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What We're Sipping This Spring

What We're Sipping This Spring


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As the seasons change so do our beverage cravings. While we were cozying up with spicy reds and ports just a few weeks ago, we're ready to shed those notes of chocolate and tobacco for uplifting hits of strawberry, lemon, and basil. It's spring, so we're cleaning out our fridges and liquor cabinets and restocking them with what we'll be drinking well into the summer.

Cider: We're swiftly leaving behind the days of bold stouts and heavy porters, and we're rounding the corner to bright saisons and crisp Belgian wheats. While we make that transition, we're filling our palates with the fruity flavors of hard ciders. New to the market this season (and in constant supply in my fridge now) is Angry Orchard's Orchard's Edge in Knotty Pear and The Old Fashioned. They're playful and more fruit forward than you might expect from most ciders. But this is Angry Orchard. Fruity beverages are what they do.

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Of the two, Cooking Light testers preferred The Old Fashioned. "It's crisp and refreshing, not too terribly sweet. It's what I want to be drinking this summer by the pool," wrote one taster. "It's dryer than I was expecting. It's not cloyingly sweet like some ciders can be, so this would be good for people who dismiss ciders as too sweet automatically."

Both Knotty Pear and The Old Fashioned have 6.5% ABV and are available in 6 packs for a suggested retail price of $11. Some bars and restaurants will have these two ciders on tap and in bottles throughout the spring.

Rosé: No way we'd leave rosé off this list. We just can't! The über trendy pink drink is a must-have at brunch, girls' nights, or when just sipping with your favorite Netflix date (your cat). Pick up a sparkling version, and you're in for a real treat.

Most rosés are packed with berry aromas and refreshing acidity that's often dry enough for even the most sweet-averse. While many great rosés are on the market now (and you can most certainly expect a roundup in the very near future), we typically reach for Mumm Napa Brut Rosé ($24) or Charles & Charles Syrah Rose ($14).

Gin: This spirit is on the rise. Though it's been around for hundreds of years, it's place in popular beverage making has ebbed and flowed with the popularity of other liquors. As tasters begin to experience the many exciting new gins happening in distilleries across the country, this potent potion is popping up at plenty of bars and restaurants.

If you're uncertain (gin does have a lot of floral and woodsy notes that may be too strong fro some people), try it first in a cocktail like our Ramos Gin Fizz. Egg whites transform this tart gin drink into a creamy, dreamy cocktail. (See more Egg-White Cocktails.)

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Do you need another reason to raise a toast to Taurus season? We sure don’t. Which is why we’re sipping cosmic cocktails mixed with tantalizing blends from Kinky Beverages®.

To celebrate Taurus season in proper style, we tapped our friends at Kinky Beverages. They mixed up two amazing recipes for us, one for each of the Taurus season speeds:

Cocktail #1: Kinky Blush

For the Sleeping BullDrink this when: You’re in “sleeping bull” mode and feeling the sensual, sensible side of Taurus

Cocktail #2: Kinky Bliss Shot

For the Raging Bull
Drink this when: You’re in “raging bull” mode and Taurus season gets you hyped up and ready for action

So, you’re not a Taurus? All good! No matter your zodiac sign, you’ll feel the prevailing pull of the Bull between the Taurus season dates of April 19 to May 20. Sleeping or raging, you basically need two speeds during these four weeks. (If only life were always this simple, right?)

Are you feeling like a Sleeping Bull or a Raging Bull today?

RAGING BULLS:
· Pour everyone a shot, buy rounds for strangers
· Remind friends that “you only live once!”
· Keep the party people hyped…and lit!
· Opt for decadence over discipline

Trust us, you’ll probably experience both of these moods before May 20! PS: We made Kinky Beverages pinky swear to come back at the beginning of every zodiac season with a round of recipes. That means we’ll be sipping our way through the star signs with you all year. Cheers!

SLEEPING BULLS:
· Sip slowly, savoring the flavor
· Extol the virtue of tradition
· Prefer a quiet night under the stars
· Add fruits and greens to everything


The sun is shining and the flowers have bloomed — it’s spring, a beautiful time of year to be outdoors sipping on a refreshing cocktail or two!

