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)


 

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

METHOD:
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)



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

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




INGREDIENTS:
.25oz Mezcal
Fresh Lemon Juice
Honey
Lavender Bitters

METHOD:
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



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

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


Succotash’s Gochujang Michelada



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

METHOD:
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
Preparation:
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)




INGREDIENTS:
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

METHOD:
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 thebar.com 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 Thebar.com, 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)
INGREDIENTS
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 thebar.com 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.
-P.B.

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 Pourlavictoire.com)

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 kelsidagger.com)


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 amazon.com)

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 shop-usa.biionfootwear.com)

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 shopmelissa.com)

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 Amazon.com. If you make a purchase, we earn a little change. Thanks!

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Do Try This Rosé and Rye Spring Sangria Recipe at Home

Do the Rye Thing... 


It finally feels like spring in the New York area, and you know what that means... it's Rosé season! I've been obsessed with rye whiskey lately, and rosé is one of my favorite wines, so I figured mixing them would make a tasty sangria. I was right! The resulting Sang-RYE-a is a simple recipe featuring George Dickel Rye Whiskey that's perfect for home-hosted spring brunches with the girls.

A Shoes N Booze original cocktail with Rose and Rye

I Prefer to let the fruit soak up the rye for an hour or so before adding other ingredients. Then I add the rosé, raw sugar and coconut water.


Rose makes this Spring sangria pretty

Here's the complete recipe (4 servings per pitcher):

SangRYE-a

Ingredients
8oz George Dickel Rye
12 oz cocnut water
1 bottle rosé
3/4 a medium peach, diced
1 small nectarine, diced
1/8 medium papaya diced
2 tablespoons raw sugar

Method
Add fruit, sugar and George Dickel Rye to a pitcher. Let sit for an hour or more. Add coconut water and rosé. Stir with bar spoon or wooden mixing spoon. Enjoy!

Sangria should be shaken, not stirred

Those who like their drinks a bit sweeter may want to add more sugar or coconut water to taste. Do you have a favorite spring drink that features rye? If you try this at home, I'd love to know your thoughts and the ways you put your own spin on it in the comments.


**Disclosure: I am working in partnership with thebar.com 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!