Dee BrunAward Winning Author, Libations of Life, A Girls Guide to Life One Cocktail at a Time. Resident Cocktail’ista on The Steven and Chris show on CBC. Home entertaining columnist Toronto Star & Yourhome.ca. Cocktail Chef & Stylist, Menu Development, Home Entertaining Guru, writer, humorist, wife, mother of 4, TV Junkie, shoe-aholic, boarder line George Clooney stalker..hmm what else...I am old enough to remember making “Mixed Tapes” from the radio...My fave vacation spot is anywhere with a beach bar...and when I grow up I want to be Carrie Bradshaw from Sex in the City and marry George Clooney...IT COULD HAPPEN!
STUFF Here is where you will find FAB Recipes, Videas, Links and all around general FUN STUFF... Clink around...Cheers
10 ounces Vodka
4 ounces Triple Sec
5 ounces Raspberry Liqueur or syrup
1 L Cranberry/Blueberry Juice
1 L White Grape Juice
1 small tin pineapple juice
Fave Fresh Fruit
Make this fun punch up well before hand to save time. Add orange slices and fresh blueberries to the bowl. Be sure to have lots of ice for your guests and enjoy.
3 Low Cal Faves…
Drink Yourself Pretty!
Making Beer Sexy
Kitchen Sink Martini…
Cucumber Raspberry Mojito…
Cotton Candy Martini
Smokin Wasabi Caesar…
My Favourite Wines
My Fave Wine…
Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc 2010, Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand
Banrock Station, Unwooded Chardonnay, 2011
Astrolabe, Sauvingnon Blanc , Marlborough, New Zealnad
Santa Margherita- Pinot Grigio,
Jean Bousquet- Organic Malbec Argentina
RUFFINO- Riserva Ducale – Italian Chianti
Rosemount Diamond , Shiraz, Australia
Ravens Wood, Zinfandel, California
Terra Noble, Carmenere, Chile (like drinking velvet)
Pink- by Yellowglen
What She Said...
I woke up this morning feeling the most incredible sense of pride for my country and it’s people.
As a portion of it burns and it’s people run for their lives with only the clothes on their back. Like refugees in their own province.
As people lose everything and have to drive by their burning lives. Confused, scared and desperate to escape.
They do the unthinkable….
They stop…to help others.
They throw their own belongings to the ground to make room for those stranded on the side of the road.
The open their homes and businesses for strangers in need.
They walk for miles down a highway with a gas can while people are stuck in traffic asking ‘who needs gas.’
They fight a monster for hours on end, all the while knowing they have no home to go home to.
Almost 90 000 incredible people were evacuated from #FortMcMurray in less than 24 hours. With NOT one story of violence, looting or price gouging against their fellow man.
Instead they shared what little they had, made sure everyone had a safe place to sleep or a shoulder to cry on.
As a country we have won many medals, trophies and honors the world over and it always gives us a sense of pride.
But this…this situation…there is no prize here. No medals coming for these people. The real heroes don’t wear capes.
To the incredible people of Alberta and the entire country coast to coast, I Thank You. For reminding us all what it means to be an amazing and a true Canadian.
1977, 1980, 1983…I was 6,9 and 12 and used my allowance money t head to the theater to see what are, in my opinion, 3 of the best movies ever made. AS a kid I was a huge fan of the Star War series and at the time had no clue I would be able to relive that through my children two more times.
1999,2002,2005… The next three Star Wars installments arrived, although not my favorite in the series. Non the less, it rekindled my love for the movies and introduced the phenomenon to my eldest two children and started them on their Jedi journey.
2015 … My love for the Star Wars of old is once again renewed and my two youngest children, who of course we well on their Jedi journey to many rainy day Star Wars marathons. Got to experience the magic of seeing the Millennium Falcon hit warp speed on the big screen.
To get ready for May the 4th we thought about watching all the movies again but my 8 year son asked if we could have a Star Wars Lego video game marathon instead. Not gonna lie…this option would not be my first pick, I am not much of a gamer.
Instead we compromised with these amazing books from DK Books Canada.
These books are filled with really cool Star Wars knowledge, fun facts, mixed with the fun and sillyness if the Lego Star Wars Video game and cartoon characters. They were a huge hit with my crew and they sat for hours..yes hours…reading through them, laughing and chatting all things Star Wars and all things Lego…
I…poured myself a large glass of red wine and sat and enjoyed watching them …Be sure to check out DK Canada’s Heroes and Villains Boutique for more great titles.
