Elderflower Appreciation Post

I know I promised you all sorts of fun tea-inspired recipes.
I lied.
Mostly because I got distracted by creative G&Ts over at Buzzfeed and have been trying to work my way through them.  I keep meaning to try the fancier ones (looking at you homemade tonic syrup) but I always go back to the St. Germaine G&T.  But being the cheapskate that I am, I go for St. Elder as opposed to St. Germaine.

Why St. Elder?  It’s another elderflower liquor that’s made just on the other side of the river and is significantly less expensive than St. Germaine.

Plus, I’m a fan of the art nouveau label.

St. Elder Liquor Bottle

Just look at that font!

Since I finished up this semester with all A’s, I figured why not open my peach bubbly bottle (~$5 at trader joes) and make myself a champagne cocktail!  I used triple sec and St. Elder to create a fun twist on the already sweet Amour de Paris.

St. Elder is also great in margaritas, g&t’s, martini’s, sangria, and my favorite drink–a bohemian. I had it at drink last year, and immediately fell in love with it.  It’s gin, grapefruit juice, St. Germaine (or, you know,  St. Elder), and bitters.  Heaven in a glass.

 

The folks who run the website have a bunch of fun recipes that I’ll be sure to try and keep you updated once the weather warms up.

 

 

 

2 week Hiatus

Originally I started this blog because of my new media course, but I’ve grown attached and developed feelings so I can’t stop posting now. Therefore, rather than ending this experiment I’m going to go on a two week hiatus to try out some more tea-cocktails, go on some more drunken adventures, and finish up my classes for the semester.

 

Until then, Cheers.

My Work Station

Where the magic happens — red wine & the imac

Next up: Elderflower Citron-Oolong G&Ts, Strawberry Rhubarb Parfait Sangria, and more…

 

 

Lanes and Games

Today the blonde one and I were invited out on a double date.  Something about beer and bowling, and since I needed a break from wrapping up final papers we decided to go for it!
I feel like I was stuck in the 80s all night long.  Just look at this layout:

PBR and bowling at Lanes and Games in Arlington

 

However, it seemed a little pricey.  Jillian’s does cheaper bowling and cheaper shoe rental (during afternoons, anyway).  We paid about $14 for a melon margarita, a harpoon, a yuengling, and a PBR.  The melon margarita was a little too sweet for my taste, however this is more of a beer-bar place anyway.  Bowling two rounds and shoe rental cost about $15, and buying socks (we were lied to told there would be free socks; our source was misinformed).

Bowling was a lot of fun.  Be it the tequila or be it the beer, somehow I managed to be decent at it.  I even somehow managed to WIN a game (with a score of 99!) a round.  This has never ever EVER happened before.   Overall it’s not the best place in the world, however it meets a need: the need to get drunk and bowl.

Liquid skill or a secret skill? The world will never know.

Hashing 2.0: my naming

What’s better than running 4-ish miles in the rain?  Running 4-ish miles in the rain wearing an 80s prom dress.

That’s right: some weeks ago I paid $15 To don an outrageous dress and ran through the newton wilderness for fun.

Now, this trail wasn’t without its problems. There were a lot of hills, and the first checkpoint was a shot check with a White Russian. Being a lactard, running after that was … Well…. Difficult. Not haven really eaten that day made the rest of the run a little fuzzy.

After venturing through more forest, we came to the beer check that involved good beer And Champagne! And snacks!!!

Needless to say, after that, the rest of the run is a blur–but I’m pretty sure I looked like Courtney Love in the Mono music video. After running through the Forrest and by some expensive houses there was one more beer checkpoint where the fearless beerless ra decided I needed a name. A real hashing name.

Courtney Love in Mono

Courtney Love in the Mono Video

Since I stole a traffic cone at the last hash I attended, I had to confess my other transgressions with traffic cones (a story for a throwback Thursday, because tequila + playgrounds + the south end = ???).

At the end of the trail we ended up in a bar, circled up, and started singing lewd songs. The best part is, however, that my freshman year RA from Emmanuel walked into the bar with one of my old classmates.

I was accused of being a just, so into the circle and down on my knees I went. After some much deliberation I went down just Carissa and arose Blow Cone! The following day they sent out an email claiming I’ll be renamed, I’ll be sure to keep you updated.

Runners in 80s prom dresses

Another hasher and me sporting our fabulous gowns

 

Best Bloody Mary in Allston: Lone Star Taco Bar/Deep Ellum

Blood Mary, full of vodka, blessed are you among cocktails.

Breakfast Margarita & Bloody Maria at Lone Star Taco Bar

Breakfast Margarita & Bloody Maria at Lone Star Taco Bar

The Bloody Mary is one of the only things that makes me feel like a real person after a night out. In fact, my first legal drink was a Bloody Mary at Stella’s after a night of newly 21 drinking schanningans, therefore I have somewhat of a close attachment to them and consider myself a Bloody Mary connoisseur.

