Gilmore Girls – A Year in the Life: Rory Cocktail

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that this Friday marks the Netflix premiere of the Gilmore Girls revival: A Year in the Life.

Though I’m fairly new to the GG fan club, I wanted to do something in honor of this momentous occasion.

So I’m putting my own twist Rory’s 21st signature birthday cocktail… minus the champagne and pineapple juice. It’s still as sweet as can be – just like Miss Gilmore – but this one is not disgusting! Beware: Drinking too many of these may result in a Kirk-level sugar hangover 🙂

Gilmore Girls - A Year in the Life: Rory Cocktail Recipe | Closet Full of Cocktails

Gilmore Girls - A Year in the Life: Rory Cocktail Recipe | Closet Full of Cocktails

Gilmore Girls - A Year in the Life: Rory Cocktail Recipe | Closet Full of Cocktails

Ingredients/Supplies:

  • 1/4 cup water (to prep rim of glass)
  • 1/4 cup white sugar, granulated (for rim)
  • 1 ounce vodka
  • 1/2 ounce grenadine
  • 3 ounces pink lemonade (regular or sparkling)
  • Cocktail shaker
  • Pinch of lime juice (optional)
  • Choice of fruit to garnish (I used strawberries and blackberries)

Directions:

Prep Glass: In 2 small plates or shallow bowls, place sugar in one and water in the other. Using a martini glass, dip the rim of the glass slightly into the water, then immediately into the sugar. Give it a gentle twist until the rim is completely covered in sugar.

Gilmore Girls - A Year in the Life: Rory Cocktail Recipe | Closet Full of Cocktails

Mix Drink: Add ice to a shaker until about halfway full. Pour in vodka and grenadine.

Gilmore Girls - A Year in the Life: Rory Cocktail Recipe | Closet Full of Cocktails

Place lid on shaker and shake until well blended.

Gilmore Girls - A Year in the Life: Rory Cocktail Recipe | Closet Full of Cocktails

Remove lid, add pink lemonade and gently stir.

Gilmore Girls - A Year in the Life: Rory Cocktail Recipe | Closet Full of Cocktails

Serve: Pour into prepared martini glass. Garnish with your choice of fruit and add a dash of fresh lime juice, if desired.

Gilmore Girls - A Year in the Life: Rory Cocktail Recipe | Closet Full of Cocktails

Gilmore Girls - A Year in the Life: Rory Cocktail Recipe | Closet Full of Cocktails

Lazy Girl Sangria

Happy Monday, and first official day of summer! Though my summers are no longer filled with three-month breaks from “reality,” they are filled with sunshine, road trips and sweet cocktails!

So what’s my go-to summer cocktail? The appropriately-named Lazy Girl Sangria 🙂

Why lazy? Because you’ll only need three ingredients… that’s right, 3!

Lazy Girl Sangria | Closet Full of Cocktails

Lazy Girl Sangria | Closet Full of Cocktails

Ingredients/Supplies:

  • 2 parts sparkling white wine (depending on taste preference, I used Cupcake Moscato D’Asti)
  • 2 parts lemon lime pop/soda
  • Assorted frozen fruit (I used a peach, pineapple, strawberry, mango mix)

Lazy Girl Sangria | Closet Full of Cocktails

Put them all together in your favorite summer glass and voila — it’s that simple.

Cheers to a fabulous summer!

Ohio Wine Month at Henke Winery

Summer is my favorite season: the weather, the clothes, the food and adventures. But now, there’s even more reason to love the month of June: it’s Wine Month in Ohio! To celebrate in true wino style, I ventured to Henke Winery on a rainy Thursday afternoon and treated myself to a personal wine tasting.

As soon as I walked in, I was greeted with a smile by owner Joe Henke. I was seated in the dining room, where I enjoyed a relaxing acoustic performance by Tom Roll. Joe personally walked me through the entire tasting, and I learned so much!

Henke Winery is an urban winery, meaning the entire wine-making process takes place at their Westwood location instead of a traditional rural vineyard. Since opening in 1996, Henke has received several awards, including being rated #6 of all urban wineries in the country by Wine Enthusiast magazine! Needless to say, you have to check this place out.

