Week in Review: Heartbeats, Music and My Favorite Summer Cocktails

Greetings to all my nosh readers!  How in the heck is your summer going?  I hope it is going as awesomely wonderful as mine. Happy Happy week it was!  There is nothing more in this world that nourishes my soul more than time with family and friends, aka my "heartbeats" (see the beautiful Carlena and Stacey above) and music. Seriously. This week was time with my heartbeats AND live music, all in the same day!

This is only a sneak preview to my summer concert music review, but absolutely one of my favorite musicians, Andrew McMahon and the Wilderness was back in the "Moines" this summer. Carlena, Stacey and I dined at John and Nick's delicious salad bar, prime rib and Orchid Martini's prior to the sold-out event. The Orchid Martini is one of my favorite cocktails because I really enjoy the taste of Chambord. Here is my favorite at home recipe from Williams Sonoma and Balthazar Restaurant in New York City. 

Balthazar French Martini:  Serves 1


  • 1 oz. chilled vodka
  • 1 oz. pineapple juice
  • 1/3 oz. Chambord
  • Ice cubes


In a cocktail shaker, combine the vodka, pineapple juice, Chambord and ice cubes. Shake vigorously to produce a frothy head and strain into a chilled martini glass. Serve straight up. Makes 1 martini.

Another great place to enjoy an Orchid Martini and my absolute favorite place is Francies. It was on their daily special from the day I moved here but recently has been taken off this past year. It is not on the menu, but if you order it, you will be pleasantly surprised!

The girls and I braved the hot temps outside, managing to sing our hearts out and dancing the night away at Wooly's. Well done Andrew!

The weekend brought a day of belated birthday celebrations of my friend Amanda and I's birthday. We started with mimosa's and mani's and shopping. I am most excited about my Yeti purchase (yeah I know, I am late to the game) and have started my own "melting" experiments with my first adventure being leaving the house at 8 am with ice, leaving the Yeti in my car all day and rechecking it when I leave work at 6:30 pm on a 90 degree day.  I will be sure to share my other Yeti experiments with you in a later blog post. Since it was blazing hot outside, again, we took a little siesta break and had the most delicious watermelon martini's from Bonefish Grill. Now I really thought I loved the Orchid Martini but nothing screams summer like watermelon. Amanda introduced me to this smooth and delicious drink with fresh muddled watermelon and cucumber all chilled by frozen watermelon cubes.   I was inspired to find a copycat recipe and upon my consulting with the "googles"  I discovered Bonefish Grille provides a video on how to make it and the recipe.  

Bonefish Grill Fresh Watermelon Martini

1.5 oz – Your Favorite Vodka
2 each – Cucumber Slices
2 cubes – Fresh Watermelon
.25 oz – Simple Syrup
.50 oz – Fresh Sour Mix

Combine the watermelon cubes, cucumber slices and simple syrup in a glass and muddle well. Add your favorite vodka, and fresh sour mix. Shake and strain into a chilled martini glass! Garnish with frozen watermelon cubes or a fresh cucumber slice.

Secrets to Shake it Up:
  • Really impress your friends by making your own refreshing cucumber vodka! Slice a cucumber and place in your favorite vodka and allow to infuse for 24- 48 hours.
  • If you like your cocktails on the sweeter side add a bit more simple syrup.
  • Like Margaritas? Substitute Tequila for Vodka and increase your sour mix to 1.5 ounce, shake and strain over ice into a glass with a salt rim! Recipe Link here

After we decided to not indulge in another watermelon delight, we hit up a few more shopping stops and decided it was just too hot for us to be moving and grooving all over Des Moines. So we decided to find the closest place with AC and delicious cocktails, completing Amanda and Anne's Day O' Belated Birthday Fun at our new favorite neighborhood spot, Gilroy's Kitchen in West Des Moines.  This kitchen, pub and patio is a great central location between all of my heartbeats and we met up with Jason, Justin, Kevin and Ryan. My favorite thing about Gilroy's is the #RedHairDontCare theme with entertaining restaurant and menu design, names for their cocktails and delicious food (the food deserves an entirely separate blog post). I have tried a few cocktails off the menu, but today, I recently found my favorite in the "I Love Lucy."  Now, I do not have the recipe for this gem, so you will just have to swing by and enjoy one for yourself. It is a refreshing combination of cherry vodka, strawberry puree, muddled cucumber and signature ginger beer, brewed right here in Des Moines and famously known as Wertzberger's Ginger Beer.

It was the perfect way to end a pretty stellar day and the perfect mid-summer recharge retreat. Refreshing cocktails, relaxing conversation and my heartbeats. Who could ask for anything more?