Our 6 Favorite Fall Cocktails

As I’m sure you’ve noticed by now, Team Jayne loves their boozy cocktails, but this time of year, we like to warm up our palettes with some delicious fall-inspired cocktails. Get ready for some of our very favorite recipes featuring dark liquors, fresh fruits, and only the best fall spices. Do you have a favorite fall cocktail? Share it with us!

Cranberry Cinnamon Whiskey Sour

CranberryCinnamonWhiskeySour
Baker by Nature

Ingredients (makes 4):

  • 2 cups fresh cranberries
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 3/4 cup bourbon or whiskey
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • Ice cubes & cocktail shaker for mixing

Directions:

  1. In a medium-sized saucepan add cranberries, water, sugar, and cinnamon sticks. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce to a simmer and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries have burst open and can easily be stirred into the syrup, resulting in a smooth consistency. This will take about 10 minutes. Once done, remove syrup from heat. Fit a large bowl with a fine mesh strainer and strain the simple syrup, leaving all of the large chunks and skin behind. Let cool for at least 10 minutes before using.
  2. When ready to make your cocktails, add 3/4 cup simple syrup, whiskey, lemon juice, orange juice, lime juice, and a large handful of ice to a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously for 30 seconds. Divide into 4 glasses and serve at once

Pumpkin Spice & Everything Nice

PumpkinSpice-ShannonSturgis
Revae Schneider // Shannon Sturgis

Ingredients:

  • 1 oz Bailey’s Pumpkin Spice
  • 1 oz Captain Morgan Spiced Rum
  • 1.5 scoops Vanilla ice cream
  • Cola
  • Mint

Directions:

Combine Baileys Pumpkin Spice, Captain Morgan, and vanilla ice cream in a highball glass. Top with cola and stir. Garnish with mint.

The Harvest

Celeste-TheHarvest
Celeste Chicago

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 oz cognac
  • .5 oz cinnamon syrup
  • 1 large spoonful of apple butter or apple syrup

Directions:

Shake ingredients before pouring into a sophisticated coupe glass. Garnish with a cinnamon stick.

 

Fresh Pear Cocktail

FreshPearCocktailSweet Life Bake

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium Bosc pear
  • 2 tablespoons citrus-infused vodka
  • 1 tablespoon pomegranate juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon agave syrup (or sugar syrup)
  • 3 tablespoons hard apple cider
  • Pear slices, shredded pear (optional)
  • sparkling water (optional)

Directions:

Shred pear; place shredded pear pulp on several layers of cheesecloth. Gather edges of cheesecloth together, and squeeze over a glass measuring cup to yield 1/3 cup fresh pear juice. Discard solids. Combine pear juice, vodka, pomegranate juice, lime juice, and agave syrup in a cocktail shaker with ice; shake. Strain about 3 tablespoons of the vodka mixture into each of glass. Add cider and top with sparkling water. Garnish with pear slices, if desired.

Apple Pumpkin Beer Cocktail

ApplePumpkinBeerCooking and Beer

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces good-quality bourbon
  • 9 ounces apple cider
  • 2 1/2 ounces lemon juice
  • 12 ounces pumpkin ale
  • ice
  • cinnamon sticks and cranberries for garnish

Directions:

  1. In a cocktail shaker, shake together the bourbon, apple cider and lemon juice. Pour into 4 glasses filled with ice.
  2. Pour the beer evenly into each glass.
  3. Garnish with cinnamon sticks and cranberries. Serve immediately and enjoy!

The Maple Leaf

MapleLeafHennessy

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 oz Hennessy V.S
  • 3.5 oz Maple water
  • Garnish: Orange twist (discard). Top with a maple leaf or punched out orange twist in the shape of a maple leaf
  • Glass: Rocks

Directions:

Pour all ingredients into a rocks glass, stir to combine. Express orange twist over the glass, discard twist, and garnish with a maple leaf.

