Friday, April 29, 2016

Cocktails For More Of Our Fabulous AIDS Walk Sponsors!

Just in time for the weekend, here are some more cocktails created in honor of a few of our fabulous AIDS Walk New York sponsors!

Mystic Bazaar (created for Jax)

2 oz amber rum
1/4 oz Ancho Reyes Liqueur
1/4 oz pimento dram
3/4 oz fresh lime juice
A dash of Angostura bitters

Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a cocktail glass or serve on the rocks.

Island Sundown (created for Donna)

2 oz dark Jamaican rum
1/2 oz Pavan Liqueur 
1/2 oz blood orange amaro
3/4 oz fresh lime juice

Shake all ingredients with ice and pour into a small tiki mug or strain into a cocktail glass.

Holiday In Oaxaca (created for Mike)

2 oz mezcal
1/2 oz guanabana liqueur
1/2 oz peach nectar
1/2 oz fresh lime juice
2 shakes of ground chipotle-cayenne pepper
2 dashes of orange bitters

Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

We'll have more cocktails created for our sponsors soon and we'll be shooting some Friday happy hour videos with even more this weekend! We'll get to everyone, we promise! Thank you so much to our sponsors for your support!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Catching Up

I'm so pleased that our first music video of the year is online! This was the culmination of about four months of work and we're very proud of it. Paul did an amazing job with the editing, Ricky Ritzel wrote a tune I love and Rick Jensen was our arranger and recording engineer. I can't thank them enough, along with Nell Mellon and Otto's Shrunken Head for our bar location shots, Kurt Peterson for his support and rehearsal space, and Cindy Rolenc for hand modeling, since there is only so much editing can accomplish! If you haven't seen it, click here!

Cocktailing Cousins
If you click the above link to watch the video, you'll notice it takes you to Dailymotion and not YouTube. We've recently begun posting our episodes there, along with YouTube and Facebook, and I have to say they've been WAY more supportive than YouTube has ever been! They're wonderful about retweeting and the music video was even posted on MSN because of them! It has over 2000 views on Dailymotion and under 100 on YouTube. You don't need a math degree to figure that one out!

Tomorrow we're shooting our Cinco de Mayo episode, which will go online Tres de Mayo, but that's not the point. We're thrilled to be working with Sangre de Vida and using their tequilas and mezcal and will have two cocktails in this one! 

Sangre de Vida tequilas and mezcal (center)

The costume shop is open!
Finally, I'll be posting more cocktails created in honor of our AIDS Walk New York sponsors later this week. We've been busy creating (and of course drinking) them - just haven't gotten around to posting them yet!

See you soon!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Help Us Name These Drinks!

On today's Periscope live broadcast I made two drinks that don't yet have names. We're wide open to ideas, so please ring in with yours! Here are the recipes:

Working Title: Bianco Thing

2 oz. Bianco vermouth
1/2 oz. dry curaƧao
3/4 oz peach nectar
2 dashes celery bitters

Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

Working Title: Purple Drink (sung to the tune of "Purple Rain")

1 oz. creme de Violette
1/4 oz fresh lime juice
3 dashes plum bitters
Club soda

Add all ingredients to a highball glass with ice and stir.

Look for us on Periscope! @VelveteenLounge

Purple Drink. Needs a better name!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

We're In Glory Days Magazine!

I was flattered early this year when Kitty Von Tastique approached me about an interview for Glory Days Magazine. It is incredibly nice when anyone is interested in the show and what we do. She asked fun questions and was super professional, but I never get my hopes up about these things, since editorial calendars can change and, for reasons that have nothing to do with you, an interview you do may not run, may run much later than you thought, etc. Anyway, long story short, I got my copy of the magazine and was amazed to see this big picture and two page interview! I'm thrilled! Thank you so much to Kitty Von Tastique and Glory Days Magazine for the fabulous write up about the show! If you'd like to order a copy, click here!

This pretty much made my week!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Our Music Video Is Coming Together!

