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Wedding Party Punchs

Party Punches:

When you are planning cocktails it may be wise to use economical punches; just make sure to label the bowls so that people know they are getting an alcoholic beverage.  There are fun cocktails that you can make into punches that range from low proof to moderate proof.&n bsp; For fruit punches make sure that you keep them a little on the lighter side as the amount of alcohol is easily masked by the fruit juice.   Make sure there are plenty of designated drivers if you go with the higher proof options.

 

 

Brandy Punch –
See above, with Champagne or Sparkling Wine, Brandy, Port, Maraschino Liqueur, Lime Juice, Pineapple juice with lots of fresh fruit this punch looks a good as it tastes.  Set up the glasses with the fruit already in them and then add a ladle to fill the glasses.  Just beautiful.


 

 

 

Hibiscus Punch – 2 cups Absolut® Hibiscus Vodka, ¼ Cup Hibiscus Simple Syrup, 2 bottle of Prosecco Sparkling wine.  Sliced Lemon, Orange and limes combined with fresh raspberries, blue berries and strawberries.

 


 

 

White Summer Sangria –
1 750 bottle of white wine, ½ cup passion fruit juice, 1 cup lime juice.  Fresh strawberries, peaches, pears, grapes, lemons, limes raspberries and mint finish this sangria off very nicely.
Christmas Citrus –
2.5 cups of Cranberry Vodka, 4.5 cups lemonade, 2.5 cups of cranberry juice and 1 cup Aperol.  Garnish with fresh cranberries.  A beautiful punch that is light and tangy.

Specialty Cocktails Open Bars

Specialty cocktails and open bars:


By picking a few mixers and base spirits you can have a decent open bar or pick a few specialty cocktails that can be premixed and served like Margarita’s, Rum Punches, Cape Cods and all of the Breezes.  If you don’t have the money or desire for a full on bartender mix up pitchers of these cocktails and then just add glasses, garnish and ice.   You should have ice and glasses for 2.5 drinks per guest excluding soft drinks and water.
Setup the glasses in rows with garnishes.  Then label the cocktails in front of each row…

 

 

 

Limited Bar:

Let your guests know what you have available with a menu by the bar.

 

 

Ingredients would be:

Blue Coat American Gin
Belvedere Vodka
Bacardi White Rum
Johnny Walker Black
Patron
Cointreau
Vermouth
Soda
Grapefruit Juice
Cranberry Juice
Club Soda
Sweet and Sour
Olives
Limes
From these you ingredients you could also make:
Different kinds of martinis, greyhounds, cosmos…

Perfect Wedding Cocktails

 

Weddings are so fun and even more fun when you have the right cocktails to go with your wedding theme. 

Whether it’s a casual or formal affair the cocktails can be a great complement to the food and decor.  You don't have to break the bank to offer great cocktails as well as wine with your event.  Just plan accordingly.
Below are some themes and ideas to get you thinking.  From planning a garden party to an elegant sit down event we’ve got some cocktails ideas for all tastes and budgets.

Champagne or sparkling wine cocktails are a great start.  Many sparkling wines and Proseccos can be purchased at under $15 per bottle and less than $10 if you’re buying in volume.  Some just have fruit juice added, like the classic Mimosa, but there are many varieties.  Just a splash of spirits added to them can give them a little extra flavor and well kick!

 

 

Sparkling Cocktails:

Champagne Passion
½ oz Alize® Liqueur, ½ oz Passion Fruit Nectar, (available in the Spanish section of the grocery store) and sparkling wine.  This is light and fruity with a definite beach feel and flavor.
Champagne Tropical
1 oz Maraschino Liqueur, 1 ½ oz Mango Puree, (made with fresh mangos) and sparkling wine.  This is a sweet and sparkling cocktail that any one will love. 
Sparkling Hibiscus
Only needs 1 oz Hibiscus simple syrup and sparkling wine.  This light weight cocktail take its name from the hibiscus simple syrup that is made by taking simple syrup and infusing it with dried hibiscus.  (soak a hibiscus tea bag or dried hibiscus in ½ cup of simple syrup)  Not only does it give the cocktail a beautiful pink color but it also gives it a lightly sweet taste.
Bellini
The classic Champagne cocktail, 2 oz Peach Nectar, 1 oz Peach Schnapps, 1 tsp lemon juice and Champagne or sparkling wine.
Champagne Cocktail
Sugar cube in the bottom of the glass a dash of bitters then fill the glass with Champagne and add a lemon twist!  So chic and simple.
Champagne Pomegranate
Champagne cocktail with a kick - 2 oz of Vodka, 1 oz of Pama® Liqueur then fill the glass with Champagne or sparkling wine.  For visual interest you can add a few pomegranate seeds. This one packs a punch.
Citrus 75
A twist on the French 75 this cocktail contains, 1 oz Blood Orange Liqueur, dash of Orange Bitters, Champagne or sparkling wine.  When done float a small amount of Gin on top.  Amazing!

Mimosa
An ounce of orange juice, a ½ oz of Triple Sec or Cointreau® fill with Champagne or sparkling wine and then drop in a cherry, done!

Party Punches:

When you are planning cocktails it may be wise to use economical punches; just make sure to label the bowls so that people know they are getting an alcoholic beverage.  There are fun cocktails that you can make into punches that range from low proof to moderate proof.&n bsp; For fruit punches make sure that you keep them a little on the lighter side as the amount of alcohol is easily masked by the fruit juice.   Make sure there are plenty of designated drivers if you go with the higher proof options.

 

 

Brandy Punch
See above, with Champagne or Sparkling Wine, Brandy, Port, Maraschino Liqueur, Lime Juice, Pineapple juice with lots of fresh fruit this punch looks a good as it tastes.  Set up the glasses with the fruit already in them and then add a ladle to fill the glasses.  Just beautiful.
Hibiscus Punch – 2 cups Absolut® Hibiscus Vodka, ¼ Cup Hibiscus Simple Syrup, 2 bottle of Prosecco Sparkling wine.  Sliced Lemon, Orange and limes combined with fresh raspberries, blue berries and strawberries.
White Summer Sangria
1 750 bottle of white wine, ½ cup passion fruit juice, 1 cup lime juice.  Fresh strawberries, peaches, pears, grapes, lemons, limes raspberries and mint finish this sangria off very nicely.
Christmas Citrus
2.5 cups of Cranberry Vodka, 4.5 cups lemonade, 2.5 cups of cranberry juice and 1 cup Aperol.  Garnish with fresh cranberries.  A beautiful punch that is light and tangy.

