Restaurant Review: Greenwich Steakhouse in the West Village

We hope you’re ready to discover another amazing NYC restaurant because we have one for you. Welcome to our culinary journey of one of New York City’s leading steakhouses, Greenwich Steakhouse. They recently announced new brunch, lunch and dinner menus prepared by the new Executive Chef Oscar Reyes, which we had to experience for ourselves.

For those not familiar, Greenwich Steakhouse is a three-story restaurant located in the West Village. Casual diners can take a seat at the bar on the first floor. The second floor, the Blue Velvet room boasts beautiful, blue velvet high back chairs, seating for 40 and dreamy wall-sized artwork, and The Grand Reserve Room, located on the third floor is reserved for private parties. We settled on the Blue Velvet room for our foodie adventure. For this culinary journey, we enjoyed four courses and cocktails – starters, entrees, dessert, and a digestif.

COCKTAILS

Greenwich Steakhouse offers cocktails in a variety of categories: fruity, light and refreshing, light and smoky, stirred and boozy, and non-alcoholic. Our goal was to try cocktails from a few of the categories. We started off with the Lady Luck, a sweet and fruity blend of vodka, fresh raspberries, lemon, St. Germain, and champagne; the Greenwich Swizzle, a light and refreshing concoction that may look tropical but boasts a fall-ish flavor thanks to bitters, and is served in a frosted glass; the almost rustic Sazerac, a rye whiskey-based cocktail with an absinthe rinse; and the non-alcoholic and very refreshing Perry St mocktail.

STARTERS

PAN FRIED CALAMARI

Great calamari never disappoints and you’ll love the crisp yet succulent texture of this flavorful starter. Complimented with a warm, tangy sauce, you’ll devour every bite.

GREENWICH COLOSSAL CRAB CAKE

What you’re seeing above is half of one of the crab cake. Served sitting on a bed of creamy avocado, the combination of flavors was intensely phenomenal. We topped ours off with a bit of black pepper for a slight spark.

MAIN ENTREES

NEW YORK SIRLOIN

We have been thoroughly enjoying dry-aged steaks lately and this one was no exception. We requested our steak prepared medium well. The result was a tender steak with exquisite charring; it was mouthwateringly juicy yet and not at all chewy. In other words, perfect. We paired it with Greenwich Steakhouse’s Lobster Mac & Cheese and Creamed Spinach (see our Sides highlight below).

DOUBLE CUT VEAL PARMIGIANA

The delicious aroma rising from the dish was a clear indicator that this was about to be an unforgettable experience. Each tender bite of veal drenched in layers of sauce, aromatic spices and cheese was wonderfully satisfying. This is a must-have dish for any veal and cheese lover.

SIDE DISHES

LOBSTER MAC & CHEESE

We hope you’re ready for lobster mac and cheese with huge chunks of lobster in it because that’s exactly what you will be getting. Every spoonful yields lobster baked right in. The perfect fusion of down-home goodness with sophisticated flair.

CREAMED SPINACH

Sadly we didn’t get to get a photo of the spinach by itself but for good reason. the staff is so attentive that as soon as your food arrives, they begin to serve them on your plate. We caught the servers in time for the other dishes but the lobster mac and cheese distracted us. However, the Creamed Spinach definitely deserves its own fanfare. We loved that the Spinach wasn’t overly creamy or cheesy. The flavors, texture, and consistency were delightfully balanced.

GARLIC MASHED POTATOES

Rich in flavor, extra creamy in texture, this traditional side will have you reaching for multiple spoonfuls. The garlic was perfectly balanced without overpowering your other sides or main.

DESSERTS

TARUFO

If you’re going to try anything for the first time, this is the experience you want. This was our first time ever having a Tartufo and it was dessert heaven. The mash-up of two ice cream flavors, frozen cherries, caramel sauce, and the chocolate shell was almost too exquisite to devour, but we did.

