Tuesday, August 26

Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre 2015 Season Lineup Includes Odd, Crazy, Kooky and Drowsy

Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre opens its 2015 season with a classic romp with roommates of polar opposite personalities carrying through the year with music, adventure and holiday shows.

Indianapolis stage favorites Eddie Curry and Jeff Stockberger will team up for The Odd Couple. Check back here for a review as I do not plan on missing that one.

The classic South Pacific is also included with the year's offerings, reminding us love will always find a way. The lovable Addams family characters will creep across the stage and the northside theater will bring its traditional holiday show to round out the season.
Below find the full schedule with the link for tickets and full details by clicking here.

Beef & Boards 2015 Season

The Odd Couple
Dec. 28 – Feb. 2, 2015
Two Beef & Boards favorites will star in this tale of mismatched roomates, with Jeff Stockberger as the easygoing Oscar Madison and Eddie Curry as the uptight Felix Ungar, who moves in with Oscar after his marriage falls apart.

Crazy For You
Feb. 6 – March 30

The stage is filled with all things Gershwin as it presents the story centering around Bobby Child, who is sent to Nevada to foreclose on a theatre. When he falls in love with the local postmistress, he devises a plan to save the theatre. Songs include “I’ve Got Rhythm,” “Someone to Watch Over Me,” “They Can’t Take That Away From Me.”

The Drowsy Chaperone

April 3 – May 11

This parody of American musical comedy of the 1920s makes its Beef & Boards debut. A middle-aged musical theatre buff plays the record of his favorite musical, the (fictional) 1928 hit The Drowsy Chaperone, and the show comes to life – with two lovers on the eve of their wedding, a bumbling best man, a desperate theatre producer, gangsters posing as pastry chefs and an intoxicated chaperone.

Peter Pan

May 15 – June 29

The imaginations of the young and young at heart will soar to Neverland. Fly with Peter and his friends in this musical adaptation of the play by Sir James M. Barrie to a land of mischievous fairies, an Indian tribe, a ticking crocodile, bungling pirates and the famous Captain Hook, played by Jeff Stockberger.

Smoke on the Mountain: Homecoming 
July 5 – Aug. 17
The lovable – and imperfect – Singing Sanders Family returns for the third installment of the popular comedy series. The story takes place in 1945 – seven years since the Sanders Family first came to Mount Pleasant Baptist Church for a Saturday Night Sing. Rev. Mervin Oglethorpe has been called to preach in Texas and is giving his last service before he leaves with his wife June, who is eight months pregnant. Young Dennis Sanders will take over as the pastor, but not before more hilarious and touching stories, and two dozen toe-tapping Bluegrass Gospel favorites.

South Pacific
Aug. 21 – Oct. 5
Set in an island paradise, two parallel love stories are threatened by the dangers of predjudice and World War II. Nellie, a spunky nurse from Arkansas, falls in love with a French plantation owner, Emile, but is conflicted by what she learns about him. And a strapping lieutenant falls for an island girl, but battles his own fears and prejudices. Adapted from a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, South Pacific won 10 Tony Awards, including Best Musical and Best Score for songs that include “Some Enchanted Evening,” “Nothing Like a Dame” and “I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair.”

The Addams Family
Oct. 9 – Nov. 23

On stage for the first time at Beef & Boards and just in time for the spooky Halloween season, it’s the Tony Award-nominated macabre musical comedy. Gomez Addams faces every father’s nightmare when his daughter, Wednesday, falls in love. What’s worse, she begs him not to tell her mother, Morticia. Everything will change for the family on the fateful night that they host a dinner for Wednesday’s “normal” boyfriend and his parents.

A Beef & Boards Christmas 2015 

Nov. 28 – Dec. 23
The holiday season is celebrated with the theatre’s original production, featuring beautiful costumes, heartwarming songs, dazzling dancing and even Santa himself. A tradition at Beef &Boards for more than 20 years.

The Pyramid Players also announce their 2015 Live Theatre for Kids series. Designed to entertain children of any age, these shows are a great way to introduce preschoolers to live theatre. Youngsters also have the opportunity to meet the cast after the show for pictures and autographs.

Charlotte’s Web
Feb. 20 - March 21
The beloved children’s tale kicks off the Live Theatre for Kids season. Based on E.B. Webb’s popular children’s book of the same name, this musical brings to the stage the tale of an unlikely friendship forged between a young pig and a spider.

