Sunday, May 15, 2016

Go Drink Here NYC: Time Out New York Bar Awards

Best in Glass

Time Out New York recently assembled a panel of liquor luminaries to select the best bars, bartenders and cocktails in New York. With so many amazing places to imbibe in the city, it had to be a tough choice. Nonetheless, Yana Volfson, Lucinda Sterling, Jillian Vose, Eben Freeman, Joe Campanale, Sam Ross, Jane Danger, Sam Anderson, Thomas Waugh, Meaghan Dorman, Jim Kearns, and Karin Stanley managed to pick four finalists in each of seven categories. Here's the list:

  • Best New Cocktail Bar: Bar Goto, Grand Army, Leyenda, Mace
  • Bar of the Year: Attaboy, Long Island Bar, Maison Premiere, The NoMad Bar
  • Best Bar Team: Attaboy, Long Island Bar, Maison Pemiere, The Nomad Bar
  • Best Restaurant-Bar Program: Betony, Cosme, Llama Inn, Mission Chinese Food
  • Best Comeback Kid: Black Crescent, Dante, Donna, Holiday Cocktail Lounge
  • Best Single-Focus Bar: Amor y Amargo, Four Horsemen, Mayahuel, Tørst
  • Best Instagram-Worthy Cocktail: Dark and Stormy at Genuine Liquorette, Shark Eye at Mother of Pearl, Tahitian Coffee at Slowly Shirley, Coconut at ZZ’s Clam Bar

The winners will be announced tomorrow night (May 16, 2016) at the 2nd Annual Time Out New York Bar Awards. This year's event will be from 7-10 PM at Arena (135 W 41st St). The cool part? It's not only open to industry insiders. You can score a ticket HERE for $53.75. In addition to sipping Peroni, Tito's Handmade Vodka and custom cocktails, you'll get to enjoy passed hors d'oeuvres and Tipsy Scoops boozy ice cream while grooving to beats by DJ Louie XIV.

We'll be in the building sipping, chatting, and possibly doing a two-step. Hope to see you there!

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Booze Clues: 5 Cinco de Mayo Drinks that Aren't Margaritas

Because You Had Margaritas Last Week

FACT: Cinco de Mayo is NOT Mexico's Independence Day (that's September 16th). It is also NOT National Margarita Day (though it may seem like it). Cinco de Mayo actually commemorates the Mexican army's unlikely defeat of French forces at the battle of Puebla in 1862. Also, we Americans have made a mockery of the day in various ways (as we do with most holidays, especially if we can use them as an excuse to get hammered... St. Paddy's day, here's to lookin' at you.). This HuffPo video actually explains that many of the ways we celebrate are actually a bit offensive. Yikes! 

Now that we all feel a little guilty, let's sip a few of those woes away. You do know the margarita isn't the only Mexican-inspired cocktail out there, right? Consider the paloma, michelada, or even one of your favorite cocktails with tequila replacing the usual spirit. We've rounded up a few cocktail ideas to get your ideas flowing.  

Herradura Paloma (An Easy Switch if you REALLY love margaritas)


5 oz grapefruit juice (or Spiked Seltzer Indian River Grapefruit)
1 oz Lemon juice and salt

In a big ball glass put the ice and Tequila HerraduraAdd salt, lemon juice and grapefruit juice (or Siked Seltzer).

Mexican Martini -Created by Garrett Flanagan for El Original (If you're into dirty martinis)

1.5 oz. Lime Juice
1.5 oz. Simple Syrup
3 oz. Tequila
0.5 oz. Olive Juice
Shake with ice, pour into martini glass, garnish with olives and enjoy!

SX Honey Bee -Featured on the menu of Bodega Negra in NYC

.25oz Mezcal
Fresh Lemon Juice
Lavender Bitters

Blend SXchachacha, mezcal, lemon and honey over ice. Shake. Pour into large rocks glass. Add a dash of lavender bitters.

Altos Anejo Manhattan -Created by Charles Joly

2 parts Altos Añejo
1 part Carpano Antica® vermouth
2 dashes of bitters

Blend ingredients and stir over ice. Strain into a chilled glass. Garnish with orange peel and serve straight up.