TIRAMISU

An Italian dessert and coffee lover’s dream. If you love your ladyfingers truly soaked in coffee, you’ll love the Greenwich Steakhouse Tiramisu. Get ready for an explosion of rich flavors from the layers of mascarpone cheese, cocoa, and liqueur.

LIMONCELLO DIGESTIVO

After such a decadent meal, a digestivo is a must. The Limoncello cordial, an Italian lemon liqueur, is not only delicious, but it also aids in digestion. Though we may have had room for something else, ending our magnificent Greenwich Steakhouse journey with this cordial was sublime.

We highly recommend adding this upscale to your culinary list. Greenwich Steakhouse is located at 62 Greenwich Avenue; they are open Monday to Wednesday 5pm – 10pm, Thursday & Friday 5pm – 11:30pm, Saturday 5pm – 11:30pm, and Sunday 5pm – 10pm. For reservations, call (212) 553-5000 or book your table here.

 

 

Greenwich Steakhouse Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Ketel One Vodka #GrowyourOwnGarnish Event

Grow Your Garnish: Adding a Decorative Touch to Ketel One Cocktails

In true New York fashion, we walked into a space filled with beautiful greenery Tuesday night; a variety of fragrant herbs spilling from the wall to ceiling. Talk about fresh spaces! We were set to learn about the fun side of urban herb gardening – growing and selecting the perfect cocktail garnishes to make exquisite cocktails with Ketel One Vodka. Growing your own garnishes and adding a decorative touch to your cocktails is a fun side to gardening we never expected.

FarmOne, an urban vertical farm (the only of its kind) located in New York brought the greens and an aromatic herbal garden from their farm. Their hydroponic botanists guided us through discovering our individual taste profiles, suggesting combinations to heighten the flavor and color of all of our drink and dining experiences when entertaining at home. Each guest received a biodegradable party plate to snip, smell, and nibble many unique herbs, flowers, and micro-greens from the Edible Bar.

Ketel One Vodka #GrowyourOwnGarnish Ketel One Vodka #GrowyourOwnGarnishKetel One Vodka #GrowyourOwnGarnish

When we tell you that Farm One herbals are unique, believe us! Their purplish-bronze fennel was much more fragrant and deep in color than any I’ve experienced in an organic market! The Lemon Balm herb was incredibly floral, and blooming with citrus. These rare herbs are sought after by Farm One’s Michelin-starred clients – Eleven Madison Park, Daniel, and Chef’s Table, among others.

Ketel One Vodka #GrowyourOwnGarnish Event

Farm One grow over 200 culinary herbs to date! We explored all the notes and flavor characteristics of each plant, as we made selections for the Ketel One mixologist to use in our custom cocktails.

Ketel One Vodka #GrowyourOwnGarnish

Cocktail Guru Pam Wiznitzer then led two groups in learning out to make our own perfectly garnished Ketel One herbal cocktails! She came straight out of the gate with a PRO TIP! When mixing a cocktail, always start with the least expensive ingredients first; that way, if for any reason you need to adjust flavor, or start over, the premium ingredients do no go to waste!

Ketel One Vodka #GrowyourOwnGarnish Ketel One Vodka #GrowyourOwnGarnish

In our mixed cocktail tutorial, Apple Mint was the star in the deliciously green and fresh, subtly fruit-infused cocktail. As a lover of Green drinks and pressed juice cocktails, this one is an absolute favorite. Seeking a little more green in your life? This cocktail incorporates a wide range of herbs for a surprising and light burst of flavor. See the recipe below

Ketel One Garden of Green 

Ketel One Vodka Garden of Green Cocktail
1.5 oz Ketel One Vodka
.5 oz Snap Pea Reduction*
.5 oz Lemon juice
Splash of soda water
5 leaves of Apple Mint
A small handful of Micro Mizuna
Tear apple mint leaves and throw in a mason jar. Add all ingredients except the soda water and add ice and cap the jar. Shake vigorously. Open and top with a splash of soda water. Garnish with micro mizuna and serve directly from Mason jar.

