Minty Watermelon Strawberry Refresher

The best of both worlds!

Minty Watermelon Strawberry Refresher | CaliGirlCooking.com - The perfect cocktail OR mocktail for late spring celebrations like Mother's Day and Memorial Day.

In multiple senses of the words 😉 I’m super excited to bring you this Minty Watermelon Strawberry Refresher today for a couple of reasons:

  1. It can be made virgin or alcoholic – you choose depending on your situation or personal tastes.
  2. It combines some of my favorite spring produce (strawberries!) with some of my favorite summer produce (watermelon!)

If those aren’t the perfect excuses for Mother’s Day, Memorial Day and beyond, I don’t know what would be!

I first made this incredibly refreshing beverage for our monthly SB Foodie Gals meetup we had a couple of weeks ago at the Santa Barbara Mission. I love when we host our meet-ups at the Mission because we do them picnic potluck-style…everyone brings blankets, wine, cheese, cookies, you name it, and we relax and chat about our recent trials and triumphs goals for the future, etc. I feel so lucky to have met such a great group of local gals that share so many of my same passions and ambitions.

We were all sipping on this Minty Watermelon Strawberry Refresher, that I had totally made off-the-cuff and with no intention of sharing it on the blog, but after receiving so many rave reviews from the gals and requests for the recipe, I decided I better recreate and share it so everyone can make it for all of their celebrations this weekend!

Minty Watermelon Strawberry Refresher | CaliGirlCooking.com - An icy glass of one of the most refreshing cocktails or mocktails you'll ever taste. Incredibly easy to make with all fresh ingredients. The perfect drink for Mother's Day!

I love making drinks with watermelon because you can easily “juice” it without a juicer (because unfortunately neither our kitchen nor our budget can handle one right now.) And when I say “juicing,” I mean whirring it up in a blender (with some fresh strawberries, in this case) and then passing the mixture through a fine sieve to remove any seeds or other things that didn’t break down during the pureeing process. Sure, it takes a tiny but of extra time, but the deliciously thirst-quenching result is soooo worth it.

So, I mentioned the watermelon and the strawberry, but there are a few other ingredients that take this Minty Watermelon Strawberry Refresh from “just juice” to over-the-top. We’re lucky enough to have a ton of wild mint growing in our backyard (which also happens to be about the only thing we can keep alive back there) so I threw a big handful into the mix to give the drink an extra hit of flavor. I also added some fresh lime juice to balance out all the sweetness, as any cocktail or mocktail should have.

And last, but not least, the big question: to make it alcoholic or not to make it alcoholic? This is totally up to you! It will taste REALLY good either way you try it. For the non-alcoholic version, simply add sparkling water or club soda. To booze things up, simply use sparkling wine in lieu of the soda! And, if you can’t decide, you can always break the juice into two batches and add club soda to one and sparkling wine to the other. See, so easy!

Minty Watermelon Strawberry Refresher | CaliGirlCooking.com - These refreshing drinks with fresh strawberry and watermelon can be made alcoholic or non-alcoholic and are the perfect drink for summer holidays!

I am personally becoming quite a pro at making this Minty Watermelon Strawberry Refresher (and subsequently cleaning out our local TJ’s of most of their strawberries and watermelon,) so I think I am definitely going to have to whip up a batch for the weekend. We’re headed over to my brother and sister-in-law’s house for a BBQ on Sunday and I know it will go over well with both the kids and adults alike. 🙂

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend celebrating all of the beautiful mothers in your life! Xo

Minty Watermelon Strawberry Refresher | CaliGirlCooking.com - The perfect cocktail OR mocktail for late spring celebrations like Mother's Day and Memorial Day.
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Minty Watermelon Strawberry Refresher
Prep Time
20 mins
 

This refreshing drink filled with fresh watermelon and strawberries can be made into a mocktail OR cocktail. The perfect sipper for spring and summer occasions! 

