Girls Night In – A Read & Sip Book Club Event with Ketel One Botanicals

From time to time, certain women on the go all have a little voice in their heads that sometimes asks, “Hey girl, why don’t we just stay in instead, curl up with our king size body pillow with some wine and a good read tonight?” Ketel One Botanicals knows – and partnered with the best kind of book club, (the one with an open bar) and paired it with an event to answer that inner-homebody that loves to read. For the women who enjoy having a cocktail or two in a cozy space, but also, meet other people who listen to that little voice regularly too – there was the Read & Sip Book Club Event with Ketel One Botanicals.

A Read & Sip gettogether feels like you’re visiting a good friend at her apartment just nearby, after work, for a few bites and a catch-up. Held at the Witness apartment in NYC, the intimate space welcomed all with the creature comforts of home, lots of cozy corners with fuzzy throws, plush chairs and ottomans to sit and chat.

A very tasty vodka cocktail menu of light and fragrant Ketel One Botanical cocktails (a sophisticated vodka base of Grapefruit & Rose, Cucumber & Mint, or Peach and Orange Blossom – 30% ABV and only 73 calories per refreshing serving) paired with nourishing bites, nibbles, and flatbreads to keep you fueled up for conversations.

 

Alisha Ramos, Founder & CEO of Girls’ Night In, moderated leadership and female power -focused discussion of the October book selection ‘Circe’ by Madeline Miller alongside Liz Breeden and Cara Meiselman who heads up the Girls Night In BK chapter. Alisha started Girls Night as a newsletter in 2017 and it grew exponentially to over 100,000 women! The newsletter, combined with the book clubs which are currently in major cities such as New York, San Francisco, Toronto, Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington DC and Alexandria, VA to create both a space and a guide for women to immerse themselves in a community that reminds them to regularly re-fill the self care tank. You can socialize in their own unique way – which is a welcome change from typical “get the heels on the dance floor” night out!

Read: “Why I Quit My Job to Build Girls’ Night In” for the full origin story behind the Girl’s Night In lifestyle and the events and gatherings that support it. Sign up for Girl’s Night In’s weekly newsletter! You’re just in time to join in for November’s book of the month, ‘Everything’s Trash But It’s Okay”, written by Phoebe Robinson of Two Dope Queens. Why not take your book club experience to the next level with Ketel One Botanicals.

Friendsgiving with Basil Hayden’s: An Asian Twist to the Traditional Thanksgiving

There’s been a slight shift in how we celebrate Thanksgiving. While many still travel to spend the holiday with their families, there’s a growing few that celebrate the traditional holiday with friends. With economic challenges, family feuds, and sometimes, a lack of family, quite a few will celebrate Friendsgiving instead of Thanksgiving. We had the opportunity to attend two Friendsgiving with Basil Hayden’s events with the culinary twist. This will be about the first one, a preview of what was to come later on. Hidden away in the heart of NYC’s Chinatown, is an amazing cocktail bar called Peachy’s. Located right below Chinese Tuxedo, a contemporary Chinese restaurant set in a former opera house on historic Doyers Street, this was to be the location of our first Friendsgiving with Basil Hayden’s bourbon whiskey.

Partnering with a local Chef Paul Donnelly, Basil Hayden’s put a Chinese cuisine twist on the traditional holiday meal and created a unique menu for the evening. We were truly in for a treat of small and large dishes, sides, and dessert that would make anyone pass on the traditional turkey dinner. With a trio of delicious Basil Hayden’s cocktails to compliment the evening’s meal.

In order of appearance, the small dishes included Tuxedo BBQ Pork Buns, Pan Fried Tuxedo Dumplings, King Prawn Spring Rolls, and Strange Flavor Buratta. The large dishes included Hamachi sushi, Chili Crab Rice, and Crispy Lamb Ribs. Sides included Spicy Cucumbers, Roasted Golden Beets, Salad of Watercress, and Stir Fried Iceberg Lettuce. Dessert was a delicious Chocolate Mousse.

