Summer Cocktails

If you guys are friends with HOME | a furnishings boutique on Facebook, you’ll have noticed that I’ve been writing a lot about my favorite cocktails.  The recent summer like weather here in Philly just makes me want to be outdoors with friends…with a drink in hand.

Classic cocktails have made a huge comeback lately which makes me very happy.  They’re usually very strong, beautifully presented, and oh-so-tasty!  A major benefit is that they usually contain very few ingredients making them that much easier to whip up on a whim.  One of my favorites, the sidecar, is no exception, containing only three:  cognac, cointreau and lemon juice.  The recipe I follow:

1 1/2 oz cognac

3/4 oz cointreau

3/4 oz lemon juice

Shake vigorously with ice and pour into a sugar rimmed glass.  If in a bind or on a budget, you can replace cognac with brandy and cointreau with triple sec.

In my opinion, the best glassware to use for Sidecars are classic coupes.


Looks good right?  Some skip the sugar rim, but it’s a must in my book.  It doesn’t taste nearly as good without.

I love margaritas, but have never been great at making them.  They always end up too strong or overly sour.  But I found a solution:  flavored margaritas!  Adding a juice gives it a sweetness (that I prefer) and tones down the alcohol a bit.  My favorite is probably watermelon, but it’s not yet watermelon season – and does bottled watermelon juice exist?  If so, can someone tell me where to buy it?  While I wait for watermelons to arrive, I’ve been making guava margaritas.  You can purchase guava juice at the grocery store (it’s located in the “international” foods aisle in mine), so it makes the recipe that much more simple:

1 1/2 oz tequila

1/2 oz cointreau (I often substitute w/triple sec)

juice of 1 freshly squeezed lime

guava juice

Rim glass with salt.  Mix tequila, lime juice and cointreau together in a glass with ice.  Top off with guava juice to taste.

margarita copy

This may seem strange, but I have a slight aversion towards margarita glasses.  I just don’t like the way they look.  However, these wine goblets by Canvas are perfect for margaritas.  Since they taper and have a larger mouth, they have just the right amount of space for a nice salted rim.  And they’re pretty too.

Making drinks for yourself and one other person is one thing, making drinks to please a crowd is a completely different story.  Usually, my main concern is time and cost.  Most people don’t have bartenders at their parties (unless you’re super fancy), and you certainly don’t want to spend the entire party preparing drinks.  That’s why sangria is always my go-to for parties.  It’s super affordable, you can whip it up ahead of time (the day before is even better), set it out and you’re done!  This is my favorite recipe (courtesy of Martha Stewart):

1 bottle inexpensive red wine (rioja or a cabernet sauvignon is good)

1/4 cup brandy

4 cups (32 oz) gingerale / sprite / 7up

sliced fruit (oranges, limes, lemons, apples, grapes – anything you have on hand works!)

Combine all the ingredients except for soda and let it sit for a few hours if possible (or overnight).  Mix in chilled soda right before serving.


Doesn’t the sangria look great in this decantor from Roost – we just got them in at the shop.  People are always asking what I would use these little glasses from Canvas for – obviously perfect for sangria and so many other things:  juice, water, wine, cocktails…but they’re actually meant to hold tea!  They’re hand blown and made of recycled Morroccan glass and come in green or blue.  I love how they stack up and are really pretty when blue and green glasses are stacked together.

All the glassware in these photos are available at HOME.  Contact me if you are intererested in purchasing any (or all!) of them.  Or stop in and check them out in person!


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