Tag Archives: cocktails

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Hey guys. This week I am all thrown off. Last weekend I went to Ocean City with my husband since we got invited to a friends beach house. We went on Monday and came back Tuesday, for a little mini vacation. Then we went into Brooklyn to visit my sister on Friday night and came home late Saturday night. I have a bunch of cool posts to do about Brooklyn, a little tour guide of things to do in Williamsburg/Bushwick if you will. I went to Ocean City during the off season… so I really don’t have many good vegan tips of places to go there. I don’t know guys, the Jersey Shore isn’t my thing. Maybe I will make a travel guide about the beaches near Fair Haven where I grew up (and where Alexa is now).

It is really windy here. Some of the smaller trees have been uprooted, and the power went out while shopping! It was very weird going shopping at Target and Wegman’s with only the emergency lights on. There were also weird little things that weren’t working. Espresso machines were down, the conveyer belts at the registers weren’t working. And I feel like everyone was in a panic because of the power being out, at least I felt a little bit like there was something severely bad going on. Oddly my power is doing just fine so I can make this post of the top reads for your Sunday.

Jazz singer Nina Simone is shown in London on Dec. 5, 1968, photo. Simone's deep, raspy, forceful voice made her a unique figure in jazz and later helped define the civil rights movement. (AP Photo)

Jazz singer Nina Simone is shown in London on Dec. 5, 1968, photo. Simone’s deep, raspy, forceful voice made her a unique figure in jazz and later helped define the civil rights movement. (AP Photo)

Nina Simone’s Face

I might be a little late in the game with posting this article, but it is still something good to read. Ta-Nehisi Coates writes a great article about why we should care about the casting choice for Nina Simone. Many people who read about social justice is probably aware of the issue already, but Coates write beautifully and I think explains the situation that is understandable to anyone new the topic.

fitness

Fitness Trackers Reveal the Damaging Pitfalls of the Modern Approach to Self Improvemnt

As someone who loves to track their health stats, I found this article interesting. I use MapMyRun, Ovia, and have downloaded a pedometer app in the past. Then I like to combine them all together in my Apple Health app because I love graphs. But the article points out that you can’t keep topping yourself, and that might drive some people nuts. I don’t want to say FitBit and other fitness trackers are pointless, but we need to be careful about how to we sell them.

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Excessively Candid FoodNetwork.com Recipe Reviews

Am I outing myself as a New Yorker fan? You betcha I am. I found these hilarious, and plausibly real.

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Controversial Post: Who Can Clap for That Wrap?

Emileigh from Flashback Summer has really been crushing it lately. Some of you may not know, but I love vintage clothing. I’ve largely stopped blogging about fashion mostly since I haven’t been spending much on new clothes. But I’ve showcased some vintage articles of clothing on the blog (both dresses, vintage hat, and dress). As many may know, vintage clothing has a lot of styles that might be called out today for cultural appropriation- the squaw dress, the tiki bar craze, blackamoor jewelry, and now Emileigh breaks down whether or not is culturally appropriate to wear a wrap. I like how she quotes various people with different ethnicities and background and does some historical research, and urges that if you aren’t doing the research yourself, don’t wear it.

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Arsenic & Old Lace

I rarely make cocktails from Gastronomista, mostly because I am cheap and have a poorly stocked liquor collection. But the photos of the Arsenic & Old Lace is amazing. Naturally I don’t have any of those liquors- and finding creme de violette might be hard but I will keep it in the back of my mind when looking around.


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Hey guys! It has been weird. I think most everyone has been experiencing some warmer weather… and now snow. Well, it isn’t that big of deal, it snowed a little in the evening, but nothing really stuck except for a few flakes on some cars that were sitting in a shadow. Nothing huge, but I was getting use to not having to bundle up on runs. I don’t mind the cold as much as I hate the time it takes to get all the layers on. But yesterday I drove out to my Grandmother’s for “easter dinner” with the family. I am not a religious person, but still use certain holidays to make my way out to visit family members. I mean I love my Grandma but I hate Long Island, I even wrote a post about it 2 years ago. I made spinach florentine casserole, roasted chickpeas, cauliflower, and olives, and peanut butter blondies for the meal, and everything seemed to be good.

