Festive Cranberry Clementine Martini

I mean, what better way to kick off our cocktails for the month of December?

A Festive Cranberry Clementine Martini is the perfect easy cocktail to whip up all through the month of December!

This Festive Cranberry Clementine Martini is the epitome of what a December cocktail should look like. It features two of the biggest winter produce stars – cranberries and clementines – and gets jazzed up with good ol’ vodka plus a dash of Grand Marnier. I mean, who doesn’t want to sip on something this tasty all through the most festive month of the year?

Okay serious talk here – I realize I do not have too many martini recipes here on the blog, and that’s simply because I’m usually not a straight-up martini kind of gal. I just can’t seem to get down with olives/olive juice and/or onions flavoring my cocktails. And sorry to all my vodka-lovers out there, but I usually tend to lean towards booze with a little more inherent flavor (I’m looking at you, gin and bourbon) rather than more mildly-flavored vodka.

BUT give me a martini that is full of fresh clementine juice, tangy cranberry juice AND Grand Marnier on top of that vodka? Yes, please. I will take a Festive Cranberry Clementine Martini any day!

A Festive Cranberry Clementine Martini is the perfect way to kick off a holiday weekend.

I honestly don’t know why I haven’t thought to use fresh clementine juice in more of my cocktails before now. I mean, at this time of year grocery stores are chock full of those huge bags of them, and I don’t know about you but I unfailingly only get about halfway through before I notice them starting to go bad. And it breaks my heart to have to throw them away. After tasting this delicious concoction, I now know I just need to juice some of those bad boys up and grab my trusty cocktail shaker so I can be sipping on said Festive Cranberry Clementine Martini in no time at all.

That’s my kind of holiday cocktail.

Festive Cranberry Clementine Martinis are THE holiday cocktail you should be making this year!

So tell me, who has exciting plans for this weekend? We are taking a weekend to lay a little low (I mean, who are we kidding, we have a one-month old, laying low is our life) because next weekend we’re heading up north again to celebrate my dad’s birthday and cut down our Christmas tree. If nothing else, our baby girl will be quite the seasoned traveler by the end of the year!

There always seems to be a plethora of holiday celebrations and events that kick off as soon as we get through Thanksgiving, so I hope you’re up to something fun and festive these next few days. No matter what your plans, I hope you can work in making (and consuming) a Festive Cranberry Clementine Martini or two!

A Festive Cranberry Clementine Martini is easy to make and a real crowd pleaser.

A Festive Cranberry Clementine Martini is the perfect easy cocktail to whip up all through the month of December!
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Festive Cranberry Clementine Martini
Prep Time
5 mins
 

This martini is full of holiday flavor with the freshest in season produce and a little hint of something special to give it an extra-festive kick.

Course: Drinks
Servings: 1 cocktail
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 2 ounces vodka
  • 1 1/2 ounces cranberry juice
  • 1 ounce fresh clementine juice
  • 1 ounce Grand Marnier
  • 1/2 ounce simple syrup
  • Clementine wheel, for garnish
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. 

  2. Strain through the lid into a martini glass. 

  3. Garnish with a clementine wheel and enjoy!

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

Spiked Lavender Lemonade

Because spring is just around the corner!

Spiked Lavender Lemonade | CaliGirlCooking.com
This post is sponsored by Sonoma Syrup Co. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for continuing to support the brands that make CaliGirl Cooking possible!

And that means everything should be pastel-hued and full of the brightest, freshest flavors. This Spiked Lavender Lemonade is just that. It’s a simple cocktail to make, but so perfectly balanced. It’s incredibly refreshing and just as fitting for a happy hour or welcome drink as it is for brunch. It’s also the perfect cocktail to kick off my birthday week!

We’re heading up to my parents’ house this weekend to start the celebrations (since they’re heading to Hawaii without me next week…how rude!) and a big Sunday birthday brunch is on the agenda. This Spiked Lavender Lemonade might just have to take the place of our usual mimosas, because it’s that good and, yes, spring is right around the corner! I’m pretty sure once our families taste this they may never want any other sort of brunch-y beverage ever again.

