Beverage Photography: BOS Iced Teas

Sip This Tea: What We Love About BOS Rooibos Iced Tea

If you haven’t noticed from our social media bio, our tea posts, and coverage on our site, we LOVE tea! All kinds of teas. We are known to enjoy a cup or two of hot tea all year round. We also go completely out of the box with experimenting with flavor mixing for both hot and iced teas. This is why we were so excited when we were first introduced to BOS Rooibos Iced Tea, a delicious range of South African flavored Rooibos iced teas. Thanks to creators, Grant Rushmore, and Richard Bowsher, we may have come upon our favorite flavored iced teas.

Beverage Photography: BOS Iced Teas

We love these delicious iced teas for several reasons. First, we love Rooibos tea! For those not “in the know”, Rooibos is a ridiculously healthy plant that only grows in South Africa. This red tea is only slightly less in antioxidants than green tea. It helps slow down the aging process, helps you detox, and helps reduce wrinkles. We love its superb full bodied and refreshing flavor. The flavor combinations of BOS Rooibos Iced Tea reminds us of our own tea flavor experiments. It’s sweetened with organic sugar cane. You can enjoy it anytime, day or night. And because BOS gives back. BOS Rooibos Iced Tea plants and maintains one tree in under privileged areas of South Africa for every 2,000 cans that are sold.

Beverage Photography: BOS Lemon Iced Teas

Get ready for an ice tea with a refreshing zest. You think you’ve tasted all lemon flavored iced teas? Think again. The BOS Lemon Iced Tea just might change your mind.

Beverage Photography: BOS Yuzu Iced Teas

This Japanese super fruit is already amazing on its own with triple the amount of vitamin C as a lemon. Combined with the antioxidant packed Rooibos and this The BOS Yuzu Iced tea is unstoppable.

Beverage Photography: BOS Peach Iced Teas

What else says summer than sun-ripened fruits! You’ll love the combination of flavors in this peachy-keen beverage.

Beverage Photography: BOS Berry Iced Teas

Boasting a multitude of red berries, your taste buds will appreciate the boisterous flavors of the BOS Berry Iced Tea.

Beverage Photography: BOS Lime & Ginger Iced Teas

Fresh and fiery, the combination of flavors brings out the best of the BOS Lime & Ginger Iced Tea.

BOS Rooibos Iced Teas are available in 12.oz cans and make a fantastic mixer for tea-based cocktails. BOS Rooibos Ice Tea is available in five refreshing ice teas which boasts the combination of organic Rooibos and natural fruit flavors – Lemon, Green Rooibos & Yuzu, Peach, Berry, and Lime & Ginger. Almost all five varieties of BOS ice teas have only five to six ingredients, with the exception of the Lime & Ginger, which has eight. Our favorite flavors were the Yuzu, and Lime & Ginger. There’s something about these refreshing exotic flavors that really resonated with us. We know you’ll feel the same upon first sip.

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.

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.

fun vodka cocktails

Master Craftsman: An Evening w/ Finlandia Vodka Global Mixologist, Pekka Pellinen

There are many wonderful experiences to partake in and enjoy in life. Some of which we’d never thought we’d have the pleasure of enjoying. One such experience was an evening with a global mixologist enjoying his talented and delicious creations. That’s right, we had the pleasure of enjoying an intimate cocktail tasting with Finlandia Vodka Global Mixologist, Pekka Pellinen.

If you’re not aware, Finlandia is a vodka produced in Finland from Finnish-grown six-row barley and glacial spring water. This esteemed vodka is first distilled at a distillery in the village of Koskenkorva, then transported to a production facility in the village of Rajamäki. Finlandia Vodka’s Global Mixologist, Pekka Pellinen, lovingly known as a human “drink encyclopedia” (trust us, it’s a well-deserved title), grew up near a distillery. His career was obviously fated.

We were in for a journey through the fun and creative world of Finlandia Vodka’s Global Mixologist, Pekka Pellinen unlimited and highly creative cocktail arsenal. We welcomed and relished the ride. On this blissful evening, we enjoyed five cocktails from this master cocktail craftsman; a Finlandia Bloody MaryPopcorn Sour (yes it’s a cocktail with popcorn), as well as its vegetarian version, the Baltic Sea Sour, a Finlandia Herbarium, and a Helsinki Mule. Check out the recipes for all of these delicious cocktails below:

Finlandia Bloody Mary


1.5 oz Finlandia Classic
0.5 oz Finlandia Grapefruit
0.5 oz fresh lemon juice
3 drops hot pepper sauce
1 dash Worcestershire sauce
5 oz tomato juice
Salt and pepper
Build and mix – no ice. Garnish with a celery stalk, cucumber, and Lemon wedge
*smoke cocktail with Jack Daniels barrel chips

Baltic Sea Sour aka “Vegetarian Sour” (or Popcorn Sour!)


