The Most Refreshing Tropical Sangria

A unique, refreshing tropical sangria featuring some of the best flavors of the islands. Pineapple, mango, white wine and RUM all come together in a delicious drink that’s fit for a crowd.

A refreshing, make-ahead Tropical Sangria to feed a crowd!

Okay, I just want to start off by saying I am completely aware that this is the second tropical recipe I’ve posted in a row, but I don’t think you’ll blame me once you see what I have in store for you. This refreshing Tropical Sangria was inspired by our trip to Hawaii a couple of weeks ago, and I have to say it is one of the best sangrias I’ve tasted in a loooooong time.

If you think about it, it’s pretty amazing that there aren’t more recipes for Tropical Sangria out there in the world. I saw it on the menu of the pool bar at the condos we stayed at on Oahu and, although I never got a chance to try that one (well, I had the chance, the mai tai I had from them was just enough to discourage me from trying any more of their mixed drinks), I knew I wanted to try and make my own – and undoubtedly better – version as soon as we got home.

Mix up a pitcher of this refreshing Tropical Sangria before your Labor Day get-together!

If we’re thinking “tropical,” of course we’re going to go with a white wine base. And we’re not talking chardonnay – this white wine needs to be crisp, refreshing, herbaceous and, yes, tropical. I went for a Sauvignon Blanc, but a Pinot Grigio would be great as well.

The next step is to find the most tropical fruit that you can. Pineapple and mango always seem to be a safe bet here on the mainland, but you could also incorporate things like passion fruit, guava or even lychee if you can find them.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I like my sangria to be a little more “high octane” than just your average bottle of wine. And don’t even talk to me about adding any sort of soda water. I think it just waters things down wayyyyyy too much, especially since our Tropical Sangria is going to be served over plenty of ice. This is where the rum comes in! I mean, come on, there’s no liquor that’s quite more tropical than that.

Finally, there are a couple of other not-so-secret ingredients that really seal the deal, and they’re ingredients you’ll find in many of your favorite tiki drinks. We’re talking orange curacao and orgeat. Sure, you could leave them out, but I love the extra dimension they give the drink and they truly do make it taste much more tropical.

A great batch cocktail, this Tropical Sangria is perfect for your next cocktail party.

One thing I love about this drink (aside from how tasty it is) is that, unlike many other cocktails, this makes a huge batch. In other words, it’s perfect for a party! I recommend mixing it up in a pitcher in advance and getting the sangria nice and chilled – sans ice – until you’re ready to serve. When it comes time for your guests to whet their whistles, just scoop the ice into the individual glasses and pour the sangria over it. Don’t forget to scoop out some of the fruit into each glass! That booze-infused juiciness is the best part.

A glass of refreshing, boozy Tropical Sangria is just the cocktail you need for your next party.

If you ask me, this Tropical Sangria is the perfect drink for your long Labor Day weekend. No matter where you find yourself, everyone can use a little island flavor in their life, right?

The Most Refreshing Tropical Sangria
Prep Time
5 mins
Refrigerator time
30 mins
 

A unique, refreshing tropical sangria featuring some of the best flavors of the islands. Pineapple, mango, white wine and RUM all come together in a delicious drink that’s fit for a crowd.

Course: Drinks
Keyword: batch drink, cocktails, drinks, entertaining, mango, pineapple, rum, sangria, tropical, white wine
Servings: 8 people
Calories: 335 kcal
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 2 cups cubed mango
  • 1 whole pineapple, cut into wheels and cored
  • 2 750mL bottles white wine (I recommend Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio)
  • 3/4 cup rum
  • 1/2 cup orange curacao
  • 1/2 cup orgeat
Instructions
  1. Place mango and pineapple in the bottom of a large pitcher. 

  2. Pour all other ingredients into pitcher and stir.

  3. Refrigerate until ready to serve (I recommend at least 30 minutes.)

  4. Pour into individual wine glasses filled with ice to serve. Be sure to scoop in some of the fruit!

Tropical Pineapple Orange Guava (POG) Float

A fun take on the ice cream shop classic, this Tropical POG Float is the perfect treat for the end of summer, or any special occasion where you need a little hint of paradise.

This Tropical Pineapple Orange Guava Float is a fun take on the ice cream parlor classic. The perfect end-of-summer no-cook treat!

