Saturday, February 21, 2015

SodaStream Play - Giveaway!

Did you know that SodaStream users drink 43% more water!?!  (Um, this is totally what I need to get my hydration plan back on schedule).  Well good news, today I'm giving away a Soda Stream Play!  For YOU! 

Friday, February 20, 2015

White Pike Cardamom Old Fashioned

I've had a longstanding obsession with White Pike Whiskey for a while.  You can read me wax on about how much I love the bottle and the brand here, but today I'm craving a drink

2 VIP Whisky Live NYC Tickets - Giveaway - CLOSED

Calling all NYC Whisky Lovers!  Love whisky?  Want to try ALL THE WHISKY?!?!

Good news!

I have 2 VIP Tickets to Whisky Live NYC, next week February 25th for two lucky winners!

: : : THE GIVEAWAY : : :

$149 Value

Wednesday, February 25th  5:30 - 10pm

The admission ticket is all inclusive, and includes a souvenir Glencairn tasting glass, event program, full dinner buffet, live entertainment and access to the whisky sampling event.

Buffet on offer from 6pm to 9pm.

: : : HOW TO ENTER : : :

Leave a comment on THIS POST naming 10 of the participating brands.  HINT>>

*Extra entry* Re-Gram with the hashtag #GastroWhiskyLiveNYCGiveaway 

*Extra entry* Tweet and Tag #GastroNespressoGiveaway 

Giveaway closes Tuesday February 24th 10am EST. Winner will be selected randomly and will be emailed that day.

Thank you for Whisky Live for sponsoring this giveaway and GOOD LUCK! 

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Common's Advice for Up-and-Coming Creative Talent at the Tanqueray Trunk Show

Photo Courtesy of Team Epiphany
New York City is deep in the throes of Fashion Week - designers are hustling to put the finishing touches on their collections, fashion bloggers darting from one presentation to the next, and the clinking of cocktail glasses can be heard in copious parties spread across town. 

This year, the iconic gin brand Tanqueray has taken an innovative approach to Fashion Week events and has launched the Tanqueray Trunk Show.  A series of events focusing on mentorship to inspire and motivate up-and-coming talent in design and fashion. 

The series kicked off in New York City with a panel discussion to discuss style, entrepreneurship, and entertainment hosted by Tanqueray.  The master-class panel was lead by Coltrane Curtis of Team Epiphany and featured Maxwell Osborne, head designer for Black Apple and Public School as well as 2013 CFDA Fashion Fund Award winner, Ronnie Fieg, owner and designer of KITH NYC, and Jason Geter manager of Iggy Izalea and founder of Grand Hustle Records.

Maxwell Osborne, Jason Geter, Common, Ronnie Fieg

Photo Courtesy of Team Epiphany

A post-panel celebration was hosted at TAO Downtown, and highlighted with performances by DJ Wonder and hip hop artist, Common

I had the opportunity to sit down with the Golden Globe Award winner to discuss the Tanqueray Trunk Show, the role of mentors in his life, and how he likes to drink his gin:

Gastronomista: Hi, I’m Emily...

Common:  I like your dress.

Gastronomista: …(Author silently freaking out)...Thank you!

...(Author now blushing)...

Gastronomista:  My first question is, what role have mentors had in your life?

Common: Mentors have impressed and influenced my life tremendously.  Mentors, beyond my mother, have been the ones who have shaped my life the most.  From one of my basketball coaches early on, to my uncle, gave me another side, especially as a male mentor.  Even within friendship, getting some mentoring from older people … i look at that as a kind of mentoring, although it's not formal, still, it's a way of leading someone to a path.  That's what helped shape me to be who i am.

Gastronomista:  What do you recommend for aspiring designers and artists to do to help propel their careers?

Common: One of the most important things you can do is find your voice.  What i mean voice, find what your style is, what do you want to say, what's the statement you want to make. 

Once you're able to do that, it's going to evolve and grow, but the core of what that is, it is still there.  You might come up with new ideas for a new design or a new line for a certain season, but the core of who you are as a designer and what you stand for should be consistent. 

You have to find that.  Also know that you can get inspired by so many different facets of culture, and utilize that.  Keep growing.  Always keep growing. 

Gastronomista: How do you think that today's mentors can better engage with up and coming talent?

Common:  I think it's important that we listen...and pay attention.  Listen to the talent, see what obstacles they might be coming up against, what things they feel like think they need to know.  Once you know what people need, then you can offer the information that you do have.  Everyone doesn't know everything, but the information you've experienced - to be a mentor you can share that and give them the seeds to plant so they can grow.  And then they can come back and help out the next generation.

Photos by Stephanie Luk
Gastronomista:  At the end of the day everyone deserves a cocktail, what's your libation of choice?

Common:  Tanqueray straight. 

And with that, we shook hands, smiled, and headed over to the bar for a Tom Collins.

Photo by Gastronomista
Later in the evening Common took to the stage to share his experience of being a creative person trying to succeed at any level.  Here is a clip from one of my favorite parts:

I’m here to enlighten and inspire, and that's all I'm here to do.  

And I want to say, whatever voice you find within yourself, whatever that passion is, use that voice and stand on that voice.  until I really got to the point where I was like, ok, I'm going to use this voice and I believe in this voice.  Because even when I released some of my first music, I don't know if I truly believed in the voice, I was like I'm passionate about hip hop, passionate about MCing, I want to be dope, but there was something about belief.  You all know what I'm talking about, when you truly believe in each and everything you're doing, whether it's a failure, to some people's eyes, or weather the biggest success, but you believe.

