Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Writer vs. The Corporation

Call me crazy, but because hardware stores sell books for building cabinets, fabric stores for building dresses, and auto stores for building vehicles, I think it's a no-brainer that retailers who sell wine and spirits would also sell books for building cocktails. However, this is not always the case.

Enjoy the email chain below beginning at the top. Oh, and none of the wording has been altered expect for names.

September 30, 2011
Hi Jordan,
Thank you for your interest in placing your book in our stores. Unfortunately, we are no longer accepting new products this year. If you would like to resubmit at some point next year, we would love to consider it then.
[Human #1]

January 23, 2012
Resubmitted a package, which included a book, press kit, and new product catalog

February 9, 2012
Called to follow up about package, learned that Human #1 no longer works at company and we should direct all calls to Human #2 and Human #3.

February 14, 2012
Dear [Human #2 & Human #3]
Jocelyn and I want to follow up with you regarding a package we sent to [Human #1] a couple weeks ago. If it didn't land on your desk let us know and we can send another one your way.

February 14, 2012
Hi Jordan,
We aren't interested in carrying books at this time.
[Human #2]

*They carry a plastic spiral bound cocktail book

February 14, 2012
[Human #2],
Thank you for your consideration and swift response. We will presume you did not receive the book, accompanying product catalog, and press packet.
We will resubmit our product line next year.
Thank you,

February 15, 2012
I didn't receive the samples this time, but I know you've submitted them a few times since I've been here. We are in the middle of a move, so the package may be lost in the shuffle. Also, [Human #3] is the Food Buyer, so no need to cc him on our correspondence regarding non-food product.
[Human #2]

February 15, 2012
Thanks [Human #2],
Yes- we sent only our book, no product catalog or press kit, for the first time and only time in September, and did send to [Human #3] as directed by your friendly company operator. [Human #1] was the one who asked us to resubmit in the New Year, and we were delighted to honor and follow through with her request.
It did probably end up misplaced in the moving shuffle but hopefully someone finds it one day and can add a lovely cocktail book to their coffee table or home bar collection.
Best of Luck,

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Spiced Cranberry Pear Cocktail

When it's February and freezing, I crave gut warming whiskey coupled with spice. This cocktail is light, refreshing and captures some popular winter fruits: pear and cranberry. Try substituting your favorite spirit for the whiskey or add a cinnamon stick if you're really feeling daring. You might also enjoy it shaken with ice and strained into a martini glass. Enjoy!

2 ounces clear corn whiskey
1 ounce spiced cranberry cider
1/4 cup chopped pear
Pinch of ground cloves

Directions: Muddle the pear and whiskey in a martini shaker. Add the cider and cloves until all the ingredients are mixed well. Strain over ice in a low ball and serve.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Monday Manners Rule #13: Limit the Drink Solicitations

We had a late lunch on Saturday. 5PM late. Ordering a drink wasn't in the cards for us at that meal. The night ahead would be long and pacing the wine and spirits was important.

As expected, the waiter asked us if we wanted something to drink. We declined and opted for water. Then he asked again. And again. The final count was six times. Every time he walked by we braced ourselves for an interruption and a solicitation. I completely understand that he was just trying to make a better buck off our soup and salad selection, but asking for a drink order a second time is borderline offensive. Accept the "no," and get on with it.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

My Cocktail the Starlet

Friday I experienced another really fun day shooting videos for's YouTube Channel, which launches in April. My little cocktail segment is titled Let's Mix and I cannot wait for you to see it! I'm positive that you'll be whipping up these drinks with ease at home in no time.

I was able to arrive a little early yesterday and caught the tail end of the cooking segment, similarly titled Let's Cook, starring the very talented Michelle Karam. The moment I stepped out of my car I was enveloped in the aroma of heavenly cooking pouring from the house. Inside, the beautiful kitchen counters were covered with freshly baked and picture perfect dishes, begging me to swoop in with an over-sized fork. I seriously regret not showing up hours in advance to study the chef's every move. But I guess I'll have to wait to wait for the videos like the rest of you!

For my portion we got to film in an actual home bar, which was really exciting. Between the hum of the ice machine and the beer on tap, I felt like I was right back in one of my favorite stomping grounds. Oh, and of course being surrounded by alcohol always gets me in the right mind set for mixology.

Some people have asked if I get nervous making drinks in front of the camera, but since most of the focus is on the drink, it's easy to stay relaxed. After every take the director would zoom in "for the beauty shot," which meant getting up close and personal with my cocktail. She's definitely the star of the show, and I'm happy to give her the limelight!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Casual Wine Tags

Your guests are on their way over, the drink of the night is wine, and you only have so many glasses and not a single damn drink charm in sight. How will you ever survive and maintain your reputation as Wonder Woman?!