Have you ever tried to pinpoint what makes spring cocktails so enjoyable? Seasonal ingredients, of course! Sun-ripened fruit flavors, fresh floral notes, juicy citrus mixers, and aromatic herbs combine to craft the best cocktails of the year.

This spring, expect to taste the classics, such as the Gin & Tonic or Mojito, reinvented using sublime combinations of bold citrus, delicate floral flavor and garden herbs.

Here are our best spring cocktails that you can easily make at home with Monin products.

21 Cocktails to Make This Spring

1. Springtime Sparkler

This champagne cocktail is perfect for springtime celebrations, whether you’re celebrating a birthday at home or having an Easter brunch. Serve in a champagne flute and with a strawberry as a garnish. Get the recipe.

2. Raspberry Hibiscus Mojito

This spring mojito combines fresh mint, fruit, light rum, and our flavorful syrups for a refreshing cocktail. The result is a mojito combination you’ll turn to again and again! Get the recipe.

3. Strawberry Rose G & T

Featuring our 2021 Flavor of the Year, this springtime gin & tonic is easy to make. Just take classic gin and tonic ingredients — gin, tonic water, and lime juice — and add Monin Strawberry Rose Syrup. The result is a pretty-in-pink gin & tonic that’s fruity and floral. Get the recipe.

4. Honey Lavender Lemon Drop

Looking for a spring cocktail using vodka? We recommend a citrus vodka for this spring take on a lemon drop, but you can use any vodka you have to make this floral lavender cocktail. Get the recipe.

5. Cucumber Basil Cooler

Cool down with this cucumber cocktail, complete with gin, lime juice and tonic water. You can get fancy and garnish with a basil leaf and cucumber slices if you’ve got them! Get the recipe.

6. Tangerine Mojito

Can you tell we love mojitos? This citrus mojito comes together in a pinch using Monin Mojito Mix and Monin Mandarin Syrup. Complete it with your rum of choice, club soda, fresh mint leaves and lime wedges. Get the recipe.

7. Spring Blush

Spring means it’s time to break out the rosé. This cocktail does just that — made with a mix of Monin Watermelon Purée, rosé wine, citrus and fizzy ginger ale, it’s a real crowd-pleaser. Get the recipe.

8. White Peach Sangria

This light sangria is a classic wine punch with a peach twist. It is an excellent choice for a spring soiree and comes together quickly using Monin White Sangria Mix and Monin Peach Syrup. Get the recipe.

9. April Elderflower Martini

Looking for a springtime martini? Look no further than our April Elderflower Martini, which can be served all season long. Sparkling wine, basil leaves and fresh lime juice make for a fruity and floral gin martini that hits all the right notes. Get the recipe.

10. Lady Bird

Lemon and lavender are classic springtime flavors that are also made for cocktails. For this classy cocktail, we recommend pear vodka and fresh lemon juice with Monin Lavender Syrup and a top of club soda. The garnishes — edible flowers and pear slices — are optional, but complete the floral aesthetic of this springtime cocktail. Get the recipe.

11. Elderflower 75

A twist on the classic French 75, this springtime version uses Monin Elderflower Syrup to infuse a floral quality into this champagne cocktail. Get the recipe.

12. Hibiscus Margarita

While you may think margaritas are a summer cocktail, think again. This hibiscus margarita, using Monin Hibiscus Syrup, is a refreshing take on the classic margarita. Get the recipe.

13. Spring Bouquet

The name of this cocktail says it all! With a striking color contrast and unique spring flavors, this violet and blueberry cocktail is picture-perfect. Get the recipe.

14. Peachy Tom Collins

Who doesn’t love a Tom Collins? This springtime version uses peach and lavender syrup to lighten up the flavors. Get the recipe.

15. Exotic Blossoms Gin & Tonic

This update of the classic gin & tonic includes Monin Exotic Citrus Syrup and Monin Elderflower Syrup to complement gin and fresh lime juice with two key flavors of spring — citrus and floral. Get the recipe.

16. Spring Fling

Another gin cocktail, the Spring Fling features a powerful flavor combination of blackberry, cucumber, lemon, and gin. Garnish with cucumber slices and fresh mint for a perfect presentation. Get the recipe.

