Thursday, March 29, 2012

Bal Harbour Shops in Miami

While my sister is off in Hawaii bathing in sunshine, warm waters, and hotel luxury, I am taking a lavish trip of my own. Yes, it's only a virtual vacation at this particular moment but strolling down the walkways of the Bal Harbour Shops on the Bal Harbour Islands in North Miami is reducing my travel envy and solidifying the plans for my next vacation.

Anchored by specialty department stores Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue, Bal Harbour Shops is a sensational collection of clothing boutiques, book stores, jewelers, and restaurants. Basically you could quite happily live there for the rest of your life.

Tonight though, you just must catch the Bal Harbour Art Finale from 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM where you will see art by Sara Modiano, listen to a book reading by author Diego Singh, view photography from Annie Liebovitz, and sip Napoleon Breeze cocktails from Segafredo Bal Harbour. The events I've listed are only half of what is happening so check out the website for more details (like the fact that a generous portion of the proceeds are going to great causes).

If you are even remotely close to this part of the world, get yourself there. If you must fantasize about being there, ease the pain by staying up on their events through Facebook page and Twitter. Happy Shopping!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Facebook Giveaway: Wine Charms

Like us on Facebook and enter our contest to win this package of Trudeau wine charms. These sweet charms are easy to wrap around your champagne flutes and wine glasses, and add a festive, colorful note to your spring parties.

Use them for bridal showers, baby showers, Sunday brunches, birthday parties, or however you see fit. Order them now here, or win them in a give-away here!

ModernMom Sizzler for new YouTube Channel

On April 3rd will launch their new channel on YouTube.

Here is the sizzler with a sneak peak at a great line up (how gorgeous is Brooke Burke?!)  including my little cocktail show called "Let's Mix." Take a look at this 2 minute teaser and let me know what you think! xo Jordan

Monday, March 26, 2012

Original Drink: Acai Cocktail

You'll find the large, colorful bottle of Zola's Organic Acai Juice in the healthy beverage section of your local market. Usually located close to the produce, this area of fruit smoothies and vegetable detox mixes always yields great ingredients for cocktails.

The juice is very sweet, so don't add much more than your favorite spirit. Here are two simple recipes I've enjoyed:

Acai & Cream
2 ounces vodka
2 ounces acai juice
1/2 ounce cream or half & half

Acai & Rum
2 ounces rum
2 ounces acai juice
Squeeze of fresh lime juice

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Cocktails for the Women of Mad Men

The 5th season of Mad Men debuts tonight and your viewing party will not be complete without a few cocktails in honor of the leading ladies.

Peggy is practically one of the guys now, fully accepted in a role dominated by men. Her drink is a blend of good things.
2 ounces scotch
2 ounces pineapple juice
3 dashes bitters
Squeeze of a lemon wedge

The "Mama Secretary," Joan runs the office. She oozes femininity but she's not a girl's girl. She needed a drink on the cusp of sweetness, like her.
3 ounces dry white wine
1 ounce soda water
Dash of Chambord
Lemon twist

Beautiful, yet conflicted and probably clinically depressed. She's a 1950's housewife who dreams of freedom, even though she hasn't defined exactly what that is. A simple glass of red wine is the perfect tribute to her, and perhaps we can all toast to her returning to Paris one season soon, for a trip of self-discovery.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

RockSugar Pan Asian Kitchen

It was a quick meeting for drinks but if the quality of the two cocktails I had have any connection with the kitchen, then this is a great restaurant.

The first drink I had was a Sake Greyhound, using Ruby Red vodka, sparkling sake, grapefruit juice, and lemongrass.

The second drink was a Holy Basil Vanilla Twist with Grey Goose vodka, Thai basil, fresh lime, vanilla, and spices. Amazing!

I'd definitely order appetizers next time, and hopefully even have time to sit down for dinner.

RockSugar Pan Asian Kitchen
10250 Santa Monica Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90067

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

THIS GIRL'S Hot Pick of the the Week: Bar Coasters

No professional or home bar is complete without some fabulous bar coasters. Stock up on your favorite designs or give them away as gifts. These one-of-a-kind designs will bring a little your glass. Available now in our store.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Monday Manners: Rule #28: No Cell Phones at Dinner

Unless you're a doctor on call, or your wife is going into labor, do not answer your phone or text on your phone at any point during the evening. The emails, social media, and games can wait. Give the babysitter the number to the restaurant (yes, the old fashioned way still works) and have a relaxing night out. If for some reason you MUST make a call or answer your phone, excuse yourself from the room where others are drinking and dining, and conduct your conversation in solitude.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Virtual Mad Men Dinner Party

Stork Club Cocktail
  Are you ready for a feast? 

