National Cocktail Day Guide

Since Wednesday, March 24 is ‘National Cocktail Day’ many of us will be celebrating at home, because bars are still not open due to the pandemic. Here are some of my favorite cocktails and wine in a can to just pop open and pour. Plus, these high quality cocktails are more accessible and affordable for everyone 21+ years old. Enjoy at home and don’t drink and drive.

Rogue Ales & Spirits makes this easy! It’s one of the original craft breweries and distilleries, and ROGUE Spirits continues to create and grow its sparkling canned cocktail line with the recent launch of a Lemonade Iced Tea Vodka Soda and the Bayfront Vodka Party Pack. These ready-to-drink beverages are made with Rogue Spirits and 100% natural ingredients.

Not only do they offer an authentic, gluten-free, bar-quality taste, they are so convenient in a can. “We’re feeling all the spring vibes and are beyond ready to leave our house and enjoy the warm weather with a beverage in hand,” says Steve Garrett, VP of Business Development. “Rogue Spirits Sparkling Craft Cocktails were made for this type of outing.”

Forget the jigger, the strainer, the muddler and the shaker because ROGUE Spirits does all the work for you. “Canned cocktails were a fun next step for our brand,” says Jake Holshue, Rogue Head Distiller. “We use our Rogue Spirits Bayfront Vodka as the base and added natural ingredients to create bright and flavorful cocktails.

Another party in a box is the hard bubbly Fun Wine collection. Not only does it offers a low ABV, low-calorie, all-natural and lightly carbonated wine. It’s artistically inspired bottles are based on Miami’s distinct art, fashion and music culture. Created by renowned Miami graffiti and pop artist, Miguel Paredes, his art matches the bold and refreshing flavors. Since Sangria is a cocktail, I had to include Fun Wine, because they make the best sangria in a bottle. No mixing, cutting or shaking. Just twist the cap and pour. Other Fun Wine bubbly includes Coconut Chardonnay, Strawberry Rose’ Moscato and Cappuccino Chardonnay. Fun Wine is now available in the U.S. Visit www.funwine.com.

Cutwater Spirits transports you into a vacation state of mind while sipping one of the Tequila Margaritas, Tiki Rum Mai Tai, Bloody Marys or Vodka cocktails in a can. Their tequila offers a floral aroma with a smooth finish that complements their house-made mix of tart lime, pure cane sugar, and a hint of orange. (It’s tastes like Cabo in a can). Their Mai Tai offers pineapple and coconut flavors combined with their unique citrus mix to balance the brightness.

Babe 100 canned wine, not a cocktail, however it is refreshing like a seltzer with only 100 calories and zero grams of sugar.  Now you can drink Rosé, a Grigio or red wine made with a bubbly Cabernet and Syrah blend. This new canned wine is available at your nearest Target store. Order $50 online and have it shipped to your home for free.

SELTZY is made in small batches in the iconic mountain town of Jackson Hole, WY. As a part of the Roadhouse Brewing Co. family, their hard seltzer was created with a passion for craft with pure Teton water, 0 gluten, 0 added sugar, and 0 carbs. Seeking a libation at ‘Cocktail Hour’ Seltzy is refreshing, crisp, and comes in these uniquely delightful flavors – THE CRUSH is made with two mountain berries -huckleberry and lingonberry; THE CHILL – lime and ginger and KICKED BACK – cucumber and lychee. Experience all three seltzers with the 12 count Variety Pack. Click here to order and for a store locator near you – SELTZY.

7 Innovative Beverages in 2021

Volley arrived on liquor shelves in 2020, as the first widely available sugar-free tequila seltzer. Built from just three ingredients—100% blue weber agave spirit, sparkling water, and organic juice—it’s healthier alternative to many of the sweet canned cocktails entering the market. With a 5.25% ABV, it offers less calories per can than a serving of vodka.

