Columbus Travel Guide

Lauren recently spent a long weekend in Columbus, Ohio with some friends, seeing sights, eating at local restaurants, and of course sampling lots of fun drinks!

Day one began with gel manicures at Lacquer Gallery, where they graced our nails with fun designs and even gold leaf! Once our nails were looking like something that belongs on a magazine cover, we walked the two short blocks to Katalina’s for brunch!

pink, blue, and gold manicure

We indulged in some delicious & award-winning chorizo breakfast tacos, fresh-squeezed blood orange juice, and of course had to try the Nutella pancake balls! All were incredible!

breakfast tacos and pancake balls with bacon and blood orange juice

After fueling up, we explored the nearby Victorian Village neighborhood on foot, looking at all the old houses.

Then we drove over to Easton Town Center, explored some shops, and got our first taste of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, which almost warrants a trip to Columbus all on it’s own! Pictured below is the Frosé sorbet, an incredibly perfect choice for the hot day that it was. The shopping center also offered lots of fun photo ops like a large fountain and a flowery photo booth!

We also found a fun little mural that encouraged us to take some jumping pics. We couldn’t resist!

After spending the entire first day walking around in the sun, we slept in late on day two, and then proceeded to spend another day walking! We walked around Victorian Village some more, spent a short time at the pool at our friend’s apartment complex, and then walked to High Street to explore the Columbus nightlife.

We quickly discovered that High Street is the place to be on a Saturday night as we couldn’t get a table anywhere! We put our name on a waitlist for an incredible rooftop bar called Lincoln Social and then decided to get some food from Shake Shack while we waited.

About two hours later, we got the text that we were in! It was well worth the wait. They make the cocktails you order right in front of you, and serve them in really unique ways. For example, the Hibiscus Mule is served in a teacup!

After our first round of drinks, we noticed a nearby table with a glowing purple beverage and asked the bartender what it was. We found out it was a shareable cocktail called Starry Night! Made with purple Watershed vodka, citrus infused chablis, Grand Marnier, champagne, and garnished with floating lights, we knew we needed to have it!

After blowing our step goals out of the water two days in a row, it was time for a relaxing pool day. The weather on Sunday was absolutely gorgeous and called for some frozen cocktails while soaking up the sun. As if that doesn’t already sound like the perfect day, the pool at this apartment complex is incredibly unique and a truly beautiful space to enjoy!

Lauren in pool with frozen cocktail

When we felt refreshed and well-rested, we drove to German Village, explored the cobblestone streets of this neighborhood, strolled through a quaint little park, and then walked to Antiques on High for a round of drinks.

two red mocktails and a strawberry pina colada cocktail

We tried the Imperial Orb mocktail, which is perfect if you need a refreshing afternoon pick-me-up! It’s made with beet, pomegranate, orange, lemon, and ginger, and we felt completely rejuvenated after drinking it! The Miami Vice pictured in the back (half piña colada, half strawberry daiquiri), is an excellent boozy option as well!

As we were walking to Antiques on High, we smelled some delicious food across the street at Local Cantina, and decided to head there next for dinner. After filling up on a variety of tasty tacos, we walked to the nearby Book Loft of German Village, a fun little shop with 32 rooms of books!

With our bellies full and stacks of new books in our hands, we drove back to our friend’s apartment for a relaxing evening in.

We started our fourth and final day with a breakfast of bagel sandwiches and blueberry lemonade at The Lox Bagel Shop on High Street.

two bagel sandwiches

After chowing down this deliciousness, we walked across the street to The Candle Lab to make our own signature scented candles! We combined scents like Goji Berry, Yuzu, and Chardonnay and mixed the fragrances into hot wax. Two hours later we were able to go back and pick up our one-of-a-kind scented candles!

In honor of our last day in Columbus, we had to stop at Jeni’s one more time. The purple Wildberry Lavender definitely ranked high as one of our favorite flavors.

On our way out of town, we stopped at Fox in the Snow Cafe for coffee, cinnamon rolls, scones, and delicious blueberry galettes. It was a lovely way to end a wonderful weekend in Columbus and we look forward to visiting this lively city again soon!

We Spent a Weekend in a Luxury Tiny Home

If you’ve ever been to the Wisconsin Dells, you’ve probably spent time at one of the many waterparks or local campgrounds. With so many attractions like these, the Dells boasts the best of what summer has to offer, and truly has something for everyone.