It typically takes us a week or so to pull together an episode of the show. I'll write it early in the week, test recipes and shoot the food mid-week, then we'll shoot several on a weekend day and Paul edits on Sunday. A music video takes a lot longer, but I'm pleased to report our next musical offering is on track to go online by the end of the month! The song was recorded earlier this month, we'd already shot some video at home, and yesterday we shot some of the sequences at Otto's Shrunken Head, in NYC! We're so grateful to them for their support of the show and their hospitality! Here's a small taste of what you can expect:

Lights, camera!

Director Paul "tests" drinks.

Guess who?

A tiki bar is so convenient for "apres shooting" celebrating!
We have more work to do, but it was a great day! We need to get a few more shots, then Paul can don his editor's cap and pull it all together!

Saturday, April 16, 2016

I Have Discovered The Secret

We've been pushing very hard to promote the show. The more followers we have, the more we can get brand deals and paid advertising and the show can start paying for itself. And I've spent many hand-wringing hours looking for someone who can show us the way. We've worked on our branding, our tags (so that people can find us in searches), we're collaborating - we've been doing everything "they" say you need to do to find your audience, but the experts left one tiny point out. You also need to pay to advertise.

There's this idea that abounds that if you just work hard enough and you just collaborate enough with other creators and you engage with your followers that the audience will follow. Well, yes, and I have to say that we have some wonderful people who always share our content with their friends and we're incredibly grateful. But you also need to advertise and I think that's the dirty little secret that no one wants to admit. Social media is supposed to be free and there's supposed to be this democratic system where anyone with a smartphone and a dream can become the next big thing. I'm not going to say that doesn't happen, but there is a LOT of noise out there and a lot of competition for peoples' attention. If you want to be heard above the din on social media, you need to pay. Otherwise you just won't show up in peoples' feeds, no matter how much they may love you. I can't tell you how many times we've had people ask us if we're still producing our show, when they're not only subscribed, but fans. It makes me crazy! Yes, we do this twice a week! So I tried a little experiment yesterday and paid to boost our current episode on YouTube and guess what? MANY more views than normal.

This is a business. I totally get it. You have to invest in your business and I have no problem with that. I just wish "the experts" would have told us a lot sooner that we should be investing heavily in advertising. No one wants to admit it - YouTube is free, right? But there it is. I'm actually glad I figured it out, but I will admit that I feel slightly stupid that I didn't figure out something this obvious a lot sooner! 

Take my money!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

More Cocktails For Our Fabulous AIDS Walk Sponsors!

The Test Bar has been humming away, creating cocktails in honor of our fabulous AIDS Walk sponsors! Today we're featuring libations inspired by Christine and Donna!

Wonder Woman (created for Donna)

Wonder Woman (created for Donna)

2 oz gold tequila
1/2 oz Galliano Ristretto liqueur
1/2 oz fresh lime juice
3/4 oz pineapple juice
8 dashes of Angostura orange bitters

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass!

Spicy Sailor (created for Christine)

Spicy Sailor (created for Christine)

2 oz spiced rum
1/2 oz pomegranate juice
1/2 oz fresh lime juice
1/4 oz ginger liqueur
1/4 oz allspice dram

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass or serve on the rocks in a small tiki mug!

We'll have more soon! We already have two more ready to go (get ready, Doug and Tammy), which will be featured in upcoming Friday happy hour episodes. Look for them starting April 22! 

If you'd like to sponsor us and receive your own cocktail, click here for our fundraising page. $25 gets you a cocktail created in your honor. For $50 we'll feature it on the show and for $100 you get to choose the theme of an upcoming episode!

Monday, April 11, 2016

Whiskey Cocktails From Yesterday's Periscope Broadcast

We got a request for whiskey cocktails on our Facebook page from the fabulous Ginger Wilkins, so those became the theme for yesterday's Periscope live broadcast. First up was our version of the classic Rock-N-Rye, at Ginger's request, then we created one in her honor, the Ginger 75! Here are the recipes!

