Pardon my Peach Sangria

img_7467If you’ve been following me for a awhile now, you know that one of my favorite alcoholic beverages is sangria. In fact, my very first blog post was on my Fall Caramel Apple Sangria! So of course I wanted to drop another recipe for the Summer season, and just in time for Labor Day. I like to make recipes for sangria because they are usually easy and the main ingredient is wine so a lot of people will drink it. I’m very typical in the fact that I like red sangria during the winter and white sangria during the hot seasons. I’m also more of a white wine drinker in general, so white sangria is my go-to!

I am not going to lie, this recipe was made almost by accident. My Godmother and I were having a pool day one Sunday Funday and I told her I was in the mood for some sangria. We talked briefly about making it white and that I wanted to use peach schnapps since she already had it. When we got to the store there were so many options for seltzers and juices but we finally came to a compromise. She made the first batch and it was delicious! So delicious we drank the entire batch. Needless to say, we were both in bed early that night…I want to say I was asleep by 7:30pm LOL. Since then, I’ve made it two more times, once on my own with a girlfriend and another time for an Orangetheory Pool party. After many raves and a few requests for the recipe, I decided to make it my next recipe blog.

 

Shopping List:

  • Sauvignon Blanc- 1 bottle (makes about 8 glasses)
  • Peach Schnapps- 1 Cup
  • Nantucket Nectars Orange Mango Juice (or similar)-  1 small bottle (16 ounces)
  • Peach Seltzer- top
  • Peaches or nectarines, sliced
  • **Vodka (optional)- If using, substitute 1/2 cup of Peach Schnapps
img_7412
I used Sauvignon Blanc, but I’m sure it would taste great with Pinot Grigio as well. I would stay away from Chardonnays or sweet wines like Moscato for this specific recipe.

Step one: Mix wine, juice, and peach schnapps in a large drink container. Walmart, TJ Max, and Target all have some pretty cheap yet cute containers for Sangria. I suggest getting one with a sturdy top for traveling purposes.

Step two: Slice peaches and add to the sangria mix. Chill for at least an hour (2 if you have time). Of course you can make it and drink it right away, but I personally love for the fruit to soak it up and the flavors to marinate a bit longer together.

Step three: Pour over ice and top with Peach Seltzer. If you need a measurement on it, I would say about a 1/2 cup of seltzer per glass.

Cheers!

img_7532
X O X O   ~ Sips

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hi Vodka, it’s me Drinkade

img_9414

As the name of my blog states, you can usually find me a bit “full of sips” on the weekends. I’m not going to lie, the name can certainly come with consequences and I’m sure everyone can relate to the fact that as we get older, so do our bodies and our tolerance for holding alcohol. At 34, if I drink more than 3 drinks in one given night, the chances are, I will have a headache the next day. Of course we’ve all tried the different remedies: downing water, eating fatty foods, pedialyte etc in order to avoid such consequences. One of my favorite ways to avoid a hangover is taking B12 vitamins, a suggestion from my good friend Kate when I was in my mid-20’s. Although not 100% successful, it does work a lot of the time as it builds your body with the nutrients needed to survive while killing your liver. So when I was approached to review Drinkade, I was not surprised that one of the key ingredients is B12 and that this tiny, but mighty, bottle can assist in feeling your best after a crazy night.

While of course there is no real “hangover cure” I was excited to try the product because one of the flavors has no caffeine in its ingredients. This is unusual for a hangover remedy that usually consists of Excedrin or  Coffee. Sorry to disappoint you all but no, I do not drink coffee or tea on a regular basis in the morning, I have enough energy myself! You can find the key ingredients and how Drinkade works here. Although it does have green tea extract, I did not feel the normal effects of caffeine so don’t worry about getting the jitters!

img_9383Drinkade comes in two flavors: Limeade (red) and Berry (blue). The taste of both drinks is similar to limeade flavor Gatorade, although I liked Berry better! I took both of the drinks at different times as I wanted to test the outcomes. I took Limeade about 15 minutes before I started drinking and when I tried the Berry flavor, I drank it at the same time I started drinking alcohol. (Full Disclosure! I actually tried Drinkade for the first time when I threw my annual Hocus Pocus party last month. I drank WAY too much and it did not take away my hangover however 1- I did not drink the entire bottle as I was tasting it among friends, 2- I was mixing alcohol, and 3- there wasn’t a drink in the world that could relieve my headache). I don’t believe the timing really had an impact on the drink as I felt great both mornings afterwards. I had a reasonable amount to drink each time, about 3-4 drinks and usually I would get a headache after that amount if I didn’t drink water. I want to point out that I kept my water intake to a minimum so I could test the real affects of the drinks. No headache? Yes! I can now finally “Skip the Tough Mornings,” as Drinkade would say.

