Category Archives: cocktails

Happy [Vegan] Thanksgiving

The past two Thanksgivings for Ms. S&C have been meat free. This means no turkey, no Virginia ham, and when she’s visiting family in Southwestern Va., it also means no gravy and no stuffing. Some of you may be thinking “What’s left to eat?” Trust me, you can have a rich and hearty vegetarian (or vegan) Thanksgiving dinner that’s reminiscent of the one you know and love. (And it may be one you feel better about eating.)

Start off with a cocktail we’re calling the Old Fashioned Pilgrim. Adapted from Imbibe Magazine‘s Maple-Cranberry Bourbon Smashed, we used the same ingredients as those in our cranberry sauce (yes, the same sauce that’s served alongside the tofurkey).

The instructions are easy: add a tablespoon of the cranberry sauce to two and a half ounces of bourbon (we used Buffalo Trace). Stir well. Fill glass with ice and garnish with an orange twist. Enjoy a sweet and warming seasonal variation of a classic drink.

cranberryorangesauce

oldfashionedpilgrim

The Old Fashioned Pilgrim is a lot like the classic Old Fashioned but made with fresh cranberries, orange, agave nectar, and cinnamon

Enjoy this beverage while you’re putting the finishing touches on this delicious all vegetarian Thanksgiving dinner.

  • Herbed Tofurkey (we used the Quorn Turk’y and roasted with fresh parsley, rosemary, and thyme)
  • Bourbon Mashed Sweet Potatoes (we mostly followed this recipe but eliminated the cream, almost all of the butter — used vegan butter actually — and the brown sugar)
  • Chorizo-style Protein & Apple Stuffing (we used Field Roast protein sausage in this stuffing recipe and subbed veggie broth and beer for the chicken stuff)
  • Roasted Cauliflower (there’s nothing to it: roast cauliflower with salt, pepper, and olive oil)
  • Cranberry Orange Sauce (we fixed this version with agave nectar so it could be used in cocktail as well)

veganthanksgiving

If you’re not used to eating a protein other than turkey and sausage, the taste will surely be different (and the tofurkey on its own could have used a little gravy), but the spicy stuffing and tart citrusy cranberry sauce are more than enough to give this all veggie dinner a lot of flavor.

Happy healthy new year

Happy New Year! (Better late than never, right? And yes, S&C is still around.)

We guess you could say that there’s been a renewed sense of focus, of being, of life since our little break. Ms. S&C has completed her yoga teacher training that turned her attention elsewhere. And now she’s trying to determine how to make the best use of this little blog given her exploration of other interests and her commitment to yoga. (Yes, she’s aware that she’s a little attached and not ready to let go of it.)

So, for now, we’re gonna try to go with a “to your health” type of theme. That means: we’ll share all sorts of things you can imbibe (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) and buy (accessory-wise), but all the while trying to be as good to our body (as much we can) and as good to others (as much as we can).

Let’s kick things off with this smoothie — Ms. S&C’s first-ever-made-herself smoothie. She doesn’t know what has taken her so long — it is super easy and super delicious.

Ms. S&C’s First Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • Greek yogurt (about 4-6 oz.)
  • Soy milk (half a cup)
  • Banana sliced (one, and use that very ripe one you don’t know what to do with)
  • Blueberries (small handful)
  • Walnuts (even smaller handful)

Directions:

Place all ingredients in a large plastic container. Blend together. (Get yourself a Cuisinart Hand Blender — it means this whole operation takes less than 30 seconds and cleanup is easy.) Drink to your health!

How to end summer

You’ve got an abundance of basil in your garden. Your farmer’s market still has cucumbers. You’re not quite ready to say goodbye to summer produce. You’re not quite ready to say goodbye to summer itself. And you want a cocktail.

We give you the cucumber basil gimlet.

This refreshing summer beverage was adapted from a recipe found over at What’s Gaby Cooking (but originally inspired by a Miss Mojito post from a few years back). Gaby probably had some time to think about, and plan for, her preparation of this cocktail. Ms. S&C’s preparation was a little last minute, and she didn’t have the patience for simple-syrup-making and pureed-cucumber-straining. So, her adaptation went something like this. (With more time, she would recommend the simple syrup making and cucumber puree straining.)

