thank you, Andy Cohen

Moment of reflection: what makes up the majority of content on the Real Housewives franchise? I would say, in three words: friends, gossip, booze. These three things have created a foundation from which some of our society’s greatest moments (and memes) have been born.

In addition to my love for Andy Cohen’s great experiment, I also have a huge soft spot for Truman Capote. I know what you’re thinking – what does this have to do with anything? But hear me out…

There is a book that has essentially combined these two concepts, along with many more things I love; including old school NY, socialites, and a sprinkle of history. It’s by Melanie Benjamin, and it’s called The Swans of Fifth Avenue.

the book: The Swans of Fifth Avenue

This book is so beautifully written. Although it is classified as fiction, it is believed by those “in the know” to be quite true. I can only imagine the time and research it took for the talented Melanie Benjamin to tell the story of Truman Capote’s friendship with Babe Paley, and her circle of socialite friends in the 1950’s. Any sort of summary I try to write about The Swans of Fifth Avenue will not do it justice, so please click here for more details.

the bite: “Spill the Tea” Vodka Spritz

I named this the “Spill the Tea” Vodka Spritz in honor of our girls in The Swans of Fifth Avenue, as all they do is spill the tea on each other’s lives and drink booze… kind of reminiscent of my college days! You start by creating a simple syrup, using your tea of choice – I think Earl Grey is best, but this would also be lovely with a Rose tea, a good English Breakfast, or Darjeeling. I think this would be fabulous to serve during the day, or if you are hosting a lunch… but be careful, because depending on how much vodka you add, it packs a punch. 


  • 4 Earl Grey tea bags 
  • 1 cup water
  • ¾ cup sugar 
  • Vodka 
  • Unflavored seltzer 
  • 4 lemons 


  • In a saucepan, heat the water and sugar to make the simple syrup, about 5 minutes 
  • Remove the syrup from the burner once the sugar has dissolved, and add the 4 tea bags 
  • While the tea bags steep, prep the rest of your cocktail by juicing your lemons 
  • Add 2 parts vodka to one part lemon juice and one part syrup and shake in cocktail shaker with ice 
  • Pour into glass with a splash of seltzer, and serve with a twist of lemon for effect 

*I’d like to note that I usually add seltzer to my cocktails! Not only does it dress them up a bit, but it also allows you to keep a clear head for a long evening ahead 😉

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