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Basil Hayden's #BHFriendsgiving

Giving Thanks to Friendship: Celebrating Friendsgiving with Basil Hayden’s

It occurred to me the other day that I’m the only one in my immediate clique that lives in New York City. The others in my caravan live across the pond in Jersey. While the city unites us for various events and revelries, quite often there has to be a good reason to stay late in the city, venture out into the depths of lower Manhattan or justify a late night uber home. Now while the very natures of our friendships are enough, let’s face that with the annoying hustle and frustrating bustle of our day-to-day, some days you have to relinquish your good intended presence to just being there in spirit. Outside of just hanging out, some people may be cajoled to find further justification in dancing the night away, seeing a sold-out show or catching a must-see movie. However, my friends all have seasoned palettes and nothing gets us together more than good eats, great energy and anchoring the deal with top-shelf cocktails.

Basil Hayden's #BHFriendsgivingBasil Hayden's #BHFriendsgiving

So when I got the invitation to spend the birthday of one of my dearest friends with one of my favorite whiskey brands, the pot was sweetened and the seal of approval was stamped. The satisfying Basil Hayden’s, that beloved and delectably slick bourbon kicked off the season on November 1st with a pretty amazing Friendsgiving in Gowanus, Brooklyn. Held at the posh event space 501 Union, upon entering I knew why the trip to BK for this Bronx guy was worth it. The bar was serving up unique cocktails curated for the event that showcased just how wonderful Basil Hayden’s is. Their Straight Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey is very smooth, has just the right amount of sweetness and packs enough weight to flavorfully hold its own when paired with other cocktail ingredients and spirits. However, don’t just take my word for it. Here are the cocktails that were on tap for that memorable evening:

Basil Hayden's #BHFriendsgiving Basil Hayden's #BHFriendsgiving

First up was the Basil Hayden’s Boulevardier. I tried it with their bourbon and combined with the bitter Aperol and the herbal sweet vermouth it made for such a balanced drink. The mild espresso-like bitterness of the licorice-like Aperol played up to the bourbon so nicely. Next up was the Basil Hayden’s Highball, which I also requested with their bourbon. The lightness from the club soda and the citrusy sweet kick from the lemon soda created a light and refreshing almost summery cocktail with a herbal grown edge from the presence of the basil.

Basil Hayden's #BHFriendsgiving

After two bourbon-centered cocktails, I needed to try one of their latest offerings, Basil Hayden’s Dark Rye. Perfect on the rocks, the dark rye has less sweetness naturally and more of a distinguished oaky spicy weight, but no less smooth and delicious. This was a perfect wind-down of a sipper before dinner.

Basil Hayden's #BHFriendsgiving Basil Hayden's #BHFriendsgiving

Dinner featured two new cocktails for each course. The Ward Eight wonderfully combined their bourbon, the citrus power of grenadine, lemon and orange together with the refreshing cooling pop of mint for a clean sipper that evoked a great spiked Summer lemonade. Finishing up was the Havoc In Nelson County, a surprisingly island-fresh cocktail that took the wonderful rarely seen flavor of banana and mixed it with orange bitters for a flavorful, diverse drink that hits several areas of the palette pleasantly with soothingly familiar notes. Speaking of dinner, our culinary journey, heralded by Chef Paul Donnelly, boasted offerings similar to the Basil Hayden’s Friendsgiving at Peachy’s: an appetizer of Strange Flavor Burrata; a first course of Steamed Baby Branzino and Northern Chinese Style Roasted Golden Beets; a second course of Crispy Lamb Ribs and Salad of Watercress with assorted vegetables; and Chocolate Mousse for dessert. Feast your eyes on these delights below:

APPETIZER

Basil Hayden's #BHFriendsgiving

FIRST COURSE

Basil Hayden's #BHFriendsgiving Basil Hayden's #BHFriendsgiving

SECOND COURSE

Basil Hayden's #BHFriendsgivingBasil Hayden's #BHFriendsgiving

DESSERT

Basil Hayden's #BHFriendsgiving

What the evening with Basil Hayden’s recreated was the makings of classic friendship lore. The drinks were flowing, the food was stellar and the energy was upbeat and positive. How comforting to know that the sweet sip & the relaxing savor, the honest pleasantries & the communal savorings can all conspire together to recognize an evening of old and new friends.