  These are drinks created from The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook written by Judy 
  Gelman and Peter Zheutlin. 

   This is what I'll be serving...

   Join the twitter dinner conversation at #PartyLikeAMadMan
Vodka Gimlet
Brandy Alexander

Mad Men Cocktails

Ready for a new season of Mad Men? I am and have embraced the new cookbook, The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook by Judy Gelman and Peter Zheutlin.

This evening we will be discussing recipes from the book, a collection of cocktails and dishes from, to quote the authors, "inside the kitchens, bars, and restaurants of Mad Men."

 Join us on twitter at 8:00 PM Eastern / 5:00PM Pacific by following @GirlWalksIn2Bar and @DineLikeDraper, and by using the hashtag #PartyLikeAMadMan. We look forward to spending an evening discussing all things Mad Men!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

VIDEO: St. Patrick's Day Cocktail "Irish Eyes"

As I say in the video, this green drink makes an excellent dessert drink or even an entire meal! Make this tonight for your friends and as always, share your mixology photos with us on Facebook!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!

St. Patrick's Day Top 10 Irish Whiskeys

If you're looking to try something new tonight, or perhaps find the perfect hostess gift, here are 10 suggestions and tasting notes from BevMo for Irish Whiskey that may lead you to your new favorite spirit. 

1. Jameson Irish Whiskey: Delicate floral aromas with grainy notes and heat; light bodied, very smooth and clean with a touch of astringency on the finish.

2. Jameson 1780 Irish Whiskey: Jameson 1780 has a warm, spicy and assertively complex nose with smooth sherry sweetness.

3. Bushmills Irish Whiskey: It is a smoother, lighter whiskey without the smokiness of scotch.

4. Connemara Irish Single Malt: Connemara is more elegant in complexity. Natural ingredients, traditional distilling and long maturing in oak casks produce this award-winning whiskey.

5. Knappogue Irish Whisky 1995: Spicy and complex with graceful, lovely flavors of toasted vanilla, grass, sweet herbs, lavender and honeysuckle.

6. Midleton Rare Irish Whiskey: From County Cork, each bottle of this limited production gem is signed and numbered.

7. Paddy's Irish Whiskey: Distilled three times and matured in oak casks for up to seven years. High in malt content ensuring that Paddy's is one of the softest of all Irish Whiskeys.

8. Red Breast 12 Year Old Irish Whiskey: Made with malted and unmalted barley it is the only continuously produced 100% pure pot still Irish Whiskey.

9. Tullamore Dew Irish Whiskey: Medium to full bodied, and a long finish.

10. Tyrconnell Single Irish Malt: Tyrconnell is one of the oldest distilleries in Ireland, established in 1762. This selected whisky is distilled using the purest spring water and the finest malted barley. 

Thursday, March 15, 2012

St. Patrick's Day Cocktail: The Jello Shot

Regardless of how many years you're beyond 21, nothing brings a smile, smirk, or eye-roll to the face like a green jello shot. St. Patrick's Day brings out the ridiculous side in all of us (unless you live in Boston and then it's very, very serious). So why not commit to the holiday 100% and make a batch o' these.

1 box green Jell-O powder
2 cups Midori Melon Liqueur
2 cups water
Shot glasses

Pour the green gelatin powder into a mixing pitcher and add 2 cups of boiling water. Let it simmer down for about 10 minutes, and then add 2 cups of Midori. Pour the liquid into shot glasses or even better, a silicone ice cube tray. Chill for 2-3 hours an serve.

St. Patrick's Day Cocktail: Lucky Martini

If you're feeling to the pressure to serve up some St. Patrick's Day spirit, but don't want to guzzle green, opt for a festive garnish instead. Get creative by using mint leaves, apple slices, grapes, cucumbers, candy, or whatever else you can conjure up.  You could also ask your guests to present their own creation, whether it sits on the rim of an old classic or doctors up an original.
My particular favorite is below:

Select a bell pepper with four "columns" and slice it thin enough to resemble four petals but thick enough to balance on the rim of your glass. Serve with your favorite St. Paddy's day cocktail, or mine:

Lucky Martini
3 ounces pepper vodka
Drip of vermouth
Bell pepper garnish

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Facebook Giveaway: St. Patrick's Day Flare

You know you want these.

