Pumpkin Pie Sparkling Sgroppino

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Now THIS is something to try this weekend.  It’s going to be really, really hot in LA (insert frantic/wailing/angry emoji face here) and I’m at my breaking point with the heat.  I want chicken chili and pumpkin pie, y’all!  This, however is one way to curb the heat with everything you love about fall blended into a cocktail of sheer bliss.  It’s pretty simple to make and your guests will be blown away.

Pumpkin Pie Sparkling Sgroppino
 
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total: 10
Serves: 2
Ingredients
 
1 cups chilled vodka
1 pint pumpkin gelato (I found this at Whole Foods, but if you can’t track it down yet, vanilla gelato with a dash of pumpkin pie spice is a great substitute)
1 cup ice
Ground Cinnamon (for garnish)
Caramel Sauce
4 ground honey graham cracker crumbs (for rimmer)
Directions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth and frothy.
  2. Rim chilled martini glasses with graham cracker crumbs (a tip is to dip it in caramel sauce first and then in the graham cracker crumbs).
  3. Pour mixture into glasses and top with a sprinkle of cinnamon
Cheers!

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Apple Cider Mimosa

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Happy, happy Friday!  I hope you had a wonderful first week of fall – yay!  After a long weekend in Michigan and then a short week of playing catchup from being gone for a few days, I’m more than ready for a weekend at home to do a few projects and test out some new recipes :-)

One of the major things I was hoping to do while visiting the family was to take a trip to the cider mill because those just don’t exist in California.  Unfortunately, while enroute to the mill, it started POURING and we had to turn around and call it a day.  We picked up some fresh apple cider from the market the following morning and whipped these up to sort of ease the blow of not being able to partake in one of my favorite midwestern traditions.  Just in time for the weekend, I wanted to pass along a super fun fall spin on the classic mimosa :-)  They are SO good!  I promise you will love them!

Apple Cider Mimosa

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total: 10
Serves: 1

Ingredients

1 tsp brown sugar
1 ounce scotch (optional)
2 ounces fresh apple cider
4 ounces ONEHOPE Sparkling Wine
Apple slices for garnish
Caramel sauce & brown sugar for rimming (optional)

Directions

1.  If rimming your flutes, dip the rim of the glass into caramel.  Using a small plate or bowl works best for this.  After coating the rim, dip your glass into brown sugar.
2.  Combine brown sugar, scotch and apple cider in a flute.
3.  Top with ONEHOPE Sparkling wine and garnish with fresh apple slices.

Recipe adapted from here.

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Wine Wednesday | Radiant Orchid Granita

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Happy #WineWednesday! You know those projects that come across your desk and you just cringe at the thought of having to tackle them?  This one was it for me. I honestly can not remember being so stuck creatively – ever. When Pantone announced its color of the year for 2014, a part of me died inside. To go from Emerald Green (hello, best color EVER), to a bright purple hue inspired by my least favorite flower on the planet, seriously bummed me out. Fast forward a few weeks into 2014 and our PR firm was asking for us to whip up some sort of Radiant Orchid concoction. WHY.

I spent forever trying to figure out a way to make this happen.  I knew whatever wine we used needed to be virtually colorless (Sparkling) and that there needed to be some sort of mixer that was a borderline unnatural shade of purple to make the entire look come together.  I can’t say I’ve ever tested, tried and mixed so many ingredients in my life to make it happen, but it finally worked and I was floored with the results.  Of course the primary ingredient ended up being one simple, pretty natural thing – Blueberry Lemonade.  Seriously?  After all of that?!

You know how they say your greatest challenges often wind up being your biggest rewards?  This one was it.  I could not be happier with how it turned out.  Thank you, amazing PR firm for challenging me to think outside of the box… you girls absolutely rock :-)

Check out a few of my favorite outtakes from the shoot and the full recipe below.  Cheers!!!

