Get Drunk on Vegetables

I’ve never loved any cocktail quite as zealously as I love Bloody Marys. I’ve even inherited my mom’s habit of traveling with airplane bottles of vodka and cans of tomato juice. Part of the appeal, for me, comes from knowing that my alcohol intake is chased with antioxidant-rich tomato juice.

Recently, as I sought out my liquid multivitamin at my local, um, apothecary, The Beach Cafe, my favorite bartender Paul instead presented me with a margarita made with pineapple-turmeric shrub. Sipping it, I felt the happy high you get from chugging coconut water after a grueling cycling class. Surely the healing properties of turmeric root were kicking in.

Read the whole story on Bon Appetit’s healthyish here.

PHOTO BY ALEX LAU, STYLING BY SUE LI

My Best Moment In…Columbus, Ohio

If you know, me, you know I have an obsession with life’s little moments. In fact, I’ve had a one-sentence diary for the better part of a decade where I write down my favorite moment of the day. It’s a good reminder that on crummy days, there’s always a silver lining (like that friendly M102 bus driver waiting for you in the pouring rain), and on your best days, it’s often the tiniest of interactions and/or feelings/sights/sounds that mean the most.

At the start of March, I spent a great week in Columbus, Ohio. I soaked in (the views of) crazy, awesome waterfalls spilling over snow-capped peaks. I took a trapeze class where I flipped upside down enough times to fill every ad page in an Amtrak magazine. I yoga-ed, museum-hopped, ate, drank, shopped, hiked and concert-attended my way through town. I even ran into a few no-neck body builders in town for The Arnold Classic.

My absolute favorite instant? Settling into a bar stool at Denmark on High, watching the elegant tango of a wildly talented bartender, smoke, muddle, shake and stir our cocktails to perfection. I may have only arrived five hours before, but New York City and my ever-expanding inbox already seemed but a fuzzy concept, ages away. The bar was alive with suited fellas mingling with organic cotton tote bag touting locals. Tourists exchanged eager conversation with retired locals (or was it a fellow conference attendee?) as the bar lit up with a happy, carefree din. I was buzzing on just three sips of my delicately-designed (local, obviously) whiskey libation. It was 4:47pm. On a Tuesday. FullSizeRender (3)

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2 Refreshing Cocktails for Summer Sipping

Summertime is not the time to wonder the right type of conditioner for your hair type. It’s also not the time to wonder. It’s also not the time to wonder about why you still haven’t managed to clean your closet (you’ve got next spring for that). It is, however, time to wonder about the easiest ways to amp up your cocktail game. That’s why when these two fruity cognac sippers were sent my way, I could practically here the clinking glasses beckoning…


Cognac Peach Julep
2 oz Cognac
0.5 oz Peach Syrup
8-10 mint leaves
Add mint to julep cup or old fashioned glass, gently press leaves. Add remaining ingredients. Add pellet or crushed ice and swizzle until outside of glass has frosted. Garnish with mint sprigs, berries, orange slices and a straw.


Roffignac Highball
The Roffignac cocktail is an old and somewhat obscure New Orleans classic cognac highball that uses a raspberry shrub instead of a simple raspberry syrup (a shrub is a syrup, usually fruit based, that uses vinegar instead of water.)
Supposedly the drink was eponymously named by its creator the Frenchman Count Louis Philippe de Roffignac (sometimes spelled ‘Rouffignac’).
1 oz Raspberry Shrub
1 ¾ oz cognac (VS preferred or VSOP)
Club Soda

 

Measure Shrub and Cognac into 10 oz Highball glass. Fill glass with ice. Top with chilled club soda and stir well.Garnish with two skewered Raspberries

Raspberry Shrub:
1 cup red-wine vinegar
1 1/2 quarts freshly picked raspberries
Sugar

 

In a nonreactive bowl, combine the vinegar and raspberries. Cover, refrigerate and let macerate for 3 days.
After 3 days: Mash the raspberries in the bowl, then strain the liquid through a fine-mesh sieve lined with cheesecloth. To every 1 cup of juice, add ½ pound of sugar (1¼ cups plus 1 tablespoon). Combine the juice and sugar in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer (gently!) for 15 minutes until the sugar dissolves.Let cool, then bottle. Keep refrigerated for up to 3 months.

