Booze

From Gin to Bourbon, and Beyond!

I’m back to drinking gin. #Shocking, I know… but actually I haven’t been drinking much lately. It’s the stress (I’ve accepted a new job. Yay! And given my notice. Eek!) So I’ve replaced alcohol with food… and the one major downside is not having fun drinks to talk about here. Luckily, my sister has risen to the task!

Last night we went out to dinner at my new favorite place: Sulmona. I went with Coach the night of our awkward car first kiss, and just had to go back. The food is AMAZING! My sister and I got the daily arancini and the lamb kabob appetizer. And our meals. Whatever we were celebrating my new job. She got the linguine and clams and I got the wild boar ragú. I’ve literally never gotten anything else there and I’ve been 3 times. I didn’t take a picture though I should have.

So their drink list is awesome. For someone like me who is rarely a whiskey drinker. It’s clear liquor heavy with two bourbon drinks. Of course, I got gin.

My drink: the CU2 (or as I said CU squared since I’m a secret math/physics nerd) was basically a G&T with a cucumber twist… that’s where the CU comes in. It was delicious and as part of the presentation, it’s made with – frozen cube of cucumber that swims with its ice cube friends.

After my sister downed her first drink – the Roman Republic, she decided she wanted to be a princess and have our waiter slash bartender Josh make her something less sweet but still with bourbon. He accepted the challenge and came back with a Orange Ginius made with bourbon. I tasted it and despite my usual dislike for most bourbon drinks, it was decent.

My sister loved it. It’s made with Lilet and Aperol, which are basically her favorite apéritifs (traditionally they are a low-proof alcohol used to stimulate digestion and appetite before and/or a meal). In this drink they enhance the flavor.

Definitely recommend Sulmona. Food and drink are seriously soooo good. If I keep going back, maybe I’ll get something that isn’t the wild boar ragú and Josh will convince me to start drinking bourbon drinks too… that would actually be shocking.

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Booze

Putin and Pizza – A Perfect Pair

Last night my sister and I went to Puritan & Company, a bar slash restaurant in Inman Square (Cambridge), for their Thursday night deal: a free personal pizza with purchase of a drink. Between 9pm and 10pm only.

It’s always a nice way to close out a week and who says no to free pizza?

We hadn’t been for a bit so their drink menu had changed. It’s a always a good menu, and unlike some other bars I like to go to, I can always find something on their cocktail list that catches my eye. Last night was no different and I ordered Putin’s Afro.

The drink itself is a little different. And honestly I don’t know what I was expecting with a name like that. But of course with a coffee soda base, I had to have it. And with the vanilla that came through in the rum, the drink kind of reminded me of an adult version of cream soda. Which I absolutely loved as a kid but for some reason always got root beer instead! Oh nostalgia.

I may or may not have had two of them despite it being after 9pm and close to what time my phone says I should go to bed.

The drink itself is one of Puritan’s pre-made bottled cocktails. It comes in this cute little bottle and the bartender simply pours it over ice and leaves the bottle for you to top yourself off. I’d had their gin and tonic one in the past, and while it’s good, I would take Putin’s Afro over the G&T any day (and y’all know how I feel about gin!)

Putin’s Afro is not super bubbly – which is ideal because sometimes soda based drinks make me super gassy – and the vanilla rum is really good and refreshing. It’s called Mad River Vanilla Rum and is distilled and bottled in Vermont. BUT, it’s sold just down the street from Puritan. Exact location TBD, but I will be purchasing myself a bottle or two ASAP.

Puritan’s bar manager, Justin, creates the drink, and I think all of the drinks. We talked a bit about the bottles cocktails and I asked if I could buy a six pack (they are really that good). I imagine drinking this instead of iced coffee on the beach in the summer, or basically all year round. In tumbler mugs. In public. #kidding

The answer is not now, but that’s the hope in the future. I seriously can’t wait.

If you’re in the neighborhood and want a good drink, I highly recommend. Even if it’s not free pizza night (which is Thursdays from 9-10 for those of you who only care about pizza. Check their social media for the rare occasions it is canceled).

