Archive for the ‘ Cocktails ’ Category

Koloa Rum Pineapple Freeze

Koloa Rum

What if I told you that you could take a legendary childhood treat and flip it into a cocktail? Yep, that’s right, you can take Disney’s Dole Whip and “adult-ify-it” here’s how..

Few food treats have reached the iconic status that Disneyland’s Dole Whip has. I can’t imagine visiting the park and not indulging in one of these tasty treats.

For those of you that don’t know, a Dole Whip is a pineapple-flavored soft-serve ice cream. It’s practically achieved a cult following as visitors to Disney will wait in a very long line just to get one on a hot day.

The Dole Whip was originally created by the fruit company, Dole, but became available at Disneyland’s Tiki Bar in 1986. It’s now served at a few different locations in the park and also across the country, but is synonymous with Disneyland.

A few years ago I visited a non-Disney related Tiki Bar who had the GENIUS idea of adding rum to this classic frozen dessert!  GAME CHANGER!

Of course I HAD to come up with my own version to blend up at home.

The Koloa Rum Pineapple Freeze is a smooth frozen alcoholic drink that’s made in the blender. With just four ingredients you’ll have a fruity and fun drink that brings back all the childhood joy of Disneyland but with an adult twist.

The key ingredient to this recipe is the the “topper” or “floater” of Koloa Kaua’i Coconut Rum. Sustainably sourced and crafted from premium ingredients including native tall sugarcane grown on the island of Kaua’i, they use a 1210 gallon copper-pot still to create their rums. Each product is twice distilled, blended and bottled on site. Their distillery and bottling facility is housed in Kalaheo and produces both Koloa’s Hawaiian rum and Kukui brand fruit products. Unlike most rum it’s flavor is full but not overly sweet which pairs well with the sweet flavor of the frozen pineapple and ice cream, PLUS it’s 80 proof status gives the cocktail the perfect kick.

Now, get out your Disney ears and be prepared to be “wowed” by this delish Koloa Rum Pineapple Freeze cocktail. Be warned, it’s bound to bring out your “goofy” side.

Koloa Rum Pineapple Freeze

Koloa Pineapple Freeze

Koloa Rum Pineapple Freeze

Koloa Rum Pineapple Freeze

Koloa Rum Pineapple Freeze

Koloa Rum Pineapple Freeze

Koloa Rum Pineapple Freeze

Spring Cocktail Trends

Spring Cocktail Trends

Spring has SPRUNG! This time of year, we’re seeing a whole new crop of seasonal food and drink trends blooming in popularity.

…and it’s time to toast to Spring with delicious seasonal appropriate tipples (that’s cocktails you’ll want to drink again and again).

Whether you’re trying to up your hosting game or looking for the deets on what all the “cool-kids” will be ordering at the bar, read on to discover the ingredients and flavors you need to taste test this Spring.

I pulled up a barstool and chatted with Catherine Lien, Lead Mixologist at Delmonico Steakhouse at Grand Canal Shoppes inside the Venetian Resort Las Vegas to get the inside info on Spring cocktail trends and what we will be drinking this season. From the rise in Instagrammable cocktails to a call for low-ABV and healthy cocktails, Catherine shares the secrets to the perfect spring libation and recipes to make three of Delmonico Steakhouse’s signature cocktails.

Q: What are the biggest cocktail trends you are seeing for Spring 2021?

CL: Health conscience drinks promoting wellness and well-being.

Q: Tell us  “THE” drink all the cool kids will be ordering?

CL: Variations of classic cocktails. Anything from margaritas to old fashioneds. Also mezcal and tequila with fresh fruit.

Q: With health and wellness at the top of people’s minds these days, what types of cocktails are the best guilt-free cocktails for the health-conscious?

CL: Hard seltzers that are rich in antioxidants and vitamin C as well as hard iced teas and probiotic hard kombuchas.

Q: There has also been increased demand for carbon-negative/environmentally friendly products and packaging.  How has that spilled over into the world of cocktails?

