Holiday Gift Guide

In preparation for his B.A.R. exam, Paystyle hosted cocktail parties, aka Happy Hour (how appropriate), at his place every Thursday for the last month. He invited folks from all over the city to trek to his spacious apartment in Ditmas Park, Brooklyn, where he fully stocked the bar for this weekly affair. No one objects to being Paystyle's guinea pig, please.

I was lucky to be in town for the very last Live Happy Hour session! Although I was a bit late, I was lovingly greeted by Paystyle, his wife and Happy Hour photographer Vanessa, and Moonshine, our UM office dog. The party was already in full swing, with Paystyle chopping away at a gargantuan block of ice. Ah, mixologists and their damn ice! Such an obsession.


He featured different cocktails each week. Here's the night's menu.


Old Fashioned
Rye Whiskey, Sugar, Bitters, Lemon Twist

Rye Whiskey, Sugar, Peychaud’s Bitters, Absinthe Rinse, Lemon Twist

Gin, Campari, Sweet Vermouth, Flamed Orange Twist
(Specify Up or On the Rocks)

Classic Dry Martini

Gin, Dry Vermouth, Orange Bitters, Lemon or Orange Twist

Extra Dry Martini
Gin, Dry Vermouth, Olive

Blood & Sand
Scotch Whisky, Sweet Vermouth, Cherry Heering, Orange, House Brandied Cherry or Orange Twist

Gin, Preserved Lime
(Specify Up or On the Rocks)

(Tom, John, or Vodka)
Gin/Whiskey/Vodka, Lemon, Sugar, Soda

Rum, Lime, Sugar, Mint, Soda


Basically my dream cocktail list. He knew I was coming!

We all ordered one cocktail after another. How DREAMY! Many of us had never met (in REAL LIFE), so it was so awesome to come together over classic cocktails in a laid-back Brooklyn apartment.

Laren from Sweet Blog o' Mine, with a classic martini.


Brad looking ever so dandy with a classic martini.


Hal Wolin from A Muddled Thought was in the house, helping Paystyle out with mixing drinks and such. He was also taking the big exam. Hats off to both of you!



Now, the highlight of the night (and my trip in general) was when Paystyle allowed me to make a drink for him. He gave me a skeptical look as I walked behind the bar. "What does Kayoko know about making a mojito?" HA! Little does he know that I've got mad mojito skills. Watch this.





(Omg stop staring at me).



I handed it over, ever so hesitatingly. Would he like it? Did I add too much simple? Muddle the limes too much?

Paystyle took a sip. His critical gaze lightened. He looked up. "Hey, this is actually really good!" he cried.


Then, I made him another. Yes, I am that good. Ya'll know I do this for a living, right?

Paystyle then made me a caipirinha, which was not on the menu. I am special.




Yup, this is basically represents how we felt by the end of the night.


Thank you Paystyle and Vanessa for hosting such a smashing evening!!! It was so great to meet everyone and we are all hoping the best for you and the outcome of the exam. BIG LOVE!!!

*All photos by Vanessa Bahmani.


  • Oh man that dog kills me every time. So cute.

    tomo on

  • These photos are great! As are the photos framed in the background of these photos.

    yoko on

  • This is what heaven looks like. At least for a lush like me.

    Craig on

  • Fun time indeed!

    Paystyle on

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