Since we’re vacationing in Hawaii this week, I thought it only fitting to share my new favorite EASY ice cream recipe – the Tropical Pineapple Orange Guava (POG) Float!

To be fair, I don’t know if I can even call this a recipe because it is soooo simple to make. It only involves four ingredients, all of which you should be able to find at your average grocery store, and takes almost no time to make. There is no cooking involved, just some basic combining of ingredients – the perfect type of late summer recipe when none of us want to be spending hours in the kitchen. Move over, s’mores, I think this Tropical POG Float MAY just turn into the new favorite.

The hubby and I have long been fans of the root beer float. So much so, in fact, that we served them as a second dessert at our wedding. There’s something about that classic taste and refreshing quality that just makes you feel like a kid again – and leaves you wondering why you haven’t made such a simple dessert more often during your adult life.

Love root beer floats? Love tropical fruit? Then give this Tropical Pineapple Orange Guava (POG) Float a try!

I still love me a basic root beer float, but this Tropical Pineapple Orange Guava version may just take the top spot, at least during these warm summer months.

But before I get to the recipe, let me clear things up a bit. In Hawaii, POG juice is a huge thing – you’ll see it on the menu at many restaurants, and there are countless different brands sitting on the grocery store shelf. On the islands, however, POG usually stands for “passion orange guava” and, as much as I’d love for it to be widely available here on the mainland, it really isn’t. Three ingredients that ARE widely available here, however, are pineapples, oranges and, at least here in Cali, guava juice. So forgive me for not sticking to the script per se, but I’m pretty sure you’re not going to be disappointed.

This Tropical Pineapple Orange Guava Float takes the best tropical fruits and turns them into a simple, refreshing end-of-summer no-cook dessert.

Here’s how I constructed my very own Tropical POG Float:

  1. Get some nifty float glasses (although any old glass will do.)
  2. Add some chopped pineapple to the bottom.
  3. Top with orange sherbet.
  4. Add some easy homemade pineapple guava soda (maybe throw in a dash of rum if you’re so inclined.)
  5. Garnish with a pineapple wheel, spoon and paper umbrella.
  6. Enjoy!

I tell ya, I feel guilty even considering this a “recipe” but it is just way too good not to share.

This Tropical Pineapple Orange Guava (POG) Float will transport you to paradise. No cooking needed!

Let me know how you like it once you give it a shot, and if you know of any other great “float” concoctions, leave them in the comments below!

Tropical Pineapple Orange Guava (POG) Float
Prep Time
5 mins
 

 A fun spin on the ice cream parlor classic, full of tropical flavors like pineapple, orange and guava. The perfect end-of-summer treat!

Course: Dessert
Keyword: dessert, float, guava, ice cream, no-cook, orange, pineapple, sherbet, tropical
Servings: 2 floats
Calories: 312 kcal
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 5 slices canned pineapple wheels, divided
  • 1 ounce pineapple syrup (the juice from the can)
  • 2 ounces guava juice
  • 3 ounces soda water
  • 4 scoops orange sherbet
Instructions
  1. Take 3 of the pineapple wheels and chop them into a small dice. Place in the bottom of your glass.

  2. Combine pineapple syrup, guava juice and soda water in a small glass, set aside. 

  3. Scoop two scoops of orange sherbet into each glass, then divide the pineapple-guava soda among the two glasses. 

  4. Garnish each glass with a pineapple wheel. Serve with a spoon and enjoy!

Kiwi Coconut Cooler

Hooraaaay for Fridaaaay!

This Kiwi Coconut Cooler is the perfect, refreshing mocktail with a fun hit of color!

And for delicious kiwi-flavored beverages like this Kiwi Coconut Cooler. In fact, if you take nothing else away from this post today, I hope it’s that kiwi purėe is a fantastic, highly underutilized addition to any cocktail or mocktail. Talk about drinking the rainbow!

I’m not going to lie, sometimes it’s a little tricky to continue coming up with fun, new, innovative drink recipes every week, especially when I’m on the no-drinking train (just a few more months!) But if nothing else, I’ve learned that there are almost just as many options for nonalcoholic drinks as there are alcoholic ones, and it’s been pretty darn fun to get creative and see what I can come up with.