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Anyone using the Dysh app? It is a fun new app where you take a photo of what you are eating, rate it, and post it. I think it can be a fun way to see what vegan food people are ordering at restaurants, though it isn’t an exclusively vegan app. I started to post old dishes I’ve eaten overtime, and Alexa signed up as well. If you want to follow us check us out at ONERAWBITE and MEOWLEXA. I’m vegan, Alexa is pescitarian, so we can help you cut to the chance of what to eat at restaurants (mostly in NJ ^__~).

So what is really rad right now? Well, lots of cool YouTube video, but also PERFUME IS COMING TO NEW YORK CITY! I am excited! I’ve talked about my love of Nakata Yasutaka before (back when we did fashion posts.) Alexa and I went to see Kyayu Pamyu Pamyu in concert and she is a little crazy. But now we can see Perfume… who is a little more mature. You might of seen Perfume before, they are in the iPhone commercial and the beginning of the OK GO’s I Won’t Let You Down (which I recommend watching because it is a great video.) Along with the tour they will be releasing their first full length album in over 3 years!

Anyways I thought I would share my favorite music video by them- Natural ni Koi Shite (Fall in Love Naturally) which was released in 2010. I think it is their most unique video, since most videos is kind-of mostly special effects with singing girls. This one I find to be a bit of a jab at high end shopping culture in Japan. When we think of Japanese fashion you will probably think of Fruits, but there fashion there is pretty basic. And there is a big culture for expensive western brands, particularly the Ginza district which has all the top Western brands that we know of. Pretty much the girls shop and drop, and then reveal they are in an artifical setting, perhaps with an artificial happiness? Maybe I am reading too much into it, but technology and optical illusions is their thing… hell, their new album cover is an optical illusion! I’ve been a fan since Sweet Donuts, so I am excited about that. But truthfully I am excited for FUCKING AWESOME SHOW!

Totally stumbled upon this video. Samantha Bee talking about how if it isn’t Trump, we are still fucked with Cruz. Ugh. Yes, it is a scary time to be an American. And frankly I do get why so many people HATE Hilary Clinton. I prefer Bernie (with like 90% of the 30 year old and youngers in the USA) but I am more concerned about Trump or Cruz, and I do hear a few people say that Hilary is “worse” than them. What? How?! Anyways, I just need to get a few laughs from this dismal situation.

What a video of cocktails AND glassware?! Sign me up. I remember LOVING the idea of having my own adult home bar, probably just to own tons of pretty glasses. Do I need to mention how much I love cocktails? Part of my problem of trying new drinks is figuring out which glass. I love makgeolli but I find drinking it out of a bowl weird. So I finally found my perfect glass- a champagne flute. As a Western drinker I think it makes sense to have it for the light carbonation, and the long flute helps slosh the rice sentiment back up in between drinks.

The Brain Scoop explores what species means. She explains the version you have probably heard in school, but goes into the various ways people in the scientific field define or try to “prove” an animal is their own species. This can be important for understanding animal behaviors better or trying to conserve certain areas and animals. This is something that I’ve read articles about before, but it is nice to have all the information together in one video.

I love hearing good news about younger generations. One thing I want to try and not do as I get older is talk about how the “youths” today are going to shit. I am always hearing my bosses complain that kids don’t get outside enough or don’t know cursive, but they don’t actually know any kids directly that have this to be the case (you know, just hearing it from a customer who’s daughter told them that their grandchild isn’t taking gym *rolls eyes*) This is a quick video reading into some studies that show kids get the same amount of exercise as in the past, do less drugs, drink less, and are in general more awesome people. Yes, there is hope for the planet.


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When I think of retro foods, casseroles are the first thing that comes to mind. I mean there are quite a few other oddball ones out there, but do I WANT to make them? I mean there was a huge fascination with jello-mold savory foods. Heck even my Grandma made a shrimp “mousse” recently for a family get together. I remember eating it when I was pescetarian, and neither hating or liking it.

