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Cinco de Mayo Cocktails With Jaisalmer Indian Craft Gin

We know what you’re thinking when it comes to Cinco de Mayo, it should start and end with tequila. But you’d be surprised to see how gin, especially a very well-made gin, can be a delightful tequila substitute. When we first heard about Jaisalmer Indian Craft Gin, we were immediately intrigued. Like a traditional gin, Jaisalmer‘s base is Juniper Berries, but it’s the Indian herbs that really make it special. The traditional pine notes are awakened with the likes of Darjeeling Tea, Lemongrass, Vetiver, Indian Coriander, and Licorice, to make a few.

The result is a refreshing and spicy twist that includes the combination of peppery, spicy, citrus, and anise notes. Because tequila and gin are plant-based spirits, they both add grassy or leafy flavors to cocktails. Both are also excellent bases for cocktails made with citrus, mint, and ginger flavors; they just add different flavor personalities to the cocktails. In honor of Cinco de Mayo, we welcome three Jaisalmer Indian Craft Gin cocktails for those who may want a change from the traditional tequila drink recipes.

The Golden Fort

50ml Jaisalmer Gin
15ml Lime Juice
10ml Cinnamon Syrup
50ml Cloudy Apple Juice
Sliced Green Apple Nutmeg (optional) Ice
Pour Jaisalmer Gin over cubed ice, add fresh lime juice, cinnamon syrup, and cloudy apple juice. Garnish with an apple fan of 3 slices and add grated nutmeg on top (optional).

The Jaisalmer Peppertini

50ml Jaisalmer Gin
20ml Pink Peppercorn Syrup
20ml Fresh Lemon Juice
40ml Pink Grapefruit Juice
Pour Jaisalmer Gin, Peppercorn Syrup, fresh lemon juice, and pink grapefruit juice into a shaker, shake and double strain into a pre-chilled coupe glass. (To make peppercorn simple syrup: add crushed pink peppercorns to a simple Monin sugar syrup to infuse.)

The Jaisalmer Indian Gin & Tonic

50ml Jaisalmer Gin
125ml Fever-Tree Indian Tonic Water
Orange peel
Ice
Fill a Copa glass with ice. Add Jaisalmer Gin and top up with Fever Tree Indian Tonic Water. Add an orange peel twist.

Are you ready for a gin that bears slightly off the traditional course? Are you ready to experience Jaisalmer Indian Craft Gin?

Mastering Mixology With Bandero Tequila and Ricardo Calderon

With Cinco de Mayo just days away, there’s no better time to master the art of Mixology. We love a great cocktail and have enjoyed quite a few made by some talented mixologists. But on this occasion, we got to show off our own mixologist thanks to Bandero Tequila and California-based Mixologist, Ricardo Calderon.

Mixologist Ricardo Calderon at Bandero Mixology Class

Bandero made with blue agave and is described as radical in flavor and style. One look at its incredible packaging will surely solidify this fact. Under the fun tutelage of Ricardo Calderon and with Bandero Tequila as our main ingredient, we created two delicious and very different tequila-based cocktails. First was the Bandero’s Cup, followed by the Bandero Helada. We also learned an incredible amount of tequila facts. Did you know washing your hands in tequila really opens up its notes? We bet you also didn’t know it is because of rabbits and Native Americans that tequila basically exists. As we said there was a lot of interesting things to learn from the California-based Mixologist.

Fairly new to the market, Bandero Tequila has already established itself as a standout, already winning a Double Gold Medal at the 2018 Global Spirit Awards and another Double Gold Medal at the 2018 Wine & Spirits Wholesalers Of America Tasting Competition.

Bandero’s Cup

1 lime sliced into 6 wedges
1/2 oz of Agave Syrup (2 parts blend of Agave nectar and 1 part purified water)
3 half-inch slices of cucumber
2 oz of Bandero Tequila
Combine lime wedges, and agave syrup in a shaking tin and muddle until well mixed (15 seconds). Add cucumbers and lightly muddle some more. Add Bandero tequila and fill the tin with ice. Shake for 10 seconds at a moderate strength and toss contents of the tin into a rocks glass to serve. Alternatively, shake harder and then add 2 oz of soda water before straining into a highball with fresh ice. Garnish with a cucumber wheel, add a pinch of smoked salt and serve.

