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Archive for the category “Happy Hour”

1800 Tequila Essential Artists Bottles

Happy Halloween!  I came across some creative and somewhat spooky Essential Artists Bottles from 1800 Tequila that would be awesome for celebrating tonight.

Eleven up and coming artists contributed their designs to create these limited-edition masterpieces – with one celebrity bottle designed by Shepard Fairey’s Studio Number One.  The grand prize winner was Steven Wilson whose bottle is front and center in the picture.

My favorite is Chad Shore’s (featuring the woman with dark hair, fifth from right).

View the whole collection here.  Which is your favorite?

Soirée Wine Decanter

Soirée is a glass globe that fits into the tops of wine bottles that acts as a decanter.  When the wine is poured, it swirls through the globe before it goes into the wine glass.

I had the pleasure of trying out the Soirée thanks to Marshall Coffy, the Sales Director.

I asked him for tips on which wines to try it with.

He replied, “Soirée is perfect for aerating wines that are tightly structured, have a high alcohol content, or wines that are muted.   For instance, “new world” wines from warm climates will have an enhanced bouquet and show richer flavors when poured with a Soirée.  Yet, even “Old World” wines or white wines will show heightened attributes despite common belief.  Young new world wine however, will present  the most dramatic effect.”

I sampled several wines with the Soirée, side-by-side the un-decanted versions.  Glasses poured through the Soirée were indeed fuller and “juicier.”

I also love how the Soirée comes with its own little stand, perfect for storing upright in a cabinet or even displaying on a kitchen counter or shelf.

Organic, Shaken and Stirred: Cocktail Recipes

Organic, Shaken and Stirred: Hip Highballs, Modern Martinis and Other Totally Green Cocktails is an awesome new collection of recipes by Paul Abercrombie, published by Harvard Common Press.

I had the pleasure of being asked to look at a copy of the book and give my take here on Smorgasbite- thanks Paul!

I enjoyed sampling several of the cocktail recipes -delicious- and I enjoyed drooling over the rest.  The photography is exquisite and the ingredients- muddled blackberries, fresh mint, crystalized ginger- are, shall we say, top shelf.  That said, not too many of the recipes can be made with ingredients just lying around the house (save you tropical island dwellers, perhaps) so it pays to plan and shop accordingly.  Meanwhile, while the book calls for organic spirits (rum, tequila, etc) – regular will do.

I’m happy to be able to share with you a recipe.

Coming in Hot!

2 organic strawberries, hulled
4 slivers peeled and seeded organic jalapeno chile
3/4 ounce freshly squeezed organic lemon juice
1.5 ounces organic repasado tequila
1/2 ounce organic agave nectar

In a cocktail shaker, muddle the strawberries, 3 of the jalapeno slivers, and the lemon juice until well mashed.  Add the tequila and agave nectar, and fill the shaker with ice cubes.  Shake vigorously, then strain the mixture into a chilled martini glass.  Garnish with the remaining jalapeno sliver.

Lastly, Paul writes a great blog about all things cocktail at, you guessed it, organicshakenandstirred.com

Happy Hour Recipe using Leblon Cachaca de Brasil

When I was in seventh grade my dad went on a business trip to Brazil and brought me back a t-shirt that said, “BRASIL.”  Kids at school pointed to it and said, “Your shirt is spelled wrong.  You’re supposed to spell it with a z, not an s.”  Oh, the worldly intelligence of Midwestern preteens.

Anyhow, it’s happy hour!  Leblon Cachaca is a delicious liquor that will help you forget all of your disturbing junior high memories.  Cachaca (pronounced ca-SHA-sa) is a spirit distilled from sugar cane juice, made in Brasil as it’s spelled on its beautiful glass bottle.  It is the third most consumed spirit in the world behind only vodka and soju/shochu.

Where has it been all my life?  (…And what is soju/shochu…?)

Here’s a recipe for a delicious, classic caipirinha.  (Step-by-step photo instructions here.)