Ohio Wine Month at Henke Winery | Closet Full of Cocktails
Image Credit: Google Maps

The wine tasting included seven wines as well as a souvenir wine glass, all for only $10. After describing my wine preferences, Joe hand-selected the ones for my tasting. He made some amazing selections, switching between wines in and out of my comfort zone to spice up the palette. By the end of my tasting, I felt like a wine connoisseur. I even found myself swirling and sniffing the wines, but trust me, I’ll never be that type of wino. 🙂

The wines I ended up tasting were Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, Vendange A Trois, Riesling, Vidal, Cellar Blush and Cin Zin. By far, my favorite was the award-winning Cellar Blush, which is described as “a white zinfandel, but much better.” And the description didn’t lie, it was amazing! So I took a bottle home for only $11.

Ohio Wine Month at Henke Winery | Closet Full of Cocktails

When I finished my tasting, Joe gave me a tour of the winery’s basement where all of the wines are handmade. The basement was filled with barrels, vats and all sorts of other contraptions involved in the wine-making process. Overall, I had an amazing experience and will definitely be back!

Ohio Wine Month at Henke Winery | Closet Full of Cocktails

Ohio Wine Month at Henke Winery | Closet Full of Cocktails

Ohio Wine Month at Henke Winery | Closet Full of Cocktails

Ohio Wine Month at Henke Winery | Closet Full of Cocktails

If you live in Ohio or passing through this month, you should definitely check out a local winery and celebrate Ohio Wine Month, too! There are over 240 to choose from, so one shouldn’t be too hard to find. In honor of this special month, the Ohio Grape Industries Committee (OGIC) is hosting a contest throughout the month. To enter, simply share a picture on social media at an Ohio winery or enjoying an Ohio wine from one of the many participating retailers, tag it with both #OhioWine and #30cheersOH between June 1 and June 30. Each day the committee will randomly select a winner using those hashtags and give away something wine-related, including gift certificates, wares and souvenirs each day via participating wineries and retailers. At the end of the month, all 30 winners will automatically be entered into a grand prize drawing for an overnight stay at Gervasi Vineyard in Canton.

So what are you waiting for? Cheers, winos!

Compensation for this post was provided by Hello. Thank you!

Fizzy Mint Julep

Today, I’m putting the “cocktails” back into Closet Full of Cocktails! It’s been waaaaay too long since my last recipe, so I’m very excited to share this one with you all.

In honor of this weekend’s Kentucky Derby, I’m adapting the iconic derby day drink: the Mint Julep. Personally, I’m not a huge bourbon fan (I know, I know…) so I wanted to put my own twist on the traditional recipe. Introducing my Fizzy Mint Julep!

Fizzy Mint Julep Recipe | Closet Full of Cocktails

Fizzy Mint Julep Recipe | Closet Full of Cocktails

Ingredients/Supplies:

  • 1 package of fresh mint
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • 3 ounces (2 shots) bourbon
  • 6 ounces ginger ale
  • Crushed ice
  • Mint julep cup or highball glass
  • Cocktail shaker (optional)

Fizzy Mint Julep Recipe | Closet Full of Cocktails

Directions:

  1. In a mint julep cup or highball glass, muddle the mint leaves (5-6 leaves, depending on how potent you’d like it) and sugar with 1 teaspoon water until the sugar is dissolved. If you don’t have a muddler, you can use the end of a wooden spoon instead.
  2. In your cocktail shaker, add crushed ice, bourbon and ginger ale. Shake gently, to avoid flattening the soda. If you prefer, you can skip using a shaker and simply add ingredients directly to your glass.
  3. Serve garnished with mint sprigs.

Fizzy Mint Julep Recipe | Closet Full of Cocktails

And that’s it, that simple. Enjoy your derby day and fizzy julep! Happy betting, y’all.

This recipe was adapted from the original Mint Julep recipe from Real Simple.

DIY Bridal Shower Gift

Something exciting is happening in just a few months… one of my best friends is getting married! What’s more? I’m going to be a bridesmaid for her big day! With the date quickly approaching, the wedding festivities have officially begun, starting with her groom’s family bridal shower.

