The Break Up

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Within the last few weeks both of my sisters have parted ways with their long term boyfriends. Regardless of who makes the final decision, break ups are always challenging and upsetting. After my last break up, I found that there are a few things that really helped me cope with the changes and emotions.

Buy Some New Pajamas – Post break up, you start spending a lot more time alone. I found spending my nights on my own after the split to be one of the biggest emotional challenges. To make myself feel better, I bought new PJs. New sleepwear gives you something to look forward to at bedtime, not dread. Whether you like flannel pajama sets or silky negligees new pajamas offer one small step towards moving forward with your life.

Fall in Love with a Cocktail – One of my best friends introduced me to a drink that quickly became signature after my break up. It became fondly known to me as a “Pazia” after her and is a mix of vodka, soda, cranberry and lime. Simple and refreshing. I’m not saying you need to become an alcoholic as a result of a break up, but having a few drinks every once in a while encourages you to go out and be a little more social. Another beverage I highly recommend is Sex, a brut rose sparkling wine that is as delightful as its name.

Pick Up a New Hobby – I took a photography class right after my break up. It was something I had wanted to do for a long time. The class helped me realize a passion and gave me an opportunity to meet new people and try new things on a weekly basis. Finding a new hobby definitely helps take your mind off of things and gives you something new and exciting to focus on instead.

Buy Yourself Something You Don’t Reeeeally Need – I have always had an obsession with Kerastase products. They do wonderful things to my hair but cost a small fortune. After a split, I think every girl should splurge on one item, keeping it to around $75-$100, that they absolutely love but don’t really need.

WANTED: The perfect bar cart

 

Now that I’ve moved into a new place and am more or less settled in, my search for new and unique pieces of furniture to fill the holes has begun. I am so in love with the Delaney Rattan Bar Cart from Pottery Barn! I love the look and feel and functionality of the piece. It would make a wonderful addition to my new space, however at around $350 it is a little out of my pauper price range. So the hunt begins! I am in search of a chic, functional, affordable piece that will hold all my glasses, booze and general bar accessories. If you know if any good sites or resources, please let me know ­čÖé

How to Make: Tasty Winter Cocktails

On December 11, I will be hosting my very first holiday cocktail party! Woo hoo! I couldn’t be more excited and have spent the last few days planning, decorating and searching for the perfect holiday cocktails to serve. There are a ton of options out there! I came across everything from eggnogs to hot toddies and ciders to winter sangria. In the end, I went with two beverages that use simple and relatively inexpensive ingredients, which will hopefully save me some money and time in the long run.

Both of these recipes come from the Martha Stewart website. I slightly modified the Berry Little Cocktail to better suit my guests and budget. Here is the original recipe.

How to Make: A Berry Little Cocktail

Ingredients:

1/2 cup sugar
1 cup fresh cranberries
1 oz vodka
2 oz Champagne
1 oz cranberry juice

“In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, dissolve sugar into 1 1/2 cups water. Add cranberries and simmer for 5 minutes, or until softened. Remove from heat and let cool. Strain, discard liquid, and place cranberries on a tray in the freezer for at least 2 hours. Chill vodka, Champagne, and juices, then mix in a champagne glass. Garnish with skewer of 4 or 5 frozen candied cranberries. Reserve the rest for another drink.”

How to Make: A Winter Solstice Cocktail

Ingredients:

1 1/2 oz orange vodka
1/2 oz orange flavored liqueur
1/2 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice
club soda & ice

“In a cocktail shaker, combine vodka, orange liqueur, lemon juice, and ice; shake until well combined. Strain into a chilled martini glass; add a splash of soda.”
Read more at Marthastewart.com:┬áWinter Solstice Cocktail – Martha Stewart Recipes

 

Other Great Holiday Cocktail Resources:

Delish’s Holiday Cocktail Guide (A ton of options to pick from!)

Epicurious’s Drink Recipes (Their list includes holiday beverages like Santa Sangria and the Lemon Rose Bellini. And its sorted by liquor and hot vs. cold drinks.)

SLOSHED! (Posts really great seasonal drinks. I’ll be keeping an eye on this site until party time)

CocktailNerd’s “A Cocktailian Christmas List” (Its not a drink list BUT it is a good gift guide for the cocktailers in your life!)

How to Make: A Gimlet

In honor of Mad Men, last Sunday I wrote about one of Don Draper’s favorite drinks, The Old Fashioned. This week let’s focus on another character from the show, the former Mrs. Betty Draper.

Throughout the past three season, Betty’s drinking record┬áhas consisted of copious amounts of wine in the middle of the day when things with Don really started to go south and enjoying the occasional Gimlet. According to my little red drink book, Gimlets are typically made with gin and lime juice. Since I’m not a huge fan of gin, I decided to make a vodka Gimlet for this week’s viewing party. I’ve included the recipe below for your drinking pleasure. Enjoy!

How to Make: A Gimlet

Stir 1 1/2 oz. Gin (in this case, vodka) and 1/2 oz. Rose’s lime juice with cracked ice.

Strain into 3 oz. cocktail glass.

Add slice of lime if desired.

How to Make: An Old Fashioned

Its Sunday night, which means just one thing to me – MAD MEN!!! I am obsessed with the show! The costumes are amazing and I love how it takes you to a different place and time each episode. Its like no other show on TV right now and one of the few I keep up with on a weekly basis.

One thing I really love about the show is the carefree boozing the characters partake in throughout the day. Happy hour? These people have never heard of “happy hour”, more like “happy morning/mid-day/afternoon/evening.” Its classic! People drink during important business meetings, doctor appointments, even pregnancy!

A few weeks ago I discovered an amazing little treasure at my grandparents’ house – a little booklet of party recipes for mixed drinks from 1962! It features all the classics like gin and tonics, manhattans, martinis, etc. BUT it also has some real doozies like Bronxs, Mamie Taylors, Zombies and Sherry Flips. Some of the drinks include questionable ingredients like raw eggs and strong tea and overall there is a serious lack of mixers included with most of these so called “mixed” drinks.

The one recipe that caught my eye and that I was most excited about was for the Old Fashioned. Throughout Mad Men’s three seasons, the Old Fashioned has been one of Don Draper’s stable drinks of choice. He’s even taught little Sally how to cook up a mean Oldie. Naturally I had to try this drink out for myself. Like I said before, there is a serious lack of mixer involved and while I’m not the biggest fan of whiskey the drink does not offend. There is plenty of fruit to cut some of the edge and the bitters really add a touch of something…So, for your drinking pleasure I have included the original, 1962 recipe below.

Give it a shot and let me know what you think! Next week we’ll be discussing Betty Draper’s fav – the Gimlet!

How to Make: An Old Fashioned

In an Old Fashioned glass put 1 lump of sugar, 2 dashes of Bitters, 1 teaspoon of water and muddle.

Add 1 cube of ice, 2 oz. Whiskey and stir.

Decorate with twist of lemon, slice of orange, pineapple chunk (*I omitted) and a cherry.

Serve with stirrer.

Enjoy!

Here are a few pictures of the little drink booklet.