Celebrate Intensely: Barrow’s Intense Ginger Liqueur for the Holidays

Forget Peppermint, Cranberries, and other traditional Christmas flavors, this holiday season, it’s all about Ginger. Since the holidays are all about celebrations, we’ll be raising a glass or two of a delicious cocktail made with a very special ginger liqueur. Toast to the holiday season with delicious libations made with Barrow’s Intense Ginger Liqueur, a handcrafted, Brooklyn-made spirit created with 200 pounds of fresh ginger per batch.

Barrow’s Intense Ginger Liqueur is made with lots and lots of fresh Ginger with no extracts and no chemicals. It is also is vegan, gluten-free, and kosher certified. If you’re a fan of the taste of pure, big, bold, powerful flavor of fresh Ginger, then Barrow’s Intense Ginger Liqueur is exactly what you’re looking for.

The Passport, created by Jason Foust, Late Harvest Kitchen

1.5 oz Vodka
.75 oz Barrow’s Intense Ginger Liqueur
.75 oz fresh lime
Red grapes

Basil Preparation:
Muddle red grapes and basil in a shaker and add the rest of the ingredients. Shake and fine strain over fresh ice in a double rocks glass. Garnish with basil and grape.

Mortimer & Mauve, created by Pamela Wiznitzer, Seamstress, NY

1.25 oz Whistle Pig Rye Whiskey
1.25 oz Chai infused Martini & Rossi Rosso Vermouth*
.5 oz Barrow’s Intense Ginger Liqueur

* Chai-Infused Vermouth:
1 750ml bottle of Martini & Rossi Sweet Vermouth Add 4-5 Chai tea bags Allow to sit for 30 minutes. Take out the bags and pour the infusion back into the bottle.

Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass and stir over ice until well chilled. Strain into a rocks glass over a large ice cube. Use orange twist to extract oils. Discard peel.

Intense Digestif

Did you know that Barrow’s Intense Ginger Liqueur was originally enjoyed as a digestif? This spicy and refreshing liqueur is perfect for calming and settling the stomach and digestive tract. Just pour over ice for a perfectly chilled and delicious way to stimulate your body.

Want to experience this intense spirit for yourself? Barrow’s Intense is available in 375ml (around $24.00) and 750ml (around $39.00) bottles that can be purchased online or at several retail locations nationwide. Check out the Barrow Intense store locator for the closest retailer near you.

Restaurant Review: Calle Dao Chinese-Cuban Restaurant

A Journey through the Unique Fusion of Cuban and Chinese Cuisine 

Hello fellow NYC foodies and fusion food enthusiasts, there’s a new restaurant we’d like to introduce you to. Nestled in the vibrant location in Chelsea, NYC, is Calle Dao, the second location of the popular midtown foodie haven which offers a fusion of Chinese-Cuban cuisine. Calle Dao is the brainchild of Restaurateur Marco Britti who follows the Bryant Park location of this critics’ favorite and highly popular dining destination with the Chelsea opening. The name Calle Dão, a mix of Cuban and Mandarin, is a nod to Havana’s Chinatown, where Britti first discovered this unique culture and cuisine.

We had the pleasure of experiencing the delicious combination of the two cultures in a multi-course sit-down dinner, which included cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, appetizers, entrees, and dessert. While we couldn’t sample everything, we enjoyed the dishes that we tried. Our journey began with cocktails; four intoxicating concoctions handcrafted by Mixologist Joy Daniels (pictured below).

Calle Dão Handcrafted Cocktails

From left to right, the evening’s cocktails included:

  1. Macau – made with aged rum, fresh lime juice, and a sweet spiced syrup (demerara sugar, star anise, ginger, vanilla bean, black peppercorn, Chinese cinnamon, nutmeg and orange peels). A great balanced drink – not too sweet, tart, or spicy.
  2. Revolucion! – made with habanero infused tequila, ginger liqueur, absinthe, sweet corn kernels, pineapple, agave, and lemon. (**This was our favorite cocktail, it’s sweetness paired wonderfully with the savory passed hors d’oeuvres we enjoyed).
  3. MaxVer – made with gin, elderflower liqueur, white peach, shiso leaves, agave, and lime. If you’re looking for a cocktail that’s not at all sweet, this is the one for you.
  4. Flor de Oro – made with vodka, rose and vanilla infused dry vermouth, cherry jam, and fresh lemon juice. This was my least favorite and the only one I didn’t finish (mainly because I’m not really a fan of Vermouth).