SMALL DISHES

LARGE DISHES

SIDES

To commemorate the Friendsgiving with Basil Hayden’s event, Basil Hayden’s had Calligrapher Nancy Moy on hand to create personalized coasters perfect for serving Friendsgiving cocktails. We can’t wait to use these wonderful keepsakes during and beyond the holiday season.

It was an evening of wonderful food, drinks, and conversation with old and new friends. We love the Asian twist on the traditional holiday menu. We can’t wait to repeat this night with Basil Hayden’s. We know what we’re doing for Thanksgiving, what about you? Will you be enjoying a Friendsgiving or traditional Thanksgiving?

Ketel One Botanical Oasis at WeWork

Workplace Wellness: Ketel One Botanical Oasis at WeWork

Let’s face it, work has completely taken over our lives. We, as humans, have put our work life ahead of everything else, and our own wellbeing on the back burner. Thankfully there are companies that remind us that even at our busiest, workplace wellness is important. Take Ketel One Botanical, the vodka distilled with real botanicals and infused with natural fruit essences for example. Ketel One Botanical Vodka has partnered with interior design firm Homepolish to launch the Ketel One Botanical Oasis, a private space for WeWork Irving Place members that simply want to escape their stressful work life for a moment.

The purpose of the Ketel One Botanical Oasis at WeWork Irving Place is to integrate wellness in their workplace through the use of conscious design, focused activity, and technology. A zen escape is a much-needed escape in today’s very stressful work environment, not just for the coworking space, but as a general need for all.

We had the pleasure of attending a Ketel One Botanical panel at WeWork Irving Place. The topic of conversation was implementing wellness into your work life and workspace. The panel featured Emma Beryl, a designer from Homepolish, Personal Trainer and Nutritionist Jennifer Giamo of AAPTIV, Olessa Pindak, COO of Mind, Body, Green, Head of Wellness Avi Yehiel of Rise By We, and panel moderator Ellie Burrows, CEO of MNDFL.

The event began with a 10-minute guided meditation by Ellie Burrow, closed with a Ketel One Botanical cocktail hour, and ended with a tour of the Ketel One Botanical Oasis (see the photos above).

Ketel One Botanical Oasis at WeWork Ketel One Botanical Oasis at WeWork

We love the idea of companies including wellness rooms for their employees and hope WeWork not only implements this in more locations but also inspires other companies to do the same. We can attest to not taking enough time for peaceful moments for ourselves and attending this event has inspired us to take a few “breather moments” throughout our day. We hope you do the same. The Ketel One Botanical Oasis at WeWork Irving Place is available for WeWork members until the end of November. We hope you take advantage if you are a member.

Rosa Mexicano Celebrates Day of the Dead with a Special Menu

Tomorrow is more than just Halloween; it is the beginning of the Day of the Dead, also known as Día de Los Muertos. In honor of Mexico’s holiday remembering and honoring the dead, we partook in Rosa Mexicano’s Night of Spirits; a special evening of savory food, exotic drinks paired with desserts, with entertainment by Agave L’Amour and DJ jojoSoul. Known for serving New Yorkers authentic and innovative Mexican cuisine since 1984, we were beyond excited to enjoy an evening at Rosa Mexicano Union Square, where they are serving a special Day of the Dead menu at all 11 locations nationwide from Oct. 31st through Nov 4th. The menu will not only honor your loved ones, it will celebrate the memory of Rosa Mexicano Founder, Josefina Howard.

We had the chance to preview the featured menu which boasted a traditional Día de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) feast, prepared by Joe Quintana, Regional Executive Chef for Rosa Mexicano. We began with the very special and delicious Maravilla Punch, a blend of Hibiscus and Mezcal, served in a traditional handmade Mexican punchbowl (featured above). Foodies will love the Roasted Bone Marrow, a Chipotle-piloncillo sauce, grilled jalapeño , and toast; the Estofado De Cordero, a Lamb shank stew with roasted vegetables and epazote gremolata; and the Costillas A La Barbaco, a Tequila-pomegranate BBQ ribs served with charro beans and jalapeño cornbread.

