Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Winter Citrus Tequila Highball

I am a complete sucker for good packaging, ornate design, and well, anything fancy!  Patrón Tequila recently sent me a bottle of their latest 1-Liter limited edition silver tequila release that is wrapped in a gorgeous silver label that is reminiscent of Mexican Taxco silver.  Naturally, I pulled out my latest vintage find - a set of Taxco silver highballs glasses that look like vintage lace to pair with their new bottle.

Coming from Colorado, I am generally a fan of winter.  I love waking up in the morning to a fresh blanket of snow that muffles the normal sounds of daily life.  It's a moment of pause, and a moment to appreciate the beauty of a white washed world for a day or two.

While I love winter, I know that so many people hate it.  They don't like being cold, nor do they like wintery weather.  But let me give you another reason to appreciate winter - it is citrus season!  Those cold winter months are when the best citrus becomes available: oranges, grapefruit, clementines, blood oranges and those big, green pomelos that always look so refreshing in the market.

Citrus and tequila are two natural partners in crime, after all, they created the Margarita, one of the world's best classic cocktails.  But why leave out all that other amazing citrus?!

For this cocktail I wanted to use lime, pomelos, and grapefruit to create a refreshing tequila highball, a surprisingly seasonal drink for those dark winter months.  This one has already become a hit around Gastro HQ - I hope you enjoy it as much as we have been!!


Winter Citrus Tequila Highball
Created by Gastronomista

2 oz Patrón Silver Tequila
1/2 oz Light Agave Syrup (or to taste)
1 oz Fresh Lime Juice
1 oz Fresh Grapefruit Juice
1-1/2 oz Fresh Pomelo Juice
Top with Soda Water

Build in a highball glass and stir.  Add ice to the top of the glass, and top with soda water.  Garnish with a slice of Pomelo and a festive straw.

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Patrón Tequila. All opinions are 100% mine.
Thank you for supporting the brands that make this blog possible.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Après Ski with G.H. Mumm & Hygge Life

I grew up in Colorado, spending much of my youth in the mountains.  I had skis strapped to my feet from the age of two (my first ski days were when I was 6 months old, in a pack on my dad's back, which is illegal now but a brag worthy claim of kids from the 80s who grew up in the mountains), and every weekend was spent outside enjoying the sun, the mountains, and good friends.  It was really the best way to grow up.

Last year, my husband and I moved back to Colorado (although it seems like I am on more airplanes than I am home these days), but it has been a welcome change from life in New York City.  It has also been a massive cultural shift. 

New Yorkers spend their weekends brunching, sipping mimosas, followed by shopping (a dangerous combination if you ask me). Skiers have much different imbibing habits, which include waking up early to get on the lift (the first chair if there is new snow), skiing through lunch, and then enjoying Après in the late afternoon.  A quick run to the car to change out of your ski boots and into comfy snow boots is a necessary move before settling into an afternoon of Après snacks and libations.  The best après tipple is always champagne, best served from a freshly sabered bottle and surrounded with friends.

For this Après sesh I partnered with G.H. Mumm Champagne and invited Alexandra and Koen from Vail's Hygge Life shop, as well as our photographer friends Ali Vagnini and Matt Kennedy to help us pop some bottles and kick the 2017/18 ski season off right.  Alexandra and Koen specialize in furs, and pretty much everything cozy, and they brought major Hygge vibes with them.  Koen even wore a vintage fur that belonged to his grandfather, a perfect accessory for anyone sabering a bottle of champagne on top of a mountain!!

It was a fun afternoon enjoying G.H. Mumm Champagne, nibbling on cheese and charcutarie and hanging with friends.  Our 9 month old puppy, Bowie, made a guest appearance as well as my forever dapper husband, Zac.

I hope this photo story inspires you to get out on the mountain for a great ski day and an even better après afternoon, because I know it got me very excited for winter!  