I do have to say, I regret not doing more research because some of the retro snacks are really funny and would of been fun to remake. Like this “meat-za” where there is a ground beef crust and tomato soup topping. I could of made an all seitan pizza crust! Agh! Stinks. But some of the search results really make me think about some of the quirky fun foods we see on Pinterest and Mom blogs. Will fruitshi be viewed as being as silly as a pineapple treasure chest? Then again, I think that treasure chest is pretty awesome… why the hell didn’t I make a vegan version of that?!

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But I TRIED to make a vegan tuna noodle casserole. I had a cute name picked out- Tu-NAH! Noodle Casserole. I flipped out my Vegan Casseroles book for guidance because it pretty much taught me everything I learned about casseroles, vegan or otherwise. The end result was a HUGE flop! The chickepeas were weird, there was too much sauce, not enough nasty mayo, and I can’t find eggless egg noodles for the life of me. Oh and I forgot to put salt into the dish. I wanted throw in my towel, I needed a drink.

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I don’t know where I found out about it, but I read about The Pink Lady, it sounded pretty dated and tacky. When inspecting it, I found it listed on a chart of Mad Men cocktails, but it dates back to the 20s. I am taking a stab in the dark and assuming it is an American cocktail. Many people suspect that it was invented or popularized during prohibition since there were so many sub-standard gin available. The idea was that the egg white and grenadine would make the drink easier to swallow.

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The drink eventually built a reputation for being dainty as fuck. It was pink, girly, and “safe.” So I was surprised when I took a sip, this drink packs a punch. This is no appletini or strawberry daiquiri. Sure, there is some grenadine, which I am sure you remember sucking down at weddings when you were kid in your Shirley Temples. But this has only a small amount to give it a pink hue. 

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So what was “veganized” about this drink? Well, ever since aquafaba came out I was dying to know, can I make drinks out it? I use to love foamy cocktails, yes, as I vegan I miss raw eggs more than bacon! Gasp! So I thought, okay, why not try this out? The idea of egg white cocktails had fallen out of fashion in the United States in the 50s and most drinks started to feature sodas, juices, flavored vodkas, and neon colors. Know what though? The aquafaba worked beautifully! The drink foamed up, and STAYED that way. 

I’ve been really into retro cocktails lately. I think this time of the year I always crave cocktails probably because of the over abundance of fruit. That is why I made my watermelon basil cocktail, and pretty much all my other drinks on the blog uses some sort of fruit or vegetable. Heck I recently made a tomatillo shrub which I debated posting on this retro post… but I think it needs to age more.

Anyways, make this drink and if you haven’t yet, check out my tea giveaway. Just comment, and if you want extra entries follow me on different social media platforms. Continue reading


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Charlie was a Sinner

131 South 13th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107
Located between Walnut Street and Samson
website | facebook | instagram | twitter

I am a very big fan of Chalie was a Sinner, but I am aware it isn’t a place that I go to often. It is fairly high end, and your bill can build up pretty fast. My recent trip added up to $90 for two people (not including tip). But on the flip side, if you are just going to drinks with friends, you can enjoy fine cocktails and drinks without it getting too crazy financially. It is also a great bar to go to with a friend who doesn’t drink alcohol, as there are virgin cocktails that put a Shirley Temple to shame.

Charlie was a Sinner is a seasonal tapas bar. So whatever I put into this review may not be on the menu when you go. I’ve been twice, and some drinks have changed, and all their desserts have changed (previously was flan, hot cocoa, and some baked fruit with ice cream if you are wondering). Having seasonal dishes assures that you will get the best tasting food.

outdoorseating

The setting really sells the place. The lighting is really low, so that made photography a little hard (hence why there is only photos of drinks and the outside). The room is colored with royal blues and turquoise, and the place is decked in fine wood and upholstered seating. There is seating in the front for more casual drinks, while there is some seating in the back for dining. In the back there are hanging chandeliers and an abstract video projection.