 

The evening celebrated the powerful rituals of Mexico’s Día de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead), which included the Ofrenda, an altar where you may display portraits of your departed loved ones, in a moving ceremony of remembrance. Four desserts were paired with a unique variety of four Agave spirits: Mezcal, Raicilla, Bacanora, and Sotol.

All four spirits have been specially curated by Rosa Mexicano’s Courtenay Greenleaf, one of New York City’s few Master Mezcaliers. Agave Spirit Sponsors For Night Of Spirit Events + Calavera Cocktail included Montelobos Mezcal, Casa Noble Tequila, Bacanora Rancho Tepúa, Fidencio Mezcal, LA HIGUERA. la Venenosa raicilla, Ancho Reyes, Tromba Tequila, Derrumbes Mezcal and Milagro Tequila).

 

The Rosa Mexicano Day of the Dead menu of meals include:

Appetizers:
Empanadas de Camote (Corn and sesame empanadas, stuffed with sweet potato, peas and spiced pecans). Served with chipotle sauce.

Roasted Bone Marrow (Served with chipotle-piloncillo sauce, grilled jalapeño and toast) – see second food photo
Paired with: Tromba Añejo tequila.

Entrees:
Estofado de Cordero (Lamb shank with roasted vegetables and epazote gremolata)  – see first food photo

Trucha a la Parilla (Whole grilled trout over pumpkin seed pipián, topped with citrus salad)

Costillas a la Barbacoa (Tequila-pomegranate BBQ ribs with charro beans and jalapeño corn bread) – – see last food photo above

Dessert:
Tamal y Camote (Roasted sweet potato and cajeta tamale served with pomegranate sauce and vanilla ice cream).

Rosa Mexicano’s Día de los Muertos meal will be available at these locations:

  • New York City: First Avenue, Lincoln Center, Union Square, Tribeca
  • New Jersey: Riverside
  • Boston, Massachusetts
  • Washington, DC: Penn Quarter
  • Maryland: National Harbor
  • South Beach, Miami
  • Los Angeles
  • San Francisco

Boo-zy Halloween: Drinks to Get You in the Halloween Spirit

They’re creepy and they’re kooky, mysterious and spooky. They’re all together ooky, these Halloween Spirits”. Okay, so that’s not how it goes, but the beginning theme to the Adams Family show perfectly describes the following spirits. As many of you will be soon, these alcohol brands are rocking their best Halloween costumes just in time for the spooky holiday. Join us as we highlight some great Boo-zy Halloween libations. Feast your eyes on the Halloween-themed Stella Rosa Wines “Stellaween Collection”Crystal Head Vodka John Alexander Artist Series, and Mezcales de Leyenda’s Cementerio Mezcalero (Mezcal Graveyard); and great cocktails from Avion Tequila, Cruzan RumNovo Fogo Cachaça, and more.

Stellaween Holiday Collection


Do you dare to Taste The Magic of Stella Rosa Black, Red, and Peach wrapped in their spooky, limited-edition Stellaween sleeves? When you purchase these dangerously delicious, semi-sweet wines this Halloween and you’ll get a free spooky collectible art sleeve! Available for a very affordable $8.95-$11.95, you will truly have yourself a Boo-zy Halloween. For those of you who are looking to double the treat, the Halloween Stella Rosa offers an exclusive 1.5 Magnum bottles available in Stella black and rosé.

Crystal Head Vodka John Alexander Artist Series

Multi-award winning, ultra-premium Crystal Head Vodka, known for its signature skull bottle, is really upping the spooky factor with the debut of the first limited-edition artist series bottle by artist John Alexander. Alexander’s work is celebrated in this exquisite artist series keepsake which provides a unique opportunity to own a piece of his art – “Dancing on the Water Lillies of Life”. Each of the 25,000 bottles is hand-decorated by one of three highly skilled craftsmen and then numbered to further emphasize its scarcity. The John Alexander Artist Series No.1 bottle will be available in 750 mL format, retailing for $149.95. The ghostly skull bottle makes a perfect Boo-zy Halloween conversation piece.