Ingredients:

  • Cucumber
  • Basil — large handful
  • Agave nectar
  • Lime — one half per cocktail
  • Gin

Directions (for one cocktail):

Peel cucumber, slice and puree until finely chopped. Fill glass with spoonful of pureed cucumber, 7 or so basil leaves, a squirt of agave nectar, juice of half a lime, and then muddle. Fill glass with ice, add an once and a half of gin and stir well (or preferably, transfer to a cocktail shaker to mix). Garnish with a cucumber wheel and sprig of fresh basil.

As a bonus: maybe you’ve got some extra tomatoes. Maybe that arugula became the bumper crop you never expected. Pick up some pre-made naan, whip up some arugula pesto, and top with whatever is around (maybe some parmigiano-reggiano,  maybe some goat cheese, and maybe fresh basil). And perfetto! Summer ingredients at their best.

posted by Ms. S&C

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.

Lake favorites

Okay, okay, Ms. S&C promises this will be the last of the lake-related blog posts, Twitter posts, and Facebook posts. But, she couldn’t wrap up this year’s lake trip without sharing more of her favorites.

Drink favorites
Bloody Mary’s, Grapefruit Crushes, Pimm’s, Champagne cocktails, red wine, beer, beer, and more beer: there are lots of drink options at the lake. (You saw this picture from last year, right?) Thankfully, Ms. S&C is not charge of them all. Last year, a friend (we’ll call her Mrs. Smith) introduced us to Banks Rum and the Five Island Watermelon Punch. This year, Mrs. Smith, prepared for us a traditional Bajan Rum Punch. We didn’t keep score, but it was likely this year’s winning cocktail.

When Ms. S&C inquired about the recipe, Mrs. Smith shared the traditional (and delightful) saying to help one remember: 

One of Sour
Two of Sweet
Three of Strong

And Four of Weak

It translates into this:

  • 1 cup lime juice
  • 2 cups simple syrup
  • 3 cups white rum, preferably Banks Five Island White Rum
  • 2 cups of ice and 2 cups of cold water

Directions:

Stir all ingredients together in a large pitcher. To serve: fill a highball glass with three or four additional ice cubes. Garnish with a splash of Angostura bitters and a dash of grated nutmeg.

I want to think it is the perfect balance of sweet and sour that makes this a winning cocktail, but I really think it is the bitters and fresh grated nutmeg.

Favorite moments
Like the numerous drink selections, a lot of games are played at the lake: bocce, horseshoes, Scrabble, Mexican train dominoes, Left-Center-Right. But, it was during a competitive guys-against-girls game of Celebrity where a Coach Taylor impression (from Mr. Smith, coincidentally) will go down as my favorite charade moment of all time. With one turn of a hat, breaths were taken away. #fullhearts

Ms. S&C would consider almost any yoga session by the water a perfect moment, but her favorite yoga moment came on a rainy day — with first day jitters behind her — when she led an extensive indoor session that turned into a truly blessed experience. #namastebitches

Playlist favorites
Where there are booze and games, there is music. We marked this occasion with a collaborative playlist, in which everyone submits two song requests. Below you’ll find the complete list of songs, with notations for those currently in heavy rotation in the S&C house.

  1. Mercy — Duffy
  2. When Did Your Heart Go Missing? — Rooney
  3. Birthday — Kings of Leon
  4. Little Lion Man — Mumford & Sons
  5. Loving Cup — The Rolling Stones
  6. Jingling Baby — LL Cool J
  7. Price Tag (feat. B.o.B) — Jessie J
  8. Can I Kick It? — A Tribe Called Quest
  9. Walk On The Wild Side — Lou Reed
  10. Toob Amplifier — The Presidents of the United States of America
  11. Rolling in the Deep — ADELE
  12. Give Me Everything (feat. Ne-Yo, Afrojack & Nayer) — Pitbull
  13. Otis (feat. Otis Redding) — JAY Z & Kanye West
  14. My Mistakes — Eleanor Friedberger
  15. Holdin On to Black Metal — My Morning Jacket
  16. Hold You Back — JC Brooks & The Uptown Sounds
  17. Metal Firecracker — Lucinda Williams
  18. Get Me Bodied — Beyoncé
  19. Look At Me Now (feat. Lil Wayne & Busta Rhymes) — Chris Brown
  20. Am I the Only One — Dierks Bentley
  21. Cheers (Drink to That) — Rihanna
  22. S&M — Rihanna
  23. Baby Got Back — Sir Mix-A-Lot
  24. So Lucky (Eurovision 2011 – Moldova) — Zdob Si Zdub
  25. Your Touch — The Black Keys
  26. Evacuate the Dancefloor (Radio Edit) — Cascada
  27. Everybody Gets to Go to the Moon (Live) — The Three Degrees
  28. True Loves — Hooray For Earth
  29. That Way (feat. Jeremih & Rick Ross) — Wale
  30. On My Level (feat. Too $hort) — Wiz Khalifa
  31. I Gotta Get Drunk — Redbird
  32. Rehab — Amy Winehouse