Calle Dão Cuisine – Passed Hors D’oeuvres

The menu’s next offerings were a delight to our palate. Thanks to Chef Bradley Warner, we enjoyed some very exquisite hors d’oeuvres including Oxtail Croquettas with mango chutney and saffron aioli, Cuban Sandwich Spring Rolls, Double fried crispy plantains, and Duck Empanadas

We highly recommend that you treat yourself to all three dishes as they are superb, rich in flavor, perfectly seasoned, and the ingredient combinations…….amazing. The Oxtail Croquettas boasts a buttery, melt-in-your-mouth meat interior and a crispy exterior. If you love Cuban Sandwiches, you’ll love this bite-size version, and you will never go wrong if you order the empanadas. We were then seated to enjoy almost everything on the restaurant’s menu.

Calle Dão Cuisine – Appetizers and Entrees

We were in for a night adventurous delights (featured in order in the slideshow below):

  1. Ma-Po Maduros spicy pork, Sichuan peppercorns, toban-djan, and scallions
  2. Double fried crispy plantains
  3. Crispy Pig’s Ear with cilantro and sesame chili
  4. Charred Octopus in Mojo Verde with Chorizo Oil, Capers, Pimeton, and Olives
  5. Crispy Whole Fish marinated in Mojo Rojo
  6. Smoked short Rib & Chinese broccoli over classic la meìn noodles which predate ramen
  7. Spiced Goat Neck braised in House Spice Blend with Cilantro and Baby Bok Choy
  8. 14-Hour Char Sui Pork marinated and glazed Pork Tenderloin with plum onion escabeche and puré de batata
  9. Peking Style Roast Chicken over yellow Arroz Amarillo with chorizo
  10. Pato Frito Sour Orange Glazed Duck over fried rice with sunny side up egg.

We had several dish favorites from the dining experience. We approached this foodie journey with an open mind knew not every dish was going to be a hit with us. While some at our table weren’t so open, we left the restaurant quite satisfied with the entire experience. Our favorite entrees included the Crispy Whole Fish, Crispy Pig’s Ear, 14-Hour Char Sui Pork, and the Pato Frito Sour Orange Glazed Duck. The fish was exquisite. If you’ve never experienced freshly caught fish being cleaned and cooked right on the beach, this dish is the closest to it. We didn’t think we would really enjoy the Crispy Pig’s Ear but this was delicious. I loved the texture and lightness of it…..sort of like a very elevated pork rinds. We definitely enjoyed nibbling on these ears. The pork and duck were sublime. Both of the meats were succulent and were favorites of many at our table. Almost favorites included the Charred Octopus, which I wish has more of a crunchy texture; the Spiced Goat Neck I wished had a bit more kick to it; and while the Peking Style Roast Chicken itself was flavorful, the flavor of the rice was tame by comparison.

Calle Dao Desserts

At the time of our final course, we were so full but we tried to sample each of the following desserts. Crafted by pastry chef, Kate Holowchik (winner of the 2015 Vitamix Challenge dessert competition), the decadent Calle Dao desserts we enjoyed include:

  1. Matcha Tres Leches with chocolate crumb, chocolate sesame tuile, and mango coulis. As a fan of matcha, we loved this Asian incarnation of Tres Leches. The cake was moist and we loved the combination of the matcha and mango coulis.
  2. Chocolate Arroz Con Leche with ginger gelato, cashew sesame crumb, sweet sesame wontons, passion fruit caramel. Chocolate, passion fruit, and ginger superbly excite your taste buds.
  3. Bunuelos with Chinese five spice sugar, chocolate coconut sauce. Another favorite of ours, the sauce was rich and accented the Bunuelos nicely but we admit, we also dipped it in the pineapple jam.
  4. Coconut Rum Flan with pineapple jam, passion fruit caramel, and crispy rice noodles. We’ve never been a fan of flan but we do like this tropical version.