Specialty cocktails and open bars:


By picking a few mixers and base spirits you can have a decent open bar or pick a few specialty cocktails that can be premixed and served like Margarita’s, Rum Punches, Cape Cods and all of the Breezes.  If you don’t have the money or desire for a full on bartender mix up pitchers of these cocktails and then just add glasses, garnish and ice.   You should have ice and glasses for 2.5 drinks per guest excluding soft drinks and water.
Setup the glasses in rows with garnishes.  Then label the cocktails in front of each row…


 

 

Limited Bar:

Let your guests know what you have available with a menu by the bar.

 

 

Ingredients would be:

Blue Coat American Gin
Belvedere Vodka
Bacardi White Rum
Johnny Walker Black
Patron
Cointreau
Vermouth
Soda
Grapefruit Juice
Cranberry Juice
Club Soda
Sweet and Sour
Olives
Limes
From these you ingredients you could also make:
Different kinds of martinis, greyhounds, cosmos…

Themed Weddings:

 

 

Key West:


Sunset on the beach, white sand and a cool breeze blowing

Cocktails:
Hemingway
2 oz Bacardi® White Rum, 1tsp Maraschino Liqueur, 1tsp Grapefruit Juice, Juice of 1 Key Lime, Crushed ice
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice.  Shake well and strain into a highball glass over crushed ice.  Garnish with a key lime wheel.

Classic Daiquiri
2 oz Bacardi® Rum (usually Bacardi Superior)
1 oz Fresh Squeezed lime juice
1/2 oz Simple Syrup
Fill shaker with ice.  Pour in Rum, lime juice and simple syrup.  Shake well until chilled.  Strain into glass that has been rimmed in sugar.  Garnish with lime wedge. 

Cuba Libra
1½ oz white Rum
Cola
In a highball glass over ice pour in Rum, top with cola and garnish with a lime

Rum Punch - Planters Punch is considered not a specific cocktail, but is the generic name for a set of rum-based punches. Recipes vary, containing some combination of lemon juice, pineapple juice, lime juice, orange juice, grenadine, soda water, curaçao, Angostura bitters, and cayenne pepper.  This is another one of the drinks popularized by Trader Vic’s as part of the Tiki bar explosion.  The first mention of the drink is in the late 1800’s and again in 1905.  It gained popularity in the 50’s and 60’s as the tropical drink craze swept the US.  Our recipe has all the standard ingredients but there are many variations on this theme.  This is a drink you can play around with, more pineapple or less…  It really is a matter of taste.

1 1/2 oz.) Appleton Estate Amber Rum
1 1 /2 oz of orange juice
1 oz fresh lemon juice
2 dashes Angostura bitters
2 dashes Monin Pomegranate Syrup
½ oz Simple Syrup
Orange slice and Cherry
In shaker glass with ice pour Rum, pomegranate syrup, simple syrup bitters and lemon juice.  Shake well and pour into a chilled hurricane glass.   Garnish with a orange wedge and cherry.

Rum Runner
Legend has it, Rum Runners were invented in the late 1950's at the Holiday Isle Tiki Bar in Islamorada, Florida. Supposedly, the bar had an excess of rum and certain liqueurs that needed to be gotten rid of to make room in the liquor closet.  That’s why the somewhat bizarre number of liqueurs that are contained in almost any recipe for a Rum Runner. They named the drink after the real "Rum Runners" that inhabited the Florida Keys in the early days running Rum in from Cuba and the islands.  Many changes were made as the Rum Runner passed through time. Most recipes are altered by using different amounts of the same ingredients. Sometimes an ingredient may be substituted or changed and the recipe will remain intact.  The only ingredient that remains sacred is of course the Rum.
1 oz light rum
1 oz dark rum or aged rum
1 oz blackberry liqueur
1 oz banana liqueur
Splash Monin® Pomegranate Syrup
1 oz pineapple juice
1 oz orange juice
Optional: one ounce of Bacardi 151 to float on top
Orange slice
Pour rum, blackberry liqueur, banana liqueur, pomegranate syrup, pineapple juice and orange juice into a mixer glass with crushed ice.  Shake well pour into a tall glass.  Float 151 on top and garnish with an orange and a cherry.

Mojitos - The Mojito is a rum drink that is based on a drink from the 1800’s out of Cuba.  Classic Mojitos have only Rum, sugar, lime juice and fresh mint.  The ultimate summer cooler it is often served with a splash of soda to make it even lighter.  White or amber Rums are used for a crisp clean taste.  These go down way too easy so keep track of the number while sitting around the pool.

1 1/2 oz white rum
1/2 lime, cut into 4 wedges
1/2 oz of Simple Syrup
1 cup ice cubes
1/2 cup club soda
10 fresh mint leaves
Place mint leaves and 1 lime wedge into a sturdy glass. Use a muddler to gently crush the mint and lime to release the mint oils and lime juice. Add 2 more lime wedges and the simple syrup and muddle again to release the lime juice. Do not strain the mixture.  Fill the glass almost to the top with ice. Pour the rum over the ice, and fill the glass with carbonated water. Stir, taste, and add more syrup if desired. Garnish with the remaining lime wedge.   To make different types of mojitos vary/add the fruit you can use strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, watermelon, oranges…

White Summer Sangria
1 bottle 750lt White Wine
1/4 cup Passion Fruit Juice
1 cup Limeade
Cut up fresh Strawberries, peaches, pears, grapes, lemons, limes, raspberries and mint.
Pour all liquid ingredients into pitcher.  Stir well and add fruit.  Chill overnight, about 8 hours.  Add ice and serve. 

Key Lime Margarita
1 1/2 oz White Tequila
1/2 oz Cointreau®
1/2 oz Simple Syrup
1 oz Fresh Key Lime Juice
2 oz Limeade
Combine all ingredients in a blender.  Blend till frozen.   Pour into a margarita glass, garnish with a lime wheel.

 

 

 

Traditional:

Cocktails:
Southern Bride
3 oz Gin
1 tsp Maraschino Liqueur
2 oz Grapefruit Juice
Pour all ingredients into a shaker glass filled with ice.   Shake well and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.  Garnish with a cherry.

