Connecticut Lifestyles Connecticut Lifestyles is your source for things to do in Connecticut, New England and beyond. Wed, 21 Mar 2018 22:35:44 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Connecticut Lifestyles 32 32 Tips for Tuning Up Power Equipment for Spring Mon, 12 Mar 2018 03:08:38 +0000 Your lawn and garden machinery might not share your righteous appreciation of warm days and blue skies, though. Mowers, blowers and trimmers tend to be out of sorts when awoken from their winter slumber. A bit of TLC and end-of-winter maintenance will soon put them in fine form. A couple hours dedicated to tune-ups will also save you time, money and aggravation in the months ahead.

Even though winter hasn’t totally given way to tulips and leafy green trees yet, March weather is still better than the pipe-bursting, sky-high-heating-bill-inducing elements of January and February. After months of snow, slush and sub-zero temperatures, you’re no doubt ready for winter to go out like a lamb.


Lawnmower Tune-Up Tips

  • Start by cleaning dried and compacted grass from the underside of the mower deck. Soak caked-on grass with a hose, and then scrape it off with a screwdriver or putty knife. Wear gloves to avoid green-tinged hands.
  • Replace any belts that show signs of wear, or that are more than four years old.
  • Remove the blade (or blades) and sharpen it. Most small engine shops will sharpen blades for a very small fee. Sharper blades make for faster, more accurate jobs.
  • Check the air pressure in your tires. Inflate them to the specs shown in your mower’s manual. If you lost that manual in 1994, check the model number online — many manuals can be found there, regardless of the machine’s age.
  • Change the oil and filter. Oil flows more easily if you run the engine for a few minutes before draining.
  • Inspect the fuel filter — and the line running from the filter to the tank. It’s a good idea to replace them annually.
  • Clean the air filter by blowing it out with an air compressor. Replace the filter if it’s extremely dirty (or black).
  • Replace the spark plugs.
  • Test your mower’s battery. A few hours on a charger might return it to full power.
  • Flush old gasoline from the tank. Replace it with fresh fuel and add fuel stabilizer.
  • If your mower lacks an electric starter, inspect the starter cord and tensioning spring.

Tuning up Two-Stroke Engines

The basics of lawnmower engine maintenance also apply to other lawn contraptions like leaf blowers, trimmers and weed whackers. For these machines, you should also change filters and plugs, inspect lines, check batteries and perform a thorough inspection — but there is one crucial difference. Most of these devices are powered by two-stroke engines (as opposed to the four-stroke engines found in mowers).

Two-stroke engines typically require an oil and gasoline mixture. Keeping this in mind, empty and refill the tank according to manufacturer’s specs. Remember, different types of machines have different needs.

Tuning up Leaf Blowers

  • Make sure the throttle trigger, throttle lock and stop switch are working as intended.
  • Look over the collection bag on a leaf blower. It should be free of rips and holes, and the zipper should be functional.
  • Clean the fan blades on the flywheel.
  • Inspect the engine housing, making certain it’s free of cracks.

Tuning up Trimmers

  • Make sure the throttle trigger, throttle lock and stop switch are working as intended.
  • Inspect the blade and blade guard. The blade must be centered and should be sharpened. Off-center blades cause vibrations that can damage the machine, which can possibly lead to injury. Replace a cracked blade or blade guard.
  • Check for worn areas on the clutch, clutch spring and clutch drum.

This article was written by Ron Marr for The Workbench Life and used by permission. Ron Marr is a long-time woodworker and luthier whose work can be seen at He is also a frequent contributor to The Workbench Life.

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Hairstyle Tutorials: Celebrity Hair Styles for Spring and Summer Mon, 12 Mar 2018 00:52:21 +0000 We asked some of our favorite celebrity stylists for their top hairstyle tutorials for simple and look great for Spring and Summer. You obviously want to look your best at all year but with as little time and effort as possible!

Textured Pony Tail Celebrities, How to

The Textured Tail

“Beachy waves can instantly glam up any style when you opt for a textured tail,” says Fernando Salas, renowned master stylist and founder of the White Sands corporation. To create this look, forget typical roller sets and opt for adjustable, no-pull Velcro strips to fashion loosely sculpted curls.

