McDonald’s Celebrates Summer with McCafé Ready-to-Drink Frappés

There is no denying that this summer has been extremely hot. We have established that we can not survive this summer without a cold drink in hand at all times. Luckily there are rich and creamy delicious options for keeping cool. The most recent one comes from McDonald’s and their new McCafé ready-to-drink Frappés. It was a perfect way to kick off and cool down a hot summer day.

We had the pleasure of attending the McCafé Frappé Summ “Ahh” Rooftop celebration to celebrate the ready-to-drink Frappé flavors. The on-the-go drinks were the perfect way to keep cool as she enjoyed the view from the Spotify rooftop. The McCafé ready-to-drink Frappés are everything you love about McDonald’s delicious frappes in now conveniently available in a bottle at retailers everywhere. Now you can indulge in rich, creamy and delicious flavors with every sip of McCafé ready-to-drink Frappés.

The café-quality, McCafé ready-to-drink Frappés are now available in three mouthwatering flavors, Caramel, Vanilla, and Mocha. All three flavors contain real sugar, real milk and are made with 100% Arabica beans. Now you can enjoy your favorite McCafé Frappés whenever you want, wherever the day takes you. We’re not usually big coffee fans but we admit the Vanilla flavored frappe has absolutely got out attention and it absolutely did its job of keeping us cool and happy.

McCafé ready-to-drink Frappés McCafé ready-to-drink Frappés McCafé ready-to-drink Frappés

This launch was a year in the making as it was first announced on August 30th, 2017. We had a great time keeping cool and enjoying the wonderful music Spotify had to offer on their spacious rooftop; as well as take advantage of the McCafé frappe hued flip flops (they were perfect for our relaxing weekend walks).

McCafé ready-to-drink FrappésMcCafé ready-to-drink Frappés McCafé ready-to-drink Frappés

The McCafé ready-to-drink Frappés are available in 13.7 oz resealable PET bottles. They can be purchased at grocery, convenience, and mass merchandise retailers nationwide.

The Macallan Whisky Distillery and Visitor Experience

The Cask Diaries: The Macallan Distillery and Visitor Experience

There are some experiences we’ve added to our “amazing time” list and recently had the pleasure of adding another one. This latest experience was to celebrate the new era of The Macallan (world renown Scotish whisky) with an immersive experience that highlighted The Macallan Distillery and Visitor Experience. This visitor experience gave us an insight into the process, production, people and passion that makes The Macallan single malt whisky so special.

The Macallan Whisky Distillery and Visitor Experience

The Weylin was transformed into a whisky-loving haven. As we waited to be alerted for our turn on the virtual tour, we indulged in a few cocktails and explored the gorgeous space. We started at The Macallan 1824 Bar, stood in awe of the collection of vintage Macallan Scottish whiskys, the oldest of which was from 1938.

The Macallan Whisky Distillery and Visitor ExperienceThe Macallan Whisky Distillery and Visitor Experience

Continuing on with its history, we got to know the spirit more with the history of The Macallan wall, which featured a the timeline from the Easter Elchies House being built for Captain John Grant in 1700, all the way to the new product launches of today.

The Macallan Whisky Distillery and Visitor Experience

We then journeyed to the next room which housed an interactive bar with cocktails made with The Macallan Double Cask 12 Whisky and highlighted the latest launch, the limited edition Edition No. 4.  It is said this new edition “embodies the craftsmanship and pioneering design of the new Macallan Distillery and demonstrates the mastery of whisky making on the estate since 1824.”

The Macallan Whisky Distillery and Visitor Experience

At this bar, your cocktail was determined by the glass you chose – a highball or an Old Fashioned glass. The cocktail choices were a Rooftop Rickey or the Easter Elchies Old Fashioned. We went the Rooftop Rickey.

