Summer Cocktail Ideas

“Milkshakes, margaritas, smoothies and more…share your favorite summertime drink recipe.” That’s one of Mama Kat’s Writing Prompts this week, and I happen to have some summer cocktail ideas that I think you’ll love!

Looking for some fun summer cocktail ideas? From vodka to wine to sangria popsicles, I'm sharing some of my favorite recipes! I've even got some delicious water recipes that your favorite liquour can be easily added to.

Summer Cocktail Ideas

I’ve got the recipe for my favorite summer drink, a refreshing vodka cocktail perfect on a warm summer evening or to sip at a party. I’ve also got recipes for a Perfect Summer Cocktail that is smooth and refreshing, but with a flavorful kick, a Peach and Orange Sangria, and even a One-Glass White Sangria!

Looking for some fun summer cocktail ideas? From vodka to wine to sangria popsicles, I'm sharing some of my favorite recipes! I've even got some delicious water recipes that your favorite liquour can be easily added to.

I know not everybody is crazy about cocktails. I also have some of my favorite water recipes here. You’ll never want to drink soda again.

Looking for some fun summer cocktail ideas? From vodka to wine to sangria popsicles, I'm sharing some of my favorite recipes! I've even got some delicious water recipes that your favorite liquour can be easily added to.

And if you’re looking for an icy treat to cool down with on a warm day, my friend Betsy shares a recipe for Sangria Popsicles!

I’ve also got lots of other cocktail recipes here for any time of the year. Want even more? Visit my Happy Hour board on Pinterest!

What is your favorite summer cocktail? I’d love to try out some new ones!

Are you listening? A short piece of fiction inspired by the word "listen".

 

I wrote this for Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop for Prompt #2: Milkshakes, margaritas, smoothies and more…share your favorite summertime drink recipe.

Cooking With Wine: Recipes With Wine As An Ingredient

If there’s one thing I love, it’s cooking. Cooking with wine? Even better! And recipes that have wine as an ingredient? My favorite!

You may wonder why cooking with wine is a big deal – lots of recipes say that you can omit the wine and and substitute with chicken broth or water instead. And that’s true.

But wine does something magical to food. Adding wine to dishes you cook (whether on the stove, in a slow cooker, or in the oven) adds flavor and tons of moisture to whatever dish you’re making. It adds richness, acidity, and and another level delicious.

Cooking With Wine: Bloggers Favorite Recipes

I asked some of my favorite bloggers to share some of their favorite cooking with wine recipes. Let me just say I can’t wait to make each and every one of these dishes! Let’s start off with some main dishes that are hearty and filling.

My friend Nicole from The Jet Set Family shared two delicious meals: one with short ribs and one with chicken. I actually have the ingredients for the chicken recipe on hand and plan to make it for dinner this week!

One Pot Wonder: Red-Wine Balsamic Short Ribs

Lemon Chicken with White Wine Sauce and Garlic

This recipe called Changeling Chicken is one of my favorite recipes because you use whatever ingredients you have on-hand, the kids all eat chicken with little complaint, and since you just throw it in the crockpot it couldn’t be easier to make.

Love recipes with wine as an ingredient and cooking with wine? The recipes included here are some of this blogger's favorites!

And this recipe is Jason’s favorite…it’s steak with a bacon bourbon sauce. This is different than most recipes I share because it requires some time and effort to make, much more than most recipes I share. But it is worth every minute and is asked for every year on his birthday!

Love recipes with wine as an ingredient and cooking with wine? The recipes included here are some of this blogger's favorites!

Now how about some dessert?

Sharon at Cupcakes & Cutlery shares a recipe for a Sherry Wine Cake that is super easy to make and absolutely gorgeous, too!

Sherry Wine Cake Recipe

Tips For Cooking With Wine

*Never cook with cheap wine because the wine you use does make a difference. The only time that cheap wine will work in a recipe is if you are making a braise, where the wine will cook for a long time. A good rule of thumb is to use the same wine that you are going to drink with the meal to cook the meal. Unless you’re going to drink a $50 or $100 bottle of wine. Then use something cheaper to cook with because that would just be a waste!

