Sunday Kind of Love | Paris Edition

Sunday Kind of Love | Paris Edition | ARSENIC-LACE.COM | Travel | France

Greetings from Paris, everyone! If you've been keeping up with my adventures over on Instagram you know that I've pretty much eaten/drank my way through Paris and Cognac. I'm going to write a separate post about some of my favorite bars and restaurants plus my trip to Maison Ferrand but just wanted to pop in and say bonjour. Sunday is my favorite day and I'm taking a bit of a rest. This week has been a whirlwind and I may have stayed out a tad bit too late last night (oops), so I slept in and got some room service. I sure don't mind writing this blog post from the cutest hotel in Paris, with the windows open, enjoying some coffee and a few pastries. Life is magical sometimes and I'm very grateful to have had the chance to go on this trip.

Sunday Kind of Love | Paris Edition | ARSENIC-LACE.COM | Travel | France

I'm staying at the beautiful Hotel Henriette located on a small and quiet cobblestone street close to the Mouffetard district. Earlier in the week, I was at Hotel Bachaumont which was equally beautiful but it is exciting to get to explore a whole new neighborhood. For this Sunday post, I wanted to share some photos of the hotel and a few I've snapped on my Parisian adventures!

Sunday Kind of Love | Paris Edition | ARSENIC-LACE.COM | Travel | France
Sunday Kind of Love | Paris Edition | ARSENIC-LACE.COM | Travel | France
Sunday Kind of Love | Paris Edition | ARSENIC-LACE.COM | Travel | France

This is the view of the Eiffel Tower from the Trocadero. I'm so happy I finally got to see it in person and fulfill a lifelong dream. The only thing I wish is that there was someone else there to get a photo of me in front of it. Oh well, next time! How cute and charming is that carousel?

Sunday Kind of Love | Paris Edition | ARSENIC-LACE.COM | Travel | France
Sunday Kind of Love | Paris Edition | ARSENIC-LACE.COM | Travel | France
Sunday Kind of Love | Paris Edition | ARSENIC-LACE.COM | Travel | France
Sunday Kind of Love | Paris Edition | ARSENIC-LACE.COM | Travel | France

This is Rue Crémieux, a little cobblestone pedestrian street with private houses in the 12th arrondissement. I had so much fun photographing it, but it was admittedly hard because there were so many other people there also trying to snap some photos. I couldn't check into my hotel yet so I dropped off my luggage and spent a few hours here and patiently snapped photos as people cleared out. It actually started to pour while I was there and I had to duck under a tree. That may sound crazy but I got all the photos I wanted and I think they will be the most important things I have to remember Paris by. I will definitely be framing some of these. I took so many I would need to dedicate a whole post to this street.

Sunday Kind of Love | Paris Edition | ARSENIC-LACE.COM | Travel | France
Sunday Kind of Love | Paris Edition | ARSENIC-LACE.COM | Travel | France
Sunday Kind of Love | Paris Edition | ARSENIC-LACE.COM | Travel | France
Sunday Kind of Love | Paris Edition | ARSENIC-LACE.COM | Travel | France
Sunday Kind of Love | Paris Edition | ARSENIC-LACE.COM | Travel | France
Sunday Kind of Love | Paris Edition | ARSENIC-LACE.COM | Travel | France

Hotel Henriette couldn't be any more perfect for me. The design is such an elegant mix of antique/French with a very bohemian feel and blended with more modern furniture and lighting fixtures. My design style is very similar which is why I picked it and it's even more beautiful in person. I wish I was staying a little longer because I feel very much at home here. Hotel Henriette is going to be my default hotel whenever I come back to Paris. Seriously, when can I come back to Paris? 

I hope you're all enjoying your Sunday. I fly back tomorrow evening and I'm hoping to get up bright and early to go to the flea market. Will they let me bring furniture on the flight? Au revoir! xo

Fig + Vanilla Sidecar

Fig + Vanilla Sidecar | ARSENIC-LACE.COM | End of Summer Cocktails | Cognac

Bonjour everyone! If you're reading this, I'm probably touching down in France right about now. To celebrate my trip to France with Pierre Ferrand, I've made a delicious variation on one of my favorite Cognac classics, the Sidecar. Like most classic cocktails, the exact origin of this drink remains slightly unclear. The first recipe appeared in 1922, in Harry MacElhone's "Harry's ABC of Mixing Cocktails" and Robert Vermeire's "Cocktails and How to Mix Them". In MacElhone's book, he cites the inventor as Pat MacGarry, a popular bartender at the Buck's Club in London, but later cites himself. Vermiere states that it was MacGarry as well. I'm putting my money on Pat MacGarry! 

The Sidecar is a simple drink; Cognac, Cointreau and lemon juice. For this riff I simply infused the Cognac with Madagascar vanilla bean and added fresh muddled figs. 

Fig + Vanilla Sidecar | ARSENIC-LACE.COM | End of Summer Cocktails | Cognac

Fig + Vanilla Sidecar

1 1/2 oz Cognac infused with vanilla bean (I used Pierre Ferrand)

1/2 oz. lemon juice

1 oz. Cointreau

2 sliced fresh figs

Fig + Vanilla Sidecar | ARSENIC-LACE.COM | End of Summer Cocktails | Cognac

To infuse your Cognac, simply add it to a bottle with 2 vanilla beans and let sit for a few hours or up to 24 hrs. You can add the vanilla beans directly to your bottle of Cognac if you want to infuse the whole thing, but I only wanted to infuse a few ounces. I added 8 ounces to a small bottle and reserved the rest of my Cognac.

Fig + Vanilla Sidecar | ARSENIC-LACE.COM | End of Summer Cocktails | Cognac

Add your lemon juice and figs to your cocktail shaker, then muddle. Add Cointreau, Cognac, add ice and then shake. I double strained this using a fine strainer because of the little seeds inside the figs. Serve up in a coupe or cocktail glass of your choice. No garnish is necessary, but a lemon wedge or fresh slice of fig could do as well.

Fig + Vanilla Sidecar | ARSENIC-LACE.COM | End of Summer Cocktails | Cognac
Fig + Vanilla Sidecar | ARSENIC-LACE.COM | End of Summer Cocktails | Cognac
Fig + Vanilla Sidecar | ARSENIC-LACE.COM | End of Summer Cocktails | Cognac
Fig + Vanilla Sidecar | ARSENIC-LACE.COM | End of Summer Cocktails | Cognac

Infusing the Cognac with vanilla bean was a natural choice because of its flavor from aging in oak barrels. The vanilla complemented this flavor nicely and enhanced the characteristics of the Cognac perfectly. Figs have a very short season, usually from June to September, so I was delighted to see them at the market. They are a sure sign of the end of Summer and their subtle sweetness went well with all the other flavors in this drink. It would definitely go nicely with a meat and cheese plate, accompanied with some honey and fig jam. Drinking this Fig + Vanilla Sidecar is a great way to transition from Summer into Fall. Can't wait to start making Fall cocktails when I get back. Cheers everyone and happy muddling! 

Stay tuned for all my France adventures. xo

 

Sunday Kind of Love

Sunday Kind of Love | ARSENIC-LACE.com | Living Room Decor | Home Decor

Sunday came so fast this week. I've spent a lot of my time preparing for my trip to France and making sure everything is in order before I leave tonight. I shot a cocktail but didn't have enough time to get it up, so that will be on the blog tomorrow. HINT: I'm making something with a French based spirit in celebration of my trip to France. I'm going to take a lot of photos and try to update the blog atleast once while I'm there. Maybe my Sunday kind of love post next week will be a Paris edition. One can only hope! ;)

Palm Springs Inspired Living Room | ARSENIC-LACE.COM | Sunday Kind of Love | The Everygirl | Home Decor
  • Last weekend my livingroom was on The Everygirl again. I know you've seen my livingroom a bunch of times by now, but the article is here incase you want to check it out. I think I'm going to do the One Room Challenge in October by myself this time around. I'm working on so many projects in the apartment that I feel like I'm a bit overwhelmed and that I can easily get distracted. Doing the challenge will help me stay motivated and focus on getting another room totally completed. At this stage, my bedroom just needs wallpaper, which means I should probably just order it. That will force me to put it up. This is the one I'm getting. I took advantage of Labor Day sales and ordered the items I linked to last Sunday. When I return from France there will be a new kitchen table, chairs, and a rug for the kitchen. All the kitchen will need to be complete, is some art and styling. I'd really love to get a new light fixture for that room as well. I was thinking this one. I will keep you updated about the One Room Challenge and what I will be concentrating on once it starts.
Dark 'n Stormy Popsicles | ARSENIC-LACE.COM | Sunday Kind of Love
Gin & Tonic Popsicles | ARSENIC-LACE.COM | Sunday Kind of Love
  • Speaking of ABM and popsicles, my Gin + Tonic Popsicles went up this week and they are AMAZING. Super refreshing and easy to make at only four ingredients. Summer isn't over yet!
SAVEUR Blog Awards Finalist | ARSENIC-LACE.COM | Sunday Kind of Love
  • Voting closed for the Readers Choice portion of the SAVEUR Magazine Blog Awards. Each category has a Readers Choice and Editors Pick, so I have two chances to win an award. I was on the fence about if I should go or not, but I decided that I should and booked my flight and hotel this week. I will be in Charleston 10/1-10/3. If you have any recommendations please send them my way. I have always wanted to go to Charleston, so this was a great excuse! Wish me luck.

