Jamaican Me Crazy

Tomorrow Mr. Dr. and I be soaring over top of you in a plane heading to sunshine and sand. As far as cocktails, I am sure we will be indulging in all of the usual suspects that a tropical vacation offers.  We will probably start with some pina coladas once we arrive at the resort and our view will look like this:

And then we will probably get situated and our view will look like this: a beer for Mr. Dr. and a strawberry daiquiri for myself.

By the end of the week I am sure our view will eventually look this: a miami vice (blend of daiquiri and colada) and a mudslide.

I think the gist is that cocktail Friday will be commencing every day of the week for us next week.  Looking forward to a great vacation and sharing our adventures with you when we get back.  For everyone celebrating Easter this weekend, I hope it is filled with love, laughter, lots of food and drink, and fun with family and friends.

Happy Cocktail Friday…Mon.

Saint Sangria

This week marked the start of Spring.  How exciting!  Not.  The word Spring doesn’t even come to mind with what it feels like outside in NYC.  The only spring I’m seeing is in my feet taking me from place to place so I get there faster in this still brutally cold weather.  It’s no surprise that these “first days” of seasons were determined by meteorology people because as usual those clowns don’t seem to know the difference between a snowflake and a blooming cherry blossom.  If we are going to keep letting a groundhog determine the fate of our seasons why don’t the networks just cut the weatherman segments and add a few more minutes of reality TV?  Just saying.  Despite the non Springy feeling air I still have every intention of practicing the art of Spring in cocktail land.  That way when it peaks Hello I am prepared for the weeks that follow.

So this weekend I think I may try to experiment with a new Sangria recipe.  I don’t typically love Sangria because most places make it too weak and I feel like I am often times drinking fruit juice.  I don’t need those extra calories or that bloated feeling when my main point of interest with a cocktail is the alcohol.  But Sangria screams Spring to me.  I think I may have mentioned this before although not certain but St. Germain is becoming one of our favorite liquor ingredients to play with.  You can add it to pretty much anything for a nice little twist on an old-fashioned drink.  So why not add it to to some white Sangria?

-1 Bottle of White Wine (Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc)
-Generous Amount of St. Germain
-Strawberries
-Grapes
-Raspberries
-Any extra fruit of your choice
-Notes: I have become more open to white Sangria. I think there is a lot of potential to enjoy some fun variations of it. One other little trick to this recipe is if you want to make it a Sparkling Sangria then add a couple splashes of club soda right before serving.

Happy Cocktail Friday!

Visiting Russia In NYC

This week for Cocktail Friday I am narrowing in on a personal favorite of mine.  Vodka.  Exploring new places in this city is always fun and a few weeks ago I google-search stumbled on a spot that I knew I had to get to…and soon.  Any place with the word Vodka Room in the title is a place I need to try.  So we did.  Residing just outside of the theatre district I was a bit confused by location and exterior.  Below is us approaching the Russian Vodka Room.  As you can see from the outside this is the kind of place that you pass by and don’t think twice about.  And while it does have a piano as well as a man playing it in the evening – that is not the appeal of this place despite what the awning says.  So I was slightly thrown off upon arrival.

Russian Vodka Room Exterior

Happy hour comes by every day of the week here and the vodka is flowing.  An intimate interior with dark decor and a bit of a chilly inside greeted us.  I prefer a bit friendlier when it comes to staff but I didn’t let it ruin my vodka tasting.  Especially after I saw these sitting across from me when I sat down at the bar.

Vodka Barrels

I was immediately sucked in once my eyes met with the marinating barrels of vodka that were being stored indiscreetly.  We were given a menu filled with delicious sounding drink options and for our first we opted to each taste a shot of their house infused vodka.  I chose apple pomegranate and he chose ginger.  I preferred his.  Next was the garlic pepper & dill.  Also very good.

Vodka Shots

After sipping on some shots we each enjoyed a cocktail.  I chose one made with their house infused ginger vodka and he chose a Bloody Mary made with their house infused horseradish vodka.  Both were yummy.

Vodka Cocktails

After those were finito, as you may have guessed, we were tipsy and scooted out to absorb the vodka in our bellies with some dinner.  All in all, I’m glad I visited the Vodka Room because…well it would have been on my bucket list if I didn’t.  I’d venture back for a good happy hour if I’m close by and certainly see myself experimenting with some other cocktails on the menu.  I’d recommend this place to any and all who like vodka as much as I do.  Hmmm.  I wonder if Chelsea handler has been to this place.  I bet she has.  Anyway, after visiting a place like this one conclusion remains true – Russians definitely know vodka.

