Frozen Grapefruit Palomas

Frozen Grapefruit Palomas | The ELL BLog

Frozen Grapefruit Palomas | The ELL BLog

Frozen Grapefruit Palomas | The ELL BLog

Frozen Grapefruit Palomas | The ELL BLog

Frozen Grapefruit Palomas | The ELL BLog

Margaritas are always my go-to Taco Tuesday cocktail (ok, and basically my any-other-day-of-the-week drink if I’m being honest). While I love the perfect simplicity of a great marg, sometimes it’s fun to mix things up! This week, I decided to make up a pitcher of frozen grapefruit palomas for our weekly taco fest, and let me tell you these are YUMMY. I’ve become a really big fan of blended drinks this summer, since there’s something so fun about throwing things in a blender and getting a yummy consistency. The fresh grapefruit in the palomas adds just the right amount of tartness, and the tequila is well supported by a touch of sweetness from the agave.

Speaking of tequila, if you’re looking for an incredible spirit from another local California company, then let me recommend Greenbar! Based out of the Arts District in LA, the distillery makes the world’s largest collection of craft organic spirits, all inspired by the distillery’s California location. Their IXÁ silver tequila is my favorite, since it’s so smooth and doesn’t have the crazy burn you get with a lot of other tequilas! Greenbar is also exceedingly environmentally conscious as a company, and they go even further by planting one tree per every bottle sold to help contribute to a better planet.

So grab your blender, set out your taco fixins, and get ready for the ultimate Taco Tuesday!

Frozen Grapefruit Palomas (Makes 2)

6 oz. Grapefruit juice (about 1 grapefruit)

3 oz. Silver Tequila

1.5 oz. Agave

Juice from 1 lime

3-4 c. Ice

Lime wedge

Salt

Place all ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth (more ice can be added to thicken). Use wedge of lime around rim of glasses, and dip in salt. Pour cocktail into both glasses, top with lime wedge, and enjoy!

5 San Diego Happy Hours to Try in August

With summer seeming to speed by, I can’t believe it’s already time for another installment of San Diego happy hours! For the month of August, I’ve highlighted bars from the heart of downtown up to La Jolla, including my FAVORITE place for $5 poke as well as the best spot to grab $1 oysters by the pool!

5 San Diego Happy Hours to Try in August | The ELL Blog1.Market Hall

Located downtown at the start of East Village, Market Hall is a gourmet food shop with a fantastic selection of high end products including cheeses, wines, and ready-made meals. The spot also has an onsite bar and restaurant which offers a daily happy hour from 4-9pm. Yep, you read that right — it lasts for 5 hours! And to make it even better, all of their happy hour offerings are INCREDIBLE. Rosé is only $4, and that poké and cucumber stack pictured above is a simple $5. It’s a pretty quiet spot, but definitely worth a stop if you’re looking for some amazing food and drinks at ridiculously great prices.

5 San Diego Happy Hours to Try in August | The ELL Blog

2. Park & Rec

This indoor/outdoor concept in University Heights offers a double happy hour Monday – Thursday from 4-6 and again from 10 til close. Cocktails and wines are $6 each, so you can grab a Pimm’s Cup and head to the back house for a game of corn hole. If you’re more interested in people watching, grab one of the adirondack chairs on the front patio and soak up the neighborhood scene.

5 San Diego Happy Hours to Try in August | The ELL Blog

3. The Pool House

The newest rooftop spot to join downtown San Diego, The Pool House is an outdoor bar at The Pendry Hotel that opens to the public nightly starting at 5pm. Don’t miss out on their “Rooftop Social” during the week from 5-7 when their entire menu is half off. San Diego happy hours don’t get much better than this — oysters are just $1 each, and wines start at $5.50. You’ll feel like you’re staying at a five star resort for none of the cost!

