Crafting a Sweet Cocktail Kit

Crafting a Cocktail Kit with Truvia // stirandstrain.com

This post was made in partnership with Truvia®. Recipes and ideas are my own.

Halloween may have you thinking about those sweet treats filling up your jack-o-lantern buckets, but today we’re going to be talking about a different kind of sweetness…how we show a little sweetness to each other every day. And we’ve got a fun cocktail kit we’ll show you how to make when you want to give a little sweetness to a friend, partner, or yourself!

Crafting a Cocktail Kit with Truvia // stirandstrain.comWe’ve teamed up with Truvia® to find out “What motivates you to be sweet and kind.” Truvia and Upworthy.com are exploring what motivates individuals to be sweet. Some of the research might surprise you and they have a fun quiz you can take to find out what your sweetness personality type is too. There are four possible types: Purely Sweet, Reciprocally Sweet, Tactfully Sweet, and Graciously Sweet. Curious what kind of sweetness you are? Take the quiz and let me know! I am Graciously Sweet, which means I enjoy doing kind things with the goal of inspiring others to pay it forward. I admit I do love a teachable moment.

Crafting a Cocktail Kit with Truvia // stirandstrain.comSo, today I’m going to use this post as a teachable moment. I’m going to teach you all how to put together a simple cocktail kit to give to a friend, partner or yourself. This could be a thank you gift, a hostess gift, something to give for the holidays, or an extra special treat you can tuck away for yourself when you need a little self-care.

Crafting a Cocktail Kit with Truvia // stirandstrain.comTruvia Natural Sweetener packets now come with uplifting sweet phrases on each pack, the perfect little bit of sweetness to add to someone’s day. They are also a great size and amount to sweeten a cocktail with. Adding these single serve packets keeps everything neat and organized.

Ready to sweeten someone’s day? Let’s look at what we’ll need to create this cocktail kit.

Crafting a Cocktail Kit with Truvia // stirandstrain.comSmall box, tin, or basket
4 ounce amber bottle
1 ounce amber bottle
Whiskey of your choice
Aromatic bitters of your choice
2-4 Truvia Natural Sweetener packets
Label maker
Rocks glass
Mixing spoon
Jigger
Muddler
Index card and markers

For this cocktail kit, I’m putting together a Whiskey Old Fashioned recipe. For one reason, all the ingredients are easy to come by, and everything is shelf stable. Also, if your friend or partner is a novice when it comes to making drinks, this is super easy!

Crafting a Cocktail Kit with Truvia // stirandstrain.comFirst, find a container that will fit everything. A small box or tin works great. You can keep this simple by visiting a craft store or kitchen supply store to find small bottles and bar tools. Also, Amazon has lots of options. Label all the bottles so your recipient knows what’s inside and measure out the amount you’ll need for your recipes. You can choose to create 2 or more servings depending on the size bottles you get. Then create a recipe card with how much to measure from each bottle. You can optionally personalize the items too. Rocks glasses with initials are not hard to come by, and they show the person you went out of your way to find something unique. Finally, tuck the Truvia Natural Sweetener packets in the glass so they can see the sweet phrases on them. Package up everything and deliver to that special someone!

Crafting a Cocktail Kit with Truvia // stirandstrain.comI hope I’ve inspired you to show a little sweetness to someone in your life!

Cocktail Pin Collections

Cool Sh*t: Cocktail Pin Collections // stirandstrain.comThere’s a trend gaining momentum right now that has me feeling nostalgic, and maybe you’ve seen it pop up in your Instagram too: cocktail pin collecting.

Pin collecting always seemed akin to baseball card collecting, kids mostly, or adults geeking out on some fancy pins. But right now you can get your favorite tiki drink (or mug!!) in pin form, or favorite cocktail! You can even show your love of Angostura with a teeny tiny bottle pinned to your collar.

I’ve rounded up a few small shop artisans and a few more commercial makers of pins to highlight some really cool and unique concepts that are out there right now.

Are you into pins? How do you display yours? Or is this trend not for you? Comment below!

1. Gin and Tonic Pin 2. Aperol Spritz Pin 3. Tiki Ti Bar Pin 4. Angostura Trio Pin 5. Beer Pin 6. Rosé Pin 7. Zombie Pin 8. Alien Tiki Mug Pin

The Tiki Mug Collection

Stir and Strain's Tiki Mug Mondays Collection // stirandstrain.comIf you’ve been over to the Stir and Strain Instagram page lately (and if you haven’t, what are you waiting for?!), you might have noticed a colorful trend starting to appear down the page: tiki mugs!

I’ve been a long time collector of tiki mugs but what good is having a collection if you never take them out to admire them, right? So I thought I’d get a little personal and share some favorites every Monday until I feel like I’ve shared enough.