img_9379

My absolute favorite reason for liking this product however, is not the taste or how it looks, but the size! At 3.4 ounces each, these little miracle workers can travel! As a person who has to travel often for her career, this is a huge plus to be able to bring a few on board with me. They also come in larger bottle size, but I prefer the small bottles that come in a variety of 6, 12, and 24 packs as well as larger party packs that have up to 240 bottles. My genius idea for these packs is to use them as giveaways at a Bachelorette party or Wedding. Wouldn’t it be fun to have tray-passed Drinkade upon arrival of a cocktail party to get your body started right? I personally have planned about 5 Bachelorette parties and these are perfect to add into the welcome gift bags for the bridesmaids and friends. Not to mention they are perfect for the Groom’s festivities as well!

img_9398

You can shop for Drinkade here. Please comment below if you try and let me know how you like it!

Pali House: Where Central Coast meets Anaheim

I just love when I am introduced to new hidden gems, especially when they are right in my neighborhood and in the vicinity of one of the most traveled cities in the world: Anaheim aka the home of Disneyland! Pali 10 As a food and wine lover, I am always so excited when new places open up in an area where that was much needed. Just 5 years ago, Anaheim was known solely for being where Disneyland was located. However, with the opening of the Packing District, rooftop bars, breweries, speakeasys and the new MAKE building, Anaheim is shaping up to become more than a family destination. I was blessed enough to be hosted by Visit Anaheim for a staycation with the SoCal Blogger Babes and they had us check out this cool new winery in the OC!

Pali 17Pali House, located in the brand new MAKE building (which is walking distance from the Packing District FYI), allows you to taste wine al fresco, featuring Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays from the central region of California (Santa Barbara and Lompoc for you wine lovers). Formed in 2005 by best friends and business partners Tim and Scott, Pali Wine Co. is named after their hometown, Pacific Palisades. If you are familiar with that area, pay attention to their wine labels, as they incorporate names of neighborhoods in Pacific Palisades.

For the past 2 years, I’ve really been concentrating on white and rose varietals, so I was pleased to find out that the Pali House Rose was delicious and is perfect on those hot summer days. If you have ever sipped wine with me, you know I am not a Chardonnay fan, however I did find that one of them was dry enough for me to enjoy! One of the best parts of this winery is their charcuterie boards! Some wineries don’t serve food at all, so it’s good to know they have some small bites to choose from. Pali 6

With tasting rooms now in Santa Barbara, Lompoc, Anaheim, and San Diego-Little Italy (yes Mom, close to you!), Pali House will ultimately become a new hip California winery staple! Similar to Ballast Point and their success in breweries, they no doubt will add more locations soon for us to enjoy. P.S. may I suggest Newport Beach or the new Lot 579 in Pacific City?  Regardless, I look forward to seeing where this company goes in the coming years!

For Pali House Anaheim’s hours and events Click here!

Pali 8

Rainstorm Wines

Rainstorm 7Being Full of Sips, I am always in search of new wines to try so when Rainstorm Wines reached out to me to review their ever-so-popular Pinot Noir, of course I jumped at the chance. When it comes to buying wine, I am definitely one of those people that have their “go-to’s” and for the past few years now Matua and Kim Crawford have been my favorites. Although it’s been extremely cold in California recently with record breaking low temperatures, white wine still is my favorite.   However, after trying the Rainstorm Wines Pinot Noir, it got me in a “red” sort of mood and I’ve now been mixing red wine into my weekly wine rotation.  The issue with red wine is that you genuinely need to drink a good bottle. We’ve all been there when we’re broke and make the mistake of buying a too cheap wine. Take for example the “Two Buck Chuck” from Traders Joe’s that everyone loves. I personally can’t stand it…it gives me a headache and it tastes grainy. Red wines like these are what ruins your taste buds for exceptional wine. Luckily, I had Rainstorm Pinot Noir to bring me back!

Rainstorm 1At only $18 a bottle, this elegant red blends a 50/50 varietal of grapes stemming from the Willamette and Umpqua Valleys of Oregon, right outside of the funky and well loved town of Portland. As Rainstorm strives for character, relevance, attitude, style, elegance, and that funky Portland vibe, it was no surprise to me that I received a bit of everything when I tasted the Pinot Noir for the first time. Not as bold as a lot of reds, this Pinot was easy to put down and left a fruit forward flavor in my mouth afterwards. This particular blend is grown on a ridge which is something Oregon is insanely proud of as the ridge gives the water a place to drain which moderates the vine’s healthiness and produces smaller amounts of crop that yields quality over quantity.