Ketel One Vodka #GrowyourOwnGarnish Event Ketel One Vodka #GrowyourOwnGarnish Event

If your green thumb isn’t what you expected, you can always head to Farm One for their exotic herbs and edible flowers.  You’ll get the tools to make a Ketel One cocktail and forget that gardening phase that never happened!

Ketel One Vodka #GrowyourOwnGarnish Event

You can take a tour of Farm One‘s facilities, Manhattan’s only indoor hydroponic farm, where you can sip complimentary beverages as you taste dozens of new and rare culinary plant varieties from around the world. This sensory experience is unlike any other in New York.

 

 

 

EDITED BY GLASGOW SKINNER
Holiday Rum Cocktails

Give the Gift of Festive Rum Cocktails to Ring in the Holiday Season

We’re sure you’ve heard the proverb “give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” The same thing can be applied to learning how to make great cocktails. This holiday season, we’re going to show you two ways to create delicious libations. There’s our usual sharing of amazing cocktail recipes that are simple to follow, but we also want to make sure you experience how wonderful it is to learn how to craft a cocktail from experts. We’re sharing a few festive rum cocktails featuring Bacardi, Havana Club, and Facundo Rums, as well as wonderful mixologist classes at great venues in NYC and Miami.

Mixology classes with Facundo Rum

If you’re looking for an extraordinary last minute gift idea, why not give the gift of a mixology class. You don’t have to be a cocktail connoisseur to enjoy an experience like this. For those you live in NYC, the newly opened Osamil gastropub (pictured above) will play host to the Facundo Rum Mixology sessions on Monday, January 14th and Monday, January 21st. Miami-based attendees will have the same mixology experience at the newly opened Cuban bar Café La Trova on Tuesday, January 22nd and Wednesday, January 23rd.

Holiday Rum Cocktails

Osamil Beverage Director Gelo Honrade and Facundo brand ambassador, Robert Nieves in NYC, and Café La Trova bartenders and Facundo brand ambassador, Ken Navarro in Miami will teach attendees how to mix the perfect Facundo Rum cocktails this holiday season using Facundo Neo white rum and Facundo Eximo dark rum. Attendees are sure to enjoy this taste of luxury rums from the Bacardi family’s private reserves. Now, on to the cocktails. After you’ve learned how to craft the perfect cocktail (of course you don’t have to wait until then), we invite you to try one of the three decadent cocktails below. We’re highlighting three distinct cocktails, all made with luxury rums. We know you will enjoy.

Eximo Estrella

2 parts Facundo Eximo Rum
½ part Demerara sugar
1 bar spoon Crème de Yvette
1 dash Green Strawberry Bitters
1 dash Chocolate Bitters
Garnish: Orange peel
Combine all ingredients and stir with plenty of ice until very cold. Strain into a rocks glass with a large ice cube. Garnish with a zig zag orange peel.

Bacardi Coquito

2 part Bacardi Superior Rum
3/4 part of evaporated milk
3/4 part of condensed milk
1 part coconut creme (preferably Coco Lopez)
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 pinch cinnamon
Garnish: coconut flakes & cinnamon sticks
Shake all ingredients vigorously with plenty of ice and strain into a glass mug. Garnish with cinnamon and coconut flakes.

Crème de Vie (Cuban Egg Nog)

4 parts Havana Club Añejo Blanco Rum
8 parts sweetened condensed milk
8 parts evaporated milk
16 parts sugar
8 parts water
6 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla
Mix the sugar and water together over very low heat, stirring constantly until the sugar dissolves – about 3 minutes. The heat must be just low enough so that the sugar doesn’t caramelize, but yields a thick sugary water. Place the egg yolks in a blender and mix with the condensed milk. Slowly add the evaporated milk and mix completely. Flavor with vanilla. Pour the egg yolk and milk mixture into the sugar-water, and mix together. Finally, stir in the rum.

Are you ready to make some festive rum cocktails?

