1000 Stories Wines: An Evening With Bob Blue And Red Wines

On a typical rainy Spring evening in New York, I was ushered to the back of Fine & Rare restaurant at 9 East 37th Street, to a grand table and intimately introduced to a wonderful collaboration of wine and spirit for the palette in the form of 1000 Stories Wines. On any night, a lot can be found nestled in the little nooks and crannies of the city streets. Delightful little eateries with locally-sourced specials, goodnight kisses had under the awnings of Old-World high-rises and the little peeks of west and eastside sky-line pushing their way through the dusky fog.

It was on such an evening in classic New York fashion that I found myself tucked behind a beautifully arranged table for sixteen at the wonderfully hidden restaurant.  The restaurant can usually be found offering up cool live jazz-infused acoustics to go with your pappardelle Bolognese and burrata heirloom tomato salad.

1000 Stories is a line of exquisite and well-executed wines that distinguish themselves from the lot as they are aged in whiskey barrels.  The fineness of the grape meets the distilled beauty of the whiskey in 1000 Stories Wines and creates broad flavor profiles that pull from the diversity of the loveliness of Zinfandel and Bordeaux grapes and merges them with the lingering and definitive essences of oaky, sweet and herbal whiskey.

On that evening, winemaker and co-founder of 1000 Stories Wines, Bob Blue gave a verbal soft-sell of how the brand came to be and then walked us through an exclusive tasting of the brand’s renowned line-up together with one of its latest, The Prospector’s Proof.

We started the pre-dinner tasting with a 2016 Zinfandel Batch 42, a peppery full rounded fruity wine then moved onto 2016 Zinfandel Batch 52, a wine sourced from grapes all over the Californian Redwood and Sanel Valleys that carried a welcomed depth that grapes from this Mendocino Region are recognized for. Then onto 2016 Zinfandel Batch 54 which was smoother yet carried a delightfully weighted depth while being soft and satisfying on the palette.  The 2017 Gold Rush Red was strong and full-bodied with its mélange of intense and bold grapes from the California Hills.

Finishing off the bunch was 2017 The Prospectors Proof Cabernet Sauvignon, another bold wine with the spiced pop of vanilla and fragrant herbs from the whiskey barrels. With each wine, it was important to note the presence of the grape characteristics and the presence of the whiskey attributes working together. With the lesser-bodied wines, the sharp higher tannin zinfandels in their various aged stages allowed hints of the whiskey notes to carry through more while the Gold Rush and Prospector’s Proof carried weights that created a harmonious intermingling of full flavor. Altogether, it was an evening of wine lessons that, when combined with better wine understandings, left us all with our favorites and a greater appreciation for brands like 1000 Stories Wines; brands that have found a way to make a wonderful staple even better. It was a delectable evening filled with continuous delights. We’ll end with some of the decadent desserts we enjoyed.

Effen Vodka Launches Effen Rosé and Effen Yuzu Citrus Flavors

National Vodka Day isn’t until October but thankfully we don’t have to wait until then to enjoy the latest flavor launches from Effen Vodka. Just in time for and perfect for summer, are Effen Rosé and Effen Yuzu Citrus flavors. The two new super-premium vodka flavors join the already exciting range of flavors. These flavors include Black Cherry, Raspberry, Cucumber, Blood Orange and Green Apple. Let’s get to know the new Effen Rosé and Effen Yuzu Citrus vodka flavors.

Made from premium French wheat, Effen Vodka uses a continuous distillation process, along with all-natural ingredients to create a smooth taste on the palate. This results in a flavored vodka that is smooth yet crisp with flavors that are unsullied by an aftertaste. We had the pleasure of enjoying several cocktails made with the new Effen Rosé and Effen Yuzu Citrus vodkas. Great music kept us company as we enjoyed a very informative flight bar led by Bartender, Amy Probasco. We enjoyed the new flavors neat and paired with a variety of ingredients. We recommend trying different fruits and herbs to enhance the natural flavors of each new flavor.