Arctic Kiss
2 oz Vodka
3 oz Champagne
Chill the vodka in the freezer or in a cocktail shaker with crushed ice.  Strain into a chilled Champagne flute and top with Champagne.  Enjoy and look elegant

Kiss on the lips

1 ½ oz Peach Schnapps
5 oz Mango Juice
1 tbsp grenadine syrup
Combine the peach schnapps and mango juice over crushed ice.  Pour the grenadine into a cocktail glass running down the sides and bottom.  Add the peach schnapps and enjoy.

Passion
1 1/2 oz Raspberry Vodka
2 oz Passion Fruit Juice
1/2 oz Strawberry Liqueur
Prosecco
Fresh Strawberries
In a mixing glass over ice mix Raspberry Vodka, Passion Fruit Juice, and Strawberry Liqueur.  Strain into a Champagne flute and fill with Prosecco. Garnish with a strawberry.

Yum
2 oz Malibu® Coconut
2 oz Pama®
1 oz pineapple juice
Pour all ingredients into a shaker glass with ice.  Shake well and pour into a sugar rimmed cocktail glass… 

Azure Lemonade (something blue!) –
2oz Citron Vodka
1 oz Vanilla Liqueur
3/4 oz Blue Curacao
3 oz Lemonade
Squeeze of Key Lime
In a shaker over ice mix all ingredients and then shake till well chilled.  Pour into an tall glass with ice.

 

1920’s theme:

Cocktails:

Bees Knees
2 oz Gin
3/4 oz Raw Organic Orange Blossom Honey Syrup*
1 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
*To make syrup mix equal parts honey and hot water, stir until dissolved
Mix well in a shaker with ice and pour into a chilled cocktail glass.  Garnish with a lemon wheel. 

French 75
2 oz Gin
5 oz Champagne
1/2 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
1 tsp of Simple Syrup
With the exception of the Champagne, pour all ingredients into a shaker glass filled with ice.   Shake well.  Strain into a Champagne flute and top with Champagne or sparkling wine.  Garnish with a twist.

Gibson
2 1/2 oz gin
1/4 oz Dry Vermouth
1 Pearl (cocktail) onion
In a shaker combine gin and vermouth, shake well and strain into a petite chilled cocktail glass.  Add a cocktail onion.

Classic Vodka or Gin Martini
21/2 oz Vodka or Gin
1/4 Dry Vermouth
Green olives OR a twist of lemon peel
Into a mixing glass, toss a handful of ice cubes then pour in the spirit and the Vermouth.
Stir well or some may prefer shaken!
Strain and pour into a chilled martini glass.
To finish, either drop a green olive(s) into the bottom martini glass OR arrange a twist of lemon peel on the edge of the martini glass.

Negroni -
2 oz Gin
1 oz Campari®
1/2 oz Sweet Vermouth
Pour all ingredients into a shaker glass filled with ice.   Shake well.  Strain into a rocks glass over ice and garnish with an orange twist.

Old Fashion
2 oz bourbon whiskey
2 dashes Angostura® bitters
1 splash water
2 sugar cubes
1 maraschino cherry
1 orange wedge
Drop sugar cubes, water and angostura bitters in an old-fashioned glass. Drop in a cherry and an orange wedge. Muddle into a paste using a muddler or the back end of a bar spoon. Pour in bourbon, fill with ice cubes, and stir.

Planters Punch
1 1/2 oz.) Appleton Estate® Amber Rum
1 1 /2 oz of orange juice
1 oz  fresh lemon juice
2 dashes Angostura® bitters
2 dashes Monin® Pomegranate Syrup
½ oz Simple Syrup
Orange slice and Cherry
In shaker glass with ice pour Rum, pomegranate syrup, simple syrup bitters and lemon juice.  Shake well and pour into a chilled hurricane glass.   Garnish with a orange wedge and cherry.

Side Car –
2 oz brandy
2 oz Sour Mix
Splash of Triple Sec
Pour all ingredients into a shaker to chill.  Strain into a chilled sugar-rimmed cocktail glass.  Garnish with an orange slice and cherry.

Rob Roy
2 ounces blended Scotch whisky
3/4 ounce Italian vermouth
1 dash Angostura® bitters
In shaker filled with ice pour in all the ingredients and shake well till chilled.  Pour into a chilled cocktail glass with a cherry.


 

 

Elegant:

Cocktails:

Amaretto Sour
Amaretto Sours are great for those before dinner drinks.  Smooth, sweet/sour and light they are the perfect drink to get the party started and keep it going.  While there are some Amaretto's out there we still always reach for Amaretto de Saronna®.  Sometimes the classics are classics for a reason.
1 1/2 ounces Amaretto
1 ounce simple syrup
3/4 ounce fresh lemon juice
In a shaker add the ingredients along with ice and shake well.
Strain into a rocks glass filled with ice and garnish with an orange slice/lemon twist and cherry.

Casino Royal

1 oz Gin
1/2 oz Maraschino Liqueur
1 oz Fresh Orange Juice
1/4 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
Pour all ingredients into a shaker glass filled with ice.   Shake well and strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with an orange twist.

Chrysanthemum
2 oz Dry Vermouth
1 1/2 oz Benedictine
Dash of Pernod ®
Orange Twist
Combine Vermouth and Benedictine in a shaker glass over ice; stir and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.  Add Pernod, stir and drop in an orange twist.

Gimlet

1 1/2 Gin
Squeeze of lime
In a shaker glass shake all ingredients over ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.  Garnish with an lime wedge.

Enlightened Martini
Elegant and sophisticated in both looks and taste the Enlightened Martini is pretty amazing.  We started by using organic Dry Fly® Gin, a light clean gin with a smooth taste and just the barest hint of juniper.  This drink combines flavors by substituting the vermouth with another botanical, Elderflower Liqueur.  We used Thatchers®, which is also organic, for one of the smoothest takes on a martini we've had in a while.
2 oz Dry Fly® Vodka
1 1/2 oz Thatcher’s® Elderflower Liquor
1/2 oz Fresh Lime Juice
Pour all ingredients into a shaker glass filled with ice.   Shake well.  Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
This is one where the brands do matter!  

Mint Julep
2 1/2 oz Jim Beam® Bourbon Whiskey
4 fresh mint sprigs
1 tsp powdered sugar
2 tsp water
Muddle mint leaves, powdered sugar and water in a highball glass.  Fill the glass with shaved or crushed ice and add bourbon.  Top with more ice and garnish with a mint sprig.

