Thursday, December 7, 2017

Booze News: Moet & Amazon Bow Bottles and Bubbles

Meet your New Bottle Girl

Courtesy Image 

The holidays have basically arrived, and many of us are planning on hosting or attending a holiday party or two. Either way, that tends to mean we'll be buying a few bottles of bubbly. Moët Hennessy and Amazon have teamed up to make selecting (and learning cool facts about) Champagne easier than ever. If you have Alexa, you basically just have to ask her for pairing suggestions, correct pronunciations (of only Moët Hennessy products) and other tips. You can even request a special Champagne-centric playlist. The Alexa skill is actually free, but the bottles of bubbly—not so much. Still... oh, what fun it is to learn, right?

Moët Chandon's Bottles and Bubbles on Alexa

So, are you ready to learn why ice rosè is different from other types? It's time to claim your rightful place as the queen of Champagne (at least in your social circle). Oh, and don't forget to check out our Champagne primer featuring our bubbliest friend, Blaine Ashley, founder of NY Champagne Week and Bull de Reve Champagne. 


*Shoes N Booze may receive commission from purchases made by clicking links on this post.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Celebrity Shoe Spotting: Hailee Steinfield in Zvelle


Hailee Steinfield in Zvelle Mei Booties

Perfect Pitch 3 star, Hailee Steinfield was recently spotted on the red carpet at 106.1 KISS FM's iHeartRadio Jingle Ball 2017 in a pair of seriously sexy lace-up booties with pointed toes a 4-inch stiletto heels. We're not usually fans of black suede shoes in the Shoes N Booze office because of how quickly they fade. However, these Mei booties by Zvelle are triple-dyed to ensure deep, long-life color. They also  have a zipper on the inner ankle, so you don't have to worry about risking your manicure in the name of shoe love, and a gold zipper pull adds a luxe touch. 

Suede Lace-up Stiletto Bootie as seen on Hailee Steinfield

You can snag a pair for yourself in black or eggplant here for $525. If you'd prefer to keep things a little more low-key, they also come in a mid-heel for $515. And if you like the style but want to keep a little more cash reserved for the folks on your "nice" list, here are a few less expensive ways to get the look:

Wondering what to drink when you rock your new lace-up booties for a night out?

Black and Gold Martini

Try a Black and Gold Martini (from our friends at The Spruce). It's got a seductive edge, but it's also pretty sweet with plenty of kick. That's basically the vibe of those boots, right? Whether you're pre-gaming before girls' night out or planning on ordering at the bar, here's the recipe:

  1. Pour the Blavod into a cocktail shaker filled with ice.
  2. Shake well.
  3. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
  4. Top with Goldschlager.
If you want to learn how to make your own black vodka, Colleen Graham of The Spruce has a suggestion here.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Shoe News: Too Faced to Release Shoes

Beauty and the Feet

Too Faced "Better than Sex" pumps / Courtesy Image

The jury is still out on whether beautiful shoes really are better than sex. Nonetheless, tongue-in-cheek makeup brand, Too Faced has let us all know its stance with a new limited-edition stiletto pump inspired by one of its best-selling mascaras.  Designed by cofounder and creative director, Jerrrod Blandino, the "Better than Sex" shoe features a d'orsay-look silhouette with clear side panels, pink glitter at the toe and heel and winking lashes at the back of the heel. Oh, and the soles actually say "Better than Sex" (so wearing them in the boudoir may either make your lover rise to the challenge or feel a bit stepped-on, depending on his or her level of confidence). The shoe was created in collaboration with Italian vegan shoe brand Mink Shoes and will be available as of October 19th on as well as at the New York Better than Sex pop-up for $225.

Will you be snagging a pair of these shagadelic pumps? If you love the idea of d'Orsay pumps but want to keep the price under $100, here are a couple of options that also come in sparkly colors...

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Quick Sips: What to Drink on National Vodka Day

Let's Be Clear

Pinnacle Vodka Citrus Fizz cocktail for National Vodka Day
Pinnacle Vodka Citrus Fizz/ Courtesy Image

Do you know what today is? Nope, it's not our anniversary. It's National Vodka Day! That means you should take a shot of the clear spirit with every meal today. Kidding. However, you may want to consider a bloody mary at lunch (if you can be trusted to go back to work after). You could also wait until happy hour and have a martini or some other delicious cocktail. Vodka is so versatile that your options are endless. Typically, it's distilled from Potatoes, wheat or another grain. However, it can also be made from grapes and other fruits. Like we said... versatile. It's produced in more flavors than virtually any other spirit, too. With so many options, it's hard to know what to order at happy hour or buy at the liquor store. Today, we say keep it simple. Afterall, it's only wednesday.

