Category Archives: libations

On the Twelfth Day of Christmas (not precisely, dear reader)…

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So much to tell of this last 6 months, but in the meantime, I want to blow the stardust off those awfully unwieldy gift guides by giving you 12 days of fabulously practical (yet glittery) ideas, tips and tricks to prettify your home, self and friends/family.

Holiday parties?  Hostess gifts?  Vessels for libations?  I have you covered with three of my favorites.  The beauty of all of these selections is that all of these cocktail glasses can hold a wine, mixed drink, eggnog, sparking water or other hard or soft beverage with equal aplomb!

From BHLDN (a F4 favorite!):  combining my love of rose gold and the look of vintage coupe stems, this is the Rosy-Cheeked Coupe.  So Gatsby.  Image

Next up, a sure-to-be new classic with a twist from perennial fave Serena & Lily.  We present the more affordable, chunky, hefty and gold-bottomed “Coro” tumblers, in a set of 4.  Fabby! Image

And, finally, these more budget-friendly but oh-so-lovely all-purpose glasses from Crate & Barrel.  Stock up while you can on the “Cora” wine glasses in 2 sizes.  Also great for that souffle, mousse or ice cream dessert.  Beautiful. Image

Cheers!

Wednesday Winesday – Mulled Wine is not for movies.

We usually think of mulled wine as some tired, dusty libation like sherry or Port (um, neither of which is, by the way).  So, we gave a mulled wine recipe a try (am drinking it now, instead of TheraFlu – much tastier!) in order to get all of you home entertainers in the mood for the holidays with something warm to welcome or, bid fair adieu to your guests.

Editors’ note:  You can do this in a slow cooker for two hours.  Or, just do this thing.

2 bottles dry red wine – I used 2 giant bottles of Cavit red.  Dry, dry, dry.

4 ounces port, brandy or Armagnac

10 whole cloves

cinnamon sticks

1 large orange, zested and quartered

1 nutmeg – for zesting/garnish

Combine ingredients in a large pot – like a stainless steel stockpot or a Dutch oven and bring to a simmer. Do not allow mixture to boil. Heat for 20 minutes and serve in a large, heat resistant punch bowl.  Ladle into mugs (Irish coffee or beer mugs work very well) and garnish with a slice of orange, cinnamon stick, zested nutmeg – whatever you choose.  But not whipped cream.  This is wine, people.

MERRY MERRY!

Mulled wine with cinnamon stick stirrer. As if you need to stir.

Holiday Color Wheel. Emerald.

Absinthe - get those sugar cubes ready!

C Wonder Ikat Mugs - just $8/each. Sip in style.

Follow the Yellow Brick Road

From my own collection - python and cabochon cuff by G-Lish.

Manolo Blahnik emerald suede "Toubid" sandal.

Emerald Toy watch - great bridesmaids' gift, in any color.

Vintage-y green paper straws by Kikkerland

"Constance" china pattern - this was Charlotte's pattern on SATC when she wed Trey.

"Elope" by Illamasqua nail varnish - courtesy of "Polish or Perish"

J. Crew "candy stripe" cashmere pullover in aloe/emerald

Lulu Frost emerald resin and crystal ear drops.

Kale - it's really good for you; especially brides. Saute in garlic and olive oil.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Buying Guide for Emerald:  Toy Watch, Manolo Blahnik shoes, J. Crew sweater, Illamasqua nail varnish, Lulu Frost earrings, Kikkerland straws (these are Fish’s Eddy, since the green was sold out in Kikkerland, but check Amazon.com for all the great colors of the paper straws) and also try Etsy’s vintage section), Kale – at your local Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s or farmer’s market, Constance fine china by Bernardaud, Absinthe at all good liquor stores, C. Wonder Ikat Mugs, python and cabochon cuff by G-Lish. Manolo Blahnik “Toubid” is from Spring 2009 collection, but can be found by clever consignment and eBay hunters.  Enjoy – tomorrow will be PURPLE.

Monday Funday – Candy Cane Martini

So, we were trying to come up with a “candy cane” themed-drink for the December holidays that didn’t taste like mouthwash – too minty, with alcohol, sort of “sharp”.   And here is what the mixologists came up with.  The best part is bashing the candy canes (mini) into a salty/sugary sort of grainy dust beforehand.  It’s very cathartic and refreshing in a way.  Drink up!