Luckily there is no need to panic, especially if you're normal enough to hide one of those junk drawers in your home with odds and ends and bits and pieces of random stuff. This secret stash of mess will provide you with material to improvise with, preventing your guests from accidental wine swapping or worse, frantic, continuous dish washing.

I reached into my little basket of phone chargers, string, pencils, coins, paper clips, and sticky pads and found several possibilities. Some of my choices may seem odd, but think of them as good conversation starters, or even an activity for the early arrivals.

Photo #1: Striped plastic coated paper clips that come in a variety of colors. If your wine stem is too thick just change three together, and if you run out of color choices get creative with your patterns.

Photo #2: Fake flowers do come in handy. Pull off a little bud or group of petals and with some tiny hair bands, attach them to the stem.

Photo #3: This paper clip meets book mark has the perfect space for writing someone's name. Just be sure to keep the paper part on the outside of the glass and don't let anyone poke their eye out.

What will you come up with from your drawer? Take a photo and share it with us here or on our Facebook page.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

This Girl's HOT PICK of the WEEK: Flexible Rubber Stoppers

True Fabrications is one of my favorite companies for home, kitchen, and bar accessories. I started buying their humorous wine bags and cocktail napkins from my local supermarket a few years ago and soon after discovered their bottle stoppers. I wouldn't consider their aesthetics award-winning but they work, which is clearly the important part.

Ranging in price from $5-$12, these colorful accessories add a little something extra to that next hostess gift or house warming wine you need to give, even if you and your friends aren't the type of people to leave any wine in the bottle.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Northern Trust Open 2012

We couldn't have asked for a more beautiful morning as we strolled around Pacific Palisade's Riviera for the annual Northern Trust Open. Under the large, blue California sky, fans moved in synchronization, instinctively knowing when to walk, stop, whisper, clap, duck, and bellow "In the hole!!!"

Vijay Singh's ball landed off the green a few feet from ours, Bubba Watson's long drive whizzed past our noses like a bullet, and Phil Mickelson's fluid, confident warmup swings confirmed his place among my favorite pro-golfers.

At ten o'clock in the morning, BudLight seemed to be the drink of choice for most folks, but Club Ketel One offered a Bloody Mary I wasn't going to pass up. The only poor choice I made of the day was leaving before the 3-way playoff between Haas, Mickelson, and Bradley. Even from the edge of my couch cushion, it was golf at its most exciting. I'll definitely swing by the RCC for next year's tournament, drink one more of those Club Ketel cocktails, and stay until the bitter end.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Blog Radio Interview: AWOP

The radio hosts behind A World of Progress (AWOP) have been gracious enough to include me as their regular "cocktail contributor." But the topics they cover every week on their show have way more strength and power than any cocktail I could conjure up.

This past week Kim G, Perry, and Allie asked me to discuss a few Valentine"s Day drinks at the beginning of the Sunday afternoon segment. I was followed by two extremely impressive and open-hearted people, Jeni Decker and Drew Emery, who you can read a little about below. I'd encourage you to listen to the show here and tune in tomorrow for another lineup of excellent guests.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Thirsty Thursday: Caramel Tea Cocktail

This is the perfect drink for a rainy afternoon or a mellow evening at home. It's comforting and subtly sweet with a hint of orange. Perfect for those who don't necessary like to "taste" their alcohol. Serve hot and with a good book.

2 ounces caramel cake black tea
2 ounces spiced rum
1 teaspoon Le Sirop de Monin vanilla
1 orange rind for garnish a delicate addition of flavor

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Crafty Cocktailista: Semi-Homemade Coasters

If you're as in love with taking photos using Instagram as I am, then I have the project for you.

Using Crate&Barrel's 5-piece photo coaster set and your iPhone, snap photos of your favorite cocktails, then print them out to size on photo paper from your home computer. Slide them in between the glass and the little mats and viola! Your own, customized set of artistic coasters.

For Instagram tips from top photographers click here and for your printer supplies, click here. Have fun!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

VIDEO: How to Make Drinks for Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day! 

Amanda Salem from Patch helped me to make a few drinks to get your romantic Valentine's evening off to the perfect start. The first cocktail is a peach liqueur-soaked Bellini and the second is a fresh Raspberry Crush Martini. Let us know which one you chose to make and how your drink complimented your special night!


