Category Archives: cocktail-related

Overheard at the lake

For some reason there are a few little snipets of dialogue, from the recent lake trip, that really tickled Ms. S&C. Maybe because they are centered around booze, maybe because she could title them both: “Make it two,” or maybe because she thinks her friends are funny (and funnier after a few drinks).

One afternoon, Ms. S&C and a few others toured Seneca Lake on a sailboat (a 24 footer, I believe).  Upon arriving back at the dock, here’s what she overheard:

MGC (who had been sitting on the dock drinking beer with others while we were sailing) says to CA (who is about to exit the sailboat): “Was it a two Strongbow boat ride?”

CA: “It would have been if I had two Strongbows.”

(What’s really funny about this is: Strongbow ciders are a favorite of the guys at the lake. That’s who we buy them for.)

Here’s one reason the lake is Ms. S&C’s favorite summer weekend.
Another reason? Her friends are funny.

Then, one evening, at least 12 of us (almost the entire group at the lake), were sitting around a table playing the game Left-Center-Right. Those not playing were standing around watching. (If you’ve ever played the game, you know it can get kind-of intense towards the end, when you’re only down to two or three players, and there’s a large stack of dollar bills to be won.)

JS (who ultimately wins the game) says: “Is there anyone standing who knows how to make a Dark ‘n’ Stormy?”

JM perks up and adds: “Is there anyone standing who knows how to make *two* Dark ‘n’ Stormies?”

(One reason JS asked this question was because we had a conversation about how it is sometimes difficult to find people who know how to make a real Dark ‘n’ Stormy. Ms. S&C, of course, knows how to make real Dark ‘n’ Stormies — but she was playing the game.)

Ms. S&C’s has a three-part series covering her favorite weekend of the year. Part one: Sights of the lake. Part two: Overheard at the lake. Part three: Drinks at the lake.

posted by Ms. S&C

Sights of the lake

Every August, Ms. S&C takes her annual trip up to Seneca Lake. It is quite possibly her favorite weekend of the year. (She’s written about these lake trips before.) Here’s what you can expect when you’re at the lake with Ms. S&C and her funny, funny friends.

Beer

Lounging

Cute kids

Wet dogs

Cocktails

Ms. S&C’s has a three-part series covering her favorite weekend of the year. Part one: Sights of the lake. Part two: Overheard at the lake. Part three: Drinks at the lake.

posted by Ms. S&C

Summer Fun with S&C

With the end of summer in sight, I’m feeling more than a little motivated to make the most of these last hot days of August. That means spending as much spare time as possible poolside, indulging in sunset cocktails, planning picnics with friends and fun, warm-weather weekend trips.

How does this translate to the world of Shoes & Cocktails? I can’t think of a better way to get more fun out of summer than with Todd Thrasher’s Bomb Pops, a youthful treat with an adult twist. These fruity, layered popsicles pack tequila, vodka and rum into each pop. I forecast these being the perfect weekend sweet treat!

(Exciting Side Note: Miss Mojito will take her first-ever trip to Restaurant Eve’s Tasting Room this weekend to taste Mr. Thrasher’s cocktails and Chef Cathal Armstrong’s cuisine in person! Rarely have I been this excited for a meal.)

On the shoe front, I’m feeling seriously tempted to indulge in some most excellent summer sandal clearance, and Piperlime is just the place to do it. I’ve been eyeing these seriously chunky, slightly ridiculous and delightfully curvaceous Naughty Monkey sandals for ages now. And at almost 50 percent off, they’re starting to creep into my price range. Plus, they might translate well into the early days of fall.

Long live summer!

Miss Mojito wants to know: In what end-of-summer indulgences are you partaking?

Posted by Miss Mojito.

Top Chef DC: farm-to-table

Last week’s Top Chef episode featured local ingredients: Chesapeake Bay blue crabs and food from a local Virginia farm.

