May 112012

Some friends recently returned from Cuba. When I asked them about the food, all they could talk about was the “Cuba Libres.”  “What’s a Cuba Libre?” I asked. It’s a fancy name for a rum and cola they explained.

I haven’t drank a rum and cola since highschool, but I have to admit it’s sounding pretty darn good to me today. Here’s how to make one.

Mix one and half ounces of light rum with six ounces of cola. (Of course, I’m from Atlanta, the home of Coca-Cola, so that’s what I’d recommend.) Pour in a highball glass with ice, stir, and garnish with a lime wedge.




May 042012

Want a snappy cocktail? Add ginger. My friend Roy Otwell makes a mean ginger martini that he boasts is “world famous.”

World famous? Perhaps not—at least, not yet. Still, it’s one of my favorite all-time cocktails. (If we’re really lucky, maybe Roy will share the recipe with us one day.)

My friend Kim McGuire says she’s found a ginger cocktail that can rival Roy’s, and it’s made from tequila. Instead of fresh ginger, it uses Domaine de Canton, a French ginger liquor that sells for about $18 a bottle.

You’ll need:

One and a half part of Domaine de Canton (Kim uses a little less to cut down on the sweetness.)

One part of a premium tequila

Half a part of fresh lime juice

Shake with ice and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a lemon wheel.

I can’t wait to try it!



Apr 272012

This weekend, I’m going to my friend Randy’s birthday party; Randy is turning fifty. To celebrate, he’s turned back the clock fifty years to 1962. All week, I’ve been working on my costume—visualize James Bond with a large dash of Mad Men.

Cocktails were a big part of the sophisticated sixties, and one of the most popular cocktails of the era was the Highball.  A Highball is refreshing and simple, and it’s a great entry-level drink for those developing a palate for whiskey. In fact, the Highball was my drink of choice at those University of Georgia football games and the fraternity parties that followed.

It’s super simple to make. Take three ounces of whiskey and mix with two ounces of ginger ale, add ice, and you have a Highball.




Apr 232012

Charlotte had finally broken up with her boyfriend of four years. All her friends—including me—were relieved. “Bob” had been bad news. Now Charlotte was sitting in my kitchen, sipping a gin and tonic, and confessing that she was considering going back to him.

The mind has a funny way of spinning reality. I remembered my own breakup. Observing my mind-talk, I was surprised at how often my thoughts grew into tall stories. In one, my ex desperately missed me and wanted to get back together. In another he was actively dating and had totally forgotten about me. At times, I would even tell myself our breakup was only temporary. My girlfriend Kelli set me straight.

“You’ve been thinking that getting back together is impossible,” she said. “I’d like you to entertain the idea that it’s not.”

She continued. “Jump into the fantasy that you’re reunited and see how you feel.”

I took her advice, and afterwards I felt like I’d been sprayed with cold water. There was no going back. We had split for a reason, and that reason had not changed.

“Tell me what would be different if you two got back together,” I asked Charlotte. “What has changed?”

Charlotte thought a moment, “Nothing really. I just miss him.”

I totally understood.

“Missing him and getting back together are two different things,” I pointed out gently. “Imagine being back with Bob. Go ahead. Imagine it!”

She closed her eyes.

“OK,” I said. “You guys have been back together for five months, and you’re having dinner at your condo. How do you feel?”

I have a knot in my stomach,” she said.

“Do you still want to get back together?”

“No!” She laughed.



Apr 132012



Here’s a super fun cocktail recipe to add to the weekend’s festivities—a Ramos Fizz. The Ramos Fizz was created by Henrico Ramos, who owned the Imperial Cabinet Saloon in New Orleans. The recipe was kept secret until the saloon closed during Prohibition, when Henrico’s brother published it in a full-page advertisement.

You’ll need:

One and a half ounces of gin
One and a half-ounces of Half and Half
A half ounces of lime juice
A half ounce of lemon juice
One teaspoon of egg-white powder
A half ounce of club soda
A lemon

Combine all the ingredients except the club soda in a cocktail shaker. Shake with ice and strain into a highball glass with ice. Top with club soda. Garnish with a lemon wedge.