Saber Master, Koen

Photography: Ali Vagnini & Matt Kennedy
Creative Direction: Emily Arden Wells, Gastronomsita
Glassware: Lehmann Glass Jamesse Prestige Grand Champagne
Champagne:  G.H. Mumm Champagne
Sunnies: Thierry Lasry
Red Coat: Fjallraven
Hygge Coziness (furs, gold bottle holders, black fur mittens & styling): Hygge Life


This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of G.H. Mumm Champagne. All opinions are 100% mine.
Thank you for supporting the brands that make this blog possible.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Coconut Milk Hot Chocolate, Spiked with Tequila & Chilies

I have a serious soft spot in my heart for dark chocolate, the darker the better.  These days I don't eat much sweets, but I can never turn down a warm cup of hot chocolate especially when it is spiked with ancho chilies and Tequila.  Chocolate pairs so well with agave spirits, it has become one of my all time favorite combinations.

This recipe calls for silver tequila, hot chocolate mix (because who has time to make hot chocolate mix themselves), and ground ancho chili powder.  I used Patrón Silver Tequila, a mainstay in any well stocked bar in my opinion.  This holiday season Patrón has released a limited edition 1-Liter bottle with a gorgeous label on it that is reminiscent of the work of Mexican muralists such as Diego Rivera.  It's a gorgeous bottle, that makes for an excellent holiday gift, if you're a last-minute shopper like I am.

Without further ado:

Coconut Milk Hot Chocolate, Spiked with Tequila & Chilies
Makes 4 Servings

8 Tablespoons Quality Hot Chocolate Mix
24 oz Coconut Milk, Simmering
4 oz Water, Boiling
8 oz Patrón Silver Tequila
2 Tablespoons Ground Ancho Chili Powder (or to taste)
4 Toffee Cocoa Stir Sticks to Garnish

Boil water and whisk with hot chocolate mix in a large mixing vessel.  When properly mixed, add simmering coconut milk and chili powder.  Let cool for a few minutes, and then add tequila.  Mix, and serve into individual mugs.  Garnish with a toffee stirring stick and a pine sprig.  Enjoy!

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Patrón Tequila. All opinions are 100% mine.
Thank you for supporting the brands that make this blog possible.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Sandeman Sandeman Sour

Being a Booze Blogger can sometimes be a funny thing.  We make drinks that inspire people to imbibe, and I’ve always wondered how frequently people make my recipes at home.  Perhaps I’ll never know, but I do know that my husband has a discerning palate, and he is a critical quality check in my creative process.  He tastes everything.  The good, the bad, and the ugly.

This is a cocktail that I was thinking about for a while – how to make a twist on a New York sour with port that would make a completely original cocktail.  It was the port itself that inspired this cocktail, namely the Sandeman Tawny Porto 10 Year, which has a soft, sweet, nutty flavor.  I wanted to play on that nut-forward flavor, so I swapped out the simple syrup for homemade Orgeat syrup.  Orgeat is extremely thick so I cut it with half water, and swapped the whiskey for Tawny Porto.  I topped the cocktail with Sandeman Founder’s Reserve, the sweet and fruity port most similar to a Cabernet typically used for the float in a New York Sour. 

My husband/critic had the genius idea to add an aromatic garnish on top – finely grated toasted almonds to give the drink another layer of nuttiness, and I added dried mint flowers from the garden. 
This sour might just be my favorite yet – a lovely montage of two of my favorite ports with a tiki, nutty twist.  My critic was pleased with this cocktail, and promptly demanded another.  Happily, I obliged and mixed up two more.

I hope you enjoy this cocktail as much as I do.

Sandeman Sandeman Sour
Created by Gastronomista

2 oz Sandeman Porto Tawny 10 Years Old
1 oz Sandeman Founder’s Reserve Porto, reserved for floater
1 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Orgeat Syrup
½ oz Water
1 Toasted Almond for Garnish
Dried Mint Flowers for Garnish

Shake Tawny 10 year, Lemon Juice, water and Orgeat with ice.  Strain into a chilled low-ball glass with a king cube.  Pour the Founder’s Reserve over the back of a bar spoon to float the port on the top of the drink.  Using a micro plane, finely grate a toasted almond on the top of the drink, and finish with dried mint flowers.

