Tequila You Softly

Before I begin, I’d like to sing the praises of my lovely friend, Arielle, who is a huge contributor to my writing motivation and daily inspiration for spreading love, light, and delicious vegan recipes across the land.  If you have not checked out my suggested links, I highly recommend you visit Love Them Apples, her vegan recipe/story blog to see the gorgeous and mouthwatering photos of her creations.  *sigh*  I lust after her pies.

This particular article was inspired by Arielle’s impending birthday.  She asked what a mindful, healthful person should consider as a special  birthday drink.  My answer:  A “real” margarita made with pure ingredients and fine tequila. Happy birthday, dear Arielle.  I hope your day is as magical as you. Continue reading

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Hosed for the Holidays (+ Hot Buttered Rum)

A few weeks ago I received this email from a certain veganfied, yoga-doin’, sweet-singin’ goddess I know:

hey, got any drink suggestions for a major american holiday that a lot of people spend with stress-inducing parents?

Funny you should ask…

So, You’re Going Home for the Holidays

Whether you go home or invite the fam to your place, winter holiday time usually means a lot of exposure to people you probably don’t see regularly, all tightly packed into hot living rooms that are thick with the goodly smells of spiced pie, turkey, whiskey, and the bittery-sweet tang of your own anxious sweat. Continue reading


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Alcohol for Academia

A good friend of mine is attending grad school at UC Berkeley.  She’s constantly inundated with ridiculously verbose educational texts and conversations with people who say things like this:

“This has been a slow, and also sometimes sudden, accretion of modes of attunement and attachment. A kind of attending to the textures and rhythms of forms of living as they are being composed and suffered in social and cultural poesis. A noticing that gropes from a haptic space in the middle of things. The objects of such a practice are things noted obliquely, as if out of the corner of the eye, but also, often, as punctums or punctures.”

It goes on, each sentence less readable than its predecessor.  Today I received a deceivingly casual message from this friend:

oh hey, i would like some alcohol advice for someone who’s stopped drinking for the most part but is wrestling with racial imaginaries and the reductionist views of binary/hybridity discourse.

I don’t know what the hell this means, but I do understand that this signifies my friend is having difficulty coping with her current environment, which is saturated with bureaucracy, hippies, overly lofty academic types, and an unlucky run of lovers who’ve toyed with her emotions in the cruelest possible ways.  I also interpret this to mean that, while she professes to hardly drink, she surely wants and yes, even needs to drink more. I know this because I know her.  This is a cry for help. Continue reading

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Gluten-Free Brewing; Also – A Contest for My Extremely Limited Readership

Tytron and I have been brewing our own delicious beer for the past several years, and I’ll tell you right now that my manfriend has a serious talent for creating amazing home brew from scratch.  I’m not just biased, either.  With very few exceptions (namely the Blowout Brew that scented our home with heinous gaseous emissions until I ordered an immediate halt to consumption) his recipes have resulted in delicious, well-balanced beers that rival any specialty, store-bought varieties I’ve tried.

The biggest challenge in brewing we’ve had so far has been in the gluten-free department.  To be frank, a girl can only drink so much wine and cider and hard liquor.  Sometimes, only an ice-cold, quality beer scratches that itch. Continue reading


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Fruity, Frozen, and Fabulous

Summer drinking has been on my mind almost constantly since I posted for Memorial Day.  The season offers such a fantastic opportunity for creative drink-making using beautiful herbs, fruits, and veggies that I’m having trouble focusing on a single place to start.  Today we’ll talk about FROZEN drinks specifically.  We’ll get to the fruit drinks and savory herbs later, and our summer conversation will culminate before Independence Day with a special set of patriotic shots and one of my super awesome top-secret party recipes.  Sound good?  OK, let’s go.

Creamy, frozen, ultra-sweet:  This category of cocktails is the boon of summertime, and you shouldn’t feel ashamed for ordering one of these chilly delights. The languid permissiveness of summer allows even the manliest of mens to throw his dudely reserve aside and give in to his more exotic cravings.  The nostalgia associated with hot summer days that smell of grills a-cookin’ and just-mown grass has a tendency to bring out the nineteen-year-old girl in all of us, and that fresh young lady should be appeased with a drink that’s fabulous, fruity, and practically begging for a maraschino cherry and tiny umbrella garnish.  So, put away the whiskey and dust off that blender, ‘cause today we’re whipping up some classic froufrou fare featuring rum, tequila, and vodka. Continue reading

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Stress Drinking

Recently, my fiancée and I made a cross-country move.  We meandered our way down the Pacific Coast from our former home in Olympia, Washington, visiting friends in California along the way, and eventually arrived at our new city-of-residence:  Austin, Texas.  We had precisely $1500 in our bank account when we arrived, largely due to the many pleasures and various alcohols of which we partook in the gloriously seductive city of San Francisco.  We had no jobs and only a few friends in Austin.

As if this, in and of itself, wasn’t enough to explain the onset of a committed drinking binge, a month after we’d arrived in the great state of Texas we were evicted from our temporary home when the woman from whom we were subletting neglected to pay her rent.  Please keep in mind I’m not asking for your sympathy; I’m merely setting the proverbial stage.

So, here I am in guest room at a friend’s house – and by “friend”, I mean a really awesome guy of whom I’ve become increasingly and exponentially fond who took us in when we’d only known him for three weeks.  I have no car, and the fiancée is working and living out of town for the moment.  I am residing in this guest room with a pissed off rabbit and an eight week-old kitten whose demonic personality is only just becoming apparent.

Stage is set.  Let the drinking commence.

