The (Previous) Week in Drinks

MONDAY

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No one can tell it’s not quite right once it goes in my very banged up rose gold cold cup!

I’ve mentioned that I love the Starbucks Secret Pink Drink, right? I’ve been meaning to try and make my own at home, but this was the first time that I actually had all the seemingly right ingredients: strawberries, green tea, açai juice, and coconut milk!

Unfortunately, all the parts did not quite equal the whole that I wanted. Good, but just not the same.

The strawberries were froze rather than freeze-dried, which made the tartness stand out and the drink slushy. I used green tea and açai juice, rather than açai green tea, not sure what difference that makes. Between the açai juice and the coconut milk, it was never as light pink as the Starbucks version. Ah well, now that it’s getting cooler, maybe next year!

TUESDAY

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Milk and Cereal, Milk and Cereal, Cereal and Milk, Cereal in Milk

Do you ever pack yourself a lunch and then once you heat it up, it just kind of wilts and turns out is about 1/4 the serving size you thought it was? I had some pasta salad on Tuesday that I microwaved and I was lucky if it was even 1/4 of what I thought it was.

Luckily, Postmates was running a special for free delivery from certain restaurants. After browsing a bit, I chose a lunch special from Momofuku’s Milk Bar in City Center DC: a bomb (I chose the Ballpark Bomb, which is a mash-up of delicious stadium snacks: honey mustard cream cheese and sliced hot dogs nestled inside soft pretzel dough, topped with kosher salt, sesame seeds and celery seeds), a cookie (confetti, obvs), and cereal milk.

I’ve never been one to just sit and drink milk. As a kid, I could only stand drinking flavored milk, and while I may not have quite the sweet tooth I did as a kid, I still am not super crazy about drinking milk straight. Even if it is cereal milk, I could only take a couple sips at a time, which was just enough to keep me sated. While still delicious, I much prefer cereal milk in the form of soft serve ice cream!

WEDNESDAY

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Sweetgreen Ginger Lime Fresca, with a million salads to go in the background.

Sweetgreen is always a reliable lunch spot (as evident by the  counters laden with pre-ordered salads and the line out the door) and occupies a soft spot in my heart as Mr. A was lured over to work there while they were plotting their expansion. Unfortunately or not, it turns out that fast casual was not quite Mr. A’s jam, so when he was presented the opportunity to go back to full service dining and with a chance to be in charge, he jumped the salad ship.
FRIDAY

Errands brought me out to my old ‘hood, Pentagon City, on Friday, and samples brought me into Teavana. There were a number of autumnal blends available to try, including these two: Caramel Truffle and a Youthberry & Wild Orange Blossom blend. I couldn’t bring myself to try Caramel Truffle, so I went with Youthberry & Wild Orange Blossom. My usual tea order at Starbucks is the Youthberry White Tea and I have Wild Orange Blossom at home, so as expected, ’twas delightful.

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Caramel Truffle just sounds wrong as tea

In lieu of a blend containing one tea that I already have, I instead decided to buy several ounces of Ruby Spice Cider, a blend of their Mulled Pomegranate Cider herbal tea and Spiced Apple Cider rooibos tea. Warm and spiced, this was the perfect blend to enjoy as the weather has finally cooled off here in DC.

While waiting for my tea to be prepared, I did give in and try a dessert tea: the S’mores tea sample on the counter:

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S’mores are meant for campfires, not teas

I’m not big on chocolate to begin with, but s’mores are meant to be enjoyed with actual graham crackers and fire involved.

So then I moved on to getting an iced tea to enjoy while making my way back into the District. I got to take a whiff of the Imperial Açai Blueberry white tea, which was absolutly delightful to smell:

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This smelled sooooooo good

There are some currant and hibiscus undernotes here and I was thisclose to getting it, but then the Teavana employee said that this next one was her favorite:

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This would also work well as a potpourri.

The Strawberry Blush Rosé oolong. It was so pretty to look at, with those tiny pink rosebuds in it. I ended up choosing this one, after noticing that the caffeine level was much lower than the Imperial Açai Blueberry (it was fairly late in the evening). I just wish I had found this earlier in the summer! It really is the tea version of rosé, and I could’ve gone 100% #roseallday.

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The (Previous) Week In Drinks

One week in, and I’m already behind on posting! Now I know why all past attempts at blogging have failed. Oops.

I’m usually fairly busy throughout the week, so this may have to become a weekly roundup. I’ll aim to get this up on Fridays from now on, promise!

MONDAY

My go to coffee order for a while has been a skim cappuccino. Warm, frothy, low cal. Recently, however, I’ve been trying to cut back on my dairy consumption, as large quantities don’t seem to agree with my innards and if I’m honest with myself, I have zero plans on cutting back on cheese, so I’m trying to be lactose-free whenever else possible and that means ordering americanos over cappuccinos now (or if at the ‘Bucks, ordering with coconut milk froth). Yes, yes, the cap’s milk froth is a teeny tiny amount of dairy, but like I said. I love cheese and refuse to give it up.