17. Bouquet of Roses

Another springtime rosé cocktail, the Bouquet of Roses combines Monin Rose Syrup with the complementary flavors of watermelon, gin, lemon juice and rosé wine. Get the recipe.

18. Springtime Mimosa

Warmer weather means it’s time for brunch with mimosas! This springtime mimosa features the classic ingredients of orange juice and champagne with the seasonal twist of Monin Peach Purée. Get the recipe.

19. Blueberry Lavender Margarita

This margarita is perfect for spring or summer due to its blueberry and lavender flavor combination. While typically served on the rocks, you could also blend this recipe for a frozen margarita. Get the recipe.

20. Strawberry Mojito

This mojito comes together easily using Monin Mojito Mix and Monin Wild Strawberry Syrup. You can even use this recipe as a base and experiment with other syrups, such as our Strawberry Rose Syrup. Get the recipe.

21. Perfect Paloma

The Paloma is a classic tequila-based cocktail usually made with tequila, lime juice, and grapefruit-flavored soda. Our version builds on that base with agave and elderflower flavors. Get the recipe.

Spring Cocktails With Monin

Monin cocktail mixers and syrups make it easy to create refreshing spring cocktails at home. From fruity flavors like lemon, blueberry, and strawberry, to floral flavors like rose, elderflower, and lavender—the combinations for springtime cocktails are endless!

Planning to re-create these recipes at home?

Share your creations with us on social media and include the hashtags below for a chance to be featured!

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6 Best Spring Wines for Sipping and Drinking (Video)

Mel
As the weather warms up, it’s not just our wardrobes that need a seasonal update, our taste buds crave change too. So cast off those woolly-sweater wines and sip on something light, fresh and new. Here with the wine trends to look out for this spring is Natalie MacLean, who offers Canada’s most popular online wine classes.

Lainey
We’re starting with a trend that I’m really excited about, Pink Prosecco. Why are they so popular right now?

Natalie
• Take two already trendy wines—rosé and prosecco—and combine them for a mashup of this season’s hottest wine as the temperature soars. The Italian wine regulatory body approved this new category for Prosecco last year. So these wines are just starting to arrive here in Canada like the spring tulips poking out of the ground, and they’re just as pretty too.

Mel
You’ve sent us two pink proseccos to try. Tell us about them while we sip.

Natalie
• First we have Blu Giovello Prosecco Rosé. It’s fresh, crisp and vibrant with aromas of small field strawberries.

• All Rosé Prosecco is made in a dry style there are no sweet versions. It’s also low in alcohol at just 11.5% which makes it even more refreshing.

• Next I want you to try the Mionetto Prosecco Rosé. It’s racy and juicy, perfect for the patio and just 11% alcohol.

• Low-alcohol is also trending across many wine categories. The wines taste more spritely and lively versus the heat and heaviness of higher alcohol wines like a Shiraz that can clock in around 14 or 15%. That’s not what you want when it’s hot outside.

Lainey
How should we serve these bubblies?

Natalie
• I suggest either a sparkling or white wine glass. Serve them chilled, but not so cold that the bottle is sweating with condensation or the glass mists over. If you’ve got them in the fridge, which is about 4°C, take them out for 10 minutes or so and let them come up to about 8°C.

Mel
Let’s move on to our second trend. You say it’s chardonnay all the way this spring, why’s that?

Natalie
• Chardonnay is back baby, and leaner and crisper than ever for spring. For years, this grape was pushed out by the Anything But Chardonnay (ABC) trend after it became a little too popular, much like overexposed celebrities we love to hate.

• It was grown in almost every wine region and made in every possible style, but was often heavily oaked. Oak is often considered the ketchup of the wine world when it’s over-used to hide winemaking flaws.

• So Chardonnay has pivoted to reinvent itself oak-free. It’s become more transparent about where it’s from and who it is, like that same over-exposed celeb doing an Instagram video without make-up. It’s getting real. You don’t get any heavy buttery, oaky, alcoholic taste: something you really don’t want in your glass as the weather heats up.

