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:

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Getting Prim(us)ed for the week ahead

I’m terrible at keeping in touch with people, which makes a weekend where I get to see people that I rarely ever see all the better.

This weekend, I hung out with a couple of friends I used to live with. One was a sorority sister and former roommate that has since moved out to the ‘burbs with her fiancé. She relatively recently moved to the DMV area and because she was so close, there was never any pressure to see her right away. Mea culpa. We have, however, made plans to do better and at least, get lunch this week. We’re so close to each other now! There are no excuses!

The other, was a friend Mr. A and I used to live with. She and I moved into the house Mr. A and his friend shared some years ago, and aside from sharing a house, we shared a love for rom-coms, 90’s music (though that’s definitely shared among our group of girlfriends), and bad food. Every year, Mr. A and his friends go on a white water rafting trip and one year, the very night the guys left, she and I decided to order ourselves a Pizza Hut dinner box. Unfortunately, the last time I had ordered from Pizza Hut via app (I’m awkward and don’t like to actually talk to people), I had put Mr. A’s phone number in. Thirty minutes later, Mr. A called me to tell me that Pizza Hut was outside the house with our order. Busted.

Anywho. She and I may or may not have made a KFC popcorn chicken run on Friday…and then ordered some Pizza Hut on Sunday, but at least other people initiated that.

One thing she introduced me to was bubbly for any day. Who needs a reason to celebrate when life and being alive is worth celebrating in itself? Enter the Tuesday champagne flute.

Okay, so today wasn’t Tuesday, and we had prosecco instead of champagne, but still, we hung out and that in itself has been way too infrequent, considering we now live about three blocks away from each other. I met up with her and another girlfriend and had a lovely day of bubbly and puppies. First up, Kirkland Prosecco:

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Don’t be snooty. This very budget friendly sparkler is delightful, especially on a nice warm day, when you’re being cooled off by a mister.

Out of Veneto, these bubbles average about $6.95/bottle at your local Costco.

Location: Staples Street.
Beverage: Kirkland Prosecco. Veneto, Italy.
Vessel: Champagne flute.

From there, we decided to switch up to a rosé. Now, I love rosé. Let me say it again: I. Love. Rosé. My phone case even says “Rosé all day.” I’m about as basic as it gets. Actually, except for the PSLs. I preferred the old faux pumpkin that the ‘bucks was shilling, but perhaps this year will surprise me.

I digress.

Next up: La Rosé de Mouton Cadet:

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I mentioned that mister right?

This 2015 rosé out of Bordeaux blends Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot grapes and pairs well with beef, lamb, and spicy food. We, however, paired it with Spotify’s Soak Up The Sun playlist. Definitely recommend. Though there was a bit of contention over Rusted Root’s “Send Me On My Way” – that damn song just reminds me of Ice Age. (Yeah, good luck getting it out of your head now.) Anyway, very refreshing on a warm day. A bit of grapefruit, some minerality, a bit tart.

Location: Still Staples Street.
Beverage: Le Rosé de Mouton Cadet. Château Mouton Rothschild.
Vessel: Champagne flute. Yup, didn’t bother to change and the only washing this champagne flute has gotten has been that mister attachment on the garden hose. #lazy.

After that, my friend went to pick her boyfriend up from the airport, and left our other friend and I to watch the pups and continue enjoying the warm weather/sunshine/drinks, so it was time to switch back to the sparkles:

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Mr. A and I had a whole case of these bottles of Ruffino Prosecco intended for mimosas (in case you didn’t already know – DC is Brunch City). D.O.C, dry, drinkability. All things that are pluses in my book. Nice and crisp.

Location: Still Staples Street
Beverage: Ruffino Prosecco. Toscana, Italy.
Vessel: See? There was a reason not to give up on that champagne flute just yet.

Eventually, some hours, an Archer episode, some Pizza Hut, and many waters later, Mr. A and I made it the whole three blocks home and watched the Oscar nominated film Brooklyn. I’ve seen it before, and I’ve read the book, so the story wasn’t any surprise to me, yet somehow, I appreciated the story so much more this time around. Hm. Mr. A, however, was convinced he has seen the kid that played the little Italian kid, Frankie Fiorello, before, to which I was like “nope, he hasn’t been in anything except one Fresh Off the Boat episode that we’ve seen but can’t remember him in.” Of course, he promptly proved me wrong and found the Play 60 commercial he was in with Cam Newton.

Apparently, something about watching a movie about an Irish woman (played by the always wonderful Saiorse Ronan) immigrating to America and falling in love with an Italian in Brooklyn calls for a medium bodied Chilean red blend:

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2013 Primus The Blend, out of Chile’s Colchagua Valley. This red blend is full of blackberries, with a little spice. Carmenere, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Petit Verdot, and Cabernet Franc, if you’re curious. Dry, but not to the point that you’re smacking your lips, looking for any moisture. Fruit forward, but not jammy.  Very, very enjoyable.

Location: Queens Landing.
Beverage: 2013 Primus The Blend. Chile.
Vessel: Riedel O Cabernet Glass.

On the east coast, it’s now Monday, so with visions of flared skirts and Irish brogues in my head, off to bed!