Opt for an easy drink with few ingredients, like Pinnacle Vodka's Citrus Fizz. Here's the recipe so you know what to ask for at the bar (or pick up from the store to try your hand at making it yourself).

Citrus Fizz
  • 1 part Pinnacle® Original Vodka
  • 2 parts Club Soda
  • Garnish with Raspberries
  • Garnish with Lemon Wheel

Preparation: Mix ingredients and serve over ice. Garnish with raspberries and a lemon wheel.

Oh, and here are some cute accoutremont for your home bar:

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Booze News: Applebees' Dollaritas—Margaritas for a Dollar

Holla for a Dolla

Applebees Ddllarita Margarita
Applebees Dollarita/ Courtesy Photo
Starting today, you can get margaritas for a dollar (AKA "Dollaritas") throughout the month of October at Applebees restaurants as part of the chain's national celebration of Applebee's Neighborhood Appreciation Month. You don't have to wait until happy hour, either. At participating locations, you can get your drink on for $1 any time of day (as long as it's legal to sell alcohol at that hour). Oh, please tip your bartender at least a dollar per drink. He or she is still doing the same amount of work and providing the same level of service as he or she would if you were paying regular price.Than brings your price up to two bucks per drink... still NBD. All the cash you don't spend at happy hour can go to your shoe fund. Yay!

Speaking of shoes, we suggest flats when consuming dollar-priced drinks (though we also STRONGLY suggest drinking plenty of water between each one and imbibing responsibly). Here are few fun, purse-friendly styles:

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Trend Talk: How to Wear White Shoes After Labor Day

White is the New Black

Serial Mom no white shoes after Labor Day

Remember when white shoes after labor day were a serious "don't" for fashionable folks? Well, those days are officially gone—at least for now. White shoes are actually a fall 2017 must among the style set. For everyone else, white shoes can be tough enough to pull off during the spring and summer, let alone fall and winter. Fret not if you find the trend a bit challenging. We've got a few tips to help you step confidently into this trend. The first step is actually accepting that white shoes can look great during the chilly seasons and realizing that they should look pretty different from the ones you'd wear May-August.

Wear white shoes after Labor Day

A few things to keep in mind as you start assembling your lewks:
  • Keep the silhouette simple
  • Wear with season-right (and on-trend) outfits—a frilly mini may look like you're still trying to hold onto summer.
  • A black outsole helps keep things season-right and adds a bit of monochromatic edge
  • Don't be afraid to experiment with brightly colored pairings
Here are a few styles and silhouettes we suggest:

The Mule:

Topshop white mules for white shoe trend
Topshop "Juicy" v-cut mules
Whether high or low-heeled, mules are EVERYWHERE this season. And for good reason. They're versatile, easy-on and can be worn throughout at least 3/4 of the year. We love the high v-cut vamp of Topshop's "Juicy" mules. Plus, the mid-height, tapered heel makes them approachably sexy. Whether you wear it with frayed wide-leg jeans, pencil skirts or stirrup leggings, you'll nail the look.  Get them HERE.

The Block-heel Pump

White shoe trend- mid-heel pumps
SMOKE with white sculpted-heel pumps by O.WHEN

Squared toes and marbled, sculpted block heels give these "SMOKE with white" pumps from O.WHEN a modern, architectural feel. These are perfect for those who work in creative offices. Think sleek maxi skirts or trousers... and a red lip that'll leave a nice print on your glass at happy hour. Get them HERE.

The Stiletto Pump

white shoe trend Katy Perry stiletto pumps
Katy Perry "Cecilia" stiletto pumps

Katy Perry's Cecilia pumps are oozing with sparkly fun. The v-cut vamp gives us 90s feels, and the glittery accent makes them perfect for a night out. Hello, LBD or ripped jeans, meet your new party partners. Available via Amazon Prime.

White Jeffrey Campbell Strattford block-heel ankle boots
Jeffrey Campbell "Stratford" Stacked-Heel Bootie

What's autumn if not ankle boot season? That said, a crisp white iteration is the perfect addition to your collection this season. It'll freshen up a sweater and jeans or add a crisp note to a turtleneck and trumpet skirt. Get this block-heel pair of Jeffrey Campbell "Stratford" booties at Shopbop.

