Entertaining Notes - featuring Natalie Jacob

Chopin Pink Bar Cart 6
Chopin Pink Bar Cart 1
Chopin Pink Bar Cart 2
Chopin Pink Bar Cart 4
Chopin Pink Bar Cart 5
Chopin Pink Bar Cart 3
Chopin Pink Bar Cart 7
Natalie Jacob is a bartender and blogger based in the NYC area. She has been in the hospitality industry for 15 years and has worked in various classic cocktail-focused bars - most notably, PKNY and Dutch Kills. She runs her own beverage and creative consulting business along with writing her own blog, Aresenic-Lace. Her drinks have been featured in Time Out New York, Business Insider, Wine Enthusiast and Refinery 29 (among many others). Natalie also contributes recipes to A Beautiful Mess and Palm Springs Style.

Arsenic-Lace is a cocktail blog about how to make world class drinks in the comfort of your own home. My articles focus on educating and inspiring readers to use fresh ingredients, high quality spirits, cocktails, drink history, technique and home entertaining. My inspiration comes from my professional bartending career and background in design.

I was born to be a host and my work greatly affects my entertaining style. Whether I’m hosting a guest sitting at my bar or a friend visiting me at home, I always make sure that they feel welcome and that there are plenty of drinks to go around. One of my greatest early influences has been Martha Stewart; I always use to say that I was a Martha Stewart in training. Now I’m inspired by many other bloggers. Some of my favorites are Joy the Baker, A Cozy Kitchen, Minimalist Baker, Food 52, Dine X Design and A Beautiful Mess.

I hosted an interesting cocktail party last spring with my friends from Love & Victory and Women & Whiskies. The event was hosted at a bar in Brooklyn called Tuffet, which we decorated for the occasion - I made all of the cocktails. The evening was a great excuse to have some drinks, hang out in the backyard and get together with a lot of inspiring ladies.

The cocktail that I’m most proud of creating is called Flying Down to Rio, named after my favorite Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers film. It has Amburana Cachaca, banana liqueur, pineapple juice, orange juice, coconut and nutmeg in it. It is a variation on the piña colada, which is probably my favorite drink of all time.

With my bar cart, I try to be prepared with some essential tools and ingredients. I always have a cocktail shaker, mixing glass, bar spoon, strainer and jigger. It’s a good idea to have a bottle of each popular spirit so that you have something ready for all your guests, as well as an amaro for after dinner. Angostura bitters is a staple but having other bitters, like orange, chocolate and Peychaud’s, can come in handy. Always have sugar for an old fashioned or to make simple syrup. Dry and sweet vermouths should be kept refrigerated, but have them on hand for martinis and manhattans.

The greatest party tip I can give anyone is to invest in a punch bowl; make large-format cocktails so that guests can serve themselves. You can make batches of cocktails ahead of time and refill the punch bowl as needed so that you’re not in the kitchen making drinks the whole time. This gives you more time to spend with your guests, which is why you threw a party in the first place! For music, I like to play Motown and lots of Rock 'n’ Roll - mostly ’50, ‘60s, and ‘70s hits – and lots of Elvis and Frank Sinatra!

I love to drink Chopin Vodka in a classic martini with a lemon twist or in a cranberry gimlet with spiced cranberry syrup .The most important thing is to enjoy yourself and to have a good time. In the words of Lilly Pulitzer, “That’s what life is all about: Let’s have a party. Let’s have it tonight.”

Natalie’s bar cart features the limited edition Chopin Pink bottle, which we have sold every October since 2011. Chopin is committed to realizing a world without breast cancer, which is why a part of the proceeds from this bottle are donated to breast cancer research. To date, Chopin has donated $70,000 in support of this important cause.
  • summer-solstice-1

    Summer Solstice


    • 2 oz. Chopin Wheat Vodka
    • 2 oz. Mango juice
    • 4 oz. Sparkling water
    • Squeeze of lime


    Combine all ingredients except the sparkling water in a shaker. Shake well and strain into a tall glass.
    Add ice and top with sparkling water.

  • 16Hot Chocolate 2 square crop

    Hot Chocolate


    • 6 oz. Whole milk
    • 2 oz. 70% Cacao chocolate, chopped or grated
    • 2 oz. Dorda Double Chocolate Liqueur
    • 1 oz. Cream
    • Pinch of cinnamon
    • Pinch of salt
    • Whipped cream


    Warm the milk over medium heat and add the chopped chocolate, stirring constantly until melted. When smooth, whisk in the remaining milk and cream. Add a pinch of cinnamon and salt and heat until hot but do not allow to boil. Remove from heat and stir in the Dorda Liqueur. Serve with marshmallows or a dollop of unsweetened, chilled whipped cream.

  • 15 Polish Coffee 2 square crop (1)

    Polish Coffee


    • 3 oz. Brewed coffee
    • 1 ½ oz. Dorda Double Chocolate Liqueur
    • Whipped cream


    Stir freshly brewed hot coffee together with Dorda Double Chocolate Liqueur in a glass mug. Top with freshly whipped cream. Add garnishes as desired; we like cacao nibs, chocolate-covered espresso beans or shaved chocolate.