Spa Martini
2 oz Prairie® Cucumber Vodka
1/2 oz Dry Vermouth
1/2 oz Fresh Lime Juice
Fresh Cucumber
Pour all ingredients into a shaker glass filled with ice.   Shake well strain into a chilled cocktail glass .  Garnish with a cucumber slice and a twist.


 

 

 

Garden Party:

Cocktails:

Basil Blueberry Lemonade
Cool light and one of the best of the new summer drinks. We tested it with Rum, Gin and Vodka. All were great! Perfect for a garden wedding.
The club soda adds some sparkle and keeps the flavors light. The blueberry and basil hit the right notes together creating a drink that is not too sweet but still refreshing. So add your spirit of choice and enjoy.
2 oz of Rum, Vodka or Gin
1/2 oz Simple Syrup
1/4 cup Blueberries
4 med sized Basil leaves
4 oz of lemonade
Splash of Club Soda
In a large glass shaker muddle blueberries and basil. Add all liquid ingredients except soda. Stir and strain into a tall collins glass filled with ice. Top with club soda. Add a few blueberries and garnish with a piece of basil.

Bay Breeze
The Bay Breeze is an off shoot of all the drinks out of the 20’s and 30’s that are part of the Cap Codder family which is Vodka and Cranberry. With the Bay Breeze, it is a little Cranberry, Grapefruit juice and generous portion of Vodka. Cool and refreshing it is usually served in the summer months. This drink gained popularity again during the 1960 and has remained popular even today.
1-1/2 oz Vodka
4 oz. cranberry juice
1 oz. grapefruit juice
Pour all ingredients into a shaker glass filled with ice. Pour into a rocks glass and garnish with a lime wedge

Boston Cooler

2 oz Light Rum
1/2 oz Simple Syrup
1 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
Sparkling Water
Pour all ingredients except sparkling water into a shaker glass over ice and shake until chilled.  Top with sparkling water.  Pour over ice in a Collins glass and garnish with lemon and lime wheels. 

Cherry Limeade
2 oz White Tequila
1 oz Maraschino Liqueur
1 oz Grand Marnier®
3 oz Fresh Lime Juice
Combine all ingredients in a blender with ice.  Blend till frozen then pour into a tall glass and garnish with a cherry and lime wheel.

Citrus Brunch
Perfect for the occasion where a lower proof is needed like an afternoon wedding .  The Citrus Brunch is a light pretty drink that hits all the high citrus notes with the sparkle of Champagne.
1 oz Blood Orange Liqueur
1 oz Pom Juice
1 oz Blood Orange Juice
Champagne or sparkling wine
In a mixing glass over ice mix Blood Orange Liqueur, Blood Orange Juice, and Pom Juice.  Strain into a Champagne flute and fill with Champagne or sparkling wine. Garnish with an orange twist

Pink Lemonade
Pink Lemonade is everything a good summer drink should be.  Clean and crisp with a touch of raspberry liqueur makes this very drinkable on those hot summer days.  A nice kick with the Citron flavored Vodka makes this a drink you should keep all the ingredients on hand for all summer long.
1 1/2 oz Absolut® Citron vodka
1/2 oz Chambord® raspberry liqueur
4 oz fresh squeezed lemonade
In shaker glass with ice pour in Vodka, Chambord and Lemonade.  Shake well and pour into a collins glass.  Garnish with a lime wedge.

Kiwi Spring Lemonade
Kiwi Spring Lemonade - Fun to look at this Kiwi Spring Lemonade has citrus Vodka and Chartreuse for a herbal twist on the classic lemonade.  Not only does it make it more interesting but it keeps it from becoming too sweet!
2oz Citron Vodka
3/4 oz Green Chartreuse
4 oz Lemonade
1/2 oz Key Lime Juice
In a shaker over ice mix all ingredients and then shake till well chilled.  Pour into a tall glass with ice and garnish with a kiwis and key lime wheel.


 

 

 

Fantasy:

Cocktails:

Black and Blue Margarita
2 oz White Tequila
1 oz Blue Curacao
1/2 oz Grand Marnier®
3 oz Lemonade
3/4 oz Blackberry Liqueur
Combine all ingredients in a blender with ice except blackberry liqueur.  Blend till frozen.   Pour the blackberry liqueur in the bottom of a margarita glass, then top with frozen margarita mixture.  Garnish with a strawberry for extra color.

Blood Orange Margarita
2 oz Gold Tequila
1 1/2 oz Blood Orange Liqueur
1/2 oz Patron® Citronge
4 oz Fresh Blood Orange Juice
Squeeze of Fresh Lime
Combine all ingredients in a blender with ice.  Blend till frozen then garnish with a blood orange wheel.

Moor’s Star
2 oz Vodka
1 oz Blackberry Liqueur
1 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
Fresh Mint
Fresh Blackberries
Club soda
Muddle fresh mint and black berries in bottom of highball glass.  Add vodka blackberry liqueur and lemon juice.  Then top with club soda and garnish with a sprig of mint and fresh black berries.

Raspberry Amore
The Raspberry Amore is the perfect drink for those in love, sweet and smooth this cocktail exudes love.
Ingredients: 
2 oz Chocolate Raspberry Vodka
1 oz d'Amore Raspberry liqueur
Fresh raspberries
In shaker with ice combine chocolate Vodka and d’Amore Raspberry.  Shake till well chilled.  Strain into a Champagne flute with a raspberry in the bottom.  Garnish with fresh raspberries on a pic.

Pink Lady
2 oz Gin
1 tsp Grenadine
1 tsp ½ and ½
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 egg white

Pour all ingredients into a shaker glass filled with ice.   Shake until the egg breaks down and is foamy.  Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.  Garnish with a cherry.

Red Lion
2 oz Gin
1 1/2 oz Cointreau®
1/2 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Fresh Orange Juice
1/2 tsp of Grenadine
Pour all ingredients, into a shaker glass filled with crushed ice.   Shake well and strain into a chilled cocktail glass  and garnish with an orange twist.

Blood Orange Cinnamon Pear Cocktail
1 1/2 oz Vodka
1/2 oz Grand Marnier®
4 oz Italian Cinnamon Pear Soda(available at Fresh Market)
1 oz Blood Orange Juice
Shake all ingredients in a shaker with ice.  Strain over ice and garnish with a slice of fresh pear.

