Cocktail Hour

Summer Sangria

sangria

It’s finally summer, and while drink trends come and go, a solid summer staple is sangria (say that 3 times fast!). Sangria is the perfect party drink, just mix up a big batch in advance and it’s ready to go when your guests arrive. Plus sangria is so versatile! It’s basically just wine, fruit, and juice. There are so many different combinations you can make to go with your party theme, or pair with whatever food you are serving.

We’ve gathered up three of our favourite sangria recipes for you - a white, rosé and a more traditional red option.

Paloma Sangria

A Paloma is a popular Mexican cocktail with tequila and grapefruit juice that we’re giving a sangria spin! It pairs perfectly with a Mexican Fiesta, or even if you’re just snacking on some chips and salsa.

  • 1 - 750 ml bottle Sauvignon Blanc (or another dry white wine like Pinot Grigio or Chardonnay)

  • ½ cup tequila

  • 1 medium grapefruit, thinly sliced and quartered

  • 2 medium limes, sliced

  • 3 cups red grapefruit juice

  • Lime wedges, for garnish

  • Soda Water (optional)

Pour the wine and tequila into a large container or pitcher, and add the fruit. Refrigerate and let sit for at least two hours. Add grapefruit juice and stir well. When ready to use, pour over ice-filled 8-ounce glasses and garnish with lime wedges. If you want a lighter taste or to make it sparkling, top with an ounce or two of soda water.

strawberry sangria

Strawberry Lemonade Sangria

This sangria combines two main summer flavours - strawberries and lemonade! This sweeter sangria would be perfect to serve at a bridal shower, or just enjoy a glass while lounging in the sun!

  • 1 - 750ml Bottle of Rosé

  • 1 cup of white rum

  • 4 cups Strawberry lemonade

  • 2 cups of Strawberries, sliced

  • 1 Lemon, sliced

Pour the rosé and the rum into a large container or pitcher, and add the strawberries and lemon. Refrigerate and let sit for at least two hours. Add strawberry lemonade and stir well. If you’re having trouble finding strawberry lemonade, regular will do in a pinch. Or you could make your own strawberry syrup to add to regular lemonade - take about 4 cups of strawberries, toss them into a blender and puree.

Traditional Sangria

Red wine is usually served just below room temperature, but in the summer adding it to sangria means you can serve it icy cold, and add ice cubes without fear of judgement from your friends!

  • 1 - 750 ml bottle of Grenache or Pinot Noir

  • 1 large orange

  • 1 cup thinly sliced apple or pear (or both!)

  • 1 small lemon, sliced into thin rounds

  • ½ cup brandy

  • Soda Water (optional)


Cut the orange in half. Squeeze the juice from one half of the orange into into a pitcher or large drink container. Thinly slice the remaining orange half and place the slices into the pitcher. Add the rest of the fruit, and the brandy. Pour the wine into the pitcher and stir to combine. Chill for at least 2 hours. If you want a lighter taste or to make it sparkling, top individual glasses with an ounce or two of soda water.

Throwing a Boho Chic Backyard Barbecue

Backyard barbecue season is finally here, and we're excited to get outside and start grilling! We want to keep the relaxed and easy feel of a barbecue, while upgrading your table, food and drinks to make it a more elegant affair. 

Use a Skid for a Table

Grab a big blanket to spread on the grass, or use a few outdoor carpets and overlap them. Toss some comfy throw pillows around, so everyone can lounge and relax. If you want some extra height you can prop skid up on a few bricks, or stack two on top of each other. Here are some gorgeous examples we found on Pinterest!


Table settings

Use real plates and cutlery with cloth napkins - nothing disposable! Add charger plates as well for a classier look. We got our friends at Sweet Pea Cookies to make us some gorgeous sugar cookies to use as a place card for our table setting, and it also doubles as a take home favour for your guests - if you manage to not eat it before then!

Place setting cookie nametag
Flowers in bud vases
Cookies flowers

Fresh flowers are beautiful and make everything look more elegant! Our friends at Hiway Flowers made us all these stunning bud vases that would look fabulous tucked into a garland of greenery along your table.

Food


It’s not a barbecue until there is food! We've got two quick and easy recipes for you, that look like showstoppers!

First up, kebabs, but with a twist! Instead of putting them on wooden or metal skewers, we're going to use rosemary springs instead! Strip leaves from the bottom few inches of the woody part of the stalk of rosemary, and then soak sprigs in a bowl of water for at least 30 minutes. Meanwhile cut up whatever vegetables and meat you'd like into pieces about an inch thick. Poke holes in your veggies and meat in advance so they're easy to slide on to your rosemary. Put on the grill until your meat is cooked through. The rosemary adds a lovely flavour to the food, and the presentation is fantastic!

rosemary chicken kabobs
grilled corn with herb butter

Corn on the cob is a barbecue staple, and we’re going to elevate it by cooking it on the grill, and adding an herb butter to it. Just rub olive oil on the corn, and then put it right on a hot grill and close the lid. Turn it a few times, but shouldn’t take longer than 8 minutes. Before hand make up a simple herb butter - we used basil, but any herb will do. This is a great way to use the rosemary you’ve stripped from the skewers! Add a loosely packed cup of herbs to a food processor or blender and roughly chop a few times. Add a cup of butter and a tablespoon of sea salt and blend until your herbs are finely chopped and the butter has a light green tint. You might need to scrape down the sides a few times. The butter can be made ahead and extra herb butter will keep for about a week or two in the fridge. You can roll it into a log with plastic wrap and slice it off as you need it. It's great for cooking or to simply put on toast.


