Weekend Events: November 15 – November 17

From tubing on snow in Elysian Park to Ice Skating in Perishing Square to a Wine Walk in Burbank, we have got you covered as far as cold-weather welcoming events go in the city! Take a peek at these events, grab a friend, get outside, and celebrate the coming holiday season!

Friday November 15th, 2019
Snow Day LA Tubing in Los Angeles

 Snow in L.A.? Yes, thanks to Snow Day L.A., a tubing park located in Elysian Park. The wintry pop-up packs acres of festive features, with synthetic snow and snow tubing, and trees decorated with icicles, snowcaps and lights. Just remember: This is still Los Angeles, so expect something that sort of resembles a snowy winter and not quite a full-blown Alpine experience. (Sourced from Timeout.com, Photograph Courtesy: Snow Day LA)

Time: 6PM – 10PM

Location: Elysian Park, 835 Academy Road, Los Angeles, CA

Tickets: HERE

29 Rooms – Expand Your Reality Tour

The Expand Your Reality Tour is the latest 29Rooms experience from Refinery29 – a space where you’re encouraged to step into the art, wear the art, touch the art, and connect with others (and yourself) in the process. Created in collaboration with innovative talent, visionary artists, and your favorite brands, 29Rooms pairs the joy and play of exploration with the pulse of current events and culture.

Time: 1030AM, 130PM, 530PM, 830PM

Location: 4315 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90004

Tickets: HERE

2019 Bai Holiday Ice Rink in Perishing Square

The Bai Holiday Ice Rink Pershing Square offers the quintessential winter activity in the heart of beautiful downtown Los Angeles. Surrounded by art, lively activity, and the impressive city skyline, our outdoor ice rink lets you enjoy entertainment and ice skating under the sun and stars.

Time: 1130AM to 930PM

Location: Perishing Square – 532 S Olive Street

Tickets: HERE

Saturday November 16th 2019
Burbank Winter Wine Walk

The Social Event Of The Year is coming back to Downtown Burbank. At 4pm The Wine Walk will get started! You MUST be 21+ to join the wine walk. Your ticket will get you samples from Wineries and Breweries in your favorite Downtown businesses. Each guest will receive a tasting cup and a map of the participating tasting sites in Downtown Burbank. Each tasting site will have a designated area set up for Wine Walk guests to sample the amazing wines or beers! Wine tasting will end at 7:00 pm. As you stroll through Downtown, you will be surrounded by a winter holiday ambiance of live entertainment, beautiful holiday lighting and snowfall from 6:45 pm-8 pm at the Main Stage!

Time: 4PM – 7PM

Location: Downtown Burbank (check-in address given when purchasing ticket)

Tickets: HERE

Explore the Culinary Jewels of Downtown Los Angeles on a Walking Tour

Savor the sights, sounds and flavors of Los Angeles on this fun food tour. Your knowledgeable tour guide will lead you on a leisurely three-hour walking adventure through this extraordinary downtown area, sharing stories of the city’s early settlers, Hollywood’s heyday, architectural background and the transformation of L.A.’s culture and food scene. Along the way you’ll get to enjoy tastes from unique eateries, including the best bakeries, authentic ethnic restaurants and renowned establishments currently creating a buzz in the foodie universe — six stops in all. By the end of the tour, you’ll be able to impress your friends with your vast knowledge of the city and its hidden culinary gems.

Time: 11AM

Location: Sidewalk Food Tours of Los Angeles – 5454 South Olive Street, Los Angeles, CA 90013

Tickets: HERE

Los Angeles Opera – The Magic Flute Opening Night

One of Mozart’s most enchanting operas, this supernatural tale, accompanied by his fine score has enjoyed much success since its premiere in Vienna in 1791. A popular draw since the 2013/14 season, this production, directed by Barrie Kosky in collaboration with British theatre company ‘1927’, is back for 2019 to inspire and delight audiences of all ages with its heady mix of hand-drawn animation and live performance. Get tickets now to immerse yourself in the art that is the opera.

Time: 730PM

Location: Dorothy Chandler Pavilion – 135 N Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90012 

Tickets: HERE

Sunday November 17th, 2019
Water Lantern Festival

Los Angeles Water Lantern Festival is coming up on November 17, 2019! Voted #1 Best Cultural Festival by USA TODAY! Water Lantern Festival is a floating lantern event that is all about connections. Magical nights in cities across the U.S. include food, games, activities, vendors, music and the beauty of thousands of lanterns adorned with letters of love, hope and dreams reflected upon the water. As the sun begins to set on the evening sky, Water Lantern Festival begins to shine with the launch of the lanterns onto the water as we Light The Water together. Watch your unique lantern drift out into the water as it joins other lanterns carrying hope, love, happiness, healing, peace, and connection. It’s a night that you’ll never forget. Tickets are selling fast.

Time: 4PM – 9PM

Location: Whittier Narrows – 750 S Santa Anita Ave, South El Monte, CA 91733

Tickets: HERE

Autumn Festival

Delve into the arts, cuisines, cultures, and marine environments of Asia during the Aquarium of the Pacific’s eighteenth annual Autumn Festival. Autumn Festival highlights the traditions and cultures of Japan, China, Korea, and the Philippines through a weekend of learning opportunities and family entertainment celebrating the rich diversity of Asian and Asian-American cultures.

Time: 9AM – 5PM

Location: Aquarium of The Pacific – 100 Aquarium Way, Long Beach, CA 90802

Tickets: HERE

“ASSSSCAT” Comedy Improv Performance

Every Saturday and Sunday, the UCB franchise’s longest-running, most beloved showcase “ASSSCAT” starts when a base cast of the theater’s current top-brass—including founding UCB members Matt Walsh, Matt Besser and Ian Roberts—takes the stage. Then they introduce the surprise celebrity alumnae and friends who will be joining them (think Horatio Sanz, Ben Schwartz, Adam Pally). And finally, another special guest takes the stage, a non-improviser (think Flea, Cat Power, Rebel Wilson, Lena Dunham) who opens the show with a personal story, that’s deftly mined for laughs by the players. But you have to go to find out who’s there—that’s part of the fun. Looking for a cheap night out? Sunday shows are free, but seating is first-come, first-served, so be sure to arrive early. (Sourced from Timeout.com, Photograph Courtesy UCB)

Time: 7:00PM

Location: UCB Theater Sunset – 5419 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles 90027

Tickets: FREE! First come first served.