CL: People are specifically looking for brands that are environmentally friendly. Companies are now looking for ways to bottle and package their brands in an environmentally friendly way, reducing their negative impact on the environment. Anything from using biodegradable or recycled bottles, sending their leftover grains to farm for livestock feed, converting waste into energy to run production of more distillation, or using locally sourced sustainable ingredients.

Q: Over the last year, (especially with TikTok) we have all been embracing at-home cocktails. Do you have a fave cocktail to mix up at home.

CL: As far as what I drink at home it is usually a dram of whiskey. However, when I do mix up a cocktail at home I prefer one that has simple ingredients and isn’t too labor-intensive. A Manhattan or old-fashioned are my go-to’s.

Q: What should the average person have on-hand to make a great cocktail at home anytime?

CL: Spirits for one. Fresh citrus, mixers, bitters, and bar tools including a mixing tin and a jigger.

Q: You mentioned that gin, mezcal, and tequila are booming — why do you think they’re doing particularly well? 

CL: I think that they are lighter spirits that can be complemented by a plethora of other flavors. Think of margaritas and tequila and mezcal with fresh fruit. Gin is a lighter spirit that has more nuances than vodka for those with more mature palates.

Q: Define the perfect cocktail.

CL: A perfect cocktail to me is one that has balance and harmony, that you want to keep drinking. It creates a symphony in your mouth and makes you really think about the ingredients and how they work together.

Q: The one thing you wish more people knew about bartending?

CL: It’s not nearly as easy as it looks.

Q: What is the weirdest drink anyone has ever ordered from you?

CL: Louis XIII rusty nails. It’s actually a classic cocktail but why would you ever mix Louis XIII with anything?

Q: Your go-to drink order right now?

CL: Any of the Glendronach single malt scotches neat.

Q: What are three must-have cocktails to order at Delmonico Steakhouse?

CL: Thyme Out of Mind, Strawberry Fields and Citrus Paradisi (recipes below)

Spring is nature’s way of saying “Let’s Party”.  I hope these Spring cocktail trends have inspired you to be blissful, be creative and be daring. Most of all I hope they have inspired you to “BE” sitting on a barstool at Delmonico Steakhouse while  Catherine Lien, Lead Mixologist mixes you up a signature cocktail.

Enjoy these splashes of joy, Chickees!

Spring Cocktail Trends

Delmonico Steakhouse Thyme Out of Mind

1.5 oz Thyme infused Whiskey
0.75 oz Blackberry Syrup
0.75 oz Lemon Juice
Combine ingredients into a shaker.  Shake and pour over ice in a rocks glass.  Garnish with a sprig of thyme and a slice of lemon.

Spring Cocktail Trends

Delmonico Steakhouse Strawberry Fields

1.5 oz Strawberry Infused Gin
0.5 oz Maurin Quina
0.5 oz Simple Syrup
0.5 oz Lemon Juice
Muddled Basil
Splash of Club Soda
In a shaker combine gin, Maurin Quina, simple syrup, lemon juice and muddled basil.  Shake, pour over ice into a rocks glass and top with a splash of club soda. Garnish with a basil leaf and cracked black pepper.

Spring Cocktail Trends

Spring Cocktail Trends

Delmonico Steakhouse Citrus Paradisi

1.5 oz Pink Grapefruit Infused Vodka
0.5oz Ginger Liqueur
0.5 oz Lemon Juice
0.5 oz Pink Grapefruit Juice
0.25 oz Simple Syrup
Splash of Sparkling Wine
In a shaker combine vodka, Ginger Liqueur, lemon juice, pink grapefruit juice and simple syrup. Shake, pour into a coupe glass and top with sparkling wine. Garnish with a lemon peel.

Spring Cocktail Trends

Spring Cocktail Trends

New Year’s Blood Orange Champagne Cocktail

Champagne New Year's Cocktail

Welcome to 2021!  We made it!

New Year’s Eve gets all the hype, but if you ask me, New Year’s Day is where the real fun is.

Don’t get me wrong, I love donning a party hat and toasting flutes of champagne while counting backwards from 10 as much as the next person. But New Year’s Eve always leaves me with an underwhelmed feeling, and occasionally a throbbing headache.