Waiting staff has always been helpful, and generous. The first time I went we were accidentally given the wrong dessert, and started to eat it. They apologized and gave it to us free of charge, along with the correct dessert. When we went the second time, we got lots of feedback about how much to order, which dishes were delicious, and the waiter was very knowledgeable about the liquors.

I don’t go out for drinks often, so I can easily justify the higher prices. And their cocktails are truly exceptional, once you try one, you will get quite fussy about cocktail quality. Even better is that they rotate their drinks for the seasons, so every time I go there’s always something new to try. Of course, it can be hard to pick since there are many mixers that I tend not to know before hand. Try not to let that scare you, and feel free to ask the servers. They will probably know.

That being said, the list below are the drinks and food that we had while there recently. As mentioned I’ve been twice but the first time I was there I wasn’t taking notes about the cocktails I drank or the desserts we ate. Nor were the desserts still available the second time I went. So the reviews below are to help people who will visit soon and give an idea about the quality and style of food and drinks that they offer.

051715-oMARINATED BEET SALAD
cauliflower panna cotta, apple horseradish vinaigrette
Our server suggested starting with a salad, so we ended up getting the beet salad since it seemed like something we would never do at home. The salad was interesting since there was some greens tossed in a vinaigrette and topped with the cauliflower panna cotta. The beets came in a jar off on the side. The two worked beautifully together, though I would of liked a little more flavor from the panna cotta.

AVOCADO TOAST
habanero aioli, radish, tarragon, red onion
My husband wanted to try this dish badly. I was skeptical of paying so much for such a simple dish, but we ordered. Let me say it went beyond my expectations. The dish seems simple enough, toast, avocado, onion and aioli. The toast was more like bruschetta by being served on toasted baguette slices. The avocado was perfectly ripe as well, which probably makes or breaks the dish. The aioloi adds a kick of heat without giving a Mexican influenced vibe.

CRISPY TOFU ROLL
dashi aioli, shiitake, chili relish
The best way to describe this dish is to call it a tofu sushi roll without rice. Although the dish was incredibly tasty, I am not sure if it fits with the other dishes that we picked out. The other ones are very western while this tofu roll had lots eastern flavors with the chili relish and dashi aioli.

GRILLED ASPARAGUS
garlic truffle aioli, parsley breadcrumb
Perfection is the best way to describe the asparagus. The size of the asparagus was a little thick, which usually results in a stringy dish. But they were cooked perfectly where they could be easily cut into but didn’t have a bitter overcooked taste. The aioli adds a perfect little burst of flavor, while the breadcrumbs add a nice texture.

HEIRLOOM BEANS
hazelnut-tomato vinaigrette
The name can be decieving. I was expecting a bean that was like a butter bean or a fava bean. But they were more like green beans. At first I wasn’t a big fan since the beans were very mature and a little woody, reminding me of green beans from my farm when a crop is on their last legs. But the hazelnut-tomato vinaigrette saved the dish. The tomato was in a thick paste, which gave a punch of flavor. Although I would preferred a more tender bean, I might try making a dish that’s similar on my own.

wheatgrass

WHEATGRASS SHOT
green chartreuse, wheatgrass
When working at Animo I use to try and take wheatgrass shots regularly, but when I got out of the habit I found the smell revolting. So when I saw this drink on the menu I thought it must be amazing, right? Or why would something so gross be on the menu? I asked the server and he seemed to genuinely enjoy the taste. He also raved about the liquor in the drink, 130 different herbs infused for 8 hours by monks. The drink definitely tastes like wheatgrass, but much sweeter. It honestly tastes like the smell of freshly cut grass, flower and all. The chartreuse cuts through the weird earthy flavors in wheatgrass, making a well rounded drink.

