Milk Punch

Yum! I love sweet, milky beverages of the adult persuasion. This drink is sweet and warming. Perfect for the cold winter weather! The following images and text are courtesy of Etsy. See the article in its entiretyhere. Enjoy! 

A New Holiday Favorite: Milk Punch

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

Story by Kelly Carámbula

eatmakeread

Looking for an alternative to egg nog this holiday season? Milk punch is a mixture of milk, half and half, bourbon or brandy, sugar and vanilla, topped off with a sprinkling of nutmeg. Served either shaken and frothy or frozen into a slushy mix, this southern cocktail is dangerously delicious and ridiculously simple.

Etsy_MilkPunch_ingredients

Milk Punch
Makes 6 servings

2 1/2 cups whole milk (don’t use skim or 2%)
1/2 cup half and half
3/4 cup bourbon or brandy
1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Freshly grated nutmeg, for garnish

Etsy_MilkPunch_570

In a pitcher or vintage milk jug, stir together the milk, half and half, bourbon or brandy, powdered sugar, and vanilla. At this point, you can go two directions—  shaken and frothy or frozen and slushy.

For the shaken and frothy method: Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add about a glass-full of the mixture to the shaker. Shake vigorously for 15 seconds. Strain into a glass and garnish with freshly grated nutmeg.

For the frozen and slushy method: Place the pitcher in the freezer for at least 4 hours and up to one day. When ready to serve, use a metal spoon or fork to loosen the mixture and spoon into a glass. Garnish with freshly grated nutmeg.

Etsy_MilkPunch_final

All photos by Kelly Carámbula.

Kelly Carámbula is the designer and publisher behind Remedy Quarterly, a magazine about food memories and the recipes that inspire them. She’s on a constant quest to try new things, explore her surroundings, and whip up tasty treats. She publishes her adventures in the kitchen, including happy hours, on her blog, The Best Remedy. You can also find her on Instagram @kellycarambula.

Amazing Ways to Spike Hot Cocoa

The best things about winter are not comfy sweaters and crisp white snow, or Santa Claus and holiday cheer. It all comes down to the best cup of hot cocoa and what to spike it with to warm you all the way down to your toes. Every once in a while I’ll pop on BuzzFeed at work and check out the latest to amuse myself. Today I spotted the best article yet. Follow text and images are courtesy of BuzzFeed.

15 Amazing Ways To Spike Hot Chocolate

AKA how to live life like a GOD.

1. Pumpkin Pie Hot Chocolate

Pumpkin Pie Hot Chocolate

(White chocolate, pumpkin puree, and pumpkin pie liqueur)

Level of Boozy: Forgetting a lyric to Bette Midler’s solo song in Hocus Pocus.

Recipe here.

2. Mint Hot Chocolate

Mint Hot Chocolate

(Hot chocolate, tequila, and peppermint schnapps)

Level of Boozy: NOT drunk dialing that guy because you’re at an entirely different adult sleepover.

Recipe here.

3. Nutella Hot Chocolate

Nutella Hot Chocolate

(Hot chocolate, brandy, and Frangelico)

Level of Boozy: Silently listing of all the foods that are enhanced with Nutella in your head and feeling overwhelmed and a smidge anxious.

Recipe here.

4. El Dorado Hot Chocolate

El Dorado Hot Chocolate

(Hot chocolate, rum, and cinnamon liqueur)

Level of Boozy: Insisting everyone watches The Road to El Dorado immediately, because nostalgia.

Recipe here.

5. Oaxaca Chaka Cocktail

Oaxaca Chaka Cocktail

(Hot chocolate, cinnamon, and tequila)

Level of Boozy: Tearing up over the Breaking Bad finale, again.

Recipe here.

6. Red Wine Hot Chocolate

Red Wine Hot Chocolate

(Bittersweet hot chocolate and red wine)

Level of Boozy: Two words: Couch coma.

Recipe here.

7. Hot Chocolate Martini

Hot Chocolate Martini

(Hot chocolate, vanilla vodka, and Bailey’s)

Level of Boozy: Politely arguing over whether or not Carrie’s voiceover in Sex and the City adds or detracts from the show.

Recipe here.

8. Hot Mint Chocolate Toddy

Hot Mint Chocolate Toddy

(Hot chocolate, Kahlua, and peppermint schnapps)

Level of Boozy: Taking 20 minutes to decide on an Instagram filter.