Center-Cut Filet Mignon

Restaurant Review: Boucherie West Village’s 2nd Birthday

There’s a lot to celebrate during the holiday season but for traditional French brasserie and steakhouse, Boucherie West Village, the holiday season is also a time to celebrate their anniversary. We had the wonderful pleasure of celebrating their second birthday with them in a family-style meal of French holiday classics and timeless bistro favorites. Since they opened two years ago, Boucherie West Village and Chef Jerome Dihui, have been captivating the palettes of fans.

Boucherie West Village Boucherie West Village

The 320-seat Boucherie provides a diverse array of dining options. It boasts a spacious dining room, a seat at the butcher counter, and an intimate second-floor gallery with private dining and outdoor cafe, where we were seated. With chic french cocktails, timeless French classics, and dry-aged steaks, our evening at Boucherie West Village, was filled with more than holiday magic. Join us on our culinary journey below:

COCKTAILS

Boucherie West Village Cocktails

We enjoyed two wonderful cocktails at Boucherie. We couldn’t begin our traditional French foodie adventure without having the classic French cocktail, French 75. So delicious, we ended up having two. We followed soon after with Boucherie’s Old Cuban, a blend of Mount Gay Black Barrel Rum, Cartron, Gingembre, Lime, Mint, and Sparkling Wine. It was our first time enjoying this cocktail and we have to say it’s a truly sophisticated rum drink.

STARTERS

MOULES NORMANDES

Boucherie West Village Mussels

French cuisine is known for the use of creams, cheeses, and wine; so what better way to begin than mussels cooked with white wine in a heavy cream sauce and bacon as a first course. We thoroughly enjoyed this classic dish, it’s wonderfully hearty without feeling stuffed.

RAVIOLIS AUX CHAMPIGNONS

Boucherie West Village Mushroom Ravioli

A wonderful, mushroom ravioli with black truffle beurre fondue, and burgundy truffles. We couldn’t partake because of our allergy to mushrooms but the consensus of the table proved that it is as delicious as it looks.

ENTREES

CHATEAUBRIAND POUR DEUX

Center-Cut Filet Mignon

You will swoon over this perfectly grilled center-cut filet mignon with assorted vegetables and bone marrow bordelaise. We tried to save our appetite for our own dry-aged steak but we just couldn’t resist this succulent cut. We highly recommend this perfect for two steak dish.

SUPREME DE POULET ROTI JUS DE BALSAMIQUE

Roasted Chicken in Balsamic Sauce

This divine chicken dish arrived at the same time as our main, so we didn’t enjoy a lot of it. The little we did try….wow!! The perfectly crisp skin and juicy inside were as we said, divine.

STEAK FRITES AU POIVRE

Pat LaFrieda New York Strip Steak

Alas, our Pat LaFrieda New York Strip steak with four peppercorn cream sauce and french fries had arrived. Every rustic bite of the rich flavor of this dry-aged steak was incredible. If we hadn’t mentioned before, Boucherie West Village is known for their exquisite steaks. One bite and you’ll know what we mean. We cannot recommend this restaurant enough, whether you love steak, French cuisine, and great food.

Boucherie West Village is located at 99 7th Avenue South in New York’s West Village. We’d love to hear your thoughts if you’ve visited.

Boucherie Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Holiday Sneak Preview: The 2018 Holiday Menu at Rosa Mexicano

Rosa Mexicano knows how to create a perfect celebration menu for each and every event in your life. Which is GREAT – because every month brings forth a new exciting reason to celebrate!  December is flush with holidays with meals suited for gatherings of friends and family, and Rosa is fully prepared for you to leave the meal planning up to them this year! You may recall the beauty of their Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) menu we highlighted back in October. Those rich flavors! The aromas! The bright florals decorating every course of the meal! The deliciously spooky and flavor-packed punch! If you liked that menu, you will love that we were invited to a very first taste of their December Holiday Menu – at my very first and most-favorite Rosa Mexicano location – Lincoln Center!