To celebrate May the 4th Be With You…DK Canada has fun downloadable Star Wars activity pages for free. With coloring and trivia it is the perfect way to brush up on your Star Wars knowledge before the big day.
Of course we ended a fun day of reading, learning and playing with a tribute to the original masterpiece…
Looks like someone is already working on her Dark Side …
Thank you to DK Canada books for sending us such a great surprise …It was a huge hit!
Berry Berry Christmas
1 tablespoon simple syrup
1.5 ounces Vodka
-.5 ounce Cointreau
In a glass, combine blackberries, lemon juice, and simple syrup; lightly crush berries to release their juice. Add ice and vodka and Cointreau top with sparkling or soda water, garnish with berries.
-1 ounce white grapejuice
-1 ounce Blue Curacao
-1 ounce vodka
-1.5 cups ice
Add ice, juices and alcohol to blender and blend until smooth. Rim glass with icing sugar. Garnish with mint spring and peppermint stick. **Can also be made as a mocktail using blue juice and leaving out alcohol. **
Nothing to explain here…Pour and enjoy.
-2 ounces Gin
-half fresh tangerine
-1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
-1 tsp simple syrup
-3 ounces sparkling water
Muddle tangerine with a splash of gin and fresh lime juice. Strain into shaker and add the rest of gin, simple syrup and ice and shake well. Strain into martini glass and top with sparkling water.
Cheery Cherry Holiday
Simple mint cherry infused vodka..Or use Gin or rum, you pick your poison.
Keep in a jar in the fridge and use for anything. Add to a punch, serve on ice with tonic or soda water. Add to some orange juice for a Holiday Brunch..A must have for the holidays.
Be sure to clean the berries and mint well before infusing them into the alcohol.
-1 tsp fresh lime juice
-2 ounces white cranberry juice
Add all ingredients to a shaker filled with ice. Shake and strain into martini glass. You can rim glass with vanilla sugar for some extra bling.
Ice Breaker Martini
1 ounce Vodka
3 ounces prosecco
1/2 ounce thyme infused simple syrup
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
Add vodka, lemon juice and simple syrup to shaker with ice and shake well. Strain into glass and top with prosecco. Garnish with fresh berries and thyme sprig.
Deck the Halls Cocktail
.5 ounces Cointreau
1 blood orange juiced
3 ounces white cranberry juice
1 tsp simple syrup (optional)
Add all ingredients to shaker filled with ice and shake well. Strain over glass filled with ice and garnish with ornage wedge and rosemary sprig.
Sparkling Pom Pom
1 ounce Vodka
.5 ounce Cointreau
2 ounces pomegranate juice
1 ounce white grape juice
2 ounces prosecco or sparkling water
Add all ingredients except prosecco to a shaker filled with ice. Strain into a galss with ice and top with prosecco. Garnish with lime wheel.
Bacon Caesar ( perfect for Christmas Day)
Holiday Sangria(not just for summer!)
2 Granny Smith apple
1 heaping Cup Fresh cranberries
1(large) Bottle Pinot grigio
2 cups white grape juice
1 cup peach juice
2 sprigs rosemary
2 cinnamon sticks
Directions (best prepared the day before)
Add wine , alcohol and juices to large vessel. Wash fruit well, slice apples and oranges and add to sangria. Add rosemary and cinnamon sticks.
Berry Festive Shot
white cranberry juice
frozen berries your choice
Fill shot glass half full with cranberry juice, add raspberry liqueur to 3/4 full. Add a frozen berry then top with Cointreau.
At any holiday party be sure to always have FABOOSH non alcoholic options for your guests and a safe way for everyone to get back home.Happy Holidays! Party Safe! Cheers
I adore a good cup of Hot Cocoa ..good being the key word. Here are a few places you can get your hands on a FABOOSH cup..Cheers
The hot chocolate is made from Callebaut, the Belgian manufacturer of luxury chocolate and will be available in two options, ‘Nice’ traditional hot coco for $8 and enhanced hotel coco for $10. This Enhanced Hot Chocolate will be served with a selection of toppings and candies.
If you’re feeling naughty, spike it with booze for an additional $6 (which includes a shot of liquor).One Dollar from each hot chocolate sold benefits Philabundance.
