Say Cheers With a Blood Orange Champagne Cocktail

Champagne cocktail with blood oranges

Champagne, sparkling wine, and bubbly cocktails are synonymous with celebration. A classic Champagne cocktail only has three ingredients: Champagne, bitters, and sugar. We’ve created our own twist on this classic using homemade sweet and tangy blood orange syrup.

blood oranges

Winter is the season for beautiful citrus fruits. Make the most of this time of year by picking up a few colorful blood oranges. Make a blood orange syrup by juicing 8 fruits and reducing the liquid into a thick sap, using the same technique found in this recipeThis all-natural syrup adds both flavor and an incredible pink-orange hue to the cocktails.

blood orange syrup

If you can’t find blood oranges, you can substitute any kind of orange as needed. You won’t get the same color, but thy syrup will taste delicious. Be sure to taste and adjust the sugar content at the end. The amount needed may vary depending on how sweet or sour your oranges are.


blood orange Champagne cocktail
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Try the Kailua: A Pineapple Passion Fruit Cocktail from Chef Roy Yamaguchi

pineapple passion fruit cocktail

Chef Roy Yamaguchi is best known for his cuisine fusing French technique with Asian-inspired flavors. This cocktail, however, is a big nod to his home in Hawaii. This pineapple and passion fruit cocktail is tropical and refreshing—the perfect thing to drink when you just want to kick your feet up. It’s not an all-expenses paid trip to Hawaii, but it might be the next best thing. 

Chef Roy’s recipe calls for Lilikoi syrup. Lilikoi is a type of yellow passion fruit that is popular in Hawaii. If you’re not lucky enough to have a Lilikoi tree in your backyard, we recommend substituting passion fruit syrup or passion fruit juice. Either way, the fruit’s tart and sweet nature will be the perfect complement to savory, earthy Tequila. 

Kailua Cocktail 

  • 1.5 oz Tequila (Grand Leyenda Silver) 
  • .5 oz Lilikoi syrup 
  • .5 oz Ginger elixir 
  • .5 oz Freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 oz Pineapple juice, freshly squeezed if possible


1) Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker. 

2) Add ice and shake for 10-15 seconds, or until the outside of the (tin or steel) shaker appears frosty and chilled.

3) Strain into a rocks glass or martini glass. Garnish with a pineapple leaf. Cocktail umbrellas and salted rims are optional. 

For more cocktails and meals from our chef partners, sign up for a Blue Apron box delivered to your door. 

Cool Down with a Frozen Daiquiri on a Stick

Chef Lili Dagan might not have air conditioning, but luckily she found a more delicious way to cool down. Here’s her recipe for a frozen daiquiri popsicle.  

frozen daiquiri popsicle
Cool and boozy

There is a particular joy found in a surprise beach snack. Stealthily packed beach juice, Nutcrackers (sold by the hardest working cooler toters on NYC’s beaches), and jello shots are all delightful, but undeniably, the best surprise is the mango. Cut like a beautiful piece of origami and served on a stick, these flowery treats are sold all over the streets of NYC, and customized to your liking with hot sauce, lime juice, spicy salt, or a combination of all of the above. 

Enter, the Snaiquiri. Part street mango, part frozen daiquiri, part “idk my face is melting off” — these boozy treats on a stick would fetch at least $10 on an NYC beach, but are free if you are a guest on my stoop, aptly named by my coworkers Lili’s Tiki Pops & Audubon Club (yes, when not making cocktails, I enjoy birdwatching.)

To make these, you’ll need popsicle molds and sticks of your choice. I used a 10 pop silicone mold with wooden sticks.

Note: This recipe doesn’t call for sugar! I used very ripe fruit, which was plenty sweet on its own. If you prefer your drinks sweeter, add sugar or simple syrup as desired.

Frozen Daiquiri Popsicles

For the mango layer:

  • 2 Cup frozen cubed mango
  • 2 oz rum
  • 1 oz water, plus more as needed (if the mixture needs more liquid to blend, add a Tbsp at a time until smoothie consistency)
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • ¼ Cup mint, thinly sliced

For the strawberry layer:

  • 2 cups frozen strawberries
  • 1 lime, zested and juiced
  • 2 oz rum
  • 1 oz water, plus more as needed (if the mixture needs more liquid to blend, add a Tbsp at a time until smoothie consistency)

1. Combine all mango layer ingredients except mint in the blender and blend until just combined. When you’ve reached your desired texture (small pieces of fruit are optional), add the mint and blend lightly so that the mixture is thoroughly mixed but whole ribbons of mint remain.