Booze, Boys

Is it Ever Okay to Show up Intoxicated to a Date?

I’ve been talking to my friend about a date she went on over the weekend. It was a first date and she met the guy on a dating app. They met up at a Mexican restaurant in Cambridge, hung out there and then ended up going to another bar nearby for drinks and appetizers. Sounds like a good date to me.

Apparently it wasn’t.

While the guy himself sounds like he was okay – aside from how loud he talked – the problem seems to be that he was… as she put, “tipsy”, and as I’m inferring, drunk. He was overly enthusiastic the whole time they were together, and asked her the same question four to five times. He even invited her to pregame and hang out with his friends later on that night…

What’s the big deal? We all have a drink or two (or more) on a date. It helps with nerves, makes us looser and more agreeable, and sometimes even more interesting. Sometimes. But I’d like to point out that these things are often times our own perception of our behavior. Someone else might see us as a loud, drunk person stumbling all over ourselves. And I will be the first to say: That’s not attractive.

I remember when I first started dating in the modern world of swiping, I would have two or three drinks on the date. It made me more comfortable and as a person who is sometimes uptight, it helped when meeting new people. But I will say none of those dates ever resulted in more than one or two dates.

And now that I think about it, a guy I went on a date with in December actually came to our date stoned. It was a first date. While we were at dinner, he told me he had smoked not one, but two blunts before before meeting me. The date was fine, and I forgot that he wasn’t sober and looked past a few things that later I would realize were red flags. I would’ve gone out with him again but he turned into a crazy person over text a few days later.

So (Carrie Bradshaw voice) is it ever okay to show up intoxicated to a date?

There’s a pretty big difference between having a few drinks during the span of a date and pregaming the date itself. From what I can tell, pregaming the date is exactly what this guy my friend went out with did. That is not okay. And needless to say, my friend was not impressed.

I’m going to go with no… and here’s why.

Taking the edge off is one thing, but there is certain behavior we tend to revert to when we’re drunk or stoned. Talking very loudly is kind of awkward and can make the other person uncomfortable. Of course drunk behavior is all very individual (I get responsible and flirty), but if you’re trying to put your best foot forward, going intoxicated doesn’t set you up for success because you’re not presenting yourself as you actually are.

When you’re drunk, etc. you’re not able to fully focus on what is going on. If you’re really wanting to connect with the person you’re out with, being drunk and not remembering that you’ve asked them the same question five times is going to make them feel like a) you’re not paying attention and b) you didn’t care enough about the date to be in a state of mind that would actually allow you to connect.

Lastly, if you wouldn’t want someone to arrive under the influence to a date with you, you should definitely not show up to a date drunk or high. The nice thing about grabbing a drink or two with someone you’ve been talking to on a dating app, or met in the coffee shop, is that you’re in this weird dating thing together. You’re both nervous and if anything, you should get drunk together, bond over margaritas, and tell each other embarrassing stories from when you were in middle school and only wore black and pink and for some reason arm warmers.

Booze

To Drink, or Not to Drink… that is the Question

This evening I have plans to go out to a popular 90s night with friends.The place is kind of a dive and basically 90% of the patrons are college kids. Being 27, I fit right in!

It’s very fun, though I typically prefer the Saturday night music (early 2000s) because I’m a product of Beyonce. Anyways, while it’s a good time with lots of dancing, I find that alcohol is a basic requirement. And by alcohol, I mean I lots of alcohol. To deal with people shoving into you as they mosh to Smells Like Teen Spirit. The problem is: this bar has really shitty booze. They have this homemade stuff that is supposed to taste like fireball whiskey, but really it tastes like cinnamon cough syrup. Of course I’ve taken shots of it on a number of occasions because I’m super classy.

So as I prepare myself for the night, I’m trying to figure out how much I need to drink to reach the perfect level of fun dancing drunk, avoid making poor decisions, and wake up hangover free tomorrow morning so I can go to a Zumba class at 10:00.

