The Pink Peppercorn Paloma

This has been a very weird week for me.

I am not a cocktail maker.  I am not even much of a cocktail drinker, unless I am out at a bar that obviously doesn’t have an interesting wine list.  And even then, I hardly ever order those funky specialty cocktails.  Well, unless it is a bar known for their specialty cocktails…

You get the point.  I don’t usually drink cocktails.  I’m a wine drinker.

But with the crazy heat wave that overcame Los Angeles this weekend, I wanted something cold and fruity and refreshing.  So cocktails it was!  If you follow me on Instagram, you saw that I was hanging out with my friends who also like cocktails, and there wasn’t a vodka soda in sight.  No, no, no.  We did the heatwave cocktails up right.

So today, in honor of Cinco de Mayo, I thought I’d share a classic Mexican cocktail (other than the margarita!) with you.  Something that doesn’t require a whole lot of limes, since they are so darn expensive right now.  Something that helped me use up the rest of my leftover grapefruit juice.

A Pink Peppercorn Paloma!

Pink Peppercorn Paloma

The “Paloma” – meaning dove in Spanish – I can only assume got it’s name from being a majestic flash of relief from the heat.  The Paloma is actually the national drink of Mexico, not the Margarita, so whip up a few of these tonight and impress your friends! Continue reading

Blood Orange Gin and Tonics

Blood Orange Gin and Tonics @thekeyofkels

My March has been a little bit insane.

As of the beginning of February, I wasn’t going to be on the east coast even once this month.  We were watching what we spent.  We had family coming in town and birthdays coming up, so we were being responsible.

And now, as I’m unpacking my suitcase from my second trip east in 3 weeks, I am realizing I should really stock my body up on Vitamins before I get super, super sick from all of the traveling.

So Emergen-C it is!

Speaking of Vitamin C, it is coming up on the end of citrus season here in California, so I brought some blood oranges from the market all the way to Maryland with me this weekend.  I figured, along with the strawberries, raisins, and trail mix I smuggled from coast to coast, the blood oranges would be something fun and different to play around with.

blood orange gin and tonicsAnd the juice is just so pretty!

So on Friday night, after we had finished most of the preparations for everyone to come over to my parents’ house after the services for my grandfather on Saturday, we decided it was time to relax and catch up.

My mom’s favorite Friday night happy hour cocktail is the classic Gin & Tonic, so I decided to dress it up a little bit.

blood orange gin and tonics blood orange gin and tonicsBy just adding a little bit of that fiery blood orange juice, the classic G&T took on a whole new persona.

And also left the place looking like a bit of a crime scene when not poured just so…

blood orange gin and tonics blood orange gin and tonics
The citrus added just a little bit of bright red cheer to a somber occasion, a little bit of sweet citrus to a classic cocktail, and a little bit of Cali sunshine to a chilly, rainy (super jet lagged) day.

blood orange gin and tonics


I wish this counted as enough Vitamin C to keep me healthy until the weather really warms up, but for now, I’m drinking tea and stocking up on Emergen-C packets.

Cheers to another busy, busy week!


Blood Orange Gin (or Vodka) & Tonics

1 part Gin (we used Bombay Sapphire, but it was also delicious with vodka!)

1 part fresh squeezed blood orange juice

1 part tonic water

Fill glass with ice.  Add equal parts gin(or vodka), blood orange juice and tonic water.  Stir and serve.  Cheers!

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Crabs and Dirty Hos

I can’t believe I didn’t tell you about my Super Bowl party yet!! Obviously nothing too outrageous happened, because you didn’t hear about it on the news, but we had a grand old time.  I decided superstitiously against wearing my … Continue reading

A Valentine’s Day Strawberry Rhubarb Sparkling Cocktail

Is it strange that I remember the first time I ever heard of Rhubarb? It was one of the first times I was up in Watkins Glen, NY, visiting Brad’s family.  We were driving back from hanging out in Ithaca … Continue reading