Chicago-based cocktail creator and stylist with an emphasis on natural, fresh and imaginative recipes

Key Lime Pie with Meringue Topping

My Recipes
Pumpkin Scotch Cocktail
The last cocktail of my Thanksgiving series is a spiced and creamy dessert drink suitable as either a replacement or pairing for pumpkin pie. As an added bonus, it features an ingredient I have previously found intimidating - scotch whiskey. I encourage you to push the limits and never stop exploring new products in your recipes as the resulting growth is incredibly rewarding
Peach Lavender Boardwalk Bay
Planning festivities for the 4th of July? Whip up the Boardwalk Bay in bulk to treat your guests to an unforgettable cocktail experience. Featuring peach lavender syrup, lemon, bourbon and cold brewed black tea, this cocktail is a wonderfully unconventional and refreshing take on the classic whiskey sour.
Getting ready for an international trip is always a stressful endeavor. This time around, I chose to take a bit of time to pause and celebrate our return to the beautiful city of Kiev with a rooftop meal and cocktail. We're going to celebrate the wedding of a dear friend, and I'm so excited to show my husband the city where I'm from for the first time. This beautiful glass was sent to me as part of the @sendgoodwill campaign organized by @sashadallasgirl and @elementshrub . By passing vintage glassware around the Instagram cocktail community, Sasha and Charlie aim to encourage reusing existing, historic glassware while helping build relationships. It seemed only fitting that I should do a shrub-based cocktail in honor of Sasha and Charlie. @highproofpreacher is next in line so watch his page for what I'm sure will be an amazing cocktail creation. . Steeped in Culture 🔸1.5 oz @stroyalevodka green tea honey vodka 🔸0.75 oz Tozai Junmai sake 🔸2 barspoons @false_ox beet ginger shrub . Stir all ingredients with ice until chilled then strain into a stemmed glass. Garnish with a sprig of flowering purple basil.
Celebrating #nationalcoffeeday with an Aeropress brew of my favorite @colectivocoffee beans. I got rid of my bulky coffeemaker 3 years ago and haven't looked back - the Aeropress takes up no counter space, makes an excellent espresso or Americano, is wonderfully portable, and fits conveniently onto a shaker for making coffee cocktails. What's your favorite brewing method? . 📷: @belenaquinophoto Glass: @gathervintagetables
Cheers to Friday and an upcoming weekend of unbelievably beautiful, sunny Chicago weather. If you’re like me and want to be outside all weekend long, I highly recommend checking out @apogeelounge . Beverage director Benjamin Schiller blew me away with his creativity of presentation and balance of flavor. The impeccable attention to detail - from the floral ice to the custom hand-blown glassware - creates a cocktail experience unlike any I’ve had in Chicago. . Yet both Benjamin and the bar itself are so comfortably down-to-earth. The drinks are surprisingly well-priced for the quality and the interior and outdoor deck are stylish without being stuffy. I loved the slower atmosphere on a Sunday afternoon for the chance to chat with the bartenders but I’m sure it would be a great place to visit anytime. They’re changing to a fall menu shortly so be sure to visit soon if you want to try some of these amazing drinks (my favorite was the Sancerre, inspired by a small village in France): . SANCERRE Gin, Grapefruit, Lemongrass & Pear Ice, Aperitif, Melon Powder . NYMPH Vodka, British Cucumber, Soda, Raspberry Powder, St. Germain, Edible Butterfly . 1-UP Benjamin modified this large-format drink for us to include an herbaceous gin, absinthe, chartreuse and citrus . DEEP END Tequila, Grapefruit, Lime, Watermelon, Curacao, Chardonnay Barrel Salt
My friend Matt (@theamateurmixologist ) invited me to participate in the #peacepours campaign to share a drink and a message on the topic of peace. As this is a subject that's been weighing heavily on my mind, I was happy to oblige. . The older I get, the more captivating I find history. By filling the gaps in my knowledge both geographically and within the general timeline of events, I've come to see that current events are but resurgences of age-old themes. One of the themes that I've found most critical is "divide and conquer." This political strategy has plagued my homeland of Ukraine almost indefinitely and seems to be increasing in severity throughout the world. . It is not a cliche that we are stronger when we are united. By sharing our knowledge, our culture, and our unique perspective we all gain and build something so much stronger. Yet by allowing animosity, prejudice, and hatred divide us we weaken and create the space for those who fuel those negative attitudes to take advantage of our weakness. We may not be able to change the opinions of everyone around us but we can be kind, curious, and welcome a variety of colorful humans into our network. We cannot self-actualize without setting aside our fear. . This drink is my take on a long island iced tea - a blend of spirits that are powerful on their own, come from a variety of backgrounds and yet mix beautifully to create a greater whole. It features vodka, white rum, tequila and grapefruit and black tea infused gin with vanilla simple syrup and soda. Details are coming to the blog soon. . 📷: @benaquinophoto Glass: @gathervintagetables
It's Friday, it feels like summer out, and you should therefore enjoy this ridiculously delicious blended cocktail all weekend long. The Fruit Bowl features Floridian @oakandcane rum which is made from American sugarcane and aged with orange peels, ripe pineapple, homemade peach puree and fresh squeezed lime. Get all the details on the blog (link in profile) and enjoy one for yourself! . 📷: @belenaquinophoto Glasses and tray: @gathervintagetables Jigger: @viskistyle
These days, all of my trips involve some sort of booze tourism so I was thrilled to hear that an inventive new distillery had opened in Duluth, our favorite lake getaway spot. @vikredistillery joins unbeatable Lake Superior water, Northwoods botanicals, and a Scandinavian influence to create three varieties of tree-inspired gins, Aquavit, vodka, and whiskey. I'm so thankful to founder Emily Vikre for sharing the story behind the distillery's birth and product line as well as a glimpse of her journey through the world of food and spirits. . I also loved their creative take on Aquavit cocktails. The first shot in this slideshow is of the "Fo' Swizzle," featuring Aquavit, herbs, papaya, passion fruit, lime, and angostura. Be on the lookout as I experiment with their Spruce Gin and Aquavit! . A special shout-out to Hally for being such a great bartender and model 👏
This cocktail evokes the feeling of watching a spectacular summer sunset in a forest grove, and it's just what you need if you want to hold on to that blissful summer sun for a little bit longer. The Sunlit Reverie combines @sipsmith London Dry Gin, woodland strawberry and fresh thyme tea, and lemon cordial. Get all of the details (and a hilarious action photo of me) on the blog (link in profile). . 📷: @belenaquinophoto Glasses and tray: @gathervintagetables
We're getting closer to the holiday weekend and I'm more than ready to kick back and celebrate the last days of summer with this lovely libation. This cocktail can easily be served individually or as a punch and features London-based @sipsmith gin, forest strawberry, thyme, and lemon cordial. Details coming to the blog soon! . 📷: @belenaquinophoto Glasses and tray: @gathervintagetables . A special shout-out to @sipsmith for providing me with such beautiful mixing tools ❤