Just ahead of the holiday season, I’m thrilled to bring my sixth sangria recipe to JustineCelina today (if you’re new here, why yes, I adore sangria!). In years past, I’ve shared my tried and true recipes created with wine and spirits you would traditionally associate with sangria — but over the years as I honed my mixology skills I’ve also become just as passionate about craft cocktails. Now that I have a well-rounded baseline of sangria and cocktail recipes to work from, I find myself drawn to more creative and interesting ingredient combinations and flavour profiles — and that’s exactly how the idea for my Violette Noir Berry Sangria was born! Although I have a Classic Winter Citrus Red Sangria (my original sangria recipe that inspired all the others!), I’d always wanted to develop a berry-forward sangria using less conventional grapes and liqueurs. So this summer, I got to work using some of the more elusive ingredients in our bar — and today I’m finally sharing the recipe, after 6 months of extensive testing!
My Violette Noir Berry Sangria is a dramatic, berry-infused libation where bold, luscious flavours of raspberry-laden Chambord, floral Crème de Violette, juicy blackberry and a fresh kiss of citrus intertwine over an elegant Pinot Noir backdrop. This sophisticated, Parisian-inspired spin on traditional red sangria is as intricate as it is accessible — seducing both wine lovers and skeptics with each delicious, antioxidant-rich sip. It’s the ideal accompaniment to festive cocktail parties, formal occasions, holiday dinners or anytime you’re craving a refined, wine-based bracer to delight and surprise even the most discerning of palettes! As always, my Violette Noir Berry Sangria brimming with fresh, better-for-you ingredients and is free of added sugars — because I believe in balance in all areas of life. Cheers to a happy and healthy holiday season!
Craft cocktail lovers, I’m back today with fall’s first libation in celebration of Autumn Equinox! If you frequent my FOOD or COCKTAIL sections, you’ll know that my most inspired creations are born out of making use of what we have on hand to yield unexpected combinations — and that’s exactly how this recipe came together. Late August is when our annual case of Okanagan peaches arrives and every year I end up going into peach recipe overdrive, while simultaneously eating my body weight in peaches. I’ve explored peaches in smoothies, sangrias and crumbles (that recipe will have to wait until next summer), but this year I had an itch to experiment with my favourite summer stone fruit in a proper cocktail. We’d been grilling up a storm for dinner one Friday evening and Adam had some delicious Smoked Maple Bourbon kicking around — and voila, my Smoked Peach Maple Bourbon Smash came to life right there on our patio!
This summer-meets-autumn sip juxtaposes the essence of juicy late summer fruit with a smoky grilled edge, infused with spicy autumnal warmth to create the ultimate transitional cocktail that’s equal parts sweet ‘n spicy. If you still haven’t had your fill of late summer peaches, get your grill on and imbibe this simple but sassy cocktail sure to impress both bourbon lovers and bourbon skeptics (believe it or not, I was the latter prior to this cocktail!). As always, my Smoked Peach Maple Bourbon Smash is free of dairy, gluten and refined sugar — and brimming with better-for-you ingredients, because I believe in balance in all areas of life. Grilled Okanagan peaches, Smoked Maple Bourbon, 100% pure Canadian maple syrup, fresh thyme, spicy ginger beer, fresh lemon juice, a splash of soda water and a dash of bitters are shaken to perfection and served over ice in this quintessentially September libation!
In the wake of Summer Solstice, I’m so excited to share the first clean COCKTAIL of the season here at JustineCelina! Those of you who follow along with my Instagram Stories will know this one has been in testing since early April, when the first rhubarb of year starting popping up in my local farmer’s markets. This year I hosted the special ladies in my life for Mother’s Day brunch and created this signature cocktail inspired by them to celebrate the occasion! I’m happy to report my Raspberry Rhubarb Rosé Spritz received rave reviews after 15 rounds of testing and perfecting — my Mom even exclaimed “Now that’s a keeper!” upon first sip!
My Raspberry Rhubarb Rosé Spritz typifies the season in a jubilant celebration of all things feminine, fruity and nostalgic. Rhubarb and raspberries have always reminded me of my Grandmother’s garden and berry picking at the family farm — so I channeled some of my fondest childhood memories into this cheerful libation! A summer-inspired trio of rhubarb, raspberries and honey combine in a scratch-made Honeyed Raspberry Rhubarb Syrup to infuse this effervescent cocktail with seasonal panache, beautifully complimented by sparkling rosé, local craft vodka, soda water, fresh lime juice and a dash of bitters. Enjoy this pretty, Pantone Living Coral inspired spritz with the special ladies in your life this summer — it’s the perfect menu addition for your next summer soirée, brunch, baby or bridal shower, or girls night in! Cheers!
