Tag: christmas

Any Port in the Snow Cocktail

Looking for a Christmas cocktail to keep you warm this Winter?  Try Any Port in the Snow…

Any Port in the Snow Cocktail | Motley Decor

As the name suggests, it’s heavy on port (wine that’s both more flavorful and has a higher alcohol content).  Slightly sweet, with a little kick at the end, tawny port makes a nice Winter libation.

Any Port in the Snow is also loaded with quintessential holidays flavors like cloves and orange–an irresistibly fragrant mix that always recalls the holidays for me.  A mild scotch delivers a larger kick on the tail  that warms from the inside out.

The flavor profile is not unlike mulled wine or even red sangria.  However, this is a cocktail that both soothes and packs a punch.  So, please be forewarned and enjoy responsibly.)

Perhaps, best of all, Any Port in the Snow couldn’t be easier to make, which makes it ideal for entertaining.  Here’s the recipe…

Ingredients:

1 oz mild scotch (I used Pig’s Nose)

2 oz tawny port

handful of whole cloves

Orange peel

Directions:

You can either infuse the port with a handful of cloves for 24 hours prior to serving or simply throw 3-5 cloves in each drink.  Then, mix the scotch and port, using a 1:2 ratio, stir gently, and add an orange peel as a fragrant garnish.

Ice is optional.  I prefer this warming drink at room temperature.

Happy Holidays!

 

Milk and Cookies Aren’t Just for Santa

Traditionally, milk and cookies are left out for Santa on Christmas Eve.  However, that doesn’t mean that you and your guests can’t also indulge.  Substitute spiced rum milk punch for regular milk and serve equally spicy cookies for a holiday-appropriate dessert and cocktail combo.

Having grown up in New Mexico, I have a special bias towards the state’s official cookie of Christmas: the biscochito.  It’s akin to an anise-flavored sugar cookie.  The spice in the cookie pairs well with the spiced rum, cinnamon, and nutmeg of the punch (recipe below).  However, it’s not your only option for milk and cookies.

Norwegian pepper cookies–laced with generous doses of cardamom and (you guessed it) pepper–are another great choice.  I was introduced to these last year by Brookie’s Bites.

I’ve linked to recipes for both cookies rather than providing my own, because baking is not something I excel at.  I do, however, make a mean rum punch.  Here’s how I like to make it…

Ingredients:

1/2 gallon milk

1 cup spiced rum

7 teaspoons of sugar

2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

Cinnamon and nutmeg

A crock pot

1 day lead time (for best results)

Add the milk, rum, sugar, vanilla, and a dusting of the spices in the crock pot and stir thoroughly.  Set to medium heat to avoid boiling the mixture and burning off all of the alcohol.  Instead, the punch should be just steaming.  Once steaming, let it continue for about 20 minutes.

At this point you have 3 choices.  First, you can serve the rum milk punch right then–hot and in mugs.  However, if you have the patience, let the brew return to room temperature, transfer it into a sealed container, and let it sit in the refrigerator overnight.  (Most liquid things taste better after spending the night in the fridge.)  On the following day, you can either enjoy it cold or heat it up again.  The third option is to freeze it.  When serving the next day, use a fork or something sharp to break up the snowy concoction and serve it like a slushy.

A few notes…  However you decide to serve the spiced rum milk punch–hot, cold, or slushy style–make sure you garnish with a little extra cinnamon and nutmeg.  Also, experiment with the amount of rum, sugar, and spices to tailor the recipe to your preferences.  I tend to enjoy just a little sugar and a lot of spice.  Finally, when you heat milk, a thin film forms on the top, but it is easily removed (because it can be a little unsightly).

Hope you enjoy this spicy, adult version milk and cookies!

 

6 Red and Green Rooms that Look Good All Year

Red and green rooms get a lot of attention during Christmas time, but what about the rest of the year?  Is the quintessential Christmas color combination appropriate year-round?  Here are six gorgeous red and green rooms that say yes!

Red and green rooms | Dorothy Draper

Chances are: you’ve seen this picture before.  Dorothy Draper and her boldly hued interiors are nothing short of iconic.  Here, a red stair runner combines with the green of the palm wallpaper.  This combination of red and green extends throughout the Greenbrier, making for a perennially beautiful scene.

6 Red and Green Rooms that Look Good All Year | Matthew Bees

Designer Matthew Bees infused his NY apartment with southern charm and vibrant color.  Kelly green walls envelope the small space, peppered with pops of red like the studded stool and candles held in the chandelier.  The resulting effect doesn’t feel too Christmas-y thanks to carefully layered neutrals.