The Macallan Whisky Distillery and Visitor Experience The Macallan Whisky Distillery and Visitor Experience The Macallan Whisky Distillery and Visitor Experience

Halfway through our Rooftop Rickey cocktail, it was our turn for the virtual tour of The Macallan Distillery and Visitor Experience. We were ushered upstairs, handed Glencairn whisky glasses of the limited edition Edition No. 4 to get acquainted with. The copper-hued spirit is crafted from a combination of both American and European oak casks. It is a zesty, vibrant and invigorating single malt of rounded honey, sweet toffee, and citrus fruits. We were then ushered throw another door, given headphones and directed into a cube-shaped area for the final part of The Macallan Distillery and Visitor Experience.

The Macallan Whisky Distillery and Visitor Experience The Macallan Whisky Distillery and Visitor Experience The Macallan Whisky Distillery and Visitor Experience

The Macallan Distillery and Visitor Experience virtual tour featured an audio and visual tour of the facilities and the entire collection. The complete immersive Distillery and Visitor Experience came to life for all to see at Grand Central Station’s Vanderbilt Hall for three days, following this event. After our tour, we ended the night in a grand hall where we ate and drank to our heart’s content, and took in another virtual tour at the VR Bar.

The Macallan Whisky Distillery and Visitor Experience The Macallan Whisky Distillery and Visitor Experience The Macallan Whisky Distillery and Visitor Experience

We ended the evening enjoying several glasses of the beet juice-based The Ruby Queen cocktail and the equally delicious The Hillside Sour cocktail (both of which are featured below). They both paired perfectly with the delicious array of food that was made available at the event.

The Macallan Whisky Distillery and Visitor Experience The Macallan Whisky Distillery and Visitor Experience The Macallan Whisky Distillery and Visitor Experience

As we stated at the beginning, The Macallan Distillery and Visitor Experience is definitely on our list of amazing times we’ve had and we hope to enjoy the real thing one day.

Hailee Steinfeld at the Post-It Back To School Event

Hailee Steinfeld and Post-it Brand Kick off Back to School

Can you believe the back to school season is almost here! As we head into the end of July, we can’t help but think that for many, school reopens in the mid to late August. So it’s time to really think about the upcoming school season. We had the great opportunity to kicked off the back-to-school season with Singer/Actress Hailee Steinfeld and Post-it Brand. An event with a wonderful surprise performance by Hailee (keep reading to see the video of her performance).

Hailee Steinfeld at the Post-It Back To School Event Hailee Steinfeld at the Post-It Back To School Event

We were among the very lucky few who got the chance to attend this wonderful event, which was a joint effort with Hailee Steinfeld and Post-it Brand to celebrate the back-to-school season and inspire students to dream big, set goals and make them stick.  The other attendees? Students from the NYC chapter of national non-profit After-School All-Stars, a program that provides comprehensive after-school programs that keep children safe and help them succeed in school and life. The program strives to ensure that be safe and healthy, to graduate high school and go to college, to find careers they love and then give back to their communities.

Hailee Steinfeld and Post-It Notes Back to School Event

The kids had a great time dancing and playing with the available Post-It Notes. The Hailee Steinfeld and Post-it back-to-school event offered several interactive things to do including writing down special song requests on Post-It Extreme Notes and posting it on a brick wall for the DJ and sharing what motivates them, what they’re thinking about, and what are they looking forward to.

Hailee Steinfeld and Post-It Back To School Event Hailee Steinfeld and Post-It Back To School Event Hailee Steinfeld and Post-It Back To School Event

We also enjoyed an exclusive preview of the new products from the Post-it Brand, an interactive Q&A with Hailee Steinfeld and Remi Kent, Global Business Director of the Post-it Brand, and the aforementioned one-of-a-kind performance by Hailee. Check out our video of the Q&A before her performance below:

Did you know you are 42% more likely to achieve a goal if you write it down? Both Remi Kent and Hailee Steinfeld stated this fact and from our own experience, we can attest to that. With this event, Post-it Brand helped to inspire students like the ones from After-School All-Stars NYC. We are certainly inspired and can’t wait to share our goals, to-do lists and dreams on some of the absolutely adorable new launches from Post-It Brand. We especially love the Polaroid Camera and White Ceramic Bear Post-It Notes dispensers, the Emoji and state-shaped Post-It Notes, and of course, the previously covered Post-It Extreme Notes. Which are your favorites?

