Category Archives: Cocktails

Rosemary and Grapefruit Sparkling Rose Mimosa

August 20, 2017


Hi All… Welcome to The Craine’s Nest!

Summer’s in full swing here in Temecula and we’ll be hosting a brunch at our place, this weekend.  I’d like to do something different than the usual Mimosa.  We’re in a new house, surrounded by life, vegetation, and beauty and I want something more interesting (and more fresh) than store-bought O.J. and sparkling wine.  Also, sometimes I like to pretend I’m a chef or drink innovator of some kind and bust out the gourmet ingredients… about 10% of the time this actually works out.  The other 90% it’s everyone saying “oh yeah, this is good… mmm… interesting flavors”  things like that, and a week later the leftovers are still sitting in the fridge, or drinks are left to melt, half full on the table… but it’s ok, because I still enjoy trying!  Luckily, this one turned out.  At least in my mind it did.  You can try it for yourself and let me know!

We recently discovered a huge rosemary bush that spans about half a city block just behind our back fence line, so I decided that whatever drink I make, that should definitely be incorporated.  We’ve come to realize that rosemary grows wild all over this town… it’s a beautiful thing!

So, with all that fresh rosemary in my possession, I’ve decided to do a twist on the classic Mimosa.  I’ll be swapping the orange juice with fresh squeezed ruby red grapefruit and the sparkling wine for sparkling rose.  A rosemary simple syrup and a sprig of fresh rosemary rounds it out.  It’s yummy and refreshing!


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Lemon Lavender Gin Cocktails: 1 Shaken/1 Stirred

June 10, 2017

The Lavender Gin Lemon Drop

Welcome to The Craine’s Nest!

10 days to go, and the countdown to Summer has officially begun!  Despite Southern California’s “Perennial Summer”, we do experience some of our cloudiest weather this time of year.  Yes- June Gloom has kicked in and while I love cool, cloudy days in January, I find them a bit depressing in June.  It’s a little chilly (like 65ish, which is totally burrrrr here in SoCal!) and VERY grey… I know what you’re thinking… “yeah, poor southern Californian… she thinks 65 is cold… there’s probably one cloud in that sunny sky”… but rest assured, it’s REALLY grey. So, while I await the return of the summer sun, I’ll take this opportunity to perfect some refreshing cocktails.  When those beautiful days come back, I’ll be armed and ready!

I’ve concocted 2 Lemony Lavender Gin Cocktails, 1 Shaken and 1 Stirred. Perfect for a Summer Party or sipping by the pool.  We’re all waiting for you, beautiful Summer Solstice!  See you when you get here.

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Cocktails for Zelda

June 5, 2017

13393970_10209869582885480_7356317566903960694_n-2 Image by Egle Athari

Hi there and welcome to The Craine’s Nest!

A friend of mine recently invited me to join a book club, and while I’ve always thought book clubs might be stuffy and uptight, I’m happy to have found this one is not!  For the most part, it’s a great mix of girl talk, good food and drink, and an interesting discussion about the book that we’ve read.  The group is made up of creative, entrepreneurial women, which is my comfy little nook, and I like that I’m reading books I wouldn’t necessarily choose for myself.

The first book that I read with the group, was Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald, by Therese Anne Fowler.  I’m not gonna lie… I was pretty bored for the first hundred pages or so and then, unexpectedly, everything turned around.  The novel was suddenly brought to life with imagery and color, when Scott and Zelda, the dynamic duo, moved to New York City.  Through many different countries and surroundings, Fowler did a great job of capturing their extraordinary personalities and their crazy, mixed-up love.  She recreated environments of the era in beautiful detail, making me feel like I was right there with Scott and Zelda, at the many speakeasies, clubs, and hotels they frequented.  With her vivid descriptions of the style, food, and drink of the day, Fowler created a lively backdrop for an array of colorful characters.

Fowler also included many a Jazz Era Cocktail (mostly all about gin!), such as the Orange Blossom, which is one of the drinks I’ll be revamping here, today.  I jotted down all of the drinks as I read through the book, and I’ve put a modern spin on the ones that captured my imagination the most.


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Raspberry and Rosemary Mimosa with Sparkling Rose

May 18, 2017


Happy Spring and welcome to The Craine’s Nest!

The sun is shining, flowers are in bloom, and Mimosa Season is upon us!

The truth is, while I love the idea of mimosas, I’ve never been a huge fan of the OJ and Sparkling Wine thing… too sweet, too sticky, too much… so this Spring, I’ve been reinventing the traditional version, using fresh ingredients.

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Mint Lemonade Slushy with Vodka and Tonic

September 15, 2016


Welcome back to the Craine’s Nest!  Thanks for being here!

The last days of Summer are upon us here in East San Diego, and that means one thing… SERIOUS HEAT.  So, instead of complaining about the sweaty, humid heat (ok, I’ll still complain a little!), I think I’ll sip away the last days that we have left of this very long season.  So…

I’ve returned to give you a sweet and simple drink recipe that I concocted this week when temperatures rose into the hundreds!  Every year, when August comes to a close, I think, “Thank goodness Summer is OVER-  hey, it wasn’t even that bad!?!?!?”  But somewhere in the back of my mind lurks a sneaking suspicion that I’ve forgotten something… and that’s when September strikes.  105 degree days and pretty much sheer, sweaty torture when you live in an A-frame with absolutely no insulation and no AC.  That’s right.  No AC.  My husband says it’s making us stronger people but I’m pretty sure it’s just making me mean!  It’s hard to be nice when you live in a sweat lodge.  It’s also hard to explain this annual amnesia that I experience but I think it’s a denial that allows me to remain in this house year after year, because I’m too lazy to pack it in and move out!

Whatever the case may be, while I was sitting in my AC-free living room the other night, sweating bullets, and trying to finish up my last post, I realized I needed something REALLY cold to drink.  I looked around my kitchen and found some mint, lemons, tonic, a little vodka, some sugar and ice, and I got busy mixing!


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