So far the ones that stand out are Fitz’s (RIP: Boston’s #1 Gay Sports Bar) and Pour House. Fitz because of it’s location, and Pour House because they’re giant (22oz!), you get to pick the vodka (stoli red pepper!) and you get a $10 gift card when you purchase one before 10am. It practically pays for itself!

Compared to Lone Star/Deep Ellum’s drinks, however, those are just boozy tomato juice.

Technically Lone Star’s breakfast drink offering is a Bloody Maria, which means it’s made with tequila instead of Vodka–but Deep Ellum does the traditional Mary with Vodka and it’s equally as amazing. The reason Lone Star wins in my book is because the base price of the drink is a little less expensive ($9 vs $10), and for an extra dollar you get a snack with a pickled radish, a piece of sausage, *and* a little piece of cheese! Much better than a stick of celery or olive. It’s alcohol and a snack, what more could you want?

Drunken thoughts, sober realities throwback: Boston Midnight Marathon edition

Technically this can also be filed under the “random thing I’ve found on the internet” category, but this works too.

Boston Midnight Marathon

My partner and crime and I at the start line of the 2013 Boston Marathon

For those unaware with Boston’s marathon quirks, for the last 8 years a group of bikers have met in Hopkinton, MA and biked the marathon path at midnight.  I’ve been a fan of this idea ever since I saw BostonTweet post about it my freshman year of undergrad, but never really planned for it.

Last year the Saturday night before the marathon a friend and I were eating dumplings and drinking beer after failing to get tickets for spring breakers (which we had also appropriately pre-gamed). This friend was moving back to Hawaii after finishing his degree, and we were brainstorming his Boston bucket list. We joked about doing the marathon, as neither of us were in that good a shape. THEN we realized we could bike it.

Sunday morning came, and we went into overdrive trying to find a (cheap) bike rental and figure out a way to get to Hopkinton.  I found Crimson bikes, a Harvard bike rental service that was supposed to drop bikes off at the start line and pick them up at the finish line.  Next, I sweet talked a friend of mine with a car to drive us out to the start line around 10 o’clock.  We had two hours to kill, and eventually found shelter in a bank lobby.

We found our bikes, and after switching them around (the starting line what pure chaos) we were finally off!  It was cold, but exciting to be doing the marathon trail.  It was smooth sailing until we got to Chestnut hill, where some bikers went straight and others turned up the hill (heartbreak hill, to be exact).  Luckily a cop car had pulled up and asked what we were doing, and then proceeded to direct us towards the finish line.    After biking through the suburbs of Boston, biking into the city of Boston was exhilarating.  Once we got to Coolidge Corner we were so excited were were almost done, that we had done the Boston Marathon (kinda), and that we were going to be in our warm beds soon (it was about 3:20am by the time we finished).

At the finish line

At the finish line

For the next three days, I couldn’t sit down without being in pain.  While crimson bikes had delivered what they promised: they did not pick them up at the finish line.  That, and we ended up biking on fixed gear bikes.

Overall, it was a magical experience and I’m so glad I got to do it with one of my best friends.  Hopefully sometime in the next two years I’ll be running the marathon and he’ll be able to pick me up at the finish line!

 

The Beer Mile (or how I woke up covered in glitter with a hangover)

For those of you unfamiliar with the concept of a Beer Mile, let me explain it: everyone starts at the same time, you chug a beer, run 1/4 of a mile, chug another beer, run another 1/4 of a mile, and so on until you finish your mile and end up drinking 4 beers.

You get the idea (taken from google images)

You get the idea (taken from google images)

For some reason I thought that would be fun (and I could consume 48 fluid ounces of beer).  I was sorta right.

The theme of this beer mile (put on by the Boston Hash House Harriers) was glittery vikings, so I put on a glittery vest and headed towards the dock on the esplanade where this beer mile was happening.  Since it’s a part of Marathon schnanigans, there were all sorts of hashers and all walks of life. Some people watching the beer mile, some people doing the glutard mile, and others doing the I-am-literally-insane-four-loco mile (consume 2 four locos during the course of a mile).  I started strong, chugging a can of PBR and then running a lap around the hatch shell. Then, well, things took a turn for the worst.  I maybe got through a fraction of my next beer (thank God for spectators in need of more beer) before heading out for the next lap.  If that second beer was a labor of love, the third one was rough.  There’s no nice way to put it (once again, thank God for spectators in need of more beer).  The running wasn’t the hard part.  I thought it would be–but running with beer in my stomach is no issue for me now.  The issue was chugging shitty (but cold!) beer.