Succotash’s Gochujang Michelada

6 oz Dominion Candi (Belgian style tripel) or beer of your choice
1.5 oz Gochujang michelada mix (see below)

Use a lime wedge to moisten the rim of a glass halfway around. Place a mixture of equal parts Korean chili flakes and Kosher salt on the half moistened rim. Fill the glass with ice. Add the michelada mix. Top with the beer, and stir 3-4 times to evenly distribute all ingredients. Garnish with a straw and a lime wheel.

Gochujang Michelada Mix Ingredients (yields 7 micheladas):
2 oz Chung Jung One’s Gochujang Korean Chili Sauce
1.5 oz Crystal Hot Sauce
5 oz Fresh lime juice
1.25 oz Fresh orange juice
0.5 oz Worcestershire sauce
0.5 oz Old Forester Bourbon
0.25 oz Honey
Add all of the ingredients into a pint-sized container. Mix thoroughly. Store in the cooler when not in use. Shelf life: two days.

* Mango Habanero Margarita -Available at Tommy Bahama Restaurant & Bar in NYC (A bonus because some people just love margaritas)

¾ parts Orange Curacao
1 part mango puree – Perfect Puree
1 part scratch sour mix
2 slices fresh habanero
4 drops Bitterman's Hellfire Habanero Shrub - available at Tommy Bahama

Pour all ingredients into a mixing glass, add ice and shake with a Boston shaker to blend. Pour into salt rimmed double rocks glass and top with 2 slices of habanero.

Will you be trying any of these for Cinco de Mayo? Do you have your own special cocktail for the holiday? Still totally stuck on margaritas? (We won't judge.) Let us know in the comments.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Do Try This Pina Colada Dessert Drink Recipe at Home

The Uncharted Dessert Isle

a pina colada float created for created with Smirnoff Sourced Pineapple Vodka

I scream, you scream, we all scream for... spring (bet you thought I'd say 'ice cream'. Gotcha!) Now that it's warming up, images of tropical drinks, frosty desserts and fun are fluttering through my mind like butterflies. When a bottle of the newly released Smirnoff Sourced Pineapple Vodka recently arrived at my door to create a recipe for, I felt compelled to see if I could capture the feel of spring in a glass. Since it's the season when we start seeing more tropical fruits in stores, (and I'm a fan of pina coladas), I immediately thought of adding coconut in some way. Ginger also came to mind (and then the theme song to a certain shipwreck-themed show followed).... Before I knew it, I had figured out a recipe for a drink that's actually more confection than concoction — the Dessert Isle. There are actually 2 ways to make it— one for a quick fix, and another (pictured above), which takes a bit more preparation, for entertaining guests)
1.5 oz Smirnoff Sourced Pineapple Vodka
1 oz coconut water
.5 oz ginger beer
1 scoop vanilla gelato
1/4 ripe mango, diced
sprinkle of grated ginger
sprinkle of grated mango skin

METHOD (quick fix)
Blend Smirnoff Sourced Pineapple Vodka, ginger beer and coconut water in a mixing glass. Place mango pieces into a coupe glass. Add scoop of vanilla gelato (fro-yo) to coupe. Pour Smirnoff Sourced Pineapple Vodka mixture onto gelato. Sprinkle grated ginger and mango skin on top to garnish.

METHOD (for guests)
Mix coconut water with gelato and place in freezer in an ice tray. Once mixture is firm, mix Smirnoff Sourced Pineapple Vodka and ginger beer in a mixing glass. Place diced mango pieces into a coupe glass. Add most of vodka mixture, leaving just a bit in the mixing glass. Add gelato cubes. Spoon the rest of vodka mixture over gelato cubes. Sprinkle grated ginger and mango skin for garnish. 

The result is a mix between a ginger pina colada (do you get the name yet? tropical flavors + ginger... "the movie star, the professor and Mary Ann...") and an ice cream float. Yum! 

Oh, FYI, Smirnoff Sourced Vodkas are 60 proof and infused with (concentrated) real fruit juice. They're also gluten-free and made without high-fructose corn syrup.

I'd love to know your thoughts if you try this recipe. I'd also love to hear your opinions on the other flavors. Sound off in the comments or feel free to shoot me an email.

