Drinking and Hiking the World with Mandie

Mandie and I together at the Oregon Brewer’s Festival

In this episode of Drinking Sensei, I am joined by Mandie, my friend of many years. I had just moved to Hawaii to take a break between undergraduate and graduate school and didn’t know anyone. Out one night, I happened to meet Mandie’s friend Lisa at a bar, I introduced myself since I was new in town and she in turn introduced me to her group of friends which included Mandie. After I ended my first time living in Hawaii and moved back to Oregon we made a point to keep in touch. She’s been in my life through my various highs and lows and she’s always there to share a drink with me! The shenanigans that we’ve gotten into throughout our time knowing each other is vast, wild, and should not be discussed in front of impressionable people. Mandie is joining me on this episode to chat about her various trips, mostly hiking related and the booze that she tried along the way.

Recording and drinking station

When I record episodes of the podcast, I always ask guests what they’ll be drinking as I want to be able to drink the same thing with them. It often takes people a while to come up with their drink of choice, but Mandie had it ready. As soon as I asked her what she wanted to drink during our recording she instantly responded with Cinnamon Toast Crunch shots and dirty martinis. I’d never had either so it was bound to be an interesting drinking experience. Her recipe for the Cinnamon Toast Crunch is a bit different than the ones I found online, and typical for Mandie, includes more alcohol.

Cinnamon Toast Crunch Shot
1 oz Vanilla Vodka (We used Stoli)
1 oz Fireball Cinnamon Whisky
2 oz RumChata
dash of ground cinnamon
Mix everything into a shaker with some ice and strain into a cinnamon sugar rim coated shot glass. (The cinnamon sugar was really just for looks, this shot is already sweet.) We doubled this recipe for the two of us and it made WAY too much. So you could probably make this with the measurements listed and share between two people.

Cinnamon Toast Crunch shot ingredients

As the name indicates it tastes ridiculously close to the cereal with the same name. It’s an easy shot to take and a great way to get the conversation started since it was basically a double shot. As we got to drinking our next drink, dirty martinis, Mandie told her many stories of drinking around the world. One of the numerous reasons why I love her so much is her adventurous spirit. She decided a few years ago that on or around her birthday she would do something epic every year. This promise to herself has resulted in hikes to the top of Mt. Fuji, Machu Picchu, and so many more amazing places. We’ve hiked Hale’akala on Maui, Napali Coast on Kaui, Waipio to Waimanu Valley and back on the island of Hawai`i and so many other places they’re too numerous to write about here. She taught me which drinks are light to carry, taste okay when you drink them warm, and are strong enough to knock you out so you don’t feel how sore you are after crazy a difficult day hiking.

Mandie’s martini recipe is in her brain and she pours without measuring. I asked her to write it down for me, but couldn’t do it. I found a dirty martini recipe on and asked her if this was close enough. She said it looked pretty close, so here’s Mandie’s “close enough” recipe.

Dirty Vokda Martini
2 and 1/2 oz of Vodka (We used Pau Vodka made on Maui)
1/2 oz of dry vermouth
1/2 oz olive brine
Garnished with 3 olives
We added ingredients into a shaker with some ice and shook. Poured into martini glasses.

While I love all things boozy I’m going to be honest and say I probably won’t be drinking another martini in the near future. I’m glad I got to try it and as Mandie mentioned, martinis are a great drink to have in the event of a celebration. Mandie’s dad appreciated a good vodka martini and I’m glad I got to share one with her. Listen to the episode wherever you listen to podcasts, don’t forget to rate and subscribe! You can find me at drinkingsensei on Instagram, drinkingsenseipodcast on Facebook or send me an email at


Drinking Holiday Cocktails with Kristen (Mini Episode)

In this mini episode we are visited again by Kristen, one of my favorite people in the entire world. Kris and I decided that we were going to try some different holiday cocktails in this minisode. I was super excited when she sent me a link to what I thought was ONE recipe for a holiday cocktail. When I clicked on the link there were FORTY-TWO holiday cocktail recipes. As I was scrolling through the recipes I saw quite a few that caught my eye. The one that I went with followed our theme of Moscow Mules from the first time that she was a guest on the podcast. For this episode we went with a holiday mule. Instead of lime juice, this recipe calls for sparkling cider. Considering how close we are to the holidays I was surprised at how many places do not carry sparkling cider. I ended up finding it at Target of all places and the mixing began!

Ingredients for the Holiday Cider Mule

The recipe I used is as follows:
2 oz. vodka
ginger beer
sparkling cider
Sliced apple for garnish
Cinnamon sticks for garnish

Fill a copper mug with ice. Pour 2 ounces of vodka over the ice. Fill 2/3 with sparkling cider and top off with ginger beer.

Fever Tree Ginger Beer at Costco

Any sparking cider and ginger beer will work, but I recommend Martinelli’s and Fever Tree Ginger Beer for this drink. Kris thought it might kick up a notch if the ginger beer used was a little spicier and I would agree that it was a smooth drink that could use a bit more heat for cold winter nights. Here in Hawaii, I don’t necessarily need that, but I am definitely down to try it. While I liked this drink, I don’t think it’s necessarily very festive. When I did a search after the podcast, I found some more mules that included cranberries and other more traditionally festive drinks. Maybe we’ll try that next time. My housemate Alisa loved this drink though. I think mostly because you can’t really taste the vodka, though there is quite a bit at two ounces. Alisa doesn’t normally drink a lot, but she drank this one a few times with me. It’s an easy drink to make and I’ll definitely make it again. Kris and I also discussed whether we could make our own mule! As I live in Hawaii and she lives in California we thought maybe we could have some sort of flavor match up. We came up with pineapple juice and maybe throw some jalapeƱo for some kick. What do you think? Comment below to tell us what you think a mash up would be! We would also love some more recommendations for holiday cocktails to try throughout the next few months. Hit me up on Instagram @drinkingsensei, my email at [email protected], or comment where you listen to your podcasts. Click the links below to find me on social media and wherever you find your podcasts. Don’t forget to rate and subscribe!