…but last Monday was so nice. It was beautiful, sunny and cool – like autumn is almost here! Wrapping myself in a nice milk froth sweater from Maketto seemed like an acceptable indulgence to kick off the week:


Maketto is more known for its take on Taiwanese and Cambodian dishes, but it also houses a great breakfast counter upstairs, featuring Vigilante coffee and Frenchie’s amazing pastries. (It also has a retail boutique, which makes the whole establishment feel very New York. Maketto’s been here for over a year, and I’m still not sure DC is quite cool enough for this place.)

One of these days, I’ll make my way back there for a cocktail and dinner and talk about those drinks too.

Location: 14th & H Street bus stop
Beverage: Cappuccino. Maketto.
Vessel: Small paper cup. The barista capped my cup for me, which made me feel slightly more awkward than usual, as I uncovered it to take a photo.


By Monday afternoon, it had warmed up enough to sip on what has become my summer guilty pleasure this year: the “secret” Starbucks pink drink:

The off-menu drink is comprised of a Strawberry Açai refresher, made with coconut milk instead of water. The result is that lovely light pink delight above. A bit cloyingly sweet, but like I said, guilty pleasure. Those things go down way too quickly.

Unfortunately, the whole experience was a bit tainted by some young people (insert fist shaking and grumbling “not in my backyard” under my breath). My usual ‘Bucks location, due to its proximity to my office, is on the George Washington University campus. If it isn’t overrun with govvies, it’s overrun with students. In all honesty, I don’t mind the students, I remember my college days of ordering white almond mochas at the Richter Library Starbucks, I just wish I knew the actual class schedule, so I could go get coffee while they’re all in class, not lining up to get coffee between classes. (And yes, I know there is mobile order. Yes, I do use it.)

Tangent time: last school year, some dear girl turned around and asked me if I was also going to orientation and knew where X was. Totally made my day and put a smile on my face. This year, I just get ma’am’ed. Mr. A’s been warning me that once I turned 30, everything would go down hill, but I never realized how true that was. I’d love to get a “miss” every once in a while.

Back to our regularly scheduled program: this particular pink drink was ordered at a different Starbucks, while I was killing time before a meeting. Unfortunately, I happened to get in line right behind some young intern ordering 8 drinks plus snacks for her office. I feel for her, I really do, I’ve been the low man on the totem pole, but I’d be a lot more sympathetic if I could’ve gotten my drink a lot faster.

Location: Starbucks at 16th & K Streets NW.
Beverage: Secret “pink drink” aka strawberry açai refresher, made with coconut milk, no water.
Vessel: Grande Starbucks cold cup.

TUESDAY

Craving some bubbly water (I should really mark the Sodastream on our wedding registry “high priority”), I picked up an Aquafina sparkling water from my office’s cafeteria. Flavor: Black Cherry Dragonfruit.


This water was advertised as being made with a “hint of real sugar” and using “fair trade certified sugar.” Remember when sugar was sugar and corn syrup was corn syrup? You advertised your product, not what it was made of. Just goes to show how much crap gets put in our foodstuffs nowadays, that something that should be so basic is so novel that it’s an advertising point.


Anywho, this was a lot better than I was expecting it to be. Not very sweet, but a little tart. Rather refreshing and I’d totally pick one up again.

Location: The office. Like I’m telling you suckers where I work.
Beverage: Aquafina sparkling – black cherry dragonfruit. The Cafeteria.
Vessel: Aluminum can.


The evening called for some Zumba with my old personal trainer, George Cruz (amazing trainer – works you hard, but keeps you in such a good mood, you don’t realize how much you hate everything happening to your body until afterwards). George has been trying to get me to go to Zumba and I’ve been avoiding it like the plague. Zumba is just not my thing. Dancing is just not my thing. I danced and was a cheerleader for years, but I’ve never been able to move my hips and have zero to no rhythm. Give me sharp moves to hit, sure! Give me a salsa? Oy.

It’s true what Sparky Polastri said in the classic film, Bring It On:

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Apologies for the “r” word, but ’tis the quote.

I’ve been in dire need of some cardio but have also been avoiding running for a while, so Zumba it was. Lots of water gulping and confusion ensued.

Afterwards, I figured I’d continue the Zs with some Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand:


This 2015 Marlborough Sauv Blanc is from The Crossings. A light, crisp wine a bit straw-like in color, this was citrusy and a bit floral on the nose, with a bit of tartness on the tongue. Zest comes to mind, and I kind of wish I had had this one earlier in the summer, out on a patio somewhere, rather than in late summer on my couch.

Location: Queens Landing
Beverage: The Crossings 2015 Sauvignon Blanc. Awatere Valley, Marlborough, New Zealand.
Vessel: Riedel O Cabernet glass.

