Happiness is Cold Watermelon…..Cocktails | Celebrate National Watermelon Day w/ Drinks

Everyone knows watermelon is the official fruit of the summer. Many of you have enjoyed a slice or two on a hot summer day, the delicious juice dripping down your chin and maybe even enjoy seed-spitting competitions. But there are also interesting ways to enjoy watermelon besides just eating it. In honor of National Watermelon Day (August 3rd), we’ve assembled some delicious cocktail recipes that will have you celebrating summer’s favorite fruit the right way. We’re bring you watermelon deliciousness from FAIR Quinoa Vodka, a fair trade vodka made from Quinoa; Prairie Organic Vodka, a naturally smooth, organic vodka; and Sauza Blue Silver 100% Agave Tequila. If you don’t feel like creating cocktails, you can always try Sauza’s new, ready-to-serve Sparkling Margarita Watermelon, boasting an authentic margarita taste with the unique addition of watermelon and effervescent bubbles. Now let’s get to the cocktails!

FAIR Quinoa Vodka



WATERMELON & CUCUMBER COOLER
1/4 watermelon, chopped into pieces
1 cup water
juice from 2 limes
1/2 cup sugar
Ice
simple syrup
sliced cucumber
1 oz FAIR vodka
soda water
Start by placing the watermelon meat in a blender and blend until it’s a pulp, do this in batches and pour into a sifter that you place over a bowl. Discard the pulp. In a small saucepan bring water, lime and sugar to the boil and let it simmer for 10 minutes. Cool down completely. Fill 4 mason jars with ice and sliced cucumber. Fill up 1/2 with the watermelon juice, the rest with simple syrup, FAIR Quinoa vodka and a splash of soda on top. Garnish with lemon and cucumber and enjoy.

Sauza Blue Silver 100% Agave Tequila (click on photo for larger view)

WATERMELON & BASIL MARGARITA

2 parts Sauza® Blue Silver 100% Agave Tequila
1 part DeKuyper® Triple Sec
Juice of one whole lime
(4) 1” cubes of seedless watermelon
Fresh basil leaves (2 to muddle; the rest for garnish)
Lime wedge (for garnish)
Preparation: In a mixing glass drop in the watermelon and basil leaves (tear the leaves) then muddle. Add all remaining ingredients and shake vigorously with ice. Double strain the cocktail over fresh ice in a glass. Garnish with a lime wedge and fresh basil leaves.

WATERMELON PASSION

2 parts Sauza® Blue Silver 100% Agave Tequila
1 part Cruzan® Passion Fruit Rum
2 parts watermelon juice
1 part fresh lemon sour
Watermelon balls (for garnish)
Preparation: Shake all ingredients with ice and strain over fresh ice in a tall glass. Garnish with watermelon balls.

WATERMELON BREEZE

2 parts Sauza® Blue Silver 100% Agave Tequila
1 part DeKuyper® Watermelon Squeeze
2 parts pineapple juice
1 part cranberry juice
Watermelon slice (for garnish)
Preparation: Build in order over ice in a glass then stir. Garnish with a slice of watermelon on the rim.

WATERMELON SOUR

2 parts Sauza® Blue Silver 100% Agave Tequila
1 part DeKuyper® Watermelon Pucker
2 parts fresh lemon sour
1 part cranberry juice
Lemon wheel (for garnish)
Preparation: Build cocktail in order over ice in a glass then stir. Garnish with a lemon wheel on the rim.

Prairie Organic Vodka (click on photo for larger view)

GARDEN VARIETY

2 oz Prairie Cucumber Flavored Vodka
2 1-inch cubes of seedless watermelon
1 diced lime (bitter ends removed)
1 oz organic agave nectar
Salt
1 cucumber slice
Mix all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake, then serve in a lowball glass over ice with a lightly salted rim. Garnish with a slice of cucumber.