Steve Madden Vivacious slouch boots
Steve Madden "Vivacious" slouch boots

Remember that glistening jeweled slouch boot that stopped the world as it strode down YSL's Fall 2017 runway? Well, the silhouette has clearly inspired other brands (luckily for those of us who can't spend 5 figures on shoes). Steven Madden interpreted the cone-heel style in a white boot aptly named "Vivacious", and we must say it's high on our want list. Imagine strutting down the street in a chunky sweater and wrap skirt that exposes just a little thigh... HAWT! Or what about when it's time to hit the club and you go full-on 80s in a denim mini... LIT! Get it HERE.

Will you be trying the white shoe trend this fall? Need help finding a specific silhouette? Let us know. Our Shoe Sleuth is happy to help!

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Perfect Pairing: Jeffrey Campbell Mules + Ciroc French Vanilla Cocktails

Shine On!

Between the recent solar eclipse and the astrological shift from Leo to Virgo, just about everyone is feeling the need to get their shine on. We're totally here for it... glow all the way up, no matter your astrological sign. And if you're headed out tonight (or in the near future), your mission—should you choose to accept it—is to step fiercely and sip sparkly.


Courtesy Photo

We've still got our focus on the fiery sun, so we love this Peggy Bundy-meets-Barbie-meets-2017 Minuit Mule by Jeffrey Campbell  (available HERE) in all its orange glory. The slide silhouette, translucent toe strap and metallic footbed lend a 70s disco princess feel. Meanwhile a sculpted lucite column heel brings this sandal into the now. These shoes were made to stand out, just like you.


Courtesy Photo

CÎROC recently launched its French Vanilla ultra-premium vodka and is celebrating it with the creation of a new cocktail— the CÎROC-STAR MARTINI a riff on the "Porn Star" cocktail (those slides up there kinda give those vibes, too, but in a good way. Don't they?). It's a tangy, vibrant drink, with a little passionfruit, the smooth essence of vanilla and an effervescent shot of champagne to add a sparkling finish. Want to make it at home? Here's the recipe:

35ml CÎROC French Vanilla
15ml Passionfruit Syrup
10ml Rhubarb Aperitif
25ml White Peach Puree
5ml Lemon Juice
50ml Champagne (on the side)
Martini glass/ straight up / shake and fine strain
Garnished with half a passionfruit floated in the drink.
Add all ingredients except for the champagne to a Boston tin with ice, shake and fine strain into a large martini glass. Serve champagne in a separate shot glass.

As always, we must insist that you indulge responsibly and legally. Also, we'd love to know your thoughts on these shoes and this drink. If you have shoes you'd like paired with a cocktail, we're at your service!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Quick Sips: 3 Cocktails for National Rum Day

On the Rum

Happy National Rum Day! While it's easy enough to toast with a typical rum & coke at happy hour today, why not do something a little different? Today IS a celebration of one of the world's favorite cane spirits, after all. We have a few suggestions below, but before you start sipping, check out a few fun rum facts we previously posted. Now, the drinks:

Morgan Mule Gelatin Shots

Captain Morgan Gelatin Mule Shots

8.5 oz. ginger ale
1.5 oz. fresh lime juice
2 envelops of lime gelatin (approx. 5.5 teaspoons) - If you don't eat pork, there are gelatins out there without it. You just may have to search a bit.

Naked on the Beach

Naked Turtle Rum Naked on the Beach Cocktail

3 oz. Cranberry Juice
3 oz Freshly Squeeze Orange Juice
1 Peach muddled
Fresh Cherries for Garnish

Saville Premium Rumtini

Saville Premium Rumtini Ready-to-Drink Rum cocktail

It's a pre-mixed cocktail made with premium rum and tropical fruits. Just add ice and with fresh fruit.

We hope you enjoy National Rum Day. We insist that you do so legally and responsibly. XO

*Captain Morgan Rum is a product sponsor and occasionally sends Shoes N Booze complimentary bottles.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Booze Review: Viva XXXII Reposado Tequila

Sunshine in a Bottle

Fun fact: tequila is one of the fastest-growing spirit categories in the United States. Here at SNB, we can't get enough of the stuff—especially reposado served neat on a warm day. Consequently, we were excited when woman-owned tequila brand, VIVA XXXII sent us a bottle of their newly released liquid for review.

