As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I recently I found myself without studio mates and instead of getting new ones, decided to make up the lost income by offering workshops in my big, beautiful space. But not specific skill-based workshops like macrame or sensual massage. More the kind of thing I’d want to attend: Networking and idea workshopping for creative and professional women. With cocktails, of course.
Luckily, Kansas City is full of badass, inspiring women, and for the second Creativity + Cocktails event, I’m thrilled to have Suba Nadarajah, the Director of Design at VML, as the featured speaker.
The moment I met Suba, I fell in love with her. She’d just come from a horse show and I’d just walked into a coffee shop on a 100-degree day and was pretty sure I smelled like a horse. We hit it off immediately, but I get the sense that happens with everyone who meets Suba. She’s warm and funny and really just damn cool. I could have talked to her for hours and in the short time we did speak, I learned that she’s an artist, a world traveler, an animal lover, photographer, and a mid-century modern enthusiast. She also makes a point of seeking out amazing food and leads group meditations. Oh, and in addition to directing design at one of the world’s top digital agencies, she designed her own damn house! NBD. The kitchen was featured in Dwell a few years ago so you can sneak a peek here.
I’m so excited to learn even more about Suba and what inspires her at the next Creativity + Cocktails event on Wednesday, September 13.
After a moderated Q&A with Suba, we’ll chat about our own projects, brainstorm, and support each other in our creative and business endeavors. It will be part learning, part networking, part big-idea workshop, part cocktail party, and all sorts of women lifting up and inspiring other women.
Now, please keep in mind that I use the terms “creative” and “professional” very loosely. Don’t be scared off by them! If you make something, or want to make something, or make money at making something, or are trying to make money at making something, or have an idea of how you might like to make money making something someday, that all counts! Whether you’re looking for a little inspiration, have an idea that could use some feedback, or just want to spend an evening mingling and having a few drinks with some fabulous local females (sorry, dudes), this event series is for you! And it’s for me. As I’ve mentioned more than once, I’m great at ideas and making pretty shit, but terrible at business things and money. (And after a few drinks I might even tell you about all the arguments my husband and I get into over money and how bad I am at it. Apologies in advance.)
Also, I know I previously teased this as going down the first Wednesday of every month, but in September that week is a holiday and I was so excited to get Suba on the schedule that we’re bumping it to the second Wednesday of the month this time. Deal with it.
Anyway, there are only 20 tickets available (and the first one sold out in one day) so get yours now and I’ll see you at my studio on September 13th!
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Here’s a thing that’s true about me: Every time I drink a cocktail with Fernet-Branca in it, I feel like like a real fucking adult. I mean, I know all cocktails are technically supposed to be for grown-ups, but who the fuck do you think is drinking Long Island Iced Teas and Red Bulls with Vodka? And Sour Apple Pucker straight from the bottle (me, in high school). NOT mature adults with discerning palates, I’ll tell you that much.
But you know who drinks a cocktail with Fernet-Branca? Someone who enjoys the taste of booze and bitters a little too much, that’s who. Someone with a refined-as-fuck palate who appreciates a strong, herbal amaro, but who isn’t a fucking masochist and also mixes it with a sweet-and-spicy ginger liqueur, whiskey, and club soda. Or just someone who kind of likes bitter shit and appreciates balanced flavors. Maybe someone who likes to pretend she’s all sophisticated but drinks $8 bottles of wine and wants to be buried with a baker’s dozen of Taco Bell’s Crunchwrap Supreme. Anyway, despite my ever-so-eclectic tastes, I’ve always enjoyed Fernet-Branca in whiskey cocktails, and I’ve always enjoyed ginger in whiskey cocktails. So, for this one, I decided to combine all three. Because of its powerful herbal, bitter flavor, a little Fernet-Branca goes a long way, so there’s not too much in there. The result is a drink that’s not too sweet, not too gingery, not too strong — not too anything, really. It’s a perfect cocktail for a fucking adult to sip on a hot summer night.
The Bubbly Biddy
1 ounce whiskey
1 ounce Barrow’s Intense ginger liqueur
1 teaspoon Fernet Branca
Lemon wedge for garnish
Add the whiskey, Barrow’s, and Fernet to a collins glass. Stir and add a handful of ice. Top off with club soda, give it a gentle stir, then garnish with a lemon wedge. Enjoy.
Full disclosure, Barrow’s Intense Ginger Liqueur sent me a bottle to play with after I gave them a shoutout in a post, but I’ve purchased it with my own damn money before so there.
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Oh, hi, friends and Random Internet People. It’s that time of the month again! Well, honestly, it’s a little later in the month than I’d hoped, but it’s finally time to get your printable August 2017 calendar, available now as a free digital download. And even though I have a fancy new shitty printer, I’m keeping it black and white. Because all the printers are shitty. All of them. Even your nice one that cost way more than mine did. And, sure, I’ll admit it: I don’t want to use up all of that expensive color ink, and I bet you don’t, either. Plus, this month’s design — which is supposed to be eclipse-ish, but obviously it’s not an eclipse — works quite well in black and white.