Happy Cocktail Friday!

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A Cocktail Lover’s Haven

Answer:
A mysterious tucked away cave-esque establishment where you form a delicious partnership with a bartender who makes cocktails with liquor and any other imaginable ingredients of your choice.

Question:
What is a NYC Speakeasy?

Ding Ding Ding. Well, minus the illegal selling of alcohol part.

The scene: No signage on the outside, no numbered address on the door.  You get a slight rush of excitement and nerves fill your body for those few seconds you walk down the dark stairwell and see the door at the bottom residing in the quiet alcove.  You doubt yourself for a split second that you have the wrong location.  You know you don’t.  You quickly realize the lack of decor is all part of the mysterious appeal .  You expect a locked door as you pull on the handle and instead it welcomes you in.  You walk into a dark, sexy, candlelit room with a long bar, some tucked away tables and the perfect blend of tunes from the current Top 40.  You approach the bar and are greeted by your mixologist who asks you to choose your ingredients of choice from the chalkboard on the wall.  Your taste buds trust him.  He delivers.  You enjoy a great secret bar, great company and a greater bill than what you probably wanted.  But it’s worth every penny.

NYC is filled with these unmarked gems, scattered across the city in neighborhoods you wouldn’t expect.  Only the true locals and bar hoppers know of their existence.  I had the pleasure of enjoying some time at one of them in the Soho neighborhood accompanied by two great friends.  Here were our indulgences:

Mulberry Drinks

 The first is a vodka & cucumber blend garnished with a strawberry.  The second is a vodka & jalapeno blend garnished with a pepper.  The third is a prosecco & ginger blend with grapefruit juice.  All of the above were yum.  We chose from a selection of ingredients ranging from rosemary to kiwi and all that’s in between.  It was every bit satisfying and fun to try some unique cocktails at a very cool speakeasy.

What’s better than walking into a bar, telling the bartender what ingredients you like, what your liquor of choice is, and then having him make you a delicious adult beverage that encompasses all of those components into one tasty treat?  Maybe heaven if this isn’t heaven itself.

Happy Cocktail Friday!

A Cocktail For Cupid

In keeping with last week’s theme for the XOXO holiday, I am showcasing a cupid colored cocktail that my mom and I enjoyed last weekend.  My parents came to visit and we had the best time.  It was the first time my dad was seeing our new (not really since it’s been almost a year) apartment and I was so excited for them to stay with us.  We ice skated, we ate, we drank, we ate and drank some more, and we walked all over town for two straight days.  Here are some of the highlights from their trip.

A proper beginning with Dad's famous Bloody Mary's in the apartment upon arrival

A proper beginning with Dad’s famous Bloody Mary’s in the apartment upon arrival

Union Square Market

Union Square Market

Ice Skating in Bryant Park...I will spare everyone from the video :)

Ice Skating in Bryant Park…I will spare everyone from the video :)

Mai Tais, Mojitos and Whiskey Barrels at the Tommy Bahama bar

Mai Tais, Mojitos and Whiskey Barrels at the Tommy Bahama bar

 I wish they were coming back this weekend.  Sigh.  

Anyway, I first invented this cupid cocktail creation while I was watching Live From the Red Carpet and the Grammys.  I don’t have a name for it but it was quite delightful and I would recommend to those who like a champagne cocktail.  If you read my Purple Friday post then you might know I have some Chambord lying around the place.  So I got creative.  I thought it would be neat to sit my drink next to my engraved cork-filled hurricane vase I was telling you about a few weeks ago so you could check it out.  Isn’t it cool?  And yes that silver thing in the middle is actually a crab wine stopper.  It came with the hurricane vase as a gift and not only is it super cute, I think it completes the look.  Anyway onto the drink.

Pink Champagne Cocktail

-Generous amount of Prosecco/Champagne
-2 Splashes of Vodka
-1 Splash of Chambord
-Garnish with a Rasberry
-Notes:  It’s not weak ladies and gents.  But it’s tasty.  So if you are the type who gets tipsy off of one glass of wine then substitute the Chambord with Cranberry Juice.  That is what my mom and I did this past weekend and it was fantastic.  While the boys napped, we sipped and had girl time.

Happy Cocktail Friday and Cheers to a great weekend!

