A Mad Fantasy Tea Party

This past Monday we had a spring tea party to launch our new Fantasy Garden Collection, a vintage inspired capsule collection and collaboration with New York based jewelry company Ciner. I don’t know if it is the recent release of Beauty & The Beast, spring in general, or the fanciful nature of this new collection but I have had a tea party craving for awhile now. Talented Charleston-based illustrator Daniel Velasco did our invites and we purchased teacups that doubled as party favors for all the guests and turned Candy Shop Vintage on Cannon Street into a tea room for the afternoon.

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Thanks to Ooh events, we were able to squeeze in seating for 18 people down the length of the store. We served Charleston grown tea from The Charleston Tea Plantation in three flavors – Charleston Breakfast, Peach and Earl Grey. Frampton’s Flowers provided some beautiful fresh ranunculus for us in shades of pale pink.

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Out tiered tea towers were brimming with homemade goodies from local bakeries and caterers – Hamby’s, Sugar bakeshop and scones from Wildflour:

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And one of the best details were the beautiful, hand painted unicorn macaroons from Mercantile & Mash:

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The centerpiece of our new collection, The Unicorn Fantasy Necklace:

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Our floral selfie wall was also a lot of fun:

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As were the unicorn horn party hats from Meri Meri party:

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I only slept about two hours the night before but still had a blast:

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Thanks to all who came and contributed to a magical afternoon in Charleston!

THE BEST SUGAR COOKIES EVER

I have been meaning to share this recipe for a long time and with Valentine’s Day around the corner I thought it was a perfect time to spread the love. These are, quite simply the best sugar cookies you will ever eat. I used to have bad associations with sugar cookies… you know the buttery stale kind you get in a red plaid tin at Christmas or the ones that are passed out with apple juice in elementary school? The worst. I will almost always take a chocolate chip cookie over a sugar cookie, but…

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…when I friend of mine shared this family recipe with me I was a total convert. My daughter Daphne and I have made these at least half a dozen times and she is only four. Baking is one of our favorite mommy daughter activities, and even though these taste gourmet they are incredibly easy to make. You can also make the dough far in advance and freeze it and just pop it out when you are ready to make your next round of cookies.

ingredients

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For the dough:

SIFT: 3 cups of flour + 1 teaspoon of baking powder + 1/2 teaspoon of salt

CREAM: 1 cup of butter + 3/4 cup of sugar + 3 tablespoons of milk + 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla + 1 egg

Refrigerate for an hour or freeze and thaw before ready to use. Roll out and cut, bake for 6-8 minutes at 400 degrees. Allow cookies to cool to room temperature before frosting.

For the frosting:

1 box of powdered sugar + 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract + 1/4 cup of milk until desired consistency. Food coloring and decoration as needed.

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The best part… taste testing. We really have to make these in small batches, otherwise we just inhale them. And PS, my pink Charleston Rice Beads will be available for pre-order online next week!

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Better together: Charleston Holiday Gift Sets

If you are looking for that perfect Charleston gift this holiday season, look no further. We’ve compiled some of our favorite local items in gift sets. Ordered together, our four gift sets can also be customized with an add on gift note. And the best part? They come gift wrapped so you can send straight to the recipient without so much as having to curl a ribbon! But hurry up, as quantities are limited (available online only)…

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Charleston Cocktail Napkins Gift Set $85

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Color Charleston Gift Set $40

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The Charleston Academy Gift Set $95

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Set of Charleston Guest Towels $65

August Cocktails On Cannon

We took a little break in our #COCKTAILSONCANNON series last month. Between our trade show and summer travels I completely forgot to round up our July cocktail, although our whisky sours were a huge it at the trade show during cocktail hour. For this August I got in touch with my vintage soul sister, Jess James and asked if her husband Joel, an author and acclaimed mixologist would be willing to share one of his favorite drink recipes with us. Jess and Joel (below) collaborate on a lot of events together where Jess hosts and organizes and Joel provides the libations. They even recently found this fabulous, tufted leather bar that they often bring to their vintage themed soirées in Wilmington, NC where they are based.

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photo: Leslie Koehn/Star-News

The first time I met Joel he was tending bar at Manna, my favorite restaurant in Wilmington. While Jess and I chatted vintage at the bar Joel made is some amazing drinks, including some kind of Earl Grey infused cocktail that still sticks with me. I asked him to recommend a good summer cocktail since at least, here in Charleston we’ve got plenty of summer weather still in front of us.  Here is the “Lotus Blossom” with my favorite gin of choice, Hendrick’s:

Lotus

The Lotus Blossom:

1.5 oz. gin of choice (Hendrick’s works well because it has accents of cucumber and rose)
3/4 oz. Domaine de Canton (this is a ginger-infused cognac liqueur) 
2 drops of rosewater
2 oz. sparkling mineral water
4 medium-sized chunks of cucumber
garnish with a rose petal or slice of cucumber
In a mixing glass, muddle the cucumber in the Dom. de Canton until the cucumber is completely smashed. Add the gin, rosewater, a scoop of ice,  and shake for about fifteen seconds (the dilution is important.) Double-strain the mixture into a pre-chilled cocktail glass. Add the mineral water to the used ice, swirl for a second, then double strain it as well, snagging the last of the residual flavors.