1.5 oz Finlandia Grapefruit
1 oz fresh lemon juice
0.5 oz simple syrup
1.5 oz salty chickpea brine or egg white
Salt and pepper
Cumin seeds
Raspberries optional (for color)
Popcorn optional (for additional salt and sweet)
Shake with ice and garnish with Popcorn or raspberry

Finlandia Herbarium


1.5 oz Finlandia Classic
1 oz fresh lemon juice
0.5 oz simple syrup
1 pinch salt
1 egg white
Herbs (basil, dill)
Soda optional
Shake with ice and garnish with fresh dill or basil

Helsinki Mule


1.5 oz Finlandia Grapefruit
3 oz ginger beer
A squeeze of fresh lime
Build in glass over ice and garnish with cucumber, lime, and fresh ginger

While we enjoyed every cocktail Finlandia Vodka Global Mixologist, Pekka Pellinen created, it was truly an amazing thing to see him create them. From smoking the lime and rolling the mixture for Bloody Mary, crafting the perfect garnishes, and sharing some of his cocktail secrets. Check out our InstaStories Highlight for our cocktail experience. KIPPIS!!!

 

Ultra Violet Cocktails: Drink in Pantone’s 2018 Color of the Year

We really love Pantone’s 2018 Color of the Year, Ultra Violet. We love this regal color so much, we’ve highlighted this color in makeup collections, and beauty products and tools, and a hair color giveaway. Now, we’re highlighting this blue-based purple color in a new form…………Ultra Violet cocktails!! Join us as we share five libations in the intriguing hue musical icons Prince, David Bowie, and Jimi Hendrix used to express their individuality.

Feast your eyes, and drink palates as we highlight Ultra Violet cocktails from some must experience brands.  Two drinks you can create at home, the rest we recommend you visit the respective locations to indulge. We present the Purple Haze from DeKuyper Liqueurs, the Karma Chameleon cocktail at Beast + Bottle in Denver, The Right Empression at Loopy Doopy at Conrad New York, the Alice in Wonderland-inspired We’re All Mad Here at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, and a non-alcoholic option, Sparkling Ice‘s After School Smoothie.

Karma Chameleon at Beast + Bottle in Denver, Colorado

.75 oz Plantation 3 Star
.75 oz Avua Prata Cachaça
.25 oz Leopold Bros Marashino
.25 oz Giffard Pamplemousse
1.0 oz Lime Acid
.50 Simple Syrup

DeKuyper Purple Haze

2 parts Pinnacle® Vodka
2 parts DeKuyper® Pucker® Grape Schnapps
Splash of Sour Mix & Lemon Lime Soda
Add the Vodka, Pucker Grape Schnapps and Sour Mix to an ice-filled shaker and shake well. Top with Lemon Lime Soda and stir with a bar spoon. Strain into a chilled martini glass

The Right Empression at Loopy Doopy at Conrad New York

Empress Gin
White Cranberry
Mint
Prosecco

We’re All Mad Here at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas

Empress Indigo Gin
St. Germain Elderflower
Soho Lychee
Lemon Juice
Apple Rosewater
Chardonnay Cardamom Ginger Syrup

Sparkling Ice After School Smoothie

6oz Greek Vanilla Yogurt
1/2 cup almond milk
1/2 cup Sparkling Ice Black Raspberry
1 cup frozen blueberries
1 banana
Place all ingredients into a blender and puree for 30 seconds, or until smooth. Pour into a glass and serve immediately.

What do you think of these Ultra Violet cocktails? Are you open to drinking in the color that celebrates artistic creativity and spiritual mystery and reflection?

NYC Mexican Restaurants

Is Boozy Brunchacha at Vida Verde the Best Brunch in NYC?

We had the great pleasure of finding out for ourselves. Join us as we regale the tale of the very indulgent culinary journey we took to find out if the new Boozy Brunchacha at Vida Verde is the best Sunday brunch you will ever experience. If you are not yet familiar, Vida Verde is a Mexican-inspired cocktail bar tucked away in the sometimes stiff neighborhood of midtown west. To say it is a colorful and most welcomed oasis in the middle of a concrete desert is an understatement. Honestly, you can get lost in the eye-catching colors and striking artwork that makes up the decor. Let’s put it this way, imagine walking into a secret room of a grey house filled with every bold color imaginable……that is what we thought when we arrived at Boozy Brunchacha at Vida Verde Cocktail Bar.

The Boozy Brunchacha at Vida Verde promised a fantastic line up of specialty cocktails by Vida Verde’s star bartenders, a Mezcal tasting, an amazing taste of their brunch specialties menu including tacos, tortas, small dishes, and desserts. It did not disappoint! First up was delicious cocktails that celebrated the colors of the rainbow. We indulged in the Mango & Habanero Margarita, Paloma de Tamarindo, Classic Frozen Margarita, Red Sangria, and the amazing Juna Punch Wonder Punch Bowl which is as delicious as it is vibrant. We enjoyed these wonderful libations with a round of light bites including Chips, Salsa and Guacamole….to start.

After we were properly soused with our starter cocktails, it was time for the Mexcal tasting. We learned all about the cultivation, harvesting, cooking, fermenting, and distilling processes of some of Mexico’s leading Mezcal brands. Some of which we got to sample. Vida Verde actually offers classes on spirits daily, so if you’ve ever wanted to learn more about your favorite alcohol or get to know a new one, Vida Verde is the place to be.