When traveling, we always look for the best ways to fully experience the city we’re in. We love trying new foods and cocktails, taking in the scenery, and finding fun and unique activities (and places to take photos)! But among our priorities is also finding high quality accommodations. So when we were offered a stay at Natura Natural Destinations in Wisconsin Dells, we knew we couldn’t pass it up.

Lauren and her husband booked the Treetop Escape Tiny Home which is equipped with a full kitchen, two bedrooms, full bathroom (with a rainfall shower head), and a gorgeous rooftop patio with a hammock and views of the nearby natural lagoon!

The lagoon was an absolute treat. Sadly, it was too cold to swim, but it was lovely to sit on the beach and take in the view. The lagoon is naturally filtered by plants, so there’s no chlorine!

On our first night, we went across the street to Hot Rocks for dinner. This was an incredible experience. Not only do they serve delicious tiki drinks, but you can pay a little extra and keep the adorable tiki glass! Naturally, Lauren carried it around all weekend making tropical cocktails and posing for pictures. Hot Rocks is also unique because you get to cook your own steak and seafood on 750 degree lava stones! We loved watching our food sizzle on the stone in front of us as it cooked.

On Saturday, we went out for brunch at High Rock Cafe in Downtown Dells, and then came back and spent most of the day laying in the hammock or sitting on the beach by the lagoon. We seriously could not get enough of the space.

If you are looking to get out and explore the Dells area more though, Natura is located in a prime spot on the strip. It was only about a 5 minute drive to every restaurant and activity we did. Whether you’re ready for an adventure or just want a cozy, luxury getaway in a natural oasis, we highly recommend staying in a tiny home at Natura Natural Destinations!

Honey Rosemary Gin-Gin

Wisconsin was recently hit with several weeks of subzero temperatures, so we were in desperate need of something to remind us of spring. We called on Waterloo Gin (made with juniper, coriander and anise, with flavors and aromas of pecans, lavender and grapefruit zest) to make a wonderful cocktail to lift our spirits, so to speak.

We combined the gin with a flavorful honey rosemary syrup, lemon juice, and ez ginger soda, an organic soda made with just five simple ingredients: water, Stevia, ginger, agave, and citrus.

While Lauren’s husband says this cocktail “tastes like plants,” we find it to be much more complex, with an elegant balance of citrus flavor, botanicals, and just the right amount of sweetness. We appreciate his honesty though, and we’ll let him stick to his beer. 😉

If you’re a cocktail lover and especially a gin drinker, we think you’ll love this one as much as we do. Cheers!

Honey Rosemary Syrup Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 Tbsp honey
  • 1 sprig of rosemary

Cocktail Ingredients:

To start, you’ll want to make your Honey Rosemary syrup. Heat water over medium heat for about 5 minutes, then add honey and rosemary, stirring until honey is dissolved and mixture is fragrant. Remove the sprig of rosemary and set syrup aside to cool.

Once the syrup has cooled, it’s time to make the cocktail! First, fill a highball glass with ice. Then add the gin, syrup, and lemon juice. Top with ginger soda and stir. Garnish with a lemon wheel and sprig of rosemary. Enjoy!

Strawberry Rhubarb Gin Fizz with Rhubarb-Infused Gin

Strawberry and rhubarb is probably one of the best early-summer duos we can imagine. In honor of World Gin Day (June 13), we created this delicious Strawberry Rhubarb Gin Fizz that will have you tasting summer no matter what time of year it is.

Unless you already have some rhubarb gin in your bar collection, this will take some time (potentially several weeks for the infusion), but if you stock up on rhubarb while it’s in season and infuse a big batch, you’ll be able to enjoy this tasty and refreshing beverage all year round.

You will need:

  • 3 1/2 cups of washed & chopped rhubarb stalks
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 500 mL gin (about 2 cups) (we used Spring44 Distilling Gin)
  1. Cut rhubarb stalks into small (about 1 cm) pieces.
  2. Place into large jar and add sugar.
  3. Seal the jar and shake to combine. Leave overnight to allow time for the sugar to pull the juice out of the rhubarb.
  4. After 24 hours, add the gin and shake again.

We infused our gin for about 3 weeks, but depending on your preference you may want to let it infuse for a longer or shorter duration. Give the jar an occasional shake throughout the process and taste often! When it has reached your desired level of flavor, it’s done! We’ve heard of infusing as long as 4 weeks, and as short as 12 hours.