Until next year!

posted by Ms. S&C

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.

S&C turns three

This little blog has been around for three years. (If you’re reading this, we’re honored that you are still around!)

In celebration of our blog birthday, here’s a list of our most popular posts over the past three years:

  • Cake and punch
    This was the one where we shared the pomegranate champagne punch and Sister Mojito’s most awesome rainbow birthday cake. (We also love this blog post because it got us a mention in Washington Post’s daily “Express.”)
  • Song of the summer
    This post was early on, but the recipe for watermelon lemonade is timeless, and especially good during these hot summer months.
  • S&C reader mail: cream-colored pumps for Spring
    A reader mail post from 2009, but I’m still rocking a pair of neutral-colored slingbacks from J.Crew.
  • Light as a feather
    One of those “aspirational posts.” We still don’t own feather-embellished pumps, but we would.
  • S&C spotted: Keds comeback
    This was one of the more “trendier” posts, and a lot of people read it. We should probably take note.

Additionally, some of Ms. S&C’s favorite posts include:

  • Miss Mojito and her tips! Her suggestions about healthier cocktails and keeping it simple with staples are e-x-c-e-l-l-e-n-t. (But, I also love the simplicity of this one.)
  • Bourbon: wanting it, preferring it as my go-to spirit of choice. It is a phase I can’t shake, and I plan to make this bourbon mojito again soon.
  • Music: I love that I’ve found a way to incorporate my favorite tunes in a blog about shoes and cocktails.

Cheers to another great year! Thanks again for reading!

posted by Ms. S&C

S&C patriotism

If money were no object, the 4th of July holiday weekend footwear may look a little something like this:

For the picnic, or the baseball game (the Nationals have a double-header on Saturday, you know), let’s don these adorable Kate Spade sandals. That bow, the grosgrain fabric, the basketweave heel — nothing could say casual American holiday better.

For the night out, how about this classic Burberry espadrille paired with a flowy black sundress? Love the combination of red patent leather, espadrille midsol, and the check pattern.

For the wide-leg white linen pants (or the white linen anything), how about these striking Diane Von Furstenberg wedges? Yes, the height, the bold color, the multi-pattern wedge heel would contrast beautifully with white.

And what to drink this Independence Day? Well, we’ll have to get back to you on that, but these Black and Blue Mojitos and this Campari Cup are strong contenders (particularly given the amount of fresh mint we have growing over at chez S&C).

Happy fireworks, barbecues, picnics, baseball games, Declaration of Independence reading, patriotic song singing, parade going, blue-and-white sprinkled, sparkler waving holiday!

posted by Ms. S&C

When in Denver

When in Denver, there’s:

Hiking

Biking

And Drinking.

And by drinking, we mean grapefruit mimosas and cucumber bloody marys for brunch (get them both at delicious, delicious Duo). And by drinking, we also mean beer. There’s so much good beer! (We can recommend Mountain Sun beer and nachos after hiking in Boulder, and Falling Rock Taphouse in downtown Denver). And while you’re in the Mile High City, you may as well check out the city’s first bar, The Cruise Room. Opened the day after Prohibition was repealed, and fashioned after one of the lounges on the Queen Mary, this art deco style bar has an extensive martini menu.

In addition to hiking, biking, and drinking, there is yoga. There is wonderful,  invigorating, heart-opening yoga (Vital Yoga is a fantastic studio in the Highlands neighborhood).

But, most importantly, there are super awesome friends in Denver. And great memories.

posted by Ms. S&C

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.