Stay tuned for a new recipe and follow me along on Instagram to see all of my France adventures. Au revoir! xo

Sunday Kind of Love

I hope you all enjoyed your week and are making the most of your holiday weekend. I'm having some regrets about the summer as we approach fall... I didn't make it to the beach once! I'm coming to terms with the fact that I might have some serious workaholic issues that I need to work through. Did I just create more work for myself? I'm not sure. ;)

  • It's the last few days to vote for Arsenic Lace as Best Drinks Blog in the SAVEUR Blog Awards. Please go here and cast your votes as many times as you can until 9/6.
Strawberry Hibiscus Frosé | ARSENIC-LACE.COM | Sunday Kind  of Love | Palm Springs Style | Summer Cocktails
  • The Strawberry Hibiscus Frosé I made for Palm Springs Style was featured on The Feed Feed. Check it out here and grab the recipe!
Jalapeño Mango Margarita Popsicles | ARSENIC-LACE.COM | Palm Springs Style | Summer Cocktails
  • These Jalapeño Mango Margarita Popsicles went on Palm Springs Style this week as well. They are as good as they sound. Boozy, super fruity, and SPICY! My most flavorful pop-tail to date. Making these is a must!
  • I pulled the trigger on the ABM x Kelly Moore bag that I mentioned last week. I desperately needed a new camera/laptop bag to travel to France with. If you're on the market for a new camera bag, check them out. I went with the gold one because I figured I should expand my wardrobe outside of the color pink.
Delightful Frozen Cocktails in Jersey City | ARSENIC-LACE.COM | Summer Cocktails | Frozen Cocktails | ChicpeaJC
  • I wrote about my favorite frozen cocktails in Jersey City on ChicpeaJC for the holiday weekend. Check it out here and if you're local, check a few places out and have one before Summer menus disappear. This is the Missionarys Downfall that I put on the Summer frozen menu at The Archer.
Bloomia Giveaway | ARSENIC-LACE.COM | Sunday Kind of Love | Bar cart
  • You have a few more hours to enter my giveaway with Bloomia. Go to my Instagram and follow the rules. I will be picking a winner later today. Who doesn't want fresh flowers delivered right to their door?
  • There's a huge sale going on over at West Elm for Labor Day. Should I pull the trigger on the kitchen table? Was thinking about putting this rug under it, which is also on sale. Thoughts?

That's all for this Sunday. I'm headed out of town to spend some time with family for the day. Hopefully I can update the blog before I leave for France. One of the next Sunday Kind of Love posts just might be a Paris edition. xo

Tropical Rosé Sangria

Tropical Rosé Sangria | ARSENIC-LACE.COM | Sangria | Summer Cocktails | Wine Cocktails | Rosé

I'm holding on to Summer for dear life over here. I already see people posting fall cocktails, and drinking pumpkin spice lattes. While I love fall and all the delicious flavors it brings, I'm a summer girl, and it's so hard to say goodbye. Luckily, this year I will be a bi-coastal blogger. When it's cold and dreary here, I will still be creating warm weather appropriate drinks for Palm Springs Style, another blog that I contribute to. Dreaming of warm weather will be a little easier this Winter and hopefully I can arrange a jaunt back to my favorite little city sometime in the new year.

It's Labor Day Weekend and I hope you have something fun planned. I've whipped up this fruity sangria recipe to make sure we send Summer off in style. Unlike classic sangria made with red wine, orange juice, and orange liqueur, this Rosé Sangria recipe is lighter, fruitier, with a tropical and sweet finish.

Tropical Rosé Sangria | ARSENIC-LACE.COM | Sangria | Summer Cocktails | Wine Cocktails | Rosé

Tropical Rosé Sangria, serves 4-6

1 bottle of rosé

1/2 cup cognac or brandy

1/4 cup Giffard passionfruit liqueur

1 cup fresh pineapple juice

strawberries

kiwis

mango

lime

pineapple

Tropical Rosé Sangria | ARSENIC-LACE.COM | Sangria | Summer Cocktails | Wine Cocktails | Rosé

Slice your strawberries, kiwis, mango, lime wheels and pineapple, then place in a bowl or pitcher.

Tropical Rosé Sangria | ARSENIC-LACE.COM | Sangria | Summer Cocktails | Wine Cocktails | Rosé

Add pineapple juice, cognac, passionfruit liqueur and rosé. Stir and then cover, let steep in refrigerator for atleast 2 hours. When ready to serve, add ice and pour into glasses.

Tropical Rosé Sangria | ARSENIC-LACE.COM | Sangria | Summer Cocktails | Wine Cocktails | Rosé
Tropical Rosé Sangria | ARSENIC-LACE.COM | Sangria | Summer Cocktails | Wine Cocktails | Rosé
Tropical Rosé Sangria | ARSENIC-LACE.COM | Sangria | Summer Cocktails | Wine Cocktails | Rosé
Tropical Rosé Sangria | ARSENIC-LACE.COM | Sangria | Summer Cocktails | Wine Cocktails | Rosé

I think this is my favorite sangria recipe that I have ever had. Swapping the orange liqueur out for passionfruit liqueur was a last minute decision but a brilliant idea. I'm so happy I did it! If you're not familiar with Giffard, they make a range of delicious liqueurs for using in cocktails. The Crème de Fruits de la Passion (Passionfruit) was released in the U.S this past Spring. I highly recommend picking up a bottle and trying some of their other varities of liqueurs that are available. Using fresh pineapple juice instead of the classic orange in this sangria recipe really made the tropical element come to life and complemented the fresh fruit and rosé.

Sangria is so easy to make and that's why it's great for large parties or gatherings. This recipe is so good you might not want to share it though. Enjoy your last big weekend of Summer and if you decide to make this recipe, chime in on the comments and let me know how it turns out! Cheers everyone! xo

Styling Your Home Bar | Bloomia Giveaway

Styling Your Home Bar | Floral Arranging Tips | ARSENIC-LACE.COM | Bloomia Giveaway

For years I've had a rule that once a week, I buy myself flowers. Very rarely did anyone else purchase flowers for me and it was an exercise in self-love. I realized quickly that having fresh flowers in the house added a pop of color and life to my living space and the sight of them also made me smile. This was the beginning of a plant lady in the making! I'm so happy to have teamed up with my friends over at Bloomia for this post to spread a little happiness and talk about why flowers are important to me at home and in my work.

Bloomia is a global floral company with offices and production companies is the U.S, Chile, South Africa and the Netherlands. In the U.S their flowers are grown in King George, Virginia (about 40 minutes away from D.C) and are available in main supermarkets like Wholefoods, Wegmans, and Trader Joe's. Their mission is to spread happiness through their sustainably grown, pesticide free, thoughtfully designed and consciously delivered floral products.

I'm running a giveaway over on Instagram, so after reading this post make sure you visit my account over here this afternoon to enter. All you have to do to be qualified to win is make sure you're following me and Bloomia and leave a comment tagging a friend to whom you'd want to send flowers. Two lucky winners will get flowers shipped directly to their door courtesy of Bloomia. The giveaway will run until Sunday, so you have all week to enter.