 Sweet Yule
The blend of dark rum, chocolate and honey make this a warm cozy drink.   HEAVEN
Ingredients: 
2 oz Dark Rum
1 oz Chocolate Chili Liqueur
1 oz Lime Juice
1 oz Honey
Pour all ingredients into a shaker glass filled with ice.   Shake well.  Strain into a chilled cocktail glass with chocolate stars for garnish.

 

 

Luau or Hawaiian Wedding:

Cocktails:

Mai Tai
Mai Tai comes with multiple recipes depending on which version you like, the Trader Vic’s (1940’s) or Don the Beachcomber (1930’s).  Either way both capitalized on the Polynesian trends of the 50’s and 60’s.  A great fruit and rum based drink; no Tiki party would be complete without with a Mai Tai with an umbrella!  Featured in the Elvis movie “Blue Hawaii” the drink has remained popular since then as a beach side have to have.   So whatever recipe you use this is a wonderful fun drink that will be the hit of any wedding or luau.
Juice from 1 whole lime
1oz Orange Curacao
3/4 oz Orgeat Syrup
1/2 oz Simple Cane Sugar Syrup
 1 Dash of Angostura Bitters
2 oz Aged Jamaican Rum
½ oz Meyers® Rum
Pour rum, Orgeat, Simple Syrup and Orange Curacao, in order, into a mixer glass with crush ice plus the dash a bitters. Add the juice from 1 whole line shake well  pour into a tall glass with a dark rum float and serve with an orange and cherry.

Pina Colada
2 1/2 oz Rom del Barrilito® or Don Q Rum®
4 oz fresh pineapple juice
1 oz cream of coconut
Combine the rum, pineapple juice, and cream of coconut in a shaker of crushed ice.  Shake well.  Pour into a tall glass, garnish with a orange and a cherry.

Blue Hawaiian -

3/4 oz light rum
3/4 oz vodka
1/2 oz Blue Curacao liqueur
3 oz pineapple juice
1 oz sweet and sour mix

In a glass shaker pour all ingredients over ice.  Shake well until all ingredients are well mixed.  Pour into a cocktail glass and garnish with a pineapple wedge and brightly colored umbrella

Kahala Sunset
2 oz Coconut Rum
2 oz Papaya juice
2 oz Pineapple Juice
1 ounce fresh lime juice
Splash of grenadine
Splash of club soda
In a shaker add the ingredients along with ice and shake well. Strain into a tall glass filled with ice and garnish with an orange slice and cherry.

Mauna Kea Punch
3 oz White Rum
1/2 oz Brandy
4 oz Guava Juice
2 oz Passion Fruit Juice
Add all ingredients into a shaker with ice. Shake well and pour into a large glass with either a pineapple or orange and cherry flag.

Passion Fruit Punch
2 oz White Rum
1 oz Dark Rum
3 oz Hawaiian Sun® Lilikoi Passion Juice
1 oz of Pineapple Juice
In shaker pour all ingredients into glass with ice.  Shake well and pour into tall collins glass.  Garnish with a pineapple and cherry.  Umbrella optional.

Hawaiian Mimosa
1 oz Grand Marnier®
2 oz Pineapple Juice
1/2 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
4 oz Champagne or Sparkling Wine
Pour all ingredients except Champagne or Sparkling Wine into a shaker glass filled with ice.  Shake well and strain into a chilled Champagne flute.  Fill with Champagne or Sparkling Wine and garnish with a fresh pineapple wedge.

 

Tablas Creek

In the idyllic rolling hills of Paso Robles sits a vineyard with a unique story. Tablas Creek winery is the result of a fruitful partnership between the Perrin family of Chateau de Beaucastel in the Rhone Valley and Robert Hass of Vineyard Brands importing company. Together, they blend Old World and New World wines to create unique and successful blends.

 

 

Visitors traveling through wine country can stop at Tablas Creek for a tour of their beautiful organic estate, and a taste of their premium blends at the tasting room. Tablas Creek tours promise an educational and engaging experience.

 

I asked some questions of Chelsea Franchi, Tablas Creek’s Assistant Winemaker.

 

What unique qualities make Tablas Creek a Rhone-Style winery?
Tablas Creek is a partnership between the Perrin family of the long-famed Chateau de Beaucastel in the Chateauneuf du Pape region of the Rhone Valley (among other labels) and Robert Haas, who started the wine importing company Vineyard Brands.  Tablas Creek wines, with the exception of three (Patelin de Tablas Blanc, Rouge and Rosé) are all estate grown.  The vine material we have on the property was shipped from France, quarantined at Cornell University and UC Davis until deemed clean, and then planted here where it is now organically farmed.  Since our “sister” winery (Chateau de Beaucastel) is in the Chateauneuf du Pape, Tablas Creek has set out to follow the style of that region while putting our own spin on things.  Of the 13 AOC permitted grape varieties in the Chateauneuf du Pape, we currently have eight planted (nine, if you count Grenache Blanc).  The remaining varieties are still at Davis awaiting quarantine release.  More than a few of the grape varieties we have on site had never been introduced to U.S. soil before Tablas Creek brought them in.

What have been some of your most successful wines? What made them successful?
Again, in following the style of the Chateauneuf du Pape, we tend to focus primarily on blends.  Our flagship wines are our Esprit de Tablas blends – of which we make a red and a white.  They have lushness and power while still maintaining balance and sophistication.  Because we make French-style wines in California, we have the opportunity to walk a lot of lines.  Initially, the winery gained notice because of our partnership with Beaucastel, but it soon became apparent that our wines were able to hold their own out in the market.  Much of that can be attributed to the property we’re planted on – beautiful rolling hills, hot days and cool nights, high instances of limestone rock in the soil (as well as responsible farming practices) – and additionally, our winemaking philosophy.  We tend to pick at lower brix, our fermentations (both primary and secondary) occur naturally with native, ambient yeasts, and in the cellar, we tend to gently guide the wines, rather than using additives and forcing them one way or the other.  This leads to wines that offer an expression of place and heritage, which is extremely important to us.