P.S. A shout-out to Brian D. Murphy and his wonderful book See, Mix, Drink: A Refreshingly Simple Guide to Crafting the World’s Most Popular Cocktails.


Apr 082012

Corey McIntosh has been mad about design since he was a kid. His firm McIntosh Interiors was founded in 1998 and specializes in residential and light commercial design. Here’s what Corey’s thinking about this month:

“I’ve recently discovered (  It’s fantastic! The site promotes, “All things design” and for up to 70 percent off of retail. That includes items for the home (new and vintage), as well as fashion and art. Check it out!”

Visit Corey at

Apr 062012

The gym was almost empty this week; a lot of folks are on spring break with their kids. One my best spring breaks was in college when I went to the Bahamas. I can still remember the white-white sand, blue-blue water, and those red-orange sweet drinks adorned fruit and tiny paper umbrellas.

This weekend, let’s pretend we’re on spring break and make Bahama Mamas. We’ll need:

Half ounce of dark rum

A third of an ounce of 151-proof rum

A third of an ounce of coffee liquor

Half ounce of coconut liqueur

Half ounce of lemon juice

Four ounces of pineapple juice

Pour all the ingredients into a cocktail shaker. Shake with ice and strain into a highball glass filled with ice. Then garnish with an orange wedge, cherry—and if you have one—a tiny little paper umbrella.




Mar 042012

I’ve ask several of good friends to share their tips, trends, and random thoughts on a wide range of topics dear to their hearts.

Besides being one of my best friends, Roy Otwell is the founder and co-proprietor of the ultra-hip home store Switch Modern ( He’s a dedicated student of popular culture, cool trends, and good style. Roy says “Fashion is about trends but style involves authenticity and a point of view.”  Here’s Roy’s post for this month:

“Finally it’s winter in New York. Long coats are back but with a twist. No longer extra long and bulky, these overcoats are tailored, fitted, and worn with a casual vibe. I’m digging this look with slightly opened, calf-high boots. Maybe green Doc Martens?  Match with stiff skinny jeans, a Nazi era haircut, and a bulky sweater and you’re ready to head downtown for a Rob Roy and some meatballs. Ahhh. Everything old is new again.”


Mar 022012

Feeling a bit libidinous this weekend? Perhaps a “Between the Sheets” is in order. Said to be originated in Paris during the 1930s, this popular drink is a variation of the Sidecar. Here are the ingredients:

One ounce Brandy

One ounce Lemon juice

One ounce Triple Sec

One ounce Light Rum


Combine brandy, light rum, triple sec, and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker. Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.

If you’d like a fruitier alternative, you can substitute peach schnapps for the brandy.


A special shout-out to Brian D. Murphy’s See, Mix, Drink: A Refreshingly Simple Guide to Crafting the World’s Most Popular Cocktails.

Mar 012012

One of my girlfriends and I have been experimenting with the concept of intuitive eating. She’s been at it longer than me, and she looks wonderful. But then again, Kathy always looks wonderful.

There are four things to keep in mind when eating intuitively:

One: Eat whatever you want.

Two: Eat when you want.

Three: Stop when you satisfied, and that can be different than being full.

Four: Be totally present to the experience of eating.

I am finding the first three far easier than the fourth. When I eat alone, too often I am thinking about what’s next on my “to-do list,”  and when eating out with a friend, I’m focused on the conversation rather than the food on my plate.

Author Geneen Roth writes a lot about this subject. She offers these additional five tips:

One: Eat when you are hungry. (Truly hungry, body hungry not mind hungry)

Two: Eat sitting down in a calm environment. This doesn’t include the car.

Three: Eat without distractions. Distractions include radio, television, newspaper, books, intense or anxiety producing conversation and music.

Four: Eat only what your body wants. (Big difference from what your MIND wants!)

Five: Eat as if you are in full view of others. In other words, don’t “sneak” food.

Most experts agree that when we learn to eat intuitively we never have to diet again. Our bodies find their natural weight and guide us to the foods that are best for us.

So far, I’m enjoying the experiment. I’ll keep you posted on my progress.