Tag Archives: wine

lilac 75 cocktails + lilac syrup | eat boutique

I just walked inside from a short, sun-dappled walk through the garden. This week, the temperatures have spiked upwards into the mid-nineties. All of a sudden, I’m craving more salads, donning shorts, and seeking shade. Our late-spring lilacs, tulips, and alliums have been replaced with sprawling lemon balm, bright nasturtiums, and flowering salvia. I absolutely love this ebb and flow of the seasonal changes. We’ve also packed every possible place within our yard with tomatoes, herbs, squashes, and eggplants.

It’s finally feeling like summer.

Even though the fragrant, yet fleeting, blossoms of lilacs have most likely faded everywhere by now, you’ll have to pin this particular recipe for lilac syrup to make next year. I recently created a Lilac 75, featuring this purple-hued, lilac syrup, for Eat Boutique, a story-driven recipe site, beautifully dedicated to all-things food-gifting. I met Eat Boutique’s founder, Maggie Battista last October, when I attended The Hello Sessions in Portland, Oregon. We immediately hit it off and made a day of hitting the city’s hot spots, along with our lovely, mutual friend, Bobbie.

If you’ll recall, I made a version of one of Maggie’s food gift recipes from her cookbook, Food Gift Love, back in December. I adapted her recipe for homemade grenadine and made a celebratory Clover Club cocktail here on the blog. I’m super excited and honored to be sharing even more garden-inspired cocktail recipes over on Eat Boutique in the near future! I’ll definitely keep you posted.

lilac 75 cocktails + lilac syrup | eat boutique lilac 75 cocktails + lilac syrup | eat boutique lilac 75 cocktails + lilac syrup | eat boutique

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rhubarb + rosé ramos gin fizzes | getting our hands dirty

I’m definitely a strong supporter of getting my hands dirty, both literally and figuratively. Rolling up my sleeves and doing whatever it takes to make it happen: the job, the dream, the dishes, the groundwork, the coffee.

Today is one of those extra dirty days. I scrapped my earlier introduction here because I just have to keep it real. I let the basement flood last night. This actually happened. I was home alone, happy to have an unexpected evening off. I had been catching up in the garden, planting the last of the peppers, and I walked inside the front door. I heard a fluttering sound coming from the vent. I jiggled the lever and figured that something like a piece of paper was lodged in the ducts. No big deal. I had a shower to get after.

rhubarb + rosé ramos gin fizz | initiating the jumprhubarb + rosé ramos gin fizz | initiating the jump

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blood orange white wine cocktails with campari + thyme

There is nothing like the vibrant color, sweet burst of flavor, and juicy texture that an orange can deliver in the middle of winter, especially on those cold, grey days like the one we had here in Denver yesterday. I only made it outside once yesterday and just for a moment. I fully understand the necessity of this darker season as a time for inner growth and renewal within nature. Even though my backyard garden looks dead, brown, and crusty right now, there is actually life flowing within the roots of those perennial plants underneath the snow. They’re anticipating spring’s arrival, and they’re getting ready for it.

Steve and I have already started planning what we’re going to plant in the garden this spring. I’ve even ordered some seeds to start indoors in a few weeks. And I can’t wait for that first crocus to pop through the leaves, followed closely by the daffodils and tulips. We have been faithfully watering the spots where we planted tulip bulbs this past fall, along the circular walkway we recently built in the front yard. In our minds, spring has already sprung. Simply imagining the new growth puts a smile on our faces and a lilt in our steps.

I recently read that with respect to taking vacations, the act of anticipating the getaway is just as exciting as actually going on the vacation. The happiness factor is equal. One thing that Steve and I are trying to do more frequently is plan little getaways. Having something fun to look forward to is bringing the two of us closer as a couple and keeping us motivated through the tough or dull times.

blood orange wine cocktails with campari + thyme | holly & flora blood orange wine cocktails with campari + thyme | holly & flora

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tart cranberry gin sparklers | fiercely ringing in the new year

Happy New Year’s Evel!!

Can you even believe the year is almost over? As I type, I’m feeling like a well-worn mix tape comprised of half a French press of coffee, two glasses of Lucien Albrecht brut rosé, several glasses of water, two plays of BØRNS’ Dopamine, thoughts of a hot shower, and a slight dread of this evening’s activities. This past year has been a great one, albeit one of highs and lows, interspersed with periods of mayhem and moments of peace. In one breath, I say I’d have it no other way, and in the very next, I dream of a deprivation tank.

C’est la vie!

I’m not quite ready just yet to craft an introspective tirade or a hopeful, inspired declaration for 2016. That will most likely happen this weekend. For now, I still have a writing assignment to finish, a suit to press, and four hours of sleep to catch before the craziest shift of the year. We have nearly 700 reservations on the books, and the last thing I want to do is pop bottles for a roomful of tipsy people. From the way I’m talking, it sounds like I am bereft of life and energy, but, in fact, I’m bursting from the seams and ready to tackle the next project. I just need a few days to reset, to recharge, to freaking sleep.

And then, it’s GO!!

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strawberry + watermelon rosé popsicles | #popsicleweek

Happy Popsicle Week!

There are only a couple more days of this official celebration of all-things-frozen-and-delicious, hosted by the creative and affable, Billy of Wit & Vinegar. This is year two of his popsicle round-up, featuring a lineup of insanely creative recipes from bloggers across the interwebs. This exhaustive list will keep you inspired and glued to your popsicle mold well into early fall.