*Sometimes a recipe will call for a rich, full-bodied red wine. What does that even mean?! If you aren’t sure which wine to use, this article about learning about the 9 major wine flavors from Wine Folly will steer you in the right direction.

*Another question you might ask yourself is if it’s okay for the kids to eat something that you made that was cooked with wine in it. It’s a personal choice really, but according to Livestrong, “The wine needs to be cooked for an extended period of time. After adding wine to a sauce or other mixture, simmer or bake it for at least an hour to reduce the alcohol content as much as possible. A wide, uncovered pan is best as it gives the mixture a larger surface area and allows the alcohol to evaporate upward.”

More Recipes With Wine

These Sangria Popsicles from Betsy at betsylife will definitely be made a lot come summertime! I love this recipe because it’s so simple, and this one doesn’t even involve any cooking! NOTE: This one is NOT for kids! Make an extra pitcher leaving the wine out and then they’d be kid friendly. And just as delicious!

Sangria Popsicles

The SITS Girls shared a recipe for wine ice cream which sounds simple to make and a perfect after-the-kids-go-to-bed treat. This one isn’t for the kids, as you don’t cook anything and so there is alcohol in it.

How To Make Wine Ice Cream

And of course you knew I’d share some cocktail recipes! Sharon at Cupcakes & Cutlery  shares a recipe for a rum & white zin cocktail. She swears it’s delicious, and I can’t wait to find out.

Love recipes with wine as an ingredient and cooking with wine? The recipes included here are some of this blogger's favorites!

Spiced Rum Cocktails with White Zinfandel

And I have a recipe for a one glass white sangria that is so easy and quick to make.

Love recipes with wine as an ingredient and cooking with wine? The recipes included here are some of this blogger's favorites!

Follow Natalie Hoage – Mommy of a Monster’s board Happy Hour on Pinterest.

Do you enjoy cooking with wine and have a recipe with wine as an ingredient to share? Leave a comment with a link to your recipe and you may see it featured in an upcoming post!

What’s A Pickleback Shot?

One of my favorite cocktails is a Dirty Vodka Martini, which is vodka and olive juice. I ask for it “so dirty it’s nasty” because I love olives. Now if you haven’t had one, you’re probably thinking that it sounds disgusting. And it does, but it actually is a great pairing! But when my brother’s girlfriend said “Hey, let’s do a pickleback shot!” I had no idea what she was talking about. Then she told me what it was and I said You’re crazy, that sounds disgusting! Then I tried it, and it was awesome!

What’s A Pickleback Shot?

If you're not a fan of taking shots, then you have to try a pickleback shot! It's a pickle juice chaser that cleanses your palette of the taste of alcohol.

A pickleback shot is (originally) a shot of whiskey followed by a shot of pickle juice. Sounds weird, tastes delicious…especially if you’re like me and don’t like taking shots. The pickle juice acts like a palette cleanser, and so you don’t even taste the alcohol at all. But if you don’t like pickles, then read no further because you definitely won’t like pickleback shots.

Pickleback shots have been around forever, apparently. According to this article, “People have been chasing whiskey with pickle brine for God knows how long, but the term “pickleback” wasn’t coined until 2006.” I hadn’t heard of these until last month, and ever since, I’ve been telling everybody about them!

The same article also says: Aliases for the pickleback include “Piskey Whickle” and “Bartender’s Handshake.” I think we should start calling them a Piskey Whickle. Say that 5 times fast after a shot or two!

All you have to do is take a shot of your favorite whiskey, and chase it (meaning shoot the pickle juice shot right after) with the pickle juice. You won’t even taste the alcohol!

If you're not a fan of taking shots, then you have to try a pickleback shot! It's a pickle juice chaser that cleanses your palette of the taste of alcohol.

You can take a pickleback shot with any kind of alcohol…whiskey, vodka, tequila…whatever floats your boat. I happen to hate tequila, but everybody always wants to do tequila shots. Next time I’m asked, I’ll ask for a pickleback shot to follow it up with.

It’s a fun, novelty thing you can introduce to your friends at your next get together or night out. Try it!