Styling Your Home Bar | Floral Arranging Tips | ARSENIC-LACE.COM | Bloomia Giveaway

I'm going to go over styling your home bar but first wanted to share some tips about styling your own floral arrangement. I thought my vintage Lilly Pulitzer dress with cocktails and flowers on it was perfect for this occassion!

  • Cut an inch off the stems using a sharp knife, especially if the flowers will sit a while before being arranged. The fresh cut will help the stems absorb water better.
  • Remove any leaves that fall below the water line.
  • Add large, heavy flowers first, turning the arrangement as you work to ensure even placement on all sides. Fill in with smaller, airier blooms, and leave enough space between the stems so individual flowers have room to shine. Include flowers with various shapes and stem lengths.
  • Make your bouquet taller than its container by about one and a half times. Also, make the width balance the height.
  • Use different textures that are interesting to look at it. I pick a color pallette and try to stay within three colors.
  • Arranging flowers in odd numbers is a great way to have some nice variety. Sometimes I will pick a base color of five flowers and then add in different colors in three's.
  • Change the water every day and recut stems.
Styling Your Home Bar | Floral Arranging Tips | ARSENIC-LACE.COM | Bloomia Giveaway

Having a bar cart or a bar station in your home is fun because you get to change it up seasonally and it's also a great landing spot when entertaining guests. I love to have fresh flowers on the bar cart because it adds a pop of color and some really nice texture.

Styling Your Home Bar | Floral Arranging Tips | ARSENIC-LACE.COM | Bloomia Giveaway

Your booze is important! I love seeing pretty styled bar carts all over the world wide web BUT I would never trust someone who didn't have some bottles on their home bar. It's a bar, right? I love to keep a variety of spirits here, that way there is something for everyone. Keeping your higher end spirits here is also a great idea so you can showcase the best of your selection. Have a bottle each of Vodka, Gin, Light Rum, Dark Rum, Bourbon, Rye, Scotch, and Tequila. Having some Amaro available is great too for sipping after dinner. You can keep some bitters here as well but you should never have your vermouth on the cart unless you're mixing with it. Vermouth should always be kept refrigerated because it is a delicate fortified wine that will go bad if left out at room temperature.

Styling Your Home Bar | Floral Arranging Tips | ARSENIC-LACE.COM | Bloomia Giveaway

I love to keep a bowl of fresh fruit on my bar cart for the same reason I love to keep fresh flowers; it adds natural texture and a pop of color!

Styling Your Home Bar | Floral Arranging Tips | ARSENIC-LACE.COM | Bloomia Giveaway

If you have pretty bar tools this is a great way to display them. I keep all of my gold and copper barspoons and strainers in my crystal mixing glass. I've also displayed my collection of colored cocktail shakers. Having a jigger is necessary for making sure your pouring is consistent when making drinks, and so I keep those available for use here.

Styling Your Home Bar | Floral Arranging Tips | ARSENIC-LACE.COM | Bloomia Giveaway

Having a few peices of glassware available is also neccessary ...and some straws too! I keep it organized by using trays to seperate certain things. I also try to style by color, just like with the flower arrangments. Picking a base color is key to having something that looks finished and cohesive. Obviously, my base color was pink. ;)

I hope you enjoyed my tips and tricks for making a flower arrangment and styling your bar cart. Check the slideshow above to see how many different arrangments I made with my Bloomia flowers.

What's your favorite thing on your home bar?

Do you love keeping flowers in your home as much as I do?

What's your favorite flower?

I'd love to hear about it in the comments below. I hope this post brought a pop of color to your Monday. Good luck to everyone who enters the Bloomia giveaway, and I can't wait to see what you do with your flowers!

Sunday Kind of Love

I hope everyone had a good week. I can't believe we're approaching the last week of August. I really don't know where the time is going. Someone stop the clock please! Not a whole lot happened this week except the usual tons of work thing that I always seem to be struggling with. There is light at the end of the tunnel though.

  • I'm going to Paris and Cognac in September with Pierre Ferrand to tour the distillery and spend some time in France. I'm so thankful for the opportunity to travel with them. France and especially Paris has always been on the top of my list of places to go to but somehow I've made it 30 years without getting the chance to travel there. I'm staying behind for a few days after the trip so I booked my hotel this week. After searching for a few hours I found this really awesome hotel, The Henriette, that was very afforable and just look how adorable it is. I know what you're thinking...how did you find a Palm Springs looking hotel in the Paris? Let's just say the universe found it for me. This trip has seemed so far for months and now it's just around the corner. What am I going to pack? Did I just find the hotel that every blogger is going to stay at now when they go to Paris? Can you spot a photo of my favorite hotel in Palm Springs framed above one of those beds? Click the photos to see the slideshow.
SAVEUR Meet the Finalists | ARSENIC-LACE.COM | Best Drinks Blog | SAVEUR Blog Awards | Sunday Kind of Love
  • Meet the Finalists went up on SAVEUR this week. Check it out here and read about their favorite drink blogs of 2017 and learn more about each blog/blogger that has been nominated in the SAVEUR Blog Awards. You have until 9/6 to vote for Arsenic Lace for Best Drinks Blog, so keep voting! EVERY DAY!
Chamomile Elderflower Collins | A Beautiful Mess | ARSENIC-LACE.COM | Sunday Kind of Love
  • Did you see my Chamomile Elderflower Tom Collins on A Beautiful Mess? It's a delicious and refreshing variation on the classic Tom Collins with elderflower liqueur and chamomile flower infused honey syrup. This drink was so good and I had a blast making it and shooting it. I'm really happy with how the photos turned out.
Sunday Kind of Love | ARSENIC-LACE.COM
  • I have a fun post and giveaway that goes live tomorrow on the blog. Keep your eyes peeled for that email in your inbox in the morning. You have to be following me on Instagram to enter, so if you're not already, what are you waiting for? ;)
Kelly Moore Bag | A Beautiful Mess | ARSENIC-LACE.COM | Sunday Kind of Love
  • I need a new camera bag because I want to travel with my camera, especially for this France trip. A Beautiful Mess did a collaboration with Kelly Moore and ever since they launched them I've been dying to buy one. It seems like there's enough space for my camera body, a few lenses, but most importantly my laptop. I want to be able to blog while I'm on that trip so having a bag that can accomodate all of my needs is really important. I like this one because it can be a shoulder bag or backpack which is super useful. My current camera bag is a little small and when I put all of my stuff in it, it's very heavy and hurts my shoulders. This bag is obviously ridiculously good looking as well. My biggest problem? Should I get pink or gold? Obviously my mind goes directly to pink but keep in mind everything I own is pink, including jackets and my hair. What do you guys think?

If you have ever been to Paris and have any recommendations on places I should go and see, please tell me in the comments section below. Museums? Favorite restaurants? Cocktail bars? Colorful walls? I want to know about it. Enjoy your Sunday. I'm hoping to get a little time to relax myself. Cheers. xo

Frozen Cantaloupe Daiquiri

Frozen Cantaloupe Daiquiri | ARSENIC-LACE.COM | Summer Cocktails | Frozen Drinks

With the end of Summer just a month away I had an itch to make a frozen drink. What's more fun than a frozen drink? Drinking one out of fruit, right? I have drank many piña coladas out of a pineapple and was trying to brainstorm what other fruits I could possibly turn into a serving vessel. Watermelon has had its fair share in the spotlight this summer with being the perfect addition and vessel for frosé.

While I was perusing the produce at my local market last week I spotted a cantaloupe and I knew this fruit was THE ONE. When perfectly ripe it is juicy, sweet and has a floral aroma which sounds perfect to pair with rum. My mind went directly to the daiquiri which is a classic and simple drink but can be completely transformed with the addition of some fresh fruit.

Frozen Cantaloupe Daiquiri | ARSENIC-LACE.COM | Summer Cocktails | Frozen Drinks | Rum

Frozen Cantaloupe Daiquiri, serves 1

1 1/2 oz. rum (I used Plantation Dark)

3/4 oz. rich simple syrup (cane or demerara sugar)

1/2 oz. fresh lime juice

1 cup of fresh cantaloupe

Frozen Cantaloupe Daiquiri | ARSENIC-LACE.COM | Summer Cocktails | Frozen Drinks | Rum

Cut your cantaloupe evenly into two and scoop out the seeds in center. Carefully scoop out the insides of the fruit and reserve the shells as your serving vessels. You can freeze the shells and the fruit beforehand. Using frozen fruit in drinks or smoothie bowls yields a better and more slushy consistency.

