TGIF

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It’s Friday afternoon on what feels like a thousand degree summer day and you’re schvitzing like one of those poor slobs who dress up as Goofy in Disneyland. Relief. Must. Come. Soon.

So you know what that means…cocktails!!

I begged the bartenders in the lounge to give me the recipe for their Watermelon and Basil Smash, the perfect drink to kick off a steamy July weekend. They kindly obliged, so rip off your tie, grab your flip-flops and prepare to be refreshed:

Ingredients:

10 Watermelon viagra price segments
8 torn basil leaves
2 shots Partida tequila
¾ shot Luxardo Limoncello
Top with Ginger Ale

Muddle 10 watermelon segments in the base of a shaker. Add next four ingredients. Shake with ice and strain into a chilled glass. Top with ginger ale.

We mix it up in a martini glass and put a watermelon wedge on the rim–because we’re fancy like that–but any cup or tumbler will do.

See? It’s easy. Make one at home or come and enjoy one with us. Have a great weekend!

Take A Wine Tasting Class!

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Looking for a fun place to sample different wines and learn a thing or two without breaking the bank? Me, too. Here are a few establishments that conduct one-off tasting courses for the vine-curious:

Otto Pizzeria: Mario Batali’s casual restaurant hosts classes every weekend afternoon at 2 pm and Tuesday evenings at 6:30 pm. Sessions cost around $45, run 90 minutes and include tastings of five different Italian wines–usually regional or buy viagra online varietal groupings, such as “Coastal Italy” or “Southern Italy” or “Discover Sangiovese.”

Corkbuzz Wine Studio on E. 13th St. groups courses under the classifications of recreational, introductory, intermediate and advanced. Classes are further organized by regions (a tour of Australia or Greece, for instance), wine pairings (cheese, pizza or BBQ) or blind tastings. Each seminar lasts 90 minutes and will run you about $50-$75.

NYC Wine Class in Chelsea offers various two-hour classes at $90, which often include Murray’s cheese (worth the price of admission alone) or other scrumptious foods that pair nicely with vino. Regional (“Napa vs. Bordeaux”), unusual varietals (“Exotic Whites To Remember”) or one I really want to take: “France: Making Sense Of It All”.

Whichever class you take, let’s hope that it doesn’t turn out like this, okay?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=evsNo4vE3H4

Cinqo de Mayo, Seis Margaritas

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Cinco de Mayo…a day for Mexican folks to display their ethnic pride and for people of all cultures to indulge in mariachi music, mouth-watering Mexican food and strong, tasty margaritas.

As legend would have it, the margarita was invented in 1941 in Ensenada, Mexico by a bartender named Don Carlos Orozco. Orozco was experimenting with mixing new drinks when a prestigious visitor arrived: Margarita Henkel, the daughter of a German ambassador. Don Carlos offered the drink to Margarita and named it after her for being the first person to taste it. So if you can believe Wikipedia (I know…I know…), the margarita was named after a German.

In any event, here are a few recipes for you to try out at home!

First, a classic margarita from the Epicurious website:

  • 2 ounces tequila made from 100 percent agave, preferably reposado or blanco
  • 1 ounce Cointreau
  • 1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
  • Salt for garnish

Combine tequila, Cointreau, and lime juice in cocktail shaker filled with ice. Moisten rim of Margarita or other cocktail glass with lime juice or water. Holding glass upside down, dip rim into salt. Shake and strain drink into glass and serve.

Here’s a frozen margarita courtesy of drinksmixer.com:

  • 2 tsp coarse salt
  • lime wedge
  • 3 oz white tequila
  • 1 oz triple sec
  • 2 oz lime juice
  • 1 cup crushed ice
Place salt in a saucer. Rub rim of a cocktail glass with lime wedge and dip glass into salt to coat rim thoroughly, reserve lime. Pour tequila, triple sec, lime juice, and crushed ice into a blender. Blend well at high speed. Pour into a cocktail glass.