The Quickfire Challenge had the chefs cooking our popular local treasure: blue crabs. Ed won the challenge with his dish of jumbo lump crab, thai basil, mango and cucumber. Considering I’ve picked crabs for the past *three* weekends straight, I tend to agree with local boy Tim’s philosophy: you don’t need to add a lot of flavors to blue crabs — the crab can shine on its own. But, I also don’t think anyone was planning to throw a half dozen crabs, covered in Old Bay, in front of Padma with a beer, a mallet, and some hushpuppies (I’d be in heaven).

The Elimination Challenge took the chef’s to Virginia’s first totally certified farm,  Ayrshire Farm, — a farm of locally produced, humanely raised meats and organic produce — to prepare elegant rustic farm dishes. I love elegant, rustic farm dishes. I love eating outdoors. I love eating outdoors wearing a scarf. And, I would love eating outdoors, wearing a scarf, with Eric Ripert. A few other comments about the episode:

  • Speaking of elegant, rustic food, Patrick O’Connell, owner of The Inn at Little Washington, was guest judge (how about that plaid blazer, and his very interesting deliberate manner of speaking?)
  • Angelo is kinda grossing me out with his oversexualization of food. The whole “I made love to that duck” bit made me gag.
  • Remind me never to serve salad in a bowl, since it can be referred to as “a concrete truck pouring on silk.”
  • Hooray Kenny! His dish of curried eggplant won. (Tim was sent home, btw.)

The Top Chef challenge was family style fare, but turn your focus to Kenny’s Hot and Sour Curried Eggplant with Peppers & Carrot Tops

For the Top Chef Drink Pairing: Virginia is for Viognier, not lovers. In a Washington Post article last year, Dave McIntyre reported that Viognier is very popular among Virginia vintners because the grapes are suited to this climate, and can remain balanced because it tolerates the heat and humidity (apparently the thick skin and growing in loose clusters makes it resistant to rot in the humid climate).

The wine is described as nuanced: lush and opulent with exuberant fruit, but also “austere and subtle in the classic fashion of the wines of Condrieu, Viognier’s homeland in France’s Rhone Valley.”  The only Virginia Viognier I can recall buying was a bottle from the Tarara Winery in Loudoun County, Va. I think the richness and slight sweetness of the Viognier would be a good match for the spicy curry in Kenny’s eggplant dish.

posted by Ms. S&C

Making (music) references

You may or may not know this: Ms. S&C likes music. All kinds of music. She particularly likes listening to music with a cocktail in hand.

Over on Facebook — both on the S&C fan page and my personal page — I often make reference to what I’m eating, what I’m drinking, and what I’m listening to. (When it comes to status updates, they are like my holy trinity.) A friend suggested that I incorporate more music selections/recommendations in my S&C blog posts. You know she’s a good friend when (a) she reads my blog, and (b) says she likes my taste in music (thanks, AV!)

What you also may or may not know: I fancy using a song title as a blog post title. Some of the references are more subtle than others, but here are a few faves:

  • Femme Fatalesnakeskin Louboutins are a perfect match for this song from the Velvet Underground & Nico album. The shoes are wicked cool and so is the song, the band, and Nico.
  • Paint it Black — the patent leather boots post was inspired by the Rolling Stones song (which Rolling Stone magazine lists as one of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.)
  • Dancing Queen — easy reference for a Project Runway blog post about drag queens, but the ABBA song is deserving.
  • Dry the Rain — when writing about rain boots, I couldn’t help but think about all the movie scenes with John Cusack in the rain, and also the scene from High Fidelity,when he tries to get customers to buy the Beta Band album by playing this song.
  • Such Great Heights — I love the original Postal Service song, but the Iron & Wine version is one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever heard (like so beautiful it hurts beautiful). And, high heels = great heights, right?
  • Killing the Blues — things that go well together: purses and shoes, and Robert Plant and Alison Krauss.

