Rose Gin Gimlet Recipe

I love a good cocktail—wine and beer will never disappoint, but there’s something extra fun about cocktails. Over the past year, I’ve been whipping up more cocktails at home, so when Nautical Gin asked me to participate in a blogger cocktail contest, I had to say yes.

I recently discovered Nautical Gin and have fallen in love with the brand. Nautical Gin is well-balanced with 10 botanicals and a hint of sea salt—yes, sea salt! This little ingredient provides a unique subtle flavor that sets Nautical Gin apart from other gin brands.

As any cocktail lover knows, subtle flavors pair well together, so I chose to make a delicate Rose Gin Gimlet for my submission. This cocktail combines Nautical Gin with homemade rosewater to create a delicious gimlet that’s perfect for Valentine’s Day, or any day of the year.
rose gin gimlet recipe

Rose Gin Gimlet

Ingredients:
2 oz Nautical Gin
1 oz St. Germain
1 oz rosewater
1/4 cup dried rose petals
1/2 cup hot water
1 oz simple syrup
1/2 oz lime juice
2 cups ice
Directions for Rosewater*:
Pour 1/2 cup hot water over 1/4 cup of dried rose petals in sealable jar.
Let sit for 10-15 minutes or until cool.
Strain out rose petals.
Keep rosewater in sealed jar for up to one week.

Directions for Cocktail:
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice.
Add 2 oz Nautical Gin, 1 oz St. Germain, 1 oz rose water, 1 oz simple syrup, and 1/2 oz lime juice to cocktail shaker.
Shake well and pour into cocktail glass.
Garnish with dried rose petals and enjoy!

* You can also use 1 oz of purchased rosewater

 
That’s it! The result is a light pink, slightly tart, delicate gimlet that smells like a bouquet of roses. The dried rose petal garnish floats perfectly for a beautiful display.
unique rose gin cocktail recipe
You can enjoy this delicately refreshing Rose Gin Gimlet anytime, but it’s especially perfect for Valentine’s Day. Who will you make this cocktail for?
 
Note: Nautical Gin provided the ingredients for this cocktail; all opinions are my own.

How to host a clambake in 10 steps

I spent this weekend wrapping up summer with a quintessential New England clambake. I had never been to a clambake before (or lobsterbake, which is really what this is) but thankfully the gracious hosts of this crustacean affair were old pros at the tradition of putting dying animals in a fiery hole in the sand.

I did manage to find the plans for the clambake and by a slightly amended version of my logic on becoming proficient in something I’ve never done before, I am now pretty much an expert. 
1. Find someone who is an experienced clambaker, attend their clambake, and steal their plans
Only the pre-planning phase is pictured below. The actual baking the food portion ended up covered in lobster meat and juice.  However, it is probably the most important part, as it involves intense physical labor and doling out responsibilities to people who will do the literal grunt work and set the stage for the rest of the clambake. 
Note: You’ll need a beach, a shovel to dig a hole, about 20 hungry people to help, no less than 30 rocks, a cord of wood, a ton of food (lobsters, clams, potatoes, corn), trays in which to cook the food, seaweed, a source of fire, tarps, a rake, and a hose. 
clambake plans
2. Enlist the free help of 20+ hungry people
After setting up the above and keeping a fire over rocks or something bring out the food and the trays in which your food will be cooking. Find the people who have come to eat your food and put them to work–there’s no such thing as a free lunch (or dinner)! 

3. Prepare the trays
Throw food and some seaweed in the trays. The seaweed will help to steam the food (it should be wet) so place the food in single layers on the trays.

lobster bake racks
4. Mitigate guilt
Toss any dead lobsters back into the ocean while singing, “Go home to your people, my friend!”.
5. Cook the food, working quickly
Again using the help of people, rake the embers over the rocks (following real instructions linked above or found elsewhere) and place trays of dying crustaceans over the searing rocks. Move fast, because you want to trap as much of the heat in as possible. 
This part is difficult to take pictures of so these were taken while taking the food out.
how to host a clambake

It’s helpful to have a system in place–one hostess of this weekend clambake gave people numbers assigned to tasks. I was on seaweed/tarp patrol and collectively threw seaweed over the trays and sealed the steam of the fire in with 4 wet tarps. 
6. Wait 1.5 hours, drink, relax, socialize
Put your phone down and really socialize.
7. Remove the cooked food
Enlist the same people with the same jobs. Reverse the order of how things went in.

lobster bake

Remove seaweed, enlisting the help of younger people who were too young to help over an open pit of glowing embers.