2. Divide evenly amongst the popsicle molds (about 2 Tbsp per mold) and place in the freezer to firm up while you make the strawberry layer.

3. Blend all strawberry layer ingredients until combined.

4. Divide evenly into the molds on top of the mango layer. Add sticks and freeze at least 6 hours, ideally 24. 

5. Enjoy on their own or with Tajin, Chamoy, and lime juice in any combination desired. 

If you love this, try Chef Lili’s recipe for a melon margarita.

This Piña Colada is Like a Drinkable Vacation

Chef Lili Dagan knows her way around a tropical drink. Here’s her tried and true recipe for making a delicious piña colada.

Pina colada recipe

I was working on an urban farm down in Red Hook the year that a leak at the maraschino factory turned all the local beehives honey red. The story only got more bizarre after that, but that summer I decided to avoid those electric red maraschino cherries until they got that under control. 

Fast forward a few years. Brooklyn bartenders are now mixologists, and the cherry garnish of choice becomes the undeniably fancier Luxardo cherry. A luxury garnish since 1821 (!!!), these sour cherries are candied and steeped in syrup made of cherry juice and sugar. Besides being 100% delicious as a garnish, their syrup makes for great use in cocktails. 

Before you get started, put your glass in the freezer for the frosty effect. 

If using fresh pineapple, cube and freeze, reserving a few wedges for garnish. 

Makes 2 Large Piña Coladas

  • 4 cups frozen pineapple
  • 4 oz  light rum
  • .5 oz Luxardo cherry syrup 
  • 4 oz full-fat coconut milk
  • 2 oz coconut water
  • 1 oz maraschino liqueur 
  1. Place all ingredients in a blender and blend on medium speed until combined and frothy. 
  1. Pour into your frosty glass. Garnish with lime zest, a few maraschino cherries, a wedge of pineapple and a fun umbrella. 
frozen pina colada recipe

Good Time Island Spiked Jell-O Mold

Chef Lili Dagan is officially giving you permission to get a little crazy with your next picnic. This Jell-O mold recipe looks cute, but don’t be fooled: it’s very strong.

alcoholic jello mold
Red, white, and very potent

This recipe is inspired by the very kooky late 90’s comedy show Strangers With Candy. The show stars Amy Sedaris (the less famous but arguably much funnier Sedaris sibling) as Jerri Blank, an adult who returns to high school for education and redemption. The show is ostensibly a morality sitcom. The lessons, however, are often misinterpreted or missed entirely by Jerri. If there’s any teaching in an episode I watched recently, Jerri misses all of it, except that everyone wants to have a good time, AKA visit Good Time Island. 

My friends and I have been (only slightly) joking about trying to get Amy Sedaris to judge a Jell-O mold competition at my favorite neighborhood watering hole for years now. Will this Jell-O mold be good enough to get us all to Good Time Island? Wish me luck.

For this mold, we aren’t using Jell-O. You heard me. Did you know you can gelatinize…anything? In honor of misinterpreting lessons, I’m adding plain knox gelatin to “hydration sports drink” for the red and blue layers, and sweetened grated coconut for the white stripe. Not feeling particularly patriotic? You can use anything in any color, just keep the ratios the same. 

Good Time Island Spiked Jell-O Mold Recipe

Note: Prep one layer at a time as each layer needs to cool thoroughly before the next layer is added. This takes anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour, depending on your fridge. When in doubt, let it cool longer.

Note: Before you begin, lightly coat your bundt pan with nonstick spray. 

Red Layer

  • 1 ½ Cup red sports drink
  • 1 Cup hulled and small-diced strawberries
  • ½ Cup tequila
  • 3 packets gelatin

White Layer

  • 1 ½ Cup grated coconut in heavy syrup (if you can’t find this, use Coco Lopez or any kind of sweetened canned coconut milk.)
  • 2 nectarines, small diced
  • ½ Cup rum
  • 3 packets gelatin

Blue Layer

  • 1 ½ Cup Blue Sports Drink
  • 1 Cup blueberries
  • ½ Cup tequila
  • 3 packets gelatin

1. Soak the strawberries in the tequila. 

2. Bring the red sports drink to a boil. Turn off heat and stir in the gelatin for about 1 minute, until thoroughly combined. Combine the hot gelatin and the soaked berries, and then transfer into your prepared bundt pan. Move to the fridge immediately to cool completely. 