 

Out and About: Brentwood Edition

Those most familiar with LA will know that there are few areas as affluent as Brentwood with it’s quaint shops and lush greenery, it’s no wonder it ranks as one of L.A.’s most idyllic neighborhoods. Amongst the perfectly tailored lawns and architectural masterpieces is a day full of art, culture, sites, and bites.

Take some time to step outside your neck of the woods…

In the morning hours…

Mornings are best spent starting off with a perfect caffe au lait, in Brentwood there is no shortage of options. Stop by Caffe Luxxe and get your morning pick-me up within the historic Brentwood Country Mart.

Caffe Luxxe

The eatery picks and roasts their own coffee giving new meaning to hand-crafted. Select from freshly baked delights courtesy of Red Rooster Bakery and be on your way.

After your AM charge, explore some of Brentwood’s architectural masterpieces for a light dose of dream home FOMO.

For afternoon reprieve…

George Sturges House

Between the Hunt, Sturges, and Nesbitt house, you’ll have quite the day exploring these post-war artfully designed properties.  A Paul R. Williams design, the Hunt Residence was built in 1921 with elements of the Regency Revival style. The George Sturges house, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and built in 1939 features Wrights Usonian style.

The Getty Center

After geeking out on home design of the retro times, venture off to see a different style of art at the Getty Center. A wonder on the scale of both culture, art, and design, the 24-acre Richard Meier designed campus boasts panoramic city views and renowned collections. Once you reach your afternoon craving stop point then have a seat in their lush garden for a midday picnic. The Getty Center boast exceptional dining options and a plethora of seating choices.

Farmshop

If one prefers to head back into town for their afternoon meal, the Farmshop is the perfect destination. Founded by Chef Jeff Cerciello, the eatery is a staple of the Brentwood Country Mart. With imaginative recipes and locally sourced ingredients, its the best afternoon pick me-up.

Your evening adventure…

Skirball Cultural Center

Once, day turns to night, a show at the Skirball Cultural Center is almost a given. Just north of the Getty, the center explores heritage, culture and ideals through permanent collections, rotating exhibits, film screenings and live performances.

Tavern

Finally, we recommend for your evening conclusion to dine as locals do, at Suzanne Goin and Caroline Styne’s acclaimed Tavern. The destination restaurant features a tastefully prepared seasonal menu with a who’s who of patrons.

Perfect Recipes for Fall

Halloween is right around the corner and we’ve got the perfect recipes for your holiday get together! Whether you are having a gathering for the kiddos, friends over for some cocktails, or a more formal three-course meal. With these mouthwatering recipes your guests will leave with a full belly and a smile on their face! We put together a list of appetizers, entrees, drinks, and desserts! Pick and choose or mix and match for a Halloween feast!

Appetizers:

7-Layer Spider Web Dip:

Start your Halloween fiesta with a flavorful chip dip. Perfect for everyone, including the kids! The black olives and sour cream give it that spooky Halloween look.

 Ingredients:
  • 1 can (15 ounces) refried beans
  • A single packet of taco seasoning mix
  • 1 cup mild or medium chunky salsa (make sure it’s not watery)
  • 3-4 green onions, diced
  • 1 cup freshly grated sharp cheddar or colby jack cheese
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup sour cream, separated
  • 1/2 can drained olives, separated
  • 1 cup prepared guacamole
  • Tortilla Chips
  • 1 (10-12 inch) round plate, pie tin, or tart dish 
Instructions:  
  • 1 cup mild or medium chunky salsa (make sure it’s not watery)
  • A single packet of taco seasoning mix
  • 1 cup freshly grated sharp cheddar or Colby jack cheese
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 can (15 ounces) refried beans
  • 3-4 green onions, diced
  • 1/2 can drained olives, separated
  • 1 cup prepared guacamole
  • Tortilla Chips
  • 1 cup sour cream, separated
  • A (10-12 inch) round plate, pie tin, or tart dish

 

 

Charcuterie Board:

Give your guests plenty of options to snack on while dinner is finishing up with a charcuterie board. Make it a colorful autumn mix with cheddar cheese, black grapes, red pepperoni slices, green celery, red meat slices, and a little pumpkin to give it that Halloween pop.

 Ingredients 
  • 8 oz Italian dry salami sliced
  • 4 oz uncured Salame di Parma
  • 6 oz smoked prosciutto
  • 4 oz sliced prosciutto
  • 8 oz Apricot Cherry Cranberry Goat’s Milk Cheese
  • 4 oz pepper jack cheese sliced
  • 8 oz traditional French Brie
  • 11 oz fig butter
  • 8 oz 1000 day hard gouda cheese
  • 5 oz sweet and spicy pecans
  • 4 oz pumpkin spice pumpkin seeds
  • 8 oz sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 Granny Smith apples sliced
  • 2 Honey Crisp apples sliced
  • 1 bunch Concord grapes
  • 1 bunch Champagne grapes
  • 6 fresh figs sliced in half
  • 10 oz Stone Ground Wheat Crackers
  • 2 11 oz French baguettes sliced
  • 11 oz naturally flavored candy corn
  • fresh lemon juice as needed
Instructions:

 Assemble on a 20 inch round platter.

If assembling ahead of time, brush apples lightly with lemon juice to avoid browning.

Pumpkin Soup:

The perfect way to warm up on a chilly autumn night is with of course, soup! Soups are the perfect appetizer, they are light and fill your tummy up just enough to save your big appetite for the main dish.

Ingredients
  • 3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 leeks
  • 3 large Garlic cloves
  • 2 medium bell peppers
  • 2 1/4 lb. pumpkin
  • 1 1/2 tsp. chopped fresh majoram
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/4 c. frozen corn
  • 6 c. vegetable broth 
Instructions:

Heat olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add leeks and cook until very soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for about 2 minutes. Stir in green peppers, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook until peppers soften, about 8 more minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and cook until pumpkin is tender, about 30 minutes.

Main Course:

Cider Scalloped Potatoes with Smoked Gouda:

Potatoes are the perfect comfort food. Take one scoop and place it on your plate, take a bite and enjoy the crispy outside and moist inside of the potato, the apple cider adds just the right amount of kick!

Ingredients:
  • 2 tbsp. unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 c. milk
  • 1 c. apple cider
  • 1/2 c. chicken broth
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
  • tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 c. shredded smoked Gouda cheese
  • 1/2 c. shredded Jarlsberg cheese
  • 2 lb. Yukon Gold or Yellow Finn potatoes
Instructions:  

Adjust an oven rack to the center position and heat oven to 425 degrees F. Lightly butter a 10- by 2-inch round baking dish or a 8- by 12-inch rectangular baking pan; set aside.

