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Connecting Over Cocktails

Japanese Lilac Gin Lemonade + Eau Claire Distillery Parlour Gin Giveaway! | The Best Spiked Lemonade Recipe | #RefinedSugarFree #Lemonade // JustineCelina.com
Flowers, Giveaways, Local Love, Pantone, Summer, Vegetarian, Wine & Cocktails

JAPANESE LILAC GIN LEMONADE


I’m not really sure what’s happened — but this year, my love of cocktails is outshining my love of sangria (hey… no hard feelings sangria — we had a really good run!). I’ve also been dreaming of publishing a lavender lemonade for years — but funny enough, it’s never made it’s way onto these pages. I had the most delicious lavender lemonade the summer before I started blogging at some small town in interior British Columbia on our way back from a music festival — and I’ve been determined to create an equally delicious lavender lemonade ever since! That said, I know there are tons of lavender lemonade recipes out there, but now that I have a few solid years of COCKTAIL development under my belt and some incredible, unique, delicious ingredients in my bar, I thought I’d give it a go this summer!

So, while I fully intended this recipe to be a vodka-based lavender lemonade, as I moved though a rather intense testing process (remember when I mentioned I was cocktail testing over the long weekend?), I ended up swapping lavender for lilacs and vodka for gin — and I’m so glad I did! My Japanese Lilac Gin Lemonade tastes like summertime in the country and is very near to my heart — incorporating Japanese Lilac blossoms from the tree at my childhood home in rural Alberta, honey from the hives just across the stream and Eau Claire Distillery‘s award winning Parlour Gin distilled from the flourishing barley crops and unique botanicals of Alberta’s prairies. This floral-kissed, lightly effervescent lemonade was created with a thoughtful, hand crafted, farm-to-glass approach and made for lazy summer days on the patio, easy entertaining and watching the sunset behind glowing fields of canola! Join myself and my Connecting Over Cocktails crew to indulge in a summer inspired cocktail menu (check out their creations at the end of this post!) and enter to win bottle of the best gin I’ve ever tasted, along with a Tour & Tasting for 2 at Turner Valley’s Eau Claire Distillery! Cheers to hot summer nights, refreshing gourmet cocktails and the celebrating the bountiful offerings of this beautiful land!

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Spring Equinox Kiwi Elderflower Smash + Eau Claire Distillery Prickly Pear EquineOx Giveaway // JustineCelina.com
Entertain, Flowers, Giveaways, Local Love, Pantone, Spring, Wine & Cocktails

SPRING EQUINOX KIWI ELDERFLOWER SMASH


Happy first weekend of spring, friends! Wow — what a crazy, whirlwind week this has been. Between publishing our Living Room Reveal on Monday, my Style Me Pretty Living feature on Wednesday (pinch me!), a very exciting FASHION announcement (which has now published!), to a jam packed calendar full of events and meetings, plus 8 rounds of testing for this recipe (and subsequent cocktail ingredient runs before noon!), I’m finally getting a fresh cocktail for you this weekend. Initially this recipe was supposed to publish on Wednesday to welcome the first day of spring, so let’s just say my Spring Equinox Kiwi Elderflower Smash is fashionably late (like our spring weather) — but she comes bearing gifts! I’ve teamed up with Eau Claire Distillery once again to give away a full sized bottle of Prickly Pear EquineOx to one of you lovely Canadians (check out the bottom of the post for details on how to enter!).

After a long, snow covered winter, I’m elated to unleash my Spring Equinox Kiwi Elderflower Smash — a post-hibernation celebration of spring’s refreshing flavours in cocktail form! I figured it was time to pump the brakes on the gin train (let’s be real… there’s been a ton of gin drinking going down here at JustineCelina!) and introduce you to a completely unique spirit to welcome spring’s arrival. Today I’m working with Eau Claire Distillery’s award winning Prickly Pear EquineOx — a sweet, lightly citrusy, barley based vodka incorporating Alberta’s Prickly Pear Cactus with a special blend of spring botanicals. Complimented by a refreshing bouquet of elderflower, kiwi, lime, a kiss of wine, a dash of bitters and a splash of soda, I’ve created a seasonal elixir that pairs perfectly with longer evenings and balmier weather. I’ve also teamed up with 4 talented food bloggers across North America to bring you the Spring 2018 Edition of Connecting Over Cocktails! If you’re looking for some inspired cocktail ideas as we transition into spring, we’re totally got you covered — stay tuned to see what my fellow Food Bloggers of Canada are mixing up for you this weekend!