The night ended too quickly but we each took home a keepsake cocktail shaker designed by Street Artist, AJ Lavilla.

The Effen Rosé Vodka combines the bright, smooth flavors of a classic Rosé with an accent of vanilla and honey to round out its flavor. The liquid itself is a beautiful pink-hue and adds no additional sugar. The two featured Effen Rosé cocktails included the Raspberry Rosé Spritz, a great summer drink; and the Rosé & Soda, perfect for those who want a low-calorie and low sugar cocktail.

The one of a kind Effen Yuzu Citrus Vodka uses Yuzu citrus fruit; it’s known for its use and origin from Japan and East Asia. This Asian citrus fruit is exploding with popularity across the US, and already can be found in many products. The taste is a complex blend of citrus, grapefruit, and herb to truly embody the subtle beauty of the Yuzu fruit and flavor. This is the first Yuzu Vodka we’ve experienced and we are in love. We loved the light and refreshing citrus taste.

Thanks to the Effen Yuzu Citrus cocktail, we’ve found out new “adult lemonade” and the Yuzu Citrus & Grapefruit Soda is another low-calorie and low sugar winner. No matter which flavor you enjoy, we promise the Effen Rosé and Effen Yuzu Citrus vodkas will be a hit.

Cinco de Mayo Cocktails With Jaisalmer Indian Craft Gin

We know what you’re thinking when it comes to Cinco de Mayo, it should start and end with tequila. But you’d be surprised to see how gin, especially a very well-made gin, can be a delightful tequila substitute. When we first heard about Jaisalmer Indian Craft Gin, we were immediately intrigued. Like a traditional gin, Jaisalmer‘s base is Juniper Berries, but it’s the Indian herbs that really make it special. The traditional pine notes are awakened with the likes of Darjeeling Tea, Lemongrass, Vetiver, Indian Coriander, and Licorice, to make a few.

The result is a refreshing and spicy twist that includes the combination of peppery, spicy, citrus, and anise notes. Because tequila and gin are plant-based spirits, they both add grassy or leafy flavors to cocktails. Both are also excellent bases for cocktails made with citrus, mint, and ginger flavors; they just add different flavor personalities to the cocktails. In honor of Cinco de Mayo, we welcome three Jaisalmer Indian Craft Gin cocktails for those who may want a change from the traditional tequila drink recipes.

The Golden Fort

50ml Jaisalmer Gin
15ml Lime Juice
10ml Cinnamon Syrup
50ml Cloudy Apple Juice
Sliced Green Apple Nutmeg (optional) Ice
Pour Jaisalmer Gin over cubed ice, add fresh lime juice, cinnamon syrup, and cloudy apple juice. Garnish with an apple fan of 3 slices and add grated nutmeg on top (optional).

The Jaisalmer Peppertini

50ml Jaisalmer Gin
20ml Pink Peppercorn Syrup
20ml Fresh Lemon Juice
40ml Pink Grapefruit Juice
Pour Jaisalmer Gin, Peppercorn Syrup, fresh lemon juice, and pink grapefruit juice into a shaker, shake and double strain into a pre-chilled coupe glass. (To make peppercorn simple syrup: add crushed pink peppercorns to a simple Monin sugar syrup to infuse.)

The Jaisalmer Indian Gin & Tonic

50ml Jaisalmer Gin
125ml Fever-Tree Indian Tonic Water
Orange peel
Ice
Fill a Copa glass with ice. Add Jaisalmer Gin and top up with Fever Tree Indian Tonic Water. Add an orange peel twist.

Are you ready for a gin that bears slightly off the traditional course? Are you ready to experience Jaisalmer Indian Craft Gin?

Mastering Mixology With Bandero Tequila and Ricardo Calderon

With Cinco de Mayo just days away, there’s no better time to master the art of Mixology. We love a great cocktail and have enjoyed quite a few made by some talented mixologists. But on this occasion, we got to show off our own mixologist thanks to Bandero Tequila and California-based Mixologist, Ricardo Calderon.

