Archive for the ‘Wine and Spirits’ Category

“Powerfuel”: vodka sold in flasks (blackberry, melon mint, ginger coriander, espresso)

The Deli Garage is an awesome German food cooperative that sells locally manufactured food products dressed up in wacky, artistic packaging. It’s hard not to be totally intrigued when you see what they’re selling. If only they shipped to the US, I’d buy everything.

“Filler”: chocolate spread (milk and white chocolate)

“Food Finish”: edible, tasteless food coloring spray

“Cheese Pencils”: Parmesan “pencils,” truffle, pesto and chili “graphite” centers, sold with a sharpener

“Oil Change”: olive oil (lemon, chili, rosemary)


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Mercadito restaurants have popped up in a few cities (NY, Chicago and Miami). I frequent the one in New York’s East Village because it’s cozy, has great tacos and margaritas, and it’s just as fun for two people as it is for a party of 20.  Try ordering the camarón tacos (shrimp, roasted garlic, chipotle mojo, avocado), the mango guacamole (pico de gallo, jícama, chipotle) but make sure they give you a few of their salsas on the side too, and the margarita tradicional (tequila blanco, lime, orange).

Mercadito in the East Village has TWO different happy hours per day, every single day of the week with margaritas and guacamole for around $5. And, on Tuesdays they have two tacos for $5 all night! Deals like this (and similar ones exist in most of their locations) for really great quality food are hard to come by; it’s kind of a dream come true.

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It’s common to see many time-consuming brunch recipes floating around the internet for Mother’s Day. But the holiday should be about having quality time and not about being stuck in the kitchen. The day should be fun—make it a celebration, with cocktails to match.

Keep things simple—decorate with flowers, scramble eggs, fry bacon, buy a good loaf of fresh bread and some jam, and then dazzle everyone with a spectacular brunch cocktail.  Sometimes it’s more about the experience you create than it is about the menu you make. Cheers mom.

Saveur’s easy champagne cocktails

Epicurious’ Rabbit Punch

Moscow Mule from YumSugar

Or an Apple, Ginger & Cranberry Vodka Cocktail from What Katie Ate

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Try a new way to party on a Saturday. Boozy brunch is fun, but drinking good bottles of wine for free might be more fun. Many wine shops host tastings on the weekends, but Union Square Wines in NY really outdoes them all.

They have an entire beautiful room dedicated to these tastings and they offer them on most Saturdays between 2-5pm, for free. There are literally over 20 bottles of wine curated around a different theme each week. Not only is this simply a good time, but it’s perfect for dates and even for entertaining out-of-towners.


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Most people underestimate the Philly food scene; they just don’t realize how many good places there are packed into a relatively small amount of space.  The restaurants have great food, they’re different, accessible…and many are BYOB. Good luck stumbling upon that combination in NY.

 If you find yourself in Philly on a Saturday, I dare you to choose one if the following adventures:

START HERE: Head to Garces Trading Co., they have a wine shop INSIDE the actual restaurant.  Pick up a bottle of Prosecco and then go a few blocks over to Kanella.  This is a Greek place, where literally everything is amazing. but order the Cyprus Breakfast (eggs fried in olive oil, halloumi, lounza and bread, $11). It’s unlike any egg breakfast you’ve had before.

Now, it’s a hard call for your dinner plans, but either way you win…

OPTION 1: Go back to Garces Trading Co. (make a reservation if you can, it’s small and fills up). Get another bottle of wine and order their Saturday night special, Steak Frites ($34).  It’s hard to explain how good it is. You could instead order a deep dish pie, I suggest with smoked bacon and cipollini onions ($26 + toppings).

OPTION 2: Go somewhere (anywhere!)and get a bottle of wine. Before this point we were staying within Center City, but jump in a cab and head over to Northern Liberties to Koo Zee Doo. It’s a Portuguese restaurant that feels like you are in someone’s living room, in a good way.  They will bring you amazing homemade bread when you sit down.  You should start with the Salada de Marisco (Spicy seafood salad, hearts of palm, orange, watercress, $18) and then get the Bife à Portuguesa (Picanha steak, presunto, fried egg, fried potatoes, $36).  It’s going to be hard to fathom dessert, but never say never.

Just give Philly a shot, you’ll be happy (…fat, drunk and satisfied) when you do.

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VeevAn ad for “Veev Acai Spirit” in a sidebar caught my eye. I’m not a huge liquor fan. I think drinking too much wine has made me a bit of a baby when it comes to the hard stuff. This company claims Veev is “a better way to drink” since it’s a spirit made with the superfruit Acai berry that is full of antioxidants and anthocyanins (whatever those are), prickly pear, and vitamin C packed acerola cherry. I so badly want to like drinking liquor, maybe here’s my chance? I think in their natural form all of these nutritious fruits might be really good for you, but in liquor? –I think it’s just a gimmick.  In any case, maybe the exotic fruits make the flavor something noteworthy. I’ll let you know when I find some. 


Oh, they also donate money to ensure the Acai berry is harvested sustainably in the Brazilian Rain Forest. Thats pretty cool.

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