Pretty Please With A Cherry On Top

The xoxo holiday is quickly approaching my loves and with it should come cocktails in shades of pink and red.  My valentine will be working a 24hr shift in the hospital so our romantic night of cooking dinner together and snuggling on the couch will actually be more like me eating alone and probably sending Mr. Dr. a picture of a cocktail I made saying wish you were here.  But I get him all weekend so no complaints.

Cupid after one too many cocktails

Cupid after one too many cocktails

I have talked to a lot of bah humbugs about Valentine’s Day this year.  People thinking that it is overrated, and just a ploy for florists and chocolate companies to make some extra bucks.  Well they may be right but who cares if cupid decided we should pick one special day out of the year to tell the ones we love that we really mean it.  You don’t need to get or give gifts.  Shame on society for making us think that for so many years.  Just a simple I Love You will probably suffice for most of us.  Because let’s be honest.  We all probably could say it a little more to those we feel that way about.  So let the new blossoming relationship folk be the cheeseballs and spend the extra money on chocolate, roses and an expensive dinner.  Me?  I will be happy with a card (could be wishful thinking), an I Love You and a hug the morning he leaves for his 24hr shift.

This week its all about pink and red so I wanted to share with you all a little secret ingredient that makes all cocktails a bit sweeter in look and and on the tongue.  May I present to you the one, the only:  the Maraschino Cherry.  Maraschino cherries are a hidden gem cocktail ingredient.  More importantly, their juice, can be the last bit of flavor needed to complete many drinks when you are just looking for a dash of something else.  You know…when you sip on a drink and you lick your lips and say “It’s missing something.”  I swear this additive has never failed me.  And it just so happens that they will make pretty  much any drink look that much more appealing in color creating a delicious shade of red and of course a pretty garnish.  Below is a fun cocktail recipe to try.

-Generous Amount of Vodka
-5 Splashes of Soda Water
-Splash of Lime Juice
-2 Tablespoons of Maraschino Cherry Juice from the jar
-Garnish with a Cherry
-Notes: Technically this recipe is a Mrs. Dr. original but it’s basically a variation to a Cherry Bomb cocktail.  If you are a real cherry lover, you can use cherry flavored vodka instead of regular.  If you want to turn this into a Cherry Bomb shot, you can substitute the soda water and lime juice with a Red Bull.

Will you be my Valentine?  Pretty please with a cherry on top?  Whether it’s a quiet night in or a night out with your Valentine, or even if you are in my boat, I hope everyone enjoys their Valentine’s Day this year!

Happy Purple Cocktail Friday

It’s Cocktail Friday with a purple twist in honor of the Ravens this weekend.  Above is a purple hooter bird.  Similar enough looking to a raven and quite frankly…in the act of cawing like one in the above illustration.  But the best part about the purple hooter is that it is also a cocktail.  I have chosen this delicious vodka cocktail to feature today in hopes that while I write this I am sending winning vibes to help provoke a Superbowl win by the team wearing purple.  Oh and I will be making a purple hooter martini on Sunday in their honor…duh.

The Purple Hooter Martini
Note: can be mixed as a martini, cocktail or shot

-Generous Amount of Vodka
-3 Splashes of Chambord
-4 Splashes of Sprite (Sweet & Sour mix or 7UP can be substituted)
-Notes: For all you Ravens fans out there I suggest indulging in this cocktail.  Maybe if we all do our part in sipping on a purple hooter in some form this weekend it will bring our team to a W.  For all you non-Ravens fans or those of you who do not follow football whatsoever I suggest you drink this anyway because it’s going to taste good.  Mmmm.  Can’t wait for Sunday.  This martini will go beautifully with my purple ensemble.

Happy Purple Cocktail Friday and Go Ravens!

A Little Reminisce

I found myself sitting in front of the TV recently with nothing to watch.  This is rare as my DVR list is usually busting at the screen seams.  I flipped on The Carrie Diaries which is a new series on the CW.  It takes us back to the teenage years of Carrie Bradshaw and how she gets her debut working in Manhattan.  Thus, she begins falling head over heels with the Big Apple and so starts her love affair with NYC.  The actress is super cute but the show itself…eh…I probably won’t be adding it to the DVR list.

Anyway, while watching I began reminiscing about my our move to good ol NYC.  Please note: although lengthy, the below is in fact all true.

