Tag Archives: shoes and drinks for every occasion

Year in review

As we get ready for a new year, reflection is inevitable.  Of course every year brings some ups and downs, but those of us over here at S&C are an optimistic bunch.  We don’t have too many regrets.  After all, we’ve got a lot to be happy about — great family, good friends, our health, not too much economic misfortune.  Not to mention, this blog.  As we say goodbye to 2008, we leave you with a list of our favorites.

S&C 2008 Favoritesriding-boots

  • Favorite shoes:  Riding boots – so many colors, so many styles.  You can wear them with skinny jeans and tights.  Ms. S&C picked up a pair of really great patent leather ones and a pair of really, really cheap ones.  And, there are at least two more she’d like to have.
  • Favorite cocktail:  Black pepper gin rickey – gin has become Ms. S&C’s spirit of choice, and she can’t get over the combo of gin, lime and black pepper in this drink.  Message to Central: please put it back on the menu sometime in the new year.sangria
  • Favorite S&C-made cocktail:  Punches – Ms. S&C likes fixing cocktails for her friends, but a crowd of peeps can be intimidating and a ton of work.  Her sangrias and punches have been a life-saver.  And, she loves that they are so seasonal.
  • Favorite cocktail blog:  Since starting this whole blogging thing, the guys over at Scofflaws Den have been an inspiration. They are always up the latest cocktail trends, and they definitely know their way around the best bars in DC.
  • Favorite fashion blog:  another DC local, fashion is spinach is vintage-y, yet modern. We adore her personal style, and arespinachlong32 super happy that she’s joined Fashion Washington.
  • Favorite cocktail trend:  speakeasy-style cocktail barsHummingbird to Mars came and went during 2008, but fortunately, The Gibson has popped up as the new primo spot for innovative drinks and atmosphere.  Another trend that was a close second: election-themed cocktails, and we expect those to be revived, oh, sometime around Jan. 20.
  • Favorite fashion trend:  recession chic – while we do not dig the recession, we love the it-is-cool-to-be-cheap revolution, and we love bargains.

S&C wants to know: What are your 2008 favorites? Shoes, cocktails, or other — share a comment below!

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

Party animals

In Washington, DC, elections are a good excuse to party.  Inaugural balls, primary-watching happy hours, election-results parties.  We’ve already shared some of the DNC-themed cocktails from the convention.  So naturally, they’ll be plenty of people with cocktail in hand watching tonight’s Vice Presidential train wreck debate between Joe Biden and Sarah Palin.

What you’ll be drinking tonight could say a lot about your political preference.  Here are a few amusing articles and surveys linking political preference to cocktails and bar behavior.  In short:

Democrats

  • Prefer clear spirits such as gin and vodka, and white wine
  • Tip better
  • Have better pick-up lines
  • Give better toasts

Republicans

  • Prefer darker spirits such as bourbon and scotch, and red wine
  • Are more likely to order a drink straight up
  • Are less likely to order a “fruity,” or pink drink
  • Will arrive first at happy hour

For more humorous comparisons, check out the New York Times’ You Might Be an Obama Supporter if…, and You Might Be a McCain Supporter if…

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If you are in need of ideas for election-themed cocktails, here are a few for you to enjoy, courtesy of Beam Global Spirits & Wine.

The Running Mate

• 2 parts bourbon, preferably Maker’s Mark
• 1 part simple syrup
• 2 wedges lemon
• 1 slice of watermelon

Muddle lemon and watermelon with simple syrup.  Add bourbon and ice.  Shake and strain into a large old-fashioned glass filled with crushed ice.  Garnish with a slice watermelon and lemon wheel.

Recipe Source: James Lee, bartender at West End Tavern in Boulder, CO

The Donkey
Sounds similar to the Blackberry Bourbon Cobbler over at Central.

• 2 parts bourbon, preferably Knob Creek
• 1 part triple sec
• 1 teaspoon sugar
• 6 mint sprigs
• Splash of raspberry schnapps
• Fresh raspberries and blueberries to garnish

Add sugar, bourbon and mint into an old-fashioned glass filled with crushed ice and muddle the fruit.  Garnish with berries and mint.

Recipe Source: Jim Hewes, bartender at Round Robin Bar, Willard InterContinental in Washington, DC

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In closing, join me and other chardonnay-swigging liberals in toasting:


Autumnal equinox

In honor of summer’s end and autumn’s arrival, we toasted the changing of the seasons with a large pitcher of sangria over the weekend. Many thanks to friends James and Nicole for the lovely fiesta.

This recipe is a modified version of ones adapted from The Recipe Girl and Cook’s Illustrated. Cook’s says you don’t need to go with the expensive stuff when making sangria. I trust them on that, so I picked up Tres Ojos Old Vine Garnacha from Whole Foods for $7 a bottle.

The Ingredients/Recipe:
(Recipe is for two bottles of wine)

  • Prepare at least 3 hours in advance (can be up to 24 hours in advance)
  • Slice 1 lemon, 1 lime, and 2 oranges in whole slices, then quarter
  • Place all citrus in a pitcher, add 2 bottles of red wine (preferrably Spanish)
  • Add 5-6 shots of orange liqueur
  • Refrigerate for several hours, to allow time for the fruit flavors to blend with wine
  • Pour and top, generously, with seltzer water (note: it can be very tricky to pour and get an adequate mixture of fruit in each glass; recommend that you pour the wine first, spoon in fruit mixture, then top with seltzer)

S&C’s also has a recipe for white wine sangria, if you’re interested.

Dry the rain

I am so coveting Tory Burch’s Winnie rain boot. Her whole fall collection is great (an interesting combo of bohemian chic and European riding wear). Made of rubber, with the brand signature in bright yellow at top — these sleek and stylish boots would sure brighten my rainy days, especially those that have me sloshing to and from the metro.

S&C advice–what to wear with my new shoes?

Dear Ms. Shoes and Cocktails,
Here’s a picture of my new shoes. I need to build an outfit around them, and a signature drink. I heart them.

Sincerely,
Ms. Z

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Dear Ms. Z,
These shoes are très chic! I love the unique “cognac” color. In fact, the shoes themselves are quite unusual, especially the over-sized button detail. You know the thing I love about unusual shoes? They can turn a very usual outfit into something special. For the work day, you can wear the same black shirt and plain, old cardigan. Add these shoes and an over-sized necklace (gold would be a lovely compliment to caramel color), and you’ve got a spectacular outfit. Plus, you’ll also be dressed and ready for that last minute happy hour.

When I’m having drinks after work, I’m usually in the Penn Quarter. One place in the neighborhood, that has delicious cocktails bold enough to compliment these pumps, is Oyamel. I need to meet the mixologist over there because the specialty drinks rotate. I had a mango cocktail with a jalapeno infusion awhile back. Spicy goodness. It is no longer there, but the same, fine ingredients such as agave nectar and tropical fruit juices are.

Finally, I’m still one for heels on the weekend. Pair these darlings with dark denim, and you’ll be ready for dinner and a movie or a Sunday afternoon brunch.

Thanks for sharing!
Ms. S&C

In need of Shoes & Cocktail advice? Send Ms. S&C a note at: shoesandcocktails(at)yahoo(dot)com.

Making history

Tonight, history is being made. On the anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, the first African American candidate, Barack Obama, accepts the nomination for president. What cocktail will you have in hand to celebrate? If you’re in Denver, CO, the city of the Democratic National Convention (or, damn nice cocktails), you’re taking advantage of a receptive audience with the “Obamapolitan” and the “Rodham Sockem.” Wherever you are, “Cheers!”