PRAIRIE VODKA INF– USED WATERMELON

1 bottle of Prairie Organic Vodka
1 large watermelon
Place the watermelon on a counter and with a sharp knife, cut out a small hole slightly larger than the top of your vodka bottle. Remove the watermelon rind and insert the top of your bottle of vodka into the hole you’ve created. Flip the bottle upside down and, keeping it upright, apply gently pressure until it’s firmly lodged into the top of the fruit and is infusing the watermelon with vodka. Allow it to sit for 24 hours. When the bottle is nearly empty, your watermelon has been infused with vodka. Remove the bottle carefully. Slice and enjoy!

WATERMELON JELLO SHOTS

10 scooped out limes, halved
1 3-oz package watermelon-flavored gelatin
1 cup water
1 cup Prairie Organic Vodka
Boil 1 cup of water on the stovetop in a small saucepan. Add gelatin to the boiling water and stir with a whisk until completely dissolved. Stir in vodka next. Pour the gelatin mixture into the lime halves and refrigerate for approximately 3 hours until the gelatin has set. Cut the lime halves into 4 equal portions and serve!

There are so many interesting facts about watermelon, like did you now it’s 92% water and the first documented watermelon harvest happened about 5,000 years ago in Egypt? What better way to toast to it’s rich history than enjoying this sweet, delicious, and juicy fruit on a hot summer day than with a bit of a kick. Happy Watermelon Day!

La Estate Lista di Vini | VOGA Italia Wines

We love a good sweet wine during the summer, especially when trying to relax while the temperature increases to obnoxious levels of hot. Something about the refreshingly sweet palette makes sharing a glass of wine or two with friends a great way to take your mind off the heat. Today we highlight some of VOGA Italia‘s sweeter wine offerings, along in with a few full and rich wines from the very stylish brand. Are you ready to get to know the delicious VOGA Italia Wines?
voga italia

For those who want their red wine to be a bit less tart and closer to a dessert wine, VOGA Italia’s Dolce Rosso is a superb option. This not-too-sweet red combines a supple blend of Italian Syrah and Merlot, offering up alluring flavors of plum and cherry to seduce the palate and deliver a smooth, lingering taste.

If you’re looking for a wine with a true refreshingly sweet taste, look no further than VOGA Italia’s Moscato. This delightfully delicious, and addictive wine captures the natural fruity aroma and vibrant flavor of the Moscato grape and offers a crisp and smooth bubbly finish.

No on to the slightly less sweet offerings. VOGA Italia’s Pinot Grigio is full and rich, and unlike most Pinot Grigio, combines the soft alluring flavors of Veneto region (known for cooler climates beneficial to white wines) with the structure and breed of Trentino (an Italian region known for German and Austrian influences) to produce this white with fresh ripe apple and pear aromas.

Prosecco is quickly becoming a summer favorite among sparkling wine lovers and VOGA Italia’s Prosecco is a refreshingly balanced sparkling with an explosion of medium floral and citrus scents and flavors. Like the Pinot Grigio, the Prosecco is also from the Veneto region and is produced with an extended Charmat process (when fermentation takes place in a large pressurized container) to improve its effervescence.

Packaged in sleek, modern glass cylindrical bottles, and a unique resealable cap that is revolutionary in the wine industry, the wonderful  VOGA Italia Wines collection of crisp delicious wines encompasses all aspects offering a collection of crisp delicious wine. VOGA Italia Wines retails from $10.99 to $15.99 and includes Pinot Grigio, Merlot, Moscato, Premium Sparkling, Prosecco, and Dolce Rosso.

Celebrate the 4th of July w/ Red, White & TY KU Cocktails

It’s time once again to toast America’s independence and what better way to celebrate the 4th of July than with delicious summer cocktails that are red, white and TY KU. These patriotic themed cocktails are made with TY KU Coconut Sake and TY KU Sake Silver respectively. TY KU Coconut Sake is a premium Nigori Sake, imported from Nara, Japan, that is infused with the refreshingly sweet taste of Coconut and hints of vanilla, while TY KU Sake Silver is a premium Junmai Sake brewed and imported from Nara, Japan. The fresh and slightly sweet sake features subtle pear notes and is crafted from sake rice that is polished so only 70% of the grain remains, a process which removes impurities and refines taste.

