Book to Screen Pitchfest Promotion: Happy Hour Stories

The next Book to Screen Pitchfest by Author Solutions is October 16-17, 2015 in NYC.  I highly recommend every author attend this once in a lifetime opportunity! It was a truly amazing and rewarding experience for me.  Happy Hour Stories was optioned as a result of the Book to Screen Pitchfest and I cannot thank Author Solutions, Xlibris & Double Lenses, Inc. enough.

Check  out the promotional video for Book to Screen Pitchfest and photos from the promotional shoot in Pittsburgh.

View of the great city of Pittsburgh from the Mount Washington Overlook

View of the great city of Pittsburgh from the Mount Washington Overlook

Happy Hour Stories: The Dating Misadventures of a Girl Between Her Cocktails

Happy Hour Stories: The Dating Misadventures of a Girl Between Her Cocktails

Cheers!  Thanks so Sienna Mercato's rooftop bar (Il Tetto) for letting us shoot there!

Cheers! Thanks so Sienna Mercato’s rooftop bar (Il Tetto) for letting us shoot there!

The city of bridges. Overlooking the river and PNC Park from Roberto Clemente bridge.
The city of bridges. Overlooking the river and PNC Park from Roberto Clemente bridge.

 

OK Cupid…More Like Cupid, It’s OK.

February 14th.

The date can mean different things to different people.

For some, it is ‘Valentine’s Day’, a full 24 hour period specifically devoted to showing your love and how much you cherish your significant other.

For others, it is ‘Single Awareness Day’, a full 24 hour period used as a constant reminder that you do not have a significant other where you might shed a few tears, house some Ben & Jerry pints of ice cream and pray that you do not grow up to be a single cat lady.

And for a third group, it is ‘Get Drunk with My Friends Day’, a full 24 hour period devoted to being with your friends or strangers at a bar trying to act like you really don’t care it is a day to celebrate love by getting intoxicated.

There are 54,250,000 single people in the United States and of those, 41,250,000 have tried online dating.  That means that over 76% of single people in the United States have tried an online dating site such as eHarmony, Match.com, OK Cupid, PlentyOfFish.com, etc. at one point or another.  Statistics show that of these single people online, 52% of them are male.

Statistics also show that men are the least active in online dating interactions from mid-November when the holidays start through Valentine’s Day.  On the other hand, women tend to be quite active during this time and the majority of women that join online dating occurs on Sunday, January 5th (Sundays usually have the largest amount of traffic on online dating sites). In addition, online dating sites show an increase in 24-30% boost in traffic from December 25th – February 14th with the majority of this increase resulting from women.

Through my own research from discussions with men, I have found this stat holds true for the majority.  Men have told me how the time period of the holidays through Valentine’s Day adds extra pressure when starting to date to an already pressure-filled situation.  Questions such as, “Do I need to get her a Christmas gift?”, “Does she want me to go to these family parties with her?”, “What does it mean if we share New Year’s together?”, “Are we at the point that I should do something on Valentine’s day?”, etc. are the types of thoughts that add to the pressure of the first couple weeks or dates of a relationship.  While men might shy away from the pressure, women usually thrive during this time and are looking for a special someone to curl up with during the celebratory period.

As mentioned, this is only for the majority; there are some men who choose to sign up for online dating during this time period because they want someone during the holiday seasons and there are some women who would shy away from the extra pressure instead of embracing it as well.

Now that it is past February 14th, it’s time for every single person to put themselves out there with nothing holding you back.

 

Single ladies, February 15th should be the actual national holiday and celebratory day for you. It’s the start of dating season for men.

Can I Close My Tab?

Can I Close My Tab?

(Excerpt from Happy Hour Stories: The Dating Misadventures of a Girl Between Her Cocktails Book)

There is always that moment in the night while at a bar when I realize it’s time to leave. Sometimes it is because I am having so much fun that I lose track of time and realize I have to close my tab as the bouncer is “wedding-night carrying” me out of the bar.  On other occasions it is due to the fact that I got a little too excited and had too many adult beverages.  And then there are the times when you know the evening is going to be a bust from the start and you just want to close your tab and leave as quickly as possible.  I have had all three scenarios happen to me when it comes to dating, but it is the last scenario that has happened quite often with my online men.