So, if you’re a lover of tiki mugs, soon-to-be lover of tiki mugs, or just get a voyeuristic kick out of looking at other people’s stuff (all you Hoarders show fans…I’m looking at you), then click on over to our Instagram, give us a follow, and oogle along with us every Monday.

And hey! It’s not just my mugs. I’m encouraging Stir and Strain fans to show off your mugs too by including the hashtag #sstikimugmondays on your posts so everyone gets a look!

Jet Set Prints for the Midcentury Home Bar

Art and Hue Cocktail Prints for the Jet Set Cocktail Life // stirandstrain.comForever on the lookout for ways to decorate my home bar and bar cart, I came across these new cocktail prints from Art & Hue recently and had to share.

Art and Hue Cocktail Prints for the Jet Set Cocktail Life // stirandstrain.com

Art and Hue Cocktail Prints for the Jet Set Cocktail Life // stirandstrain.comI, like many of us (as the Mad Men phenomenon has us believe), am enamored with that mid-60’s Golden Age of flying. The luxury, the glamor, the booze! These colorful prints from Art & Hue highlight bits of architecture from modernist airports (like LAX’s iconic shapes), as well as pop art styled air hostesses and in-flight services.

Art and Hue Cocktail Prints for the Jet Set Cocktail Life // stirandstrain.comThese prints got the spirit of that era down. And the best part? You can order custom color combos to match your home bar’s decor. Me? I think I’m a big fan of the cobalt and blush.

Online at artandhue.com/jetset

5 Quick Tips for Entertaining this Labor Day Plus what you should be drinking!

Frozen Negroni Cocktail Slushies // stirandstrain.com

Uh-oh! You’re reading this a few hours before you decide to throw an impromptu party and need help?! First, take a shot of something, anything. Your significant other’s fancy whiskey they’re saving? Sure! Some cheap vodka you found in the freezer? Yeah, that will work. Fireball shots? Um, Ok I guess. Your kid’s cough syrup. NO. Don’t touch that. They’re all going back to school this month and breed germs, you’ll need that. Put it back.

You know what I hate? Entertaining tips that are totally useless. As we celebrate a day of rest, I hope these tips will take some of the work out of your Labor Day party.

  1. BATCH BATCH BATCH!
    What’s easier than measuring out cocktails with your measuring cups? Nothing. Bring out a punch bowl–it’s festive. Or bottle some cocktails up if you have the time. The point is that you want to make being at the party easy on yourself, and your guests, and self service is the way to go.
    Sparkling Pomegranate and Cocchi Rosa Cocktails // Smoky Sage Punch // Salted Peanut Bottled Old Fashioneds
  2. Pre-freeze your frozen cocktails
    Making frosé this year? If you want to cut down on the amount of ice in your frozen cocktails, you’ll want to stick them in the freezer the night before. This goes along with batching your cocktails, but this step means less watered down drinks. And that makes you a good host.
    Frozen Watermelon White Negroni // Frozen Blood and Sand // Peach and Tequila Frozen Cockails
  3. Label what your guests are drinking
    If you’re making a few drink options (or even if it’s just one), save yourself from having to repeat ALL the ingredients in something a hundred times by writing out the name and ingredients and sticking it on/next to/on top of the drink. You can get fancy and make something on the computer, or a scribbled on index card will also work just fine.
  4. Have your booze delivered
    Yes, it may seem a bit indulgent, but I’m trying to create less work for you guys. There’s a slew of great delivery apps/services out there who will bring you booze. And some even bring you food too. You decide how much $$$ you want to shell out.
    Saucey ($10 credit for you guys too) // Drizly // Instacart (also with $10 credit)
  5. Invest in a large cooler or mini fridge
    Not all your guests are going to want cocktails so you’ll need beer and water and whatever else people drink besides cocktails. You know what’s great? Your guests have access to all the drinks they want at arm’s length. You know what’s not great? Having people rifle through your fridge. Get a cooler.

If you’ve got a hot tip, let us know! Leave us a comment or reach out to us online. We’re listening.

Jakobsen Design Cocktail Glasses

Jakobsen Design Cool Cocktail Glasses and Carafes // stirandstrain.comMaybe it’s my background in the fine arts, or my love of good design that drew me to these hand blown glasses from Martin Jakobsen. Whatever it was, when I first laid eyes on them I HAD TO HAVE THEM. The possibility of making creative drinks had me running to their site to get some, and the price point wasn’t too hard on the wallet either.

Jakobsen Design Cool Cocktail Glasses and Carafes // stirandstrain.comThey’re super delicate and very elegant, but that doesn’t have to stop you from making a cocktail with a creature from the black lagoon inside. If you’re looking to get more creative with your cocktail glassware these just might inspire your inner artist.