Basil Hayden's #BHFriendsgiving Basil Hayden's #BHFriendsgivingBasil Hayden's #BHFriendsgiving

All in all, when Friendsgiving happens, good spirits in both physical and social forms, must ensue. Basil Hayden’s Bourbon and Rye varieties are available now at your finer wine & spirit retailers.

Friendsgiving with Basil Hayden’s: An Asian Twist to the Traditional Thanksgiving

There’s been a slight shift in how we celebrate Thanksgiving. While many still travel to spend the holiday with their families, there’s a growing few that celebrate the traditional holiday with friends. With economic challenges, family feuds, and sometimes, a lack of family, quite a few will celebrate Friendsgiving instead of Thanksgiving. We had the opportunity to attend two Friendsgiving with Basil Hayden’s events with the culinary twist. This will be about the first one, a preview of what was to come later on. Hidden away in the heart of NYC’s Chinatown, is an amazing cocktail bar called Peachy’s. Located right below Chinese Tuxedo, a contemporary Chinese restaurant set in a former opera house on historic Doyers Street, this was to be the location of our first Friendsgiving with Basil Hayden’s bourbon whiskey.

Partnering with a local Chef Paul Donnelly, Basil Hayden’s put a Chinese cuisine twist on the traditional holiday meal and created a unique menu for the evening. We were truly in for a treat of small and large dishes, sides, and dessert that would make anyone pass on the traditional turkey dinner. With a trio of delicious Basil Hayden’s cocktails to compliment the evening’s meal.

In order of appearance, the small dishes included Tuxedo BBQ Pork Buns, Pan Fried Tuxedo Dumplings, King Prawn Spring Rolls, and Strange Flavor Buratta. The large dishes included Hamachi sushi, Chili Crab Rice, and Crispy Lamb Ribs. Sides included Spicy Cucumbers, Roasted Golden Beets, Salad of Watercress, and Stir Fried Iceberg Lettuce. Dessert was a delicious Chocolate Mousse.

SMALL DISHES

LARGE DISHES

SIDES

To commemorate the Friendsgiving with Basil Hayden’s event, Basil Hayden’s had Calligrapher Nancy Moy on hand to create personalized coasters perfect for serving Friendsgiving cocktails. We can’t wait to use these wonderful keepsakes during and beyond the holiday season.

It was an evening of wonderful food, drinks, and conversation with old and new friends. We love the Asian twist on the traditional holiday menu. We can’t wait to repeat this night with Basil Hayden’s. We know what we’re doing for Thanksgiving, what about you? Will you be enjoying a Friendsgiving or traditional Thanksgiving?

Give Thanks with These Thanksgiving Cocktails

While we’re all getting ready to prepare our dinner menus for Thanksgiving, we must not forget about the drink menu for the evening, because as the saying goes “man cannot live on bread alone”, well, in this case, an elaborate dinner. Yes, you are going to need Thanksgiving cocktails, for before, during and after dinner, especially if want to have a memorable Thanksgiving dinner with loved ones. Today we bring you wonderful Thanksgiving cocktails from Cruzan Rum, Basil Hayden’s, Knob Creek, and Laphroaig, to satisfy the varied personalities and taste styles you’re welcoming into your home, like the Seasonal Celebrator, the Traditionalist, the Cocktail Connoisseur, and the Whiskey Novice.

For the Traditionalist:

Knob Creek® Old Fashioned Holiday (recipe by Celebrity Chef Michael Symon)

Knob Creek Old Fashioned Holiday

1 1/2 Parts Knob Creek® Rye Whiskey
1/2 Part Cinnamon Syrup
1/2 Part Lemon
1 Part Wild Ale (like Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales®)
1 Egg White
Nutmeg for Garnish
Combine all ingredients in a bar tin without ice. Shake for 20 seconds. Add ice and shake for another 20 seconds. Double strain into a chilled lowball glass and garnish with grated nutmeg.

For the Seasonal Celebrator:

Cruzan® Sparkling Honey Diamond

Cruzan Sparkling Honey Diamond

1 1/2 parts Cruzan® Estate Diamond® Dark Rum
3/4 part Lime Juice
3/4 part Honey Syrup
Sparkling Wine
Combine rum, juice and syrup over ice and shake for 15 seconds. Fine strain into a chilled champagne flute. Top with sparkling wine.

For the Cocktail Connoisseur:

Laphroaig® Montgomerie Smoked Cider

Laphroaig Montgomerie Smoked Cider

1 1⁄2 parts Laphroaig® 10 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky
3 parts apple cider
1 part fresh lemon sour
Build over ice in order. Garnish with a lemon wedge.