Though I’m not the craftiest person in the world, I’d much rather give a personalized gift rather than something off their registry. Don’t get me wrong, registries are great for getting the couple exactly what they want! That’s just my opinion 🙂

After having interned for an wedding and event planner a few summers ago, I had the perfect gift in mind: a wine basket filled with bottles for every momentous occasion the newly-wedded couple will celebrate together. Some of these include the wedding night, honeymoon, first house and first baby.

I found a printable PDF on UltimateBridesmaid.com (appropriately named…) and then I was off to Party Source and Michaels to shop! You can read the full Ultimate Bridesmaid post here.

If you want to create your own bridal shower wine basket, here’s everything you’ll need:

DIY Bridal Shower Wine Basket | Closet Full of Cocktails

Choose your materials. First, the wine. I purchased seven different bottles from my local liquor store, and had a lot of fun doing it! To add a personal (and humorous) touch, I selected wines based on the brand name and how it relates to the occasion. For example, for the honeymoon tag, I bought Barefoot, since the future Mr. & Mrs. will be barefoot on the beach. For the first baby tag, I bought a bottle of Gallo Family. And for the wedding night, I got Simply Naked Chardonnay. Get it? 😉 Ha! Next, stop by your local craft store and pick out your basket, ribbon, gift bag and paper crinkle.

DIY Bridal Shower Wine Basket | Closet Full of Cocktails

Print and cut out your gift tags. See the link above to get yours! Then, assign a gift tag to each of your wine bottles.

DIY Bridal Shower Wine Basket | Closet Full of Cocktails

Time to assemble. Scatter the paper crinkle at the bottom of the basket for a decorative touch. I used a teal color to complement the color of the gift tags.

DIY Bridal Shower Wine Basket | Closet Full of Cocktails

Arrange. Now, it’s time to arrange the bottles. This can be done however you’d like, but I tried to mix them up by gift tag colors, wine type and bottle size.

DIY Bridal Shower Wine Basket | Closet Full of Cocktails

Final touches. Once you decide on an arrangement you like, I found that it’s easiest to take the bottles out before putting on the gift bag. Trust me, it gets heavy! After you get your gift bag on, finish it off with a bow and tada – you’ve got yourself a beautiful wine basket.

DIY Bridal Shower Wine Basket | Closet Full of Cocktails

What’s your go-to bridal shower gift? Share your ideas with me on Instagram at @ClosetFullOfCocktails. Happy crafting!

Rhinegeist Cidergeist

Once again, we made it to Friday – hooray!

After work, I’m off to the Xavier men’s basketball season opener for the first time as an alumni… crazy talk.

For that reason, instead of making a cocktail, I wanted to feature one of my new favorite drinks from my favorite local brewery: Rhinegeist’s Cidergeist. I’ve never been a huge fan of beer (hence, the cocktails) so I would always reach for a hard cider instead. I’ve tried so many different kinds, but nothing compares to these ones from Rhinegeist. You may have seen my first Instagram post: “beer” in hand with an amazing mural in the back. That was actually taken at Rhinegeist after trying their Semi Dry Cider for the first time! Insert the huge smile on my face. I was one happy girl 🙂

Rhinegeist Cidergeist | Closet Full of Cocktails

If you love hard ciders as much as me, I would definitely recommend trying one of their flavors: Semi Dry or Dry Hopped. I had samples of both and went for the Semi Dry because I don’t like the bitter aftertaste of hoppy beers. If you’re in or around Cincinnati, you can find cans of Cidergeist at your local grocery store. To find out if they’re sold near you, click here. And more importantly, if you haven’t been to Rhinegeist before, go check them out! They’re in the middle of a huge expansion, opening a gorgeous rooftop patio in the spring, and it’s just a great place to hang out with friends. If you don’t like beer or cider, they have wine, too! (That’s actually what I used to order before Cidergeist.)

Rhinegeist Cidergeist | Closet Full of Cocktails

They have cornhole, ping pong, foosball: you name it. And if you’re interested, they give behind-the-scenes tours!

Rhinegeist Cidergeist | Closet Full of Cocktails

Oh, and one last thing: if you don’t follow them on Instagram, you should… because they’re awesome. (No, this is not a sponsored post. I just really love Rhinegeist.)

Rhinegeist Brewery

1910 Elm Street

Cincinnati, OH 45202