 

When you first started the partnership, did you encounter any challenges in blending together Old World and New World styles of winemaking?
Because Tablas Creek had roots in France and was started as a new venture in California, there were far less challenges than there would have had if we went the other way.  Winemaking in California has a very “anything goes” attitude, which is quite different from the heavily regulated French growing and winemaking restrictions.  There were a few questions as to how we should farm, and in the beginning, most of the property was planted on a trellis system – something they are not permitted to do in the Chateauneuf du Pape.  We’ve now moved more towards head-pruned vines, which is how they prune at Beaucastel.  Once our method of farming was decided upon, the next challenge was deciding when to pick.  With so much California sun, (and, more specifically, Paso Robles heat) there was the challenge of being willing to pick at lower sugar levels.  It didn’t take long to realize that the lower brix levels worked for us, so while it may have been a challenge in the early stages, it’s now a major component of our signature style.

 

What can guests expect when they visit the winery?
For me, the coolest thing about visiting this particular winery is that you are actually visiting a working winery.  In the tasting room, there are huge windows that look into two rooms of our cellar, each filled with foudres – 1,600 and 1,200 gallon oak vessels we use for the fermentation as well as storage of wine.  They’re beautiful, but aside from that, there’s usually someone from the cellar crew working in there, which makes it a very real experience, in my opinion.  The other thing you can expect is a very informative tasting experience.  Many of the varieties we work with are not as familiar to the general public and our tasting room staff is happy to share their knowledge, so tastings tend to be more of an open conversation rather than pouring a wine and stepping away.  I like the idea that people leave the winery with a new appreciation for an obscure grape, like say, Picpoul Blanc, or with a deeper understanding of wine in general.

 

 

Next year, you'll be hosting a Rhone Cruise. What will that be like?
I had the great fortune of going on the cruise last year and it was absolutely spectacular.  We were taken on exclusive tours and tastings at some wonderful wineries where we were treated like guests of honor.  As someone who works in the wine industry, I was blown away at the hospitality we were shown, and likewise awed having the chance to see vineyards and cellars in other countries.  We spent one whole day visiting Chateau de Beaucastel – we walked through the vineyards, the cellar, the wine vaults, did a full tasting with members of the Perrin family, and finished with a beautiful lunch on their patio.  I thought the organizers balanced the ratio of organized excursions to personal time really well.  It’s hard for me to not to gush about the experience.  It was perfect.  Further details for next year’s trip can be found here:  http://www.foodandwinetrails.com/tablascreek2015

Could you tell us a bit about what makes your winery organic? Was there a lot of trial and error that went into the process?
It was a long and arduous hunt to find the perfect piece of property to start Tablas Creek.  Once purchased, responsible farming became paramount to ensure the property will be around (and healthy) for generations to come.  To wit, the vineyard is certified organic and we practice biodynamics (though we are not certified).  We’ve been taking steps to become as sustainable as possible, in the sense that what we take from the vineyard, we put back in, naturally.  For instance, we have built up a bit of a farm here at the vineyard – we have a flock of sheep we move through the vineyard to graze (thus minimizing the need to mow) and their hooves naturally till the soil.  As they move, they also fertilize.  To guard the sheep, we have alpacas, a llama, and two donkeys that each performs the same tasks.  We also have a flock of chickens we rotate through the vineyard in a mobile coop.  They do a great job scratching under vines and eating bad bugs. 

 

Since the animal program is fairly new, we’ve learned quite a bit in just a few short years.  And because agriculture is what it is, we’re always trying new things.  Sometimes that leads to trial and error and sometimes it leads to trial and success!  Farming is an extremely humbling activity, and without experimentation with new techniques and constant conversation with others in the area, we wouldn’t be anywhere close to where we are today.

After twenty five years of your partnership at Tablas Creek, do you have any reflections on how the industry has evolved and changed in the last quarter-century?
In this industry, there’s significant change even from year to year.  One notable transformation in this area (though not exclusively this area) is the move towards diversity in regards to varieties being grown.  Gone are the days when the only grapes grown in Paso Robles were Chardonnay, Cabernet, Merlot and Zinfandel.  While those obviously still exist, there’s also a myriad of other wines and styles available.  We embrace the Rhone varieties at Tablas Creek, and so do many of our neighbors, but you can find plenty of Italian varieties along with unusual blends down the road as well.  The great thing is that it’s not just wineries growing and producing lesser-known varietals – people are buying them!  The wine consumer in the U.S. has changed, becoming more willing to try something new and more eager to learn about different wines, thus driving the change in the industry.

Another change that has come more recently is the move towards balance and finesse.  For quite some time, Paso Robles as a region had made a name for itself by producing blockbuster wines: huge, massive behemoths made from grapes picked at high brix because the climate here allows that (encourages it, actually).  But now, it seems many producers are picking earlier and making wines with more restraint.

Photos provided by Tablas Creek Vineyard

Villains Tavern - LA

Let's start with the basics. It's in a weird part of downtown LA. But then again, I find a lot of downtown  LA kind of weird, and maybe that's what's so exciting about it. The warehouses have big gridlike windows with just the right number of random broken panes to look artfully constructed for a film set. (That's LA – where the genuine is always colliding with the artifice, even in your mind). Some of these old industrial edifices remain creepily abandoned, while others have been given an expensive makeover with promises of hipness – romantic lofts, art galleries, and dance clubs. Villains Tavern, established 2010, sits at the intersection of two of these Warehouse District streets, across from a Lucky Jeans building and flanked by a large parking lot. It's not easy (or advisable) to get there by public transit. But isn't that what you'd expect from a bar called Villains?  Everything wears the veneer of danger.

 

Beyond Villains's enclosed outdoor patio is a small but beautifully decorated two story bar and restaurant.  Vintage bottles in blue, yellow, orange, and green line shelves in the high arch window above the front door.  The mirror behind the bar is framed in symmetrical and ornate Gotchic-style cathedral arches. Medieval and Victorian paintings hang on the wall.

 

If you're one to scoff at mason jars, shaved ice, unusual garnishes, or vintage medicine bottles, Villains is not the place for you. The four-year old bar and blues music venue is proudly riding the mixology trends, and they serve it well. You might have to wait a few minutes for their well-bicepped-from-tossing-cocktail-shakers-all-day bartenders to whip you up an $8 Bella Donna at Happy Hour, but I assure you it's worth your patience. Following the obvious fact of science that cold air sinks, the bartender will strain this minty citrusy Maker's Mark cocktail into a Mason Jar, and then pack a heaping dome of shaved ice on top, like a snowcone, and pierce it with a straw. Your cocktail will stay nice and chilly under its igloo. Plus, it's really pretty.

