Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Ice Caves with Glenfiddich

Here in Colorado the winter's snow is finally melting and the mountain run-off is starting to rush the rivers - the water running cold and fast.  One of my favorite spots in the mountains is called The Grottos, an amazing spot off Independence Pass, where the river shows its strength and erodes gigantic boulders to its path.  These lines always remind me how beauty can come from challenges, and how something that seems easily contained can have immeasurable strength to shape the world around it.  

Last summer I took my friend, Victoria Wright, to this spot and we spend the day picnicking, hiking through the Ice Caves, and enjoying a dram or two of the Glenfiddich Project XX.  It was a dreamy day, and she captured it so beautifully in her photographs.  


The Glenfiddich Project XX is from the experimental series from the notable distillery, and was an interesting project where the twenty international brand ambassadors selected their favorite barrels from the barrel house, and they were then blended together to create a rich, creamy, and chocolaty dram.  A few years back, I too was able to select a barrel from the Glenfiddich warehouse an amazing experience to say the least. 

I had nothing to do with creating the Project XX (obviously), but I do appreciate working with great brands that help me bring my visions to life - so thanks to Glenfiddich for supporting me and my creative endeavors once again.  

Photography: Victoria Wright
Creative Direction: Emily Arden Wells, Gastronomsita
Glassware: Vintage 


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

Friday, April 13, 2018

Eau de Printemps, a Perrier Strawberry Watermelon Vodka Spritz

Today it is snowing in Colorado, but I know that in a matter of days the trees will start to pop and spring will be in full bloom with summer following closely behind.  I cannot wait for warm days, sundresses, picnics, and the new bounty of fresh fruit that comes into season with the warm weather.  Strawberries have always been one of my favorite summer treats, picked off the vine and popped straight into my mouth, my feet chilled by the wet soil of the garden. 

Summer means more hours of sunlight, and more opportunities for imbibing while basking in the sun.   While I’m never one to pass up a good party, I do believe in the art of secretly hydrating whilst enjoying a delicious libation (long time followers of Gastronomista have heard me wax on about this over and over).  I love making spritzers in the summer, so I get an extra dose of water with my cocktail, and I love building on seasonal flavors to create complexity.  Enter Perrier Strawberry Carbonated Mineral Water, one of Perrier's flavors that tastes like fresh strawberries and is perfect for mixing. 

This cocktail is made with Perrier Strawberry, homemade strawberry and watermelon syrup, vodka, and garnished with fresh mint, fresh strawberries and tiny white flowers that remind me of the white strawberry blossoms that pop up every spring.  Extra points for anyone who uses a real strawberry flower, they should be coming into bloom any moment now.


Eau de Printemps
Created by Gastronomista

2 oz Grey Goose Vodka
1-1/2 oz Strawberry & Watermelon Syrup
4-6 oz Perrier Strawberry Carbonated Mineral Water
Watermelon, Mint, and Fresh Strawberries to Garnish

Build Perrier Strawberry, vodka, and syrup in a double rocks glass and add a large cube of ice.  Garnish with watermelon slices, fresh mint, and half of a fresh strawberry.


Strawberry, Watermelon Syrup

½ Cup White Sugar
½ Cup Water
½ Cup Chopped Strawberries
½ Cup Chopped Watermelon

Over low heat, simmer water, sugar and fruit.  When soft, muddle the fruit in the sugar mixture.  Let simmer for 2-3 minutes and let cool.  Strain into a non-reactive container and store in the refrigerator for up to a month. 

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

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.

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