Place flour in a medium-heavy saucepan; gradually add milk, whisking until smooth. Whisk in cider, chicken broth, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Bring mixture to a boil over high heat, whisking constantly. Cook for 1 minute more and remove saucepan from heat; set aside.

In a small bowl, combine Gouda and Jarlsberg cheeses. Arrange half of the sliced potatoes, slightly overlapping, in prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with half of the cheese mixture. Arrange remaining potatoes on top. Pour cider mixture over potatoes.

Bake 25 minutes. Remove baking dish from oven. Using a metal spatula, press down on potatoes. Sprinkle with remaining cheese mixture; return to oven. Bake until potatoes are fork-tender and the top is crusted and lightly browned — about 20 minutes more. Let stand 20 minutes before serving.

 

 

Pumpkin Baked Ziti With Sausage:

Ziti noodles, and baked? Sounds like a mouth watering combination. What’s more, sautéed in garlic, bay leaf, safe leaves, nutmeg, pumpkin puree, and red pepper flakes. Hungry yet? This rich medley of flavors is pretty amazing! Add sausage or go vegetarian!

Ingredients:
  • 1 pound ziti or rigatoni noodles, cooked to al dente
  • 1 pound sage sausage (can substitute for sweet Italian)
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 sage leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine (like chardonnay)
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 15 oz can pumpkin puree
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 350

Brown the sausage in a skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium high heat until the fat is rendered and the sausage is no longer pink. Transfer to a bowl and reserve.

In the same skillet, add the onion, garlic, and bay leaf. Cook until the onion is translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the sage leaves, red pepper flakes, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt / pepper to taste. Cook one more minute.

Add the wine and cook until reduced by half. The heat should remain to medium high. Add the stock and stir in the pumpkin puree. Mix until everything is incorporated. The pumpkin will thicken the sauce.

Stir in the sausage and transfer to a large bowl with the pasta. Mix until combined.

Transfer back to your cast iron skillet (or a baking dish) and top with Parmesan cheese. Bake for 25-35 minutes until bubbly.

Garnish with sage and parsley. Fried sage is good too! Enjoy this with a nice glass of white wine, preferably the one you used earlier

 

 Tex-Mex Lasagna:

 This tasty entrée is a great follow up meal to the chip dip appetizer; following the same flow of flavors, this lasagna will send your tastebuds on a savory ride!

 Ingredients:
  •  1 pound of lean ground beef/chicken/vegetarian meat
  • A 1 cup of frozen diced onion red and green bell pepper, and celery
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt-free chipotle seasoning blend 1 (24-oz.) jar mild salsa
  • 1 (15-oz.) can dark red kidney beans, drained 1 (10-oz.) can enchilada sauce
  • 4 cups (16 oz.) shredded Mexican four-cheese blend Toppings: sour cream, chopped tomatoes
  • 1 (10-oz.) package frozen whole kernel corn, thawed 16 (6-inch) fajita-size corn tortillas
Instructions:

Cook first 5 ingredients in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, stirring often, 10 to 12 minutes or until vegetables are tender and beef crumbles and is no longer pink.

Stir in salsa and next 3 ingredients. Cook 5 to 10 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

Layer 1 cup beef mixture, 2 tortillas (overlapping edges), and 1/2 cup cheese in a lightly greased 7- x 5- x 1 1/2-inch baking dish. Repeat layers once. Repeat procedure with 3 additional 7- x 5- x 1 1/2-inch baking dishes. Cover dishes with nonstick aluminum foil.

Bake, covered, at 350° for 30 minutes; uncover and bake 5 more minutes or until bubbly. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Serve with desired toppings.

Note: To use a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish, prepare recipe through Step Omit 4 corn tortillas. Layer one-third beef mixture, 6 tortillas (overlapping edges), and 2 cups cheese. Repeat layers with one-third beef mixture, remaining 6 tortillas, remaining beef mixture, and ending with remaining 2 cups cheese. Bake, covered, at 350° for 40 minutes; uncover and bake 10 more minutes or until bubbly. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

 

Drinks:

Blood Orange Blackberry Rum Punch:

This delicious treat can serve as a dessert, with a tangy kick to finish off your meal if you don’t have much of a sweet tooth. The ruby red blood orange juice, and blackberries give it that dark spooky Halloween feel.

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup chilled blood orange juice
  • 4 (12 ounce) chilled natural blackberry sodas
  • 1 cup rum
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 cup fresh blackberries
  • 1 blood orange thinly sliced
  • pansies to garnish (optional)
Instructions:

In a large pitcher filled with ice combine all of the ingredients. Stir gently to combine.

Add several blackberries and an orange slice to each glass and pour the punch into the glasses. Garnish with a pans if desired and serve immediately.

 

Spiced Warm Cider

What better way to ring in the holidays than with some warm cider on a cold evening? Garnish your drinks with an apple slice and a cinnamon stick.

 Ingredients:
  • 64 oz. apple cider
  • 6 chai tea bags
  • 2 Cinnamon sticks
  • 1 vanilla bean, split
  • 1/4 c. lemon juice
  • Apple sticks, for serving
  • Cinnamon sticks for serving
Instructions:

Combine apple cider, chai tea bags, cinnamon sticks, and vanilla bean in slow cooker. Cook on low 3 to 4 hours. Discard tea bags; stir in lemon juice. Serve warm with apple slices and cinnamon stick.

Good and Evil Potion

 If you’re in the mood for something cold, go with the good and evil potion. This cocktail is just as pretty as it is delicious!

Ingredients:
  • 1 oz. vodka
  • 1 oz. ApplePucker
  • 1 oz. Midori
  • 1 oz. triple sec
  • 1 handful ice
  • pineapple juice
  • Sierra Mist
  • lemon slice, for garnish
Instructions:

Combine vodka, ApplePucker, Midori, and Triple Sec in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake.

Pour the mixture into a cocktail glass, then top with pineapple juice and Sierra Mist. Garnish with a slice of lemon (optional).

Dessert:

Strawberry Ghosts:

Our most adorable treat on the list are these strawberry ghosts! This treat is as easy to bake as it is to eat! The kiddos will definitely have fun with these precious little treats!

