Archive | August, 2013

Cheers! End of Summer Cocktails

30 Aug

Sayonara summer! As we celebrate Labor Day Weekend and say our last farewells to another summer gone by, we can at least take pleasure in knowing that we will be well fed drinks. From all over the country and multiple different spirits, we have the best end of summer cocktails to keep you going this weekend, and to ease you into fall. Hey, at least we have football to look forward to!

Toasted White Cranberry

Effen Toasted White Cranberry (Courtesy of Effen Vodka)
1 ½ parts Effen Salted Caramel Vodka
1 ¾ parts white cranberry juice
¼ part fresh lemon juice
¼ part simple syrup
toasted coconut flakes

Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake. Double strain into a highball glass with ice. Garnish with toasted coconut flakes.

Highland Dress

Highland Dress (Courtesy of Chris Marty, Untitled & The Black Grouse)
2 oz. The Black Grouse
½ oz. Combier Peche de Vigne
½ oz. Fresh Lemon Juice
1 oz. Simple Syrup
1 Egg White

Dry shake to emulsify egg white, then shake all ingredients together with ice to chill. Double strain and serve in an Old Fashioned glass, half-rimmed with Applewood Smoked Sea Salt.

Labor Day Lounger

Labor Day Lounger (Courtesy of Shellback Rum)
1 ½ oz. Shellback Silver Rum
½ oz. Lemon Juice
½ oz. Simple Syrup
6 Basil Leaves
4 Pineapple Cubes – 1 ½  x 1 ½ inch roughly
25 Fresh Blueberries
1 oz. Club Soda
Blueberries & Pineapple for Garnish

Muddle basil leaves, pineapple and blueberry in cocktail shaker. Add rum, lemon juice and simple syrup with ice. Shake vigorously to infuse basil flavor well. Strain into large rocks glass over fresh ice. Garnish with pineapple and blueberries.

Strawberry Moji-Tea

Strawberry Moji-tea (Courtesy of Andrea Correale)
4 oz. Tea & Honey Strawberry Acai Tea
1 oz. Tanteo Jalapeno Tequila
Prosecco
Mint
Strawberries

Muddle mint and strawberries in a shaker. Add the Lipton Tea & Honey Iced Tea, tequila and ice in a shaker. Strain into a glass. Top with Prosecco and serve.

Photo credit: Alice Gao

Photo credit: Alice Gao

Apple Business (Courtesy of Nolet’s Gin)
2 oz. NOLET’S Silver Dry Gin
1 oz. Fresh Apple Juice
½ oz. Fresh Lime Juice
½ oz. Honey

Shake all ingredients, strain over fresh ice in a rocks glass. Garnish with apple slice.

Endless Summer

Endless Summer (Courtesy of Skinnygirl)
1 ½ parts Skinnygirl Island Coconut Vodka
3 parts pineapple juice
4 parts sparkling water
1 cup sliced mango, frozen
Mango wedge for garnish

Pour over fruit and ice. Garnish with a mango and enjoy!

Hi-Teq Punch

Hi-Teq Punch (Courtesy of Jaime Salas & Milagro Tequila)
3 parts Milagro Silver
2 parts lemon juice
2 parts simple syrup
5 parts Hibiscus Tea
1 part ginger juice
1 part Lillet Rose

Build ingredients in a punch bowl over large ice block. Garnish with lemon peels and hibiscus flowers. Stir well for 1 minute to dilute.

Goji Berry Cosmopolitan

Goji Berry Cosmopolitan (Courtesy of The National)
1 oz. Ultimat Vodka
1 oz. Fair Goji Berry Liqueur
1 oz. Fresh Lime Juice
1 oz. Cranberry Juice
Touch of Gran Cala Triple Sec

Add all ingredients in a shaker, fill with ice, shake it well, pour into a chilled martini glass and garnish it with a lime wheel.

Kiwi Colada

Kiwi Colada (Courtesy of Shellback Rum)
2 ounces Shellback Spiced Rum
1 ounce Cream of Coconut
1 Kiwi – Skinned & Sliced
6 Fresh Pineapple Cubes
3 Watermelon Cubes
12 ounces Crushed Ice
Kiwi Slice for Garnish

Place all ingredients in blender, saving one kiwi slice for garnish. Blend until completely smooth. Pour into goblet. Garnish with kiwi and watermelon slice.