Bandero Helada

2 oz of freshly squeezed lime juice
1 lime wedge
1 lemon wedge
2 serrano slices (1/4 of pepper, taste for spice level)
3 oz of Bandero Helada Blend (3 parts tomato juice, 2 parts Cholula hot sauce, 1 part Maggi)
1 oz of Bandero Tequila
3 oz ABK Hell Lager
Prepare a cold pint glass by rubbing a lime wedge on the rim before dipping it into a plate of tajin powder. Muddle together all non-alcoholic ingredients, then add Bandero and ice to the tin. Shake tins vigorously for 30 seconds. Add ice, then 3 oz of ABK Hell Lager to a prepared pint glass. Hawthorne-strain and fine-strain tin contents into the pint glass. Garnish with lemon and lime wedges and serve.

If you’re looking to expand your tequila palate this Cinco de Mayo, get to know the revolutionary flavor of Bandero Tequila.

Cantina Rooftop Kicks off the Season w/ Contemporary Mexican Menu

We don’t think we’re the only ones who’s noticed that New York City has become frustratingly crowded with everything from people to scaffolding to traffic jams. For this reason alone, seeking an oasis to escape the honking, the service delays, the sidewalk snail-paces and the Pac-Man-like meandering through the concrete and steel has become a welcomed respite. If you’re anything like us then your oasis must have something savory to nosh, a bartender who gives good pours and a feeling of welcome while you escape the city’s oftentimes unwelcoming disposition. For us, that oasis is the Cantina Rooftop Restaurant & Lounge. Join David and I as we journey through Cantina Rooftop’s new contemporary Mexican menu from Chef Saul Montiel and new cocktails from mixologist Miquel Sanchez.

GLASGOW: Welcome to the Mexican garden of earthly and intoxicating delights! If you’re looking for authentic Mexican fare that seamlessly combines old world tradition and modern touches, Cantina Rooftop should be your to-go. Thanks to its retractable roof, you and your party can celebrate everything…..rain or shine. As someone who has visited this location, I am never disappointed and their new contemporary Mexican menu was everything my appetite craved.

Every bite was a musical of incredible color, texture, and flavors. It was as if I was consuming the country itself through my palate. The menu, created by Executive Chef Saul Montiel, was wonderful. You will delight in the assortment of flavorful seafood Tostadas, Botanas, robustly textured Guacamoles (it’s heaven), the juiciest Beef burger we’ve had (you’ll love how the Chipotle Aioli elevates the burger), and an amazing Crispy Pork Taco.

Dessert was truly a revelation. Get ready for some creamy decadence. Whether you indulge in the Fudge and Raspberry Chocolate Mousse desert or the incredible Strawberry Shortcake Tres Leches (our first time seeing this favorite in this flavor variety – we highly approve), you will leave deliciously sated and wonderfully happy. Of course rooftop celebrations are nothing without cocktails, so keep reading for David’s take on the must have cocktails (we’re still thinking of that Guava Sangria) at Cantina Rooftop.

DAVID: I’d like to focus on the bartender who at the right establishment is also as good as the mixologist who suggests. That’s when I think of Cantina Rooftop. Located in the west side of Manhattan’s Hell’s Kitchen nestled inside one of the city’s popular event space/club shrines, Stage 48 and Level 3 Loft, Cantina Rooftop completes the trinity by being a fabulous Mexican restaurant whose seasonal newly-reopened rooftop dining space aims to make your oasis festive and relaxing, tequila included. I got to experience the magic of their reopening last week at the kick-off event. Boasting a nicely cultivated drink menu with several cocktails from renowned mixologist Miquel Sanchez, the Cantina Rooftop offers up a sweet selection of wines, spirits like premium mezcals and tequilas, as well as a host of refreshing beers.