The wonderful cuisine plating won’t be the only feast for the eyes. Passionate about art, culture, and heritage, Britti (pictured below) has added many finishing touches to Calle Dao to ensure real flavor in the interior as well as the food.

Taking inspiration from traditional Cuban colors, the walls are adorned with vintage Chinese smoking adverts with Cuban touches throughout. A rare last edition of Cuba’s only Spanish and Chinese written Newspaper, Kwong Wah Po, hangs on the wall to welcome all who walks through the door. You will also find authentic cigar boxes decorating the rafters, as well as Cuban cigars at the hostess table. One decoration that also stood out was the giant Call Dao logo (a Chinese Chef’s knife) made up of several very real Chinese Chef’s knives.

We invite you to check out this Chinese-Cuban food fusion for yourself. We are looking forward to experiencing Calle Dao Chinese-Cuban Restaurant again soon.

Calle Dao Chelsea Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Notorious Pink Grenache: A Rosé Wine for All Seasons

Although it’s generally known as a summer wine, we strongly believe the versatile rosé wine can be enjoyed beyond the warm season. Rosé wines can be dry, semi-sweet, savory and meaty, and fruity and floral. These diverse styles and tastes make this wine free of boundaries and perfect for year’ round enjoyment. One especially delicious rosé breaking the rules is Notorious Pink Grenache, a lovely rosé that seems like a typical dry, summer wine, but is so much more.

Notorious Pink is a special blush cuvée made from 100% Grenache, the leading grape varietal at Domaine la Colombette in the South of France, where grapes from the oldest vines are bled, while those from younger vines are pressed. After settling, the musts are fermented at low temperatures (14-18c). It is said that the best rosés are very dry and that they should bear traditional French names, but the Notorious Pink Grenache proves otherwise. It is not as dry as most French rosés, which makes it fabulously tasteful enjoyed with or without food.

Notorious Pink uses mature berries to balance the flavors of the ripe berries that give it a wonderful acidity and soft minerality. The Notorious Pink Grenache is pale pink in color and exudes floral orange blossom aromas. The Notorious Pink Grenache tasting notes are as follows:

Aroma: Ripe Peaches, Plums, Lavender, Pear, Orange, Honey, Floral, Herbal
Palate: Melons, Raspberries, Sweet Cherry, Pear, Peach, Crisp, Good Acidity, Well Balanced
Finish: Stewed Apples, Hint of Spice, Good minerality, Gentle and Length Finish

We know you’re wondering, “why should you drink Notorious Pink rosé in the fall?” For the following very simple reasons: this slightly provocative wine pairs with everything – from fish to soups, to BBQ. It’s quite divine all on its own, so please enjoy a glass or two with nothing else, it’s wonderfully elegant (it’s taste and label), sometimes red wine is much too heavy to enjoy, it brings out the fruit notes in your favorite sweet fall treats, and it makes a wonderful cocktail (hello Wine Spritzers). You will also start to see more and more rosé being highlighted at restaurants and bars as a year’ round wine option, so why not be ahead of the trend.

Notorious Pink has won Double Gold Medal Top Fifty Rosé 2015, five Gold Medals and two “Judges’ favorite,” in addition to a myriad of silver and bronze medals in regional competitions, as well as in Paris. You can’t go wrong with an award-winning wine!

