Not to sound jaded or ungrateful, but to be completely honest, I was getting bored with events and the whole nightlife and society circuit. You go to the same type of cocktail party where the usual suspects of passed Hors d'oeuvre, specialty cocktails, luncheon ladies and their corporate second husbands are all at play at one of the city's newest and hottest hotels or clubs. The photographer snaps your photo and next week it's printed in one of the city's society magazines or blogs. Same formula. Different event. However, I must say that these past events have certainly brought life back into my nightlife calendar and escapades. From showing my best sexy pouty face for Bloomingdale's spring fashion show to playing bartender for a night, I have rediscovered why I love this city and my job.
I was super excited and honored to be invited to model in Michael Foster's exposure fashion show at Bloomingdale's. Some of the city's most active philanthropists participated in the spring preview fashion show to shed light on important causes and organizations in the city. Each model represented a charity, and I was happy to introduce my organization Professional Young Gays Inc. (P.Y.G.) to guests. Because I could absolutely not take myself seriously as a "model", I decided to go for a laid-back approach and look with a Sunday Funday tank top, some red camouflage trunks, a pair of Sperry water shoes, and some Ray Ban sunglasses. I did my best strut down the runway squirted all my friends with my water guns, since no beach look is complete without water guns! I had a great time, made some new friends, and was happy to learn about other causes while rocking the runway.
Now, at most events, I'm the one ordering a cocktail while possibly flirting with my cute bartender. So, when I was selected as a guest mixologist for the soft launch of the new scotch whiskey brand Monkey Shoulder at the Bedford in Wicker Park, I found myself on the other side of the bar. Imported from the UK, Monkey Shoulder has a sweet hint of vanilla flavor with a dash of brown sugar and oak to complement the overall taste. Interesting enough, until later on this yearr, Chicago is the only city in the States to carry Monkey Shoulder - so it's truly a treat.
"Monkey Shoulder is this delightfully mixable liquid with a dynamic personality that invites in cocktail beginners and veterans, whisky novices and masters alike," said Dean Callan, Global Brand Ambassador for Monkey Shoulder. "We're so thrilled by Chicagoans' response to our dear Monkey Shoulder, as they've openly embraced both the drink and cheekiness we've brought from across the pond."
I was paired with an established mixologist, Kris Von Dopek of Banger & Lace and another media professional, Caitlin Greenwood to create the perfect Monkey Shoulder cocktail – Early Summer, a play off our team name, The Earls of Monkey Shire. When it came time to perform, I channeled Tom Cruise from Cocktails, unbuttoned the top three buttons of my shirt, and served up some specialty Monkey Shoulder cocktails. Teams were judged on a number of categories such as best tasting cocktail, best cocktail name, best natural bartenders, and my personal favorite best shaker face, which I later learned was best orgasm face while shaking up a cocktail, lol. My fellow team member and I won for best natural bartender. So, I guess my Tom Cruise channeling must have worked! If you care to give Early Summer a go at home, here's the ingredients:
Scoop of cherry preserve
1 oz. of lemon Juice
2 ozs of Monkey Shoulder
Combine all the ingredients over ice in a shaker then pour into a glass of ice
Birthdays are always a fun excuse to party and this one was no different. As always it was good times helping my friend Benjamin Newby, partner at the Underground, help to celebrate his birthday at the old bomb shelter. To the backdrop of a live DJ set by popular UK DJ – DJ Dan, light apps, and a menu of UK-inspired cocktails, friends, family, and associates all put on their best punk-rock gear and toasted Benjamin on another year younger and wiser. I'll never forget how when I was 22-years-old and just an intern at Michigan Ave. magazine, Benjamin barely even knew me and consistently rolled out the red carpet for my friends and I. So, it was great to raise a glass such a stand-up guy.
Until next update, if you're ever bored with your social calendar, just throw on Sunday Funday tank top, mix up some specialty cocktails, and spray your friends with a water gun!