National Rum Day: Captain Morgan’s Favorite Holiday

If it’s Christmas, you write a letter to Santa Claus, when it’s National Rum Day, you hit up Captain Morgan. We sure did and he responded with some magnificent ways to celebrate National Rum Day as only the Captain can. Not only do we have two delicious rum cocktails made from the iconic Original Spiced Rum, we’re excited to introduce you to the new coconut shot offering, LocoNut. Of course these two simple, yet delicious cocktails are not quite enough, we’ve included two specialty treats, the recipes for rum gelatins shots and freeze pops. These two unconventional “cocktails” are made with the Original Spiced Rum, and LocoNut respectively. What better way to close out the summer than to celebrate the distilled alcoholic beverage that represents summer, tropical escapes, and fun.

Morgan Mule

1.5 oz. Captain Morgan Original Spiced Rum
4 oz. Ginger Ale or Ginger Beer
Mint Sprig
Lime
Muddle mint and lime in the bottom of a tall glass. Add ice, Original Spiced Rum, and ginger ale. Garnish with a mint sprig and lime wheel. Stir and serve.

Morgan Mule Gelatin Shots

6 oz. Captain Morgan Original Spiced Rum
8.5 oz. ginger ale
1.5 oz. fresh lime juice
2 envelopes of lime gelatin (approx. 5.5 teaspoons)

Loco & Coco

3 oz. Captain Morgan LocoNut
4 oz. Coconut Water
Combine Captain Morgan LocoNut and coconut water into a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a rocks glass with ice.

The Miami Vice

1.5 oz. Captain Morgan LocoNut
1.5 oz. Coconut Water
0.75 oz. Captain Morgan White Rum
1.5 oz. Strawberry Daiquiri Mix
0.75 oz. Water
Combine Captain Morgan 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.

Does the Captain have your attention? Will you join him in celebrating the month of rum? Which of these delicious recipes are you dying to try first? However you celebrate the remaining days of summer, make sure you invite the Captain. If you’re looking for more rum recipe ideas, the captain is sure to share his secrets.

Cruzan Rum: A Diamond in the Rum for National Rum Day

As we’ve stated before, summer is the season of Rum, and August is when we honor the distilled alcohol made from sugarcane or molasses. August is National Rum Month, and Wednesday, August 16th is National Rum Day. What better way to celebrate than to taste the authentic spirit of the island of St. Croix with Cruzan Rum cocktails.

We recently highlighted their newest rum, Tropical Fruit Rum, to ring in Rum month, and wanted to share some more for National Rum Day. You will find four delicious cocktail recipes from some very talented mixologists from Austin, Chicago, Miami, and Atlanta.

Cruzan Aloe Can You Go (Serves 4-6)
Recipe by Justin Lavenue, Austin, TX

5 parts Cruzan Aged Dark Rum
1 part Cruzan Vanilla Rum
1 part Cruzan Black Strap Rum
1 part Falernum
4 parts Aloe Juice
2 parts Coconut Cream
2 parts Lime Juice
1 part Grapefruit Juice
Build ingredients in a cocktail bucket or punch bowl. Fill with crushed ice and stir well. Garnish with cucumber slices, mint sprigs, and grated nutmeg. Serve with 4-6 straws and enjoy!

Cruzan Star (Single serving)
Recipe by Julia Momose, Chicago, IL

1 1/2 parts Cruzan Aged Light Rum
1/2 part Ambre Vermouth
1/4 part Simple Syrup
2 dashes Orange Bitters
Combine all ingredients and shake with ice. Strain into a cocktail glass, garnish with fresh pineapple, and enjoy!

Cruzan Crush (serves 4-6)
Recipe By Teddy Collins, Miami

4 parts Cruzan Vanilla Rum
4 parts Cruzan Aged Dark Rum
6 parts Pineapple Juice
3 parts Lemon Juice
3 parts Apricot Simple Syrup*
Fresh Mint and Thyme
Combine lemon juice, apricot simple syrup, and pineapple juice into a cocktail bucket or punch bowl. Lightly smack 10 mint leaves and drop into the bucket along with 2 stems of thyme and muddle softly. Add rums, crushed ice and stir. Garnish with fresh mint, thyme, and 4-6 straws. Enjoy!

