The Cocktail to Know

The Moscow Mule’s was created at the Los Angeles Cock ‘n’ Bull pub in 1941 when marketer named John G. Martin, who was having trouble selling vodka to Americans, met the bar’s owner, Jack Morgan, who was having trouble selling his ginger beer.  The two got creative behind the bar and several variations later they had a cocktail that is wildly popular today. The Mule is often served in a copper mug, rumored to initially be provided by a third colleague with a large inventory of mugs to move.IMG_6738

The drink enjoyed tremendous popularity in 1950’s and 1960’s, it is one of our house favorites year-round for it’s simplicity (3 ingredients) and it’s zigny taste.

Like any simple recipe, the Mule provides a perfect base for creative variations. While enjoyed more complex versions (like the Wonkey Donkey at London’s Pollen Street Social) or subtle twists like adding cucumber (like everyone was serving in Berlin this fall) but for mixing at home when guests pop by we keep to the basics:

Moscow Mule

1/2 lime, squeeze fresh

2 oz vodka

Fever Tree ginger beer

Fill a tall glass with small ice cubes, squeeze juice from the lime, add the vodka and then top with ginger beer.  Garnish with a lime.

Keep these ingredients on hand and you will have a refreshing fix that is equally as delicious for those skipping the vodka.

A Savvy Sassy Something

“Both sophisticated and universally enjoyable  It’s bold yet humble, up front and subtle all at once.”  From mixologist Jack Bowen comes:

FullSizeRender S.S.S (Savvy Sassy Something)

  • 3 oz Vida Mezcal
  • 2 oz Carpano Antica Formula
  • 2 oz Yello Chartreuse
  • 2 dashes Orange Bitters

Place all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with 5-6 large ice cubes. Shake vigorously and strain, splitting into two martini glasses.  Finish by twisting a lemon rind over the glass and sweep the rim.

Cheers!

 

Twist on a Twenty-First

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We love this fresh take on a 21st birthday celebration-a champagne brunch complete with lawn games, vintage touches and a relaxed vibe.  

 IMG_4633A birthday girl with a love for Sundays -“It’s my favorite day of the week” – Sara set her sights on a sophisticated morning to celebrate with her college friends, rather than the traditional ‘bar-crawl” usually associated with this birthday.

Guests were greeted with a vintage typewriter for sharing notes and strict instructions from the birthday girl to turn off cell phones and plug into the moment.

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 Cornhole and oversized Jenga sets provided just enough activity, and the pool and garden were a welcome change from spending the afternoon in the library studying.

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Breakfast was a hearty brunch served family style, with plenty of mimosas, bloody mary’s and champagne to toast the day, but first, coffee!

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No strangers to having every moment of their lives captured, this group was content to pose for dozens of group photos before boarding the party bus back to school.

 Happy Birthday, Sara, it was wonderful to be a part of your special day!

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Thinking Pink!

Orange may be the new black, and the traditional dominate color of the season, but we know that pink is the true hue of October and rightly so.

Pink ribbonThe facts are staggering: one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer, the most common cancer among women worldwide. According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, over 220,000 women (and 2100 men) in the United States will be diagnosed this year and more than 40,000 will loose their battle. Early detection, better screening and improved treatment options and increased awareness have brought good news:  death rates from breast cancer have been declining since 1990 and the current 5-year survival rate, when the cancer is detected early, is 98%.

But the fact remains, breast cancer is the second leading cause of death among women in the US, and thankfully, there are many ways to support the efforts to cure, treats and prevent breast cancer throughout October. Whether it means you schedule a mammogram yourself, donate scarves for women going through treatment or join a walk to raise awareness, any effort in this fight can and will make a difference.  With so many options this month, we offer our own:

photoWe are  grateful to be able to share “The Silver Lining,” the story of Hollye Jacobs  (wife, mother, palliative care nurse, marathon runner and social worker) who was diagnosed with breast cancer at thirty-nine.  Unable to find encouraging, inspiring or even attractive books during her treatment, she wrote her own, chronicling her personal experience and showcasing her professional expertise. “The Silver Lining” is a playbook for both those diagnosed and for those supporting loved ones on their journey.  Filled with incredible photography by  Elizabeth Messina, the book is filled with the practical, the humorous and the hopeful and an absolute must for anyone touched by breast cancer.

It wouldn’t be LiveWell without a cocktail to celebrate this month of awareness.

