Cocktail Friday: Sparkle, Neely, sparkle!

beesWith the holidays here, cocktails are omnipresent at office parties, house parties and celebrations. And champagne (or other bubble-filled) drinks seem to be the most festive. Check out some of these ideas.

Bee’s Knees Royale

1 oz. Drambuie

1 oz. Hendrick’s gin

1/2 oz. fresh lemon juice

1/2 oz. honey

2 oz. champagne

roseMaking it: Combine first four ingredients and shake well. Strain into a flute or coupe. Top with bubbly. Optional: Garnish with a spritzed orange peel.

Sparking Rose

1.5 oz. Milagro silver tequila

1/4 oz. simple syrup

1/2 oz. fresh lemon juice

3/4 oz. watermelon juice

2 oz. sparkling rose

Making it: Combine first four ingredients in a shaker and add ice. Shake, strain and pour into a flute. Garnish with a lemon peel twist.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Cocktail Friday: New Year Tippler

Belvedere tipplerChances are at midnight on Dec. 31, you had a glass of champagne. But ringing in the New Year doesn’t have to only have bubbles in it. Try this sparlking vodka drink this weekend to keep the spirit (and the spirits) bright.

2 oz. Belvedere vodka

1/4 oz. St.-Germain elderflower liqueur

3/4 oz. Moet champagne

Making it: Combine the vodka and liqueur in a shaker and pour into a chilled flute. Top with a float of Moet, and garnish with lemon rind.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Valentine’s Comedy Show at Backdoor Comedy

Your funny Valentine

If chocolates and flowers aren’t your kinda thing, maybe a good laugh is. Spice up Valentine’s Day with comedy. Paul Varghese was named the Funniest Comic in Dallas and headlines this Valentine’s show taking the pressure out of romantic expectations, and going for a laugh. But candy and champagne are included just to seal the deal.

DEETS: Backdoor Comedy, 8250 N. Central Expressway (in the Doubletree Hotel). 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. $28.

—  Rich Lopez

Kiss-in seeks domestic partner benefits for U of H

Pucker up!

Valentine’s Day is next Tuesday, while some battle the supermarket crowds for chocolate and champagne and others battle  that soul-sucking feeling that they will be alone forever, students at the University of Houston will be battling for equal benefits for LGBT employees.

“Our LGBT faculty and staff at the University of Houston are not given the same benefits as their heterosexual counterparts,” says James Lee, one of the student organizers. “This rally is an issue campaign to let administration know we care about our professors, directors and advisers and we think they all deserve to be treated equally.”

Lee explains that the event is not just for same-sex couples, the organizers want opposite-sex couples to participate to help demonstrate that straight and LGBT relationships are the same.  Got no one to kiss? No problem, says Lee, “We will have rally signs and other goodies you can show support with.”

The smooch-fest kicks off at 12:30 pm in Butler Plaza (in front of the MD Anderson Library).

—  admin

HGG 2011 Gift-A-Day: Bella Bears


For an eco-luxury gift idea, consider Bella Bear & Co.’s line of recycled heirloom fur teddy bears that are handcrafted. These bears are not only an heirloom but can be customized as well. Don’t get too freaked out by the fur thing. Bella Bear takes an exoluxe approach to the material. Their products are all made from recycled furs and none from endangered animals. The Mink Bear Collection comes in petite 12″, classic 18″ and grande 24″in shades of champagne, caramel and chocolate. The Limited Edition features a variety of one of a kind bears from decadent fox, New Zealand Opossum as fluffy as cotton candy and velvety sheared beaver (no jokes, please). And all feature hand detailed faces and decorated for the holiday season with sparkling Austrian crystal necklaces. The bears can be customized for that extra special touch. They can be made from your grandmother’s mink cape, your mother’s fox coat, or other fur item – and passed on as treasured heirlooms.The bears are priced from $125–$375.

Available through

—  Rich Lopez