I love the Lincoln Center location so much because it was my very first Rosa Mexicano experience. It was here that I first fell in love with Rosa Mexicano. The restaurant is beautifully and classically designed with a modern, colorful twist. Large portrait windows on both floors let the bright light of the Lincoln Center area in. Framed by a beautiful staircase connecting two floors with ceramic divers leaping from 30-foot iridescent water wall. The ambiance is absolutely everything when it comes to holiday dining experiences. We had the pleasure of meeting Rosa Mexicano’s Regional Executive Chef Joe Quintana whose holiday menu was a delight to enjoy.

Rosa Mexicano 2018 Holiday Menu

The Rosa Mexicano 2018 Holiday Menu is designed to feature the authentic flavors of Mexico around holiday time. Pulling traditional Mexican meals from local areas, that will delight your guests whether they be friends in town or visiting family joining you for the holiday season in New York City.

Rosa Mexicano 2018 Holiday Menu Rosa Mexicano 2018 Holiday Menu

This special menu begins with one of the best holiday punches I have had in some time. Ponche de Granada is an incredibly flavorful sangria-style punch that mixes smoky mezcal with pomegranate,  a touch of vermouth, a generous dash of Campari for a citrusy note, and cava wine. The spotlight of this cocktail comes in the form of a glass generously rimmed with avocado leaf salt. Avocado leaf salt has so many interesting additional notes of citrus and exotic spices well-suited for the pomegranate and mezcal that the punch is a firework of flavor that carries you throughout every preceding dish offered on the menu.

Rosa Mexicano 2018 Holiday Menu

Our first course – a zesty Pozole Rojo – features a delicious braised pork and Hominy soup in a clear tomato broth base, infused with chile, green herbs, and roasted garlic. The clear tomato broth is poured onto the hominy and pork after it’s placed at your table. For those not in the know, Hominy is a type of corn that I found was the perfect showcase item in this soup. As a hominy first -timer, I was pleased. It added a hearty level of comfort to the soup without taking away from the robust pork, chile, and tomato flavors.

Rosa Mexicano 2018 Holiday Menu

Crunchy El Jefe Fish Tacos were the up next – a promised crowd favorite – Mini tacos featuring a White flake fish sprinkled with the most flavorful bits of bacon, tiny chunks sweet potato, topped with mildly pickled, not-too-intense red onion that adding sweetness and crunch to each bite. Perfection with a squeeze of lime.

As we continued to the third course, sampling of each entree, we were impressed with how distinct and delicious each was.  Each complimented the next. You’ll want to try a bit of each yourself, and your friends and family will definitely want to share in the experience!

Rosa Mexicano 2018 Holiday Menu

The first entree, Filete con Hongos, is a perfectly prepared Filet Mignon, served on a bed of mushrooms sauteed in a tequila cream sauce. Our knives sliced effortlessly through the filet with each bite; sizzling on the outside and a warm and rosy pink center.

Rosa Mexicano 2018 Holiday Menu

If poultry is your preference, the Mexican style achiote rubbed half rotisserie chicken Medio Pollo Pibil is for you. Generously rubbed with smoked paprika and achiote, a red seasoning traditionally used in Mexico, throughout South America and the Caribbean.  The results were so juicy and tender that I very boldly asked the chef for his secrets! Served with a side of A-MA-ZING paprika dusted roasted potatoes in a cream sauce, and an ample amount of habanero red onions for every bite of the meal, made this a hearty and flavorful option.

Rosa Mexicano 2018 Holiday Menu

This final entree is a personal favorite because It reminds me of many family gatherings in seasoning and presentation. A delicious fish dish, Pescado a la Veracruzana. Featuring a generous amount of pan seared white fish, smothered in a classic sauce of tomato, fried capers,  garlic, and roasted peppers. It is so good. Paired with grilled asparagus, this dish hits all the right notes of Old World, and New World – savory but not too heavy, with a bright snap of grilled greens and olive oil.