VIVA XXXIII was founded by Yvonne Niami to bring a luxury sipping tequila to the marketplace at an attainable price. With that goal in mind, the bottle design was kept simple and features a triangle pattern that references the founder's Mexican heritage in a modern way. There's also a philanthropic angle. 10% of net proceeds are donated to animal abuse prevention causes including the ASPCA and SPCALA.

Now for our thoughts on the actual tequila (the reposado is estate grown and rested for 6 months in new American Oak barrels and retails for $45):
VIVA 32 Tequila
VIVA XXXII Reposado Tequia - Photo Credit- Chris T. Ramos 

On the Nose:

Bright, sightly spicy, clean, notes of oak. Generally pleasant.

On the Tongue:

Incredibly smooth with a nice amount of spice but virtually no burn. The flavor coats the tongue for a long-lasting finish and full flavor experience. We noticed herbaceous, or slightly grassy notes, in addition to those of oak and maybe even a little caramel.  It's a bit brighter than some other reposado tequilas we've tried.

Overall Thoughts:

We thoroughly enjoyed this tequila solo, and for a fun twist we tried it with chili-coated mango chunks (delish!). It's a great value for the price and a good entry for tequila novices. The bottle makes a great piece to upcycle after the liquid is gone, too. So we like it as a hostess gift for dinner parties. Oh, and it's heavenly in bloody Marias.

Have you tried this brand before? If not, are there other questions we can answer for you about the flavor? We can talk about this stuff all day! Also, stay tuned for "Perfect Pairings" featuring VIVA XXXII cocktails soon. If you have shoes you'd like paired with a cocktail, let us know!

*Special thank you to our photo sponsor, Chris T. Ramos Photography!

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Perfect Pairing: Katy Perry Sandals + Smirnoff Sourced Watermelon

Drinkin' Watermelon

Today's National Watermelon Day, and we're celebrating with shoes and a cocktail inspired by summer's favorite fruit. If you're trying to do the same but you're not sure where to start, we've got you covered.

On Your Feet

Katy Perry Carmen Fruit Sandal
The simplest thing would be to just wear a pair of red or red-pink shoes. However, if you want to go full-out, we suggest shoes that actually feature watermelons. This Carmen lace-up sandal from Katy Perry Collection is a good start. Depending on where you work, it might not be a good fit for the office (unless you get it in black). However it's definitely happy hour-approved. The tiny fruit accents (especially the watermelons) are adorable, and the stiletto heel, coupled with the trend-right ankle laces make them a sassy, sexy conversation piece wherever you go. (Also, you can likely get them for less than $100 via Amazon.)

Topshop Happy Fruity Watermelon Sandals

If flats are more on your level, these Happy Fruity Slides by Topshop will work, especially if you're sipping al fresco. Available at Nordstrom.

Camilla Elphick Watermelon Sandal

And if you're living la vida luxury, this sandal from Camilla Elphick will do the trick. Does anyone else envision themselves twirling the night away on the dancefloor in these? They're currently on sale at Luisa via Roma.

In Your Glass

Smirnoff Sourced Watermelon Cocktail

Smirnoff Sourced released a watermelon flavor just in time for today. The above-pictured Tropical Melon Bliss is sweet, refreshing and fairly easy to make at home:

1.5 oz SMIRNOFF SOURCED Watermelon
1 oz coconut water
1 oz pomegranate juice
.5 oz lemon juice
.75 oz simple syrup

Combine ingredients in a glass over ice. Garnish with a watermelon wedge.

If your favorite bar doesn't have SMIRNOFF SOURCED Watermelon, you may be able to request a mixture of Smirnoff Vodka mixed with watermelon juice and the other ingredients. We're sure it'll also be pretty refreshing.

Will you be drinkin' watermelon today? Whatever you drink, please do it legally and responsibly.