Summer Sake Splash

3 oz. TY KU Coconut Sake
Muddle in fresh Raspberries

Coconut Dream

2 oz. TY KU Coconut Sake
1 oz. Orange Juice
1 oz. Pineapple Juice
Shake well, serve chilled

Silver Shooter

2 oz. TY KU Sake Silver
3 oz. Soda Water

Whether you’re looking for low calorie options or want to try a non-traditional cocktail this July 4th, the above easy to make TY KU Sake cocktail recipes will have you feeling patriotic upon the first sip!

La Nuit En Rosé – New York’s First Rosé Wine Festival

Rosé wine lovers set sail on NYC’s Hudson River on June 13-14 to indulge in exquisite wines and seriously good times. The occasion? The country’s first large-scale Rosé tasting event, La Nuit en Rosé. The sold out event, taking place during four 4-hour sessions over two days, gave the public and members of the press, the opportunity to taste 85 rosés crafted by 58 wineries from around the world. The vast selection ensured that wine connoisseurs and novices alike would be able to discover rosés that seduced their taste buds.

As if sampling a bevy of rosé wines weren’t enough, La Nuit En Rosé up’d the experience with a hot DJ, beautiful views aboard the state of the art Hornblower Hybrid, and decadent cuisine to compliment this great summer wines including: a selection of ice creams (one rosé-infused) from The Tipsy Scoop; French pastries, canelés and financiers by Céline; oysters provided by the Brooklyn Oyster Party; and some of the most delectable cheese and charcuterie we’ve ever experienced from Vin sur Vingt, among others. We were elated to be part of this first event there, and we will definitely not miss the next, which promises to be bigger and even better.

Here’s a look at just a few of our favorites from the La Nuit En Rose experience:

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Mulderbosch Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé

Mulderbosch

Blend: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon

Notes: A richly hued and versatile South African wine.

If you are not usually a red wine lover, consider this

Mulderbosch as a pleasant midpoint between whites and reds.

Serve well chilled, paired with a summer salad, salmon, tuna, or sushi.

 

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Berlucchi Franciacorta Rosé NV

Origin: Italy, Franciacorta

Blend: 55% Pinot Noir, 45% Chardonnay

Notes: Beautifully light and refreshing

 

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Ouled Thaleb Rosé 2013

Morocco, Benslimane

60% Syrah, 30% Grenache, 10% Cinsault

Notes: The grapes used to craft Ouled Thaleb are free of herbacides and fungicides.

Pair with tuna and appetizers such as sausage.

 

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OG by Les Eoliers 2013

Chateau Les Eoliers

Origin: France, Languedoc Corbiere

Blend: Grenache, Mourvedre

Notes: If you need a celebratory rosé, this is it.

A Luxuriously designed bottle with a lighted bottom and gold flecks inside.

It’s sure to catch the attention of all party goers.

 

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Domaine Vico Rosé 2013

Origin: France, Corsica

Blend: Nielluccio, Sciaccarellu, Grenache

Notes: This rosé is light and crisp, but still manages to maintain deep flavor.

 

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Tentation by Reunucci Rosé 2013

Domaine Terra Vecchia

Origin: France, Corscia

Blend: 60% Merlot, 30% Syrah, 10% Vermentinu

Notes:
A great bottle for a ladies party. Besides its sleek exterior, Tentation boasts a flavorful, pronounced rosé taste, but with a smooth finish at the end.

 

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Cotes des Roses Rosé 2013

Gerard Bertrand

Origin: France, South of France

Blend: Grenache, Cinsault, Syrah

Notes: This variety is beautifully floral and bares a rose patterned

bottom on it’s bottle to prove it.

