Watermelon Gin Fizz & Blackberry Bourbon Smash Cocktails

Treaty Oak Blackberry SmashY’all, I’ve really been stepping up my cocktail game this summer. It all started a few years when I decided that vodka went down a little too easy and reminded me waaay too much of college, so I started trying out different spirits. It didn’t take long for whiskey to become my new drink of choice and my love affair with old fashioneds began. I love trying out new whiskies and they each have their own flavor and depth. They are also perfect for sipping, which is way more my style nowadays 🙂

My friend JJ asked me to help out with her sister’s bachelorette party a few weeks ago. She suggested a cocktail making class so I got my wheels turning. I reached out to Treaty Oak, a local distillery, that produces some of my favorite spirits to partner with us. First off, the thought of teaching 17 girls how to make cocktails was a teensy bit intimidating. Seriously, like what if I mess it all up or someone is allergic to strawberries or the awful dreaded one vocal person doesn’t like something so then everyone else’s opinions get swayed, yikes! Well, obviously I got over those fears and started getting really excited about making some new cocktails that I thought would be perfect for a girls day at the pool!

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Spiced Apple Cider Old Fashioned

Apple Cider Old Fashioned by Natalie Paramore

Happy almost Thanksgiving! It’s the most dysfunctional time of year! Hahah we have a sign that says that in the restaurant that I work at and it couldn’t be more fitting. It literally made me laugh out loud the first time I saw it, so I had to share. Between the travel, good tasting but not necessarily good for you food and crazy families, I think it is about time for a cocktail, what do you say? Earlier this fall I had the opportunity to go attend a whiskey and moonshine tasting from an old local Austinite turned Asheville, NC resident Troy Ball. She is as interesting as she is beautiful and has such a captivating story. She went from being a full-time mom for two special needs sons to being a whiskey maker, how cool is that? I love that her story is all about family making sacrifices but still going after her dreams of doing something creative and special in her life. Plus, it just goes to show that it is never too late to follow your dreams and she did it all and had a family too. So inspiring for many young people who are trying to figure it all out and find some balance in between.

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Mango Basil Spritzer

Mango Basil Spritzer by Natalie Paramore 3

For the holiday weekend I whipped up this little gem of a frozen spritzer cocktail. Super fresh and light, it’s perfect for these hot Texas summers. I made this drink with the help of my friends at the National Mango Board. They sent me over some delicious mangoes and these festive straws and let me go at it. One of my favorite flavor combinations is mango and basil, have you ever tried it? The fruitiness of the mango really balances well with some fresh herbalicious basil. I mean, I may have spent a good 5 minutes just sniffing the basil, wait, you mean you don’t do that? I really just can’t get enough of the herbs, plus it’s high basil season which means this leafy herb is extra potent right now. Even better, this cocktail only requires 3 ingredients so its perfect to make on the fly for guests or by the pitcher for gatherings.

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All you need are:

2 cups fresh sliced mangoes

1 bottle of bubbles

1/4 fresh basil leaves

optional: ice

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Add the fresh mango and basil to a blender.

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Pour in the bubbles.

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Add a little ice for texture and coolness. About a cup of ice, the more ice, the more thick the drink will become once blended.

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Blend until smooth, about 45 seconds in the blender and serve! Yup, that’s it!

Mango Basil Spritzer by Natalie ParamoreMango Basil Spritzer by Natalie Paramore 1

Pretty sure I will be keeping this cocktail around all summer! What’s your favorite summer cocktail?

*The National Mango Board sent me mangoes to make this post. The recipe and thoughts are all my own.*

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