After the Mezcal Tasting, we went into full-on brunch mode. The Boozy Brunchacha at Vida Verde menu is decadent. You will enjoy 90 minutes of bottomless brunch and a pinata at two price levels. For $40.00, you can enjoy a brunch entree and bottomless Bloody Marys, Mimosas, Beer or Cava. For $50.00, you also get a brunch entree and bottomless Margaritas or Micheladas, and Palomas. Speaking of entrees, the choices are vast for Boozy Brunchacha at Vida Verde. Feast your eyes on some of what’s available to enjoy:

The extensive brunch menu features so many choices. Some of Vida Verde’s Boozy Brunchacha brunch menu items we enjoyed included Chilaquiles, Mexican Poutine, Grilled Steak Fajitas, Huevos Rancheros, Breakfast Torta, Avocado smash on Tortilla, and Garden Frittata, many of which are pictured above and below. Our most gluttonous moment came when we first laid eyes on the Aztec Pancakes. The word divine doesn’t begin to do justice to how delicious this banana, brown sugar, cocoa, and whipped cream delight, so we’ll just let you droll over the below photo and tell you to visit Vide Verde to experience it for yourself.

As we previously stated, your boozy Brunchacha at Vida Verde experience comes with a pinata, making your time there even more wonderful.

While you are no doubt enjoying your boozy Brunchacha at Vida Verde surrounded by the amazing artwork, let the spirit of Frida Kahlo inspire you to explore Vida Verde’s newly opened Rooftop Margarita Market. This hidden oasis boasts a stunning handpainted mural by renowned artist, Victor “Marka27” Quinonez, wonderfully colorful decor and a menu that promises 10 flavor varieties of margaritas. This is no surprise since Vida Verde is known to have the largest Mezcal and Tequila selections in NYC.

So to answer our question, there is no doubt this is the best brunch we’ve experienced. But don’t take our word for it, try it for yourself.

Cocktails for Charity: Campari and Imbibe’s 6th Year of Negroni Week

You’ve all heard of shopping for a cause, now it’s time to drink for a cause. Once again Campari and Imbibe Magazine returns for the 6th year of Negroni Week. The iconic red Italian Aperitivo will be the key ingredient of the global charity initiative that will take place from June 4th-10th, 2018. Bars, restaurants, and retailers around the world will come together over the classic Negroni cocktail – an iconic mix of equal parts Campari, gin and sweet vermouth – to raise money and awareness for charitable causes.

Starting with just 100 participating bars in 2013, last year’s Negroni Week welcomed the involvement of 7,770 partners in 60 countries to raise a phenomenal $1.5 million for charitable causes since the initiative’s launch. The 6th year of Negroni Week promises even more.

To amplify the program’s charitable roots, Campari will be working in partnership with the USBG National Charity Foundation (USBG Foundation) to host its first-ever Campari Community Service Day. On June 5 in over twenty cities across the U.S., bartenders and Campari employees in their respective cities will gather for activities such as volunteering at local animal shelters, organizing beach cleanups and preparing and delivering meals to local charities, community groups and firehouses, feeding the people who are making a positive impact in their local communities. Tony Abou-Ganim will once again lead the Team Negroni bike rides where bartenders and cycling enthusiasts ride through twelve plus cities, including San Francisco, New York, Washington D.C., and Chicago during Negroni Week to benefit the Helen David Relief Fund.

Along with visiting participating bars and restaurants to buy a Negroni cocktail for charity, you can also buy some distinctive Negroni merchandise to help raise even more money. Negroni Week inspired merchandise includes  Negroni Lightbulb Decanter, Izola’s Red Matte Canvas Flask, official Negroni Week T-Shirts,  Gaz Regan Negroni Finger Stirrer, Reclamation Etchworks Laser-Etched Decanters, etc. A percentage of sales from each item will benefit various charities.

Several national partners have already committed to participating in Negroni Week, including Altamarea Restaurant Group, Hilton Hotels, Freehand Hotels, Caffè Umbria, and Hedley & Bennett. All of Freehand’s hotel locations will allow guests to donate a portion of their room stay to Children of Restaurant Employees (and save 10%) during the month of June by using the code NEGRONIWEEK. Caffè Umbria will be offering a special Negroni-inspired coffee that will be available at caffeumbria.com and at their cafes in Portland, Seattle, and Chicago, with a portion of proceeds benefitting No Kid Hungry. Adding a touch of style to the Negroni Week offerings, Hedley & Bennett has created a limited-edition Negroni Week apron (pictured above), also benefitting No Kid Hungry. The aprons are handmade with herringbone and feature an embroidered Negroni on the top pocket for those who wish to wear their love for the classic cocktail on their heart.

Campari and Imbibe will be celebrating the 6th year of Negroni Week with kickoff events in San Francisco and New York, all benefitting local charities.  Campari will also sponsor the eighth annual Negroni Social in Portland, Oregon on June 3 as well as a wrap event with Dante NYC on June 10 to close out another successful year of charitable giving.

Will you be helping in drinking for a cause by joining in the 6th year of Negroni Week festivities?

 

 

 

 

 

Photos courtesy of Negroni Week