I’ve been making some sort of fruity popsicle, since I was five. I owe any popsicle prowess to my mom. She kept it simple and would freeze our Juicy Juice in the most adorable, kid-sized Tupperware molds. I wish I still had them. I’ve since moved on to a little more “involved” popsicle, adding whole fruits, coconut milk, nuts, and even edible flowers to the mix. This summer, however, was the first time I thought of adding a little extra kick: rosé!

strawberry + watermelon rosé popsicles | holly & flora strawberry + watermelon rosé popsicles | holly & floraAround our house, with two sommeliers in the kitchen, these boozy popsicles are affectionately known as “somm pops.” I think we’d imbibed a tad too much wine one evening, when we came up with the title. We ended up sketching plans for a recipe book, featuring popsicles made with wine, perfectly paired with their other ingredients. The next morning, the whole idea sounded ridiculous, but I’m still rocking their new name!

Keep in mind that booze doesn’t freeze as solidly as water or juice does. In fact, these particular pops melt kind of quickly, if you’re standing in the hot, summer sun. I wouldn’t decrease the amount of rosé in the recipe, however. The whole point is to enjoy a delicious, frozen, sangria-like concoction on a stick. I kept mine chilling in an iced wine bucket, and they didn’t melt as fast. You’ll notice a darker color at the top of these popsicles. I added a little blackberry liqueur, just before I froze the pops. I will most likely omit this on my next recipe, since the liqueur melted almost instantly. It made for a beautiful color, though.

strawberry + watermelon rosé popsicles | holly & flora strawberry + watermelon rosé popsicles | holly & flora


strawberry + watermelon rosé popsicles | somm pops


  • 10 ounces dry rosé {I went with Lorenza rosé}
  • 7 ounces watermelon juice
  • 1 ounce blood orange liqueur {I used Solerno}
  • 1 ounce agave nectar
  • 1 ounce lime juice
  • 6-7 sliced strawberries
  1. Chill down your rosé, so you’ll have something to sip on, while you make your pops.
  2. Juice your watermelon. I used my Hurom juicer, but you can also simply blend watermelon chucks and then pour the juice through a fine-mesh strainer to remove any particulates.
  3. In a bowl, combine the rosé, the freshly juiced watermelon, orange liqueur, agave nectar, and lime juice. Whisk well to incorporate.
  4. Place two or three sliced strawberries into each popsicle mold and pour the rosé mixture on top, leaving about 1/4″ space at the top, so the liquid has room to expand.
  5. Add your popsicle sticks and freeze at least three hours or until solid.
  • This recipe makes ten popsicles. I used the Prepworks mold, sold on Amazon.
  • Remember, these are boooooozy pops, so they will melt faster. That’s not exactly a bad thing, when you want a light, summery buzz. You just have to enjoy them quicker.
  • Substitute any other berries you have on hand. Raspberries would be divine here.

strawberry + watermelon rosé popsicles | holly & flora strawberry + watermelon rosé popsicles | holly & flora strawberry + watermelon rosé popsicles | holly & flora strawberry + watermelon rosé popsicles | holly & floraSo, I can’t leave out a tasting note on the Lorenza rosé. It has been one of my favorite pink wines this summer. In fact, I picked up an entire case, and I’m up for another one soon. Lorenza is crafted by a lovely mother and daughter duo, Melinda Kearney and Michèle Lorenza Ouellet. Their wine is crisp, dry, delicate, and delicious. The aromas and flavors in this rosé were a perfect match for the strawberries and watermelon in the popsicles.


lorenza rosé, california, 2014


  • On the eyes  –  It’s a brilliant, pale peach.
  • On the nose  –  Slightly under-ripened strawberry, quince, and pear, with light, floral aromas.
  • In the blend  –  44% Grenache, 33% Carignan, 15% Mourvèdre, 8% Cinsault.
  • On the palate  –  This rosé is dry and crisp with a racy, mouthwatering acidity. Lean and light in body, Lorenza still has an almost satin-like mouth-feel, supplied by the rich fruit on the palate. Lots of strawberries with a clean, mineral-driven, balanced finish. More, please.
  • On the table  –  I loved pairing this rosé with a watermelon caprese salad. The acidity in the wine was a perfect complement to the fresh mozzarella. Rosé isn’t only for delicate food presentations, either. Enjoy this wine with briny oysters, any summer salads, or, one of my favorites, a veggie burger with ample amounts of avocado.
  • On the shelf  –  Find it for around $19.

strawberry + watermelon rosé popsicles | holly & flora strawberry + watermelon rosé popsicles | holly & flora strawberry + watermelon rosé popsicles | holly & flora strawberry + watermelon rosé popsicles | holly & floraWhat kind of popsicles are you making this summer? If you haven’t made any yet, here are a few other boozy pops I’m definitely going to try over the next few weeks. Whether you call them “poptails,” “cocktail pops,” or “somm pops,” get out and make yourself some!

I’ll add a little catch-up on the happenings from the garden this past week. It has been super hot and toasty with little rain, so I have had to water a little more frequently. No watering was necessary in June, but it is definitely the stereotypical summer now. Full-on heat and sunshine. And the new “secret garden” that we build along the side of our detached garage is seriously taking off. I’m so glad we turned a formerly fenced-in waste of space into an eye-catching and engaging edible growing area.

Happiest of weekends to you!

Jayme

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