Guys, it’s “The Holidays.” I can say that now, right? Like, Halloween is basically almost over (j/k, I haven’t even figured out my costume yet), and soon every store will be playing Christmas music and you’re probably already packing for wherever you’re going for Thanksgiving and OMG, how is it already 2018? Anyway, here’s your printable November 2017 calendar, available now as a free digital download, and much later than I intended to get it to you. Oops. Sorry.
Yet again, this calendar may look slightly familiar, because aren’t all calendars just a bunch of blank boxes that make you feel like, hey, this is going to be a new month, and I’m going to get my shit together THIS month? That is, until you start writing down shit and get to, like, the fifth, and realize, “Oh, I have a job-job now, and freelance, and a blog I do for fun [read: no money], and a toddler, and I haven’t shaved my legs or washed my hair in a week and I’m never getting a pedicure ever again.” So, yeah, I borrowed a few elements from the September calendar, but I also added some other stuff like acorns and feel-good doodles that you’d see on some basic-ass dish towel that says “Grateful.”
As always, the calendar is free, and as you probably know by now, the only catch is that 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. And I promise I won’t sell your email address, or stalk you, and I think if you create an account it makes it really easy to download it next time.
In exchange for this free item from my shop, the only thing I ask is that you follow me on Instagram. ‘Cause it’s FESTIVE AS FUCK TIME. That’s like Peanut Butter Jelly Time, but with scented candles and boozy cranberry sauce and gold flatware and homemade stuffing with two sticks of butter.
And, really, don’t forget to follow me on Instagram. (We’re on the honor system here. Don’t be a dick. And it’s basically the fucking holidays.)
I love gimmicky halloween cocktails as much as the next weirdo. OBVIOUSLY. They’re a fun first round, but you don’t always want to drink them all night. Enter The Bitter Brain, which definitely sounds a little gimmicky, but could pass as a regular-ass drink any time of year. The only gimmick here, really, is the brains part — booze-soaked raisins. And they’ll only be booze-soaked if you take your time and sip this shit, which shouldn’t be hard since it’s strong, and fairly bitter.
Okay, I just said it was fairly bitter but it’s definitely not too bitter. It’s really well balanced, and inspired by two cocktails I love — the Toronto, which was originally created to highlight Canadian whiskey, and the Bitter Old Coot, a drink I try to have every year on my birthday at Justus Drugstore in Smithville, MO. Like those two, my drink relies heavily on rye whiskey and Fernet-Branca (a bitter herbal liqueur), then gets a few dashes of Angostura Bitters as well as orange bitters (which Angostura also makes), plus a little simple syrup. And then there’s the raisins. Ugh. Raisins.
Now, I normally don’t put raisins in drinks (or anything, ever) because they’re fucking disgusting. But Halloween is all about gross shit, and without these shriveled, boozy little pellets, this cocktail would just be called “The Bitter” — which, now that I think about it, would actually be a really great name for a bar, but but not for a drink. But if you like raisins, you’ll probably like how booze-soaked they’ll be at the end if you don’t slam this thing. And if you really, really like raisins, go crazy, friends. Put seven raisins in there. Or seventeen. It’s your fucking party. Or your night alone on the couch with the porch light turned off so nobody bugs you while you try to catch up on Scandal (which is really extra horrible this season; I’m not caught up, either).
The Bitter Brain
1 or 3 or 17 raisins
2 ounces rye whiskey
½ ounce Fernet-Branca
¼ ounce simple syrup
2 dashes Angostura bitters
2 dashes orange bitters
Add the raisins to the bottom of a coupe glass, then add the liquid ingredients to a mixing glass with a handful of ice. Stir until it’s well chilled, then strain into the glass and enjoy.
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Hey! My spooky Halloween cocktail, Red Rum, is featured in the current issue of BUST Magazine. You know it: It’s the one with Sarah Silverman on the cover. And even though I probably shouldn’t, I’m sharing it here because I’m a fucking nice person, and you know, content, SEO, yadda-yadda, blah-blah-blah. Plus, I wanted you to get a good look at that bitters murder scene I created.
Anyway, whether you’re hosting a haunted get-together or just want something boozy to sip while you avoid the neighborhood kids and watch scary movies alone in the dark, you should most definitely treat yourself to a Red Rum or two on Halloween. A spicier take on a classic Dark and Stormy, it’s made with spiced rum and ginger beer, but instead of the traditional lime wedge, it’s garnished with a round orange slice and a clove (to resemble a pumpkin, of course). For a frightening finishing touch, it gets doused with blood (er, Peychaud’s Bitters).