*Shoes N Booze is an Amazon affiliate and receives commission from the purchase of linked products. Smirnoff is a product partner of Shoes N Booze and occasionally sends complimentary products for review.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

5 Faves: the Melissa + Jeremy Scott Shoe Sale

All Fun, Half Price

We were all "ooohs and ahhhs" when Jeremy Scott sent neon colored Melissa shoes down the runway with a his Moschino collection. Classic silhouettes with styling and accents inspired by inflatable pool and bath toys, they were playfully sophisticated. They were also high on our wishlist (so we were ridiculously excited when we were gifted the mule one season and the ankle boot the following season. If you haven't already scored a pair or two, here's your chance. They're 50% off (and all less than $125)! Here are our five favorites from the sale:

For a Night Out:

Melissa + Jeremy Scott inflatable Mule Sandal
Melissa + Jeremy Scott Inflatable Mule - Now $90

To Wear Home After Said Night Out (They'll Still Match Your Lewk):

Melissa + Jeremy Scott Ultragirl Inflatable Flats
Melissa + Jeremy Scott Ultragirl - Now $55

For Summer Travels (Easy Off and On in the TSA Line):

Melissa + Jeremy Scott Tube Sandal
Melissa + Jeremy Scott Tube Sandal - Now $55

The Office (or a Day of Errands):

Melissa x Jeremy Scott Space Love Flats
Melissa + Jeremy Scott Space Love - Now $60

Rainy Days (Oh, Hey, White Shoe Trend!):

Melissa x Jeremy Scott Ankle Boot
Melissa + Jeremy Scott Ankle Boot - Now $105

Which pair is your favorite?

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Shoe News: Christian Louboutin's New Nudes

Nude Loubs for All

Cherry sandals from Christian Louboutin Nudes Collection
Courtesy Images (remixed by the Shoes N Booze squad)

Christian Louboutin added two more styles to it's Nudes collection today. The special capsule collection created to match multiple skin tones was launched in 2013 and included the ever-popular Pigalle Follies 100 pump, along with three other styles in five shades. The collection has since been expanded to seven shades (cheers to more inclusion!) and currently includes four styles—the new Christeriva ankle wrap sandal and Cherry block heel sandal join the Solasofia pointed flat and Degrarivierina jeweled pump on the brand's website.

Christian Louboutin Christeriva sandals from the Nudes collection
Courtesy Image

Celebrities including Rihanna, Jennifer Lopez and various members of the Kardashian family have been spotted in shoes from the Nudes collection. We're actually loving how Sofia & Mauro shot the campaign for the launch to focus on the beauty of various skin tones, as complimented by the shoes. So many shoe campaigns seem to focus on models's faces or other aspects and seem to treat the shoes as an afterthought.

So, will you be asking C'Loub to send you nudes?

Friday, June 23, 2017

Perfect Pairing: Drink Smirnoff Love Wins Cocktails. Wear These Shoes.

Live and Let Love

We're pretty sure you already know, but just in case... June is LGBTQ+ Pride Month, which honors the Stonewall riots in NYC and acknowledges the accomplishments and equal rights struggles experienced by members of the LGBTQ+ community. It is also a time when many memorialize those who have lost their lives to hate crimes or to HIV/ AIDS. The New York Pride Parade is this weekend, and we know many of you will be joining the festivities. We've got your shoes and sips covered.

On Your Feet

Cape Robbin Rainbow Strappy Sandals with Lucite Heel

If you'll be clubbing this weekend, you'll need the perfect party heels. Enter Cape Robbin's Maria sandals. They're affordable (less than $50 on Amazon), and fun AF, thanks to sparkling straps (HELLO disco ball!). The lucite block heel is on trend for Summer '17, and the ankle strap provides the steadiness you need for whatever the dance floor demands. Get them (in this or other color combinations) HERE.

In Your Glass

Smirnoff Vodka Love Wins Bottle

Smirnoff recently released its limited edition "Love Wins" bottle. The vodka inside is the Original 21 Recipe, the same award-winning stuff you always order at the bar. In this case, it's what's on the outside that counts— an iridescent metallic finish and and prints of inspiring LGBTQ+ couples. Also Smirnoff partnered with the Human Rights Campaign, pledging to donate $1 to the organization for every limited edition bottle it produces. That's add up to more than $260,000 going to the biggest organization working toward equality for LGBTQ+ folks in the United States. If you're part of an LGBTQ couple and want a chance to be featured on next year's Love Wins bottle, submit your favorite pic of you and your boo HERE by 9/30/17. Oh, and we're not actually suggesting you walk the streets with an entire bottle of vodka in your hand... however, look out for it at your favorite bars.