Mezcales de Leyenda’s Cementerio Mezcalero (Mezcal Graveyard)

Mezcales de Leyenda’s Cementerio Mezcalero is the first release in a series of mezcals that honors an old tradition where some of the world’s best mezcals are aged in glass, generally underground, to be later unearthed for family celebrations. This unique mezcal features aromas of roasted chestnuts and dried fruits and a flavor profile that exhibits buttery notes and mild smoke with a long finish. A portion of sales proceeds of Mezcales de Leyenda’s Cementerio Mezcalero is donated to purchase tourism equipment of Tzitzio, Michoacán. This promotes the ‘desentierros mezcaleros’ (mezcal unearthing) traditionally held during the celebration of Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead). A bottle of this amazing mezcal retails for $279.99.

Crystal Head Smokin’ Head Caesar

2oz. Crystal Head Vodka
5 oz. Clamato( Caesar) or tomato juice (Bloody Mary)
dash of Worcestershire sauce
dash of hot sauce
tiny dash of liquid smoke
garnish of your choice

Rim Garnish:
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp pepper
½ tsp smoked paprika
Rub the rim of the glass with a lemon wedge and dip into a salt, pepper, and smoked paprika mix. In a shaker half-filled with ice, add in all ingredients and shake well. Strain into the pre-rimmed glass filled with ice.

Optional Garnish Ideas:
Celery and lime wheel
Bacon wrapped mini meatball with two hot peppers
Scallop and hot pepper skewer
Spicy halved long bean skewer

Tequila Avion Gummy Bear Jello Shots
(Makes around 10 2oz shots)

GUMMY BEAR SYRUP (Makes about one cup)
1 cup – Gummy Bears (Your choice in flavor- I did half cherry half lemon. Get creative!)
1 ½ cups – Water
1 pinch – Citric Acid
1 pinch – Salt
Prepare a double boiler. Add the Gummy Bears and the water to the top of the boiler. Let Gummy Bears slowly melt into the water, stirring occasionally. Once they are completely incorporated, transfer the mixture into a separate saucepan. Add citric acid and salt and bring to a boil. Boil for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once the mixture has reduced to 1 cup, you’re ready to build the shots.

THE JELLO SHOT

1 cup – Tequila Avión Silver
1 cup – Gummy Bear Syrup
1/3 cup – Powdered Gelatin (This is about half of what you’d normally use in a Jello shot, but since there’s gelatin in the Gummy Bears, you don’t need so much.)
Add the Tequila Avión to the Gummy Bear Syrup while it’s still hot enough that it hasn’t started to set. Slowly whisk in gelatin, so that there are no big clumps. Prepare your serving vessels by spraying the insides of them lightly with olive oil cooking spray, so the shots will release more easily when they’re set up. Transfer the mixture into a pourable container and pour into the prepared serving vessels. Place vessels in the refrigerator and let set up (about 2 hours). When they’re fully set, they’re ready to enjoy!

Alice In Wonderland: Through The Looking Glass
By Mariena Mercer of Rose. Rabbit. Lie. (Las Vegas)


1 ½ oz Reposado Tequila
¼ oz Mezcal
½ oz Novo Fogo Cachaca
½ oz Giffard Passion Fruit Liqueur
1 oz Lime juice
1 ½ oz Bols Pineapple Chipotle
2 oz Pineapple juice
1 oz clarified milk per cocktail
Mint sprig garnish

Liquid Smoke by Mandarin Hide

1 1/4 oz Slow and Low Rock & Rye
3/4 Coffee Infused Cynar
2 Dashes of Walnut Bitters
Stir with rocks, strain and garnish with a cherry.

