Coastal Christmas Blog Hop – Sunshine, Christmas and Cosmos


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– CLOSED – The winner of my giveaway is Lesley Walsh – Merry Christmas and congratulations.

As an Australian, one of the biggest challenges I face in the festive season is the heat.

I know my Northern hemisphere readers have their own challenges but they don’t have to cook a turkey in a heatwave, they don’t have to panic because they can’t fit everything in the fridge and they certainly don’t have to worry about the roof of their gingerbread house sliding off because the icing has melted.

One the other hand they don’t eat cherries and mangoes for breakfast, they probably don’t wake to the sound of cicadas singing and their Christmas morning probably doesn’t involve a trip to the beach to test drive new flippers, or a surfboard. Our Christmas traditions are no less important but they are well less known.

If an American came to Australia they’d likely have a fish out of water Christmas My novella – Snowbound is the story of an Australian girl Zara who finds herself stranded in Colorado for Christmas and she throws herself into all the activities a White Christmas would entail. It’s a really fun read and I’m giving a copy of Snowbound and the Romancing the Holidays 2 Box Set to a lukcy reader randomly chosen…just comment below and tell me your favourite cocktail.

My own family has a lot of traditions. We put our Christmas tree up the weekend before Christmas because someone (yes-that’s me) insists on having a real tree and if we get it too early t would die before Christmas. We always drive to the local Scout Hall and but our tree from the Scouts. (Two years ago I had the cutest Girl Guide sell me my tree and before she did so she leaned in close to the tree, listened to it’s trunk and said “This tree chooses you!” I feel like that child and I should have been life-long friends.)

Another thing my family does a lot at Christmas is entertain. We love having people over. We have a huge party the weekend before Christmas for fifty to sixty of our closest friends. I think we’re up to maybe out thirteenth one now. Think lots of kids, an outdoor movie, water pistols and ridiculous amounts of food. (I’m famous for my over catering). I do a baked ham and the classic Australian sausage sizzle, we do spaghetti and meatballs for the kids, my husband makes paella and there’s a make your own ice-cream sundae bar for the kids. It’s big crazy, chaotic fun and we love it.

Every year I make a signature cocktail. I’ve done a few over the years and the best on yet was a champagne comsopolitan…how could that not be amazing? Champagne and a cosmo in one cup, has to be awesome!

Here’s my recipe:
Champagne Cosmopolitan

250ml (1 cup) cranberry juice
2 tablespoons Cointreau liqueur
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
6 sugar cubes
750ml pink Champagne or sparkling wine, chilled
Frozen cranberries to decorate (optional)
Step 1

Place cranberry juice in a medium saucepan and bring to the boil over high heat. Cook, uncovered, for 10 minutes or until reduced by two-thirds. Remove from heat and set aside for 30 minutes to cool.

Step 2
Combine the cranberry juice, Cointreau and lime juice in a small jug. Place a sugar cube in each serving glass. Pour the cranberry mixture over the sugar. Top with Champagne or sparkling wine and serve immediately. Throw a couple of frozen cranberries in each glass to decorate (also helps keep it cool).

Don’t forget to enter to win the Grand Prize of on the Coastal Christmas Blog Hop and enter my giveaway for a copy of Snowbound and Romancing the Holidays 2 by telling me your fave cocktail!
Romancing the Holidays Box SetSnowbound - Cover












Elizabeth Ellen Carter
12/4/2017 03:23:10 am

That is definitely a cocktail to try this summer! Thank you Monique!

Brooke Bumgardner
12/4/2017 12:02:15 pm

That cocktail sounds delish! I love raspberry peach bellinis. Also, I love your Girl Guide story.

12/4/2017 03:42:19 pm

Love the sound of that cocktail! Always on the lookout for a new recipe to try!

Mary Preston
12/4/2017 06:38:17 pm

Thank you for the delicious sounding recipe.

12/4/2017 07:32:01 pm

We enjoy satsuma vodka-tini made with fresh mandarins and cranberries😊
Monique McDonell
12/7/2017 03:06:34 pm

That sounds yummy!

12/4/2017 07:56:30 pm

Your recipe sounds amazing, I’ll definitely be trying it out 🙂

Carla Caruso
12/4/2017 08:51:16 pm

Yummo! And such gorgeous book covers 🙂
Monique McDonell
12/7/2017 03:06:57 pm

Thanks Carla.

Jenn J McLeod
12/5/2017 01:30:18 am

Yum. Tipsy just reading that post!

Robin Thomas
12/5/2017 01:43:38 am

That sounds delicious! My favourite cocktail is a Tom Collins – which is an American one made with lime and vodka. And the glass should have a frosted sugar edge.

Ann-maree Howarth
12/5/2017 02:20:45 am

I love Salted Caramel Baileys that you can mostly only get at Christmas time.

12/5/2017 09:09:48 am

For Christmas we love Poinsettias. Champagne, Triple Sec and cranberry juice with cranberries in the bottom of the glass.
Monique McDonell
12/7/2017 03:07:32 pm


Lesley Walsh
12/5/2017 09:39:40 am

I love Bailey’s and ice
Monique McDonell
12/7/2017 03:08:05 pm

In my new Jewel Sisters series the sisters drink quite a bit of Bailey’s on Ice.
Monique McDonell
12/25/2017 07:56:07 pm

Hi Lesley,

You’re the winner of my books…email me at with your email and I will send them to you.

Suzanne Cass
12/6/2017 12:39:35 am

I love a real Christmas tree for Christmas. There is absolutely nothing compares with the smell of a real tree

Joye I
12/7/2017 12:21:01 pm

I love a good Margarita

sandy haber
12/7/2017 02:45:11 pm

I could use one of those right now — thanks!
Monique McDonell
12/7/2017 03:08:42 pm

I won’t tell anyone.

Debbie Martin
12/9/2017 11:25:53 pm

I love to make mint jelups in silver jelup cups!

12/10/2017 01:21:58 pm

Well, I don’t drink alcohol however I do love a cranberry spritzer. Sprite and cranberry juice mixed. It’s lovely.

Deborah Sisk
12/11/2017 05:27:24 pm

Thanks for the chance. The recipe sounds lovely.

Lori Raines
12/11/2017 07:05:35 pm

Thanks for sharing!

Laura Boon Russell
12/15/2017 12:47:50 am

We need to take something to our friends for Christmas. I’ve decided your cocktail is it!

Kara Vaughan Marks
12/18/2017 09:41:37 am

Your cocktail sounds great. I’m a margarita girl, but something different and special is fun for the holidays.

Nancy Luebke
12/23/2017 05:10:16 pm

Sorry, I used to like singapor slings but my health doesn’t allow me to drink those kind of drinks anymore. My splurg now is Root beer or a Strawberry shake. Usually it’s just ice water. Happy Hollidays from Indiana, USA.

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