Friday, February 28, 2014

{what i loved this week}

on instagram:  This care package Jamie King received from ABC reminded me just how excited I am for Scandal to return last night!  Amazing array of desert colors in these florals.  Oscar inspired cupcakes at Vanity Fair.  I just about lost my mind (along with everyone else in the stadium) when Rihanna made a surprise appearance on stage at Drake's concert in Paris. 

on pinterest: I happened across these beautiful and intriguing flowers on pinterest- thank god Chelsea helped me identify them!  I don't normally like prickly cactus, but these minis all clustered together are pretty great. 

in real life:  We are currently abroad the Eurostar en route to spend the weekend in London- I never thought I would be saying it, but I really enjoy traveling by train (especially now that most have wifi!) - this shot is from our ride back to Paris from Amsterdam.

on the blogs:  Isn't it funny how you discover something and then the means to recreate it just pop up on a blog or pinterest days later?  While enjoying my first Negroni cocktail in Florence, I was marveling at the dried citrus garnish and thinking about what the process to DIY something like might be- then Spoon Fork Bacon did a blog post all about it that following week!

on the internets:  I know when I worked in retail back in college we had some interesting code words for customers or situations so I thoroughly enjoyed getting a sneak peek into the secret language of NYC's bartenders

on my wishlist: This white lace shift dress and this dark floral swimsuit into my summer wardrobe please!

{friday cocktail: his & hers negroni}

About 10 years ago, Chris and I traveled all around Europe for 6 weeks one summer while we were in college.  Back then was the first time I ever tasted Campari when it was served to me in a Campari Soda on the blazing hot streets of Italy.  I absolutely hated it's bitter taste and steered clear of it up until our recent trip in Florence were I decided to give it a second try with a Negroni.  Much to my surprise I didn't hate it at all- in fact I enjoyed the taste of this bitter yet sweet cocktail so much that I might go as far as to say it's my new favorite drink!

Once we got back to Paris, we picked up the fixings for a Negroni so I could try mixing one up for myself. While researching what the exact proportions are for the recipe we discovered that there isn't really one perfect way to mix up this drink, but rather to tailor the proportions to your taste.  While I like the balance of equal parts of all ingredients, Chris prefers his to have a drier flavor, but both of us agree that this drink is best served over ice.   I thought it might be helpful to provide both recipes and you can decide for yourself what you prefer!


Thursday, February 27, 2014

{36 hours in florence}

stay at:  We got a great deal on a room at Hotel Isabella and the centrally located boutique hotel completed delighted us during our 3 nights there.  The hotel is impeccably decorated and the service level of the staff is on par with a 5-star resort - plus the breakfast included with the room is actually a tasty spread rather than the normal sad fruit and yogurt bar you might expect. 

grab lunch at:  After settling in, hop across the street to Procacci for a glass of wine and mini sandwiches.  Procacci usually has about 6 or 7 different types of two-bite sandwiches for about $1.50 a piece (don't miss the black truffle one!).

take a tour at:  Talk a short walk through the winding cobble-stoned streets over to Basilica Santa Maria Novella where you can tour the centuries old church.  Afterwards, walk around the corner to the Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella which is the pharmacy of the monastery- you can wander through various rooms browsing their selection of perfumes, beauty products, tea, liqueur, and old-school health remedies dating back to the 1600s.  I picked up a bottle of this perfume

grab an afternoon snack at:  You will need to have gelato as much as humanly possible while in Italy and the hand-made gelato from Il Carraia Gelataria blew my mind- definitely try the caramel flavor!

go shopping at:  Wander your way back through the city until you reach the street Lungarno Degli Accaiuoli which runs along the river.  On this street are a handful of artisanal paper shops and leather goods boutiques.  

grab cocktails at:  After freshening up for a night out, head over to Fusion Bar for some pre-dinner cocktails- I highly recommend their Negroni as Florence is the birthplace of this classic drink. 

get dinner at:  You absolutely must book yourself a table at Il Santo Bevitore and come hungry!  Chris and I dined here on our first night in Florence, we loved it so much that we debated coming back the next night in order to sample more of their menu!

go dancing at:  Rivalta Bar is a newly opened restaurant that also has what they refer to as an "american dj set" after hours- it's a great place to grab a nightcap, have a drink and people watch. 

get breakfast at:  On your way out grab breakfast or weekend brunch at Il Rifrullo

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

{oscar party supplies}

This is the first time in years that I haven't been home to host an Oscars viewing party.  I'm not even sure I'll be able to find a way to watch the awards ceremony in Paris which I realize is pretty ridiculous to be complaining about, but it's one of my favorite tv nights of the year!  You can check out last year's Oscar party we had at our house as well as an inspiration board here.  Since I can't gather my own party supplies for the event, I thought it would be fun to link to some of the perfect components to host your own party!