*Apricot Simple Syrup Instructions: Over medium heat, combine equal parts sugar and apricot juice. Stir until sugar has dissolved. Set aside and cool.

Cruzan LocoCoco (Serves 4-6)
Recipe By Tiffanie Barriere, Atlanta

8 parts Cruzan Tropical Fruit Rum
8 parts Coconut Water
2 parts Pineapple Juice
Method: Combine all ingredients in a cocktail bucket or punch bowl and stir for 30 seconds with a swizzle stick. Fill the bucket with fresh ice, stir once more and garnish with fresh pineapple, four straws, and enjoy!

There you have it, four great Cruzan Rum cocktails to help you celebrate National Rum Day. Which one of these rum cocktails is your favorite recipe?

Wine it Up for Less: Five Summer Wines (Mostly) Under $15.00

Summer is the season of wines, but let’s face it, the continuous and multiple purchases of summer wines can become expensive, especially if you want a good wine. Or does it? We’re here to tell you it doesn’t! Today we share five amazingly delicious, and inexpensive perfect-for-summer wines that you can enjoy without destroying your budget. From white to red, and sparkling, these five summer wines retail for under $15.00…….mostly.

Bollicini Cuvée and Rosé Sparkling Wines ($12.00/4-pack) – We’ve enjoyed our share of wine in a can but these single serve cans of Bollicini Italian sparkling wines are not just light, crisp and refreshing, they are absolutely delicious! Add in the fact that they are packaged in convenient and attractive mini cans (how adorable are these pink and blue cans), and you’re sure to wow at any party. Straws are optional!

Gratien & Meyer Crémant de Loire ($15.00) – We all know summer is the season for Rosé wines and who doesn’t enjoy a glass of pink bubbles? Especially when it’s from a winery who has over 150 years of winemaking heritage and tradition. This creamy and well-balanced wine has notes of red fruit which pairs well with fish, white meat or dessert.

Schloss Johannisberg Gelblack ($30.00) – Produced by the architect and first 100% Riesling estate in the world, this off-dry wine has notes of white flowers, lemon peels, and pears. It’s a perfect accompaniment to salads and roasted chicken.

Capezzana Barco Reale ($15.00) – The bright red fruit flavors of this Sangiovese dominant blend, is sure to please the crowd. The lush, velvety texture and dark berry fruit flavors lend to the wines versatility and pairs well with an array of dishes including pasta, red and white meat entrees.

Pertinace Barbera d’Alba ($15.00) – This red is ideal for your next BBQ as it pairs well with a variety of grilled meats. The blackberry and black cherry fruit flavors lead to a long, lingering finish.

Could these delicious five summer sippers help you beat the heat, please your palate, and keep your wallet happy? Absolutely! Trust us when we say you’ll enjoy every last sip of these summer wines.

Add NEW Cruzan Rum Tropical Fruit Rum to Your Cruzan Bucket List

The Islands are calling!! We haven’t been to the Caribbean in years, we’re so overdue for a visit. We miss the tropical beaches, lovely weather, and of course, the delicious cocktails. What do you do when you can’t go to the tropics? You bring the tropics to you of course, or rather, let Cruzan Rum bring it to you. We’re really excited for Cruzan Rum’s latest contribution to cocktail and island enjoyment, the Cruzan Rum Tropical Fruit Rum, a fruity white rum infused with the flavors of the islands – juicy pineapple, tart passion fruit, and sweet guava, accented with bright notes of fresh citrus.

To celebrate the summer season and the launch of Cruzan Rum Tropical Fruit Rum, Cruzan Rum launched its “Cruzan Bucket List,” a multi-channel marketing campaign encouraging rum enthusiasts to celebrate the moment. The campaign is inspired by Cruzan rum’s popular rum punch bucket cocktails and offers a fun twist on the traditional concept of the bucket list.