The Leblon Caipirinha

  • 2 oz Leblon Cachaca
  • 1/2 Lime
  • 2 tsp Superfine sugar or 1 oz Simple Syrup (or sweetener of your choice)
  • Glass-Rocks

Cut the lime into four wedges. Muddle the lime and sugar in a shaker. Fill the shaker with ice and add Leblon Cachaça. Shake vigorously. Serve in a rocks glass. Garnish with a slice of lime.

The Leblon website has dozens of other recipes (mixed drinks, party drinks, frozen drinks) and some cool videos, too.  Thanks to Matthew and Miranda for the sample and viva Brasil!

LOFT Organic Spicy Ginger Liqueur Caipirina

Happy hour was especially delicious last night thanks to LOFT Organic Liqueur— specifically, the Spicy Ginger Cello (pictured furthest left).

I made the following cocktail with it and it was delicious.  Strong and not too sweet, which is how I like ’em.  If you like your cocktails sweet, add some simple syrup.  And if you’re a lightweight, cut the recipe in half (or better yet, share).

I added ice cubes on top of the muddled limes before adding the alcohols, then stirred.

Spicy Ginger Caipirina

2 oz LOFT Ginger Cello
2 ½ oz cachaca rum
¾ of a whole lime cut into 8 pieces (about 6 pcs.)

Muddle lime before adding other ingredients.  Do not strain. Serve in rocks glass.

St. Patrick’s Day Frosted Glass Mug

St. Patrick’s Day is just 40 days away.  Get ready with this Paddy is My Homeboy Frosted Glass Mug, certain to delight your friends and bartenders.

Flower Flask

Flower flask is pink and green and yellow and pretty and wow it’s been a long week and I can’t believe that I have to go to work on Monday and Tuesday it’s not like I’m going to get anything done but let me stop thinking about work because it’s the weekend now and did I tell you how pretty you are and how much I love you?

Pylones, $35

Martini Glass, Inside Out

Hooray, a martini glass that still looks tres chic while being less prone to breakage, spillage and drink-becoming-likewarm-by-clammy-handage.

Charles & Marie, $55 for two

POM Pomegranate Margaritas, Salt-Kissed

Whip up a batch of pomegranate margaritas to greet guests during the holidays.  I guarantee everyone will have more fun, sooner!

POM makes fabulous pomegranate juice that’s pretty widely available.  To delight anyone who doesn’t care for a margarita (or is underage), serve it plain or mixed some freshly-squeezed lime juice over ice.

POM Pomegranate Margaritas for 4

Adapted from Southern Living‘s Pomegranate Margaritas

What I Changed (Reflected Here) and Why: Omitted the simple syrup because I hate cocktails that are overly sweet and because making simple syrup seemed like extra work; Maintained liquidity by shaking with ice a bit longer; Rubbed cocktail glass rims with salt.

1 1/2  cups POM pomegranate juice
3/4  cup  tequila
1/2  cup  fresh lime juice (about 6 limes)
1/4  cup  orange liqueur (such as Triple Sec)
Ice cubes

1. Combine pomegranate juice with next 3 ingredients in a pitcher. (This can be done ahead of time.)

2. Rub the rims of 4 cocktail glasses with a wedge of lime and, one at a time, tip upside down into a plate with a shallow level of salt.  Twist cocktail glass until coated, then stand upright.

3. Just before serving, pour desired amount of pomegranate juice mixture into a cocktail shaker filled with ice cubes. Cover with lid, and shake 45 seconds.

4. Remove lid, and strain into chilled cocktail glasses. Repeat procedure with remaining pomegranate mixture.

Recipe can easily be doubled or tripled.  You know, if you’re expecting a crowd.

Gift: Bamboo Straws from Laos, Fair Trade

Bamboo Party Straws are an eco-conscious gift because they’re made from nature and replace disposable straws.

They are a global-justice-conscious gift because they are Fair Trade.

They’re also a fun gift:

In Laos, the Khamu use bamboo straws during festivals and special occasions. They place a pottery jar full of a local brewed alcohol on the ground and drink it with these straws at a length of 1 meter long.

Gift them so someone who loves to host parties (and invites you to them).

Global Exchange Fair Trade Online Store, $16.95 for 12 straws in a handwoven cotton bag

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