And while I’m not a big fan of shots, I am a big fan of making fun and creative shots for others.

jolly-rancher Check out my recipe for Jolly Rancher Vodka, and serve them in Jolly Rancher Shot Glasses or White Trash Wine Glasses (that also double as a shot glass!)

pudding_shots1

Chocolate Pudding Shots are always a crowd favorite. These Champagne Jello Shots are fun, too!

For more cocktail ideas, check out my Happy Hour board on Pinterest.
Follow Natalie Hoage – Mommy of a Monster’s board Happy Hour on Pinterest.

How To Make Edible Shot Glasses & Candy Cane Vodka!

It’s no secret that I love coming up with crafty cocktail ideas. I’ve shared a recipe on how to make Jolly Rancher Vodka, Chocolate Pudding Shots,  Adults Only Coffee (use my Candy Cane Vodka in it for a Christmas treat!), Champagne Shots, and many others.

How to make edible shot glasses out of hard candy and hard candy infused vodka. Makes a fun party treat or creative gift!

Now here’s a new one: I found out how to make edible shot glasses!

How to make edible shot glasses out of hard candy, hard candy infused vodka, and more. Makes a fun party treat or creative gift!

I was on Facebook, and Princess Pinky Girl posted how to make Jolly Rancher shot glasses. I knew our family and friends would go crazy for them, so I decided to try it out. First I needed a silicon shot glass mold – they’re pretty inexpensive and with Amazon Prime, I got it quickly. I also bought a huge bag of Jolly Ranchers, but any hard candy will work.

 

How to make edible shot glasses out of hard candy and hard candy infused vodka. Makes a fun party treat or creative gift!

I tried out the recipe, and it worked!

How to make edible shot glasses out of hard candy and hard candy infused vodka. Makes a fun party treat or creative gift!

So I decided, since it’s Christmas and all, to make Candy Cane Shot Glasses. I thought they’d be cool to use for the Chocolate Pudding Shots or to use with cold coffee. And the kids would love to put M&Ms, ginger ale or sparkling cider in them!

How To Make Edible Shot Glasses

How To Make Edible Shot Glasses How To Make Candy Cane Vodka
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Ingredients

  • Your choice of hard candy (To make Jolly Rancher shot glasses I used 14 candies of various colors in each mold, and for Candy Cane shot glasses I used 3-1/2 to 4 candy canes in each mold.)
  • A silicon shot glass mold
  • 1 750 ml bottle of your favorite vodka (we only use Tito's Handmade Vodka)
  • 12 candy canes (or 6 messed up candy cane shot glasses!)
  • 1 big mason jar, or several small ones

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place the silicon mold on a cookie sheet.
  3. Fill each mold cavity with 13- 14 unwrapped Jolly Ranchers. I used several different colors in each glass.
  4. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the candy is all melted. Watch it though - you don't want it to start bubbling.
  5. Remove from oven and let cool completely in the mold. Put them in the fridge to speed up the process.
  6. Once completely cool, remove from mold and serve with your favorite drink or treat!
  7. Put the candy canes in the mason jar
  8. Top with the bottle of vodka
  9. Put the lid on the jar, and wait.
  10. In a few hours, the candy canes will dissolve, and when they're dissolved completely, it's ready!

Notes

Make sure that each mold is completely covered with the candy that you choose. If you don't put enough candies in, they won't form a full shot glass.

If you do get bubbles in the glasses, use a metal spoon to tap them out while the candy is still hot. Keep it in the freezer once the vodka's ready. br]
This works with any hard candies. You can find my recipe for Jolly Rancher vodka [here
.

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So there you have it! Lots of fun cocktail ideas, how to make edible shot glasses, and how to make Candy Cane vodka. Do you have a favorite creative cocktail recipe to share? I’d love to pin it to my Happy Hour board on Pinterest!

Follow Natalie Hoage – Mommy of a Monster’s board Happy Hour on Pinterest.

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Holiday Cocktails Ideas: Champagne Jello Shots

The holidays here, and these holiday cocktail ideas will add some cheer to your next holiday party! Includes champagne jello shots, crockpot sangria & more.

The holidays are here, and while it’s still 80 degrees in So Cal, we are all decorated for Christmas and I’m planning my menus for our big holiday dinner and Christmas morning brunch. One of my favorite things to plan are new holiday cocktail recipes, and I’ve got some good ones to share!

