7 flavored syrup cocktails to make this holiday season

the forked spoon

(this is a sponsored post and wasn't written by me)

If you have the equipment and want to make great cocktails, you need to get the right ingredients. Most of these ingredients can be found at your grocery store or liquor store. While some of them are expensive, one of the most common ingredients include flavored syrups. With these ingredients, most of these cocktails are affordable and easy to make at home.

What's flavored syrup? It's a combination of sugar and water. It's really easy to make syrup. If you want to make it so good that your cocktails come out perfectly, you'll have to measure consistently. You can do this by combining one cup of water with one cup of sugar into a saucepan.

Aside from measuring, another thing you have to think about is dissolving your sugar into the water. Combine both ingredients into a saucepan over medium heat and stir it until the sugar is completely dissolved. You don't want it to boil since it'll make it too sugary. Allow it to cool at room temperature and transfer it to a container and store it in your fridge. Flavored syrup will stay in the fridge for about a month or so.

As the holidays arrive, bartenders will be using this syrup to liven up their cocktails. While the harvest season officially starts in the winter, using maple syrup and spices is ideal in the autumn. Some bartenders have already rolled out their holiday-themed drinks. Here are some of the best maple syrup drinks you'll want to make for your next holiday party.

The Harvest Moon cocktail is the perfect holiday drink with its combination of vanilla and nutty flavors. Papar's Pilar and Lustau Amontillado Los Arcos are mixed together to bring out its woodiness and nuttiness. Acid phosphate and maple syrup round out this drink. It's then stirred and poured into a glass for that added hint of sophistication and aroma.

The Maple Bacon Fizz is sure to warm you up this holiday season. This cocktail is topped off with fizzy maple syrup and a slice of bacon that's tantalizing on the palette. The maple syrup is poured directly into a bourbon which turns into a maple-flavored whiskey. When it comes to the fizz, the whiskey is then mixed with a lemon flavored syrup and a white egg for that extra frothiness. Concentrated bitters top off this flavorful drink.

The Suspended Ginger is a favorite in bars and lounges in the coldest climates. This drink is made with maple syrup and vanilla and citrus liquor. The flavors are balanced out with ginger and are finished off with orange bitters.

The Bartender's Handshake cocktail is mixed with apple juice, maple syrup, and bacon jam. Yes, bacon jam. It's topped off with a hint of Sazerac rye and garnished with an oven roasted apple. This fun cocktail is not overly complicated to make or drink.

The Aces drink is perfect for the gentleman who likes a strong drink. It's the kind of drink you'd see the characters on Mad Men drink. This simple cognac is paired with spirits and pear flavored maple syrup. It's finished off with an orange peel and a hint of concentrated bitters.

The Short Stack looks dreamy with its frothy finish. This drink is made with blueberry flavored vodka, buttermilk, vanilla, and a whole egg. It's as if you're eating a blueberry pancake infused with alcohol. Instead of fruity notes, it includes pomegranate syrup. This drink is shaken dry, then shaken with ice, and topped off with concentrated bitters that are made with gentian, herbs, and spices.

The Ginger is one of the spiciest drinks on this list. It's the perfect drink to take you into the holiday season. This autumn drink is made with two ounces of spirit and is topped off with apple cider. This bourbon is mixed with marshmallow milk, sweet carrot acid, and ginger-made maple syrup. It's then finished off with apple flavored hard cider.

These are just some alcoholic drinks that can be made with syrup. Most of these are sure to whet your palette this holiday season. Want to make a simple cocktail with maple syrup? Try the Aperol Sour or the Perfect Pear, both of which are infused with lemon juice or freshly squeezed lemon juice. Remember to drink responsibly this holiday season.


Wriggly Toes

Styling kids bedrooms is no small task, after all, you are dealing with some of the harshest critics in the known universe, small children. Balancing your needs to make a creative space that is safe and fun with their needs to have pink unicorns and rainbows, is the juggling act of every parent.  With the help of Wriggly Toes, you can rest assured that they have creative kids bedding that is not only playful, but also safe containing GOTS certified organic cotton.