Enter our Facebook giveaway by becoming a fan and writing about your plans for St. Patrick's Day. These sparkly 4-lead clover headbands are sure to complete your already well thought out green wardrobe, and automatically peg you as the "fun" person of the party. But HURRY because the contest ends tonight!!

Click HERE to enter (and tell your friends!)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

5 Ways to Tell It's St. Patrick's Day

By Guest Writer Phil Green

Now I’ve been living in Ireland for the past 8 months and am about to experience my first truly Irish St Patrick’s Day, but it won’t be my first ever. Whilst away travelling I had a lot of Irish friends, as well as an Irish girlfriend and being someone who has worked in bars for most of my adult life I noticed a few things about a day that revolves around drinking.

1. There Will Be A Queue Outside The Pub/Bar Before It Opens
Yes, on this day and this day only it is socially acceptable to act in the same way as the bums, alcoholics and wasters. Those that would normally be the first customers in the pub each day with their dole or pension money at the ready are joined by the rest of the Irish population waiting to get absolutely wasted.

2. Everyone Will Be Wearing Stupid Promotional Guinness Gear
Big tall hats with the Guinness logo on and ginger beards attached and big badges with slogans such as ‘kiss my clover’ will be going around. Most people will be wearing these for a bit of fun, but there will be a few who think they actually look good. Keep away from these people.

3. Everybody Suddenly Becomes Irish
Even though the guy standing next to you in the bar is from Thailand and has never left his country before now- even he, somehow, has Irish roots. This is what everyone fools themselves in to thinking on Paddy’s Day and will proudly proclaim to anyone willing to listen. Is it the fact that they're jealous of the way the Irish proudly embrace their patron saint’s day and make use of it? Probably, but they’ll never admit it.

4. You Will Need To Stock Up On Irish Booze
Got Jameson’s behind the bar? Serve Guinness on tap? If your bar is serving Irish imported booze then it’s going to be hit hard. Going back to point 3, part of everybody needing to feel like their Irish means sticking to the Irish liquor and with so many people out using the day as a hall pass for intoxication you’ll need plenty of reserve stock!

5. People Will Get Themselves Completely Wasted
Although this is an obvious one I feel it needs mentioning. In my experience St Patrick’s Day isn’t just a day of drinking; it’s a day when people get so drunk they are being carried home at 2pm in the afternoon. Last year my girlfriend couldn’t even stand up straight at 5pm and we hadn’t even left the house at that point. The fact that the next day is still a work day won’t matter to the masses; they will be out in force acting as though this is the one day of the year that booze will be available.

So, you’ve been warned! Although most people reading this will actually be part of the crowd committing at least a couple of the points above. Still, spare a moment's thought for those of us working on this day and dealing with the aftermath, although I don’t think even St Patrick himself will be able to help us.

Visit Phil Green's Facebook Fan Page or follow him on Twitter @TravelFoodPhil

Monday, March 12, 2012

Bachelor 2012 Finale Drinks

I've watched every episode since two years ago when my dear friend Sally got me hooked (I'll find a way to get revenge one day). This season has been particularly interesting with kooky model Courtney and equestrian Lindzi. I'll be parked in front of the TV tomorrow night like clock work (swear I don't watch a lot of reality TV though I'm thinking about taking on a few more shows to satisfy my addiction).

In honor of the two finalists, I've created two drinks that capture their personalities to enjoy during the viewing. It's going to be epic people.

2 ounces pepper vodka
2 ounces grapefruit juice
Salted Rim

2 ounces light rum
1 ounce vanilla vodka
2 ounces Florida orange juice
Splash pineapple juice

Sunday, March 11, 2012

St. Patrick's Day Drinks

If you just tuned into AWOP Radio, you heard my recipes for these drinks. Here's what they look like! Let us know how they taste and feel free to post your photos of the drinks you make on our facebook page.

Shamrock Shake
2 ounces vodka
1 ounce creme de menthe
2 large scoops of mint chip ice cream
whipped cream

Directions: Add all of the ingredients except for the whipped cream into a blender
 and mix until frothy. Pour into a glass and top with whipped cream. For thicker texture (but a weaker cocktail!) add ice to blender.

Irish Mint Julep
3 ounces Irish Whiskey
1 ounce mint simple syrup
Fresh mint leaves

Directions: For simple syrup, combine 1 table spoon water, 1 table spoon powdered sugar, and 1 tablespoon chopped mint leaves. Muddle until well blended. Pour the whiskey over ice and add the simple syrup. Stir well and garnish with mint leaves.