Lainey
We’re ready to give a taste and see for ourselves! What do you have for us here?

Natalie
• First you’re tasting Hob Nob Chardonnay from the south of France. I think you’ll find it’s clean and crisp. The most famous region for unoaked Chardonnay in France is Chablis, at the northern tip of Burgundy. The wines there are a lot more expensive than this one at just $13.

• That’s another trend we’re seeing: the search for value without giving up great taste. Even the Proseccos we just tasted are an extraordinary value at about $16 compared to $75 for entry-level Champagne.

• You also have the Chamisal Vineyards Stainless Chardonnay from California. Stainless is something to look for on the label if you want unoaked Chardonnay because it usually means that the wine was fermented and aged in stainless steel tanks and didn’t cozy up to any oak barrels. So this one is a burst of energy with lime zest and lemon sunshine. While it’s a bit pricier at $25, it’s still an incredible value for the quality and taste.

Chamisal Vineyards Stainless Chardonnay 2019
Central Coast, California, United States

Mel
If you have a bottle that hasn’t been chilled but you want to drink it, is there a way to cool it faster than the fridge?

• Yes! Put your bottles in a bucket of ice water to chill them quickly. You want a mixture of ice and water, not just ice, because the dispersion of the temperature will cover the bottle completely versus having pockets of warmer air between the ice cubes.

• Another tip is to wrap a cold wet cloth around your bottle and stick it in the freezer for 15 minutes… this is also faster than just putting it in the freezer, again because the chill is evenly dispersed around the bottle.

Lainey
Our final trend is going local! You suggest exploring Canadian wine this season.

Natalie
• Drinking local has never been hotter. One of the positives about the pandemic is that it’s introduced us all to the pleasures of wines made in our own backyards. And supporting these wineries has never been more important. Buy Canadian wines and if you’re allowed to visit the wineries in your area, they make a great stop for a weekend getaway that’s close to home.

Mel
What Canadian wines do you have for us to try?

Natalie
• First, we have Thirty Bench Pinot Noir from Niagara’s Beamsville Bench. It’s medium-bodied with a silky texture and gorgeous aromas of fleshy ripe cherry notes. Canada excels at Pinot Noir because of our cool climate and that results in these lovely spring reds that aren’t too heavy for warmer days.

• We also have Quails Gate Pinot Noir from the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia, also medium-bodied, juicy, mouth-watering with a velvet smooth texture. It offers aromas of fresh field berries.

• Pinot Noir is known as the heartbreak grape because it’s so finicky and expensive to grow being susceptible to mildew, pests and it seems Winemakers who pursue this grape are self-described pathological optimists.

• Despite this, both of these wines also offer incredible value at $35 as compared to Burgundian Pinot Noir that usually starts at $50 a bottle and goes up from there. Any of these wines can stand shoulder to shoulder on taste with the best of Burgundy.

Lainey
You had us decant the Thirty Bench Pinot – why is that?

Natalie
• Normally I wouldn’t suggest this, but the winemaker Emma Garner, asked that we do this because this wine has just been bottled, so it’s fresh off the press. Decanting it and giving it some air will smooth it out even more.

How should we serve these wines?

Natalie
• I suggest red wine glasses, and if you have them, a bigger bowl, since Pinot Noir tends to be highly aromatic and you can collect all of those aromas better with a glass that has more specie when you’re swirling and sniffing.

• This is a light red wine so you want to serve it about 15°C, and not as warm as you would say a full-bodied Cabernet or Shiraz at 18°C. Also when red wine is served too warm, you taste more of the alcohol and oak… you want it to be refreshing, especially if you’re enjoying it on a warm spring day. If the bottle is too warm, stick it in the fridge for 15 minutes before opening.

Mel
Natalie, thank you for sharing these wonderful wines! Cheers to the spring season everybody!


We Ranked Every Trader Joe’s Nonfat Greek Yogurt From Sunscreen-Tasting to Superb

Starting your own business can feel isolating without a network of women to bounce off ideas, ask questions, and cheer you on along the way. Enter Selfmade, Brit + Co's 10-week highly-interactive virtual course that brings together top female entrepreneurs to teach you how to build a new business — from business plan to promotion — or grow your existing one.