**Disclosure: I am working in partnership with brand and I am receiving rewards for my participation in this campaign. All thoughts/opinions are 100% my own. Drink is intended for those whom alcohol is legal and appropriate. Please Drink Responsibly!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Shoe Sleuth: 5 Flats for Work AND Weekend Barcrawls

Get Low

Dear Shoe Sleuth,

Last weekend, I was part of the Brown Girls Bar Crawl in Jersey City. I loved the drinks and appetizers at Park and Sixth, Roman Nose, LITM and The Draper, by the way. I was talking to a few of the other attendees, and we realized we all had the same problem trying while we were getting ready for the crawl- the shoes. We wanted to be fly, but we also wanted to be comfortable. (I loved your black and white Keds, by the way.) Now that it's nice out, I'm sure I'll be doing more crawls and outdoor activities... But I don't want to buy shoes to wear JUST for that. Got any suggestions for shoes I can wear to work AND during the weekend that won't break the bank? Also, where can I get mismatched Keds like yours? I think they'd be great for vacations.

Dear P.B.,

First, thanks for joining us on the crawl! I had an amazing time with all of you! Second, the Keds in question- I actually mismatched two pairs I received for hosting an event last spring. I'm glad you liked the mismatched look. I may have to wear them again :-).

Now, to your question. It can definitely be tough to find shoes that are both functional and fly, especially on a budget. The good news is that animal prints and metallics are considered neutrals these days, and brands are incorporating them more into flats. If you're going to be on your feet a lot, a simple lack of a heel won't keep you comfy. You need to consider support and cushioning. Here are a few versatile options that are sophisticated enough for the office AND Saturday-approved — plus they're all under $300.

Sleek Slides

Oxford Slides by Pour la Victoire

Menswear inspirations and the mule trend had a baby. It's Pour la Victoire's Felix flat. In snake-embossed leather with staple detailing that invokes the feeling of clogs, it's a great mix of uptown polish and downtown edge. During the week, it's the perfect support system for slacks and a slick button-down. Come saturday, it adds edgy sophistication to cropped jeans and a tee. ($295 at

Wrap Stars 

Ankle tie flats from Kelsi Dagger Brooklyn

The ballet flat's more complicated cousin, the ankle-tie flat is the shoe of the season. It's almond toe and simple silhouette have ingenue appeal, while the leg-elongating ankle ties add a coquettish kick. The Deandra from Kelsi Dagger Brooklyn features a playful rope tie that works well with pencil skirts at work and then complements cut-offs on the weekend. If your office is more conservative, consider buying this style in black. ($110 at

Points of Interest

Two-tone pointed flats from Nine West

Few things exude polish like a pointed toe, especially when you add shiny patent leather and metallic gold. Add the sophistication of an oxford, plus the simplicity of a slip-on, and and you've got the perfect wherever flat. From skirts to skinnies, dresses to joggers and everywhere in-between this Treasure flat from Nine West will scores intra-office style points AND street cred. ($31.52- $101 at

Rain or Shine

EVA wingtips with spectator styling from Biion shoes

You know those days where it's supposed to sprinkle off and on... but you refuse to let it put a damper on your plans? This snake pattern wingtip shoe from Biion is made entirely of EVA, so it won't get mesed up in the rain. It's also constructed with special comfort features and a nonslip sole that's great whether you're boating, playing golf or kicking a$$ in beer pong. It looks great with skirts and midi dresses, too. I received a pair in white with blue trim, and I get compliments every time I wear them. ($109.99 at

Daring Dimensions

Flatform Oxfords from Melissa Shoes

The Wanna Be Rio oxford from Melissa Shoes goes seamlessly from the office (with wide leg pants or a streamlined maxi skirt) to out and about (same wide legs, maxi or virtually anything). This Star of Melissa's collab collection with Wanna Be Carioca features an edgy open toe, and the cut-out flatform sole makes it a prime choice for events that require walking in grass (ahem, music festivals). You do know that all Melissa shoes are rubber, right? When you pour out a little for the homies, don't worry about splashing. ($180 at

P.B., I hope one of these options works for you, and if not, I hope you at least have some new ideas. As always, feel free to reach out for further guidance. 

-The Shoe Sleuth

Can you see yourself in these styles? Do you have a go-to go-everywhere shoe? Let us know in the comments!

*Shoes N Booze is an affiliate of Pour La Victoire, Kelsi Dagger and If you make a purchase, we earn a little change. Thanks!