Summer Rosé Sangria

Summer Rosé Sangria | The ELL Blog

Summer Rosé Sangria | The ELL Blog

Summer Rosé Sangria | The ELL Blog

Summer Rosé Sangria | The ELL Blog

Summer Rosé Sangria | The ELL Blog

Summer Rosé Sangria | The ELL Blog

Rosé season is here, and I’m not giving it up anytime soon. My fridge is stocked with virtually every cute bottle or can I that I get my hands on. There’s just something about sipping on a chilled pink drink that makes me so happy for summer.

I have been waiting and waiting and waitingg to get my hands on a bottle of this Summer Water rosé since I first saw it online last year. The bottle is a collab between Yes Way Rosé + Winc, and it’s a match made in heaven. If the name isn’t cute enough, the rosé will have you hooked. I’m partial to dryer and less sweet wines, and this one meets both of those. I want to fill all of my shelves with their darling bottles (but then there wouldn’t be room for food..)

Since I seem to have become a bit of a rosé collector (ok hoarder), I wanted to come up with a cocktail recipe that would include my favorite pink beverage. This brings me to the latest recipe – a fruity summer rosé sangria! It’s light and fresh, making it a perfect beach or pool day drink. The flavors of the pineapple and watermelon compliment the crisp wine, and the sparkling water gives it a little spritz. Any of the fruits can be switched up for whatever summer produce you have on hand, too. Strawberries, raspberries, peaches, or grapefruit would all be yummy alternatives!

Summer Rosé Sangria

1 bottle of Summer Water rosé

1/2 c. cubed pineapple

1/2 c. cubed watermelon

1 lemon, sliced

1 c. sparkling lemon water

Pour bottle of rosé into pitcher. Add sliced fruit, and top off with sparkling water. Let wine + fruit chill in refrigerator for at least one hour. Pour over ice and sip away all day!

A DIY Tropical Summer Fiesta in 4 Easy Steps

A few weeks ago, we hosted a fun tropical summer fiesta in honor of Cinco de Mayo, and it made me realize what a fun theme it would be for any summer party! The bright colors, pineapple margs, and yummy nacho bar all came together for an evening of early summer fun. If you’re looking for some tips on throwing a fiesta of your own this season, I’ve outlined a four easy ways  below to help you do it yourself!

DIY Tropical Summer Fiesta | The ELL Blog

DIY Tropical Summer Fiesta | The ELL Blog

DIY Tropical Summer Fiesta | The ELL Blog

DIY Tropical Summer Fiesta | The ELL Blog

DIY Tropical Summer Fiesta | The ELL Blog

• Bring the color: For our party, I wanted to go with colors that were a little more unique than a typical Cinco de Mayo party. I was inspired by a pack of colorful banners I found at Target, and decided to ground everything with a vintage pink Mexican blanket I’d picked up at the flea market. Next, I added slight levels to the table with an overturned bowl and cake stand to add dimension. I finished it off with a few different tropical elements from around the apartment, like a ceramic pineapple, brass candlesticks, a vintage New Mexico tray, and a few piñatas!

Incorporate fresh elements: I also wanted to bring some fun tropical elements to the table, and florals + fresh fruit did just the trick. The floral arrangement was actually created from several of Trader Joe’s small wildflower bunches, which even came with pincushion proteas. The entire bouquet cost less than $7! I also tucked a fresh pineapple, coconut, and limes amongst the table decor, too.

Setup a margarita station: A tropical summer fiesta wouldn’t be complete without a pitcher of homemade margaritas! To add a tropical twist, we made them with pineapple juice, and were even able to repurpose our signature cocktail sign from our wedding (pineapple margaritas were on the menu!) Elliot squeezed over 50 limes to make the pitcher of fresh margs, and it was soo worth it. We used this recipe, and just added in a bit of pineapple juice at the end. The margarita bar also had stir sticks, straws, and lime wedges so guests could dress up their glasses. We also had a bucket of Mexican beers on hand for those less partial to margs 🙂

Create a build-your-own nacho bar:I love a themed party because it means getting to come up with a creative menu. Obviously chips and dips were a must, and our lovely friends each brought their favs to contribute to the afternoon! We had fresh shrimp ceviche, guacamole, jalapeño garlic dip, and, of course, lots of salsa. As for the main event, we thought a nacho bar would be a fun concept since everyone could build their own plate. We made some overnight barbacoa in the crockpot + some homemade queso, and then set out a bunch of other fresh toppings. My favorites to set out include:

  • Fresh tomatoes
  • Green onions
  • Diced red onions
  • Sour cream
  • Salsa
  • Jalapeños
  • Corn
  • Black beans

So there you have it – just add some music and a few friends, and you’ve got yourself a tropical summer fiesta! Hope you find some time this summer to celebrate the warm weather with a marg in hand.