My inspiration for a kiwi-based drink initially came from those OG Snapple juices (do they even exist anymore?) I haven’t seen one in ages, but for some reason I kept thinking about the strawberry-kiwi flavored one and whether or not I could make a more natural, less artificially-sweetened version from fresh fruits.

So, I set out to make a kiwi-strawberry mocktail, but once I took inventory of everything I had on hand in my kitchen to make a delicious beverage, I realized I had pulled out a bunch more tropical, coconut-y flavors. Plus, I didn’t want to mess up the color of that vibrant green purėe by trying to muddle in some fresh strawberries. I knew that clear, only slightly cloudy coconut water and milky orgeat would do the trick for not only preserving that bright green color but perhaps even magnifying it. And hey, the taste combo isn’t bad either!

A Kiwi Coconut Cooler is the perfect special, healthy drink for any night of the week.

As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t own a juicer, so I have to get creative when I’m mixing up my own fresh fruit juices. For the kiwis, I found that my immersion blender did just the trick to get a nice, juicy purėe that would be easily sippable. I had initially thought I would need to strain out the seeds and other pulp, but everything broke down beautifully and I decided there was something kinda fun about those little black flecks suspended in the drink.

Aside from a boatload of fresh kiwis, the only ingredients you’ll need in order to have a Kiwi Coconut Cooler in your hand in no time are the aforementioned coconut water and orgeat, plus a splash of club soda. Oh, and I couldn’t leave out the strawberries completely, so I threw some on for garnish.

If you’ve had a long week and are currently fortunate enough to partake in boozy beverages, I highly recommend the addition of some white rum to this already tropical-vibe inspiring drink. It’ll get you in summer weekend relaxation mode in no time at all and itching to jump in the pool.

As for my weekend, my mom is coming to town to celebrate my niece’s birthday, and we’ve got a Saturday girls’ brunch date planned which I’m pretty darn excited for. Other than that, we’ll just be continuing to get our house organized and finding places for all of the things we’re acquiring for baby. I can’t believe my due date is just nine weeks away! Nesting mode has finally set in and I’m excited for my travel schedule to die down a bit so I can focus on really getting ready and finding some time to RELAX and enjoy these last few weeks of us being a family of two (well, three with our fur baby.)

Kiwi Coconut Coolers are a fun treat for kids and adults alike!

What are your plans for the weekend? Hoping they involve a Kiwi Coconut Cooler or two!

Kiwi Coconut Cooler
Prep Time
10 mins
 

A vibrant, refreshing cocktail featuring fresh kiwi puree and hydrating coconut water - it tastes just like the tropics! Add rum to make it boozy 😉

Course: Drinks
Servings: 2 cocktails
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 6 kiwis, peeled and purėed with an immersion blender to make about 10 ounces juice
  • 2 ounces orgeat
  • 4 ounces coconut water
  • Club soda, to top
  • Kiwi wheel and fresh strawberry, for garnish
Instructions
  1. Divide kiwi purėe evenly between two tallboy glasses. Add 1 ounce orgeat and 2 ounces coconut water to each glass and stir. 

  2. Fill each glass to the top with ice, then top up with a splash of club soda. 

  3. Garnish each glass with a kiwi slice and strawberry to serve.

Kiwi Coconut Cooler | CaliGirlCooking.com

Bacon and Goat Brie Pizza with Vanilla Passion Fruit Jam

Boy, have I got a treat for you today!

This Bacon and Goat Brie Pizza with Vanilla Passion Fruit Jam is delicious fresh out of the oven and topped with fresh arugula.

The name of this pizza may be a mouthful, but trust me when I say you’ll be wanting to stuff your mouth full with as much of it as possible as soon as you taste that first bite. Bacon and Goat Brie Pizza with Vanilla Passion Fruit Jam, your day has come.

Okay, I know I haven’t entertained you with my travel post all about our second honeymoon/babymoon to Kauai yet, but I promise it’s coming! And this recipe can be seen as a little sneak peak of what’s in store, because I actually got the idea from one of the restaurants we visited in a little town called Kapaa.

We stopped into The Local one afternoon after a hike to some waterfalls and some glorious beach time, ready for a refreshing drink and light snack. We had scoped out the menu online, and the place had come highly recommended to us by a few of our friends, so we definitely wanted to check it out. Among other things, “The Local Pizza” had caught my eye – I mean, this gal can’t really pass up a pizza that features brie, bacon, arugula and JAM – and I was instantly curious.