8. Take selfies with the food
You didn’t put all of that hard work in for nothing.

clambake

9. Eat the food, socialize some more
Optional: drown your food in butter.
lobsterbake clambake food
clambake

10. Celebrate
Pretend you didn’t just kill an entire family of lobsters, shoot off some illegal fireworks, and celebrate!
fireworks new england

how to be awesome on a budget

Whether you’re underpaid at work or just broke from the holidays, that doesn’t mean that you have to sit at home and eat ramen this winter.  Although some people would consider that totally awesome, it’s nice to get out once in a while, but it can be hard on a budget.  Naturally, I came up with a list of how I manage to have an awesome life while mostly sticking to a budget.

Get out of the house

The winter is cold and long but it doesn’t get any shorter by staying inside and you won’t feel awesome staying at home.  Go for a walk, experience new things, and just get out there!  You never know what you’ll find.

Surf the internet

Ironically almost the polar opposite of the previous point, but you can also do this outside of the house (at a coffee shop, perhaps!).  Websites like Facebook and Twitter are great resources for things going on in your area.  Local websites like Wicked Cheap Boston and Boston on a Budget have posts about great deals in and around Boston and there’s bound to be something similar in your city!  
 
I’ve been going to free fitness classes courtesy of Sweetgreen Passport, a movement to get people moving and shaking for free in 2014!  So far I’ve been to 4 of these free fitness classes, including a boxing class.  Molly at Wicked Cheap Boston just posted about these too!

Plan ahead

Make plans with friends in advance.  A couple weekends ago I went to Body Worlds Vital in Faneuil Hall with my fellow blogger buddies Kate, Jodi, and Rachel.  I got the tickets in advance so it wasn’t a super expensive day.
Making plans in advance means that you don’t feel the burn of activities on your wallet at once.  That Lady Antebellum concert that I wouldn’t spend $60 on now that I’m broke?  Thankfully, I already got tickets months ago before some unexpected expenses and what do you know–I now have a free event to go to tomorrow night with Kate and Jodi because I’ve already paid for it!

Find hobbies

Some hobbies are expensive, there are plenty that can be a ton of cheap fun!  I recently joined Social Boston Sports indoor volleyball league with people from my summer Waka kickball league.  At first, I balked at the $90 registration fee and then I did the math.  Breaking down $90 over 6 weeks is only $15/week, which is less than 2 lunches out at work.  Not to mention, you get 2 hours of playing time, unlimited laughs, and new friends. Get out there, bring your lunch to work and spend the money getting fit with awesome people who might be your new best friends!

Be consistent

Follow through is important in life.  If you sign up for events, go.  No one likes a flake and if you don’t follow through, you’ll lose invitations to awesome things.  Sometimes it’s unavoidable, but try to always follow through with what you say you’re going to do. Having a bad day and don’t want to go? Maybe your day will turn around!  Follow through with what you say you’re going to do in life and you’ll open doors.

Last night I attended a Cupcakes and Cocktails event with Blog and Tweet Boston at the Boston Center for Adult Education.  It sold out within hours and due to high demand, the organizer was inviting only people who hadn’t cancelled on a previous event.  I had a great time baking cupcakes and making new blogger friends!  Bonus: I got this adorable cupcake carrier and delicious cupcakes to take home!

Network

Professional, blogger, or personal.  Some times it might be a miss, but it’ll all be worth it when you make those few, or even one, connection that changes your life.  If all else fails, you’ll at least end up with some good stories.  Not to mention these events are often free.  If they’re not, there will usually be some free food or drinks!