5 Summer Pool Essentials for the Ultimate Pool Day

5 Summer Pool Essentials for the Ultimate Pool Day | The ELL Blog

5 Summer Pool Essentials for the Ultimate Pool Day | The ELL Blog

5 Summer Pool Essentials for the Ultimate Pool Day | The ELL Blog

5 Summer Pool Essentials for the Ultimate Pool Day | The ELL Blog

5 Summer Pool Essentials for the Ultimate Pool Day | The ELL Blog

5 Summer Pool Essentials for the Ultimate Pool Day | The ELL Blog

5 Summer Pool Essentials for the Ultimate Pool Day | The ELL Blog

5 Summer Pool Essentials for the Ultimate Pool Day | The ELL Blog

5 Summer Pool Essentials for the Ultimate Pool Day | The ELL Blog

5 Summer Pool Essentials for the Ultimate Pool Day | The ELL Blog

5 Summer Pool Essentials for the Ultimate Pool Day | The ELL Blog

5 Summer Pool Essentials for the Ultimate Pool Day | The ELL Blog

In the summer time, I’m somewhat obsessed with going to the pool. Any day the sun is out, I want to be laying out in the sunshine, sipping on a cocktail and reading a good book. Throw in some cute pool accessories, and my day is made. To help you experience ultimate pool day, I’ve put together five of my 5 summer pool essentials below!

• Drink floaties: Why hold your own drink when it can float in the pool?! Drink floaties may be some of my favorite pool day accessories since they are so simple to inflate and super fun to use. ban.do now makes their own line of mini floaties, and they come in either round pink +yellow stripes or bright red hearts. And if you’re going to have a drink by the pool, you should probably be sipping out of a pink party straw, too.

• Canned rosé: Judging by the number of canned wines that are popping up in stores, I think it’s safe to say I’m not the only one that thinks portable rosé is a summer pool essential. Winc is currently selling these adorable Ruza rosé cans for the summer, and I think they make for the perfect poolside beverage. If you’re in the mood for a cocktail instead, my Tropical Guava Rum Punch recipe is pretty and pink, too.

• Fresh snacks: Snacks are definitely a pool necessity, and they’re even better when they’re colorful! A plate of fresh tropical fruit pairs perfectly with a can of fizzy rosé and leaves you feeling hydrated, which is a plus. Strawberry papayas are my new fav, too since they are small and such a vibrant color inside.

• A good book: One of the best ways to pass the time in the sun is with a good book in hand. Some of my favorites I’ve read recently include Sweetbitter, The Regulars,  A Game for All the Family, and The Girls.

• A killer playlist: I’m not sure about you, but having music by the pool makes me feel like I’m on vacation. I personally love my Bose Soundlink bluetooth speaker since it’s portable and has a concentrated enough volume so it doesn’t disturb other people nearby. Bob Marley or a Chainsmokers Spotify station has definitely been the go-to playlists for the weekends lately!

Hope you enjoyed these fun pool day tips! + thanks to ban.do for the fun pool day goodies! 

Perfect Fresh Lime Margaritas

The Perfect Fresh Lime Margaritas | The ELL Blog

The Perfect Fresh Lime Margaritas | The ELL Blog

The Perfect Fresh Lime Margaritas | The ELL Blog

The Perfect Fresh Lime Margaritas | The ELL Blog

The Perfect Fresh Lime Margaritas | The ELL Blog

The Perfect Fresh Lime Margaritas | The ELL Blog

The Perfect Fresh Lime Margaritas | The ELL Blog

The Perfect Fresh Lime Margaritas | The ELL Blog

The Perfect Fresh Lime Margaritas | The ELL Blog

A pitcher of fresh lime margaritas might be one of the greatest things in the world. Okay, that might be a biiit of an exaggeration, but there’s something so special about the simplicity of a good margarita. Give me some fresh squeezed lime juice, a bit of agave, and a dose of tequila and I’m set – chips and salsa optional.