Snow White
Oct. 16 - Nov. 14
This classic fairy tale, made popular by the Brothers Grimm, centers around a beautiful princess, who is forced to flee from her home and finds refuge in the forest with some new friends. This musical adaptation includes magic mirrors, seven silly dwarfs and a heroic prince.

A Christmas Carol
Dec. 5 through 21
Returning in 2015 is Beef & Boards’ one-hour adaptation of the Charles Dickens classic, on stage for select performances. Enhanced with holiday carols, this iconic tale of miserly Ebenezer Scrooge who is given a second chance is the ideal way to enjoy the holidays.
Images furnished

Elizabeth J. Musgrave writes two magazine food and wine columns: Destination Dining and White Linen & Corks,and is a travel, features, food and wine writer, travel and food photographer, and performing arts and restaurant critic. Catch her as the Travel & Leisure Adviser on FOX59 Morning News Show. She also is a speaker, consultant and trainer for hospitality, travel and luxury businesses, P.R., and tourism groups, as well as a radio and television guest and host. Follow her on Twitter @GottaGo, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Sunday, August 24

Devour Downtown Cocktail Competition 2014 Winners and Recipes

Learnard, Yager and Waller
Judging cocktail and wine competitions is a favorite part of this job. The creative juices begin flowing
(literally) when cocktails are involved and watching the pride and enthusiasm of the competitors is pure joy.

I have been fortunate to judge the Devour Downtown Signature Cocktail Competition since its inception several years ago, and watching it become more well known is exciting.

The entries were, once again, innovative and it was wonderful to see what is happening in the Indy spirits scene. Specialty rims, fresh ingredients and detail-oriented drinks (right down to the type of ice) proved Indianapolis is bringing the best out in bartenders around town.

Held in the ~ absolutely gorgeous ~ Severin Bar in the downtown Omni Hotel, the competition was sponsored by Sauza Tequila, Bacardi Rum, Basil Hayden's Bourbon and Grey Goose Vodka. The bartenders competed for cash prizes in each of the four categories with one claiming the Overall Champion title. Below are the recipes for each winning drink with top honors overall going to Zach Learnard from Elbow Room.

Devour Downtown Summerfest 2014
Signature Cocktail Competition Winners

Category: Overall
Category: Basil Hayden

Name: Zach Learnard
Drink: Midwestern Mule
Company: Elbow Room
Recipe: 2oz Basil Hayden, 4oz Reed's Original Ginger Brew, 5oz Jalapeno Simple Syrup, 1 tsp sugar, 1/4 whole lime. Muddle one slice of jalapeno with 1/4 lime and 1 tsp sugar. Fill shaker 1/4 full with ice. Add muddled ingredients and .5 oz of jalapeno simple syrup. Add 2oz of Basil Hayden Bourbon and stir. Pour into rocks glass. Top with 4oz of Reed's.

Category: Bacardi
Drink: Limon Pie
Name: Jeremiah Strickler
Company: Morton's
Recipe: 1 1/2oz Bacardi Limon, 1/2oz Limoncello, 1 /2oz Grand Marnier,
1 /2oz Agave Nectar; Topping: 1oz Half and Half, 4 tbsp graham cracker crust, 1tbsp sugar, 1/2oz fresh squeezed lemon. Fill shaker 1/2 full of ice, add Bacardi Limon/ Grand Marnier/ limoncello/ Agave Nectar and shake vigorously Strain into martini glass rimmed with sugar/graham cracker mix.

Category: Grey Goose
Drink: Bruschetta
Name: Max Waller
Company: High Velocity
Recipe: 1 1/2 oz Grey Goose, 1/2 oz olive juice, 1 slice of garlic, pinch of salt, pinch of pepper, 1 lemon wedge, 3 cherry tomatoes, 1 oz Zing Zang bloody mary mix. Muddle tomatoes, add Grey Goose, olive juice, garlic, salt, pepper, lemon wedge, and Zing Zang bloody mary mix. Shake and strain into martini glass and garnish with basil leaf.

Category: Sauza Blue Tequila
Spicy Blue Margarita

Name: Sara Yager
Company: Chef Joseph's at The Connoisseur Room
Recipe: 3 ounce Sauza Blue Tequila, 2 ounce Triple Sec, 2 ounce Sweet and Sour Mix, 4 Mint leaves 1/2 Lime Sriracha Sauce. Muddle 4 Mint Leaves and 1/2 Lime and add Sriracha to taste. Add Sauza Blue Tequila, Triple Sec and Sweet and Sour to the mix. Strain into a salt-rimmed high ball glass over ice. Garnish with a jalapeno-wrapped cherry, mint leaf and lime wedge.