What struck me as comforting about the drink menu was that it wasn’t fussy but certainly wasn’t tame. The balance of notes and flavors in each drink were evident as described and left me with a feeling of satisfaction and not like I was part of some mad mixologist’s experiment. Sanchez’ ‘Spicy Summer’ is not to be missed as it takes a key fun fruit of the season, watermelon, and brings out the sweetness with the presence of heat and the tango of fresh lime & agave syrup. What’s also nice to note is the nicely done margarita and mezcal-rita menu utilizing smoky mezcals and fresh ingredients with the Caribbean kick.

The Cantina Rooftop with their impressive outdoor space that allows you to look at the thick of the city without besides nestled too deep in it is now open for business at 605 West 48th Street and 11th Avenue. In addition to the specialty cocktails from Mixologist Sanchez is the new debut of a flavorful menu of interesting traditional and contemporary Mexican fare from Executive Chef Saul Montiel (the spicy guac is NOT to be missed). With the weather spinning in a more favorable direction, it’s the perfect time allow Cantina Rooftop to end your search for that welcomed oasis.

Cocktail Courier and Patron Tequila’s Cinco de Mayo Party in a Box

Don’t you wish you could sit back, relax and enjoy delicious drinks with friends this Cinco de Mayo without having to maneuver through crowded bars to find the perfect cocktails or even endure ridiculous stress levels trying to play hostess to friends and family? What if all the ingredients you needed to create the perfect Cinco de May cocktails were delivered to right you, perfectly packaged in a box? We’re here to tell you, that wish is available to you thanks to Cocktail Courier and Patron Tequila’s Cinco de Mayo Party in a Box.

So how does one go about being lucky enough to get one of these Cocktail Courier and Patron Tequila’s Cinco de Mayo Party in a Box? On May 5th, all you have to do is tweet #PatronMyCinco to purchase a Patron Tequila Party in a Box (available in select cities) and it will be delivered straight to your doorstep within an hour of purchase from Cocktail Courier. Cocktail Courier is a premier online cocktail delivery service bringing the craft cocktail experience to the comfort of your home or work with its on-demand cocktail kits featuring drinks made by top local, professional bartenders. A few extra lucky select fans in each city will be surprised by a live mariachi band that will show up to complete your Cinco de Mayo party!


The Cocktail Courier and Patron Tequila’s Cinco de Mayo Party in a Box includes all the ingredients you need to make the newly-crowned 2017 Patron Margarita of the Year – the Coralina Margarita, created by Mexico City bartender Riesler Morales. Ingredients for the Coralina Margarita include Patron Reposado tequila, hibiscus, and red wine, a Patron branded shaker, cups, napkins, chips and salsa to complete your Cinco de Mayo celebration. Why pay $12.00 -$15.00 each for watered down drinks, when you can enjoy your own delicious creations in the comfort of your own home for about $7.00 a glass.

This Cinco de Mayo, free yourself from the crowded bars and watered-down drinks and enjoy the Cocktail Courier and Patron Tequila’s Cinco de Mayo Party in a Box to your heart’s content. We know what we’re going to be doing this Cinco de Mayo, what about you?

Cinco’s For Sauza: Sauza Tequila Cinco de Mayo Pitcher Cocktails

I’m quite sure there’s some historically significant importance behind Cinco de Mayo. However, why is it, like every other holiday where you don’t necessarily have the day off, that drinking a bevy of cocktails takes celebratory precedence? Perhaps a reason to substitute gooey cake and party games for a heavy-handed aperitif and dabbing, is due to the fact that when life became ‘real’, there became a greater desire to have occasions to celebrate with Sauza Tequila. No excessive thinking, just celebration, and revelry!