The Little Miracle That Helps You Power Through a Long Day

When I first learned about Little Miracles at Food Fete, I was drawn in by the bold packaging and innovative spin of combining energizing tea with antioxidant-loaded juice. Also worth noting: They clock in at 90 calories a bottle, are certified organic and have no artificial colors, flavors or sweeteners. So yes, perhaps the headline is a bit of a trap–we all know there’s no “miracle” that can replace a healthy lifestyle and clean eating–but come 3:00pm slump time, these “little miracles” sure as heck hit the spot.

For a quick afternoon refresher, I combined the following: Little Miracles White Tea & Cherry, one ice cube (I got fancy and used a circular one, but any will do), three frozen raspberries and a quick spritz of seltzer to top it off (Oh and, I hear vodka muddles really well with the aforementioned…). Voila! Afternoon sipping never tasted better. Serve in fancy class for maximum….je ne sais quoi.

The Perfect Monday Night Pick Me Upper: Somtum Der’s Loi Krathong Cocktail

There’s something I’ve always found very attractive about drinking on a Monday night. Ditto for Sunday evenings. It almost feels a little illicit. I mean, you know you shouldn’t be having this much fun on the aforementioned evenings. But you are. and I DARE YOU TO STOP ME. And for the love of the lord folks, can we stop with the #MondayBlues hashtags. There’s this thing that fixes that. It’s called, good friends, a strong drink and maybe 32 minutes on the elliptical or something. Not rocket science, people.

And when said cocktail is wrapped in a banana leaf? Well, I dare you to stop me after three. So yes, tomorrow may suck. Your productivity may be shot. That cute girl may never be at that bar again (though chances are, if she’s drinking on a Monday, she will. Or she just really likes football Or you..)

The Thai cocktail courtesy of the lauded Somtum Der in the east village  packs an exotic punch but is still simple enough to assemble that you can dazzle house guests without even trying.

Vodka 2 oz
Pandan leaf juice 1.5 oz
Lemongrass juice 1  oz
Honey 0.5 teaspoon
Triple sec 0.25 oz
Lime juice  0.25 oz

Mix over ice and serve with a wedge of lime or garnish of choice. I don’t know how they say cheers in Thai, but cheers. Here’s to hoping Tuesday sucks a little less!

Fall Sips: Because It’s Still Summer…Somewhere?

…which means it’s totally acceptable to drink on a Monday night, right? Right! (or Tuesday, or Wednesday, and goes-without-saying Thursday)

If you’ve spoken to me in the past, uh, month, you’ve probably heard me complain about (among many, many other things) the lack of seasonal sense you get living in Manhattan. Though I wouldn’t trade my home sweet home for anything (well, excepts Nashville…), you really can’t appreciate the gorgeous fall foliage and shift in the seasons here in NYC. You can however, sip it. And sip I did when mixing up these killer cocktails from Jay Zimmerman of the Sekend Sun. You’ll be in safe hands at a bar helmed by Mr.Zimmerman, industry vet, come early November when this gem of a cocktail bar opens up, and best of all, you’ll have another reason to beat yourself up for not heading to Astoria more often.

Black Baby Grand by Jay Zimmerman of Sekend Sun
1 1/2 oz Jameson Irish Whiskey
3/4 oz China China Amer
2 drops orange flower water
2 dash barrel aged angostura bitters
Sugar cube
In a rocks glass muddle sugar cube, bitters and orange flower water. 
Add Whiskey, Amer and ice cubes. 
Stir 20-30 times. 
Garnish with grapefruit twist.

Remember Dead River by Jay Zimmerman of Sekend Sun
2 oz Old Overholt rye whiskey
3/4 oz Cocchi Di Torino sweet vermouth
1/4 oz Lapsang Souchong Cherry Heering
Dash absinthe
2 dash Angostura bitters
Add all ingredients to mixing glass with ice and stir 20-30 times.
Strain into cocktail glass and garnish with lemon twist.