Rosa Mexicano 2018 Holiday Menu

For dessert, Mexican Cookies and Milk; featuring traditional house baked Polvorones, traditional Mexican cookies in two flavors, Pomegranate and Chocolate, paired with chilled Horchata, a delicious nog-like Mexican drink sprinkled with cinnamon and vanilla!

Rosa Mexicano 2018 Holiday Menu

Since we enjoyed the Ponche Granada so much, we had to pay our compliments to Courtenay Greenleaf, the Master Mezcalier who curated the exotic punch. Whether you’re celebrating Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanzaa or year’s end victory, Rosa Mexicano wants to put the ‘Feliz’ in your celebration.  Happy Holidays Ahead!

The Rosa Mexicano 2018 holiday menu is available exclusively on December 24th and 25th, from  12-9pm.

 

 

 

 

 

EDITED BY GLASGOW SKINNER

Fernet-Branca X Eataly’s The Great Bitter Bar Returns to NYC

As the saying goes, “everything old is new again”, and this perfectly describes Fernet-Branca X Eataly’s The Great Bitter Bar, a celebration of the 20s-inspired cocktail bar. We had the pleasure of attending the Fernet-Branca X Eataly’s The Great Bitter Bar’s return to New York, the final leg on the multi-city tour. We were in for a night full of vintage, apothecary cocktails (slightly modernized) created by the event’s mixologist, Kenyon Aubin Oster.

Everyone loves a great pop-up bar and Eataly USA brought the best of vintage cocktails and the amazing The Great Bitter Bar, across the U.S.! Cocktail lovers were able to follow the spirited “Grand Tour” to experience these exclusive signature cocktails created by Eataly and its bitter producers such as Fernet-Branca, who shares the values of tradition and quality as the eatery. Paired with some of Eataly’s most delicious pizzas, we enjoyed five amazing cocktails, Fernet-Branca-style.

Inspired by the roaring 20s and the Art Nouveau period, The Great Bitter Bar is a pop-up bar that will be hosted at all Eataly USA locations during the year. The menu is dedicated to vintage, apothecary cocktails with the iconic herbal flavors of Fernet-Branca, which has been crafted according to a secret family recipe in Milan since 1845. The Great Bitter Bar held its final pop-up bar experience in the Big Apple at Eataly NYC Downtown. The cocktails, pictured below, included the Ferneta-groni, the Toronto, Fernet Me Not, Fernet Cola, and the Milano 75.

While they were all unique and delicious in their own way, we had an absolute favorite. But first, let us tell you about each cocktail. We love Negroni (our Negroni Week activities prove that), so we love this more robust version which for lack of a better word, seemed more masculine than the classic Negroni; sweet cocktail fans will love the slight syrupy sweetness of the Toronto; love ginger beer? Then the Fernet Me Not is for you. We loved the refreshing effervescence and subtle sweetness of this cocktail; if you love a cocktail that really plays up the herbal-ness of Fernet-Branca, the Fernet Cola, made with the famed Italian cola, Mole Cola; lastly is the Milano 75, the Italian version of the French 75. This was our favorite cocktail by far; deliciousness in a glass and a cocktail we’d love to have again….soon.

The pop up launched at the beginning of this year at Eataly NYC Flatiron on January 29th and ran until February 11th. In Chicago, the bar made its Midwest debut from March 19th to April 1st; it was at Eataly in Boston from May 14th – 27th and Eataly L.A. took place from June 18th – June 30th.