WEDNESDAY

If the PSL is the Basic Gal’s drink for the fall, then the Coconut LaCroix sparkling water is her summer drink of choice. I have no qualms about this. Give me yoga leggings and UGGs.  I’ll embrace it all!


Location: Queens Landing.
Beverage: LaCroix coconut flavored sparking water.
Vessel: Straight outta the can, with a purple bendy straw.

THURSDAY

Thursday mornings mean Pilates Reformer with Julie at VIDA. I don’t drink VIDA smoothies as often as I used to, because I no longer have a cup holder on my bike. I didn’t bike in this past Thursday, so my hands were free to hold all the beverages!

In a nice addition to all the other amenities VIDA has to offer (you need a gym recommendation? Talk to me and I’ll talk your ear off about VIDA’s greatness), they’ve recently added pre-ordering your smoothies, so they’re ready at the time you are. I went with a Post-Pilates Pom Power (I do love my alliteration): coconut water, Pom juice, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, bananas and protein:


Nice and frothy, and just the right size to keep me energized until lunch time. I tend to avoid milk/yogurt based smoothies (see: Monday above), but luckily VIDA’s Fuel Bar carries a whole menu of delicious coconut water based smoothies.

Location: VIDA Fitness – Verizon Center.
Beverage: Pom Power smoothie. Vida Fitness Fuel Bar.
Vessel: Plastic cup to go!


Thursday evening was Washington, DC life at its core: networking event overlooking the White House:

A good friend’s firm was celebrating their anniversary at the historic Hay-Adams Hotel, where presidents-elect have been spending the night before inauguration, looking out over their future home for the next four years. Not only were we at the Hay-Adams, but we were in the Top of the Hay, the hotel’s exclusive rooftop event space. A beautifully breezy cool evening overlooking the White House (and its snipers on the roof!). Doesn’t get much more DC than that!

Now, I can’t tell you a thing about that glass of red wine, because it was red, white, or bubbly when it came to the grape stuff and I didn’t take the time during any of the many visits to the bar, so I’ll tell you about the hors d’oeuvres instead. I know, this is a beverage blog and I forgot the beverages. #worthless.

Now, hors d’oeuvres: the Hay-Adams does hors d’oeuvres riiiiiiiiiight. Fig and goat cheese in a puff pastry. Jerk shrimp skewers. Prosciutto wrapped melon. Crostini…with things on top. I forget.  Tuna tartare in a waffle cone (my favorite). My mouth is watering, thinking of it now. So many more good bites, but I’m blanking, so time to go to the next drink:


That was a Maker’s Mark and Fever Tree ginger beer. For whatever reason, they only had ginger beer and no ginger ale, but it was still so good, I forgot to take a photo until I was nearly done. (Fever Tree also makes a great ginger ale, FYI, and some awesome mixers in general.)

There was also some prosecco had, but I was handed it, so I can’t tell you much more than this: bubbly and drinkable.

I suppose, that’s all that really matters, drinkability. On that note, I’ll end this week’s roundup with this:

Rise and let other people do the grinding

By no means do I consider myself a coffee connoisseur. I prefer to let other people expertly make the coffee and I partake and praise their existence. Mr. A tends to grab his coffee at work when he opens in the morning, which left me on my own today. My choices were using a K-cup (our machine hates me, I’m convinced), brewing using regular grounds (via pot or French press), or go out.

I went out.

Granted, I went out to go work out, but I chose my workout location based on what would get me to breakfast faster. This morning, I went to Lab 1270 to check out Yoga with Nya. Well, I went to Dock 5 first, and upon arrival, found a bunch of men using leaf blowers inside – not exactly conducive to any sun salutations.

Yoga with Nya is now every Sunday, at 10 am, inside the S3 Active boutique, over at the new LAB 1270 space at 1274 5th Street NE. I’ve been terribly inconsistent with my yoga practice, not to mention out of working out regularly due to foot and knee issues, so a small class setting was a good choice for me. I’ve always had issues just rolling from my up dog to my down dog – my ankles are super flexible and my back is really open so I can get into a posture easily, but not necessarily in the safest way. Nya just adjusted my shoulders and just guided my hips back and up. So simple, but made all the difference. Now, just gotta actually remember to do that over and over, until it’s muscle memory.

But, back to coffee.

We’re at the end of summer here in Washington, DC, and despite a great breeze today, it’s still very warm and fairly humid, which means iced coffee. After yoga, I walked back over to Union Market and joined the line at the Peregrine Espresso counter.

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Today’s cold coffee was a flash brewed Iced Hologram:

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Syrupy, a little fruity, and supposedly milk chocolate notes in there, but I didn’t quite catch that. A quick squeeze of simple syrup, and we’re good to go. Paired quite nicely with my rude girl (bacon and jalapeño cream cheese) on an everything bagel from Buffalo and Bergen:

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One of these days, I’ll go to B&B and get their award winning Lox’d & Loaded Bloody Mary:

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I would insert a photo of one right here, but that glory deserves a post all its own.