 

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Bridesmaid Gift Guide

Last week, we talked about what gifts would be a good option for your groomsmen, but what about your girls? Shopping for your bridesmaids can have you feeling stressed out and drained, but we’re here to help. We’ve compiled a list of some of our very favorite gifts for this wedding season. Remember, personal touches are key to a thoughtful gift any of your bridesmaids would love. AND many of the items below can be customized to fit the personality of your best gals.

Constellation Necklace

ZodiacNecklace

Zodiac jewelry is always a safe bet when it comes to bridesmaids gifts but mix it up a bit and try these constellation zodiac necklaces by DaniqueTrends. They come in a few different metals and you can even change up the chain depending on your style.

Matching Floral Kimonos

BridesmaidKimonos

If I owned one of these kimonos I would wear it around my house all the time, seriously so cute! Your bridesmaids will totally appreciate these comfy kimonos and you can choose whichever color, pattern, or style suits you. We love these by Stokes and Rose.

Party Clutch by ban.do

Every single thing on this website is my favorite, I wish I could have it all! These party clutches with an adorable pom pom would be the perfect gift for your bridesmaids, you could even throw in some cute nail polish, earrings, or mini champagne bottles to jazz it up a bit.

Personalized Hair Products by Function of Beauty

CustomShampoo

Add a personal touch in an expected way with these shampoo/conditioner combos that can be customized to fit each of your girl’s haircare needs. Oh and we are totally in love with those bottles, so cool!

Lindsay Lewis Dia Cuff in Rainbow Moonstone

 

Matching bracelets can be a great way for each of your girl’s to remember your special day and thank them for being a part of it. These simple cuffs by Lindsay Lewis are a gorgeous option.

Tea Towel Sets

 

 

In our opinion, you can never have too many tea towels. There are so many different styles and color, you can find a set for each of your bridesmaids that fits their personal style. We’re in love with this Pomegranate Set by R&S Scullery and this Forest Set by Bourbon Moth.

 

 

 

 

 

Groomsmen Gift Guide

Figuring out what to get your groomsmen can be a daunting task. You want to make sure your gift shows them just how much you appreciate their help with making your wedding day a success while also not breaking the bank. We’ve compiled a few of our favorite groomsmen gifts that your guys would be thrilled to receive!

Leather Travel Bag – With Initials

man-bags-travel-marvel
These leather travel bags would make any groomsman happy. The look, the feel, and quality of the leather will definitely resonated with your guys. And the personalization is that extra something that makes this gift perfect for all your groomsmen.

 Personalized Razor Blade Set with Tin Case

PersonalizedRazor

Any groomsmen with facial haircare needs? Get them this gorgeous wood-handled razor with a personalized tin box for easy storage and a great size for traveling. Teals Prairie & Co. also has a number of other personalize items that could be perfect for your groomsmen.

Custom, Classically Constructed Ties from Lonesome Traveler

 

 

These gorgeous, custom-designed ties from Lonesome Traveler make the perfect groomsmen gift that they can not only wear for your wedding day, but also continue to wear after! As they are each handmade, you know you’re getting an excellent quality product and supporting an awesome craft.

Personalized Flask Set
FlaskSet

Another great option for your groomsmen are alcohol themed gifts. You could always snag a bottle of their favorite Whiskey, but why not give them something they’ll use for years to come? This beautiful flask set is personalized and looks totally modern. It’s easy for personalized flasks/glasses to get cheesy, but JuniperEngraving gave this set an air of sophistication with the modern initial style.

Canvas Duffel Bag

DuffelBag

A high quality duffel bag would make any of your groomsmen happy, and this personalized bag from Heritage Wedding is a great pick. They also come in sets so you can cut down costs a bit!