IMG_4746Think Pink!

2 oz vodka

1 oz fresh lemon juice

1 oz Simply rosemary*

1 oz fresh watermelon juice

Place all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with 5-6 large ice cubes, shake vigorously and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with anything pink and enjoy.

Tell us how you will join the efforts this month, how are you thinking pink?  The first five followers who do will receive a bottle of our SIMPLY rosemary, the house-made rosemary infused simple syrup featured in the Think Pink! cocktail.

The Spontaneous Cocktail

Tangeine StandinOctober means crisp mornings, warm days  and lots of orange, and we’re craving a cocktail that fits both the weather and the vibe as we transition  to the holidays.  We threw down a spontaneous challenge: friends  skilled at both consuming and creating cocktails were invited over at 5 o’clock and given the task of creating/approving a cocktail for sunset toasting.  

This was a spontaneous party and a tasting event all in one, with only one required ingredient: fresh tangerine juice.

With the citrus base we auditioned vodka, white rum, and ruled out tequila and bourbon before settling on gin. The most seasoned mixologist of our group (Rad Person Jack Bowen) thoughtfully collected an intriguing variety of ingredients, shook things up and adjusted after each batch tasting. You can imagine the challenge this put on the Tangerine Troop-so many glasses, so much tasting, lots of  discussion-but they met the challenge, no detail too small (one dash of bitters or two?) each adding a little something to the next round.

While we did unanimously agree on the final cocktail (Jessica called it “perfection) we could not agree on a name, so here it is:

Tangerine Jack
The Spontaneous Cocktail

  • 0.5 oz fresh tangerine juice
  • 0.5 oz fresh lemon juice
  • 2 oz gin (we prefer Boodles)
  • 0.5 oz St Germain
  • 0.25 oz thyme simple syrup
  • 1 dash orange bitters
  • 1 dash absinthe
  • 0.25 oz egg white

Place all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with 5-6 large ice cubes.  “Shake vigorously until frothy,” recommends Howard and strain into a martini glass. Finish by twisting a lemon rind over the glass and sweep the rim. Garnish with a flower from the garden. Gather your troop and salute the sunset.

As an added bonus, the tangerine juice is perfect for the next morning’s brunch- mix with champagne and a splash of grenadine and your day will be off to a great start.

Assemble a group of friends spontaneously and enjoy this delicious drink or name a required ingredient and let the creativity begin-either way you can’t go wrong by inviting a little spontaneity into your life.  Cheers!

P.S.  What would you name this cocktail?

à la votre (cheers)

fields-of-lavender-brian-jannsenNothing is more glorious than the south of France in the summer-when the lavender is in full bloom and the air is intoxicating. As we celebrate the last official weekend of summer (fall  begins on September 23rd ) we offer our house-made Lavender Martini and our French Se Bon playlist for you to enjoy.

We use the digital music streaming service Spotify to create a variety of playlists to suit our every mood and occasion.  You can create playlists, import your iTunes, follow other users (we recommend LiveWell_bySLD of course!) and access your music from any of your devices.

We have been experimenting with infused simple syrups in the test kitchen all summer and find they add a tremendous, natural elegance to the drinks.  The Lavendar Martini is clean,  slightly mellow and the perfect way to toast the weekend.

combine in an ice-filled shaker:  2 oz gin ⋅ 1 oz  house made lavender simple syrup ⋅ 1 dash of bitters

shake until chilled ⋅ strain into cocktail glass ⋅ add a sprig of lavender ⋅ cue the playlist and savor the moment ⋅ à la voter

 

drink

Cheers to the Supermoon

The final supermoon of the summer, the third in the “supermoon” trilogy this season, will light up the night on Monday (the 8th).  This September’s supermoon is also the Harvest Moon, the moon that occurs closest to the autumn equinox.  A super moon is when a moon at its fullest is also at the point in its orbit closest to the Earth.  The moon appears bigger and brighter, especially when viewed near the horizon.  In honor of this lunar phenomenon, we suggest:

The White Lady

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combine in a shaker without ice:  1.5 oz gin ⋅ 1 oz contreau ⋅  3/4 oz fresh lemon juice ⋅ 1 teaspoon house made thyme simple syrup ⋅ 1 fresh egg white

shake until the white is frothy ⋅ add ice and shake until chilled ⋅ strain into cocktail glass ⋅ twist orange peel over drink then discard ⋅ toast the super moon & enjoy