 

All of the cocktails at Villains reference bad guys in literature in history. It's a nice touch. They have a nice mix of spirit-bases too, which I found refreshing. I get tired of bars that offer ten vodka drinks and maybe one with tequila or rum. Villains offers cocktails made from cachaca, Chivas Regal 12 year scotch, Absolut Elyx, Avion Reposado, hibiscus and jasmine tea infused gin, and much more. At Villains, you can pick your poison. And they'll most likely have it. They also make interesting combinations  - like aperol and prosecco in the Vin Amaro.

Hungry? Even their happy hour menu is cheap and filling. Expect to not be able to finish your piled-high basket of fries or tempura-battered spicy green beans.

On weekends, Villains hosts a series of music events featuring afrobeat, disco, house, and soul Djs, live performers, and special guests. All of this adds up to the moral of our story: the people who created Villains are good guys.

1356 Palmetto St, Los Angeles CA

HOURS:
Tuesday - Friday: 5:30pm - 2AM
Saturday-Sunday:3pm-2am

http://villainstavern.com/

Lauren Eggert-Crowe

Wine Riot

 

 

Lauren Eggert-Crowe

On a warm Saturday night in May, I headed to downtown Los Angeles for the final night of Wine Riot, a multi-city three-day event. It's the wine tasting to end all wine tastings. The name alone gives the impression that this is not your ordinary tasting event. It promises something more energetic and edgy.

Convening on the top floor of the California Market Center, Wine Riot was set up similar to a regular wine tasting, in that patrons could wander from table to table and taste wines from hundreds of different vintages, from all over the world. But the similarities ended there.

Wine Riot was colorful and loud. The crowd skewed younger and more stylish than other wine tastings I've been to. Conversation and the DJ's hip-hop bounced off the concrete floors of the large open room.

 

 

Aside from tasting wine, participants could drop in on 20-minute crash courses to brush up on their wine knowledge. You could learn about Spanish Reds, or Italian Reds, or Pinot Grigios, and taste 4 or 5 samples of each. There were also education booths: high tables backed by banner infographics explaining the difference between Old World Wines and New World Wines, or showing the fermentation process and difference between sweet and dry wines. The booths were eye-catching.

 

 

Wine Riot also had a photobooth station, replete with dozens of silly props like sparkly hats and boas, plus a collection of cards with cheeky captions like, “I like 'em big and juicy” or “I'll drink to that!”

One of the most innovative parts of wine riot is the social media component. Second Glass, the company founded by Tyler Balliet and Morgan First , the creators of Wine Riot, developed a smart phone app that lets participants keep track of all the wines they tasted at the event, make tasting notes, and give a “thumbs up” to the ones they like. This is quite handy when they are shopping later.

I spoke with Tyler Balliet about the success of Wine Riot and what the future holds for it.

 

 

 

How did you come up with idea of Wine Riot?

Tyler Balliet: I started going to a lot of wine tastings, and I realized they failed both the attendees and the wineries. You go to a brightly lit room and they would just name the wines. People wouldn't know what to do. And the wineries wouldn't bring anything interesting to show people. It was frustrating. The wineries didn’t find it that valuable. The wineries' issue is that they never really know how to talk to people that buy their product. They describe it with arcane language and technical information. It leaves people feeling like they're being talked down to. I wanted to update the wine tasting event for the new generation. How do I find out about things? How do I remember what I like? How do I want to learn about things? We wanted to create an event that answered those questions. My business partner and I just maxed out our credit cards and hoped people would show up.

How was the reception been?

This is the 6th year of the event. We've been running the company for 7 years now. It's been great. The wineries think it's really interesting. The wineries that come tell me it's the best event they do. The biggest and best reception is the attendees. They love it. Everybody comes and says they've never seen anything like it. We've sold over 50k tickets now for the events. We have a lot of people come to the events. I get emails almost every day telling me how much they love it and how great it is.

What are some of the things you hope people get out of wine riot?

The main thing is that they can come and kind of learn to trust themselves and trust what they like. It's an industry that's trying to tell people what they like. You can't tell people what they like. So one of the things we really push is additional confidence.

How do you see the event evolving in the future?

We've done a lot with it and we keep trying to add new things to the event. We've been working on a way for people to be able to buy wines at the events. Due to liquor laws in the U.S., that's not necessarily very easy. But over the last four years that's what we've been trying to solve. Ultimately I really want to get to the point where we can sell the wines or at least have people be able to buy the wines, not just that day, but forever. We do a lot of data analysis and research, and upwards to 80% of people that come to our events want to buy the wines, not just now, but for the next 6 – 9 months. Trying to figure out a way to sell the wine is the next step. The laws are not in our favor though. But I think that there's still some things we haven't tried yet.

What would you say is the most interesting thing you've discovered?
I think the most interesting data we've collected is based on the fact that we make this event for millennials. We've been trying to gather interesting data on millennials. When I started this company nobody thought millennials were buying wine. The most fascinating thing is, we collected interesting data last year where we found that if people know they like a wine, they are willing to spend twice as much. Restaurants explain food and cocktails on the menu, but with a $100 bottle of wine they don't explain anything about it. How much money the wine industry is leaving on the table? It's not the case that millennials aren't buying wine. We're doing more research in that realm. We've found we can present $50 bottles of wine at the event and people will buy them. Millennials don't want to waste money but they do have money to spend on the experiences.

We have events coming up this year that are all sparkling wines. It'll be super fun. We're trying a new thing there with a whole different kind of event. 

Wine Riot comes to New York City, Chicago, and Boston this fall, and back again to Los Angeles in November. If you live in or near one of those cities, I highly recommend checking it out. I promise you'll have a riotously good time.

Mandrake Bar

 

The area around Washington and La Cienega in Culver City is full of little art galleries. On any givenFriday night, you can

peruse gallery openings and receptions. Flit from door to door to experience

modern paintings, photography, and sculpture with the mid-city/westside crowd.

Among these galleries you can find Mandrake Bar. Be careful not to miss the modest signage out front.

It's just a small sign on a white adobe building, and an unmarked door leading you inside.

 

Inside the bar, it's concrete floors with a church pew-style bench lining the wall across from the bar. It's

a long skinny building. Think East Coast city townhouse. Go straight back past the bar to an enclosed

patio with bougainvillea and picnic benches.