AWOP Radio Today

Tune into AWOP Radio today for another great group of speakers. I'll be contributing a St. Patrick's Day cocktail recipe in the beginning that you won't want to miss.

I'd also suggest checking out the links to the hosts of the show, and following their blogs and twitter feeds. They talk about important, and often polarizing issues affecting our country today.

Kim, Perry and Allie had some great questions today! Here's what they asked with some extended answers with links:

What other Irish drinks are there?
Truth be told, there are hundreds! Click here to see a list of the most frequently made drinks (at least at the bars I worked at). Later this week I will post video of how to make Irish Eyes and a drink I created, a Bloody Meabh (an Irish name that means "intoxicating beauty").

Is there a food coloring that won't do as much damage to counter tops (or poodles) as the regular kind?
Natural food coloring is available these days from markets like Whole Foods, and often even your local supermarket. India Tree is a company that offers food coloring made from vegetable colorants. Take a look at their website and I think you'll like what you see.

What other green liqueurs are our there?
Off the top of my head I listed Midori, Apple Pucker, and Creme de Menthe. Some others are Green Tea Liqueur, Chartreuse, and Absinthe. But as I mentioned on the show, explore different ways to naturally color your favorite clear spirit by infusing it with mint, cucumber, green apple peel, bell pepper, you name it!

What is the difference between Whiskey and Scotch?
In the whiskey family we've got single malt whisky, blended scotch, Irish whiskey, American Whiskey, Canadian whiskey, and grain whiskey. As I mentioned on the show, the differences aren't huge, although the taste may be. The small variations come to play in the distillation process, how long it's aged, and the blends.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Best Cocktail Blog Nomination

Every year Saveur Magazine conducts a search for the best food blogs. Some of the categories include Best Food Photography, Best Food Humor Blog, Best Special Diets Blog, and of course... Best Cocktail Blog. We want it! So hop on over to the website and nominate us please. It literally takes 9 seconds. And if we win you're invited to the epic, celebratory cocktail extravaganza. Promise.

Why nominate us? These are the cocktail categories we cover... new drink creations, hot picks for wine and spirit accessories, bar and restaurant reviews, bar and restaurant etiquette, non-fiction bar stories, crafty cocktailista nonsense, product and beverage reviews, and oh so much more. Nominate now!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Restaurant and Bar Review: La Sandia Santa Monica

The Bar: La Sandia
               395 Santa Monica Place
               Santa Monica, CA 90401

The Drink: Choose from a variety of Margarita's for $5. I had the traditional Margarita and my friend chose the mango but we were both pleased enough to order seconds. A jigger is definitely used to make these drinks but filled to the top (at least).

The Food: The $3 Happy Hour Menu is truly delicious (just be careful about opening their website's PDF with the crashed my Internet three times). We sampled the ceviche, empanadas, and quesadillas and were impressed with each dish. The portions are small but at $3 a plate you can afford to double up on the order.

The Service: Our waitress was knowledgeable and friendly, but we didn't see her as often as I would have liked. Our first drinks were empty for a while and getting the check took some time. I equate this with being there on a Friday at 5:00. By 6:00 the place was hopping, and I didn't see too many other servers taking orders. Given the circumstances, she did the best she could have.

Go-Back-Againess: I will definitely go back, but not on a Friday.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Monday Manners Rule #100: Don't Come to Work Sick

No one will feel sorry for you, your tip average will not increase, and you will not be considered a hero for coming to work sick. Just stay home.

True, bartenders and waiters usually do not have sick pay or salaries to cover those days home from work, but that's what a savings account is for (read Chapter 11 in our book for more money management advice). There isn't a single customer who wants to see you wiping your nose or sneezing in your arm, no matter how sanitary you try to be.

Make some tea, heat some soup, and get some rest. It's the right thing to do.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Hello My Name is Spring Cocktail

It's March 1st and already I feel like the morning sun popped up noticeably sooner. The weather forecast looks promising and I have a new pair of purple flip-flops. So that means it's spring, right?

If you're trying to wish warmer days in like I am, this fresh strawberry cocktail will get you there, at least in spirit. Enjoy!

2 ounces vodka
1/2 ounce triple sec
1 teaspoon vanilla syrup
1 cup fresh strawberries

Directions: muddle strawberries with the vodka & strain into a shaker with the triple sec and vanilla. Mix well & pour over ice.