Spiked Lavender Lemonade | CaliGirlCooking.com

Speaking of spring, the changing of the seasons always calls for a little reorganization of my pantry, and more specifically a rotation of all of my Sonoma Syrup Co. products. The winter-y products (like the Vanilla Bean Simple Syrup I used for this Winter Spiced Vanilla Eggnog) get pushed to the back, and out come the warmer-weather flavors such as Mint, Lime and, of course, the Lavender I used for this Spiked Lavender Lemonade. I love that there are so many different flavors to choose from, so I can always find something that will be a total game-changer in whatever cocktail I’m whipping up, no matter the time of year.

We’ve had a lot of rain this winter, which means our citrus trees are exploding with gorgeous lemons and oranges. I love having such a big selection of vibrant fruit right at my fingertips, no trip to the store required, so I try to use fresh citrus juices in my recipes as often as possible. Plus, it’s warmed up to the 80’s this week (is our California “winter” officially over?) so nothing sounds better than a tall, icy glass of fresh squeezed juice with a sweet hint of lavender. I don’t think I’m going to have any trouble using up our huge citrus crop if I keep making this tasty drink!

Spiked Lavender Lemonade | CaliGirlCooking.com

I also love that this Spiked Lavender Lemonade has just four ingredients (another reason I’m such a fan of Sonoma Syrup’s products, all the flavors in one little bottle!) This is all you’ll need:

Vodka
Fresh lemons
SONOMA SYRUP CO. LAVENDER SIMPLE SYRUP
Club soda

Just pour everything into a glass over ice, give it a little stir and you’re good to go. And to make the drink look just as good as it tastes, try adding wheels of fresh lemon to the glass (tuck them on the sides between the ice and the glass before adding the liquids) and garnishing with a fresh lavender sprig. These little touches makes the drink look over-the-top and completely brunch-worthy.

Spiked Lavender Lemonade | CaliGirlCooking.com

So what are you waiting for? It’s Friday and the sun is shining, time to turn lemons into lemonade!

Spiked Lavender Lemonade | CaliGirlCooking.com
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Spiked Lavender Lemonade
Prep Time
5 mins
 

Not your average lemonade - this refreshing cocktail gets a kick from vodka and a fresh, floral taste from lavender simple syrup. 

Course: Drinks
Servings: 1 cocktail
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 2 ounces vodka
  • 2 ounces Sonoma Syrup Co. lavender simple syrup
  • 2 ounces fresh lemon juice
  • 3 ounces club soda
  • Lemon wheels and a sprig of fresh lavender for garnish (optional)
Instructions
  1. Fill a highball (or large rocks) glass with ice. If using garnishes, tuck lemon wheels into the sides of the glass using the ice to hold them in place. 

  2. Add vodka, lavender simple syrup and lemon juice to glass and stir gently.

  3. Top with club soda and garnish with fresh lavender sprig, if desired.

Spiked Lavender Lemonade | CaliGirlCooking.com

Elder-Berry Tea Cocktail

Who’s ready for a tummy-warming treat?

Elder-Berry Tea Cocktail | CaliGirlCooking.com

I hope everyone is, because today I’m bringing you a warm, fruity libation that’s going to get you through the rest of these winter months. That’s right, this Elder-Berry Tea Cocktail is going to be the only thing you want to make while the weather is still well under 60 degrees in most parts of the world (and if you’re in a tropical locale, get thee to some good air conditioning and you’ll be just fine while sipping on this deliciousness.)

I’ve been meaning to bring you another tea cocktail for a while now (you may recall this Warming Ginger Tea Whiskey Cocktail I brought you last year, which was a huge hit) but I’ll have to admit the inspiration was slow-coming. But with all of the crazy weather we’ve been having in our neck of the woods (and all over the country, from what I’ve been seeing,) I didn’t want to put this off any longer. There’s nothing like a hot, alcohol-ridden beverage to get you feeling nice and cozy on a cold, rainy day!

