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!


SPRING EQUINOX KIWI ELDERFLOWER SMASH


Spring Equinox Kiwi Elderflower Smash + Eau Claire Distillery Prickly Pear EquineOx Giveaway // JustineCelina.com

Since visiting Eau Claire’s tasting room in Turner Valley late last year I’ve become absolutely obsessed with their unique artisinal spirits, to put it mildly. As I mentioned in my Rose Infused Cherry Gin post, we’ve added several bottles of Eau Claire’s unique offerings to our bar — but the Prickly Pear EquineOx was actually my first love and my very first purchase from the brand. On first sip of the EquineOx over ice, I got sweet, kiwi-esque notes from it right away. This beautiful bottle has adorned our bar for the past few months and ideas for how to capture the defining properties of this incredible spirit in a cocktail have been dancing around in my head ever since. Once thing I knew for sure was that I wanted to experiment with fresh kiwi — and they’re in season this month!

Spring Equinox Kiwi Elderflower Smash + Eau Claire Distillery Prickly Pear EquineOx Giveaway // JustineCelina.com

Since the spirit itself was actually inspired by spring’s arrival on the Alberta prairies (hey spring… did you catch the memo?!), I figured it would be perfect in my annual spring cocktail. Did you know we actually have a lot of dessert land here in southern Alberta (sometimes we even shoot style content there!)? Having grown up on the prairies I’m very familiar with the Prickly Pear Cactus this liquor is distilled from. I think cactus are so beautiful and we have several in our home — in fact, the cactus in these photos is usually perched on the floor right next to the south facing windows of our newly refreshed living room! As soon as I learned Eau Claire’s EquineOx included Prickly Pear Cactus, I marveled at how clever and unique the spirit was — just another example of their local, farm to glass approach! Alberta is so lucky to have them.

Spring Equinox Kiwi Elderflower Smash + Eau Claire Distillery Prickly Pear EquineOx Giveaway // JustineCelina.com

Fast forward to March and this cocktail idea had already been marinating in my mind for a few months. Longtime readers will know I’m a fan of elderflower flavours (back in my sangria phase I worked with them in my Rosé Lychee Elderflower Sangria), but had been wanting to work with St. Germain liquer, specifically. I knew elderflower flavours would play well with the Prickly Pear EquineOx because the very first cocktail I ever mixed up with Eau Claire spirits the night I brought them home was EquineOx with Elderflower Tonic (yes, Eau Claire also makes their own tonics — and they’re to die for!). I love me a floral cocktail — and there’s no better time than spring to play with floral flavours!

Since my foray into cocktailing, I’ve noticed that I also gravitate towards drinks that feature Lillet Blanc — a French, wine-based aperitif. It’s lightly sweet and definitively floral with a wine essence. It’s an incredible mixer for cocktail loving winos, like myself! Although St. Germain and Lillet Blanc tend to pair will with gin, I really wanted to try them with the Prickly Pear EquineOx to create a unique cocktail — and I’m so glad I did, because the flavour combination is so quintessentially spring and works perfectly!

Spring Equinox Kiwi Elderflower Smash + Eau Claire Distillery Prickly Pear EquineOx Giveaway! // JustineCelina.com

I figured that since these spirits and liquers are quite sweet (and floral), we’d need a citrus, herbal and fruity note to balance things out (but as a bonus, there is no added sugar, natural or refined, in this recipe!). I decided on fresh kiwi and lime for the fruity and citrus notes, a few dashes of Angostura bitters to enhance this spring elixir and a splash of soda water for a hint of effervescence. This is actually my first time including bitters in a cocktail — and I’m not sure why I waited so long! After taking part in an Eau Claire’s Cherry Gin cocktail making event and learning from their Tasting Room Manger that bitters are essentially like the ‘salt and pepper of cocktails’, I knew I wanted to start playing with them. If you’ve never used bitters before, don’t be intimidated — they’re actually quite mild tasting, not bitter at all (more herbal), and really help to balance out sweet and floral notes (not to mention, they’re believed to have some pretty interesting medicinal qualities!). If you pick up a bottle of Angostura Bitters, you’ll be hard pressed to use the entire bottle — even if you’re a cocktail fiend! It’s a great investment for your home bar if you’re looking to take things up a notch.

Spring Equinox Kiwi Elderflower Smash + Eau Claire Distillery Prickly Pear EquineOx Giveaway! // JustineCelina.com

So, let’s get to making my Spring Equinox Kiwi Elderflower Smash, shall we friends? Although there may be a few more ingredients then you’re used to, if you’re into mixology or also building a well stocked home bar, these ingredients are fantastic staples if you tend to favour fruity, floral cocktails like me. You can find Eau Claire spirits in select stores across Alberta — including Kensington Wine Market, Liquor Depot, Co-op and Highlander liquor stores. St. Germain and Lillet Blanc are also available in most of those locations (except Liquor Depot), and I purchased our Angostura Bitters at Vine Arts — one of my favourite Calgary destinations for unique spirits, wines and ingredients.