1. To get lift with a slight texture on the ends, start with wet hair and take 2-inch sections of hair. Spritz each section with styling spray, then lay a Velcro strip underneath. Roll the Velcro strip toward your head into a roller. Repeat until all your hair is rolled, using clips to hold in place.

2. Let hair air dry or apply a dryer for roughly 4-5 minutes, allowing the new desired texture to cool before removing the clips.

3. Take out the clips and Velcro strips, combing the style out if needed to loosen the waves.

4. Use your hands to gently sweep your tresses up into a ponytail, bringing down layers to frame your face if desired.

5. Spray with a flexible hold hairspray for a shiny, touchable style that lasts.

The High Bun, Celebrities, How To

The High Bun

Variations of the classic bun have been popular with everyone from ballerinas to CEOs. Recently, women have combined the elements of the “messy bun” with the coiffed look of the chignon to create what is known as a high bun.

“High buns require little time, and they are easy to achieve with your natural hair, braids and extensions, which makes it the perfect style for those hot summer days,” says Mary Malave, owner of Brooklyn-based Salon Malave. Try these tips to create this look:

1. First, smooth your hair and gather it on top of your head (you may find it easiest to bend over and let your hair fall forward).

2. Use some elastic bands to secure your hair into a high ponytail.

3. Twist this ponytail into a knot.

4. Use the bobby pins to secure the knot on top of your head, and you’re ready to go!

Easy Braids, Celebrities, How To

Easy Braids

“Braids have come back with a hot vengeance, making appearances on runways, red carpets and our favorite celebrities,” says Luis Alvarez, international hairstylist, photographer and the cofounder of Aquage. “Achieving a random, organic braid is simple if you have the right products and tricks.”

1. First, prep hair with a volumizing product to ensure it has the grip and lift needed.

2. Next, take a 2-inch horizontal section of hair and divide into three equal strands. Braid down the section until about 4 inches of hair is left at the bottom, placing the outer left strand in the left hand. Slide the other two sections toward the scalp to create a gathered braid.

3. Continue to braid, adding only left sections of hair. Make sure each time you cross over the right side you add a new section of hair from underneath while moving around the circumference of the head.

4. When you reach the left side of the head, add a new section when crossing over the right side only.

5. When complete, deconstruct the braid by pulling pieces out a couple inches, gently and slowly. Finish off with a fine-mist hair

This article was written by Aly Walansky for Life & Beauty Weekly and used by permission. Aly Walansky is the senior editor of, the beauty and fashion editor for, a style columnist for, and a contributor to The Huffington Post and She’s been rated one of the top beauty bloggers by New Beauty Magazine and Star Magazine, and she’s live-blogged from locations ranging from the Miss America pageant to the Emmy Awards. She is a frequent contributor to Life & Beauty Weekly.

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The Connecticut Garden in Early Spring Mon, 12 Mar 2018 00:33:47 +0000 Though we are seriously tired of looking at all this snow, the promise of spring is just around the corner as the mountains of white begin to melt. Gardeners are itching to get out and dig around, see what’s coming up, start making plans. What do you think they’ll find?

Though it seems hard to believe, understand that snow is beneficial to our plants, shrubs, and trees. Not only does snow replenish the soil with moisture, but snow has great insulation properties that slow down the loss of heat from the ground. In an ideal winter, our plants have gone dormant long before the ground begins to freeze. Followed by a comfy blanket of snow, this frozen soil remains right around 32 degrees, and those plants and shrubs have a long rest before they’re required to perform again. This should cheer you up: most, if not all, of your plants have survived.

As the sun melts patches of snow off the landscape beds, we see the small green nubs of things poking through the soil. Daffodils, crocus, snowdrops. Maybe even some hyacinth. Some of the hardier perennials such as iris and stonecrop might also appear. Some herbs such as cilantro and thyme fared well under the snow. If you look carefully where your peony bloomed last year, you’ll see the small red spears pushing through. And, of course, close inspection of some early trees shows the swell of buds.

Stonecrop buds in early Spring

What garden chores can be performed in the March Connecticut garden? Unfortunately, not too many. Resist the urge to remove leaves or mulch from perennials and shrubs, unless we get a long warm spell. There are still a few weeks before we can safely believe that we are freeze-­‐free, so be prepared to cover tender new growth if you’ve removed the protective layers. Though late March is usually the time to sow early seeds such as peas, or plant pansies, if your soil is heavily saturated with the melting snow, disturbing it will only form compacted clumps to deal with later.