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Classic Winter Citrus Red Sangria // JustineCelina.com
Entertain, Occasions, Wine & Cocktails, Winter

CLASSIC WINTER CITRUS RED SANGRIA


Remember when I mentioned all the seasonal recipes I have in my backlog? Well, today I’m finally publishing the very first sangria recipe I ever developed — almost 10 years ago (yikes!). I honestly can’t even tell you how many times I’ve made this Classic Winter Citrus Red Sangria with friends and family over the years, but I bet it’s more than 50. In fact, it was this recipe that inspired my sangria craze — it’s the original! It was singlehandedly responsible for a large portion of my 20’s being a bit hazy and escalating some of my favourite entertaining memories (or lack there of!) in our first homes over the years! This classic red sangria never fails to get the party started (now that’s the understatement of the century!) and is my all time favourite beverage to make when we’re hosting or attending a party, especially during the cooler months. It’s absolutely delicious and approved by friends, moms, dads, grandmas, grandpas, cousins, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and inlaws — even the non-wine drinkers rave about it! So, I figured it was finally time to unleash the recipe on the world — however, I will not be held liable for any life altering hangovers that ensue after a few too many glasses (hey, it goes down easy — consider yourself warned!).

My Classic Winter Citrus Red Sangria is the quintessential holiday cocktail, marrying fruity zinfandel and apricot brandy with festive, seasonal flavours of satsuma, lime, lemon, pomegranate and a hint of cozy cinnamon. This better-for-you holiday cocktail is free of added sugar and brimming with clean, plant based ingredients plus a mega dose of antioxidants. If you love to entertain, this simple, jubilant sangria will leave your guests feeling merry and bright! And to help spread some holiday cheer, my Connecting Over Cocktails crew and I are back at it again — and this time, we’re thrilled to bring you our Holiday Edition. If you’re planning a festive celebration and looking to take the party up a notch this year, check out the bottom of this post for 5 gorgeous, seasonal sips from a handful of my favourite cocktail connoisseurs! Continue Reading

Watermelon Frosé Margaritas // JustineCelina.com
Entertain, Summer, Wine & Cocktails

WATERMELON FROSÉ MARGARITAS

You guys, this week has been such a whirlwind! Between spending time in the prairies working ahead on some exciting new projects, capturing tons of content for JustineCelina, publishing 3 blog posts, speaking at a YYC Blogger Babes event last night about The Business of Blogging and attending another event earlier today for a new partnership — I’m totally having a cocktail (or two) tonight as I finish up this post!

If you’ve been following along with my Insta Stories this summer, you’ve undoubtedly seen me whip up a Watermelon Frosé Margarita. She was a fun recipe to test and a fast favourite among friends and family — a pretty, pink cocktail gone rogue! This time, my Connecting Over Cocktails crew and I are serving up an array of seasonal, fruity cocktails for our Summer Edition and I knew I wanted to do something a bit different. Today I’m shaking things up with my Watermelon Frosé Margaritas — an icy sangria 2.0 with an attitude, and tequila on her breath! In true JustineCelina style, she’s made with just 5 ingredients blended over frozen watermelon creating a naturally sweet, feisty summer cocktail that embraces fruity flavours with a margarita essence and a Himalayan pink salted rim! If you, too are in desperate need of a refreshing cocktail this weekend (hellooooooo, heatwave), check out the bottom of this post for inspired summer sips from my mega talented foodie friends!

