National Coffee Day

What are you enjoying?

Happy National Coffee Day! We all know that there are a million little non-holidays that are just for fun (or to promote capitalism, depending on how you look at it) but some of them really speak to us--especially us coffee drinkers. Today I made an iced mocha at home and am loving it, but I'd also love to try something new this coffee day. So my question is this: what is the most unique coffee creation you've ever tried?

Have you had a Coffee Cabinet, for example? How about a Turkish coffee? I have a few Turkish restaurants in my area that I'm thinking of grabbing a coffee from. Here are a bunch of other cool coffee drinks from around the world. One calls for an egg and another calls for curds!

What is the most unique coffee you've ever enjoyed? Share it in the chat.

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DIY Loaded Tea Ideas

How do you make it at home?

Lots of people love "loaded teas," or teas filled with vitamins, supplements and other ingredients. These teas are typically made with green tea and mix-ins from companies like Herbalife, and little shops that sell them are popping up everywhere. The thing is, many people don't like their ingredients, or think they have too much caffeine, or don't want to spend that much money on a tea. So how do you make them from home for $1 per serving?

Lots of bloggers have ideas. Here are a bunch of ideas that include packets of vitamins and caffeine you can get from the grocery store, and here is a great recipe featuring lots of herbs you can add to your tea to infuse it with benefits. There are plenty of other ways to make these teas, too, from using actual fruit and veggies to juicing to adding supplement packs. 

Do you make your own vitamin tea at home? Share your recipes in the chat!

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Yummy Lavender Beverages

What lavender drinks do you like to make?

Lavender drinks can be a calming ritual after a rough day, but they are also great for cocktails, seasonal treats and everyday flavor additions. A bag of lavender buds and a tea diffuser, or some empty tea bags, can go a long way for infusing just about anything with lavender flavor.

Lavender lattes are great for waking up or just enjoying some downtime, while lavender lemonade is a fantastic way to cool off and feel refreshed on a hot day, which many of us are still feeling even in September. A DIY lavender mocha is great for the opposite: warming up on a cool fall morning. 

What lavender drinks do you prefer? Do you buy products already infused with lavender or do you use your own buds at home? Share your favorite recipes in the chat.

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Twinkie Shakes

Share your favorite recipes!

The moment you realize that you can create a shake or smoothie out of just about anything is the moment that you fully become an adult. Booze, Halloween candy, Ovaltine, fruit, and anything you want in the world? Yep. That's the epitome of adulthood. And once you realize you can toss in brownies, cookies and cakes, well... all you can do is pace yourself, friends.

Twinkies in shakes are practically a rite of passage with this logic. Fortunately there are a bunch of ways to make them, from this low-sugar version to the version The Twinkies Cookbook (yes, that's a thing!) features. Add chocolate and Oreos? Why not? 

So what is your go-to Twinkie shake recipe? If you haven't made one yet, what would be in your dream shake?

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Ending The Summer With Cocktails

What will be your last drinks of summertime?

When it comes to saying goodbye to summer, many people are bummed to see the long, hot days go, but others happily wave it away as they proceed to vomit Halloween decorations all over their houses. Either camp can still enjoy some great end of the season cocktails, especially if it means getting together in safe ways and celebrating having a vaccine this year.

Many people might prefer tropical or fruity drinks to say goodbye to summer. Orange, watermelon, and strawberry-based beverages are some favorites for summer people who don't want to see the season go, especially. But there are also some great transitional seasonal drinks to get on board with, like the cucumber-based Yoon Highball. And while it's too early for some, those of us who can't wait for fall might already start celebrating with apple martinis and dessert drinks. 

What are you drinking to say goodby to summer? Share your recipes in the chat. 

DIY Kombucha

Do you brew it at home?

Last week I joked that possible poisoning was the reason I didn't want to make my own kombcha from home, but plenty of people do brew their own fermented tea from scratch (well, from someone else's scoby, at least!). It's definitely a cheaper way to access the tangy beverage, and you can always flavor it afterward if that's how you prefer it. But could you do it?

Although I've always wanted to try it, I'm a little scared about what I might end up brewing, to be honest. I've made fermented kefir with someone else's starter before and it was fine, but I did end up killing it. I'm terrible about checking up on things like that (honestly, I barely remember to water plants) so I think it's quite possible that I'd ruin my kombucha. Still, this easy to start guide from the Farmer's Almanac does make it look simple...

Have you made kombucha at home? Got any tips for us to share in the chat?

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Homemade Alcohol Kills 16 People

Woman held for negligent homicide

Stories like this are the kind that make me wary of brewing kombucha in my kitchen. A Lithuanian woman's homemade alcohol poisoned and killed 16 people. The deaths have occurred over the span of the month. While they weren't all at the same event, they were all located in the same district where the woman, who is being held for possible negligent homicide, lives and made the alcohol. Others are being treated for illness from the drink.

The 62-year-old woman has been in trouble before for similar activities. She has trafficked domestic alcohol and ethyl alcohol, and when her home was searched following these incidents, police discovered unknown liquid in her possession. The police's other suspect of the crime died, also of poisoning. 

Do you know people who make their own alcoholic beverages at home? How do they keep the practice safe? Would you do it? Share your thoughts in the chat.


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Best Theme Bars Near You

Share them in the chat!

Where I live in the Midwest, there aren't a lot of cool theme bars. We have a cat cafe, a fortune telling bar, some games and arcade-based bars and plenty of food-based themed bars, but we don't have, say, a horror-themed bar based on the works of HP Lovecraft. That's what the Coffin Club, formerly known as The Lovecraft, in Portland is.

In Brooklyn, there's a Gotham City Lounge, perfect for any DC comics fan, and Los Angeles has the famous Jumbo's Clown Room. Miami has their B.E.D. where you can get food and drinks delivered to you in a bed, and The Lab Gastropub lets you play with chemistry when you order your drinks in test tubes.

What cool theme bars do you have near you? What's the best theme bar that you've ever visited? Share them in the chat!

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Ending the Summer with Lemony Drinks

What are you making?

With Starbucks already releasing fall beverages this month, there's almost pressure to chase after a few summer drinks before it's over, even though the last day of summer isn't even until next month! Still, enjoying lemonade and lemony drinks over the summer is one of the best ways to end the summer, so why not plan a few drinks?

This lemon drop martini is at the top of my list, especially with the homemade sugar rim! What a brilliant recipe and an easy way to really jazz up a drink. This whiskey sour also looks like a relaxing drink. It can also be made with a lime if lemons aren't available. 


What lemony drinks are you whipping up lately? Share them in the chat! 


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Fall Offerings At Starbucks

What are you most excited about?

If you're one of the people who really missed Starbucks's S'mores Frappucino this year, I'm right there with you. I loved the new Strawberry Funnel Cake one but I definitely missed the S'mores. Starbucks just released a bunch of this fall's drinks and it sounds like those of us who love chocolate drinks might have another disappointment on the horizon: the replacement of the Salted Caramel Mocha with the new Apple Crisp Macchiato. Man. As awesome as an apple crisp drink sounds, I'm really going to miss that mocha.

We can also expect some other fall flavors to come out in late August, from the traditional Pumpkin Spice Latte to Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew. These are flavors I always look forward to but can't do often; twice a season is good for these almost too-sweet drinks for me, but your miles may vary. They'll also have pumpkin scones and fox pops.

What drinks do you look forward to most? Which do you hope they'll still bring back? Share your thoughts in the chat.

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