Andromeda branches bent under heavy snow.

One issue to address is ice and heavy snow damage to shrubs and trees. This would be a good time to assess each one. If snow remains on branches, do not knock it off. Branches are flexible and will gradually return to their original shape if allowed to do so as the snow melts. Removing the snow all at once can cause them to snap back and break. (Ideally, young newly-­‐planted shrubs should have been wrapped in burlap in December to help them through their first winter.)

Burlap protects from heavy snow and ice

Something else we’ll also see emerging from the snow cover are the winter perennial weeds, such as hairy bittercress, henbit, purple deadnettle, and chickweed, those pests that seem as though they actually continued to grow under the snow. They begin to bloom and set seed by late March, so the earlier you pluck these weeds from your gardens, the less you’ll have to deal with them when the weather warms.

Left: Hairy Bittercress. Right: Purple Dead Nettle

Wave goodbye to Old Man Winter and think about all those beautiful growing things that will make life beautiful again in just a few weeks.

Daffodils Blooming in Connecticut, A true sign that Spring is here!

Toni Leland Freelance Writer, Connecticut, http://www.tonileland.comThis article and photographs were provided by Toni Leland, a Connecticut freelance writer and Master Gardener in southeastern Connecticut. She is available for assignment on a wide range of subjects: travel, history, nature, gardening, wildlife, cooking, writing, horses, and outdoor living to name a few.

Toni’s fiction has appeared in several anthologies, magazines, and various writing newsletters,and she keeps up with the writing community through her Facebook page, as well as membership in Sisters In Crime and Connecticut Authors and Publishers Association.

Visit her website and contact her by email for further information.

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Newport’s Secret Garden Tour is Coming this June Sat, 10 Mar 2018 19:17:39 +0000 Newport’s Secret Garden Tour is coming this June. The self-guided walking tours will get you up close and personal with private gardens located in historic Newport, Rhode Island. Take a late Spring tour of some unique, delightful and personal gardens. The annual Secret Garden Tour opens the gates to a variety of beautiful gardens maintained by their owners. These genuine labors of love are shared with the community to help raise funds for the Arts Education programs in the Island’s public schools. Starting at Storer Park near the causeway to Goat Island, the tour features over a dozen private gardens hidden in Newport’s historic Point District.

Newport's Secret Garden Tour in June

The tours run daily from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. and tickets are good for any or all days of the tour, allowing for inclement weather, schedule conflicts, or just a late start. In Spring 2014, CondeNast Traveler Magazine named Newport, Rhode Island “one of the best walking cities in the U.S.” and specifically mentioned the June Secret Garden Tour through the city’s historic Point section as one of the highlights.

Tickets are now available for the Spring Tour and can be purchased in advance online at for a discounted rate of $20. Group rates are also available for five or more persons. Check the website for more details. Be sure to check our Facebook page for updates and beautiful garden photos.

Newport's Secret Garden Tour in June

Since 1984, the organizers and supporters of The Secret Garden Tour have been dedicated to enhancing art education and cultural programs in Aquidneck Island’s Public Schools, funding dozens of programs in music, theater and fine arts for local schoolchildren. To date, The Secret Garden Tour has given more than $1 million to Aquidneck Island students in public schools for art, music, theater and other cultural programming. For additional information, be sure to visit the website.

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Spring Cleaning DIY Recipes with Limoneira Citrus Sat, 03 Mar 2018 16:00:25 +0000 March is here and Spring has sprung! That means it’s time for Spring Cleaning. It’s no secret that store-bought cleaning agents can be full of hidden and harmful chemicals. Limoneira spokesperson and founder of Healthy Grocery Girl, Megan Roosevelt, has put together a bevy of cleaning tips and easily assembled DIY methods for keeping the home sparkling and fresh year round.

While lemon is great in tea, it can also be used for cleaning, who knew!

Lemon Cleaner Recipes

Spring Cleaning DIY Recipes with Limoneira Citrus

Grapefruit Multi-Purpose Cleaner

Multi-purpose cleaner is the answer to keeping the home looking and smelling fresh. Follow these easy steps for a DIY solution that skips chemicals in store-bought cleaners!

