Remember the summer I acquired a taste for gin? It’s since become my favourite spirit. In fact, around this time last year I even ventured to Vancouver Island to track down an infamous local gin unavailable in Alberta (I also made a cocktail with that one!). Although the gin I brought home from my coastal travels is long gone, late last year I stumbled on Eau Claire Distillery via Instagram (their bottles are gorgeous and totally drew me in!). Imagine my surprise to find out we have an incredible, award winning distillery less than an hour from home! Over the holidays I took a trip to the visit their distillery in Turner Valley with my Mom (who loves gin) and my brother (who was home from New York and loves cocktails) for a tour and tasting — and we were all completely blown away by the quality of Eau Claire’s hand crafted offerings and their farm to glass approach. Now that I know they exist (and they’re local!) I actually can’t fathom using anything else in my cocktails! Over the last couple of months, we’ve padded our bar with several of Eau Claire’s artisinal spirits — including their most recent offering, Cherry Gin.
In honour of love day, I’m so excited to share my Rose Infused Cherry Gin Fizz! This feminine, fruity and lightly floral cocktail combines Eau Claire’s stunning Cherry Gin with my favourite Prosecco, a splash of fresh lemon juice and a Rose & Pink Peppercorn Infused Honey Simple Syrup for a contemporary spin on the classic French 75. My Rose Infused Cherry Gin Fizz is a beautiful addition to your Valentine’s Day menu, but can be enjoyed anytime you want to indulge in a gourmet craft cocktail at home! As always, it’s free of dairy, gluten and refined sugar — and bursting with fruity flavours, floral undertones, unique botanicals and a refreshing effervescence. The best part? Eau Claire is helping me share the love this Valentine’s Day by giving away a Cherry Gin Cocktail Caddy valued at $99 to one of my Canadian friends — check out the bottom of the post for details on how to enter!
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!
I’ve been testing this recipe since December — and it feels so good to finally publish it! Typically I go through 3 – 5 rounds of recipe testing and for my Roasted Purple Cauliflower with Red Pepper Romesco, the fourth time was the charm. If you’ve been following along on my socials, you may know that I had an unfortunate accident with a new kitchen knife on Easter Monday, sliced my index finger and wound up in the ER. Ironically, I was recipe testing. I’ll save you all the gory details because this is a food post after all, but long story short — I ended up with 5 stitches, one very sore finger, minimal nerve damage and a mild reaction to a Tetanus shot that left me with a rash all over my upper body (it’s been a rough couple of weeks!). So if it’s seemed a bit quiet around here, that’s why. It was such a struggle to do pretty much everything during the first week while I was healing up, but my stitches came out Thursday and I’m on the mend. The whole thing was pretty scary and I’m just incredibly grateful it wasn’t any worse! Thank you for all your well wishes and your patience as I attempted to navigate through life at a slower pace these past couple of weeks.
Now, onward and upward! After a week of being terrified to use my kitchen knife and not being able to actually wield it to chop anything, we decided to start the Wild Rose D-Tox on Monday. This is my 6th time doing it over the years and it’s not that much different than my regular, plant based diet — minus anything fermented (yes, that includes alcohol!), tropical fruit and the occasional indulgence. I like to think of it as spring cleaning for my system — and one that was definitely needed after feeling so out of whack last week with my Tetanus shot, taking painkillers (I prefer not to take medication unless absolutely necessary — we didn’t even have any Ibuprofen in the house!) and having to resort to a lot of frozen leftovers (thankfully, my recipe testing process affords a well stocked freezer!). Fast forward to late this week and I finally got my groove back — I was happy to be the kitchen again and feeling inspired! I used this past week as an opportunity to slow down and really focus on what I’m putting in my body to help it heal. I perfected my Roasted Purple Cauliflower with Red Pepper Romesco yesterday and I’m happy to report that it’s completely Wild Rose D-Tox friendly — I can’t wait to share it with you!
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!
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!
Hosting a New Years Eve or holiday party, and need a last minute idea to kick your decor up a notch? Add a thoughtful touch to your soirée with my DIY Mistletoe-Inspired Wine Charms! They’re cute, easy and inexpensive to create — all you need is seasonal greenery and berries, hoop earrings and copper wire in various colours. And the best part is that you can make them in less than an hour, for about $20! These wine charms are a fun way to help guests keep track of their drinks at a cocktail party, and they can also take them home as a keepsake and dry them. And if you’re hosting a New Years Eve Party, they may also come in handy at midnight!
Let me start off by saying that I’m a bit of a wino! I like to try different local wines when I’m traveling and add bottles from around the world to my (ever dwindling) collection. When I was in Oregon, I wanted to head out to Williamette Valley to do some vineyard touring — I love Oregon Pinot Noir — but was running short on time. Since I wasn’t able to visit wine country, I stopped into an urban winery in SE Portland called ENSO instead.