Cruzan Midnight Potion

1 part Cruzan Aged Light Rum
1 part Cruzan Aged Dark Rum
1 part Cruzan Black Strap Rum
1 part Apricot Liqueur
3 parts Orange Juice
1 dash Lime Bitters
Orange Peel
Cherries
Combine Cruzan Aged Light Rum, Cruzan Aged Dark Rum, apricot liqueur, orange juice and lime bitters in a cocktail shaker with ice. Strain into a large glass filled with ice. Float one part Cruzan® Black Strap Rum on top of each glass, then garnish with the orange peel and a cocktail pick of cherries.

For Skeleton Garnish: Peel orange rind and lay flat on a surface. Take circle cookie cutter and cut circle space out of the peel. Use a paring knife to cut mini-circles for eyes, nose, and jaw of skeleton garnish.

CMX CinéBistro New York 62nd St

CMX CinéBistro New York Elevates the Dinner & A Movie Experience

The term dinner and a movie have long been stated, but CMX Cinemas has elevated the traditional date night experience to new delicious heights with the opening of the NEW CMX CinéBistro New York experience. CMX Theaters, the eighth largest movie theatre chain in the U.S, promises and delivers a VIP movie-going experience at the CMX CinéBistro New York. With a full bar and kitchen, guests are able to enjoy the full experience of enjoying a 5-star dinner and the latest movie release in one location. We had the pleasure of partaking in a VIP dinner-and-a-movie experience prior to the grand opening; enjoying an array of remarkable curated cocktails, and delectable culinary dishes by Chef Isaac Stewart.

CMX CinéBistro New York 62nd St

The 45,500 sq. ft, newly enhanced CMX CinéBistro New York theatre comes complete with cutting-edge audiovisual technology. Luxury-seeking moviegoers will enjoy an upscale and relaxing experience with its high-end décor, oversized upholstered reclining seats with leather accents, in-seat dining with seamless service and an exceptional assortment of wines and handcrafted cocktails made to order by top mixologists. We loved the option of seeing what seats were available and selecting our own seat.

The theater has six auditoriums, two on each level, ranging in size from 46 to 64 seats; and immersive bars in the common areas. Since the CMX CinéBistro New York theatre has on-site bars, you must be 21 and over to attend after 6pm.

CMX CinéBistro New York 62nd StCMX CinéBistro New York 62nd St

During our CMX CinéBistro New York VIP experience, we truly enjoyed the personalized service allotted to all guests. Our evening started off with a cocktail created by one of the on-site mixologists. The immersive bars offer a variety of artisanal cocktails ranging from classic to stylish modern options. Before our movie, we opted for the wonderfully crafted and equally delicious Strawberry Mango Lemon Drop. While seated, we opted for the equally delicious Pomegranate Elderflower Soda.

CMX CinéBistro New York 62nd St

To take advantage of the in-theatre dining at the CMX CinéBistro New York theatre, guests must arrive 30 minutes before showtime. This allows time to place your order and have plenty of time to sit back, relax and enjoy your meal. Speaking of meals, while we could order the typical movie fare of popcorn and soda, we wanted to experience the full VIP service. We ordered the Lobster Cannoli as our starter; the BBQ Spiced Rubbed CAB Cowboy Ribeye as our main; and the Caramelized Banana Cheesecake for dessert.

CMX CinéBistro New York 62nd St CMX CinéBistro New York 62nd St

The CMX CinéBistro New York theatre offers a wonderful, sophisticated and varied menu. Check out some of the dishes below:

CMX CinéBistro New York 62nd St

Don’t worry vegans, you are not left behind; CMX CinéBistro New York theatre offers such dishes as Korean Cauliflower Wings, Meatless Cobb Salad, and Lentil Kefta Veggie Burger. All in all, the experience was top notch. The staff was incredibly friendly and attentive; the cocktails and dinner were divine; it’s the perfect dinner and a movie date night….elevated, of course. Well worth the return visits.

CMX CinéBistro New York 62nd St

Comsi Comsa Apple Dry: NEW Dry Sparkling Apple Wine

Did you know that grapes are not the only fruit that can be fermented to make a delicious wine! You may remember we introduced you to Sauvage’s Comsi Comsa Sparkling Apple Crisp Wine, and Comsi Comsa Oak Aged Apple Wine. We’re more than happy to present to you the latest launch in Sauvage’s sparkling wine range, Comsi Comsa Apple Dry. A dry version of their delicious sparkling apple wines.