In fact, I wish I’d had the ingredients for this Elder-Berry Tea Cocktail while we were down in Southern California this past weekend. We braved the pouring rain to make the long trek to Palm Springs on Friday night to visit Grandma, then drove to Santa Clarita for a baby shower on Saturday, then down to Ontario Saturday night for the brother-in-law’s girlfriend’s birthday, then over to Seal Beach (again in the pouring rain) on Sunday because the hubs had a meeting there all day Monday.

I was supposed to drop my man in Seal Beach and drive back to Santa Barbara on Sunday, but I decided to crash with him and wait out the storm. I’m so glad I did! It turned out to be a beautiful day to do some touristy things and I actually got a lot of work done without all of the usual distractions I have at home.

But, lesson learned, I will now be sure to have all ingredients for Elder-Berry Tea Cocktails on hand whenever I am on a road trip, especially with a weather forecast like that!

Elder-Berry Tea Cocktail | CaliGirlCooking.com

So this week I took the liberty of sorting through my tea stash in the pantry and all of the random alcohol we have on hand, and decided to see what I could make. I ended up coming across some Twining’s Blueberry & Apple tea and some random berry-flavored vodka.  Match made in heaven! I was also reminded that we had a beautiful bottle of elderflower liqueur just hanging around our liquor cabinet, and I thought it would be the perfect slightly floral, slightly sweet addition to the toasty concoction I was heating up. I was right.

This Elder-Berry Tea Cocktail comes together effortlessly once you have all of the ingredients gathered up. It’s also the most brilliant shade of red, and might just be the perfect drink for you to surprise your SO with on Valentine’s Day <3

Elder-Berry Tea Cocktail | CaliGirlCooking.com

If you can’t specifically find the Twinings Apple & Berry flavor of tea, any berry tea will do just fine. They do have a Twinings Wild Berries tea on Amazon which I think would be the perfect substitute in lieu of any other options.

We get this cocktail started by soaking our tea bags in the berry-flavored vodka and elderflower liqueur while our water is heating up. This gets the extraction started and makes sure the drink will not be watered down. Once the tea kettle has started whistling, simply pour the hot water over the booze-teabag mixture and allow to steep for at least 5 more minutes.

Voila! Your Elder-Berry Tea Cocktail is hot and ready to go. Now how’s that for a TGIF?

Elder-Berry Tea Cocktail | CaliGirlCooking.com

Elder-Berry Tea Cocktail | CaliGirlCooking.com
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Elder-Berry Tea Cocktail
Prep Time
10 mins
 

A warm, fruity and boozy cocktail to get you through those cold-weather days, berry tea is spiked with berry-flavored vodka and elderflower liqueur. 

Course: Drinks
Servings: 1 cocktail
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 1 berry-flavored teabag
  • 1 1/2 ounces berry-flavored vodka
  • 1/2 ounce elderflower liqueur
  • Hot water
Instructions
  1. Place teabag in a tea cup and add vodka and elderflower liqueur.

  2. Place a tea kettle filled with water over high heat and bring to a boil. 

  3. Once tea kettle is whistling, pour hot water over tea bag and liquor mixture to fill the tea cup. Enjoy immediately.

Elder-Berry Tea Cocktail | CaliGirlCooking.com

Cranberry Ginger Mule

Have you eaten up all of your leftovers yet?

Cranberry Ginger Mule | CaliGirlCooking.com

I sure hope you at least still have some cranberries left, because you are going to want to make this Cranberry Ginger Mule ASAP. Tart cranberries simmered with vanilla bean and orange liqueur, topped off with a healthy dose of vodka and ginger beer. Does it get any better than that?

It might get better, if you sip on one of these while you’re baking cookies or decorating your Christmas tree, or if you just need a little pick-me-up after a rough day. It’s a cup of holiday cheer, and let’s be honest, there’s no drinking vessel more festive than a shiny copper mug.