What You’ll need:

  • Peels from multiple grapefruits
  • Small glass jar with lid
  • White vinegar
  • Empty spray bottle

Directions: Separate the peel from the grapefruit (or the citrus peel of your choice). Using a small glass jar, place the peel inside, packing as tightly as possible. Fill jar to the brim with white vinegar. Cover jar with lid, and let sit for two weeks. When the infused vinegar is ready, fill a spray bottle with equal parts filtered water and grapefruit-infused vinegar.

Citrus Pan Scrubber

Fun fact: orange halves can be miracle workers for getting stains off of kitchen pans.


  • Orange or lemon halves
  • Coarse table salt

Directions: Once the pan in question has cooled, add a few tablespoons of coarse salt. Take citrus halves (for added usefulness, juice them first and use the juice as you wish) and scrub away. Since this cleaner is completely non-toxic, simply wipe off or rinse with water after cleaning.

Lemon Microwave Cleaner

Microwaves can be a hotbed for unsavory smells… and worse. Lemons are here to help.


  • One lemon, halved
  • Microwave safe bowl
  • 2 cups water

Directions: Place water and lemon halves in a microwave safe bowl. Cook on high in microwave for 3 minutes. The hot lemon steam will coat the inside of the microwave, and allow for easy removal of debris and food remnants by wiping with a damp cloth.

Each month, Megan will be featuring another wonderful facet of citrus living. Subscribe to Limoneira’s Youtube channel for more information on the many ways this endlessly versatile fruit can improve life inside the home and beyond.

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Indoor Early Spring Garden with Tips from Burpee Wed, 28 Feb 2018 20:42:15 +0000 Although Spring hasn’t fully arrived, that doesn’t mean you have to limit your gardening to warm weather months. On behalf of Burpee Home Gardens here are some of tips for how to maximize your indoor gardening potential.

Care for your houseplants

There are several indoor houseplants that flourish well in an indoor garden, including foliage plants like Aloe, English Ivy, Dracaena or Croton. Seasonal flowers like Amaryllis, Poinsettia or Christmas Cactus make for great décor. Keep a watchful eye on these plants and look out for low light and humidity. Move plants to the brightest windows in the home and water plants thoroughly. Grouping plants together and washing dust off leaves also helps them live longer.

Indoor Early Spring Garden with Tips from Burpee

Grow Edible Herbs

Potted herbs are a great and easy way to have an indoor garden and spice up your favorite dishes and cocktails. Plant parsley, rosemary or sage in a small pot near a sunny window light. Don’t worry if these herbs seem to be growing slowly- once they start to grow they will take off quickly indoors. Basil is another great option if you have a south-facing window for maximum light and warmth.

Indoor Early Spring Garden with Tips from Burpee

Enjoy your outdoor space from the comfort of your home

If you’d rather enjoy your outdoor garden from the safety and warmth of your home, enjoy the winter color of plants like evergreens and grasses. Some plants like hydrangea and coneflower become even more interesting in the winter and early spring, as well as woody plants and perennials, which develop an interesting pattern in the cold months.

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Cute Rain Boots Just in Time for Spring Tue, 27 Feb 2018 04:24:01 +0000 When we were in New York City a couple of days ago it seems all you could see were boots. Women were still wearing winter boots, Uggs boots, and all kinds of leather boots, but the more prominent boot styles were these slick rain boots. Nowadays they come in all kinds of colors and patterns.

What’s nice about rain boots is that they are waterproof which is great whether you are walking through puddles in the city, getting on a bus to go to school, or just working out in your garden. All of the fun colors and patterns make them equally fun to wear.

Here are all kinds of rain boots to perk you up this Spring. Don’t let the rain get you down. Pull on a pair of slick rain boots!

Cute Rain Boots for Spring

1. Hunter Gloss-Finish Original Boots are a waterproof rubber essential is finished with a buckle detail and the classic Hunter logo.

2. Burberry Mixed Media Housecheck Rain Boot – these classically Burberry rain boots give plaid added punch in a cheerful shade of orange.

3. Valentino Lace-Up Rain Boot A rain boot is a staple in every on-the-go girl’s collection and this Red Valentino pair will have you praying for rain. A glossy, rubber upper plays host to a cheerful grosgrain lace detail giving this pair a little extra flair.