How to Use Pantone’s 2017 Color of the Year: Greenery

This week we’re feeling inspired by Pantone’s Color of the Year for 2017, Greenery—a zesty, yellow-green shade that will liven up space or color palette it’s paired with. This color is dying to be used in all of the springtime palettes but we love the unexpected, so we’ve put together a collection of inspiring ideas that will show that you can use this year’s color of the year in a variety of seasons and occasions!

pantone-color-of-the-yeat-2017-designboom-1800

Pantone discusses their choice: “the more submerged people are in modern life, the greater their innate craving to immerse themselves in the physical beauty and inherent unity of the natural world. this shift is reflected by the proliferation of all things expressive of greenery in daily lives through urban planning, architecture, lifestyle and design choices globally. a constant on the periphery, greenery is now being pulled to the forefront – it is an omnipresent hue around the world.” 

pantone + deep turquoise interior design
Pair ‘Greenery’ with deep turquoise walls, patterned pillows, and black & white accents for a moody, modern interior with style. Trendland

 

 

 

This year was probably the best year for ‘Greenery’ to be chosen as color of the year as the raw, refreshing garden look was truly unleashed during this wedding season. It reminded us a lot of Kristine & Eric’s greenery-filled day. Overflowing ferns and overgrown greenery are a beautiful and natural way to utilize this year’s color in your wedding decor.

pantone in makeup
If you aren’t looking to redecorate and don’t have any big events you can introduce ‘Greenery’ into, show it off using your makeup! Think fresh green or olive-toned nails and eyes—so fresh! Your Beauty Pantry

living-room-green-accents-pantone-greenery

Liven up your neutral interior my injecting some green into your accessories and plants. Compliment the green with white and just a small amount of gray or black for a fresh and lively vibe. Concepts & Colorways

pantone velvet hat

We are digging this green velvet cap so much we may just have to order matching ones! The velvet really adds something special. Boohoo

How are you using Pantone’s Color of the Year? Share it with us, we’d love to see!

 

Summertime in Chicago

Chicago summer is finally in full swing and we couldn’t be happier. Summertime in Chi manes there’s never a dull moment and there truly is an unending list of fun activities, events, and festivals to attend. If you’re ever bored and looking for some Chicago excitement, try any one of these super fun activities, maybe you’ll even see us there! :)

Jazzin’ at the Shedd
Jazzin-at-the-Shedd
July 5-26 (Wednesdays) Shedd Aquarium
“Every Wednesday evening during the summer, enjoy live jazz, cool drinks and a relaxed visit with 32,000 animals. Take in the Chicago skyline while listening to some of our area’s top jazz musicians.”
Take the afternoon off to wander through the Shedd and finish your evening off by enjoying live music and drinks on their outdoor patio in perfect view of the skyline. Imagine how pretty it would be at sunset!

Chicago Margarita Festival
ChicagoMargaritaFestival
July 8 & 9, South Shore Cultural Center.
Live music, dancing, games, margaritas AND appetizers? We. Are. There. 

Millennium Park Summer Workouts
ChicagoSummerWorkouts
Wednesdays & Saturdays, Started June 3 continues to September 2, 2017, Millennium Park
You can definitely count us in for morning yoga at Millennium Park, and maybe a little zumba to finish? Here’s what you need to know—Pilates: 7am | Yoga: 8am | Strength Training: 9am | Zumba: 10am

Dîner en Blanc
DinerEnBlancChicago
“Over the course of the evening, guests experience the beauty and value of their city’s public spaces by participating in the unexpected. Beyond the spectacle and elegance of the dinner itself, guests are brought together from diverse backgrounds by good taste and a love of beauty.”
Dîner en Blanc has been around for over 30 years and originated in Paris, making it one of the coolest, most sophisticated events. Everyone wears white, you bring your own white chairs and table, pack a fancy picnic, and then you just enjoy the evening dancing and socializing!

Chicago Full Moon Jam
cropped-MG_0562
“The Full Moon Jams’ unite performing artists and spectators through a love and appreciation of fire art.”
We actually only discovered this Full Moon Jam recently but just had to share because look at it! Can’t wait to attend and see what it’s all about. Apparently it’s been around since 2004!

Retro on Roscoe
RetroOnRoscoe.jpg
August 11 to 13, Roscoe Village
“Local restaurants fill the venue with summertime samplings and tasty treats. All this and more liven up this tree-lined street for an enjoyable three-day festival that brings back great memories while providing excellent entertainment for the entire family.”
Live music, food, drinks, atmosphere–there seems to be a trend here…Retro on Roscoe is one of my favorite festivals in the whole city. Hope to see some of you there!