Notorious Pink Grenache is available at www.wine.com and www.drizly.com. You can also use their store locator to find Notorious Pink at a store near you

Champagne Wishes, Apple Dreams: Comsi Comsa Apple Sparkling Wine

In case you haven’t noticed, we’re in apple season. While some apples are available all year round, the fall season, (especially fall in New York) is the only time you can get ripe, fresh apples off the tree. What better time than the height of apple season to introduce and highlight the most delicious and newest apple harvest, a wonderfully delicious sparkling apple wine. What do you get when you combine New York breeding with French elements? You get Comsi Comsa Apple Sparkling Wine, a 12% abv sparkling wine crafted from locally sourced Upstate New York apples (New York grows more apple varieties than any other state). Creation of this delightful sparkling follows the traditional method used by the French champagnes.

Created and distributed by Sauvage, Comsi Comsa Apple Sparkling Wine, launching soon in Apple Crisp, is an all natural, gluten-free and kosher sparkling wine. It is a bit like bubbly and a bit like cider, hence its name, Comsi Comsa, French for “Like this, Like that.” What makes this naturally sweet bubbly so amazing? It’s made with dozens of apple varieties sourced from the local farms surrounding the distillery, it boasts 12% alcohol (ciders only have 6%), has a slightly full-bodied nose, and a gorgeous caramel color. There are only two ingredients in every bottle of Comsi Comsa Apple Sparkling Wine – 100% apples and Champagne Yeast, nothing more.

Influenced by French techniques applied in the Champagne region of France, Sauvage marries tradition and innovation to offer this all-natural apple-based sparkling wine. We had the pleasure of getting better acquainted with Comsi Comsa Apple Sparkling Wine, and it truly was love at first sip. We highly recommend serving it chilled in a champagne flute but we can also see this sweet sparkling adding a unique twist to a French 75 cocktail, a Bellini (who says it has to be peach or pear), or a sweet holiday Poinsettia cocktail (just add cranberry juice).

Comsi Comsa Apple Sparkling Wine officially launches on November 15th, 2017. The 750ml bottle of the sparkling wine, which bears a Panther logo (Sauvage is French for “wild” after all), will retail for $14.99 each.  Keep an eye out at bars and restaurants, clubs and lounges for this crisp spirit, or maybe just pay a visit to Sauvage’s distillery in Oneonta, NY.

Sauvage’s brand-new farm distillery and tasting room are nestled in Oneonta, a vibrant small town in Upstate New York, in the foothills of the Catskill Mountains along the banks of the Susquehanna River. With direct access to 24 varieties of delicious apples growing in the nearby region’s orchards, Sauvage produces this local, fresh, crisp and tasty juice, fermented with champagne yeast. This proprietary recipe becomes the signature base for their unique line of apple-based products.

What are your thoughts on apple sparkling wines? Would you love to give Comsi Comsa a try? For more information on Comsi Comsa, head over to www.drinksauvage.com.

Drink to Your Health: The New Delicious Total Wellness Beverages

One of the most important things in life is your health and wellness and while current circumstances may try to obstruct that, there are things you can do to maintain a healthy body. You can stay active, eat as healthy as you can, and of course keep your body hydrated with essential nutrients. Say hello to the following delicious total wellness beverages: Lifeway Elixir Sparkling Probiotic Beverages, Up Mountain Switchel, and Ocean Spray Organic Cranberry Juice. All three drink brands provide more than just a delicious and thirst quenching taste.

We promise you will love all three delicious total wellness beverages we are highlighting today. Not just the health benefits, but the delicious and satisfying tastes as well. Continue reading to egt to know them.

Lifeway Elixir Sparkling Probiotic Beverages

Get ready for a tasty organic, non-dairy, probiotic sparkling beverage that’s low in calories. The new, organic Lifeway Elixir sparkling probiotic beverage will be your new favorite drink. Along with it being organic, probiotic and low in sugar and calories, these delicious drinks are also gluten-free, caffeine-free, vegan, and kosher. Lifeway Elixir is available in 12oz bottles in four flavors: Tangerine, Hibiscus, Ginger, and Elderberry. All four sparkling flavors are great on their own but they also wow as a mixer in cocktails.

