Ever have a cocktail-loving celeb call over only to discover that your drinks cabinet is about as well stocked as Lindsay Lohan's library? Me neither, but the clever Brooklynites at Pop Chart Labs have created an infographic-like poster that teams up famous people from film and literature with their favourite tipples. From The Dude's White Russian to Senior Szylak's Flaming Moe, via Sugar Kane's Manhattan (and other folks that smarter folk than I will recognise), the poster includes recipes for each one. Pop Chart Labs aren't just about the cocktails though. They've also created clever info-packed prints that focus on Martinis, alcohols and, eh, cheese. The perfect present for that special someone who's going to stab you if you give them another damn bottle opener.
Fancying up carrots while making grown men gird their loins, the Karoto oversized parer is my kind of kitchen aid. Standing out as one of those why-didn’t-they-think-of-it-sooner gadgets, Israeli designer Avichai Tadmor‘s counter-top tool makes salad-worthy parings from carrots, cucumbers, courgettes and pretty much anything else you can fit into it. Whether or not you can use it when you lose your eyeliner sharpener remains to be seen, but anything that takes the soul-crushing tedium out of veg prep is good in my book. And by ‘veg prep’ I mean ‘cocktail garnishing’. Get the Karoto Sharpener from Design Boom’s store, €12.
Remember that scene in Pretty Woman when Julia Roberts, lowly whore that she is, doesn't know what cutlery to use for her starter...with hilarious consequences? It's a common scenario, even for those of us who don't grant strangers vaginal access for money, and one that the brilliantly named Placemat of Etiquette serves to rectify. Screenprinted with a blueprint for table manners, it's is all the more brilliant thanks to the fact that it's in German, and if anyone's going to throw some manners in us, it's de Germans. Available from Donkey for €15.95 for two.
So you've got fresh mint growing on the window, a fridge stocked with limes and a keg o' rum in the hot-press; all mojito eventualities are covered, right? Buddy, you couldn't be more wrong. Mint and lime are just the tip of the very tasty iceberg when it comes to mojitios these days and if you're going to bother making one, you should make it one to remember. Here are ten of the most monumental mojito flavours out there.
1. Cucumber and Green Tea Mojito.
We've discussed before the extraordinary thirst-quenching powers of the humble cucumber and this bad boy is no different. When not intimidating men, the cuc is found in the savviest summer cocktails (anyone for Pimms?) and the herby kick of basil turns the mojito on its head. Get the recipe from Cooking Stoned .
2. Rose Petal and Spearmint Mojito
Being on a bit of a rose kick of late, I can attest to the wonderfully ladylike way floral cocktails get you hammered. This pretty little mojito may appear all very sophisticated, but it's a bruiser at heart. Get the recipe from The Pleasures of the Palate.
3. Elderflower and Honey Mojito
Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries. But you, you flowered those berries and made this, the poshest of all mojitos. Visit A Beautiful Mess for the recipe.
4. Rhubarb and Lime Mojito
There's little as summery in the world as rhubarb and while I'm familiar with eating it (with a 1:1 ratio of sugar), drinking it is new to me. This changes everything. Get the recipe from The Arctic Garden.
5. Strawberry and Basil Mojito.
Strawberries and basil have been doing pretty wonderful things in our salads for a while now so it makes sense that we booze things up. If you haven't tried this combo yet, now - right this second - would be a good time. Get the recipe from The Endless Meal.
6. Pomegranate and Champagne Mojito
Pomegranate? Champagne? This is going to be a good summer isn't it? The bubbles amp things up a gear and the pom juice makes this cocktail feel dangerously virtuous. Deliciously, dangerously virtuous. Get the recipe from Peanut Butter and Peppers.
7. Lavender and Mint Mojito
Usually used as an aid for snoozing, lavender is a great flower for boozing too thanks to its deliciously deep flavour and kudos-inducing looks. The kick of lime in this recipe from Deco Tartelette helps balance things out, which can't be said for the 2 ounces of Cachaca.
8. Ginger and Blueberry Mojito
Ginger beer and rum has become my go-to intoxicant these days but this little puppy could be just the mojito to change all that. The blueberries are just the thing for livening things up. So is the rum. Get the recipe from Pure Provender.
9. Coconut and Mango Mojito
Take your taste-buds on a totally tropically trip and pretend that you don't have a bikini to squeeze into with this highly addictive coconut and mango mojito. Get the recipe from How Sweet It Is.
10. Cucumber and Coriander Mojito
Coriander (or cilantro, depending on how you say 'tomato') is an acquired taste but then so is rum so let's start acquiring with this cucumber based mo'. Get the recipe from Red Book Mag.
