Thursday, May 28, 2015

Taste, Wear, and Feel Great

I had quite an unusual mix of products to write about this month, from wine and spirits to make-up and clothing. I even had a little nose spray with some big benefits.

Uncommon Vodka by Deep Eddy
Deep Eddy Vodka sent me a bottle of their straight stuff (smooth and fruitier than most plain vodkas) and a mix of some slightly different flavors. I have to admit, in this world filled with flavored vodkas, I was quite impressed with these offerings. They also run only about $20 a bottle.

Deep Eddy Cranberry Vodka
What a great idea? After all, we put cranberry in vodka. It was my favorite – not too tart, not too sweet. After we were done tasting, I put some club soda in it and enjoyed an easy cocktail.

Deep Eddy Sweet Tea Vodka
This was totally unexpected. We all agreed that it wasn’t at all sweet, but it had more tea flavor than any tea vodka we’d ever had. Perfect for the tea – not sweet tea – lover.

Deep Eddy Ruby Red Vodka
I have to plead citrus allergy so I didn’t have a lot, but this was a big hit with my friends. They expected grapefruit to be sour, but this was definitely a delicious pink grapefruit.

Deep Eddy Lemon Vodka
Again, I just did a sip, but this caused a very interesting battle – the men said it was the best of the four, the women still loved the Ruby Red more.

Stolen Rum
Stolen Rum is advertised as “smoke and coffee,” implying that these are the flavors this rum takes on through a complex process. First, it’s blended by hand in Trinidad with Fenugreek, Columbian Coffee, and Madagascar Vanilla before it’s aged in oak barrels that were once used for bourbon. After a minimum of two years, the rum is passed through smoking American Hardwood, giving it a hint of whiskey.

I do agree that Stolen is complex and delicious in flavor and I’d definitely say it’s whiskey-like. The only problem I found was that, as rum, I expected it to have more substance and some sweetness. Stolen is one of those products that is well-worth getting, but not what it’s made for. You’ll be disappointed if you dilute it. Serve it neat and savor the flavor.

Wine to Go
The weather is beautiful and you’re heading out for a picnic or a day at the beach. You don’t have one of those solid wine holders. Honestly, how many people really do? How do you get your wine there without risking broken glass and lugging corkscrews? That’s where Nuvino comes in.

Nuvino makes pouches of wine that travel easily in your cooler, don’t break, and serve well. They come in a nice variety: Chilean Sauvignon Blanc, South African Chardonnay, Australian Red Blend, and Argentinian Malbec. They only sent the Malbec for me to try and it was very good. The only downside is the MSP is $6, but if you shop around, you can get them for around $4 @. Each pouch is a full glass

A Scotch Treat for Dad
With Father’s Day around the corner, you might be looking for a really special gift for a special Scotch lover. Macallan has the answer. Their Rare Cask is definitely something special. You’ll immediately get the sweet notes on the nose, from vanilla to caramel. As you sip it slowly, and it must be sipped, the Applewood and citrus start to appear perhaps from the sherry oak casks that were used. Macallan Rare Cask is as smooth as a Scotch can get, almost to the point of cognac (thank you, sherry casks). You’ll pay for this privilege at $300 a bottle, but isn’t a dad worth it?

Work or Play
I am always ready to try out easy travel pieces of clothing and that’s what Sofibella provides, whether you are on the tennis court, in the gym, or in an airplane. These pieces have it all: UV Protection, Anti-Bacterial Properties, and a Stay-Dry Agent. The fabric Sofibella uses is also very comfortable, yet I found the tank and crops also gave me support. I also loved the light weight micro flare cardigan. It is perfect for quickly “dressing up” an outfit without adding weight (something you don’t want in the heat of the summer).

No Fuss Make-Up
I am a fan of bareMinerals makeup and I probably always will be. My one complaint is that I find I need 2-3 different products to complete the natural look. That’s too much when traveling. Now that I’ve tried Jessica Robertson Collection Bronzing Powder , I have a new travel go to. This product is convenient and makes my skin feel good, with a glow. It’s a natural looking tint that acts as both makeup and bronzer. Best of all, it comes in an easy to carry compact. Prices vary from $20-$25 and it’s well worth it.

Help for Allergies
My allergies are horrible in the spring and fall. I take allergy medicine, but sometimes it’s not enough. Rather than adding in some sleep-inducing Benadryl, I’ve started using saline nasal sprays. I also like to have one in my Ziploc for the plane as the humidity deprived air can dry out my nose. I was more than happy to try Boogie Mist Sterile Saline Nasal Spray, Fresh Scent, 2 Ounce and it works very well. It also, comes in a grape flavor so you can get the kids to keep their nasal passages clear and maybe prevent a cold or two.

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.

Books…
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