Cocktails You Should Be Sipping Poolside This Summer

Cocktails You Should Be Sipping Poolside This Summer

Round up some friends, snacks and cocktails because it’s time to party!  We’ve got the cocktails you should be sipping poolside this summer!

Craft cocktails are here to stay, and have become a must-have for catering creatives (like us!), restaurants and noteworthy bars around the world.  Store-bought mixers are a thing of the past, and as a team that loves a great cocktail, we couldn’t be happier!  Fresh ingredients aren’t just for food, and there’s something to be said for mixing them with quality spirits.  Not only can you taste the difference, but your overall drink experience is improved by a little extra TLC.  (Bonus points for pretty garnishes – your future Instagram story thanks you!)

With sunny weather and pool parties beckoning, we have three great cocktails you should be sipping poolside this summer.  Put down the rosé and keep reading!

So Berry Courvoisier:

Summer = strawberry picking season!  Try it by blending Cognac, Strawberry liqueur, Triple Sec, and lime juice. Shake and strain over ice into a rocks glass, then top with a splash of club soda.

Poolside Cocktails - So Berry Courvoisier

The Sunsplash:

Capture the sun in a glass with this bright cocktail highlighting peaches and mangoes! Try it by blending Gin, Grand Marnier, a squeeze of lime and fresh peach and mango juices. Shake and pour into a rocks glass, then garnish with a peach slice.

Poolside Cocktails - The Sunsplash

The Porch Swing:

It wouldn’t be a summer cocktail roundup without sweet tea!  Add a twist to the classic Arnold Palmer by blending Southern Style sweet tea, mint lemonade and your favorite bourbon. Serve over ice in a tall glass, pint glass or mason jar.

Poolside Cocktails - Porch Swing

The variety of exceptional summer fruits are waiting for your next cocktail creation, and the possibilities are endless.  BTW: planning a pool party? You might want to take a look at our outdoor party planning tips to host like a pro!

Sugar Cookies!

Sugar Cookies!

A Sweet Summer Ending

As the summer comes to a close, the Labor Day Weekend picnic invites are coming in.  You may find yourself at a loss for what to bring, but we have the perfect recipe to win the kids (and parents) over!

July 9th, 2011 was National Sugar Cookie Day.  (Yes, they are that important!) It seems as if this day, along with most food holidays, aphotore a complete mystery.  Mystery or not, we recommend rounding up your family, friends, neighbors, and please indulge in this fantastic holiday.  Dress up your normal sugar cookies with some unusual ingredients (i.e., Rosemary, Dried Lavender, Lemon Zest, Sour Cream).

Throw a party where everyone gets a chance to bake their own cookies, bringing over diverse ingredients, decorating them in their own ways, then trading them with each other.  Consider this a new twist on a cookie exchange party.

I baked this recipe below and designed “Bride & Groom” cookies for newlyweds Mayrelis & Maurice.  They used them as hotel room favors for guests staying in the wedding hotel.

It’s a super easy and delicious recipes to build your creations upon:



· 3 Cups All-Purpose Flour

· ¾ tsp. Baking Powder

· ¼ tsp. Salt

· 1 Cup Unsalted Butter, Softened

· 1 Cup Sugar

· 1 Egg, Beaten

· 1 Tbs. Milk




1.) Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

2.) Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt, and set aside.

3.) Place butter and sugar in large bowl of electric stand mixer and beat until light in color.

4.) Add egg and milk and beat to combine.

5.) Lower speed, gradually add flour, and beat until mixture pulls away from the side of the bowl.

6.) Divide the dough in half, wrap in waxed paper, and refrigerate for approximately 2 hours.

7.) After refrigeration, roll dough onto powdered sugar surface, until about ¼“ thick.

8.) Cut into desired shapes, and bake for about 7-9 minutes, or until lightly golden brown.

How I am spending my Summer Vacation

How I am spending my Summer Vacation

Fishing! (sort of)

School may be out for Summer but class is definitely in session, at least for any SMART Catering Chef it is.   Ahhhh… Kentucky in July.   May not sound like a dream vacation destination but I can’t wait to head that direction again for what is now my third year in a row. I am honored to participate as an educator at this year’s CaterArts. Held annually by the International Caterers Association, CaterArts is composed of classes with the catering chef in mind. Hosted in Louisville, Kentucky and sponsored by Sullivan University, it is not only a great learning experience, but also a great party! Would you expect anything less from Catering Chefs?  My topic this year ReDuce: Scintillating Sauces with Fish.– I am really excited to share the stage with the talents of Chef Ron Rando of  Thomas Preti Catering.

Don’t be late for class!  Early Bird Registration ends June 15th!

Baked Scallops with Black Garlic Butter

Serves- 60

  • 60 Sea Scallops
  • 1# butter
  • 1 ½ heads Black Garlic
  • 2 cups Japanese Bread Crumbs

Whip the butter with the garlic until it is completely incorporated.

Scoop the butter over the scallop. Top with Breadcrumbs. Broil.