Thursday, April 28, 2016

Do Try This Pina Colada Dessert Drink Recipe at Home

The Uncharted Dessert Isle

a pina colada float created for created with Smirnoff Sourced Pineapple Vodka

I scream, you scream, we all scream for... spring (bet you thought I'd say 'ice cream'. Gotcha!) Now that it's warming up, images of tropical drinks, frosty desserts and fun are fluttering through my mind like butterflies. When a bottle of the newly released Smirnoff Sourced Pineapple Vodka recently arrived at my door to create a recipe for, I felt compelled to see if I could capture the feel of spring in a glass. Since it's the season when we start seeing more tropical fruits in stores, (and I'm a fan of pina coladas), I immediately thought of adding coconut in some way. Ginger also came to mind (and then the theme song to a certain shipwreck-themed show followed).... Before I knew it, I had figured out a recipe for a drink that's actually more confection than concoction — the Dessert Isle. There are actually 2 ways to make it— one for a quick fix, and another (pictured above), which takes a bit more preparation, for entertaining guests)
1.5 oz Smirnoff Sourced Pineapple Vodka
1 oz coconut water
.5 oz ginger beer
1 scoop vanilla gelato
1/4 ripe mango, diced
sprinkle of grated ginger
sprinkle of grated mango skin

METHOD (quick fix)
Blend Smirnoff Sourced Pineapple Vodka, ginger beer and coconut water in a mixing glass. Place mango pieces into a coupe glass. Add scoop of vanilla gelato (fro-yo) to coupe. Pour Smirnoff Sourced Pineapple Vodka mixture onto gelato. Sprinkle grated ginger and mango skin on top to garnish.

METHOD (for guests)
Mix coconut water with gelato and place in freezer in an ice tray. Once mixture is firm, mix Smirnoff Sourced Pineapple Vodka and ginger beer in a mixing glass. Place diced mango pieces into a coupe glass. Add most of vodka mixture, leaving just a bit in the mixing glass. Add gelato cubes. Spoon the rest of vodka mixture over gelato cubes. Sprinkle grated ginger and mango skin for garnish. 

The result is a mix between a ginger pina colada (do you get the name yet? tropical flavors + ginger... "the movie star, the professor and Mary Ann...") and an ice cream float. Yum! 

Oh, FYI, Smirnoff Sourced Vodkas are 60 proof and infused with (concentrated) real fruit juice. They're also gluten-free and made without high-fructose corn syrup.

I'd love to know your thoughts if you try this recipe. I'd also love to hear your opinions on the other flavors. Sound off in the comments or feel free to shoot me an email.

**Disclosure: I am working in partnership with brand and I am receiving rewards for my participation in this campaign. All thoughts/opinions are 100% my own. Drink is intended for those whom alcohol is legal and appropriate. Please Drink Responsibly!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Shoe Sleuth: 5 Flats for Work AND Weekend Barcrawls

Get Low

Dear Shoe Sleuth,

Last weekend, I was part of the Brown Girls Bar Crawl in Jersey City. I loved the drinks and appetizers at Park and Sixth, Roman Nose, LITM and The Draper, by the way. I was talking to a few of the other attendees, and we realized we all had the same problem trying while we were getting ready for the crawl- the shoes. We wanted to be fly, but we also wanted to be comfortable. (I loved your black and white Keds, by the way.) Now that it's nice out, I'm sure I'll be doing more crawls and outdoor activities... But I don't want to buy shoes to wear JUST for that. Got any suggestions for shoes I can wear to work AND during the weekend that won't break the bank? Also, where can I get mismatched Keds like yours? I think they'd be great for vacations.

Dear P.B.,

First, thanks for joining us on the crawl! I had an amazing time with all of you! Second, the Keds in question- I actually mismatched two pairs I received for hosting an event last spring. I'm glad you liked the mismatched look. I may have to wear them again :-).

