1. Be A Better…Host.

    Lately, I’ve been crafting cocktails like a mad woman and there have been quite a few keepers going into the recipe books (god I wish I was a person who was responsible enough to put my recipes in their own book…but yeah, INTERNET is where I keep all of the things). 

    I digress.

    3 events in my not-so-recent past have called for custom-crafted libations and I of course, was happy to oblige. 

    My friends Desiree and Stephen wanted giant jars of special margaritas to go alongside their taco truck-catered wedding reception in Palm Springs. Now, to be honest, I abhor tequila. Instantly I flashback to a time where 3 for $1 ( did you get that…repeat, 3 for ONE DOLLAR) tequila shots in border town Mexico seemed like a decent/good idea and my liver was 10 years younger and agile like a jungle cat.

    There may or may not have been a mechanical bull involved often after said tequila experiences.

    BUT, people getting hitched seemed like a good time to get over my bull riding PTSD and I was bound and determined to make a margarita I would actually want to drink myself. 

    Here’s what I came up with:

    El Toro Margarita:

    • 2 oz Tequila
    • 2 oz Fresh Lime Juice
    • .5 oz Agave Nectar
    • Pinch of Salt
    • 1/3-1/2 Bottle/Can of Mexican Beer (I prefer Dos XX)

    Mix all the ingredients well and pour over ice. Garnish with salt (I got black salt for home use…Buy it HERE) or a lime.

    These other two cocktails were for work events I did…and both really lit it up. 

    The Pineapple Spice:

    Start by adding your pineapple juice, lime juice, tequila, cilantro and ginger puree into your shaker. Shake with ice for 10 seconds and then strain over fresh ice in a high ball glass. Top with club soda and garnish with cilantro.

    The Apple Crisp:

    • 3 oz fresh apple cider (cold)
    • .5 oz lemon juice
    • 2 oz  pineapple Skyy Infusions vodka
    • Dash of cinnamon 
    • Lemon zest
    • Grated ginger
    • Club soda

    Start by combining apple cider, lemon juice, lemon zest, vodka, cinnamon and ginger in a shaker. Shake to combine and then pour over ice. Top with club soda and garnish with lemon peel. 

    Cheers to Fall and know that next time…we’re back to bourbon. 

    xo C

     


  2. Be a Better…Bartender.

    It’s as hot as balls out Edition:

    If you are in NYC right now along with the rest of us suckers, I’m so so sorry. It’s a sweltering 987937598 degrees out today with about 99% humidity. Let’s just say parts of my body are sweating that I didn’t know had pores. 

    I digress. 

    Here is a video response defeat this shit weather (this is not me if you were confused) and then better than that…an excellent cocktail down below.

    This woman gets it: (NSFW for language) 

    Warning, this kind of heat isn’t the type that one or two cold bevvies help. You’re gonna need to get super drunk and then forget that you can control your sleeping and waking…it’s just that bad out. 

    Passionfruit Lychee Fizz:

    + 1 oz. Passion Fruit Puree

    + 1 oz. Lychee Puree

    + Splash of Club Soda

    + Fresh Basil

    + 1 1/2 oz. Cucumber Pearl Vodka

    In a cocktail shaker, combine purees and vodka. Shake with ice, vigorously. Strain and pour over ice and add basil to taste & garnish. Top with a dash of club soda. 

    Happy summer…f*ck.

    xo Chinae

     


  3. Be a Better…Bartender.

    Tequila has been enemy #1 for several years now. 

    Let’s just say…I had a bad experience. OK, maybe like 26ish bad experiences. Tequila is some type of adult super juice where after drinking it, I turn into a mix between the Hulk and an intoxicated toddler. BUT this weekend, I was tempted on more than one occasional to order a tequila based cocktail because the rest of the ingredients sounded SO DAMN GOOD. Did I? No. I had company in town and I couldn’t risk turing into a green super hero with a balance problem.

    Mission for this weekend? Drink tequila and remain a normal human being.  

    Since it’s monday morning, naturally, I am thinking about this weekend’s cocktail plans. Let’s make one mentally together and then in real like in 5 short days ok? (Or tonight, because we are adults and we do whatever we want)

    The Azure

    • 1.5 ounces of Reposado Tequila (You can sub Mezcal if you want a more smokey flavor)
    • Fresh Blueberries (4 or 5)
    • Fresh Lemon Juice
    • Tarragon (2 to 3 leaves)
    • Ice
    In a shaker, muddle tarragon, blueberries and a splash of lemon juice, until it becomes a thick syrup. In a rocks glass, pour your tequila over ice, let chill for a moment. Top with blueberry/tarragon/lemon syrup. Garnish with a lemon slice and keep your top on.
    Happy Monday!
    xo Chinae
     


  4. Be a Better…Bartender.

    Rhubarb Dark and Stormy:

    Friends, it’s Friday. WASTHISTHELONGESTWEEKEVERORWHAT?