Oscar and Anna: From NYC To You!

30 Aug

Oscar & Anna

What’s New York-based, supportive of the local economy, and inspired by the influential work of renowned artists such as Picasso, Dali, and Rousseau? Bags by Oscar and Anna, of course! The company recently announced the release of their Spring/Summer 2014 and Resort line. This line includes bags in different textures and rich, classic shades of reds, yellows, muted blues, greens and white; and brings together the modern functionality and traditional touches of handbags.

Anna Zefferys, the creative designer and founder, brings life to the bags through her innovative designs, staying clear of over the top bags, and creating a more simplistic beauty. Each of these bags are made in the New York City garment district, and range in price from $285 to $1200. These are some of the bags that will be made available for Fall 2013.

The Izzy 2-way Clutch ($325):

In today’s world, versatility is key, with the Izzy 2-way clutch, you can go from a clutch to a mini tote, to a wristlet all in the wrap of a chain on your wrist. The clutch has two pockets to secure your daily items, and comes in a variety of colors, both pearl and soft. Coming February in Blue Ash and Evening Sun.

The Oscar and Anna Messenger ($995):

A bag both men, women, and all lovers of convenience and leather will fall for. The Oscar and Anna Messenger is sleek, lightweight, and boasts side zippers, magnetic flaps and a slip pocket, making storing and retrieving your gear, a much easier task.

 

The Graham Tote ($355):

The latest addition to the O&A family, and not just your ordinary tote! With a flap tie top from the beach to the gym to the mall, you can fit just about any part of your life securely into the Graham Tote. She also is a perfect addition to the Gellar, for those jam packed days, and can be made into a great set alongside the Izzy and the Has Been.

 

 

 

Are you sold yet? I know I am! Select items available for sale at http://www.oscarandanna.com/ and through NYC retailers such as H&S Bespoke and ANNA Store.

Where To Party This Labor Day Weekend

29 Aug

labor-day

Depression sets in as summer inevitably comes to an end. Luckily, before it does we’ve got a long weekend ahead for partying it up and making the last days of summer count. Hanging around the city? We’ve got your go-to spots for the weekend!

Going to be living it up in the Hamptons this Labor Day weeked? The Box will be bringing its sultry acts to Sienna Restaurant & Ultralounge on Friday, August 30th at 11pm. Don’t miss cabaret at its finest!

Evelyn Drinkery is introducing a new event called Ease Up Sundays, debuting on Sunday, September 1st. The reggae party will be co-hosted by Appleton Estate and Willy Shine and will continue every Sunday until the new year. The event will last from 2-8pm and feature rum cocktail specials, Jamaican food and sweet tunes from DJ Sweet V.

On September 1st, rising star DJ Monique Rodrigues will be playing the Brazilian Independence Day event at XVI Lounge Rooftop. The party lasts from 6pm-4am with a free caipirinha open bar from 6-7pm. Ticket prices start at $25 and can be purchased here.

Head to the High Line for free ice cream pops from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams. In honor of the Diane von Furstenberg accessories pop-up, Jeni’s will be serving the J-Bar, made with Cloverton ice cream swirled with smoked paprika-pineapple sauce and cocoa nibs, topped with three macadamia nut ‘buttons’ and dipped in dark chocolate. The pop is inspired by DVF’s leopard and paprika handbag, the 440 Mini. Get a free pop this Saturday and Sunday between 12pm and 6pm.

Katch will be hosting its first ever Keg Party on September 1st from 12-6pm. Pay $20 for a cup and you have six long hours to keep refilling it!