You’re probably thinking “well that’s easy, just have two or three vodka sodas and drink water before going to bed”, and I hear you. But… what you don’t know is that this place is like the Bermuda Triangle. I don’t think I have ever been able to go and have the next morning be rainbows and unicorns. To prove my point, here are a few examples:

  • The invention of the Finger Linger. This was the high (?) point of a night out with friends. Not quite sure how that came about, but obviously it involved alcohol and unnecessary flirting, which for me is a somewhat harmless (?) byproduct of the drinking and dancing combo. For those of you who don’t know what Finger Linger is… it’s when you run your fingers up and down a guy’s chest and linger toward the bottom of their abdomen. Usually a good Finger Linger starts up by the collarbone and includes a down, up, down motion. Anyways, that night I think it was someone’s birthday and I ended up buying a couple rounds of shots, mixed the cinnamon cough syrup with cheap tequila, and woke up feeling like hell.
  • The Cold Kiss (aka Mother’s Day Eve). Was the night before Mother’s Day. I mentioned this in Blame it on the A A A A Alcohol. The night was the result of a much needed ladies’ night during which I also bought a bunch of rounds of drinks, drank so many vodka sodas that I lost count, and ended up making eyes at a guy across the room. So when I see him up close, he grabs me and kisses me. Despite my state at that time, I was immediately aware that it was a bad kiss and I needed to escape ASAP. His mouth was very wet and cold. Like he had just popped an ice breakers gum. I know the commercials say “break the ice”, but I want the world to know that cold kisses are not desirable. So I ended up just walking off. I may have said I needed to go to the bathroom, but honestly probably not. I found myself on the back patio and saw a gate open to the dumpster. Somehow this triggered me feeling nauseous (or maybe it was the cold kiss), so I walk over to the dumpster ready to ralph in the corner, when someone who must have worked their told me that I couldn’t be out there. So I go back inside, find my lady crew, and dance the rest of the night away. Until we go to leave and somehow the bartender lost my credit card. I’m concerned, but drunk, so we just went home. The next morning I feel awful and end up dry heaving for what felt like forever. But was not forever because somehow I was able to pull myself together (with the help of my sister) just in time for us to get Mother’s Day brunch with our parents. Who also happened to be hungover. #classyfamily
  • The Bait and Switch (aka Father’s Day Eve). Just a month after The Cold Kiss, we went out to this bar again for one of my roommates birthdays. We started drinking at other bars so there were no bad shots (thank god) but it meant the night started at like 6:00. By the time we’re dancing, I unknowingly black out, only to come to making out with this guy on the dance floor in what one calls a classic DFMO (dance floor make out). Everyone checks in with me and I’m fine and just continue. Eventually I get bored of the situation so I tell him I need to go to the bathroom. And being me, I grab two of the girls that were out that night to come with. In the bathroom mirror I notice a giant hickey. We all notice it really, as it was basically the size of a fist. #howwww! And I say something along the lines of “Idk why guys do that, if I’d been making out with one of you, this wouldn’t happen” (it’s true). Next thing I know, we’re back on the dance floor and I’m making out with one of the girls I was just talking with in the bathroom! Needless to say, she was a much better kisser than whatever guy was macking on my neck earlier. The next morning, I wake up with a giant hickey and that Ana girl in my bed, and frantically search for a scarf so I can go meet my father for a 8:00 breakfast.

So I assume after those three long-ass examples, you now understand my concern.

I haven’t been to this bar in maybe 8 months, and I haven’t drank like that in almost as long. I’m feeling like I might just be screwed.

On the bright side, I’ll have another great story to share…

Booze, Boys

Two Pitchers of Margaritas Later I’m Thinking about Bad Boys

It’s not even 9:00pm and I’m in my bed. I could fall asleep so easily if I allowed it. But I’m waiting up to see Coach. It’s weird having plans with someone three times in about a week. And despite the later hour, this ain’t no booty call. It is all new territory for me and I’m trying to go with the flow.

He had plans to take his brother to a movie tonight. *Insert aww here* He really is a good guy. It’s slightly nauseating. But nice. Of course.