Bobby Flay has a cool frozen watermelon margarita that serves eight:

  • 5 cups cubed watermelon, seeds removed
  • 1/2 cup simple syrup (equal amounts sugar and water, heated until sugar melts), cooled
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
  • 2 cups silver tequila
  • 4 ounces orange liqueur
  • 2 ounces melon liqueur
  • Watermelon wedges, for garnish

Place watermelon in a food processor and process until smooth. Pour the pureed watermelon into two empty ice cube trays and freeze until firm, at least four hours. Place martini glasses in the freezer to chill.

Place two cups of the watermelon ice cubes and the remaining ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into four glasses and repeat with the remaining ingredients. Garnish each glass with a watermelon wedge.

A low-cal version comes from Cooking Light magazine. (To be honest, it looks like it’s just a really small drink, but you can always have two and still feel good about yourself.)

  • 1 ounce premium or silver tequila
  • 1/2 ounce Cointreau or other orange-flavored liqueur
  • 1.5 oz. fresh-squeezed lime juice

Combine ingredients. Shake with 3/4 cup ice; garnish with lime.

And for folks who don’t drink alcohol, here’s a Virgin Margarita recipe for four from lovetoknow.com.

  • 1 6-ounce can frozen limeade concentrate, thawed
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 lime, cut into 4 equal size wedges
  • 4 cups ice cubes

Moisten the rim of the serving glasses with a little lime juice. Put the salt in a huge saucer or shallow pie pan. Invert each glass in the salt, and gently twist to coat the rim with salt. Invert each glass in the salt, and gently twist to coat the rim. Place the limeade concentrate, orange juice and ice cubes in a blender. Pour into glasses and be careful not to disturb the salt on the rims. Garnish the viagra soft tabs 100 mg drinks with lime wedges and serve.

And finally, if you love both mojitos and margaritas and are waffling over which one to have, try a Mojarita for four, courtesy of iVillage:

  • 20 fresh mint leaves, more for garnish
  • 8 oz. tequila
  • 2 oz. fresh lime juice
  • 2 oz. agave nectar
  • 4 oz. soda water to top
  • 2 limes, cut into wedges

In a cocktail shaker, add torn mint leaves, lime wedges, lime juice, and muddle together allowing the flavors to marry and the aromas to release. Add two cups crushed ice and tequila. Shake well. Pour evenly into four glasses, adding additional crushed ice on top and mixing well. Top with soda water. Garnish with mint sprigs.

But if you’re lazy, like me, come to the North Square lounge and have the bartender mix you up a strawberry basil margarita with jimador tequila, lime juice, strawberries and basil. Estaba delicioso!

Cheers!  And enjoy the weekend, everyone!

Derby Day NYC

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The 139th Kentucky Derby is on Saturday and believe it or not, you can celebrate here in NYC in style. Seriously, don’t you just want to wear a flowered dress and a fancy hat or a seersucker suit and swill bourbon and laugh at the folly of it all? I thought you did.

So here are the basics:

The races take place this Saturday from 4-7 pm ET. The post time for the actual Kentucky Derby is 6:25. This year’s favorite is Verrazano, a horse named after they NYC bridge that connects Staten Island and Brooklyn. (Yes!)

Here are a few local places to take it all in:

mad46: Their annual rooftop Kentucky Derby Bash at the Roosevelt Hotel on 46th street takes place from 3 to 10 pm. A giant flat screen TV will broadcast the race and guests will be awarded prizes for the most stylish derby attire and hats. And yep, mint juleps will be served. (FYI this should be a good choice as the weather forecast is sunny with a high of 68 degrees.)

Boulton And Watt: (Avenue A at 1st St.) This gastropub has a whopping seven televisions that viagra india will broadcast the race, so clearly you won’t miss a thing. A hat competition will follow. The party begins at 2 pm.

Brickyard Gastropub: (9th Ave. between 52nd and 53rd) The race will be screened on nine ginormous TVs. $5 mint juleps can be sipped while you chow down on derby-themed appetizers. Plus the best-dressed party goer will win a $50 gift certificate.

21 Club: (West 52nd between 5th and 6th) You can truly feel fancy here. From 3:30-5:30 pm, $45 gets you two Woodford Reserve mint juleps (apparently WR provides the official derby MJ’s), assorted bar bites like cornmeal fried oysters with remoulade and Kentucky ham on a biscuit, with tax and tip incuded. Pick a winner throughout the broadcast and you can score Woodford Reserve prizes (which I assume means more mint juleps which is not a bad thing). Dinner for two at “21″ will go the best dressed in Derby attire.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

So What Do You Wanna Do This Weekend?