Recipe here.

9. Frozen Hot Chocolate Margarita

Frozen Hot Chocolate Margarita

(Frozen hot chocolate, tequila, Kahlua, and Grand Marnier)

Level of Boozy: Making a matching chocolate burrito at 3 a.m.

Recipe here.

10. Orange Hot Chocolate

Orange Hot Chocolate

(Hot chocolate, Pisco, and Grand Marnier)

Level of Boozy: Stealing a laptop to show everyone your photos from your study abroad trip in Peru and how you drank Pisco aaaaalll the tiiiiime.

Recipe here.

11. Coconut White Hot Chocolate

Coconut White Hot Chocolate

(White hot chocolate, coconut rum)

Level of Boozy: Looking up flights for spring break even though it’s October.

Recipe here.

12. Peppermint Hot Chocolate

Peppermint Hot Chocolate

(Hot chocolate, homemade peppermint schnapps)

Level of Boozy: Breaking out your “Premature Holiday” playlist on Spotify.

Recipe here.

13. “Grown Up” Hot Chocolate

"Grown Up" Hot Chocolate

(Hot chocolate, marshmallow vodka, and homemade Bailey’s marshmallows)

Level of Boozy: Staring into the bottom of the cup and not talking to anyone because the best thing that’s ever happened to you is gone.

Recipe here.

14. Bacon and Hazelnut Hot Chocolate

Bacon and Hazelnut Hot Chocolate

(Hot chocolate, bacon, bourbon, and Frangelico)

Level of Boozy: Reevaluating your entire life because it never occurred to you that bacon strips could double as stirring spoons.

Recipe here.

15. Irish Hot Chocolate

Irish Hot Chocolate

(Hot chocolate, Guinness, whiskey, and Bailey’s)

Level of Boozy: Truly and inexplicably falling in love with a warm beverage, and not caring who knows.

Recipe here.

Sake School

Sake is slowly growing on me. Initially I found the taste to be bitter and strange, but the more I try, the more I am able to find pleasure in it. Here is a run down on various types of sake and their flavor. The following text and images are courtesy of Time Out New York and the article can be seen here.

Sake school: Six sake types for wine drinkers, Scotch sluggers and more

Master sommelier Roger Dagorn (15 East) gives us a 101 on the fermented-rice hooch. From oenophile-baiting junmai to kimoto for Scotch sluggers, there’s a variety for every type of drinker.

By Christina IzzoTue Apr 23 2013

Sushi Of Seki

Sushi Of Seki – Photograph: Filip Wolak

You know if you’re a merlot fan or a champagne sipper, if you’re a sherry devotee or a Scotchaficionado. But do you know junmai from honjozoGinjo from nigori? Before you step into another sakebar, get schooled on six different types of the Japanese fermented-rice beverage and find out which variety will tickle your boozing fancy best.

If you like full-bodied cabs, try a junmai
Heavier and fuller than its delicate sake brethren, the concentrated, acidic junmai grade—pure sake made from rice, koji (starter enzyme) and water—boasts a bold, rich earthiness similar to a robust cabernet sauvignon.

If you like Scotch, try a kimoto or yamahai
Love the peaty malt of good Scotch? Brews crafted in the kimoto or yamahai technique—made without adding lactic acid to the yeast, resulting in more wild bacteria—have that smoky, savory funk that single-malt drinkers crave. This variety is sometimes aged in cedar barrels, which can imbue these labor-intensive sakes—the starter mash is hand-churned over a period of at least four weeks—with a Scotch-like peppery finish.

If you like dry sherry, try a ginjo
The difference between hearty junmai and the lighter ginjo grade is its polishing rate (in layman’s terms: the amount of rice remaining after the husk has been milled) and, with a 60 percent polishing rate, ginjo is leagues more refined than rustic junmai. The superpremium brew is dry, fruity and aromatic, à la Spanish sherry. Sip it chilled for optimum smoothness.

If you like champagne, try sparkling sake
A Japanese twist on bubbly, sparkling sake is distinctive due to its in-bottle secondary fermentation, which produces the fizz and soft sweetness that bottle-poppers look for. Bonus: Unlike the blinding champagne-induced hangover you get every New Year’s Day, carbonated sake’s alcohol content clocks in at under 8 percent, making for easy, breezy tippling.