  • 14 Dorda Truffle

    Dorda Truffle


    • 2 oz. Dorda Double Chocolate Liqueur
    • 1 oz. Cointreau


    Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake vigorously. Strain and pour into a chilled cocktail glass of your choice, over fresh ice.

  • 13 FullSizeRender 6

    Dorda Double Chocolate Liqueur Neat


    • 1 ½ oz. Dorda Double Chocolate Liqueur
    • Raspberries, to garnish


    We believe Dorda is best enjoyed like a dessert. Serve it neat, or shaken with ice, in a stemmed glass. Garnish with a fresh raspberry.

    Dorda Double Chocolate Liqueur is made with real chocolate, so always shake well before serving and store it at room temperature.

  • 11 Potato baltic cooler

    Mint-Lime Sparkler


    • 2 oz. Chopin Wheat Vodka
    • 1 oz. Fresh lime juice
    • ¾ oz. Simple syrup
    • 3 Slices of cucumber
    • 5 Mint sprigs
    • Sparkling water


    Muddle cucumber in a mixing glass. Add mint, muddle gently. Add vodka, lime juice, simple syrup and ice. Shake well, strain into a highball glass. Top with sparkling water.

  • 10 Wheat Ginger Mule

    Ginger Mule


    • 2 oz. Chopin Wheat Vodka
    • ½ oz. Fresh lime juice
    • 3 oz. Ginger beer


    In a cocktail shaker ¾ filled with ice, combine vodka and lime juice and shake until chilled, about 15 seconds. Strain into a copper mug, filled with crushed ice. Top with ginger beer. Garnish with lime and mint.

  • 9 Wheat with cucumber

    Chopin Wheat on the Rocks


    • 1 ½ oz. Chopin Wheat Vodka
    • Cucumber (ribbons or wheels)


    Pour Chopin Wheat over ice into a rocks glass. Garnish with cucumbers.

  • 8 Rye basil gimlet

    Basil Gimlet


    • 2 ½ oz. Chopin Rye Vodka
    • 6 Fresh basil leaves (torn into strips)
    • ½ oz.  Fresh lime juice
    • Lime zest
    • ½ oz. Simple syrup


    Muddle basil, lime juice, lime zest, and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker. Let sit for 5 minutes to allow the liquid to infuse with the basil flavor. Add the vodka, then fill the shaker ²/₃ with ice. Cover and shake vigorously for 30 seconds. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish.

  • 7 Rye Bitter Sweet

    Chopin Bitter-Sweet


    • 2 oz. Chopin Rye Vodka
    • ½ oz. Grapefruit juice
    • ½ oz. Grenadine
    • ½ oz. Campari


    Combine all ingredients in an ice-filled shaker, shake vigorously, strain into rocks glass over ice. Garnish with grapefruit slice.

  • 6 Rye Bloody Mary

    Bloody Mary


    • 6 oz. Bloody Mary mix (we love McClure’s and Motherlode Provisions)
    • 1 oz. Chopin Rye Vodka


    Fill a Collins glass with ice. Pour Chopin Rye then Bloody Mary mix into glass. Stir then finish with fresh cracked pepper and garnish to your taste.

  • 5 Rye with pepper olives

    Chopin Rye on the Rocks


    • 1 ½ oz. Chopin Rye Vodka
    • Olives stuffed with hot peppers


    Pour Chopin Rye over ice into a rocks glass. Garnish with pepper-stuffed olives.

  • 3 Potato and rosemary

    Rosemary & Potato Martini


    • 2 ½ oz. Chopin Potato Vodka
    • ½ oz. Dry Vermouth
    • 1 Bar spoon green olive juice
    • 3-4 Drops of high quality, fruity olive oil
    • Rosemary sprig and 1 green olive


    Fill a mixing glass ¾ with ice, add Chopin, vermouth, and olive juice. Using a bar spoon, stir for 30 seconds. Strain the martini into a chilled cocktail glass. Finish with a few drops of olive oil. Garnish with rosemary sprig and olive.

  • 2 Potato Dirty Martini

    Dirty Martini


    • 2 ½ oz. Chopin Potato Vodka
    • ½ oz. Green olive brine
    • Olives freshly stuffed with bleu cheese (or soft cheese of your choice)


    Add all the ingredients to a mixing glass filled with ice. Stir, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with three olives.

  • 1 Potato with blue cheese olives

    Chopin Potato on the Rocks


    • 1 ½ oz. Chopin Potato Vodka
    • Olives freshly stuffed with bleu cheese (or soft cheese of your choice)


    Pour Chopin Potato over ice into a rocks glass. Garnish with bleu cheese olives.

  • 4 Potato sipping

    Chopin Potato Neat


    • 1 oz. Chopin Potato Vodka
    • Snifter, Cordial or Cognac glass


    To fully experience Chopin Potato’s nuanced flavors, it is best served neat in a stemmed snifter glass.