Happy Hour Handbook

Autumn is officially upon us and the holidays are right behind, so I'm in full-on entertaining mode. Festive fall fetes and glamorous wintertime gatherings call for a cocktail spread that's in ship shape. Stock up on my essentials for a season's worth of happy hours, from sleek decanters and colored glassware, to my secret for hosting in small spaces (hint: it's all about the collapsable table!). You can find all of my favorites for holiday hosting and sneeky necessities on my Open Sky page.

Below you can find a few of my favorite holiday sneaky recipes!


Apple Cinnamon Sangria

When I think of Sangria It brings me way back to working for my mom (patty Powers) in her catering business in Weston, Ct.  When I was a kid we were taught how to do everything from opening a bottle of wine, to setting the table to even lighting my dad his daily cigar. Not quite of age yet I learned how to make a tasty batch of sangria.


2 bottles of one white wine and one of red (Don’t pick something too good because it will be getting mixed with all of the items below)

2 Granny Smith apples

2 mangoes

2 peaches

3 lemons

3 limes

2 cups apricot brandy

½ cup brown sugar

1 T cinnamon


Slice fruit and put in bowl or 2 gallon Ziploc bag with brandy, brown sugar and cinnamon.  Soak overnight.

Frostbite Spritz


3 oz champagne 1/2 oz Aperol 1/2 oz St. Germaine 1/2 oz Meletti amaro 1/2 lime squeezed

Pour champagne over ice. Add Aperol, St. Germaine, Meletti and lime.

Top off with: Frozen cranberries, a homemade ice cube, frozen grapes or a small candy cane

Lulu's Kir Royale


My clients love this festive and flirty drink. Garnish it with a few pomegranate seeds.


Serves 1 

1 tablespoon Chambord

6 ounces Champagne or sparkling wine, well-chilled


Pour the Chambord into a Champagne flute and add the Champagne.

Lulu’s Tip: I like to garnish this drink with a dressed-up ice cube. I use long ice cube trays that I find at IKEA. I fill them with filtered water, add pomegranate seeds and sprigs of fresh thyme or rosemary, and freeze. They look beautiful floating in the drink. Another fun garnish is a sugared rim: simply moisten the rim of the Champagne flute with water, turn it upside down, and dip it in a bowl of superfine sugar.


Happy Holidays friends and remember, drink responsibly!