For the Whiskey Novice:

Basil Hayden’s® Spiced Cocoa

Basil Hayden Spiced Cocoa

2 parts Basil Hayden’s® Bourbon
1/4 part Nocello® Walnut Liqueur
2 parts Spicy Hot Cocoa* (see recipe below)
2 Chili Peppers (for garnish)
Pre-heat mug by filling it with hot water – discard water after 30 seconds. Add Basil Hayden’s® Bourbon and Nocello® Walnut Liqueur to the heated mug. Add the spicy hot cocoa and gently mix together. Garnish with chili peppers.

Spicy Hot Cocoa*
1/2 Tbsp. Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1/2 Tbsp. Sugar
Pinch of Salt
Pinch of Cayenne Pepper
1/4 Cup Water
Mix dry ingredients together, add hot water and stir until dissolved.

Take the stress off planning your Thanksgiving cocktail menu with this variety of cocktail recipes to please every person (and personality!) seated at your table.

Glamour-flage Your Style this Thanksgiving with Lola and Sophie

Face it, when it comes to big food holidays like Thanksgiving, we all want the best of both worlds – to look fabulous, yet still want to get away with wearing our “eating pants”. Wouldn’t you love to combine both? We all love enjoying Thanksgiving dinner, but no one wants really wants to look down and see their stomach sticking out. The only solution is to not eat much (no one wants that), or to do what we’re planning on doing – Glamour-flage your style this Thanksgiving with Lola and Sophie.

 

Lola & Sophie Cranberry Overdrape Top

Say hello to the Lola & Sophie Long Sleeve Overdrape Top, a sexy rayon/spandex V-neck ruched top with asymmetrical over drape to hide your Thanksgiving dinner overindulgences. Sure to be a wardrobe staple and your go-to for the major eating holidays. With this chic top, which is available in the above cranberry and black, you will surely win the battle of the bulge thanks to its concealing silhouette, play on proportion, and accentuating details. The underlayer is ruched on the sides with a beautifully draped asymmetric top layer to keep your stomach and imperfections well covered.  Whether you wear it with dark denim jeans, slim pants, or leggings, you will absolutely highlight your best assets, “glamour-flage your trouble spots”, and look slimmer in this effortlessly chic top!

Thanks to Lola & Sophie designer Gene Kagan, who is a “master of casual chic”, we’re all now equipped with the perfect style to keep your stomach pooch your own little (or medium-sized) secret. So eat and drink up this Thanksgiving, as much as your stomach can take because no one will be judging you by the size of your stomach. Are you ready to Glamour-flage your style this Thanksgiving with Lola and Sophie? Grab the Long Sleeve Overdrape Top for $99.00, and check out the entire Lola & Sophie collection at www.lolaandsophie.com.

Cookware Essentials for Easy Thanksgiving Cooking and Preparation

To say cooking thanksgiving dinner is a huge undertaking is an incredible understatement, especially if you don’t have the right tools. We could our first turkey class Thanksgiving and although it came out perfect, we absolutely did not have the right kitchenware and utensils to properly handle, carve, and serve our turkey. Thanks to some wonderful cookware and kitchen appliances from brands like All-Clad Cookware, and Bella Housewares, cooking for Thanksgiving will be a breeze. Today we share the latest in Roasters, Slow Cookers, and Cooking Utensils, the must-have cookware essentials for easy Thanksgiving cooking and preparation. Our list is sure to make your Thanksgiving preparations easier….you’re on your own when it comes to dealing with your family.

BELLA HO– USEWARES 18QT Turkey Roaster

Bella 18QT Turkey Roaster
The BELLA Turkey Roaster is the second oven you’ve always wanted on Thanksgiving. It roasts up to a 22lb turkey and has an 18QT capacity. Not only does it free up your oven for other parts of your Thanksgiving feast, it saves you a lot of back pain from the constant bending while checking on your turkey. A metal rack is included with the Bella Turkey Roaster for cooking convenience and the temperature may be set from 150 degrees up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

ALL-CLAD ROASTING PANS

[block]4[/block]All-Clad Stainless Steel Covered Roaster            All-Clad Stainless Steel Roti Combo                       All-Clad Hard Anodized Roti Combo

The All-Clad Stainless Steel Covered Roaster is ideal for roasting large cuts of meat and turkeys. It’s made up of heavy gauge 18/10 stainless steel which makes cleaning up a breeze and features large loop handles for maneuverability. This roaster features a unique rack with lifting handles for easy removal of large foods after roasting. This covered roaster also features a pressure release on the lid for easy removal.