Elizabeth J. Musgrave writes two magazine food and wine columns: Destination Dining and White Linen & Corks,and is a travel, features, food and wine writer, travel and food photographer, and performing arts and restaurant critic. Catch her as the Travel & Leisure Adviser on FOX59 Morning News Show. She also is a speaker and consultant for hospitality, travel and luxury businesses, P.R., and tourism groups, as well as a radio and television guest and host. Follow her on Twitter @GottaGo, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Friday, August 22

19th Annual Indy’s Irish Festival Sept. 11-14, 2014

Indy’s Irish Fest returns to Military Park Sept. 11-14 for its 19th-annual celebration of the state’s Celtic heritage.

Festival Highlights

The Elders
Burning Bridget Cleary
Hounds of Finn
Tom Sweeney
The Kells

Sheep-herding exhibitions, Celtic Canine tents feature dogs representing Irish breeds, such as Irish Glen of Imaal Terriers, Irish Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers, Irish Water Spaniels, Irish Wolfhounds, Irish Red and White Setters and Kerry Blue Terriers.

Complete schedule and ticket information: IndyIrishFest.com

Cultural area
Information on Irish American Presidents, the history of Ireland, the Great Famine, origins of popular Irish songs, family genealogy, and notable Irish women. Indianapolis Gaelic Athletic Association will be onsite performing hurling demonstrations.

Kids Activities
Blarney Castle
Olympic Run
Kerry Putt n’ Go
Celtic Bean Bag Toss
Donegal Duck Pond
Tralee Targets
Limerick Lollipop Tree
Sligo Fish Bowl Toss
GalwayGo Fish
Face Painting

Art Contest (Saturday)
11:30 am – 1:30 pm  (up to age 12)
Awards announced at 2:45 pm on South Stage
Reddest Hair - Greenest Eyes - Most Freckles (Sunday)
Sign-up 1:45 pm at Craft Tent
Judging 2:00 pm at North Stage
Winners Announced at 2:30 pm on North Stage

Irish Market Vendors

All Irish Foods
Imported packaged foods from Ireland
Bead and a Prayer
Handcrafted necklaces, bracelets, earrings and bookmarks
Because I Like It
Misc Irish scarves, hats, handbags, jewelry, oghams, clay pipes, money clips, apparel, throws, linens
Celtic Clothing
Irish rugby shirts, tweed caps, Guinness caps, Irish t-shirts, Irish jackets, fragrances
The Celtic Croft
Kilts, accessories, Celtic clothing and jewelry
The Celtic Cross
Framed and unframed embroidery and rubbings of Celtic grave stone designs and ancient monuments
The Celtic Exchange
Bars, pewter gifts, ceramic porcelain, silver jewelry, crystal, leather journals, cloth bags, mirrors, soaps, cologne
Celtic Expressions
Shortbread, tea, jewlery, apparel, home goods, Irish woolens, bags, barware, dog clothes, leashes, collars
Celtic Fashions
Embossed, stonewashed, embroidered and printed t-shirts, tops, hats/caps, sweatshirts, kidswear and sport shirts
Chips Ltd
Pet, infant and adult Irish themed products
Classic Irish Imports
Shirts, sweatshirts, jewelry, kids clothes
Dayton’s Celtic Connection
Silver jewelry made from stainless steel, leather and beads
Fireball Designs
Celtic airbrush tattoos
Frozen Light
Sterling silver jewelry with gemstones and exotic garments handmade by artisans all over the world
Giftworks Plus
Personalized custom irish design reverse engraved, etched, shaded wooden frames, heritage personality profiles, magnets, mattes
Green Man Pottery
Stone pottery with Celtic designs, Green Man faces, Celtic dog collars
Handcrafted Celtic jewelry
Highland Kilt Company
Kilts and Accessories, including several Irish Tartans, original t-shirts
Historical Research Center
Computer-generated family name histories and coat-of-arms crests, hand-made embroidered coat of arms crests, shields from Ireland by heraldry artist, key rings
Indianapolis Firefighters Emerald Society 
I.F.D. t-shirts, hats, mugs and bagpipe band CDs
Irish on The Square
Irish blessing prints, coats of arms, heraldry prints, Celtic fashion, jewelry, ceramic tiles, gifts
Ireland in Prints
Jewelry, sweaters, t-shirts, perfume, various other prints and photos, bodhrans
Irish Sisters
Sweaters, capes, scarves, mittens, hats, track jackets, Guinness products, rugby shirts, Christmas ornaments
Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians
Miscellaneous crafts and Irish related gifts
My Celtic Treasures
Celtic jewelry
O’Caseys Irish Store 
Celtic gold and silver jewelry, county flags, misc gifts
Sean’s Celtic Creations
Handmade original and traditional Celtic jewelry design
Men’s utility kilts, kilt belts, t-shirts, kilt socks, belt buckles
Wolf Den Leather
Sporrans, kilt belts, hair wraps, snoods, coin sashes, tails, bottles