Joel’s cocktails do not disappoint. And as you can imagine, tending bar, you hear a lot of stories from your customers. While he obviously mixes a good drink, his true calling is as a writer. You can purchase his book “Cocktails and Conversations” here, filled to the brim with incredible cocktail recipes and the stories that go with them. Cheers!

The Only Whisky Sour Recipe You’ll Ever Need

Whisky Sour Recipe From Candy Shop Vintage

Last summer I had a trunk show in Florida on a Saturday afternoon hosted by my mother-in-law Mary Zahl. She made a bunch of really yummy southern-style appetizers (since we had just had our jewelry featured in Southern Living) and decided to serve whisky sours, since it is sort of a vintage cocktail. I had never actually had one before. I mentally categorized them as having gone the way of baked Alasksas and flaming desserts – food and drinks that were only found on the pages of long forgotten, dog-eared cookbooks and out of print magazines. You don’t see them around much which is really a shame because they are SO good! I’ve also noticed that both men and women enjoy them – nothing about them is too girly and yet they are sweet, sour and delicious. And the trunk show guests that day agreed, they were definitely shopping with a strong buzz. This particular recipe is incredibly simple and easy to mix up in a pitcher to leave out for guests to serve themselves – we now serve these at all of our events and I get asked for the recipe constantly. When it involves frozen limeade concentrate, you simply can’t go wrong. Just don’t forget the Maraschino cherry and orange slice garnish! Recipe below for the June edition of #cocktailsoncannon.

Whisky Sour Recipe From Candy Shop Vintage

Cocktails On Cannon: Serve Yourself Whisky Sours

1 large can frozen limeade concentrate – thawed slightly and undiluted
 1 (limeade can) fresh squeezed lemon juice
 1 (limeade can) simple syrup
 1+ (limeade can) bourbon or whiskey to taste
1/2 (limeade can) of water to taste
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Serve with maraschino cherry, preferably with a stem, over ice, and with a slice of orange in a vintage glass. Makes about 1/2 gallon.

Whisky Sour Recipe From Candy Shop Vintage

Whisky Sour Recipe From Candy Shop Vintage

This is my favorite type of citrus juicer for squeezing lemons It works well, is powerful and enables you to squeeze all the juice out while separating the seeds so it is surprisingly easy to make your own fresh lemon juice. Of course, you can also buy it pre-packaged, its just a nice addition if you have the time.

Whisky Sour Recipe From Candy Shop Vintage

Adding a little bit of water to dilute it was my only adjustment to the original recipe. I found they were a little syrupy otherwise. The other option it to put extra ice in the pitcher and if you leave at room temperature, the melting ice will slowly dilute it a bit. Either way you don’t need more than 2/3 a cup or so (or half a limeade can) of water and be sure to serve over plenty of ice.

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Cheers! If you enjoyed this and are not subscribed to our email list, make sure to sign up at the top right! We are only halfway through the year and still have six #cocktailsoncannon left to discover! Photos: Clay Austin Photography.

Cocktails On Cannon: Just Add Sugar

Just a few weeks ago, a trifecta of sweet ladies descended on our shop on Charleston and mixed up a whimsical champagne cocktail. Arielle Stratton of Pure Fluff brought her cotton candy cart while Liz Martin of The Charleston Weekender and Kelly Harrold of Paper Meets Pearl worked the bar. Can I please have Arielle park her cotton candy cart outside every day? She just fits right in!

The girls used bubbly from One Hope. They give a percentage of their proceeds back to local charities, which makes it all the sweeter!

Ingredients:
-cotton candy (we used an organic mint flavor from PURE fluff Co.)
-bubbly (One Hope brut)
-elderflower liqueur such as St. Germain
Instructions:
Put some cotton candy into your glass- anything from a pinch to a handful- then add a splash of elderflower liqueur.  Fill the rest of the glass with bubbly and watch your cocktail mix itself as the cotton candy dissolves. Sweet and entertaining!

photo credit: Rachel Red Photography
cotton candy: Pure Fluff Co.
hand lettering on acrylic: The Town Serif
entertaining and glassware: Open Door Shop
bar cart: Society Social

A Perfect Easter Brunch Cocktail

When I was in my early twenties living in New York City, my friends and I started to feel a little bit nostalgic for our childhood traditions as the reality of adulthood was setting in. So, one Easter, we collaborated on an Easter party with friends and threw an epic brunch at our friend and consummate hostess Annie Campbell’s beautiful Nolita apartment. It was a perfect crisp, sunny New York spring afternoon and the brunch party lasted well into the evening. Ever since then, I have been totally enamored with Easter Brunch. I asked Annie, who not surprisingly is well known L.A. for her amazing food and party planning skills, for to suggest a go-to Easter cocktail.