Frozen Cantaloupe Daiquiri | ARSENIC-LACE.COM | Summer Cocktails | Frozen Drinks | Rum

Add all your ingredients to your blender pitcher and blend with a cup of ice. Pour into a cantaloupe shell and garnish with a mint spring and a slice of lime.

Frozen Cantaloupe Daiquiri | ARSENIC-LACE.COM | Summer Cocktails | Frozen Drinks | Rum
Frozen Cantaloupe Daiquiri | ARSENIC-LACE.COM | Summer Cocktails | Frozen Drinks | Rum
Frozen Cantaloupe Daiquiri | ARSENIC-LACE.COM | Summer Cocktails | Frozen Drinks | Rum
Frozen Cantaloupe Daiquiri | ARSENIC-LACE.COM | Summer Cocktails | Frozen Drinks | Rum

This drink is super fruity, refreshing, and so simple to make. I used dark rum in this cocktail because I thought the flavors would mesh well with the richness of the demerara simple syrup and floral aromas of the cantaloupe. Frozen recipes sometimes need to be reworked because of how much water content they have. I like to cut the citrus in half and up the sugar to compensate for all the dilution. Using a richer sugar for your simple syrup, like demerara or cane, instead of plain white sugar also helps to combat an over diluted and tasteless frozen drink. I hope these tips help you next time you're making frozen daiquiris at home. I'm super excited about how this frozen drink in a fruit cup turned out. I hope you try this recipe at home and if you do don't forget to chime in on the comments below. Cheers everyone! xo

Sunday Kind of Love

I can't believe how fast the summer has flown by. The end of Summer blues have officially set it. We're approaching the last two weeks of August and I haven't been to the beach once. I dread the winter so my anxiety about it starts pretty early. On the other hand, for the first time in my adult life I have the space to get a Christmas tree and I'm really excited to decorate the mantels. Besides looking forward to that, the cold and darkness really gets me down. Am I being over dramatic? I better start planning my next trip to Palm Springs.

There seems to be no slowing down in my schedule. I have a pretty busy September ahead (I'm going to France - YAY!) and October is jam packed with two weddings and I'm possibly going to Charleston for the SAVEUR Awards. Speaking of that, don't forget to keep voting for me! You can do that here as many times as you want until 9/6.

Sunday Kind of Love | ARSENIC-LACE.COM
  • Supercall named me one of the best boozy Instagrams to follow if you need a vacation. Check it out here! I REALLY need a vacation. Have you gone anywhere fun this summer?
Hibiscus Gin-Gin Mule | Sunday Kind of Love | ARSENIC-LACE.COM
  • Joanna Hawley of Jojotastic mentioned my Hibiscus Gin-Gin Mule in her Friday edit column. I'm such a huge fan of her blog so I was really excited that she even reads mine! Fan girl moment. Go check out her blog if you don't read it already. I've been completely drooling over her bedroom reveal.
Liberty for Anthropologie | Sunday Kind of Love | ARSENIC-LACE.COM
  • What do you think of this floral table by Liberty for Anthropologie? I thought I had decided on the West Elm table because it was more practicle. If you didn't read my kitchen table dilema post, I haven't pulled the trigger yet. I've been lurking Craigslist for something vintage too. I really want to get something before the holidays.
My Palm Springs Inspired Living Room | Apartment Therapy | Sunday Kind of Love | ARSENIC-LACE.COM
  • My biggest news of the week is that my living room was featured on Apartment Therapy. I went to school for interior design (not sure if a lot of you know that) so one of my dreams has always been to see my home featured in my favorite design publications. This year my dream came true with a feature on Domino and now Apartment Therapy. I'm trying to finish up the rest of my rooms for fall so hopefully I can do some home tour features. DREAMS!

Making this one short and sweet. I have a lot of fun recipes coming your way this week, both here and on A Beautiful Mess. I'm also making some delicious boozy popsicles for Palm Springs Style which I'm very excited about! I shot two projects this week for posts that will have giveaways attached to them as well, so stay tuned! Hope you all had a great weekend. Cheers. xo

8 Cocktails for National Rum Day

Rum is delicious and by far my favorite spirit. Not just because I have a sweet tooth, but because it is such a versatile category. It is made in so many different countries, which means depending on where it's from will dictate what it tastes like. For National Rum Day I wanted to go over a brief history of the spirit, characteristics, and of course how it can be used in cocktails.

National Rum Day | ARSENIC-LACE.COM

Brief History

Rum is a spirit distilled from the fermented juice of sugarcane, sugarcane syrup, sugarcane molasses, or other sugarcane by-products. Sugarcane was introduced to the New World by European explorers starting with Christopher Columbus, and the invention of rum — or at least the fermented "wash" it's distilled from — is thought to have occurred by accident. Basically, the molasses, which had been considered a useless waste product of the sugar refining process, was observed expelling bubbles when left to mingle with the warm, humid tropical air. Sugar manufacturers rightly identified this phenomenon as fermentation: wild, airborne yeasts were getting at the sugar content left in the molasses and releasing carbon dioxide. They knew that with those bubbles came alcohol, too, and it wasn't long before fermented molasses became the basis for a distilled spirit, which we now know as rum.

Rum is distilled at less than 95% alcohol by volume (190 proof) and bottled at no less than 40% alcohol by volume (80 proof), maybe except for some flavored ones which are less. The legal definition of rum tends to vary from country to country, so establishing a strict definition that applies to all rum from everywhere is impossible. What's consistent, though, is that rum is always made from molasses, sugarcane juice, or other cane by-products. Factors that influence rum style is source of sugar, yeast type, length of fermantation, type of still, type of barrel, time in barrel, and strength of rum at distillation or bottling.

History of Rum | ARSENIC-LACE.COM | National Rum Day | Rum Cocktails

Rum Styles

  • White/Light/Silver: Light bodied, crisp, and subtle in flavor, these rums are highly mixable. They marry very well with fruit flavors, so they're excellent for daiquiris and piña coladas. A common misconception about white rum is that it's unaged. White rum is aged in oak barrels for a short period of time to smooth out the flavors; it's then charcoal filtered to remove color.
  • Gold: Medium bodied and a little stronger in flavor than light rums, gold rums are aged in oak barrels. Like light rums, they mix well into fruity cocktails.
  • Dark/Black: Full-bodied, with rich caramel flavors, these rums are usually pot-stilled and aged for long periods. Used in tiki preparations such as the Mai Tai, the best of these rums are also sippable on their own, neat or on ice.
  • Rhum agricole: Full-bodied rums, made from sugarcane juice instead of molasses. As with molasses-based rum, agricoles range the color spectrum, from white to gold to dark. Agricoles are often funky and have floral and vegetal aromas and flavors.
  • Cachaça: This is called the rum of Brazil. The major difference between cachaça and common rum is in the juice. Most rum is distilled from sugarcane juice that has been processed into molasses, which has a higher sugar content. This makes cachaça have a more grassy, herbaceous flavor than its relative.

Other types are Navy Rum which is the kind formerly given to members of the British Navy. It's usually proofed at 50% ABV or higher. Overproof rums refer to those with an ABV over standard value, usually 60% ABV (120 proof) or higher.

I've rounded up some of my favorite cocktails that I have created to get you inspired to drink rum on this most special holiday! ;)

Pineapple Old Fashioned | ARSENIC-LACE.COM | National Rum Day | Rum History | Rum Cocktails

Pineapple Old Fashioned- Plantation pineapple rum, campari, allspice, and macadamia nut orgeat.

Frozen Passionfruit Daiquiri | ARSENIC-LACE.COM | National Rum Day | Rum History | Rum Cocktails

Frozen Passionfruit Daiquiri- White rum, Jamaican rum, lime juice, honey, passionfruit syrup, and tiki bitters.

Caribbean Coffee | ARSENIC-LACE.COM | National Rum Day | Rum History | Rum Cocktails

Frozen Caribbean Coffee- Jamaican Rum, coffee liqueur, coconut, cold brew, and coffee gelato.

Piña Colada Popsicles | ARSENIC-LACE.COM | National Rum Day | Rum History | Rum Cocktails

Piña Colada Popsicles- Coconut milk, coconut cream, dark rum, pineapple juice, and lime zest.

