1. 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
     


  2. 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
     


  3. 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

     


  4. 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



     


  5. 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

     


  6. Be a Better…Bartender.

    The fact that I am posting about a meat centric cocktail makes my brain explode, as these are two of my favorite things in the whole wide world. And the fact that that meat happens to be bacon, well, that’s just putting me right over the edge.

    I’ve heard a lot of bacon-vodka recipes and as much as I like vodka, I just don’t think that combo wets my whistle. But whiskey, now that’s another story.

    This cocktail is featured at one of my favorite NY bars, PDT and was created by Don Lee. 

    Bacon-Infused Old Fashioned

    To make the Bacon-Infusion:

    -Cook 3-4 slices of bacon in a hot skillet, rendering about 1 ounce of bacon fat.

    -Pour 1 (750ML) bottle of bourbon into a jar

    -Strain (through cheesecloth) 1 ounce of rendered bacon fat into the container and let sit for 4-6 hours at room temp.

    -After the 4-6 hour infusion, put your jar into the freezer until all the fat has congealed. Remove solidified fat with a slotted spoon and strain the bourbon back into the bottle. 

    Now, to make the cocktail…you’ll need:

    2 ounces bacon-infused bourbon 
    1/4 ounce Grade B maple syrup
    2 dashes Angostura bitters
    Twist of orange

    Combine bourbon, maple syrup, and bitters in a mixing glass with ice. Strain mixture into a chilled rocks glass and serve over ice. Garnish with your twist of orange.

    This beats my protein shakes exponentially. 

    xo Chinae

     


  7. Be a Better…Bartender.

    Local Liqueur Edition:

    Besides the loopy after effects and mouth-numbing flavors of cocktailing…I have come to appreciate the origins of alcohol and how it got from a plant/grain/fruit straight up into my mouth. 

    One thing in particular that fascinates me, is that each country, sometimes even as specific as a city, has some original, iconic beverage, liquor, or libation.  This weekend highlighted that for me at two specific points.

    The first nod to local libation was at the rehearsal dinner of our dear friends Tyler +Jess, my tablemate/avid cocktailer/and friend, Trevor was drinking a Campari on the rocks as an aperitif. Campari originated in Novara, Italy in the 1860’s and the recipe is said to be known to only one person still today, and makes for a delicious cocktail. Aperitif’s are traditionally consumed before the meal…as a way of stirring up the apetite. Just a warning, Campari is a very specific flavor and you’re either gonna love it or hate it…think a very bitter orange with spice.

    Here’s a great cocktail using Campari inspired by my friend Trevor:

    The Royal Babcock:

    1/3 Oz Campari bitters

    1 tsp grenadine syrup

    6 oz Fresh Squeezed Lemonade

    Pour over ice and serve. Garnish with a sprig of mint. 

    The next run-in with a special liquor was at one of my favorite neighborhood spots, Alchemy. The boy and I stopped in a had a drink on our way to dinner and quickly the bartender suggested that Charlie try his signature cocktail, The Consigliari. He likened it to a traditional Dark and Stormy but better due to it containing Amaro Averna. Now, partially due to my love of things that start with a “V” and end with an “odka”, I had never heard of such a spirit. But Charlie went out on a limb and trusted the barkeep, and I think was very happy with the outcome of a spicy, refreshing, and chest burning cocktail to cut the Fall chill. 

    So being my nosy-ass self, I needed to do some research on Amaro Averna and where the hell this beautiful liquid came from. Turns out, the 1860’s were a time when people wanted to get drunk in more creative ways in Italy, because Amaro Averna was ALSO invented in that time period on the island of Sicily by Salvatore Averna. Amaro is made with a base of herbs, roots, and citrus rinds..eventually being combined with caramel to produce a delightfully sweet, thick, slightly bitter digestif. (Digestifs are typically consumed after the meal to aid in digestion, although we totally drank this pre-dinner)

    Here’s the concoction from Alchemy:

    The Consigliari

    1 Part Amaro Averna

    1 Part Pinapple Juice

    1/2 Tsp Freshly Grated Ginger

    1 Part Soda

    Combine all and stir over ice. Garnish with a cinnamon stick. 