3. While your red layer cools, soak your nectarines in rum.

4. When the red layer is fully firm, bring your coconut in syrup to a boil. Turn off heat and stir in the gelatin for about 1 minute, until thoroughly combined.  Combine the hot gelatin and the boozy nectarines, and then pour on top of the red layer. Move to the fridge immediately to cool completely. 

5. While your coconut layer cools, soak your blueberries in tequila. 

6. When the coconut layer is fully firm, bring your blue sports drink to a boil. Stir in the gelatin for about 1 minute, until thoroughly combined. Pour the hot gelatin over the boozy nectarines, and then on top of the red layer. Move to the fridge immediately to cool completely. 

7. When you are ready to serve, fill a large bowl with a few inches of warm water. Place the mold in the water for about 2 minutes, until the sides begin to release from the pan. Flip on to a plate and jiggle until it releases onto the plate. Serve immediately in slices or any format desired.

A Wine Spritzer for Every Summer Occasion

wine spritzer
Doesn’t that look refreshing?

Oh, to be lounging in the sun drinking cocktails. For long summer days, a wine spritzer is pretty much the perfect drink. It’s light and refreshing, and crucially, it’s low-alcohol. That makes it ideal for drawn out afternoon picnics or barbecues where the laid back atmosphere might call for more than one drink. At its core, a wine spritzer is just wine and seltzer, and even this simple version is delicious. Of course, there are countless more elaborate variations to try, including the trendy Italian aperitivo, the Aperol spritz. Our version incorporates summer berries for a light floral sweetness. The optional liquor brings in additional complexity and depth. 


  • 1 bottle of Blue Apron white wine (500ml)
  • 4 oz. strawberries, sliced
  • Juice of 1 Lemon
  • 500 ml seltzer water 
  • 4 oz liquor, (optional)  Options include: sweet or dry vermouth, Campari, Aperol, Kirsch, Lillet, Maraschino Liqueur, or Triple Sec


  1. Combine all ingredients in a large pitcher.
  2. If desired, add your 4 oz liquor for additional herbal flavor and complexity. 
  3. When ready to serve, pour mixture over glasses of ice. Fill half-way and finish by topping with seltzer water.
wine spritzer wine pairing
Pairing made easy

Ready to try making a spritzer at home? Order a summer sampler of Blue Apron white wine.

Chill out with a Glass of Sangria

sangria recipe
Tall, dark, and fruity

Sangria is a cocktail made of guidelines, not rules. In Spain, every restaurant has their own house version, and no two recipes are alike. If you have any assortment of herbs and fruits on hand, you can make sangria. It’s so flexible that it can be made with either white or red wine. No matter what your taste preferences are, this is the perfect drink to help you slow things down a bit. If you’re not sure where to start, try out the red and white sangria recipes below. Pour a glass and honor the Spanish traditions of snacking on assorted salty foods, lingering around the table, and indulging in a little siesta. 

Mint-Berry Red Wine Sangria 

Serves 4 


  • 3 oz raspberries
  • 3 oz blackberries
  • 6-8 mint leaves
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced
  • 1 bottle Blue Apron red wine (500ml)
  • Optional: 2 oz brown spirit of choice, such as brandy, whiskey, or rum
  • seltzer 


  1. In a jar or pitcher, combine the raspberries, blackberries, mint leaves (tearing before adding), sugar, and sliced lemon. Muddle for 30 seconds.
  2. Add the wine and stir to combine. Stir in the brown spirit of your choice (if using).
  3. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. 
  4. To serve, fill a glass with ice. Fill the glass ⅔ of the way up with the sangria. Top with the seltzer. If desired, garnish with a spoonful of the muddled fruit and mint from the pitcher. Enjoy!