If you like classic merlot, try honjozo
The medium-bodied cousin of bold junmai, the everyday honjozo-grade sake adds a touch of distilled alcohol to the mash, lending it a soft, easy-to-drink quality in line with a milder merlot. Like that grape varietal, honjozo commonly gives off a cherry flavor and touch of spicy clove.

If you like dessert wine, try nigori
The sweetest of the bunch, milky, creamy nigori caps many Japanese meals as a digestif. The cloudy sip (unfermented rice solids produce the brew’s signature murkiness) is unfiltered and low in alcohol, with light fruit notes. It’s best served cool to bring out its complex sweetness, so chill the brew in an ice bucket as you would dessert wine.

CHEAT SHEET

Warm or chilled?
Sake’s traditionally served warm, but the higher the quality of the sake, the more it should be chilled—warming sake can mask the subtle flavors of premium brews.

Wooden box or stemware?
Wood tampers with the nose of high-end sake (sip delicate ginjos in glassware), though it can actually help smooth out cheaper, harsher varieties.

To pour or not to pour?
Pour for your fellow boozers but not yourself—tejaku (pouring your own sake) is considered very rude in Japanese culture.

What to pair?
A common misconception is that sake should be paired with sushi. Avoid rice-on-rice overkill by soaking up your brew with soba noodles, braised pork belly, miso-glazed Chinese sausage or sashimi.

Sake bomb: yay or nay?
Just say no to sake bombs. They are an American invention and, if ordered at a real-deal sake den, will betray your rookie status.

What’s the difference between junmai and daiginjo?
There are four main grades of sake: junmai (pure rice sake, at least 30 percent polished), honjozo (a tad of distilled alcohol added, at least 30 percent polished), ginjo (highly milled rice—at least 40 percent polished—with or without added alcohol) and daiginjo (even more highly milled rice—at least 50 percent polished—with or without added alcohol).

For The Love of Martha: Whiskey and Bourbon Cocktails

The following images and text are courtesy of Martha Stewart and the article can be found in full here. Sour Cherry Old-Fashioned

Sour Cherry Old-Fashioned

Get whisked away by a refreshing cocktail made with whiskey or bourbon. The alcohol works in summery cocktails such as the classic mint julep, or in more autumnal fare such as the maple bourbon cocktail.

The punch of sour cherries counters the rich oak flavor from the whiskey.

Ingredients

  • 24 frozen sour cherries
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3/4 cup whiskey
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons kirsch
  • Thin lemon-zest strips (from 1 lemon)

Directions

  1. Place cherries in a heatproof bowl. Stir water and sugar in small saucepan to dissolve sugar. Bring to a boil, and pour over cherries. Let cool completely. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  2. Drain cherries, reserving syrup. Thread 4 cherries onto each of 6 skewers. Make 3 drinks at a time: Pour 6 tablespoons whiskey, 3 tablespoons kirsch, and 4 1/2 teaspoons reserved syrup in a cocktail shaker 3/4 filled with ice. Shake and pour into chilled glasses. Garnish each with a skewer and 2 to 3 strips lemon zest. Repeat for the second batch.

Mint Julep

One of the oldest American cocktails, the mint julep originated in Virginia and was popularized in Kentucky. It is the signature cocktail of the American South.

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • 8 fresh mint leaves, plus sprigs for garnish
  • 1 cup crushed ice
  • 2 2/3 ounces (1/3 cup) bourbon

Directions

  1. Stir together sugar and water in a mint julep cup (or 8-ounce glass) until sugar dissolves. Add mint, and muddle gently using a muddler or a wooden spoon. Fill with crushed ice, and add bourbon. Stir until outside of cup is frosted. Garnish with mint sprigs.

 

Whiskey Sours

A classic mixed drink finished off with a buoy-like cherry floating on top.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups orange juice (from 8 oranges)
  • 1 cup fresh lemon juice (from 8 lemons)
  • 1 cup triple sec
  • 2 1/2 cups whiskey
  • Ice (for serving)
  • Orange slices (for serving)
  • Maraschino cherry (for serving)

Directions

  1. In a pitcher, combine orange juice, lemon juice, triple sec, and whiskey. Serve over ice, topped with an orange slice and a maraschino cherry, if desired.

Sazerac

A New Orleans original, this drink is best when made with rye whiskey, but top-shelf bourbon works too.