Unfortunately, since we were there around 3:00pm, we were too late for lunch and a little too early for dinner, so we only had a limited Happy Hour menu available to us to order, which meant no pizza 🙁 That’s okay, though, we made up for it with a huge basket of French fries and tasty deviled eggs with crispy chicken skin on top. Nevertheless, I snapped a photo of the pizza’s description on the menu and decided I’d just have to make my own version to try it out!

No one will be able to resist this Bacon and Goat Brie Pizza with Vanilla Passion Fruit Jam!

Man, I love it when I’m not disappointed.

The original recipe for The Local Pizza included local papaya vanilla jam, brie, bacon, arugula and the option of adding sliced jalapeños on top. I knew it would be a little tricky for me to find papaya vanilla jam at home, so I raided the pantry to see what sort of tropical fruit jam we had and came across passion fruit (or lilikoi) that we had found at our local Asian market. Another flavor that is a little more easy to come by here in the states is guava jam, which would also be a fantastic option. The issue of adding in some vanilla flavor was easily solved by stirring some vanilla bean seeds into the jam when I was ready to spread it on the pizza.

The only other changes I made to the original toppings were (a) omitting the jalapeños (I’m not a huge fan unless they’re involved in some sort of Mexican food) and (b) using goat milk brie instead of the more typical cow milk brie.

Bacon and Goat Brie Pizza with Vanilla Passion Fruit Jam straight out of the oven, before adding the fresh arugula topping.

As I do with just about all my pizzas these days, I turned to Jim Lahey’s internet-famous pizza dough recipe for my base to this tasty treat. Even though it requires an overnight rise, it is soooo easy and takes less than 10 minutes to prep. You could also use some store-bought pizza dough if you’re feeling lazy (my fave is Trader Joe’s brand) but trust me when I say Jim Lahey’s dough is totally worth the slightly more trouble (if you call mixing a quick dough together harder than getting in your car and driving down to your local supermarket, looking for parking, standing in line, etc.) Bacon and Goat Brie Pizza with Vanilla Passion Fruit Jam is just a leeeetle special, so I think it’s fair to say it deserves a special crust.

Jim Lahey’s recipe asks you to break the dough up into four pieces for four smaller pizzas, but I used the entire recipe to make one big pie. This made the crust slightly thicker, so if you’re more a fan of the thin-crust stuff, you may want to break it down to two (or even the four suggested) pies.

Because there are so many delicate flavors on this pizza, I of course omitted any sort of tomato or white sauce and stuck to a simple coating of olive oil and fresh garlic before loading on the vanilla-scented jam, bacon and goat brie. After a quick 15-minute turn in the oven, your Bacon and Goat Brie Pizza with Vanilla Passion Fruit Jam is ready for its “crowning moment”: a hefty sprinkling of fresh arugula, dash of olive oil and sprinkle of sea salt!

A delicious slice of Bacon and Goat Brie Pizza with Vanilla Passion Fruit Jam.

After taking your first bite, you’ll definitely notice the flavor explosion – sweetness from the jam, saltiness from the bacon, an earthy creaminess from the goat brie and a fresh bite from the arugula. So many wonderful things going on! You may also just feel like this Bacon and Goat Brie Pizza with Vanilla Passion Fruit Jam is transporting you to a tropical island somewhere, which isn’t a bad way to spend a Monday, am I right??

This Bacon and Goat Brie Pizza with Vanilla Passion Fruit Jam is the perfect lunch or dinner for any day of the week!

This post contains affiliate links. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for continuing to support the brands that make CaliGirl Cooking possible!

Bacon and Goat Brie Pizza with Vanilla Passion Fruit Jam
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
30 mins
 

This pizza is a flavor explosion - sweetness from the jam, saltiness from the bacon, earthiness from the goat cheese and the fresh tang of arugula!

Course: Main Course
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 1 batch Jim Lahey's pizza dough, already risen overnight (Link in notes)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for topping
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1/3 cup passion fruit (lilikoi) jam
  • Seeds of 1/2 a vanilla bean
  • 5 ounces goat brie, thinly sliced into squares
  • 5 pieces cooked bacon, chopped
  • 2-3 cups arugula, for topping
  • Sea salt, for topping
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 475 degrees Fahrenheit.