Some of my dates were with great guys that were just so socially awkward that they had a hard time with online dating. Some were ridiculous, but the good ones – and all men for that matter (right, ladies?) – could benefit from some advice on what not to do on a first date.

Here are my Top 10 Dating Tips (take them for what they’re worth) for men to follow when meeting for the first time so the date isn’t asking “Can I Close My Tab?” after the first round of drinks.

1.  Don’t reference the site on the date. Ever.
We both know how we met – online. We get it; it’s fine. We don’t need to have this fact be brought up in every single conversation.  Seeing that we have finally met in person and are physically looking at each other instead of the pictures on the profile, let’s get past this and have a conversation like we would normally do had we not met through an IP address.

And please don’t ask “how my luck is going on the site.” Obviously, if I am still going on dates, then I probably have been SOL. I am not sure what response these men are looking for.  To be quite honest, I feel like I have had a lot of luck in getting dates on the site, just not finding a man that has enough in common with me to have a long-term relationship.  Is that the response a man wants to hear? I don’t think so.

 2. Don’t ask to check your daily matches from that day together on your date.
A date might think that is funny, but I just think that is rude and unnecessary. If a man does this, he is basically saying one of two things – either (1) I am not that into you and want to see who else I can find while you are still sitting in front of me or (2) come see how many other girls want me and how I judge women.  Neither is attractive nor will lead to a second date.

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3. Don’t ask me the same questions I just prepped for a job interview.
Dates are supposed to be carefree and fun. It is a great chance to get to know someone, but that does not mean you have to come with a list of questions.  I love the “where do you see yourself in the next five years?” question. Buddy, I don’t know if I will like you in the next five minutes, so why don’t we live in the present for the first five drinks.  I left one date second guessing my answers as if it was a company that was going to call me for a second interview. I pondered whether my “life plan” was what he was looking for. Then I realized if he wanted to know my life plan before the appetizer came, it probably wouldn’t involve him in it.

4. Don’t bring up statistics from my profile.
I look at numbers all day.  I don’t need to be thinking about statistics on our date – particularly when they are about me. I am flattered that the man has paid attention to my profile, but if he knows more about my profile than I do, it turns into an interrogation instead of a date.  Please don’t repeat verbatim what you enjoyed from my profile. I understand you think it is a compliment, but guess what? I already know a hell of a lot about myself.  What I don’t know about is you and what makes you special – that is what I would like to hear.

After my date goes through this portion of the date, I kind of want to date myself instead of him.

5. Be careful what drink(s) you order on the date.
I like to drink (I think you all have gotten that vibe). Having said that, I know what drinks I can and cannot handle. If you put Red Bull and vodka or a Long Island Iced Tea in front of me, then the date might as well not even begin.  The same should go for men.  Know what you can handle on a first date – and when I say handle, I am not talking about how much you can drink without getting sick or drinking a handle of liquor. No, this should have been discovered after freshman year of college. I am referring to knowing what you should drink so you are not one of the following: (1) not able to drive home and/or blacked out, (2) not telling me your life story which you will most likely regret the next day, (3) not slurring your words so my response is “what” to every statement, and (4) not giving me every single embarrassing fact about yourself before the third drink comes.

I have gotten drunk on the first date by accident, but it truly was an accident. If you are ripping shots and ordering doubles, then I am pretty sure you are not getting drunk by “accident”.  And just so we are all on the same page, my couch is not an appropriate place to crash after a first date (especially if it is a weekday). I love me some alcohol; if I can handle it, then I am sure as hell you can, too.

6. Let’s save some details for the second date. Or the second year of marriage.
A lot of men make the mistake of putting it all out there up front.  I don’t like to play games, but I do like a little mystery in a date.  There are some things that should be held for a more appropriate time when we both know each other better. The mystery also leaves me guessing what interests you and it adds to the excitement.

Truly though, some topics of conversation should just never be brought up (until maybe after we are married and one night you inform me of these things when you are drunk and we can both laugh it off while I Google the keyword “annulment”).  Some of these details include:

  • The fact that you live with your parents and have no desire to move out anytime soon
  • Your past eight relationships and why they have failed
  • Your astrological sign and how you have already researched how it would match to my Gemini
  • That you want four children and you want them within the first few months of getting married
  • That you have already put my first name and your last name together to “see how it sounded”

 


7. Women don’t go “goo goo” for baby talk. Or pet names.
There is nothing worse than a man that does baby talk. Unless he is talking to a rescued puppy that can only hear eight octaves above the normal ear, I don’t want to hear it. I want a man – a real man. So act like one.