Fresh Summer Recipes

I think it’s safe to say that Summer is officially here and here to stay! Summer to us always means food, food & more food. To show you just how much we love to eat, we’ve put together a pretty extensive list of some of our favorite dishes. Don’t worry, we’ve included options for all—whether you’re vegetarian, gluten-free, or just here for the cocktails. ;)

Vegetarian Dishes

Lemon Parmesan Zucchini Chips

Crispy Lemon Parmesan Zucchini Chips with Basil Aioli 800 3110
These zucchini chips are an amazing alternative to fatty potato chips & the added lemon is delish! See the full recipe by Closet Cooking.

Roasted Asparagus Penne

asparagus tomato salad (vegetarian)
Whenever I see penne recipes I usually think “boring”, but this roasted asparagus penne is actually anything but boring. See the full recipe by My Recipes.

Mini Portobello Mushroom Burgers


mini portobello burgers (vegetarian)
If you’re looking for a good burger alternative this is it! The great thing about these portobello burgers is that you can top them with whatever you’d like and create your burger however you lie. See the full recipe to see how Country Living topped theirs.

Chocolate Balloon Bowls

chocolate balloon bowls (vegetarian)
I know we’ve all seen these chocolate ballon bowls before, but they are such a treat to have that we just had to include them. Fill them with your favorite ice cream flavor & you’ve got the perfect desert! See how to make them on BBC Good Food.

Standard Dishes

BLT Summer Rolls with Avocado Dipping Sauce

BLT-Summer-Rolls-2b
This summery twist on the classic BLT by Hapa Nom Nom is a great way to lighten up a traditional BLT.

Grilled Lime Salmon Avocado Mango Salsa Coconut Rice

lime_salmon_mango_avocado_salsa_coconut_rice6.
This dish from Cooking Classy not only tastes as good as it looks but the sweetness of the mango mixed with the sharpness from the fresh red onion compliment the grilled salmon perfectly.

Lemon Lime Bars

Lemon-Lime-Bars-Recipes
If you’re looking for a quick, refreshing desert try out these lemon lime bars by Thistlewood Farms. So simple & makes quite the statement!

Gluten-Free Dishes

Rainbow Thai Chicken Salad

Thai Chicken Salad (GF)
I don’t think I’ve ever seen a dish as colorful as this. Gimme Some Oven fresh ingredients put a modern (and beautiful) twist on a typical chicken salad.

Jerk Shrimp Wraps

shrimp lettuce wraps (GF)
For those of you who like a little spice in your life, these jerk shrimp tacos from Woman’s Day have just the right about of heat.

Peanut Butter Cookie Bars

peanut butter smores cookies (GF)
Anyone with a sweet tooth is going to want to check out this incredible Peanut Butter Bar recipe by This Mess is Ours. A great alternative to the classic chocolate chip cookie.

Summer Cocktails

Blueberry Basil Moscow Mule

blueberry moscow mule
Kick up your classic Moscow Mule with some blueberries & basil! This sophisticated take on one of my favorite cocktails by Marla Meredith is why this has become one of go-to summer cocktails.

Slushsicles

 

I cannot get enough of these homemade “slushsicles” from Pear Tree Kitchen. You can use whatever type of mixed drink you prefer, but remember there must be a least a little sugar otherwise it won’t freeze up!

Watermelon & Pineapple Summer Sangria

summer sangria

One of my favorite drinks to experiment with is Sangria because it’s so versatile! I usually just throw in whatever fruit I have around the house. If you want something a little more polished, try this Watermelon & Pineapple Sangria from What the Fork Food Blog.

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Ahhh Father’s Day. I have always felt like Father’s sort of get the shaft when it comes to their special day. BUT NOT THIS YEAR FOLKS. Show papa you care by getting him a handcrafted wallet, or maybe a custom fit shirt…or just make him a clay coffee cup he can’t really drink out of and tell him he is the best dad ever. I also have heard that the best gift is letting them watch the Penguins win the Stanley Cup in silence, but what do I know.

