with.

Classic Aperol Spritz Recipe

Yields 1 drink You’ll Need:

  • 3 parts Prosseco (we used La Marca)
  • 2 parts Aperol
  • 1 part soda water  
  • Ice
  • Orange slice, to garnish

DirectionsMix all ingredients in a wine glass with ice and gently stir. Garnish with an orange slice.

If you’d like it ‘Venetian-style,’ add a green olive as an additional garnish.

Hope you enjoy this little taste of Italy. If you recreate this cocktail for yourself, be sure to tag us on Instagram @alexandtribe and @chandeliers.and.champagne.

Cheers!