The “Cruzan Bucket List” campaign encourages rum fans of legal drinking age to participate in on and off-premise activities. These fun activities included enjoying a Cruzan bucket cocktail, creating your own personalized bucket lists on www.cruzanbucketlist.com and track your progress, and enter one amazing sweepstakes where one winner won the amazing grand prize of an all-expenses paid “Ultimate Bucket List Experience” trip to St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands, the island Cruzan Rum calls home. Although the sweepstakes is over, you can still participate to win some cool prizes like your own Cruzan Rum Bucket (pictured above) and t-shirts. To get yourself in the “Bucket List” state of mind, we suggest trying one of the below Cruzan Rum cocktails

Cruzan Island Life

2 parts Cruzan Tropical Fruit Rum
1 part Cruzan Coconut Rum
3 parts Pineapple Juice
Build over ice in a tall glass. Garnish with a cherry and lime wedge

Cruzan Hula Hula

2 parts Cruzan Tropical Fruit Rum
2 parts OJ
1 part Pineapple Juice
Float of Cruzan Black Strap Rum
Build over ice in a tall glass. Garnish with a pineapple wedge

Cruzan Rum Tropical Fruit Rum joins the Cruzan portfolio of rums that include of Cruzan Aged Light Rum, Cruzan Aged Dark Rum, Cruzan Black Strap Rum, Cruzan Single Barrel Rum, Cruzan Estate Diamond Dark Rum, Cruzan Estate Diamond Light Rum, Cruzan 151 Proof Rum, Cruzan 9 Spiced Rum and 15 flavored rums. The Cruzan Rum Tropical Fruit Rum is now available nationwide for a suggested retail price of $10.99 per 750ml bottle.

Patron Tequila X Guillermo del Toro Collaborate for National Tequila Day

Art comes in many forms, sometimes it’s stunningly visual, other times deliciously artistic. In this instance, the collaboration between an acclaimed filmmaker and renowned tequila brand, it is both. Launching today on International Tequila Day is the Patron Tequila X Guillermo del Toro collaboration, an exquisite and artistic package which houses two bottles (both extraordinary blends of Patron aged spirits). We’ll also be sharing two great Patron tequila cocktail recipes for you to indulge in today, and beyond.

The outer package in the Patron Tequila X Guillermo del Toro piece, Guillermo del Toro designed a stark, matte black cover that peels away to reveal a box with carefully detailed black and silver drawings. These drawings were inspired by the “jimadores,” the skilled laborers in Mexico who for generations have hand-harvested and trimmed the Weber Blue Agave that creates tequila. The images depict skeletons (one of del Toro’s favorite expressions of the Mexican cultural celebration of life and death) working in the agave fields, where tequila is born. The original sketches, initial artwork, personal introductions from del Toro and Francisco Alcaraz, as well as information and images about the tequila production process, and cocktail recipes for the Patron Tequila X Guillermo del Toro project are included in a hardcover book, “Tomo de la Creación,” inside the box.  The case then opens and unfolds to expose a warm red and orange color palate inside, in stark contrast to the black and silver exterior of the box. The beautiful and mysterious labyrinth of imagery furthers del Toro’s narrative, with illustrations of the Hacienda Patrón distillery in the Highlands of Jalisco, where agave is transformed into Patrón tequila.

The most striking detail inside the Patron Tequila X Guillermo del Toro box is the centerpiece glass bottle, which upon closer examination reveals not one, but actually two bottles. It resembles what looks like a fantastical winged creature straight out of one of del Toro’s iconic films. A limited-edition 750ml bottle of extra añejo tequila sits upside down as the “torso,” while the second, a 100ml bottle of aged orange liqueur, sits on top, a skull exquisitely carved into the crystal. The spirit in the larger bottle is a remarkable blend of rare Patrón tequilas aged for an average of more than five years in a combination of different new and used oak barrels. Complementing that tequila is the smaller bottle, a first-of-its-kind aged Patrón orange liqueur produced from aged Patrón tequila.

Patron X GDT in Guadalajara

The extra añejo tequila in the Patron Tequila X Guillermo del Toro blend is characterized by its bright, golden color, with an aroma and flavor of light honey, nuts and raisins, slight vanilla, and oak. The sweet and fruity balanced taste makes way to a long finish of agave and oak. The orange liqueur is medium amber in color, with a distinctly sweet aroma and taste of citrus, clove, light French toast, and caramel. Only a very limited number of Patron Tequila X Guillermo del Toro sets were produced, and are currently available at fine spirits and liquor retailers across the country for the suggested retail price of $399.00. And now onto the cocktail recipes we promised. If you’re gifting yourself with the Patron Tequila X Guillermo del Toro set, you’ll love The Sacrifice cocktail created by Stephen Halpin. Already have Patron Reposado in your bar, try the delicious Jimadores Paloma cocktail.

