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Cocktails and Corpses: Sauza Tequila Day of The Dead Cocktails

It was a dark and stormy night and the wind was howling like the banshees. It was four years to the day that they found the twisted bodies of party guests that were too crocked to go home, all asleep in the living room, the staircase and a peculiar guest cradled in the kitchen sink. Your Halloween may come with your fair share of stories, but what’s essential to making any party a memorable one is a glass, a carafe, a pitcher or a bottle or two of Sauza Tequila. Tonight we dish on the most important part of any adult’s spooky night festivities, the Sauza Tequila Day of The Dead cocktails.

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People turning into cosmopolitan examples of inebriated zombies in last minute costumes that channel their inner desire to be a garden hoe, bloodsucking vampire or a giant chocolate chip cookie could make for interesting stories, however, our inner foodie much prefers the menu over the masquerade.

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We’d rather listen to the stories of others at this time of year, not so much in the spirit of Halloween, but rather in the spirit of the Day of The Dead. The lesser known, but way more maturely macabre, Dia de Los Muertos is a Mexican holiday that celebrates the lives of the loved ones that are gone. The holiday consists of dinners, gatherings, memorials and a newly formed parade in Mexico City.  Marigolds, ornate skulls, costumes, food and drink and music all characterize components of this day in Mexico and the Southwestern United States.

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So when we say we’d rather listen to the stories of others this day, we invited my fellow horror movie aficionados over to binge watch scary cult horror flicks and pay homage to the real Day of The Dead with a Weekend of the Dead.  With such an undertaking on tap, what soiree would be a soiree without the presence of tequila this or tequila that?  Luckily our dear friends at Sauza Tequila, experts at deliciously smooth 100% blue agave tequilas, offered up some free inspiration in the form of drink and wonderful decorations from Mikasa and Modern Alchemy to get the ball rolling.  So check out these three smooth Sauza Tequila Day of The Dead cocktails and arrangements that we tried out for our Day of The Dead Binge Fest:

Red, Red Rita Remix

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Tart and sweet with a citrus kick and the wonderfully smooth taste of Sauza Silver 

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1 part Sauza Signature Blue Silver Tequila
1 part blood orange juice
1/2 part lime juice
1/2 part simple syrup
1 orange wedge
Add ingredients to an ice-filled shaker.  Shake and strain over ice (sugar-rimming the glass optional). Use a blood orange wedge during blood orange season but you can also let a regular orange wedge soak in blood red orange juice for a couple of hours and use that as a garnish.

Bewitching Berry

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Refreshing with a balance of citrus, sweet and a nod to a peach tart

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2 parts Sauza Signature Blue Silver Tequila
1/2 parts peach juice
1/2 parts blackberry puree (pint of blackberries into a food processor, strain and let set 24-48 hrs)
1/2 lemon juice
1 part simple syrup
1 peach slice
1 blackberry
Add ingredients to an ice-filled shaker.  Shake and strain over ice into a glass.  Garnish by skewering a fresh blackberry and a slice of peach.

Bloody Dusk

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Slightly smoky seasoned with Sauza Reposado and equal touches tart & sweet with the pop of heat

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2 parts Sauza Signature Blue Reposado Tequila
1 part blood orange juice
1 part simple syrup
blended pepper rim
ice cubes
orange peel
Add the ingredients to an ice-filled shaker. Dip the rim of the glass into the pepper mixture of choice. (We used cayenne, black pepper, chili powder and crushed red pepper flake).  Shake ingredients and pour into glass.  Garnish with thin slices of orange peel.

These Sauza Tequila Day of The Dead cocktails are cool recipes that work well for a quiet frightening evening or that can be tweaked for a larger group of rabble rousers.  Just don’t drink till you start becoming the walking dead because we want you to be safe and stay enlightened this Day of The Dead and as always please remember to drink responsibly.

Find Sauza 100% Blue Agave Tequilas at your finer wine and spirit retailers.