Image via Ticket Web

 

Wake Up and See The Awake at 59E59 Theaters

29 Aug

Ken Urban’s The Awake is a disturbing and darkly humorous take on the latent hypocrisies of American society, told through three disparate storylines. Showing at 59E59 Theaters and featuring an ensemble cast that includes Maulik Pancholy, perhaps best known for his role as Jonathan on 30 Rock, the play slowly forges links between all the characters through a mixture or real-life and dream sequences. Lori Prince is Gabrielle, a wife, hospital volunteer, and immigrant from an unspecified Eastern European country; she maintains the foreign accent with aplomb. Gabrielle’s husband harbors a dark secret and his diabolical daughter, played by Jocelyn Kuritsky, is a very entertaining strain of crazy. Dee Nelson and Andy Phelan are a comatose mother and grieving son, respectively; Pancholy’s Nate, a Canadian immigrant and torture victim probably has the most compelling story, especially as it deals with the aftermath of his incarceration. The torture scenes are minimalistic but pretty difficult to watch and listen to at times.

In addition to the three main storylines, most of the actors play minor roles in the dream sequences; as there is no backstage area, there are always actors waiting on the sidelines for their next scene. There are hardly any props, but the constantly shifting focus and frequently shrill tone can definitely be overwhelming. Despite the politicized subject of torture, Urban does not treat the audience like idiots, offering little in the way of a clean resolution to any of the situations. Should you desire an unconventional and thought provoking evening in theatre, go see The Awake.

Maulik Pancholy in Ken Urban's THE AWAKE at 59E59 Theaters.  Photo by Kevin Thomas Garcia

Maulik Pancholy in Ken Urban’s THE AWAKE at 59E59 Theaters.
Photo by Kevin Thomas Garcia

Tickets are $18 general admission and $12.50 for members. Showtimes are Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday at 7:30, Fridays and Saturdays at 8:30 and Sundays at 3:30 through September 8th. To buy: call TicketCentral at 212-279-4200 or go to www.ticketcentral.com.

The Ultimate Tasting Event: Taste Williamsburg

28 Aug

Taste Williamsburg

On Sunday, September 22, 2013 the 4th Annual Taste Williamsburg Greenpoint will be taking place on the waterfront at East River State park from 1-6pm and will consist of food and drink tastes at varying price points. All proceeds from this event will go to help fund the North Side Town Hall Community and Cultural Center and provide a ground floor exhibition for local arts organizations.

This fantastic tasting event will have everything from food and drinks to special performances by Jonathan Toubin and DJ Queen Majesty. For $25 you can have four food tastes and two drink tastes accompanied by the liveliness of the Taste event. If you think you may want a little more, for $45 you can have eight food tastes and four drink tastes. Both are a steal if you think about it!

Some of the participating food and drink companies that will be offering some delectable tastes are Brooklyn Brewery, Maker’s Mark, Jim Beam, and Brooklyn Winery. As far as the food goes, companies like BrisketTown, Pies ‘n’ Thighs, The Meatball Shop, and Brooklyn Star will be there, among many other North Brooklyn companies, to offer you delicious tastes of their menu items.

Advanced tickets can be purchased now through September. For more information, check out the Taste Williamsburg website and purchase your tickets here!

Tapas Galore at La Nuit

28 Aug

La Nuit

If there’s one thing I love it’s a great tapas restaurant. La Nuit recently opened on the Upper East Side and boasts amazing tapas and Mediterranean cuisine. The two-level restaurant has a minimalist style with chic Moroccan lamps and cozy seating. Make your way to their upstairs hookah lounge, where they offer 21 different flavors that are nice and smooth and very tasty! It’s some of the best hookah I’ve had in the city.

Fried CalamariPatatas Bravas

Downstairs, make sure to order up your favorite dishes. The tapas at La Nuit are generously sized and we aren’t complaining. We tried the delicious lamb hummus with pita bread, which was served nice and warm and was a unique spin on your typical hummus. We also had their Patatas Bravas, which were so wonderful, but not spicy like you would expect. Next, we tried the Fried Calamari, which was served with a great tangy sauce, giving us a nice reprieve from marinara. Last but not least, we downed the Roasted Lamb Nachos, which were splendid. They were topped with goat cheese fondue, red onion, and a cilantro-chili sauce. They are a definite must-try at La Nuit.

