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AWARD-WINNING, PREMIUM TEQUILA

The Tasting Room: An Evening With Joey Angelo and VIVA XXXII Tequila

An evening enjoying a great cocktail is always a good time but an evening enjoying great cocktails and learning all about the spectacular spirit from the CEO of the brand is a truly an amazing experience. That’s what we got to enjoy when we partaked in a tasting event with Joey Angelo, President, and CEO of VIVA XXXII Tequila.

AWARD-WINNING, PREMIUM VIVA XXXII TEQUILA

We enjoyed an intimate tequila tasting of these exquisite tequilas (handcrafted in Tequila, Mexico), as Joey Angelo walked us through the rich flavors and powerful aromas of the three varieties of VIVA XXXII Tequila – Joven, Reposado, and the newest addition, Extra Anejo. We enjoyed delicious pairings with all three tequilas, as he also educated the event’s guests on VIVA’s charity connections.

AWARD-WINNING, PREMIUM VIVA XXXII TEQUILA

If you’re not yet familiar, VIVA XXXII Tequila is meant to sip and savor, but priced so you can indulge. This award-winning, handcrafted tequila is more interested in you enjoying their tequila instead of their overhead cost. That’s why although their tequilas are superb and their packaging eye-catching and chic, their tequila is wonderfully affordable. You have to love a brand that cares more about their customers than their bottom line, especially when their product is on par with more “expensive” tequila offerings.

AWARD-WINNING PREMIUM JOVEN VIVA XXXII TEQUILA

The crystal clear Joven Tequila is made with 100% Blue Agave Blanco tequila blended with their 3-year old extra Anejo. Its flavor profile is crisp and clear with lemon peel, white pepper, vanilla, and hints of citrus. Its aroma is just as crisp thanks to its notes of lemon, white pepper, verbena, and yerba buena. This made it the perfect base for the slightly spicy ginger-turmeric cocktail we enjoyed.

AWARD-WINNING, PREMIUM VIVA XXXII TEQUILA COCKTAIL

The pale gold Reposado (pictured in the middle of the very first photo) is made from 100% Blue Agave tequila which has been rested in American Oak barrels for six months. Its tasting notes features hints of vanilla, caramel, nutmeg, and cinnamon with an aroma of agave forward with vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon, and a hint of toasted nuts. The newest member of the VIVA XXXII Tequila family is the Extra Anejo.

PREMIUM EXTRA ANEJO VIVA XXXII TEQUILA

This sipping Extra Anejo is dark amber in color with a rich and balanced profile thanks to it being rested in American Oak barrels for a minimum of three years. Because its aging process is longer, it’s tasting notes brings forth fruit notes with hints of caramel, sandalwood, and honey on the palate. This makes this tequila full-bodied with an exceptionally smooth finish.

Believe it or not, the taste and the bottle design aren’t the only amazing things about this brand. Did you know that 10% of net proceeds from the sales of these bottles help rescue animals from animal abuse? How amazing is that? You will notice this by the adorable sketch of a dog featured on the bottom side of each bottle.

We truly loved all three varieties but especially loved the crispness of the Joven. Tell us, dear readers, have you tried VIVA XXXII Tequila? What are your thoughts on this premium and affordable tequila?

 

Health & Nutrition: The New Hummus Shake from The Hummus & Pita Co.

Once in a while, there’s a new item launch that completely blows us away. While we have enjoyed many a delicious beverage, nothing has caught us by surprise as much as the new Hummus Shake from The Hummus & Pita Co. In all honesty, while we love chickpeas, we’re actually not fans of Hummus (it’s a strange predilection). So when we attended a tasting of The Hummus & Pita Co.’s new Hummus Shake, which launches on National Hummus Day, we did so with some trepidation. After one sip, all our apprehension was gone. To say we were pleasantly surprised by how delicious and amazing the thick, creamy drinkable dessert is an understatement.

The Hummus & Pita Co. is known for bringing healthy, homemade Mediterranean cuisine all made-from-scratch on in-store using only the freshest ingredients. The addition of their new Hummus Shake continues that healthy practice.

The Hummus Shake is vegan, FREE of dairy and gluten, and packed with good-for-you ingredients that are high in protein, fiber, and vitamins, but low in calories. This guilt-free dessert starts with just FIVE all-natural, simple ingredients (chickpeas, tahini, banana, dates, and almond milk) that are perfectly blended for a sweet treat that tastes decadent and indulgent, all the while regulating blood sugar, blood pressure, cholesterol, weight, and providing anti-inflammatory and heart-healthy effects.

The Hummus Shake is available in five flavors: original, chocolate, strawberry, pistachio, and butter pecan. Just in time for National Hummus Day, The Hummus & Pita Co. will be offering free samples of this innovative, guilt-free drinkable dessert at all Hummus & Pita Co. locations on Sunday, May 13. To keep celebrations going all week long, The Hummus & Pita Co. will be offering a buy one Hummus Shake, get one free promotion from the May 13th launch date through Sunday, May 20.

