Archive for Beverages

More Summer Cocktails

Last summer, I went to Mexico and came back with two amazing Summer Cocktails . I recently went down to Orange Beach with a friend and decided that it was my duty to share with you some fantastic beverages that were enjoyed down there as well. 

By the pool:

Most people drank beer by the pool. We saw lots of Michelob Ultra but we did notice some Bud Light and other “light” beers. Regardless…it was still light beer in can. When you are in a bikini, all of that carbonation is not exactly fantastic for the mid-section. So…what is the next best option when you are by the pool for 6-7 hours a day? Vodka!!! A dear friend told me about vodka and Fresca. Yes…I know that Fresca has carbonation, but when you limit it to just one (no more than two), it doesn’t have the same effect as drinking it all day! The friend I went with stuck with vodka and Crystal Light lemonade drinks. How do you make that you ask?? So simple. Take a water bottle and drink about 1/4 of it. Add the lemonade pack and shake. Add the vodka and “gently shake”. You can drink it right out of the water bottle or you can pour it over ice in a solo cup! When you are allowed to bring your own cooler to the pool, life is very simple. 

When you’re out:

Obviously, you need a Bushwacker when you’re in Orange Beach. Typically, this is made with milk, cream of coconut, coffee liqueur, and creme de cacao. Sometimes the milk is substituted for ice cream. Regardless of which recipe you are served, it is delicious. My friend had one over at Tacky Jacks. I opted for a Lava Flow (a drink I found on a trip to Hawaii years ago…half pina colada/half strawberry daiquiri). My favorite!

If you’ve never been to Flora-Bama, you really should put it on your list if you’re down there. It is an “experience” for sure. You will see all sorts when you are there and the people watching alone makes it worthwhile. Since we weren’t into the sugary drinks, we opted for Landshark beer. When you’re at the beach, it’s served in a can, but at least it was a beer with a bit of substance! 

We had a fantastic bottle of wine over at Cobalt. It was a Sauvignon Blanc from our favorite region in the world…Marlborough, New Zealand. We enjoyed the bottle of Matua while the sun was setting.

More Summer Cocktails

Note: For those of you who live in Atlanta, you can get Matua at the Dekalb Farmers Market for $9.99!!

Mulled Red Wine

I am fortunate enough to have one of my neighbors also be a dear friend that I have had for almost 30 years. Many years ago, Dina and her family came over for Thanksgiving. Her mom brought over mulled red wine. I had never heard of it and, to be honest,  was a little skeptical of “warm wine”. The first sip had me sold. it warmed the body and pleased the palate just like the perfect cup of coffee in the morning. Pat’s wine is now a staple for us at the holidays. It’s as traditional as the turkey, cornbread stuffing or pumpkin roll.

As soon as I posted my Thanksgiving menu, the requests for the mulled red wine started coming in. Without skipping a beat, Pat was more than willing to share her recipe with us…just in time for you to enjoy on Thanksgiving! So, here’s the recipe from McNack’s first guest blogger. Thanks, Pat!!

Mulled Red Wine:
2 lg bottles red wine (any cheap red is good)
2 cups simple syrup (2 c. water & 1c sugar heated to dissolve)
Peel from 1 whole lemon
1 t. whole allspice
1 1/2 t. whole cloves
3 or 4 cinnamon sticks
Put lemon peel in sugar water as it is heating and dissolving.
Put spices in a tea strainer or cheese cloth bag. Pour wine into a crock pot or stove pan. Add syrup with lemon and spices. Heat slowly with a cover. Keep on low in crock pot for several hours or thru your party time. Serve in mugs and enjoy.

Summer Cocktails

Who doesn’t love Summer Cocktails? There’s just something about sipping refreshing drinks by the pool or at an outdoor concert that puts a smile on my face. I found two new ones this summer I wanted to share.

1. THE URSULA – On my recent vacation, I met a great lady named Ursula. She is a flight attendant and has had many years of experience mixing drinks for passengers. She told me about a drink that she created and that it tastes just like a creamscicle or 50/50 bar. I asked her what the name of her drink was called and she said she didn’t have one. Immediately, it became known as “The Ursula”! Of course, I had to try it. It was absolutely delicious! My friend Kim and I agreed that it would be a great pool drink. It’s light, cold, and refreshing! If yours is a little watery for your taste, try 2% milk! Thanks, Ursula. Cheers!!!


Grand Marnier

Fat free milk

Orange juice

Orange slice

Preparing The Ursula:

Mix Grand Marnier, milk and orange juice together in equal parts, but add about a splash more of Grand Marnier.  Pour over ice and garnish with a fresh orange slice.

The Ursula


2. MALIBU RUM AND CRANBERRY: I went to a wine tasting with my husband and some friends recently at Brookstone Country Club. We got there early so I ordered a Grey Goose and Cranberry at the bar (one of my favorite cocktails). The bartender suggested that I have a Malibu Rum and Cranberry instead. I was hesitant since I had “a bad experience” with rum many (many) years ago. Anyway, he gave me a generous sample to try and I have to say it was AMAZING!! The only thing I changed when making it for myself was using Diet Cranberry to cut down a bit on the sweetness.

Malibu Rum and Cranberry

Red Wine Sangria with Rum – not for the faint at heart!

sangria recipe

Red Wine Sangria – mmmmm! This is good, really good and a bit on the strong side. Make this for your next Mexican/Spanish themed gathering. Cinco de Mayo is coming up!

Level of Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: Prep Time – 30min; “Cook” Time – 3 hours


1 lemon
1 lime
1 orange
1 1/2 cup of white rum
1/2 cu sugar
1 bottle cabernet or merlot
1 cu OJ

Special Equipment and Other Items Needed:


Preparing the Red Wine Sangria:

Check out our video:

Slice the fruit into round slices.
Put sliced fruit. rum and sugar in the pitcher.
Place in fridge for 2-3 hours.

red wine sangria with rum

Mottle the fruit, rum and sugar together.

sangria recipe
Add the wine and OJ.

good red wine sangria recipe
Taste – add sugar if you want it sweeter.

This makes probably about 45 ozs of beverage so depending on glass size and other bevs provided, multiply accordingly.

sangria recipe

Important Tips:

The key is to serve it cold and let the fruit, rum and sugar hang out together for at least 2 hours.


There are a ton of sangria recipes on the web but since I’m a red wine kind of girl and I like a drink that is a bit strong, this is my favorite.