Peach-Basil White Wine Sangria Recipe: 

Serves 4 


  • 1 peach, sliced
  • 6-8 basil leaves
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1 lime, thinly sliced  
  • 1 bottle Blue Apron white wine (500 ml)
  • Optional: 2 oz spirit, such as vodka, tequila, or gin 
  • seltzer


  1. In a jar or pitcher, combine the sliced peach, basil leaves (tearing before adding), honey, and sliced lime. Muddle for 30 seconds.
  2. Add the wine and stir to combine. Stir in the spirit of your choice (if using) for a stronger, less sweet sangria. 
  3. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
  4. To serve, fill a glass with ice. Fill the glass ⅔ of the way up with the sangria. Top with seltzer. If desired, garnish with a spoonful of muddled fruit and basil from the pitcher. Enjoy!
Wine choices made easy

Ready to try making a glass of your own? Order the sangria sampler pack from Blue Apron.

This Rum-Soaked Pineapple Cocktail is an Elegant Alternative to the Vodka Melon

Chef Lili Dagan is officially giving you permission to get a little crazy with your fruit bowl, and she’s giving you the pineapple cocktail recipe to help you do it.

This is a pineapple cocktail
It’s stronger than it looks

What might happen if that pineapple in your fruit bowl got bored? Would it get up in the middle of the night to have a drink? Would it make friends with a coconut? Would it cozy up to the rum, or is tequila more it’s speed? Would they all overindulge and fall asleep in a big puddle? These are the questions I ask myself awake at night, mulling over my next whole fruit cocktail.

I’m calling this pineapple cocktail the Pina Borracho. Think of it as an elevated alternative to the tried and true college method of draining an entire bottle of vodka into a watermelon. It’s just as fun, but slightly more refined. 

Pina Borracho, or “The Drunken Pineapple

Serves: I won’t lie, I ate the whole thing myself. I’d suggest sharing with a friend for good measure. 

Share with a friend


  • 1 whole pineapple
  • Juice of one lime
  • 5 oz rum
  • 1 Tb Turbinado sugar
  • 1 5.4 oz can coconut cream

For garnish:

  • 1 bunch fresh mint
  • Handful of coconut Chips
  • Zest of one lime

1. In a large bowl, mix together the coconut cream, lime juice, rum, and turbinado sugar. 

2. Trim 3-4 inches off of the fronds of your pineapple. Quarter the pineapple lengthwise, and carve around the skin to release the inner fruit in each section. Wrap the pineapple skin boats and refrigerate them. You’ll use these tomorrow. 

pineapples ready for cocktail
Cored and prepped

3. Core your pineapple and cut the flesh into ¼ inch triangles and place in the coconut rum mixture. Stir gently to ensure even coverage. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. 

4. After 24 hours, remove the pineapple from the marinade. Assemble the pineapple triangles in the pineapple boats. Garnish with fresh mint leaves, coconut chips, and lime zest. Spoon any extra coconut marinade over the pineapple. Enjoy responsibly. It’s stronger than you think!

Want to try another whole fruit cocktail? Check out Chef Lili’s melon margarita.

Cheer up with a Cantaloupe Mint Margarita

Do you think of cantaloupe as a filler fruit? Think again. In Chef Lili Dagan’s latest cocktail, cantaloupe becomes the life of the party. 

cantaloupe margarita
An all-natural tiki bowl

Somehow, this margarita is more than the sum of its parts. If you have a blender, the whole thing only takes a few minutes to make (ok, there’s some freezing time involved, but that just takes a little planning). At the end, you’re rewarded with a drink that’s not only refreshing, it’s downright festive.

Recipe: Cantaloupe Mint Margarita 

  • Makes 1-2 servings, depending on what kind of day you’re having
  • 1 whole cantaloupe
  • 2 springs mint, plus more for garnish
  • 2 oz tequila blanco
  • 1 oz Curaçao triple sec
  • 1 oz fresh lime juice 
  • Lime wheels, spicy salt, and mint for garnish

1. Make your cantaloupe ice cubes. Locate the stem of the cantaloupe, and imagine a line going through the cantaloupe starting at the stem. Cut perpendicular to that line. Once cut, your melon will form two bowl-shaped halves. Scoop out and discard the seeds of both halves. 

2. Use a melon baller or other spoon (if you don’t have a melon baller, a tablespoon will work well) to scoop your melon half into balls. Lay on a sheet pan. Make sure the balls don’t overlap, or they will stick. Lay sheet pan flat to freeze for at least 1 hour. 

cut cantaloupe
Cut across width-wise

3. Take the remaining melon half and scoop out the flesh. Blend with leaves from 2  sprigs of mint. Reserve the rind of the melon, intact. 