The rosiness continues in Style It Towers and this week I'm becoming a sucker for boozy ice pops. Everybody loves a popsicle and making your own spiked with last week's rose infused vodka is the grown up way of serving them up. This is high-impact, low-bother stuff; if you don't have molds, use shot glasses (like I did) and keep the fresh fruit content high for some seriously prettified pops. It's worth remembering that alcohol freezes at a much lower temperature than water so go easy on the hooch unless you want shot glass slushies (which actually sounds amazeballs). Here's how I did it, sucka's.
Forget spiking the punchbowl, the most retro way to get tipsy this summer is to booze up your ice-lolls. It's easier than you think; if you don't have a popsicle mold a shot glass will do the job perfectly. And once you've got some juice and hooch you've got the ingredients sorted. I feel a popsicle Boozeday Tuesday coming on, but until then check out these soozled suckers.
1. MOJITO POPSICLE What more could you ask for from an ice-loll than a yo ho ho and a bottle of rum? That's right, some lime and club soda. There's nothing as sunny as a decent mojito but freeze it and put it on a stick and you're set for a summer you'll never remember. Recipe from The Tiffin Box.
2. FRUITY WINE SANGRIRA ICEPOPS The clever folks at Pass the Sushi use paper cups instead of ice loll molds for these juicy sangria pops. I read once that a person can survive on fresh fruit and red wine alone. Let the diet commence!
3. WHISKEY APPLE SOUR ICE-LOLL Now we're talking. Give you're cherry popsicle some balls with a good hard shot of whiskey. I like how they think over at Endless Summer.
4. BLACKBERRY PROSECCO POPSICLE If you've ever made champagne ice-cubes, you'll know there's something deliciously fizzly about frozen bubbles. This blackberry and prosecco popsicle doesn't just look pretty, it tastes pretty too and can be made, as shown, in shot glasses. Another one from Endless Summer.
5. SPICED RUM AND KAHLUA POPSICLE Spiced rum and Kahlua? Be still my beating heart. If you're going to go to the effort of making adult ice lolls, you might as well make them veeeeeery adult. Recipe from Baker's Royale.
6. CORONA BEER POPSICLE Man-friendly and super refreshing, beer popsicles should be available from ice-cream vans. Just imagine a world where these got delivered to your block on balmy summer evenings. I think I just delicigasmed. Recipe from Baker's Royale.
7. CHAMPAGNE AND COGNAC POPSICLE Speaking of bubbles...cognac and champagne, known as a French 75, has always been the perfect cocktail for showcasing how incredibly rich you are. Turn it into a popsicle and you might as well serve it on gold unicorns with celebrity jockeys. Hmmm....Get the recipe from Reclaiming Provincial.
8. STRAWBERRY MARGARITA POPSICLE Frozen margaritas are one thing, but margarita popsicles? Gimme, gimme, gimme. If you can think of a better reason to crack open the tequila, I want to hear it. Get the recipe from She Knows.
9. GRAPEFRUIT, BASIL AND VODKA ICEPOP Cocktail coinesuers will know that fresh herbs are the one of the fanciest ingredients you can use in your mixes right now so a herby, boozy popsicle should impress even your most hipsterly friends. For extra marks, serve them in jars with moustaches. Get the recipe from Cooking Stoned.
10. IRISH COFFEE POPSICLE Last but not least a rather distinguished, after-dinner popsicle with a pissed up twist. Irish up your iced coffee with these cutesy little icepops and get your booze and caffeine kick in one go. Visit The Boys Club for the recipe.
Adding vodka to wine spells trouble. Delicious, hangovery trouble. I've never been a massive fan of wine cocktails (thanks to an ill-fated summer romance with a sangria jug a long time ago) but after receiving a bottle of white on the very day my rose infused vodka was ready, well, it would have been rude not to. It's a great match, especially with a dessert wine, and easy as shiz to put together so a nice way of perking up a
wine girls' night without resorting to bubbles. And you know what I say, bubbles before ho's.
Not long ago I spent a month distilling the virtues of using tea as a mixer in cocktails. From what I remember of the experiment, it went well. So well, I've decided to spend this month focussing on rose-tea flavoured vodka. The Tuesday Boozeday cocktail recipe will be along shortly, but for now let's focus on rosing up that voddie. I steeped my rose buds, which I got in a tea shop for about €5, for three days but even after ten hours it tasted rather rosy. Rose isn't the strongest flavour but if you keep the vodka in the freezer after it's infused (I just fill old jars) it makes amazeballs shots. Stay tuned for a month of rose infused vodka Tuesday Boozeday recipes; it's going to be a rose tinted summer.