Food Vendors

Claddagh Irish Pub
Circle City Spuds
Ben’s Soft Pretzels
Ancient Order of Hibernians
Northside Knights of Columbus
St. Barnabas Men’s Club

Beverages to be served
Soft drinks and water
Angry Orchard Cider
Coors Light
Chapman Englishman (Southern English Brown)
Chapman Pail (American Pale Ale)
Barefoot Chardonnay, White Zinfandel and Merlot
Smirnoff Ice

Images: E.J. Musgrave

Elizabeth J. Musgrave writes two magazine food and wine columns: Destination Dining and White Linen & Corks,and is a travel, features, food and wine writer, travel and food photographer, and performing arts and restaurant critic. Catch her as the Travel & Leisure Adviser on FOX59 Morning News Show. She also is a speaker, consultant and trainer for hospitality, travel and luxury businesses, P.R., and tourism groups, as well as a radio and television guest and host. Follow her on Twitter @GottaGo, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Monday, August 18

Restaurant Review: Top 10 Best Devour Downtown Summer 2014

Tavern on South
Devour Downtown Summerfest 2014 has returned and the number of Indy restaurants participating has increased to more than 60 for the foodie event running August 18-31. Some will create special menus just for the event, while others simply offer their usual food items at a reduced price.

The Daily Gift Card Giveaway is precisely what it says. Every day you can enter your email address and have a chance to receive a giftcard for one of the restaurants in this year's events.
Daily Gift Card Giveaway (click to fill out the form)

Continuing are the various price ranges, 2-for-1, and special menu options, such as gluten-free and vegetarian. When looking for who is truly giving a great discount, check out their DD menu and compare the items to their regular menu's prices. Just add the items up and you will see whether you are getting a so-so deal or one worth the drive.What's New?
Several restaurants are new this time, including the much anticipated Plow & Anchor, equally anticipated Union 50, and new to the event P.F. Chang's, a downtown staple.

I love how so many of the restaurants are creating a drink and meal combination menu, adding special-priced cocktails and/or noting wine and beer pairings to complement the menu options. The restaurants are having with this and that, in turn, creates a more exciting venture for the restaurant patrons. With GenCon finished, the summer continues to sizzle with the offerings of the downtown eateries.

Again this DDrather than putting out a separate post for the Top 10 Best menus I am linking to their menus and highlighting the "Top 10" restaurants in green.

The criteria includes those that seem to be the best combination of good value, innovative menu and going above the others (ex. offering beer or wine also). And, so I give you the ...

Top 10 Devour Downtown List 
Summer 2014

120 West Bar & Grill

1913 Restaurant

Acapulco Joe's

Adobo Grill

BARcelona Tapas


Black Market


B's Po Boy

Bu Da Lounge

Buca di Beppo

The Capital Grille



Champps Americana 
Menu not available

Chef Joseph's

Circle City Bar & Grille 

Claddagh Irish Pub

Colts Grille 

Columbia Club

Dick's Last Resort


Eagle's Nest

Elbow Room 

Ember Urban Eatery

End of the Line Public House

Fogo de Chao Churrascaria

Forty Five

Giorgio's Pizza

Granite City Food & Brewery

Greek Islands

The Grub House

Harry & Izzy's

High Velocity




Maxine's Chicken and Waffles

McCormick & Schmick's

Mesh on Mass

Milano Inn
Menu not available



Napolese Pizzeria

Nine Irish Brothers Irish Pub


O'Reilly's Irish Bar

Osteria Pronto


P. F. Chang's

Pearl Street Pizzeria


Plat 99

Plow & Anchor

Pure Eatery


R Bistro

Rock Bottom

Ruth's Chris Steak House

Santorini'sMenu not available

Scotty's Brewhouse

Severin Bar at Omni Hotel

Shoefly Pub House


Skyline Club

Slippery Noodle Inn

Smokehouse on Shelby

St. Elmo

Tavern on South
(image at top)