Printable Ballots:  This is an absolute must for Oscars viewing (I generally score horribly on these).  I love this booklet type one from Studio DIY, but if you are looking for a little less time intensive printing then opt for this one-pager from Almost Makes Perfect.

Printable Bingo:  How About Orange's blog has been creating free printable bingo (as well as a matching ballot) forever and I love how much fun having a bingo card adds to watching the awards ceremony- plus it's a good activity for guests who don't really care as much about the show as others (ahem, my husband).

Festive Decor:  Obviously my first choice for Oscars party decor would be to go all out gold & silver with sequin tablcloths, adorable printables, and festive garland, but a little packet of gold confetti is really all you need.

Gourmet Popcorn:  Pick up a packet of these mini popcorn containers and fill with gourmet flavored popcorn like this or this.  Another option is setting up a DIY popcorn toppings bar like this one to put the work on your guests!

Fancy Mini Bites:  Tv viewing parties are never about sitting down to a full on meal, but your guests are going to need more than popcorn to get through the night.  I love to serve fancy mini bites- especially recipes that can be made before guests arrive like crostini or sliders.

Signature Cocktail:  No party of mine would complete without a special cocktail for the evening (I have really been wanting to make this one for a party)- bonus points if you whip a batch ahead of time so you aren't mixing cocktails all night long.

Lots of Champagne:  No explanation needed here.  This one is my favorites for under $15 a bottle!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

{paris: week eight + florence & amsterdam}

Our eighth week in Paris was actually not spent in Paris at all!  We spent Sunday to Wednesday in Florence, Italy (I shared a glimpse at our awesome hotel room in last week's recap) then flew to Amsterdam until Saturday afternoon.  Florence was such a relaxing city to getaway to and I was convinced we should cancel our Amsterdam trip in order to stay there all week if only to facilitate more pasta eating.  I'll be sharing a full recap including a short itinerary for Florence later this week so I won't go into too much detail about that city now.   

Amsterdam truly surprised me as I was not expecting to enjoy our time there nearly as much as we did!  We stayed in Hotel Vondel which felt like the Dutch version of The Ace hotel chain.  The three days we spent in the Netherlands were enjoyed by wandering around the city's curvy streets and getting lost in shops and restaurants along the numerous canals.  Decadent Dutch breakfast spreads were one of the highlights of the city for me- my favorite of which was at G's Really Nice Place.  G's  is located in a more residential neighborhood and the decor is quaint with pink tufted sofas and quirky comic book tablecloths, but the restaurant has a playful edge with a stripper pole gracing the edge of the coffee bar and the photo background of the menus reminiscent of an American Apparel ad.  Another dining highlight was getting to try a traditional rijsttafel meal (translates to rice table) which is a spread of 40+ tiny Indonesian dishes served alongside heaping portions of white rice which we experienced at Indrapura.   We returned to Paris late Saturday via high speed Thalys train which took about 3 and a half hours.

I can't believe we only have a few more weeks left of our time here which I know will fly by especially with a trip to London coming up this weekend, friends visiting the following week and a trip to Morocco at the end of March before we head home. 