Mixologist Ricardo Calderon at Bandero Mixology Class

Bandero made with blue agave and is described as radical in flavor and style. One look at its incredible packaging will surely solidify this fact. Under the fun tutelage of Ricardo Calderon and with Bandero Tequila as our main ingredient, we created two delicious and very different tequila-based cocktails. First was the Bandero’s Cup, followed by the Bandero Helada. We also learned an incredible amount of tequila facts. Did you know washing your hands in tequila really opens up its notes? We bet you also didn’t know it is because of rabbits and Native Americans that tequila basically exists. As we said there was a lot of interesting things to learn from the California-based Mixologist.

Fairly new to the market, Bandero Tequila has already established itself as a standout, already winning a Double Gold Medal at the 2018 Global Spirit Awards and another Double Gold Medal at the 2018 Wine & Spirits Wholesalers Of America Tasting Competition.

Bandero’s Cup

1 lime sliced into 6 wedges
1/2 oz of Agave Syrup (2 parts blend of Agave nectar and 1 part purified water)
3 half-inch slices of cucumber
2 oz of Bandero Tequila
Combine lime wedges, and agave syrup in a shaking tin and muddle until well mixed (15 seconds). Add cucumbers and lightly muddle some more. Add Bandero tequila and fill the tin with ice. Shake for 10 seconds at a moderate strength and toss contents of the tin into a rocks glass to serve. Alternatively, shake harder and then add 2 oz of soda water before straining into a highball with fresh ice. Garnish with a cucumber wheel, add a pinch of smoked salt and serve.

Bandero Helada

2 oz of freshly squeezed lime juice
1 lime wedge
1 lemon wedge
2 serrano slices (1/4 of pepper, taste for spice level)
3 oz of Bandero Helada Blend (3 parts tomato juice, 2 parts Cholula hot sauce, 1 part Maggi)
1 oz of Bandero Tequila
3 oz ABK Hell Lager
Prepare a cold pint glass by rubbing a lime wedge on the rim before dipping it into a plate of tajin powder. Muddle together all non-alcoholic ingredients, then add Bandero and ice to the tin. Shake tins vigorously for 30 seconds. Add ice, then 3 oz of ABK Hell Lager to a prepared pint glass. Hawthorne-strain and fine-strain tin contents into the pint glass. Garnish with lemon and lime wedges and serve.

If you’re looking to expand your tequila palate this Cinco de Mayo, get to know the revolutionary flavor of Bandero Tequila.

Bud Light Introduces Newest Flavor Abomination: Lemon Tea

It’s no secret that Americans like tea. In fact, we once cared so much about our access to it that we dumped a bunch in some harbor.

Some might even say that we love it, and we have the numbers to prove it. An old article by The Washington Post back in 2014 noted that Americans drink almost 20% more tea than we did back in the year 2000 and the imports of tea have risen by nearly 70% in the last two decades. In light of recent studies claiming we need to drink more than two liters of water per day, tea has become a fun, flavorful way to stay hydrated.

But have we gone too far?

This is the question on many Americans’ minds in light of Budweiser owned Bud Light’s newest flavor: Lemon Tea. According to a recent press release, Bud Light hopes to appeal to summer beer lovers with a light lager that’s been brewed with lemon peels, then aged over black tea before being bottled and served.

Group of happy friends drinking and toasting beer at brewery bar restaurant – Friendship concept with young people having fun together at cool vintage pub – Focus on middle pint glass – High iso image

This is just the newest addition to its steadily growing citrus line, joining the rungs of Bud Light Orange and Lime.

“As the number one selling beer in America, it is important for us to continue to innovate and bring consumers the types of products they are demanding,” notes Bud Light marketer Andy Goeler.

But what are Americans demanding? It’s only natural that beer companies want to follow the money. As Americans become less enamored with the beer market, the industry has expanded its feelers into new startups; namely, tea and marijuana products.