Ginger 75

1 oz bourbon (I used Old Forester)
1/2 oz ginger liqueur (I used Domaine de Canton)
1/2 oz fresh lime juice
2 dashes of Angostura orange bitters
Chilled prosecco

Combine all ingredients in a champagne flute and stir gently.

The Ginger 75

2 oz rye (I used James E. Pepper 1776 Straight Rye Whiskey)
1/2 oz rock candy syrup
2 dashes of Angostura bitters

Combine all ingredients in a rocks glass with ice, stir and garnish with an orange peel.

We also did a variation on the classic Manhattan, at the request of our friend Doug. Here's what we came up with:

2 oz bourbon (I used the Old Forester again)
1/2 oz Aperitivo Cappelletti 
2 dashes of Angostura bitters

Shake with ice, strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with a cherry.

Here in New York we're stuck with a dismal, gray Monday and I'm working with a horrible internet connection, which has been an issue for days and makes uploading video for the show a real challenge. But the good news is that it's practically happy hour and these recipes are just what the doctor ordered! 

Have a fabulous week!

Saturday, April 9, 2016

New Channel Trailer!

I'm very excited to announce that our YouTube channel has a new trailer! Please click here to watch and PLEASE click here to subscribe to our channel! Every subscriber helps us, so thank you!

Cocktails and fun await on our YouTube channel!

Catching Up After A Crazy Week!

There's lots going on here at the Kitsch-en! We're shooting some of the sequences for our upcoming music video tomorrow, so I've been wearing my costume designer (and seamstress) hat. Thankfully that's done!

A little ironing and they'll be ready to wear!
I've also been inventing cocktails in honor of our fabulous AIDS Walk New York sponsors! Here's one created for the very generous Doug, who requested gin. The recipe will be featured in one of our upcoming happy hour episodes!

Black Rose Ginny, coming soon to a happy hour episode!
Finally, I just completed an article for an event publication with several tropical recipes we had fun sampling. They're a nice counterpoint to the crappy weather we're currently experiencing. I think there should be a ban on snow in April!

Repeat after me, summer is coming, summer is coming...
Have a fabulous weekend!

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Sophisticated Beachcomber Cocktail

As part of our fundraising efforts for AIDS Walk New York we have various levels of rewards for our sponsors. Anyone who sponsors us for $25 or more will get a cocktail created especially for them. Here's the first one on the list, in honor of the lovely Paula, the Sophisticated Beachcomber!

Sophisticated Beachcomber Cocktail

Sophisticated Beachcomber

2 oz dark Jamaican rum
1/2 oz Galliano 
1/2 oz peach nectar (no sugar added)
1/3 oz fresh lime juice

Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a cocktail glass!

Thank you so much to Paula for her generosity! If you'd like to sponsor us, here's the link: . Sponsors of $25 or more get a custom cocktail. $50 or more and we'll use your cocktail on the show! $100 or more and you can choose the theme of an upcoming episode, which will be dedicated to you!

There's still plenty of time to get in on the action - AIDS Walk New York is May 15!

Monday, April 4, 2016

Recording Session

We recorded the song for our next musical episode today! The weather was crappy, the trains were late and slow could have felt as though everything was working against us, but I'm pleased to say it went well! I'm really proud of this song. It's the second one on which I've co-written lyrics and I may be biased, but I think it's a lot of fun. You can judge for yourself in a few weeks! 

Now we have to actually shoot the video!

Recording session!

Saturday, April 2, 2016

We Have T-Shirts!

For 8 days only!

We've gotten requests for a "Velveteen Lounge Kitsch-en" t-shirt from a number of folks. Well, I'm pleased to say we now have one available, but only for 8 days! They're manufactured and shipped by Teespring, but the design is 100% ours and all profits go directly back into the show. Here's the link to secure yours today:

What all the fabulous folks are wearing for happy hour this season.