A Celebratory Scotch – Hip Hip Hooray!

Today is a momentous occasion. Though I’ve been a partner in Studio 2B for 15 years, I’ve just completed my purchase of the remaining shares from my friend and now former business partner, Ken. As of today, I am the sole owner of Studio 2B.

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In honor of this occasion, let’s raise a glass to Ken. Thanks for all the great years! May your days be filled with great Scotch, good health, more fun pictures, race cars, and Keuka Lake breezes!

Aberlour A’Bunadh seems appropriate for a toast. This rich amber Scotch comes straight from the sherry casks it’s aged in, at 59.6%. It boasts loads of flavors; toffee, ginger, vanilla, nuts, and dried fruit among them. Being cask strength, it does have a kick, but is creamy and smooth. Highly recommended!

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Stay tuned for big things to come! Cheers!

 

Happy Negroni week!

Did you know that this week is Negroni week? If you didn’t, you know now (and it’s the last day)! I hope you’ve had one, if not because they are awesome….at least because it’s for a good cause. I had a couple at The Revelry the other day, as you can see from my Instagram post. (I’d love to have you follow along!) And also from Shannon’s post!

I wanted to share a variation on the classic Negroni that I make on occasion. It’s fun to swap out different ingredients to see what you can come up with. In this case, tequila for gin, and Ancho Reyes for vermouth. Cheers….enjoy!

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Ancho Tequila Negroni
– 2 ounce reposado tequila
– 1 ounce Ancho Reyes Ancho Chile Liqueur
– 1 ounce Campari
– 2 dashes Fee Brothers Grapefruit Bitters
– wedge of ruby red grapefruit for garnish
– chili powder and sugar for rim
Rub the rim of your glass against a cut grapefruit and dip in a mixture of chili powder and sugar to coat rim. Add ingredients over ice and stir well. Garnish with wedge of grapefruit.

 

Merry (Holiday of your choice)!

Whatever holiday you are celebrating this Christmas eve, I’m sure this will make it better. It’s a little treat brought to you in a round-about way from 1961 Vodka, Restaurant 2Vine, my friend Ann, and Heather and me, called the Queen Ann.

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I mentioned 1961 Vodka a few posts back, here. I was working with Ann on all of the cocktail and bottle photography for 1961Vodka.com, which I recommend you check out…as I helped develop the recipes, too. (It was a fun shoot!) It’s fabulous vodka, I suggest you look for a bottle!

Restaurant 2Vine created the cocktail in Ann’s honor. Just for fun, I decided to photograph it in a similar fashion to the others. Pour one ounce 1961 Vodka and 1 ounce strawberry puree in a champagne glass. Top with sparkling wine, garnish with a strawberry, and celebrate. Cheers!

16 reasons for Irish eyes to smile

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! My friend Kerry said Bushmills 16 Year Old Single Malt was one of his favorite Irish Whiskeys. Given that he grew up very close to the distillery, I reckon he must know what he was talking about. And he does.

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Irish eyes smile when they see Irish legs.

The whiskey is aged separately for 16 years; some in oloroso sherry casks, and some in bourbon casks. Then it is blended together and aged in port wine casks for 7 months. This last step gives it the distinctive reddish hue.  The sweet smell of honey is the first thing you’ll notice, blending with what might be roasted nuts. The fruit of the port is apparent in the initial taste, followed by the honey and a nice spice. It’s smooth and elegant with a drier spicy finish. Highly recommened by Kerry and myself.

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Wherever you go and whatever you do,
May the luck of the Irish be there with you.

Sláinte!

Thanksgiving in a sandwich

First, let me say…..”Wow, that was good.” Now that I got that out of the way, let me tell you that it’s hard to find a 40 ounce beer in Victor. “What,” you ask? (Thinking I’ve lost it.)

The original purpose of me doing a post today was to wish my friend Joe a happy 40th birthday. He had this great idea:

I am not one for parties.I didn’t have a birthday party at 8, 16, 21 or 30 and I’d rather not have one for my 40th—which is quickly approaching. However I would like to celebrate it in my own way via social media, so here’s the deal, I want to experience my 40th through your eyes.

On November 29th, take a picture of what you see. Maybe it’s the sunrise, November rain on your window, or the snow laden trees, a selfie of you drinking a frosty beverage after scoring great Black Friday Deals or your neighbors’ cropped mailbox that just shows the 40 of their address. Whatever sparks your fancy. Then, after my birthday, I will collect these photos and create one poster that I will frame and hang in my home to commemorate this day.

These pictures will become a social media snapshot of my birthday shown through the perspective of my friends and family all around the country. It will also let me know that you, on my 40th birthday, thought of me, and—sorry Black Friday— that’s better than any store-bought present out there.

So, on my birthday, Friday, November 29th (Yes, the day after Thanksgiving), take a picture and upload it to Instagram, Twitter, Facebook or send me an email.

Help me celebrate. Take a picture. Send me the picture.
And make my Black Friday 40th a very special day

Joe

So, instead of 40 ounces of beer, I made him one heck of an awesome sandwich. Admittedly, I ate it (I’m sorry, Joe, but you weren’t here). You should all make one in his honor with your Thanksgiving leftovers. On fresh ciabatta bread, spread a layer of mashed butternut squash. Next is a layer of green beans, which have been stewed in a blend of tomatoes and spices. On top of that, place some stuffing (my sister’s sausage, sage, and roasted-chestnut stuffing). Now comes the turkey (which I seasoned with thyme and citrus). To go for the full carb experience, spread mashed potatoes over the turkey. For a pop of color, top the potatoes with mache rosettes. Drizzle with gravy and whole cranberry relish for a sandwich that can’t be beat!

Cheers to Joe. Happy 40th!

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A grappa toast post!

There is quite a storied history behind this post. But before I begin, let’s get to the toast. Cheers to our friends Gina and Dave and their new baby boy!

So…now for the story. It starts in August of 2010. Heather and I were on a short honeymoon getaway to New Orleans, eating dinner at the Green Goddess (home of the bacon sundae), when we heard Scotty the bartender and Chris the chef discussing grappa. For those of you not familiar with grappa, it’s basically a spirit distilled from the leftovers of the grapes after making wine. Prior to this trip, I may have referred to grappa as fire water. But  I was intrigued by chef Chris’s description for Suprema grappa refosco, “That’s good frakking grappa!” (Note the Battlestar Galactica expletive, as I’d prefer to keep this family friendly 🙂 ) I ended up trying a taste and replying, “That is good!” Chef Chris just looked at me. “That’s good frakking grappa!” I amended. A cheer was given by all.

So…circle back to Dave and Gina, and trying a couple different grappas at a local restaurant after telling the above story. Both of the grappas fire waters were very disappointing. I finally managed to track down a bottle of this good frakking grappa, and am looking forward to sharing it with Dave and Gina while toasting their new family addition in person. Cheers!

Suprema grappa refosco. Worth drinking from a snifter.

Suprema grappa refosco. Worth drinking from a snifter. Your initial taste is smooth and refined with a bit of dried fruit, met with a scent of vanilla coming off the top rim. There is a long pepper finish with hints of vanilla and honey. Good frakking grappa!

Have a very merry breakfast!

Merry Christmas! I hope Santa was good to you. If ever there was a day to do a less than healthy breakfast..this is it! Cookies and a fresh squeezed tangerine mimosa! At least there is a little vitamin C in there for you. I definitely recommend the tangerine juice version versus orange juice. No tangerines? I know all the stores are closed, so the morning light of tomorrow seems like another reason to be merry! Go hug your family and enjoy the peaceful moments of this special day.

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