TGI Fridays
Union 50

Weber GrillMenu

Winner's CircleMenu

For more details, visit DevourDowntown.org
Images: E.J.Musgrave
Elizabeth J. Musgrave writes two magazine food and wine columns: Destination Dining and White Linen & Corks,and is a travel, features, food and wine writer, travel and food photographer, and performing arts and restaurant critic. Catch her as the Travel & Leisure Adviser on FOX59 Morning News Show. She also is a speaker, consultant and trainer for hospitality, travel and luxury businesses, P.R., and tourism groups, as well as a radio and television guest and host. Follow her on Twitter @GottaGo, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Sunday, August 17

Top 10 Best Summer Inspired Cocktails 2014

Summertime brings forth thoughts of hammocks, vacations and heat. Cold cocktails help to beat the temps and give backyard parties a little more pizzazz.

Once again I have invited experts in the world of spirits, wine and beer, including sommeliers, mixologists, restaurants, pubs, distillers and manufacturers to send their Summer-inspired cocktails. The responses were filled with heat-beating concoctions dedicated to the season of fun and sun. The list was compiled and narrowed down to the ones most in spirit with the theme and representing uniqueness, great taste and visual appeal.

I present to you the...

Top 10 Summer Inspired Cocktails 2014

Dirty Martini by the Sea
(see image above)
Who: Harbor View Hotel
Where: Martha's Vineyard
Website: Harbor-View.com
Twitter: @HarborViewMV
Inspiration: Evenings on the beach
Recipe: Housemade sour mix: Mix two cups of simple syrup to one cup of lemon juice, one cup of lime juice, and 1/2 cup of grapefruit juice, 1 2/3 oz. housemade seaweed vodka (see directions below), 2 tsp. vermouth, 1 Greek olive. Combine vodka and vermouth in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain liquid into a martini glass and garnish with olive. Housemade seaweed vodka (yields 8 cups): 14 oz. of washed, purple seaweed. 8 cups of vodka. Place seaweed and vodka into a sealed vacuum bag and cook sous vide at 125 degrees F for 20 minutes. Remove and chill, then filter the mix through cheesecloth and bottle.

Eden's Garden
Who: Plat 99 ~ William Mohring (Lead Mixologist)
Where: Indianapolis
Website: TheAlexander.com
Inspiration: What I especially love about summer is being able to plant a garden in my backyard. Sometimes it’s both vegetables and herbs; this year it was just herbs. I really enjoy the process of gardening from planting to cooking with fresh herbs from my backyard. There is just something so rewarding about the spoils of our toil. It’s also a similar enjoyment in creating cocktails. I have the chance to work with so many ingredients that once started in soil, and I pay homage to all the freshness that summer offers with the ingredients chosen for this drink.
Recipe: 1oz Death Door’s gin, .5oz Carpano Bianco, .75oz homemade cucumber-infused vodka, .75oz Lemon Juice, .75oz simple syrup, 2 dashes Bitter Truth Lemon Bitters, 3-4 basil leaves, club soda to fill. Muddle basil in a cocktail tin and all ingredients, except the club soda. Add ice to the tin, shake for a minimum of 10 seconds and double strain into a Collins glass filled with ice. Add club soda to top, and swirl one rotation with a mixing spoon. Garnish with a large basil leaf and cucumber slice.

Door County Cherry Juice Margarita
Who: Fred and Fuzzy’s Waterfront Bar and Grill ~ Fuzzy Sunstrom
Where: Sister Bay, WI
Twitter: @FredandFuzzys
Inspiration: Summer sunsets
Recipe: Golden Tequila (preferred type of tequila for margaritas as it is mellowed with a hint of caramel flavoring), Door County Cherry Juice, margarita mix, lime: Rim a 16 oz glass with salt (optional), fill the glass with ice, add 2 oz of golden tequila, fill the rest of the glass with a 50/50 mix of Door County cherry juice and margarita mix. Stir until perfectly blended. Garnish with a slice of lime.