Course: Drinks
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 8 cups cubed watermelon (about 1 baby watermelon)
  • 3 cups hulled strawberries
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 10-12 fresh mint leaves
  • 2 cups chilled club soda or sparkling wine
Instructions
  1. Combine watermelon and strawberries in a blender and puree until no chunks remain. 

  2. Place a fine mesh sieve over a wide-mouthed pitcher and, in batches, slowly pour the watermelon mixture through to strain. To speed up the process, use a pestle or some other utensil to help push the mixture through the sieve more quickly. It took me about 4 sieve-fuls to get through the entire batch of juice from the blender.

  3. Remove sieve from pitcher and add lime juice and mint leaves. Stir to combine and refrigerate for at least a half hour. Add chilled club soda or sparkling wine right before serving. Serve over ice or neat, up to you!

Minty Watermelon Strawberry Refresher | CaliGirlCooking.com

Frozen Watermelon Peach Margaritas

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Frozen Watermelon Peach Margarita | CaliGirlCooking.com

Or as those of you who love cocktails as much as I do may call it, Cinco de Drinko! I am beyond stoked to bring you today’s cocktail because (a) it is only the second frozen cocktail I’ve ever posted on the blog (second only to this delicious Frozen Cantaloupe White Wine Sangria, which would also be perfectly fitting for this occasion) and (b) it is the ultimate spring-summer hybrid, so perfect for this time of year! Yes, this Frozen Watermelon Peach Margarita I’m sharing with you today is so refreshing and tasty, you’re going to have to seriously pace yourself because you’re just going to want to be drinking these non-stop today and all through the weekend.


Unfortunately, seeing as I’m busy learning and hobnobbing with the big names at the Everything Food Conference in SLC today, I won’t be able to enjoy any of these for this festive holiday, but I’m sure I’ll be able to find some way to celebrate, and there will be plenty of time to enjoy a Frozen Watermelon Peach Margarita down the road as the weather gets even warmer in sunny California!

And since I won’t be making my normal rounds to all of the Mexican restaurants/bars with the hubs and his work crew this year, I’m dying to live vicariously through all of you. Tell me, what fun things are you up to today to celebrate? I’ll probably even be jealous if your plans amount to no more than making huge vats of Kimchi Bacon Guacamole and Spicy Homemade Salsa (and maybe some Frozen Watermelon Peach Margaritas?) and enjoying them in front of the TV in the comfort of your own home. Ain’t no shame in that game and you’ll probably find me doing the same once I’m done with the conference for the day.

Frozen Watermelon Peach Margarita | CaliGirlCooking.com

So, about this Frozen Watermelon Peach Margarita, there’s really nothing genius about it, just a whole lot of really fantastic flavor. Now, I’m not one for frozen drinks that are made “frozen” by a heavy scoop of ice, as I find this just makes them incredibly watered down as they melt. Instead, I prefer to freeze my fruit (or any other solid ingredients you’ll be using) so it both makes the cocktail icy but also imparts a whole lot of flavor whether you drink it all right away or want to nurse it a bit (which is always a good idea with tequila!) That being said, I froze both the watermelon (seedless, mind you) and peaches before adding them to the blender with all of the other ingredients.

And speaking of “all the other ingredients,” we’re talking the classics that you see in just about every margarita recipe. So tequila, Cointreau and lime juice. Like I said, nothing fancy! I want to keep this as easy as possible for you so you have no excuse to whip some of these up because they are sooooooo tasty.

Frozen Watermelon Peach Margarita | CaliGirlCooking.com

Throw all of the ingredients in a blender and pour into frosty margarita glasses. Maybe garnish with a lime wheel and/or give those glasses a salt rim if you’re feeling fancy (or need some sodium in your life…haha!) No judgment here. These recipes are for YOU.