 {Florence- beautiful even when it's gloomy}

 {a small sampling of the perfumes at Santa Maria Novella}

 {all the pretty things I purchased in Florence}

 {feeding swans in the Amsterdam canals. Chris practically had to yank me away from this activity or I would have stayed there all day.}

{Ksumi tea boutique in Paris makes some of the most delicious tea blends I have ever had.  They are bit pricey, but truly luxurious in flavor.  We walked over to their Opera location in the beautiful weather today to pick up some of the Prince Vladmir tea}

Monday, February 24, 2014

{monday morning with: lexi of glitter inc.}

Today's Monday Morning With chat features the super sweet Lexi Holzberg Kritzer of Glitter Inc.  Lexi and I met over a year ago when we both ventured to chilly Minneapolis for a panel with Target & Glam Media (an experience that was a first for both of us which we bonded over!).  Although we only got to spend a short day together, I was immediately drawn to her refreshingly positive personality and have been a dedicated follower of her blog ever since- especially her fun and approachable fashion posts!

what's your drink of choice?
Is it lame to say Diet Coke?  I'm a total junkie, though I've learned to limit the obsession to just a few a month.

what's the most recent store you shopped at?

do you have a signature scent? 
Miss Dior 

what is the top item on your wishlist right now? 
That's tough, mostly because my wishlist is about a mile long.  But since we're talking "wishlist", I've been dreaming about the Alexander Wang Diego bag for about forever-and-a-day, so I'd say that one is at the tippity top of my wishlist.

what'd you do this past weekend?
This past weekend was packed: it was Valentine's Day so I celebrated with hubby, we went to the Keys with my family on Saturday (That's the beauty of living in Miami - you can get to the Keys in an hour!), and Sunday was full of shopping and playing blog catch-up.

where are you or where would you like to travel to next?
I endlessly dream of traveling.  Next up, I'd love to take a tour of the castles of England (I'm a history nut!) or check out Australia.

what are you currently reading?
I just finished reading The Second Empress by Michelle Moran (I highly recommend all of Michelle Moran's books, especially her stories about Nefertiti and Cleopatra.)  I also started book four of The Mortal Instruments series, by Cassandra Clare.

favorite quote of the moment?
"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain."

whats your new favorite blog discovery?
A few new blogs I have instantly fallen for: freutcake, smitten studio, and clara persis's blog.

tell us a secret?
There's a BIG one on my blog this morning.

Friday, February 21, 2014

{what i loved this week}

on instagram: Beachside pictures like this one and this one are making me dream of planning a warm weather vacation.  Love these spiked flats from Zara.  Gorgeous clutches you can now rent along with the dress from RTR. 

on pinterest:  Not sure when I would ever need a set up like this, but I love the simple layout of these partner desks.   It's hard to tell whether these floral designs are pieces of wallpaper or paintings or tapestries, but I would love to figure it out and then buy some for myself!

on the internets:  I recently discovered the dreamy Paris blog, Making Magique, which has been a great resource for some Paris activities and she also writes the Rendez-Vous blog for Lancome's site featuring even more glamorous Paris info!

on the blogs:  One of my absolute favorite blogs for home decor inspiration is Bijou & Boheme and the talented blogger/designer behind it, Christine Dovey, just relaunched the blog as a re-branded new site under her name.   

on my wishlist:  Looking forward to warmer spring weather, I would love to add each one of these items to my closet: printed romper from Revolve,  sequined shift from ASOS and an interesting silk dress from Shopbop.  

{friday cocktail: fusion 75}

We just spent 4 wonderful days in the beautiful city of Florence soaking up all the charming city has to offer- especially the delicious pasta, pizza and gelato!  After a fun evening at a pizza making class, we headed to Fusion Bar in the Gallery Art Hotel to grab an after dinner cocktail.  We had intended to have a single nightcap, but ended up staying for 3 (plus a few more mini drinks the amazingly attentive bartender whipped up for us just to try for free!).  It's no surprise around here that I love a good champagne cocktail, so my first choice off the menu was the Fusion 75 which is the bar's take on a classic French 75, but they have added muddled lemongrass and sub the lemon juice for lime. It is served in it's own personal ice bucket (as pictured above) which seemed sort of gimmicky to me at first, but was really kind of great since my drink stayed perfectly cold for the duration of time I was sipping it!  For more cocktail inspiration, you can check out their entire cocktail menu right here.


Wednesday, February 19, 2014

{paris flea market find}

Leaving the famous Marche Aux Puces french flea market empty-handed last month didn't discourage me from staying on the hunt for a fabulous flea market find to bring home with us.  A couple weekends ago, my girlfriend invited me to go check out the smaller street flea market in the south of Paris called Puces de Vanves.  This little outdoor flea is much smaller with temporary stalls set up early in the morning.  Most of the stalls here sell small house wares or artwork and the prices were much more in line with what I am used to from trips to the Rose Bowl or Long Beach flea markets back in California.  

