Tag Archives: drinking during the day

Ein bier, bitte

What do you get when you combine bratwurst, sauerkraut, spaetzle, perfect fall weather, and lots of beer?  Oktoberfest! The world’s largest festival, concluded this weekend in Munich, Germany.

Fortunately, the rest of the world also likes to celebrate the Bavarian way of life.  Not only do we enjoy dining on traditional German delicacies, we love German beer.  Many breweries now offer their own seasonal Oktoberfest beer to commemorate the arrival of fall.  This rich malty lager, amber in color, usually has hints of caramel and toffee.  Hops are added for bitterness, and to balance the sweetness of the barley.  This style of beer is often referred to as Marzen,” because the beer is brewed in March, stored cold through the summer, and ready to drink at the arrival in autumn.

Oktoberfest originated with the marriage of a Bavarian prince in October 1810.  Citizens of Munich were invited to attend the festivities to celebrate the royal event.  Horse races marked the close of the event, and gave rise to the tradition of the Oktoberfest.  Subsequent years added an Agricultural Show, designed to boost Bavarian agriculture.  Visitors were able to quench their thirst at small beer stands, which grew to beer tents and halls.  Today, the Oktoberfest attracts over six million visitors from around the world.

S&C Oktoberfest Favorites: Brooklyn Brewery, Spaten, and Sam Adams

And, what shoes are appropriate for this occasion? Many German designers seem to follow the same philosophy — premium quality, best workmanship, and comfort. That’s what you’ll find in Birkenstock and Josef Seibel’s collections.

Prost!

posted by Ms. S&C

Fragments of a rainy vacay

Rain, high winds, threats of coastal flooding – not exactly how Ms. S&C pictured her long weekend in Rehoboth Beach, DE.  But, we made the most of it.  While there was little sunshine to enjoy, there were plenty of other fun beach-y activities: walking along the boardwalk, frisbee in the surf, putt-putt golf, live music and plenty of dining out.

Places of culinary interest included:

Drink of the trip: Beer

Maybe it was a slight case of seasonal affective disorder, but I was in no mood for the typical fruity cocktails.  No rum punch, no daiquiris, nothing resembling a tropical drink was consumed.  Wine usually accompanied dinner, but otherwise it was all about beer: Pumpkin ale and IPAs from DFH, Paulaner Hefeweizen, beers from Anchor Brewing Company, and my light beer of choice–Amstel Light.

Song of the summer

The Drink: Watermelon Lemonade

No self-respecting cocktail enthusiast can go through the summer season without using watermelon in a delicious beverage. The bright color and watery texture are ideal components for drinks. Martinis, margaritas, sangria – you can’t go wrong with this ingredient!

 

 

 

The Ingredients/Recipe:

This version of Watermelon Lemonade is a Shoes & Cocktails exclusive! And, it is actually quite good minus the booze, if you want to go that route.

(Recipe makes 3-4 drinks)

  • Cut ½ of a small watermelon into large chunks (do yourself a favor and get a seedless melon)
  • Puree in a blender, then strain into a pitcher (you should have enough liquid for a 3 to 1 alcohol ratio)
  • Add juice of two lemons
  • Add 3 or 4 shots vodka, preferably Absolut Citron
  • Mix well, then pour over ice
  • Garnish with fresh basil

Modifications: I generally prefer things tart rather than sweet. If this recipe is too tart for your liking, I recommend adding more watermelon, or 1 to 2 ounces of triple sec, Cointreau, or some other form of simple syrup. You can also garnish with mint, and/or lemon or watermelon wedges. I prefer basil because it is growing outside my backdoor, and nothing beats that smell in the summer!

Bonus tip: Here’s another perfect opportunity for using flavored ice cubes. Pour watermelon puree into your ice tray and freeze.

The Occasion:

Summer is a very important time for one’s social agenda. Picnics, backyard barbeques, trips to the lake, the beach – there are endless opportunities for enjoying cocktails with friends. I say, download these summer hits to your IPod, fire up the grill, slip on any number of yellow shoes because they will perfectly accessorize the watermelon cocktail in your hand.