It’s a little spooky, pretty spicy, and balanced enough to be your go-to drink this fall. And I know I’m just giving you this entire amazing recipe for free, but you should still totally pick up the current issue of BUST to support independent feminist publishing and give cool chicks (cats? thirty-something tattooed moms?) like me something fun to read. I wrote for BUST, like, a decade ago, so I’m all kinds of excited to have one of my recipes grace its pages again.
Makes 2 cocktails
4 ounces dark, spiced rum
2 whole cloves
Cut two round slices out of the orange that are slightly smaller than the rim of your stemless wine glasses and set aside. Add a single squeeze of orange juice to the bottom of each glass along with a quick dash of bitters. Add two ounces of rum to each glass, followed by a handful of ice. Fill the glasses almost to the top with ice-cold ginger beer, and stir gently. Put the pointy end of one clove into the center of each orange slice, then gently place a slice, clove side up, on the top of each cocktail. Just before serving, generously douse the orange slices with more bitters.
A note on the ginger beer: Be sure to use a flavorful one, and definitely don’t try to substitute ginger ale — otherwise you’ll end up with some watered-down shit that doesn’t taste very fun or festive.
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In case you haven’t noticed, it’s fall. And not only is it fall, it’s already October. I’m not sure how the fuck that happened, but we’re mere weeks away from Halloween and I can already taste the two sticks of butter I put in my Thanksgiving stuffing. But back to this month. To get us in the mood, I’ve mixed up a spooky rum drink, The Little Zombie, a perfect Halloween cocktail. Actually, it’s not spooky at all and I think the original Zombie is only called that because if you drink half of one you’ll be stumbling around like a real-life fucking zombie.
That’s because, according to David Wondrich, the perfect Zombie is made with white rum, dark rum, golden rum, and 151-proof rum. Luckily, he and I are in agreement that it’s also not very good. And really — who the fuck needs four kinds of rum in one drink? Your drunk uncle who combined the dregs of various airplane bottles with some flat RC Cola before passing out in a pile of his own vomit and piss?
My Little Zombie cocktail is a much more reasonable take on the original, and it’s made with exactly one kind of rum: the good kind. While digging through my liquor cabinet, I found an unopened bottle of Diplomático Reserva Exclusiva. The brand sent it to me least a year ago, but since I never really got into rum (thanks to horrible hangover memories associated with a night of too many rum and Diet Cokes when I was 19) I let it collect dust for a while (sorry!). Well, no more. This shit is good. Like, I-can-sip-it good.
While my Little Zombie is a reasonable take on the original, it’s still strong. Most cocktails call for two ounces of base booze, but this one gets three. I mean, it has to earn its Zombie name somehow, right? The rum gets a good shake with a little pineapple juice, lime juice, and simple syrup, and I garnish it with mint and a lime wheel. For the picture, I also put a bourbon-soaked cherry on it, because Halloween is all about disgusting shit, right? And while this could totally be considered a tiki cocktail, I love that it’s not too sweet. Because I just don’t do overly sweet drinks.
The Little Zombie Halloween Cocktail
3 ounces dark rum
1 ounce fresh-squeezed lime juice
½ ounce pineapple juice
½ ounce simple syrup
Lime wheel, mint, or whatever the fuck for garnish
Add the ingredients to a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake well, then strain into an Old-Fashioned or lowball glass filled at least halfway with crushed ice. Garnish with a lime wheel, some mint, or whatever, and enjoy.
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Oh, hi. Me again. (Of course it’s fucking me, this is my blog.) As I mentioned earlier this summer, I found myself without studio mates and instead of getting new ones, decided to make up the lost income by offering female-centric workshops in my big, beautiful space. Now shit’s changed and I’ve crossed over to the dark side of gainful employment and may even have to give up my perfect studio, but the event isn’t going anywhere anytime soon (well, it may go to another physical location in the new year if I can’t find anyone to rent desks from me, but it’s not going away-away). Luckily, Kansas City is full of badass, inspiring women, and for the fourth Creativity + Cocktails event, I’m thrilled to have Emily Reinhardt, The Object Enthusiast as the featured speaker. Emily’s gorgeous ceramics are sold in shops around the country, and are even available from Anthropologie. If I could, I’d just fill my home with her beautiful things. (And after the event, I probably will and then my husband and I will get in a big fight about my shopping problem.)
After a moderated Q&A with Emily, 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 generally hate the term “networking” and 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 many times, I’m great at ideas and making pretty shit, but terrible at business things and money. (And I want ALL THE ADVICE on having a full-time job and a toddler and a husband and two dogs and maintaining a fucking fun side hustle and maybe also not letting my house turn into a disgusting den of filth.)
Anyway, there are only 20 tickets available (and the first three events sold out in about one day) so get yours now and I’ll see you at my studio on November 15!
Like what you see and want to be the first to know when I announce the next one? Follow me on Instagram!