Ingredients:
  • 2 c. strawberries
  • 1 1/2 c. white chocolate, melted
  • 1 tsp. coconut oil
  • 1/4 c. mini chocolate chips
  • 1 c. chocolate chips, melted
Instructions:

Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine melted white chocolate and coconut oil and stir until combined. Dip strawberries into white chocolate and place two mini chocolate chips on the top half of the strawberries for eyes. Place strawberries on prepared baking sheet and place in the refrigerator to harden, about 10 minutes.

Place melted chocolate chips in a ziploc bag and pipe mouths on the strawberries.

Let cool again in the refrigerator, 5 minutes. Serve.

Pumpkin Spice Cake:

 Nothing screams Halloween more than pumpkin spice, and in a cake?  Yes you read that correctly, a pumpkin spice cake! Alas, your wildest dreams have come to life!

Ingredients

Cake:

  • 1 and 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 15 oz. can pumpkin NOT pumpkin pie filling
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 and 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1/8 tsp ginger
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp real maple syrup

Frosting:

  • 6 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) salted butter
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tbsp real maple syrup
Instructions:

Prep: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9×13 or 10 x 15 pan with parchment paper or spray with nonstick spray.

Make the cake: In a large mixing bowl, mix eggs, sugar, oil, and pumpkin with electric mixer until just combined. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt. Add dry mixture to the wet ingredients in 2 additions, mixing well after each. Add the TBSP of maple syrup and mix.

Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. (It may have some moist crumbs on it – but shouldn’t have wet batter). Let the cake cool completely before frosting.

Make the frosting: While the cake bakes, make the frosting. Soften cream cheese and butter together in the microwave for 20-30 seconds. (See note if browning the butter). Cream well with mixer. Add vanilla, powdered sugar, and maple syrup and mix until combined.

Serve + Store: Frost the cake when cool. Use the back of a dinner spoon to make swirls in the frosting, if desired. Store leftovers, covered tightly, in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Make ahead tips: The cake can be made a day in advance. Bake as directed, and let it cool completely. Cover well with plastic wrap/foil and leave at room temp. Frosting can be made a day ahead too – cover well and store in the fridge. Let frosting sit out for 10 minutes before frosting so it’s pliable. If the top of the cake tears a little when you try frosting it, cover it and chill in fridge for 15 minutes.

Spider Pumpkin Cake:

This delicious dessert could very well serve as your center piece as it could a delicious finish to your meal.

Ingredients:
  • 2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1 c. good-quality cocoa
  • 2 tbsp. good-quality cocoa
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp. fresh-grated nutmeg
  • 3/4 c. buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 c. pumpkin purée
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • stick unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 c. dark brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 c. granulated sugar
  • 5 large eggs
  • Orange Cream-Cheese Frosting
Instructions:

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly butter three 8-inch cake pans and fit each bottom with an 8-inch circle of parchment paper. Lightly butter the parchment paper. Set aside.

Sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large bowl and set aside. Combine the buttermilk, pumpkin, and vanilla in a medium bowl and set aside. Beat the butter and sugar together in a large bowl, with an electric mixer set on medium speed, until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition, until the mixture is smooth and light. Alternately add the flour mixture and buttermilk mixture, blending well after each addition.

Divide the batter among the pans and bake until a wooden skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean — about 35 minutes. Cool the cakes in the pan for 20 minutes. Remove cakes and cool. (For cupcakes: Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Place cupcake liners in standard cupcake tins and fill each with 1/4 cup of batter. Bake for 22 minutes.)

Trim each of the layers. Place one layer on a cake plate and top with one third of the frosting. Repeat with the second and third layers. (To ensure that the cake layers do not shift, cut three skewers to 1/4 inch shorter than the full height of the cake and insert them before icing the top layer.) Refrigerate until ready to serve.

                 

LA’s Best Comedy Clubs

April is National Humor Month, but here in LA we can have a good laugh all year round. With famed comedy clubs like The Laugh Factory or the Comedy Store, there is no shortage of humor. So have a laugh today or any day of the week with our round-up below of LA’s best Comedy Clubs!

The Comedy Store

Location: 8433 W. Sunset Blvd., W. Hollywood, CA, USA

The Store was started by comedian Sammy Shore and his wife Mitzi, parents of Pauly Shore. At the original location on the Sunset Strip, the Belly and Main rooms feature lesser-known talents, while the Original Room hosts frequent visits from nationally recognized comedians. Many famous faces have graced the stage at The Store – Dave Chappelle, Chelsea Peretti, Gallagher, Judy Tenuta, Andrew Dice Clay, Leslie Jones, Andy Kaufman, and Chris Rock, just to name a few. As if your night couldn’t get any happier, they even offer discounted parking, which is virtually unheard of on the Strip.

Click here for more information.

The Groundlings

Location: 7307 Melrose Ave., Fairfax, CA, USA 

The Groundlings is an improv school and theater that boasts a trove of famous alums like Melissa McCarthy, Will Forte, Kristen Wiig, John Goodman, and Jim Rash – the list goes on. They offer totally improvised shows as well as sketches that have been practiced and perfected. Audience participation is integral to improv, so get ready to interact! But if that’s not your thing, hit up a Sunday show, where you simply kick back, relax, and laugh your face off.

Click here for more information.

 

The Hollywood Improv

Location:  8162 Melrose Ave., Beverly Grove, CA, USA 

One of the many great things about The Improv is that big names drop in all the time. Any night of the week, patrons are pretty much guaranteed a stellar line up, with the possibility of someone like Louis C. K. or Dana Carvey stopping by for a set. Check it out during the week, and make sure to show up early to hang out by the bar for Happy Hour. Nothing is better than half-priced drinks and a night of laughs.

Click here for more information.

The Laugh Factory

Location: 8001 W. Sunset Blvd., W. Hollywood, CA, USA

Los Angeles comedy and The Laugh Factory are synonymous with each other. An appearance by a vet comedian can be guaranteed on the bill almost any night of the week. Rest assured, the rotation of regular local comedians is sure to leave you breathless in your seats. Speaking of seats, they’re all pretty close to the stage, making it easy for comics to include the audience in their acts.

Click here for more information.

The Second City Hollywood

Location: 6560 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood, CA, USA 

Alan Alda, Dan Aykroyd, Stephen Colbert, Tina Fey and Keegan-Michael Key have all graced the stage at the Second City Hollywood, the L.A. spin-off of the original Chicago comedy team. Known best for their classes, SC Hollywood also offers structured and improv comedy shows. What makes them unique is their focus on creating a theater experience, whether it be improv, sketch, or even musicals.

Click here for more information.