The Shoes: Yellow Shoes

Yellow shoes are this season’s hot item for your warm weather wardrobe. Practically every brand has its own version; there are so many choices and so many styles. I personally like my friend LC’s shown below because (a) the quilting texture is unique, (b) they are wedges (and we all know the benefits of wearing wedges for those summer outdoor activities), and (c) check out the super-cool clear wedge heel. Great find!

 

posted by Ms. S&C

The beach bum

The Drink: Sea Breeze

Erase any preconceived notions you have about fruity cocktails. Fruity drinks are not just for girls, or those with undeveloped palates, and they are definitely not just for drinking out of cheap plastic cups at the beach.

The Sea Breeze, like its sister cocktails the Bay Breeze and Cape Cod, is an often overlooked drink. You’re thinking vodka, juice – been there, done that, like when I was sixteen. Well, I say you should give this super refreshing and deliciously tart cocktail another chance. The mixture of fresh citrus and happy color make it a perfect companion on a summer day, beach or no beach. And, the balance of fruit juice to vodka means that you won’t wipe you out after you’ve had just one. So, don’t feel bad about two. Okay, three.

The Occasion:

Whether you are seaside, poolside, lakeside, or yardside, pull out your white linen skirt, grab your straw hat, and infuse some color by slipping on a pair of super cute sandals like the ones below.

The Shoes: Sandals

Nothing says summer footware like sandals. And, there’s so much variety: T-straps, ankle-straps, gladiators, or slides. I picked up these pretty little things in black over at Endless.com. Now, I’m so regretting I didn’t get them in green. The patent-like sheen on the straps and the cork-like insole means a little comfort, but a lot of fancy.

The Ingredients/Recipe:

We all know that the fresher the ingredients, the better the taste. Consider buying fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice, or juice them yourself.

  • Fill cocktail glass with ice
  • Mix 2 parts vodka, 3 parts cranberry juice, 2 parts grapefruit juice, and squeeze half a lime (my addition for extra tartness)
  • Garnish with a lime wedge or grapefruit slice

Here’s a bonus tip: add color and fun into your drink by using flavored ice cubes. The ones below are made with lemon and lime zest. All you do is zest citrus fruit (orange works too), add to your ice tray, add water and freeze.

Shoes & Cocktails wants to know: what’s your summer favorite? Shoes or cocktails. Make a comment below.

posted by Ms. S&C

Cool as a cucumber

The Drink: Pimm’s Cup

My friend, LC, is an inspiration in so many ways, but her latest contribution to making my life my enjoyable was introducing me to the drink Pimm’s Cup. This British-bred concoction is fresh and tasty, and definitely an old-school classic. Made with an obscure liqueur, with a flavor similar to a spiced gin, this drink is perfect for an occasion when you’d like something to take the edge off, but you don’t want to get hammered. That’s why it rules the leisurely brunch scene and is a staple at Wimbledon. It looks like iced tea, so it’s a natural thirst-quencher and a perfect match for outdoor activities.

The Occasion:

While I’m likely not heading to Wimbledon next year, and horse-racing season is over, there’s still a time and place for Pimm’s Cup. Hosting a brunch? Playing lawn games? Or, how about – the sun’s out, I don’t have any plans, let’s call some friends, sit out on the patio and play cards?

The Shoes: Wedges

These shoes speak outdoors. I’m a big fan of heels, but you don’t want heels sinking into the lawn. And, heels can sometimes come off a little severe with a summer dress or the ultimate summer fabric, linen. Wedges provide comfort and stability whether you’re headed to Gold Cup, playing croquet, or if you’re like me and just want a light cocktail in the afternoon.

The Ingredients/Recipe:

Fill cocktail glass with ice

Mix 1 part Pimm’s Cup No. 1 with 2 parts seltzer (preferably lemon or lime)

Stir lightly

Garnish with cucumber and lemon

Enjoy!

posted by Ms. S&C