When I decide to research something, I really like to commit! Thankfully, last week’s research wasn’t hard to commit to. In fact, I may have poured myself a bit too much into it the research (or rather, been poured a bit too much).
I visited my favorite restaurant in Newport Beach, Modo Mio, and sampled all the cocktails on their new cocktail menu! I love visiting Modo Mio during the holidays and throughout the rest of year because the staff makes you feel like family. You’re dining out, but you feel as if you’re dining in only with delicious food you could never replicate in your own kitchen.
Frankie, their bartender, has a gift for shaking up spirits you’re guaranteed to love if you give him some hints about what you’re in the mood for, so I couldn’t wait to taste all the original cocktails he came up with for the restaurant’s first-ever cocktail menu.
The cocktail names are as creative as the combination of ingredients inside them, like Wilson’s Drink, (my favorite!) made with citron vodka, st. germain, lemon, an unbelievable house-made rosemary syrup, and blackberry and garnished with a blackberry and rosemary sprig sticking out of the top that reminds you of Wilson from Cast Away.
Given my love for happy hours, and my love for the holidays, I wanted to share some happy hour tips that are guaranteed to put you in the spirit.
Whether it’s a restaurant like Modo Mio, with a cozy candlelit vibe, or your own living room, ambience is key to a happy, happy hour. I love lighting candles, decorating the table, and serving my cocktails with a cheese plate.
Part of the reason I love happy hour so much is because it’s a chance to just relax and forget about everything you were working on earlier that day. It’s a good opportunity to practice living in the moment, so give people a reason to want to!
Wear Something You Love:
I’ve found it extremely challenging to find winter outfits that are warm, yet still make you feel stylish when heading out for cocktails or hosting happy hour at your place. This LA Made crop top set was my favorite fashion find this holiday season and I’ve already worn it to three events.
Frankie shared these tips about mixing your drinks:
- Cocktail building is about acid, sugar and spirit. Make sure these essentials are in every cocktail or the cocktail will be unbalanced.
- Don’t overtake or dilute the cocktail.
- Dark alcohol should be stirred and light should be shaken (unless specified).
If you’re hosting happy hour at your place, it’s nice to have some games on hand. We recently hosted a happy hour at my parents’ and played What Do You Meme?. It was a huge hit and made the night one to remember. I’m also a fan of playing Gin Rummy or another card game while you snack and sip!
I’ve recently been in an Old Fashioned mood, so I’m currently loving this cranberry old-fashioned recipe, which I recreated. I’m also a fan of this Holiday Rum Sparkler because I love anything with apple. If you’re looking for a warm drink, try this almond milk chai with whisky and orange from Country Living.
For an easy appetizer to serve with your cocktails, try these EASY Brie puff pastries from Trader Joe’s. We had them last night for our first official happy hour at home for the holidays and I will be serving them at my house for happy hours into January. You know I’d never make anything that required more than one or two steps and these simply require you to open the package and pop them in the oven. Ta-da! We served them with a homemade cranberry dipping sauce, but they were delicious on their own as well.
Do you have any favorite recipes you’re loving for the holidays? I’d love to hear them below!