    I think the best way we can celebrate that summer officially kicked our asses this week, is to make a fantastic cocktail. Sound good? Bueno!

    Rhubarb Dark and Stormy:

    • 2 ounces dark rum
    • 3 ounces ginger beer (not ginger ale, douchebags)
    • Small grate of fresh ginger
    • 1/2 ounce lime juice
    • Ice (Ice, Baby)
    • 1 tbsp of Rhubarb Syrup* (Recipe below)

    Combine all the ingredients together and stir over ice in a Collins glass. Garnish with a sliver of ginger or lime wedge. 

    To make your own rhubarb syrup (stays good in the fridge for 3 weeks):

    • 1 1/4 cup of rhubarb, washed and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
    • 1 cup granulated sugar
    • 1 1/4 cups of water
    Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan and stir. Heat over high until boiling, then turn that bitch down and simmer for 25 minutes longer. After that time, remove it from the heat, and strain the liquid through a fine, mesh strainer. Let cool down and transfer to a bottle or jar.
    Happy Weekend y’all.
    Chinae
     


  5. Be a Better…Bartender.

    I’m hosting my largest event of the year at our showroom this weekend…and please, pray for my sanity. Saturday, 1000 design professionals (and at least one homeless person) will flood the walls of my space, eating and drinking to their hearts’ content.

    Since this week is  so f*cking busy, my post is kind of a tease but I’ll leave you with two cocktail recipes that I’ll be serving on Saturday for your enjoyment, especially since most of you aren’t invited. 

    Fresh Mango Margarita:  

    • Ice
    • 1 1/2 Ounces Tequila
    • 1 Ounce Fresh Lime Juice
    • 1/2 Ounce Cointreau
    • Fresh Mango Puree
    Combine all your ingredients in a shaker with Ice. Strain onto fresh ice and garnish with lime wedge. Keep all your clothes on.

    Spiked Cucumber Lemonade:

    • 1 part Pearl Cucumber Vodka
    • 2 parts fresh lemonade
    • Splash of soda
    • Mint
    • Ice

    Pour vodka and lemondade over the ice. Add a splash of soda on top and garnish with a sprig of mint. Hello summer. 

    Hope you enjoy some cocktails on this dreary-ass Monday!

    xo Chinae

     


  6. Be a Better…Bartender/Giver.

    I am very excited to announce that the non-profit I support and donate my time to, Alegria, is hosting their annual Benefit of Hope this Monday. We’ve put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into this event and we hope that you all can make it to Soho that night for a good cause and of course, some cocktails and yums!

    ALEGRIA inspires and empowers the most underserved youth and their communities to achieve their potential and transform their lives through the arts.

    Pretty great huh? Yep, I wish I would’ve met these people when I was little…I would’ve had a book deal by now with their encouragement, but alas, here I sit writing a tumblr blog. sigh.

    Anyway, wanna come to the party and support a good cause on your Monday night? Get your tickets HERE.

    You can also watch our documentary HERE. (It’s awesome, and not just because I’m in it)

    The first orphanage we supported is located right outside of Lima, Peru and after working for a week at the community, we treated ourselves to a little Peruvian culture…meaning cocktails. 

    Our favorite? Pisco sours. 

    Let’s celebrate Alegria, friday, and partyin’ partyin’ with a cocktail shall we?

    PISCO SOUR:

    1½ oz Pisco
    1 oz Simple Syrup
    1 oz Lemon / Lime Juice
    ½ Egg White (1 tsp powder)
    Dash Angostura Bitters

    Add all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake that baby until the drink becomes frothy. Strain into a rocks glass with fresh ice.

    See you Monday and happy weekend!

    xo Chinae



     


  7. Be a Better…Bartender.

    Honey, Come Home Edition:


    I don’t eat sugar or any form of natural sweetener….that being said, my body is made up of 82% Splenda. 


    BUT…with Spring comes thoughts of flowering plants, bees, and the gentle buzzing of a garden. Also, I was reading about some woman in Kinfolk Magazine that became a beekeeper, and then I wanted to be a beekeeper, and then I remembered that I f*cking hate bugs and went back to thinking about shoes. 