The Jimadores Paloma

2 oz Patrón Reposado
3 oz Grapefruit Juice
1 oz Fresh Lime Juice
1 oz Smoke Hibiscus Syrup
5 dashes of Peychaud Bitters
5 dashes of Angostura Bitters
Ginger beer to fill
Pinch of Salt
Grapefruit snake peel as garnish
Add grapefruit, lime, salt, and Patrón into a shake. Add ice and shake for 5 seconds. Strain into a Collins glass and fill with ginger beer. Pour Hibiscus Syrup on top and dash Bitters as well. Snake Grapefruit peel inside a glass.

The Sacrifice, Created by Stephen Halpin

2 oz Patrón Extra Anejo*
1/2 oz Patrón Aged Orange Liquor*
1/4 oz Simple Syrup
1 1/2 teaspoons Orange Juice
1 teaspoon Lemon Juice
2 dashes Angostura Bitters
Combine ingredients in a shaker tin with ice and shake until chilled. Strain and serve up into a chilled Nick & Nora or coupe glass with a twist of lemon.

We hope you enjoy National Tequila Day, we hope you do so responsibly.

Hello Sweet Life: Castello del Poggio Launches Sweet Summer Wines

There’s no denying that summer is the season of drinking wines, especially light, sweet, and fruity wines. A nice glass or two of a perfectly chilled glass of delicious wine on a hot day can do wonders for your state of mind (and tastebuds). Castello del Poggio, known for their #1 selling and award-winning Italian Moscato, Moscato IGT, has expanded their wine portfolio with a Sweet Collection. This range of sweeter Italian wines features a Sweet Red, Sweet Rosé, Prosecco DOC and Sparkling Moscato that’s perfect for all-afternoon enjoyment.

Not familiar with Castello del Poggio’s wines? Their amazing Moscato is a slightly-sweet, refreshingly low-alcohol wine with flavors of peach, musk, honey, and white flowers. The versatile Sweet Rosé Wine is a refreshing, crisp, and delicate wine that can be enjoyed year-round. The bold violet hued Sweet Red Wine is a full-bodied, fruity, crispy, and soft wine Sweet Red wine with notes of apricot and peach. The light and bubbly Prosecco Demi – Sec Sparkling Wine is perfect for everyday drinking, thanks to its crisp, intense and fruity flavor that is both refreshing and versatile. Expect golden apple, sweet honey notes, and the continuous need to refill your glass. Last but certainly not least is the Sweet Sparkling Moscato which features the same color and notes of the original Moscato but with a medium minerality and a crisp, effervescent finish. We had the pleasure of enjoying a few glasses of the new range of Castello del Poggio Sweet Collection as well as a few curated wine cocktails at The W Hoboken – the Guilty Pleasure, and the Amanca Sangria. You can find the cocktail recipes below:

Guilty Pleasure

Castello del Poggio Moscato
Junmai Sake
Fresh Blackberry Puree

Amanca Sangria

Castello del Poggio Sweet Red Wine
Aperol
Elderflower Liqueur
Lemon Juice
Top with Ginger Beer

The new Castello del Poggio Hello Sweet Life range is now available nationwide. Learn more about this wonderful range of wines on www.castellodelpoggio.com.

If You Like Pina Coladas: National Pina Colada Day with Patron Tequila

If you like Pina Coladas, then here is your chance to celebrate this tropical island drink.  July 10th is National Pina Colada Day, a day to enjoy numerous glass, or as this cocktail shows, pineapples filled with this great, refreshing drink. Pina Coladas is known as the official cocktail of summer; it basically captures the feeling of the season in one delicious concoction. Today we bring you one hell of a pina colada, made with Patron Reposado. We know what you’re thinking, how can you celebrate National Pina Colada Day with Patrón Tequila? Aren’t Pina Coladas made with rum? Yes, it’s true, they are traditionally made with rum but the golden hue and balance between the Agave and wood flavors make the reposado a good rum substitute. Besides, the words piña colada literally means “strained pineapple”, not rum and pineapple. So without further ado, let us show you how you can celebrate National Pina Colada Day with Patrón Tequila. Feast your eyes on the glory that is the Patron Mini Pineapple Piña Colada.