Speaking of feeling festive, have you kicked off your holiday season yet? It’s the first weekend of December and, if you’re city is anything like Santa Barbara, the seasonal events are starting in full force. We’ve got our downtown Holiday Parade, Champagne Club, and a few fun holiday pop-ups going on around town this weekend, and after a long week back to the grind, I’m so excited to get even more in the holiday spirit!

Cranberry Ginger Mule | CaliGirlCooking.com

I’m also headed to Quebec next week with my gal pal GoJohannaGo and I cannot wait! We planned the trip this summer, with the mission of finding a super cute, snowy, festive, Christmas light-ed town (something you do NOT find in California.) We were initially looking at small New England towns, but found ourselves being drawn to the quaint, French-centric Canadian town after it kept popping up on our radar. Plus, the strength of the American dollar there makes it super affordable. We’re so excited to go snow shoeing, visit sugar shacks and maybe even dip into a Nordic spa or two. We’re still finalizing our itinerary, so tell me if there’s anywhere we MUST go!

So in anticipation of my travels and all of the fun upcoming holiday events, I’m going to share this Christmas-y Cranberry Ginger Mule with you! The hardest part is making the cranberry puree, and after that everything comes together sooooo easily. You may want to mix up a batch of the vanilla-laced puree and just keep it in your refrigerator for whenever the urge strikes, because I can guarantee it’s going to happen.

I came up with the idea for this Cranberry Ginger Mule when I was trying to think of a way to use up some leftover fresh cranberries I had, but realistically you could even doctor up some cranberry sauce you already have on hand. I simmered my cranberries with the usual sugar and water, plus some vanilla bean seeds and a healthy glug of orange liqueur. Depending on what flavor of cranberries you have, you can either add the vanilla and orange liqueur into what you’ve got, or just use whatever you have! The only thing I would definitely recommend doing is pureeing the cranberries so it blends in nicely and you don’t end up with huge chunks of cranberry in your drink.

Cranberry Ginger Mule | CaliGirlCooking.com

Aside from the cranberry puree, all you’ll need to make this Cranberry Ginger Mule is vodka, ginger beer and, of course, ice! Easy as that. You’ll want to shake the cranberry puree and vodka over the ice in a cocktail shaker so you don’t get any separation, and then just top off your copper mug with a dose of ginger beer.

The vanilla and orange flavors peak through the cranberry, vodka and ginger beer flavors so nicely that you’ll hardly even notice you’re drinking a cocktail. That being said, this cocktail can sneak up on you quickly so proceed with caution. But if you plan on doing any merry-making in the near future, be sure you have a Cranberry Ginger Mule in hand!

Cranberry Ginger Mule | CaliGirlCooking.com

Cranberry Ginger Mule | CaliGirlCooking.com
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Cranberry Ginger Mule
Prep Time
30 mins
Total Time
30 mins
 

A holiday spin on the classic mule - cranberry puree with hints of orange and vanilla is mixed with vodka and topped with zesty ginger beer.

Course: Drinks
Servings: 1 cocktail
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
For the cranberry puree:
  • 2 cups fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 of a vanilla bean, seeds scraped (Use just the seeds)
  • 1 tablespoon Triple Sec, Cointreau or other orange liqueur
For the cocktail:
  • 2 tablespoons cranberry puree
  • 2 ounces vodka
  • 6 ounces ginger beer
Instructions
  1. First, make the cranberry puree. Combine all puree ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat. Allow to cook over medium heat until cranberries begin to burst open and take on a somewhat gelatinous quality. Puree cranberry mixture in a blender or with an immersion blender. Set aside to let cool.

  2. Once cranberry puree is cooled down, you can make the cocktail. In a cocktail shaker, combine about 1 cup of ice, cranberry puree and vodka. Shake vigorously for about 15 seconds, then pour into copper mug (ice and all.) Top with ginger beer. 

Recipe Notes

The cranberry puree recipe will make enough for about two cocktails.

Cranberry Ginger Mule | CaliGirlCooking.com

 

A big copper mug full of holiday cheer!