It was a hot sunny day in August.  August 2007.  We had an amazing July that summer backpacking across Europe for a couple of weeks before our big move.  It felt surreal to pack up the car and drive a one-way ride up the NJ Turnpike.  We got to the part of the ride where you can see the Manhattan skyline and I remember feeling so excited about our new adventure together.  I used to visit NYC and think I could never live here.  Like didn’t really have the balls to make the move.  Well fate took its course for Mr. Dr. and his medical school selection happened to be in the glamorous city of NYC so he was a shoe-in.  Me?  I said no long distance while in med school so looks like we are moving in together.  Mr. Dr. was starting med school, we were moving to one of the greatest cities in America and I…had NO JOB.

View from our apartment

View from one of our first apartments together

Um newsflash.  Do move up to NYC with a job lined up if at all possible.  Seriously.  What was I thinking??  I don’t think I was.  I didn’t even have interviews lined up.  I was living vicariously through my boyfriend who we were essentially moving to NYC for and I was simply enjoying the excitement of my dream to always move to NYC.  But he had a plan.  A plan which included going to 4 years of school, become a Doctor, then go to residency and eventually become a practicing physician.  Me?  The closest thing I had to a plan was walking to Bed Bath & Beyond to begin decorating our mini studio because we had nothing except a stand with a TV and a bed which thankfully were left in the apartment as part of our lease agreement.

I dipped into my savings account for the first month of rent and our security deposit because NYC apartments are so expensive and the money you have to have upfront to get one is insane.  Mr. Dr.’s loans hadn’t kicked in yet so we were literally living out of my savings account.  I started to secretly panic…or I thought I was being secretive about it.  I was applying up the wazoo to jobs and even begged a local boutique to give me a part time job so I had some source of income.  My pleading must have been too desperate because I did not get hired.  So as you may have guessed, happy hour in the apartment started occurring earlier and earlier.  As my sorrows from the job search got deeper so did the timing of happy hour and the wine was getting uncorked at 4pm instead of 5pm.

One afternoon a few weeks into our big move, Mr. Dr. got home from school early and saw me in a pretty rough state.  I was watching Oprah with tears in my eyes on my 3rd glass of red.  I will never forget this moment.  He looked at me and snapped…in the sweetest way possible.  It really was sweet.  He could feel my discouragement.  He knew I was trying…sort of.  So he sat down at the computer and proceeded to sign me up and build a profile for me on literally every babysitting/nanny website he could find on the web.  I had babysat my whole life even through college so I had the experience.  Why didn’t I think of this?  Why didn’t I think to do this?  Had I gotten so fixated on finding a corporate job that I forgot NYC was a place where nannies can make more money than entry level salaries?

You know how people say that things just “work out” when you least expect it?  That fate has a way of working itself into your life and helps you in ways that when you look back on it you say…did that really happen?  Well the next day my life took a turn and I found myself looking back a month later saying…did this all really happen?  And even now I look back and say the same thing.

I got an email from a dad who had seen my profile on one of the nanny websites.  Normally, some may think it’s creepy to have a dad contact you about caring for their children from finding you online.  But this man seemed normal, kind and professional.  I went to meet the kids and the mom that night.  We clicked.  Not only did we click…I babysat part time for this family every week for the first 3 years that I lived here.  They became the family I didn’t have in NYC that I was so happy to be a part of.  They have since moved to California but we are still so close.  Mr. Dr. and I stayed with them when we went to visit LA and we of course try to catch up with them when they come back to visit NYC.  I do believe fate brought this family and I together.  What if Mr. Dr. didn’t see me that one sad afternoon?  What if they had found another sitter before me?  What if, what if.

After a couple of weeks of part time babysitting I landed a great 9-5er completely on my own.  And it was the perfect fit.  I worked in a department with 4 other girls my age.  We clicked.  Just like my NYC family, we just clicked.  Things were falling into place and I was coming into my own.  Finally.  I had sighs of great relief that winter as I realized how lucky I was to have a boyfriend who cared too much to see me fail, a new network of friends that I loved, a full time job AND a part time job and an awesome family to go see once a week.

