Janet's Notebook
Recipes for Hosting Happy Hour at Home


Lynchburg Lemonade


I'm hosting a happy hour for my neighbors in a couple of weeks. Right now, I'm in planning mode trying to figure out what to serve.

To help me search and save recipes, I've been using our new Pinch It™ Recipe Box app. Have you tried it yet? What I love is that I can look for recipes whenever I have a free moment and save them to my recipe box. I'm not tied to my computer. I can search by the pool, at the doctor's office, when I'm out and about - really anywhere my phone works I can save a recipe.

If you've used the app and love it, tell me what you like below. If you haven't downloaded it yet, what are you waiting for? Learn more about the Pinch It™ Recipe Box app here . Now onto Blue Ribbon happy hour recipes!

Lemonade screams summertime to me and two versions I love are Debbie Morris' (South Fulton, TN) Lynchburg Lemonade and Cheryl Wu's (Kent, WA) Orange Lemonade. They are easy to make and refreshing.

"Really good in the summer with cookouts," thinks Debbie of her Lynchburg Lemonade. "It can be made individually or by the pitcher."

This adult cocktail is slightly tangy and tastes of citrus. The flavor of the whiskey is there, but not overwhelming. Make sure to have a bowl full of cherries to serve with this. Everything is better with a cherry on top.

If you favor orange flavor and want to serve a non-alcoholic drink, then Cheryl's Orange Lemonade should be on the menu.

"In the summer, I thought of making lemonade but I wanted something better than regular lemonade," shares Cheryl. "Strawberry lemonade was too sweet for me, so I decided to make my own orange lemonade!"

Sweet and tart, this lemonade recipe will really quench your thirst on a hot day. The blend of oranges and lemons is a delicious combination. If you want to turn this into an alcoholic drink, a little bit of vodka can be added to the recipe.

Another cocktail that can be alcoholic or non-alcoholic is Nikki Smith's (Hemet, CA) On the Beach. It is a cool tropical drink perfect for the summertime. I really enjoyed the mixture of the peach and citrus in this drink. Sip slowly though... this tastes like punch and the alcohol will sneak up on you.

Want something super refreshing? Make a batch of Tara Pacheco's (Fall River, MA) White Sangria. It's the perfect balance of fruit and wine. Eating the fruit at the end was one of my favorite parts. A tip to keep the drink cold is to put grapes in the freezer and use those (along with a couple of ice cubes) to help keep the sangria cold.

You can't host a happy hour without munchies. These two appetizer recipes are simple and flavorful snacks.

Put chips and guacamole in front of me and I'm one happy lady. Especially when it's Juliann Esquivel's (Florida City, FL) Chunky Guacamole With Cumin (Guacamole con Cumino).

"This guacamole has a subtle tartness, balanced heat, and a creamy and chunky texture," explains Julianne. "Served with crispy tortilla chips it's a winner."

I love cumin in Mexican food, and before seeing Juliann's recipe I never thought of adding it to guacamole. It adds earthy and nutty undertones to the guac. So good!

Melissa Turner's (East Moline, IL) Chicken Bacon Ranch Bruschetta is another wonderful snack.

"I just love bruschetta and this is a nice variation of the classic," says Melissa. This recipe is not your ordinary bruschetta recipe.

The basic tomato mixture is delicious on its own with the classic bruschetta flavors. But, chicken and bacon take this recipe to a whole new level. The ranch/Parmesan spread just adds to the flavor punch.

If you're hosting a happy hour for neighbors or just want to unwind on a warm evening, these tasty happy hour recipes will be fantastic. Happy Pinching!



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