It debuts in four flavors: Zesty Lime,  Spicy Ginger ,  Sharp Grapefruit and  Tropical Mango. Absent of artificial additives and flavorings, the effervescent liquid has earthy and herbaceous characteristics of the agave spirit. Purchase in four-packs, either in single flavor option or a variety of all four. The packs are set to retail at $12 on shelves in New York, New Jersey and Florida. Or $14 online, from where they’ll ship by way of 3rd party retailer to anywhere in the US.

 Caribbrew coffee offers a jolt of flavorful aroma from its Haitian coffee or cocoa. The socially-conscious company pays tribute to its culture by offering an exclusive line of Haitian products with the bountiful flavors and rich aromas of Haiti, a purveyor of some of the finest blends in the world. Enjoy a cup of coffee or cocoa as well as coffee-based skincare products that are premium single-origin and direct trade. Feel good and know that this black-owned brand with Haitian roots is making a social impact one cup at a time. All Caribbrew products are cruelty-free, vegan, and handmade with the best ingredients. As the brand likes to say, their coffee keeps you woke by sourcing responsibly, creating opportunities for everyone in their supply chain, and keeping you pleasantly awake on a busy day!

Cutwater Spirits transports you into a vacation state of mind while sipping their new Tequila Margarita or Tiki Rum Mai Tai in a can. It’s a tropical paradise of flavors with a blend of Cutwater Barrel-aged Rum and Bali Hai Tiki Gold Rum. These two rums are mixed with pineapple, citrus and coconut flavors to provide a refreshing cocktail that can be poured over ice or sip from a chilled can.  2020 Gold winner at San Diego Spirit & Cocktail Competition 2020: Best of ClassTiki Rum Mai Tai won a 2020 GOLD Denver International Spirits.

Three Hermits is dedicated to creating products with natural, time-tested ingredients to empower wellness and happiness. The little shots have 100% ALL NATURAL INGREDIENTS that include Turmeric a “Functional Food” defined by the Mayo Clinic as “foods that have a potentially positive effect on health beyond basic nutrition.” Nirgundi is a common ingredient in various healing sciences. It is an analgesic and anti-inflammatory which is effective in treating headaches, and other ailments. Cinnamon is derived from the stem of the cinnamomum tree and helps lower blood sugar levels, boost insulin sensitivity and slow down the emptying of the stomach to reduce sharp blood sugar rises after a meal.

Simple Goodness Sisters’ Syrups The Spritz farm produces fresh, small batch drink syrups by sisters Belinda and Venise. One is a bartender and the other is a farmer on a 10 acre farm in Buckley, WA. Together they make syrups using whole fruit, fresh herbs and organic can sugar. Add to sparkling water or your favorite spirit for extra goodness.

Jaf Tea Each batch begins in the beautiful highlands of Sri Lanka where the unique agricultural climate results in 365 days of peak growth and teas that range from robust and full-bodied to floral and delicate. Keep your pantry stocked with delicious fresh teas this winter. At JAF Tea, they’ve spent the last 75 years perfecting the art of tea cultivation, and now they are the maker of the world’s purest single origin Ceylon Teas available affordably around the globe. From there the leaves are hand-plucked, thoroughly taste tested, and packaged locally to not only preserve the freshness of the leaves, but to also support the growers and their communities. JAF Tea’s unique gift sets are available on Amazon for under $20.This item contains an assortment of 8 exciting fruit flavored black teas – 10 Tea Bags from each: Forest Fruit – Bursting with lusciously ripe wild berry flavors and enhanced with real forest fruit pieces, expertly blended with our premium Ceylon black tea. Blueberry Delight – All the juicy tang of ripe blueberries with the delicate sweetness of real cherry pieces gently fused with our specially selected Ceylon tea. Pink Grapefruit – Packed with the zingy, zesty flavors of ripe and juicy citrus, perfectly combined with our fine Ceylon tea. Sunny Lemon – An invigorating blend of sun-ripened sweetness with the zesty tang of real lemon peel, infused into our superb Ceylon tea. Peach Orchard – Savor the delicately perfumed, sweet flavor of freshly picked peaches, infused into our outstanding Ceylon tea. Passion Fruit – A luscious balance of vibrantly sweet and tangy fruit flavors, expertly fused with our superior Ceylon tea. Creamy Soursop – Creamy and comforting with the rich, tropical taste of exotic soursop, sweetly fused with our prized Ceylon tea blend and Mango Banana – All the tropical sweetness of ripe mango with the smooth, mellow taste of banana, married together with our exquisite Ceylon tea blend.

