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.

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).
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