Bonus Pair

Converse Pride 2017 All Star Sneakers

If you're going to the actual NY Pride Parade, you'll probably prefer sneakers over heels. Converse has a number of options in its 2017 "Yes to All" Pride Collection (our favorite is pictured above). All net proceeds from the collection will go to the It Gets Better Project and the Happy Hippie Foundation, which are both organizations committed to empowering LGBTQ+ youth around the world.

Wherever you celebrate, with whomever you celebrate, be sure to indulge and enjoy responsibly and legally.

*Disclosure- Smirnoff is a spirits partner and occasionally sends us complimentary bottles. Shoes N Booze is an Amazon affiliate.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Shoe News: Emilio Pucci's New Sneaker Collection

Rep Your City

Emilio Pucci SS17 Sneakers of the World New YorkLove travel? We do. And Emilio Pucci recently made our case of wanderlust more intense with its new Sneakers of the World collection—which includes eleven global metropolis-inspired variations of the "City Up" ruffled color-block sneaker. According to Footwear News, each takes color cues from the city named it's designed to represent, and each city just happens to be the location of a Pucci store where the sneakers are sold (Milan, Florence, Miami, Seoul, Rome, Paris, London, Dubai, Moscow, Hong Kong and New York). Don't worry, they'll be available via the brand's website, too. We love how the slip-on style makes them TSA line-friendly for those without Pre-check. Our editors absolutely love the New York colorway, and here are a few of their other favorites:

Emilio Pucci 2217 Sneakers of the World Hong Kong
Emilio Pucci Hong Kong Sneakers 

Emilio Pucci SS17 Sneakers of the World Miami
Emilio Pucci Miami Sneakers

Emilio Pucci SS17 Sneakers of the World Milan
Emilio Pucci Milan Sneakers

Emilio Pucci SS17 Sneakers of the World Seoul
Emilio Pucci Seoul Sneakers

Which is your favorite from the collection?

Friday, May 26, 2017

Perfect Pairing: Captain Morgan Loco Nut & Nine West Wedges

Baywatch / Baewatch... Kinda the Same.

Baywatch hit theaters last night, and if you decided to start your Memorial Day weekend with a trip to the theaters (and then the bar), we've found you some perfectly themed footwear and frozen cocktails. (They'll actually work for your weekend boardwalk or barbecue plans, too. Score!)

On your Feet: Nine West Aprilshower Wedges

Don't worry... we're not about to suggest you wear a pair of wedges to the beach. However, the red and white stripes on these espadrille sandals—along with the thick lug soles—do make one think of those old school lifesavers on every lifeguard's chair, no? The ankle strap adds a little leg-elongating magic, too. So weather you're down by the bay or hunting for bae (or heading out with someone special), these Nine West wedges have you covered. They also have a bit of patriotic appeal. Double weekend-themed win. Get them HERE (they're less than $100).

In Your Glass (Sorta): Captain Morgan Loco Nut Red Suit Ready

We all love a good icy. These, like the shoes above, are a double score—perfect for your Baywatch-themed party or for any Memorial Day festivities. Here's how you make them:

1½ oz LocoNut
1½ oz Coconut Water
1½ oz Strawberry Daiquiri Mix
¾ oz Water

Combine LocoNut and coconut water. Stir to combine. Separately, combine Captain Morgan White Rum, strawberry daiquiri mix, and water. Stir to combine. Fill a plastic freezie sleeve halfway up with strawberry daiquiri mixture. Top with LocoNut mixture and freeze overnight before serving.

If you make a batch of Red Suit Ready pops, promise to invite us to the party? Please? Seriously, though, what's on your agenda for the weekend, and what will you have on your feet?

*Disclosure: Shoes N Booze is an Amazon affiliate and receives commission on products purchased by clicking its links. Captain Morgan is a product partner, and Shoes N Booze receives complimentary bottles.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Caring Spirits: Rogue Ale & Spirits' Hot Tub Scholarship Lager

Not to be Confused with Hot Tub Time Machine

You know those moments when you and your friends are throwing back a few beers, and one of you randomly muses that your group should create your own brew... maybe you even brainstorm names and can designs? Oh, that's strictly a Shoes N Booze Squad thing? Suuuuure. Well just in case you (or someone you know), has a change of mind, Rogue Ales & Spirits is making it easier for future fermenters to learn the art of brewing and distilling.

Rogue will donate 10% of sales from the newly released Hot Tub Scholarship Lager (a classic German pale lager beer with a crisp flavor) to the Jack Joyce Scholarship Fund, which was established in honor of the company's founder to help further the education of aspiring wine and spirits makers.