I spotted the lighter of these two floral oil paintings sitting in the back of a stall and when I asked the owner if I could get a closer look he pulled out both the light and the more vibrant painting for me as they were to be sold as a pair.  I hesitantly asked for the price and was pleasantly surprised when he told me 42Euro for both!!  Some quick and friendly haggling had me walking away with both of these floral oil paintings for 30Euro total!  A total steal if you ask me since I would probably be willing to spend that much for just the gorgeous gold frames alone.  Each oil painting is about 16" by 20" contained in a thick wood frame and appears to be in great condition.  I cannot wait to get these home to find the perfect place for them to live in our home. 


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

{paris: week seven}

This past week in Paris was filled with some of my favorite activities.  In addition to feeling like I have totally mastered the art of baking french macarons, we also got a once in a lifetime chance to celebrate Valentine's Day in one of the most romantic cities in the world!  Up until this week, I had never taken a cooking class in my life (I always though they were cheesy and that you don't really learn anything) and was pleasantly surprised by what a fun and informative experience it proved to be.  Three girlfriends and myself attended the "Macaron Intensive" class at La Cuisine de Paris and after 3 hours of baking, laughing and eating more macarons than I care to admit, I can honestly say that I could successfully recreate the recipe all by myself.  The classes are pricey, but worth every single penny!

Chris and I usually opt for an intimate evening in our home for Valentine's, but given that we are Paris (and our kitchen is comically tiny), we planned out an entire day of activities.  Starting off with this french toast for breakfast we then headed out to the Pont de l'Archeveche to place our own love lock on the bridge- read all about that tradition here.  Placing a lock on the bridge and subsequently throwing away the key into the Seine river was equal parts cheesy and incredibly romantic.  Afterwards we walked over to the Grand Palais to catch the Cartier exhibit before it left the city this past Sunday.  That evening we dined on a decadent menu comprised of all different types of souffles here and then sipped on late night drinks at our favorite Paris cocktail bar, Curio.

 {insane tiaras at Cartier's exhibit}

{we are currently in Florence, Italy staying in this adorable hotel room.  Tomorrow we head out to Amsterdam and I can't wait to give you full recaps and recommendations for both cities soon!}

Monday, February 17, 2014

{monday morning with: mackenzie of design darling}

I have quite a treat for you on this week's Monday Morning With feature, not only does today's blogger have an amazing eye-candy filled site, but she also curates an adorable online shop that makes me feel like she is secretly reading my personal wishlist.  I first discovered Mackenzie's blog after clicking through a pinterest link to this adorable perserved boxwood in her shop.  I immediately fell in the love with the impeccably stocked online boutique and her lifestyle blog, Design Darling - you will definitely want to go spend some significant time on each after reading her interview below:

What's your drink of choice?
Iced coffee or a Hendricks gin and tonic.

What's the most recent store you shopped at?
J.Crew, always.

Do you have a signature scent?
I rotate between Coach Poppy and Ralph by Ralph Lauren

What is the top item on your wishlist right now?
A trip to Austin, Texas! Finally trying to make it happen :)

What'd you do this past weekend?
I went to a country concert on Friday, had a bunch of family in town on Saturday, and brought my puppy to the dog park on Sunday!

Where would you like to travel next?
Besides Austin, I'd love to do Charleston or Palm Springs!

What are you currently reading?
Favorite quote of the moment?
Don't worry about the people who talk behind your back; they're behind you for a reason.

What's your favorite new blog discovery? 
Domaine Home!

Tell us a secret?
I'm deathly afraid of cats. :(

Friday, February 14, 2014

{what i loved this week}

on instagram: A glorious simple white framed gallery wall.  Gourmet meringues that I plan on hunting down when we are in London in a few weeks.  The most gorgeous table setting at Laduree.  The fruits of the macaron class I took earlier this week with some of my girlfriends who are also here in Paris.

on pinterest:  Ever since trying out Thanksgiving leftover tacos, I am always on the lookout for interesting new taco combinations.  Would love to recreate this moody outdoor dinner party look

in real life:  We finally booked our flights to Marrakech and will be headed there at the end of March.  We found a great place to stay, but are having a hard time pinning down good restaurants so if you have been please send along your recommendations!

on the blogs:  I cannot believe this table is DIY-ed, let alone how simple the directions are!  Fun DIY cement diamonds- could be interesting used as centerpieces or tiny versions could be used as placecards. 

on the internets:  The modern men's online brand, Bonobos, just launched their women's counterpart, AYR and it appears to be a good resource for high quality basics. 

on my wishlist:  A flamingo one piece that is just dying to be taken to Palm Springs!  My desire to own this tray confirms my obsession with palm leaf prints.  A great thin waterfall leather jacket from ASOS- perfect for layering.