Ingredients

  • Ice
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • 4 ounces rye whiskey
  • 8 dashes bitters (preferably Peychaud’s)
  • 2 teaspoons anise-flavored liqueur, such as Herbsaint or Pernod
  • Lemon twists

Directions

  1. Fill two rocks glasses with ice to chill. In a third glass or cocktail shaker, stir together sugar and water until sugar dissolves. Add rye whiskey, bitters, and ice. Stir until chilled.
  2. Discard ice from glasses and add 1 teaspoon anise-flavored liqueur to each. Swirl to coat bottom and sides of glasses with liqueur, then pour off extra. Strain rye mixture into glasses and garnish with lemon twists.

The Presbyterian

Making this traditional cocktail is simple; it’s equal parts whiskey or bourbon, club soda, and ginger ale.

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces whiskey or Bourbon
  • 2 ounces club soda
  • 2 ounces ginger ale
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters

Directions

  1. Fill a highball glass with ice. Add whiskey, club soda, ginger ale, and bitters. Stir and serve.

Whiskey Lemonade

This cocktail is practically begging to be sipped while sitting on a sunny porch swing.

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons whiskey
  • 2 tablespoons Simple Syrup
  • Ice
  • Lemon zest

Directions

  1. In a glass, combine lemon juice, whiskey, and simple syrup over ice. Garnish with lemon zest. Add a splash of water if desired.

The Big Apple

Fall flavors from a lady apple and sparkling apple cider make this drink great for transitioning seasons.

Ingredients

  • 1 lady apple, cut in half lengthwise, or 2 slices of a larger apple
  • 3 ounces whiskey
  • 1 ounce dry vermouth
  • 2 dashes bitters
  • 1 cup sparkling apple cider

Directions

  1. Fill a large cocktail shaker halfway with ice. Add apple cider, whiskey, vermouth, and bitters. Shake. Strain into two glasses. Garnish each with an apple half or slice.

Bourbon and Ginger

A spritz of fresh lime juice gives a citrusy finish to this effervescent cocktail.

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces bourbon
  • 4 glasses filled with ice
  • 1 can (12 ounces) ginger ale
  • 4 lime wedges

Directions

  1. Divide bourbon among 4 glasses filled with ice. Divide ginger ale among glasses and squeeze 1 lime wedge into each. Serve immediately.

Sparkling Red-Wine Cocktails

Pair bourbon or another American whiskey with sparkling red wine and serve in a cinnamon sugar-rimmed glass.

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 5 1/2 cups Lambrusco or other sparkling red wine
  • 24 ounces sparkling orange beverage, such as Orangina
  • 4 ounces Bourbon or other American whiskey
  • Orange wedge and slices
  • Ice

Directions

  1. Mix together sugar and cinnamon and spread on a small plate. In a large pitcher, combine red wine, orange beverage, and Bourbon. Rub an orange wedge around rims of eight rocks glasses, then dip glasses in cinnamon-sugar mixture to coat. Fill with ice, add cocktail mixture, and serve with orange slices.

Manhattan

This classic cocktail can be served in a martini glass for a sophisticated touch.

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 ounces bourbon or rye
  • 1/2 ounce sweet vermouth
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • Ice cubes
  • Maraschino cherry, for garnish

Directions

  1. Shake bourbon, vermouth, and bitters over ice. Strain into a cocktail glass; garnish with cherry.
  2. Shake bourbon, vermouth, and bitters over ice. Strain into a cocktail glass; garnish with cherry.

Amaretto-Bourbon Punch

Balance out a robust bourbon with sweet additions such as amaretto and sparkling apple juice.

Ingredients

  • 5 cups seltzer
  • 4 cups bourbon
  • 2 cups fresh lemon juice (from about 16 lemons)
  • 2 cups sparkling apple juice
  • 1 cup Simple Syrup
  • 3/4 cup amaretto or other almond-flavored liqueur
  • Ice cubes
  • Garnish: lemon slices and Maraschino cherries

Directions

  1. Combine seltzer, bourbon, juices, simple syrup, and amaretto in a punch bowl. Fill with ice. Garnish with lemon slices and cherries.

Maple-Bourbon Cider

This autumnal drink gets its sweetness from maple syrup, but a kick of cayenne keeps things interesting.

