Author Archives: missmojito

Last Sips of Summer

Come late August, it’s all too common to hear the complaint, “I can’t wait for fall. I’m so ready for summer to end.” Now, this typically comes from folks who are tired of sundresses and swimsuits, and who are a tad too obsessed with their boot collections and ready to get back into a pair of jeans. And honestly, I’m one of those girls, generally speaking. My fall wardrobe has more options, more depth, more oomph.

But that does NOT mean that I will ever utter the words, “I’m just ready for summer to be done with already.” Nun-uh, no way. I want to eke the most out of every last drop of summer goodness, from the too-hot-to-handle days to the late afternoon storms.

What does this mean for Miss Mojito? Well, wearing my wrap-up espadrilles one last time, for one. And, perhaps most importantly, it means indulging in summer-friendly cocktails with as much frequency as possible over these few last precious days.

A friend whipped up this oh-so-tempting jug-full of Pimm’s Cup last weekend for a lovely picnic, and while the quintessential English cocktail is nothing new to readers of this blog, it was far too pretty a picture to pass up posting. And I love the idea of using a stem of fresh mint to stir your cocktail!

I’m a bit late in the game on the Pina Colada train thanks to a life-long predilection to disliking coconut. But as the flavor has grown on me, this Pina Colada Mojito sounds more and more attractive. The ingredient list is a bit involved, so I’ll have to report back and let you know if the shopping list is worth the effort.

The last item on my list sounds perfect for long summer evening of porch-sittin’: Spiked Cherry Tea. This particular version relies on black cherry rum and prepared ice tea – but I can’t help but wonder if a mix of black cherry juice and Firefly tea-flavored vodka might not hit the spot.

Here’s to summer – enjoy it while you can!

Posted by Miss Mojito.

Mango Madness

Miss Mojito finally had the chance to test out a recipe for Mango Margaritas. They’re so refreshing, sunny and dare I say easy that I had to report back on the results. Make the most of your summer and whip up a batch this weekend!

Now, the mango is a notoriously difficult fruit to cut. But that’s the beauty of this recipe – you don’t have to dice the mango into neat, even cubes (although here’s a helpful tutorial for when that’s your goal). It’s perfectly acceptable to butcher the fruit as you see fit, since you’ll be pureeing the whole lot in a blender or food processor later.

Mango Margaritas
Serves five.

  • 2 very ripe mangos
  • Juice of 3 limes
  • 10 oz. tequilo blanco
  • 4 oz. triple sec
  • 8 oz. grapefruit soda (I used the Izzie brand)

Remove as much flesh as possible from the two mangos.

If you’re using a blender: Puree all the ingredients in the blender until you reach a smooth consistency.

If you’re using a food processor: Puree the mango and lime juice together until smooth. Poor into a pitcher and add the tequila, triple sec and soda. Stir well.

Serve over ice in chilled glasses.

Posted by Miss Mojito.

Orange You Glad It’s Summer?

One month into summer, and I’m already worried about the days slipping too quickly away. All I want to do is take long evening walks, enjoy drinks on the patio and repose by as many bodies of water as humanly possible.

Here’s a quick look at how I’m making the most of this particular summer. See if you notice a growing trend …

Two-for-a-Dollar-Mangoes
The first time a pal and I decided to try our hand at a mango margarita, we spent absolutely ages trying to hack apart rock-hard, unripe mangoes. Let’s just say the results were less than stellar. Years later, an older-but-wiser Miss Mojito will put some perfectly ripe mango to much better use thanks to a stupendous mango sale at my local grocery store. I’m thinking of adapting this recipe from Food & Wine.

Strappy Statement Sandals
Summertime calls for fun and frivolous footwear, and these platform sandals fit the bill. I love the peep-toe slingback styling – it’s super flattering and feminine – and the layer of cork and pop of bright color just scream “summer.”

 

Frequent Pedicures
During the fall and winter, pedicures feel a bit over-indulgent. I might have a slight guilt complex over spending good money to pamper feet that nobody’s going to see. But come summer, polished toes are practically a necessity. I just love a hue that melds orange and coral, like A Good Man-darin is Hard to Find by OPI.

Posted by Miss Mojito.