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Coastal Orange Blossom Gin Cocktail // JustineCelina.com
Entertain, Flowers, Spring, Travel, Vegetarian, Wine & Cocktails

COASTAL ORANGE BLOSSOM GIN COCKTAIL

It’s the first Friday of spring, so my food blogger friends and I thought it was the perfect occasion to celebrate! Today I couldn’t be more excited to bring you the Spring Edition of Connecting Over Cocktails where I’ve teamed up with 7 talented food bloggers across North America to showcase a plethora of floral flavours in cocktail form. If you’re looking for innovative cocktail ideas as we spring forward, you’ve come to the right place — just scroll down to the bottom of this post to see what my fellow Food Bloggers of Canada members whipped up for you this weekend!

I’m embracing this beautiful new season here at JustineCelina with my Coastal Orange Blossom Gin Cocktail — inspired by my recent trip to the west coast. Delicate and ultra mellow, this refreshing spring sipper features small batch, hand harvested, artisanal gin from Canada’s Vancouver island complimented by a fusion of orange blossom water and hydrating coconut water, finished with a splash of fresh orange juice. With just 4 ingredients, this elegantly understated gin cocktail is simple to prepare, but sure to impress. My Coastal Orange Blossom Gin Cocktails would be the perfect accompaniment to a light spring lunch, garden party, birthday party or shower. If you’re in the mood for something lighthearted this Friday afternoon, settle in for this ultra floral, spring inspired recipe!

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Vanilla Pomegranate Mulled Wine // JustineCelina.com
Entertain, Gluten Free, Occasions, Vegetarian, Wine & Cocktails, Winter

VANILLA POMEGRANATE MULLED WINE

I don’t know about you, but I’m in desperate need of a cocktail — and today I’m in good company! Do you remember this past summer when I collaborated with a handful of my favourite food bloggers to create a patio-inspired drink? It was a blast and we figured it was about time to do it again! I’m elated to share my Vanilla Pomegranate Mulled Wine as part of our second Connecting Over Cocktails collab — this time with a cozy, seasonal flavour focus! If you’re looking for some fantastic cocktail ideas as we transition into the holiday season, we have some serious cocktail inspiration in store for you today. Be sure to check out the bottom of this post for seven festive cocktail recipes from my fellow Food Bloggers of Canada members. Cheers to creative collaboration and connecting over cocktails!

‘Tis the season for my Vanilla Pomegranate Mulled Wine — a sophisticated twist on a holiday classic! Luxurious flavours of pomegranate and vanilla mix and mingle with robust Zinfandel, clementines, honey, cloves, star anise and a touch of nutmeg to warm you from the inside out! This mulled wine is chock full of antioxidants and healing spices, because who doesn’t love a festive beverage with feel good health benefits? If you’re hosting a holiday celebration this season and looking for a crowd-pleasing beverage to serve, welcome guests with a warm mug of Vanilla Pomegranate Mulled Wine. It’s the ultimate in cold weather comfort — like a cashmere sweater for your taste buds!

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Rosé Lychee Elderflower Sangria // JustineCelina.com
Entertain, Flowers, Food, Summer, Wine & Cocktails

ROSÉ LYCHEE ELDERFLOWER SANGRIA

It would be an understatement to say that I’ve been on a bit of a rosé kick lately. And if you know me at all, you’ll know I really love sangria. So this summer, I decided to create a refreshing rosé sangria with floral, fruity notes to unite my favourite beverages! My Rosé Lychee Elderflower Sangria is a flirty, feminine twist on traditional sangria where an effervescent, dry rosé takes center stage, complimented by flavours of lychee, elderflower, lemon, white peach and strawberry (with lots of bubbles!). These pretty wine cocktails are best enjoyed with friends — whether you’re dining al fresco, hosting a summer dinner party, attending a baby shower, or prepping drinks for girls night! Yes way, rosé!

And do you know who else loves fabulous summer cocktails? My super talented food blogger friends, who I’ve teamed up with on this Connecting Over Cocktails collaborative post to kick off patio season! If you’re looking to really shake things up this summer, we’ve got some serious cocktail inspiration in store for you today. Check out the bottom of this post for five fresh, seasonal cocktail recipes from fellow Food Bloggers of Canada members. Cheers to sharing the love and connecting over cocktails! Continue Reading