And the pet names after a date or two are just not appropriate. Actually, I take that back; if you are reading “50 Shades of Grey” and taking lessons from Christian Grey on how to please a woman, then, you can say “Laters, Baby” all you want.

8. Please don’t fight me when I request to meet in a public place.
There are some dangers to meeting strangers from an online dating site. Women, in particular, need to be cautious when doing so. That is why I recommend always choosing a public place with an easy escape route to meet a gentleman for the first time. I think this is pretty standard behavior and should be a respected decision.

I have had multiple men bring up the fact that they were disappointed that I wouldn’t give them my address and let them pick me up for our date.  They always use the excuse, “chivalry is not dead,” Well, here is a news flash. I don’t want to be dead either. I am not going to get into a car with you before ever meeting you and give you my address just like that. I prefer watching the news stories rather than being in one. I am sorry, but no excuse should have to be given for that decision.

9. Don’t lie in your profile.
I get that most men think there is this “stereotype” that all women are looking for so they might exaggerate a few inches in height, body image, or put up pictures from a few years ago to fit that stereotype.  We will find out you are lying the second we meet you, so just don’t put yourself in that situation.

Sure, my ideal match is a gorgeous 6’5″ athletic and toned manly man with a master’s degree, sense of humor, and a dog. But if you are a 5’7″ man with a beer belly, we could still have a connection and I am more interested in a man’s character than his physical characteristics – lying is not a good character trait.

But like I said before, my deal breaker is a cat.

10. It is called Match.com, not Desperate.com.
I think men believe there is a 1,000 pound gorilla in the room because we met online.  Think about it – our generation does everything else online – we find our clothes, our music, our information, and our dish on friends. Why not a man?

I may not be King Kong declaring my love for you from the top of the Empire State Building and we might not be stuck together like gorilla glue after the first date, but guess what? That’s normal.  If I enjoyed your company and we enjoyed a glass of wine and good conversation together on a Wednesday evening, then I would declare that a victory.

I think some men think the women on the dating sites are so desperate for a boyfriend that if there is chemistry on the first date, they are meeting the parents on the second and planning a wedding on the third.  I am sure there are women out there like this, but that is the minority.

If we met at a bar or a tailgate or basically anywhere else but online, and I asked you to become my boyfriend after the first two or three dates, I would be declared “Stage 5” clinger status while you would change your number and discuss with your friends what a stalker I was. However, I have had men do this to me quite often and I have to think it is the online gorilla, pumping his chest telling these poor decision makers that this is what I want since I was online.

 

From the Gorilla to The Eagles; Oh Desperado, Why Don’t You Come To Your Senses?

I have not met a man that has done all ten of these at the same time, but I have met some that have committed several offenses.

If you don’t want your date to ask to close her tab after the first few drinks, I highly recommend you take this advice.  If you really want to impress your date, I recommend her not having a tab in the first place.


 

Super Bowl Sunday Funday Cocktails

Super Bowl Sunday Funday

 

Looking for fun cocktails to serve your guests or to share a Sunday Funday with your special someone for the Super Bowl today?  Try these two Denver and Seattle-inspired Super Bowl cocktails.

 

Mile High Margar

6 oz. Coors Light

6 oz. Pre-mixed Tequila based Margarita Mix

Lime Garnish

Salt Rim

 

Get the top of a large glass wet then circle in salt to create a salted rim. Pour 6 oz. of Coors Light and 6 oz. of tequila based pre-mixed margarita mix into a large glass. Add a lime garnish to edge of glass and enjoy!

 

 

Seattle Sunday

A twist on what Seattle is great at making – coffee.

2 oz. Frangelico

4 oz. Seattle’s Best Coffee

1-2 oz. Bailey’s Coffee Creamers (choose your favorite flavor)

 

Pour 2 oz. of Frangelico into coffee mug and add 4 oz. of Seattle’s Best Coffee. Choose your favorite flavor of Bailey’s Coffee Creamers (Original or Coffee Almond Cream recommended) and add 1-2oz. to mug. Sip & enjoy!