Drink Droplet is a sparkling, stress-balancing adaptogen drink made in Los Angeles with whole prebiotic fruit puree juices, alkaline water, coconut nectar, Himalayan pink sea salt, organic adaptogens, and aromatherapeutic superfoods. Developed by an all-female team of designers and food scientists, Droplet draws from scientifically-backed plant magic to help you fight stress and feel balanced. Flavors include pretty happy infused with passion fruit + cacao + vanilla bean + rhodiola to boost mood, sharpen focus, fight fatigue. pretty balanced offers white peach + lemon verbena + moringa + ashwagandha to calm and balance, nourish and recover. pretty bright offers yuzu citrus + ginger + reishi mushroom to boost immunity, revitalize, and rejuvenate.

10 Summer Beverages to Enjoy at Home

It’s summertime and due to COVID-19 many will continue to stay more at home than go out during the summer. I received a variety of beverages to try and review in time for Father’s Day and the beginning of summer.

Here are 10 of my favorites for sipping in the backyard, taking on a social distance picnic, or enjoying during a weekend brunch.

1. Cutwater Spirits transports you into a vacation state of mind while sipping their new Tiki Rum Mai Tai in a can. It’s a tropical paradise of flavors with a blend of Cutwater Barrel-aged Rum and Bali Hai Tiki Gold Rum. These two rums are mixed with pineapple, citrus and coconut flavors to provide a refreshing cocktail that can be poured over ice or sip from a chilled can. Tiki Rum Mai Tai won a 2020 GOLD Denver International Spirits. (It’s tastes like Hawaii in a can. This is a 12.5% ABV Mai Tai, so sometimes I dilute it with a sparkling water).

