Tag Archive for 'cocktail'

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Top Bubble Picks – New Year’s Prep


There is nothing more regal than impressing your New Year’s Eve guests with an elegantly named beverage featuring champagne. Two words: Kir Royale. This beautiful rose-colored cocktail is a favorite pre-dinner drink among Parisiennes. I first discovered the classic sparkler when I was in college on a trip to Brittany France with our good family friends, who insisted that I move on from drinking Coke and experience this drink with a bit of fresh bread and cheese. Long story short, I’ve been hooked ever since.

With New Year’s Eve lurking, let’s be honest, the lingering question of what to sip at midnight leaves many of us notoriously reaching for the finest of French bubbly simply for the fact that it’s “tradition.” But enjoying the holiday hoopla in style doesn’t mean having to break the bank (I mean, aren’t many of our resolutions to “save” in the new year?). Check out some fun, flirty and frugal suggestions from Stacy De Fino at WinoBee, along with her suggested recipe pairings. And if you don’t know about WinoBee yet, be sure to book mark their url (http://www.winobee.com), as it is an up and coming blog which underscores the premise that good wine is often the sign of an even better evening. So happy that WinoBee could kick off this new year with such a relevant guest post! Oh, and if you think you want to Kir Royale it up as we wink at 2011, I’ll give you the secret recipe too, but picking your bubbles is your first step to a successful cocktailing experience.

New Year’s Bubblies That Won’t Kill Your Budget

– Verdi Spumante

Best value wine offering a delicious sparkle and zest accompanied by a soft, fruit-forward flavor.

Cost: $4.99 bottle / Where to Buy: BevMo

– Mionetto “Il” Prosecco

Combines notes of citrus, pear and floral with a light effervescence that doesn’t overpower the palate. Simply sip as-is or whip up a cocktail using vodka, triple sec and pineapple juice. You’ll love the versatility!

Cost: $9 bottle / Where To Buy: Wine.com

– Pommery POP

Unravel the bubbles of this uncomplicated champagne in a perfect, party-portable size. These 187mL bottles are great for individual consumption (who wants to share anyway?) Simply pack a few in your cooler, grab a straw and bypass the flutes!

Cost: $9.99 bottle / Where to Buy: 67Wine

– Banfi Rosa Regale

Softer than champagne, this light wine is made of brachetto and blends rose and raspberry aroma notes with a sweet, appealing touch of berry on the palate. It’s a perfect option to bypass dessert for at your dinner party or to toast with at midnight!

Cost: $19.99 bottle / Where To Buy: BevMo

-Segura Viudas Reserva Heredad Brut Cava

This brut cava adds elegance to any soiree. It’s thick Absinthe-green glass and emblazoned solid pewter crest is enough to catch the eye, but the blend of Macabeo, Parellada and Zarello grapes within offer a satisfying fruit intensity and perfumed bouquet.

Cost: $23 bottle / Where to Buy: Wine.com

Kir Royale

What is Kir? Kir is a popular French cocktail made with a measure of crème de cassis (blackcurrant liqueur). Add a splash of Cassis to a glass of champagne and you have made a Kir Royal. Fun historical fact- this drink was invented circa 1876. >gasp< That's about 1, 742 years ago! A drink that stands the test of time. Ingredients

1-2 TBS Cassis
6 oz champagne

Directions

It is recommended to chill your bubbly well — either in a refrigerator for 2 to 3 hours or in an ice bucket for about 30 minutes. For a quick fix you can cool it in the freezer for 30 minutes.

Pour Cassis into a champagne flute, then add in the chilled champagne to ensure an even mixture.

SPECIAL THANKS TO WINOBEE
Be sure to check them out at www.WinoBee.com or on Twitter at @WinoBee
Their aim is to make wine enlightening rather than intimidating by providing a fun, flirty approach to winos of all levels. Their work has been featured on Redbook, TheSecondGlass.com and Examiner.com.