If you ask me, New Year’s Day is where the real fun is. Although this year we will be missing the Rose Bowl Parade and the NHL Winter Classic– two of my NYD traditions- New Year’s Day is still full of optimism, resolutions and of course, brunch!

And what goes better with brunch than a mimosa? This New Year’s Blood Orange Champagne Cocktail is a posh version of a mimosa that combines, rosemary, honey, blood red oranges and of course champagne to create a seasonal must-have for a boozy brunch.

Blood Oranges are one of my favorite flavors.  They are a natural mutation of sweet oranges that taste like a cross between an orange and a raspberry. Their vibrant flavor combined with Rosemary is what gives this cocktail that extra kick for the New Year.  I recommend this delicious aperitif for New Year’s Day brunch but it can be enjoyed day or night throughout the Blood Orange Season (December-March).

New Year’s Blood Orange Champagne Cocktail


  • Rosemary Syrup (rosemary and honey)
  • Blood Orange Juice
  • Champagne
  • Rosemary Springs and Orange Slices for Garnish

Mix It:

For the Rosemary Syrup- add 4-5 springs of Rosemary to 2 cups of water.  Bring to boil then let simmer for 20 minutes.  Strain out the Rosemary and allow to cool.  Once cool combine with 1 cup of honey and set aside.

For the Cocktail- in a champagne glass combine 1 Tbsp. Rosemary Syrup and 2 Tbsp. Blood Orange Juice. Fill glass the rest of the way with Champagne and garnish with a spring of Rosemary and a blood orange slice.

New Year's Champagne New Year's Cocktail

Champagne Cocktail

Champagne Cocktail


Naughty & Nice, Sugar & Spice Holiday Cocktails

Sugar & Spice Holiday Cocktails

To start off this Holiday Season just right, here’s a bit of Sugar & Spice to make everything nice.

Growing-up in the Southwest, the holidays have always included two key flavor components: Sugar & Spice.

Our Christmas morning table was always packed with an array of tamales, we would have a little bit of guacamole with Mexican egg & green chile frittata while our stockings were stuffed with sweet treats of candy canes, gummies and chocolates.

Of course as a child we would take a bite of breakfast and then sneak a few bites from our stockings — which is why I always think of Sugar & Spice when it comes to Christmas.

I wanted to share this oh so sweet & spicy “Southwestern Christmas tradition” with you, so I hopped in my sleigh and went straight to the experts.

EXPERTS in SPICE: El Segundo SOL at Fashion Show

EXPERTS in SUGAR: Sugar Factory at Fashion Show 

And here is my gift to you, Holiday Cocktail Recipes that celebrate these seasonal flavors. It’s fun to pair them with either a little bit of Sugar or a little bit of Spice.  Make them yourself at home or pop in for a much need Christmas shopping break to El Segundo SOL and Sugar Factory at Fashion Show Las Vegas to try them crafted from the experts. 

While you’re there, don’t forget to grab your photo with Santa or check out Holiday Stroll, a festive walk-through experience featuring a look into Santa’s Workshop and a magical Winter Wonderland. You can even enjoy free gift wrapping from the Gift Wrap Girls while you’re experiencing the holiday magic!

Christmas Cocktails

From El Segundo SOL

Pear Moscow Mule

  • 1 1/2 oz Sky Pear Vodka
  • 1/2 oz Fresh Lime Juice
  • Ginger Beer
  • Lime Wedge for Garnish

Combine Vodka and lime juice in a Moscow Mule mug.  Fill with ice. Top with Ginger Beer and garnish with lime wedge.

Christmas Cocktails

Sugar & Spice Holiday Cocktails

Spicy Peach Mimosa

  • 1 oz Peach Tree Schnapps
  • 1 1/2 oz Orange Juice
  • 2 oz Champagne
  • Tanjin and Sugar for rim

Rim a Champagne glass with Tanjin and Sugar. Pour Peach Schnapps and Orange Juice into glass. Top with Champagne.