Speaking of, I’m working on my summer content calendar right now and would love to hear from you regarding what you’d like to see more (or less of) on the blog in the coming months, anything you’ve really enjoyed that I posted, any other topics you’d like me to cover more of (traveling, eating out, or working out, for example,) etc.  After all, this blog would be nothing if it weren’t for all of you lovely readers out there 😉

I hope you have a fun, fabulous and safe Cinco de Mayo, filled with plenty of Frozen Watermelon Peach Margaritas!! Xo

Frozen Watermelon Peach Margarita | CaliGirlCooking.com

Frozen Watermelon Peach Margarita | CaliGirlCooking.com
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Frozen Watermelon Peach Margarita
Prep Time
5 mins
 

This fun frozen cocktail is the perfect spring-summer hybrid, with both watermelon and peach amping up your everyday margarita flavors.

Course: Drinks
Servings: 2 cocktails
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 8 ounces frozen peach slices
  • 8 ounces frozen seedless watermelon chunks
  • 4 ounces tequila
  • 2 ounces Cointreau q
  • 1 ounce fresh lime juice
Instructions
  1. If you like your margaritas with salt, rim two chilled margarita glasses with lime juice and salt before preparing the cocktails. Combine all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth. Pour into two chilled margarita glasses, whether with salt or without. Garnish with a lime wheel, if desired.

Frozen Watermelon Peach Margarita | CaliGirlCooking.com

Blueberry Pie-tini

Happy Blueberry Pie Day!

Blueberry Pie-tini | CaliGirlCooking.com

Should we have a cocktail to celebrate? A Blueberry Pie-tini to be exact? I think so.


I have to admit, when I decided to make a blueberry pie flavored cocktail, I was a little skeptical as to how it would turn out. I’m not usually one for the sweeter cocktails, I’d rather have a big ol’ piece of chocolate cake than a chocolate martini any day. But you know what, I’m not one bit upset about how this Blueberry Pie-tini turned out. In fact, I’m pretty dang excited about it.

I’m just starting to come out of the massive jet lag fog from our trip, and let me tell you, I am sooo glad we only had two days of work to get through before the weekend. No doubt we’ll still be recovering a bit for the next couple of days, and we’ll be enjoying some of these Blueberry Pie-tini’s while we’re doing it! Our big plans for the weekend include going to my niece and nephew’s annual silent auction at their school, visiting with my mom who will be down here for the auction, and soaking up the beautiful weather we’re supposed to be having. (Even though we didn’t hit any rain, the weather in Italy was a bit chilly for this California gang!)

Blueberry Pie-tini | CaliGirlCooking.com

Okay, but back to these cocktails. One of the reasons I think these passed my taste test of not being too “dessert-y” is because of all of the bright fruit flavors they get from both fresh blueberries and zesty lemon juice. I also once again made my own vanilla vodka, like I did for these Orange Creamsicle Martinis just a few weeks ago, which helps the mix not taste overly sweet. After all, we all know fresher is better!

Now, of course I had to go and add something a little more dessert-ish to really cement this whole “blueberry pie” idea, so I decided to use some honey-sweetened graham cracker crumbs and a little more lemon juice to rim the glasses. This step lends a pretty touch to the Blueberry Pie-tini’s, but if you’re more of a non-dessert cocktail lover, you could easily skip them and still have a delicious drink just the same.

Blueberry Pie-tini | CaliGirlCooking.com

So what do you think? Have I convinced you to make some Blueberry Pie-tini’s this weekend? If not this weekend, how about as a special treat for Mother’s Day in two weeks?

Regardless of whether you make these cocktails or not (although I highly suggest that you do) I hope that you have a wonderful weekend full of fun, food, drinks and friends! Xo

Blueberry Pie-tini | CaliGirlCooking.com

Blueberry Pie-tini | CaliGirlCooking.com
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Blueberry Pie-tini
Prep Time
5 mins
 

This refreshing martini has all of the amazing flavors of blueberry pie wrapped up into one little drink. The perfect springtime treat!

Course: Drinks
Servings: 2 cocktails
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 4 ounces vodka
  • 1/2 of a vanilla bean
  • 2 finely crushed graham crackers
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon plus 1 1/2 ounces, chilled
  • 6 ounces fresh blueberries, chilled
  • 1 1/2 ounces simple syrup
  • Splash club soda
  • Lemon wheels, for garnish
Instructions
  1. The night (or up to three nights) before you want to make your cocktails, make the vanilla vodka. Place the vodka and vanilla bean in a small mason jar or sealable container and place in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours.