SOMEHOW THANKFULLY  I managed to finish, and I wouldn’t have been able to without the harriets (I think that’s what you call female hashers?) and they have my eternal love and adoration.     Then, during circle, another (very, very drunk) hasher decided I didn’t have enough glitter on and rubbed glitter into my hair and poured it all. over. my. person.

And that, dear readers, is why I woke up covered in glitter with a raging hangover.

 

 

Wine Wednesday: The Beat Hotel, Harvard Square

I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked Alan Ginsberg, Howl 

I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked
Alan Ginsberg, Howl


The other day  Off-Beat Charm and I ventured to one of Harvard Square’s most recent additions — the Beat Hotel.  My senior year of college I took a seminar class based on the Beat Movement, and feel in love with the vast cast of characters.

I don’t know what I expected going into the Beat Hotel, but whatever notions I had were blown out of the water.  What impressed me the most was the fact that this wasn’t your typical beer bar–but a wine bar.  I’ve yet to find one of these in Boston, and was so excited to try it out.   Drinks were your standard ‘real’ bar price, landing between $10 and $12 a cocktail.  The food, though a little pricey, was worth it.  We snacked on fries (fried in gluten free oil!), a ‘Dharma Plate’ and a deconstructed canoli. The wine was good too!  I had a cabernet-sauvignon and a red blend (half glasses), which were both only $4.5

Another plus side to the Beat Hotel?  Free *live* music.

The downside was I felt the atmosphere was a little… well… kitschy;  but in a good way!  The decor reminded me of an Anthropology, but that seems to be the owner’s style.

 

Tea Cocktail: Cool Cucumber Mojitos

David’s tea just launched their spring collection. All of them are great iced, hot, and teapopped. During our staff meeting, one tea stood out to me screaming “MAKE ME A COCKTAIL!” So I more than happily oblidged.

What’s fun about this tea,  cool cucumber,  is that it has honeydew melon and cucumbers in it, plus it’s a black caffeinated tea. The first thought (and what customers say when they taste it) is “This is like a virgin mojito!” which got me thinking, what will it taste like as a real mojito?

So during one particularly dark day in Boston, I decided to go for it. Just because it’s gross outside doesn’t mean it can’t be summer inside! I started cold brewing the cool cucumber in some light Bacardi rum for two hours, because that seemed to work well for the earl grey in gin. Cold brewing just refers to the steeping method where you steep tea in cold liquid. It gets out different oils and flavors and can sometimes taste better than traditionally steeped teas!

After steeping the tea I went about making a mojito as a recipe suggested. I tried making it again just winging it–it didn’t go too well. Don’t do that.

IMG_9452

Rum, Tea, Clubsoda, and mint (limes not pictured)

You’ll need

10 Fresh Mint Leaves
1/2 lime, cut into 4 wedges
2 Tablespoons white sugar
1 cup icecupbs
1/2 fluid ounces white rum
club soda
Muddler

Next

Place mint leaves and 1 lime wedge into a sturdy glass. Use a muddler to crush the mint and lime to release the mint oils and lime juice. Add 2 more lime wedges and the sugar, and muddle again to release the lime juice. Do not strain the mixture. Fill the glass almost to the top with ice. Pour the rum over the ice, and fill the glass with carbonated water. Stir, taste, and add more sugar if desired. Garnish with the remaining lime wedge.

(taken from allrecipes.com)

Overall the mojito was a success! AND CHEAP! I loved it, my taste tester loved it, and we had it with  Mexican food.

National Beer Day

While out grocery shopping yesterday, the boy found out that it was National Beer Day and insisted we celebrate.  Since the boy’s a little bit beer snob he walked right past Magic Hat (my favorite) to the fancy 22oz bottles.  We thought of going belgian and getting the lambic (because it was my favorite beer when I lived in Belgium), but he didn’t want something that light or fruity.  He doesn’t like stouts, so that ruled out a delicious oatmeal stout that was begging to come home with us.  We finally settled on a Harpoon 100 Barrel Series, the Brown IPA ($6).  

I hadn’t had this beer yet, and since I like IPA’s I was willing to try it.  Last year I took the boy to the Harpoon Brewery in Boston and we got to sample the director’s cut 100 Barrel Series (SO GOOD). Since the 100 Barrel Series is a limited series, something about letting brewers experiment with flavors or something, I figured it was better to say I’ve had it than not.  So we came home, ordered Indian Food (because who makes food after they go to the grocery store?), and cracked open our fancy beer. 

WITHOUT the food, I really enjoyed it.  It was hoppy, had a sort of medium mouth feel, and would’ve paired really well with s’mores or something chocolately and light.  With indian food–it was kind of sub-par.   It struck me as a heavier beer, and with spicy lamb vindaloo and chicken korma  it was not the right choice. 

Overall, I’d say it was worth the $6.  It’s 5.7% alcohol and 22oz, a worthwhile investment and a good way to celebrate national beer day!