A 12 oz cup of the innovative Hummus Shake will be available for $5.00 at all Hummus & Pita Co. locations nationwide, both currently in operation and those slated to open in the coming months. The brand has partnered with Taylor Machines to develop a batch recipe and machine dispenser to ensure the Hummus Shake is replicated perfectly each and every time.

Rosé with an Edge: Celebrating the Launch of Three Olives Rosé Vodka

Spring and summer may be the season of rosé wines but that doesn’t mean we have to give up other spirits. Of course, this does beg the question, what if you had to choose between two spirits? What if you could either have a glass of rosé or a vodka cocktail? Luckily you don’t have to choose between the two, and you don’t have to wait until warm weather to enjoy. We’re celebrating the best of the rosé and vodka worlds with the latest from Three Olives Vodka, the new Three Olives Rosé Vodka.

Teaming up with Betches Media, Three Olives held a launch party celebrating their Three Olives Rosé Vodka, an absolutely intriguing Rosé-flavored vodka with actress Busy Philips. This new flavored vodka combines the refreshingly fruity taste of rosé wine with Three Olives’ signature smooth, crafted vodka. The result is beguiling.

Together with  Betches Media’s  “rosé all day” lifestyle, expect to see custom social content, limited-edition merchandise, and events (check out this rosé vs. vodka rap battle music video, it’s hilarious – Three Olives Vodka vs Rose Rap Battle) rolling out all summer long honoring Three Olives Rosé Vodka. At 30% ABV is extremely mixable in a variety of day-party and cocktail party drinks, from frosé to sangria and spritzers. At the launch event, we enjoyed several delicious rosé vodka cocktails that are sure to make your summer 100% better. They included Frosé Vosé (a frozen delight), Spritz & Giggles, Busy’s Rosé Gold-Tini (pictured directly below), and Red, White, and Rosé (also pictured below).

“If vodka, rosé, and summer had a baby, their love child would be called Vosé,” said Jordana Abraham, Co-Founder and Chief Content Officer of Betches Media. “Summer is a type of feeling, not a season, and that feeling begins when you pop your favorite bottle of rosé vodka. We are always looking for a great way to upgrade our fun, and we’ll be saying ‘yes way Vosé’ this summer to our very own cocktail creation, Three Olives Rosé Vodka with a splash of prosecco.”

Now available nationwide, Three Olives Rosé Vodka retails for $17.99 per 750mL bottle. For cocktail recipes visit www.threeolives.com and visit www.Shopbetches.com to shop limited edition merchandise, like the below “Vodka or and Rose” Tee,  and celebrate rosé all day and all night.

Are you ready to indulge in Three Olives Rosé Vodka? You can’t go wrong when you’re living that rosé all day lifestyle

Vina Croatia: A Croatian Wine Region Tour in Midtown

Croatia may be a country known for its gorgeous coastline and striking Game of Thrones–inspiring structures, but its vineyards and wineries, steeped in tradition and history are also a huge part of its charm and appeal. Its dramatically diverse regions from the Alps to the Danube provide a variety of wines that can please every type of oenophile. Recently, a dinner held by the Croatian Chamber of Commerce at Midtown’s Brasserie 8 ½ gave us a taste of what the Croatian wine region has to offer.

Ten flights of wines from light whites and a rosé to deep full-bodied reds were expertly paired with a citrus shrimp appetizer, a choice of filet mignon or a rack of lamb, and warm pear with maple ice cream.

The introductory wine came from the Istria region— where the cold of the Alps mixes with the warmth of the Mediterranean, producing interesting wines such as the 2016 Kozlovic Malvazija (not pictured). It is a dry golden white with notes of fruits and spices and a slight hint of saltiness – which poetically sums up the melding of the coast and the mountains.

The next wine we tasted is a must for every rosé lover. The Erdutski Rosé is made from the Pinot Black grapes of the Slavonia region and has a warm blush pink color. It’s a refreshing medium body selection with a hint of cherries.

Staying within the Slavonia region, our next white wine on the Croatian wine region tour, the Vezak Graševina was a fine example of Croatia’s principal grape variety, the Graševina. The color of this dry white echoes the colors of the golden fields that are characteristic of the Croatian valleys. Its flowery aroma mixed with a fruity bouquet with a slight mineral aftertaste will compliment a seafood meal or a white meat platter.

A different take on the Graševina came in the form of a 2016 Riesling from Vina Antonovic. This wine is an earthy blend of green apples and floral blossoms with a similar mineral taste (albeit a little sweeter than the last white); this seems to be the recognizable trait of the Slavonia region and the Croatian Danube.

 

To say that the next white wine was blessed with the sweetness of citrus, peach, and roses would not be a stretch. The Žlahtina sv. Lucija (not pictured), named for the church of St. Lucy on the island of Krk, is a golden mix of yellow-greenish hues that pair well with meat, fish, rice, and polenta dishes. It certainly enhanced the taste of our rack of lamb.