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Ironically enough, that got me to thinking. How could I ‘Cinco’ differently?  I had to face the fact that my evenings to cut loose after work, came few and far between, so I had to explore what I could do to truly capitalize on the festivity of my Cinco de Mayo. Then it hit me. If Cinco de Mayo is a whole day then why just celebrate after work?  So I found some inspiration with three of the smooth sharp varieties from one of my favorite tequila brands, Sauza Tequila, and decided to create a brunch, appetizer and dinner cocktail menu for my Cinco entertaining.  The following three Sauza Tequila cocktail creations are how I Cinco Con Sauza!

Brunch Cocktail with Sauza Cucumber Chili Tequila

Bloody Maria's Blushing ingredients

Bloody Maria’s Blushing

Bloody Maria's Blushing

 1/2 cups Sauza Cucumber Chili Tequila
24 oz        Tomato Juice
1 tbsp       Tabasco Sauce
1/2 tsp      Chili Powder
1 tbsp       Worcester Sauce
2 tbsp       Prepared Horseradish
3/4 tbsp   Celery Salt
    1               Lime
    1               Cucumber Slice per glass for garnish
    1              Grape Tomato per glass for garnish
    8             Dried Chili Peppers (one per glass for garnish)
    1              Celery Stalk per glass for garnish
    3             Strips of Bacon (1 whole bacon strip/per glass for garnish)
Prep Time: 15-20 mins, with varying times depending on bacon prep method (serves 4-5)
Combine the tomato juice, Tabasco Sauce, chili powder, Worcester sauce, Prepared horseradish, celery salt, and Sauza Cucumber Chili Tequila into a glass canister. Stir then press the juice of one lime into the mixture. Refrigerate for about 1/2 hour. Pan fry or microwave one strip of bacon on a skewer. Separately pan fry or microwave two additional strips of bacon to a very crispy state, remove and pat dry then crumble finely and mix with a tablespoon of celery salt on a small plate. Rub lime around the rim of your serving glasses and roll the salt/bacon mixture around the edge. Pour in cocktail mixture and garnish glasses with a slice of lime, slice of cucumber, the celery stalk, one dried chili and the grape tomato. Toss the rest of the dried chilis in the glass canister and you and your guests can enjoy a deliciously boozy drink inspired by my fave go-to cocktail to order for a bottomless brunch.

Appetizer Cocktail with Sauza Silver Tequila

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Shrimped With A Lotta Colada

Shrimped With A Lotta Colada

1 1/2 cups  Sauza Silver Tequila
1 cup          Chopped Fresh Coconut
1 cup          Chopped Fresh Pineapple
1/2 cup      Pineapple Juice
   1                 Lime
   6                Coconut Water Ice Cubes
    3              Cocktail Shrimps (per glass)
Prep Time: 20 mins/Note: The ice cubes take about a couple of hours to freeze fully (serves 4-5)
In a 40-oz Ninja Blender or conventional blender add chopped fresh coconut and chopped fresh pineapple then pineapple juice, the juice of one lime, the Sauza Silver Tequila and finally the coconut water ice cubes. Use a cutting blade rather than a mixing blade and blend the mixture for about a minute. Pour into serving glasses and garnish with a lime wheel, shrimp, cubes of pineapple and pieces of fresh coconut. Serve immediately and enjoy my version of a full island fruit flavored shrimp cocktail done up Cinco style with the crisp taste of Sauza Silver.