 

 

 

In addition to the Pinot Noir, Rainstorm also carries a brand new Pinot Rose along with a Pinot Gris. I highly encourage you to check out their wines on their website (linked here) as their opening video quickly catches your attention!  It’s clear that this company not only believes in great taste, but attractive labeling, bottling, and marketing – which makes it all that more fun to drink! I was immediately excited to try their wines after watching the video which gives a sensual edge to wine tasting and encompasses their 6 wine characteristics they strive for, which I mentioned previously.  I was sad to hear that they do not have a tasting room in the Portland area as of yet, but it is in the horizon as well as more labels to come!

Rainstorm 3

Keep Sipping!

 

Where to Mingle When You’re Single on Valentines Day

PH 17Whether in a relationship or not, the big V Day always comes with pressure to either find the perfect place to spend the most romantic night out, or a fun atmosphere to mingle while you’re single! Although Valentine’s Day has always been an American staple, I love that many events, bars, and restaurants are also embracing Single Awareness Day. And why not?! I feel that people who are single have just as much right to celebrate as couples do being in a relationship. It’s been fun the past few years watching what different venues come up with to attract single patrons over couples looking for a romantic dinner. If you think about it, this really needed to happen as some restaurants are getting ridiculously expensive the night of the 14th and surrounding weekends. Most high end restaurants in the Socal area typically offer a set menu at raised “all inclusive” prices that could be as high as $150+tax and tip per person! Ok so wait, not only are you inflating your prices over the holiday, but now I can’t even eat what I want?! No, thanks.

PH 7

Luckily, in the beautiful city of Huntington Beach, we have options! At The Shorebreak Hotel right off of Pacific Coast Highway and in the heart of Surf City USA, is the best craft cocktail bar in Orange County, the Pacific Hideaway.  As you should already know, I am a craft cocktail enthusiast, and love tasting and learning about all the various and creative ways to make one particular drink. I’ve come to learn that a real craft cocktail should technically take at least 5 minutes to make, and sometimes up to 8 minutes if it’s a complicated recipe! Although I don’t believe it takes him quite as long, Lead Bartender Casey Lyons has come up with the most spectacular and  cutting edge cocktail menu in our area including the infamous Dazed and Confused which comes with a sage “joint” smoking on the side. Of course, the upcoming V-day event is no exception to his innovation!

PH 12
Lead Bartender of Pacific Hideaway and Craft Cocktail Connoisseur, Casey Lyons

Along with Director of Food and Beverage, Blake Mathias, they have come up with the most appropriate and exclusive cocktails to honor what they refer to as Single Awareness Night. “I wanted to give local Huntington Beach a place to not only enjoy an amazing atmosphere and incredible cocktails, but where singles can come to mingle and feel comfortable without romantic pressure,” Mathias says of his take on the reverse holiday.

With 3 brand new craft cocktails created by Lyons especially for the occasion, they certainly succeeded! I had the opportunity to go with one of my friends Felicia, (aka PrettyPoorThing) to taste their new creations and I was not only satisfied but completely impressed. With names such a 99 Problems and Swipe Right, Pacific Hideaway definitely embraces singles and encourages bad, yet mostly good decisions.

Can you guess which one is which from the above? My favorite was definitely the Pears & The Bees, which was a concoction of Sky Pear Vodka, Lemon Juice, Honey Syrup, Apple Juice, and Aperol and tasted like heaven in my mouth. Let me tell you, if you’re single and have a few of these, you may not be single by the end of the night!

Even if in relationship,  if you’re looking to get away from the cheesy romantic nuances that come with the most dreaded holiday ever, Pacific Hideaway at the Shorebreak is the place to check out! If you’re single, then go just to tag yourself with a drink that says “Swipe Right” because, well, it’s better to drink then actually swipe right…PH 13

 

 

@Fullofsips

Ring in the New Year with a New Martini

Welcome to my page! I am so excited to share my new Holiday “sip” with all of you! As you should know by now, I love cocktails and creating drinks that I can share with my family and friends. Typically inspired by something I drank at a restaurant or found on Pinterest, I enjoy putting my own spin on these recipe finds and making them more enjoyable, easier, or cheaper for my followers.

 

If you’re looking for a beautiful New Years Eve cocktail, you are going to love this fresh and mildly sweet White Cranberry & Rosemary Martini!
Martini 13I  was a bit apprehensive at first as the original recipe called for simple syrup, and although I was a bartender for many years, I had never made simple syrup from scratch before. Come to find, SUPER easy folks! I give 100% credit to my 14 year old brother, who apparently had made this before for his fresh lemonade. If you’re not familiar, simple syrup is an essential sweetener and ingredient in many cocktails. Some will use agave in place of this, however, if you have a stove and can boil water, you can can make it in 2 minutes! Just mix equal parts water and sugar, bring to a boil, add crushed rosemary, then let stand for 30-40 minutes, before straining out the rosemary. As a rosemary lover, it was delicious!

