Month: October 2013

Catoctin Creek Distillery- Purcellville, VA

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…a flight of whiskey-based cocktails at the Catoctin Creek Distillery tasting room…

My past weekend ventures lead me to Catoctin Creek Distillery, a rye whiskey distillery set on the charming Main Street of Purcellville, VA. Founded in 2009 by Scott and Becky Harris, Catoctin Creek`s increasing popularity is no coincidence, given that it is the first legal distillery in Loudon County since before prohibition!

Walking in, we were immediately greeted by two well-dressed women behind the large open bar at the back of the room. Like most distilleries, you can taste and/or tour. Seeing the distilling room to the left through large windows, we decided to forego the tour and head straight to the tasting bar (priorities!).

The tasting room decor was minimal but ambient…hardwood floors, large open spaces, exposed ceiling beams and lighting that consisted of simple bulbs hanging from the ceiling at various lengths. Altogether, the location and design supported the theme: timeless charm without having to try too hard.

Customers may choose from a fairly wide range of cocktails – even a seasonal Pumpkin Gin Fizz – if whiskey on the rocks is not your thing. I have to admit that rye whiskey (or whisky?) is not on my list of favorites, due to the fact that it brings back some pretty bad college memories…so i chose to try a cocktail flight ($10) while my guy friend went straight for the standard flight ($5) of various whiskeys.

The cocktail flight is a “pick 3” from a list of about 10 different cocktails that use Catoctin rye, gin, and/or brandy. I settled on a Manhattan, something that tasted like a cold version of a hot-toddy, and a pear brandy concoction. YUM!
Purchasing a standard flight gets you a taste of Catoctin Mosby`s Spirit (unaged rye whiskey…aka “the clear stuff”), Roundstone Rye, and Pearousia (a fabulous pear brandy that`s actually a collaboration between Fabbioli Cellars and Catoctin). My friend`s least favorite was definitely the Mosby`s Spirit…he thinks that the lack of aging results in a lack of flavor. He liked the Roundstone Rye, but prefers a corn-based bourbon to any rye-based whiskey (he`s from Kentucky, of course). No comment from him on Pearousia…I think it was a little too sweet for his manly taste!

I think the flight prices were certainly reasonable for what we were served and I would recommend Catoctin Creek to anyone looking to increase their whiskey knowledge, or just enjoy a creative cocktail in a relaxed setting!

…Zooey

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Caught in the Middle!

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It happened in a department store.  I was doing my usual sale-browsing while trying to avoid eye contact from the various forms of male backwash that roam the local mall at night.  
 
I decided to be bold try out the Women`s clothing section…for the first time in my life.  I had experienced a sudden enlightenment…a changed mind-set… and I decided that the Women`s section couldn`t be all moomoo`s, elastic waist pants, and argyle cardigans. Somewhere in that large area meant for women-over-30, there had to be some clothes for the fashion-forward spinster or vogue-reading soccer mom.
 
Though what I found could definitely not be called “fashion forward”, the sweaters I picked up were functional and, if styled correctly, might even could be incorporated into a trendy ensemble.
 
Full of hope, I marched straight to the dressing room.  As I began taking my shirt off, I caught a glance of my edgy haircut in the mirror.  Then, I looked down at my oxfords, the ones I had fallen in love with from a Rachel Zoe feature in Elle. I stopped what i was doing.  That haircut did not match the conservative-housewife-married to an accountant- clothing that I was about to try on! Those shoes weren`t meant to be paired with capri pants! I looked down at the sweater I was holding (perfect for a 5th grade teacher) and I felt short of breath.  My heart began to pound and I started having visions of myself a few years down the road…with an over-dyed angled bob haircut, wearing sweater vests, 3/4 sleeve tops with ruffles, and capri pants, and bragging about my new Pandora bracelet.  I turned around only to see that my dark skinny jeans had given me a mom-butt and that my arms were forming “bat wings” from years of gym-avoidance.
 
I snapped out of it and said to myself (yes, to myself), “What the hell am I doing?” Without hesitation, I dropped the sweater I was holding, threw my shirt on, and high-tailed it out of that dressing room!
 
I stopped to collect my breath and thankfully, the visions had cleared: the mom-butt tightened back to it`s 26-yr-old self, the bat wings had receded, and alas, there was no Pandora bracelet on my wrist.   A saleswoman staring at me did the typical “Ma’am, is there anything I can help you with?” I didn`t bother to answer and headed straight for the Juniors` section.
 
Home at last!  Colors, metal studded vests, sweaters with random objects on the front, and nothing that even resembled a 3/4 sleeve ruffled top.  A bright sweater with a black diamond design caught my eye and I headed straight for it!  But, to my surprise, I was intercepted by 3 girls who were clearly NOT from the Hanson-Spice Girls-Backstreet Boys generation.  These girls darted in front of me, without even pardoning themselves (how rude), and began gushing over the bright sweater.  MY sweater.  Amidst the gushing, I could hear Taylor Swift-ish comments about boys, some mentioning of a “bieber” (whatever that is?), and I`m pretty sure I heard one of them use the word “epic” as an adjective.
 
It was then that I realized I was out of my league.  I quickly abandoned all hopes of buying any clothes that night and left the store.
 

I think every adult woman comes to that point in their life where they have to forego the Juniors` section at the mall and commit (fully) to to Women`s clothing.  I am just not at that point.  I do believe, as is appropriate for my age, I am truly caught in the middle.

This weekend…

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Stay tuned for some scrumptious dessert recipes from Sophie and dets on Zooey`s visit to Catoctin Creek Distillery! (We love our whiskey and sweets!)

Shoes, Cup and Cork- Leesburg, VA

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Shoes, Cup and Cork is a cozy little cafe in downtown Leesburg.
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Loved the decor, very warm and inviting.

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The staff  was friendly. The food was simple, fresh and satisfying. One of the best Caffe Americanos I’ve had! Great little spot for a date or just coffee with a friend, I’ll definitely be visiting again.

Cheers!

-Sophie

For menu, hours, and info: shoescupandcork.com

Half-price bottles of wine in Sterling!

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Every Tuesday night at Hooked on Seafood in Sterling!

  • Decent wine selection (for a sushi joint)
  • Nice patio (but bring your jacket)
  • If you don`t want to brave the autumn breeze, sit inside at the large bar!  Separate from the sushi bar so you aren`t drinking in front of dead fish 😉

The Phillips Collection

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The Phillips Collection
1600 21st St NW
Washington, D.C., 20009
(202) 387-2151

My gal pal Rachel and I needed an art fix last Sunday, so we headed to The Phillips Collection in DC.  A short walk from the DuPont Circle Metro stop, America`s first modern art museum is nestled in the midst of a too-cute-to-be-real residential area.  The most surreal thing for us both was seeing Van Gogh`s paintings up close for the first time!  Also saw works from Edvard Munch, a curious dude indeed.  If you have time, stop by…admission is only $12 for adults! www.phillipscollection.org/