The Upright Citizens Brigade-Hollywood

Location: 5919 Franklin Ave., Hollywood, CA, USA

UCB holds up as one of the best places to see improv and sketch in Los Angeles. Like many other clubs on this list, this place has spawned talents that have gone on to join shows like SNLThe Daily Show, and Parks & Rec. UCB puts no limit on who can enjoy a show there as all ages are welcome. Every member of the family can enjoy a show for less than $10 per person.

Click here for more information.

LA Eats of the Week: Game Day Bites

While you can always opt for a “Dodger Dog” at the stadium, sometimes game day has you craving a bit more. No fear, your local expert is here! We’ve rounded up the top rated foodie spots near Dodger Stadium so you won’t have to! Don’t waste time searching for where to grab a bite. Use our guide to sort through the food clutter so you can cheer on our team to World Series victory (or like as close as we can get).

Chinatown

Chimney Coffee House

Location: 1100 N. Main St., Los Angeles

Fuel up before the game at Amnaj Bholsangngam’s speciality coffeehouse. Enjoy breakfast combos like their Chimney Pancake Breakfast and Waffle Platter. The Belgian waffles are served alongside sage-black truffle pork sausage, herb roasted breakfast potatoes and a bacon-wrapped egg. Can it be game day all the time?

Burgerlords

Location: 943 N. Broadway, Los Angeles

A game day meal isn’t complete without something from the grill. Brothers Fred and Max Guerrero are serving up burgers steeped in tradition. Their father founded The Oinkster so naturally the siblings have found success with their grab and go window–Burgerlords. Bite into their double cheeseburger featuring thin, griddled patties crafted from chuck, brisket, and short rib. All orders come with a melted American cheese blanket, lettuce, tomato, onion, and thousand island dressing on a sponge bun.

Howlin’ Rays

Location: 727 N. Broadway #128

Howlin’ Rays started as a food truck run under the craftsmanship of chef Johnny Zone and his wife Amanda Chapman. The pair studied hot chicken straight from the source–Nashville–and it shows. Enjoy their speciality fried chicken alongside a buttered bun and cabbage slaw, pickles and spicy “comeback sauce”. If you’re catching a weekend game go for the chicken and waffles topped with Bulleitt bourbon syrup. Need we say more?

Echo Park

Ostrich Farm

Location: 1525 W. Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles

Ostrich Farm dishes out as your gourmet option for an early dinner or weekend brunch before the game. The menu frequently changes but features starters like salt cod croquettes or chicken liver mousse. Afterwards you can move onto entrees like the wild mushroom risotto and grilled Pacific salmon. If you arrive on the earlier side of the day your brunch options range between smashed egg with feta or smoked salmon tartine.

Brite Spot

Location: 1918 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles

Brite Spot has been an Echo Park favorite since 1949 with a makeover courtesy of former owner Dana Hollister in 2013. Now under new ownership, Brite Spot features new dishes sure to add some shine to your day. Menu options include the Fried Green Tomato Benedict and the Southern Decadence (buttermilk biscuit, fried chicken, bacon cheddar, pork sausage gravy, sunny side up egg and home fries).

Guisados

Location: 1261 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles

The renowned eatery is known for their homestyle braises served on handmade corn tortillas made to order from fresh ground masa. The menu includes steak picado, mole poblano, tinga de pollo and chorizo to name a few. If you can’t decide on which to try, their sampler plate features six mini-tacos you can mix and match.

Silver Lake

Alimento

Location: 1710 Silver Lake Blvd., Los Angeles

Inspired by Italy’s regional traditions, Alimento breaks the mold of not strictly adhering to them. Chef-owner Zach Pollack’s menu consist of small plates, pastas and large platters for sharing. For an Italian take on the Dodger Dog is their “Pig in a Blanket” made with mortadella, spelt pastry , brovada and stracchino.

Night + Market Song

Location: 3322 West Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles

A major hit in West Hollywood, the Silver Lake edition of Night + Market also delivers. Chef Yenbamroong’s adventurous northern Thai street food is served sharing style alongside sticky or coconut rice. Dine on gaeng khua pak boong (southern style coconut curry) or khao soi neua-mae sai (curried noodles with braised hanger steak).

MH ZH

Location: 3536 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles

A newer entry in L.A.’s thriving Middle Eastern culinary scene is Mh Zh (pronounced mah zay). The reasonably priced menu offers hot and cold options that showcase uniquely plated vegetable-driven choices. Enjoy dishes like the branzino alongside potato with charred lemon and greens in tarragon butter. For a dish on the cooler side Bub & Grandma’s Bread with herb techina pairs perfectly to their grilled beet and hazelnuts.

LA Eats: March Madness Sports Bars Edition

March is many things. Spring…Leprechauns…and for sports fans March Madness. With the highlight of College Basketball Season kicking off and our brackets breaking down potential winners one question remains. Where does one watch the big game? Read below for LA’s best sports bars to cheer on your team because this round-up is a guaranteed 3-pointer!

Clearman’s Galley

Location: San Gabriel, CA

San Gabriel bar and restaurant Clearman’s Galley is not only offering tons of TVs for catching all the March Madness action, they’re also doing a bracket that customers themselves can enter, with the winner earning a $200 gift certificate to the restaurant.

Rocco’s Tavern

Location: Pasadena, CA

With locations from Westwood to Pasadena, Rocco’s Tavern is obviously doing something right. The Green Street location in Pasadena is small but mighty, and for March Madness is doing limited happy hour deals starting at 9 a.m. Thursday for the early games.

Mr. Furley’s Bar

Location: Glendale, CA

Inexpensive cocktails, comfort food, and lots of TVs make Mr. Furley’s a natural place to catch all the college basketball action in Glendale.

Barney’s Beanery Burbank

Location: Burbank, CA

Barney’s Beanery is a staple mini-chain across Southern California. The places are always bustling with sports fans and casual drinkers just in for a nightcap, and the hearty familiar fare keeps everyone happy.

Common Space Brewery and Tasting Room

Location: Hawthorne, CA

Common Space is one of the more talked-about breweries in Southern California right now. The casual Hawthorne warehouse space is kitted out with lounge seating, communal tables, and a few well-placed TVs for catching the action. Everyone loves the beer too, of course.

The Fields LA

Location: Los Angeles, CA

There may be no better place to catch the NCAA tournament action than at the Fields, attached to LAFC’s Banc of California Stadium just southeast of Downtown. With multiple vendors to choose from, loads of TVs, and the upstairs Free Play restaurant from Tim Hollingsworth, this place has it all.