Mandrake has a chill atmosphere and low-lighting, but it still feels hip and happening.

 

 

There are flyers on the wall advertising upcoming concerts. Readings, book release parties, and musical events are often

held here.

 

Show up at happy hour, any time between 5 and 9, and get $7 cocktails. A few of the choices offered

include the French 75 (gin, lemon juice, sugar, and prosecco) and The Stranger (bourgon with Campari,

lemon and sweet vermouth). Go for classics like the Caribbean-inspired Dark and Stormy rum and

ginger drink. Or a Manhattan, Old Fashioned, or Moscow Mule. But if you're feeling dangerous, spring

for the Habenera. It's habanero-infused Hornitos tequila, Corralejo Reposado, grapefruit and lime.

Spicy, bitter, and citrusy to whet your appetite. Just what the perfect cocktail should do.

And once your appetite is whetted, munch on the snacks that Mandrake offers. It's just munchies that

are meant to tide you over. Olives, nuts, cheese, crackers, and honey. But the portions are generous for

the prices.

The bartenders are friendly and laid-back, ready to make you any cocktail you ask for, from their wide

selection of spirits behind the bar.

 

2692 S La Cienega Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90034
(between Venice Blvd and Washington Blvd)

telephone:

mandrake is a strictly 21+ venue

for booking inquiries, please contact us by email


now open on monday 6pm - 12am

Tuesday - Thursday 5:00pm - Midnight
Friday + Saturday 5:00pm - 1am
Sunday + Monday - 6:00pm - Midnight

By Lauren Eggert-Crowe

4th in LA

Partying the 4th

Who doesn't love a good summer party? BBQs, rooftop parties, block parties, happy hours, parades,

we've got them all in Los Angeles. No matter where you live in L.A., you have plenty of options for

celebrating Independence Day. Whether you want a free family-friendly festival, an all-hours bar party,

a fireworks show, or a pub crawl, L.A.'s scene has what you desire.

Red, White and Brew Pub Crawl

For those of you who are into the all-night beer train, PubCrawl Hollywood will hook you up. They'll

take you to some of the best bars in Hollywood, including 3 Dog Cantina, District 13, Jameson's Irish

Pub, Pig 'n Whistle, and Tekila. The prices are insanely low. Think $2 beers.

 

4th of July Block Party
Grand Park
200 North Grand Avenue
Los Angeles, CA (Downtown)

Who can say no to a free party?! Bring your kids or your significant other or your friends, and park

yourself on a blanket in the lovely urban green space of downtown's Grand Park. You'll hear live bands

perform summer party music in the shadow of the gorgeous City Hall Tower. Be a kid again and splash

in the fountain. Pack your own picnic or grab a delicious bite to eat from gourmet food trucks.

 

Sunny Spot Beach Picnic

The Sunny Spot

Venice, CA

This popular brunch joint is hosting an all-weekend beachside cocktail party, serving boozy lemonades

from the Stoli truck. Pineapple-habanero cocktails and snacks on the beach on the 4th

could be better?

Whiskey Red's

13813 Fiji Way

Marina Del Rey, CA

Take a short jaunt from Venice to Marina Del Rey nearby for a BBQ and dessert buffet at this famous

waterfront bar. Drink $3 beers while enjoying the view of fireworks over the ocean.

High

1697 Pacific Avenue

Venice Beach, CA

 

The rooftop bar at the Hotel Erwin promises views of fireworks across the entire city. Feel on top of the world while drinking The Front Porch (cucumber-infused gin, thyme sweet tea, lemon juice) or Spicy Mango Tree (tequila, cointreau, mango puree, jalapenos, lime juice).

Raise your glass and toast summer revelry and community!

Fun Food and Drink in LA

Get Ready for Summer Food Festivals in L.A.!

There are a few things we Angelenos love to do in the summer. See outdoor movies, lie out all day at the beach, go to rooftop bars, and eat at food festivals.

L.A. Has lots of food and drink festivals coming up this summer.

Tacolandia: June 28th 3-7pm
El Pueblo De Los Angeles
125 Paseo de la Plaza, Los Angeles, CA 90028

 

Right across from Union Station, in the historic Olvera Street plaza and marketplace, you can feast for hours on tacos in the birthplace of the taco craze. Tickets get you access to over forty taco samples, live entertainment, and a cash bar for those cervezas that go so well with tacos. A panel of judges will try tacos from all over Los Angeles and Mexico, and choose winning tacos in the categories of Best in Show, Tacolandia's Best Traditional Taco, Tacolandia's Best Non-Traditional Taco, and Tacolandia Hall of Fame. You can also purchase tickets to the Tequila Garden.

LA Street Food Fest: June 28th, 4 – 10pm
Pasadena Rose Bowl
1001 Rose Bowl Drive, Pasadena, CA 91103

 

After you're finished with Tacolandia, just head northeast to Pasadena, for a smorgasbord of the best street food and truck fare that L.A. has to offer.  The $55 general admission price gets you unlimited samples from over 100 food truck vendors as well as restaurant chefs from all over Los Angeles and Baja, Mexico. We're talking tacos, sushi, Korean barbecue, grilled cheese, you name it. Plus cold beers from Angel City Brewery, Golden Road, and other local LA breweries. There's also signature cocktails, an ice cream social, a coffee lounge, and a chance to cast your vote in the People's Choice Awards in the street food cook-off.

Chinatown RibsFest
July 13, 4-7pm
Chinatown Plaza

 

If you are not a citizen of the nation of Vegetarian, your mouth will water at RibsFest in Chinatown, featuring chefs from such esteemed places as Scarpetta, The Park's Finest, Cliff's Edge, and The Spice Table. The all-inclusive $65 general admission price pays for unique rib preparations from fine chefs of both the white tablecloth and truck variety, as well as beer, cocktails, and dessert. Pig out!

Lotus Festival

July 12-13, 12-9pm
Echo Park Lake
751 Echo Park Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90026

 

This Philippines-hosted cultural fair is a neighborhood favorite and historic tradition in this rich, diverse corner of L.A. The Lotus Festival was suspended during the two-year renovation of the Echo Park Lake. But last year, the lake reopened, more beautiful than before, and the lotuses have once again bloomed all over its shimmering surface. The Lotus Festival finally returns this year, with a food court, cultural entertainment, arts and crafts, and activities for kids and grownups alike. Admission is free, and people of all ages are welcome.

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