5 San Diego Happy Hours to Try in August | The ELL Blog

4. The Smoking Goat

After getting back from Paris, Elliot & I sometimes (more like always) crave a European atmosphere. Enter The Smoking Goat, an intimate French restaurant in North Park that serves up farmhouse style cuisine. Stop in Monday – Friday from 5-6pm for their nightly happy hour, which includes $4 beers and $5 wines. If you’re feeling indulgent, splurge for the escargot and duckfat truffle fries, which are just $6 each.

5. Catania

Whiskenladle Hospitality’s fifth Italian restaurant, Catania, is perched above Girard street in La Jolla, offering both city and partial ocean views from the patio. Their daily “apertivo” runs from 3-6pm, where you can order discounted cocktails and bites. Authentic appetizers include beef carpaccio, arancini, and a salami plate, while drinks range from wines to simple craft cocktails.

Interested in learning more about San Diego happy hours? Read my previous guides here, here and here!

Strawberries and Cream Cocktail

Strawberries and Cream Cocktail | The ELL Blog

Strawberries and Cream Cocktail | The ELL Blog

Strawberries and Cream Cocktail | The ELL Blog

Strawberries and Cream Cocktail | The ELL Blog

Strawberries and Cream Cocktail | The ELL Blog

Strawberries and Cream Cocktail | The ELL Blog

Strawberries and Cream Cocktail | The ELL Blog

Strawberries and Cream Cocktail | The ELL Blog

I don’t know about you, but I think one of the best parts of summer is being able to find the freshest, juiciest strawberries at the farmer’s market. Elliot and I love using them for everything — with waffles for breakfast, muddled in mojitos, and, of course, on top of angel food cake! Now, if you’re as big of an angel food + strawberries fan as my husband, then you will LOVE this new recipe. The strawberries and cream cocktail tastes just like the airy cake in a glass, complete with a perfect frothy top and just a hint of sweetness.

For this recipe, I used Green Hope Organic Cane Vodka  since it’s the perfect accompaniment to the organic farmer’s market strawberries! Green Hope Vodka is 100% USDA Certified Organic, non-GMO and gluten free, so you can feel even better about drinking a cocktail. I always prefer to use locally sourced liquors, too, and all of their vodka is hand-bottled in California and ethically sourced from responsible farming. And if that wasn’t great enough, Green Hope also gives back 1% of sales to the Organic Farming Research Foundation. So basically this vodka is a win-win all the way around 😉

As you probably know by now I’m a pretty big fan of pink drinks (see herehere and here for more pink cocktail inspo), but I personally think this one actually TASTES pink! Hope you enjoy!

Strawberries and Cream Cocktail (makes 1)

3-4 strawberries

3/4 oz. Cream of Coconut

1.5 oz. Green Hope Vodka

3 oz. Club Soda

Ice

Place strawberries and cream of coconut in a shaker and muddle for at least 30 seconds. Add vodka and ice; shake well. Strain into glass, and top with 3 oz. of club soda. Garnish with a strawberry and enjoy!

This post was sponsored by Green Hope Vodka, and all opinions are my own. 

5 San Diego Happy Hours to Try In July

My monthly guide of San Diego happy hours is back (see here and here for previous guides)! For July, I’m highlighting some favorites in Hillcrest, La Jolla, Mission Hills and South Park. Read below to find out where to get the best fish tacos on happy hour, which place in San Diego is making cocktails with their own fruit wines, and where to stop in South Park with the pup for a glass of wine!

1. Hundred Proof

5 San Diego Happy Hours to Try in July | The ELL Blog

This brand new bar concept is located just down the street from the group’s first restaurant Trust (one of my go-to favorites for brunch). With a modern-meets-woodsy vibe, Hundred Proof is a great spot to grab craft cocktails and bites. From 3-7pm during the week, they offer $7 craft cocktails, $6 wines and $5 beers, plus $3 off all food. Their fish tacos were some of the best I’ve ever tried, and they were only $6 for a plate of three! Their marble bar and jackelope wallpaper make it a pretty fun spot to Instagram, too.