Coconut Guava Daiquiri | ARSENIC-LACE.COM | National Rum Day | Rum History | Rum Cocktails

Coconut Guava Daiquiri- Dark rum, lime juice, coconut milk, simple syrup, and fresh guava.

Boozy Matcha Latte | ARSENIC-LACE.COM | National Rum Day | Rum History | Rum Cocktails

Boozy Matcha Latte- White Rum, almond milk, matcha, orgeat, and coconut whipped cream.

Dark 'N Stormy Popsicles | ARSENIC-LACE.COM | National Rum Day | Rum History | Rum Cocktails

Dark 'N Stormy Popsicles- Gosling's rum, ginger beer, fresh ginger syrup, lime juice, and lime wheels.

Mango Mai Tai | ARSENIC-LACE.COM | National Rum Day | Rum History | Rum Cocktails

Mango Mai Tai- Jamaican Rum, curaçao, orgeat, lime juice, and fresh mango.

I hope you all get to enjoy your National Rum Day. What will you be doing today to celebrate? Is there a rum cocktail that's your favorite? Let me know in the comments below. Happy sipping! xo

Hibiscus Gin-Gin Mule

Hibiscus Gin-Gin Mule | ARSENIC-LACE.COM | Summer Cocktails | Ginger Cocktails | Mint Cocktails

With all the recipe developing for menus and blog posts, my refrigerator becomes a graveyard for fruit, herbs and miscellaneous syrups. I try my best to eat and repurpose most of it for cooking, smoothie bowls, or other recipes through out the week but sometimes there's a little waste. I'm implementing a new rule that if I make it, I have to use it! I made syrups for posts on A Beautiful Mess and Palm Springs Style last week and was wondering what my next cocktail would be on my own blog. Fresh ginger and hibiscus, does that work? You bet it does!

One of the first cocktails that came to mind was one that I learned when I worked behind the bar at Flatiron Lounge, the Gin-Gin Mule. It was created by Audrey Saunders of Pegu Club in 2000 and was a milestone drink of the 21st-century cocktail renaissance. It has inspired countless spin-offs and heavily influenced the use of fresh ginger and homemade ingredients in cocktails. It's a drink that I still find myself making for people at Dutch Kills when they request a bartenders choice, "I'll have something with gin that's refreshing", I pretty much immediately make a Gin-Gin Mule.

This cocktail is essentially a fusion of two classics, the Mojito (rum, lime, sugar, mint) and a Gin Buck (gin, lime, fresh ginger, soda). I've replaced the call for simple syrup in this recipe with hibiscus syrup. You can find out how to make ginger syrup here and my hibiscus syrup here.

Hibiscus Gin-Gin Mule | ARSENIC-LACE.COM | Summer Cocktails | Ginger Cocktails | Mint Cocktails

Hibiscus Gin-Gin Mule, serves 1

2 oz. Gin

1 oz. Lime Juice

1/2 oz. Hibiscus Syrup

1/2 oz. Ginger Syrup

Mint

Club Soda

Hibiscus Gin-Gin Mule | ARSENIC-LACE.COM | Summer Cocktails | Ginger Cocktails | Mint Cocktails

Add lime juice, hibiscus syrup, ginger syrup, and mint to your shaker and muddle. Lightly tapping the mint is sufficient. When muddling a good rule to follow in the words of Sasha Petraske is "bruise don't abuse". Add gin, ice, and then shake. Strain into a highball glass over ice and top with club soda. Garnish with a mint sprig and ginger candy.

Hibiscus Gin-Gin Mule | ARSENIC-LACE.COM | Summer Cocktails | Ginger Cocktails | Mint Cocktails
Hibiscus Gin-Gin Mule | ARSENIC-LACE.COM | Summer Cocktails | Ginger Cocktails | Mint Cocktails
Hibiscus Gin-Gin Mule | ARSENIC-LACE.COM | Summer Cocktails | Ginger Cocktails | Mint Cocktails
Hibiscus Gin-Gin Mule | ARSENIC-LACE.COM | Summer Cocktails | Ginger Cocktails | Mint Cocktails

I've always loved this cocktail but the hibiscus syrup adds a tart, fruity, and floral element that makes this drink even more perfect for summer (if that's even possible). The sweet floral element of the hibiscus blends perfectly with the spiciness of the ginger and freshness of the mint. More than 10 years later and this cocktail is so good it still influences how I develop cocktails. Some of the most delicious drinks are so perfect just because they're simple. Less IS more. What's your favorite modern classic? Do you ever put your own spin on it? Tell me about it in the comments below. 

Sunday Kind of Love

Flowers | Home Decor | Bloomia | ARSENIC-LACE.COM | Sunday Kind of Love

Happy Sunday! I hope these blooms brighten up your day. I did some flower arranging yesterday for a collaboration I'm doing with Bloomia, so stay tuned. Making bouquets is much harder than you think. Florists have earned so much more of my respect!

What a crazy week it has been and today I am most definitely giving myself a much deserved day off. I've been working a lot lately and honestly, I've been pretty stressed and spread a little thin. Between regular bar work, a consulting project, keeping up with the blog and social clients, my plate is very full at the moment. There is never a dull moment and who wants to be bored anyways? How do you guys unwind/relax? Do you have good tips on combating burn out? Send them my way! One day I will have this whole life/work balance thing figured out.

SAVEUR Blog Awards | Best Drinks Blog | ARSENIC-LACE.COM | Sunday Kind of Love
  • I'm sure you've seen by now that Arsenic Lace has been nominated for Best Drinks Blog by SAVEUR Magazine for their Blog Awards. You have until September 6th to vote as many times as you want so I'm going to be reminding you A LOT to place your votes. I'm up against a lot of really great talent, some I'm happy to call friends, so no matter what happens I'm honored to be a finalist. Head here to place your vote.
Wide Open Eats | Tiki Cocktails | ARSENIC-LACE.COM | Sunday Kind of Love
  • Wide Open Eats featured me and 15 of my drinks on their lifestyle section and said my Instagram is the happiest thing they've seen! "The Florida-meets-Palm-Springs flair of Arsenic Lace's cocktails will inspire you to imbibe beachside or build a backyard tiki bar yourself." I stumbled upon this while searching for another article I was featured in and it was quite a happy find! It feels nice to know that others find joy in the content I'm putting out there. This is exactly why I started doing this in the first place. Check it out here.
Mango Mai Tai | Summer Cocktails | ARSENIC-LACE.COM | Sunday Kind of Love
  • Did you see my delicious Mango Mai Tai go up on A Beautiful Mess this week? There's an orgeat how-to as well which is a crucial syrup for making tiki drinks at home. Go read fun facts about the history of the Mai Tai and maybe try to make my summertime version for yourself! Recipe here.
Hibiscus Frosé | Rosé Cocktails | Wine Cocktails | Frosé | ARSENIC-LACE.COM | Sunday Kind of Love
  • Yesterday my Hibiscus Frosé was on Palm Springs Style. I'm so happy with the way this recipe turned out. I've been trying to figure out an easy way to make frosé at home that didn't require freezing it in a sheet pan or adding ice to blend and I finally figured it out. The hibiscus syrup really took this drink to the next level by adding floral, tart, fruity notes that complimented the wine - plus the color is stunning!

That's all for this Sunday. Hope you're all relaxing with something frosty and boozy in hand. Did you make anything tasty this weekend? Let me know in the comments below. Cheers everyone. xo

Arsenic Lace | SAVEUR Blog Awards Finalist

ARSENIC-LACE.COM | SAVEUR Blog Awards Finalist | Best Drinks Coverage

I'm beyond excited to announce to you all that I am a finalist in the 8th Annual SAVEUR Blog Awards! From a pool of 30,000 submissions, my blog was selected as a top six contender in the Best Drinks Coverage category. I've known for about a week now and had to keep it a secret which was really hard! Obviously I wanted to tell everyone! A BIG thank you to everyone that took the time to nominate me, I can't tell you how much it means.