6 Red & Green Rooms that Look Good All Year | Summer Thornton

Summer Thornton designed this bedroom with green striped walls, a mossy-chartreuse headboard, shapely crimson upholstered chairs, and lacquered nightstands.  Black and white also plays an important role in this room, lending it a year-round appeal.

6 Red and green rooms | Daniel Romualdez

In Daphne Guinness’ stunning living room, white dominates.  Small doses of color punctuate the room, most notably the scarlet lacquer side table and velvet upholstery of the side chairs.  Topiaries in the background provide a pinch of green.  Still, glamour defines this space rather than a holiday feel.

6 Red and green rooms that look good all year |  María Lladó

This lovely, red-washed library is the work of María Lladó.  A single green pillow qualified the room for this list, but it’s sky blue companion and the striking white furnishings keep the room feeling season-neutral.  This is just another example of how red and green rooms can look chic and appealing for the other 11 months out of the year.

6 Red and green rooms to love all year | Muriel Brandolini

Last, but certainly not least, Muriel Brandolini’s bohemian-inspired salon boasts a red and green palette–with shades of blue used in equal proportions.  Baby blue walls make for a surprisingly neutral backdrop.  A sapphire blue planter matches the emerald green upholstery in intensity.  Ruby cushions add an extra punch and echo the walls of the adjoining room.

So it seems that red and green rooms have no expiration date.  The two colors are, after all, opposite on the color wheel, making the duo nearly fool-proof.  If these rooms are any indication, when in doubt, add plenty of neutrals or even blue to temper a space that perhaps feels too much like the Kringle residence.

Happy holidays!

Gift Ideas for Design Lovers

Well, it’s officially December and if you squandered all those Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals (like I did), you may be realizing (as I am) that it’s time to get serious about gift shopping this holiday season–and that the clock is ticking!  There are only 5 days until Hanukkah begins and 24 days left until Christmas.  And, if November was any indication, the month of December will fly by.

In an effort to help soothe any anxieties you may be having (and that I am definitely having), here are some gift ideas for design lovers…

For the most part, my gift ideas for design lovers fall into 5 categories:

1. Sources of Inspiration

Magazine subscriptions are the gift that keep on giving all year.  When I come home from a long day of work and see a glossy new House Beautiful on my counter, I break into a happy dance.  Elle Decor, Veranda, and Architectural Digest are also great ideas.  If you prefer to watch the recipient rip open the wrapping paper, consider a design book.  Eddie Ross has a new one out called “Modern Mix” and Jean-Louis Deniot’s first book is still fairly new and generating buzz.  Of course, if you prefer to share this wonderful blog you’re reading, good news: it’s totally free!

2. Bougie Barware

The bar cart has been a phenomenon in home decorating as of late, so it’d be hard to compile a list of gift ideas for design lovers without incorporating some fabulous drinking paraphernalia, such as fancy…

  • Bottle stoppers
  • Bottle openers
  • Coasters
  • Decanters
  • Cocktail shakers
  • Ice buckets
  • Wine chillers

Look for beautiful and luxurious barware that your recipient might not splurge on for him or herself.  Alternatively, seek out vintage barware from an era that he or she loves.

3. Hosting Tools

There are certain things that a host or hostess will simply never have enough of, like:

  • Coasters
  • Serving platters
  • Games
  • Cook books

And then there are those items that add a little luxury to a gathering, but that perhaps didn’t make it onto the wedding gift registry, for instance…

  • Dessert forks
  • Espresso cups
  • A cute apron
  • Wine glass markers
  • Digestif glasses

4. Gourmet Gifts

Beyond the predictable bottle of wine, there are plenty of gourmet food and drink items that make great gift ideas for design lovers and epicureans.  Look into quality:

  • Olive Oil
  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Specialty salts
  • Craft beer
  • Cheeses

5. Personal Luxuries

Then there are those little luxuries that do wonders for relieving stress…a great smelling candle can be restorative, a beautiful pashmina can be draped over the shoulders or the end of a sofa, and a day at the spa certainly never hurt anyone.

Gift ideas for design lovers on MotleyDecor.com

Above from left to right: Eddie Ross’ Modern Mix, Truffle salt from Williams Sonoma, a handmade apron found on etsy, mirrored coasters from WestElm.com, Kelly Wearstler’s Acolyte ice pail, Cards Against Humanity, Espresso cups by Tom Dixon, glass decanter from Jonathan Adler.  

Hopefully reading this post has sparked some gift ideas for design lovers in your life.  Happy Shopping!

 

 

 

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