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.

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

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

Redheaded French Blonde

Hallelujah you guys, I’m emerging from hibernation after a crazy long cold snap here in Edmonton. The past two weeks have been so cold. I’m talking windchills of -50C cold. I basically stocked up on food and wine and hung out at home for a week, which means I’m now stir crazy and my kids are driving me nuts 😂.

One reprieve in my hibernation was a visit from Holly (@chandeliers.and.champagne) for a little cocktail creation date. We decided to bring a little taste of summer to our lives with a fresh, citrus drink that would be perfect on the patio (or in our case hiding behind frosty, snow-covered windows).

I’ve had a bottle of Lillet sitting in my liquor cabinet since the summer. I saw the aperitif popping up in a lot of different cocktail recipes and knew I wanted to play around with it and see what we could come up with. If you’re wondering what it tastes like alone, it was similar to a really sweet white wine. Definitely not something I’d want to drink on it’s own, but it was delicious in this cocktail, especially combined with fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice!

This drink is a pretty stiff one, with three different types of liquor in it, but it was delicious and a perfect treat to get Holly and I through day 100 of being trapped inside with four kids three and under 🥶🥶🥶.

Redheaded French Blonde

Yields 2 cocktails

You’ll need:

1 oz elderflower liqueur – we used St. Germain

4 oz Lillet Blanc

2 oz dry gin – we used Bombay

4 oz fresh-squeezed Ruby Red grapefruit juice

2 dashes of orange bitters

1 sprig of rosemary and 1 lemon rind, to garnish

Ice, to shake

Directions:

Vigorously shake all ingredients (except for garnishes) in an ice-filled cocktail shaker for about 30 seconds, then strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Garnish with a small piece of lemon rind pierced with a sprig of rosemary. Enjoy, and call yourself an Uber if you’re drinking more than one 😉.

Xoxo Alex &Holly

Alberta Iceberg Gin and Tonic

I’ve been hearing the dreaded f-word popping up more and more lately…fall. Our mornings are starting to get crisp, the leaves are turning yellow and Starbucks released their Pumpkin Spiced Latte. I flat out refuse to drink a fall drink in August though, call it a principle thing. Instead I’ve decided to honour the dog days of summer and have come up with a delicious drink to celebrate my favourite season.

My favourite part of this Alberta Iceberg Gin and Tonic is the Parlour Gin from at Eau Claire Distillery, an Alberta producer that I’ve grown to love over the last couple years. I used their Prickly Pear Vodka in this cocktail earlier this summer and their Gin is just as delicious. At it’s core this drink is a Gin and Tonic, only a bit more over-the-top, just the way I like it.

I had no idea that Alberta is home to over 10 wineries and meaderies, 17 distilleries and 121 breweries. Although some ALberta beers have made it to the shelves of liquor stores, the majority of Alberta products remain unknown by the public and liquor retailers.

I’ve tried beers from some local companies like Toolshed Brewing, Alley Cat and Wildrose, but I was excited to learn just how many local liquors our province has. I love supporting local, so I plan on whipping up way more local craft cocktails in the future now that I know how much selection there is. To find out more about Alberta liquor products check out the Just Add Alberta website.

Alberta Iceberg Gin and Tonic

Yields 1 cocktail

You’ll need: 

  • 1.5 oz Eau Claire Distillery Parlour Gin
  • Fever Tree Elderflower Tonic
  • 1 cup of lemonade
  • 2 large handfuls of ice
  • 5 raspberries
  • Lemon to garnish
  • Mint to garnish

Directions:

In a blender add lemonade, ice and raspberries. Blend until you get a slush consistency.

Add gin to your glass and top with Elderflower tonic until your glass is about 3/4 full. Top with the raspberry lemonade slush. Garnish and serve.

Hope you enjoy this delicious summer cocktail, be sure to follow along on Instagram (@alexandtribe) to see what else I come up with over the course of the summer and tag me in you pics if you recreate any of my cocktails.

Cheers! Alex

Charcuterie Gin Caesar

Happy May long weekend everyone! How fitting is it that the Thursday before May long is National Caesar Day in Canada.

As Canada’s unofficial, official drink, the Caesar is a tried and true summer classic. With so many variations, my girlfriend Holly, of Chandeliers and Champagne, and I decided to try our hand at making our own go-to Caesar as the next drink in our summer cocktail series.

A key ingredient in Caesar’s is clamato juice. To all my American friends, you have to try a Caesar, a Bloody Mary is just not the same, trust me on this one.

Unsurprisingly, we had to make our garnish over-the-top; but what can I say, we’re a fan of flair. We’re also a fan of charcuterie. Hence the smorgasbord of delicious treats we topped our drink with. Now, let’s get mixing!

Charcuterie Gin Caesar

Yields 1 cocktail

You’ll need:

  • 1.5 ounces gin 
  • Mott’s Clamato, to fill 
  • 4 dashes Worcestershire sauce 
  • 4 dashes hot sauce (our preference: TABASCO) 
  • 1 tbsp pickle juice
  • Salt, to season
  • Pepper, to season
  • Ice 

Rimmer: 

  • Celery salt or Caesar rim spice 
  • Lime

Garnish: 

  • At a bare minimum, you’ll want celery, however if you ask me, there’s nothing more depressing than a Caesar garnished with only celery
  • We also added: a pepperoni stick, pickled bean, salami, pickled asparagus, sharp cheddar, pickled carrot and a pickle spear

Directions:

  • Rim a pint glass with citrus and celery salt. Fill glass with ice and add 1.5 ounces of gin.
  • Top with Mott’s Clamato. Add four dashes of tabasco, four dashes of Worcestershire, two shakes each of salt and pepper, and a tablespoon of pickle juice.
  • Stir well and garnish. Enjoy this great Canadian classic, Fingers crossed you can enjoy it on a sunny day at lake, but we are Canadian, and it is May, so chances are it might snow! 

Hope everyone has a great long weekend. Be sure tag us if you recreate our drink using the hashtag #yegsummercocktail.

Check back soon, as Holly and I will be concocting fun cocktails all summer long!

Cheers, Alex and Holly 

Elderflower French 75

Summer is so close I can taste it, literally! In anticipation of my favourite season I’m launching a summer cocktail series with one of my besties, and my favourite blogger, Holly from Chandeliers and Champagne. If you don’t follow her yet, you’re missing out. She posts the most beautiful home and lifestyle content, and has the cutest little family.

To kick off our summer cocktail series we’ve perfected an Elderflower French 75. If you like prosecco cocktails you’re going to love this. It’s tart and refreshing, exactly what I look for in a summer drink.

This would be a perfect drink for a party since you can prep the first part of the cocktail and keep it in the fridge until your guests arrive, then top it off with the bubbly when you’re ready. No need to play bartender all night but you’ll still wow your guests with your hostess skills. Bridal shower season just got a whole lot easier!

This is a really simple cocktail to make, but packs a punch both in taste and show. The most important thing is to make sure you use fresh lemon juice. Sorry, but the bottled stuff just won’t cut it here.

Elderflower French 75

Yields 2 cocktails

You’ll need: 

  • 2 oz gin
  • 2 oz elderflower liqueur
  • 2 oz fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • Prosecco or champagne to top, approximately 6 oz

Directions:

Mix gin, elderflower liqueur and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker. Pour into a champagne flute or coupe and top with chilled prosecco.

Hope you enjoy the first cocktail in our summer drink series, be sure to follow along on Instagram (@alexandtribe, @chandeliers.and.champagne) to see what else we come up with over the course of the summer and tag us in you pics if you recreate any of our cocktails. Cheers!