Monday, February 13, 2012

Valentines Day Cocktails

Chocolate Cherry Cocktail
3 ounces vodka
2 ounces Cheribundi Cacao Cherry Juice*
Fresh cherries to garnish
Mix the ingredients and pour over ice or strain into a martini glass
*Available in the health food section of your local market

Sweet Valentine
3 ounces rum
1 ounce watermelon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla syrup
4 strawberries
Muddle the strawberries in the rum and strain into a glass over ice. Add watermelon juice and vanilla, and stir well. Serve with a strawberry to garnish

Virgin Valentine Cocktails
5 ounces sparkling pear or pomegranate juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla or caramel syrup
Garnish with your favorite fresh fruit

Friday, February 10, 2012

The 6 Best Valentines Gifts for Her

Here are a few think-outside-the-chocolate-box Valentine's Day suggestions that are guaranteed to go over splendidly. I'm not saying not to give chocolate and roses...on days like this more is more. But if you really want to go above and beyond, these ideas will get you there.

Customized Cocktail 
Perhaps you've named a star after your sweetheart, or purchased an acre of endangered rain forest in her name. What's left but to commission a specially designed cocktail that captures the essense of who she is, or even carries her name? Contact us at for details.

Casa Noble's Anejo Tequila
The entire presentation is spectacular, starting with the royal purple box and ending with the unforgettable taste. This Casa Noble tequila has taken over fourteen years to produce, and that's just love right there in a bottle. The makers call it "their most perfect tequila" so surely it good enough for your valentine.

Catered Picnic
Call your local upscale grocery store like Whole Foods, Bristal Farms or Gelsons, and ask them to put together a special lunch. If they don't offer the packed picnic service, just pre-order some sandwiches, pick up delishous side salads, and select a decadent dessert. Don't forget an amazing bottle of wine to compliment the meal. I'd urge tucking in a little love letter or poem, but maybe that's just me.

Limited Edition Signed Cocktail Book
The color version of our book is soooo beautiful. Imagine how nice it will look on her home bar or coffee table, and the surprise she'll get from seeing a personalized note from the author and designer. The book can ship as late at Monday and arrives beautifully wrapped with a few extra goodies.

Silent Wine Refrigerator
If your Valentine enjoys wine then the WineEnthusiast's 12-bottle Dual Zone Touchscreen Wine Refrigerator will be the appliance she didn't realize she was living without. With room for six whites on one side and six reds on the other, both with their own temperature controls, this little fridge (check out the stainless steel version too) will surely warm all four chambers of her heart.

Monthly Wine Club Subscription
This is the gift that literally keeps on giving. Zagat Wine Club experts will select a variety of 12 bottles of wine and deliver them to your doorstep via FedEx once a month. Zagat also offers an introductory price of $69.99, which includes four wine glasses from Luigi Bormioli and a three-ring binder for tasting notes. Note that the price will jump to about $160.00 a month from then on, but you will not be disappointed by the selection.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Valentines Day in a Bowling Alley

Despite the grimy bowling balls, stanky shoes (you just know Lysol can't get everything up in that toe area) and super unflattering fluorescent lighting, one of my most romantic dates with my husband was at a bowling alley.

There's just something so refreshing and simple about going out in tennies and jeans, ordering drinks from a bar 30-years past its prime, and competing for "better bowler" bragging rights. Our evening was pure fun and super affordable. We didn't have to fight for a bar stool, or wade through an ultra-trendy bizarre cocktail menu. We also didn't experience any of that who's who vibe you often get at upscale bars and restaurants in LA. The people using the lanes next to us could have been stock brokers or truck drivers for all we knew. They cheered for our strikes and offered sympathy for our gutter balls.

So next Tuesday night, consider skipping the overpriced menus, crowded restaurants, and pressure to whisper sweet nothings over lobster tail. Just grab your thickest socks and your competitive spirit, and chow down on some beers and hot dogs. Cupid will definitely approve.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

This Girl's HOT PICK of the WEEK: 5 Piece Wine Accessory Set

Mystery liquid? Priceless sculpture? Assassin kit?

Allow us to introduce you to Kikkerland 5-Piece Wine Bottle Accessory Set. The suspense alone is worth the purchase and we'd strongly suggest including it as one of your gifts on the big Valentines Day.

Inside you will fine a corkscrew, stopper, foil cutter, drip catcher, and pourer...what else could you ask for?

Pack a romantic picnic with delish sandwiches, fresh fruit, scrumptous desserts, and a fantastic bottle of wine. Then present this number (which I'm renaming the Stealth Winer) and your special date is a guaranteed success. Just be sure to include another gift as well so she doesn't suspect that this gift is really for you.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Monday Manners Rule #14: Don't Join the Party

The two lovebirds out for date night may adore your fine-tuned stories. They may think you're the most hilarious bartender ever. They may even invite you to pull up a bar stool. Do. Not. Do it. Three is a crowd.

Provide the best service possible to all your guests in the restaurant, and then, if that offer still stands when your shift is over, change out of uniform, let your hair down, and with care not to overstay your welcome, join in for a drink. Otherwise, let people enjoy their night out without adding yourself to the reservation.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Super Bowl Sunday Cocktails

If you want to spruce up your Super Bowl party with something more than beer and wine, these are my winning picks for Sunday, and guaranteed crowd pleasers!

