Friday, September 29, 2017

What's for Brunch? RUM!

The last few days have been insanity here at the Kitsch-en, since we have a couple of ambitious episodes lined up for next week. I'm grateful that the weekend is almost here, since weekends mean brunch! They say that brunch is a portmanteau of "breakfast" and "lunch," but it is also an excuse to day drink. Otherwise it would just be late breakfast with lunch foods added. In that spirit (no pun intended), here are some brunch ideas from 1956's The Puerto Rican Rum Host and Hostess Book, published by Rums of Puerto Rico, part of the fabulous bar book haul we recently received in the mail from the fabulous Mod Betty of Retro Roadmap fame. Many of these offerings involve rum, but some do not, giving you options for the abstainers in your crowd.

Have a fabulous weekend! Bon appetit and cheers!

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Road Trip & Cocktail Recipe: Black Dirt Distillery

For today's happy hour we have a real treat: a visit to the Black Dirt Distillery in Pine Island, New York! The make fabulous bourbon and applejack, along with fruit cordials, cider, gin and more! We have highlights from our visit, along with a Manhattan variation using their bourbon and sour cherry cordial. What are you waiting for? Watch the episode and start mixing!

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Our "New" Bar Stools

Our new bar area means that we finally have room for the bar stools that we've had for a few years now. They were purchased secondhand for an outdoor party and, other than outdoor parties, they'd mainly been in the basement, gathering dust and cobwebs. Being an older item, they're solidly built, but were a little plain, so we gave them a facelift!

I'd already taken the staples out of the fabric when I took this shot, but you get the idea. Perfectly okay, but pretty boring.

Removing the staples was by far the worst part of this job. Whoever put them in originally put them in to STAY. About two hours and 200 staples later, they were free of their fabric!

The shot I took of using the fabric as a pattern was bizarrely out of focus, but you get the idea here - press the previous fabric flat, trace around the edge and cut your new fabric out. Easy!

Fit your new fabric over the stools, then staple, staple staple and hammer, hammer, hammer! Remember how frustrating it was to take out all of those staples in step one and create the same frustration for the next owner!

And voila! Your custom bar stools for the cost of a couple of used bar stools and a yard of fabric! We were lucky in that the padding that the previous owners had used was still in good shape. If yours isn't, or your stools don't have padding, you can pick foam padding up at the fabric store. We used barkcloth, from the home decor section, for our new covers. A fabric designed for furniture is your best bet for something that will get a lot of use. Don't forget to take a coupon if you're visiting a chain fabric store, since they all have them!

Please be seated! What can I get you to drink?

Candy Corn: An Autumn Classic

We're all about candy corn today at the Kitsch-en, with a cocktail inspired by the flavors in candy corn, along with an appetizer that's ridiculously easy to prepare, yet surprisingly delicious. You can use the time you save on food prep to make yourself another drink! Cheers!

Monday, September 25, 2017

Mocktail Monday: Aqua Maqua

Today's mocktail is a pretty blue drink using the blue cotton candy syrup we used in last Thursday's happy hour, which was sent to us by our fabulous friends at the Xingcat channel! Be sure to visit them for three ingredient recipes, self esteem videos and PUPPETS!

Have a fabulous week!

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Blue Cotton Candy Cocktail Recipe

Today's happy hour cocktail is a little blue something I call "Stumbling Home from the State Fair." It's a three-way collaboration with the fabulous Xingcat and Laurice's Kitchen YouTube channels and we had so much fun playing with them! Be sure to catch their videos after ours and grab yourself a bottle of blue cotton candy syrup, if you dare... (cue ominous music)

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

MORE FUN at Cocktail Time

We recently received a gift of amazing cocktail guides from our fabulous friend Mod Betty, of Retro Roadmap fame (fans of all things vintage and retro, her site is a must visit!). Included in this amazing haul was a little pamphlet from 1935 entitled MORE FUN at Cocktail Time and published by the Seagrams Distillers Corporation. The "more fun" involves "rollicking games and tricks" to make drinking, well, more fun! Here are some cocktails and recipes that will get the hilarity started, along with a Party Log to keep track of the shenanigans. I just love these 1930s graphics. Doesn't the gal on the cover look like Bette Davis?

The weighing of guests is optional and not necessarily recommended!