Now, to your question. It can definitely be tough to find shoes that are both functional and fly, especially on a budget. The good news is that animal prints and metallics are considered neutrals these days, and brands are incorporating them more into flats. If you're going to be on your feet a lot, a simple lack of a heel won't keep you comfy. You need to consider support and cushioning. Here are a few versatile options that are sophisticated enough for the office AND Saturday-approved — plus they're all under $300.

Sleek Slides

Oxford Slides by Pour la Victoire

Menswear inspirations and the mule trend had a baby. It's Pour la Victoire's Felix flat. In snake-embossed leather with staple detailing that invokes the feeling of clogs, it's a great mix of uptown polish and downtown edge. During the week, it's the perfect support system for slacks and a slick button-down. Come saturday, it adds edgy sophistication to cropped jeans and a tee. ($295 at

Wrap Stars 

Ankle tie flats from Kelsi Dagger Brooklyn

The ballet flat's more complicated cousin, the ankle-tie flat is the shoe of the season. It's almond toe and simple silhouette have ingenue appeal, while the leg-elongating ankle ties add a coquettish kick. The Deandra from Kelsi Dagger Brooklyn features a playful rope tie that works well with pencil skirts at work and then complements cut-offs on the weekend. If your office is more conservative, consider buying this style in black. ($110 at

Points of Interest

Two-tone pointed flats from Nine West

Few things exude polish like a pointed toe, especially when you add shiny patent leather and metallic gold. Add the sophistication of an oxford, plus the simplicity of a slip-on, and and you've got the perfect wherever flat. From skirts to skinnies, dresses to joggers and everywhere in-between this Treasure flat from Nine West will scores intra-office style points AND street cred. ($31.52- $101 at

Rain or Shine

EVA wingtips with spectator styling from Biion shoes

You know those days where it's supposed to sprinkle off and on... but you refuse to let it put a damper on your plans? This snake pattern wingtip shoe from Biion is made entirely of EVA, so it won't get mesed up in the rain. It's also constructed with special comfort features and a nonslip sole that's great whether you're boating, playing golf or kicking a$$ in beer pong. It looks great with skirts and midi dresses, too. I received a pair in white with blue trim, and I get compliments every time I wear them. ($109.99 at

Daring Dimensions

Flatform Oxfords from Melissa Shoes

The Wanna Be Rio oxford from Melissa Shoes goes seamlessly from the office (with wide leg pants or a streamlined maxi skirt) to out and about (same wide legs, maxi or virtually anything). This Star of Melissa's collab collection with Wanna Be Carioca features an edgy open toe, and the cut-out flatform sole makes it a prime choice for events that require walking in grass (ahem, music festivals). You do know that all Melissa shoes are rubber, right? When you pour out a little for the homies, don't worry about splashing. ($180 at

P.B., I hope one of these options works for you, and if not, I hope you at least have some new ideas. As always, feel free to reach out for further guidance. 

-The Shoe Sleuth

Can you see yourself in these styles? Do you have a go-to go-everywhere shoe? Let us know in the comments!

*Shoes N Booze is an affiliate of Pour La Victoire, Kelsi Dagger and If you make a purchase, we earn a little change. Thanks!

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Do Try This Rosé and Rye Spring Sangria Recipe at Home

Do the Rye Thing... 

It finally feels like spring in the New York area, and you know what that means... it's Rosé season! I've been obsessed with rye whiskey lately, and rosé is one of my favorite wines, so I figured mixing them would make a tasty sangria. I was right! The resulting Sang-RYE-a is a simple recipe featuring George Dickel Rye Whiskey that's perfect for home-hosted spring brunches with the girls.

A Shoes N Booze original cocktail with Rose and Rye

I Prefer to let the fruit soak up the rye for an hour or so before adding other ingredients. Then I add the rosé, raw sugar and coconut water.