I guess we all have to come into our own at some point.  It’s inevitable if we want to continue to grow and live happily.  Although I hit a rough patch I am proud of all I have accomplished thus far in this city.  Who doesn’t have rough patches!?  It was a mini speed bump that turned into a twist of fate in so many ways that has led to where I am today.  And thank goodness for that boyfriend from 2007 turned husband in 2011.  If it weren’t for him snapping me back into reality that disheartening afternoon, who knows where we would be.  I sure am glad I snatched that guy up forever. :)

Wedding Alter Photo

Did we really just say I do? :)

Wined Up With Bottoms Up

Wine?  Yes please.  As I have gotten older I enjoy my wine almost nightly.  Whether its with dinner, sufficing as a way to take the edge off from my day or a night out with my girl friends to catch up.  I love a good light white in the summer and there is nothing more cozy than a full bodied red in the winter.  Thanks to the worldwide web we now have a plethora of craft ideas related to wine, corks and the like to keep us busy and entertained.  Mr. Dr. and I received a beautifully initialed hurricane vase for our wedding (thanks LC) and have since filled it with corks galore.  I even took it to the next level and wrote the date and event on certain ones from special occasions.  I can’t wait to turn the vase over in a few years, find them in the cork mix and relive those moments.  That is probably one of the easiest cork projects because all you have to do is finish the bottle of wine, grab a pen and then throw the cork in a vase.  But there are a lot of DIY tutorials out there.  And if I may, I say leave the real crafty projects to the experts.  Joy from BottomsUpCrafts is my go-to wine-o handywoman.  From ornaments to bulletin boards she creates some of the most fun housewares that can be a treat for yourself or a fabulous unique gift.  The serving tray shown here has been a great addition to our living room and an eye-catching accessory that sits comfortably on our end table because it is simply too cute to keep in the kitchen cabinet.

wine serving tray

She will also customize something special if you have one of those “I thought of this after a few glasses of wine…” ideas upon a simple request.  I recently purchased a couple of these trivets as a gift for my sister who has a wine theme in her kitchen and they were absolutely perfect.  BottomsUpCrafts is the crafty cork expert I wish I was and I will certainly be gifting some more of these products in 2013.  It’s the new kid on the block since it just opened up on Etsy a few months ago so be sure to check it out here.  You will notice that she even has products for the beer lover.  An affordable one-stop shop with a name as cute as it’s products.  For people out there like myself who appreciate an idea derived from enjoying a relaxing glass of wine or a refreshing bottle of beer, BottomsUpCrafts can make your vision come to life.

Happy Cocktail Friday!

Straight Up Hot & Dirty

Three things I love.  A good martini straight up.  Hot weather or in this case some hotness (only occasionally) to my palette.  And a damn good dirty style drink.  I’m not so prim and proper as I’m sure you have caught onto even though I love a good fashion trend, my MAC makeup and giving my blonde locks a good blowout.  My style of writing isn’t exactly prim and proper and neither is my choice of adult beverages.  I like beer in a red solo cup as much as I like my vodka in a martini glass.  I like being honest and absolutely blunt with my blog as much as I like getting ready for work half naked in the morning because it’s just more comfortable without clothes on.  So this below drink that I recently indulged in is the perfect fit for my personality, style of cocktail preference and just overall appreciation for a good martini…and a good laugh.  Warning: the below contains inappropriate content.

Please meet the Hot & Dirty with a side of olive pepper sperm-ite.  Coincidence dirty is in the name?  I think not.

Hot & Dirty

Hot & Dirty at Liquid Assets in Ocean City, MD

Hot & Dirty at Liquid Assets in Ocean City, MD

-Generous Amount of Chopin Potato Vodka
-3 Splashes of Spicy Jalapeno Juice
-Garnish with a Pepper Stuffed Olive (if you find one that looks like that it’s a bonus)
-Besides the obvious joke I have completely laughed out loud over with the look of this martini’s garnish, it is all it cracks up to be.  A little hot and a little dirty.  The spicy jalapeno juice is a nice twist on the classic dirty, olive juice made, martini.  It is spicy, strong and I thoroughly enjoyed every sip.  But be careful…one is every bit satisfying but two may be a little too intense with the bursting-at-the-seams flavor.  Wear your protection while drinking this hot & dirty treat.

No I did not implant this pepper olive myself to make for a good laugh.  I received this drink as shown above and had a freaking field day with it.  Of course I have seen pepper stuffed olives but usually they are stuffed completely inside sans tail.  Or if they are with a tail they are not “swimming” in my cocktail.  You know it’s true!  This is as good a sperm impersonation as I have ever seen and I can honestly say of all the times I have drank a dirty martini I have never thought of the other meaning of “dirty” until I sipped on this one.  How could I not?  Maybe it’s a sick minds appreciate it kind of thing but I laughed with my family and of course my Mr. Dr. for a good while about this one.  Best part and bottom line:  it was such a great tasting cocktail.  Keep your minds out of the gutter (or in for more laughs) and of course…

Happy Cocktail Friday!