1. Be a Better…Bartender.

    Eggnog Drunk Edition:

    There is nothing I love more than Christmastime. The photo above depicts me at age 3…I should say…really not much has changed since. 

    When I was growing up my mom always stocked our refrigerator with half gallons of pre-made eggnog, starting around Thanksgiving through the New Year. Of course, when I was 8, I was not dipping into my booze collection to spike up ma’ nog.

    Obviously I did not know what I was missing.

    In other news, kids this age are complete idiots. 

    So, now that I’m a full-grown adult human being, I can make my own damn eggnog and live the life I’ve always dreamed of! 

    Here’s a recipe for you people that actually eat sugar…for me, I’ll be trying this with a whole lot of granulated Splenda and Atkin’s prayers. 


    • 12 large eggs (separate them out, yolks and whites)
    • 1 1/2 cups sugar (or granulated Splenda)
    • 2 cups whiskey (I like bourbon)
    • 2 ounces rum 
    • 2 ounces brandy
    • 6 1/2 cups heavy cream
    • Freshly grated nutmeg (for garnish and for yums)
    1. In a big bowl, beat your egg yolks together; then mix in sugar/Splenda with a whisk until all incorporated. 
    2. Gradually whisk in whiskey, rum, and brandy (take a small sip of each to make sure they haven’t gone bad).
    3. Keep whisking…then slowly add 4 cups heavy cream and stir until fully mixed. 
    4. Pop that baby in the fridge for 2 hours.
    5. With an electric mixer, in a large bowl, beat egg whites until stiff and then fold into chilled boozy concoction bowl. 
    6. Add the last 2 cups heavy cream to mixer and whisk until soft peaks form then fold into liquor mixture. 
    7. Pour into glasses and sprinkle with nutmeg before serving.

    Happy Holidays from the Be Better Blog and Santa! See you all in 2013!

    xoxo Chinae


  2. Be a Better…Bartender.

    Rhubarb Dark and Stormy:


    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.

  3. 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:


    • 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.


    xo Chinae


  4. Be a Better…Bartender, Beauty, Shopper, and Lover.

    It’s a mish-mosh sorta day around here…so I thought I’d compliment my scatterbrainedness with a mix-ey little post. 

    To start it off right…a new cocktail. Since it IS a Friday and all.

    Asian Sensation: (makes 4 cocktails)

    • -1 Asian Pear
    • -Handful of Fresh Blueberries
    • -4 servings of vodka
    • -Club Soda
    • -Dash of Grated Fresh Ginger

    In a blender, combine your diced up pear, blueberries and ginger…blend well until it makes a liquid. Mix together the vodka and your fruit smoothie concoction. Pour over ice and top with soda. Garnish with a sword of fresh blueberries! 


    I’m always looking for the perfect red lipstick and finally found my beauty soulmate in Loreal’s Infallible “Beyonce Red”. After being happy with this lil’ find, I started on the hunt for the perfect bright pink lipstick…matte, deeply pigmented, and not TOO expensive. Also, not looking like hooker Barbie is helpful.

    Well ladies, I found it. NARS Super Matte in Carthage…run, don’t walk to your nearest beauty retailer for this gem. 

    GO SHOP:

    In my shopping finds this week, I hesitantly ordered a new notebook from Minted. On their site, you can customize super cute designs with colors, photos, and text. I was worried that the quality would suck big time since the journals are only $16 but I was more than happy with mine! Take a look.


    I got a few messages from readers asking what I did for V-day since I did what seemed like a ranty post.

    I actually spent the night drinking virtual cocktails (about 6 of the one listed in this post) with the boyfriend…on Skype. Oh, the joys of long distance…BUT it was a great Valentine’s. I hope you all had a great day, whatever you did! Below, a sneak peek into our little date.

    Hears to hoping this weekend doesn’t suck and is as totally rad as a three-day weekend should be!

    xo Chinae


  5. Be Better at…The Super Bowl (Part 3 of 3)

    And now we drink. The real meaning of Super Bowl.

    Here’s a alternative to slamming a case of Natural Light, although I have learned that the box does transition nicely into a hat of sorts around beer #13. 

    Game Day Ginger Punch:

    ***Makes 1 pitcher***

    • 18 oz of Gin
    • 20 oz of Ginger Beer
    • 4 slices of Ginger
    • 2 Tbsp of Lime Juice, freshly squeezed
    • 10 Mint leaves muddled

    Mix all the ingredients together in a pitcher, minus the gin. Add 2oz of gin per glass over ice and top with pitcher mixture. Garnish with mint leaf.




  6. Be a Better…Bartender.

    So yesterday I ranted told you how to make sure your holiday party doesn’t suck. Part of that was making some boozy concoction to share. Here’s a great recipe from my friend Nate that certainly greased my proverbial wheels this Thanksgiving.