4. Place 1 tablespoon of spiced salt on a plate and roll the edge of the reserved melon rind through it. As you roll, salt should stick to the rind and form a salted rim. If it does not stick, lightly dampen the edge of the rind and try again. 

5. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and add 8 oz of cantaloupe juice, 2 oz tequila blanco, 1 oz Curaçao triple sec, 1 oz fresh lime juice. Strain into the reserved melon half. Gently add your frozen cantaloupe ice cubes, some lime wheels, and a sprig of mint.

Cantaloupe margarita

Your New Favorite Cocktail Recipe Uses a Whole Pineapple

Chef Lili Dagan knows the antidote to quarantine gloom is a tropical drink. Here’s her recipe for a bright and frothy cocktail we’re calling el Gajes del Oficio, or “the occupational hazard.”

Cocktail recipe: pineapple
Tropical, fresh, delightful

I live in Bushwick, right down the street from a place called Tulicingo Deli Grocery. I can always count on them to have super cheap and extremely ripe fruit. While out shopping the other day, I passed by a bin of pineapples so fragrant that I couldn’t help but buy one. As the weather starts to warm up, all I want to do is sit outside and sip on a tropical drink. I can’t go to a bar right now, but here’s what I came up with instead. 

This cocktail is sort of the lovechild of my three favorite patio drinks: a mezcal negroni, a piña colada, and an Aperol spritz. It’s a little labor intensive, but I promise it’s worth it (and hey, we have the time). Can’t find fresh pineapple? I suppose canned will do. 

Cocktail recipe: el Gajes del Oficio 

  • 1 pineapple
  • 2 limes 
  • 1 oz Aperol 
  • 2 oz mezcal or Tequila 
  • 1 jalapeño 
  • Spiced salt, for the rim (we used Tajin)
  1. Peel, core, and dice your pineapple. Save the skins!
  2. Make some pineapple water. Transfer the reserved skins to a stockpot with a knob of fresh ginger and 4 cloves of smashed garlic. Bring to a boil and then simmer on medium heat for 40 minutes. Simmer for 40 minutes, then strain and let cool. 
  3. While the pineapple water cools, blend the pineapple and strain it through a fine mesh sieve. 
  4. To assemble, gather a cocktail shaker, a glass, some ice cubes, limes, a citrus juicer, Aperol, mezcal (tequila would work too),  and some spicy salt. 
  5. Salt the rim of your glass and prepare your garnishes (I used a wheel of lime, you could add a jalapeño wheel if you’re feeling spicy!) and plop a few ice cubes in there. 
  6. Add a few ice cubes into your shaker, 2 oz of pineapple juice, 2 oz of pineapple water, 2 oz of Mezcal, 1 oz of Aperol, juice of half a lime, 3 slices of jalapeño and then shake it.
  7. Strain into your prepared glass and garnish with a wheel of lime. Enjoy!

See Red: The ultimate mulled-wine recipe for holiday gatherings

Mulled wine is the perfect set-it-and-forget-it elixir for holiday parties. You can tweak any recipe as you see fit, but don’t use your Blue Apron reds! Mulled wine was first created centuries ago to make spoiled wine drinkable, but modern wines are of much higher quality and last longer. So shop for a simple, cheap-and-cheerful red that could use some spicing up. You’ll have a delicious, winter-warming drink for everyone to enjoy by the fire!


Mulled Wine


2 750ml bottles of fruity red wine
2 oranges
2 lemons
10 whole cloves
2 star anise pods (optional)
5 cardamom pods (optional)
5 Tbs granulated brown sugar
1/2 Cup water
2-3 cinnamon sticks
1/2 Cup of Port
Two shots of Bourbon (optional)



Make a small pouch with the cheesecloth. Put the cloves, anise and cardamom pods inside and tie it tight with string. Zest the lemons and oranges using a vegetable peeler, pulling off wide strips. Cut the fruit into 1/4 wedges.

Put a pot on the stove over medium-high heat. Add the water, sugar, cinnamon sticks, zest and spice pouch. Heat to a simmer until the sugar is dissolved, then turn the heat to low and wait until the water volume is reduced by half.

Add all remaining ingredients, and squeeze the juice of the fruit wedges into the pot before adding them. Leave until heated through, about 20 minutes. Don’t let the mixture boil. Serve warm and garnish each serving with a new cinnamon stick.

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