  2. When making the cocktails, you’ll first need to prep the rims of your glasses. Pour the graham cracker crumbs onto one small round plate and squeeze the juice of ½ of a lemon onto another small round plate. Taking your martini glasses one at a time, dip the rims into the lemon juice first and then the graham cracker crumbs. Set aside while you make the martinis. 

  3. In a blender, combine the blueberries, 1 ½ ounces lemon juice, vanilla vodka and simple syrup. Pour evenly into the two martini glasses you’ve rimmed and top with club soda. Garnish with a lemon wheel, if desired.

Blueberry Pie-tini | CaliGirlCooking.com

Venetian Spritz

Ciao, bellas!

Venetian Spritz | CaliGirlCooking.com

This post comes to you from deep in the heart of Tuscany but, no, we’re not talking about wine today (well, kinda sorta not.) Nope, we’re talking about the trademark cocktail of Venice, the Venetian Spritz!


To be fair, the base of this cocktail is prosecco so, yes, there is wine involved, just not any of the big reds that we’ve been enjoying throughout our trip so far. But that all changes tomorrow when we head to Venice and the land of sparkling wine and spritzes!

If you’ve ever been to Italy, there’s no question that you’ve enjoyed (or at least seen tons of people enjoying) a spritz around 4pm in the afternoon, gathering at the sidewalk bars after a long day at work. It’s known as a classic aperitivo, or drink to whet the appetite and get it ready for a big meal. It’s also fairly low octane, with no hard alcohol involved, so you can drink quite a few during happy hour and still walk in a fairly straight line to dinner, which typically doesn’t start in Europe until 8:30pm at the earliest. Of course this later start time means you have to make your happy hour count when you’re in Italy!

Venetian Spritz | CaliGirlCooking.com

I have to admit, it took me a while to warm up to spritzes, because I wasn’t always a huge fan of Aperol, which is basically the only other primary ingredient in these cocktails besides prosecco. You can imagine how disappointing this was to me when I was in Venice last (about seven years ago) and didn’t even thoroughly enjoy the drink that represented this amazing place.

But I’m happy to report that I’ve aged a bit since then, and thankfully so has my palate. I now thoroughly enjoy the taste of Aperol, especially when accompanied by sparkling wine, which we all know is my absolute favorite!

I love that this drink is so easy to make, and even those of you who are reading this from home can make yourselves a Venetian Spritz (or two, or three) this weekend to enjoy with me in spirit. We’ll certainly be enjoying plenty of them as we explore the city over the next few days!

Venetian Spritz | CaliGirlCooking.com

Speaking of, I’m loving hearing all of your suggestions of places to eat, drink, shop and see while we’re there. Keep them coming! We really have no set agenda for this leg of our trip and love finding hidden gems.

Anyhow, I’m going to keep this short today, because who wants to be stuck at the computer when we have so many things to see and do on our last full day in Tuscany? We’re headed to Montepulciano today, and I’m so excited to show the hubs and the in-laws one of my favorite little wine towns in all of the land. Be sure to follow along on my IG stories to see all that we’re up to.

Now raise your glass and cheers a Venetian Spritz with me!

Venetian Spritz | CaliGirlCooking.com
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Venetian Spritz
Prep Time
5 mins
 

A classic Venetian prosecco cocktail that you can easily make at home. Just three ingredients are all you need to feel like you're in Italy!

Course: Drinks
Servings: 1 cocktail
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 1 ounce Aperol
  • 4 ounces prosecco
  • 1 orange wheel, cut in half
Instructions
  1. Pour Aperol into a champagne flute (or wine glass filled with ice if you want to be really traditional) and then slowly pour prosecco over top. Be sure not to pour too quickly or you will have a bubble over. 

  2. Take one half of the orange wheel and squeeze the juice into the drink. Use the other half of the orange wheel as a garnish, or additional juice if you want a little more sweetness to your drink.