Rose makes this Spring sangria pretty

Here's the complete recipe (4 servings per pitcher):


8oz George Dickel Rye
12 oz cocnut water
1 bottle rosé
3/4 a medium peach, diced
1 small nectarine, diced
1/8 medium papaya diced
2 tablespoons raw sugar

Add fruit, sugar and George Dickel Rye to a pitcher. Let sit for an hour or more. Add coconut water and rosé. Stir with bar spoon or wooden mixing spoon. Enjoy!

Sangria should be shaken, not stirred

Those who like their drinks a bit sweeter may want to add more sugar or coconut water to taste. Do you have a favorite spring drink that features rye? If you try this at home, I'd love to know your thoughts and the ways you put your own spin on it in the comments.

**Disclosure: I am working in partnership with brand and I am receiving rewards for my participation in this campaign. All thoughts/opinions are 100% my own. Drink is intended for those whom alcohol is legal and appropriate. Please Drink Responsibly!

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Go Drink Here Jersey City: Brown Girls Bar Crawl

Sip. Strut. Repeat.

Fun fact about our editor, Nafeesa: she was born and raised in Jersey City and can often be found enjoying a cocktail (for blog research) and lively conversation at one of the bars in the city's historic downtown area. A week from today, Shoes N Booze will partner with Brown Girls Bar Crawl to bring a new crowd to some of Nafeesa's favorite spots. From 4-7 PM on April 16th, the group will enjoy a curated selection of discounted and complimentary drinks and bar snacks, starting at Park and Sixth, stopping at Roman Nose and LITM and ending at the Draper. Check out the Brown Girls Bar Crawl Meetup group (they ALWAYS have something fun and fly going on), and then visit the event's Eventbrite to purchase your $15 ticket.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Sketchual Heeling- ABCENSE Taiwan Fall '16 Shoe Sketches

ABCENSE Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

We spotted ABCENSE's architecturally inspired AW16 shoes and accessories collection at a recent Capsule Show in New York. To say it was love at first sight would be an understatement– metal accents, exaggerated details and supple leathers all combined to create unexpectedly versatile statement pieces. The Taiwan-based design duo behind ABCENSE found inspiration for this particular collection on a trip to Rotterdam, South Holland. The colors in the collection are a tribute to those seen when gazing upon the city at dusk. The geometric metal heels reflect the De Stijl style of art that became popular in Amsterdam in 1917.

When we later got eyes on a few sketches via the brand's latest look book, we simply had to share.

Sketch of an exaggerated mule with architectural heel by ABCENSE

Ankle Strap Sandal with Architectural Heel Sketch by ABCENSE

Sketch of Slingback Sandal with Architectural Heel by ABCENSE

A sketch of a sandal with architectural heel by ABCENSE

Pricepoints on shoes in their current collection tend to range from about $400-$600. Stay tuned for images of the collection as Fall 16 approaches.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Trend Talk: Nail Spring Style in Studded Shoes

Stud-y Buddies

Designers definitely drew inspiration from the free-spirited style of the 70s (again) for Spring '16, meaning chunky platforms, clogs and block heels are huge this season. Almost every brand has its own version of a retro-inspired mule or sandal with stud accents near the sole. If you want to dip your toe into the boho-inspired studded shoe trend without going full-on flower child, fret not. We found a few studded styles with a more refined look that work for the office, weekend brunch or date night. And one even costs less than $100.

Pour La Victoire Geo Studded Mule Sandal
Pour La Victoire Geo Mules $275

Zara Studded Clog Sandals
Zara Studded Clog Sandals $119
Flogg Sociallite clog sandal
FLOGG Socialite Mules $159.95

Lulus Fringe Studded Block Heel Sandal
Lulus Wood-n't Ya Know Sandals $38

Alexander Wang Bree Studded Pump
Alexander Wang Bree Caged Pumps $650

Will a pair of studded shoes find their way into your closet this season? Eyeing a pair that's out of your price range and want to know where to get the look for less? Let us know in the comments.