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Prep: 5 minutes
Total time: 3-6 hours

Serves: 8-10 (depending on glass size)

Ingredients
1 (750ml) bottle of ONEHOPE Sparkling Wine
1 liter blueberry lemonade

Directions
1) Pour blueberry lemonade into an 8″ x 8″ glass baking dish and freeze for 1-2 hours.
2) Carefully remove freezing lemonade from freezer. Using a fork, scrape the mixture until the consistency is slushy throughout (lemonade will be more frozen toward the outside edges of the dish when you start).
3) Put the mixture back in the freezer for 1-2 hours and repeat two more times. Scraping the mixture prevents it from freezing into a solid brick of ice and maintains the slushy, icy consistency that is so delicious about a granita :-)
4) Scoop granita mixture into glasses (we used champagne coups) and top with ONEHOPE Sparkling wine. Cheers!

Apple Cider & Thyme Sparkling Cocktail

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Whew!  What a week already!  We’re cranking out so many packages at work (several thousand since black Friday) and I’m dying for some downtime, a cocktail and a lots of Christmas baking.  Last year the holidays were here and gone in the blink of an eye so I’m hanging on to them with all my might and I’m making sure I don’t miss out on my favorite part of the year.  On the topic of all things festive, I created an Apple Cider & Thyme cocktail for work as a part of our Fall/Winter cocktail shoot and this one was one of my favorites from a taste profile perspective as well as aesthetically.  I love the added layer of complexity the Thyme makes (I’m huge on herbs in cocktails) and the Sparkling Brut combined with fresh apple cider keeps things just slightly sweet without going overboard.  We only have a few weeks left of fresh cider so make sure you’re taking full advantage of it now :-)  Cheers!

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Prep time: 10 minutes
Total: 2 hours
Serves: 6

Ingredients
8 ounces dark rum
1.5 ounces lemon juice
4 ounces thyme simple syrup (2 cups sugar, 1.5 cups water, 10 thyme sprigs)
12 ounces apple cider
8 ounces ONEHOPE Sparkling Wine
4 dashes Angostura Bitters
Sprigs of thyme for garnish
Apple wheels for garnish

Directions
1. Combine sugar, water and 10 sprigs of thyme. Heat in a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer for 5 minutes or until sugar is completely dissolved. Place in the fridge to cool (1-2 hours).
2. Combine all ingredients (except sparkling) into a carafe and stir.
3. Fill glasses with crushed ice and fill half with mixture.
4. Top with ONEHOPE Sparkling and garnish with sprigs of thyme and sliced apple.

Cheers!

Recipe adapted from here.

My Work on Style Me Pretty Living

Happy Thanksgiving Weekend!!!  Following a grueling drive from LA to SF on Wednesday, Jake and I were so happy to have arrived in one piece in time for a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends.  It has truly been a tremendous year that has flown by, but aside from feeling a little huge over-indulged at the moment, my heart is full knowing that those around us (as well as ourselves) are healthy, happy and on their way to big things.  On the business side, I could not be more grateful to Style Me Pretty Living for featuring a cocktail I created for work this fall.  It was one of my favorites that we did and is something light and refreshing to enjoy this weekend… a little change of pace following the holiday yet it’s still bursting with fall flavor and won’t disappoint :-) If someone told me 6 years ago as an International Relations major in Michigan itching for some ounce of creativity in my life, that I would be designing, styling and photographing fun spreads for a living, I never would have believed them.  Seeing this feature was definitely a pinch me moment of gratitude.  Here’s to a wonderful weekend filled with thanks and reflection.  Cheers!

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Pear and Sparkling Cider Cocktail

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total: 10
Serves: 8

Ingredients

2 cups chilled pear nectar
2 cups apple cider
2 cups ONEHOPE Sparkling Wine
4 ounces bourbon whiskey (I used Knob Creek)
1 pear, unpeeled and cored cut into thin slices lengthwise
2/3 cup sugar, 1/3 cup cinnamon mixed for rimming

Directions

Rim champagne coups with cinnamon and sugar mixture.
Combine pear nectar, apple cider, Sparkling wine and whiskey in a pitcher and serve immediately.
Garnish with sliced pear.

*Recipe adapted from here.