When I started on this journey about 14 months ago I wasn't really sure where I was going. I knew that I had a wealth of knowledge learned over many years of being a professional bartender, and I wanted to use that to help educate others in a fun and inspiring way. I needed to start somewhere, so I just did and I haven't stopped since. I have been recipe developing and consulting on menus for years but bringing those skills to an online platform has helped me expand in many ways I hadn't ever imagined. Although the hustle is real sometimes, I get to do many things that I truly love on an every day basis and I am very thankful for that. I also get to connect with others that share the same passions and interests as myself and that keeps me very inspired and motivated. The love and support from the blogging/instagram community is unlike anything I have ever experienced. What would I do without all of you?

For those of you that have taken the time to support me, I hope that I can one day raise a glass with you or return the favor. There are so many things I want to accomplish from here, like writing a book, launching a line of bar tools, and opening my own bar someday. I know that everyday I'm working towards those dreams.

Today voting goes live and I still need your help to win. From 8/9-9/6 you can vote for me as often as you'd like. Each category will have two winners. The finalist with the most votes will be named Readers' Choice winner and a team of SAVEUR editors will also select an equally weighted Editors' Choice winner. Winners will be announced on 10/2 in Charleston, South Carolina and online. Being in the top six next to so many other talented bloggers is truly an honor, especially because I've been doing it for such a short period of time. Thank you for this chance and I promise to keep creating the content and cocktails that you love here on Arsenic-Lace.

You can vote for me here! I apologize in advance for posting about voting for me every day for the next month. ;)

Cheers everyone! It's humpday so don't forget to make yourself a cocktail! xo

Sunday Kind of Love

Happy Sunday everyone! What a crazy week it's been and I'm so glad for my favorite day to finally be here. I do have a little work to do today, even though I said Sunday was off limits. The best thing about work? I get to drink frośe afterwards, so I guess it could be worse!

Happy Hour | Living room Decor | ARSENIC-LACE.COM | Sunday Kind of Love
  • I hit 10K on Instagram this week!!! I can't tell you enough how much I appreciate everyones support. It's been a wild ride building my blog over the last 14 months and I can't wait to see where it goes from here. The community over on Instagram and the whole blog world overall is just so supportive, and I'm so thankful for everyone I've met and gotten to work with. Thanks to all my readers that take the time to like, comment, read one of my posts, or send an encouraging word my way. You all make this possible and I promise to keep building this and creating content and cocktails that you love. I'm relaunching the website soon, I have a lot of fun things in the works, PLUS I have a very big announcement to make this week, so stay tuned!
Hamilton Park Swizzle | ARSENIC-LACE.COM | Sunday Kind of Love
  • My Hamilton Park Swizzle was on Imbibe this week. This was a cocktail I developed for the menu when I worked at Lani Kai back in 2010. It has mango tea infused applejack, palo cortada sherry, pineapple syrup, lime juice, and falernum in it. It was one of my first cocktails that got published and the first that got press. It was the centerfold in Imbibe Magazine for the Summer of Tiki issue in July/August 2011. It's named after a park where I'm from in Jersey City and my first variation on a Queens Park Swizzle. Since then I've done a Van Vorst Park Swizzle, a Lincoln Park Swizzle and an Arlington Park Swizzle. I'm trying to cover all the parks here because if you haven't noticed I'm very Jersey City, NJ PROUD!
Bathroom Shelving | Open Shelving | Storage Solutions | ARSENIC-LACE.COM | Sunday Kind of Love
  • I got some floating shelves installed in the bathroom this week and I'm in love! The bathroom is so small, and the sad part is it's larger than my last one, lol. The upsides are the skylight, which means I never have to turn on a light (unless it's night) and it's perfect for putting on makeup, and the clawfoot tub. Theres a pedestal sink, which is pretty, but theres absolutely no storage and no medicine cabinet. I have some baskets under the tub, a little shelving unit under the sink and these shelves will act as my open medicine cabinet. It's fun to display all my pretty skincare. AND since there's light, I can have a plant. ;)
Fresh Cut Sidetable CB2 | ARSENIC-LACE.COM | Sunday Kind of Love
  • CB2 came out with this table and I'm dying. I don't have a coffee table in the livingroom because it's a little narrow. I keep bargaining with myself, asking if I move the couch a few inches backwards can there be enough room for this table? I kind of can't live without it. How can a Palm Springs inspired livingroom exist without a gold pineapple table? Maybe I should buy it to just "see how it feels" in the room. What do you think? Please say YES!
Bedroom Decor | 25 Top Interior Design Posts of July | Amara | ARSENIC-LACE.COM | Sunday Kind of Love
  • Amara Living named my first Sunday Kind of Love post one of the top 25 interior design posts of July because of my bedroom progress (and the wallpaper isn't even up). I know I'm a drinks focused blog sharing the occassional home photo, but can I expand into lifestyle and interior? I would love to! I did go to school for interior and exhibition design afterall. We shall see. Maybe just more photos of me drinking in my home.
Dark 'n Stormy Popsicles | ARSENIC-LACE.COM | Sunday Kind of Love
  • Did you see my Dark 'n Stormy popsicles go up on A Beautiful Mess? They are my favorite poptails I have EVER made. Super citrusy, bright, spicy, boozy and refreshing. Perfect for the summer. I think I like them even better than the original drink. I'm not sorry.

Hope you're all enjoying your weekend. What have you been up to? Let me know in the comments below. I love hearing from you. Thanks again for all your support. Love you! xo

Boozy Matcha Latte

Boozy Matcha Latte

I love matcha A LOT! Last year I made a matcha piña colada and that kind of sparked my obsession with this green powdered goodness. Matcha smoothie bowls, matcha lattes, matcha soft serve, matcha ice cream, matcha brownies...okay you get it! After indulging in an iced latte last week I had an epiphany - this would be really good with rum in it. I often think that though. We can agree that basically everything would taste better with a little rum in it. Period. Okay, I also have a large obsession with rum as you might have noticed. Moral of the story: Do what you love.

Boozy Matcha Latte

I've been trying to eat cleaner but I guess drinking cleaner might be counter productive. You can still of course indulge and make smarter choices that are less impactful on your body, mind, and your whole next day. I struggle with really bad hangovers so I try not to push my limits anymore. You'd expect because of my blog and my profession that I'm a BIG drinker. In fact, I pride myself on moderation, and above all things, drinking and serving responsibly. I love to incorporate healthy elements into cocktails by always using the freshest ingredients and using things like teas, ginger, turmeric, etc. All of these things are good for you and of course make you feel a bit less guilty about having another. Check out this article about healthy(ish) cocktails on Supercall where my Yellow Line cocktail is mentioned.

Boozy Matcha Latte

Boozy Matcha Latte, serves 1

2 oz. white rum (I used Plantation)

1 cup milk of your choice ( I used Almond)

2 Tsp. matcha

1 Tbsp. orgeat

ice

float of coconut cream

Boozy Matcha Latte

Add the rum, milk, orgeat, and matcha to your cocktail shaker, add ice and shake. Strain into a highball glass over ice and top with whipped coconut cream.

Boozy Matcha Latte

To make the coconut cream: refrigerate your can of coconut cream for a few hours or over night. When you open the can, drain the liquid and then scoop out the solid cream. You can add sugar if you'd like to sweeten it but I left it as is. I actually over whipped mine by accident, so don't "whip it good". ;)

Boozy Matcha Latte
Boozy Matcha Latte
Boozy Matcha Latte
Boozy Matcha Latte

Matcha is high in antioxidants, calming, boosts memory and concentration, increases energy levels, burns calories, detoxifies the body and strengthens your immune system. As if you needed more reasons, the other great thing about this matcha latte recipe is you can, by all means, leave the booze out. If you decide to use a plant based milk this recipe is 100% Vegan. I loved the addition of orgeat as a sweetener to enhance the almond flavor of this drink. If you're not familiar with orgeat, it is an almond syrup made from almond milk. I enjoyed how this boozy interpretation of a latte came out and it would be great as a brunch cocktail, dessert cocktail or if you're just in the mood for something sweet. The coconut whipped cream is easy and I actually prefer to use it over real heavy whipped cream because the flavor is amazing! I hope you get to try this at home and if you do, chime in on the comments below. I love you a matcha for reading this post. Until next time. xo

Sunday Kind of Love

Happy Sunday! Hope you all had a good week. I had sort of a stressful week, but I took it easy yesterday and enjoyed a much needed day off. I also unplugged and stayed off the internet. It was easier than you think, I promise!