Hi Tops

Location: West Hollywood, CA

San Francisco export Hi Tops is now in West Hollywood, turning on the TVs for big night games and offering a variety of cocktails and beers in addition to some pretty awesome nachos.

Bludso’s Bar & Que

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Bludso’s is a must for any sports fans. The casual spot for brisket, sausage links, and drinks is wall-to-wall with televisions, and it’s not uncommon to find fans of different teams crowded together around the same tables, yelling at the action on the screens.

Busby’s West

Location: Santa Monica, CA

Busby’s is synonymous with Westside sports watching. The anchor bar has for many years seen fans come to cheer on their squad, especially during the busy March Madness tournament.

Beer Belly Long Beach

Location: Long Beach

Long Beach has really embraced the second location of Beer Belly. The popular comfort food and craft beer corner spot isn’t as rowdy as some other local hangs for watching the games, but the menu and design still make this place a must for locals looking to watch some college basketball.

 

Courtesy of: Eater LA

LA Eats of the Week

With all the hustle and bustle in LA, narrowing down the best places to grab a bite can be tricky. Rather then making your routine stop at Panera Bread, why not try something new. LA has more restaurants then there are Bird scooters. With that in mind we’ve narrowed down the best places to nosh this week.

Breakfast is the most Important meal of the day!

Here’s Looking at You

Location: Koreatown

While most restaurants don’t put too much creativity into their brunch menus,  chef Jonathan Whitener is bringing fresh ideas and energy to the table. Take for instance his coconut waffle with koji, blueberries, ume (Japanese salty plums), and smoked maple syrup.This dish is far more interesting than it needs to be, going above and beyond the brunch-time status quo. Respect the waffle. 

Pikoh

Location: Los Angeles, CA

The menu weaves across the hours with a mix of rethought American classics. From breakfast bowls with activated charcoal or a smoked salmon tartine with yuzu cream cheese. To lighter lunches like grilled tuna salads or hummus and steamed mussels. For dinner there’s a full bar run by lead bartender Jamie Clark and surprises like an all-vegan beet-based bao, or a throwback filet mignon atop wasabi mashed potatoes. Throw in a daily happy hour, and it feels like Pikoh really can do it all.

Lately

Location: Chinatown

Lately’s menu is an all-day savory jaunt, with their breakfast sandwich sporting an organic fried egg, gouda, and oven roasted tomato on an English muffin. They also serve biscuits, a soft scrambled toast, a heaping avocado toast, salads, breakfast bowl, and a country-fried steak sandwich.

Power Lunch

Urban Radish

Location: Arts District

Urban Radish, the healthy-eating oasis in the Arts District is the perfect lunchtime spot. The outdoor grill is hidden behind a row of water-circulating vertical planters brimming with kale and other greens. Look through the foliage to find one man and a stack of tickets. Skirt steak, salmon, chicken; it all hits the hot metal and gets served over healthy grains and greens to a slew of daytime diners. Yum! 

Tacos 1986

Location: Koreatown

 LA’s best new taco stand has landed a highly visible location in Koreatown. Meaning it’s the best time to stop by during weekdays. Ask nicely for the chicharron de queso con hongos, paired with the stand’s excellent mushrooms. The best part about Tacos 1986 is its accessibility, placed right in the heart of Koreatown. Located at a crossroads for anyone traveling to Hollywood or Downtown, South LA, or Mid-City. What’s better than a taco pit stop? 

KazuNori

Location: Los Angeles

With open seating and rapid rounds of sushi hitting plates, KazuNori is the place to find some of the LA’s freshest fishes. It’s not uncommon to find a long line, which can be surprisingly short thanks to the restaurant’s efficiency. Choose from three to six hand rolls, which are made in plain view. The chefs transform the sea bream’s tender flesh and shiny silver skin into an elegant and perfect hand roll. Order a Sapporo and watch the chefs do their magic. 

What’s for dinner?

Tartine Bianco

Location: Los Angeles

Newly opened, Tartine Bianco is a hot ticket dining spot. The chicken liver toast is an early stand out and quite possibly the most thoughtful dish. The base of the matter, a crusty slice of the restaurant’s famous bread, sturdily held onto the pretty pink liver, as well as dollops of kumquat puree and blood orange segments. Balance comes among the varied components, hitting the brightest of notes with just enough richness to bring it home.

Jame Enoteca

Location: El Segundo

Jame Enoteca is well on its way to becoming a new kind of standard for the city of El Segundo. The corner strip mall option makes all of its pastas in-house and keeps a cozy but refined sort of vibe. Of particular noteworthiness (though all of the pastas seem to be pretty delicious) is the off-menu occasional lasagna with assorted foraged mushrooms. Pair it up with some vegetables to start and maybe a glass of wine, and be well on the way to a very full and very relaxed time in the South Bay. 

Atrium

Location: Los Feliz

The chefs at Atrium have whipped up pristine dishes with flavors that are unique and strong, just the way Angelenos like it. The beef carpaccio, inspired by the chef’s love of carne asada, is topped with crispy potato matchsticks, a thick salsa macha, and avocado crema. Those crunchy, salty, and savory layers makes for fun eating, but one plate might not be enough.

 

Your New Years Eats of the Week

For this savory edition we’re rounding up the best places in the city of LA to dine 2018 away and brunch 2019 in! So if your more excited about five course menus versus full open bars then this is the list for you. But scroll and secure quickly, because NYE is a mere week away and reservations are filling up fast!!

Dine the Night Away!

Simone

DTLA

Nine-course Chef’s Table preview is $195/pp.

Majordomo

DTLA

Five-course Chef’s Tasting menu is $95/pp.

The Belevdere

Beverly Hills

1st Seating is $165/pp.

2nd Seating-Five course menu is $195/pp.

Fogo De Chao

Beverly Hills

The Fogo Churrasco Experience is $63.95/pp.

Hinoki & The Bird

Century City

Hinoki & the Bird

1st Seating-Four Course menu is $95/pp.

2nd Seating-Five Course menu is $115/pp.

Rosaline

West Hollywood

1st Seating-Three Course menu is $95/pp.

2nd Seating-Three Course menu is $105/pp.

The Henry

West Hollywood

Four Course Pre-Fixe menu is $75/pp with a la carte options available.

Gwen

Hollywood

1st Seating-Three Course menu is $85/pp.

2nd Seating-Four Course menu is $165/pp.

3rd Seating-Four Course menu and Champagne Toast is $195/pp.