Rosso Peach Smash
Who: Venturi ~ Troy Pippenger
Where: Gosehn, IN
Website: EatVenturi.com
Twitter: @PizzaVenturi
Inspiration: Co-Owner, Justin Venturi, created a peach dessert that blew my mind. I created the drink by playing with the same flavors from the dessert in the form of a cocktail.
Recipe: 1.5 oz vodka, 1oz Grotta del Sole Lacryma Christi dei Vesuvio Rosso or similar red wine, 1 oz peach puree (we use Monin), 1 barspoon simple syrup, 1 lemon wedge (1/4 of a lemon), 2 sprigs mint. Muddle lemon, peach puree and leaves from one sprig of mint & simple syrup in cocktail shaker. Add wine & vodka. Shake well. Fine strain into rocks glass. Garnish with lemon slice & mint.

Rose' Piscine

Who: Shelburne Restaurant & Pub ~ Laurie Anderson
Where: Seaview, WA
Inspiration: All the rage in France in the summertime is a drink called Rosé Piscine, which means pool of rosé. It’s simply rosé wine poured over ice. We have enhanced this drink. 
Recipe: Plum syrup: 1 c sugar, 1 c water, bring to a boil and add: 1 lb unpitted plums. Simmer the plums in the simple syrup until they are thoroughly cooked down, about 20 to 30 minutes. strain through a fine mesh strainer to render the syrup. Refrigerate. Jumbo ice cubes: 1 c peeled and seeded cucumber cut in chunks, 1 c watermelon, seeded and without rind, cut into chunks, 2 tb freshly squeezed lime juice, 1 c plum syrup. Puree the above ingredients and pour into jumbo ice cube trays and freeze solid. Pour a good quality Rosé wine over one jumbo ice cube and enjoy.

Smoky Strega Smash
Who: Italian Village ~ Ryan Wichmann
Where: Chicago
Twitter: @ciaofromchicago
Inspiration: Our inspiration for this cocktail was not only the Italian Immigrant origins of Italian Village founder, Alfredo Capitanini, but also the Anish Kapoor sculpture Cloud Gate, commonly known as "The Bean", in Chicago's beautiful Millennium Park just a few blocks away. Kapoor, himself an immigrant, has said that in his art, "The experience of opposites allows for the expression of wholeness" and that is what I have tried to achieve with this cocktail. At first thought, the sweet, fragrant and herbaceous qualities of Strega seem an unlikely match for the burly and smoky/peaty nature of Islay Scotch, but it is exactly this duality that allows the qualities of one to complement and provide balance to the other so as to create a more complex and harmonious union. The same can be said for "The Bean" on clear, cloudless days, when sky and highly-polished metal appear to lose their seams and meld together in a singular vision of uniquely Chicagoan beauty.
Recipe: 2 oz Strega, 1/2 oz Laphroaig 10 year Islay Single Malt Scotch, 2 orange wedges, club soda, crushed ice. Combine Strega, Scotch and one orange wedge in a shaker filled halfway with crushed ice (it is ideal to squeze the orange wedge into the shaker beforehand) and shake. Dump the contents of the shaker into a large glass (do not strain). Fill the remainder of the glass with crushed ice and top with club soda. Garnish with the other orange slice and serve with a straw.

Summer Passion
Who: Camus Cognac
Website: Camus.fr/us
Twitter: @CamusCognacUS
Inspiration: This cocktail is sure to be a hit at this summer’s family BBQ.
Recipe: 8 oz. CAMUS VS Elegance Cognac, 4 oz. passion fruit liqueur, 4 oz. triple sec, 4 oz. sparkling water, 4 oz. sweetener, juice of 1 lemon, 1 c strawberries, 1 c ice. Add strawberries, lemon juice and sweetener into a blender and pulse slowly. Place mixture in a pitcher and add remaining liquid ingredients and ice. Pour into a margarita glass. Garnish with a lemon twist and serve.