 

The little nugget known as Puxetony Phil saw his shadow today so we have six more weeks of winter coming our way. Hopefully the Mile High Margar and the Seattle Sunday cocktail can make you think of summer and/or stay warm, respectively.

Super Bowl Monday should most definitely be a National Holiday.

Cheers!

Polar Vortex in a Glass

The Polar Vortex is in full force. You know the saying, if you can’t beat them; join them.  Instead of fighting the Polar Vortex, put it in a glass. It’s basically a White Russian with a little something extra.

2 oz. Vodka

1 oz. Coffee Liqueur

Light Cream

Whipped Cream

Chocolate Shavings

 

 

Fill a highball glass with ice cubes and pour the 2oz. vodka and 1 oz. coffee liqueur into the glass. Fill the remaining of the glass with light cream.  Top with whipped cream and add chocolate shavings (or substitute for chocolate sprinkles or cocoa powder).  Enjoy!

Optional: Drink next to a hottie while bundled up in front of a fire. It’s the best way to fight the polar vortex.

 

The Power (Snatch) of Love

A majority of my stories have detailed what men should not do. I wanted to switch it up this time and write about one of the things men should do: date a crossfitter.

Celine Dion sings a powerful love balled called ‘The Power Of Love’ that details the strength that love can have over a man and a woman.  I am a personal believer that a different type of strength can also result in powerful love between a man and a woman.  I would like to call this strength ‘The Power (Snatch) Of Love’.

Note: The Power Snatch is a popular weightlifting movement in crossfit.

Crossfit has become really popular in the recent years, but there has also been some backlash against the sport. Some go as far as calling crossfit a ‘cult’ referring the the crossfit community members as ‘drinking the kool-aid.’  Well, I did drink the crossfit kool-aid and guess what? It is delicious.

While in true Happy Hour Stories fashion, my kool-aid was most likely spiked, a majority of the crossfit community actually doesn’t drink or is on a strict paleo diet.  In fact, the ‘drinking the kool-aid’ comment is actually ironic because kool-aid isn’t paleo at all.

I have been regularly crossfitting for the past couple months and it has become an obsession of mine.  It has even got to the point where I will only schedule dates on my rest days or if they are willing to meet at a bar once I am done with my WOD (workout of the day for those who have not drunk the kool-aid yet).

I have had dates tell me that they were intimidated by my doing crossfit in the past and it has been a dealbreaker  for some.  However, it is almost getting to a point where there are just as much if not more women crossfitting on a daily basis than men.  Crossfit has become a passion of mine and I would like to date a man who respects and appreciates it; he doesn’t have to go lift with me on the reg but it is appreciated that men understand what the passion for it means.

Since I have had the experience of men being intimidated by women who crossfit, I thought I would take one for the team (or in this case the women of crossfit) to explain to men why they should date a crossfitter…with a Happy Hour Stories twist, of course.

Reasons to Date a Crossfitter

  1. 1.       We Like Both Types of Happy Hour at The Bar.

Most of the women in the crossfit community are a lot like myself; we try to eat clean where appropriate but are still trying to convince the crossfit community that wine is actually paleo. Therefore, the phrase ‘happy hour at the bar’ has two meanings – and we like them both.

Our first happy hour at the bar usually consists of being sweaty, no makeup on, with chalk filled hands grasping the bar with plates on the side anxiously waiting for the ‘3…2…1…GO’ from the coaches.  We work our ass off questioning our own sanity as to why it is we love this and actually pay money to do so until we are finished and lie on our backs feeling nothing but pride.

Our second happy hour at the bar usually consists of being all done up, makeup on, hair done, sporting heels hoisting up an athletic body anxiously waiting for the cocktail from the bartender.

Ironically, the latter happy hour would require only one shoe choice where the first we might have to get real high maintenance on you and change our shoes twice. Olys and Nanos are a girl’s wingwomen in that form of happy hour.

On a majority of the men’s online dating profiles that I have seen, I have read a line that sounds similar to ‘I am looking for a woman that likes to workout, but is also cool with going to the bar or hanging out with me and my friends.’

Well fellas, 3…2..1..GO!

  1. 2.       We Set PRs for Everything In Life.