Tuesday, September 19, 2017

The Case of the Missing Merlot - A Velveteen Lounge Kitsch-en Mystery

Cousin Glendora is back in today's episode, "The Case of the Missing Merlot!" Perhaps if she bought it by the case she wouldn't lose it. Join us for gin cocktails, bourbon cheese balls, a cast of shady characters and hard-hitting intrigue. Will Glendora and her wine be reunited? Tune in and find out!

Monday, September 18, 2017

Mocktail Monday: Long Island Lolita Iced Tea

It's a Long Island Iced Tea with no actual alcohol! It's hard to believe, but it IS possible! Does anyone even remember the Long Island Lolita? She's moved on in life, but I couldn't resist borrowing her moniker for today's mocktail!

Long Island Lolita Iced Tea

1 cup French vanilla tea, brewed and cooled
Tamarind soda
Add ice to a highball glass, then add tea until about 3/4 full. Top with soda and stir gently.

Have a fabulous week!

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Immature Brandy: What An Opener

On this evening's live broadcast we sampled and mixed cocktails with "immature brandy," something we'd never heard of before. I'm pleased to say we enjoyed it, along with all the drinks we tried. Join us as we fall down the rabbit hole of immature brandy!

Friday, September 15, 2017

Yes You CAN! Beer Can Home Decor

You may have noticed that canned beer is making a comeback. Many of the craftiest breweries are now selling their product in cans. There are myriad reasons some consider cans superior to bottles, but I'll bet those folks hadn't factored in the home decorating possibilities associated with canned beer. Those cans can be the basis for home decor items that are sure to be real conversation pieces. Here are a few retro ideas from 1976's Better Homes and Gardens Treasures from Throwaways. You may not ever be able to view a glass-topped table in the same way again!

I love the fact that this project calls for 147 cans collected "over a period of time." Some folks could accomplish that in a week! I also enjoy the fact that they specifically call for cans without dents. If you think this table is unique, just imagine it with a few dented cans!

"Tin cans have never looked so good!" You'll have to cut the tops out of these, but you have plenty of time before the 4th of July rolls around. Stars and stripes forever! 

Okay, you have a little less lead time for this striking Christmas tree, so you'd better get busy drinking that beer if you want to have this one ready for Christmas 2017. You know what they say about the struggle...

So sip (or swill - we don't judge!) that canned beer and set those cans aside for future use. It's positively green! Fred Sanford would approve.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Allow Rum to Help You Ease Into Fall

We can't help noticing that the days are getting shorter, the leaves are changing and that fall has arrived. Don't let the growing lack of sunlight bring you down! Our lovely libation is just what the doctor ordered to help cope with the creeping darkness!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

The Velveteen Lounge Tour of Records Begins

On our live broadcast Sunday evening we mentioned that there are record album covers decorating most of the corners of our house. They change seasonally and, in some cases, with every Velveteen Lounge Kitsch-en episode. I love decorating with album covers because they're typically very inexpensive, fun and they make unique wall art. And how many pieces of wall art can you listen to?! Here are just a few of the album covers we have on display right now:

Our tiki dining room

The headboard of our bed

The Liberace Powder Room

Nautical cocktail records - a collection within a collection!

If you're inspired to begin collecting album covers for your walls, here are my best tips:

Great album covers are everywhere! You'll be able to find striking covers most quickly if you visit eBay and stores that specialize in vinyl, but don't overlook thrift stores, yard sales, flea markets and library sales. It takes longer to amass a collection that way, but you'll save lots of money!

If you're looking for albums recorded for mid-century cocktail parties, "how to" records and the like, look for bins marked "Weird," "Strange," "Oddities," etc. These are typically not arranged by artist.

Allow plenty of time when hunting for records. Many of the best scores are in the $1 bins, which stores typically keep on the floor, below the shelves with more valuable records. They're usually in no particular order, so it can take a while to comb through all those bins!

Dress for crawling around on the floor. I often don't follow my own advice and find myself on the floor in a little dress, trying to stay covered. Not ideal. Comfortable shoes are also recommended.

Craft stores, such as Michael's, carry album frames, which make even the cheesiest $1 records seem downright artistic! Save money on those frames by downloading store coupons, which they always have online. Don't pay full price, since you will never need to!

More of our albums coming soon, since they change constantly! 

September is National Honey Month!

September is National Honey Month and we're ready with a lovely libation featuring Don Q Anejo Rum and an easy, yet impressive-looking, appetizer made with Honey Ridge Farms honey! We thank both of them for providing their fabulous products for this episode. These recipes are best enjoyed during your own "bee movie" marathon. The honey may be sweet, but the films are pure cheese! Happy National Honey Month!