2. Fruitcraft

5 San Diego Happy Hours to Try in July | The ELL Blog

Recently re-conceptualized from a winery to a fermentery, FruitCraft in Hillcrest is making some of the most interesting cocktails in San Diego. All of their wines and spirits are made from a range of fruits other than grapes, such as pineapples, pomegranates, cranberries, and mangoes. FruitCraft then uses these to mix up a range of unique cocktails, such as their take on a Moscow mule made with pumpkin wine! While they don’t currently offer a traditional daily happy hour, stop by on the weekend for Sangria Saturdays and get discounted red and white sangrias.

3. Bar by Red Door

5 San Diego Happy Hours to Try in July | The ELL Blog

Located in Mission Hills, Bar by Red Door is the sister concept to their adjoined farm-to-table restaurant, Red Door. The space is filled with hanging plants, modern seating, and plenty of natural light, with a bar menu written out on an entire wall-length mirror. Happy hour runs daily from 5-7, and includes $8 cocktails, $6 wines and $5 beers. They also offer food on happy hour as well, with farm fresh offerings like caprese lettuce wraps and mixed vegetables.

4. Whisknladle

5 San Diego Happy Hours to Try in July | The ELL Blog

Happy hour at this La Jolla gem is everyday from 4-6, making it the perfect spot for a drink near the beach. All libations are $5.55, including select cocktails and house sangria. Small plates are also on happy hour, including a bowl of local mussels and garlic toast. Weekend happy hours are especially hard to come by in La Jolla, so definitely keep Whisknladle in mind if you’re around on a Saturday or Sunday!

5. The Rose Wine Bar

5 San Diego Happy Hours to Try in July | The ELL Blog

South Park is full of great local spots for food and drinks, and The Rose Wine Bar is no exception. The bar has a patio perfect for pups, and they offer an extensive wine list for anyone’s palette. During happy hour (Monday – Wednesday from 4:30-6:30 and Thursday-Sunday from 11:30-6:30), glasses of wine and flatbreads are $2 off, and beer & cider are just $5. Corkage is also reduced to $5 during happy hour, too, so you can pick out a bottle in their shop to share!

Mixing up Tequila Cocktails with Shaker & Spoon

It’s no secret that I love trying new cocktail recipes, especially when they involve tequila. But sometimes finding inspiration can be a little difficult; enter Shaker & Spoon, a monthly delivery service that brings the inspo to your door step!

Mixing up Tequila Cocktails with Shaker & Spoon | The ELL Blog

Mixing up Tequila Cocktails with Shaker & Spoon | The ELL Blog

Mixing up Tequila Cocktails with Shaker & Spoon | The ELL Blog

Mixing up Tequila Cocktails with Shaker & Spoon | The ELL Blog

Mixing up Tequila Cocktails with Shaker & Spoon | The ELL Blog

Mixing up Tequila Cocktails with Shaker & Spoon | The ELL Blog

Mixing up Tequila Cocktails with Shaker & Spoon | The ELL Blog

Each month, Shaker & Spoon designs a box around a particular liquor and sends you everything you need to make 3 different recipes (minus the alcohol). I received the “Tequila Blanco” box, which means I got to mix up all of the cocktails with my favorite bar cart tequila – Altos Blanco.  The box came with a Mexican Spice syrup, habañero shrub, tajin seasoning, chili peppers, mole bitters, agave & simple syrup, ginger beer,fresh produce, and three detailed recipe cards. Plus, there are enough ingredients to make four of each cocktail, so you can share them with friends! My favorite recipe from this month’s box was the “Burro Buck,” which combined tequila with the Mexican spice syrup and ginger beer.

For those new to crafting cocktails, Shaker & Spoon also includes a glossary card explaining the methods used in each recipe as well as the specific tools needed. I also love how they include all of the garnishes needed for each of the cocktails, too! If you’re looking to mix up your cocktail routine, or simply want to get some fresh new ideas each month, I’d highly recommend trying out Shaker & Spoon. If you sign up by July 4th, you’ll receive their “Pisco Fever” box which has some yummy tiki flavors that are perfect for summer time!

This post was sponsored by Shaker & Spoon, and all opinions are my own.