Holiday Cocktail Ideas

The holidays here, and these holiday cocktail ideas will add some cheer to your next holiday party! Includes champagne jello shots, crockpot sangria & more.

This recipe for Champagne Jello Squares got two thumbs up from everybody who tried them. All it takes is a great bottle of sparkling wine like Gloria Ferrer, some gelatin, and whipped cream vodka. Convivial, social, elegant, fun — the sparkling wines of Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards are a perfect match for any holidays and are arguably the most social beverage. Exuberant and fruit-forward, their wines are outstanding with holiday cuisine (and it doesn’t hurt that Gloria Ferrer wines have earned over 400 gold medals and 50 90+ scores in the last 5 years!)

Gloria Ferrer’s sparkling Blanc de Noirs is great for holiday cocktail recipe because it’s silky with a hint of sweetness. Add some Pop Rocks when you’re ready to serve and they really make the squares pop!

Holiday Cocktails Ideas: Champagne Jello Shots
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Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 cups Gloria Ferrer Blanc de Noirs, or your favorite sparkling wine
  • 1/2 cup whipped cream flavored vodka
  • 2 packets unflavored gelatin
  • Pop Rocks (optional)

Instructions

  1. Add the sparkling wine to a small pan and stir in the gelatin. Let sit for 1 minute.
  2. Over medium high heat, bring the wine and gelatin to a gentle boil, stirring constantly. Continue cooking and stirring constantly until the gelatin is dissolved, about 5 minutes.
  3. Pour the mixture into a lightly greased 13x9 baking dish.
  4. Place in the refrigerator until the gelatin solidifies, about 3 hours.
  5. Cut into squares and keep in the fridge until ready to serve.
  6. Add the Pop Rocks for a pop of fun!

Notes

Do not add the Pop Rocks until you are ready to eat the squares! The sugar will melt the gelatin and it turns into a big mess.

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What to do with that leftover sparkling wine? Why not make an Amaretto Mimosa or a Cranberry Mimosa!

The holidays here, and these holiday cocktail ideas will add some cheer to your next holiday party! Includes champagne jello shots, crockpot sangria & more.

Not into mimosas? This One Glass Sangria is a perfect way to use the sparkling wine!

The holidays here, and these holiday cocktail ideas will add some cheer to your next holiday party! Includes champagne jello shots, crockpot sangria & more.

Another holiday cocktail favorite is Sangria. There’s so many holiday variations to try! Since the holidays are all about cinnamon and homey spices, the Gloria Ferrer Carneros Pinot Noir is the perfect choice. It’s earthy and brambly with hints of black cherry, cedar, and spice and has a smooth mouthfeel and long finish.

The holidays here, and these holiday cocktail ideas will add some cheer to your next holiday party! Includes champagne jello shots, crockpot sangria & more.

It also goes great with a holiday meal. And make sure that when you open your wine, you use my favorite wine opener, the Rabbit Wine Opener which makes opening wine bottles a cinch! You can watch how easy it is to use here.

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Check out this recipe for Crock Pot Cranberry Apple Sangria that we’ll be having at our family holiday party (she’s got lots of other delicious holiday sangria recipes too!)

The holidays here, and these holiday cocktail ideas will add some cheer to your next holiday party! Includes champagne jello shots, crockpot sangria & more.

Wine not your thing? I’ve got more holiday cocktail recipes, too! Here’s a fun one…Candy Cane Vodka. It’s unique and fun and you can add it to warm hot chocolate for a kick. Or add it to my Chocolate Pudding Shots recipe!

The holidays here, and these holiday cocktail ideas will add some cheer to your next holiday party! Includes champagne jello shots, crockpot sangria & more.

And what better way to end an evening than with a cuppa? This Adults Only Coffee has Amaretto, Kahula, and is absolutely delicious!

The holidays here, and these holiday cocktail ideas will add some cheer to your next holiday party! Includes champagne jello shots, crockpot sangria & more.

And if you’re enjoying a night around a campfire or firepit, this Apple Pie Moonshine sounds delicious!

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.