Patron Mini Pineapple Piña Colada


2 oz. Patrón Reposado
2 oz. Pineapple Juice
1 oz. Passion Fruit Juice
1 oz. Cinnamon Cream of Coconut
.5 oz. Lime Juice
2 dashes Pecan Bitters
Add all ingredients into a shaker and fill halfway with ice. Shake for 5 seconds and double strain into a hollowed out pineapple with ice. Take the top and cut off the spikes and leave a 2-inch hole in the middle. Take mini pineapples and stack on top.

This is definitely not your typical Pina Colada, and not just because of the Patron Reposado Tequila. We love the addition of passion fruit juice, pecan bitters, and cinnamon, guaranteed to add more levels of deliciousness to this already amazing tropical cocktail. So if you do like Pina Coladas, and of course, tequila, then you’re going to love Patron’s interpretation. We know how we’ll be celebrating National Pina Colada Day, what about you?

Restaurant Review: Rahi Artisanal Indian Restaurant

We love food, we consider ourselves to be distinctive foodies, and we thoroughly enjoy indulging in amazing culinary journeys. We recently did just that at Rahi Artisanal Indian Restaurant, located at 60 Greenwich Avenue in NYC. Rahi, (meaning traveler in Hindi) is a collaboration between Chintan Pandya, an Indian chef with playful artistry, and restaurateur, Roni Mazumdar. They offer vibrant Indian food that slightly strays from the traditional Indian cuisine and uses local New York produce.

Staying true to the name’s meaning, Rahi Artisanal Indian Restaurant took us on a culinary journey to the four unique flavor corners of India. We started out with classic cocktails in delicious, untraditional flavors, and yielded to the explosion of various flavors of the appetizers, entrees, and desserts. We were in FOODIE heaven at Rahi Artisanal Indian Restaurant.

FIRST COCKTAILS

Cardamom Margarita


DAVID: This is a comforting and fragrant starting drink with a cardamom hit that sneaks up on you for a pleasant flavor & finish. You have the tart saltiness of the tequila and rim with the soothing ending of the warm cardamom.

Juhu Daiquiri


GLASGOW: The cumin gives the pineapple flavors an interesting, almost savory flavor. It not only complimented the natural sweetness and tartness of the cocktail, the sharp, slightly bittersweet taste of the cumin evened out the sweetness of the pineapple rum.

SECOND COCKTAILS

Bachcha Cocktail


DAVID: This was such a delicious cocktail. So satisfying was the weight of the heavy juniper note of the gin was toned down by the earthy almond and pistachio. What you’re left with is a fragrant soft and slightly sweet flavor brought about by the rose water with the grown and relaxing heft of the gin.

Black Tea Smash


GLASGOW: As a bourbon lover, I was very excited to try this cocktail. Don’t go thinking this is a grown up ice tea, that wouldn’t do it justice. There’s almost a licorice-esque taste to this cocktail, there’s a slight kick to it that I really enjoyed, but it is mostly smooth. It’s a definite must for a cocktail connoisseur.

APPETIZERS

Sunchoke Vada


DAVID: This was a lovely light and airy starter with the soft and creamy texture of the sunchoke center. The heat of the chili and the sweet crisp comfort of the coconut marry nicely with the tart and sweet punch of the tamarind to create a pleasant and delightfully lingering finish.

GLASGOW: I like how the flavors of the coconut-chili crumble sat on the back of my throat, ensuring that every bite of the Sunchoke I swallowed had some heat to it. This dish was quite hearty and a bit rustic, it felt like I was eating potatoes without the heaviness.

Edamame Artichoke Chaat

DAVID: This dish was just perfection. The slightly natural lemony pop of the artichoke soaks up the tamarind so well that when balanced on top of the bed of earthy edamame and the crunchy sweet pomegranate, a wonderful quartet is created: tart, earthy, sweet and salty.