 

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Pineto Brachetto d’Acqui 2013

Marenco

Origin: Italy, Brachetto d’Acqui DOCG

Blend: 100% Brachetto d’Acqui

Notes: If you like your rosés and wines sweet,

this certainly fits the bill. This tasty dessert wine has a pronounced

Strawberry bouquet.

 

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Bridge Lane Rosé 2013

Lieb Cellars

Origin: United States, Long Island

Blend: 63% Cabernet Franc, 21% Merlot, 8% Pinot Blanc, 5% Riesling, 3% Gerwurztraminer

Pairing: Fish, raw seafood, oysters, shrimp

 

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Merlot Rosato 2012

Omina Romana

Origin: Italy

Notes: Merlot Rosato is delicately sweet, with a fine balance

between fragrant and fruity.

le Rosé de Mouton Cadet 2013
Origin: France, Bordeaux
Blend: 60% Merlot, 23% Cabernet Franc, 17% Cabernet Sauvignon
Notes: fruity aroma with an elegant subtle fullness, hints of raspberry and red currant make this rose a perfect summer drink.
Food Pairings: great with light dishes – fish, seafood, and light pasta

Terres de Berne Rosé 2013

Chateau de Berne

Origin: France, Provence, Cotes de Provence

Blend: 50% Cinsault, 40% Grenache, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon

Notes: floral and crisp summer fruit flavors, fresh bouquet and taste

Food Pairings: it’s crisp and fresh taste makes it perfect for spicy cuisine such as Indian

 

Champagne Barons de Rothschild Brut Rose
Origin: Champagne, France
Blend: 85% Chardonnay, 15% Pinot Noir
Notes: it has the aroma of rose petal, wild strawberry, and a touch of citrus; it’s light in color, full bodied, and features subtle bubbles. The first taste is fresh and crisp and it pairs perfectly with sushi and lightly cooked lamb.

For the times we needed to take a break or cleanse their palate from wine tasting, the refreshing Lorina Pink Citrus Lemonade was on hand. The sparkling, premium French beverage was a welcomed and delicious cleanser.

We advise anyone who is a fan of the pink-hued wine or for those who just want to learn more about it, to absolutely attend their next event, the experience is wonderful.

Drink to Your Good Health w/ RealBeanz Iced Coffee

A special note to all my coffee-addicted readers out there, if anyone ever tells you that coffee has no nutritional value and drinking too much might be unhealthy, just say three words to them – RealBeanz Iced Coffee. If you’re looking for a coffee drink with health benefits, the ready-to-drink, nutrient enhanced RealBeanz range of gourmet iced coffees combines premium-brewed beans and reduced-fat milk with functional ingredients such as vitamins and potent herbs. These body-loving iced coffees have no artificial flavorings, coloring, sweeteners or preservatives, and are low in calories.

Do you find you’re tired all the time? Step away from the energy drinks and grab a RealBeanz Energize Cappuccino Iced Coffee, an invigorating beverage blend featuring authentic Italian cappuccino coffee with a hint of cinnamon.

If you’re counting calories but still love a good iced cappuccino, you will love the RealBeanz Trim & Fit Diet Cappuccino, an authentic Italian cappuccino coffee blend along with nutrient-based enhancements that are heavy on flavor and nutraceuticals that helps burn body fat and increase lean muscle.

For those of you who need to enjoy relaxation, grab and enjoy a RealBeanz Relax Decaffeinated Vanilla Nut Iced Coffee and it’s smooth taste infused with imported coffee beans, creamy milk, Madagascar vanilla nut and naturally-calming herbs to sooth feelings of nervousness brought on by everyday stresses.

Think your coffee can’t fight off that summer cold? Think again! The RealBeanz Resist Mocha features a strong mocha flavor that’s loaded with powerful ingredients (like Green tea) that will add a boost to your body’s immune system.