Photo by Gastronomista

And one of the things that ironically later on in my career I got to kinda soak in, was being around Kanye.  And you all know Kanye got no problem believing in himself, right?

We would do these things, these listening sessions.  Where it was like right around the time --- it was one of those feelings -- 'cause we all got a light in us, right, we all got a light, everybody here got a light to give.  And it was like, one of those things, I was willing to dim my light for other people.  

Photo by The Beautiful Experience
But being around certain people surrounding myself people like Kanye and other people who were inspiring me to be greater, and saying "use your light".  I watched Kanye do his listening sessions, and he'd jump up on the stage, and be rapping songs, and spitting on people and sweating, and rapping songs - there'd be songs I didn't even like, that I’d start liking just because he believed so in them so much.  Belief is contagious.  You know what I mean?  So I started realizing, man, as much as I want to be a great rapper, I need to believe in myself wholeheartedly. 

And I'm saying that to say, whatever you're doin’, product wise, creatively, in life, you've got to believe.  You've got to believe in it more than anyone. 

Hey - There's going to be times when your mother, your girlfriend, your husband, your cousin gonna be like - man - I don't know about that, I don’t think you're talented in that area.  But you know what it is.

You know you got that gift, so use that gift.

Know when that gift is there, even when I start believing in myself, and knowin’ I got it, there's still some challenges that are gonna come.  the challenges they always gonna come.  and the higher you go up, the more challenging it becomes.  

Photo by Gastronomista
But if you really want to be great, and if you want to exude greatness, and that's what we are here for, that's what you see these designers that's what you see Coltrane about,... that’s what you see Tanqueray about, ..we're talking about spreading that to others, and if you really want to be great then you have to be ready to be ready to face the challenges.

What our struggle is, our progress is.  The progress comes through challenges, it comes through the tough times.


It's all about believing in what you're doing, knowing your voice, standing on that passion.  And then, once you do that, go through those challenges, and keep progressing, know that you're doing it for a higher purpose.  Know that you're doing it, not only for yourself and your family, but there's people watching you, that you can inspire, just by being great ... always do it for the people.  Let's do it for the people. 

Common then performed a few songs for the crowd, ending the set with The Light.

Catch the rest of the Tanqueray Trunk Show Series:

Feb 21 - Atlanta
Mar 28 - Chicago
April 4 - Detroit
April 11 - Houston

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Bacardí Triangle - 3 Rummy Days

It may be frigid and icy here in NYC, but today I'm reminiscing on a recent trip to Puerto Rico for the Bacardí Triangle.  At the end of October, I was invited to what was to be a massive 3 day party celebrating all things rum and electronic dance music with pool parties, endless cocktails, and a concert on a private island.  It did not take much convincing.  I was in. 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Bling Bar - Chilled Magazine

Calling all magpies!  My first story for Chilled Magazine is live, and it's all about shine.  I've included some of my favorite bar accessories, including the Tom Dixon Plum Shaker, The Coupe Stack, the Bull in China Mixing Glass, Vintage Brass Pineapples, and more.  Read on>>

Friday, January 9, 2015

Thank Yous - End of 2014!

The end of 2014 brought some amazing and wonderful surprises!

I was beyond honored to be featured in Die Zeit Magazin for their "Sonntagsessen" column that features prominent bloggers.  In the story "Cocktail o'Clock" I presented a cocktail menu for a perfect New Years Eve celebration featuring some of my favorite recipes including the Blood Orange Negroni, Scotch Ice Cream, Artichoke Negroni, and of course, champagne! 

I'm really excited because this is my first international press!  The story is in German, and as a result, there have been some amazing google translate moments.  This is my favorite:

The evening begins with Wells champagne . She says, "a bit of pathos is attached to this evening." Therefore, it is advisable to open the bottle with a saber - like a Napoleonic officer.


Read the Story Here >>

I was also honored to have my Apothic Rose Spritz featured in the 31 Days of Christmas Cocktails on The Food Travel Company!  Thank you!

Read the Story Here >>

Finally, Design*Sponge selected my Stolen Negroni as one of their Favorite Food & Drink Stories of 2014!  What a tremendous honor!!

Read the Story Here >> 

Huge thank yous are in order to Die Zeit, The Food Travel Company, and Design*Sponge!  And even bigger thank yous to all of YOU for reading Gastronomista and supporting me along the way.  All of your emails, comments, tweets, instagram-likes mean the world to me, and they make all the hard work worth it.  2014 was a fantastic year filled with lots of change, and I'm beyond excited to see what 2015 has to offer!

Happy New Year!

Photo by Samir Osman


Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Champagne Gift Guide 2014

In my opinion, the holidays demand champagne.  And while you're at it, you might as well make it a fabulous bottle of champagne! 

This year there were many wonderful releases - iconic mainstays, limited edition artist collaborations, and adorable little minis that come with a straw and a wristlet.  Seeing that it's 5pm on Christmas Eve, I'm already itching to start popping bottles, so let's get started!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Holiday Cocktails - A Perfect Evening According to Gastronomista

This time of year I receive numerous emails asking me what to serve for the holidays, so I figure I should write a post with all my boozy recommendations!

Drink Responsibly, Y'all

Friday, December 19, 2014

Gift Guide 2014 - Scotch

We are down to the wire for holiday shopping ladies and gentlemen, and if you're anything like me, you're waiting until the last possible minute before you run to the liquor store to buy gifts for everyone you love.  In my opinion, you can never go wrong giving someone a bottle of scotch.  Never.  Especially if the recipient is a lover of things delicious, savory, and boozy.  This year I've tasted some amazing scotch, and herewith, are some of my holiday selections for 2014:

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