Sugar & Spice Holiday Cocktails

From Sugar Factory

Poinsettia Punch

  • 4 oz Cherry Vodka
  • 2 oz Triple Sec
  • 3 oz Sparkling White Wine or Champagne
  • 2 oz Grenadine
  • 1 oz Simple Syrup
  • 6 oz Cranberry Juice
  • Gummy Christmas trees and Candy Canes for Garnish

In a Shaker combine Cherry Vodka, Triple Sec, Grenadine, Simple Syrup and Cranberry Juice.

Shake and pour over ice in a large goblet. Top with Sparkling Wine/Champagne. Garnish with Candy Canes and Gummy Christmas Trees.

Sugar & Spice Holiday Cocktails

Santa’s Snowflake

  • 4 oz Coconut Rum
  • 2 oz Blue Raspberry TORANI Syrup
  • 2 oz Simple Syrup
  • 10 oz Pineapple Juice
  • Gummy Snowmen and Candy Canes for Garnish

In a shaker combine Coconut Rum, TORANI Syrup and Pineapple Juice.

Shake and pour over ice in a large goblet.  Garnish with Candy Canes and Gummy Snowmen.

Sugar & Spice Holiday Cocktails

Sugar & Spice Holiday Cocktails

Mistletoe Mule

  • 6 oz cherry Vodka
  • 5 oz Ginger Beer
  • 6 oz Cranberry Juice
  • 2 oz Grenadine
  • .5 oz Lime Juice
  • 1 oz Cherry or Simple Syrup
  • Jelly Wreaths and Cherry Gummies for garnish

In a shaker combine Vodka, Cranberry Juice, Grenadine, Lime Juice and Simple Syrup.

Shake and pour over ice in a large goblet.  Top with Ginger Beer. Garnish with Gummies and Jelly Wreaths.

Sugar & Spice Holiday Cocktails

* This post was created in partnership with Fashion Show Las Vegas.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Sugar & SPice Holiday Cocktails

Thanksgiving Cocktails: Apple Whiskey Smash

Happy Thanksgiving Week.  Who needs a drink?  I know I do.

Thanksgiving is an all-day affair that at least in my family involves drinking, and that should still hold true in the year 2020. Sure, you probably aren’t having a HUGE family/friends gathering, and some of your family members might be a little farther away than they usually are – but no matter how you’re celebrating on November 26th, cocktails will be there for you.

Pumpkin & Spice flavors may have run their course by now so I thought I would share another wonder-FALL pairing.. Cinnamon and Apple.  These two fall classics blend together with delicious whiskey to create an Apple Whiskey Smash.

For me Thanksgiving is all about comfort and no spirit provides warm comfort like Whiskey. My whiskey of choice for this cocktail is Weed Oak Cellars Straight Bourbon Whiskey 91 Proof.

It has a smoky and roasted hazelnut aroma with notes of crisp apple, cloves and caramel-honey which makes it the perfect choice for my Apple Whiskey Smash.

This festive cocktail is sure to make your 2020 Thanksgiving feel more like a holiday and less like another Thursday spent at home.

Apple Whiskey Smash

What You Need:

  • 4oz Weed Straight Bourbon Whiskey
  • 2oz cinnamon simple syrup
  • 2oz apple cider
  • splash lemon juice
  • 6 small slices of apple
  • 6 mint leaves

Mix it Up: 

  • In a shaker, smash together the apple slices and mint with a muddler.
  • Add Whiskey, cinnamon simple syrup, cider and lemon to shaker.  Fill the shaker ¾ of the way with ice.
  • Shake, shake, shake it.  Then strain into a high ball glass with crushed ice.
  • Garnish with cinnamon stick and mint leaf.

Cinnamon Simple Syrup:

  • In a small saucepan, stir together 1 cup sugar, 1 cup water, 3-4 cinnamon sticks and  2 tsp ground cinnamon.
  • Bring to a boil over high heat.  Reduce to low and simmer 15 minutes.  Remove from heat and let steep with cinnamon sticks 10 minutes.
  • Remove cinnamon sticks pour into a mason jar and let cool.  Store in refrigerator (should last about a month).

Apple Whiskey Smash

Cinnamon Simple Syrup

Apple Whiskey Smash

See my Black Friday Bloody Mary Recipe for a perfect day-after-Thanksgiving Cocktail.