Need focus to take on your daily tasks? The RealBeanz Focus Caramel Iced Coffee features genuine caramel coffee along with brain-boosting benefits, by utilizing an intelligent blend of ingredients to keep things in absolute focus and improve your everyday activities.

Last but certainly not least, for those of you who love the benefits of coconut water will love the RealBeanz Cappuccino with Coconut Water and the RealBeanz Dark Roast w/Coconut Water, both are great to get through the day; made with 20% coconut water, Italian cappuccino and bold, premium-roasted coffee (respectively), these two delicious beverages will have you feeling refreshed.

The RealBeanz Iced Coffees comes in 9.6 oz bottles and retails for $1.99- $2.69 per bottle or you can buy a sample case of 7 bottles for $16.00 or a case of 12 bottles for $24.00 on www.amazon.com.

Champion of Breakfast: Oats

When it comes to eating while updating the blog, we’ve been very bad lately. Sometimes we forget to eat or just continuously snack on one thing, usually a bag of chips or cookies, until the bag is empty and our guilt is full (not to mention our calorie intake). But thankfully, we’ve been introduced to some great new, healthy breakfast choices to help begin our day the right day. Today we start with Oats from three brands, a great meal for breakfast or as a midday snack. Truthfully although breakfast is known as the most important meal of the day, it is most often the most skipped meal of the day. Below are some of our most recent Oat-based favorites from Lifeway Kefir, Modern Oats, and Oatworks.LIFEWAY KEFIR W/ OATS

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Ready for a complete on-the-go breakfast or a satisfying snack break any time of day? You will love Lifeway’s latest fusion of classic oatmeal with the probiotic benefits of their low-fat kefir, spices, and fruits – Lifeway Kefir with Oats. Available in three refreshing and delicious breakfast flavors, you start your day with 1.5 grams of prebiotic (non-digestible fiber compounds), soluble oat fiber, which is shown to encourage growth of healthy stomach bacteria, help to manage normal levels of cholesterol, regulate your blood sugar, and satisfy your hunger. This delicious breakfast beverage is available in cinnamon apple, blueberry maple, and vanilla plum.

MODERN OATS

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For those who want artisanal crafted, small-farmed oatmeal packed with the wholesome goodness of whole rolled oats, organic evaporated cane juice, superfruits like goji berries, cherries, mangoes, Saskatoon berries, blackberries and blueberries, omega 3 rich seeds and nuts, all packaged in “on-the-go” cups that do not require microwaving, you will want Modern Oats for breakfast. Featuring all natural oatmeal made with organic ingredients, 48+ grams of whole grains, is Non-GMO and certified Gluten-free, vegan certified and a great source of protein and fiber, Modern Oats is great for those who care about what they eat and where it’s from. Modern Oats is available in six delicious flavors: Apple Walnut, 5 Berry, Goji-Blueberry, Mango Blackberry, Nuts & Seeds and Chocolate Cherry.

OATWORKS

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Here’s another candidate for those who has their breakfast on the go or to battle that mid-day slump. Oatworks is a natural oat-based smoothie with fresh fruit mixed in that provides a great dose of beta glucan that works to make you feel fuller longer and provides natural energy with ingredients that are full of vitamins and minerals. On a diet? No problem, Oatworks Smoothies are vegan-friendly, dairy free, soy free, kosher, sweetener-free, and gluten-free. The fruit blended drink is available in three natural flavors: Strawberry Banana, Peach Mango, and Pomegranate Blueberry and can be found at Whole Foods, FreshDirect.com, and Amazon.