Spring Equinox Kiwi Elderflower Smash + Eau Claire Distillery Prickly Pear EquineOx Giveaway // JustineCelina.com

Also, the palette for this spring cocktail was inspired by the Pantone Spring 2018 Colour Trend Report. Pastel lavender tones are a huge trend this spring — they also happen to be present on Eau Claire’s gorgeous label! I absolutely love the way they pair with fresh greens and can’t wait to explore lavender hues across categories here at JustineCelina this spring.


Ingredients


Yield: 1 cocktail

Spring Equinox Kiwi Elderflower Smash with St. Germain Liquer, Lillet Blanc, Angostura Bitters, Kiwi, Lime and Soda + Eau Claire Distillery Prickly Pear EquineOx Giveaway! // JustineCelina.com

• 1 oz Prickly Pear EquineOx
• 2/3 oz St. Germain
• 1/2 oz Lillet Blanc
• 2 dashes Angostura Bitters
• 1/2 oz freshly squeezed lime juice
• 1/2 oz fresh kiwi + juice (half a kiwi)
• 1/2 oz soda water

Optional Garnish
• Kiwi slice
• Lime slice or peel
• Edible flowers

Spring Equinox Kiwi Elderflower Smash + Eau Claire Distillery Prickly Pear EquineOx Giveaway! // JustineCelina.com


Instructions


1. Add a few cocktail ice cubes to your glass.
2. Add Prickly Pear EquineOx, St. Germain, Lillet Blanc and Angostura Bitters to your glass.

Spring Equinox Kiwi Elderflower Smash + Eau Claire Distillery Prickly Pear EquineOx Giveaway // JustineCelina.com

3. Add freshly squeezed lime juice to your glass.
4. Add the contents of half a kiwi into your glass by slicing it down the centre and squeezing the fruit (plus whatever juice is produced) over your cocktail glass. This is a more effortless was to achieve a muddled effect — but since we’re not adding any sugar to this cocktail, it works perfectly!
5. Add soda water. Stir to combine.
6. Garnish with your fruit or flower (or both!) of choice and enjoy immediately!

Spring Equinox Kiwi Elderflower Smash + Eau Claire Distillery Prickly Pear EquineOx Giveaway! // JustineCelina.com

SPRING EQUINEOX KIWI ELDERFLOWER SMASH


Prep Time 5 minutes
Servings 1
Author Justine Celina Maguire

Ingredients

  • 1 oz Prickly Pear EquineOx
  • 2/3 oz St. Germain
  • 1/2 oz Lillet Blanc
  • 2 dashes Angostura Bitters
  • 1/2 oz freshly squeezed lime juice

  • 1/2 oz fresh kiwi juice (half a kiwi)
  • 1/2 oz soda water

Instructions

  1. Add a few cocktail ice cubes to your glass.


  2. Add Prickly Pear EquineOx, St. Germain, Lillet Blanc and Angostura Bitters to your glass.

  3. Add freshly squeezed lime juice to your glass.

  4. 
Add the contents of half a kiwi into your glass by slicing it down the centre and squeezing the fruit (plus whatever juice is produced) over your cocktail glass. This is a more effortless was to achieve a muddled effect -- but since we're not adding any sugar to this cocktail, it works perfectly!


  5. Add soda water. Stir to combine.


  6. Garnish with your fruit or flower (or both!) of choice and enjoy immediately!


Spring Equinox Kiwi Elderflower Smash with St. Germain Liquer, Lillet Blanc, Angostura Bitters, Kiwi, Lime and Soda + Eau Claire Distillery Prickly Pear EquineOx Giveaway! // JustineCelina.com


CONNECTING OVER COCKTAILS LINK PARTY  |  SPRING 2018 EDITION


Looking for more spring cocktail inspiration? Check out these refreshing spring sips from some of my Canadian food blogger friends! If you’ve been with me for awhile, you’ve likely heard me praise their talent, passion and creativity — their work (and support) is a constant inspiration to me. Not to mention, they sure know how to make a cocktail! There are a few fresh faces in our Connecting Over Cocktails family spring, so be sure to swing by for a spring cocktail and tell them I sent you!