Want to see how I styled my Halm glass? Check out my Cucumber Seas Cocktail.

Cocktail Hour Playing Cards

Cocktail Hour Playing Cards // stirandstrain.com
Cocktail Hour Playing Cards // stirandstrain.comOur house is a house that loves games. Whether it’s a board game with just my husband and me, or a few rounds of poker with friends, or even puzzle time with the wee one, we always make time for fun (and usually with a cocktail in hand).

Cocktail Hour Playing Cards // stirandstrain.com

Cocktail Hour Playing Cards // stirandstrain.comI came across these Cocktail Hour Playing Cards that just launched on Kickstarter this week and had to share. Their playful blend of cocktails and characters will hopefully be finding a home in our living room soon!

Instagramming Some Cocktail Quickies

So definitely for sure I can promise a recipe coming at you this week.

 

gt-tikidarkstormymint

 

But until then, you should head over to my Instagram account where I’ll be adding some photos of quick drink ideas. This is pretty much my “Cocktail Quickie” section, which I’ve now deemed not enough content for the blog (watch that change in two months…). However, I see it more like, you want a cocktail, but you want it NOW and you don’t need to pull a jigger out and make a mess. I’ll tell you how to be quick and dirty.

I don’t know how to make this super easy for you to click a link and it makes Instagram pop up in your phone. Just type out stirandstrain and you’re there.

Also, if you want more fun things to look at check out EVERYONE ELSE WHO WRITES A COCKTAIL BLOG attending Tales of the Cocktail right now. I’m trying to keep up with them at home, but if I keep at it I won’t make it into work tomorrow. For everyone there, be safe, have fun, hydrate. You lucky SOBs.

 

 

 

 

 

Building a Home Bar: Part Two

We’re totally making progress here people!

If by progress we’re talking about taping off the space where the bar should go. In some respects this was actually a big step; both of us finally decided on the shape after going back and forth with charts and graphs of why the other person is wrong. I had much more grandiose ideas but two problems were staring back at me.

1. Our space for the bar is small. The room is big, but a giant portion of this is taken up by the pool table that we blew the budget on last year. It’s funny really. The room has a pool table, a tv, and half a couch right now. I feel like I’m in college when I’m in that room.

2. My husband still has to build the bar. So no rounded marble tops.

Yes. Those are Presidents of the United States dressed up as pimps on our cute little wine fridge.

And so now we just need to come up with wood types, learn to make dovetail joints, and buy a power sander (I’m actually looking forward to that) among other things.

I started a board on Pinterest to keep ideas in for the project. Unfortunately it’s just becoming a catch-all for awesome bottle openers and glasses I want. You can check that out here Follow My Bar on Pinterest

As always, stayed tuned for updates. I have some awesome cocktails with tarragon I’ve been drinking lately. And apparently, my husband poking his head over my shoulder, just mentioned that he’s not so sure about the measurements for the bar. So there’s that.

Building a Home Bar: The Prequel

I’m just going to go ahead and file this under the “Clever Ideas” category.

Let me roll back a year and fill everyone in on how this came about. Last year we had some awful rains in L.A. and we noticed that there were some bubbles forming in the walls on one side of the house. And then we had more rain. And then suddenly the windows looked like they were going to fall out. This wasn’t a slow progression either. This was, on Monday there were a couple of bubbles in the plaster and on Wednesday THE FUCKING WINDOWS ARE GOING TO FALL OUT OF THE WALL CALL THE HOME INSURANCE NOW. Turns out part of our roof had flown off and water had been leaking in and 2 months later we gutted the entire downstairs and now we decided hey let’s put a bar down in there.

Present day. That was November when we finished up putting the flooring in and after having nonstop construction guys in our house from 6am to 7pm at night. We needed a break. Apparently that break was going to last for 7 months. And then my husband spoke up out of the blue that we could do it ourselves the other day. Part of the reason for building a bar ourselves is that there was nothing on the market we liked, and also, prices wildly shot off into areas neither of us could comprehend spending any money on. Both of us consider ourselves to be pretty handy. My dad does/makes cabinetry for a living and I have 4 years of a fine arts education behind me, long behind me but still visible in that distance. And also, I can use a bandsaw. This Old House was, and still is, a favorite show of mine.

So here is the space. To any of our friends who haven’t been downstairs since the construction, this used to be the kitchenette area. And yes, we still need to get a 5th bulb for that light.

Maybe putting this out here will kick start us into plowing full speed into the project. Or it will be a reminder a year from now that we broke down and spent money on a bar and boy, what the hell were we thinking….