The stainless steel All-Clad Roti Combos are ideal for turkeys and rib roasts. The V-shaped nonstick roasting rack elevates foods to generate even cooking and browning. Stovetop safe for pan gravies after roasting. The roaster comes with a set of 2 stainless turkey forks, ergonomically designed for comfort.

The versatile All-Clad Hard anodized Roti Combo is best suited for roasting large cuts of meat or whole poultry and boasts a nonstick v-shaped rack allows for even browning of meat and collection of natural juices in the pan for basting, glazing or a gravy base.

BELLA TRIPLE-SLOW-COOKER

Bella 3 x 2.5QT Triple Slow Cooker with Lid Rests

When all your stovetop burners are going, the BELLA 3 x 2.5QT Triple Slow Cooker with Lid Rests (in gorgeous rose gold – one of many available colors) adds much more needed cooking capabilities. No more waiting until something is done cooking to start on another. This triple slow cooker is perfect for entertaining family and friends. It boasts individual temperature control knobs to ensure that each meal is cooked just right while its non-skid feet help prevent spills.

ALL-CLAD STOVETOP SLOW COOKER

All-Clad d7 8 Qt. Slow Cooker

For those of you who prefer stovetop slow cooking (and has a free burner), you will love this innovative pot from All-Clad. This stainless steel beauty boasts seven-layer bonded-metal construction, offering doubly uniform heat conduction with 25% less weight than cast iron. Count on this kitchen-to-table cooker for perfect browning, caramelizing and slow cooking of everything from tender pot roast to hearty stews and braises.

ALL-CLAD COOKING UTENSILS

All-Clad Stainless Steel Cooking Utensils

All-Clad Measuring Spoons                                                                                                                                     All-Clad Potato Masher

When following recipes, precise measurements are key, especially if it’s a recipe you’re trying for the first time. The beautifully crafted stainless steel All-Clad Measuring Spoons set comes chained together to keep the entire set easily accessible. This set includes a 1/4, 1/2, 1 teaspoon and 1 Tablespoon measures. The rounded spoons are also conveniently designed to glide into small openings of spice jars and small containers.

No one likes lumpy mashed potatoes or sweet potato pies, with the All-Clad Potato Masher, you will easily mash vegetables and fruits such as potatoes, avocados and bananas.  Thanks to its thin slits which efficiently mashes while its high sides reach into corners of most bowls and pans, so food pieces don’t escape.

Make Thanksgiving Better w/ Shady Brook Farms & Honeysuckle White Turkeys

With Thanksgiving happening this week, we have one thing on our minds: FOOD! The star of the Thanksgiving dinner is of course, the turkey. We have great news: The well known Shady Brook Farms and Honeysuckle White have been working with over 700 independent farmers to bring you fresh, whole bird turkeys raised without growth promoting hormones antibiotics – at an affordable price! Shady Brook Farms and Honeysuckle White believe that everyone should have access to healthy, organic food that hasn’t been pumped with chemicals and hormones.

Look out for this packaging at your local grocery store when turkey shopping!

This is huge and amazing news – they are the first major turkey brands to implement this change on such a large scale. By buying a turkey this year from these brands, you can take a step in the right direction toward healthy and organic eating this Thanksgiving. We had the chance to sample this Gluten-free, MSG-free turkey from Shady Brook Farms and it is superbly delicious!

Now you can feel a little better about stuffing yourself on turkey day, because your turkey will be hormone antibiotic free! Living in a time where we barely know where our food comes from and how the animals that we consume are raised, Shady Brook Farms and Honeysuckle White taking the initiative to give us turkey that is raised the healthy way is a breath of fresh air. You can look forward to even more turkey products without growth promoting antibiotics soon, because they will be removed from all turkeys by 2015. With Shady Brook Farms and Honeysuckle White, you can be sure that you are serving your loved ones something that not only tastes great, but is great for them.

Eat, Drink and Be Thankful w/ Skinnygirl Cocktails & Sauza Tequila

Soon we’ll all be at the table surrounded by family and friends, giving thanks for the people and things we cherish most in our lives. While you are certain to fill up on the Thanksgiving feast, we just have one question, what cocktail are you toasting with? May we suggest you pass on the boring and go for one (or more) of these delicious Thanksgiving themed cocktails from Skinnygirl Cocktails and Sauza Tequila? Enjoy the delicious flavors of the time honored Thanksgiving staples of cranberry sauce or pumpkin in a decadent cocktail.