The abbreviation ‘PR’ stands for ‘Personal Record’ in the crossfit world.  You have probably seen the Facebook message of one of your girlfriends that read ‘PRed Fran Today!’ and were scratching your head wondering what the hell she was talking about and who this mysterious Fran character was.

Crossfit is all about the personal victories and the little accomplishments worth celebrating. PRs happen everyday at a crossfit box, whether it is increasing a time of a workout, increasing weight on a movement, or just doing something for the first time.

Crossfitters tend to take that ‘PR Mentality’ outside of the box and apply it to other aspects in life.  For men the possibilities are endless. Crossfitting women are competitive in nature so think what types of PRs they can bring to the dating world!

Maybe her next Facebook status is ‘PRed the amount of minutes I was able to give my man a massage today!’

 

  1. 3.       We Have a Nice Rack and Can Snatch. Oh, and we can clean and jerk, too.

Get your mind out of the gutter my friends; these are all weightlifting movements. Although, the double entendre usually holds to be true.

If you walk into any crossfit gym you will find beautiful, strong women putting up some heavy weights while doing the typical Olympic lifting movements – squats, thrusters, power snatches, deadlifts, cleans, jerks, etc.

If you have a rough day at the gym and come home to your beautifully strong crossfitting girlfriend and say ‘Babe, I am so frustrated;  went for a 275 clean and jerk but couldn’t stand it back up.’ Guess what? She will know exactly what you mean – how hot is that?

You’ll just have to be prepared that your beautifully strong girlfriend might have gotten eerily close to some of your own weight numbers herself.

  1. 4.       We Partake in All Forms of 6 Packs.

It is no secret that crossfitters have amazing bodies – some of the best I have ever seen.  While not every women is sporting a chiseled six pack, a lot of them are or are super close.  Regardless, they have super strong, athletic bodies and are dedicated to taking care of them.

Here is a little secret, though. A lot of crossfitters love to party.  At crossfit competitions, events, or parties you can see those hotties with the six packs walking around with a 6 pack themselves.

I’ve even come across a couple of 8 and 12 pack abs as well. They must REALLY like to party.

  1. 5.       We Usually Wear Minimal Clothing to the Gym.

Enough said there, I think.

For the record, I want all the men out there to know that I am not saying that you have to date a crossfitter, just that there are some major perks to doing so. I totally understand that crossfit and/or dating someone who is passionate for crossfit is not for everyone.

I am still a strong believer in a work-life-play balance. My motto is work hard, play harder and WOD the hardest. Most women who crossfit still like to go out, go on dates and have a good time. They just also are badasses at the gym.

You can have your rum on a date and workout too. It is just referred to as Bacardio.

Extra Dry Martini

EXTRA Dry Martini (Guest Blogger)

This is about my very first online dating experience. I was new to this and decided to test the waters with a free dating site before I went all in. Needless to say, I think I might have gotten what I paid for!  So Mr. EXTRA dry has been named as such because he was very dry, both with his personality and the fact that he actually didn’t drink.  I’m not a huge drinker myself so I don’t judge people that drink more or less than me, and this wasn’t a deal breaker for me.

We chatted back and forth online, and I found that he didn’t drink and he was a vegetarian.  I told him I was a steak and potatoes girl and that I drank occasionally and asked if he had any issues with that, his response, “nope, I’m a nurse, so I just think it’s a healthier lifestyle for me, but it’s my choice”.  Well, OK then, I can respect that, not going to change my eating or drinking habits, but sure, do your thing.  He seemed interesting and nice enough so we set up a date. I let him pick the place and he chose the Melting Pot, known for being a very classy and romantic fondue restaurant.  I double checked that he really thought it out, and he said yup, let’s go.  For those that aren’t following, this is an awesome place and I love it there, but for a first date, eh, kind of a little too romantic for that, not to mention if you’re a vegetarian and you’re taking out a meat-etarian, you have to cook your food together, so be prepared, my scrumptious meat will touch your precious tofu at some point during the cooking process, heaven forbid.

OK, so date night arrives, I send my girlfriend the pic of my outfit for her approval and I head to the restaurant.  I walk into the restaurant, looking around for my date I feel a tug on my pants, look down and there he is…oh hey there lil’ guy!  OK, so that might be a slight exaggeration, but his profile advertised his height to be 5’11″ and he was NOT!  Guys, don’t lie about your height, I’m going to find out the truth when we meet obviously!  So he’s not as tall as claimed and he also looks nothing like his pictures (they were obviously taken a few years ago when he was hitting the gym and probably eating meat and drinking)…false advertiser, strike one.