Ingredients

  • Ice
  • 6 ounces Bourbon
  • 4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • Cayenne pepper

Directions

  1. Fill four glasses and a cocktail shaker with ice. To shaker, add bourbon, lemon juice, maple syrup, and apple cider; shake vigorously. Strain into glasses and top each with a pinch of cayenne pepper, if desired.

Citrus Arnold Palmer with Bourbon

English breakfast tea and bourbon complemented by citrus make this drink as unique as it is delicious.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 4 teaspoons loose English breakfast tea (or 4 tea bags)
  • 1/2 cup bourbon
  • Juice of 1 orange
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons Simple Syrup Simple Syrup
  • Ice, for serving
  • Orange slices, for garnish

Directions

  1. Pour water over tea, and steep 5 to 7 minutes. Strain, and refrigerate. Stir in bourbon, juices, and syrup. Serve over ice with garnish.

Cherry-Orange Bourbon

Ingredients

  • 2 cups fresh or frozen sour cherries
  • 1 strip orange zest
  • 500 ml Bourbon

Directions

  1. Combine ingredients in a clean one-liter jar with a lid. Store in the refrigerator and shake daily for 4 days until infused, then strain and discard solids.

Peach and Blackberry Muddle

Fresh fruit is complemented by mint in this bourbon-based cocktail.

Ingredients

  • 4 thin slices peach
  • 6 blackberries
  • 2 large sprigs mint
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 ounces bourbon
  • Ice
  • Seltzer

Directions

  1. In a double old-fashioned glass, combine 2 peach slices, 3 blackberries, mint, honey, and lemon juice. Mash gently with the back of a spoon until fruit releases juices. Add bourbon, remaining peach slices, and remaining blackberries. Fill glass with ice and top with seltzer.

Blackberry-Mint Julep

This slushy concoction has a deep purple color thanks to the blackberries.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup packed fresh mint leaves
  • 1 pint blackberries
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 cup bourbon
  • 4 cups small ice cubes
  • 4 sprigs mint, for garnishing

Directions

  1. Roughly chop mint leaves.
  2. Puree the mint, blackberries, and sugar in a blender. Press through a fine sieve into a bowl; discard seeds.
  3. Rinse blender, then return puree to blender, and add bourbon and small ice cubes; blend until smooth. Divide mixture among 4 glasses. Garnish each with a mint sprig.

Irish Buck

This lime-laden drink doesn’t have to be enjoyed just on Saint Patrick’s Day.

Ingredients

  • Ice
  • 2 ounces Irish whiskey
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 3 ounces ginger ale
  • Lime wedge

Directions

  1. Fill a glass with ice. Add whiskey, lime juice, and ginger ale. Stir and garnish with lime wedge.

Peach Juleps

A twist on the classic, these juleps are just peachy.

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup fresh mint leaves, plus sprigs for garnish
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups store-bought peach juice
  • 1 can (12 ounces) club soda
  • 1/2 cup bourbon
  • Crushed ice, for serving

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl or pitcher, combine mint and sugar. With a wooden spoon, mash leaves until bruised. Stir in peach juice, club soda, and bourbon.
  2. Serve over crushed ice; garnish with more mint.

Cranberry Old-Fashioned, Cider Smash, and American in Paris

This drink marries bourbon with the tart flavor of cranberry. It’s strong, so you may want to add an extra tablespoon or two of water when muddling.

Ingredients

  • 8 fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 dashes of Angostura bitters
  • 1 strip (2 inches) orange zest
  • 2 ounces bourbon

Directions

  1. Muddle cranberries, sugar, bitters, and orange zest with water in a medium glass until sugar dissolves. Pour in bourbon. Add ice cubes.

Nutty Cinnabon

My dear friend Ariele introduced me to a delicious adult beverage of her creation a few weeks ago. Since then, not 5 minutes can go by without thinking of the sweet, creamy decadence of her Nutty Cinnabon.

A combination of Rumchata, cake vodka, and Frangelico create a hazelnut enhanced cinnamon masterpiece of epic proportion rivaling the notorious White Russian. Drink responsibly and enjoy!

Nutty Cinnabon

  • 2 parts Runchata
  • 1 part Cake Vodka on ice
  • 1 part Franjelico

Sip and slip into sweet, decadent bliss.