Since 2014, the Jack Joyce Scholarship has awarded $185, 000 to fifteen recipients at Oregon State University's Fermentation Sciences program (wait... where do we sign up?).

Looking to help spur the future of one of our favorite industries? Click here for Rogue's Beer Finder to see where Hot Tub Scholarship Lager is available near you. Curious about what else Rogue has to offer? Visit

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Booze Review: Cockspur Rums

Yes, We Cane

Rum having a bit of a renaissance at the moment, especially dark rums made for sipping. Not only are there more brands (from more countries) making their way to the shelves, but their distillers are taking more care with their flavor profiles. We must admit, our experience with rums made in Barbados has been limited. We were excited, then, when Bajan brand, Cockspur sent us a couple of bottles for review— The Old Gold and VSOR 12.

Bottles of Cockspur Old Gold and VSOR 12 rums

Cockspur was founded in 1884 by Valdemar Hanschel. It was later passed to the Stade brothers, who were able to create a consistent flavor profile by introducing the first continuous column still to Barbados. They now produce a Fine Rum, Old Gold, VSOR 12, Rum Punch, Spiced Rum, Falernum, Overproof, Pineapple Coconu Splash and Green Apple Splash (most of these are only available in the Caribbean and Bermuda). First, we tasted the Old Gold, an 80 proof blend of light-bodied rum and old, full-bodied pot still rum.

Cockspur Old Gold Rum

On the Nose:

Cockspur's website says it presents notes of vanilla, cream and honey. We agree, but we'd also add caramel, light oak and maybe a hint of orange peel.

On the Tongue:

The flavor is smooth deep and sweet with a spicy finish as it reaches the back of the tongue. There are also some grassy notes at the throat. It has a long finish, with a pleasant spice eventually coating the tongue. In laywoman's terms, it's tasty enough to sip on the rocks with (maybe) an orange peel garnish and would taste great in a cocktail or with a simple splash of ginger beer.

Cockspur VSOR 12 Rum

Moving on to the VSOR 12, the 80 proof Very Special Old Reserve—a premium rum blend of the oldest rums kept on reserve at Cockspur's distillery in Barbados.

On the Nose:

The website mentions notes of toffee, vanilla and oak. We also noticed aromas of apricot or peach and orange. Point blank... it's scent is smooth and sexy.

On the Tongue:

There's definitely a creamy mouthfeel and (which basically means the flavor smoothly coats your entire mouth and disperses smoothly, like cream). The flavor is reminiscent of a good bourbon with strong vanilla, oak and spiced fruit notes. This is definitely a rum for solo sipping or creating cocktails that usually contain bourbon. Also, when it gets cold out, this'll be perfect for hot buttered rum.

Overall thoughts:

These are pretty darn good rums. Both are smooth and flavorful with just the right amount of bite. While we enjoy the VSOR 12, we found the Old Gold a little more pleasant because of its lightness (but maybe blame that on the weather in the NY area finally warming up a bit). Would we keep it in our home bar? Yes! Would we bring it to a house party proudly? Totally! We hope you'll try it and let us know your thoughts.

As always, Indulge wisely and responsibly.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Get the Look: YSL Diamante Boots

Rock it like RiRi

Remember that time Anthony Vacarello stopped the world by sending a pair of mesmerizing silver, jeweled slouch boots down the YSL Fall 17 runway? Did you also seethe with envy swoon when Rihanna wore those exact boots less than a week later?

A post shared by badgalriri (@badgalriri) on

OK, us, too. While we had zero hopes of securing the $10,000 (yes, you read that right) phenoms of footwear, we have since been wondering who would be first to make a similar style available to the masses. (Because in addition to that price tag, there's also a crazy waiting list.) Well, it looks like British brand, Kandee, is among the leaders of that pack with its aptly named "Bad Girl" boot.

Kandee Jeweled Slouch Boot similar to YSL Diamante Boot
Courtesy Image

Though the $550 version doesn't have the structural cone heel (because, uh, hello trademarks), it does have the pointed toe, slouch silhouette and dazzling allover crystals. (That's what matters most, right?) If you're chasing this trend, you'll have to pre-order a pair HERE. They'll take 3-6 weeks to ship— according to Kandee, they're handmade to order. 

As always, indulge responsibly!