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

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

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

Wicked Blackberry Margarita

Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn and cauldrons bubble. While I’m no sorceress, I would like to consider myself an amateur mixologist. Mixing up cocktails and experimenting with flavours is so much fun. Sometimes it works out great, other times not so much (let’s just say Holly and I will never be adding cognac to anything again 😂).

For Halloween, Holly and I wanted to mix up something dark, moody and thematic. We settled on a blackberry pomegranate margarita, and it’s absolutely delicious guys! I promise, you don’t even taste the eye if newt in it 😉.

The blackberry juice was a bit hard to find. If you’re in Western Canada, I found it in the specialty drink aisle at Save on Foods. If you can’t find it where you live you could always just juice some blackberries yourself.

Holly and I did some quick research before we whipped this drink up about which tequila is best for margaritas. The short answer is a blanco or silver tequila. These tequilas have a more pure flavour that does best when mixed in a margarita. If you want the long, detailed answer feel free to look it up on our old friend Google.

Now that you’re an bonafide tequila expert, it’s time to mix up a drink!

Wicked Blackberry Margarita

Yields 1 pitcher

You’ll need:

  • 3 oz of blanco or silver tequila (we used Casamigos Blanco)
  • 1.5 oz of Triple Sec
  • 1.5 oz of simple syrup
  • 6 oz of blackberry juice
  • 3 oz of blueberry pomegranate juice (we used Pom brand)
  • Large handful of blackberries
  • 4 large handfuls of ice
  • Lime wedge and salt to rim (we used hibiscus pink salt)

Directions: Put some salt on a plate, then rub the wedge of lime along the rim of your glass. Dip the rim of glass on the salted plate until it’s coated.

Next, add all of your ingredients into a blender and blend until you get a nice slushy consistency (add more ice if necessary). Pour into your salted glasses, top with a festive stir stick and prepare to make a second round, because these will be hit at your Halloween party!

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

Cheers! Happy Halloween 🎃 👻

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

Layered Grapefruit and Rose Vodka Soda

Hello summer, my old friend. After approximately 700 consecutive days of rain the sun has finally come out to play.

This is one of the rainiest summers I can remember in Edmonton. The last time it rained this much was eight years ago and Justin and I were so over it we spontaneously booked a trip to the sunny Algarve in Portugal.

Eight years and two kids later, spontaneous European vacations are about as likely as my kid sleeping through the night, so it was time to get a bit more resourceful and do something to make it feel a bit more like summer…and for Holly and I that meant drinking a refreshing cocktail out in the sun.

This cocktail came together rather haphazardly late one afternoon. Holly (@chandeliers.and.champagne) and I were hanging out with our wild toddlers and didn’t have a whole lot of time to make a fancy drink. So, Holly busted out a bottle of Grapefruit and Rose Vodka she had just picked up and threw a quick cocktail together.

We had no idea how pretty the drink was going to look but the colours layered themselves beautifully and we knew we had to recreate this drink for our blogs. Not only does this Vodka Soda look great, the taste is fantastic too. It’s a refreshing, citrusy cocktail perfect for a summer day, and a great option for those who like to avoid sugary concoctions.

Layered Grapefruit and Rose Vodka Soda

Yields 1 cocktail

You’ll need: 

  • 1.5 oz Grapefruit and Rose vodka (we used Ketel One Botanical)
  • Juice of half a grapefruit
  • Club soda
  • Large handful of ice

Directions:

Fill your glass with ice. Juice half of a grapefruit and add to glass along with 1.5 oz of vodka. Top with club soda. Voila, it’s that’s easy!

Hope you enjoy this refreshing summer cocktail, 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! Alex & Holly

Water-Yellin’ Frozen Watermelon Tiki Cocktail

Grab your tropical garnishes and bust out the coconut bras and Hawaiian shirts because it’s 5 o’clock somewhere!

Since summer seems to have skipped over Edmonton this year Holly and I decided to take matters into our own hands and bring summer to us in the form of a delicious watermelon tiki drink.

While this might not be your typical rum-based tiki drink, it has all the elements that that embody what we love about a tiki cocktail. Quirky name (good job Holly), great barware, fun garnish and fruity flavours.

Instead of rum we based this cocktail around the Smirnoff Watermelon vodka. Holly and I gave it a quick taste before we made our drink and it tastes just like a boozy watermelon jolly rancher. Flavoured vodkas are a great way to switch up your favourite cocktails and experiment with new drinks.

What’s great about this cocktail is that there’s no need to add any simple syrup, the watermelon is sweet enough on its own, and the ginger adds a contrasting spicy kick. I mean really, if you look at the ingredients, it’s almost healthy (at least that’s what I’m telling myself when I go back for seconds).

Water-Yellin Frozen Watermelon Tiki Cocktail

Yields 2 cocktails

You’ll need: 

  • 4 oz watermelon vodka (we used Smirnoff)
  • 5 handfuls of frozen watermelon
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tbsp fresh pressed ginger
  • Large handful of ice

Directions:

Add vodka, frozen watermelon, lime juice, ginger juice and ice to a blender. Pour into tiki mug and garnish with a straw, paper umbrella and lime wedge.

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 over the course of the summer and tag us in you pics if you recreate any of our cocktails.

Cheers! May every hour be happy hour 😉

Alex & Holly