Bernice at Dish ‘n’ the Kitchen’s The Mastical Maia | A Springtime Elixir

Dana at Killing Thyme’s Spiked Strawberry Lemonade Fizz

Evelyne at Cultureatz’s Lilac Violet Wedding Cocktail

Jess at Cooking in my Genes’s Grapefruit Lavender Spring Blossom Cocktail

Spring Equinox Kiwi Elderflower Smash + Eau Claire Distillery Prickly Pear EquineOx Giveaway! // JustineCelina.com


(NOW CLOSED) EAU CLAIRE DISTILLERY PRICKLY PEAR EQUINEOX GIVEAWAY!


It’s Prickly Pear EquineOx giveaway time! Eau Claire and I had so much fun teaming up for a giveaway last time (and you guys really seemed to love it, too!) we’ve decided to do it again! I want everyone to be able to sample their spirits and learn how to make craft cocktails at home — and now you have the chance to do just that!

Spring Equinox Kiwi Elderflower Smash + Eau Claire Distillery Prickly Pear EquineOx Giveaway! // JustineCelina.com

So, what’s up for grabs? This time, we’re giving away a full sized bottle of my first love, Eau Claire’s Prickly Pear EquineOx!

To enter to win a bottle of Prickly Pear EquineOx, valued at $48.95:

• Follow JustineCelina on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest
• Follow Eau Claire Distillery on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter 
• Leave a comment below telling me your favourite spring cocktail!

Bonus entry for Instagram users:

• Head over to this post and follow the instructions!

Contest open to Canadian residents until March 31st, 2018 at 11:59pm MST. Must be a Canadian resident of legal drinking age to enter. Good luck!


CARE FOR ANOTHER ROUND? MORE SPRING INSPIRED, FRUIT FORWARD COCKTAILS


Spring Equinox Kiwi Elderflower Smash + Eau Claire Distillery Prickly Pear EquineOx Giveaway // JustineCelina.com

Rose Infused Cherry Gin Fizz

White Citrus Sangria

Coastal Orange Blossom Gin Cocktail

Rosé Lychee Elderflower Sangria

Blueberry Lemon and Cucumber Gin Mojitos


Have I convinced you to check out Eau Claire’s amazing spirits yet? If you haven’t already, you really should — they’re truly in a league of their own! As always, if you whip up Spring Equinox Kiwi Elderflower Smash (or any of the other cocktails from this spirited spring collab) please let me know how you liked them — I love your feedback!

Spring Equinox Kiwi Elderflower Smash + Eau Claire Distillery Prickly Pear EquineOx Giveaway! // JustineCelina.com

Feel free to leave me a comment, or tag me on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook. I’d love you to hashtag #justinecelinarecipes in your recreations so I can find them — browsing my feed and stumbling on your beautiful recreations is one of my favourite feelings! I also have a Pinterest board for my recipes if you’re looking for more plant based culinary inspiration and creative seasonal cocktails. Thanks for joining my food blogger friends and I today to bring in spring! Cheers, everyone — enjoy your weekend and best of luck if you’re entering the giveaway!


Disclaimer: Thank you to my friends at Eau Claire Distillery for providing the Prickly Pear EquineOx I used in this recipe and for facilitating this giveaway. Thank you to Rebecca Dawn Design for the blooms I used to style this post and to my friend Kate for lending her tastebuds. JustineCelina uses affiliate and referral links, which allow me to receive a small commission when you make a purchase through one of my links. Thank you for supporting the brands and businesses that support JustineCelina.com!

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18 Comments

  • Reply Steph March 25, 2018 at 8:28 am

    My favourite springtime cocktail is a prosecco sangria, sweet fruity and bubbles to lighten the drink!

    • Reply Justine March 25, 2018 at 11:06 am

      You’ve got great taste, Steph! I LOVE prosecco sangria — but I’ve really only tried it during the holidays. I have a delicious Sparkling Pomegranate Cranberry Sangria recipe if you’re interested! Cheers and thanks for the entry. Best of luck!

  • Reply Evelyne CulturEatz March 25, 2018 at 8:51 am

    Yeah, the memo for spring got lost here too in Quebec, grr. But I love love love your cocktail creation and I am so curious about this Prickly Pear EquineOx flavor. Fabulous recipe and such gorgeous pics! Cheers Justine!

    • Reply Justine March 25, 2018 at 11:08 am

      I feel like winter is dragging on across the world this year! I hope you get to try the Prickly Pear EquineOx. It’s definitely the most unique spirit I’ve ever tried and so quintessentially Alberta. I’m obviously a huge fan! Cheers Evelyne and thanks for joining in on the Connecting Over Cocktails fun this time around — we’re delighted to have you!