These delicious, fall themed cocktails celebrate the flavors of the season deliciously, you may find yourself enjoying more than just seconds. Are you ready to enjoy? Then let Skinnygirl Cocktails and Sauza Tequila help you toast to everything you’re thankful for with these four, festive cocktails below:

Sauza® Pumpkin Pie-tini

1 ½ parts Sauza® Blue Reposado 100% Agave Tequila
3 parts cream
½ part Torani® Pumpkin Spice Syrup
1 part simple syrup
½ tsp. vanilla extract
¼ tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. pumpkin pie spice
Whipped Cream and cinnamon for garnish (optional)
Shake all ingredients vigorously with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Top with whipped cream and cinnamon (optional).

Cranberry Orange Margarita

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
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!

Pumpkin Spice Sipper

1 ½ parts Skinnygirl® Bare Naked Vodka
1 part canned unsweetened pumpkin
¾ part fat free sweetened condensed milk
¾ part unsweetened almond milk
½ tbsp pumpkin pie spice
Shake ingredients with ice in a cocktail shaker. Strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice.

Turkey Day Toast

3 parts Skinnygirl® Prosecco, chilled
1 part grapefruit juice, chilled
1 part cranberry juice
1 part ginger ale
Grapefruit slice for garnish
Mix all juice ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Top with Skinnygirl® Prosecco and ginger ale. Garnish with grapefruit slice and enjoy!

We are so very thankful for these cocktails. We love all four recipes, what about you?

Give Thanks with Teleflora this Thanksgiving

While everyone is going on and on about Black Friday, we’re taking a moment to talk Thanksgiving; more precisely, Thanksgiving floral arrangements. Nothing sets off a dinner table than a beautiful floral arrangement and this Thanksgiving, Teleflora offers several stunning arrangements. From the traditional to the exotic, these Thanksgiving flowers truly capture the spirit of the holiday. Whether you’re the hostess looking for that special centerpiece, a guest looking for a great hostess gift, or just want to send flowers home because you won’t be there, the following fall themed centerpieces from Teleflora are perfect options.

Warm Fall Wishes Bouquet

Celebrate the beauty of fall with this colorful, heartwarming mix of roses and alstroemeria, hand-delivered in Teleflors’s exclusive ceramic pumpkin with lid.
Enjoy a lush mix of orange roses, orange alstroemeria, burgundy cushion chrysanthemums, yellow daisy chrysanthemums, solidago, huckleberry and oak leaves. This arrangement comes in Standard $54.95, Deluxe $64.95, and Premium $74.95.

Classic Cornucopia

Celebrate the season of Thanksgiving with this traditional symbol of autumnal abundance. A great arrangement for those who love traditional Thanksgiving table decorations. This beautiful cornucopia bursts out of a horn-shaped wicker basket filled with fall flowers and harvest wheat. Perfect to place on the dinner table, kitchen counter, coffee table or entryway. The arrangement boasts gorgeous sunflowers and lush orange roses, accented with unique blue eryngium, red daisies, yellow cushion mums, parvifolia eucalyptus and magnolia leaves. It is topped off with Cinnamon sticks and harvest wheat for comforting fall touches. This arrangement comes in Standard $62.95, Deluxe $72.95, and Premium $82.95.

Family Gathering Centerpiece

Gather your family around the warm glow and classic fall colors of this stunning Thanksgiving centerpiece. A lush variety of burnt orange fall blooms, including orange roses, orange asiatic lilies, dark orange alstroemeria, bronze button mums, yellow cushion mums, rust cushion mums, green oregonia and green huckleberry, are gathered under a pair of tall, graceful, orange taper candles and accented with oak leaves. This arrangement comes in Standard $54.95, Deluxe $64.95, and Premium $74.95.

Teleflora’s Exotic Grace

For those who prefer something more exotic, send good feng shui someone’s way with this striking tropical arrangement. Asiatic lilies, alstroemeria, and birds of paradise are accented with red hypericum, ti leaves, galax leaves, oregonia and bamboo-like equisetum, which are all beautifully arranged in a balanced, Zen-like composition and come housed in a dark brown bamboo dish. This arrangement comes in  Standard $69.95, Deluxe $79.95, and Premium $89.95.