IMG_9212-22.Dads who love Bloody Marys on the weekend can make their own exotic concoction with Cutwater Sprits Fugu Vodka Spicy Bloody Mary It’s a Bloody Mary with a fiery bite. Just pour a can filled with Cutwater Spirits signature Vodka and our award-winning Bloody Mary mix. The flavor profile includes fresh ripe tomatoes, exotic spices and a generous sprinkle of pepper. Pour the 12 oz can in a jar glass, and add garnishes such as a celery stalk, skewers of cherry tomatoes, olives and gherkin pickles. For an extra special Bloody add a crispy slice of Applewood Smoked Bacon to absorb the zesty cocktail. (This Bloody Mary packs a punch in spiciness. I add ice to the glass and let it melt a little to soften the zesty kick with every sip).IMG_83813. Since Father’s Day is on Sunday, June 21, serve the World’s Greatest Father and family members 21+ Ohza Mimosas in a can. One 12-pack is equivalent to four champagne bottles of bubbly and a full juice carton. These mimosas are as good or better than making your own. Inside a 12 oz can is premium sparkling wine and real fruit juice, yet  80% less sugar and 60% less calories. (I love these mimosas and bellinis. They are sparkling, fun to drink and perfect to serve during Sunday Brunch).IMG_8159-24. Give dad a Crystal Head Vodka skull for Father’s Day. It’s distilled quadruple times and filtered seven times, with the final three filtrations through Herkimer diamond crystals makes this vodka easy drinking. It’s slightly sweet, silky smooth, and offers a hint of vanilla. Plus the eye-catching bottle is designed by world-renowned American portrait artist and landscape painter John Alexander. His work is featured in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, the Corcoran Museum and the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C. (Fun Fact: Actor and SNL Comedian Dan Aykroyd makes this vodka. He makes a beautiful rainbow colored bottle during PRIDE month).IMG_72565. For the tequila loving Dad, QUI Tequila offers a slight essence of hazelnut, vanilla and butterscotch characteristics. It’s a smooth and sophisticated tequila, not the type to down quickly with salt and a lime,” said Pete Girgis, president and co-founder of QUI. This spirit is named from the heart of the word te-QUI-la. They take the blue agave plants and discard the heads and tails, only using the juice of the heart. (This tequila is smooth and similar to a fine Scotch to sip slowly).34707FF1-D205-4C14-9CF1-E938335736DF6. The quintessential summer wine to sip during the day and weekend brunch is Domaine Houchart Cotes De Provence Rose served chilled. It’s an ideal summer wine to drink offering beautiful salmon color highlights, with hints of red berry and strawberry flavors. Notes of pear and peach, with a touch of goji berry and grapefruit give this wine an extra flair. Winning the TOP 100 BEST BUYS award in 2018 & 2019, Domain Houchart is a family owned 200-acre estate with 10 grape varieties located in Provence at the foot of Mount St. Victoire. The estate produces 55% rose’, 40% red and 5% white wines. (If you like Rose’ wine, you will love this one chilled and served with brunch fare or a charcuterie plate).IMG_74377. Canned cocktails crafted with Rogue Spirits are available for Father’s Day and this summer for home delivery or you can purchase it on shelves at Whole Foods. Rogue Spirits begins with two spirits – Rogue Bayfront Vodka and Rogue Spirits Gin. The vodka is the base for the Cranberry Elderflower Vodka Soda, Grapefruit Vodka Soda and Ginger Lime Vodka Mule. Rogue Spirits Gin is the base for the Cucumber Lime Gin Fizz. Go to buy.rogue.com for dad and family to enjoy. (These are refreshing, fruity and fun to drink).IMG_73248. Hard Ciders are the rage, especially an icy cold one during the summer. Austin Eastciders hard cider and spiked seltzers is lower in sugar and calories. It’s made with real cider apples that are sourced from Europe. These are rich in tannins and offer more complex flavors. With an alcohol by volume at 5%, these ciders contain about two-thirds less sugar than others. Plus they are gluten-free and certified kosher. (Popping open a can of Texas Honey Cider, I noticed a floral aroma and bubbly crispness. Taking a sip, the flavors include a hint of apple, and touch of Texas honey, cane sugar and brown sugar to produce a creamy caramel finish). 214917C9-BB93-435F-98E1-B09BD4E0FB589. GoKo Energy Drinks are excellent non-alcohol drinks and make a great cocktail mixer. They add natural flavor, a boost of energy and a sparkling kick to any mixed drink. GoKo Energy Sparkling Coconut Water Ginger & Lime makes a great Moscow Mule. Measure out three ounces of your favorite vodka (or any clear spirit will do) into a copper mug; add ice; then stir in GoKo Energy Sparkling Coconut Water Ginger & Lime. Squeeze a lime wedge and use as garnish to finish. (My friend Jeff makes these caffeinated beverages. Some are a little to sweet for my palate to drink alone, but as a mixer, these are dynamite).Screen Shot 2020-06-11 at 8.21.34 AM
10. Pali Wine is a Lompoc-based winery, along the iconic Santa Ynez Valley in Santa Barbara County. This ultra-high-quality wines sells bottles of Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Rose’ and Syrah at a fair prices. It employs environmentally friendly wine grape growing, and non-invasive winemaking practices. (Pali has tasting rooms that are a lot of fun to visit, especially in Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone).

10 Ways to Have Cinco de Mayo at Home

Just because you can’t celebrate Cinco de Mayo this year at a bar or restaurant, doesn’t mean you can’t have a really fun fiesta at home. Here is a list of restaurants and entrepreneurial companies that are helping #Stayathome followers shout Ole’ all day!