Birthday Weekend

This past Saturday, June 16th, was my 23rd birthday. While not a particularly special age, I have not truly celebrated my birthday since 5th grade when I took my friends to a pottery studio to paint. Not even my 21st birthday. For that I was stuck in a hotel in NJ for corporate training. This year, with my friends being so spread out, I decided to attempt at gathering them together.

Friday evening, began with dinner at a delicious local Greek restaurant called Kefi. The entire table order Souvlaki. Mine was with pork and incredibly flavorful. The meat was tender and smoky creating the perfect mix of flavors with the tzatziki sauce.

After consuming a wonderful meal ending with lemon and mango sorbet, we headed to the Little Kitten’s apartment on the Upper West Side for some homemade concoctions while we waited for the arrival of friends in transit. By midnight everyone had arrived including the infamous Minxy from Boston, two of my cousins and the ever ridiculous Doctor.

Once gathered, we headed out to the bar Prohibition, with live music every night, it’s one of Little Kitten’s favorites. The band this evening was quite good and the place was packed with people pushing up against each other, groping on the dance floor and enjoying their respective beverages.

Upon entering the bar, Little Kitten made her grand appearance by falling in her stripper heels. True to their nickname, these heels are 6 inch deadly platforms that should belong to Jenna Jameson. The bouncer, eying Little Kitten after her fall, made note of her name while checking IDs and wished her a wonderful night when leaving hours later.

My favorite quote of the evening came from a surprise guest, V, who I had not seen since graduation. While us lovely ladies were hanging out there was a group of gentlemen close by. She looked at them as said, “Hi! Why is there no beer? Don’t you see us. Buy us beer.” Mind you V is usually incredibly polite and she has no recollection of saying any of this. We did end up with a round of beer.

After Prohibition we headed to Jake’s Dilemma before drawing the evening to a close and making our way back to the apartment. The Little Kitten had one more tumble in her porn star heels at the apartment. She giggled throughout the whole spill.

Saturday morning began with a delay as we all showered, chugged water and popped some Advil before heading out for a delicious brunch at Max Brenner in Union Square. After a round of White Russians and chocolate martinis, Minxy, the Little Kitten, my two cousins and I enjoyed our scrumptious breakfasts of sweet treats and savory delights. I indulged in the Huevos Rancheros Sunrise Burrito with chorizo sausage and pepper jack cheese. I also had a side of Black and Tan Beer Battered Vidalia Onion Rings with Dark Chocolate Ranch Dressing. Heaven. Absolute, pure, white light, bliss. Best onion rings of my life and the sauce was incredible. It didn’t really taste like chocolate or like ranch, but some sultry, spicy concoction. Yum!

After brunch, my cousins departed and Minxy, Little Kitten and I lounged in Union Square for a while absorbing the heat from the sun. We slowly meandered our way into Chelsea stopping by a few stores and and an ice cream truck along the way. Upon reaching the High Line, we climbed up the stairs and onto the raised tracks that once held subway cars now covered with grasses, trees and flowers.


We followed the greenery for a while lavishing in the vibrant life surrounded by so many steel and glass buildings before leaving the high road for the shores of the Hudson as we found ourselves on a long line leading into The Frying Pan. The line moved swiftly and we were soon seated at a large table sipping on our drinks, Minxy with Jack on the rocks of course.

View of Manhattan from the Frying Pan, courtesy of Minxy.

As we consumed our drinks and the order of calamari I could not resist getting, the leftover pitcher of sangria from the group before stared at us longingly, willing us to drink it. Once all those who were privy to the true owners of that pitcher left, Little Kitten, in one bold move, grabbed the pitcher and filled her glass with sweet white wine with blueberries and pineapple. Minxy soon followed suit though my doubts about table sangria prevented me from joining in, I gave them credit for their bravery.

We soon walked over to Bathtub Gin, a prohibition style bar hidden behind a secret wall in Stone Street Coffee Company. Probably one of my greatest finds, this little nook offers a dark and romantic atmosphere with a cocktail selection that will make your head spin.

I wet my palate with a delicious wine cocktail made with elderberry liquor and a whole bunch of delicious stuff I wish I could remember. It was a mouth sensation that tickled my taste buds.

We ended the evening with sushi near the Little Kitten’s apartment and some free samples of gelato from a very nice man eager to get us to try the chocolate whiskey brownie. It was a wonderful weekend.