  • Reply Bernice Hill March 26, 2018 at 8:29 am

    Spring. It’s only a distant memory…
    I definitely don’t eat enough kiwi and this cocktail sounds like a great way to get some more into my diet, lol!
    Sounds (and looks) like you smashed it out of the park! We still have our very first bottle of Eau Claire EquineOx…one of the original bottles back when it was Equinox without an ‘E’!

    • Reply Justine March 26, 2018 at 1:01 pm

      I really hope spring decides to grace us with its presence soon! I’ve certainly been doing my best to summon it with all these cocktails lately. Haha!
      I love the way kiwi pairs with the EquineOx, plus the seeds add an interesting textural element. Cheers, Bernice — it’s always a pleasure collaborating with you! Hope to see you around soon. 🙂

  • Reply Lisa March 26, 2018 at 10:47 am

    Wow! I did not know that Alberta has deserts and cacti. That is so cool — I live in BC right now and can’t wait to visit Alberta sometime soon. I don’t usually make or drink cocktails (more of a wine lover), but this sounds really flavourful and refreshing!

    • Reply Justine March 26, 2018 at 1:03 pm

      I don’t think many people do, Lisa! We’re actually have some very diverse land in Alberta — everything from prairies to desert to mountains to huge, beautiful lakes. I love this province! I’m also a huge wino, but I’ve become increasingly interested in cocktails over the past year or so — and now that we have Eau Claire so close to home I’m totally spoiled for choice. Cheers and thanks for stopping by today!

  • Reply Eyecandypopper March 26, 2018 at 10:52 am

    I love anything with elderflower! This sounds delicious!

    • Reply Justine March 26, 2018 at 1:04 pm

      It’s definitely a favourite flavour of mine as well, Gabby! Cheers — I hope you’re settling into your new place and it’s starting to feel like home. I love following along on Facebook!

  • Reply Dana March 26, 2018 at 4:14 pm

    Look at you hustle, you busy Queen Bee!
    Okay, fun fact: I have Angostura Bitters AND a bit of St. Germaine in our booze cabinet. Yes, me, the non-mixologist. The bottle of bitters was part of a gift from our annual Secret Santa, and the St. Germaine was left behind by a friend after a girls night. So apparently I have some of the appropriate ingredients to make a real, sophisticated cocktail.

    That prickly pear EquineOx comes in such a gorgeous bottle!

    Your photos are stunning, ladycakes. I hope you enjoyed a few of these with your feet up after revamping your digs. The place is stunning and I bet you’re so proud! Can’t wait to get lost in your site when I move and have to decorate our new digs <3

    • Reply Justine March 28, 2018 at 11:58 am

      Aww Dana, you are always so sweet and your comments brighten my life! 🙂 It’s been a bit crazy over here lately, but in the best way possible. If you give this a try (or a modified version with either your fav vodka or gin!) I’d love to know how you like it. It’s really so easy to make once you have all the ingredients on hand!
      And congratulations on the new place! If I remember correctly, you’re in the process of building? Will you be blogging the experience at all? Either way, I look forward to following along. Cheers, lovely!

  • Reply Jessica March 28, 2018 at 12:32 pm

    Love, love, love this gorgeous cocktail! All of those flavours are right up my alley PLUS your photos are beautiful and showcase the lovely colour of kiwi. I can’t wait to try this cocktail out and cheers to you friend on another edition of Connecting Over Cocktails! Look forward to a big cheers IRL for cocktails soon!

    • Reply Justine March 29, 2018 at 10:25 am

      Thanks so much, Jess! I loved what you whipped up this time around, too. I’m so intrigued by those lavender bitters! Such a great (and hassle free!) way to incorporate the essence of lavender into a cocktail. I’m planning to play around with lavender flavours this summer, so I’m definitely going to check Scrappy Bitters out. Cheers, lady — to delicious cocktails!

  • Reply Marie March 31, 2018 at 8:45 pm

    Mmmm… looks yummy. Can’t wait to try this out. Am a huge fan of Eau Claire spirits and can often be found ramblin’ along the Cowboy Trail towards the distillery!!! Their Cherry Gin Collins is a great pick me up during these is-it-really-snowing-agaiiiin times. Can’t go wrong with all the margaritas also.

    • Reply Justine April 1, 2018 at 1:42 pm

      The drive is just beautiful, isn’t it? I’m also a huge fan of Eau Claire’s Cherry Gin as well. In fact, I made a Rose Infused Cherry Gin Fizz with it! Thanks for the entry, Marie!

  • Reply Justine April 1, 2018 at 1:45 pm

    CONTEST NOW CLOSED. Thanks for the entries, everyone. The winner will be announced shortly!

    • Reply Justine April 1, 2018 at 2:27 pm

      Congratulations to Aimée Yurris, who won via Instagram. Cheers!

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