RESTAURANTS 

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LOQUI Cinco de Mayo at home

1. Order a Cinco de Mayo family meal from LOQUI to be delivered to your home or for contactless pick-up on Mary 5. The meal comes a choice of two proteins (chicken, mushroom, pork or beef), rice, beans, a dozen flour tortillas, guacamole, chips, cilantro, purple onion, cotija cheese, salsa roja and chip salsa. To decorate your house LOQUI is including banner decorations, one paper centerpiece flower and Mexican candy. Options to add to your meal include a choice of one bottle of wine or six beers. Delivery is available via Chownow, Postmates & Caviar. Pre-order this special now for May 5 at https://www.eatloqui.com/store/catering/. LOQUI Culver City has a drive-thru via the PLATFORM at 3920 Landmark Ave., Culver City, (310)220-7260 and street to-go on Traction Ave., at 818 E. 3rd St. Suite 150, DTLA, (213)265-7558.

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2. All El Torito locations on Tuesday, May 5 order from four different Cinco De Mayo Kits to celebrate at home. All kits come with four sombreros. This is for To-Go or delivery. Call in your order for pickup and enjoy $10 off any $35 orders. They will bring your food and beverages to you for curbside pickup. Fiesta Taco Kit and a Pitcher of House Margaritas for $50 or $55 for Cadillac Margaritas: Build your own Tacos with Choice of Two: Chicken, Steak or Carnitas.  Kit includes: Corn or Flour Tortillas, Rice, Refried Beans or Frijoles de la Olla, Shredded Cheese, Lettuce, Tomatoes, Sour Cream, Chips & Salsa and Sweet Corn Cake.  Plus, a pitcher of Margaritas. Fiesta Fajita Kit and a Pitcher of House Margaritas for $60 or $65 for Cadillac Margaritas: Build your own Fajitas with Choice of: Chicken or Steak.  Kit includes: Corn or Flour Tortillas, Grilled Veggies, Guacamole, Rice, Refried Beans or Frijoles de la Olla, Chips & Salsa and Sweet Corn Cake.  Plus, a pitcher of Margaritas.

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3. TREJO de MAYO – Danny Trejo’s Tacos & Cantinas are offering a Celebration Box to Celebrate at Home.  The Trejo De Mayo Celebration Box includes a family meal for four people with one (4) pack of Trejo’s Cerveza and two 16oz OG Margaritas (each serves 2 Margaritas). The price of the box is and $99, and available now through Tuesday, May 5 for pick-up and delivery through Postmates and Chownow. 1048 S La Brea Ave and 1556 N. Cahuenga Blvd., Los Angeles.

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4. Casa Vega owner Christy Vega is offering a Cinco de Mayo Quarantine Taco Kit that includes crispy tacos, a pint of rice and beans, and a half gallon of classic Margaritas (64oz, approximately 8 drinks) for $80. This feeds 4-6 people. Casa Vega will is open from 12 to 8 pm daily.  Dining solo? Combination plates,  Street Tacos, Taquitos de Juan (chicken flautas), and Burritos are available with beer and wine. Their classic Margarita and other variations are available in a single serving mason jar with ice, ready to drink for $7-9. Order directly by phone (818-788-4868) or online via the Casa Vega website. Guests can pick up and stay in their car. A Casa Vega staff member will place you order in the trunk or backseat. Employees will undergo mandatory temperature checks before their shift, wear masks, and uphold proper distancing guidelines to ensure a safe environment for both guests and staff.