 

He informed me that he got us seats at the bar to eat.  This would not be my choice for my favorite spot for this blind date (I used to be a bartender and thoroughly enjoyed watching blind dates go south, sorry people, but it’s funny!).  But I’m a good sport so I said to myself, “let’s do this!”  We sit down and order drinks, I get a glass of red wine and he orders his water and we delve into the menu.  I order a little surf n turf type thing and he orders the vegetarian option. The Melting Pot menu only includes one vegetarian option and he informs me of his annoyance with that. The menu’s online and you picked this place, uh, your own fault buddy. Plus, don’t have a cow about this and just start eating them…I am sure you will get over it quickly.

Sidenote, when talking to my friends prior to this date they asked me if he was a recovering alcoholic because he didn’t drink at all, hmmmm, hadn’t really considered it, but you never know.  So after he asked, “whats up with that?”  while pointing at my glass of wine, I looked at him with an inquisitive look and said, “I just got off work and I’m on a date, so why not?”…waaaait a second, why am I justifying this??  I told you I drink occasionally and asked if you had an issue, you said no.  So now my friends voices jump into my head, did he used to have a drinking problem?  So I ask him and he responded, wait for it…” I didn’t have a drinking problem; I just wouldn’t stop once I started .”  Uhh, that sounds like a problem to me! Oh man, in full denial about a  drinking problem…strike two.

Our food comes out and we start cooking. Fondue is quite the commitment on a first date since it takes a long time and you have to make sure everything cooks through. I’m ready to bail already, but we still have to cook our dinner…fail.  The third strike came when he asked me how my “shit factories” tasted. Um, excuse me?  I like joking around and teasing, but when referring to my food and the poop it produces, no thank you.  Nothing makes me want to eat my food more than when it is referred to as “shit” and no man turns me on more than when he references “shit” on a first date.

You think it’s over, but no my friends, after all, this was my first date and I actually pitied the guy and didn’t know how to handle the embarrassing situation.  So when he asked me if I wanted to grab a coffee after the date I thought to myself, this guy just spent $150 on a terrible date, the least I can do is buy this poor chap a cup of coffee and maybe let him down gently over a vanilla latte.  So even though I didn’t think we were a great match, I agreed to go. I know what you’re thinking (I’m an idiot), but without agreeing I wouldn’t have this little tidbit to leave you with from my Extra Dry Martini so I take it as a base hit for me. After we get the coffee and sit down he excuses himself to go to the bathroom. When he returned he sat down and stated, “Ew that was the most disgusting bathroom I’ve ever been in.” GAME OVER.

I stood up, told him it was getting late and that I had to go, dodging his hug attempt (after all, he did just use the dirtiest bathroom) and made a break for it.  Sorry buddy, you are obviously looking for a sober vegetarian who can clean and likes talking about shit. I’m not her!

Chelsea’s Comments:

WOW, this guy would have left me shaken, not stirred.  I love me an Extra Dry Martini, but only when that is referring to little vermouth….not little manners or personality. A for effort though on the date location, but I agree with you that is quite a commitment on a first date. It is hard to cut a date short when your sober vegetarian is concentrating on his cheese fondue and you are waiting for your meat to stop moo-ing.  I understand what you mean when you feel like you had to get coffee afterwards and I have been there more than I would like to admit myself.

The only good thing to come out of this was a good meal it sounds like – at least he paid for the date! A vegetarian that lies about his height that has a drinking problem is usually a deal breaker for most women. But a cheap one that doesn’t pay for a date on top of that would be the deal breaker of epic proportions.

I hope you went home and made yourself an Extra Dry Dirty Martini and realized how awesome you are ;) And possibly took a shower….

Olympic Rings Cocktail

5 Life Savers

1 ½ ounce Three Olives Loopy Vodka

4 oz. Sprite

Ready for the Olympics? Start the games off right by filling a martini glass with Life Savers of Olypmic colors (Red, Blue, Yellow, & Green…sorry friends, the Black Lifesaver doesn’t exist unfortunately).  Add 1 ½ ounces of Three Olives Loopy Vodka and 4 oz. Sprite into the martini glass.