{Now Closed} Giveaway: The Art of the Bar Cart and The Bar Cartist Tool Set

Giveaway: The Art of the Bar Cart and bar tools // stirandstrain.comAdulting is hard. Adulting is paying bills. But being an adult means you no longer can keep your booze on the shelf next to the cereal and red plastic cups are not appropriate when you’re having a date over. Enter the bar cart.

Giveaway: The Art of the Bar Cart and bar tools // stirandstrain.comBar carts are classy, and practical. And, if you’re like me, an excuse to change things up every season (or holiday. See here. Here. And here.).

To help with your styling, and to give you some drink ideas, Chronicle Books just released The Art of the Bar Cart. And guess what? We’re giving away a copy. Take a peek at some of these gorgeous shots! I kinda want one for every room in my house. We can all agree that a shower bart cart is, or at least should be, a thing? Right?

Giveaway: The Art of the Bar Cart and bar tools // stirandstrain.com Giveaway: The Art of the Bar Cart and bar tools // stirandstrain.com Giveaway: The Art of the Bar Cart and bar tools // stirandstrain.com

But wait! To help you with your styling endeavors, I’m also giving away a barware set from The Bar Cartist. The Stirred Gold Bar Set is the right tone for all of your upcoming holiday parties. It’s a little glitzy, but still reserved. The set contains a professional double jigger, cocktail picks, muddler bar spoon, hawthorne strainer and crystal mixing glass.Giveaway: The Art of the Bar Cart and bar tools // stirandstrain.com

So let’s all be adults and set up a proper bar cart, or even a little table and tray (that counts too), with a little inspiration from The Art of the Bar Cart and our holiday-ready cocktail set. Enter below and get up to 11 entries to win. Open to US residents only. Giveaway ends October 16, 2017. Good luck!

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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.

What You Should Be Drinking This 4th of July

And then George Washington took out his Margarita machine and said, “Let there be frozen drinks!”. Happy 4th folks!

The Blue Crush Tequila Swizzle // stirandstrain.com

The Blue Crush Tequila Swizzle

Frozen Negroni Cocktails (regular and watermelon)

Frozen Cucumber and Green Chartreuse Daiquiri Cocktail

Frozen Peach, White Pepper and Green Tea Daiquiri

Frozen Blood and Sand Cocktail

Peach and Tequila Frozen Cocktail

Frozen Peach, Rum, Coconut Blended Cocktail

Low Rent Cocktail of the Month: The Snowden

Gift Guide: Father’s Day 2017

Unless that tie rack comes with booze…think again.

Fathers Day Gift Guide 2017 // stirandstrain.com

 

For the bookworm Dad: booze books. For the stylish Dad: booze cufflinks. For the junk food Dad: beer and pretzel ice cream. For the outdoorsy Dad: a pocketknife to hand carve a muddler. Oh, and also a plaid flask (duh). For the goofy Dad: bourbon socks. For all the rest of the Dads: whisk(e)y. And you should probably throw in a Negroni finger stirrer because… well, your Dad knows a joke for that too.

1. Call Me Old Fashioned print 2. Coolhaus Beer and Pretzel ice cream 3. Rum Curious 4. The Bloody Mary Book 5. Bourbon socks 6. Cocktail cufflinks 7. Opinel pocket knife 8. Speyburn Single Malt Scotch Whisky 9. Gaz Regan Negroni Finger Stirrer 10. Plaid flask

 

Catch up on all the gift guides here!

Gift Guide: Mother’s Day at the Beach and a Giveaway!

Mom wants to be sipping cocktails on a beach somewhere. She does not want to hear about this guy you met on Tinder (or maybe she does? Does he have a job?).

It’s always last minute with you kids. Did you forget it was Mother’s Day Sunday? I did too. Oops. Let’s take Mom on a mini vacay this year. Bring the unbreakable wine glasses, some fancy napkins and a giant sunhat, because…. rosé all day. Throw in some tasty cocktails and let her lounge around reading about beach cocktails, while at the beach.

To sweeten the deal, you can WIN a copy of Beach Cocktails AND score a $50 gift card to Mouth.com to buy Mom some chocolate, or some booze. Probably best to get the booze. Just head over to our Instagram and tag your mom, or a friend, in the comments. Winner will be announced Friday at 8pm PST.

1. You and Yours Sunday Gin 2. Rosé All Day hat 3. St. George Spirits California Citrus Vodka 4. Corkatoo Corkscrews 5. Beach Cocktails book 6. Bendiware Unbreakable Glasses 7. Fruitlab Orange Liqueur 8. Champagne Napkins

Catch up on all the gift guides here!

Green & Gold Bar Cart Styling

It’s March. It’s almost spring. Let’s refresh that bar cart with a little smattering of green and gold. Lucky Charms cocktail garnish optional.

Thank your lucky (edible) stars we’ve been scouring the internet for some new bar cart items this month. First, skip the green beer and get yourself some green liqueur instead. Now that you’re adulting, a gilded bar cart is much prettier than a cardboard box. Next, grab yourself some equally pretty gold jiggers and a functional pitcher (for like, water or holding straws). And OK, yes, you can have ONE novelty glass. And a stir stick or two. And if you insist, some mint bitters for that adult Shamrock Shake you secretly want.