Be a regular

If you really need that Starbucks, get a value card so you can earn points.  Reward your spending with frequent flyer miles or reward points to get free stuff.  If you like going to bars (who me?), become a regular.  Bartenders don’t give free drinks to strangers!

pinterest fail: kale chips

It’s no secret that I have a love/hate relationship with Pinterest.  If you’re not sure what I’m talking about read how I hate healthy things on Pinterest and that time I had another Pinterest fail.
Since I like to torture myself, yesterday I tried another one of those “This is healthy for you but super yummy” Pinterest devil recipes: kale chips.  I’ve never had a strong desire to bake kale and pretend it’s potato chips, but when I was placing my online grocery order the other day, kale was on sale and so I threw caution to the wind (and $2.50 out the window) and purchased a bunch, or bushel, or whatever the name of a random quantity of kale is called.
It came to me all fluffy and green and intimidating and I promptly threw it in the back of the fridge to deal with when I had the time and energy to devote to this new and not-so-exciting vegetable.  For some reason, yesterday I decided was the day that I was hungry enough to bake and ingest what I can only describe as the pubic hair of the vegetable world.
I followed one of the thousand Pinterest recipes that say the exact same thing–heat oven to 275, wash and cut kale, toss with olive oil, sprinkle salt, bake 10 mins, turn over, bake 10 mins, enjoy.  Easy enough, right?
WRONG!

What these Pinteresters fail to mention is that not only does kale not taste delicious, kale chips are the messiest vegetables on the face of the Earth.  Okay, so the kale chips weren’t horrible; they tasted like almost burnt, roasted kale.  Good enough to scarf down if you’re really hungry but not something that I’d pick over Fritos.

They do look pretty and healthy.

Taste aside, whoever had the brilliant idea of taking the curliest leafy vegetable out there and roasting them to a crisp must be smoking something.  Do you know what happens when you try to move, pick up, and eat a kale chip?  It breaks and little itty bitty pieces of baked kale go flying.  On the counter, in that tiny crevice between your stove and the fridge, down your bra–all over!  It’s like the glitter of vegetables.  Just when you think you’ve finally cleaned it up, bam! there’s more.

And storing these kale chips?  Forget it!  You’re more likely to snort little flakes of kale than getting a piece in your mouth.  Also since you’ve salted them according to the directions, that shits gonna burn.

At this point you’re probably rolling your eyes at my culinary skills and looking around for that dunce hat to put on me.  That’s cool.  Go ahead and prove me wrong.  I’ll be over here snacking on some Fritos and taking a multivitamin.

no officer, i haven’t been drinking

Happy Thirsty Thursday!
Ever wondered how to sneak booze into places?  Of course you have, otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this and we wouldn’t be friends because, come on now.
Aside from the obvious sticking a flask in your boot, flask in your pants, flask under your cowboy hat (this works really well), I’ve found these other contraptions that are mind-blowingly awesome and will make you wonder how you lived your whole life without them.
Cynthia Rowley is a genius with this amazing flask bangle that was pointed out to me today.  A flask that double as jewelry, sign me up!  The only issue is the price, which is pretty steep at $225 but I’m sure someone on Etsy will make a knockoff sooner or later. 
(hint hint, someone get on this)
(buy)
Another great invention is the Wine Rack, a bra that holds 25oz of your favorite booze concealed as a bra.  I’d imagine this might attract some weirdos with breastfeeding fetishes, but hey, that’s a risk that’s worth taking, right?
(buy)
For the man in your life, the Reef Dram flip flops have a flask in the heel, which is pretty freaking crazy.  The only downside is that you have to stand barefoot while pouring, but we all have to make sacrifices for the sake of the booze now, don’t we?
(source)
The Baggy Winecoat is another clandestine way to carry booze.  It looks like a purse but is a perfect receptacle for those bladder bags of boxed wine.  While it’s a bag that reminds me of the Coach hobo bag I toted around in 10th grade, the style might be attractive enough to some boozers out there.
(buy)

Do you have any great ways of smuggling booze?
Disclaimer: I am not condoning the smuggling of booze into places where outside beverages are prohibited.  Do not break the law.