Beer Buster
1 ounce vodka
3 dashes Tabasco sauce
1 bottle of your favorite beer
Directions: Briefly shake vodka and Tabasco with ice, then strain into a glass with the beer

Boston Cooler
3 ounces light rum
1 ounce club soda
Squeeze of half a lemon
Pinch of powered sugar
Directions: Combine ingredients in a glass with ice. Stir then serve

New York Cocktail
3 ounces bourbon
Squeeze of a lemon wedge
Pinch of powdered sugar
1-2 drops of grenadine
Directions: Shake ingredients together and strain over ice in a low ball

Party Punch (serves 12-20)
1 bottle vodka
1 cup Drambuie
3 cups lemonade
3 cups cranberry, pomegranate, or raspberry juice
1 squeeze of an entire lime
1 squeeze of an entire lemon
Directions: Mix together in a large pitcher with ice and serve

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Our Fabulous T-Shirt Contest!

Are you clever with words and a good storyteller? 
Then this is your opportunity to show off your inner 
jokester! We're looking for a few good jokes to 
feature on our new product packaging and we want 
your help. 

Step 1: Start with the famous "This girl walks into 
            a bar..." intro and then finish the rest on 
            your own. Make us laugh!
Step 2: Make sure you're following us on either
Facebook OR Blogger
Step 3: Email your entrie(s) to by 
February 10, 2012
Step 4: Cross your fingers and hope that you win one of our amazingly awesome T-Shirts!
Good Luck!!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

7 Ways To Screw Up Valentines Day

For those of you gentlemen planning something special for V-Day, AVOID MAKING the following mistakes and maybe things will go your way.

Order drinks with blatant sexual innuendos 
In all my years of bartending, no man ever ordered a Sex on the Beach because he was interested in anything but the reaction around him. And you know what everyone around thinks when you order that drink or a Buttery Nipple or a Between the Sheets? You're an asshole. Want to sound sexy? Order an unbelievable bottle of wine. Treat her to a superb cognac. Suggest a fine, aged brandy. Save the fraternity cocktails for the college boys.

Begin any order with "She'll have..."
Choose flowers on her behalf, a cashmere wrap, or a delicate necklace. But do not order her drink, her dinner, or her dessert without consulting her first. It is the complete opposite of romantic and sends the message that you are a chauvinistic control freak.

Opt for the corkage fee
People often bring wine into restaurants on Valentines Day to lower the bill (it's surf and turf night, remember?) If you and your honey met through some fancy wine club or have PhD's in viticulture, then go ahead show off that 93 point bottle to the couple in the booth behind you. Otherwise, order from the wine list to avoid looking cheap. Bringing a bottle of wine may also be acceptable when:

  • You're preparing a romantic picnic
  • The restaurant doesn't serve wine 
  • You're cheap

Surprise her with balloons
I don't care if you bought the seventy-five dollar giant heart balloon stuffed with arcade prizes that they've been filling with Helium for three days straight. She does not want it. What is she supposed to do when you arrive on her doorstep with a floating plastic bouquet...leave them at her place and worry she has offended you? Bring them to the restaurant and look like an idiot? The exceptions to balloons are:

  • She is going to be in the hospital for longer than 72 hours including Valentines day, you've been married for ten years, and your children are the ones handing them to her
  • She's in high school and you are also in high school (stop reading my blog)
  • She's a professional clown

Propose a drink that includes the words body and shot
Massage with gently scented oil? Hot. Champagne toasting in the hot tub? Romantic. Sucking warm tequila off her WhatYouMaCallIt? Questionable. If she proposes the activity well then hell yes dude, go for it and get down on one knee while you're at it because you've got a keeper. Otherwise, you're going to have to suppress this fantasy or risk ruining the mood in an unrecoverable way.

Qualify as an FDD at any point during the date
Becoming a Fall Down Drunk is not funny, interesting, or attractive. She may drive you home, tuck you in, and hide your car keys, but she ain't cooking you breakfast and she definitely isn't making the mistake of seeing you again. Go easy on the booze and avoid missing an opportunity for love.

Place the engagement ring in a cocktail
It sounds like a good idea at the arrange with the bartender to have the ring dropped into your beloveds favorite cocktail. The drink arrives and you are bursting with anticipation...with excitement, only to watch her horrific unreasonable response to an unidentifiable foreign object at the bottom of her glass. Or her failure to notice the diamond and your anticlimactic disclosure of the prize. Or her rapid ingestion of three months salary. An engagement ring symbolizes love, trust, devotion, and honesty. If this is what ice represents to you, then I'm no good to you. Otherwise, nestle that fine rock in a little box and give it the moment it deserves.