Category Archives: cocktail-related

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.

At the Storefront

I like going out to bars as much as the next girl. But when the bar comes to you? Perfection.

That’s exactly what you get when you stay at the Storefront, a tiny hotel in Staunton, Va. that’s “boutique” in every sense of the word. The two-story building houses a bedroom and small kitchen on the top floor and a private bar that faces the street on the first floor. Guests can partake of a well-stocked snack bar and complimentary mixers while whipping up batches of their favorite cocktails, all in the comfort of their own hotel! On a recent trip, we indulged in some Brown Derbies (bourbon, grapefruit & agave) before heading out on the town to the nearby Blackfriar’s Playhouse and Zynadoa restaurant.

I’ve lauded the virtues of Staunton as a weekend-vacay destination for shoe and cocktail lovers before. The Storefront provides an even better excuse to make the trip!

Posted by Miss Mojito.

Living the Low-Brow Style

Miss Mojito enjoys a swanky cocktail or a sophisticated shoe as much as the next gal. But every once in a while, a girl just needs something comfy, casual and fun. Miss Mojito’s social calendar recently allowed for such indulgences on both the shoe and cocktail front.

It started several weeks ago at a local Richmond bowling alley, when I found myself enjoying these sporty bowling shoes just a tad too much. They’re retro, they’re cute, they’re comfy – what’s not to like!?

The next stop on my low-brow shoes and cocktails tour took me to Dave & Buster’s, a relatively new addition to the Richmond entertainment scene that combines Chuck-E-Cheese attractions with adult beverages. I went with a group of work friends to celebrate a birthday, and amidst the Whack-a-Mole and Skee-Ball we took some time to peruse the most extensive menu of tropical drinks I have ever seen. I sipped on a tropical mojito (natch), a crazy concoction of rum, mojito mix, pineapple juice and muddled pineapple. My friend had the real stunner, though. The Copabanana Colada featured the usual pina colada suspects plus the addition of banana and – get this – a red sugared rim. Maybe not the most sophisticated drink choices, but they were certainly fun and tasty!

Sometimes, it’s fun to take a break from the champagne, cordials, stilettos and other “classy” faves and indulge in some good footwear and cocktails that value the fun factor over sophistication.

Posted by Miss Mojito.

It’s the Little Things

In Miss Mojito’s cocktail sipping and sampling, I’ve started to notice that it’s the details that make a difference between the good and the great. A frosted glass, perfectly crushed ice or a unique garnish can take a cocktail to that next level. Here are a few cocktail details that I’ve noticed and enjoyed of late.

Utensils, Please: On a recent weekend get-away to Staunton, I chose sangria as my drink of choice at  Zynadoa, an amazing eatery with a focus on the southern and the local. To accompany the sangria, the server gave me a darling and diminutive fork to fish out the juicy fruit left floating about in the glass. Perfect!

Salt AND Peppa: My favorite part of a cucumber martini I recently enjoyed was the topping on the glass rim, which received a quick dip in a bath of sea salt and freshly cracked pepper. Salt is a standard accoutrement in cocktail mixing, but the extra touch of pepper made it super-special.

Keep the Champagne Flowing: I was delighted, while partaking in a pomegranate bellini, to receive the leftover champagne from the small split used to pour the glass. The drinker can control the sweetness level by topping of the bellini with a bit of the extra champagne.

Foamy Forecast : While sampling margaritas at the new Ventana restaurant in Charlottesville, my favorite part of the cocktail menu was the foam toppings. My margartia, for example, came crowned in a foam of tangerine, lending an extra flavor punch.

Miss Mojito wants to know: What are your favorite little details that take a cocktail from ordinary to extraordinary?

Super Bowl party planning

Ms. S&C is party planning for her annual Super Bowl party (it will be number eight). When party-planning for any occasion, it is important to pick a theme, or have a focus for the event. This year’s Super Bowl is in Miami, the city simultaneous with Cuban cuisine and Latino culture. Bobby Flay, the new monthly food columnist for Parade magazine, suggests using this as your party theme so you can cook items like adobo-seasoned chicken wings and Cuban sandwich crostinis. And mojitos would be perfect. You could also go the New Orleans, hurricane-fueled Mardi Gras, route. Gumbo, jambalaya, and po-boys all work as football food. And no other city has quite the same legendary cocktails.

The S&C’s are unapologetically hosting an one-sided
Super Bowl Party this year.