Each location featured a specially crafted cocktail unique to that city. We thoroughly enjoyed the Ferneta-groni. The recipe for this not-so-classic take on the classic Negroni cocktail is below:

1 1/2oz of Malfy Gin Originale
1 1/2oz of Carpano Antica Formula
1 oz of Fernet-Branca
stirred, up

Basil Hayden's #BHFriendsgiving

Giving Thanks to Friendship: Celebrating Friendsgiving with Basil Hayden’s

It occurred to me the other day that I’m the only one in my immediate clique that lives in New York City. The others in my caravan live across the pond in Jersey. While the city unites us for various events and revelries, quite often there has to be a good reason to stay late in the city, venture out into the depths of lower Manhattan or justify a late night uber home. Now while the very natures of our friendships are enough, let’s face that with the annoying hustle and frustrating bustle of our day-to-day, some days you have to relinquish your good intended presence to just being there in spirit. Outside of just hanging out, some people may be cajoled to find further justification in dancing the night away, seeing a sold-out show or catching a must-see movie. However, my friends all have seasoned palettes and nothing gets us together more than good eats, great energy and anchoring the deal with top-shelf cocktails.

Basil Hayden's #BHFriendsgivingBasil Hayden's #BHFriendsgiving

So when I got the invitation to spend the birthday of one of my dearest friends with one of my favorite whiskey brands, the pot was sweetened and the seal of approval was stamped. The satisfying Basil Hayden’s, that beloved and delectably slick bourbon kicked off the season on November 1st with a pretty amazing Friendsgiving in Gowanus, Brooklyn. Held at the posh event space 501 Union, upon entering I knew why the trip to BK for this Bronx guy was worth it. The bar was serving up unique cocktails curated for the event that showcased just how wonderful Basil Hayden’s is. Their Straight Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey is very smooth, has just the right amount of sweetness and packs enough weight to flavorfully hold its own when paired with other cocktail ingredients and spirits. However, don’t just take my word for it. Here are the cocktails that were on tap for that memorable evening:

Basil Hayden's #BHFriendsgiving Basil Hayden's #BHFriendsgiving

First up was the Basil Hayden’s Boulevardier. I tried it with their bourbon and combined with the bitter Aperol and the herbal sweet vermouth it made for such a balanced drink. The mild espresso-like bitterness of the licorice-like Aperol played up to the bourbon so nicely. Next up was the Basil Hayden’s Highball, which I also requested with their bourbon. The lightness from the club soda and the citrusy sweet kick from the lemon soda created a light and refreshing almost summery cocktail with a herbal grown edge from the presence of the basil.

Basil Hayden's #BHFriendsgiving

After two bourbon-centered cocktails, I needed to try one of their latest offerings, Basil Hayden’s Dark Rye. Perfect on the rocks, the dark rye has less sweetness naturally and more of a distinguished oaky spicy weight, but no less smooth and delicious. This was a perfect wind-down of a sipper before dinner.

Basil Hayden's #BHFriendsgiving Basil Hayden's #BHFriendsgiving

Dinner featured two new cocktails for each course. The Ward Eight wonderfully combined their bourbon, the citrus power of grenadine, lemon and orange together with the refreshing cooling pop of mint for a clean sipper that evoked a great spiked Summer lemonade. Finishing up was the Havoc In Nelson County, a surprisingly island-fresh cocktail that took the wonderful rarely seen flavor of banana and mixed it with orange bitters for a flavorful, diverse drink that hits several areas of the palette pleasantly with soothingly familiar notes. Speaking of dinner, our culinary journey, heralded by Chef Paul Donnelly, boasted offerings similar to the Basil Hayden’s Friendsgiving at Peachy’s: an appetizer of Strange Flavor Burrata; a first course of Steamed Baby Branzino and Northern Chinese Style Roasted Golden Beets; a second course of Crispy Lamb Ribs and Salad of Watercress with assorted vegetables; and Chocolate Mousse for dessert. Feast your eyes on these delights below:

APPETIZER

Basil Hayden's #BHFriendsgiving

FIRST COURSE

Basil Hayden's #BHFriendsgiving Basil Hayden's #BHFriendsgiving

SECOND COURSE

Basil Hayden's #BHFriendsgivingBasil Hayden's #BHFriendsgiving

DESSERT

Basil Hayden's #BHFriendsgiving

What the evening with Basil Hayden’s recreated was the makings of classic friendship lore. The drinks were flowing, the food was stellar and the energy was upbeat and positive. How comforting to know that the sweet sip & the relaxing savor, the honest pleasantries & the communal savorings can all conspire together to recognize an evening of old and new friends.

