Sipping a heavenly Tiki cocktail or two at Lost Lake in Chicago!

I’m Susan Schwartz, your drinking companion, and every day I’m inspired to live life one cocktail at a time!

How it all began

I think it was written in the cards. If you have a grandmother who introduces you to the best caipirinhas in New York City, a grandfather who owned night clubs in Philadelphia, and a mother whose childhood was spent sipping Shirley Temples, then you too might be inclined to launch a blog honoring the cocktail.

Even in college, while most everyone was downing pints of beer, I would be building White Russians and Fuzzy Navels. They may not have been the most sophisticated cocktails but, for a college students in the 80’s, they were pretty fancy!

Me at Harry's Bar
Sitting at Harry’s Bar with Mom and a friend!

A semester abroad in Florence changed everything. You can’t help but be seduced by the aperitivo hour when living in the city where the Negroni was invented. I was even lucky enough to be able to enjoy it in the bar where Count Negroni ordered Campari, Gin and Sweet vermouth to be poured into a glass. Café Giacosa was not only one of the most iconic bars in Italy, but also my local. (Shame on whomever let it be sold and modernized!)

I was intoxicated by the stories behind every bottle, every aroma, and every sip.  I truly fell in love with cocktail culture and, upon emigrating to London after a stint in New York city, I launched A Lush Life Manual.

With Stephanie Jordan and Tim Etherington-Judge of Avallen Calvados at the
Drinks International Green Awards! They won!!

A Lush Life Manual

A Lush Life Manual is the How-To Guide for Living Life One Cocktail at a Time.

What do I mean by that? Every second of the cocktail experience brings me joy: selecting the bar, sitting down, reading the menu, talking to the floor-tender (as my friend and the best floor-tender in the business Alfonso Califano calls it), choosing the cocktail, watching the bartenders at work, and having it placed in front of me. All of this ceremony is as exciting as the actual act of drinking it.

My goal is that each one of the cocktail recipes, spirit reviews, podcast episodes, or Lush Guides gets you as excited as it does me.

Want to work together?

Find out how on my Work With Me page.

Interviewing Dinos Constantanides of Lost+Found Drinkery in Nicosia, Cyprus!

Lush Life Podcast

You can read all about a cocktail, but how fabulous to meet the author of that very cocktail or spirit or cocktail book!  Lush Life podcast was launched in 2016 to introduce you to the drinks professionals who are the masterminds behind what’s in your glass!

If you’re on iOS, you can listen on Apple Podcast. It’s easy to Google Podcasts or Spotify too. Or click the player or link above to listen to just this episode. (But trust me, you’ll want to subscribe!)

Lush Life Cocktail Tours in action!

Lush Life Cocktail Tours

When I visit a new city, there is never enough time to visit all the bars I want to try.  Since London has grown into one of the capitals of cocktail culture, I thought that visitors to London might feel the same as I. Thus, Lush Life Cocktail Tours was born.

My guests were introduced to four of the most famous bars and bartenders, all while sipping signature cocktails and having a great time. All in one night!  It was great fun and I really miss it, but unfortunately we have had to stop them right now due to Covid.

Winning the TravMedia SIT-UP Award 2019!


Since launching the Lush Life brand, I have been recognized for all the work I put into my blog and podcast:

  • BGTW Member Excellence Awards 2020 – Travel Broadcaster of the Year – Finalist
  • BGTW Member Excellence Awards 2020 – Travel Blog Post of the Year – Finalist – https://alushlifemanual.com/harrys-bar-bellini
  • BGTW Member Excellence Awards 2019 – Best Broadcast, Finalist
  • Tales of the Cocktail, Spirited Award, Long-List, 2019
  • Traverse Creator Awards 2019, Finalist
  • Saveur Magazine Blog Awards 2018, Best Drinks Blog, Finalist
  • Vice-Chairman of the Board of the British Guild of Travel Writer
  • Level 2 WSET Wine – Passed with Distinction
  • Level 2 WSET Spirits – Passed with Distinction
  • Speaker at Traverse 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019; TBEX Europe 2018, Also Festival 2017, 2018, 2019, Hotel Marketing Association 2019
A snazzy Lush Life iPhone cover!

Lush Life Merch

Lush Life Merchandise (not only with our logo, but so much more!) can be found on Redbubble, Teepublic, and Zazzle. There’s everything from t-shirts, mugs, iPhone covers, duvet covers, iPad covers and more, more, more.

Luca, Filippo and me
Being social with two of my favorite Italian Brand Ambassadors –
Filippo Previero and Luca Missaglia

Social Media

I am really social, so you can find me on TwitterFacebookInstagram, and Pinterest.

You can also read my other blogs: Mush Have Ice Cream and Best Bits Worldwide.

Working with alcohol

Until that time, bottoms up!