Comsi Comsa Apple Dry is a medium-bodied, dry apple wine with a pale gold color. It boasts a crisp, refreshing, clean, and elegant taste that you will absolutely enjoy. The beauty of Comsi Comsa Apple Dry is that you can drink it any time of year. Don’t let the fact that it is made of apples make you think it’s only to be enjoyed during the fall season, Apple Dry is wonderful year’ round. Like it’s predecessors, Comsi Comsa Apple Dry is made in the classic champagne style from all natural ingredients. It is produced with a variety of apples sourced from local New York State farms, boasts persistent bubbles, has little to no residual sugar, and a 12% ALC/VOL.

Comsi Comsa Apple Dry is very much like a brut champagne. It is a sparkling wine that is dry to the taste; like its name, is “like a bubbly and like a cider.”

The best way to enjoy Comsi Comsa Apple Dry is served chilled. It is perfect as an apéritif and is a compliment to virtually any meal, thanks to its balanced acidity. Like Comsi Comsa Apple Crisp, Comsi Comsa Apple Dry is all natural, gluten-free, and kosher. This dry varietal is available now in 750ml bottles across the five New York City boroughs.  You can find the Comsi Comsa range of sparkling wines at 55th Wine & Spirits, 67 Wine & Spirits, W & J WInes, Cabrini Wine & Spirits, and many more locations.

 

 

Hendrick’s Gin Fall Cocktails: A Delicious Way to Fight Off Your Cold

If you are like us, you are probably getting sick or are already sick. There are many things you can do to get better but did you know that Gin can help! Yes, enjoying a delicious gin cocktail can help you get over that cold, fight off coughs and lung congestion. Thanks to the medicinal benefits of Juniper Berries, the main ingredient in Gin, you could help yourself get better. Since it’s the fall season when most people tend to get sick, we wanted to share some Hendrick’s Gin fall cocktails that are sure to have you feeling better.

Gin is great for those who desire a more “natural” spirit. Not only will the juniper berries in these cocktails help fight off your cold, but it also helps if your joints are aching, helps with digestion, and bloating (thanks to the diuretic capabilities of juniper berries). Plus it’s a great way to lull you into a nice warming sleep. What else is there to say but let’s jump right into these delicious Hendrick’s Gin fall cocktails.

Chronic Munrosis, Nr.3 Hot Gin Punch

Created by Hendrick’s Gin Ambassador Erik Andersson
5 Parts Hendrick’s Gin
3 Parts Apple Juice
3 Parts Mandarin Juice
5 Parts Rooibos Tea
1 Part Lemon Juice
1 Part Rich Hibiscus Syrup
6 Cinnamon Quills
4 Star Anise
4 Rosemary Sprigs
Add all ingredients but the gin in a pot. Let it marinate for 1 hour then add the Hendrick’s Gin

Wanderlust


Created by Hendrick’s Gin Ambassador Mattias Horseman
2 Parts Hendrick’s Gin
1.5 Parts Fresh Lemon Juice
.5 Part Vanilla Simple Syrup
2 Parts Plumb Bitters
1 Part Brandied Amarena Cherry Syrup
Shake all ingredients together with ice. Double strain into chilled and sugar-coated glass. Garnish with a ½ powdered sugar rim and 1 cherry with a tiny amount of syrup at the bottom of the glass.

Witching Hour


Created by Hendrick’s Gin Ambassador Mattias Horseman
3 Parts Hendrick’s Gin
.5 Part Chambord
1 Part Fresh Lemon Juice
1 Part Lavender Syrup
Dry Sparkling Wine (to top off)
Shake all ingredients except the sparkling wine, double strain into a flute. Garnish with a blackberry.

Will you be adding these Hendrick’s Gin fall cocktails to your cold recovery?