This past weekend we had a few friends over to our house for a little holiday celebration and we had the best time. I made a few yummy holiday cocktails, we ate pizza off of paper plates, and the kids ran around like wild animals. It was perfect. Messy, loud, warm and laid back. My favorite kind of night.
I LOVE having people in our home. It’s one of my favorite things to do. But I can tell you that without a doubt entertaining in our current rental house has been challenging for me. Mainly, because it’s pushed me to reassess how I entertain and why.
Since we’re living in a temporary rental (more on that another day), a lot of our furniture is still in storage, I have no idea where most of my serving pieces are, and let’s just say that things are a little……well, tight. So having friends or family over doesn’t quite look the way it used to. Think less fine china, more…..Chinet.
But as it turns out, none of that stuff really mattered. My friends and family aren’t coming over to see how well decorated our living room is, or what Pinterest recipe I recreated. They’re coming over to see US. They’re coming over to share a part of our world, messy or beautiful, large or cramped. They are just coming over to be with us. It’s as simple as that.
I know at times we (including me) can get so caught up in wanting our homes to look a certain way, or to serve a meal that will knock everyone’s socks off. And truth be told, there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s ok to feel proud of your home, or wanting to create a special experience for your guests. But the problem is when we ONLY show this side our world.
If we only open our hearts and our homes to people when our life is feeling “perfect”, then we’re only sharing a small part of who we are.
Real, authentic entertaining is about welcoming people into your WHOLE world, no matter what that looks like.
So for me this weekend, that meant welcoming my friends over to our little rental, where we let the kids run wild and we ate pizza off of paper plates. We put on some great music (to drown out said wild animals ;), lit a few candles, and sat around laughing and enjoying a few cocktails together.
And let me tell you, the conversation and cocktails did not disappoint. I made these pomegranate and thyme vodka spritzers. So easy to put together, gorgeously festive, and absolutely delicious. Probably my new favorite holiday drink.
This pomegranate and thyme spritzer could not be easier to put together. I used fresh pomegranate arils, and a little bit of the juice from the fruit to create this gorgeous color, then added in a splash of vodka, a little sparkling water, and a drizzle of thyme simple syrup. If you’ve never made your own simple syrup, now is the time. It’s essentially just water and sugar boiled down. I love having a simple syrup on hand in my fridge for iced coffees, cocktails and other desserts. Such a versatile ingredient to have on hand and can be flavored in so many unique ways.
I love how the thyme simple syrup works so well here to balance out the sweet juicy pomegranate. The result is a cocktail that’s light, bubbly, refreshing and not overly sweet. The perfect drink to enjoy all winter long.
Wishing all of you a holiday season filled with delicious cocktails, homes that are filled with friends and family you love, and lots of lots of paper plates.
- 1 cup of granulated sugar (for the simple syrup)
- 1 cup of water (for the simple syrup)
- 4-5 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 4 oz of pomegranate juice
- 2 tbs of thyme simple syrup
- 4 oz of vodka (I used Prairie Organic Vodka)
- 8 oz of sparkling water
- a handful of fresh pomegranate arils
- In a small saucepan, over medium/low heat, add the granulated sugar, water and a few sprigs of thyme. Heat sugar/water until the sugar is completely dissolved. Then turn off the heat and allow the thyme to steep in the simple syrup for 20-30 minutes. Remove thyme from the pan and transfer the thyme simple syrup to a glass container. Place in fridge and allow to chill (can keep in the fridge for other cocktails/drinks for up to a month).
- In a shaker (or a glass yarai like I used here), add a handful of ice, the pomegranate juice, vodka, sparkling water, and thyme simple syrup. Give it a nice shake and strain into your glass of choice.
- Garnish with a sprig of thyme and a few pomegranate arils