    Here’s a great sounding honey-based recipe for a majestic Friday afternoon:

    The WHITE HONEYBEE:

    • 1 serving Gin (preferably Bombay Sapphire or your favorite locally-made gin)
    • 1/2 tsp. Honey
    • 4 oz. Milk
    • 1 Cinnamon Stick
    • 1 Rosemary Sprig

    In your shaker, combine gin, rosemary, cinnamon, and honey…shake hard with ice! Strain this combo into your glass and then pour the milk on top gently. Garnish with a sprig of rosemary.

    Friday..Friday..FRIIIIDAAAY!!!!

    xo Chinae

     


  8. Be Better…at The Day After Halloween.

    It’s the day after Halloween. If you went out, you’re probably exhausted, hung-over, and wondering what the hell you are going to do with that “Naughty Paula Deen” costume (complete with buttery Slip n’ Slide). If you stayed home, you probably had one trick-or-treater like I did (who was handsomely rewarded with an Atkins Chocolate Chip granola bar)… then ate all the entire bucket of candy yourself and watched Jamie Lee Curtis not die in the original Halloween movie.

    And here we are…stuck with a headache/stomach ache, owning a shitty costume and living with a stoop full of more decorative gourds than you can shake a stick at. What the hell do we do now?

    HANGOVER CURE: HERE ARE MY 3 TOP PICKS OF WHERE TO GET YOUR POST-BINGE NOSH ON IN THE HOOD.

    • MOIM (206 Garfield pl. at 7th ave): Nothing kicks a hangover like a hot, steaming bowl of spicy, soupy goodness. Go to Moim and order the Kimchi-Jjigae and a side of Kimchi Man-du and you’ll see that hangover melt away.
    • BONNIE’S GRILL (278 5th ave between 1st and Garfield): Get the wings, pulled pork, or a burger and fries, add copious amounts of water….and you’re going to be just fine.
    • DRAM SHOP (339 9th St. between 5th and 6th ave.): One word…BURGER. Add a decent IPA as your “hair of the dog” and wait it out.

    ***Halloween Hangover Pro-Tip: Next year, plan to wear a homemade coconut bra as part of your costume, and save the coconut water for the next day’s hangover! 

    After consuming that 32nd Fun-Size Kit Kat (Fun-Size means you can eat until you stop having fun, right?), and hiding all the wrappers at the bottom of the trash can so your significant other/room mate doesn’t judge you…you feel like butthole. Now what?

    STOMACH ACHE CURE: TRY MY HOMEMADE GINGER BREW

    Cut up pieces of fresh ginger into thin slices, about ¼ inch thick, until you have about ¾ of a cup of sliced ginger root. Bring 5 cups of water to a boil and add the ginger to the pot along with 5 cinnamon sticks. Let it simmer for 20-30 minutes and then let it cool.  Strain out the ginger pieces and cinnamon sticks before drinking. This is great served hot in the winter and then put into popsicle form in the summer to keep on hand for instant stomach ache relief.

    NOW THAT YOUR BODY IS STARTING TO FEEL HUMAN AGAIN, YOU’LL NEED TO FIGURE OUT WHAT TO DO WITH THOSE LEFT OVER PUMPKINS…

    • USE YOUR PUMPKIN FOR GOOD: Do your part in supporting local farmers and take your janky-ass jack-o-lantern to a composting drop-off site: Park Slope’s location is at the Grand Army Plaza Green Market at the Grow NYC booth on Saturdays from 8am-4pm at the NW corner of Prospect Park. More informationHERE
    • USE YOUR PUMPKIN FOR YUMS: The obvious answer for post-Halloween pumpkin usage is for fall-centric treats. The pumpkin “meat” can be used for all kinds of baked goods and sh*t (don’t use the carved ones)…and the seeds are the easiest thing to take to work and brag about: “Of course I roast my own pumpkin seeds in my spare time”.

    Roasted Pumpkin Seeds:

    2 cups of washed pumpkin seeds (dried for one day)

    2 Tablespoons of butter, melted

    1 ½ Teaspoons of Salt

    Mix butter, seeds, and salt together. Bake on a cookie sheet for 40 minutes in a 250-degree oven.