Both of these themes are likely better than the S&C’s Blue & White Party. But, the S&C family are Colts fans. Big time. And, we’re in the golden age of Colts football. Peyton Manning is arguably the best quarterback ever, and Bill Polian is a a genius of his own. So, we’ll rejoice in this. We’ll celebrate this. And this is how.

  • Theme – The Blue & White Party, for the Indianapolis Colts, whose team colors are blue and white.
  • Food – Traditional football fare will be served: pigs n’ blanket, spinach dip (with blue corn chips), and whatever else guests bring. The featured item will be chocolate cupcakes with white icing and blue horseshoes, special-made from Buzz Bakery.
  • Beverages – It’s not a party without punch. A version of our favorite sparkling punch will be made with blueberries, and we’ll have plenty of craft beer from Indiana (probably Three Floyds).
  • Entertainment – Aside from the game, we’ll have football squares, Super Bowl bingo, Colts player-position match game. Prizes will be awarded to winners (maybe another dinner with the S&C’s?).
  • Décor – Over the years, we’ve accumulated a collection of football-serving plates, glasses, and other Colts paraphernalia. We’ve also got a football piñata, and we’ll buy blue and white paper product items, balloons, and even streamers this year.
  • Wardrobe – Mr. S&C owns an Addai jersey. Ms. S&C has a number of apparel items ranging from an Alyssa Milano touch t-shirt to a vintage Baltimore Colts majorette vest. Team colors all the way.

No matter how much planning is involved, inevitably the success of the party is tied to the outcome of the game. Go Colts!

posted by Ms. S&C

Getting Experimental

Miss Mojito isn’t big on New Year’s resolutions, but for cocktail concocting, she’ll make an exception. Over the next 12 months, I’m resolved to live out a new goal in my personal mixology: get experimental. I love following a good recipe for sure-fire results, but 2010 is the year I get creative in my home bar. Afterall, I ad-lib in the kitchen on a regular basis, so why not apply the same principles of improvisation to my drink mixing?

To make this resolution a reality, I think a three-pronged approach is in order.

1. Mix different alcohols together. Back in 2009 I was pleased as punch to discover that tequila and bourbon could make a pleasing cocktail marriage when paired with grenadine, lime juice and agave nectar in the Lady Astor. The combo possibilities are endless! Who knows what kind flavor surprises await when I start mixing gin with vodka, rum with tequila or brandy with cognac? Sure, the results might be questionable, but I’ll never know until I give it a shot.

2. Try new spirits. Too often, I limit myself to my favorite staples and mixers: gin, bourbon, lime, grapefruit. Where’s the excitement in that? I’m determined to integrate new-to-me flavor profiles into my bar. This might include some new liqueurs–I’ve been itching to try the herb-infused Benedictine–or even just upgrading the brands of some of my regular go-to spirits.

3. Adopt a truly fearless resolve in my mixology. Everyone knows that the key to success is being unafraid to fail a few times. I must be steadfast in my experimentation. Cocktail making can be a delicate art and a time-consuming task when done right – but it’s certainly one part of my resolution that I’ll enjoy.

For additional inspiration in 2010, I’m turning to the experts for some recommendations. Jason Wilson, spirits guru for the Washington Post, predicts pisco, cachaca and rum will be big players on the cocktail horizon, in addition to the party-friendly punch. Over at the Atlantic Food Channel, Derek Brown had identified cocktail and food pairings, monk-made liqueurs, a plethora of vermouths and ice as key trends in this year’s cocktail forecast.

Miss Mojito wants to know: What trends and resolutions do you predict will make their way into your cocktail repertoire this year?

Ms. S&C’s holiday wish list–part 1

The indulgence of a compiling a wish list is frivolous, yet hard to deny oneself — especially during the gift-giving season. Ms. S&C strongly encourages you to think of (and give something to) those less fortunate during the holiday season. However, if there was someone out there (wink, wink, Mr. S&C) who wanted to spoil a certain blond blogger during the holiday season — well, here’s an idea.

The Hour, a chic boutique located in Old Town Alexandria, specializes in modern and vintage cocktail ware. They also offer a selection of framed vintage cocktail advertisements and portraits of women (from the New York Evening Post, in wonderful 1950’s and 60’s garb). Below is one of their classy art pieces, that I adore. I’d also be happy with any of their other très stylish glassware collections. Any cocktail enthusiast would. Great place for gifts!

Vintage print that Ms. S&C adores, and is available at
The Hour in Old Town Alexandria

Happy Holidays from Shoes & Cocktails!

posted by Ms. S&C