Spring Peeper
Who: Cielo at Four Seasons ~ Jorie Taylor (Bar Manager)
Where: St. Louis
Website: CieloStLouis.com
Twitter: @FSStLouis
Inspiration: While living in Atlanta a former employer of mine who was (and is) a great lover of a good cocktail would often ask for a cocktail of my choice at the bar. His wife, however, always chose a glass of red wine. Atlanta can get awfully hot, so on one particularly hot day she wanted to sit on the patio and my boss delighted in the rare occasion to share with her the cooling effects of a well mixed cocktail. Inspired by the heat, he asked if I would mix her a proper julep. I mixed one, but he took it for himself and asked me to go ahead and create her something -- in his words, "Like a julep, but sexy." I thought first of some of the original juleps, made with brandy or cognac in the 1800's before phylloxera caused barmen to switch to corn based beverages. Nectarines (plump and juicy in summer) bring a round, nectar-like quality to the booze while freeze dried strawberries add an acidic fruity layer. Campari and lemon add just enough bite to keep the cocktail balanced, and the saffron (my herb/spice component in place of mint) imparts an indescribable exotic floral background. Like a julep, just sexy. The cocktail is named for the bullfrogs which croaked along the river banks outside the restaurant."
Recipe: Mix1/2 oz Campari, 2 oz Nectarine, freeze-dried strawberry infused Cognac, 3/4 oz fresh lemon, 1/2 oz saffron syrup, orange wheel garnish.

Strawberry Mojito Martini
Who: Brasabana ~ Mike Kiefer (Bar Manager)
Where: Lexington, KY
Website: Brasabana.com
Twitter: @Brasabana
Inspiration: Growning up we always had a strawberry patch growing in our backyard. As a result I have always loved strawberries and they always remind me of my summers growing up in Lexington. As a bartender I consider martinis one of my specialties and love creating new, interesting ones. Here at Brasabana our specialty is mojitos. This drinking is a represention of the best parts of Brasabana and summer with a little personal flair.
Recipe: 2 oz Bacardi Dragonberry Rum, 1 oz strawberry and mint infused simple syrup (Muddle 4-6 strawberries, 2 oz mint leaves, and 8 oz granulated sugar, add 8 oz of boiling water and stir thouroughly. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours then strain out muddled strawberries and mint.). Shake rum and simple syrup over ice then strain into a martini glass. Add a splash of club soda for a refreshing fizz. Rim the glass in raw sugar and added a stick of sugar cane for garnish

The Porch Swing
Who: Oliver Winery ~ Drew Kincuis
Where: Bloomington, IN
Inspiration: “Summertime, and the drinkin’s easy”
Recipe: 4oz lemonade. 4oz Oliver Moscato, 2oz strawberry simple syrup, splash of club soda, fill Mason jar with ice, place lid on jar, shake, garnish with lemon wedge.

Images furnished by entries
Elizabeth J. Musgrave writes food and wine magazine columns ~ Destination Dining and White Linen & Corks, is a magazine and newspaper journalist and photographer covering travel, food, wine & spirits, luxury, hotels, spas, et al, as well as a restaurant and performing arts critic. Catch her as Fox 59 Morning News Show's Travel & Leisure expert. Find her also at GottaGo.us, BroadwayWorld.com and FoodDigital.com. Follow on Twitter @GottaGo,  LinkedIn and Facebook.

Friday, August 15

White River Festival Sept. 1-14 2014

INDIANAPOLIS – The annual White River Festival, a two-week long celebration of the White River and the area’s land, wildlife, plants, streams and people, occurs September 1-14 with multiple events at venues and locations throughout central Indiana.
With the recent opening of new trails along the White River and Fall Creek, recreation encompasses all that the Indianapolis community is looking to do this year. The two-week celebration will feature the following events, most of which are free to the public, with more additions to the lineup in coming weeks:

White River Festival Events 2014

August 29 – September 1
White River Arts Music and Recreation Festival (WARMfest), Friday, 6 p.m. – 10 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. – 10 p.m., Monday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., Broad Ripple Park. Tickets: warmfest.org.

August 30 – January 4, 2015
Exhibit: Water’s Extreme Journey – Monday – Saturday 9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. at Minnetrista in Muncie, Ind. FREE with admission ($5 public, free for members).

September 2 – 30
A River Runs through Us: Exhibit about the importance of the White River – Monday – Saturday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Sunday 1 – 5 p.m. at Cool Creek Nature Center in Carmel. FREE to the public.

September 4
DamNation Community Film Screening – 7 p.m. - 9 p.m. at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. Tickets are $9 for the public, $5 for IMA members.

September 5
Shoreline Fishing Trip down White River, 9 a.m. - 6:30 p.m. at Public Access Points, Noblesville to Mooresville, Ind. FREE to the public.
Primitive Skill Building in a Riparian Habitat, 12 p.m. - 3 p.m. at the Indianapolis Art Center Boat Launch. FREE to the public.

