Kona Craft Beers

Celebrating the Summer with Hawaii’s Kona Brewing Company

Hawaii’s Kona Brewing Company graced New York City just in time for summer – introducing we “mainlanders” to some of their most popular beers offered nationwide.  We must give kudos to Kona Brewing for making light beers that are actually interesting! We had the opportunity to try Kona’s Tropical Pineapple Gold Cliff IPA, Big Wave Golden Ale, Kanaha Blonde Ale, and Longboard Island Lager.

Kona Craft BeersKona Craft Beers

Kona has brews that are available both on the mainland and some exclusive to Hawaii only. They brew more than a dozen beers a year, but the regulars are our classic ales and lagers available in all 50 states.

Gold Cliff IPA Tropical Pineapple

Kona Gold Cliff IPA Tropical Pineapple

Gold Cliff IPA draws you in with its beach and postcard-worthy dark brown bottle embossed with the Hawaiian islands. For those not familiar, an IPA is an acronym for ‘Indian Pale Ale’ – this is a lighter brown beer that typically has a very herby but subtle medicinal note. Every side of this vintage sized bottle gives you a nostalgic feeling of exploring the Hawaiian coasts – or at least watching amazing surfing films from the ’50s and ’60s.
Gold Cliff IPA is a great entry point to appreciating the distinct taste of IPAs – it is floral and fruity with a real natural pineapple flavor. It’s not too sharp but definitely not sugary sweet. I found this IPA very refreshing and totally get why they embossed “Liquid Aloha” on the neck of the bottle – this is perfect light IPA to put in the cooler for sipping beach-side (or poolside then beach side) on a sun-drenched day. I especially love that the bottle lists the calorie and carb content – for those who are actively counting – Gold Cliff is only  212 calories per serving.

Big Wave Golden Ale

Kona Big Wave Golden Ale

Big Wave like a long cool drink from an oasis.  It is LIGHT and bubbly. At 4.4% ABV and 142 calories, each sip was refreshing and airy. Kona describes their Golden Ale as the perfect beer for after a day out on the water – it felt very hydrating. This is a chill beer for a low key buzz so that you can fully experience the environment around you and share the adventures of the day with others.

Kanaha Blonde Ale

Kona Kanaha Blonde Ale

For those who enjoy a low key sip, chill, and share moments, this Blonde Ale has the lowest ABV (4.2%) and calorie count  (99 calories per bottle). Although not sweet, Kanaha Ale is infused with a very small but bright note of mango and is palatable to enjoying with…dare we say it? Cannabis. Have you ever considered pairing beer with your favorite strains of weed? If it’s ever crossed your mind, the most important thing to consider is picking a beer and a bud with terpenes that won’t overpower each other in the aroma.  (Terpenes – (terps) in case you are wondering, are the organic compounds found in herbs that give it flavor). The mild and light tropical flavors of Kanaha are a great candidate for pairing. Kanaha would also pair well with grilled seafood and salads.

Longboard Island Lager

Kona Longboard Island Lager

For the traditionalists, Longboard Island Lager is a smooth, refreshing traditional beer, fermented and aged for five weeks for a smooth flavor. Another year-round favorite for the beach that pairs well with pizza, chicken, garlic knots, and many other party foods that will marry well with the beer’s hoppy aroma.  You can drink this lager goes with almost any meal. At 4.60% ABV, and 144 calories, you’ll make any of your friends happy you brought a few six packs to the luau.

Kona Craft Beers

Keep an eye out for their Hanalei Island IPA. After launching exclusively in Hawaii in 2016, Kona Brewing Company opened its refreshing fruit-forward IPA, to the U.S. mainland. The tropical fruit-forward brew features Passionfruit, Orange and Guava.

To find Kona Brewing Company beers near you, visit www.konabrewingco.com.

 

 

 

 

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Trade Coffee Welcomes Cold Brew Bags

The Tinder of Coffee, Trade Coffee, Welcomes Cold Brew Bags

No two coffee drinkers are alive. We mean more than just liking your coffee light or dark; many people prefer beans from a certain region, different level of boldness, flavors, and roasting times. While some will settle for the simple cup of coffee, more and more people are opting for coffee that’s customized to their tastes. In comes in Trade Coffee, which helps coffee lovers find their perfect coffee. By taking Trade Coffee’s matchmaking quiz, you will be matched to your personalized coffee recommendation that’s shipped straight to your door, thanks to their algorithm. It really is the Tinder for coffee. Although we’re more tea drinkers, we were more than happy to join Trade Coffee and Erika Vonie, NYC’s Coffee Masters Champion and Head of Coffee at Trade to welcome the NEW Trade Coffee Cold Brew Bags.