Also, I finally figured out how to mine your data and shit! Well, sort of. If you’ve been downloading these free printable calendars since I started doing them in May, you’ll notice the process is a little different (and possibly — okay, definitely — more annoying) than before. Now, instead of just a one-click download, you need to “buy” the digital file from my store. But you don’t have to pay any money or give any credit card info or anything like that. Still, sorry. I promise I won’t sell your email address, or stalk you (unless you’re really cool), and you can even give me a fake phone number and mailing address if you want. I just need to start tracking downloads, and if I ever get my shit together enough to send a newsletter, you’ll be among the first to get it (yes, you detected that slight sarcasm correctly).
In exchange for this free item from my shop, the only thing I ask (other than giving every detail about your life) is that you follow me on Instagram. That’s not so hard, now is it? Really, it’s NOT hard. Here’s the link one more time in case you missed it, and now you may carry on with downloading your very own printable August 2017 calendar, Eclipse Edition!
And don’t forget to follow me on Instagram. (We’re on the honor system here. Don’t be a dick.)
Remember white wine spritzers? For some reason, I’ve always thought of them as something old people with drinking problems have at lunch. (I mean, isn’t that what they are?) I can’t even remember any specific old person drinking them, or anyone ever consuming one at any lunch I’ve ever been a part of, but it’s just a general sense I got as a kid. Anyway, it turns out they’re really pretty good, and they’re definitely refreshing as fuck. And — despite the fact that I just got a giant tattoo on my right arm — there are surely kids out there who consider me an old person with a drinking problem. So it’s about damn time I create my own take on the white wine spritzer: the vinho verde wine spritzer.
Of course, this differs pretty significantly from the classic old person lunch cocktail. A basic white wine spritzer is made with just white wine, club soda, and a fruity garnish. This vhino verde wine spritzer starts out a bit like a julep (I muddle mint with simple syrup and lime juice), veers toward gin and tonic territory (um, I add some gin), then settles in nicely with the rest of the senior-preferred cocktails with wine, club soda, and a lime wheel for garnish. Except instead of the usual white wine, I use vinho verde — my summer love.
“Vinho verde” is Portuguese for “green wine,” and unlike most of the wines we’re used to, it isn’t made with any specific type of grape — just young (or “green”) grapes. While it comes in a variety of colors, my preferred vinho verde, Casal Garcia, is a white and it’s only $8 or $9 a bottle at my local grocery store (and even cheaper online). It’s bright, and a little tart, and not at all oaky or buttery. It’s perfect for a minty, boozy, summery spritzer.
Vinho Verde Wine Spritzer
6-8 fresh mint leaves
¾ ounce simple syrup
½ ounce (or 1 tablespoon — it’s the same damn measurement!) fresh-squeezed lime juice
1.5 ounces gin
4 ounces vinho verde
Lime wheel for garnish
Muddle the mint leaves with the simple syrup and lime juice (using the handle end of a wooden spoon) in the bottom of a large stemmed or stemless red wine glass (really, it needs to be big because of all the shit we’re going to put into it). Add the gin and vinho verde and stir, then add a handful of ice. Top off with the club soda, give it another quick stir, garnish with the lime wheel, and enjoy on a hot fucking day. Perhaps even over lunch. With your old friends.
NOTE: I played with the amount of simple syrup and because I don’t really like sweet drinks, landed on ¾ ounce as the best option. If you like a slightly sweeter drink, make it a full ounce.
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Hey, hey, hey! It’s Bastille Day, which commemorates the beginning of the French Revolution with the Storming of the Bastille in 1798. It’s a lot like our Fourth of July — so let’s celebrate with some goddamn drinks! In preparation for raising a glass to all the wonderful things France has to offer lately, I’ve whipped up a remix of the classic French 75 cocktail. It’s basically a ginger French 75 called the French 60 (I’ll get to that number thing in a minute).
Cocktail lore says the OG version was created at the New York Bar in Paris in 1915 and is named for a piece of French artillery. It’s made with gin, fresh-squeezed lemon juice, simple syrup, and Champagne. My take, the French 60, is made with ginger liqueur instead of gin (see what I did there?!?!), and I don’t add any simple syrup or sugar since the liqueur adds just enough sweetness. For this one, I used the perfectly spicy Barrow’s Intense Ginger Liqueur. (Full disclosure, they sent me a bottle to play with after I gave them a shoutout in a post, but I’ve purchased it with my own damn money before so there.)
Speaking of spice, that’s where this cocktail gets its name. According to some dude on the internet, if ginger were to be ranked on the Scoville Scale (mostly used to measure the spiciness of peppers) “it would have a rough rating of 60,000 Scoville Heat Units.” Sure, dude. That sounds about right. We’ll go with that. But for the record, this drink isn’t spicy at all; it just has a hint of gingery sweetness.
The French 60 (A.K.A. Ginger French 75)
¾ ounce fresh-squeezed lemon juice (I like to strain it for this one)
1 ounce ginger liqueur
Lemon twist (or candied ginger!) for garnish
Add the lemon juice and ginger liqueur to the bottom of a coupe, champagne or stemless wine glass. Top it off with champagne, garnish, and enjoy. À votre santé!
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