{friday cocktail: la vie en rouge}

Today's cocktail could not be more perfect for Valentine's Friday with it's deep red color that comes from Lillet Rouge, a delicious and slightly sweet fortified wine.  I have tried both the Lillet Rose & Lillet Blanc from bottles I located in specialty stores in the US, but I had yet to try their original, Lillet Rouge.  What better place to sample a bottle than in Paris where you can find this spirit in most local grocery stores!  I adapted today's recipe based on this cocktail, but added in honey syrup and subbed orange juice based on availability.  I also upped the amount of gin because that just felt right to me.  Hope you enjoy this or another tasty cocktail with a loved one this evening!


Thursday, February 13, 2014

{brioche french toast}

The local boulangerie where we pick up baguettes almost daily also carries an extensive selection of amazing tartes, quiches and different breads.  On occasion they have loaves of brioche available and this past weekend we picked one up to make decadent french toast inspired by the dish I had here.  Since our little paris apartment has no oven and a mini stovetop with only two burners, we had to improvise on the recipe a little, but this dish turned out amazing.  Would be the perfect dish to surprise your Valentine with tomorrow or as a special weekend brunch- see recipe below. 

 {two things: one, butter here in paris is basically its own food group and two, they sell ready made creme anglais in the market here- not like the tiny hard to find specialty market, but the regular run of the mill corner market.  I want to put it on everything.}

Brioche French Toast:
(serves 2)

what you need:

  • 6 slices of day-old loaf of brioche bread
  • 6 eggs
  • 3/4 cup cream
  • juice of half an orange
  • zest of one lemon
  • beans from 1 vanilla bean (or 2 tablespoons vanilla extract)*
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 pinch ground nutmeg
  • 1 pinch salt
  • butter
  • optional toppings: maple syrup, fresh fruit, creme anglais!!
  1. Whisk together eggs, cream, juice, vanilla, sugar, zest, cinnamon, nutmeg, & salt in large bowl.
  2. Immerse each slice of bread into bowl, flipping to fully cover in mixture.  Or you can place all slices into a baking dish and pour mixture over top allowing slices to soak for 5 minutes.
  3. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in large skillet pan over medium heat.
  4. Fry two to three slices in pan at a time- flipping after about 3 to 4 minutes or until golden brown on each side. 
  5. Add fresh butter to pan between batches of slices.
  6. Garnish with creme anglais and fresh fruit.  
*vanilla beans are comically cheap here in Paris (as in $3 for two of them!) so I find myself adding them to almost any recipe I can!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

{valentine's gift guide}

I absolutely love Valentine's Day (like almost every other girl alive) and I feel pretty lucky that this year we get to spend the holiday in Paris (otherwise I would be hosting this party).  Here is a little gift guide of for all the last minute shoppers out there and the best part is everything is under $100 (so maybe you should probably get a few of them!):

1. Chloe Rose perfume- all the perfumes in this line are great, but this one is too perfect for Valentine's with the added rose notes and pink ribbon!

2.  Any gift from this list or otherwise must be accompanied by a beautifully written card on equally beautiful paper- any of these from Sugar Paper LA will do!

3.  Festive pink heels from ASOS - these feel like replicas of Barbie heels, but in a good way.

4.  Fun earrings that are sure to be different than anything she already ones.

5.  As with the card, no gift on this list should be given without a bottle of champagne to accompany it- Moet is one of my personal favorites- especially the Rose

6.  Pretty lingerie - if you can't figure out what direction to go with your gift, you can always count on lingerie.  I love this lace bralette or anything from this site or this one.

