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!

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!

Classic Piña Colada Recipe

I’ve always found it amusing that there’s a day for just about everything. Today happens to be National Piña Colada Day, and coincidentally enough it’s a beautiful, warm day in Edmonton, perfect for this delicious blended summer drink!

Curious about the origins of the Piña Colada, I did a bit of research and found out it was invented by a bartender in Puerto Rico. This pineapple coconut drink was so beloved that in 1978 it was named Puerto Rico’s national drink. Its name means “strained pineapple” in Spanish, referring to the freshly pressed and strained pineapple used in the drink’s preparation.

The best Piña Colada I’ve ever had was at a little roadside stand in Cuba on my way to Havana. It was incredible–made with fresh fruit and served frosty cold. Perfect for a hot beach day.

So let’s all celebrate summer and honour the great Piña Colada with this delicious recipe.

Piña Colada Recipe

Yields 1 drink

You’ll Need:

  • 1.5 cups of ice
  • 1/2 cup of frozen pineapple
  • 2 ounces of pineapple juice
  • 2 ounces of premium coconut milk
  • 1.5 ounces of white rum
  • Umbrella, maraschino cherry and pineapple wedge to garnish

Directions

Add all of your ingredients except for garnishes into your blender and blend until your drink is smooth. If you prefer a sweeter drink, feel free to add in one to two teaspoons of sugar as well.

Pour into a hurricane glass (or bonus points, a coconut shell) and add garnishes.

Cheers friends, hope you have an awesome weekend!

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!

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

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