Trade Coffee Welcomes Cold Brew Bags Trade Coffee Welcomes Cold Brew Bags

What is cold brew coffee? Cold Brew is chilled coffee made from grounds that have been steeped in room-temperature (or cold) water for 12-24 hours (depending on how strong you like it). The eco-friendly Trade Coffee Cold Brew Bags are the key to incredible cold brew. With your favorite coffee grounds, a mason jar, the cold brew bags, and a few hours, you can enjoy a batch of delicious iced cold brew, all summer long. Want to enjoy an even more of a personalized flavor, just add in things like cinnamon, orange peels, etc in the bag. With these wonderful bags, there are no equipment or trips to the coffee shop required, and our favorite part – NO MESS!!

Trade Coffee Welcomes Cold Brew Bags

The cold brew bags are an incredibly easy and affordable at-home solution for cold brew coffee lovers. The easy-to-use cold brew bags made of compostable corn-based fibers and offer a cafe-quality beverage at home. Each cold brew bag (full of 3oz of coffee) makes 28oz of ready-to-drink cold brew coffee (or tea – it’s great for loose leaf teas), depending on how strong you like it. That’s about four, 8oz cups (adding 4oz of ice to chill it down) at regular strength. If you choose to dilute the coffee down with filtered water, you’ll, of course, enjoy more cups.

Trade Coffee Cold Brew Bags

To brew, follow these instructions:

Step 1: Fill bag to top
Step 2: Put the sealed bag in your container and fill it with room temperature or cold filtered water.
Step 3: Let it sit and brew
Step 4: Drink to taste

Trade Coffee Quiz

To get your personalized coffee recommendations (Trade has made over 2 million ethically-sourced coffee matches), head over to www.drinktrade.com to take the 2-3 minute quiz. For those that are new to specialty coffee, you’ll be matched to more price conscious Classics blends. For those who are more of a pro at those specialty beans, The Hookup allows you to discover a larger variety of coffees.

The Classics start with a 12oz trial bag for $12.50, and the next order with be two 12 oz bags for $25. The Hookup promises 12oz bags that start at $15.00 and only one bag arrive at a time. All first-order subscriptions receive 30% off + free shipping. How’s that for a coffee lovers dream? Are you ready for your personalized cold brew coffee?

 

Vinho Verde Wine Experience Returns to NYC for 3rd Year

Last year we celebrated National Rose Day by attending the 2nd Annual Vinho Verde Wine Experience and sampling some amazing rose, white, and red wines. Although the day of celebrating rose wine has passed, we’ll be returning to the Vinho Verde Wine Experience to enjoy its 3rd year of amazing Portuguese wines in NYC.

Herald as one of the most anticipated NYC summer events, over 30 top, specially curated wineries from the Vinho Verde region of Portugal will be on-hand to share their varietals. The day-long festival will feature three tasting sessions. Also with ever-flowing wine, sommeliers hosting informative sessions about Vinho Verde, mixologists custom curating delicious beverages at the Vinho Verde Cocktail Bar, live music, food bites from some of NYC’s hottest restaurants, and a photo booth.

Vinho Verde Wine Experience

Wine enthusiasts and foodies can enjoy the following sessions on Saturday, June 15, 2019:

Session 1 VIP + GA: 12pm – 3pm
Session 1 GA: 1pm – 3pm
Session 2 VIP + GA: 3:30pm – 6:30pm
Session 2 GA: 4:30pm – 6:30pm
Session 3 VIP + GA: 7pm – 10pm
Session 3 GA: 8pm – 10pm

The wine event takes place in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood at Second Floor’s amazing indoor and outdoor spaces, located at 849 6th Ave.  Some of the winemakers in attendance include Adega Ponte da Barca | Viniverde, Adega de Monção, Quinta da Lixa, Arcas, Casa de Mouraz, Adega Ponte Lima, Vecoope, Manuel Costa & Filhos, Encosta do Xisto, José Maria da Fonseca, Aveleda, Campelo, Quinta da Calçada, Enoport Wines, Provam, and much more!