Stress drinking is an important ritual that allows us to control something (the way we feel, the volume of alcohol we drink, the Universe – if you’re drunk enough you begin to believe this) when our own personal world devolves into chaos.  Whether your stress comes from a breakup, an eviction, a heavy workload, or just because sometimes life gets stressful even when everything is going right, stress drinking can be a useful tool in blowing off a little steam.

The guidelines, of course, conform to those I’ve previously mentioned:  don’t over-drink because the hangover isn’t going to help with the stress level, stay safe, don’t go getting STDs and DUIs and other unpleasant three-lettered acronyms for horrible things, blah blah blah, etc., ad nauseum.

Here’s the great thing about stress drinking:  If your friends know you’re “in the shit,” they won’t say a damned thing about your drunkenness.   Here’s the bad part:  Stress is liable to bring out some of your less charming personality traits.  Combined with drinking, this could be a recipe for disaster.  So while your friends are silently watching your downward spiral into intoxication, they’ll probably forgo mentioning late night bitch-fests and angry drunk proclamations such as, “When I get to work tomorrow, I’m going to tell my boss to suck on this shit!” as you push your jeans down to your ankles and wave your junk off the balcony of their apartment at 3am.  This could go on indefinitely, until cops show up or your friends begin receiving weird passive-aggressive notes taped on their doors by the disgruntled neighbor who lives next door with five cats, or until you step over the line and get so drunk you mistakenly pee in your friend’s girlfriend’s shoes because her blue Nikes looked like the toilet.

You may be going for the prolonged drunk that is born of beer consumption, or the quick one-two punch of a couple six shots of tequila.   No matter what you do, make sure you maintain your friendships during this time and try not to urinate in anyone’s shoes.  The supportive people in your life will be a much more viable long term solution to stress than incessant drinking.  But, still, drinking has its place.

As I finish up this bottle of wine I started at three in the afternoon today, I can tell you one thing:  I definitely feel less stressed, except that now I’m out of wine and it’s only six o’clock.  It’s important to be prepared when you start your little pity-fest, because once you begin sedating yourself, you won’t want to stop until bed time.

Oh, and what’s the ideal stress cocktail?  Scotch, of course.  I don’t even know why you asked.

I’ll be back before the 4th of July for more holiday boozing advice, so until then….

Happy Stress Drinking!


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Memorial Day Drinking

Ah, holidays: designated dates spanning the calendar year upon which it is generally agreed that we should gather with friends, family, and celebrate whichever traditions are appropriate for the holiday in question. Whether opening presents, spending a day at the lake, or setting things on fire, drinking has its place in nearly every holiday celebration plan.  So whatever it is you’re celebrating, for heaven’s sake don’t forget the hooch.

Summer holidays are especially geared toward drinking oneself silly – slowly or otherwise, and with a combination of high temperatures and outdoor activities such as barbeques and beach parties, your featured drink should be something light and refreshing.

Regarding Beer

If you’re serving beer stay away from heavy, dark varieties like bocks* and porters, and opt instead for crisp pilsners and lagers.  Hefeweisens (like Pyramid) and witbeir (like Blue Moon) have a light flavor but tend to be heavier in body, leaving you with a “full” feeling and making them a less ideal choice for sultry summer days than beers that fall into the pilsner and lager categories.  However, these can still make for a decent summer selection, especially when paired with lemon and orange wedges, respectively.

*Shiner Bock doesn’t count. Really.   

Our resident brewmaster’s top picks to accompany hot summer days and BBQ:  Beck’s, Stella Artoise, Hoegaarden, Grolsch, Shiner, Pilsner Urquell, Corona, and Bitburger; chosen for their light, refreshing quality and wide availability.

If you happen to live in a Trader Joe’s town, look for Simpler Times Lager.  At a mere $3 per six pack, a great full body and flavor, and 6.2% ABV, Simpler Times is a solid, all-around beer choice.  Careful, though – that 6.2% packs a big punch.  If you’re planning on sustained drinking over a long day, Simpler Times probably isn’t the right choice for this soiree.

The Specialty Drink Pick

Early in the summer when market stands are resplendent with big, sweet, luscious berries, my Memorial Day pick is, without a doubt, Hard Berry Lemonade.  Blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries all make for excellent pairings with that old-fashioned citrus standby, and nothing hits the spot on a sweaty day quite like the sweet-tart shiver of cold lemonade sliding down one’s gullet.  Add vodka for some extra kick, and you have yourself a party.   If you don’t want to make your own lemonade from scratch, I suggest starting with Newman’s Own, Florida’s Best, or Tropicana. They’re all well-proportioned and tasty, and inexpensive enough to make a party-sized serving.

Pook’s Hard Berry Lemonade

This recipe makes about 1.5 quarts, so you’ll probably want to double or triple this for a party. If you’re using premade lemonade, just toss it in the blender with the berries, add vodka, and strain out the seeds before serving.

  • 1 ¾ c sugar
  • 8 cups water (split)
  • 1 ½ c lemon juice, with zest of one lemon
  • 1 cup hulled berries
  • ½ liter (approx. 2 cups) vodka
  • Optional Tips – Fresh mint garnish is excellent.  Sub 4 cups sparkling water in place of still water for extra awesome.

Boil 2 cups of water and all the sugar in large saucepan for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add remaining water (if using sparkling water, only add the remaining 2 cups of still water at this step), lemon juice, and lemon zest. Let cool.

Add berries and lemon juice mixture to blender and blend well.  Strain out seeds and add remaining water, if any.  Chill. Serve over ice.  (Vodka can be added at any time after lemon mixture is cooled.)

This lemonade should be carefully consumed, as it’s easy to drink and dangerously delicious.  Be sure you have a designated driver and your holiday weekend will be super fun and awesome, if you can remember it.

Happy Memorial Day boozing!


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