Dinner Cocktail with Sauza Reposado Tequila

Cinco Salad Revived Margarita Ingredients

Cinco Salad Revived Margarita

Cinco Salad Revived Margarita2

1 1/2 cups   Sauza Reposado Tequila
3/4 cup       Triple Sec
3/4 oz          Simple Syrup
2-3 cups      Fresh Watermelon Chunks
3-4                Whole Sprigs of Mint
1/4 cup        Spicy Microgreens
1 1/2 tbsp    Salt
4 cubes        Two Kinds of Assorted Cheeses (per glass)
     1                 Lime
1 cup             Ice Cubes
Prep Time: 15 mins if using already made simple syrup/ 30 mins if making simple syrup from scratch (serves 4-5)
Using a 40 ounce Ninja Blender or conventional blender combine fresh watermelon chunks and mint sprigs then add the Sauza Reposado Tequila, triple sec and simple syrup followed by the ice cubes. (Note: Simple syrup is just a cup of water and a cup of cane sugar brought to a boil then allowed to cool.)  Use the cutting blades and blend for about one minute. Prepare salt rim by very finely chopping the spicy micro-greens and mixing them with the salt on a small plate.  Rub lime around the rim of the serving glasses and rub the edges of the glasses in the mixture. Pour out the cocktail into the glasses through a cocktail strainer and garnish with two pieces of each of the two kinds of cheese cubed on a wood skewer. Serve immediately, and I hope you and your guests enjoy a remix of a fresh watermelon, mint and feta salad I enjoyed at a cool little restaurant in the East Village some years ago.

Clearly Sauza Tequila has my drink desires covered for however I choose to start my revelry tomorrow. The spicy cool kick of Sauza Cucumber Chili is fresh and inviting. The clean and vibrant taste of Sauza Silver Tequila is satisfying and versatile. Then the lively and weighted Sauza Reposado Tequila is briny and delish. Whether with a spicy zesty brunch, seaside island appetizer or fruity and fragrant light dinner, Sauza’s bevy of tequila will ensure that it’ll be no ordinary dia.

Sauza Tequila is available at your finer liquor and alcohol stores and please, as always, remember to drink responsibly this Cinco de Mayo!

Celebrating Cinco de Mayo? Start with these Cocktails

Nothing brings on good spring cheer than celebrating Cinco de Mayo. For us, celebrating the Mexican army’s victory over Napoleon III on May 5th, 1862, reminds us of celebrating freedom, success, and indicates that the time of warm weather enjoyment has arrived. Naturally when we think of Cinco de Mayo and drinks that remind us of Mexico, we think Tequila! In honor of this famed Mexican holiday, we look to, Sauza Tequilael Jimador, and Herradura Tequilas for our Cinco de Mayo cocktail recipes. Whether you’re out at a bar, or partying it up at home, these delicious will have you cheering Arriba over and over.

Sauza Tequila

Sombrero Sipper
1 part Sauza® Blue Silver 100% Agave Tequila
½ part DeKuyper® Strawberry Liqueur
½ part (chilled) rose champagne
½ part limeade
3 strawberries
1 tbsp. sugar
1 lime wedge
Wash, stem, quarter and freeze strawberries for at least 1 hour (can be done the day ahead). Run a wedge of lime around the rim of your champagne flute and dip in a plate of sugar to coat rim. Place 3 frozen strawberries in the bottom of the prepared flute. Pour champagne into the glass. In a shaker filled with ice, combine tequila, limeade, and strawberry liqueur. Shake and pour into glass. Add a squeeze of fresh lime if desired and serve immediately.

Mexican Victor-ita
1 ½ parts Sauza® Blue Silver 100% Agave Tequila
½ part DeKuyper® Triple Sec
4 parts cranberry juice
2 parts orange juice
2 oranges
½ cup cranberries, frozen (optional)
2 tbsp. sugar
First make your garnishes. Freeze ½ cup of cranberries. Using a channel knife cut a long spiral from on orange (see if you can make it all the way in one try!) and cut into 6 inch pieces. Twist the peels around your bar spoon and reserve for garnish. Zest the other orange with a spice grater to remove just the peel and none of the pith and combine with sugar. Cut the zested orange into wedges. Rub a wedge of orange around half the rim of your glasses. Roll the glasses through the sugared orange zest. In a shaker, combine the rest of the sugar and orange zest mixture with the cranberry juice, orange juice, Sauza® Blue Silver, orange liqueur, and the juice from the orange. Twist the orange peel over the drink and place on the prepared glass. Top with frozen cranberries and serve your cocktail!