Sunday Kind of Love | ARSENIC-LACE.COM
  • Not sure how many of you have dogs, but I have a special pup that you are probably familiar with from me posting photos of him here, on IG, or in my stories. He's a Chinese Crested named David Bowie and he is my whole heart. To make a long story short we tried to eliminate the crate this past week in hopes of having a cage-free pup and it went as bad as one can imagine. It included puke on the pink couch and many days of me trying to get the stain out of the cushion. A few anxiety attacks later, lots of blotting and stain remover and the couch is back to new. Phew!
But First Tequila | Sunday Kind of Love | ARSENIC-LACE.COM
  • It was National Tequila Day on Monday so I hope you got to enjoy one of the drinks I posted! 
Chrome Manicure | Sunday Kind of Love | ARSENIC-LACE.COM
  • I got a chrome manicure finally. My nail salon just got the powders in and I was super excited to try it out. Aren't they pretty? It reminds me of rose gold.
Sunday Kind of Love | ARSENIC-LACE.COM
  • I found this AWESOME wall hanging at Home Goods. I couldn't believe it! I needed something to brighten up the staircase. I'm thinking of sprucing up the hallway/staircase this fall. Maybe some wallpaper, a landing area to hang coats, a bench for shoes/purses, a mirror, and I really want to paint the stairs. They get dirty pretty easily and I'd like to paint them in a higher gloss so that they're easier to clean. Can't decide if I want to paint the whole staircase, do ombre, the tops of each stair or wallpaper each step. Also painting a "runner" could look really cool. I started a Pinterest board that you can check out here. I'm really digging the idea of doing teal. It's bright enough to be colorful but dark enough to hide dirt. What are your thoughts?
Sunday Kind of Love | ARSENIC-LACE.COM
  • I think I decided on a kitchen table. After measuring and being very realistic with myself (I think I'm growing up) I think it's best to go with the Modern Expandable Table from West Elm. The table is only 30" deep and expands from 39" to 55" which isn't obtrusive into the surrounding areas. I really wanted a round table but I think going with a rectangle is a better choice for the shape of the room. I can always have a round table in my breakfast nook in the next house. One day I will have a proper dining room! This gives me the ability to have a small table for everyday use and a long table for when I have company.

I'm thinking about starting another column about bartending technique (shaking, stirring, building rounds, batching, ice, dilution). The more I share about how it's done behind the bar and what I've learned over the years, the more informed you will be while you're making drinks at home. Thoughts or anything you'd like me to include?

Lots of recipes coming soon and some home projects this week. I will have lots to post next Sunday! Are you doing anything fun today? I'm heading to Sussex County again for my Mom's birthday. I think we might thrift on the way. One can only hope! Cheers everyone. xo

 

6 Cocktails to Celebrate National Tequila Day

National Tequila Day | ARSENIC-LACE.COM | Tequila Cocktails

Happy National Tequila Day! I decided to celebrate with rounding up my favorite tequila cocktails on the blog and sharing some facts about the spirit itself.

I'm sure you know that tequila is a spirit made from agave. Just like french wine or spirits, it can only be made in a specific region; the Mexican state of Jalisco and surrounding areas. That area is perfect for growing the agave plant because the soil is mostly volcanic. The agave plant has sharp thorns, long thick leaves, and takes between 8-12 years to reach maturity before it can be harvested. After the plant is harvested, it is peeled, roasted, crushed, and the juice is fermented and distilled. Tequila is usually made from 100% agave and distilled twice.

There are four main tequila categories:

  • Blanco - also called silver, plata or platinum, is aged for less than two months and is clear.
  • Reposado - aged between two and 12 months and is golden-colored.
  • Añejo - aged between one and three years and is a whisky-like brown.
  • Extra-añejo - a new category introduced by the Tequila Regulatory Council in 2006, is aged more than three years. Tequila is typically aged in used bourbon casks.
National Tequila Day | ARSENIC-LACE.COM | Tequila Cocktails

And

  • Mezcal - this is the cousin of tequila, which is also made from agave in a different region of Mexico. Tequila is made in the Jalisco region and only from blue Weber agave, while mezcal is made in Oaxaca. Legally it can be made anywhere though and can be made from different types of agave. The other difference is that the agave is slow roasted in pits with hot rocks which gives mezcal its signature smokiness.

Fun Fact: Contrary to popular belief agave is not a cactus. It is in the asparagales botanical family which makes it a relative to the Yucca Plant or the Joshua Tree. Okay, now I'm done being a crazy plant lady.

National Tequila Day | ARSENIC-LACE.COM | Tequila Cocktails

You can drink tequila many ways. As a shot, served neat or on the rocks, or in cocktails (MY favorite). Here are some of my favorite recipes that I have created to help you celebrate National Tequila Day.

Prickly Pear Margarita | ARSENIC-LACE.COM | National Tequila Day

Prickly Pear Margarita - Blanco Tequila, fresh juice of lime and grapefruit, cinnamon, fresh prickly pear, and pink himalayan salt.

Country Village Cocktail | ARSENIC-LACE.COM | National Tequila Day | Tequila Cocktails

The Country Village - Reposado Tequila, fig infused sweet vermouth, Licor 43, and chocolate bitters.

Frozen Watermelon Margarita | ARSENIC-LACE.COM | National Tequila Day | Tequila Cocktails

Frozen Watermelon Margarita- Blanco Tequila, fresh lime juice, agave, fresh watermelon, and smoked sea salt.

Sunny Side Up Fizz | ARSENIC-LACE.COM | National Tequila Day | Tequila Cocktails

Sunny Side Up Fizz- Reposado Tequila, coffee liqueur, cinnamon, whole egg, soda, and cayenne pepper.

Avocado Margarita | ARSENIC-LACE.COM | National Tequila Day | Tequila Cocktails

Avocado Margarita - Blanco Tequila, fresh lime juice, agave, fresh avocado, hot sauce, and salt & chili pepper.

Mezcal Paloma | ARSENIC-LACE.COM | National Tequila Day | Tequila Cocktails

Mezcal Paloma - Mezcal, fresh juices of lime and grapefruit, agave, soda, and sea salt.

I hope you find some time today to enjoy your favorite tequila cocktail. What's your go-to tequila drink to make at home? If you decide to make one of the cocktails above, don't forget to chime in on the comments and let me know how it turns out.

Cheers and Happy National Tequila Day! xo

Sunday Kind of Love

Photo shot by Kyle Smith Born | ARSENIC-LACE.COM

Photo shot by Kyle Smith Born | ARSENIC-LACE.COM

It's my favorite day again and I hope you all had a good week. I'm spending the day with my Mom in Sussex County, NJ. It's really nice to get out of the city, breathe the fresh air and maybe do a little thrifting. I still haven't decided on a kitchen table so before I purchase something new, I'm going to try my luck at thrift stores and on Craigslist for a few more weeks. I have some time before the holidays arrive when I will be inviting more company over. It's way too hot in here right now to have people over anyway.

Speaking of how warm it is, I am newly addicted to smoothie bowls. I went out and bought my weight in fresh fruit and froze it to have a weeks worth of ice cold, smoothie goodness. Here are a few I made this week. I was thinking, should I post the recipes? Is non-boozy frozen breakfast treats something my readers are interested in? We all need breakfast, right?

Matcha Smoothie Bowl | ARSENIC-LACE.COM | Sunday Kind of Love
  • This is the Matcha Green Smoothie Bowl I made with matcha, kale, bananas, pineapple, almond butter, and coconut milk. Topped with almonds, coconut, raspberries, and chia seeds.
Blackberry Banana Smoothie Bowl | ARSENIC-LACE.COM | Sunday Kind of Love
  • This is the Blackberry Banana Smoothie Bowl with maca, banana, blueberries, blackberries, almond butter, chia seeds, and almond milk. Topped with kiwi, buckwheat, bee pollen, and coconut.
Dark n' Stormy Popsicles | ARSENIC-LACE.COM | Sunday Kind of Love
  • I think I'm only consuming cold, frozen things until the summer is over. Which brings me to these Dark & Stormy Popsicles I photographed yesterday for a post going up on A Beautiful Mess. Stay tuned for the recipe to those!
ARSENIC-LACE.COM | Sunday Kind of Love
  • I really want this print from Kailo Chic because all signs DO point to cocktails. At least in my life they do. Don't you love it?
Coconut Guava Daiquiri | ARSENIC-LACE.COM | Sunday Kind of Love
  • All signs point to this Coconut Guava Daiquiri that I made a few weeks back. Wednesday was National Daiquiri Day and that's reason enough to celebrate for me.
Sparkling Hibiscus Sangria | ARSENIC-LACE.COM | Sunday Kind of Love
  • Also in this household we celebrate Sangria Saturdays. I'd like to start linking to posts I contribute to on other sites more frequently, that way you can follow my recipes no matter where they are. Sometimes I fall behind on updating my own site because I'm creating content for others. Don't fret because there are plenty of drinks to go around! This is my Sparkling Hibiscus Sangria on A Beautiful Mess.

