Gin is In

gin

“It’s cheap…It’s gross…It’s for old people…It’s too dry.” You guys have no idea how many times I have heard those statements about my beloved gin. Just ask the bartender at my favorite dive bar and she’ll tell you how near and dear to my heart gin is. While  whiskey and bourbons are all the rage right now, gin should be what you’re ordering at the bar. Unlike it’s fun cousin tequila, gin is a little trickier to drink. You can’t just take a shot and expect to have a good time  (well you can, but I wouldn’t advise it).

    • You can technically take shots of anything, but do not take shots of gin. Gin is meant to be mixed. Some purist gin hipsters might insist you sip on gin like you would a bourbon, but I’ll stick to my gin cocktails.
    • No two gins are alike. While the base of gin is the juniper berry, there are different botanicals added depending on the brand. For example, Hendrick’s will give you a cucumber and rose flavor, while Bombay Sapphire East will have hints of citrus and pepper. Knowing your gin will make for better cocktails.
    • Gin and tonics originated in the British Colonies. The quinine in tonic water helped combat malaria, and gin was added for flavoring and to help combat scurvy. Knowing it was used as “medicine” kind of makes me feel better about drinking 2 gin and tonics on a Wednesday.
    • Bathtub gin originated during prohibition, and that’s how gin gained its negative reputation. Bathtub gin could hardly be considered gin, containing mostly methanol, and consumption of bathtub gin sometimes lead to death and blindness.
    • Martinis are traditionally made with gin, however James Bond popularized the vodka martini.

Sugary drinks and beer make you bloat, this is common knowledge. I may be biased, but g&t’s never give me a hangover, and I hardly feel bloated when I drink (good) gin. This is perfect for a night out when you’re in that tight dress and don’t want to look beer bloated or for anyone on a diet.


My go-to gin cocktails to order at a bar:
– Tom Collins – Negroni – Gin Gimlet – Gin and Tonic – 

If you’ve been reluctant to order gin at a bar, my twist on the classic gin and tonic is the perfect drink to make at home. It’s simple to make, delicious and refreshing.

 Ingredients:
-Hendrick’s gin (Hendrick’s works best with the cucumber flavor)
-1 cucumber (peeled and sliced)

-tonic water  (Q tonic water is my personal favorite)
-lime wedges
-ice
Place a few cucumber slices in your glass and muddle with a muddle stick or spoon. Combine 1 part gin with 3 parts tonic water in a glass with ice cubes. Garnish with a slice of cucumber and a squeeze of lime juice.  Enjoy. 

Vodka is out, gin is in.

-M

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2016

Growing up I had always heard people say that the older you get the faster time flies. I’m finally beginning to see that it’s true. Now I normally don’t do New Years resolutions, but this year I told myself that my only goal would be to take better care of myself emotionally and physically.

This meant getting rid of toxic people, focusing on school, following my passion for writing, working out, eating cleaner and drinking less…all while working a full-time job.

In the mood to quit the bad habits cold turkey, I kicked off the year by participating in dry January. A whole month with absolutely no booze. I don’t crave a drink everyday, but I did find myself getting off of work stressed and craving my go-to gin and tonic quite a bit more during January.  By the end of my dry January run I didn’t notice a significant difference health wise or energy wise, which was kind of disappointing. However, I did save a good amount of money and my liver was probably happy. On February 1 I had two Hendrick’s gin and tonics. January taught me that (almost) everything is fine in moderation.

“I love Jesus, but I drink a little”. – Gladys Hardy

February was the month that I focused on my emotional health, which directly tied into every other aspect of my life. Having had gone through a tough breakup at the end of 2014, I felt somewhat lonely, lost and unhealthy. Determined to make a change I kicked my horrible eating habits to the curb. Working 30+ hours a week and going to school made it easy for me to grab fast food during my daily breaks, eliminating the stress of having to grocery shop and cook. This horrible habit was making me look and feel like shit, but the thought of cooking terrified me. Through trial and error I eventually learned how to make quick and healthy meals. I found it so much more satisfying to eat a meal that I prepared myself with quality ingredients over processed drive-thru garbage. As a result I was beginning to look and feel healthier.

I will never be the girl who wakes up at 5 am to go for a run followed by a cold pressed juice. It’s just not who I am. Once upon a time I thought it would be a great idea to run 2.5 miles to a juice shop near the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica and run back after I had finished my delicious juice by the beach. It was early and the scorching sun was beaming down on me with every miserable step I took. By the time I reached the juice shop I felt like I was going to die.  I ordered something called a hangover helper and took an Uber black back. As I sat in my air conditioned Uber with my juice realizing that running was NOT my thing, AND THAT WAS OKAY. Find ways to stay healthy that make you happy.

I will also never be that girl who snapchats her daily gym sessions and shows up in a matching sports bra and yoga pants, hair perfectly done in two French braids. Just like cooking, finding a workout routine that worked for me took a lot of trial and error. I tried a plethora of classes and routines, but I hated them all. I went through a personal trainer and two different gym memberships, hating it all. Then I discovered the magic of yoga and YouTube. Most of my workouts consist of me dancing along to a YouTube choreography video or following 45 minutes of yoga in my living room. This works for me because I can roll out of bed and make a fool of myself in my oversized mens t-shirt and sweats without anyone watching me. Just because you hate going to the gym doesn’t mean you can’t workout or be fit. Try different things and find what works for you.

In the last 2-ish months I have almost become a new person. I wasn’t afraid to go after what I wanted and I was beginning to regain my confidence back. What helped me the most was that I FINALLY stopped focusing on what I DIDN’T want and started focusing on what I DID want. It’s so easy for us to focus on our problems which in return end up attracting more negativity. While eating healthy and working out are great for you, a positive attitude is the key to overall happiness and emotional/physical health. Cheers to a positive 2016 for anyone reading this and remember to smile at strangers, be nice to people and focus on the good.

-M

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Robert M. Drake