4. Tretorn Skerry Vinter Boots may have a sea-faring spirit, but when its on solid ground it loves April showers and melting winter powder.

5. Tommy Hilfiger Renegade Rain Booties Stay dry without sacrificing a drop of style. Tommy Hilfiger’s Renegade rain booties feature a lace-up vamp with a contrasting rubber sole and heel.

6. Diesel Women’s Rain Boot Ighuazu Rain Shoe Diesel has long been a leading pioneer in denim and casual fashion, known for moving outside and ahead of trends in its industry. These Italian made rubber boots are just another trend from the Diesel brand.

7. Chooka Classic Dot Rain Boot Spread a little sunshine with these rockin’ rain boots!

8. Ilse Jacobsen Women’s Rub 1 Rain Boot with a 5-star customer rating, these boots are made from 100% natural rubber and lined with quality cotton fleece, these waterproof rain boots help keep your feet dry and comfortable all day long. Featuring a fun lace up look and an adjustable calf option, these boots help everyone look their best in the rain! Handcrafted in Europe. They are available in lots of great colors including Army green, Turquoise, Camel, Grey, Black and Orange.

9. Steve Madden Monnsoon Go ahead and stomp around in those puddles. Steve Maddens lace-up MONNSOON tall rain boots are made of super durable high gloss rubber, ensuring that your toes stay dry–no matter how many puddles you step into.

Cute Rain Boots for Spring

Whatever your style and price range there is definitely a slick rain boot in your fabulous future!

What one is your favorite?

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Tanduay Rum Spring Cocktails Wed, 14 Feb 2018 23:31:39 +0000 Though no strangers to frigid, icy winters, New Englanders had more to contend with than usual this season: polar vortexes dropping the temperature to record lows and storms like Hercules and Pax cloaking the Northeast in a limitless blanket of white.  Finally, with the onset of longer and warmer days, it’s time to trade snow boots for sandals and focus on the sun-filled weekends ahead. With mitt-free hands, grab a cocktail (or two) made with Tanduay Asian Rum and welcome the nearly forgotten season that is Spring.

Hailing from the Philippines, Tanduay Asian Rum is a premium spirit masterfully blended by Maestros who have been perfecting their craft since 1854. Its silky smooth finish makes it an ideal base for Spring sippers. The Tanduay Spring Fling and Tanduay Star of Asia are two cocktails you’ll be returning to over and over again this season.

Tanduay Rum Spring Cocktails, Spring Fling

Tanduay Spring Fling


  • 1-1/2 oz. Tanduay Gold Asian Rum
  • 5 Honeydew Melon Balls
  • 5 Mint Leaves
  • 1/2 oz. Fresh Lime Juice
  • 1/2 oz. Simple Syrup
  • Ginger Ale

Muddle the honeydew, mint and simple syrup. Add ice, Tanduay and lime juice. Shake well and pour into a tall glass. Top with Ginger Ale.  Garnish with a skewer with a Cantaloupe ball on the end of it.

Tanduay Rum Spring Cocktails, Star of Asia

Tanduay Star of Asia


  • 1-1/2 oz. Tanduay Silver Rum
  • 1-1/2 oz. Mango Juice
  • 1/2 oz. Passion Fruit
  • 1/2 oz. Orange Juice
  • 1/2 oz. Simple Syrup
  • Prosecco

Combine all the ingredients (with the exception of the Prosecco) over ice and shake well. Strain into a champagne flute and top with Prosecco. Garnish with a star fruit.

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Beardsley Zoo Makes Love Match with Two New Family Members Wed, 14 Feb 2018 20:10:02 +0000 Hope and Love Spring Eternal with two new residents at Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo. Love is in the air for two of Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo’s resident bachelors: Jabba the Sloth, and Rochan the Red panda. The Zoo is now the new home for Hope, a sloth that once made her home in Connecticut before transferring temporarily to John Ball Zoo in Grand Rapids, Mich., and Meri, a four year old Red panda, newly arrived from the Brandywine Zoo in Wilmington, Delaware. Both of the new arrivals have spent the past several weeks becoming accustomed to their new homes, and being gradually introduced to their significant others.