So now I have sloshy margarita belly and I’m laying in my bed trying not to fall asleep thinking about why I can’t name another guy I’ve dated that is a “good guy”. I’d like to think I don’t just go out with ass holes…

But despite the fact that the “nice guys finish last” idea is simply ridiculous and completely stemmed in male entitlement… is it true? I’ve been out with a number of guys that I’ve deemed too nice. For me, and in general. It’s not that I’m a bitch… I mean maybe sometimes… but I will admit that it’s kind of a turnoff being with someone who comes off too eager to please (not like that, get your head out of the gutter) or too afraid to step on toes. And in addition, if I meet a guy and think I would a) break him (not physically, but like emotionally or mentally) or b) chew him up and spit him out like a 10 cent chicken wing… I’m not interested. If he’s not going to hold his own, call me out on my shit, and argue back, then he’s not the one for me.

The guy I went out with a few times who’s fiancée left him for another woman was one of those guys that opened every door for me, rushed in front of me to speak with the host, waited to sit until I was seated, and insisted I had the first bite to eat at dinner. I realize these are basic manners, but for some reason it was just too much. He ended up sticking his tongue down my throat – an unwelcome action – so I guess he wasn’t really that nice after all.

Anyways, imho we women are perfectly rational beings (no matter what day we are on in our cycles) and yet more often than not, we choose to steer clear of nice men when we meet them. But what is it about guys that aren’t nice #badboys that draws us in? Is it their indifference that leaves us wanting more or some fucked up Freudian shit that makes us seek the attention of men who simply could not care less about us?

For me personally, I think it’s less about them being nice or not nice, and more about them giving me my independence and acknowledging that I am capable. When a guy is distant, I (incorrectly) read that as a “you do you” situation, which I think is a really important element of a mature relationship. I’m not about clingy. However, the majority of the time it’s simply a lack of interest or that they are keeping me on the back burner as they look for something better. Not a good guy move.

Theory number two. There is also always a thrill to the chase. Us ladies can’t play like we don’t know the game. We make the game! I think I’ve mentioned that most of the time I’m pretty indifferent about guys I’ve dated… so for them my indifference is a challenge. And for me, their indifference is endearing. We are both sooooo wrong and I feel like once we actually connect, the “will they, won’t they” spark disappears.

My third, and I think most accurate, theory is that with a guy that we know is bad news, there is less potential for heartbreak because there is less potential for feelings. And when things don’t work out, even once we get to the point of maybe thinking he’ll change, knowing he’s a dick makes him easier to get over. Telling your friends that the sex was great but he is a piece of shit person is easier than saying that you let your unrealistic expectations of changing him get the best of you and now you’re heartbroken even though deep down you knew better.

So while these margaritas are making me sleepy, they are also opening my brain up to the idea of maybe not doing what I normally do when it comes to dating. Takeaways: Good guys are good and indifference and games are bad. And sloshy belly is never a good feeling.

Booze

Blame it on the A A A A A Alcohol

This weekend was fun, but also tough. I saw one of my best friends for his birthday and remembered just how hard it is to have friends far away. On top of the massive amounts of chocolate covered pretzels (I will stop obsessing over this soon, but they were just not as good as I wanted them to be), I don’t think I had a meal without also ordering a drink. Or two. Which is sooo not a big deal, but it definitely played a part in my gin and tonic fueled meltdown. I mean, who hasn’t drunk cried over chocolate covered pretzels alone in a hotel room?

But let’s get real: just about tied with mid-afternoon hangovers as a result of too many brunch mimosas and falling asleep before 7pm, drunk crying is literally the most tame thing alcohol makes us do.