Leather Front Pocket Wallet

Front Pocket wallets are becoming more and more popular so help your dad stay hip and pick up one of these leather wallets by Holtz Leather Co. for Father’s Day. Plus, they can be personalized with his name or initials too!

Engraved Wood Watch

These handmade wooden watches from AxMen are so unique and the option to engrave the back with a name, date, or phrase makes this a lovely gift for any occasion.

The Rhodes Weekender Duffel Bag

Lo & Sons is one of my favorite places to look for duffel bags. I bought one for myself not too long ago and am so in love with it! It’s full of secret pockets, lots of zippers, tons of space, and it’s so well made! It’s durability makes it the perfect gift for the frequent traveler.

Monthly Beer Subscription

JW-FathersDayBlog-BeerSub
If your Dad is a big craft beer drinker, consider signing him up for a monthly subscription like this one from Craft Beer Club and he’ll get a little gift every month!

Hot Sauce Sampler

“The Good Hurt Fuego” hot sauce sampler is filled with a variety of 7 sauces with different flavors and levels of heat. If your Dad loves a kick of spice, get him this awesome sampler pack. Just look at the packaging, that alone sells it for us!

Denim Work Shirt

For the handyman, this heavy duty Deep Indigo Denim Work Shirt from Stock MFG is a great gift option as it will stand up to wear and tear better than most and is much more stylish than your typical work shirt. From Stock MFG: “2-in-1 pocket with carpenter pencil slot, and 3-D hand pockets. Elbows are reinforced with contrast-stitched patches and stress points on pockets are reinforced with contrast bar tacks.”

Our Top Picks for Wedding Favors

When it comes to providing favors for your guests, you want to make sure you find the sweet spot between too cheap and too expensive, while also giving something that is useful, interesting, or exciting. When in doubt, provide something that you love to use or would love to receive. We’ve compiled a list of fun favors that we hope will inspire you to come up with your very own unique ideas!

Mini Succulents
Whether in a small pot, teacup, or mason jar, mini succulents are a lovely favor to provide your guests! You can even customize them by writing your initials and wedding date on a tag or ribbon. If you want to take it one step further, you could write a cutesy phrase as well: “Watch Our Love Grow” or “Let Love Grow” are fairly popular.
Colorful-Austin-Texas-wedding-9
Source: 100 Layer Cake

Popcorn
Providing your guests with food or snacks is always going to be a winner at weddings. If you choose popcorn, you actually have a couple of options, kernels or bags? If you choose kernels, try putting them in a funky jar with a catchy phrase: “Thanks for Popping by!” or “Our Love is Poppin’!” If you choose bagged popcorn, try printing custom stickers with your names and wedding date to put on your bags.
popcorn-3
Source: Evermine

Pickled Veggies
A step up from our popcorn kernel idea above; give your guests a jar of pickled veggies of your choice! Just find some cute mason jars and top with a custom sticker.  For some inspiration, here’s a favor display we put together with custom pickle favors for one of our favorite couples: Sara & Martin.
SUBMIT_JayneWeddings (58)SUBMIT_JayneWeddings (59)
Source: Pen Carlson

Cocktail Recipe w/ Tool
If you featured signature cocktails at your reception, think about giving the recipe (if it’s a complex cocktail) as a favor. Throw in a fun cocktail tool for added value (think muddling stick, jigger, or strainer) Tie them together with some ribbon and you’ve got a great favor your guests will be sure to appreciate.
7603-20_1024x1024
Source: Local Fixture

Recipe Cards
Recipe cards are a great favor option, personalize them with your names and anniversary date. You can provide blank cards or fill them up with some of your favorite recipes you’d like to share. Whichever you choose, your guests will think of you each time they cook the dish! Check out these from Magnificent Milestones that we featured on Kelly & Bryant’s day.
KellyBryant-RecipeFavorCards
Source: Laura Meyer Photography

Confetti
Maybe you want to give favors that are meant to be used that night or at your reception? One of our brides, Emily, (see Chris & Emily’s full day here!) chose to provide her guests with customized boxes of confetti to throw during their grand exit. This is a super fun way to get your guests involved and ensures that your favors will not go to waste! Plus, confetti always looks gorgeous in photos.
NicodemCreative_WalsdorfWedding_LoganSquare-544