1. Shamrock Glass 2. Gold Cheers Stir Stick 3. Green Glass Pitcher 4. Gold Jigger 5. Edible Gold Stars 6. Mint Bitters 7. Bar Cart 8. Green Chartreuse

 

Catch up on all the gift guides here!

King Cake Cocktail

This post was made in partnership with Everclear. Recipe and ideas are my own.

The older I get, the more the traditions and holidays leading up to Easter get blurry. When I was a kid at parochial school, there was Lent, there was a day where we all got palms and some day where we all walked around with ash on our foreheads (this could have been the same day, I can’t remember now), and for what seemed like an eternity we were not allowed to eat meat on Fridays. I vaguely remember having a carton the size of an individual milk serving where we collected change to give to… someone during this time too but mainly went barren until my mom made us empty out our piggy banks to fill it. But then after all this we were rewarded with waking up one morning able to stuff our faces with chocolate before we even had our daily OJ. Score.

I don’t remember the exact time in my life when I learned about Mardi Gras, and I use the term “learned” loosely as I still don’t know all the intricacies surrounding this event, but I was intrigued by this parallel party during this season. Again, the ideas and customs are still a bit fuzzy, there’s a parade, beads, lots of drunk college kids, general overindulgence, and King Cake, where you bake a baby into dessert. Out of all these ideas I’ve tended to gravitate towards the cake because… cake; I just don’t focus too much on the baked baby part of it.

This month I partnered with Everclear again to develop a cocktail to celebrate with during Mardi Gras, and that made you think of the flavors of New Orleans and that special infant-hidden-in-a-cake cake. This cocktail is more on the sweeter side, it’s indulgent and a good fit for getting in all that excess before you need to cool off for 40 days (or if you don’t do that, hell, you can still party it up all the way through April drink in hand). The passion fruit and lemon juice started as a riff on a Hurricane and then I added in some almond and berry flavors to represent the cake. The Everclear is my neutral backbone for all the flavors and to give it that boozy kick.

And if you’re wondering why the green sanding sugar garnish, that and the purplish drink color also represent the green and purple colors of the King Cake. The sugar is optional, but for this party drink I’m pulling out the flourishes. Except for the baby. I’m leave that addition up to you.

Now let’s get mixing!

1 ounce Everclear
1 ounce Passion Fruit Juice
3/4 ounces Amaretto
3/4 ounces freshly squeezed lemon juice
3/4 ounces Cassis Liqueur

green sanding sugar for garnish

First, rim a chilled cocktail coupe with green sanding sugar. Then, in a shaker 2/3 filled with ice, shake for 20 seconds. Strain into the chilled and garnished cocktail coupe. Enjoy!

If this recipe looks familiar to you, you may have seen it next to a bottle of Everclear at your local liquor store (or package store! Who calls it that outside of New England?). 

What You Should Be Drinking on Valentine’s Day

Make someone you love a drink. I didn’t say it had to be another person.

The Foaming Pineapple Cocktail

Roses in the Snow

Róse Champagne Cocktail

Spiced Pear Fizz Cocktails

Sparkling and Spiced Winter Sangria

Electric Pink Fields

And to drive the point home…

Sex on the Beach Sailboat Cocktails

Valentine’s Day Bar Cart Styling

Turn down the lights, turn up the music, and put a little something sexy on… your bar cart.

A well stocked bar cart is essential for setting the mood. Sure, you’ve got the booze (ahem, maybe some chocolate whiskey too?), but don’t forget the accessories! Some glittering coasters and cups look awful nice against a roaring fire. And nothing says love more than hand squeezing some limes, except maybe some heart shaped drink stirrers? Want to go over the top? Perhaps you need a pink neon sign proclaiming your love (of cocktails) to hang over your freshly adorned bar cart.

1. Chocolate Whiskey 2. Glass Citrus Juicer 3. Blush Decanter 4. Hammered Brass Coasters 5. Gold Wine Opener 6. Neon Cocktail Sign 7. Copper Mule Mug 8. Feelin’ Tipsy Drink Stirrers 9. Beth Kushnick Bar Cart

 

Catch up on all the gift guides here!

New Year’s Eve Bar Cart Styling

Tiny bubbles…. or big golden bubbles. Whatever your type of bubbles, don’t forget to put some out on your bar cart this weekend. Here’s how we’re styling ours!

Gold? Check. More gold?! CHECK! We’re jazzing up our bar cart for NYE with a couple of glittery touches, plus, bottles and bottles of good champagne. Disco ball stirrers? Yasssss! Let’s put a stake in 2016 cause we are DONE WITH YEAR.

1. Pop Fizz Clink Napkins 2. Disco Ball Drink Stirrers 3. Brass Hand/Gun Corkscrew 4. Metallic Rimmed Champagne Coupes 5. Faceted Cocktail Shaker 6. Gold Wine Glass Numbers 7. Olympus Bar Cart 8. 2009 Louis Roederer et Philippe Starck Brut Champagne

 

Catch up on all the gift guides here!