Venetian Spritz | CaliGirlCooking.com

Sparkling Carrot Mimosas

The grand finale to my Easter recipes!

Carrot Mimosas | CaliGirlCooking.com

Of course we had to end it all with a cocktail 😉 Let me tell you, these Sparkling Carrot Mimosas do NOT disappoint.


Just to provide a quick recap: I started off the week with this savory Herbed Carrot Galette that would be equally as good served as a main dish at Easter brunch or a side dish for dinner. On Wednesday, I kept it uber-traditional and posted my family’s perfect recipe for Hot Cross Buns. And today we’re celebrating with mimosas!

Sparkling Carrot Mimosas | CaliGirlCooking.com

I’ve been wanting to do some sort of Carrot Mimosa since last Easter, but to be honest I was a little intimidated. First of all, I don’t own a juicer (saving that appliance for when I have the kitchen of my dreams and all the space a food blogging gal can ask for) and I wasn’t exactly sure where I’d find straight-up carrot juice. I’m also not the biggest fan of vegetable juices, and although I loved the concept of turning one of my favorite brunch cocktails into a super-festive version, I was a little unsure of how “vegetable-y” it would taste.

But I’m happy to say that if there’s one thing that posting weekly cocktail recipes for the past year or so has taught me, it’s that there’s a way to spin everything to your liking if you just find the perfect combination. In fact, fun side story, one of my friends here in SB used to work at a local “juicery” and would often bring by the day’s leftover juices at the end of their shift. Seeing as by that time it would be 5pm or so, we’d be itching much more for a cocktail than a healthy juice (aren’t those reserved for breakfast or lunch?) and so we’d turn the juices into some pretty darn delicious cocktails to celebrate the end of another long day.

So I dipped back into those memories to figure out how to really make these Sparkling Carrot Mimosas the most delicious things ever, and I’m proud to say I succeeded! After trying out a few different combos, I found that a dash of Cointreau in addition to the sparkling wine and carrot juice (which I ended up finding in pure form at Trader Joe’s) was the perfect answer to taking the drink from overly-carrot-like to fresh and festive. And because Cointreau is orange-flavored, you still get a hint of traditional mimosa taste.

Can we also talk about how fun it is to garnish with those bright green carrot tops? Too cute.

Sparkling Carrot Mimosas | CaliGirlCooking.com

Anyhow, the simplicity of these Sparkling Carrot Mimosas is completely up to you. If you want to really get down and dirty (and you own a juicer,) you can go ahead and make your own carrot juice. But if you’re bogged down with all of the other Easter menu prep you have going on, simply head out to TJ’s or your favorite local juicery and pick up some of their fresh-squeezed carrot juice.

Aside from the carrot juice, the only other ingredients you’ll need for these Sparkling Carrot Mimosas are items you likely already have stocked in your bar (at least, I hope you do!) We’re talking sparkling wine (our house favorite that’s very reasonably priced is Segura Viudas Brut Cava, but any dry sparkling wine will do) and the afore-mentioned Cointreau. That’s it!

Simply combine all three in the ratios I’ve provided for you below (being careful as you pour so as not to have a massive bubble-over) and you’ll have the perfect festive cocktail for your Easter breakfast or brunch. What more do you really need?

Sparkling Carrot Mimosas | CaliGirlCooking.com

Carrot Mimosas | CaliGirlCooking.com
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Sparkling Carrot Mimosas
Prep Time
5 mins
 

The popular brunch cocktail gets a spring twist with fresh carrot juice and a splash of Cointreau. The perfect drink for Easter!

Course: Drinks
Servings: 1 cocktail
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 5 ounces sparkling wine
  • 1 ounce carrot juice
  • 1 ounce Cointreau
  • Carrot tops for garnish, if desired
Instructions
  1. Combine all three ingredients in a champagne flute, pouring each one in slowly and steadily so as not to have a bubble-over (can’t waste any of that booze!) Garnish with green carrot tops, if desired. Enjoy!

Sparkling Carrot Mimosas | CaliGirlCooking.com