    Salud!

    XChinae

     


  8. 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


     


  9. Be a Better…Bartender.

    Brandied Apple Cider Edition:

    So, I’m headed upstate for some apple picking this weekend, how suburban. With those fresh apples, since I don’t eat pie, apple sauce, or whatever else people do with apples…I’m going to need to find a good use for them. And what better than in liquid form, really. 

    Brandied Apple Cider:

    What You’ll Need:

    -Ice

    -1/4 Cup Fresh Apple Cider

    -1 Part Apple Brandy

    -1 Part Regular Brandy

    -Splash of Fresh Lemon Juice

    -1 Teaspoon of Pure Maple Syrup

    -2 Apple Slices, rubbed with lemon juice for garnish

    Start with a chilled cocktail glass. Fill your cocktail shaker half-full with ice. Add all ingredients, minus the apples. Shake hard. Strain into your chilled glass and garnish with apple slices. 

    Apple Picking photos to come!

    x Chinae

     


  10. Be a Better…Bartender.

    Apple Redux Cocktail Edition:

    In concordance with my post yesterday (re: Whiskey), I think today dear readers, we shall make a Bourbon cocktail. 

    I want Fall to be in my mouth right about now, even though it’s muggy and raining in New York today…we should revolt and drink Fall in anyway.

    (The only thing this photo has to do with this post is the relation of how much bourbon she had to drink to get an apple tramp stamp. I couldn’t resist)

    Apple cocktails have gotten a bad name in drinking history (thanks you TGIFridays and Applebee’s for your bright green appletinis with a maraschino cherry to garnish). Let’s take back the reputation of the apple right here and now in the world of libations.

    Apple Redux Cocktail:

    What you’ll need:

    2 oz Bourbon
    0.5oz lemon juice
    0.5oz maple syrup
    1 oz fresh organic apple juice
    1 oz passionfruit juice
    ¼ oz campari
    1t honey

    Combine all these ingredients into a shaker, shake and strain over rocks. Add some fresh cut apple slices to garnish!

    Happy Fall b*tches!

    xo Chinae

     


  11. Be a Better…Bartender.

    Blackberry Tom Collins Edition:

    Friday=Cocktails. This particular one sounds like something I’d like to drink right abouutttttt NOW. It’s been quite the week, people. 

    photo and recipe via White On Rice Couple

    Here we go:

    Blackberry Tom Collins

    -Fresh Blackberries

    -1 tsp. Sugar

    -2 oz. Gin

    -3-5oz Soda Water

    -Ice

    -1/2 oz Fresh Lime Juice 

    Take about 3-4 Blackberries, lime juice, and sugar and MUDDLE in a glass. That’s a very fancy, complicated way of saying smush. Add your ice, then pour in your gin and soda. Garnish with more blackberries and just TRY and have one. Not possible. 

    Fancy drinks forever,

    Chinae

     


  12. Be a Better…Bartender.

    Texas Jalapeno Beer-Rita Edition:

    I’m convinced that Texas is still the best place on the planet, other than New York City. In an effort to share the joy of the Republic of Texas, and make all of you understand the depth and breadth of the ridiculousness that is my home state, we will be digitally drinking Texas Jalapeno Beer-Ritas today on this God-forsaken blog. 

    But before we start cocktailing, my top 10 reasons to love Texas (in no particular order):

    1) Guns and liquor being sold in the same location, not safe but for sure, badassery.

    2) The best mexican food in the world. 

    3) Rolling hills, sandy beaches, dry desert, and deep woods…all in one huge ass state.

    4) Austin, TX

    5) Friday Night Lights and the fact that it is pretty f*cking close to real life in Tejas.

