Happy Valentines Day!  We put together a super simple cocktail that is a major crowd pleaser, along with a nice little appetizer spread. You can’t really go wrong with an evening like this, and it’s perfect whether you’re entertaining a group, or just with that special loved one.


The supplies are very low fuss.  Pick up a bottle of Prosecco, some fresh cranberries, and black cherry juice for your cocktail recipe.  Along with the drinks, I’ve been enjoying serving cheese and meats in a new way.  Simple & Crisp has these great little packages of dried sliced fruit, that I’ve been using in place of a cracker.  They add a new dimension of flavor to a standard cheese plate, and are of course, a very pretty addition to the spread.  I also found the orange slices make a gorgeous topper to any drink, as the fruit catches the light in that stained glass window way.  So pretty and festive!

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For the Sweetheart Cocktail, measure out 1 ounce of the black cherry juice and pour into your champagne flute, then pop that bottle!


vday drink 1



Fill your glass with prosecco, and carefully place a few cranberries on top.

vday drink 2



Garnish with a bright piece of the Simple & Crisp dried orange fruit thins.

vday drink 3



Set out your appetizers, pass along a cocktail, and enjoy your Valentines Day this Saturday evening!

Valentines Day Spread with graphics



Images by KettleWerks









Here in Seattle, September is still considered part of summer.  It’s one of the best months of the whole year, with the sun out in full force, and gardens in bloom everywhere you look.  Fruits and vegetables are in abundance, particularly pretty little purple Italian Plums, which the dog and I spy daily on our morning walks, weighing down their tree branches.  After receiving a large delivery of these to my kitchen last week, I wondered if I could come up with something a bit different then your typical dessert or jam. Enter our first, “Cocktail of the Season” series!  Inspired by these delicate little fruits, and their rich purple tone, I sought out a combination that would be unique, fruit-inspired, and a gorgeous treat for guests.  With color in mind, I decided lavender would be a fun pairing, as it seems to be trending all over the place in specialty coffee drinks and desserts.  Why not try it in cocktail form as well!


The ingredients were pretty simple to put together.

– 2 ounces of Gin.  I used Crater Lake Gin, one of our favorites with strong Juniper notes.

– 1 ounce of Japanese Plum Wine. I used this brand, which you can find at Whole Foods.

– 1 ounce of Lavender Soda.

Lavender and Shimmering Sugar for rimming of glass. William Sonoma has both of these…what great specialty items you can find there!!

– Honey

– Italian Plums.


Starting with a small portion of honey and a regular crafting paintbrush, carefully paint the rim of your delicate cocktail glass.



Take a small dish and mix together your dried lavender and sugar.  Place the honeyed rim onto the plate, and spin the glass several times to ensure it is coated in the sweet mixture.

Lavender Plum Cocktail Sugar Setup


Cut up a few of the plums into thin half moon shapes.



Measure and pour your gin, plum wine, and lavender soda into a tall glass full of ice.  Stir well.

Lav Plum Square Layout 1


Using a strainer, pour the mixture into your prepared cocktail glass.  Add a few plums as well.

Plum Lavender Cocktail


And there you have it…a pretty Lavender and Plum Sparkler, perfect for these few last warm “summer” evenings.  Sip, and enjoy!




Images by Carlton Canary.