Gin Over Neckties: Tommy Rotter Distillery Gin for Father’s Day

I strongly believe that this is the Fathers Day to say goodbye to the same old go-to’s for dad.  Has he really worn that tie yet? Does he even need a fragrance set with five items he doesn’t use anyway?  Will he ever try to synch that gadget to his phone…I mean it’s been almost a whole year already.  Perhaps what dad needs is more realism and less projecting. Projecting is one thinking that dad has a yen to learn how to keep his coffee warm with his own mug warmer.  Realism sets in when one discovers that the only drink dad really relishes in is that stiff cocktail at the end of a crazy work day. Maybe one made with Tommy Rotter Distillery Gin.

Tommy Rotter Distillery Gin

Well if you’re looking to kill two birds with one stone on Sunday and thereafter then may I suggest a gin I tasted recently that kinda wowed me. Tommy Rotter Distillery Gin is a small batch produced gin with flavor and character produced in Buffalo, New York. When you think small batch, think a more controlled center of flavor where ingredients don’t get lost in too big a fold.  This is what you have with this spirit.

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Tommy Rotter Gin has recently won awards at the San Francisco World Spirits and Denver International Spirits Competitions due to its unique flavor profile that involves a blend of herbals, fruits, roots, and flowers.  The result is a surprisingly smooth gin with a beginning of the soothing herbals and earthy spicy roots and a fresh finish of the pleasantly sweet fruits and aromatic cleansing flowers.  I tried Tommy Rotter Gin in a classic G & T with a twist of lime and the tasting just became a pleasing rush of freshness as the citrus played nicely off of the seasoned notes of the spirit.

Tommy Rotter Distillery Gin classic G & T

Is it apropos to give dad a spirit on Father’s Day?  I say with Tommy Rotter it is when you know he’s a man who enjoys a nicely executed cocktail.  It’s sure to go faster than a questionable bottle of designer cologne.

Tommy Rotter Distillery Gin is available now at your finer spirits, wines, and alcohol retailers and as always please remember to drink (and gift) responsibly.

I’m As Comfortable As My Drink: A Basil Hayden’s Valentine’s Day Cocktail

Let’s discuss what real comfort is.  With Valentine’s Day on the horizon, some of us may choose to sit up in bed, gleefully watch and embrace it as it comes over the horizon. However, there are also those of us who would rather pull the covers over our heads and rouse ourselves from a too-long slumber well after the horizon, high noon and sunset has taken place.  For whatever motivates, thrills, ails, or annoys you about Valentine’s Day, take comfort in this fact. Whether you are with the one you love, searching for that one you love, crying over that one you love or in a great place not having to deal with love at the moment, there’s comfort to be had.  That comfort comes in a glass of Basil Hayden’s Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey. Isn’t it funny how when we’re sad, we drink. When we’re depressed, we drink.  Lonely?  Pour me a glass! On the prowl? Fill’er up!  In love, ‘how about we share a glass’? Content, ‘then pour a glass to celebrate my life’.

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Comfort foods are supposed to be looked upon as enjoyable little fattening concoctions with not much thought given to waistlines and gym memberships.  So while they don’t consider certain pleasantries of life, they do still bear the moniker of comfort. That also makes me ask that if we don’t find little bits of enjoyment every now within the disciplines and abandonments in life, is it still living?

Dave, Basil and Toddy's Somalian Retreat

So for Valentine’s Day, I thought I’d share my own Basil Hayden’s recipe for two memorable points of comfort I had this winter.  In late 2015 I enjoyed the most amazing hot toddy in Midtown and last month I had a delightful culinary experience with a Somalian tea in Harlem.  So when thinking of my profound bachelorhood this Valentine’s Day it made me realize that in the downtime between relationships while you’re getting to know yourself again, you find those times to teach, enlighten pamper and comfort yourself through discipline, introspection and of course dining.