Wriggly Toes crafts GOTS certified Organic Kids Bedding which means it not only one of the safest for your child but also for the environment, not something many bedding retailers can claim. To add to the wild imaginations of the little ones, they include bedtime stories which really add to the charm.


How to Successfully Style the Nook or Niche in Your Home







desire to inspire

the design files



So, has anyone else noticed the emergence of a new interior design trend? Whereas the awkward corner or peculiar spaced cut-out used to be the bane of an interior designers’ existence, all of a sudden, the ugly ducklings of interior design have become the darlings of the home fashion world. It seems like everyone contemplating a DIY project (it’s always a good idea to do your research before deciding whether to DIY) is now actively looking for ways to incorporate “a niche” or “a nook”.

What is a nook? What is a niche (and how do you actually pronounce it)? Why are they suddenly so popular? All valid questions (oh, and it’s pronounced similar to “quiche” or “leash”). Basically, a nook is classified as a space that is large enough for a person to occupy, but too small to be an independent room (a dedicated reading corner, a window seat, etc.). A niche is a recessed area of a wall that can be used for storage or decoration (you see them used a lot in modern bathrooms). Why are they so popular now? Personally, I blame reality TV. 

There are basically two separate categories of niches/nooks that you’ll generally find in a home: the “created on purpose” nook/niche (specifically built as a design feature) and the “it exists because of the building layout” nook/niche (the space below a flight of stairs). So, if you want to incorporate a nook or niche into your interior design, start by analysing potential spots that may already exist. If you need to create one, then it may be worth talking to an expert about the best way to go about installing one with minimal expense. But once you have your niche or nook, how can you go about styling it successfully? Remember, you want it to look intriguing and effortless, not overdone or sloppy.

  • The Breakfast Nook: One of the easiest nooks to create, all you need is a trestle table and some stools or bench seats that slot underneath. This comfortable corner is ideal for a quick breakfast or even a late-night snack. The key to a successful breakfast nook is to style it so it suits the rest of the kitchen, and institute a family rule prohibiting the use of the nook as a dumping ground for books, bags and other assorted items.
  • The Decorative Niche: The decorative niche is commonly found in close proximity to an entry door and will (if possible) have a downlight installed directly above to maximise the effect. Purely for decorative purposes, these niches look great with an attractive vase or an eye-catching sculpture taking centre stage.
  • The Reading Nook: All a reading nook really requires is decent lighting and a comfy chair. If you have an inbuilt closet that is seldom used, consider transforming the interior into a little reading nook for your children to enjoy. Another great option is the awkward landing space commonly found at the top of stairs – install a cosy armchair, add a tiny side table and a free-standing lamp, and your reading nook is complete. Bonus points if you manage to incorporate a small bookshelf.
  • The Storage Niche: The storage niche is great for creating extra shelving in the lounge room or bedroom, but its greatest value is in a shower. Why? Because we all know that the ugliest part of a shower is the shower caddy (responsible for holding shampoos, soaps and all other essential shower paraphernalia). Once you’ve installed a shower niche you will have a dedicated space where you can arrange all of your bottles and jars.
  • The Picture Window Nook: This kind of nook will really only look good if it has been specifically built for this purpose. If you want to add one to your existing home then choose a longer room (you are going to lose space), preferably with a nice outlook. The ideal picture window nook will include a large viewing window, plus a window seat or well-positioned daybed; if you’re custom building this nook then be alert to opportunities to install inbuilt shelves.
  • The Under the Stairs Nook: What used to be considered dead space can now become a study nook (small desk, chair and computer), a music nook (for storing the piano or any other musical instruments) or even a play nook for the children (some plush cushions and a few favourite toys). 
Regardless of where you choose to install a niche or nook, try and get the balance right between style and function. There are literally thousands of style ideas online, but not all of them will work with your space, so take the time to really consider what kind of niche or nook will best suit your home.


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