Absolut Celebration

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Last night Lukus and I had the pleasure of attending the Absolut Vodka Orient Apple launch party. It was held at LA hotspot “The Beverly.”  The interior is gorgeous— just what you are looking for in a hot new club.  I wish I could have gotten better photos of it, but alas that was not to be… however, the party itself hit all of the high notes: open bar, thematic décor, great music.

If you have a chance to try the Orient Apple Vodka, I suggest serving it on the rocks with a splash of soda.

Here are some of my favorite photos from the evening:


It was fun to get out for the evening with Lukus!  Because he runs a club, sometimes he’d rather kickback in a more laidback environment.  But this was a great change of pace!

Derby Delicacies

I can’t believe I let the Kentucky Derby pass us by without writing a word!  Well that changes now.

For those of you unfamiliar with the customs surrounding the Derby, you should know that the millinery is almost as important as the horse racing.  So much so that there is as much time dedicated to people watching as there is to following the race!

Here are some of my favorite looks from this year’s event:

Photo: Churchill Downs, via KentuckyDerby.com

Photo: Weasie Gaines, via KentuckyDerby.com

Photo: Sam English, via KentuckyDerby.com

Another grand Derby tradition is Kentucky’s own cocktail, the Mint Julep.  Served in a silver cup, this beverage gets its kick from the state’s number one export: Bourbon (okay, I don’t really know if it’s the number 1 export- it just sounded better that way!).

The Cup:

Set of 4 Mint Julep Cups ($94), LaylaGrayce.com

The Cocktail:

Ingredients (makes 2)

  • 10-12 mint leaves (plus sprigs for garnish)
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 4 oz of Kentucky Bourbon
  • Crushed Ice
  • Soda water


  1. Add mint, sugar bourbon and ice to a shaker.  Shake vigorously.
  2. Split contents between two julep glasses.
  3. Top with soda water and garnish.
  4. Enjoy.

Oh!  And if you rather your cocktail be a dessert, check out this delicious recipe for Mint Julep Ice Cream!



Grown-Up Sweet Tea

I think I’ve mentioned it before, but for those of you new to North On Harper or prone to skimming my posts (I am under no illusions!), my husband is the GM of a bar/club.  We actually met back when we were both working in another restaurant/bar (he was a bartender, I was a waitress).  As a result, whenever we go to parties, people ask Lukus to make a cocktail.  And since we were talking about cocktail dresses yesterday, I thought it only fitting that I ask him to share one of his recipes with us!

I am excited for Lukus to share this recipe, as he actually won a competition based off of it.  The cocktail?  Grown-Up Sweet Tea.  It is always a party pleaser and sure to impress your guests.  I hope you guys like it!!!

Ingredients (per cocktail):

  • 2 oz Vanilla Vodka (we only had regular- it works, but vanilla is even better!)
  • approx 1 Cup brewed English Breakfast Tea infused with 2 tbsp Honey, cooled
  • 1 tbsp Honey, divided
  • 4 Animal Crackers, crushed
  • 2-3 oz Heavy Cream
  • Ice

Special Tools:

  • Martini Glass
  • Strainer
  • Pint Glass
  • Cocktail Shaker


  • Rim a martini glass with Honey (use about ½ tbsp of the honey).
  • Dip into crushed Animal Crackers.
  • Add Ice, Vodka and 2 oz of Tea/Honey mixture to the shaker.
  • Shake and strain into the Martini glass (fill until ¼ inch from the top).

  • In an emptied shaker (no ice!), add Heavy Cream and remaining Honey.
  • Shake vigorously.
  • Strain onto cocktail.
  • Serve immediately.


Playa’s Perfect Cocktails

Last night Lukus and I decided to stop by the new John Rivera Sedlar restaurant, Playa, for a drink. While the food (described as “urban Latin cuisine”) is supposed to be great- we were there for the libations.  The bar is impressive, full of small batch spirits and house made infusions.  Before we got there I was not planning on drinking (I was saving my calories for dessert!), but the cocktail list designed by master mixologist Julian Cox, quickly changed my mind.  We were lucky to have our friend Mr. Reggie Watkins make our cocktails and share some secrets. And YOU are lucky, because I am spilling them here!  Go ahead, invite over some friends and show off your mixology skills!  And if you are in LA stop by Playa and let the professionals make them for you!!!

Reggie, working hard behind the bar at Playa.

The Proposition

  • 1 ¼ oz Tequila
  • ¾ oz lemon juice
  • ¼ oz Bitter Honey (try your local specialty food store or order online)
  • 3/4oz Barolo Chinato (this is an Italian after dinner digestif)

These ingredients are combined and shaken, then strained into a glass.

"The Proposition"

A Oaxacan The Clouds

  • 2 oz Mezcal (known for its smoky falvor)
  • 3/4 oz lemon juice
  • ¾ oz agave nectar


  • -roasted tomatoes
  • -crispy sage
  • -salt
  • -Piment D’Espelette (a ground red pepper)

The beverage ingredients are combined, shaken and then strained over ice.  Then the tomato are skewered, sprinkled with the sage, salt & Piment D’Espelette and served over top.

"A Oaxacan The Cloud"

A New Year’s Eve Toast

Happy New Year’s Eve!  It’s the last day of the year and time to celebrate.  For the past  “Wine of The Week” NoH gave you a fantastic Rose Champagne.  However, maybe you want to take it a step further with your NYE beverage selection.  Well, you are in luck!  Assembled below is a selection of fantastic champagne cocktails.  These are sure to wow your NYE guests!  So check them out and have a great night!!!!


"Champagne Toast." Photo by Flickr user kawaiiyo99.

A Good Night Kiss:  This is one the most classic champagne cocktails.  The key is using Angostura Bitters (don’t worry, its available at almost any liquor store).  Perfect for a retro NYE party!

Siren’s Song:  This drink is vibrant in color and taste.  However be warned- you’ve got three types of booze going on here, so this is more potent than your average glass of champagne.  It is sure to make for an (ahem) entertaining celebration.

Lavender Champagne:  This drink is unique and chic.  The lavender flavor is delicate, but very lovely.  Perfect for your sophisticated party.  Garnished with sprigs of lavender it is sure to impress even your most stylish guest!

Cherry Thyme Prosecco:  The sweetness of the cherries and the aromatic qualities of the thyme create for a well balanced beverage.  This is a cocktail your guests will be sure to be talking about well into 2011!

Blueberry Soda:  Alright, so this isn’t a champagne cocktail, but a non-alcoholic beverage.  But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t pack a punch!  Perfect for your DDs, sober guests and any kids running around.  You may enjoy a few glasses yourself!!

Champagne in style

"Champagne In Style." Photo by Flickr user kawaiiyo99.