I call this “Dave, Basil & Toddy’s Somalian Retreat”

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2 ounces Basil Hayden’s Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Why:  It’s a great bourbon when spiciness and a full-bodied flavor profile that really enhances a toddy
1 Tablespoon of Coconut Sugar
Why:  I didn’t want it too sweet and I find that honey sometimes overpowers
1 cup of hot water
1 Fresh nutmeg grated to a pinch
2 -3 Cloves
1/4 – 1/2 Teaspoon of Cardamom
1 Fresh Cinnamon stick grated to a small pinch
Fresh Ginger grated to a pinch
2 Tablespoons of Milk
1 Lemon
Why: The presence of lemon & milk will curdle, so the lemon is here mainly for a little bit of the zest)
Black tea bag
Add the boiling hot water to a cup then add the Basil Hayden’s Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey.  Next add in your nutmeg, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, and ginger.  Stir then add sugar, more or less to taste and milk and stir again.  Finally, run your lemon over your zester 2-3 times, throw in the grated cinnamon stick and the tea bag and you’re done.  (The tea bag is really just to slowly permeate through the toddy with an intensifying flavor/garnish).

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I’m no chef or mixologist, but I am an avid foodie and do relish in a nice flavor profile and I really enjoyed my Basil Hayden’s “comfortable” little mash-up of my favorite comfort drinks this season.  With whatever or whoever you’re doing this Valentine’s Day or this winter, may it bring you comfort enough to either land a screw or be just fine with screwing the 14th.

As always please remember to drink responsibly. 

Teeling Whiskey: Sample One, Choose All

Why does everyone usually bring a bottle to a holiday party?  Possibly it could be that it’s easier to choose a red or white than figure out who’s gluten-free or dairy-free.  Perhaps it may be a bit simpler to ponder an imported or a domestic spirit rather than gnashing your teeth over the GMO, organic, grass-fed and locally grown conundrums.  When did alcohol become the universal language?  Maybe it was when people became so intoxicated that they really didn’t care what anyone was saying as long and the ale was pouring.  Well, whatever the reasoning, that universal language seems to be spoken by all who want to have a good time and the desire to just sip a nice drink and lighten up. Which will certainly be the case when the Teeling Whiskey is flowing.

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While I could find problems within the universal language, I choose to find solutions.  Choosing one, as some would have it could be a taxing dilemma, so I say choose it all.  Just do it in doses.  That’s what Teeling Whiskey has done with their Trinity Pack.  Direct from Dublin comes Teeling Whiskey, that has been producing non-chill filtered, aged mature whiskey since 1782 (Yes, you read that correctly).

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My choice for an appropriate holiday sampler for your intended host or hostess, after their guests have gone the hell home, is the Teeling Whiskey Trinity Pack.  This pack offers Teeling’s classic in a neatly packaged handsome set that contains one 5CL bottle of their Single Grain, smooth and satisfying, Small Batch, unique and cultivated and their Single Malt, deep and robust Irish Whiskies.  This pack can give the taster a nice cocktail featuring each of the brand’s infamous patented recipes (or just sample them yourself and pick your favorite to give as a gift; either way you can’t lose).

Find the Teeling Whiskey varieties at your finer wine and spirit retailers and as always please remember to drink and share responsibly this holiday season.

Flirty Hostess Aprons by Purple Bee Designs

You know how you come across some products that make you want to try something new or revisit something old? That is actually happening to me now. I love to cook but because I attend so many events, there’s usually no need to cook or play hostess because I’m never home. That has changed a bit since discovering the very fun Flirty Hostess Aprons by Purple Bee Designs.

Purple Bee Designs specializes in designing flirty aprons for the nostalgic yet modern woman. This feminine and sexy brand was founded in the Fall of 2010 by designer Demetria Smith who felt there was a need for “modern vintage” aprons, kitchen goods, and hostess gifts.

Purple Bee Designs aprons are perfect for hosting a party because they do not hide your outfit, are easy to clean since they are 95% vinyl, flattering for all figures, and are made in the U.S.A. These flirty aprons inject a little style into your entertaining experience.

For more information on these adorable Aprons by Purple Bee Designs, visit their Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/purplebeedesigns?sk=info.