7.  Flowers- do not give her a sad bouquet of red roses on Valentine's day.  Take this picture or any one of these to a good local florist as early as possible before Valentine's and ask them to recreate it.  Here are some of my favorite florists in a variety of cities:

Los Angeles: Flower Girl LA or Bloem Hill

New York: Poppies & Posies or Violet & Verde

Chicago:  Four Finches or Hello Darling

San Francisco: Mums Floral Design or Natalie B Designs

Atlanta: Gertie Mae's

Dallas: Stems of Dallas

8.  I just recently added this book to my wishlist- even though I love a good macaron, I think the meringue is coming up quickly behind it as the new "it" dessert especially with companies like this popping up!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

{paris: week six}

Between having a little mishap (i.e. dropped and broke) my favorite lens and both of us getting sick this week, I don't have a ton of Paris photos to share today so instead I did a little roundup of some of my favorite Instagram snaps from our time here.  Follow me on Instagram here.

Even though we were under the weather, we were able to make it out to have some tasty and authentic Indian food here following by great cocktails here and a tiki punch here.  I also ventured out into the beautiful sunny weather to scope out the new Zara Spring collection where I picked up this skirt and these heels.

Monday, February 10, 2014

{monday morning with: Amelia of The CHICago Life}

As soon as I found out we were re-locating to Chicago two years back, I immediately started hunting down the best Chicago based blogs to follow.  The CHICago Life blog was one that immediately captured my attention and made me excited to experience this brand new city.  So this Monday morning I have the fabulous Amelia for a little virtual coffee chat to give us more answers beyond just her fave Chicago places!  After you check out her interview below be sure so hop over to her blog and swoon over her recent posts about her elegant winter wedding

what's your drink of choice?

what's the most recent store you shopped at?
Saks Fifth Avenue, my favorite standby.  Always reliable! 

do you have a signature scent?
At the moment, Diptyque's Volutes.

what is the top item on your wishlist right now?
An everyday winter coat that's equal parts warm and stylish, probably from Mackage or Moncler

what'd you do this past weekend?
I relaxed by day, and celebrated the birthdays of my husband and best girlfriend by night. Perfection! 

where are you or where would you like to travel to next?
My girlfriends and I are planning a week-long road trip up the California coast in March- I can't wait! 

what are you currently reading?
Case books for law school.

favorite quote of the moment?
"Worry is a misuse of the imagination." 

whats your new favorite blog discovery? 

tell us a secret?
I talk to my two dogs around the house, and I'm pretty sure they understand, haha!

Friday, February 7, 2014

{what i loved this week}

on instagram:  I have been on a serious hunt for some fun colorful art to add to our collection- this one would be great!  Another amazing illustration by the talented Inslee.  I still cannot believe that timing worked out and we will be seeing Drake + The Weeknd in Paris in a few weeks!  Living vicariously through all the bloggers currently at NY fashion week.

on pinterest:  Anthropologie's Volcano candle has always been a great standby besides my favorite scent for our house, but now Target has an affordable duplicate!  A good reminder. 

in real life: Stuck in bed earlier this week battling a cold, I discovered seasons 1 and 2 of Scandal and now I'm officially obsessed. 

on the blogs:  A fun DIY framing alternative using acrylic on one of my fave home blog- The Hunted Interior.  An adorable mini cake perfect for Valentine's day. 

on the internets:  Net-a-Porter just launched their first print and digital magazine- if it is anything like their lookbook campaigns or impeccable branding then its going to be real good stuff!

on my wishlist:  Maybe the most perfect headboard ever made- would be especially fun for a guest room.  A great statement necklace perfect for layering over a simple t-shirt.  As soon as I'm back in the US, I'll be ordering one of these Valentino prints from ZGallerie.   

{friday cocktail: rose etoile}

On a recent trip to Le Grand Epicerie in Paris, I picked up a little tasting trio of flavored liqueurs including rose, pear & violette, but have yet to use them in a cocktail.  With Valentine's approaching next week, I figured a recipe using the rose liqueur would be about as perfect as you can get.  Loosely based on this recipe, I created a champagne cocktail with a base of gin and lemon then added a splash of the rose liqueur.  Since real vanilla beans are disturbingly cheap here in France, I also made up a tiny batch of vanilla simple syrup to give the cocktail that extra sweetness.