To make myself feel slightly better about the weekend, here’s a wonderful list of the glamorous things we’ve all done that I’d like to blame alcohol for:

  1. Going skinny dipping in the ocean after countless lemon drop shots
  2. Crawling up the stairs from said beach because you can’t risk standing
  3. Publicly singing songs from High School Musical but changing the words to be about buffalo chicken pizza
  4. Getting felt up in a dive bar on Valentine’s Day
  5. Changing your phone password and locking yourself out of your phone
  6. Almost missing class the next morning because of it
  7. Getting stuck in New York City overnight and watching your friend throw up in a trashcan on the subway platform
  8. Nearly hooking up with a guy who may have had a girlfriend instead of taking care of said friend
  9. Kissing a stranger in exchange for a candy cane on a Christmas bar crawl
  10. Ordering all the pizza while black-out on your way home from said bar crawl
  11. Commandeering the music at a party and playing Taylor Swift’s “Shake it Off” on repeat for a good 20 minutes
  12. Throwing up in a giant red bucket the next morning
  13. Going drink for drink with a guy who has a tolerance twice as tolerant as yours
  14. Convincing your friend to drive you to some guy’s apartment even though the guy is dead asleep
  15. Kissing a stranger at your favorite bar’s millennium night and having his mouth be really cold
  16. Having the bartender lose your credit card behind the bar (and on the bright side not having to pay for a single drink) at said millennium night
  17. Dry-heaving the next morning but somehow rallying just in time Mother’s Day brunch extremely hungover but able to keep your avocado toast down
  18. Making out with someone you should definitely never have make out with outside a bar in the very late hours of a weeknight
  19. Telling totally different someone that you have feelings for them but that they don’t have to respond
  20. Getting a hickey from a stranger at your favorite bar’s millennium night
  21. Having to find a scarf that seems appropriate for summer the next morning so you can go to Father’s Day breakfast
  22. Spitting that last tequila shot back up on the bar
  23. Flirting with the Jamaican drum player that works on the cruise ship you’re on for your birthday and definitely not stalking him later on that night (and for the rest of the trip)
  24. Hooking up with someone in the middle of a party that you’re hosting
  25. Getting into a quite public verbal altercation with your sister about your decision to hookup with someone in the middle of a party that you’re hosting

So there you have it! Drunk crying is nothing…but either way, I blame it on the alcohol. Not the emotions. Here’s to a happy year filled with questionable decisions set to a Jamie Foxx and T-Pain classic. #cheers

Booze

When Sober January is Not for You

Lots of people are observing Sober January at the moment… it’s like No Shave November, but for your liver. It’s a great test of willpower and commitment. Not to mention it probably saves them a ton money when they go out to dinner or brunch. Good for them.

But my question is: why choose the darkest, coldest, most disappointing month of the year to give up the one thing that got you through the holidays?!

After spending the weekend drinking wine and relaxing, I realized Sober January isn’t for everyone. And it definitely isn’t for me (or my sister since she’s the one who requested this post).

I have given up alcohol a few times to aid weight loss as it really helps, so it’s not like I’m against giving up alcohol. Like many others, I will attempt to hang out with friends who are observing. But instead of complaining, rejoice in the fact that you’re still drinking and make plans! And if you’re really not about it, remember that if alcohol got you through all the family functions since November, it can get you through this.

When Sober January (SJ) just isn’t for you…

1. Refresh your memory. Remind yourself that you still like your friend even though she’s not drinking. While you’re at it, remind her that she can go to a bar and not have a drink.

2. Mix it up. If all your friends are observing SJ and absolutely refuse to head to the bar, grab a cocktail shaker and get Googling. Making your own drinks at home is fun and significantly less expensive than going out. That way, y’all can hang out without the bar.

3. Channel your inner Kelly Clarkson. If your friend is being a little preachy, remember that you don’t have to do things with other people all the time. Make trying the new tequila bar in your neighborhood a solo adventure. Especially if tequila makes you an angry drunk… inviting your friend (who is already getting on your nerves) probably isn’t the best idea.

I’m not saying that you should do Drunk January instead, but don’t feel bad about not doing Sober January. You’re doing yoga and drinking eight glasses of water every day. That takes willpower too! Plus, January is prime red wine and whiskey time. Get it.

 

Booze

Why Wine Pairs Perfectly with Whining

As someone who enjoys a variety of alcoholic beverages, I can confidently say that every alcohol type has a pairs perfectly with a different emotion.