Source: Nicodem Creative/Jayne Weddings

Sweets To-Go
A classic, no-stress favor will always be take home dessert. Simply place plain, or customized take-home boxes on your dessert table at the end of the night and watch your guests load theirs up! Get creative with your boxes to make a big impact. These triangle boxes are too fun!
5481f334e289a$!x900.jpg
Source: StyleMePretty

Have you received a favor at a wedding that just blew you away? Share with us below!

4 Must-Try Cocktails in Chicago

When it comes to cocktails, our Jayne Weddings team knows what’s up! While it was so difficult choosing from our extensive list of favorites, we eventually landed on 4 cocktails from our very favorite bars in Chicago and we want to share them with you!

BigStar-Cocktail
Source: Big Star Instagram

 

Source: Big Star Styled Shoot

One cocktail that will remain on our list forever is La Paloma from Big Star. Known for it’s “garage party” vibe, Big Star is the perfect hangout to grab some cheap tacos and incredible cocktails. Now, if you don’t frequent Big Star you should know that their all around best seller is the Classic Margarita. While also an incredible cocktail, don’t let it distract you from La Paloma. La Paloma is an unexpected twist to a classic marg—the blend of Lunazul Blanco, lime, and grapefruit gives this cocktail a tart, refreshing, and crisp finish.

VioletHour-Cocktail
Source: Violet Hour Instagram

Is it possible to create a list of Chicago’s best cocktail spots without naming The Violet Hour? We sure don’t think so. Violet Hour’s mysterious exterior, cozy interior and simple cocktails with a punch will have you adding everything on their menu to your favorites. Violet Hour is known for being difficult to find due to its unmarked door, but you may have better luck looking for their commissioned art pieces on the wall next to their door. Be sure to try the old classic ‘Briar Patch’. It’s been around since 2007 and it doesn’t seem to be leaving anytime soon. The mixture of gin, lemon, and blackberry creates a fruity, floral cocktail masterpiece with a tart finish.

Celeste-Cocktail
Source: Celeste Instagram

Up next is a place that is part lounge bar and part restaurant: Celeste. The cozy nooks and luxurious, yet approachable menu give this place its charm. Though surrounded by many other bars, Celeste has them beat with its seductive atmosphere and comfy spaces, making it one of our favorites in River North. Our top cocktail pick has to be ‘Thai One On’. We do love our puns, but the combination of whiskey, thai basil, ginger, blueberry, and lemon have us sold. These unusual flavors will have us coming back time and time again.


Source: Lost Lake
We’re rounding out our list with a fun tiki fave: Lost Lake. Heard of it? Located in the corner of Logan on Kedzie and Diversey, it’s definitely worth the visit. Though similar to its brother bar Three Dots & a Dash (actually, Paul McGee ran Three Dots before venturing out to open Lost Lake), there are some striking differences that will convince you to visit if we haven’t already. If you’ve been to Three Dots & a Dash, perhaps you can guess what Lost Lake’s decor will look like: a tiki, neon, leafy heaven (if Jayne Weddings owned a bar, this would be it). This is where the similarities stop as Lost Lake’s list of cocktails is full of deeper, darker tiki cocktails that are a little less accessible, though they do have the signature fruit skewers, crazy straws and umbrellas with each drink. If you’re looking for a single serving cocktail, try Tic-Tac-Taxi. With Aged Multi­-Island Rum, Overproof Jamaican Rum, Coconut, Passionfruit and Lime, it’s a perfect combination of strong, sweet, & tropical. If you’re with a group of friends, get a large drink to share (we suggest Ruby Mae’s Second Surfin’ Bird: Reposado Tequila, Mezcal, Ruby Port, Campari, Pineapple, Lime and Passionfruit)! They even provide you with extra long crazy straws that’ll have you feeling like a kid again sip after sip.

Have a favorite of your own? Share it with us, we’re always looking to add new faves to our list!