Monday, November 28, 2011

Winter Drinks

The Frugal Hostess loves classic cocktails.  She's been collecting cocktail shakers and other bar ware since before she was old enough to drink, and 1920s cocktail culture has always been a lure.

Now that she's older and wiser, FruHo no longer knocks back seven gin gimlets and a pack of Camel Lights on a Saturday night, but she can still appreciate a good cocktail every now and then.  Here are a few variations on familiar classics that TFH whipped up in honor of the (totally not going to happen) forecast of snow.

This drink is a take-off on the traditional Old-Fashioned, but calling a New Fashioned made The Frugal Hostess want to scream.  Bourbon and rum in one drink is kind of crazy, kind of cool, so the cocktail is called "Winter Cruise to Jamaica."

Winter Cruise to Jamaica

1 oz bourbon
1 oz golden rum
.5 oz apple cider
2 teaspoons agave syrup
Dash bitters
Slice of apple for garnish


1. Combine liquors, apple cider, agave syrup, and bitters in a shaker with two ice cubes.
2. Prepare glass by filling with crushed ice and situating apple slice.
3. Shake liquids to combine and pour over ice.
Next is a variation on the Brandy Crusta, which is one of The Frugal Hostess's favorite drinks of all time.  Because winter often brings crustiness with it, this one's called the "Brandy Crusta-Fighter."  So gross-sounding, but so delicious-tasting.

Brandy Crusta-Fighter

1.5 oz brandy
.25 oz orange liqueur
.25 oz sweet vermouth
.25 oz lemon juice
Sugar for glass rim


1. Combine brandy, orange liqueur, sweet vermouth, and lemon juice with crushed ice in shaker.
2. Prepare glass by running discarded lemon wedge around rim and dipping in sugar.
3. Shake and pour.
4. Variations:
-    Maraschino liqueur is typically used instead of vermouth. 
-    Applejack is a nice substitute for brandy.
-    Turbinado sugar makes a nicely textured rim.
-    A sprinkle of nutmeg makes this drink very wintery.
The final drink was prepared tonight to help keep FruHubs happy as he rides out the worst cold ever.  It was whipped up on the fly, so there's no picture, but it is called the "Please Stop Snoring Hot Toddy."  It will help FruHubs endure the relentless punching and kicking that TFH will be dishing out tonight while he snores sleeps.

1 oz applejack
1 oz bourbon
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 lemon
3 oz boiling water
3-4 whole cloves
Ground nutmeg


1. Cover the bottom of a mug with honey.
2. Add cloves and lemon juice.
3. Pour 2 oz. of water over honey and cloves.
4. Add liquor; stir, melting honey.
5. Sprinkle with nutmeg.

Sweet dreams. Download the recipes here.  See other drinks from The Frugal Hostess here and here (and here, for summer).

A note on brands: FruHo highly recommends Bulleit Bourbon, Carpano Punt e Mes vermouth, and Appleton Golden Rum for these recipes.  These brands are unaware of her affection and have thus not sponsored this post.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Dear Plastic Surgeon: Shut Up

Take me and break me Here's something bleeped up that The Frugal Hostess received: a press release that contains a purported mathematical formula for beauty.  There are so many things wrong with this that she can barely begin to count them.

It says, "Designed with you in mind, Dr. Francis Palmer, a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon, created The Palmer Code. His code allows us to understand, through scientific methods, what is considered truly beautiful and attractive. Palmer breaks down the factors of beauty into a numbers game." [Emphasis added because, really?  Really?  "Science"???  Screw you, Francis Palmer.]

Here's la formula:

Your face represents 50% of your overall appearance.
  • The softer lines of an oval or heart shaped face are preferable for women.
  • Ideal eyes are well defined and free of extra skin or fatty tissue. Eyes are also the first to show signs of aging.
  • The nose should have a 140 degree angle between the nasal bridge and the forehead.  It should be sleek and unobserved, drawing attention to the eyes, lips and cheeks.
  • Lips are also crucial for women, and are most appealing when the top lip is 75% of the size of the lower lip. A full pout is most attractive.
The structure of your body equates to 30% of your physical features.
  • The most important part of your overall physical appearance is your upper-to-lower body ratio. Women should have an upper body (40%) to lower body (60%) average. This reflects a body with longer legs.
  • For those with larger upper body ratios, you can lower this percentage by simply tucking in your shirt and adding a belt, or even wearing a pair of high heels to give the look of a smaller/shorter upper body. Hair waisted pants, dark colors also give a lengthening look.
Skin is approximately 10% of your whole outer self.
  • Skin cancer is the fastest growing cancer in the U.S.
  • To keep your skin healthy, and to avoid pollutants and free radicals from causing serious damage, apply a UVA/UVB SPF 30+ sun tan lotion daily
Your hair is worth 10% of your whole look.
  • Getting bangs is an easy fix for any facial imperfections like a high forehead, full eyelids, wrinkled forehead, less-than-ideal eyebrows.
  • Bangs will frame your eyes and cheeks while hiding your less attractive features.

What kind of fucked up science is this?  The implication is, of course, that if you don't fit within this formula, you should make an appointment with a plastic surgeon to correct your deficiencies.

Ladies, please ignore this nonsense.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Strength of an Idea

The Frugal Hostess does not pretend to be a journalist, and she is in no way objective.

Around 1:00am on Monday, November 15, the City of New York began clearing Liberty Square to dismantle the Occupation of Wall Street. 

Clearing the park under cover of darkness and arresting six or seven credentialed journalists, along with up to 200 peaceful protestors, was a brilliant way to re-energize this movement.  (And trashing the belongings of all of those people and carting it away to the dump was a great idea for reinforcing the idea that private property is sacrosanct.)

“No army can withstand the strength of an idea whose time has come.” - Victor Hugo