Hailee Steinfeld and Post-It Brand Event Hailee Steinfeld and Post-It Brand Event

Without further delay, please enjoy Hailee Steinfeld’s acoustic musical performance featured below:

Last but certainly not least was the colorful decor, all done with post-it notes of course. From the incredible post-it notes flowers, streamers, and the massive Dream Wall.

You may notice the Post-It Dream wall is filled with handwritten hopes and dreams. Check out a close-up of some of those below and please share with us what would you write on the Dream Wall?

National Sour Candy Day with Sour Punch Candy’s Embrace Your Punch Tour

If you haven’t heard, today is National Sour Candy Day. A day to celebrate the candy that moves your tastebuds (and facial expressions) through a rollercoaster of flavors and reactions. A few weeks ago we (and several other sour candy fans) had the pleasure of enjoying some delicious Sour Punch Candy during their inaugural “Embrace Your Punch” Tour. This innovative tour allowed anyone who wanted the opportunity to enjoy free samples of their one-of-a-kind Sour Punch Twists designed specifically for the tour, themed activities and photos with the brand’s Pun-Chi character.

What better way to kick off the Summer season that with the experience of a unique pop up candy counter and try out new candy flavors. These special flavors will include Berry Lemonade, Grape-Pineapple, and Watermelon-Honeydew, along with five other fruit flavors.

We caught up with The Embrace Your Punch Tour Manager, Kylie Martin, at their Coney Island tour stop to get the deets on what sour candy fans can expect. Check out our interview with her below on our IGTV:

The event featured an elaborate Sour Punch themed-exhibit, with a uniquely built container as the centerpiece from which Sour Punch ambassadors distributed complimentary samples of the treats, along with other promotional items. Coney Island was the seventh stop on the stop on the tour for Sour Candy Punch, having previously been at the Gulf Shores in Alabama, Atlanta, Charlotte, Philadelphia, Richmond, and Washington, DC. It continued on to Boston and ended today in Chicago just in time for National Sour Candy Day.

The Embrace Your Punch Tour is all about self-love and embracing what makes YOU. The brand gave all in attendance the opportunity to share what makes them unique. The goal is appreciating and celebrating those characteristics that make us wonderfully different. Sour Punch Candy wants everyone to focus on choosing kindness and the profound things that make us unique.

We hope this wonderful tour continues on for years to come and of course beyond National Sour Candy Day. Hope you celebrated this sweet and sour day with a few twisted flavor treats. Visit www.sourpunch.com to shop for your favorite sour candy and see what future events Sour Punch might have coming up.

 

Alcohol Photography: Blend of Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey and Rye Whiskey

Basil Hayden’s Bourbon Releases Limited-Edition Basil Hayden’s Two by Two Rye

Contrary to popular belief, not every woman wants a “girly” drink. We can love a great bourbon whiskey just as much (in some cases more) as a cosmo. As any woman will attest, the life of a woman can be extremely stressful and sometimes calls for a drink that’s as tough as we are. If you’ve ever had a shot of bourbon whiskey, then you know there’s nothing “girly” about his spirit. Which is why we were so excited to help Basil Hayden’s Bourbon celebrate the release of their new Limited-Edition Basil Hayden’s Two by Two Rye.

Alcohol Photography: Blend of Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey and Rye Whiskey

If you are not familiar, Basil Hayden’s Bourbon is one of the fastest growing super-premium bourbons on the market. We’ve enjoyed a glass or two of the small batch whiskey since our introduction to the brand in 2013. First their Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, their deeply spiced Rye Whiskey, their one-of-kind Dark Rye, and now the Basil Hayden’s Two by Two Rye. This latest addition boasts an unprecedented blend of two Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskies and two Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskies. Basil Hayden’s Two by Two Rye breaks the category norms to offer whiskey fans the best of both worlds: the full spiciness of rye, complemented by the sweet characteristics and finish of bourbon.