Cassia

Santa Monica

Three Course Family Style menu is $135/pp with Vegetarian Options available.

Openaire

Santa Monica

1st Seating-Three Course menu is $68/pp.

2nd Seating-Five Course menu is $135/pp.

Felix

Venice

Four Course menu is $225/pp.

Five Course menu is $295/pp.

Vespertine

Culver City

Chefs Tasting menu is $350/pp.

Baltaire

Brentwood

Five Course menu is $250/pp.

Tavern

Brentwood

1st Seating-Four Course menu is $95/pp.

2nd Seating-Four Course menu is $125/pp with a Champagne Toast and Party Favors.

Providence

Los Angeles

Seven Course menu is $250/pp without wine paring, $350 with wine pairing, and $445/pp with premium wine pairing.

A.O.C.

Los Angeles

Four Course menu is $140/pp with $50 supplement for wine pairing.

Mirabelle

Valley Village

Three Course menu is $35/pp.

Bourbon Steak

Glendale

Bourbon Steak

Three Course menu is $105/pp with $60 supplement for wine pairing.

The Raymond

Pasadena

The buffet style menu is $175.00/pp and includes tray passed appetizers, buffet stations (9:00 pm to 11:00 pm), all-inclusive beverages (specialty cocktails, wine, beer and Champagne toast at Midnight).

Saddle Peak Lodge

Calabasas

1st Seating-Four Course menu is $95/pp.

2nd Seating-Four Course menu is $150/pp and includes Champagne Toast and Live music.

Rise and Shine to A New Year!

Animal

Los Angeles

Animal will be offering their regular brunch menu a la carte.

Casita del Campo

Silverlake

Your choice of entree for $17.95 with choice of Mimosa, Bloody Mary, or Margarita included.

Freedmans

Silverlake

Freedman’s will offer their regular brunch menu a la carte.

Castaway

Burbank

Castaway will offer their regular brunch menu a la carte.

Culina

Beverly Hills

Culina New Years Day speciality brunch menu is $55/pp.

Polo Lounge

Beverly Hills

Polo Lounge will offer their regular Sunday Jazz brunch menu for $95/pp.

Jon & Vinny’s

West Hollywood

Jon & Vinny’s will offer their regular Breakfast and Lunch menu a la carte.

Viale dei Romani

West Hollywood

Viale dei Romani will offer a courtyard buffet with a carving station, eggs, smoked fish, and more for $75/pp and optional $12/pp bottomless mimosas.

Kismet

Hollywood

Kismet will offer their regular menu a la carte.

Esters Wine Shop & Bar

Santa Monica

Esters Wine shop will offer a “Boozy New Years Day-Brunch” with a la carte options.

Huckleberry Bakery & Cafe

Santa Monica

Huckleberry Bakery & Cafe will offer the regular menu a la carte.

The Exchange

DTLA

The Exchange will offer their regular brunch menu a la carte.

The NoMad

DTLA

The NoMad will offer a prix-fixe New Year’s Day brunch for $50/pp.

 

 

 

 

Your Holiday Cocktail Guide

With Christmas just a week away, we know there is one thing on your mind! Holiday Cocktails!! Just as true as the spirit of Christmas, the “Spirits” of Christmas are your key to surviving Manic Monday with your in-laws. So check Cranberry Spritz off your list because have rounded up the best seasonal beverages to put you in a holly jolly mood.

Juniper Champagne Cocktail

Juniper Champagne Cocktail

The addition of homemade juniper syrup and fresh pine sprigs makes champagne feel even more festive.

INGREDIENTS
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup juniper berries, crushed
  • 1 bottle (750 ml) dry sparkling wine, such as Prosecco
  • Unsprayed pine sprigs, for serving
DIRECTIONS
  1. Bring sugar, 1 1/2 cups water, and juniper berries to a simmer in a pot, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat; let cool completely. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve; discard solids. Refrigerate 1 hour or up to 1 week.
  2. For each cocktail, combine 3 tablespoons juniper syrup with 1/2 cup sparkling wine in a glass. Garnish with a pine sprig; serve immediately.

Eggnog

Eggnog

There’s no substitute for homemade eggnog during the holidays! Our latest, greatest version combines silky custard with three types of booze — bourbon, rum, and cognac.

Freshly grated nutmeg offers a more delicate flavor and aromatic scent than the pre-ground variety. The eggs in both the base and the meringue are cooked, so food safety shouldn’t be a concern.

INGREDIENTS
  • 6 large egg yolks, plus 2 large whites
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • Large pinch of coarse salt
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 ounces bourbon, such as Michter’s or Maker’s Mark
  • 2 ounces dark rum, such as Appleton Estate
  • 1 ounce cognac
  • Unsweetened freshly whipped cream, for serving
  • Freshly grated nutmeg, for serving
DIRECTIONS
  1. In a medium heatproof bowl, whisk egg yolks and 1/2 cup sugar until pale yellow and thick, about 2 minutes. In a medium saucepan, bring milk and salt to a bare simmer. Whisking constantly, slowly pour hot milk mixture into yolk mixture.
  2. Pour yolk mixture back into saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until mixture is just thick enough to coat back of spoon and hold a line drawn by your finger, 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Pour mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl; discard solids. Let cool, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Add cream, bourbon, rum, and cognac; cover and refrigerate overnight.
  4. Whisk remaining 1/4 cup sugar and egg whites in a heatproof mixer bowl set over (not in) a pan of simmering water. Whisk until sugar is dissolved and mixture is warm (it should feel smooth between your fingers), 2 to 3 minutes. (For fully cooked eggs, a thermometer inserted into meringue should register 160 degrees.) Remove from heat. With a mixer on high speed, beat until stiff peaks form, about 5 minutes. Fold into eggnog.
  5. Pour into glasses (or a punch bowl); top with a dollop of whipped cream and sprinkle with nutmeg.

Cranberry Margarita

Cranberry Margarita

Margaritas aren’t just for summer! Cranberry simple syrup makes the frozen cocktail festive enough for the holidays.

Cranberry simple syrup gives this frozen cocktail a festive crimson hue — perfect for the holidays!