For example, while New York-based Constellation Brands, the owner of Corona, has begun to invest in pot, Bud Light has leaned toward tea. It’s estimated that CBD products — a cousin to marijuana — will result in over $1 billion in sales in 2020 alone.

But Bud Light has taken a different approach to engage with the younger market. A recent study found that up to 40% of Millennials are bored of classic fruit and juice flavors. They’re more willing to engage with brands that step outside the box and offer unique flavors and customized products instead. It’s this idea that Bud Light hopes to innovate on in order to boost summer sales.

“We saw the success of Bud Light Lime and Orange last summer and wanted to bring another beer into our portfolio that uses real lemon peels and tea leaves in the brewing process,” Goeler continues. “Its unique taste profile is something we think is going to help attract new people to the Bud Light family.”

The beer was officially available to the public starting on Monday, April 29. However, it seems like some people have managed to get their hands on it a little early.

Many Twitter users began to post the beverage as early as the start of April, giving it high ratings. Though it wasn’t revealed if these individuals actually tried the beer before its national release, this certainly looked good for Bud Light in the weeks leading up to the product release.

But this isn’t one of the quality products you’d expect from high-end tea producers like Harney and Sons or Republic of Tea; paired with the malty flavor of an affordable beer, these subtle flavors might be overpowered by the alcohol.

Bud Light expects to make this product a recurring seasonal beverage. The Lemon Tea flavor will be available until September of this year, giving countless Americans ample time to form an opinion.

#PumpUpTheLime: Bacardi Lime Launch Hosted by Olivia Culpo

We can never get enough of rum. We attribute this to our Caribbean heritage but then we’ve never met anyone who doesn’t like it, especially with a twist of lime. This is why the latest flavored rum launch from Bacardi has us excited. Welcome Bacardi’s ninth flavor offering, Bacardi Lime. This new flavor is made from a Bacardi Superior white rum base, infused with natural lime flavors; allowing the spirit to offer a lime zest aroma and bright citrus notes. We had the pleasure of attending a vibrant brunch launch event for Bacardi Lime hosted by Olivia Culpo.

In celebration, everyone was asked to dress in their neon best to celebrate the new flavor. As you can imagine, most came dressed in neon green to coordinate with the new Lime flavor.

The new lime flavor is the perfect complement to spring and summer outdoor festivities. With this new flavor, Bacardi shows that the future of rum is bright….and deliciously refreshing. We enjoyed several delicious Bacardi lime cocktails at the launch event, including the Bacardi Lime Cooler, Lime & Soda, Lime Mojito, and the Sparkling Hibiscus Limeade.

Accompanying the delicious drinks were equally amazing eats. Savory treats like mini tacos, lobster rolls, sliders, rice crispy treats, chocolate covered apple slices, cotton candy, and much more.

Roberto Ramirez Laverde, vice president for Bacardi in North America, said: “As soon as the weather warms up, people are ready to take their drinks outside, whether it is for an outdoor barbecue, party on the beach or happy hour on a rooftop bar, Bacardi Lime is the perfect complement to these spring and summertime occasions.

“We have watched the flavor space grow year after year and we know that consumers are going to embrace this new infused rum, especially when they’re on the hunt for a refreshing new cocktail.”

The 750-ml bottle will be available at select retailers nationwide for a retail price of $12.99.

Experience Tribeca Film Festival at the Bulleit 3D Printed Frontier Lounge

The Tribeca Film Festival is known as one of the coolest things happening in New York. You’d think nothing can make it any cooler but you’d be wrong. As part of its latest Frontier Works project, Bulleit Bourbon Whiskey has collaborated with leaders in art, tech, and design. Together they will debut one of the most technologically advanced bar experiences: a 3D-printed experience. This experience will feature a 3D-printed bar and 3D-printed cocktails. Yes, you read that correctly, 3D-printed cocktails!! You’re invited to experience the Bulleit 3D Printed Frontier Lounge. In collaboration with the architecture and design practice FAR frohn&rojas, the 3D fabrication team at Machine Histories, popular bartender Melissa Markert, and robotics pioneer from Print A Drink Benjamin Greimel, Bulleit brings its 3D Printed Frontier experience to Tribeca Film Festival.