Our gin after about 2 weeks.

When you decide your gin is ready, it’s time mix up a delicious Strawberry Rhubarb Gin Fizz!

Here’s what you’ll need to make it:

  • 2-3 fresh (or frozen) strawberries
  • 1 oz fresh lemon juice
  • 1.5 oz rhubarb-infused gin
  • Klarbrunn Strawberry Guava sparkling water
  • Strawberries and/or lemon for garnish
  1. Muddle 2-3 strawberries with lemon juice in the bottom of a mason jar. If using frozen strawberries you may need to wait a few minutes for thawing. The lemon juice should help speed up the process.
  2. Add in rhubarb gin and stir.
  3. Fill the rest of the jar with ice and top with Strawberry Guava sparkling water.
  4. Garnish with fruit and enjoy!

We’d love to know if you try our infusion or cocktail recipe! Let us know how it goes in the comments! Cheers!

Bacon Mushroom Spinach Quiche

Due to the recent Safer at Home order put in place to help stop the spread of COVID-19, many of us will be spending Easter alone or just with immediate family. If you’re in need of a simple recipe for a low key Easter brunch, look no further than this delicious Bacon Mushroom Spinach Quiche!

This recipe was adapted from a variety of quiche recipes on wisconsincheese.com, so if this recipe doesn’t quite appeal to your taste preferences, check out their website for more ideas!

Ingredients:

  • 8 eggs
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups (6 oz) shredded aged white cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup chopped baby spinach leaves
  • 1 cup sliced cremini mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup chopped cooked bacon

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Whisk the eggs, cream, milk, salt and pepper in a large bowl.
  3. Stir in the cheese, spinach, mushrooms, and bacon.
  4. Pour into a greased 8×8 casserole dish.
  5. Bake for 50-55 minutes or until center is set and a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.
  6. Let stand for 5-10 minutes before serving.
  7. Serve with orange slices and Beetology beet & berry juice to compliment the savory eggs, bacon, and cheese.
  8. Enjoy!

Let us know in the comments how you’re planning to celebrate Easter this year!

Orange Is The New Blackberry

Somewhere in between an Old Fashioned and a Whiskey Smash, our Orange is the New Blackberry cocktail is the perfect drink to enjoy on International Whisk(e)y Day!

You’ll need everything pictured above, plus some honey! Our favorite is Gentle Breeze!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1.5 oz 45th Parallel Distillery New Richmond Rye Whiskey
  • 1.5 oz 45th Parallel Distillery Madison Avenue Orangecello
  • Klarbrunn Berry Blend sparkling water
  • 1 orange
  • 7-10 blackberries
  • drizzle of honey

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Muddle 5-7 blackberries and 1-2 orange slices with a generous drizzle of honey in a whiskey glass.
  2. Fill glass with ice and add New Richmond Rye and Orangecello.
  3. Stir well.
  4. Top with sparkling water.
  5. Garnish with an orange slice and remaining blackberries!
  6. Enjoy!

We hope everyone has a safe and healthy International Whiskey Day! Cheers!

St. Patrick’s Honey Apple Tea Party

St. Patrick’s Day is going to be a little different this year, thanks to COVID-19 and social distancing. There may be less festivities this year, but that doesn’t mean there has be to be less St. Patrick’s Day drinks!

We just created a fun new cocktail for you to try with Stolen Whiskey, Doundrin’s Distilling Honey Liqueur (made with local Gentle Breeze Honey!), and Salada Asian Pear Matcha Green Tea.

Our favorite part about this cocktail is the honey garnish which not only adds a unique visual effect, but also adds a pleasant sweetness to compliment every sip!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1.5 oz Stolen Whiskey
  • 1.5 oz Doundrin’s Distilling Honey Liqueur
  • 1 packet Salada Asian Pear Matcha Green Tea
  • Splash of apple juice
  • 1 Granny Smith apple (for garnish)
  • Drizzle of Gentle Breeze honey

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. First, you will want to steep a cup of green tea. Set aside.
  2. Place used tea bag in cocktail shaker and fill with ice.
  3. Add whiskey, honey liqueur, a splash of green tea, and a splash of apple juice – tea and apple ratios can be made according to your own preferences, we just guessed!
  4. Shake and strain into glass filled with ice.
  5. Garnish with apple slice and a drizzle of honey around the rim of the glass. Enjoy!