Atlantic City

The big AC, true Boardwalk Empire. My friends have been pushing a trip here for ages, but due to financial reasons and schedule differences plans kept shifting, canceling and getting delayed.

Kyle, being home from Afghanistan for about a month before heading down to GA for Ranger school, insisted on testing out his latest obsession, poker, during a long weekend in Nucky Thompson’s town. His eagerness drove us to finally pick a date and make it happen.

We headed down on Friday afternoon, Chantra, her boyfriend Luc, Kyle and myself, all packed into Kyle’s F150 with our luggage stowed in the tool box. We made a pit stop at a podunk town about 5 miles out of AC to stock up on some alcohol – Jack Daniels of course. Being so close to AC we did not expect to see a town equivalent to The Hills Have Eyes, but between run down abandoned homes, overgrown lawns, and a very, very old gas station, we were not far off.

Our casino and hotel of choice – the Borgata (Kyle’s decision due to quality of the poker tables). We began our night with dinner at Bobby Flay’s Steakhouse and a round of Long Island Iced Teas. Chantra and I ordered a salad that caused the table to erupt with laughs upon arrival earning us a sideways glance from the server and some concerned words. For a pricey salad, a tiny little baseball sized portion was gingerly placed in the center of a plate about 10 times the size of the salad, dwarfing it. The flavors were delicious and I did feel full and content afterwards, but presentation was severely lacking. We ended the meal with a spectacular baked Alaska. Yum!

Chantra and I headed upstairs to change into our evening getups and the men headed over to the poker tables to gamble their lives away. Being two lovely ladies, we sexed it up quite a bit and enjoyed a few more drinks. Later in the evening we headed to the club MurMur for some serious dancing. When drinking, there is nothing better to do then head to a club, dance, watch the ladies in the cages. and make out on the dance floor.

Chantra and Luc woke up Saturday for a swim, Kyle for the poker table, and me for a very large cup of black coffee and a lounge. Today’s destination – the Boardwalk.

We strolled up and down the Boardwalk, taking in the sights and enjoying the atmosphere while searching for a place to get a bite of some local flair. Without even thinking about it, I made the mistake of wearing stiletto heels. I was forced to purchase a cheap pair of flip flops after getting my heels stuck between the wooden boards about 20 times. Lesson learned.

Chantra located Phillip’s Seafood, located right on the water with gorgeous views of the Atlantic and of the extent of the Boardwalk. The food was tasty, fish and chips a bit over breaded, but fresh and drinks were outstanding. After some more strolling around, milkshakes at Johnny Rockets and loading up on salt water taffy from a local candy store, we escaped the cold wind by slipping into the Tropicana and wandering the casino floor. Our intention was not to gamble, but to seek out a Soviet Union themed bar called Red Square.

Ice bar. Actual ice on the bar. So cool.

The tiny bit of Polish in me always comes out when surrounded with vodka. We had a round of drinks, all vodka. Natasha’s Peach was my drink of choice. It was delicious. Very sweet, but the peach flavor was luscious. Kyle enjoyed something with coconut rum and lime vodka. However, the main event and center of attention was a 48oz beast known as the Communist Martini.

With a pleasant buzz, we made our way back to the Borgata for another evening of merriment, or so was the intention. Some more poker was played, then buffet style dinner. As the night was still young, we headed up to the hotel room to digest and relax, maybe have another few drinks before hitting the clubs again. Alas, as we all relaxed in bed and quickly fell asleep.

Sunday began bright and refreshed with more gambling. As checkout was pretty early, we gathered our things and packed the truck before hitting the casino – Kyle and Luc to the poker tables and Chantra and I to wander the floor and try our luck. We began with slots. Of course a big mistake, but they look so fun and inviting with the flashy lights, noises and crank handles. After losing every penny we put in, Chantra and I sought out a roulette table. On a side note, the evening before, while wandering through the Tropicana, Kyle and I passed a roulette table. I immediately said “31” without thinking. Kyle pushed me to bet on it, but not being the gambling type I chose not to and we walked on. Kyle, wondering the outcome, soon dragged me back to the table to see it fall on 13. We stayed for the next roll to watch it land right on 31. Clairvoyant? I think not. But from that moment on Kyle insisted if I ever had the notion again, to bet on whatever number I felt.

Well as we hit the roulette table Chantra and I took it pretty slow, not understanding the rules or odds. Two people were already playing at out table of choice, throwing chips every which way, betting on nearly all the tiles. I went in with $20. Began by putting $5 on red – won. Next I placed $10 on red and $5 on 14. I was feeling it.