Vinho Verde is a diverse region that produces many different types of wine: White, Rosé or Red, Sparkling or Spirits. Whether blended or single grape variety, dry or sweet, still or sparkling, floral or fruity, all of them have one thing in common: their authenticity and fresh flavor. Born in a coastal region, characterized by fruity and floral aromas, Vinho Verde wines have the perfect level of acidity, providing a long-lasting sensation of harmony in the mouth.

All wine tastings stop 15 minutes prior to the end of the session time. For more information including ticket purchase options and additional event details, head over to www.vinhoverdewineexperience.com. If you’re posting from or following the event on social media, use hashtag #VinhoVerdeWineExperience.

George Dickel Bottled in Bond

A Spirit of Authenticity: George Dickel Bottled in Bond Whisky

We’ve long stated that women enjoy much more than what’s deemed as “girly drinks” – you know, pink, sweet, and fruity. Many of us enjoy something a bit more complex and strong. Which is why we were really excited to experience George Dickel’s latest whisky release, George Dickel Bottled in Bond. Why you may ask? For many reasons, one of which is this newest release was created by Cascade Hollow Distilling Co.’s General Manager and Distiller, Nicole Austin; the first new whisky innovation for the distillery.

George Dickel Bottled in Bond

We also want to continue spreading the word that women enjoy drinking complex and “hard” cocktails. As you can imagine you don’t see too many female distillers, so celebrating Nicole and her rich whisky. What makes this whisky so special?

(Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for George Dickel)

(Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for George Dickel)

For starters, if you can’t tell by the name, it’s a Bottled in Bond Whisky. The Bottled in Bond Act of 1897 was enacted in order to help guarantee a spirit’s authenticity and level of quality. To be labeled as Bottled in Bond, a spirit must be aged and bottled according to the following U.S. Government regulations that include the following:

  • It must be the product of one distillation season by one distillery; the George Dickel Bottled in Bond is distilled by Cascade Hollow Distilling Co. at the Cascade Hollow Distillery, DSP-TN-2, during the fall season of 2005.
  • It must be stored in oak containers, a federally bonded warehouse under U.S. government supervision; the George Dickel Bottled in Bond is stored at Cascade Hollow Distillery in Tullahoma, TN for at least four years (13 years old).
  • It must be bottled at 100 proof (50% ABV) and reduced in proof only by the addition of water to not less than 100 proof

orge Dickel Bottled in Bond

This 13-yr old whisky is bold, balanced. The flavors blend very well, without overwhelming each other. It can be enjoyed neat, on the rocks, or in your favorite whisky cocktail. We joined a slew of George Dickel whisky lovers and Distiller, Nicole Austin, at The Robert Bar on Bond Street (of course) in Brooklyn to celebrate the launch. We enjoyed three delicious Bottled in Bond drinks at the event. The first was Neat to get the full flavor and notes at room temperature; On the Rocks to open up the blend, and of course, a classic Manhattan.

A 750ML bottle of George Dickel Bottled in Bond whisky is available for $35.99

Belvedere Vodka X Janelle Monáe “A Beautiful Future” Limited-Edition Bottle

Belvedere Vodka X Janelle Monáe “A Beautiful Future” Limited-Edition Bottle

We love and get excited about notable keepsake spirits bottles. While we always enjoy what’s in the bottle, we love the artistic expressions of the outside. One such bottle is the Belvedere Vodka X Janelle Monáe “A Beautiful Future” Limited-Edition bottle. Last year Belvedere Vodka and Janelle Monáe hosted a brunch for Monáe’s grassroots movement, Fem the Future; a movement dedicated to advancing opportunities for women and those who identify as women, through music, arts, mentorship, and education. Following that event, a social media campaign asking the general public to define what “A Beautiful Future” was to them. The responses included optimistic messages of diversity, self-expression, inclusion, and empowerment. This collaboration birthed a global series of uplifting content and the Belvedere Vodka X Janelle Monáe “A Beautiful Future” Limited-Edition Bottle.

Belvedere Vodka X Janelle Monáe “A Beautiful Future” Limited-Edition Bottle

The Belvedere Vodka X Janelle Monáe bottle boasts a metallic collage design that peels away to reveal the beauty within. This design detail illustrates the multifaceted character of both Janelle Monáe and Belvedere vodka. The final punctuation is the phrase “Beautiful Future”.  A nod to Monáe and Belvedere’s shared vision of a future where diversity, self-expression, and inclusion are celebrated.

“When I sat down with the Belvedere team, it was incredible to realize that they shared my passions of philanthropy, community, the desire to uplift others, my vision for a Beautiful Future, which is one where women feel empowered and are given equal opportunity,” said Janelle Monáe. “I’m thrilled to be partnering with the brand on championing positivity and charting a path for a Beautiful Future.”