  2. In a large, greased pizza pan, roll out the pizza dough to the desired thickness and shape. Spread on the olive oil using a pastry brush or paper towel, then sprinkle on the minced garlic.

  3. In a small bowl, combine the jam and vanilla bean seeds. Spread the jam mixture evenly onto the pizza crust over the olive oil and garlic.

  4. Sprinkle the goat brie and bacon pieces over the jam, then place pizza in the 475 degree oven for 10-15 minutes, depending on the thickness of your crust. Remove when crust is slightly golden and feels firm to the touch.

  5. Sprinkle arugula over the cooling pizza, then drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle on some sea salt. Serve immediately.

Bacon and Goat Brie Pizza with Vanilla Passion Fruit Jam | CaliGirlCooking.com

Tropical Tea Zinger

Time for another round of tea drinks!

Tropical Tea Zinger | CaliGirlCooking.com

I don’t know why (maybe because they’re not that widespread yet?) but I love a good tea cocktail. Whether served cold or hot, I think they’re a fun, semi-healthy way to kick back and relax while enjoying a good drink. This Tropical Tea Zinger is perfect for summer, served cold over ice with the refreshing addition of spicy ginger beer and fresh orange juice.

I first ventured into the world of tea cocktails with this Pineapple Green Tea Martini, which I must say would also be a fantastic one to whip up this time of year when the weather is warm and tropical flavors sound like the best thing ever (and if you can actually drink booze right now!)

Then, during some of the colder months, I ventured into the boozy hot tea category with this Warming Ginger Tea Whiskey Cocktail and this Elder-Berry Tea Cocktail. I love both of these on cool fall or winter afternoons and evenings, which I might mention are just around the corner! [Side note: Has anyone else been seeing pumpkin slowly creeping back onto the scene already? On one hand it feels so soon to me but on the other I can’t wait for everything pumpkin season to arrive!]

This Tropical Tea Zinger is a perfect balance between the cold boozy tea martini and the hot toddy types that we need to shelve for another month or two. It’s cool and refreshing, yet does not contain any of the hard stuff. That being said, I certainly wouldn’t object if you wanted to perk it up a bit with some whiskey 😉

This Tropical Tea Zinger is a refreshing summer mocktail with plenty of spice!

My mom always has some homemade iced tea sitting in her refrigerator whenever I visit, and this time I was excited to find some decaf Lipton Tropical Iced Tea waiting in a huge pitcher. It’s been so refreshing to sip on during this warm weather, I immediately knew I wanted to use it to make this week’s mocktail!

While I love unsweetened iced tea, in order to make it mocktail-worthy I felt like it needed a little sweetness and spice. I turned to my good ol’ non-alcoholic friend, ginger beer, for some unexpected fizz and that gingery tang, and then added some fresh orange juice to sweeten the deal and give the tea a whole other dimension. Let’s just say I immediately fell in love, and I’m pretty sure you would, too.

A tall, refreshing glass of this Tropical Tea Zinger is just what you need on a warm summer's day!

Plus, it’s Friday, which means a Tropical Tea Zinger – whether you booze it up or not – is the perfect way to reward yourself after a long week and kick off a relaxing weekend. I know I’ll be kicking up my feet with a few of these at the ‘rents’ house. What exciting things will you be bringing these Zingers too this weekend??

This post contains affiliate links. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for continuing to support the brands that make CaliGirl Cooking possible!

Tropical Tea Zinger
Prep Time
5 mins
 

A refreshing iced tea-based mocktail full of tropical flavor and plenty of zing from spicy ginger beer and fresh-squeezed orange juice.

Course: Drinks
Servings: 1 drink
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 3 ounces Lipton Tropical Iced Tea, brewed and brought to room temperature (or chilled)
  • 2 ounces ginger beer
  • 1 ounce fresh-squeezed orange juice
  • Citrus leaves and an orange wedge, for garnish (optional)
Instructions
  1. Pour all ingredients into a tall glass filled with ice. Stir gently to combine.

  2. Garnish with citrus leaves and an orange wedge, if desired.

Tropical Tea Zinger | CaliGirlCooking.com