It’s a nice long holiday weekend here in

New York. Here are a few random things that might be fun to do if you’re here with us in town…

The Whitney Museum is featuring a collection of works by 18 early-to-mid-20th-century American artists, installed as a series of mini retrospectives. The lineup includes such names as Georgia O’Keefe, Paul Cadmus, Joseph Cornell. Alexander Calder and Edward Hopper.

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Sandra Bernhard is in the house!  The hilarious comedian and singer is performing with her band, the Rebellious Jezebels at Joe’s Pub.

Check out the Upright Citizen’s Brigade, the improv and sketch comedy theater in Chelsea. It’s incredibly cheap–especially for the caliber of talent they have to offer. Amy Poehler is actively involved with the place and yes, I’ve seen her perform there. What more do you need to know?

Drop in on the Fashion Institute of Technology Museum’s “Ivy Style” exhibit, which celebrates the evolution of preppie-style clothing. (Apparently the Ivy league look was once cutting edge. Really?!?!?) Khakis, penny loafers, Ralph Lauren and Arrow shirts will surely be represented.

If you haven’t already, it’s time to check out the butterfly conservatory at the American Museum of Natural History. It’s beautiful and loads of fun. Butterflies, butterflies everywhere! (Okay, I may be a dweeb, but I love it.)

And finally have a cocktail at the King Cole Bar at the St. Regis. The old-time warmth of the place just screams Old New York, fancy beer nuts and all.

Where Do Chefs Like To Drink?

Our friends at Eater.com surveyed eleven celebrated chefs to find out where their favorite places to drink are in the world.  Paris, Madrid, Tokyo and San Francisco were all cited as worthy cocktail towns.  But it came as no surprise that New York City bars had more than its fair share of fans.

Graham Elliot of Graham Elliot, Chicago likes to drink at Empellon Cocina in the East Village.  He cites a drink called “Por Que No”, which consists of Pueblo Viejo Blanco tequila, pineapple, serrano ( let’s assume he means the pepper and not the ham), and cilantro. To Elliot, “It’s whimsical, creative, exciting, and most

importantly, delicious!”

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Paul Qui owns East Side King in Austin and was last season’s Top Chef winner.  (I know this because I’m obsessed with the show.  Yeah, I’m a geek.  So sue me.)  Chef Qui likes the casual Randolph at Broome in Little Italy.  His fave is a mezcal with sangrita that’s laced with Stubbs liquid smoke.  (Sounds like a Top Chef concoction.)

Massimo Bottura of Osteria Francescana in Modena, Italy likes early in the morning at The Spotted Pig on 11th Street in the Village.  Apparently, the doors are closed and Mario Batali–he of the orange crocs–fixes up shots of Averna (a Sicilian liqueur) and beer.  Okay, so Mario has rarely–okay, never–invited me to his after hour parties, but I have been to the Spotted Pig and I can vouch that it is a cool place with yummy cocktails.

For the rest of Eater’s list, click here.

Walking (And Drinking) Among Ghosts

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File this one under “Cool Things To Do When You’re Thirsty”:  Every Saturday at 2 p.m., starting at the 133-year-old White Horse Tavern–where Dylan Thomas, Jack Kerouac and Bob Dylan once raised glasses–local actors lead groups on a walking tour of several Greenwich Village bars rich with literary history.

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At each stop, you can slug down (or sip, if you’re the dainty sort) a drink while the guide regales you with stories about Allen Ginsberg or Eugene O’Neill or any of the great authors who have slugged (or sipped, if they were the dainty sort) cocktails right on that very spot.

I haven’t taken this tour so I can’t vouch for it, but it certainly sounds like fun.  Beer and books.  What’s not to

like?

Tours are every Saturday at 2pm, beginning at the White Horse Tavern, 567 Hudson Street and 11th Street.

Tickets are $20, $15  for students/seniors. (I’m guessing that the booze is extra.)  To make a reservation call (212) 613-5796.