Santa’s Helper – Pomegranate Rosè Cocktail Recipe

Tis’ the season to be tipsy! Holiday cocktails are some of my favourite to make, I’m a sucker for a theme.

Even if I’m not entertaining this year, good food and good drinks are definitely still going to be a big part of my holiday season.

I’m excited about this cocktail because it features some of my favourite local companies. The gin is from Eau Claire Distillery in Calgary, the bitters are from Token Bitters, right here in Edmonton, and the bubbly rosè is from The Hatch Winery in Kelowna.

If you’re looking for more holiday drink inspiration try checking out my pomegranate Moscow Mule, Ginger Bells Fizz or Elderflower French 75, which are all festive and delicious.

Santa’s Helper- Pomegranate Rosè Cocktail Recipe

Yields 1 cocktail

You’ll Need:

  • 0.75 oz gin (I used Eau Claire Christmas Gin)
  • 3 oz pomegranate juice
  • 3 oz Bubbly rosè (I used R. Secco from The Hatch)
  • 0.5 oz fresh-squeezed lime juice
  • 0.25 oz simple syrup
  • 3 dashes of cherry bitters (I used Ritchie Cherry from Token Bitters)
  • 2 tbsp of Pomegranate arils
  • Optional: Sugar-coated Cranberries to garnish
  • Ice

Directions: Put your pomegranate arils in the bottom of a champagne coupe. In a shaker combine ice, gin, pomegranate juice, simple syrup, lime juice and bitters. Shake well, then strain into your coupe. Top with rosè bubbly, garish with a cocktail pick of sugar-coated cranberries and serve immediately.

Cheers! I hope everyone has a safe and fun Christmas!

Ginger Bells Fizz Cocktail Recipe

Can you believe it’s already December? Somehow 2020 has been both the slowest and longest year of my life. The holiday season is one of my favourite times to play around with new recipes. I love festive meals and delicious drinks!

I’ve talked about my love of Eau Claire distillery a few times on this blog. They make delicious spirits right here is Alberta, down in Turner Valley. I finally got the chance to visit the tasting room this year and it was so cute!

I’ve always wanted to try Eau Claire’s Christmas Gin and this year they were kind enough to gift me a bottle to crafts some new cocktail recipes with. It’s the most beautiful bottle of gin I’ve owned, it almost looks like you’re looking in a snow globe. It celebrates the holidays with Frankincense, Myrrh and 23k Gold flakes, all three of of the three wise men gifts. How cool is that!

My favourite cocktail-making partner-in-crime Holly and I had fun thinking up a modern take on a Christmas cocktail. I’m really excited with how this one turned out. It’s just the right amount of sweet and spicy…the spicier the ginger the better, in my opinion!

Originally we planned to use fresh-squeezed blood orange juice in this cocktail, but blood oranges aren’t in grocery stores yet, so we settled on an Italian Soda. I’ll definitely be remaking it when blood oranges are in season though to see which way I prefer it!

Ginger Bells Fizz Cocktail Recipe

Yields 1 cocktail

You’ll Need:

  • 1.25 oz gin (we used Eau Claire Christmas Gin)
  • 0.75 oz elderflower liqueur (we used St. Germaine)
  • 2.5 oz ginger beer
  • 2.5 oz blood orange Italian Soda
  • 0.5 oz fresh-squeezed lime juice
  • 0.25 oz fresh-pressed ginger juice
  • 2 dashes of orange bitters
  • Dehydrated blood orange to garnish
  • Mint sprig, to garnish
  • Ice

Directions: In a cocktail glass combine gin, ginger beer, elderflower liqueur and lime juice, ginger juice and orange bitters. Stir lightly, add ice and then Italian soda. Garnish with mint sprig and dehydrated blood orange slice.

Hope you enjoy! I’ll have a couple more holiday cocktails coming to the blog over the next couple of weeks, so stay tuned! Cheers!

Vanilla Pear Cocktail Recipe

The past couple of weeks I’ve been hard at work thinking up and researching fall and winter cocktail recipes. Summer cocktails come so easily to me, but I find cocktails in the cooler months need to be a bit more complex. Maybe I’m just overthinking it, maybe not.

I’ve made it my goal to start exploring flavour profiles outside of my typical repertoire. I’m going to do this through the addition bitters and more unique spices. I just bought my first bitters bottle, a citrus one, which I used in this recipe. The inspiration for this recipe came from one of my favourite cocktail books, Dillons Craft Cocktails, I just updated the recipe based on what I had available.

When I think of fall flavours, one of the first things that comes to mind is pear. This time of year, pears are so juicy and flavourful! Pears also pair (no pun intended) well with so many flavours, so they’re a perfect cocktail option. I got a great deal on a bag of organic Bartlett pears from Spud.ca. I even got my vodka delivered too– Spud can deliver liquor through my online grocery order as well. So convenient!

In this recipe I juice my pears. If you don’t have a juicer, you could blend the pears and then strain them through a cheesecloth or fine-mesh sieve.

Vanilla Pear Cocktail Recipe

Yields 1 drink

You’ll Need:

  • 1.5 oz vodka (I used Strathcona Spirits)
  • 3 oz fresh pear juice (I used Bartlett pears)
  • 0.25 oz vanilla bean syrup (I used Torani)
  • 0.25 oz fresh lemon juice
  • 3 dashes of citrus bitters (I used Hella Bitters)
  • Ice
  • Pear slice, to garnish

Directions

Combine all ingredients into a cocktail shaker, add ice and shake to chill. Strain into a highball glass filled with ice. Garnish with pear slice and serve.

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

*I was gifted a credit by Spud.ca to create a recipe using liquor purchased through their site. All thought and opinions are still my own.

Bee’s Knees Cocktail Recipe

Doesn’t this photo just give you all the winter feels? As I type this, big, fluffy snowflakes are falling outside and I may, or may not be listening to Christmas music with the fireplace on.

Today I’m coming at you with a classic cocktail done two ways, the Bee’s Knees. This cocktail is an oldie but a goodie from back in the prohibition era. It was actually invented by the first head bartender at the Ritz in Paris in 1921, when its Cafe Parisian opened its doors.

In the name of research, Holly from Chandeliers and Champagne and I tested (and taste tested) this cocktail two ways–as a gin fizz with a frothy top and over ice. I feel like serving it frothy is a fancier way to serve it, while over ice is easy and convenient.

Looking at the calendar, I can see that today is also National Gin Day, so talk about the perfect excuse to whip up a cocktail. If you’re looking for some more great gin-based cocktails some of my favourites are the Elderflower French 75, Earl Grey’s Royal Gin Fizz, Redheaded French Blonde and a Very Cherry Gin & Tonic.

Bee’s Knees Cocktail Recipe Two Ways

Yields 1 drink

You’ll Need:

  • 1.5 oz gin (we used Bombay Sapphire)
  • 1.5 oz Agalima Sweet & Sour Mix
  • 0.5 oz honey
  • Half an egg white (for frothy version only)
  • Ice
  • Lemon wheel to garnish

Directions

For frothy version:

Combine gin, Agalima mix, honey and egg white into a cocktail shaker and shake hard, without ice to emulsify the egg. Add ice, shake again to chill and strain into a cocktail coupe. Garnish with lemon wheel and serve.

For on the rocks version:

Combine gin, Agalima mix, honey and ice into a cocktail shaker and shake hard strain into a cocktail glass filled with ice. Garnish with lemon wheel and serve.

Note: If your don’t have Agalima Sweet & Sour Mix on hand, you can certainly use fresh-squeezed lemon juice.

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

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