    6) The fact that real cowboys actually STILL exist. 

    7) The worst fashion in the world, and the fact that the people don’t really care. Scrunchies, non-ironic jean shorts, and bejeweled tank tops coexist together in perfect heinous harmony.

    8) Driving with the windows down through small Texas towns, blaring rock and roll is the best thing EVER.

    9) Everyone still believes Texas is it’s own country. And they’re right.

    10) Drive thru adult beverage vendors.

    Texas Jalapeno Beer-Ritas:

    PREP:

    -5 Jalapenos sliced

    -1 bottle of tequila

    Do this a couple of days before you plan on making the ritas…add the sliced jalapenos to the bottle of tequila and let it marinate.

    MIXIN’:

    -1 1/2 oz tequila

    -3/4 oz fresh lime juice

    -dash of fresh minced cilantro

    -6oz mexican beer (tecate preferred)

    -1 oz Cointreau 

    Mix and serve on the rocks. Garnish with Jalapeno slice.

    Yeehaw.

    Chinae

     


  13. Be a Better…Bartender.

    Pass the Bubbly Edition:

    There is no other alcohol treat that makes me feel as loopy and giggly as champagne. I think it’s the fact that it’s bubbly, and always had at fun, special occasions like weddings, birthdays, and saturdays. Let’s jazz up our champagne drinkin’ ways and try something new with our favorite bubbly beverage.

    Cajun Water:

    1 1/2 oz of rum

    1/2 oz of triple sec

    1/4 oz grenadine

    2 dashes of bitters

    2-3 oz of champagne or prosecco

    Pour all the ingredients (except champagne) into highball glass filled with ice and stir. Top with champagne.

    Cheers to a summer friday!

    Chinae

     


  14. Be a Better…Bartender.

    Salty Watermelon Sangria:

    It’s Friday and you boozehounds know what that means…a new recipe over here on my personal rant log.

    Today’s adults only treat is Salty Watermelon Sangria. I know what you are thinking…that sounds gross. BUT it’s actually delicious and you can shut the hell up.

    Here’s the recipe:

    -Ceylon Tea Bags

    -White Wine

    -Fresh Watermelon (pureed)

    -Cumin

    -Salt

    Alright so there’s a little more prep work to this one, than usual (which i f*cking hate). Take 6-7 Ceylon Tea Bags and infused them with a bottle of wine over night. You can do that in the pitcher you plan to keep the sangria in. 

    Puree your watermelon until its practically like juice. Add the watermelon puree to the wine and add a dash of cumin and a dash of salt. Taste to see if the spices are to your liking. I like mine a little saltier than most people. 

    Pour over ice and garnish with watermelon slice.

    Happy Friday my pets,

    Chinae

     


  15. Be a Better…Bartender.

    Tejas Michelada Edition:

    I have an ongoing battle with a couple of friends. We all insist that we make the perfect Michelada. Some of them say that a beer with some lime and salt is a Michelada. I don’t think so lazy ass. That’s actually just a beer with salt and lime. Also called a Chelada, which is cheating yourself out of deliciousness….and that’s pretty irresponsible of you.

    Here is my recipe for the PERFECT Texas Michelada:

    -1 12oz Beer (preferably XX, Tecate, Indio, or another mexican beer)

    -A couple splashes of Worcestershire sauce (can’t pronouce this…like…ever)

    -Juice of one lime

    -Cholula or Tabasco to taste

    -A splash of dill pickle juice (my personal addition to the recipe)

    -Quater Glass of CLAMATO (clam and tomato juice cocktail) 

    -Course Salt for the Rim 

    Directions:

    Rim your glass with the course salt, put a couple ice cubes in your glass, pour your favorite beer over the ice and add the other ingredients. Mix gently and garnish with a gerkin, olive, or lime. 

    You better thank me later for just improving the quality of your life by 200%.

    x chinae