Cocktail Gifts Galore


On Monday I told you about a fabulous trip that would make a romantic Valentine’s gift if ever there was one. If that trip is a little out of your budget (the way it is mine), here are some other gift ideas for the cocktail lover in your life that might not make your wallet faint:

Along the lines of Divino Tuscany, but a bit closer to home, if you’re near Paso Robles, California, or will be on March 31, 2012, consider gifting yourself or your loved ones the “Olfactory Evaluation of Wine” class led by Alexandre Schmitt at Niner Wine Estates. Learn exactly what all those notes about “noses” mean in this afternoon class for wine pros and enthusiasts alike. At $125 per person it’s practically a steal! Make sure to RSVP, though, as spots are limited.

Engraveable bottles of Double Cross Vodka
Prefer something a little more portable? How about an engraved bottle of premium vodka? Double Cross (seems like a dubious name for a Valentine’s gift, right? never fear, it refers to the double cross on the Slovakian coat of arms) vodka is offering just that for $39.99 (engraving may be extra  is free!). Email for specifics.

More from California, but this time from the comfort of your own home! The New York Times’ Knowledge Network (didn’t know there was such a thing, did you?) is offering a California Wines: Napa Cabernet course for the very reasonable rate of $65. A perfect gift for the online learner who’d love to know more about this very popular varietal.

Pop Chart Lab's Constitutions of Classic Cocktails poster

Got a visually-inclined cocktail enthusiast in your life? Consider this new (and very awesome, it’s definitely on my wish-list) print from Pop Chart Lab, Constitutions of Classic Cocktails, for a mere $36. It’s like a maze, with awesome drinks at the end–who wouldn’t like to solve that one?!

Glenfiddich 125th anniversary bottling

For the scotch lovers out there, be on the lookout for the Glenfidditch Cask of Dreams 125th Anniversary special bottling. Only 3500 bottles will be available, starting this month, at a suggested retail of $99. Get it while you can!

And, finally, if you’ll allow me a shameless plug of my own: You’ve seen the cocktails I create each Friday here at Sips and Shots, but did you realize that you can have your very own signature drink created just for you (or a loved one)? Character Cocktails are custom-designed cocktails based on the recipients personality and presented as a ready-to-frame piece of original art for $67, shipping included. Gift certificates (real, live, hold-in-your-hand ones as well as printables for you last-minute sort) are available at the Character Cocktail site.

Mock-up of the Incentive Print

Pain, Inconvenience and a Little Perspective

Everyday Adventures

This past weekend I was sick.

It was just a bad cold, true, with a cough that is more annoying than anything, but it hit me like a ton of bricks once I finally admitted that, okay, maybe I could be feeling better in the overall sense of the word.

It’s not the first time I’ve been a little under the weather this year, it’s just the first time it coincided with a day not filled with crucial work deadlines. So I let myself leave after half a day on Thursday and call out completely on Friday.

Add to this I royally screwed up my shoulder in a way that’s still a mystery. A rogue inflammation hit either the bursa or the tendons in my right shoulder (of course, I’m right handed) and laid me all kinds of low. It was next to impossible to find a comfortable position the first couple of nights.

There may have been some whimpering involved.

At one point on Saturday, late in the afternoon, I wasn’t tired enough to sleep, it hurt too much to draw anymore (I’d barely managed 2 pages all day with frequent breaks), it hurt too much to even hold open a book to read.

I was pitiful.

But Todd made me laugh.

Then we figured out a workable solution of a sling, a neck pillow under my elbow to prop it up a bit more while accommodating the boob interference, ice packs, Ibuprofen and some ointment. I felt ridiculous, but I also felt better.

By Sunday I was able to get a few more pages drawn and actually go out and be sociable for a few hours (sans sling–total vanity but it wasn’t too bad).

I was uncomfortable for a weekend. It takes months or years (or more! if ever) to overcome the ‘discomfort’ and ‘inconvenience’ of breast cancer.

And that’s putting it mildly.

There’s the fear. The uncertainty. The what-ifs.

There’s the doctor’s visits, the procedures, the losing parts of yourself and not feeling whole. There’s the various treatments that hurt more than that little lump ever could hint at.

The time spent waiting to heal so you can undergo reconstruction.

The stress. The tears. The resolve. The fear.

Cocktails for a CureIn light of what some women are going through, I feel pretty silly for whimpering about a little shoulder pain.

So, instead of posting a craft project or starting the 16th Art, I’m using this space, this week, to do my part to support the people and agencies that help fight that fear and all that goes with it.

On October 24, 2010, I’m walking in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk for the American Cancer Society. It’s my goal to raise $250 to support ACS’ goal of more birthdays and I’m not above begging.


I’m not above bribery!

Mock-up of the Incentive PrintI love parties, even if it’s just a party for one. I love celebrations and making someone feel special. That’s why I started creating Character Cocktails–drinks designed to reflect you! your personality, your likes and dislikes, transformed into a piece of personalized cocktail art (nonalcoholic recipes also available). So, for the time leading up to the walk I’m offering 2 ways to support not me, but the American Cancer Society and the women and families they will help:

Option 1: Donate $10 or more to my goal and I’ll send you an embellished print of the cocktail I’ve created for this campaign: Aphrodite’s Nipple.

Option 2: Order your own Character Cocktail for $47 (click the “Shop Now” tab) between now and October 15,2010, and I’ll donate 22% of the purchase price to the fundraiser PLUS you’ll get one of the embellished prints when your cocktail art ships.

Have questions? Leave them in the comments, email me through the Contact tab, above, or head over to my Cocktails for a Cure page. I do hope you’ll click one of those links and help me help others. But, if all you can do is pass this along, that’s okay, too–I appreciate it all.

Character Cocktail has a Fan Page!


Did you think you needed to, like, be a state or something to inspire a cocktail?

I know I’ve mentioned in passing that I do custom cocktail creation and I’ve had a few tasty nibbles, now it’s time to take this up a step. I’ve created a fan page on facebook for the Character Cocktail–the drink recipe based on your personality that comes with it’s own art–and get this, you can actually order a cocktail of your very own right from the fan page!

I’ve even got a few samples of the last 2 I’ve done posted in the gallery over there and will be profiling the drinks over here in the near future.

But for now, if you would be so kind, head over to the fan page and click the “like” button! My immediate goal is to get 25 fans so that I can get the page a user-friendly username rather than the long string of numbers and symbols it currently takes to get there.

UPDATE: Yay! Took a weekend but we did it! You can now go straight to to place orders on the “Shop Now” page.