Month: May 2014

Are Big bottles of Champagne more fun?





Opening a large bottle of Champagne is certaintly very magical and entertaining making  an even grander statement. Whether it’s a magnum which holds the equivalent of two regular bottles of wine or a massive 4-bottle Jeroboam, bigger bottles are a smart and easy way to please a crowd.


Looking back on bottles of bubbly with friends over the years, the larger format bottles seem to stand out. We celebrated wrapping up shooting for my book The Bubbly Bar with a magnum of Veuve Clicquot; I remember sharing the same wine with Tony Hawk and his friends at a party in their backyard. Krug’s rich and toasty Grande Cuvee flowed freely from magnums at an over-the-top press trip to show off the brand’s custom hot air balloon.

The cool thing about larger bottles is that ounce for ounce, they’re no more expensive than the 750. And besides their impressive size, larger format bottles win in the taste department when compared to the usual 750 ml bottles. I learned this lesson after a long and windy drive up to Mendocino County to visit Roederer Estate. The tasting room hosts pour their non vintage brut from a 750 ml bottle and a 1.5 liter magnum and letting guests taste the two side by side. The wine from the 750 was deliciously crisp and bursting with fresh green apples; the same wine from the magnum had these richer, toasty notes that usually are found in a wine that’s much older and more expensive

Cuban’s favorite drink ” CUBA LIBRE”


Cuba Libre with Bacardi Rum


Even if you are not an expert in making drinks, it doesn’t get any simpler than rum and coke.

Here are the ingredients in this amazing cocktail.

1 oz  Bacardi Gold Rum

3 oz Coca-Cola

Garnish: Lime wedge

Glass: Tall

All you need to do is add all of the ingredients to a tall glass filled with ice. Garnish with a lime wedge and say Cheers!

Wine Names Usually Indicate Location or Grape Varieties



Most European wines are named after their geographical origin. One very famous example would be the Bordeaux wine which is produced in the Bordeaux region of France. Bordeaux wines are made of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, and to a much lesser extent Carmenere and Malbec.

Non-European wines almost always have the name of the grape (aka the varietal) on the label – for instance Cabernet Sauvignon from California.

Now you know!

What’s the craziest Bloody Mary Garnish you’ve seen?


This classic Sunday morning  drink can be a great thing on a Saturday night  too if you may need a little hair of the dog, or you simply want a little kick with your tomato juice. But more than that, it’s a formula can add a tequila or gin in you Bloody Mary. With tequila it’s called Bloody Maria and with gin Bloody Bulldog.

The point is, Bloody Marys are like vacation photos- everyone thinks theirs are the best. But the one thing no one will ever argue with is that the more crazy garnishes you can stack on top, the better. Here is some great  and some crazy Bloody Marys , featuring everything from foie gras to bacon cheeseburger sliders!

AMERICANO – A Classic Campari Cocktails for a nice hot day.



Trust me – This is not a espresso made with hot water for the coffee lover.

This is the story of the  cocktail Americano. A creation of Americans abroad and the bartenders who served them in Italy.  An Americano was first served in Gaspare Campari’s bar, Cafe Campari in The Campari region of Italy. It was the 1860s and there were plenty of American expatriates around. The drink was originally known as the “Milano-Torino” because Campari is from Milan, where Cafe Campari is located.

Campari creator Gaspare Campari was from Torino and he settled in Milan, where he created the startling orange Campari – the world’s top-selling bitters. He brought sweet vermouth with him from Torino and combined the two signature liquors into this drink, stirring them with soda water – hence the original name. The Italians soon noticed that many Americans enjoyed the cocktail. Eventually the cocktail became known as the “Americano”. The Americano is also a classic aperitif, often served before dinner to cleanse the palate and awaken the appetite.

We love the Americano too. It has a  low alcohol content, and we can easily adjust the bitterness. The bitter citrus flavor of the Campari is incredibly refreshing – a palate cleanser on a hot day. The sweet vermouth balances it out just enough with a sweet muskiness, and the soda water makes what could be a very strong and overwhelming drink into a tingling refresher for a hot evening. Serve with citrus slices.

The Americano

makes 1 cocktail

1 1/2 ounces Campari
1 1/2 ounces sweet vermouth
Club soda or seltzer
Orange slice for garnish


Fill up an old-fashioned tumbler with ice. You can also water this down a bit more and use a highball; we often do this when we want a long cool drink but not a lot of alcohol.

Pour the Campari and vermouth over the ice and top up with seltzer.



How sinful is our old habit- famous cocktails?

We all have our favorite Cocktails and prefered Drinks. How many Calories are within our usual Order? Compare with other popular Cocktails, maybe it’s time for a change on that old Habit.


Caipirinha  or Cachaca – 152 Calories

Brazil’s national drink beguiles American palates with its base of cachaca, a sugarcane spirit that can give off a whiff of petroleum. Add a couple of muddled limes and a splash of simple syrup and you have a complex, worthy competitor to the daiquiri. No wonder Brazilians look so good!


Mojito – 161 Calories

There’s a reason the Cuban import remains so popular. Muddled mint leaves add a cool, menthol hint to a stimulating combo of white rum, lime and sugar. The lesson here: Mint is a great low cal favor booster.



White Russian – 195 Calories

Theres a reason Jeff Bridges isn’t exactly in Ironman shape in The Big Lebowski, his characters favorite cocktail is basically coffee ice cream plus booze. And the recipe we re using here is fairly modest only oz of both Kahlua and cream adding more of either will jack the calories even higher!!



Bloody Mary – 168 Calories

The stalwart brunch cocktail is perhaps still the best savory, vegy one out there. Vodka stays out of the way, simply bringing proof to the party of succulent tomato juice, malty Worcestershire sauce, a dash of bright lime juice and the heat of a little Tabasco and pepper. The problem with this one thought, is that you rarely drink just one.


Gin and Tonic – 190 Calories

Created by British officers abroad as a vehicle for the malaria fighting effects of quinine, the classic gin and tonic remains one of the most refreshing drinks every. For more variations on the classic theme consider the summer spins on gin and tonics.


Margarita – 192 Calories

A dash of freshly squeezed lime juice highlights the agave fruit flavor of the tequila, while Cointreau supplies a nuanced, orange tinged sweetener for a juicy, addictive libation. Bonus Add all the salt you want to the rim, since there’s no calorie hit.

Now who is counting calories?