Two-Toed Sloth at Beardsley Zoo Bridgeport Connecticut

Hope, the Two-Toed Sloth

Jabba and Hope are currently getting to know each other by occupying space side by side in the Animal Health Care Center. Both are Two-Toed sloths (Choloepus didactylus), a species found in Central and South America. Largely nocturnal and solitary, sloths are arboreal, living in trees in rainforests and as well as deciduous forests. The two-toed sloth is larger and (relatively) faster than its cousin, the three-toed sloth. They spend most of their lives snoozing in the rainforest treetop canopy, hidden from predators but vulnerable to deforestation. Hope is not currently on exhibit, but will soon join Jabba in the Rainforest Building.

Red Panda at Beardsley Zoo Bridgeport Connecticut

Meri, the Red Panda

Meri, short for Meriadoc, arrived several weeks ago from the Brandywine Zoo in Delaware, and has also been undergoing a period of adjustment to her new surroundings. She was named for Meriadoc Brandybuck, a character in J.R.R. Tolkein’s The Lord of the Rings. Red pandas (Allurus fulgens fulgens) are not true pandas, rather, they are a unique species whose name “panda” is derived from a Nepalese word, “ponya,” meaning “eater of bamboo.” Like many in the Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo’s animal collection, the red panda is threatened in the wild by territory loss and fragmentation, resource depletion, and are frequently hunted for their beautiful fur.
Rochan and Meri will soon have a spacious new home together. The Zoo broke ground on a new habitat for the Red pandas in August, 2017.

The Natt Family Red Panda Pavilion was made possible thanks to two substantial donations: from Bob and Helen Natt of Easton, and a matching grant for monies raised by supporter donations from the Werth Family Foundation. The new Red panda habitat will feature a yard landscaped with bamboo – (Rochan eats approximately 1,000 bamboo leaves daily!) – with plenty of treetop spots for sunbathing. Hailing from the Himalayas and the mountain ranges of southwest China, Red pandas prefer colder climates. The new habitat will have cool spaces to enjoy in the summer, and outdoor space to explore in the winter.

Managed by the AZA’s Species Survival Plan (SSP), inter-regional transfers are arranged with careful attention to gene diversity in the hope that successful breeding will take place.

“Meri is a beautiful Red panda, and has an outgoing personality that will make her a Zoo favorite,” said Gregg Dancho, zoo director. “The new Natt Family Red Panda Pavilion will provide Rochan, Meri, and any offspring an expanded new habitat designed for their comfort and happiness as well as optimal guest viewing.”

“We’re delighted to have Hope, the sloth, return to us,” he continued. “When the sloths return to their exhibit, they will be in the Rainforest Building where they can be viewed doing very little most of the time.”

“The Zoo’s breeding program exists to bolster the dwindling number of animals still in the wild,” explained Dancho. “It’s a real testament to our Zoo’s strong reputation for working to protect endangered species and to educate our guests about them. It’s an important part of our mission and we’re justifiably proud of that.”

Spend the day a world away! Connecticut’s only zoo, celebrating its 96th anniversary, features 300 animals representing primarily North and South American species. Visitors won’t want to miss our Amur (Siberian) tigers, Brazilian ocelot, Red wolves, and Golden Lion tamarins. Other highlights include our South American rainforest with free-flight aviary, the prairie dog exhibit with “pop-up” viewing areas, the New England Farmyard with goats, cows, pigs, sheep, and other barnyard critters, plus the hoofstock trail featuring bison, pronghorn, deer, and more. Visitors can grab a bite at the Peacock Café, eat in the Picnic Grove, and enjoy a ride on our colorful carousel. For more information, visit

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10 Of Our Favorite Connecticut Cocktails Tue, 13 Feb 2018 22:54:38 +0000 We have written about our 10 favorite restaurants in Connecticut so why not tell you about our 10 favorite cocktails that we drink on a regular basis. Maybe you will find a new favorite too and if you have a favorite, please share it below and let us know what restaurant is serving it so we can try it too.

Please check with the restaurants listed as these may have changed since we visited.

These are in no particular order but I do have to say right now the first one is my favorite. Do you have a favorite cocktail at your favorite restaurant? Share both below.

Blueberry Champagne Martini, Michael Jordans Sports Bar Cafe

Blueberry Champagne Martini

Michael Jordan’s Sports Bar & Cafe at Mohegan Sun serves up some great cocktails. Our favorite is the Blueberry Champagne Martini Recipe made with Brut Champagne. While you’re there try one of our favorites dishes like the Filet Mignon & Spinach Salad, French Dip or the Black & Blue Burger.