Savor the holiday season with five indulgent hot chocolates from around the world with your choice of toppings and an added ‘kick’ at the Westend Bistro’s outdoor patio. Guests can sip on the Cherry Blossom which has a blend of dark and light milk Madagascan chocolates and is garnished with sesame tuple and spiked with Clear Creek Cherry Brandy. Guests can also indulge in the Westend Classique served with lavender infused premium chocolate garnished with whipped cream, orange zest, chocolate crumbles and spiked with REmy Martion VSOP Cognac.
Step off of the energetic city streets and into The Ritz-Carlton, Washington D.C. in downtown, a majestic environment steeped in the history, culture, and spirit of our nation’s capital.
Situated atop the Seawater Spa roof, patrons can ice skate with views of the Atlantic Ocean while sipping on spiked hot coco from the bar. Guests can indulge in Gurney’s signature spiked coco served with Corso chocolate, light cacao chocolate, garnished with a block of marshmallow, sprinkled in nutmeg and topped with a shot of vanilla-flavored vodka.
Situated on Montauk’s most pristine stretch of oceanfront real estate, this year-round spa destination is where you will find the serenity winter brings to the Hampton’s experience.
The Faceplant cocktail is a popular choice after a long day on the mountain. Served in a hot drink glass, the Faceplant includes infused bourbon, hot chocolate, cinnamon and is topped with whipped cream to warm the body up.
Served in a hot drink glass
1 1/4 oz of infused bourbon
Fill with Hot Chocolate
Top with whipped cream
Shake some cinnamon on top
Located in the AAA Four Diamond Teton Mountain Lodge & Spa, Spur Restaurant & Bar has established itself as the leading destination for apres ski and dining and offers numerous handcrafted Jackson-themed cocktails to choose from.
“I can drink way more beer before I am drunk.”
“I have a super high tolerance for alcohol.”
“I drink only white wine, it’s light and has less alcohol.”
In my , far too many to mention, years of working with and writing about alcohol and parties. I am sure I have heard every reason why someone can “drink more” and still be “ok” to drive. I have also heard at least 500 ways you can INSTANTLY sober up so you can drive home.
The truth of the matter is, none of these reasons or ways are true. People tend to forget that feeling “OK” to drive has absolutely nothing to do with, well “Feeling”.
How many times have you heard this one…
“Hey Bob you ok to drive?”
“Ya no worries I feel fine…”
Quite frankly, Bob is clueless. That is unless Bob has a super power and can feel what his blood alcohol level is.
In Ontario and the rest of Canada, the maximum legal BAC for fully licensed drivers is 80 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood (0.08). Driving with BAC in excess of 0.08 is a criminal offence. BAC levels are affected by many factors, including:
• How fast you drink. Alcohol consumed quickly will result in a higher BAC than when consumed over a long period of time.
• Gender. Women generally have less water and more body fat per pound of body weight than men. Alcohol does not go into fat cells as easily as other cells, so more alcohol remains in the blood of women.
• Body weight. The more you weigh, the more water is present in your body. This water dilutes the alcohol and lowers the BAC.
Amount of food in your stomach. Absorption is slowed if you’ve had something to eat.
A NOTE HERE…at just 0.05 BAC a persons vision may already be affected.
How much can I drink before I reach the 0.05 BAC limit?
The number of drinks consumed is a poor measure of BAC because of the many factors affecting your body’s ability to digest alcohol, such as weight, body fat, and how long ago and how much you ate. Factors like tiredness and your mood can also make a difference in how alcohol affects your driving ability.
Here are a few things to keep in mind and keep you and those you love safe.
A glass of wine white or red, a bottle of beer, and a shot of whiskey or other distilled spirits all contain equivalent amounts of alcohol and are the same to a Breathalyzer. A standard drink is:
• A 12-ounce bottle or can of regular beer
• A 5-ounce glass of wine
• A one and 1/2 ounce of 80 proof distilled spirits (either straight or in a mixed drink)
And for all those “How to get sober Quick” ideas…
Drinking coffee, sweating it out or a cold shower will NOT help a drunk person sober up. Only TIME can sober up a person. Alcohol leaves almost everyones body at a rate of about .015 percent of blood alcohol content (BAC) per hour.
So someone with a BAC of .015 can be sober in an hour while someone with a BAC of .15 would need 10 hours to sober up. This is true no matter your sex, age or weight.