The Slow Death of a Shoe

There are some shoes that are such an integral part of a girl’s daily footwear rotation that it’s hard to imagine a wardrobe – or life – without them. They’re what you might call the MVP’s of your shoe collection. The standby shoes that meld perfectly fashion and comfort. They’re the shoes that you have had re-heeled, re-soled and re-polished more times than you can count – and, possibly, beyond the point of repair. But even so, you just can’t let them go. Even with scuff marks or an uneven heel, these shoe stalwarts stand heads and shoulders above the other pairs lurking in your closet.

Today, I thought I’d pay tribute to several examples of such a heroic shoe in my own footwear arsenal. To be perfectly honest with you, I’ll probably never get rid of these pairs. Heck, I’ll probably keep wearing them until holes in the soles are fully visible. But I can’t bear to ditch these several pairs that have seen me through thick and thin.

I've been searching high and low for a replacement for these beat-up Mary Jane pumps that are a workday staple.

It may not look like much now, but this buttery beige Cole Haan loafer was my go-to travel shoe for years.

Some might consider the damage to these once-uber-chic peep toe kitten pumps to be beyond repair.

Miss Mojito wants to know: Am I the only crazy sentimentalist out there who can’t bid adieu to a good pair of pumps?

*Update* Just one day after posting this little homage to the beat-up shoe, I decided to wear a pair of worn-but-respectable gladiator-style sandals to work – only to witness the straps fall apart just steps from the front door of my office. Thus, today’s footwear of choice is my gym shower flops. Classy. Methinks the shoe gods might be trying to teach a lesson in proper shoe maintenance!

Posted by Miss Mojito.

Variations on a Fruity Theme

One of last year’s fave cocktail concoctions was most certainly this Fruity Bourbon Fizz, which combined tart cherry juice, bourbon, lemonade and sparkling wine with delightful results. For a recent mother’s day celebration, I was eager to put the cherry juice to good use again.

The R.W. Knudsen brand makes a delightfully tart, organic black cherry juice that has become more widely available in grocery stores as of late. The flavor is quite potent and a little certainly goes a long way – making it a great mixer for a crowd.

Since I already had tequila on hand, I decided to meld the liquor with the juice in a vibrant Cherry Margarita. Given the pow packed by the cherry punch, I like to give my guests a fair warning and introduce this as a Tart Cherry Margarita, so they’re fully prepared for the pucker that inevitably follows the first sip. Feel free to mellow out the tartness level with some extra agave syrup for sweetness – but personally, I find the bite refreshing!

A pitcher full of cherry tequila goodness.

Cherry Margarita
Serves 6.

  • 10 ounces tequila blanco
  • 6 ounces freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 4 ounces tart bottled cherry juice
  • 1 tablespoon agave nectar
  • Fresh cherries (optional)

Combine all ingredients in a large pitcher and stir well. Serve in chilled glasses over ice, with optional fresh cherries as a festive garnish.

Posted by Miss Mojito.

Herbaceous Trending

In January, the Huffington Post made one particularly spot-on trend prediction in the world of cocktails – and it’s a trend that I’ve particularly enjoyed exploring as of late: herbal infusions. Food & Wine has noticed a similar trend in their 2011 cocktail guide, commending to its readers a non-alcoholic Almond-Fennel Cooler.

I’ve long been a fan of using basil in my cocktail concocting (Basil Gimlet, anyone?), and we’re all familiar with the king of herbal cocktails, the Mint Julep. It’s high time I got experimental with some herbs that are more off the beaten path in mixology, particularly as more fresh herbs are in season this summer.

Most recently, I jumped on the herbaceously trendy cocktail bandwagon with the Intimate Secretary, a pleasing blend of grapefruit vodka*, rosemary syrup, lime and club soda, at Balliceaux in Richmond. The herbal notes temper the sweetness of the syrup with eminently drinkable results.

So, how else might we meld herbs and cocktails? Taking a nod from Balliceaux, I’m eager to try my hand at other herb-infused syrups by making a basic simple syrup (bringing equal parts sugar and water to a boil, then simmering until liquid reduces by about half), adding herbs while the syrup is still hot and letting it steep while the syrup cools. What do we think about …

  • Thyme Syrup + Vodka + Homemade Lemonade + Vanilla
  • Lavender Syrup + Gin + Prosecco
  • Cilantro Syrup + Tequila + Grapefruit + Club Soda

Miss Mojito wants to know: Have you had any success with herbaceous cocktail mixing?

