Friday, March 20, 2015

A Few Things that have Arrived on my Doorstep…

My longest lasting relationship in the last few years has been with the FedEx guy. I’m always smiling when he comes to the door and all he requires from me is a signature.

Here’s some of the latest and greatest from my deliveries…

Salted Caramel Kahlua
For those of you that love the combination of sweet and salty, this one’s for you. I’m not a big salt eater and I still found Salted Caramel Kahlua to be a delicious treat that should be on every bar.

Another thing I love about this spirit is that it doesn’t require any work. You can throw it in Coffee or hot chocolate for a wonderful warm-up, add some vodka for a special martini, or just serve it over ice with or without club soda. If you do want to get more creative, here’s an idea I find especially appealing…

Colorado Bulldog
1 Part Salted Caramel Kahlua
1 Part Absolut Vodka
1 Part Cream
Cola to top

Shake the Kahlua, vodka, and cream with ice.
Strain into a short glass filled with ice, leaving room on top.
Top off the glass with Cola.

Coolibar Clothing
I never leave my house without sunblock on my face and exposed body parts. This is good start, but I know if I’m planning on being in direct sun all day that isn’t enough. 

Coolibar makes clothing which blocks out 98% of UVA/UVB rays with UPF 50+ protection. Coolibar makes colorful clothing for men, women, and children.

I tried out the Swing Tee, which was comfortable, easy to pack, and true to size. (I wear a 4-6 and got the small.) It’s great for sun protection, but the material is a little heavy so it’s will be more of a go-to top for the slopes and fall or winter hiking than the beach.

Downy Wrinkle Releaser Plus
Downy Wrinkle Releaser is always in my travel bag. It’s my clothes freshener when I don’t have time to wash something and it’s my wrinkle releaser for those occasional times when I do pack something that creases.

The company has added Wrinkle Release Plus and it’s even better than the first. It’s better on wrinkles, better at removing odors, and perfect for eliminating static cling. And, yes, it comes in a travel size.

Here are some of the books I’ve read lately that I recommend for travel and spirits lovers out there:

Fennel Fizz, anyone?
Great Tips in Here
Before the Wine
was Everywhere

Friday, February 13, 2015

Romantic Wine, Spirits and Cocktails

It’s just before Valentine’s Day and my mind is wandering to wine and roses… and chocolate, spirits, and cocktails. I’m sure your Valentine would enjoy any of these treats.

Skinny Girl White Cherry Vodka
It’s been a while since I tried any new Skinny Girl products and I was anxious to taste the White Cherry Vodka. It did not disappoint. It has a hint of vanilla and just subtle cherry flavor, making it a fantastic low calorie cocktail just served with plain soda. If you’d like something a bit more festive, give this a try:

Royal Cherry
1 oz Skinnygirl White Cherry Vodka
2 oz champagne
1 frozen cherry

Pour champagne into flute and top with White Cherry Vodka. Garnish with one frozen cherry.

Chateau Chantal Cherry Wines
You can keep it simple with Chateau Chantal Cerise Cherry Port Style Dessert Wine and Michigan Cherry Wine. The Port is incredible sipped with dessert, or put it on a dessert like ice cream or pound cake.

As for the Michigan Cherry Wine, it will warm your night mulled. Pour it into a small crockpot with cinnamon sticks, anise stars, and a bit of ginger. You can also add some fruit, if desired. Serve it in warm mugs by a roaring fire.

PAMA Pomegranate Liqueur
PAMA, made from pomegranate juice and vodka with a bit of tequila, is quite delicious on its own over ice, as the mixer for a margarita, or in a mojito.  I wanted to do something special with it so I got together with local bartender Lionel Lisardi and we did some experimenting. It resulted in this recipe that we both loved.

Hope you enjoy…

The Nutty Kiss
1-1/2 oz PAMA Pomegranate Liqueur
1 oz Crème de Cacao
½ oz Amaretto
¾ oz cream

Put ingredients into a shaker with ice. Shake until blended and the strain into a martini glass rimmed with cocoa. Top with a spoonful of chocolate whip cream (just blend some of the cocoa into the whip cream).

Happy Valentine’s Day!