Candy Cane Martini

Candy Cane Martini

Ingredients:

1 oz. Vanilla vodka

1/2 oz. Peppermint Schnapps (so vile on its own, but here – a star!)

1/2 oz. simple syrup

Shot grenadine for color
4 candy canes

4 miniature candy canes (crushed in a Ziploc bag or between tea towels into fine sugar-like grains – nothing sharp!)
4 Maraschino cherries

Directions:

Bash the mini candy canes – once you’ve done this, dip the rims of the martini glasses in a little lemon juice or lime juice and coat with crushed candy canes.

1. Pour all of the liquid ingredients into a shaker 1/2 full of clean and square ice cubes, cracked if you have ’em.
2. Shakety shakety shake shake!
3. Strain and pour into chilled martini glasses.

Garnish with  a candy cane and a maraschino cherry with stem on.

Holiday Color Wheel. Red.

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Campari - for that refreshing red cocktail.

Photo Credit: b-Glowing

Z Gallerie's Hanging Red Starbursts

Baccarat "Hayon" crystal cocktail shaker

Iomoi red herringbone matches - hostess gift.

Kate Spade "Scottie" in red satin

A Royal Red pet bed - maybe for my new little boy, Jingles

Tom Ford - perfect red lipstick.

Tory Burch limited edition red suede 797 Madison Satchel bag in Suede - want!

Red Anemones - making a statement

Natalie P - ravishing in red at the Venice Film Festival

Shopping Guide to “RED”:  Butter London nail enamel in “Come To Bed Red”, Tom Ford Lipstick in Scarlet Rouge, Kate Spade “Scottie” shoe in red satin, Iomoi matches (currently on backorder), Baccarat cocktail shaker, Campari at all major liquor stores, Tory Burch 797 Satchel, Z Gallerie hanging starbursts (on sale).

Tomorrow – choose your color – weigh in on comments.  Turquoise OR Emerald?

Thirsty Thursday – Chic Indoor/Outdoor beverage tubs. Love!

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Although the idea of hosting an outdoor party anywhere without a breeze or a temp over 90 degrees right now is anathema to most sane people, these beauties can be used indoors or outdoors.

Our first pick is a jaunty, striped, monogrammed metal tub with enamel cast in fun colors from Neiman Marcus.  Click on the link to purchase.  Just gorgeous!

I recently went to a party down the block from me and the hostess had the most wonderful beverage coolers by Bungalow by Scout. It’s called the Scout Party Bucket.  They are waterproof PVC, can be filled with ice and are great to ice down beer, wine, waters, sodas – great at home or a tailgate and easily cleaned.  Lovely patterns like electric-hued toiles.  Scout has many other products in their line – from stylish lunch bags to insulated picnic coolers.

Photo Courtesy of Bungalow by Scout

Or, go to eBay and check out the many options there!

 

 

 

Thirsty Thursday – White Sangria alla Dolce!

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We love all kinds of good sangria – technically, a sangria is a cold, wine-based summer drink with the following components – wine, something sparkling, fruit, a liqueur or brandy, sugar and ice.  You can make any sangria just with that one line and sensible taste buds.  We make all kinds of sangrias, using both red and white wines, but if you’re coming to Dolce for a meeting or an interview, chances are you will be offered a glass of sangria from now until Labor Day.  Great for poolside, cocktail parties, bridal showers, baby showers or sitting on your porch!  Without further adieu, our new favorite (probably because it was so much fun mixing different ingredients and taste testing!) – White Sangria alla Dolce!  This makes one GIANT pitcher or 2 smaller ones.

Ingredients

2 750-ml. bottles of a crisp white wine – Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc work best – the inexpensive ones like Folinari, Bandit, etc. really work here.  I’m a wine snob, but these are great quality for the money.

2 tsps simple syrup (you can make your own) or use Trader Joe’s bottled simple syrup

1/2 cup brandy, Armagnac, Cointreau or any orange-flavored liqueur

2 cups fruit – tiny melon balls, sliced apples, lemon and lime slices, mango, pineapple, starfruit wedges, berries – your call.

1/2 cup sparkling water – we used Acqua Panna – but seltzer works fine!

Combine all the ingredients but the sparkling water in a large pitcher filled with ice.  We like this one.  Top with sparkling water.  To serve, pour into tumblers and garnish with some fresh mint, basil or fruit used in the drink.  Salut!

Photo Credit: beinggrownup blog

 

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