We hope everyone has a safe and healthy St. Patty’s Day! Cheers!

Valentine’s Day Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Both Lauren’s and my favorite food is chocolate covered strawberries. So naturally this is our go-to recipe to help celebrate Valentine’s Day this year. The secret to amazing strawberries? Add a liqueur into the chocolate for better consistency and added flavor. In the past I’ve used Disaronno which is an amaretto-tasting liqueur and works wonderfully, but for this recipe I’m using Sukkah Hill Spirit‘s Besamim – an aromatic spice liqueur. It creates a much more complex flavor profile and makes for absolutely delicious berries!

What you’ll need:

  • baking sheet lined with wax or parchment paper
  • 1 pint of strawberries
  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
  • 3 TBSP Besamim liqueur

The first thing you’ll want to do is wash and dry the strawberries, and I cannot emphasize this enough – make sure they are dry before dipping them in chocolate or it will not stick!

Next, you will melt the chocolate. There’s a handful of ways to do this – in the microwave, or in a double boiler – but I don’t have a double boiler and I like to keep an eye on it, so I usually do it on the stove top. If you overheat the chocolate, it will become hard and crusty and you will need to start over. A good tip to remember: heat the chocolate low and slow. On a low temp, and stirring continuously.

For added control, I like to melt it a half cup at a time. When the first 1/2 cup is nearly completely melted, add 1 TBSP Besamim and stir in as the chocolate finishes melting. Turn off the heat and immediately dip 1/3 of the strawberries in the chocolate and place on a baking sheet lined with wax paper or parchment paper. Then melt more chocolate, add liqueur, and dip the berries until they are all coated.

Then place the tray in the freezer for about 5 minutes to help the chocolate harden.

Once the chocolate is cool and hardened, melt the white chocolate chips. Use a fork to drizzle the white chocolate onto the strawberries. Feel free to use any combination of chips to create a variety of strawberries! Store berries in the fridge until ready to enjoy.

Serve with Besamim over ice or a glass of your favorite rosé! Happy Valentine’s Day!

– Julia

Wine Tasting with Karl (PRP Wines)

Last weekend I got to try 9 different wines and a delicious Loud coffee liqueur from PRP Wine thanks to my colleague, Karl Barton. PRP Wine produces high quality, exclusive wines from 65 wineries in 13 countries around the world. Karl delivers a fantastic, professional, educational, and entertaining wine tasting experience.

We started off with a nice white wine that they call the “Porch Pounder” because it’s a great summer wine and easy drinking. It was absolutely delicious. Next was a Hungarian wine nicknamed “Naked in the Pool.” Clearly also another great one for summer! The other two white wines we tried were a German Riesling and an unoaked Chardonnay.

Then we had the reds. Before this tasting, I did not consider myself a red wine drinker, so it was perfect when Karl brought out the Chevalier de Bayard (or Red Chevy) which he described as the red wine for white wine drinkers. It was actually really nice and not quite as intense and tannic as some of the reds I’d tried in the past. We also tried a Pinot Noir from Chile, a red Zinfandel from Lodi, and Tres Magi which is a Spanish red blend made from Merlot and Grenache.

So here’s the crazy part. After the Red Chevy, the other red wines were much more bold and tannic and full-bodied. And I liked them ALL. Clearly I just wasn’t drinking the right kinds of red wine before, but I am definitely a red drinker now. I even poured myself a glass of red and enjoyed it with dinner last night.

One of the other amazing things about these wines is that there are no added sulfites. When you get a headache from drinking too much wine, it’s often caused by sulfites. There will always be some present in wine because they occur naturally during the fermentation process, but bigger wine producers add them in to maintain consistent flavor year to year. All of PRP’s wines are single vintage and the producers do not add sulfites in as a part of their wine-making process. Clearly, I had a decent amount of wine at this tasting and I got no headache whatsoever. Not that night, and not the next morning.

We finished with an Italian dessert wine and the Loud coffee liqueur, both of which were absolutely delicious and truly the icing on the cake to a wonderful evening.

Huge thanks to Karl and PRP Wines for helping create such a wonderful evening of good food and drinks with family and friends. If you’d like to have a wine tasting at your home with Karl, leave a comment below and I will put you in touch!

-Lauren