The best part? Selfmade now provides one-on-one mentoring with successful entrepreneurs who've been where you are right now and who care about making a difference for women in business. They include business owners, founders, VCs, and subject-matter experts in industries such as finance, advertising, marketing, licensing, fashion, and media.

Our summer mentorship program will feature a host of new mentors we're excited to connect you with, including:

Linda Xu, Entrepreneur and E-Commerce Expert

Linda is the co-founder and chief growth officer at Cart.com, a Series-A e-commerce technology platform that partners with brands to help them grow. Linda served as head of growth at Sitari Ventures where she oversaw strategy and operations. She has acquired and advised tech and consumer companies as a private equity investor at global firms including The Riverside Company and Lazard. Additionally, Linda spent a brief stint on the team launching Uber Freight. She loves all things food and plants.

Stephanie Cartin, Social Media Expert + Entrepreneur

An entrepreneur at heart, Stephanie walked away from her corporate career in 2012 to follow her passion to launch Socialfly, a leading social-first digital and influencer marketing agency based in New York City. Socialfly has since blossomed to over 30 full-time employees and has been named to Inc. 5000's fastest growing private companies two years in a row. The agency has worked with over 200 well-known brands including Girl Scouts, WeTV, Conair, Nest Fragrances, 20th Century Fox and Univision. Stephanie is the co-host of the Entreprenista Podcast and co-author of Like, Love, Follow: The Entreprenista's Guide to Using Social Media To Grow Your Business. She is also a recent recipient of the SmartCEO Brava award, which recognizes the top female CEOs in New York and a Stevie Award for Women Run Workplace of the Year.

Kristina Ross, Content Creator + Social Media Whiz

Kristina Makes #Content is a social media ✨funtrepreneur✨, creative strategist, and public speaker for all things Internet related. Four years as a magazine editor and producer/copywriter in the world of advertising (Mercedes, Cancer Research, French Kiss Records), Kristina packed her bags and decided to go remote with social media as she saw a booming industry. Since then, she built @thefabstory from 10k to 1m followers in just 18 months and now specializes in creative strategies behind social media advertising and user acquisition. Her campaigns have levelled apps from the top 50 into #1 in their app store categories overnight. Kristina's work and experiences have been featured in Forbes, Thrive Global and has given several talks at Harvard Business School on the big bad world of #content.

A.V. Perkins, Selfmade Alum and Creator of AVdoeswhat

A.V. is a DIY expert and creator of Avdoeswhat.com. What began as a traditional Do-It-Yourself blog has grown into a lifestyle platform that includes crafts, upcycled furniture and pop culture. As a digital host for HGTV Handmade, along with appearances in Bustle, The Pioneer Woman, and BuzzFeed, A.V. is determined to help thrifty millennials realize "Life is better when you Do-It-Yourself!" A.V. is also the co-creator of University of Dope, an exciting thought-provoking card game that celebrates Hip Hop culture.The first of its kind.

David Mesfin, Creative Director + Brand Expert

David is a multi-disciplinary designer and creative director with award-winning integrated campaign background, including the Super Bowl, FIFA, NFL, and global launch campaign. He has created global partnerships to increase brand awareness through traditional, digital, social, and experimental marketing campaigns, collaborating with C-suite leaders from Genesis, Hyundai, Honda, Sony, Adidas, Oakley, Toyota, Neutrogena, Land more to communicate their company's vision through creative and marketing. He has earned awards from Cannes, One Show, Clio, Webby, EFFIE, Communication Arts, Google Creative Sandbox, OC and LA ADDY, DIGIDAY, TED | Ads Worth Spreading, American Advertising Federation, FWA, The A-List Hollywood Awards, IAB Mixx, and Graphis.

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Spring Pesto Minestrone Soup (Vegetarian, GF)

I know it’s the end of March, but we’re still having soup over here!

Spring Pesto Minestrone Soup to be exact.

Soup is obviously a fall/winter thing, but I believe that if you load it with fresh spring veggies and herbs, you’ve got a fantastic spring soup just begging to be eaten.