Cheers everyone! I hope you have a wonderful Sunday. Heads up: It's National Tequila Day tomorrow! ;)

xo Natalie

Cucumber Lemongrass Gin and Tonics

Cucumber Lemongrass Gin & Tonics | ARSENIC-LACE.COM | Summer Cocktails | Click for recipe

I've been really wanting to do a gin and tonic recipe ever since I came back from Spain and for some reason, I just haven't gotten around to it. A Spanish-style gin and tonic are usually made with a premium gin and the best quality tonic water, combined with your choice of bitters and various herbs, vegetables and fruits. I had some lemongrass syrup leftover from my national piña colada day post and I thought this would be the perfect time to make one. Gin and tonics are supposed to be crisp, dry, herbal and refreshing which makes them thirst quenchingly perfect for the very hot weather in Spain and the current summer temperature we're experiencing here in NYC (or wherever you might be). The lemongrass syrup is super easy to make (you can find the recipe here) and when combined with gin, cucumber, Meyer lemon juice, and bitter lemon fever tree tonic water creates an effortless drink that is fragrant and full of flavor.

Cucumber Lemongrass Gin & Tonics | ARSENIC-LACE.COM | Summer Cocktails | Click for recipe

Cucumber Lemongrass Gin and Tonic

2 oz. Botanist Gin

3/4 oz. Meyer Lemon Juice

3/4 oz. Lemongrass Syrup

4 Cucumber Slices

Bitter Lemon Fever Tree Tonic Water

Cucumber ribbon and lemon wheel for garnish

Cucumber Lemongrass Gin & Tonics | ARSENIC-LACE.COM | Summer Cocktails | Click for recipe

Add cucumber, lemon juice, and syrup to a tin and lightly muddle. Add gin and then fill with ice and give a quick shake.

Cucumber Lemongrass Gin & Tonics | ARSENIC-LACE.COM | Summer Cocktails | Click for recipe

Strain into desired glassware, top with tonic water and garnish with cucumber ribbon and lemon wheel.

Cucumber Lemongrass Gin & Tonics | ARSENIC-LACE.COM | Summer Cocktails | Click for recipe
Cucumber Lemongrass Gin & Tonics | ARSENIC-LACE.COM | Summer Cocktails | Click for recipe
Cucumber Lemongrass Gin & Tonics | ARSENIC-LACE.COM | Summer Cocktails | Click for recipe

The Botanist is a highly distinctive, complex, floral gin which mixes perfectly with the fragrance of the lemon grass syrup, and citrusy herbal freshness of the tonic water. The sweet Meyer lemon juice evens out the slight bitterness from the quinine in the tonic as well. This drink was clean, bright, wonderfully balanced and very easy to put together. They're also very easy to drink, so be careful! After witnessing how serious they take their 'gintonics' in Spain, I have a new found love and appreciation for this cocktail. Do you ever experiment with different types of gin and tonics at home? Is there a favorite tonic you like to make them with? Special herbs, fruit, or bitters you like to include? I'd love to hear about it in the comments below. 

I'm finally editing the hundreds of photos I took on my trip to Madrid, Jerez, Cadiz, and Seville, Spain. So stay tuned for that blog post very soon. I have so much to say about brandy, sherry, and the wonderful trip I took to the Cardenal Mendoza distillery and winery.

Cheers everyone and happy weekend!

 

Kitchen Table Dilemma

Kitchen Table Dilemma | ARSENIC-LACE.COM

Four months in and I feel like I should be done decorating but I'm not. The living room took up so much of my time when we first moved in, but since that's all finished I've been concentrating my efforts on the bedroom. The bedroom is pretty much finished besides a few pieces. I want a full-length mirror (something like this or this), some more decorative objects for the mantel, and I had my heart set on wallpapering one wall, but I think I'm going to hold off on that for right now. I also moved from a tiny apartment to a much larger duplex so I had to acquire some larger pieces (like my couch) which added up fast. 

Now that I'm recouping from all my purchases for the living room and my new bedroom furniture, I'm on the market for a larger kitchen table. My old kitchen was tiny and I couldn't really afford anything larger than a two seat bistro table. We moved in our West Elm Tripod Table just to hold us over until we could upgrade. I've been looking for weeks but I can't come to a final decision. I thought I would turn to you guys for some advice. Also, how cute are Bowie and I? He's the love of my life.

Kitchen Table Dilemma | ARSENIC-LACE.COM

Here he is eating my popsicle. I mean pupsicle.

This kitchen is definitely larger than our last one. My old one was shaped like a long rectangle and this one is still eat-in but is shaped more like a larger square. The counters are on one wall, and on the opposite is a fireplace/mantel and my mid-century china cabinet. I really wanted a marble top table to give me another surface for photographing drinks on, but also because I love the look. I was pretty much set with this one from West Elm, but of course, it's no longer available. I emailed them to see if it was coming back in stock but they assured me that it wasn't. It's unfortunate because it was a really nice match to the wood of my china cabinet plus the wood counter tops and gave me the top surface that I desired.

Photo from Homepolish

Photo from Homepolish

This got me to rethink my original choice of wanting a round table. Maybe a square or a rectangular table would fit in this space more? I could have one side on the wall between the windows and have it come out into the room parallel with the counters. If I had company over, I could easily pull it out into the center of the room to make more space for an extra seat. 

Kitchen Table Dilemma | ARSENIC-LACE.COM
Kitchen Table Dilemma | ARSENIC-LACE.COM

Then I thought, what about an expandable table? I have only found two that I really like, both from West Elm. This one seems like the best of both worlds. It's round and seats up to four and expands to seat six. It's from the West Elm x Fishs Eddy collaboration and has a white laminate top. So I can have a round or long table, but not marble which is what I think I really want.

Kitchen Table Dilemma | ARSENIC-LACE.COM

This one is the Modern Expandable Table also from West Elm. I love the angled wood legs and pecan finish but I'm on the fence about the white lacquer top. The tripod table I have is white lacquer too and the scratches it gets from normal use drives me insane. I polish it all the time so I don't see the scratches because I have OCD about it. I like the look and functionality of this table but I'm not 100% positive about purchasing another lacquered table. They look cool and sleek until they get a little worn in and then they just look dull and messy.

Kitchen Table Dilemma | ARSENiC-LACE.COM

I really love this round marble table on Wayfair. It has the white marble top that I've been dreaming about and the polished gold legs make it look super luxurious. It says it fits up to six comfortably but I'm not sure. The thing with buying a table like this is Friendsgiving or any other holiday might be limited to four or a tight six guest list. I also really like the ghost chairs that the table is paired with in this photo. They are on my list as a chair option because I love how they take up no space visually, but we will get to that later! It all depends on what table I decide to go with.

Kitchen Table Dilemma | ARSENIC-LACE.COM

This is the rectangular version of the last table above also from Wayfair. White marble top and polished gold legs. It would be in the center of the room going long ways parallel between the counter wall and mantel wall. I'm dreaming about the tablescape possibilities already!

Kitchen Table Dilemma | ARSENIC-LACE.COM

This is another one from West Elm and a complete show stopper! I love this one so much. It's called the Silhouette Pedestal Dining Table. White marble, very dramatic gold base, and seats up to four. I might have to cut my guest list down permanently. 

5b5e20dd7dcf6a1755866d2327e56b1d.jpg

Or should I just stick to the good old classic Saarinen Tulip table? High gloss white and marble are both options. Decisions, decisions. 

I'd love for you to chime in and tell me what your favorites are. I really need help narrowing it down. You can check out my board over on Pinterest as well to see what other goodies I find!

Cheers to Monday! Hopefully, I find a table for my happy hour cocktails to land on. ;)

xo - Natalie