High Rollers Lounge "In The Money" Cocktail

“In The Money” Cocktail

The “In The Money” cocktail can be found at the High Rollers Lounge at Foxwoods Resort Casino. This cocktail uses Grey Goose Vodka, Connecticut’s own Ripe Bar Juice and fresh crushed basil all briskly shaken together. We have gotten good at making this drink at home. Don’t be fooled by the name of the lounge because this bar is open to the public. We often go there and indulge in this tasting concoction and eat dinner too. They have great food there and I often think this is a hidden gem because everyone thinks they need to be high roller to eat and drink

Maggie McFly's Barbie's Dream House Martini

Barbie’s Dream House Martini

Maggic McFly’s located in Glastonbury, Brookfield, Southbury, Middlebury and Manchester serves up some fun and funky drinks. Our favorite is the Barbie’s Dream House Martini made with with Raspberry Vodka, Pomegranate Liqure, lemon juice, strawberry puree, agave nectar, champagne and rimmed with Pop Rocks! This martini is both tart and sweet and features an electric ice cube that you get to take home with you.

Inifinity Hall Bistro Ruby Tuesday Cocktail

“The Ruby Tuesday” Cocktail

Infinity Hall Bistro in Hartford is the place to listen to live music and eat lunch or dinner at the Bistro. During the summer we sat outside and ordered lunch and several cocktails. One of them is The Ruby Tuesday. The Ruby Tuesday is a refreshing blend of Deep Eddy grapefruit vodka with a splash of fresh grapefruit juice, cranberry juice and Cointreau. While you are there you must try their hush puppies – a huge favorite or ours.

Gin and Tonic Upgrade, Parallel Post, Bootleg Greg, Mixologist

Gin and Tonic Upgrade

Parallel Post in Trumbull is a favorite restaurant of ours. This drink is a unique concoction that master mixologist, Bootleg Greg made up and even has the ice cubes patented. He takes cucumber slices and places them in ice cube trays in a special arrangement and then freezes them ahead of time. He doesn’t use water, only the cucumber juice. The straw is another cucumber that has been cut into a straw and has a hole down the center for sipping the drink. Such a unique drink that took a lot of imagination to create.  Drinking this amazing cocktail through the cucumber straw gave it an extra fresh and light taste.

Aspen Restaurant & Bar "Aspen75" Cocktail

“Aspen75” Cocktail

The Aspen75 cocktail from Aspen Restaurant and Bar in Old Saybrook features English Dry gin, blueberries, fresh squeezed lemon juice, simple syrup and champagne. You must try their Truffle fries and cheese plate for an appetizer and Stonington Scallops, Aspen Burger or Red Wine Marinated Hanger Steak for dinner.

The Campfire Cocktail Carl Anthonys

“The Campfire” Cocktail

Carl Anthony’s Trattoria came up with a cocktail that is a mixture of drink, dessert and flaming marshmallows. This drink is so much fun because they set the marshmallow on fire when they serve it to you so it literally makes your eyes light up. The Campfire is basically an adult S’Mores that includes Smirnoff Fluffed Vodka, Emmets Irish Creme, chocolate and graham rim with a toasted marshmallow. The alcohol is set on fire to toast the marshmallow thus creating quite a spectacle.

Oak and Almond Norwalk Spicy Bloody Mary

Spicy Bloody Mary

Bloody Mary cocktails are a staple for Sunday brunches everywhere you go. When we tried the Oak + Almond Norwalk Spicy Bloody Mary it was rich and flavorful, full bodied and topped with a carrot, onion, olive and lemon. It has a nice combination of ingredients with abundant horseradish adding the correct amount of “kick.” It was the highlight of this Sunday brunch.

NIXS Hartford Bazzle Dazzle

“Bazzle Dazzle” Cocktail

NIXS Hartford’s own concoction, the Babble Dazzle, features Bolonist Islay Dry gin, Peach Sterrings, muddled basil, simple syrup, and fresh Meyer lemon juice. NIXS Hartford serves shareable plates like tator tots and pork belly. It has turned into a “happening” nightspot you must check out some weekend.

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