Author Archives: missmojito

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

Highs & Lows: Looking Back at 2010

The Atlantic Food Channel’s Derek Brown recently recapped his favorite cocktail experiences of 2010, inspiring Miss Mojito to do some year-end reminiscing of her own. Here’s a quick look at the highs and lows of shoes and cocktails in this fine year.

Best Cocktail Experience
This one is definitely a two-parter. Mixing cocktails in our very own storefront hotel in Staunton was certainly the most festive experience. But my favorite flavor profile might just be the Sparkling Campari Cocktail.

Biggest Cocktail Fail
Without a doubt, my attempts at making gin & soda into a palatable cocktail were my biggest fail of the year. In a desperate attempt to cut calories, I also cut flavor and any sophistication factor by ordering that mockery of a cocktail.

Number-One Shoe Purchase
This one’s almost too easy. These gray suede slingback mule clogs from Banana Republic still cause my heart to flutter whenever I spy them sitting on my shoe shelf.

Shoe Regret
I’m not one to linger on regrets, but it’s hard to put the shoe past behind you when your ankles still bear the scar left by the strap of these gladiator sandals from Urban Outfitters. And to think, I bought them for the comfy factor!

I had to retire these gladiators, center, after just one wear!

Care to share your favorite – or, perhaps, most unfortunate – shoe and cocktail picks of 2010? Share away in the comments section.

Party Spirit

This holiday season more than ever, Miss Mojito is feeling the festiveness. From decorations to gift-giving, from entertaining to party-going, I’m taking it all in and loving every minute of it! And what better way to prepare for the celebrations ahead than a round-up of tasty cocktails and party-perfect footwear to get us through New Year’s and beyond?

For Miss Mojito, nothing says “holiday festivity” better than sparkles, and I’m officially obsessed with the sparkle placement on this green velvet pair from Modcloth. That platform! That bow! That peep-toe! Swoon.

Despite the near-perfection of this particular pair, when the cold weather hits and the fun parties start, I constantly find myself in desperate need of festive close-toed shoes. The uber-reasonably-priced Lulu‘s comes to rescue in this arena. I’d love love love to start circulating these leopard-print pumps into my party repertoire.

Beverage-wise, I’m feeling the love for this Cognac Sparkler from none other than Ms. Martha Stewart herself, who recommends mixing cognac with a sparkling apple cider and bitters. I’m inclined to substitute champagne or hard cider for the apple cider to keep in the truly celebratory nature of the season!

When I’m not sipping on champagne and cognac, I plan on keeping things warm and festive with some hot buttered rum. Rum? Good. Butter? Good. Combined? Even better.

Miss Mojito wants to know: How are you celebrating the season, shoes-and-cocktails-wise?

Healthy Sips

These next few weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas can be taxing on a girl’s schedule, emotions and waistline. While I’m coming up empty on helpful advice for the former two, I’ve spent a bit of time brainstorming on solutions to the latter: How can we translate healthy eating principles to the cocktail world?

The most obvious change to make is the least fun: fewer drinks! But when it’s time to socialize and cocktails are in order, I need to be prepared.

So what’s the best way to balance (relative) healthiness and flavor in a cocktail? Here are a few tips I’ve discovered – some of them are super obvious, others are a bit more creative, but all will put a healthier spin on your cocktail indulgences.

  • Use good liquor: Using high-quality liquor means you can usually go lighter on the mixer, or just add calorie-free soda water or water to let the flavor shine through. And Sister Mojito is teaching me to like scotch & soda, the perfect waist-friendly winter cocktail.
  • Make friends with citrus: A squeeze of lime or lemon

    Sparkling wine with pomegranate seeds & juice? Yes, please!

    can add tons of flavor while adding far fewer calories than other mixers.

  • Add instead of take away: I like to take advantage of a few mixers that add a healthy boost to my drink. Pomegranate juice for antioxidants, for example, or grapefruit juice for a smidge of vitamin C.
  • When it doubt, make it bubble: A bit of club soda added to white wine can stretch the drink into a refreshing spritzer without adding calories. And some bubbly champagne on its own rings in at a cool 75 calories.
  • Make friends with agave: This sweet nectar is a great alternative to simple syrup, and packs fewer calories.
  • Don’t take things too far: I tried to switch out my standard gin & tonic for a gin & soda. Bad idea.

Just because I’m relying on these simple tips doesn’t mean I’ll turn up my nose at a well-made margarita or mojito! But during the busy holiday season, it’s nice to have a few lighter options up my sleeve.

Miss Mojito wants to know: Do you have any tips for upping the health-factor in your drinks and cocktails? What’s your beverage of choice when you’re trying to be a bit calorie conscious?

Getting Experimental

I do believe I’ve found a new signature cocktail for fall, and I couldn’t be more excited to spread the word. Miss Mojito encountered this particular cocktail at Balliceaux, a Richmond restaurant with a truly creative menu. The charmingly-named Down the Rabbit Hole combines an unexpected mix of muddled blackberries, tequila, red wine, ginger liqueur and lime juice. The wine tempers the kick of the tequila, while the muddled fruit provides the perfect touch of sweetness. The end result is a ruby-red concoction that is as easy on the eyes as it is on the taste buds. Now it’s time to start experimenting with proportions. I’m thinking equal amounts of wine and tequila with a small handful of berries, a splash of ginger liqueur and the juice of half a lime.

As long as I’m experimenting with my cocktails, I figured it couldn’t hurt to do a bit of shoe experimentation, as well. And there’s no better way to experiment this fall than with one of the season’s most intriguing – but potentially most difficult to pull off – styles: the over-the-knee boot.

My top pick is by Frye, but I hate to shell out major cash for a shoe that qualifies as a trend. And the $500 Frye boot certainly qualifies as “major cash.” That’s why my top pick is this $120-pair by Naughty Monkey, available on Piperlime. I love the sculptural heel and slate gray color.

Miss Mojito wants to know: Is anyone else getting experimental with their shoes and cocktails this fall?