*Why haven’t I tried this before? And does grapefruit-infused gin exist? Immediate investigation required.

Posted by Miss Mojito.

Hyperbole for Effect

Friends of Miss Mojito know that she is somewhat prone to exaggeration in her storytelling. A little hyperbole, in my humble opinion, can vastly improve the quality of a tale. But who knew the same principle applies to shoe-buying, too?

Take my new BCBGeneration platform sandals, for example. Everything about this shoe – from the oversized proportions to the satisfying “clomp” of shoe meeting pavement - is slightly exaggerated with an aesthetically pleasing result, to Miss Mojito’s eye.

The heel is thick and oversized, with a chunky heft and a towering height of five inches, supported by a two-inch platform. And the styling of the faux-wood base and golden studs appeals to Miss Mojito’s clog-friendly shoe sensibilities.

My particular pair is in a lovely shade of “Desert Toffee Crosta,” aka taupe, but they’re also available in black and a (somewhat startling) dark pink – err, “Red Berry Soft Tumbled.”

Is this a shoe that will stand the test of time and become the next classic go-to shoe in my closet? Well, probably not. But will the shoe give an air of 70′s style to my footwear wardrobe, lending an era-appropriate touch to my wide-legged jeans? Most definitely. This is my definition of a fun shoe.

And, to answer the question on your mind, they’re actually surprisingly comfortable, particularly for shoes of such delightfully exaggerated proportions!

Posted by Miss Mojito.

When in Tanzania



Miss Mojito is recently returned from Tanzania. Business was the focus of this particular trip, which featured a schedule packed with visits to villages surrounding the capital city of Dodoma. So, what’s a girl to drink while on a Tanzanian adventure? Miss Mojito had two top beverage picks.

Stoney Tangawizi would make the list based on name alone. This super-tangy ginger soda packs way more “oomph” than the average American equivalent – there’s more ginger and fizz in every sip!

East Africa has plenty of local breweries, but my favorite beer was Tusker. It’s pale, fairly mild and eminently drinkable after a long day of trekking around central Tanzania.

I won’t even try to show you the shoes I sported while traveling in Tanzania. Suffice it to say that long skirts paired with sporty sneaks is not a good look for Miss Mojito!

Posted by Miss Mojito.

Showing Some Love for the G&T

I’ve mentioned before that the gin & tonic is my most frequent go-to drink for its combination of two important factors: ease of assembly and general availability at any and every bar (not to mention the positively pleasing taste factor). So I was more than a little excited to read Jason Wilson’s most recent column for the Washington Post, which describes the writer’s quest and research in elevating the classic cocktail from a weeknight treat to a special occasion libation.

I recommend the article – and its recipes – to you in its entirety, but here are a few of my fave take-away lessons for your own G&T pleasure.

  • Don’t limit yourself to lime. Different gins lend themselves to different flavor profiles – some are more well suited to citrus, other benefit from amplifying herbaceous notes with thyme or other herbs and spices.
  • Homemade tonic is worth consideration. It does take some specialty ingredients and equipment – namely, quinine powder and a soda siphon – but making your own tonic gives you the ability to customize it with flavor infusions.
  • There’s more to gin than just Tanqueray. Don’t get me wrong, this go-to gin is a fantastic quality. But there’s a whole world of other gin brands to be explored!

So what are we waiting for? It’s high time to get experimental and take our G&T concocting up a notch with creative garnishes, quality tonics and new and exciting gin prospects.

Posted by Miss Mojito.

Wedge-Wood Love

When the sky is gray, the clouds are heavy and the air is bitter cold, I turn to a few favorite pastimes to cheer me up. Cooking a bowl of soup or burrowing in bed with a good book come to mind. So, too, does a hobby nearer-and-dearer to our hearts here at S&C: spring shoe gazing.

I simply can’t get my mind off of warm weather shoes, and a certain style in particular: wedge sandals with chunky wooden heels are calling my name in the worst way possible. I can already feel my bank account shivering in fear over my future acquisitions.

Here are a few of my faves, in varying price points. I’m loving the bows, the cut-outs, the scroll-work heel and the neutral shades in these five dreamy pairs. Which shoe is your personal pick?

Wedge-Wood