    CRAN-APPLE Cider
    SERVES 16

    1 Gallon Jug of Apple Cider/Juice
    4 Cups Cranberry Cider
    4 Cups of Orange Juice
    1 Bottle Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum
    1LB Fresh Cranberries
    4 Nectarines or in my case I used Oranges/Pears since Nectarines weren’t in season
    4 Apples
    3 Tablespoons Cinnamon
    2 Tablespoon Fresh Ginger
    Cinnamon Sticks (garnish)
    1) On Low Heat, pour 1/2 cup of Spiced Rum into a large pot. Add in Cranberries. Use a masher or a large spoon and break open some of the cranberries.
    2) After about 10 minutes, stir in Apple Cider, Cranberry Cider & Orange Juice.
    3) Get to a point where the drink is luke warm and mix in half of your spices (1.5 Tablespoon Cinnamon, 1 Tablespoon Ginger). Simmer until hot.
    4) Cut up Apples into 1x1 inch squares/triangles/trapezoids.
    5) Once drink is hot, stir in Fresh Apples, Rum, remaining spices.
    6) Slice Nectarines in half. Squeeze fruit into the pot.
    7) After 15 minutes, drink should be done. Garnish “in cup” with cinnamon sticks.
    Cheers Christmas Dudes and Dudettes,

  7. Be Better at…The Holidays.

    Every night during this time of year there seems to be ANOTHER f*cking holiday shindig to attend. Now, I’m not complaining…but you’ve really gotta make stopping by your event worth it for people. I can’t count how many holiday events I go to and end up wishing that I could crawl back into my non-existant time machine and forget that I ever went. 

    Here are some rules to make your holiday party NOT suck:

    Invitation Protocol: Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Facebook. I would kiss Mark Zuckerberg on the mouth if I wasn’t dating the love of my life, AND if he didn’t look like a sweaty fish all the time. If you want people to come to your party, Facebook is fine, but if you want to really get on people’s calendars…you’ll need to email them. Just saying, DO BOTH. Yes, it’s very fun to see that list of people accepting your invite and making you feel validated and like you actually have friends, but most people, myself included, are RARELY going to accept or look at a FB invite. Plus, all that time you spent designing the invite photo will be wasted when you can’t even click on the photo and it just becomes an ugly unreadable icon of non-information. 

    Party Playlist Management: Christmas carols are awesome. I have danced in my underwear to Mariah Carey’s yuletide magic many a time. BUT, three hours of Christmas classics is too f*cking much. Do not let Pandora take the reigns on this. DO NOT. Mix in some Christmas favorites with modern good-ass music and you’ll be better off. If I wanted to listen to non-stop Amy Grant Christmas Edition, I’d go to the grocery store, or my parents house. To avoid your guests going on a Christmas rampage, really give that playlist some time and effort.  

    No Dress Code(i.e. Christmas Sweaters): We are no longer in college (well, some of us)…there’s no need to wear an ugly sweater to be ironic. Maybe in a Pre-Hipster society this was a funny indicator that “yeah! we are cool and hip and aren’t afraid to be different!” but now…it’s just plain dumb and I refuse to invest in a purposely hideous piece of clothing. Also, all the ugliest sweaters in the Tri-State area have already been ravaged by the entire population of Williamsburg, as everyday wear. 

    Don’t Invite the Borings: OK, so maybe you have to invite them, but you’ve got to ensure that you are going to have a couple key players in the room to keep people’s spirits up. Make sure you get THOSE people to your event and it won’t matter how boring everyone else is. 

    Don’t Go Into Sad Girl Mode: Alright, I see that you’ve been baking all day and slaving over pinecone napkin rings. It’s party time and half the guests just plain aren’t coming. The regretful texts start rolling in and you are almost ready to cry in your raspberry-cheesecake cookie muffins. Get over it. People have other places to be and you didn’t lure enough bozos in with your promise of home made shit. IT’S OK. Focus on making the time intimate and special for people that are there and please wipe that disappointed look off your face, apron+crying=not cute.

    Keep It Casual: You’re stressing people out. Yes, you. You with the intense invitation, 16 follow up emails, list of what to bring, list of what not to bring, links to google satellite of how to get to the event by plane/train/foot/hovercraft, and the promise of treats. We are overwhelmed and if your shindig is anywhere as annoying as the process leading up to it is, I’m going to RSVP a big, fat, NO.

    Christmas Booze: BYOB is totally cool. Having no supplies at the ready, just in case, is not. Sure, there will be those losers  guests, who come empty-handed, but they were gonna come that way anyway. If you don’t want to spend a lotta moolah, make a signature cocktail or a big batch of hot-boozy goodness (recipe coming tomorrow!) for everyone to partake in. A dry party is a stupid party, so grease the social anxiety with some adult juice and I promise your guests will be happy to stay all night long. 

    All I want for Christmas is a fun holiday party,



  8. 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. 




  9. 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?


    • 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?


    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.


    • 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.


    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)


    • 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


  10. 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.


    Happy Halloween!

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

    xo Chinae


  11. 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


    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


  12. 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


  13. 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:


    -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.


    -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.




  14. Be a Better…Bartender.

    Asian Pear Infusion Edition:

    Alright…after a discussion about gin last night and also repping the fact that half of my genes are of the asian variety…I’ve got a cocktail for you today that promises to be refreshing AND get you pretty sauced. I’m not usually a gin drinker but a good gin based cocktail can really hit the spot…my favorite is Bombay Sapphire (mostly because the bottle is sexy as hell). 

    Here we go:

    Asian Pear Infusion

    2 oz Gin
    4 oz pear nectar (comes in a can…I prefer the Mexican varieties)
    ½ oz Pernod Anise (if you don’t like anise flavor, you can leave this out)
    1 oz simple syrup
    0.5 oz sake (for the asian kick…also soju can be substituted)

    Shake heartily in a cocktail shaker with a bit of ice. Serve in a highball glass over ice with a lychee to garnish. Yes, they look like eyeballs but they are delicious.

    Happy Friday my loves!

    x 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 


    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