Belvedere Vodka X Janelle Monáe “A Beautiful Future” Limited-Edition Bottle

“There indeed was an obvious synergy between us,” said Rodney Williams, President of Belvedere Vodka. “This collaboration is a convergence of our shared beliefs: optimism and the power of the “we, not me” to bridge divides and make the world a more positive place. We’re looking forward to year two of this empowering campaign alongside Janelle with our beautiful partnered bottle.”

Belvedere and Monáe will reveal the limited-edition Belvedere Vodka X Janelle Monáe bottle at several events planned for this summer. Along with the bottle launch, fans have the chance to attend “A Beautiful Future” brunch this November, hosted by Janelle Monáe. Additional information on this brunch will be available in July 2019 at www.belvederevodka.com.

The bottle comes in 750ml at $29.99 and 1L at$37.99; both are available for purchase on www.clos19.com and in local retailers.

Can You Guess Sparkling Ice’s New Limited Edition Mystery Flavor?

Around this time last year, Sparkling Ice launched a NEW limited edition mystery fruit flavor and contest. Thousands of you entered with your flavor guesses for a chance to win over $45,000 in prizes. Sadly, we didn’t correctly guess the mystery flavor as Passion Fruit Punch, but hopefully, this year is different. That’s right, Sparkling Ice welcomes a New Limited Edition mystery flavor and another chance to win. The grand prize for this year’s Sparkling Ice What the Flavor contest, like the new mystery flavor, is tropical. Fans can enter to win an all-expense paid, 7-Day Holland America Line Caribbean cruise for two with roundtrip airfare, in addition to 500 other pool-themed prizes.

Like all of Sparkling Ice’s flavors, the new flavor has zero calories, zero sugar and made with antioxidants and vitamins.  The new flavor is inspired by the scents and flavors of an exotic tropical getaway; it is a clear carbonated beverage balanced with just the right amount of fizz.  The bottle is wrapped in a distinct blue packaging with tropical leaf accents and a signature toucan. Sparkling Ice Mystery Flavor is available in retailers nationwide beginning in May through the end of July 2019. The contest is up now and goes until July 31st. All fans who guess the flavor via the instructions will be entered for a chance to win.

“Our sweepstakes were a huge success last summer. We witnessed record-breaking sales as a result of our Mystery Flavor offering and, as such, wanted to create a second iteration of a limited-edition flavor for this summer as well,” said CEO of Sparkling Ice, Chris Hall. “Beyond our sales success, we also saw a direct boost of engagement on social media through our What the Flavor sweepstakes.  Our whole team is looking forward to seeing the creative guesses our Sparkling Ice fans come up with for the new Mystery Flavor this year.”

To participate in the What the Flavor sweepstakes, just enter your flavor guesses via the entry form on the sparkling ice website, through Instagram or Twitter using hashtag #WhatTheFlavorSweeps. Your guess may give you the chance to win over 500 unique prizes. These prizes include Yeti Cooler, JBL Bluetooth portable speaker, Ultimate beach chair with built-in cooler, Spikeball game set, fun inflatable float, and a beach bag with summer must-haves.

The mystery flavor will be revealed on August 1st.  Do you think you have what it takes to guess this year’s new flavor?

 

Clyde May’s Whiskey: An American Whiskey Legend

It’s a known fact that history is filled with legendary moments, but only a few possess an iconic history. One of those noteworthy historical moments is when World War II veteran Clyde May became a moonshiner. To support his family after the war, Clyde May turned to moonshining. He began producing and selling an unaged, right from the still moonshine which he perfected over the years into small-batch whiskeys. From the first moonshine batch up until 2012, Clyde May’s Whiskey was technically participating in the illegal trade of whiskey-making. Mr. May’s son, Kenny May actually produced the first legal batch of his father’s whiskey in 2012, named Clyde May’s Conecuh Ridge Alabama Fine Whiskey.

Clyde May's Alabama Style Whiskey

We had the please of getting to know three whiskeys from the Clyde May’s Whiskey portfolio at an intimate tasting and lunch with Clyde May’s grandson, LC May. On deck for our tasting pleasure was the award-winning Alabama Style Whiskey, Straight Bourbon Whiskey, and Straight Rye Whiskey.