Clean COCKTAIL lovers, I’m back with 2019’s first better-for-you libation! I’ve actually been testing my Gingered Cara Cara Grapefruit Paloma since last February — but because my recipe testing process is so intense, believe it or not, my star ingredients went out of season by the time I had it perfected (call me crazy, but that’s how committed I am to the perfect cocktail!). So, I waited until the height of citrus season this year to publish the recipe — and I’m so glad I did, because the results are absolutely delicious!
Have you ever had (or heard of) a Paloma? In true JustineCelina style, I’ve elevated this traditional Mexican cocktail with a fresh, plant-based, seasonal spin. My Gingered Cara Cara Grapefruit Paloma is a simple, refined sugar free, 6 ingredient ode to citrus season in cocktail form! Freshly squeezed Cara Cara orange, Ruby Red grapefruit and vibrant lime juice combine with Reposado tequila, spicy ginger beer and a Himalayan pink salted rim to create a jubilant, citrus-centric tipple bursting with vivacious Spanish flavour. Escape the depths of our Canadian winter and transport yourself to a sun-drenched, white sandy beach in just 10 minutes — no plane tickets required!
Happy love day, friends! This year, I’m putting a PANTONE 2019 Colour of the Year spin on Valentine’s celebrations with a warm, pink-hued introduction to all things Living Coral! By now, you’ve likely heard about 2019’s hottest hue — either here at JustineCelina, or elsewhere online. As a creative professional, I’ve followed PANTONE (the global colour authority for creative industries) for inspiration my entire career. In fact, I even have a section dedicated to them here on the blog to categorize all my PANTONE inspired work throughout the years! As someone who’s very inspired by colour, I love to stay informed about the latest colour trends and allow them to inspire, challenge and push my creative work.
As you can probably imagine, I’m particularly passionate about PANTONE’s selection for 2019! If you’re craving a serious dose of colour to help see you through these final wintery months as we (slowly but surely!) transition into spring, today’s post is an ode to Pantone’s 2019 Colour of the Year. Get ready for a mega dose of Living Coral inspiration — including my favourite ideas to inspire you to incorporate this beautifully vibrant and energetic hue into your personal style, home decor, plants, flowers, beauty routine and even your food and drink this year!
Happy winter solstice, beautiful people! I’m back today with my Homemade Dairy Free Coconut Rum Eggnog — a festive holiday beverage that’s been in my family for decades, but has recently undergone a contemporary, plant-based makeover! I have so many cherished memories of our neighbours making this eggnog for everyone on our country road to enjoy on Christmas Eve (it never lasted long!). Unfortunately, over the years as I developed a dairy sensitivity I was no longer able indulge — that is, until last holiday season! I decided it was about time to give my favourite eggnog recipe a clean, dairy-free makeover by swapping milk and heavy creams with coconut-based alternatives, regular eggs for the free-run, local, farm-fresh variety, table sugar with 100% pure Canadian maple syrup, spiced rum for Eau Claire Distillery’s seasonal, Limited Edition Gin Rummy, infusing our homemade eggnog with cinnamon sticks and topping it off with decedent dark chocolate shavings. As always, this festive cocktail is free of dairy, gluten and refined sugar — and has become my favourite healthier holiday indulgence!
We actually perfected this recipe last holiday season (who remembers the Stories?!) shortly after I discovered Eau Claire Distillery (I’ve since used almost every single spirit they make in my COCKTAILS!). During our lazy, cozy days in the country between Christmas and New Years Eve, 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 that’s where my love affair with these incredible, farm-to-glass, artisinal spirits began. For their Christmas presents, my Mom and brother chose a bottle of their favourite spirit, on me. Gin Rummy was Jared’s spirit of choice — a unique, wintery, gin-meets-rum remix boasting warm notes of winter spice with a botanical, herbaceous backdrop. It was actually this limited edition spirit that inspired the makeover of our favourite holiday eggnog recipe — as soon as it hit my lips, I knew it was the missing ingredient! As we enjoyed the second batch of experimental eggnog for New Years Eve, my family confessed they actually liked it better than the original version — and that’s when I knew I had to share our update Homemade Dairy Free Coconut Rum Eggnog with you! To celebrate our one year anniversary and thank you for your support this year, I’ve teamed up with Eau Claire Distillery to give away a bottle of Limited Edition Gin Rummy, along with a Tour & Tasting for 2 at Turner Valley’s Eau Claire Distillery (check out the bottom of this post for details on how to enter!). Cheers and happy holidays!