ESCAPE VELOCITY
tobacco infused johnnie walker black, carpano antica, cherry heering, orange bitters
DUMMY’S GUIDE: tobacco infused scotch whiskey, sweet vermouth, cherry liquor, and orange bitters
This drink is a strong one. If you like to taste you whiskey in your whiskey sour, you’ll enjoy this drink. It is served in an old fashion glass (the same in the photo above) with a large ice cube. The drink will get most of the sweetness from the carpano antica (sweet vermouth) and cherry heering (cherry liquor) which helps keep the drink strong.

cocktails

GOIN’ DOWN EASY
lemongrass infused beefeater, yellow chartreuse, lemon
DUMMY’S GUIDE: gin, yellow chartreuse (no seriously don’t know what to compare this to), and lemon
If I had to describe this to someone who only gets common cocktails, I would say this is a tom collins served like a whiskey sour. Okay so it isn’t served in an old fashioned like a whiskey sour. But it is strong and a little sour like a whiskey sour. There isn’t any added sugar like a tom collins would be, but instead the sweetness comes from the yellow chartreuse. The lemongrass blends perfectly with gin, making a drink the feels light, but packs a lot of booze.

EAST OF EDEN
bulleit, tea infused dolin blanc, lillet, fig
DUMMY’S GUIDE: bourbon, vermouth, aperitif wine, and fig
Pretty much this is a variation of a Manhattan. The difference is that there isn’t any bitters, and has a hint of fig flavor. I would probably say this was the most boring of all the cocktails that we had. Not to mention the fig doesn’t photograph well (it kind-of looks pathetic on that glass).

Some of the drinks listed seem to vary in descriptions on older blogs. I can only assume that the cocktails change as liquors are available. I like how they are willing to give rarer, small batch liquors a try and therefore your drink might not be exactly the same as a few months ago. I love the wide range of drinks and aperitifs to choose from (simply put a liquor or wine that is drank before or after a dinner).


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Everyone is pumpkin crazy anymore. It is pretty much pointless to deny it any longer- you need more pumpkin in your life. I think our current obsession might be because all the kids who grow up loving Halloween. So we reach and grab things vaguely related to Halloween that are more adult- like horror movie marathons. Or costume runs in graveyards. I feel like we clutch to pumpkins because of jack o’ lanterns. Maybe not. But I am not going to stop eating them.

I thought I would take it up a notch and make a drink just for vegans with pumpkins: The Spiced Carriage. There are two secrets to the cocktail- homemade pumpkin spice syrup and Snap. Snap is a spirit made by Art in the Age of Reproduction. They have several spirits that are inspired by old practices or traditions from American settlers. Snap has the perfect mix of spices that give the drink an extra depth. You can buy it online with Hi-Time Wine or you can search their store locator.

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Alexa came down to visit, and I knew I had to give her this cocktail. I also wanted to brainstorm names. I haven’t been too creative with food names, and cocktails usually have names that are more fun. Alexa came up with “The Spicy Ginger (Babe)” but my husband voted for my more fairytaled themed “Spiced Pumpkin Carriage”

I think I can safely say this is sort of like a Pumpkin Spice Latte in cocktail form. Okay there isn’t any coffee elements to it, but has that similar creamy and warm pumpkin feeling to it. Though I am now seeing that I could of put in a little Kona and gotten some yummy results. Oh well. Maybe next year…

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You’ll have to turn on the stove to make this cocktail. Well, you don’t have to, but if you want it to taste the best you should. I made a custom syrup for this drink, which can be used in coffee, or to sprinkle on top of desserts. Below is the recipe and you totally will want to make it ahead of time.

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My friend Ian has a problem- Tom Collins. Every time he orders it, it never gets made right. I suggested one night that we go to a bar in Philadelphia called The Farmer’s Cabinet. It is a throwback speakeasy that has an impressive list of cocktails. I suggested we go there, since I figured if there was going to be a bar who knew how to make a Tom Collins, it would be this. We all drank this yummy bubbly concoction, and loved it. Alexa asked why Ian never made it himself, and his response was “it is too complicated to make at home.”

I beg to differ!

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This is actually pretty easy, though I might suggest to make or prep a few things ahead of time. All a Tom Collins is composed of is gin, sugar, lemon, and fizz. So it is basically a spiked-fizzy-lemon-aid. It is such a great drink since it is so simple, yet steeped in such a rich history. Wikipedia has a lot of fun information on the drink, talking about how it changed over the years. Being a history nerd, I loves it. Continue reading