REMEMBER … You can still have an over the limit BAC THE MORNING AFTER the party! Ride checks know this and are out working the roads at ALL hours of the day and night. Give yourself the proper amount of time to sober up!
To put it quite simply…If you plan on driving…forget all the math, science and biology mumbo jumbo you just read…Just DON’T DRINK…easy peasy!
Cheers and have a FABOOSH HOLIDAY SEASON!!
Party Safe xo
Merry Christmas? How do you make it through the holidays after the loss of a loved one?
This year my holiday spirit is, well less than stellar. Which does not bode well in my house since my husband is already on the naughty list for not being a fan of the holidays any year. When my cheer’o’meter is low, i can usually fill it up rather quickly. This year however, there is just nothing in the tank.
My family is dealing with loss over this holiday season. Unfortunately I have experience dealing with loss at this time of year. This will be my eighteenth Christmas without my older brother. I remember quite vividly how hard the first few were, Christmas was his favourite time of year. If ugly sweater parties were a “thing” when he was alive, he would of been the life of the party. He always was the life of the party.
It never gets any easier, it just gets different.
A few short months ago I lost my brother-in-law suddenly to brain cancer. By sudden I mean he was diagnosed on a Sunday and passed away the following Monday. No signs, no symptoms, no cure. He was 47 years old, husband, son, brother, father of two and my husbands only sibling. It was to state it mildly, devastating. Losing a sibling is not something I want to have in common with anyone.
At the time of my brothers death I had no children, I found out I was pregnant with my first child two weeks after his passing. This time there are teenagers and young children involved. Which means questions and a whole lot of them. In this time of “Festive Fun” there is also G.U.I.L.T, a whole lot of it.
“How can I smile when I just lost my dad?”
“How can I be happy when my brother can’t be here?”
“I can’t go to the Christmas party, I will bring everybody down.”
“Because Uncle Dave is in heaven does he know what Santa is bringing me for Christmas?”
Like I said, a whole lot of questions.
I am not a physiologist or expert in this field. I didn’t even really want to write this article. After all I am the “fun girl” and let’s face it, there is nothing fun about this. But it IS important, it’s important to share and know that you are not alone.
I turned to the only expert I know…GOOGLE… I read through a bunch of articles, tips, strategies and how t.o.’s. I then thought about how I have managed the holidays all these years with the feeling of loss, of something just not being quite right.
In my VERY UN-expert opinion. Here are my thoughts on how to get through the Holidays after a loss.
CRY …Cry whenever and wherever the hell you want. There is no RIGHT or WRONG way to grieve, EVER. I remember bawling, openly, at the diner scene in Christmas Vacation. Sobbing when the turkey exploded open because it was always a favourite movie of my brothers.
GIVE BACK… I think this is my favourite tip. GIVING truly heals, it will not only help heal you but it will help heal those you are giving too. If you don’t have time to volunteer, pay for someones order in the drive-through. Carry someones packages to their car. Let someone ahead of you in line. There are SO many ways to give on a daily basis…Do it all year round you won’t regret it.
BE SELFISH… I know…Kind of doesn’t quite work with tip #2. What I mean here is, take care of yourself. Get lot’s of rest, don’t try and do everything. This is a time when you really need to lean on these who love you. If the offer…TAKE IT!
Don’t SKIP it …This is important especially if you have young children involved. If there was something you did at the holidays when the person you lost was alive, STILL do it. They would want you to. It is also important to teach the kids that all the good things about that person did not die with them.
BE HONEST ..with yourself and others. There is no need to fake it here. You and others in your family are broken. There is a HUGE piece of what you knew to be so…gone. If you don’t feel like doing something, then don’t. But be sure to tell those around you why. Don’t keep it all in, let people in. If it happens to be the cashier at the grocery store who notices you openly sobbing as you pack your bags…then so be it.
The ultimate goal here is not to put on a “Brave Face” for everyone else. It is about spending the time with those you love and healing together. It’s ok to laugh, cry and get angry. You don’t HAVE to listen to carols or deck the halls. You DO however have to get up every day and participate in life. It just so happens that life around this time of year, is supposed to be a little more J.O.L.LY. If you can’t find the jolly, no worries…Start with the J…in time the rest of the letters will come.
Wishing you and yours a wonderful and J. holiday season.