Cocktail

Every outdoor event needs a great signature cocktail. We’re going to make a Campari Flamingo Cocktail. Campari has a great citrus and herb flavour that is great for summer, and it’s bright colour makes cocktails look great.

Campari Flamingo Recipe (adapted from www.seriouseats.com)

  • 3/4 ounce freshly squeezed juice from 1 to 2 limes

  • 1 1/2 ounce aged rum, such as Appleton Estate

  • 1/2 ounce Campari

  • 3 ounces pink grapefruit soda or blood orange soda - for a lighter taste use flavoured soda water

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add lime juice, rum, and Campari. Shake well.

Strain into ice-filled rocks glass. Add grapefruit soda, stir gently and serve.

To serve a large party, mix lime juice, rum and Campari in pitcher in advance, and then just add the grapefruit soda individually.

Watch Carolina go over some of these tips on Rogers In Studio.

Veuve Clicquot Event - Langdon Hall - Cambridge, ON

Langdon Hall, pool party and cocktails. What's not to love!?

It's not everyday that you are invited to a Veuve Clicquot pool party. We were so happy when Langdon Hall asked us to help with the lounge areas, lighting and DJ for this event. Plus, I got to attend this as a guest too, which was pretty spectacular!

The Cocktails - Veuve Clicquot Rich

Veuve Clicquot Rich at Langdon Hall

Why Veuve Clicquot Rich?

Veuve Rich was specifically designed for mixing. It's high sugar content, brings sweetness to a mixed drink, taking away the need for simple syrups or other sweeteners. But don't believe me, go to Langdon Hall and ask their sommelier, Faye all about it! 

Now, without further ado, the drink list:

The ACTUAL Veuve Cocktails
 

1. Easy Pour Wine Bar - Jonny Kirwin

Easy Pour - Langdon Hall Veuve Pool Party

*This cocktail was delicious. Jonny spent days making the concentrated juice that went into this and it really showed. The Jasmine was a lovely touch and the drink was super refreshing!

Drink Name: Rags to Riches

Ingredients: Veuve Clicquot Rich, Watermelon, Pomegranate, Lemongrass, Jasmine Tea, Fresh Basil, Lime Juice

2. Black Dog - Lucas Frawley

Langdon Hall Cambridge Events

*Rose water really made this cocktail special for me. There's something about the floral aroma that I really love. Plus, it doesn't get much more luxurious than sipping on a rose petal drink beside the pool at Langdon Hall.

Drink Name: The Marrakech

Ingredients: Veuve Clicquot Rich, Cassis Monna & Filles, Mighty Leaf Organic Mint Melange Tea, Rose Water, Fresh Mint & Black Berry, Rose Petals

3. Langdon Hall - Aaron Hatchell

Langdon Hall Pool

*Super refreshing and light. I loved the cranberry ice cubes in this drink. As the cubes melted, the mint came to life and made the drink even more interesting!

Drink Name: Veuve2

Ingredients: Veuve Clicquot Rich, Hibiscus, Wild Cranberry Ice Cubes with Mint, Shaved Cucumber

4. Red House 

Lime and Veuve Cocktail

*I didn't end up getting the name of the drink for red house. It was the first one I had and I was so excited to be there that I missed it! It was a savory cocktail, which was such a treat!*

Ingredients: Veuve Clicquot Rich, Organic Thai Basil, Curry Oil, Dehydrated Lime Wedge

The Langdon Hall Pool Atmosphere

I loved everything about this event. The music was pumping (thanks to our very own Kyle Priestley), the weather cooperated, the guests were having a great time, the food and service by Langdon was spectacular. There really was nothing more you could have asked for! 

Take a look at the photos below:

Plus, they were giving out Veuve Clicquot Rich sunglasses and I got to wear orange! Cheers everyone! Hopefully we'll get to do this again soon!

PS...notice how my hair is getting curly here. Oh the summer heat! You curly haired ladies and gents know how I feel! 

Carolina Soares Langdon Hall Pool Party

Now, go check out all the amazing restaurants that were featured!

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Awesome Cocktails in a Skinny Glass! Perfect for a wedding, or any event, really. Cheers!

Awesome Cocktails in a Skinny Glass! Perfect for a wedding, or any event, really. Cheers!

I love these glasses for cocktails with friends, dinner parties or even cocktail hour at your wedding if it is an option.  The glass is interesting enough that a simple granish is enough to finish off a pu-together look!