Lamb HummusRoasted Lamb Nachos

Along with our tapas, we of course tried some of their specialty cocktails. The Casablanca ($13) was comprised of peach and mango nectar, vodka, lemon and spices. It tasted fruity with a little kick and was very refreshing. The Aphrodite ($13) was made of Chambord, champagne, berries and strawberry nectar and was a great champagne cocktail. La Nuit also has an impressive beer and wine selection.

The CasablancaAphrodite

In addition to their outstanding food and drink, La Nuit plays host to belly dancers on Friday and Saturday nights so make sure to stop by for the fun! They also have an insane happy hour from 4-9pm, offering half price drinks and tapas on Sundays and Mondays. Talk about a good deal!

If you are ever in the neighborhood, make sure to stop by La Nuit for some tasty tapas and tons of fun.

La Nuit is located at 1134 1st Avenue. 

The Perfect End of Summer Sip

27 Aug

Cloudy Bay

As the summer comes to an end and everyone tries to get their last little bits of vacation and sun time, it’s nice to enjoy some great summer sipping wines and take in what we have left until the days get shorter, and the weather starts to cool down. The farmer’s markets however, are still in full bloom and you should certainly be taking as much advantage of them as possible, because they, too, will soon dwindle away. A nice summer wine I recently tried was a 2012 Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc. This New Zealand wine is crisp, clean, and has a gripping acidity; perfect for a hot summer day, and great with food!

Scallops & Cloudy Bay

Taking full advantage of the farmer’s markets, this wine had to be paired with two dishes. The first, Pan Seared Scallops over Grilled Asian Eggplant, Onions, and Asparagus. The meatiness of the scallops and the subtle flavor in the eggplant balanced the Sauvignon Blanc very well, and our taste buds could not have been happier! This wine is full of citrus and zest, making it very pleasing for any palate.

Mussels

For the second dish, it had to be mussels. Steamed Mussels with Purple Basil, Garlic, White Wine, and Tomatoes. This dish was simple and delicious and with the addition of Grilled Sour Dough, the broth was perfect for dipping! What is beautiful about Purple Basil is not only the color, but how fresh and enticing it is to put into every dish. Whenever you can find it, get it, because it looks striking in tomato salads, with pasta, and even on pizza! The wine’s acidity and citrus notes complimented the mussels very well, as they are light, but meaty, and cut through the striking acidity.

Now, you can always pair this Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc with other dishes besides shellfish, as it is a very food friendly wine. At $27.99 per bottle for this wine, it is absolutely worth the price and you will enjoy it until every last drop! Click here to find out where to purchase!

Get Served for the US Open

27 Aug

Game, set, match! If you’re looking for places to go and TVs to watch for this year’s US Open, we’ve got you covered.

US Open

Both locations of The Windsor will be airing all the matches on their flat screen TVs, along with food and drink specials. From now until September 9th, the upscale sports bar and restaurant will be offering a daily special of a complimentary drink with your entree. Additionally, on August 31st and September 1st, any entree plus two brunch cocktails will be just $20!

Gansevoort Hotel Group is offering an exclusive ‘Get Served’ package at Gansevoort Meatpacking and Gansevoort Park Avenue in partnership with Lacoste so you can enjoy the games in style. The package is valid from August 23rd through September 10th, with rates starting at $424. The package includes two monogrammed US Open Lacoste polos, 20% off Lacoste discount cards, two Gansevoort caps, Gansevoort tennis balls with a purple sharpie for autographs, a Gansevoort windbreak, compact binoculars and a Gansevoort seat cushion. Go get it!

Looking to get out of the city? JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa is the perfect place to play like the pros. Voted #1 tennis resort in the world for instruction and tennis programmed, this resort is situated in one of California’s most picturesque communities. The resort features 20 tennis courts, including 15 hard surface courts, 3 clay courts and two stadium grass courts. Take advantage of their ‘Play Like The Pros’ package, with rates starting at $349 per night based on double occupancy. The package includes breakfast daily in Rockwood Grill, one clinic plus on 30 minute private lesson per person per day, one hour of court time per room per day, Tennis for Life DVD, $100 resort credit per night (golf, spa or dining), and healthy amenity turndown first night. You’ll be playing like Serena in no time!