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5. Madre’s Cinco de Mayo celebration in the comfort of your home. Madre is located in Palms and Torrance, providing everything you need for your at-home Cinco de Mayo celebration. Start with Oaxacan breakfast bowls, omelets and Oaxacan family style brunch packs. Be sure to include mescal mimosas, champagne bottles and frozé to-go. Cinco de Mayo dinners include taco kits and mezcal margaritas for takeout and delivery. The $25 Taco Kit includes chips + guacamole, two chicken tacos, two asada tacos, two carnitas tacos, and two aguas frescas. They also are offering a $12 Mole Bowl Kit that includes grilled chicken, grilled veggies with corn, rice, beans and mole for takeout and delivery. Beverage kits include a $15 beer kit with Michelada mix that serves 6, and a six-pack of beer for $12. Madre cocktail mix “movers and shakers” includes mezcal Reposado, tequila Reposado, agave, mole bitters, Benèdictine and limes for $10. Call Madre for pickup at the Palms and Torrance locations, or order for delivery through Chownow, Grubhub, Doordash, Postmates, Caviar, Delivery.com and UberEats. 10426 National Blvd., (310)559-4732 and 261 Cabrillo Ave., (310)974-8005.

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6. Burritos Locos for Cinco de Mayo – The Madera Group known for their Tocaya Organica and Toca Madera restaurants is launching Burritos Locos, a craveable, indulgent burrito concept launched in response to the current COVID-19 pandemic. Residents in West Hollywood, Downtown LA, Hollywood, Playa Vista and Westwood can order via Postmates seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. This new effort allows The Madera Group to bring employees back to work, which is hugely important to the team. The menu has a spicy beef Pablo’s Spicy beef burritos; organic diablo chicken burrito called the Nashville Hot Chicken, and a vegan burrito called Beyond Ridiculous made with vegan picadillo, sauteed peppers and onions, roasted tomato salsa, vegan mozzarella, cilantro lime rice, and black beans. For children, The Little Loco burrito is available. Add fries, Locos sauce and guacamole. Beer and other beverages are also available to be delivered to your home. To order, go to https://www.burritoslocosla.com.

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Entrepreneurial Companies

7. Cutwater Spirits is a San Diego company that makes a variety of satisfying cocktails in cans. Their lime margarita brings Baja’s favorite beverage delivered to your door for Cinco de Mayo and summer fun in your backyard. The tequilas agave gives this cocktail a floral aroma mixed with tart lime, hint of orange and triple sec for a smooth finish. Just crush some ice, pop the top and pour.

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8. Go Rogue on Cinco de Mayo with their canned cocktails. They offer two spirits Rogue Bayfront Vodka and Rogue Spirits Gin. The vodka is the base for the Cranberry Elderflower Vodka Soda; Grapefruit Vodka Soda and Ginger Lime Vodka Mule. Rogue Spirits Gin is the base for the Cucumber Lime Gin Fizz. Rogue canned cocktails are available online for delivery to your home at https://buy.rogue.com.

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9. Enjoy Pulp Chips during Cinco de Mayo – Pulp Pantry makes healthier grain-free tortilla chips that are vegetable based and made from fresh, upcycled pressed greens. These chips provide a good source of fiber in every serving, and offer the same crunch as regular tortilla chips. By supporting Pulp Pantry you are keeping their warehouse lights on and production team working. The Jalapeño Lime Pulp Chips offers a slightly spicy burn that packs the heat during Cinco De Mayo. Each chip is made with organic celery and kale fiber offering 4 to 5 grams of fiber per serving, or a full day’s serving of fiber in each bag. They are also gluten-free, plant-based and non-GMO. Other flavors include Sea Salt, Barbecue and Salt ’n’ Vinegar. To order and have a box sent to your door, go to https://pulppantry.com.

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10. Beanfield Snacks offers savory cracklins and chips made from beans packed with protein and fiber—a superfood. Tortilla chips made with corn are calorically challenged and used as a filler. Bean snacks are both tasty and wholesome. Their PICO DE GALLO chip offers a hint of tomato and onion balanced by a hit of peppers. Their NACHO and SPICY NACHO chips offers 4g of protein and 4g of fiber per serving. What’s nice about this food product company is they work with So Cal Homeboy Industries,  supporting those who need a hand overcoming life’s challenges. Click on link to order and have a box delivered to your door.

 

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