Orgeat Syrup

1 Cup Almonds
1 Cup Water
1 Cup Sugar

In a food processor, pulse almonds until coarsely ground.  In a pot, boil sugar, water and almonds until fully mixed.  Line a sieve with cheese cloth and place over a large bowl.  Pour the almond mixture into the cheesecloth and let sit.  Occasionally squeeze the cheese cloth to extract more of the syrup.  Transfer the syrup to a non-reactive container and store in the refrigerator. 


This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Sandeman Porto. All opinions are 100% mine.
Thank you for supporting the brands that make this blog possible.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Alto Adige Wine Region, The Land of Delicious Pinot Grigio

I have some pretty terrible associations with Pinot Grigio: bad gallery openings, architecture school, and horrible first dates (read, being in my early 20's and not knowing what to order).  No Longer, dear readers, no longer!

I'm pleased to report that I have found an amazing wine making region that produces the most delicious Pinot Grigio, the Alto-Adige region in Northern Italy.  The vineyards are located in the foothills of the Dolomite mountains, meaning, warm days and cool nights that yield wines that have higher acidity, are more herbaceous, and have a bright and fruity tartness to them.

While some people prefer to learn about wine through the grape varietal, I so much more prefer to do deep dives into wine making regions.  When I have learned about a new wine that I like, I will read up on it on websites such as Wine Folly, learning as much as I can about the soil type and the wine making styles that are common to the area.  This helps me understand why I like a particular wine, and this knowledge very often inspires me to try similar wines, and embrace new favorites into my wine repertoire.

I have tasted quite a few of the Pinot Grigios from the Alto Adige region, and my hands down favorite is the Tramin Pinot Grigio Unterebner 2015 by Cantina Tramin, a gorgeous white wine that has aromas of honeyed apricots, melon, and toasty oak, and flavors of dried pear, apricot, white flowers, honey with bright vegetal notes and an dry, oaky finish.  This "richly styled" Pinot Grigio is silky and viscous, and it is dry but full bodied.

I love drinking this wine before dinner, served with freshly cut vegetables, but it would also pair beautifully with a roast chicken and a seasonal salad.  I love the idea of drinking this wine in the summer, but it has a lot of flavor and complexity making it delightful year round.  I love finding wines that are surprising and so easy to fall in love with, and this is a wine that I'm excited to share with my friends!

I never thought I would say this, but I really like Pinot Grigio!  Seems as though I just had to find the right one!  Now, to drink my way through the region....

Tramin Pinot Grigio Unterebner 2015 - $27


This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Alto Adige Wines. All opinions are 100% mine.
Thank you for supporting the brands that make this blog possible. 

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

9 Reasons to Drink Rosé for Thanksgiving

Everyone gets alllll excited about light and "drinkable" red wines for Thanksgiving, but honestly, I'm not buying it.  I'm still stuck on rosé.  Maybe it's all the warm weather or maybe it's escapism, I'm not quite sure, but I do know that I will be serving the pink stuff Thanksgiving and I'm not sorry about it.

Rosé pairs beautifully with all different types of food: sweet, salty, savory, and I'm coming to the conclusion that rosé just might be the perfect wine to serve for a fall feast.  In fact, while researching for this story, I realized that most rosé has recommended pairings of chicken and turkey.  Coincidence?  I think not.

The more I think about it, the more I think this will be a great idea - rosé is wonderful to drink during the day (while cooking), during cocktail hour (paired with cheeses and veggie appetizers), and during dinner (paired with turkey and a hedonistic mix of sweet and savory foods).  AND, if you're drinking rosé all day/night, there is no worry of red wine teeth cursing your family photos forever...

Have I convinced you yet?  Good. 