el Jimador and Herradura Tequilas

Jimi Punch
1 Bottle Herradura Silver
1 bottle Korbel Champagne
6 oz Campari
6 oz Agave Syrup
1 liter Orange juice
¼ liter lemon juice
1 orange cut into slices
1 tray of Raspberries
Add all ingredient to a large punch bowl, add lots of ice stir, cover and leave to sit 20 mins before serving. Stir occasionally during service

Herradura Vesuvio
2oz Herradura Silver
¾oz Red pepper juice
½oz Lime Juice
¼ oz Cholula hot sauce
¼ oz Agave nectar
Rim a coupe glass with cayenne pepper and salt mix Shake all ingredients in a cocktail shaker, shake hard and pour into the chilled coupe glass.

Spicy Raspberry Margarita
1 ½ oz. el Jimador Reposado
½ oz. Chambord
1 oz. Sprite
2 oz. Sour mix
3 dashes of Tabasco
In a shaker filled with ice, add ingredients and shake to mix. Pour into margarita glass rimmed with spicy salt. Garnish with a lime wedge.

Tamarind Paloma
1.5 oz of el Jimador blanco
1.5 oz Bohemia
5 oz of fresh lemon juice
5 oz of tamarind syrup
2 Dashes of orange bitters
Shake all ingredients except the Bohemia beer with ice and pour over ice. Fill rest of glass with Bohemia beer. Serve in a Collins glass.

The Horseshoe Margarita
2 parts Tequila Herradura Silver
1 parts Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice
1/2-3/4 part Agave Nectar (to taste)
Combine all the ingredients in a shaker with ice, shake hard so that some of the ice melts, then strain over fresh ice. Garnish with a lime wedge.

The Village Voice Announces Fourth Annual Choice Streets Food Truck Event

The Food Trucks are Coming! The Food Trucks are Coming! Yes, it is almost time again for the great outdoor Village Voice foodie event that is the Choice Streets Food Trucks Event. In its 4th year, the event, held on May 5th at The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum on Pier 86, will feature 20+ handpicked food trucks from all over New York City. Attendees will enjoy hours of fabulous food, complimentary drinks, free tours of the Intrepid ship, and an amazing view of New York City. We had an amazingly decadent foodie experience at last year’s Choice Streets event, enjoying samples of pizza, seafood, cheese steaks, pulled pork, etc and practically had to be rolled home. Because the event happens on Cinco de Mayo, attendees will enjoy live music from Mariachi Flor de Toloache – New York’s first, and only established, all-female mariachi band – along with other festive surprises.

Twelve Food trucks have already been confirmed, including Big D’s Grub, Korilla BBQ, Langos Truck, Snowday, Solber Pupusas, Sweet Chili, Valducci’s Pizza, Yankee Doodle Dandy’s, Domo Taco, Gorilla Cheese, Ponti Rossi and The Treats Truck, with many more to be announced soon. This year’s Choice Streets will feature three tiers of ticket options – the VIP ticket ($85.00) will allow guests a full VIP Hour beginning at 7:00pm plus a gift bag, the Early Entry ticket ($65.00) will allow guests entry into the event at 7:30pm for a half hour preview and the General Admission ticket ($55.00) will allow guests in at 8:00pm.

Sponsors of the 2015 Choice Streets food truck event include: Stella Artois, Shock Top, Rums of Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico Tourism, Barefoot Wine & Bubbly, Califia Farms, Caleb’s Kola, Whole Foods Market, Green Mountain Energy, Enterprise Ride Share and Verizon. For this year’s event, the Village Voice has teamed up with non-profit organization, Slow Food NYC, as the charitable partner of Choice Streets, who will receive a portion of the proceeds. For more details on this year’s three ticket options, see all the event details below:

EVENT DETAILS:

Tuesday May 5th, 2015 (Rain date: Friday May 8th, 2015)
The Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum/Pier 86
W. 46th St. and 12th Ave.
TICKETS: On sale – http://bit.ly/StreetsTix

For the latest on “Choice Streets”, visit www.villagevoice.com/choicestreets.