Tequila is perfect for when you’re stressed. Gin is a happy drink. Vodka treats frustration. Whiskey, bourbon and scotch are great for feeling content. Beer is ideal for when you’re already relaxed. And wine pairs perfectly with whining.

Don’t believe me? Think about it!

Imagine you’re watching Family Feud. The top three answers are on the board and 100 people were asked “which of Snow White’s 7 Dwarfs do you typically identify with when you have a glass of red wine in your hand?” Undoubtedly the answers would be Grumpy, Dopey, and Sleepy. Steve Harvey is basically all knowing and never makes mistakes so that is solid proof.

If you still aren’t convinced, here are my reasons:

1. Wine is a great way to get someone to come over to listen to you complain. No one you want to rant to would ever turn down a free half bottle (or more) of wine.

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2. Wine and frowning go hand in hand since chances are if it’s red it has turned your teeth purple.

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3. Wine glasses make great prop microphones for a dramatic one woman show on what happened at work and how incompetent your boss and coworkers are.

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4. Wine is just strong enough to do the trick and calm you down, but not strong enough to knock you off your soapbox and onto the floor.

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5. Wine goes great with the large quantities of cheese and bread you are likely consuming as an initial treatment for your grumpiness.

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Lastly, and probably most importantly:

6. Wine has legs, which means it probably has ears and basically a person that can listen to your problems… so technically you aren’t drinking alone.

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Booze

“Wake Me Up, and Then Fuck Me Up”

It may seem a bit crude, but it’s what we all want when we go out, right?

The worst feeling is when you’re out with friends trying to have a good time and all you can think about is how comfortable your bed is. There is a quick and easy solution: an Espresso Martini.

The drink was created in the mid-1980s by Dick Bradsell in response to a very famous super model at the time saying she wanted something to “wake me up, and then fuck me up”.

While I contemplated venturing out into the snow this evening to get one, my lovely sister did me a favor and made her own batch.

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The classic Espresso Martini recipe is:

  • 2 oz vodka
  • 1 oz espresso
  • 1/2 oz coffee liqueur
  • 1/4 oz simple syrup

My sister makes it without simply syrup and with an extra 1/2 oz of coffee liqueur and three dashes of Scrappy’s chocolate bitters. And if you’re a Baileys girl like me, just add 1/2 oz before you shake. It’s pretty strong… so highly recommended.

Garnish with three espresso beans so it looks like a chocolate chip cookie!

Booze

Gin Cocktails: Not Just for Summer

One of my Mom’s friends (whom I love) recently mentioned that she only drinks gin from May to September… anddd while I get what she’s saying, it’s like only wearing white before Labor Day and not combining black and brown in your wardrobe.

These are rules that just don’t matter anymore.

Fuck it! What Not To Wear has been off the air for years anyways. Do what you want and white in the winter to blend in with the snow. It a new kind of camouflage! And if we wore brown leggings with brown boots, the fall uniform sure would look stupid.

So drink gin in the winter! It’s delicious!

It has actually become my liquor of choice (I know, I’ve really grown since the days of lemon drop shots and crawling up a staircase from the beach). I was just Park Restaurant & Bar in Harvard Square and I ordered a gin drink! A Bee’s Knees to be more exact.

img_3861Classic Bee’s Knees is 2 oz gin, 3/4 oz lemon juice, and 3/4 oz honey.

When I asked Sam, the bartender who is now my friend, what makes the drink perfect, he said “It’s all about presentation”. He then went on to explain that if he had just poured the drink into just any cup and handed it to me, it wouldn’t be as good.

Soooo I get what he means, but I think it would still taste the same and I know I would still drink it. Trust me.

Even if you don’t like gin, you will like a Bee’s Knees.

And if you already think a Bee’s Knees is, well, the bee’s knees and want a bit of a twist – head to Union Square in Somerville and hit up Brass Union for a B’s Knees. They add St. George Spiced Pear, basil, cucumber to theirs and it’s pretty darn good.

Oh, and Sam told me about a new gin bar called Our Fathers Deli in Allston. No doubt I will be checking it out very soon.