During a series of private events at the Bulleit 3D Printed Frontier Lounge, a team of noted NYC bartenders will serve some of the world’s first 3D printed cocktails.

Guests will also enjoy music from cutting-edge New York-based DJs, Odalys and Angel and Dren; a series of high-tech lighting projections featuring content from some of the films debuting at this year’s Festival. This is sure to be a truly immersive futuristic experience. The bar design, which was inspired by the iconic Bulleit Bourbon label and award-winning whiskey, will find a permanent home at the new Visitor’s Center at The Bulleit Distilling Company in Shelbyville, KY; however, it will stop at several cultural hotspots along the way starting in Oakland, California.

At the 3D Printed Frontier Lounge, Bulleit will host actors, filmmakers, and celebrities, for post-film screening afterparties for several films. Some of which include Crown Vic, Plus One and the 25th-anniversary celebration of Emmy Award-winning cultural sensation, In Living Color.

OAKLAND, CA – Phillip Hornung (L) and Benjamin Greimel attend the Bulleit 3D Printed Frontier Launch at 16th Street Station on December 6, 2018, in Oakland, California. (Photo by Kimberly White/Getty Images for Bulleit Frontier Whiskey)

The Bulleit Frontier Works Experience previously made stops in several cultural hotspots; Oakland, CA at the city’s historic Sixteenth Street Station, and Austin, TX ahead of this year’s SXSW conference and Festival.

Fans and festival-goers 21 years of age and older can visit https://guests.bulleit.com for a chance to experience the space from 7-10pm ET beginning Wednesday, April 24th through Friday, April 26th. Please note that space is limited and therefore confirmed RSVPs will be accepted on a “first-come, first-serve” basis.

Davio’s Aperitif Mondays

Aperitif Mondays: Enjoy Spritz Cocktails at Davio’s Manhattan

Typically Monday is the least liked day of the week. You’ve most likely heard the phrase “someone has a case of the Mondays”, but those saying it are not referring to anything enjoyable. What if we told you we know of a way to make your Mondays a deliciously enjoyable day? Davio’s Manhattan presents Aperitif Mondays, a wonderful happy hour experience of delicious spritz cocktails.

Davio’s Aperitif Mondays

Every Monday, Davio’s Manhattan boasts a Happy Hour menu from 2:30 PM – 7:00 PM featuring libations made with Italian apéritifs, Aperol and Pallini Limoncello. The Happy Hour is dedicated to the classic Spritz cocktails, which are designed to take you from day to night. Aperol is an Italian apéritif made of gentian, rhubarb, and cinchona, along with a few other herbs and roots. Pallini Limoncello is a traditional Italian lemon-flavored liqueur made from Sfusato lemons.

Davio’s Aperitif Mondays

If you didn’t already know, Spritz cocktails are the ultimate summer drinks. It is a simple cocktail with only three ingredients. The Spritz is a sparkling, low-alcohol quencher that is easy to make and quite delicious. Along with the delicious Spritzes, you can also enjoy some incredible complimentary eats at Davio’s Manhattan’s Aperitif Mondays. We had the pleasure of sampling a variety of bar bites, including Truffle Fries, Fresh Tomato Pizza with Mozzarella and Basil Leaves, and Crispy Fried Calamari. 

For dessert, we enjoyed mouth-watering blueberry frosted Donuts and some must-try Aperol Cotton Candy.

The full happy hour menu, with prices, includes the following:

$7 Aperol Spritz

$7 Limoncello Spritz

$6 Select Red and White Wines

$6 Prosecco

$6 Seasonal Beer

Complimentary Bar Bites

If you are looking for refuge from your Monday blues, Aperitif Mondays at Davio’s Manhattan is the place to be.  After one visit, Mondays will no longer be your least favorite day of the week. Davio’s Manhattan is located at 447 Lexington Avenue. Happy Spritzing!