Up Mountain Switchel

We know what you’re thinking, “what exactly is Switchel? ” It is a drink made of water, vinegar, and ginger, often sweetened with honey, sugar, brown sugar, or maple syrup created in the mountains of Vermont hundreds of years ago. And it’s delicious! Fans of ginger (we’re obsessed), Up Mountain Switchel will be your go-to drink. We’re sure you well familiar with the long list of benefits of Apple cider vinegar, such as effectively lowering pH, which makes your body run optimally! This is the main ingredient in Up Mountains Switchel. This delicious, wonder drink is made of three key ingredients: fresh ginger, raw organic apple cider vinegar, and pure grade A maple syrup. Thanks to the fresh ginger root used in Up Mountains Switchel, it is an amazing and natural way to battle inflammation and it’s a fantastic analgesic. Its sugar content is derived solely from unrefined, mineral-rich, low-glycemic maple syrup; healthy sugars that an active body needs. Up Mountains is available in four flavors: Original, Lemon, Yerba Mate, and Cayenne. They are sold in 16oz bottles that come in a 2-pack, 6-pack, and 12-pack cases.

Ocean Spray Organic Cranberry Juice

Do you prefer your fruit juices to be organic? Welcome the delicious, bold taste of Ocean Spray’s 100% juices, now in an organic option! Made with the crisp, clean taste of organically grown North American cranberries straight from the farm to your family. The organic 100% juices, available in Organic Cranberry Blueberry, Organic Cranberry Apple, and Organic Cranberry, contains no added sugar, preservatives, or artificial flavors. Each juice is non-GMO and is USDA Organic certified and promises nothing but delicious goodness in every sip.

What do you think of these delicious total wellness beverages?

Taste the Heat: HEEET Hot Cinnamon Vodka is Perfect for Fall

We know we missed National Vodka Day by two days but seeing as there never is a wrong time to celebrate vodka, and this flavored vodka is oh-so-perfect for the fall season, we’re more than ready to celebrate this wonderful spirit. Few flavors make you think of the fall season – pumpkin spice, apples, and of course cinnamon. Cinnamon adds a kick to everything, so imagine what this flavorful and hot aromatic spice does to vodka. Join us in welcoming HEEET Hot Cinnamon Vodka to your must-have bar list. Why is HEEET Hot Cinnamon Vodka good? HEEET is the perfect blend of sweetness and fire, the perfect craft spirit to warm you up on those upcoming cold nights.

For that reason, we couldn’t wait to open our bottle of HEEET Hot Cinnamon Vodka. The combination of a crisp and sharp, yet smooth vodka punched up with the addition of fiery cinnamon is the perfect drink to have on a cool fall day.  Imagine the possibilities you can create. Your hot toddies would be exceptional! Imagine enjoying an apple pie in cocktail form, a new twist on Spiced Apple cocktail, make your hot chocolate into one suitable for adults, or just enjoy a shot that goes down like a smooth burn. With HEEET Hot Cinnamon Vodka, the fall flavor possibilities are endless.

This high-quality, American Made, luxury cinnamon vodka combines the crisp taste of vodka with all natural ingredients to set your tongue ablaze. Whether you mix it in the perfect cocktail or enjoy it on the rocks, HEEET offers a fresh and fiery twist on a class taste, perfect for the fall season. This ultra-premium, American Made Vodka is 6x distilled, boasts 100% all-natural ingredients, is carbon filtered, created in small 250 gallon-sized batches, and is 68 proof with 34% ABV.

HEEET Hot Cinnamon Vodka is available in a 750ml bottle and retails for $24.99. To explore the intense, hot cinnamon flavors of HEEET, head to www.merrygospirits.com.

Must Have: Precidio Design Reusable Snack in the Box & Drink in the Box

Raise your hands if you love snacks and keep some in your purse, at home, and at work for when you’re feeling peckish. Of course, we usually carried our snacks around in baggies, which not only can open up in your purse, your snacks can get crushed. The same thing goes for reusable water/juice bottles. We’re not saying to put your beverage in baggies (perish the thought), but many water bottles tend to be a bit bulky or take up a lot of space in your bag. In comes Precidio Design and their range of stylish, reusable, BPA, BPS and Phthalate free drink and food storage products. The Precidio Design Snack in the Box Unique and Precidio Design Drink in the Box Unique containers are the coolest on-the-go containers to hit the market.