Alcohol Photography: Blend of Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey and Rye Whiskey

Two by Two Rye offers a premium blend of two ryes and two bourbons, which have been artfully combined to find the perfect complement in one another. With a balance of 5-year-old Kentucky Straight Rye, a 7-year-old “high-rye” Kentucky Straight Rye, a 13-year-old Kentucky Straight Bourbon, and a 6-year-old Kentucky Straight Bourbon, the result is a wholly unique golden honey hued whiskey that makes a name for itself. It features an aroma of rich caramel and brown sugar with a sumptuous, woody rye flavor profile. It is smooth and medium-bodied with a balanced blend of sumptuous rye and brown sweets with an ample woody accent which finishes with a pleasant, long lingering warmth.

Alcohol Photography: Blend of Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey and Rye Whiskey

“Basil Hayden’s has always been known for its distinctive spicy finish, so innovating in the rye category continues to be an exciting venture for the brand, especially as interest in the category grows exponentially,” said Rob Mason, Vice President Marketing, Whiskey at Beam Suntory. “While Basil Hayden’s Two by Two Rye upholds our trademark spice and approachability, this blend also challenges the status quo and encourages fans to discover the versatility of rye.”

The 80 proof Basil Hayden’s Two by Two Rye continues Basil Hayden’s pursuit of innovation within the rye whiskey category. The launch of Basil Hayden’s Two by Two Rye builds on momentum set by the brand’s two recent launches, Basil Hayden’s Rye Whiskey and Basil Hayden’s Dark Rye. Both were met with impressive reception and acclaim, with Basil Hayden’s Rye Whiskey being awarded “Rye Whiskey of The Year” at the 2017 New York International Spirits Competition.

Alcohol Photography: Blend of Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey and Rye Whiskey

Basil Hayden’s Two by Two Rye is best enjoyed sipped neat or on the rocks. The limited edition blend is now available nationwide at a suggested retail price of $44.99 for a 750mL bottle. Look for it packaged in a light tan and deep green, hand-applied parchment bib and wrapped with the copper belt iconic to Basil Hayden’s. For more information about visit www.basilhaydens.com.

French Restaurants

Eat, Drink, Be French: French Restaurant Week Kick Off at Cafe Centro

We were invited back to French Brasserie-styled, Cafe Centro, to celebrate the kick-off of the 9th edition of French Restaurant Week New York as part of the Bastille Week festivities. From July 2nd to 15th in New York (and July 9th to 22nd in Chicago), participants will experience masterful cuisine and gastronomy while honoring French culture and history. For two weeks, selected French restaurants will offer prix-fixe menus at $17.89, $25, $38, and $178.90 to commemorate the French Revolution in 1789.

Participating New York restaurants: AOC East, AOC L’aile ou la Cuisse, Bistro Vendome, Bistrot Leo at the Sixty Soho Hotel, Boucherie , Boucherie Park, Brasserie 8 1/2 Patina Group, Cafe Centro Patina Group, Cafe du Soleil, Deux Amis, Dominique Bistro, Excuse My French, Fig & Olive, Jubilee, La Sirène, Le Bateau Ivre, Le Rivage, Maison Harlem, Match 65, Pardon My French, Perrine at The Pierre Hotel, Troquet.

French Restaurant Week continues to partner with OpenTable where diners can easily book their reservations online throughout the event. At Cafe Centro, known for French favorites with a Mediterranean twist, Executive Chef Christine Towers offered up a great selection of hors-d’oeuvres paired with two appropriately selected rosé wines (‘Tis the season for Pink Drink!):  Jalliance Cremant de Bordeaux (Brut and Rosé) and Chateau Pourcieux Rosé 2017.