GLASGOW: Love that this vegan dish highlights the sweetness of the tamarind as opposed to its tartness. The combination of the crunchy pomegranate seeds, spinach chips, and tamarind give it a highly flavorful dish with great levels of textures.

Chettinad Octopus


DAVID: This was a cool seafood triumph. Take the delicateness of tender octopus with the island kiss of a milky coconut broth teemed with spicy aromatic curry and what you have are two meals in one. The second meal arrives when you’re left with that savory broth that is perfect for dipping Rahi’s melt in your mouth naan bread.

GLASGOW: This dish practically left me speechless. The combination of a creamy, tropical coconut milk and turmeric highlighted the freshness of the octopus. The coconut turmeric foam was divine……each bite fills your mouth with unbiased flavor and your senses with aromas like no other. I’d enjoy this broth on its own as a soup. This dish felt like a special treat, like I was being rewarded for something.

Eggplant Bharta


DAVID: I joked with the owner that this should be packaged and ready to be sold. This dish was oh so satisfying. The triumph of this dish was how the often-earthy quality of the eggplant disappeared in the spicy, smoky chunkiness of this dish. The blend of onions, cumin, spices and the consistency of the ragu-like dish were like the perfect vegan comfort food and the hearty grain toast it was served with was a great choice to hold up to the weight of the Bharta. I could easily see this as a veggie/vegan sandwich at a picnic as a great reminder of how satisfying meatless can be.

GLASGOW: I’m not a fan of eggplant, so I didn’t partake but from David’s reaction, it must be outstanding.

MAIN COURSE

Inked Crab


DAVID: This is crispy sea loveliness soaking in creamy briny harmony. The salt of this dish is nicely balanced with hints of sweet. The depth of the ink batter brings a sharpness to the delicateness of the sweet and crunchy soft shelled crab and offers up a different kind of satisfying savory to the dish.

GLASGOW: I didn’t try much of the Inked Crab because I had my own decadent dish to enjoy, but from my one mouthful I noticed the distinct flavors, such as the marriage of subtle sweetness of the mango curry and how it emphasized the distinct character of the squid ink crab.

Dalhousie Shepherd’s Pie

GLASGOW: Let me start by saying that Shepherd’s Pie is one of my favorite dishes and I love eating it as much as I can. And Rahi’s interpretation blew me away. I’ll say it now, Cumin makes everything better. I loved Rahi’s flavorful take because, let’s face it, sometimes Shepherd’s Pie can be a bit bland, but the combination of cumin potatoes layered with farm fresh Raclette cheese, took this basic dish to indulgent levels.

DESSERT

Mishti Doi Cheese Cake

DAVID: This was a nice combination of smoky and sweet flavors with an interesting caramel and coconut cream combination with a delish crumbly Indian cookie crust.

GLASGOW: A creamy delight that was as decadent as it lovely. A great yogurt dessert on a crust of Karachi cookies that isn’t overly sweet, and bears a distinct taste of rosewater. You should definitely make room for this dessert.

Cream Pakora

DAVID: Coconut shines in this dessert with a pleasing blend and nice execution of dried and creamy coconut that shows the fruits depth. The crust is just doughy, soft and tender with an underlying hearty pleasantness.

GLASGOW: If you love desserts like beignets or eclairs, you’re going to love the Cream Pakora, a yummy coconut-jaggery cream housed in a light pastry dough. It may look heavy but it was quite light, so enjoy to your heart’s (and stomach’s) content.

DECOR

DAVID: The décor of Rahi Artisanal Indian Restaurant is charming like the collections of a “traveler” with a love for Indian roots and an eye for modern sensibilities. I was very pleased that their full bar also delved into the aesthetic of their establishment. This is a great location for Rahi and a necessary eatery to add and celebrate diversity to the neighborhood.

GLASGOW: It’s not just the food that will transport you to India, the aromas and visuals of Rahi Artisanal Indian Restaurant. The tables are smaller to ensure an intimate setting for conversation and sharing. White modern chairs match the marble bar and brick walls, which highlight the black and gold mural, painted by artists, Yok & Sheryo. The dining area extends to a sunken level.

Take the Rahi Artisanal Indian Restaurant journey yourself at 60 Greenwich Avenue, (212) 373 8900.