The Miraz Graševina has won multiple awards for its dry but creamy taste. The vineyard’s wine fermentation process includes extensive supervision and temperature control. Smooth and full-bodied with deeply aromatic notes, this white wine with an enchanting green-yellow hue goes well with just about everything from poultry, to seafood, and pasta dishes.

During the second half of dinner, we were introduced to some very fine red wines. First up was the award-winning Dingač Berba 2015 from Dalmatia — a region known not only for those firehouse dogs but also for the Plavac Mali grapes. The variety is grown in the sun-drenched slopes and coasts of Dalmatia and produces full-bodied reds. This black dry wine had a berry aroma with a hint of a chocolate aftertaste. It brought out the spices in our main course but can also be enjoyed with mature cheeses.

The next Croatian wine region red wine was another award-winning Plavac, the Zlatan Plavac Grand Cru. The grapes, organically grown in the picturesque slopes of the island of Hvar, come from 35 to 50-year-old vines. The wine is then aged in French barrique barrels for two years and 6-12 months in the bottle. It’s a dry red with hints of leather, pepper, chocolate, and prunes. Its earthy quality is best paired with steaks and lobsters or both for a delectable surf and turf option. Depending on how big of a company you are having or how much you can consume (no judgments), there is small, medium, and large bottles available.

The third red wine was the Ivan Dolac Barrique, named for the aforementioned French barrel it matures in, 1also hails from Hvar. It’s a dry robust wine with a berry and almost floral aroma. It’s smooth and easy on the palette and makes a nice compliment to any roast game or grilled fish.

The final Croatian wine region wine of the night was the Kabola Muškat Momjanski, a perfect ending to our Croatian wine introduction. It went well with our warm pear and maple ice cream dessert. It’s a refreshing and medium-bodied white with notes of peaches, rose, and honey with a slight mineral quality that gives it a lingering taste. This is our pick for an ideal summer wine.

You can tell a lot about a country by its wines. The wines were a spectacular representation of the different regions that make up such a fascinating country. From the Mediterranean to the Alps, each wine embodied a distinct characteristic specific to the climate and the area they came from. Based on what we’ve tasted, we’re ready to spend a lot of time in Croatia! Are you excited to visit the Croatian wine region?

Truly Refreshing: Truly Spiked and Sparkling Water

Let’s face it, enjoying a cocktail or two is always fun, but it does tend to leave you a little dehydrated. After we enjoy a few cocktails, we always find ourselves reaching for a glass of water to combat the decrease of our body’s natural anti-diuretic hormone (we all have it….it’s why you go to the restroom more often). This is changing! We were recently introduced to a new light and refreshing low-calorie, clean and simple spiked sparkling water. Yes, we did say spiked sparkling water. Say hello to Truly Spiked and Sparkling Water, a spiked sparkling water with a little kick…or rather, a buzz.

When trying to diet or just eat and drink healthy, alcohol is usually one of the first things added to your “can no longer enjoy anymore” list, but with Truly Spiked and Sparkling Water, there is no need to make that sacrifice. Truly Spiked and Sparkling Waters are just 100 calories and 2 grams of carbs per serving, gluten-free and made with simple ingredients, with nothing artificial – no artificial flavors or sweeteners of any kind. It is the is the lowest-calorie and lowest-carb spiked sparkling water available at only 5% ABV. This is a great alternative to light beer because it has fewer calories and carbs than beer. It’s also a great alternative to the heaviness of cocktails or wine, plus it’s better for you than beer, wine or cocktails.

Truly Spiked and Sparkling Water comes in eight truly refreshing flavors – the above newest flavor Wild Berry (a mix of California strawberries, raspberries and Marion blackberries that brings a hint of the natural sweetness and juiciness of fresh picked berries); Colima Lime (a slightly tart taste with a crisp, subtle sweetness); Pomegranate (a crisp and refreshing drink with a hint of juicy pomegranate); Grapefruit & Pomelo (citrusy, tart and tangy with a hint of sweetness from the Pomelo fruit);  Lemon & Yuzu (a refreshing delight of juicy lemon tartness and fragrant Yuzu, a Japanese citrus fruit); Sicilian Blood Orange (a refreshing, sweet, mellow and delicious taste from the exotic cousin of the traditional orange); Blueberry & Acai (sweet and tart blueberry mixes with the exotic and antioxidant-rich Brazilian acai berry); and Raspberry & Lime (a thirst quenching blend of the ripe sweetness from California raspberries and the crisp citrus twist from lime.

Believe us when we say this is TRULY the refreshing go-to sparkling water for those who love staying balanced but also love a good time. The Truly Spiked and Sparkling Waters are available in 6-pack slim cans, 12-pack slim cans, and 16 oz. cans. Get your favorite flavors at Whole Foods, Target, Rite Aid, Fresh Direct, Trader Joes, Fairway, and Intercontinental Hotels and Resorts. Are you ready to be truly refreshed?