Chef Towers utilizes her French-focused menu to masterfully play with Mediterranean, Italian, Japanese, Peruvian and Mexican techniques on your plate together. We sampled a beautifully refreshing Leek Terrine in champagne vinaigrette, a vibrant red Tuna Crudo (with watermelon beet and citrus), and an AMAZING Beef Tartare Crostini, which we very graciously went back to for seconds and thirds because it was THAT delicious.

Chef Towers was also very interesting to briefly chat with! Not only because of her amazing Michelin-studded resume, but her proven leadership abilities as an executive chef in a notoriously male-dominated industry. I am certain she has a lifetime of stories and pearls of wisdom to share with aspiring top chefs from all walks of life.

Cafe Centro, you have made a new friend in me.  And as the French saying goes,  “Que les invités qui entrent dans cette maison, repartent en amis.”  We will be back to embrace you at your Wine Bar series this Summer!

A New Pop Up Wine Bar Series at Café Centro sees Chef Christina Towers transforming Café Centro’s outdoor patio on 45th Street and Vanderbilt Avenue. On Monday evenings this summer, the French brasserie turns into a wine bar devoted to French pairings. Dubbed Monday Mariage, a nod to the French definition of “Mariage,” meaning “a blend of 2 things”, the wine bar runs from June 18th through September 10th, 2018 every Monday night. Each night will feature a different pairing, starting with Champagne, Provencal rosé, and Armagnac.  For $25.00 – $30.00, guests can enjoy expert pairings featuring French food and beverage menus that highlight a classic French beverage (i.e., Champagne) matched with 1-3 of its perfect counterparts (i.e. caviar). The rotating schedule kicked off on Monday, June 18th with Lanson Champagne paired with Crab Salad, CroqueMadamee with Quail Eggs and Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms. The full calendar is available on www.cafecentrowinebar.com.

ALL of the French Restaurant Week participating menus were so promising to the senses. I’ve already made my reservations for Le Bateau Ivre for lunch, Excuse My French for their Bar Menu offerings, and Cafe du Soleil for Dinner….stay tuned for reviews…

 

Will you be partaking in French Restaurant Week?

 

 

Edited by Glasgow Skinner
All untagged photos provided by Cafe Centro
Portuguese wines

For Wine Enthusiasts: Why You’ll Enjoy the Vinho Verde Wine Experience

Hello, summertime! There are many things to celebrate during the month of June. For one thing, it’s the month that welcomes summer. It is also the month to celebrate National Rosé Day, National Bubbly Day, National Flip Flop Day, and much more ways to celebrate summer. Speaking of Rosé, we had the pleasure of celebrating National Rosé Day at the Vinho Verde Wine Experience. It was a day filled with wonderful Rosé and White wines from over 30 leading wineries in the Vinho Verde region of Portugal. (Fun fact: Did you know Rosé wine is the oldest known type of wine, dating back as far as 600 BC?)

While you may think ‘Verde’ refers to the color green, it actually refers to the wines being young wines; the Vinho  Verde wines are released 3-6 months after harvest. These wines are light to medium bodied, boast lower alcohol, are usually crisp, and feature a floral and fruity freshness. The day-long Vinho Verde Wine festival was broken down into three, 3-hr sessions. It featured sommeliers hosting information sessions about the Vinho Verde region; mixologists who created unique and distinctive Vinho Verde-based beverages at the Vinho Verde Cocktail Bar; live music; live artist painting by artist Christopher Ghiraldi throughout the event; a photo booth to capture memories;  complimentary food options from Ferris, Conmigo, New York Burger Co, Eataly NYC, Silly Chilly Dumplings, and MY/MO Mochi Ice Cream; and of course, unlimited wine tastings from such Portuguese vineyards as AB Valley Wines, Adega Ponte de Lima, Campelo, Aveleda, Quinta da Lixa, Manuel Costa & Filhos, and Adega de Monção.

The Vinho Verde region bases much of its winemaking on the unique use of blends from the several indigenous grape varietals the region is known for, such as like Loureiro, Trajadura, and the classic Alvarinho. Vinho Verde has produced wine for over 2,000 years, making it one of the oldest wine regions in Portugal and one of the largest wine regions in Europe.