Then, there’s an occasion when a song inspires a drink selection. Who wouldn’t want a sloe gin fizz after hearing Portland, Oregon, from Loretta Lynn and Jack White? Loretta Lynn is amazing. Jack White is amazing. This song is amazing. Too bad a sloe gin fizz isn’t quite as amazing (but worth trying).

Sloe Gin Fizz
(recipe courtesy of Esquire)

  • 2 ounces sloe gin
  • 1/2 ounce lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon superfine sugar
  • club soda

Shake the gin, lemon juice and sugar with cracked ice in a chilled cocktail shaker. Strain into a small, chilled Collins glass and fizz to an inch or so from the top — splash the club soda or seltzer in rather carelessly, so that it foams.

“Well Portland Oregon and sloe gin fizz / If that ain’t love then tell me what is uh huh, uh huh.”

“Well sloe gin fizz works mighty fast / When you drink it by the pitcher and not by the glass uh huh, uh huh.”

posted by Ms. S&C

Reading material

Remember me? I’m Ms. Shoes & Cocktails. I used to blog more frequently about topics near and dear to my heart. While blogging inspiration inevitably ebbs and flows, I promise you this is just a small drought. It is summer after all.

If you are looking for some S&C-related reading material, can I recommend the following?

No longer preppy, the J.Crew look is now “a European in the United States.”

Here’s a great article from The New York Times Magazine about J.Crew’s new and improved transformation. It is now a brand that “twinkles with references to France and haute couture.” I also particularly enjoyed the description of their copywriting style as “distinctive J.Crew haikus.” A good example: these Raffia Rose Printed Peep Toes are described as, “Both sweet and sultry, these blushworthy peep toes ensure that summer romance isn’t just in the air but also on your feet.”

The Bloody Mary: nutritious and naughty, packed with vitamins and vice. A farm-to-table drink; a liquid salad.

The New York Times is the source of another fantastic article. This article by Frank Bruni, former restaurant critic for The Times, takes a look at how the Bloody Mary is changing for the better. How is it changing for the better? One restaurant in the East Village has a version called the “Chicago Matchbox,” and includes pickled Brussels sprouts, caper berries, white turnips, green beans and radishes. Also: some bartenders aren’t afraid to replace vodka as go-to spirit. Bruni goes on to say, “Tequila is perhaps vodka’s best bloody surrogate: its smokiness plays nicely with the flavor of tomato.”

I just want to go back to Paris.

Lastly, you want something that isn’t S&C related? Check out my new favorite blog, littlebrownpen. The author is a copywriter and photographer, and has the most beautiful photos of Paris I’ve ever seen. Seriously, I melt every time I look at them. I am so awestruck that I forget about all the places I’ve never visited, and I just want to go back to Paris. Check out this glorious sequence of Red and Green, and isn’t Violette a pretty word?

Mmm. Just what I needed. Now I’m inspired.

posted by Ms. S&C

Glassware Options

This fun article on glassware over at Slashfood.com made me take a closer look at my own drinking vessel options. Here are a few of my personal faves.

For everyday wine drinking, I’m a huge fan of dishwasher-safe wine glasses. Mine came from West Elm.

When I want wine-sipping to be more festive, I rely on these three tumblers, all of which were gifted! From left to right, there’s a clear glass tumbler from Barcelona; a hand-blown orange tumbler from Staunton; and a tinted-blue tumbler from Mexico!

My bar cart is home to some adorable vintage picks. On the top rack is a set of pea green glasses and shot glasses with a Greek-themed etching in a fab gold holder. The rack below holds some chunky emerald goblets. (The cowboy box is home to my cocktail napkins!)

That’s just a quick look at where drinks get poured in the Mojito Household. Necessary additions (pending cabinet and storage availability) include some high-end champagne flutes and some nice highballs.

Miss Mojito wants to know: What are your favorite glassware staples? What’s on your glassware wish list?

Posted by Miss Mojito.