In that case, let me get started on my 9 reasons to drink rosé this Thanksgiving:

1/ Gérard Bertrand Cuvee Thomas Jefferson Crémant de Limoux Brut Rose 2014, France - $17
70% Chardonnay, 15% Chenin, 15% Pinot Noir

Start your evening off with bubbles, because every holiday should start with bubbles.  In fact, bubbly wine is believed to have originated in Limoux, France, an especially cool area where exceptional sparkling wines are made.  Today's version of the Gérard Bertrand sparkling rosé has a bright salmon color with bright flavors of freshly baked berry tart.

2/ Jaillance Cremant de Bordeaux Rosé, France - $16
100% Merlot

Continue with bubbles and pop a bottle or two of Jalliance Cremant de Bordeaux Rosé, a delightful wine that pairs well with savory meats such as turkey or duck.  This wine is vinified using the Methode Traditionelle, meaning that it goes through a secondary fermentation in the bottle, giving it more complexity and layers of flavor.  The wine has a beautiful salmon color and flavors of strawberry, red currant, and spice with nicely balanced acidity.

3/ SAVED Magic Maker Rosé 2016, California - $20
Pinot Noir, Grenache, Cabernet Franc, Orange Muscat, Sangiovese

Sometimes you can judge a bottle by its label, and the SAVED wines are just as tasty as they are design savvy.  The SAVED Magic Maker Rosé is a Provence style wine (read, light pink and bone dry) and is made from fruit sourced from the Santa Maria Valley to Monterey.  This gorgeous rosé has flavors of white peach, tangerine, strawberry, and green apple, and pairs well with everything from vegetable-forward side dishes to dessert.  

4/  Château Tassin Bordeaux Rosé 2016, France - $10
100% Merlot

Chateau Tassin is located in an old medieval town, Rions, based on the Latin word Riucium, or "built on rock", a beautiful estate that overlooks the Garonne River.  This rosé has a bright salmon color, is bright and dry with flavors of plum, ripe citrus, cherry, and strawberry jam.  This is a great wine to sip while cooking all the way through the savory meat dishes that Thanksgiving has to offer.

5/ La Moulinière Bordeaux Rosé 2016, France - $12
Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon

La Moulinière rose is a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, and produces pale pink colored wine that is light yet fruity wine.  This rosé has aromas of white flowers, red berries, and mint, with crisp flavors of ripe red fruits and a touch of spice.

6/  Muga Rioja Rosado 2016, Spain - $15
60% Garnacha, 30% Viura, 10% Tempranillo

If you follow me on social media (if you don't, you should) you already know that I am obsessed with Muga Rosado.  It might be my favorite rosé of all, and has set the standard for all rosé in my life:  dry, salty, and bright and citrusy with flavors of stone fruits, grapefruit, and bright minerality.  I plan to drink a lot of it for Thanksgiving this year, and so should you.

7/ Meiomi Rosé, California - $21
Pinot Noir

Meiomi Rosé is made from grapes sourced from Monterey County, Santa Barbara County and Sonoma County, and is a rich and fruity wine that pairs perfectly with Turkey & Chicken.  The wine is dry with a well-balanced acidity, with flavors of watermelon, orange peel, stone fruits, and light minerality.

8/ Sterling Vintner's Collection Rose 2016, California - $14
Syrah & Tempranillo

Sterling Winery makes some pretty delicious wines, and their rosé is an especially lovely fruit-forward wine that begs to be served with flavorful, rich poultry dishes (read, turkey with a side of mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce).  On the nose it has aromas of strawberries and rhubarb, with flavors of cherry, strawberry pie, pink grapefruit, and orange blossom.

9/ Guigal Côtes du Rhône Rosé 2016, France - $14
Southern Rhone Red Blend

Guigal Côtes du Rhône Rosé is a wonderful pairing for Thanksgiving as its dominant flavors are cranberry and red currant.  Which means, you can have a bite of turkey, a bite of mashed potatoes, a sip of wine, and basically have Thanksgiving in your mouth in one bite.  Could there be anything better?  I think not.  

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