Releasing your Inner Beast for a Bit of Beauty

(Traditionally known as Beauty and the Beast)

The San Francisco production of Beauty and the Beast was a treat to behold. The costumes, special effects and acting was nothing less than Disney-tacular. The story line mapped so closely to the animated film that at times I had to remind myself that I was watching a LIVE performance.

Liz Shivener, who played Belle, gave a fantastic performance, transporting the audience away to her small provincial life. And Sam Zeller, who played Gaston was spot on his self consumed, narcissistic character, as he proclaimed, one of my favorite lines of the play, “I use antlers in most of my decorating.” (What a catch!) The cast of characters was fun- Gaston’s side kick, Todd Schlader, gave a great gymnastic performance as he rolled with each of Gaston’s punches while Carl Danielsen, who played the suave Lumiere, added his flirtatious flair to the show. Cogsworth, Gene Brundage, and Arlene Thomas, Mrs. Potts charmed the audience with their love and affection for the Beast and their newly found potential spell-breaking Belle. The Beast, Mark Campbell, added a touch of fun to his tumultuous story as he learned how to properly woo the young woman whom would ultimately grow to love him and break his transformative spell.

In honor of this event, I’ve whipped up a drink to help you release your inner beast and celebrate the beauty of the moment.

Mandarin Beastie

Ingredients

Ice
3 oz Mandarin orange vodka
1 oz lemonade or fresh lime juice
1 oz club soda

Directions

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the vodka and lemonade. Shake well and strain into a chilled martini glass. Add club soda. Garnish with the twist.

Note: a fun alternative is to add ice, vodka, lemonade, 2 large slices of peach in a blender. Mix well. Add a splash of club soda or 7 Up.

Thanks for prompting me to come up with a drink recipe and a concept JoJo!

Drink to the New Year

This guest post is from the friend I’ve yet to meet in person. We speak to each other nearly daily via Facebook and Twitter – we share laughs, recipes and stories and we talk about spending time together when our lives finally collide. Until then, she honored me with her gift of words and mixology. This mystery woman – Ilina Ewen writes a wonderful blog called Dirt & Noise and can often be found on Twitter at @ilinap.

Thank you Ilina, for helping me drink this new year away with illusions of beach-side naps and fruity blissful beverages!

******
I haven’t yet met this fellow foodie and cocktail maven on the left coast, though I count her among my friends. I have a hunch that when we meet we could very well gab for hours on end whilst shopping and sipping, leaving little room for breaths and pregnant pauses. Gina perks me up, makes me chuckle, and whets my appetite. I’m dying to pull up a barstool in her kitchen and nosh and toast and laugh.

I imagine Gina has a lovely kitchen. I bet she has really cute aprons too.

A little bird, known as Facebook, told me that Gina will be blowing out candles on a cake this week. Nevermind just how many candles. Since she’s the one who inspired me to start baking from scratch (I’m telling you, her blueberry muffins are sinfully delicious.), I’m pretty sure she’s indulging in a damn good cake. Let’s just say that I’m a better mixologist than a baker. I’ve concocted a little birthday cocktail for my friend Gina.

I’d whisk her away to a blue hued sea with white sand beaches and red pedicures if I could. We’d eat fresh fish, succulent pineapples, and sweet coconut juice. This must sound like a romantic rendezvous to some, but for mothers who work work work, paradise is a beach replete with libations and girlfriends where no one calls us Mommy.

So to toast Gina on her big day, here’s my little taste of paradise. Cheers!

Gina Bina Bobeena

Ingredients
1 ounce dark rum
1 ounce coconut rum
1 ounce banana liqueur
5 ounces pineapple juice
splash of grenadine
pineapple wedge and banana slice for garnish

Directions
Pour first three ingredients over ice in a high ball glass. Add pineapple juice and an ever so slight dash of grenadine. Skewer a pineapple wedge and banana slice to plop in as garnish.

Happy Birthday, Gina!