Celebrating with Caesarstone

As we celebrate our first holiday season in The Austin Tudor, I’m reflecting on which design choices worked and which I’d change if I had to do it all over again. After hosting Thanksgiving, a few holiday parties, and prepping for Christmas Eve dinner at our house, one decision I’ll never regret is using Caesarstone’s Black Tempal for the kitchen counters.

Historically, we’ve had white marble counters in our kitchen, but it made for incredible stressful prep and cleanup around the holidays. I’d be following along behind guests cutting limes for their cocktails with a sponge and microfiber cloth to ensure no acid was left to etch the stone. Red wine spills instantly put my stomach in knots and embarrassed our guests! Pivoting to Caesarstone’s Black Tempal in the natural finish gave us the durability we needed with the look of natural look of soapstone for our English inspired kitchen. Everything wipes clean and smooth, allowing me to actually enjoy hosting during the holidays.

This season, I’ve focused on three signature drinks to serve across all of our events–2 cocktails and 1 mocktail that evoke the spirit of the festive season. By keeping a few key ingredients on hand alongside two classic liquors, we’ve been able to mix and match at a self-serve station in the corner of the kitchen all season long.

A Pomegranate Gin Fizz

  • ¼ Cup Gin (I prefer Tanqueray)
  • 1 tbsp Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 2 tbsp Pomegranate Juice
  • ¼  cup Diet Tonic Water Chilled

To Garnish

  • Rosemary Sprigs
  • Pomegranate Arils

Directions

  • Mix gin, lemon juice, simple syrup and pomegranate juice in a shaker with ice and shake vigorously 10-12 times then pour over ice in a lowball glass
  • Top with club soda and stir gently.
  • Garnish with a sprig of rosemary and a large spoonful of pomegranate arils!

The Spicy Grinch

Ingredients

  • 4 Jalapeno Slices (more or less to taste)
  • 2 ounces Blanco Tequila
  • 1 ounce Fresh Lime Juice
  • 4-5 ounces Topo Chico Mineral Water

To Garnish

  • 2 Lime Wedges
  • 1 teaspoon Salt or Seasoning – (such as Tajin chili lime seasoning)

Directions

  • Pour blanco tequila into a highball glass over pebble ice
  • Add lime juice
  • Add chilled Topo Chico (either measure or fill glass)
  • Garnish with lime and jalepeno slices


A Mistletoe Mule Mocktail

Ingredients

  • ⅔ cup Cranberry Juice
  • ½ cup Ginger Beer
  • ½ cup Topo Chico Mineral Water
  • Juice of 1 Lime

Garnish

  • Fresh Cranberries
  • Lime
  • Rosemary Sprigs

Directions

  • Add ice, cranberry juice, Topo Chico, and lime juice to shaker. Shake and pour over pebble ice.
  • Add in ginger beer at the end so you don’t shake and lose the carbonation. Add garnish and serve!

One of my best tips for hosting is to have a station set up for people to make their own drinks. By having a few signature cocktails on the menu, it gives guests something to “help with” and entertain them. I’ve found our friends and family always feel most comfortable when they’re being productive, so this self-serve bar is the perfect solution. With worry-free counters like the Caesarstone 5810 Black Tempal we used, I can 100% subscribe to this new way of celebrating stress-free.

BY: ANASTASIA CASEY

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