Someone recently asked me: How do you make a “DIY Michelada“. That got me thinking. We’re back from our summer travels so lets get right into it with some fav summer drinks for these hot days!  I don’t necessarily have a favorite drink; but rather, it kinda depends on where I am and what I’m doing.  Dive bar: Makers and Ginger; nice bar:  Bombay Sapphire martini extra cold and extra olives; Italian vibe:  Negroni first, then red wine;  Japanese vibe:  always both sake and Asahi beer; Thai vibe:  either an ice cold Singha or Heineken (yes, in Bangkok, everyone drinks Heineken) or an icy glass of whiskey and soda over ice, I can go on and on but you guys get the idea. 

Sooooo, summer time means lots of outdoor activities, and an old time favorite is going out to a baseball game.  We are so lucky to have some awesome ball parks within driving distance.  Our hometown park is of course Angel Stadium; Dodger Stadium is just a short jaunt away, and our family makes several trips during the season to Petco Park in San Diego.  

Michelada at the Ball Park

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BEST Watermelon Margarita at Cha-cha's Latin Kitchen

The BEST watermelon margarita EVER at Cha-cha’s Latin Kitchen!  Go get one now!  All of their signature cocktails look amazing made with fresh ingredients; but our server enthusiastically recommended the Watermelon Margarita as her absolute favorite drink.  Don’t you guys love servers with opinions and good knowledge of the menu?  I do!  And she did not steer us wrong!  This was hands down the most delicious watermelon margarita ever!  I am usually a straight forward margarita gal, Cadillac or skinny margarita, on rocks.  I hate the syrupy store bought sour mixes that give a margarita that artificial flavor, and the fruity ones are usually the worst offenders made with prepackaged fruit juice or nectar.  But a well made margarita is a thing of beauty!  You can try to avoid bad margaritas by asking just a few questions.  I usually ask if the sour mix is house made, and if the mix is freshly squeezed lime/lemon/orange juices.  If ordering a fruity mix, is it freshly blended real fruit?  

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Looking for the best wine bar in Orange County? Did you know that we love wine?  And wine bars?  If not, please see bio, or Instagram, or Facebook….  We have searched far and wide in our OC for that perfect vino watering hole – and we finally found it!  We were very diligent!  Well friends, welcome to Five Vines Wine Bar: our favorite wine bar in Orange County is located in the quaint Historic District of San Juan Capistrano.  

Best Wine Bar in Orange County - Five Vines

You have arrived!

Note to other wine bars:  dim those damn lights and cozy up the place! This is one of the cutest and most comfy spots to lounge and sip!

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Montage at Laguna Beach

One of my favorite watering holes are hotel lobbies, and the spot that takes lounging to the next level is The Lobby Lounge in the Montage Laguna Beach.  

Montage lobby

Lobby decked out for the holidays

So let’s talk about the stages of my life:  there was a time when standing in a crowded bar or club trying not to spill my precious Bombay martini that is filled to the rim in a very impractical long stemmed glass was a regular and appealing night out.  Nope.  Not doing that anymore.  Fast forward ?? years. Please show me the way to comfy seats with table service.  If it has not occurred to you to hang out in hotel lobbies when you’re not on vacay, well, let’s think about it!  They are open late, you can lounge without getting the stink eye from servers,  and you can always find a comfy seat.  One of my favorite hangouts with my honey, with girlfriends, and even with the whole family are hotel lobbies.  That’s right, they are pretty good places to hang out with kids.  Order them a snack, hot chocolate, and bring a deck of cards or a board game – everyone is happy! View Post

Grand opening for Habana at The Irvine Spectrum is here! Monday, November 13th!  We love the Orange County staple for Cuban food in Costa Mesa.  But for those of us in south OC, the highly anticipated opening at The Spectrum has arrived.  We were treated to the soft opening in mid-October, and then returned to a hosted “Friends and Family” night; and wow, wow, people:  we have a feeling that we will be having many boozy “work meetings,” girls’ nights, and date nights at this location.  This is going to be one of our regular haunts for drinks and food.  It is tucked away in its own little oasis, away from the other expected chain restaurants in the mall.  Habana has transformed this mall space into a beautiful and romantic breath of fresh air by erecting a 1950’s style mansion.  This elegant cafe is reminiscent of old world Cuban glamour.  The interior feels airy with its high ceilings, and the cafe-styled tables are generously spaced apart, while the outdoor seating is romantic.  Habana is striving to provide a unique dining experience in Orange County – reasonable and delicious food with a fine dining flair.  Let us also sing the praises of the staff:  the service is friendly, attentive, and knowledgeable. 

habana hostesses

Habana’s friendly hostesses

habana waiting lounge

Waiting lounge

habana main dining room

Main dining room

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