(Image via. rip & tan)

I tend to gravitate towards champagne cocktails, but at an often co-ed event like at Easter brunch champagne cocktails in a delicate glass are not everyone’s cup of tea. So, Annie offered the unexpectedly perfect suggestion of a The Garden Pimm’s Cup, a refreshing garden-inspired spring cocktail:

INGREDIENTS (two servings, multiply as needed) 

for the simple syrup:
2 cups sugar
2 cups water 

for the cocktail:
3 strawberries, muddled, plus extras for garnish
3 slices of cucumber, muddled, plus spears for garnish
1.5 ounce lemon juice
1.5 ounce simple syrup
3 ounces Pimm’s
Bundaberg Ginger Beer
rosemary or thyme sprigs, for garnish  

to make the simple syrup:  

Combine the sugar and water in a saucepan on the stove. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and stir, dissolving sugar into the water. Once sugar is dissolved, turn off heat and let cool. Transfer simple syrup into a bottle. Can be refrigerated for up to a month.

to prepare the cocktail: 

Preparation is key to cocktail making. Always have all elements of the cocktail prepped and labeled in advance of the party. All elements can be put into pretty glass bottles, alongside a recipe card for guests to make their own cocktails. 

to make the cocktail:

Combine strawberry, cucumber, lemon juice, simple syrup and Pimm’s with a handful of ice in a cocktail shaker. Shake vigorously for 30-45 seconds. Strain and pour over fresh ice. Top with a splash of Bundaberg ginger beer. Garnish with a strawberry, slice of cucumber and sprig of fresh rosemary or thyme.

TIPS: Simple syrup can be made well in advanced and kept refrigerated for up to a month. Lemon juice can be squeezed a couple of days in advance and kept in the refrigerator

Serve this refreshing spring cocktail, long with one of Annie’s signature Easter dessert bars (pictured above) – you almost don’t need a main course! Follow along on Annie’s instagram (@annielcampbell) for more entertaining goodness.

I Believe In Unicorns

Last week my daughter Daphne turned 4 and we hosted a unicorn-themed birthday for her at Camp Perri in Charleston. Camp Perri is a magical little place where children can let their imaginations run wild during guided hours of crafts, activities and projects with owner and dierctor “Perri Poppins” (Perri Stilp).

Daphne’s a little bit obsessed with unicorns these days so we had a lot of fun putting the party together, from her personalized Sugar bakeshop cupcakes, to unicorn lollipops and Perri’s adorable glass jars of juice with gold straws that were a charming touch:

And I loved the decorations she chose, that included unicorn horn party hats and banners from Meri Meri. Plus crafts that included make-your-own unicorn necklace, coloring unicorns and “Unicorn, Unicorn, Dragon!” Perri’s version of “Duck, Duck, Goose!”

Daphne was one happy camper and all of her little friends had a great time as well! Here’s to year 4 with my special little unicorn!

Trick Or Treat! Win a $200 Gift Card To Candy Shop Vintage

Remember this game from when you were a kid? Now you can play with #candyshopvintage! Guess the number of candy corn in this jar. To submit your guess, choose one of the following methods 1) Email it to us contact@candyshopvintage 2) Regram this photo and tag us @candyshopvintage with your guess OR 3) Come into our #charleston shop at 9 Cannon Street and you get two submit two guesses for an in person visit! Our contest ends at midnight on Halloween 10/31/15!

Sharing The Love: Summer Hostess Gifts

It’s almost Memorial Day weekend and the kick-off to summer – otherwise known as houseguest season. Being a host is hard – but being hosted can be even harder. Whether you’re visiting a friend out at the beach for the day, tagging along for an afternoon barbecue, or crashing with someone for an entire weekend, being someone’s guest can often be navigating some very murky waters of etiquette.  How early do you arrive? How late do you leave? When do you pick up the check? Some of those things just take experience and good intuition but one thing is for sure – the worst houseguest can be forgiven – even invited back – if they bring a great gift:

1. DINNER GUEST: These sweet macaroon trinket boxes, at $12 they are less than a good bottle of wine and will last longer.

2. OVERNIGHT GUEST: A turquoise Charleston Rice Bead bracelet is an affordable token of affection with a great story behind it. Leave it behind on your pillow with a thank you note or even order one online after you leave and ship it directly to your hostess with a Candygram.

3. WEEKEND GUEST: These embroidered pink elephant cocktail napkins along with a bottle of your favorite spirit are the perfect contribution to your farewell round of cocktails with your hostess.

4. WEEKLONG GUEST: Being a guest for more than a weekend means one thing – your host is a veteran. Contribute something that can become a permanent fixture in their home and that can be put to use like these whimsical Charleston linen guests towels. 100% heirloom linen and 100% washable.

5. FOR THE LITTLE ONES: Until we have Charleston Rice Beads for kids, you can grab one of these adorable Color Charleston books at Candy Shop On Cannon for just $12 whimsically illustrated by my talented friend Mary Mac and hand bound with red thread.  Also available on her website.

6. LOANER VACATION HOUSE: When someone loans you their house – whether for a week or even just a night –  it’s appropriate to spoil them a bit with something special that only they can enjoy, like our Crescent Necklace – new for summer – in Pool Blue. It’s still just a drop in the bucket compared to the money you would have spent on rent or a hotel. And don’t forget to make the beds before you leave.