Since it was National Rosé Day, we started off sampling the Rosé wines first, then some white wines. Our first Rosé was from the Adega Ponte de Lima vineyard. This crisp, salmon-colored wine boasts a delicate, slightly sweet with a rich wild red berry flavor. In fact, we enjoyed all the wines from this vineyard, they were all refreshing and crisp, perfect for the hot summer days. But there was more to enjoy at the Vinho Verde Wine experience.

We really enjoyed the wines from the Aveleda and Casal Garcia vineyards. These wines were very high on our lists. We loved it all, from the sweet and fresh white to effervescent sparkling, and the bright rosé. The young and refreshing Casal Garcia White has a very delicate and slightly fruity aroma making it a fresh, smooth and well-balanced wine. The Sweet Casal Garcia is sweet but not too much for an extremely hot day. We found it quite refreshing and versatile. The Casal Garcia rosé has a gentle and fruity aroma that gives it a gives it a smooth, delicate flavor. There were so many Vinho Verde Wine options per vineyard that we had to take a break to eat before we continued on our tasting journey.

After we were properly sated, we continued on to taste more Vinho Verde wines from Arca Nova, Casa das Hortas, Tapada do Marques, Casal de Ventozela, and many more.

As previously stated, Artist Christopher Ghiraldi was live painting throughout the event. The artwork was inspired by the Vinho Verde wine logo, which is wine swirling in a glass. Check out his work below:

As a wine enthusiast, the Vinho Verde Wine event was an experience to remember. We look forward to attending again next year. What are your thoughts on this wine experience fellow wine lovers? Is this something you’d enjoy attending?

Cheers to Campari and Imbibe Magazine’s Sixth Annual Negroni Week

Hello fellow Campari fans, we had a blast celebrating Campari and Imbibe Magazine’s Sixth Annual Negroni Week. This year’s Negroni Week kick-off party was everything we could have asked for and more. Not only did we indulge in a variety of specialty made Negroni cocktails, we thoroughly enjoyed the surprise pairing session and evening’s entertainment.

For the sixth annual Negroni Week, the Ragtrader was turned into the gateway to a Campari heaven, celebrating Italy’s iconic red Aperitivo and the global charity initiative. The main level of The Ragtrader featured four fun takes on the classic Negroni cocktail from NYC’s top bartenders, as well as servings of Negroni-inspired bites. We enjoyed the following cocktails: the Beyond Tiki Paradise Negroni created by Felicia Chin-Braxton, the Beyond Bitter New-Groni created by Daniel Warrilow, the Beyond Bubbles Thai Basil Sbagliato created by Stacey Swenson, and the I Bleed Negroni created by Anne Louise Marquis.

On the lower level, dubbed Club Negroni, there was an entire bar dedicated to one interactive activity – a Negroni and food pairing featuring three cocktails paired with a savory, sweet, and creamy amuse bouche.

Club Negroni Bar at the Sixth Annual Negroni Week

From left to right, we had Bitter & Brine: Vine-Groni cocktail paired with a Citrus-topped East Coast Oyster; The Sweet & Heat: Roni Negroni cocktail paired with a Cacio e Pepe Arancini Bite; and Petal & Pistachio: Rosy Negroni cocktail paired with a Creamy Pistachio Macaron.

Negroni Cockatils and Food PairingNegroni Cockatils and Food Pairing

The Club Negroni entertainment was wonderfully provided by a hilarious pianist who kept the crowd going with Hip Hop and Rap renditions. You couldn’t ask for better music while sipping on the almost unlimited flow of Negroni Week cocktails.

Pianist at the Sixth Annual Negroni Week

If the festivities we enjoyed at the Negroni Week kick-off party are any indication, the sixth annual Negroni Week is sure to be an amazing one. We are sure this year will raise more money than the $537,439 that was raised last year. Did you partake in the sixth annual Negroni Week festivities?