Clyde May's Whiskey

The 85-proof Alabama Style Whiskey is made using a mash bill consisting of corn, rye, and malted barley. It is aged 6-7 years in caramel-charred oak barrels and finished with a hint of apple. It is the closest to the original Clyde May moonshine from 1946 which featured baked apples to the barrels at the end of the distillation process. The intensely bronze-hued spirit is a medium-bodied spirit with hints of black pepper, anise, and oak. You will pick up distinct notes of caramel, green apple, and fruits on the nose. The original definitely packs a punch and you’ll love how smoothly it evens out. That’s why in 2004, it became Alabama’s official state spirit.

Clyde May's Whiskey

The 92-proof Bourbon Whiskey is aged 4-5 years in 53-gallon oak barrels and is non-chill filtered. It boasts a slightly reddish bronze hue and starts out very soft and smooth but finishes bold and spicy with a lingering presence.

The 94-proof Rye Whiskey is an earthy golden brown and the most intensely flavored of the three whiskeys. It boasts an abundance of floral, fruit, and spices that presents themselves in layers. The crisp zest of citrus is the first thing we tasted, with a robust spiciness following shortly. A full-bodied whiskey with a dry and peppery finish.

During the tasting, we enjoyed two classic whiskey cocktails – a Manhattan and Old Fashioned, accompanied by a savory Grilled Branzino which paired wonderfully with our Clyde May’s Straight Rye Whiskey-based Old Fashion. The fennel and grapefruit vinaigrette in dish perfectly accented the spices and citrus in the straight rye.

It was such a pleasure to learn about the interesting history of Clyde May’s Whiskey; how the brand fully embraces and celebrates his creator’s past and his family. From its birth from moonshine to Clyde May’s arrest for bootlegging, and of course his farmland in Conecuh Ridge.

If you’re looking for an award-winning whiskey that celebrates its American history, look no further than Clyde May’s whiskey.

Kick off The Start Of Summer With These Memorial Day Cocktails

It’s time to take a load off and enjoy some refreshing and delicious cocktails. What better way to relax, unwind and enjoy the official start of summer with some delicious Memorial Day cocktails. And boy do we have some great cocktails for you! Get ready for some amazing drink recipes from Bacardi, the real Havana Club Rum, E&J Brandy, RumHaven, and Camarena Tequila.

Whether you’re hitting a barbecue, hanging by the pool or going out with friends, we made sure these Memorial Day cocktails are perfect for your needs.

Sparkling Hibiscus Limeade

Memorial Day Cocktails

6 parts Bacardi Lime Flavored Rum
2 parts St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur
4 parts Lime Juice
4 parts Monin Hibiscus Syrup
4 parts Lemon Lime Soda
4 parts Club Soda
4 lime wheel garnish
Add all ingredients into a punch bowl or carafe with ice and stir. Garnish with a lime wheel.

Havana Especial

Memorial Day Cocktails

1½ parts Havana Club Añejo Blanco Rum
1½ parts pineapple juice
½ part fresh lemon juice
½ part simple syrup
Barspoon of Maraschino Liqueur
Garnish with pineapple leaf and pineapple wedge. Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a highball glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with a pineapple leaf.

Red Rum Punch

Memorial Day Cocktails

¾ parts Bacardi Limon
¾ parts Bacardi Raspberry
¾ parts Bacardi Superior
½ parts Grenadine
2 parts Sweet & Sour
1 part Cranberry Juice
Garnish with Lemon Wedge or Mint. Pour all ingredients into a punch bowl that is filled with ice blocks. Stir. Garnish the bowl with lemon wheels and raspberries.

E&J Brandy Peach Palmer

Memorial Day Cocktails

1 part E&J Peach
1 part Iced Tea
1 part Lemonade
Add all ingredients together. Shake. Pour into your favorite cocktail glass. Add ice and garnish with a lime wedge.

Haven on Earth Cocktail

 

Memorial Day Cocktails

2 parts RumHaven
2 parts Pineapple Juice
2 parts Club Soda
Add all ingredients into an ice-filled Collins glass. Stir together to combine and chill. Garnish with pineapple or mint.

Camarena Margarita

Memorial Day Cocktails

2 parts Camarena Silver
¾ part Simple Syrup / Agave Nectar
¾ part Lime Juice
½ part Triple Sec
Add ingredients into a shaker filled with ice and shake vigorously. 2. Strain into a glass filled with ice. 3. Garnish with a lime wedge (or fresh sliced jalapeños, if you want to spice it up.

Are you excited to try these Memorial Day cocktails?