Basil Hayden's #BHFriendsgiving Basil Hayden's #BHFriendsgivingBasil Hayden's #BHFriendsgiving

All in all, when Friendsgiving happens, good spirits in both physical and social forms, must ensue. Basil Hayden’s Bourbon and Rye varieties are available now at your finer wine & spirit retailers.

Treat Yourself To These Merry And Bright Holiday Cocktails This Season

Keurig has officially launched a new product in collaboration with Anheuser-Busch, just in time to fix your cocktail craving this holiday season.

The new product is called the Drinkworks Home Bar. It expands on the idea of the coffee pod by using pre-mixed cocktails instead of your favorite ground bean. The machine contains 15 different cocktails to make, including classics like the Moscow mule, the Long Island iced tea, and the margarita.

It’s perfect for homeowners who don’t want to create a home bar right in their kitchen. This type of product offers the convenience of a bar without engaging in a remodel, even if a kitchen renovation does offer an 83% return on investment.

This is great for the homeowner who loves a tried and true cocktail made fresh just for them. But for more complicated mixtures, like your favorite holiday cocktail, you’re better off sticking to your trusty cocktail shaker.

When you want to impress guests this holiday season, a craft holiday cocktail might be the best way to treat your guests. Try these holiday mixtures to taste the best of the season.

Holiday Toddy

Photo by Fistful of Bourbon

This drink offers the best in barrel-aged whiskey or bourbon to supplement your Christmas spirit. Did you know that barrels are made from hardwood trees that can take up to 20 years to mature? This treat is certainly worth the wait.

The hot holiday toddy puts a twist on the classic drink with fresh mint and a dash of nutmeg. Here are the ingredients:

  • 2 parts bourbon
  • 2 parts hot water
  • Half-part mint simple syrup
  • Half-part lime juice
  • 1 bar spoon of creme de cacao
  • 2 dashes of Angostura bitters

Simply garnish with a sprig of mint and top with grated nutmeg for a look anyone will love. Serve it nice and toasty to warm those winter hearts this holiday season.

Cranberry Martini With A Twist

Photo by Williams Sonoma

Everybody loves a cranberry and vodka, and luckily, this can be a great holiday treat on its own. But if you want to make it extra special, try throwing in a little vanilla spiced syrup to the mix. Here’s how to make the vanilla spiced syrup you’ll want to put on everything.

  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 cup of water
  • One-quarter tsp ground black pepper
  • 5 allspice
  • 1 cinnamon stick, around 2.5 inches in length or cranberries
  • Half an ounce of vanilla extract

Excluding the vanilla extract, combine all items in a pot and bring to a boil. Once it reaches a rolling boil, bring it down to a simmer for about five minutes. Then, simply strain the mixture and throw in the vanilla. Add your simple syrup to your favorite vodka cranberry to keep your spirits bright.

A Winey Cider

Nothing screams fall like a citrusy cider in the mix. Pair your favorite cider or apple cider liqueur with a dry white wine — sparkling preferred. This will leave a tart and crisp aftertaste that’s sure to satisfy the cravings of any wino. An alternative is Comsi Comsa Apple Dry, the newest dry sparkling apple wine from Sauvage. To make it extra-special, dip the rim in a simple syrup and garnish with brown sugar and cinnamon.

Ward Eight 

Dave Fisher, New York

1 ½ part Basil Hayden’s Bourbon
⅔ part Lemon Juice
⅓ part Orange Juice
½ Mint Syrup
⅙ part Grenadine
Add all ingredients to a shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a chilled coupe glass.

These are just four classy cocktails sure to create Christmas spirit this holiday season. Whether you opt for the new Drinkworks Home Bar or simply stick to the syrups you know and love, these cocktails will delight during these cold winter months.