    • USE YOUR PUMPKIN TO GET HOTTER:

    Pumpkin Face Mask:

    2 Teaspoons cooked or canned pumpkin, pureed

    ½ Teaspoon Honey

    ¼ Teaspoon Milk/Soymilk

    ½ Teaspoon of Brown Sugar

    Combine all the ingredients together and apply to your face for 10-15 minutes. Relax. After the time is up, wash your face as normal and moisturize. This works bitches.

    (Me in my mermaid costume with Andy Warhol)

    AND LASTLY — WHAT TO DO WITH THAT LEFTOVER COSTUME:

    • DONATE THAT SHIT: Drop off your costume at the same Grand Army Green Market location as the composting site. More information HERE.
    • SELL THAT SHIT:  Take it on over to BEACON’S CLOSET and see if they’ll throw you a couple bucks for your costume. Though you’ll probably have better luck at the Beacon’s in Williamsburg (see: my new favorite time-waster website, HALLOWEEN OR WILLIAMSBURG
    • REUSE THAT SHIT: Sounds like you need to get on with planning a mid-winter costume party!

    xoxo Chinae

    p.s. this post is also over on the Brooklyn blog I write for: www.fuckedinparkslope.com

     


  9. Be a Better…Bartender.

    Happy Halloween Edition:

    This recipe was sent to me by my room mate…via Garden and Gun magazine (so bomb). 

    To counteract all those orange and black jello shots you are making for your halloween soiree with a classier cocktail…would probably be a good idea. So here’s the perfect concoction for ya:

    In honor of Halloween, the Hotel Monteleone’s barkeeps devised a series of cocktails named for their permanent guests. One in particular caught our eye—Solemn John, named for a 1920s businessman from Tennessee who’s said to still wander the premises. 

    -Garden and Gun

    So let’s make us a Solemn John huh?

    Things You’ll Need:

    1 ¼ oz. Bulleit Bourbon

    1 oz. Mathilde Pear Liqueur

    ¼ oz. simple syrup

    3–4 oz. half and half

    Dash of cinnamon

    Place all liquid ingredients in a shaker with ice, and shake until well chilled and blended. Strain into a chilled martini glass, and serve with a dusting of cinnamon.

    F*CKING YUMS.

    Happy Halloween!

    **UPDATE: Pocahontas costume has been aborted due to me wanting to be the mermaid that I always knew I was.

    xo Chinae

     


  10. Be a Better…Bartender.

    Holy Moly. I forgot cocktail friday. Let’s fix this people. 

    It’s Tuesday and that seems like a great reason to make a stiff drink, yes?!

    Ginger-Honey Infusion:

    Things You’ll Need:

    1/2 Cup of Honey

    1/2 Cup of Water

    2 Tablespoons of Fresh Grated Ginger

    Vodka

    Splash of Fresh Lemon Juice

    Ok, so we’ve got a two-parter here. Deal with it. 

    You’re going to have to make your own syrup first, which sounds way more Oregon Trail survival time than it actually is. All you need to do is combine your honey, water, and fresh ginger into a pot and bring it to a boil for 5 min. Set that aside and let it cool down to room temp. 

    See…not so bad.

    So now let’s finish off our cocktail. Pour your vodka into the glass, and add a splash of fresh lemon juice and top off with a small amount (to taste) of your honey-ginger syrup. Add ice and stir. Garnish with lemon zest. 

    Also, this. Another favorite type of Ginger…my friend Rachel.

    xo Chinae


     


  11. Be a Better…Bartender.

    I think I’ve recovered partially from FNO last night…for those of you not familiar with Fashion’s Night Out, it’s a combination of really fabulous people mingling with the commoners in one giant fashion orgy across the nation. It’s like throwing up when you’re sick, horrible but necessary. 

    SO, after that little treat….since, it’s Friday and I’ve been such a bad blogger this week due to being a busy ass girl…here’s the cocktail recipe from our event last night. I was going to take credit for it, but let’s be honest…I found it in Food & Wine. 

    The Big Texan:

    -1 part Bourbon

    -2 parts Fresh Grapefruit Juice

    -Basil (2 leaves)

    -Ice

    -Bourbon Soaked Cherries (fresh and pitted)*

    Over ice, combine bourbon, grapefruit juice. Tear up basil leaves and mix into the cocktail. Garnish with a bourbon soaked cherry. Serve.

    *Bourbon Soaked Cherries: To make, take fresh, pitted cherries and heat for 2 hours over low heat with bourbon and a little bit of sugar. SO good and I promise it tastes like Christmas in your mouth. 

    Happy Weekend Lovers!

    x chinae