watermelon Margarita

The Best Watermelon Margarita- Because Summer Isn’t Over!

Did you know that today is National Watermelon Day?  I was thinking of all the things I could make, and the Watermelon Margarita kept coming to mind.  I originally posted this recipe in September of 2015, and thought this was the perfect time for some updates.  In the previous post, I never mentioned how to easily get the juice from the watermelon.  I don’t have a juicer, so I’ve had to go through some trial and error to find the best method, you will find the info in the recipe notes below.

This along with the raspberry mojito is one of my favorite summer cocktails.   Back in 2015, I saw an article from the New York Times about the fact that we often feel that summer ends on Labor Day, called Why Do We End Summer So Early.   This was the impetus for posting this recipe originally. I lived in New York City for several years and summer always unofficially ended on Labor Day, with all summer activities pretty much closing down.  Everyone came back from their summer hideaways, like The Hamptons or Fire Island, and the city went back into full swing in preparation for Fashion Week. I have to say I never thought about the fact that summer hadn’t actually ended because everything around me said it was over, including the weather.… Read Full Post

Bubbles and Berries

Bubbles and Berries Cocktail

Today on the blog I’m sharing a recipe for a drink called Bubbles and Berries. It’s inspired by the Bubbles and Berries cocktail at the restaurant Beauty and Essex in Los Angeles. If you follow me on Instagram and see my Instastories, you know that I thoroughly love Beauty and Essex. I’ve been in contact with their PR group and they were so gracious to give me the recipes to several of their cocktails, which I’ll be doing in a future post.  Unfortunately, they did not give me the recipe to this one, so I watched the bartender carefully and made a few tweaks to come up with this recipe. Specifically I don’t have sweet-and-sour at home so I make my own.  It’s actually a lot easier than you’d think, all you need is simple syrup and lemon juice.  

I must add that I haven’t always been a fan of St. Germain, which is an Elderflower Liqueur.  I first had it in a signature drink at a party, I immediately disliked the drink and thought it was because of the St. Germain.   Since then, I’ve avoided all cocktails with St. Germain, until this one because the waitress at Beauty and Essex said you couldn’t taste it.… Read Full Post

Tips for Hosting a Cocktail Party

7 Simple Tips for Hosting a Cocktail Party

I believe that the cocktail party has changed since I started hosting them 10-ish years ago.  They went from an event with great food, cocktails and friends to an event that has the only main purpose of being Pinterest/ Instagram ready. I always think that layout, the look and feel are important, but I feel that often times people are so worried about it looking “perfect” that they forgo the quality of the food and the drinks.  While I do work on the aesthetics of the party, I will never forgo the experience of the party: the ambience, music, cocktails and food.   

I learned how to host proper cocktail party from my sister-in-law. She is the consummate host and has legendary Halloween parties in New York every year, among others. She has a lovely New York City apartment and everything is always set up beautifully, but she pays most of her attention to the ambience, music, food and drinks, complete with impeccably appointed servers and bartenders that tended to your every need.  While we don’t have servers at our cocktail parties, we always have a bar with a bartender to help out and add to the experience. I always request that they help me pick up glasses and plates during the party too.… Read Full Post

Rose Sangria

Easy Rosè Sangria

Rose sangria is synonymous with summer for me.   Specifically it reminds me of summers spent on Shelter Island, New York with my husband.  We spent many summers there and loved to go to the Sunset Beach Hotel.  They had a vineyard on the property and made their own rosè wine, called “Sunset Beach Rosé André Balazs” that would be used in the sangria and it was always delicious.  Since then I’ve been trying to re-create the sangria. The key ingredient in this Rosè Sangria is peach nectar, it really adds that extra bit of something special. I hope you like this recipe!  If you try it out please let me know in the comment below or use #livingwithclaire on Instagram.

Rose Sangria
Here is a photo of the famous Rosè Sangria taken at the Sunset Beach Hotel on Shelter Island, NY.


To learn how to make the sangria, please check out the video below:


Easy Rose Sangria
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  1. 1/2 cup brandy
  2. 1/4 cup orange liqueur
  3. ½-1 cup peach juice
  4. 1 orange, thinly sliced
  5. 1 pint raspberries
  6. 1 pint strawberries
  7. 1 peach
  8. 1 bottle of rose wine
  1. In a large pitcher, add all the fruit at once (leaving some back to dress the glasses), then combine the brandy, peach nectar (1/2 to 1 cup depending on how strong you like it) and orange liqueur.
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Holiday Party Signature Cocktail

Holiday Party Signature Cocktail – The Very Berry Cocktail

Choosing a Holiday Party Signature Cocktail can be a hard one.  Should you choose one with mint? Should you garnish with red and green? There are so many options.  Well, I hosted a party last weekend and I had this very conundrum.  It was for my sisters in Lipstick Sisters LA and I knew this group would appreciate a champagne cocktail.  After a few taste tests, I came up with the Very Berry Cocktail, part Ruby Red Grapefruit, Cranberry Pomegranate juice and champagne and garnished with frozen cranberries to keep it chilled, see full recipe below.

The Very Berry Cocktail
Recipe type: Cocktails
  • 1 ounce ruby red grapefruit vodka
  • 2 ounces Champagne
  • 2 ounces cranberry pomegranate juice
  • -frozen cranberries for garnish
  1. Chill vodka, Champagne, and juice, then mix in a champagne glass. Garnish with 2 or 3 frozen cranberries.


Here are a few photos from the party:


LS Party5LS Party4LS Party2LS Party1Read Full Post