INGREDIENTS

For the Whole-Berry Cranberry Simple Syrup

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 8 ounces frozen cranberries (2 cups)
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lime zest

For the cocktail

  • 1 cup tequila
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
DIRECTIONS
  1. Make the Whole-Berry Cranberry Simple Syrup: Stir together sugar, cranberries, lime zest and 2 tablespoons water in a small saucepan. Cook over medium-high, stirring constantly, until cranberries just start to burst, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat; let cool completely. Refrigerate, covered, until cold, at least 1 hour and up to 1 week.
  2. Make the cocktail: In a blender, combine tequila, lime juice, 4 cups ice, and 1 1/2 cups cranberries and syrup from Whole Berry Cranberry Simple Syrup. Blend until smooth. Divide among 4 margarita glasses.

Daniel Webster’s Punch

Daniel Websters Punch

Massachusetts senator David Webster allegedly gave this potent punch recipe to a friend before he died in the mid-nineteenth century. Our iteration combines fruit with black tea, rum, sherry, Bordeaux, and Champagne.

Sherry, Bordeaux, Champagne, rum, and black tea meld with fruit in this knockout punch recipe that’s adapted from “The Steward & Barkeeper’s Manual” (1869). It can easily be doubled to serve a larger crowd.

INGREDIENTS
  • 2 black tea bags, preferably PG Tips
  • 12 ounces Oleo Saccharum
  • 8 ounces fresh lemon juice (from 2 lemons), plus 2 more lemons, sliced into thin rounds, for serving
  • 1 bottle (750 milliliters) Jamaican black rum, such as Hamilton
  • 1 bottle (750 milliliters) oloroso sherry, such as Lustau
  • 1 bottle (750 milliliters) Bordeaux red wine
  • 1 pineapple, sliced into thin rounds, plus leaves for serving
  • 1 bottle (750 milliliters) Champagne brut or prosecco brut, chilled
  • 1 orange, sliced into thin rounds, for serving
  • 12 star-anise pods, for serving
  • Freshly grated nutmeg, for serving
DIRECTIONS
  1. Bring 4 cups water to a boil. Remove from heat and add tea bags; let steep 10 minutes. Remove tea bags. Add oleo saccharum, stirring until sugar dissolves and mixture is translucent. Remove lemon peels with a slotted spoon; discard. Stir in lemon juice, rum, sherry, and wine. Refrigerate until cold, at least 1 hour and up to 1 day.
  2. When ready to serve, line the inside of a large punch bowl with pineapple slices (do not overlap). Fill one-third of the way with large ice cubes. Slowly pour tea mixture into punch bowl, making sure not to disrupt pineapple slices. Top with Champagne; gently stir to incorporate. Float lemon and orange slices on surface; sprinkle with star anise and nutmeg. Serve over ice.

Ginger Red-Wine Spritzer

Ginger Red Wine Spritzer

Fresh rosemary adds a lovely woodsy aroma to this fruity, bubbly Pinot Noir-based cocktail.

INGREDIENTS
  • Ice
  • 1 1/3 cups Pinot Noir
  • 1 1/3 cups ginger ale
  • 6 teaspoons cherry-flavored liqueur, such as maraschino or kirsch
  • Rosemary sprigs (optional)
DIRECTIONS
  1. Fill four glasses with ice; add 1/3 cup Pinot Noir and 1/3 cup ginger ale to each glass. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons cherry-flavored liqueur to each glass. Stir to combine and serve with rosemary sprigs, if desired.

Maple-Bourbon Cider

Maple Bourbon Cider

A pinch of cayenne pepper turns up the volume on this refreshing cocktail made of bourbon, lemon juice, maple syrup, and apple cider.

INGREDIENTS
  • Ice
  • 6 ounces bourbon
  • 4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • Cayenne pepper
DIRECTIONS
  1. Fill four glasses and a cocktail shaker with ice. To shaker, add bourbon, lemon juice, maple syrup, and apple cider; shake vigorously. Strain into glasses and top each with a pinch of cayenne pepper, if desired.

Vodka-Mocha Cocktail

Vodka Mocha Cocktail

Never choose between a dessert cocktail and a cup of coffee again! For the best of both worlds, shake up a shot of espresso with chocolate, sugar, vodka, and ice, strain, and finish with whipped cream.

Can’t decide between a post-dinner drink and a hit of caffeine with something sweet? This mocha cocktail should satisfy both cravings.

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 ounce chopped bittersweet chocolate
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Hot espresso shot (1 1/2 ounces)
  • 2 ounces chilled vodka
  • Ice cubes
  • Heavy cream
DIRECTIONS
  1. Combine chocolate and sugar in a cocktail shaker. Pour espresso shot over chocolate mixture; stir until smooth. Add vodka and a few ice cubes. Shake vigorously several times, then strain into a chilled martini glass. Spoon over top a few tablespoons of heavy cream that’s been whipped just until silky and thick; stir with a toothpick to create streaks. Serve immediately.

Adonis Punch

Adonis Punch

Serving big-batch drinks like this fruity gin-and-rosé punch at holiday parties is definitely the way to go. Guests can help themselves, and you can focus on hosting!

Float cranberry ice cubes for a more festive punch bowl — drop 1 or 2 cranberries into each ice cube mold before filling with water and freezing. This recipe comes from Sas Stewart of Stonecutter Spirits.

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 1/2 cups Stonecutter Spirits Single Barrel Gin
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate juice
  • 1/2 cup Simple Syrup, preferably cranberry
  • 1 750ml-bottle sparkling rose
DIRECTIONS
  1. Stir together gin, pomegranate juice and simple syrup in a punch bowl or large pitcher. Add ice cubes and sparkling rose just before serving.

COOK’S NOTES

For a cranberry-infused simple syrup, add 2 cups fresh or thawed frozen cranberries to saucepan with water and sugar before cooking. Strain the syrup once cool, and discard or reserve the cranberries for another use.

White Out

White Out

Freshly grated nutmeg and aromatic star anise give this creamy gin-based cocktail a flavorful boost.

Spices add a complementary note to most cream-based cocktails — grated nutmeg and aromatic star anise add flavorful dimension while also providing a visual accent in this recipe from Sas Stewart of Stonecutter Spirits.

INGREDIENTS
  • 1/4 cup Stonecutter Spirits Single Barrel Gin (2 ounces)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cream (3/4 ounce)
  • 1 tablespoon creme de cacao (1/2 ounce)
  • 3 to 4 dashes Jamaican or Angostura bitters
  • Freshly grated nutmeg, for sprinkling
  • 1 star anise, for topping
DIRECTIONS
  1. Shake together gin, cream, creme de cacao, and bitters vigorously with ice in a cocktail shaker for 8 to 12 seconds. Strain into a chilled brandy snifter glass. Sprinkle with nutmeg and float star anise.