You’re Invited: La Nuit En Rosé Wine Event

Calling all fellow New York City fans of Rosé Wine, have we got an amazing event to share with you thanks to wine entrepreneur, Pierrick Bouquet. No longer known as the wine industry’s step child, everyone is declaring their love for the pink-hued wine. As the weather gets warmer, Rosé wines are enjoying a surge of popularity and one event that will celebrate this delicious vintage is the La Nuit En Rosé (The Pink Night) event in NYC. Rosés, have long been known for their incredible versatility and as complimentary to any food…plus it is the official wine of summer. This wine and food tasting extravaganza, the country’s first large-scale wine event devoted exclusively to sparkling and still Rosé wines, takes place during two-four hour sessions on June 13th and 14th aboard the luxurious, state-of-the art Hornblower Hybrid, along the Hudson River.
rose_wine la-nuit-en-rose-yacht

La Nuit en Rosé will celebrate an astonishing 85 various rosés from 58 wineries around the world, including: France, Italy, Spain, Chile, South Africa, Lebanon, Turkey, Morocco, Argentina and the US and promises a chic, cocktail-style tasting event with lively music, and some of the best views the city has to offer. The event will also include delicious cuisine to compliment the variety of wines, such as a selection of ice creams (one rosé-infused) from The Tipsy Scoop; canelés and financiers French pastries by Céline; oysters provided from the Brooklyn Oyster Party; and cheese and charcuterie from Vin sur Vingt.

nuit-rose-sunset

Choose your experience La Nuit en Rosé below:

DAY – 1PM to 5PM: Take in the summertime sun during our daytime celebration. Sip on the world’s finest Rosé wines while taking in the sights of downtown New York City and listening to live music. Cruises begin at 2pm and sail until 3:30pm.

NIGHT – 7PM to 11PM: Prepare for a night of wine tasting, dancing, and cruising around the city. Enjoy views of the lit-up Manhattan skyline and explore some of the best rosé wines from around the world. Cruises begin at 8pm and sail until 9:30pm.

The event will also feature a wine competition, where ten distinguished judges, sommeliers and wine directors – Jamie Kaloustian from Dovetail, Paul Altuna from Le Cirque, Roger Dagorn from Tocqueville, Victoria James from Ristorante Mornini I Alta Marea Group, Chad Walsh from The Dutch, AJ Ojeda-Pons from Lambs Club, Geoffrey Fischer from wd~50, international wine judge Robin Kelley O’Connor, and master of wine Lisa Granik, will be on hand to bestow honors on the best of the very same wines you as a guest will be sampling. And, unlike almost any other wine competitions, La Nuit En Rosé will feature an audience award.

Passes for each tasting are only $60.00 each and can be purchased here: http://nuitrose.com/event/attend.

Drink in the Fire: Torani Launches “Sweet Heat” Syrup

Ever had a beverage that you wish packed more of a punch in flavor? One that brought some heat, some fire, to liven up your drink? We’ve recently seen many alcohol brands launch spicy or peppery flavors and Torani, makers of innovative syrup flavors for the past 85 years introduces a new flavor that combines equal parts fiery heat and sweet.

This summer, get ready to add an intensely hot and deliciously sweet flavor to all your beverages thanks to Torani‘s award-winning Sweet Heat Syrup. This newest flavor addition, which combines the fiery heat of ghost peppers with the sweetness of pure cane sugar to your hot or cold drinks – like lemonade, coffee, cocktails, teas, and smoothies – adds the perfect balance of hot and sweet, without changing the flavor of your drink.

“Ghost peppers, or Naga/Bhut Jolokia as they are known in India, are 125 times hotter than the hottest jalapeños and have been a Guinness World Records holder for heat. Torani spent three months tinkering with perfecting the balance of warmth and sweetness for Sweet Heat, sampling over 15 combinations.”

Sweet Heat joins the recently added successful, on-trend flavors from Torani, like Blood Orange Watermelon Habanero, Chicken ‘n Waffles and the very popular Bacon Syrup. Sweet Heat was also just given the Best New Product and People’s Choice awards from the Specialty Coffee Association of America. The 750ml bottle retails for $7.99 and is available online now at http://shop.torani.com.