September 5
Justin Riney and Mother Ocean: One Man, One Paddleboard, and 365 Days
5:30 p.m. - 8 p.m. at Indianapolis Art Center. Tickets are $10 and kids 12 and under are FREE.

September 6
Walk Indiana, 7 a.m. - 6 p.m. at Cardinal Greenways Historic Wysor Street Depot in Muncie, Ind. Tickets are $35.

Daleville to Anderson Appreciation Paddle, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. at Canoe Country in Daleville, Ind. FREE except for canoe/kayak rental.

The White River Is My Home Too, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the Indiana State Museum. FREE to the public. 

Family Fun Day at Minnetrista: Blue Planet, Noon – 4 p.m. at Minnetrista in Muncie. FREE for members, $5 for the public.

White River is Migration Station! Bird Hike 4 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. at Potter’s Bridge Park in Noblesville, Ind. FREE to the public.

September 6
White River Festival Community Fun Day – 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. at White River State Park. FREE to the public.
2nd Annual White River Festival Walk and Fun Run – 10 a.m. at White River State Park. Dogs are welcome, with special opportunities for them throughout the event.

Justin Riney and Mother Ocean: One Man, One Paddleboard, and 365 Days
1 p.m. at Minnetrista in Muncie, Ind. FREE with admission ($5 for public, free for members).

September 6-7
White River Past and Present, 1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. at Conner Prairie in Fishers, Ind. FREE with general admission.

September 7
Mounds State Park Hike, 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. at Mounds State Park in Anderson, Ind. FREE with park admission.

September 8
Abstract Landscape Painting Pop-Up, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. at the Indianapolis Art Center. Tickets are $25.

September 11
Family Fun at the White River, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. at River Road Park in Carmel, Ind. FREE to the public.

Film Screening: DamNation, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. at Anderson University in Anderson, Ind. FREE to the public.

September 12
The Magic behind the Screen: Screenprinting Pop-Up – 7 p.m. - 9 p.m. at the Indianapolis Art Center. Tickets are $35.

September 13

Noblesville White River Celebration:

20th Annual White River Clean-Up, 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. at Moose Lodge and Renner’s Body Works in Noblesville, Ind. FREE to the public.
Fun on the River, Noon – 4 p.m., 17180 River Ave. in Noblesville, Ind. Costs vary, some are FREE.
Bridge Fair, 2 p.m. – 9 p.m. at the Logan Street Bridge, City Parking Lot in Noblesville, Ind. FREE
1 Million Dollar Duck Race, 5 p.m. – race time at the Logan Street Bridge in Noblesville, Ind. FREE to attend (ducks are $5).

Delaware County 8th Annual White River Clean-Up:
8 a.m. – 1 p.m. at Westside Park in Muncie, Ind. FREE to the public.

Family Fishing Day, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. – Riverside Park, Indianapolis. FREE to the public.

8th Annual Indiana Bat Festival, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. at IUPUI. FREE to the public.

Celebration Fall Creek, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. at Fall Creek Parkway in Indianapolis.

8th Annual Indiana Bat Festival Evening Event, 6 p.m. – 10 p.m. at Garfield Park in Indianapolis. FREE

September 16
4th Annual White River Alliance Stewardship Awards Celebration – 5:30 p.m. - 8 p.m. at Indianapolis Yacht Club on Geist Reservoir. Exceptional stewards of our rivers and lakes are recognized.

About the White River Festival
Each day of the festival, multiple venues and locations welcome the public with a range of events and activities. For registration information and details on all events, visit whiteriverfestival.org.

The Festival is a project of the White River Alliance, a non-profit coalition of local governments, educators, allied organizations, industries and citizens working together to improve and protect water resources throughout Central Indiana. The watershed of the upper White River extends from the river’s source in a farmer’s field in Randolph County across 16 counties into the tips of Brown, Owen and Monroe counties.

Elizabeth J. Musgrave writes two magazine food and wine columns: Destination Dining and White Linen & Corks,and is a travel, features, food and wine writer, travel and food photographer, and performing arts and restaurant critic. Catch her as the Travel & Leisure Adviser on FOX59 Morning News Show. She also is a speaker, consultant and trainer for hospitality, travel and luxury businesses, P.R., and tourism groups, as well as a radio and television guest and host. Follow her on Twitter @GottaGo, LinkedIn and Facebook.