We’ve been eating comfort foods (like this Hearty Venison Chili and Slow Cooker Lentil Stew!) all winter long. It’s still a bit chilly here, so soup is still a good choice, but I’m just craving something lighter in the stomach.

Speaking of lighter spring recipes, you MUST try out these other recent faves!!

As the seasons change, I feel the need to change other things in my life. For instance, my closet and my wardrobe. Confession time: every season, I find myself poring through my favorite websites and magazines for a change! Whether it’s a new bathing suit or sandals, cozy fall sweaters and boots, spring tops to wear to work, or fresh decor for the apartment, advertisements get me every single time!

A couple weeks ago, I was sitting at Panera Bread, sipping on coffee with my friend Megan after yoga glass. I expressed the overwhelming feeling of burnout. Burnout with my job (hey, it’s been a while since I had a long weekend!), with people at the gym, with the same mundane wake up – work – dinner – sleep – repeat. I was feeling frustrated with the question, “What is my purpose here?!”.

She said something to me that really placed my mind at ease. Rather than focusing on finding that one single meaning for your life, instead understand that each part of your life is a season. You go through your college season, your workforce season, your married season. She’s been through fostering children, which was a season of her life, and now she’s experiencing what it’s like to close the doors to fostering. Yet another season of life.

So as spring comes around, I’m learning to enjoy this season of life. This is my newlywed, house-hunting, working and growing a blog season. I’ve found myself falling in love with it after all.

Temperatures are warming up, but soup never gets old! This Pesto Minestrone Soup is incredibly easy to throw together. Like, 30 minute easy. You can make homemade pesto if you’re up for it, but this time I opted for store-bought. I happen to love DeLallo brand pesto – it’s made with natural ingredients and olive oil instead of sunflower oil (which you’ll find in many other pesto brands because it’s cheaper). The flavor isn’t overwhelming either. It’s a subtle pesto, perfect for this Pesto Minestrone Soup.

To keep this soup recipe vegan, simply omit the Parmesan cheese on top and look for a pesto that’s vegan (or make your own!). If you need a gluten free version of this recipe, swap out regular whole wheat pasta for gluten free pasta (I happen to love this brand!).

The Farmer’s Market opens soon, and my mind has been on all things fresh! So naturally this soup is packed with onions, celery, zucchini, carrots, sweet peas, Great Northern (or cannellini) beans, scallions, and the best herbs! Topped, of course, with a TON of grated Parmesan cheese. Cheese on everything! If you aren’t looking for a vegetarian soup, feel free to toss in some shredded rotisserie chicken or even a mild chicken sausage!

Pesto Minestrone Soup is perfect if you’re expecting company. It makes quite a bit, but it freezes well! And as with every other soup recipe on this site, I highly recommend serving it with a good crusty multigrain bread!

Before serving this soup for dinner, I actually broiled multigrain bread with Parmesan cheese on top, so it was toasty and warm for dipping. Best decision ever.

I promise this Spring Pesto Minestrone Soup is exactly what your soul needs this spring! With all the cheese & bread.


The Best Queso

I’m super excited to share this queso recipe with you. This Mexican dip is cheesy, creamy and full of fresh flavor. It’s surprisingly easy to make and utterly irresistible.

This recipe uses a simple secret ingredient—cream cheese—to achieve its gloriously creamy texture and light tang. No flour and no fussy roux required here (as a bonus, this queso is gluten free).

This stovetop queso possesses all of Velveeta’s positive attributes, but it tastes a million times nicer. It even cools down with grace, developing just a slight skin on top that really doesn’t detract from its appeal.

If you’re like me, you probably don’t need an excuse to eat queso while sipping a margarita. I grew up around a lot of Tex-Mex food and like to consider myself a queso connoisseur. If queso is on the menu, I’ve likely sampled it.

My husband, on the other hand, exercises an impressive amount of restraint when it comes to queso. He tells me he doesn’t like it. (He’s generally a rational man, though I question him in cheese-related matters.) This queso is an exception to his rule. He loves it.

We both agree that this is the best queso we’ve ever had. Try it, and I hope you’ll say the same!


