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.

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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.


5 Simple Ways to Detox Your Liver Without Even Trying

Image courtesy of Christopher Michel, Wikimedia Commons

Rough Sunday? Heck, rough Tuesday? Naturopathic physician and and a founding and current board member of the Oncology Association of Naturopathic Physicians, Dr. Lise Alschuler offers these smart tips to start feeling better and give your poor liver a boost. Because hey guys, vegans like to have fun and drink too. (And if you’re me, you unfortunately sneak a box of cheese fries and a slice of pizza past your moral compass and into bed with you after a vodka-fueled evening).

The liver isn’t just a large and meaty organ hanging out by the right side of your belly, it’s also super hard working. It’s on call 24/7 to process toxins from everything from secondhand smoke to last night’s doublewhiskeycokenoice mistake. When it’s not busy salvaging you from occasional bad decisions, it also makes proteins you need for proper blood clotting. Not one for downtime, it also manages to help make cholesterol (your body needs some) and stores glycogen for when you need a quick jolt of energy. It can even regenerate itself if part of it becomes damaged. As a thank you for all it does, here’s how Dr. Alschuler recommends you can give back to your liver with a little TLC: 

o Vitamin B

“Vitamin B (specifically B1, B2 and B6) is our body’s energy-enhancing nutrient essential to maintaining a healthy body function, including digestion.” Many breakfast cereals and vegan milks are fortified with B vitamins, so be sure not to skimp on the vital nutrient.

o Green Tea

“Epigallocatechin galate, the active nutrient in green tea, has been shown to decrease the activation of cancer-causing substances by stimulating key detoxification pathways.” Though green tea is having a moment right now as a liquid for poaching in the world of culinary trends, enjoy it the good old fashioned way in a cup for a piping hot mug of liver liftin’ goodness.

o Glutathione

“Considered the master antioxidant, critical for detoxification, glutathione provides antioxidant protection, promotes detoxification and fortified the immune system. It’s also interesting to note that as alcohol is broken down in the liver, it creates a harmful chemical called acetaldehyde (which ages your tissue and damages your body). The liver’s primary detox substance is glutathione itself!” Look for this wise grandfather of all antioxidants at your local natural health foods store in the supplement aisle.

o Milk Thistle

People think I’m crazy when I tell them I take milk thistle pre and post- wee-too-heavy nights of drinking (it’s a plant that has nothing to do with dairy milk, NIH offers a good breakdown of it here), but Dr. Alschuler agrees: “Milk Thistle (also known as silymarin) has been used for centuries to treat liver conditions such as hepatitis and cirrhosis. Today it continues to be used as a supreme liver antioxidant.”

o Fiber

“Fiber helps to optimize the process of detoxification in the body.” Look for healthy sources of fiber like beans, whole wheat pasta, raspberries and apples and pears with the skin on.

Dr. Lise Alschuler is speaking at the Integrative Healthcare Symposium (IHS) in NYC on February 20 – 22. IHS brings together multi-disciplinary healthcare professionals dedicated to improving patient care and defining the future of healthcare (site link here). She also writes for Five To Thrive, a digital magazine that covers healthy, natural ways to ‘thrive’ in life post-recovery.