I won.

The ball landed on 14, which happened to be red and I closed out with $200 of winnings. Beginners luck? Maybe. Probably. Definitely.

Chantra and I soon met up with Kyle and Luc. Kyle’s interest in poker really paid off as he walked out after nearly doubling his money. At the start of the trip, his talk of poker made me nervous, but I guess he can hold his own.

Overpriced and filled with trashy hoes and old people gambling away their Social security, AC is a place of debauchery and fun. Can’t wait to be welcomed back.

Blackouts and Hangover Cures

I recently read an article by Greatest, What happens to the brain when you black out? Definitely check out the article, especially if you enjoy copious amounts of adult beverages.  Here are a few highlights:

Research shows heavy alcohol consumption can impair the brain’s cognitive and memory functions, preventing people from recalling events that occurred while drinking excessively— aka blacking out.

Alcohol can prevent both pleasant and unpleasant memories from sticking by interfering with brain receptors in the hippocampus (the area of the brain responsible for new memory formation). 

As the amount of alcohol and speed of consumption increase, so does the magnitude of memory impairment, and those with frequent blackouts are even more likely to experience future episodes.

Women are more susceptible to blackouts because their brains recover more slowly from cognitive impairment and they process alcohol at a slower pace.

Moderate drinking in social situations— up to two drinks for men and one for women— can actually have some important health benefits.

Another excellent article, 13 Legit Ways to Stop a Hangover. Some of these may seem pretty common sense, but I bet none of you actually do them. I sure don’t.

1. Go one for one. It’s no secret that drinking water can help deflect that pounding AM headache (pretty much the opposite of a good morning). Tissues around the brain are mostly made of water, and dehydration will shrink these tissues, creating pressure in the head. Alcohol can lead to dehydration, so make sure to continuously drink water throughout the night. Try matching each alcoholic drink with one glass of water to avoid that next-day pain.

2. Chow down. No, just because beer has calories doesn’t mean it counts as dinner. Drinking on an empty stomach will allow alcohol to absorb faster, so try getting in a good meal with lots of healthy carbs before breaking out the bottle. Some research even shows a stomach full of food may help keep blood alcohol content at a lower level.

3. Keep it light. Darker drinks like red wine or rum contain congeners (substances produced during fermentation), which may contribute to causing hangovers. Skip the whiskey in favor of vodka or a glass of white wine!

4. Stay classy. More expensive liquors contain less filler congeners— a cause for headaches. So pass on the well liquor and take it up a notch with some top-shelf booze.

5. Take a multivitamin. Drinking depletes nutrients in the body, including vitamin B12 and folate. Try popping in a multivitamin to replenish what’s lost from a night of drinking.

6. Skip the bubbles. Opt out of champagne or other alcohol that’s mixed with carbonated beverages. The bubbles may cause alcohol to be absorbed more quickly. (Hence that New Year’s Day hangover.)

7. Down-dog. Scientists have yet to prove that a few sun-salutations will whisk away a hangover, but breathing and meditation exercises in yoga can get oxygen flowing and blood pumping to help relieve stress. Namaste!

8. Grab some potassium. When dehydrated, we lose not only water, but electrolytes, too. Gain ‘em back by snacking on potassium-rich foods like bananas or spinach.

9. Scramble eggs. Eggs contain taurine, which has been shown to reverse liver damage caused by a night of heavy boozing. Scramble them up with lots of veggies for added antioxidant power!

10. Sip ginger tea. Hangovers can sometimes come with a side of upset stomach. To settle that tummy, brew a warm mug of ginger tea. Ginger has been shown to help combat nausea.

11. Refuel at the breakfast table. Alcohol will lead to a drop in blood sugar, so boost it back up with a glass of OJ in the morning!

12. Get some fresh air. Oxygen increases the rate that alcohol toxins are broken down, so bundle up and get outdoors. A little exercise never hurt anyone— and it may even release some endorphins to boost that post-hangover mood.

13. Play D.D. We’re sorry to say that the only sure-fire way to avoid a hangover is to skip the booze altogether. So if waking up to a pounding headache doesn’t sound fun, play designated driver for the night (even if not actually driving).

Drink responsibly!!! …. Or merely take the subway 🙂