Spring Carrot, Radish and Quinoa Salad with Herbed Avocado

I’m writing this post at my desk, which overlooks a barren square of backyard that is partitioned from the neighbors’ equally yellow yards with chain-link fence. I have high hopes for this ugly backyard of mine. The grass is already showing little twinges of fresh green growth, which is enough for me to start fantasizing about a little garden overflowing with herbs and cherry tomatoes. And if my sneezes are any indication, those tall trees overhead will soon come back to life.

I’m really looking forward to sipping wine under a canopy of green leaves this summer. Maybe I’ll get a grill and some twinkle lights and invite my friends over for dinner. Yes, I think I’ll do that.

I’m getting ahead of myself. My world hasn’t turned green yet and I’m already daydreaming about juicy peaches and long summer nights. Spring weather has finally arrived and summer’s heat will be here soon enough. I’ve been making up for the lack of green in my surroundings by filling up on green salads lately.

This one is my latest favorite. It’s an explosion of spring textures, flavors and colors, all tossed in my standard zippy lemon dressing. In fact, orange carrots and hot pink radishes are so bright and spring-y that this salad almost hurts my eyes to look at. The garlicky quinoa and herbed avocado round it up to a full, satisfying meal.

This salad has several components. I think it would pack pretty well for lunch, but you’ll want to keep the dressing away from the arugula until you’re ready to serve (or you could switch to chopped kale, which can sit in dressing for a while without deteriorating). The avocado blend has enough citrus juice in it to keep it from getting too brown too quickly.

To save time, you can make the quinoa beforehand. I like to cook extra quinoa so I can have leftovers for future salads. You’ll end up with extra vinaigrette, too. If you’re short on time, I suppose you could just slice the avocado and toss in the herbs, but it’s nice to mix the guacamole-like blend into the rest of the salad for some creaminess.

I was torn on whether to write this recipe to yield two salads or four. I decided to leave it at two, but I wanted to note that the recipe will double easily. For reference, three tablespoons times two is about 1/3 cup. No need to double the dressing ingredients, as the amounts listed should yield plenty for four salads.


17 Pretty Spring Cocktails Perfect for Sunny Days

Because flower-infused drinks are the best way to welcome the warm weather.

These spring-inspired cocktails are almost too pretty to drink.

Who doesn't love lilac? The flowers are known for their incredibly relaxing smell &mdash and by adding a little syrup to your cocktail, you'll end up with a sweet drink that's just as enchanting as the plant that inspired it.

Get the recipe at DIY in PDX.

The light floral notes in this insta-worthy drink just scream 'spring.'

Get the recipe from Patron.

This lavender-infused gin cocktail is bright and crisp, which means it's perfect for welcoming warmer weather.

Get the recipe at Honestly Yum.

A little bit of sherry combined with Patron's orange liqueur instead of your basic triple sec takes the traditional margarita up a notch (or three). Perfect if you like your drink with a side of spice.

Get the recipe from Patron.

For a Gimlet-inspired bev that's a little extra, combine 1 oz. Nolet's silver gin, 1 oz. fresh lemonade, .5 oz. elderflower liqueur, and .5 oz. fresh lime juice in a cocktail shaker with ice. Strain into a glass and add some rose petals (that is, if you have any on hand).

Alright, this is a shot, not a drink &mdash but it's too pretty not to share. Made from edible flowers and clear jello, these concoctions are just asking to be posted on Instagram.


Best sangria recipes for summer:

Easy Traditional Red Sangria from Minimalist Baker—She’s tasted, tested, researched and retested many sangria recipes and this is her favorite classic red Spanish sangria.

The Best Red Sangria from Cookie + Kate—She doesn’t recommend using sweet liqueurs, sodas or lots of sugar. She also explains why you would choose different wines, fruits, sweeteners and more.

Traditional Sangria from The New York Times Cooking—For a traditional sangria adapted from a Spanish wine bar in the East Village, try this tart and fruity option.

Classic Sangria from Jamie Oliver’s Drinks Tube—Check out this how-to video for classic red sangria with cinnamon spice and dark rum.

Because sangria is best served cold, use a double-walled insulated wine tumbler to so your cocktail stays cold for hours, especially one that is unbreakable and easy to pack.



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