My love affair with margaritas ends, however, the moment sweet & sour or any other artificial mixers come into play. I don’t want to sound rude, but a fresh margarita is nothing compared to all of the pre-made mixes that are found in the tequila section of the grocery store. But there’s good news! Fresh lime margaritas are practically just as easy to make, so put that neon mix away, grab some limes, and read on!

After lots (and lots and lots) of marg testing, I like to think Elliot & I have come up with the ultimate margarita recipe. And this is coming from my husband who frowns on tequila in any other capacity, but will gladly sip on one of these. Trust me, they’re good. Plus, this recipe is so simple that it’s even become a staple during our weekly Taco Tuesday dinner.

The key to the right fresh lime margarita is a balance between the tartness of the limes, the sweetness of the agave, and the boldness of the tequila. My favorite part of this recipe, though, is the bit of bubbles that are added at the end. I am partial to any bubbly drink (hello, sparking rosé), and the slight hint of carbonation here really helps to lighten up the marg. I personally like to use club soda or lemon sparkling water in the recipe, but other flavored seltzers or sodas work great, too.

When it comes to the tequila, I always gravitate towards using blanco varieties in my margs. I’ve found Altos Tequila Plata to be one of the best for its price point, since it lends a great flavor to the margaritas – and the bottle is pretty rad, too. If you’re more of a reposado or añejo fan, though, stick with what you love.

Now, what better holiday to mix up a pitcher of these beloved margaritas than Cinco de Mayo?! This is another one of my favorite holidays, because who doesn’t love another excuse to have endless tacos, salsa + margs? Side note: How perfect are these pink cactus stir sticks for Cinco? Once again the amazing Roc Shop has slayed the cocktail game with these perfectly pink babes. They will definitely be in action at our fiesta on Saturday (and yes, it has been renamed a “Seis de Mayo” party). However you’re celebrating this week, I hope you’ll find yourself cheers-ing with a few of these margs!

Fresh Lime Margaritas (Serves 2)

4 limes, juiced (about 1/2 c. of juice)

1 oz. Agave nectar

4 oz. Blanco tequila

Club soda/lemon lime soda (or any bubbly beverage)

Juice the four limes into a shaker. Add agave and tequila, and shake well to combine. Rub a lime wedge along the rims of two glasses, and dip in salt. Fill glasses with ice. Pour margarita mixture into both glasses and top off with the bubbly beverage of your choice. Grab a lime wedge and stir stick, and you’re ready to party!

Elderflower Gin Fizz

Elderflower Gin Fizz | The ELL Blog

Elderflower Gin Fizz | The ELL Blog

Elderflower Gin Fizz | The ELL Blog

Elderflower Gin Fizz | The ELL Blog

Elderflower Gin Fizz | The ELL Blog
Elderflower Gin Fizz | The ELL Blog

Elderflower Gin Fizz | The ELL Blog

Okay, before I get to the Elderflower Gin Fizz recipe,  let me first start off by talking about how darling this bottle of gin is. I mean, the label has flowers and cacti, plus it’s called “Sunday Gin.” What’s not to love?! This is definitely my favorite gin bottle yet. The fact that it comes from You & Yours Distilling Co. is pretty cool too, since I love using local spirits (and by ‘local’ I mean it’s literally downstairs in our apartment building). If you’re in San Diego and still haven’t stopped by the distillery for a cocktail, go now!

Anyways, back to the recipe.  It’s light, floral, and has a great effervescence that comes from the La Croix grapefruit water. Side note — is anyone else obsessed with La Croix, too? It’s become my favorite thing to have around the house lately. They have so many flavors, which also makes it a perfect addition to any cocktail in need of some bubbly! Add some flowers on top, and you’re set.  I was looking for some dainty flowers for this cocktail in particular, and was so happy to find a bouquet of chamomile at Trader Joe’s. They look like miniature daisies and may have just become my new favorite flower.

Elderflower gin fizz (for 2)

4 oz. You & Yours Distilling Co. Gin

2 oz. St-Germain

12 oz. La Croix Sparkling Grapefruit

Lime

Add gin and St-Germain into an ice-filled shaker. Shake for at least 20 seconds, and strain into two glasses filled with ice. Top with grapefruit sparkling water and a squeeze of lime. Cheers!

Note: I love using the extra large Peak Ice Works cubes for cocktails like this, so the ice doesn’t melt as fast.