Author Archives: missmojito

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?

Back to (Black) Basics

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about what many would argue is the penultimate staple of a girl’s wardrobe: the basic black pump. It’s a shoe that can dress up a pair of jeans and add the perfect polish to any work outfit. It can be difficult to find that perfect pair though – one that melds comfort, fashion and versatility. That’s why I think that a few different versions of the black pump are a wardrobe-must.

My personal preference is a round- or almond-shaped toe – I think it’s utterly feminine and flattering. That’s not to say that I turn up my nose at a pointy toe – I certainly have a couple of pairs in my closet – but I feel like the round toe has a certain classic longevity.

Here’s a quick look at my three favorite round-toe pumps.

This pair of Steve Madden Mary Janes is one that I turn to time and time again, and in fact have had to re-heel several times due to far too frequent wear and tear.

This pair by Rocket Dog has a slightly retro look thanks to the knot on top and the curve of the shoe. I’ve worn these to weddings and work – love the versatility factor!

The elevated platform and laser cut-outs elevate my latest acquisition, a Calvin Klein pair, from classic to super-special. I also love the heft in the 4.5-inch heels. This shoe is sure to quickly work its way into regular wardrobe rotation.

Miss Mojito wants to know: Am I the only one with a black pump obsession? Tell us about your personal faves!

Miss Mojito Meets Fall

Miss Mojito is finally at a stage where she can embrace fall in all its brisk glory. I’m ready to meet the season full of cheer, and for good reason. Fall is prime shopping time in the Mojito household, and this season in particular brings the perfect storm of colors, pieces and patterns that are calling my name. Those cold-weather staples that mark the start of a cool new season are some of my favorite shopping indulgences – and the reason that my checking account has taken a significant dip as of late. Here’s why.

Coats and Jackets
Cropped leather moto-jackets and luxe faux-leopard coats are haunting my dreams these days. I couldn’t resist a black pleather bomber-style jacket with an oversized shearling collar from H&M – and for $30, there was no need to resist! This Burberry Prorsum jacket is the original inspiration.

Sweaters
I’m stocking up on thin layering v-necks and cardigans, and am pining for some chunkier, sweater-coat style knits.

Hosiery
When the cold weather sets in, you’ll find me wearing tights six out of seven days a week! This season, I plan to invest in several patterned pairs in neutral shades. But I plan to take things up a notch by layering tights and delicate printed socks – a sheer, polka-dot pair is my favorite hosiery purchase so far, and they look lovely when peeking out of the top of. . .

Boots!
Here at S&C, it’s no surprise that I’m something of a boot addict. Fall always finds me lusting after boots galore. Lace-ups with chunky heels, like this pair by Deena & Ozzy from Urban Outfitters, hold a spot of honor on my wish list.

This is just the tip of the iceberg, sartorially speaking.

Miss Mojito wants to know: What’s on your fall fashion forecast?

Posted by Miss Mojito.

Campari Safari

In honor of Ms. S&C’s Italian voyage, Miss Mojito is paying tribute with an Italian-inspired cocktail. Miss Mojito’s sister introduced this particular cocktail to the fam over the summer, and it was such a hit that we decided to revisit it on our recent beach vacation. It’s the perfect mix of tart yet sweet, easy yet sophisticated.

What’s this intoxicating drink, you may ask? The Sparkling Campari Cocktail. Campari is an aperitif that we’ve sampled on S&C before. From Italian origins, Campari is perhaps most well-known for its use in the classic Negroni (which combines the aperitif with gin and vermouth). Campari is a member of a family of beverage called bitters which – you guessed it – are known for their bitter and slightly biting flavor, often derived from herbal infusions. Bitters are a great way to tone down a too-sweet-beverage-treat.

In keeping with our Italian inspiration, there’s no better partner for an Italian aperitif than an Italian sparkling wine. Prosecco plus Campari plus plenty of citrus equals a winning combo.

Sparkling Campari Cocktail
Serves 6.

  • 1 large orange, sliced, plus additional slices for garnish
  • 1 large lemon, sliced
  • 1 cup Campari
  • 1 bottle Prosecco or sparkling wine
  • Ice

Muddle Campari and sliced fruit in a small bowl for several minutes to release juices. Divide juice and Campari mixture between six glasses filled with ice (about an ounce of Campari per glass, or slightly more if you prefer more of a bitter bite in your cocktail). Top with Prosecco and garnish with additional orange slices.

Posted by Miss Mojito.

Sometimes

Sometimes, under very special circumstances . . .


bare feet . . .

and cheap beer . . .

are all the shoes and cocktails this girl needs.

Miss Mojito is preparing to bid adieu to summer with a week-long family beach vacation. I plan on coming back fully rejuvenated for some fall-worthy blogging: boots, knits and cold-weather bevvies, here I come!

Posted by Miss Mojito.

Collaboration

Miss Mojito thought she was really on to something when she decided to whip up a batch of Cherry Bourbon Lemonade for a bourbon-loving-pal’s recent summer birthday picnic celebration. Sweet, dark cherry juice and tart lemonade would be the perfect companions in this delectable punch.

And they were – sort of. The punch was good. Very good, in fact. But something was. . . missing. The drink was sweet, but not too sweet. It packed a lovely, bourbon-y punch. But it just wasn’t spectacular.

So, what is any responsible cocktail-maker to do when faced with such a conundrum? Why, collaborate, of course! A friend and fellow picnic-goer came up with an idea that turned this cocktail into something truly special: a splash of sparkling wine gave my Cherry Bourbon Lemonade a bit of light fizz.

+ + + = YUM

I highly recommend you make the most of this recipe before the last days of summer slip away!

Fruity Bourbon Fizz
Serves one.

  • 1.5 ounces bourbon (nothing too fancy, Miss Mojito used Jim Beam)
  • .75 ounces cherry juice
  • Large splash lemonade
  • Small splash sparkling wine or champagne

Mix bourbon and cherry juice in a large glass. Top off with a healthy splash of lemonade and a slightly smaller splash of sparkling wine – just enough to add some fizz. Serve on ice and garnish with maraschino cherries, fresh cherries or lemon slices.

Posted by Miss Mojito.

Breaking Shoe News

Miss Mojito just received a phenomenal shoe delivery. So phenomenal, in fact, that a live, breaking news update was in order. Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce you to what will undoubtedly be my favorite shoe of fall and the pre-fall transition season: the Ginara Clog.

I’ve heard all the talk about how the clog is just huge for fall, and I had my doubts – it’s an inherently unfeminine and slightly clunky shape. But clunky, I’ve learned, isn’t always a bad thing when it comes to shoes. Banana Republic has taken the clog and feminized it, adding a lovely sling back (all the better for walking) and a slightly rounded toe. I’m obsessed with the wooden base, the hardware detailing and the gray suede.

This is the first shoe I’ve bought from Banana Republic, and I’m as pleased as punch. And thanks to a combination of discount cards and sales, I got these for a steal at $50 off!

When the box arrived at my office today and I finally got around to opening it, I broke into a chorus of Alleluias – literally. Then I quickly put them on and walked around the office for five minutes to show everyone how happy I was with these shoes – really.

This is such a fantastic purchase because I deliberated for just ages on whether or not to take the clog plunge. I visited two Banana Republic stores in person with no luck locating this particular pair, and since the Web site doesn’t have a picture of a model wearing the shoes, I just couldn’t envision their beauty. Until now.

Added bonus: they’re available in a rich, brown leather too. Which, honestly, I might just have to buy as well. They’re that amazing.

Posted by Miss Mojito.