Monday, September 11, 2017

Why Do We Have An Online Store?

It sometimes feels as though everyone has their hand in your pocket, trying to get to your hard earned cash (at least it feels that way to me!). When we mention our online store we probably seem like no exception. Here's a little bit about why we have an online store in the first place and how you can help us to pay to produce our show by only buying items you'd purchase anyway!

There is a myth out there that video creators and bloggers are raking in the money via advertising dollars. Those ads that run in front of our videos pay us big money, right? That may be true in some lucky cases, but the fact is that most of us aren't even making enough for a trip to the supermarket via ad revenue. So we look for other ways to monetize. An affiliate store is a natural for us because we actually use most of those products in our videos. If we use a product, such as bitters or a cocktail shaker, and you're curious about it, you'll probably find it in our store. Unfortunately we can't sell liquor (maybe one day), but we try to cover the rest!

Maybe you have no interest in any of those products whatsoever. Believe it or not, you can still help us to get paid! If you're inclined to shop on, if you enter Amazon through our store we will get a commission on anything you buy, regardless of whether or not it's actually in our store. All you need to do click on an Amazon link in our store and, boom, you're shopping on Amazon and we're potentially making a little money! Everybody wins!

Fortunately for us, our show is relatively inexpensive to produce. Our biggest expenses are liquor, travel to locations, recording songs for our music videos (a new one is coming soon!) and, increasingly, legal fees to protect ourselves in the Wild West of the internet. But every bit helps, so please consider stopping by our store when you're planning to shop on and entering Amazon that way. We appreciate the support!

Just a few of the items in our affiliate store!

Mocktail Monday: Apple Harvest

It's Mocktail Monday and today we have a non-alcoholic autumn brew that's easy to make! Perfect for taking along on those leaf peeping adventures!

Apple Harvest Mocktail

4 oz brewed black tea
1 oz apple juice
3 dashes cranberry bitters
3 dashes molasses bitters 

Combine all ingredients in a rocks glass with ice and stir.

Have a fabulous week!

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Cocktail Recipes & Records!

Did you miss tonight's live broadcast from the Kitsch-en? No worries, it lives here forever! We won't be making any money on this one, since someone claimed copyright infringement on one of the songs that was played. Sigh. I'm glad that, in general, we have our OWN music that we use. written for us. It's a little annoying that, if we tried to fight it (I don't think these people are copyright holders, either), the burden would entirely be on us. We need to sell glassware and bitters in our online store to keep on top of things like legal fees!  Here's that link, just in case you were so inclined... Velveteen Lounge Kitsch-en Store

Have a fabulous week and stay out of troubl

Friday, September 8, 2017

By Request: Storm Cocktails

I have put off collecting storm cocktails for a post here, since the last thing I want is to seem like I'm making light of the terrifying storms that have been and are happening. There is nothing amusing about folks losing their homes, businesses and worse. However, I've had a couple of requests for storm cocktails from people who are actually IN the storm zones and you know I'd never deny anyone a lovely libation! So, with no further ado, here are some vintage drinks in the stormy spirit! In the above video you'll find the Dark & Stormy. Please be safe, everyone!

Not the Hurricane we all know and love, but who cares at a time like this?

Thursday, September 7, 2017

It's Time For Autumn Cocktails!

The leaves have started turning here, which means it's time for autumn cocktails! Today we have a lovely libation starring FEW Spirits Rye Whiskey, along with some iconic flavors of fall. Here's to the changing of the seasons!

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Happy Anniversary to Us!

Today is our 19th anniversary and we're celebrating the best way we know how, with cocktails and dip made with Don Q Oak Barrel Spiced Rum! This getaway trip may seem a little anemic, but just think of the benefits of an imaginary vacation: it's inexpensive, there are no crowds or obnoxious fellow passengers on flights and the weather is perfect! Wish you were here!

Monday, September 4, 2017

Mocktail Monday: Purple Pea

It's Mocktail Monday once again and today we have a pretty purple drink with bonus antioxidants! Blue Tee 100% Butterfly Pea Flower Tea is the secret ingredient here and has a beautiful blue hue on its own. Add in the remaining ingredients and it becomes purple (and delicious)! Here's where you can learn all about the tea, along with many other fabulous ingredients for fun beverages: Wild Hibiscus Flower Company