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Strawberry Rhubarb Cocktails

A perfect cocktail for a warm spring or summer day.

Just close your eyes and picture this: you on the patio with the sun warming your skin, an ice-cold drink in hand, water droplets beading down the glass keeping you cool. Now, snap out of it and stop nursing your drink. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from: http://www.sugarlaws.com/rhubarb-cocktail-on-the-rocks

An Homage to the Classic Cocktail

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This past Saturday night, my friends and I decided we wanted to change up the scenery a bit. So, we put on our weekend’s best and went out for cocktails  at AZ/88, an oh, so popular restaurant and bar in Scottsdale.

Our bartender, Kyle, was so sweet and patient. I told him I wanted to try something new, but nothing sweet. Something different, but not outrageous. He suggested the Moscow Mule.

It came in a shiny, copper mug. I liked it even before I tasted it. My diagnosis: Refreshing. A little bit of a kick. And then some more refreshing.

My taste buds got overly excited about what was happening to them and, as you can probably guess, I ordered a second round.

Now, before you go and try to make the Moscow Mule on the link posted above, you should know that AZ/88 makes theirs differently. They make it with a twist.

Kyle was nice enough to share the recipe with me so I could try it myself at home (and so I don’t have to spend $8 per drink). It was so easy to make!

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Wash, peel, and slice a cucumber and blend until puréed.
  2. In a copper mug (if you have one, I didn’t) or glass, squeeze lime juice from 1/2 of a lime. Leave lime in glass.
  3. Fill glass with ice.
  4. Pour in 1 fl oz. cucumber purée.
  5. Add 3 fl oz. vodka.
  6. Add 3 fl. oz. ginger beer.
  7. Stir and garnish with a cucumber slice and lime wedge. Enjoy!

Let me tell you, I make a mean Moscow Mule. I would like to personally thank Russia for this beverage. I will visit soon.

And, for the price of about three drinks at AZ/88, I bought enough vodka at BevMo to make almost 20 Moscow Mules. That’s right, 20.

Cheers!

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How to Make a Fab Cocktail at Home

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Let me tell you all about the rendezvous I got into last night with my roommate…

So here we are on a Wednesday night with nothing to do. We look at each other and say simultaneously, “Happy Hour?… Happy Hour!”

I have been craving this drink called the Anastasia from  Caffe Boa for the longest time. It is a heavenly mix of muddled strawberries, basil, and vodka. Or, at least that’s all I thought there was to it until I saw how it was made.

Because our bartender Steve understood that we all can’t spend $10 per drink ($8 during happy hour), when we need 4+ to feel a buzz; he was nice enough to show us exactly how to make the Anastasia.  (Plus, he was cute!)

So after a couple Anastasia’s, we felt confident enough to try them on our own at home. Here’s the directions we got from watching Steve:

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. To prep: Make sweet & sour mix first, rinse and quarter strawberries, rinse and stem basil leaves.
  2. In a pint glass, fill about 1/4 of the glass with strawberries.
  3. Add basil leaves (loosely) to about the same ratio of your strawberries. You should now have about half of the glass filled.
  4. Add 4 teaspoons of sugar.
  5. Muddle until you have a smooth consistency.
  6. With a speed pourer, pour vodka for about 10 seconds.
  7. Pour sweet & sour mix for about 4 seconds (also with speed pourer).
  8. Shake with ice.
  9. Strain into glass.
  10. Garnish with basil and enjoy.

We had a great time making these drinks and were quite impressed with ourselves. But, we ran into several problems along the way. First, we are not professionals. Second, we didn’t have a strainer, so we were getting basil in our teeth mid-swig. And third, we were a little tipsy from our drinks before, so we thought we could handle a little more vodka than we really can.

Although we made them a little too strong, and we aren’t quite as talented (and good-looking) as Steve, we think we have some serious potential to impress our friends at a cocktail party with this drink!

So, here is a pro/con list of reasons to make your own artisan drinks at home:

Pros:

  • Save money! (And lots of it! The Anastasia is $10. The entire bottle of Pinnacle Vodka was $8.99 at BevMo!)
  • Have a good time (attempting) to make drinks with your friends!
  • You can impress your friends and family by having a cocktail party, and actually knowing how to make a cocktail.

Cons:

  • You won’t have a cute bartender named Steve.
  • Your drink may not taste as good.
  • You won’t have a cute bartender named Steve.

Cheers! And as my aunt always says, “Live a champagne life on a beer budget.”

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The Great Curtain Search

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My Saturday morning plans of uninterrupted sleep after a girl’s night out went awry as the sun burst into my bare window blinds.

I awoke with one mission: today, I will find curtains.

Despite my putting it off for the past two weeks for not having the funds, I just couldn’t take it anymore. (I still don’t know if I had had enough or if it was my excruciating headache).  So I set off on my quest.

I spent my afternoon going from store to store, but to no avail.

And right before I lost all hope, I decided to make my last stop of the day at Ross. And not only did I find my curtains, I also found a deal on a rug that I just could not pass up.

My total bill was… drum roll, please… $85.22.

Forrest Gump must have been talking about discount stores when he said you never know what you’re gonna get.”