The Precidio Design Snack in the Box Unique features two separate chambers that each holds 6 ounces of your favorite dry snacks. Using USA-made Tritan, the body and the Tritan pop-up lids let you easily pour out the snack from each chamber individually. The Precidio Design Snack in the Box Unique keeps your snacks from being crushed or mushed and works as portion control so you don’t eat more than you planned.

The Precidio Design Drink in the Box Unique features a new slim and sleek way to carry your drink. Also made from tough USA-made Tritan™, this range of drink boxes are extremely durable. They boast a pop-up lid that won’t leak or squirt, so is safe in a bag or purse, and an integrated straw that is made from medical-grade food safe silicone. Its one-hand operation makes it perfect for use while working, studying or working out at the gym. Just snap this unique juice/water box’s secured lid closed to protect from spills! Love infused water? Add fruits slices, berries, mint or other flavors in your Precidio Design Drink in the Box for a tasty, low-sugar drink.

The Precidio Design Unique storage containers are available in four designs: Black on Black, Black lid with a Clear body, White on White, and White lid with a Clear body. You can choose to show off your healthy snacks or drinks, or discreetly carry your favorite treats and beverages. Both Precidio Design storage containers are easy to disassemble, are dishwasher-friendly, and will look new for more than 1500 dishwasher cycles (3-5 years!). The 12oz Drink in the Box Unique container is available for $14.99 each, while the 6oz Snack in the Box Unique retails for $9.99. Both are available now on www.amazon.com.

You’re Invited: The 2nd Annual Brew Hop 5K + Craft Beer Festival

It’s back!! A little over a year ago we attended the inaugural Brew Hop 5K + Craft Beer Festival that combined two great American loves, running and craft beer. While we didn’t participate in the running, many running aficionados did, and over 1500 attendees enjoyed unlimited tastings of beers from 15 craft breweries at Randall’s Island Park. In a few short days (13 to be exact), the 2nd Annual Brew Hop 5K + Craft Beer Festival once again takes place to the delight of runners and beer drinkers.

On Saturday, October 21st, the 2nd Annual Brew Hop 5K + Craft Beer Festival will feature unlimited tastings from Brooklyn Brewery, Sixpoint Brewery, Bronx Brewery, Interboro Spirits and Ales, Kings County Brewers Collective, Coney Island Brewing Company, Captain Lawrence Brewing Co., Brewery Ommegang, Southern Tier Brewing Company, Citizen Cider, SpikedSeltzer, SingleCut Beersmiths, Rockaway Brewing Co., and more! The day starts off with a 5K race (Check-in starts at 10 am | Race at 12 pm) with waterfront views of the NYC skyline, followed by a festival until 4 pm where attendees will also enjoy live music, brewery row, lawn games, and delicious, local food vendors such as Dom’s Mac Truck and Sweet Chili, and seating areas.

A portion of the proceeds will benefit Oceanic Global, an organization that aims to educate individuals on issues impacting our oceans and provides them with solutions for driving positive change. The Brew Hop 5K + Craft Beer Festival has made a commitment to go 100% plastic free to support Oceanic Global’s mission of reducing single-use plastic consumption and oceanic pollution!

FULL EVENT DETAILS ARE BELOW:

The 2nd Annual Brew Hop 5K + Craft Beer Festival
DATE: Saturday, October 21st
TIME: Check In Starts: 10:00 AM
Race Starts: 12:00 PM
Festival: 12:00 PM – 4:00 PM
VENUE: Randall’s Island Park, NYC
TICKET INFO: 5K + Beer Fest: Early Bird – $59.95, Advanced – $69.95, Same Day – $79.95
Beer Fest Only: Early Bird – $44.95, Advanced – $54.95, Same Day – $64.95
TICKETS: https://goo.gl/RgfYvF

Hurry now to get $10.00 off your ticket price with code: BrewHopNYC.