 

Fresh ingredients are always what makes a craft cocktail superb. My Mom picked this rosemary from her best friend’s garden and it smelled delicious! Once it was infused into a syrup, it made for an excellent sweetener that you can keep for up to a couple of weeks! Note: do not substitute for dried rosemary, since this will not infuse correctly.

I am extremely lucky that my Mother has a lime tree! Pictured here are her limes which are uniquely yellow, with the most perfect sour. You can always tell how good a lime is by the juice that comes out of them. Have you ever cut into a lime and barely anything comes out? It’s the worst and my Mom’s never disappoints!

 

I actually had never tried a real cranberry until I made this cocktail. It has a mildly sour yet hard exterior and does not really have much taste. I’m still not sure how I feel about it honestly, so let’s just say it’s better for decoration. Pictured here is my amazing and supportive brother who taught me how to make simple syrup and helped me stage this blog post.

 

Martini 6
As with most martinis, this cocktail is shaken over ice, and I always suggest to shake for at least 20 seconds to get a real frothy martini!

Recipe:1.5 oz Vodka

2 Tbls White Cranberry Strawberry Juice

1/4 slice of Lime (these are fresh limes which is why they look like lemons)

2 Tsp simple syrup

Simple Syrup:

1/2 cup Water

1/2 Cup Sugar

Crushed Rosemary

 

 

 

Martini 5

“Fall” in Love with Sangria

I am so excited to share my very first blog post with  those who are reading. I wanted to keep the first one as simple and sweet as this delicious Fall style sangria my friend Taylor and I found on Pinterest a couple of years ago. Perfect for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and any other parties you attend during the Fall season, this perfect blend of flavors leave your taste buds  truly feeling the Fall spirit!Cheers to sangria

Random history fact! Sangria is originally from Spain and Portuguese decent, however it dates all the way back to Romanian period. In this era, water was constantly contaminated so the Romans used wine to “sanitize” their water and added extra herbs and fruits to make it into more of a juice! As I know from reading books from this era, they did dilute their wine so this makes complete sense and I’m surprised that more Sangria producers don’t implement this into their marketing efforts for the brands!

I throw an annual Hocus Pocus night at my house every year so last year when I was looking for ideas, my girlfriend Taylor and I stumbled upon this concoction which perfectly fits the theme of basically anything October. It’s also a a great choice for a party where a lot of women are attending since it is sweet so it’s more of a girly drink.  PLUS you can make it in bulk and fast if you need to re-fill your pitchers, and if you have girlfriends and family who know how to drink like mine, then this is very convenient!

Now to the fun stuff! This Caramel Apple Sangria is made with a mixture of Caramel Vodka (not be confused with apple vodka), Apple Cider, White Wine, and of course, sliced apples. I have yet to find another Carmel Vodka other than Smirnoff but I have been told that Pinnacle also has had one in the past.

IMG_1706

Being an east coast girl, I was raised near an apple farm so I grew up with the luxury of having a cider mill close to me, however I have yet to find a cider mill in Orange County (I believe Julian or Moreno Valley is the closest), so my go-to is Trader Joes Apple Cider. If any of you do know of a great place that makes fresh cider, please comment below!

I am going to be upfront regarding my wine preferences now…I am NOT a Chardonnay drinker, so I will most likely never suggest using that white wine as an ingredient. With that being said, I suggest Sauvignon Blanc for the sweeter side, or Pinot Grigio for the drier the side. We used Pinot Grigio for this party as I like cocktails that are not as sweet, especially when you already have a sweet base  such as apple cider. Also, if you want to make the Sangria less strong, you can use more wine and cider vs. vodka!

IMG_1703To complete your Sangria, make sure you buy various types of apples and cut them to soak in Sangria before serving. I used Fiji, Honeycrips, and Galas to give variety and add extra flavor. Once you mixed the recipe ingredients below, make sure you soak the fruit for at last 1 hour, 2 hours if you have the time! If this was red sangria, you could soak at room temperature, but since this is a white sangria, lets go ahead and refrigerate so it stays cold before guests come over. You also have the option of keeping at room temperature and pouring over ice.

SangriaI am so excited to hear the outcome when you try this at an event! Thank you for reading and stay Full of Sips!

Recipe:

Serves about 8 drinks

3 Apples

5 cups of Apple Cider

1 Cup of Caramel Apple Vodka

1 Bottle of Pinot Grigio

*Refrigerate for 1-2 hours