A start to summer: The Mendon Carnival

Even though we’ve had some spectacularly nice weather early this year, it always feels as if summer starts with opening night of the Mendon carnival. We were there Thursday evening and I wanted to share a few highlights. The last day is today….so get in the car and head over there!

The past 2 years I have really enjoyed ordering an Italian sausage and being recognized, by a couple that was volunteering in the food tent, as the guy who does that blog…2eat2drink. How fun! So…this picture is for you ūüôā

The classic carnival food: Italian sausage drenched in sauteed peppers and onions and mustard!

Other classic carnival indulgences were surrounding us as well. The 5 of us had ice cream, milkshakes, sno-cones, cotton candy (the highlight of last year’s post) hamburgers, hot dogs, clams, fried dough and sugar waffles!

The sugar waffle! Yum.

Opening night features an unlimited ride deal…which of course the boys participated in. Heather and I sat most of them out, however. I hope you get to enjoy your local carnival as well. Happy Summer!

That’s making me dizzy!

The ferris wheel at sunset. What a beautiful evening.

Watch out for the crazy viking!

Cheers and thank you! Tullamore Dew 10 Year Single Malt.

I know St. Patrick’s Day is over, but that’s no excuse to stop enjoying Irish Whiskey! Plus, I didn’t have the chance to fully taste it before Saturday evening, and I wanted to give you my impression of this fine Irish single malt. ¬†I had posted about Jamesons Irish Whiskey last year (and its blended whiskey burn). Yeah, I know it’s 80 proof, and I know there are nice blended whiskeys out there, but it doesn’t need to be harsh. (Shots, anyone?)

Tullamore Dew Single Malt 10 year is definitely a step up. Being smooth and medium bodied, I definitely enjoyed it neat versus on the rocks. ¬†It tastes like the photos look… layers of color = layers of flavor. Aromas of smoky wood, vanilla, and subtle sweet fruit translate into similar tastes, mixed with a fair amount of spice (most likely from the bourbon barrels it was aged in) and a long, dry, spicy, sherry finish.

This whiskey was used for a fitting toast to all of you, my readers. As I mentioned in Bourbon + Spice, I entered the Addys with the photography from a few of my posts. The awards show was last Thursday and I was very pleased to have won two Addys! One for the food, and one for the drinks! Cheers, with a special thank you to my lovely wife, for her role as writer, editor, and more importantly co-taster and muse.

Tullamore Dew Single Malt 10 year gettin' all glamourous on us.

Anyone care for a sip of flavorful Irish whiskey?

Happy to have 2 Addys! Cheers to you all!

Bourbon + Spice makes everything nice. (Even the intense competition inherent in local award shows!)

I entered 2eat2drink in the Rochester Advertising Federation Addy competition, our local advertising awards. This gave me a chance to review my 2011¬†annual report. I did 67 posts, with 251 pictures (WOW, no wonder I had no free time!), and had over 12,000 page views (thank you!) in just over ten months! It’s been an extremly fun way to reach out to clients, friends, and friends-to-be around the world, while sharing a little about our lives and highlighting my photography. If this is your first visit I encourage a full review. Those of you looking to get a brief overview, here are some of my favorite and most viewed posts:

The drink of choice for Sam Axe: The Minty Mojito.
Gin + Juice
I like it chunky: Guacamole!
Campfires and the double marshmallow, Special Dark chocolate s’more!
Bourbon Tasting at the Lake
The first post! Honey Roasted Tomato Bruschetta
You know you want one…the creamy root beer float!
Gooey, earthy, creamy, pungent French camembert.
The NOLA Margarita
Blimey! That’s a good ale!
Yes, I really did drink prehistoric plant matter deposits.
I want Mahón!

Now that you’ve worked up a thirst, on to the bourbon + spice! This is the cocktail I prepared for Chef Mark’s Thanksgiving¬†feast. It’s a marvelous combination of rich, spicy and sweet. Infusing the flavors of ginger, cinnamon and cloves into dark brown sugar simple syrup is step one.¬†Combine one cup each of water and dark brown sugar in a saucepan. ¬†Bring the mixture just shy of a boil while stirring until the sugar dissolves. Add 3-4 slices of ginger, 5-6 cloves and 2 cinnamon sticks, remove the pan from the heat and let steep for about an hour. Strain before use.

Over ice in a rocks glass add 2 oz. bourbon, 1 oz. cinnamon ginger clove simple syrup, 1 oz. Trader Vic’s Kona Coffee liqueur, and 3-4 dashes Fee Brothers Whiskey Barrel-Aged bitters. Stir, garnish and enjoy. (Bottle and store the remaining syrup in the refrigerator.)

Cheers to the Addy judges and all those who work hard to make the Addys a great event!

The Bourbon + Spice cocktail!

The rich, sweet and spicy ingredients!

Willett Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey was my choice for Bourbon + Spice.

The magic of all things Disney!

Disney World! Yes, we were lucky enough to spend a week there this June. (I’m a touch behind on my post!) Though this blog is about food and drink, our trip was definitely not; it was a chance for our 3 boys to have the time of their lives after a busy school year! While there are many fine dining choices at Walt Disney World, our fare on this trip mainly consisted of “quick service” meals and ice cream snacks, squeezed in between the amazing rides, shows, and parades that had us all spellbound. There are just so many wonderful attractions, we were constantly on the go, and found time for only one table-service meal during the entire week!

Thanks to my wonderful in-laws, who accompanied us on the trip, Heather and I did get a kid-free evening to take a journey around the world in Epcot. While strolling through the World Showcase, we stopped at the Rose and Crown Pub in the United Kingdom pavilion for a quick bite and a drink. We noshed on the Scotch Egg, which is a hard-boild egg wrapped in sausage and fried to a golden brown, then served with mustard sauce and mixed greens. The house-made potato crisps were a nice addition. As for drinks, Heather went with the classic Pimm’s Cup, and I opted for the Single Malt Scotch flight, which included Glenkinchie 12 year, Oban 14 year, and Lagavulin 16 year Scotch whiskeys. The Oban was my favorite, but more research is needed and I’ll be working on a Scotch post soon!

If you’ve never been to Walt Disney World, we hope this post will inspire you to make the trip. If you have been there before (and if you’re anything like us!), it just might make you want to go back again and again! There truly is nothing quite like the magic of Disney.

Cinderella's Castle had fireworks every night!

Who can resist Mickey-shaped ice cream treats?!

The Rose and Crown Pub. Homemade potato crisps, a very large flight of Scotch, and a Scotch egg!

The magic of all things Disney! (via the iPhone)

Our tired-yet-excited group on the first night!

Cheers.....to our next Disney trip! (note Mt. Everest in the background)

Yes, I really did drink prehistoric plant matter deposits.

Blackwater. A high tech private security company, not something you would normally choose to drink. I have to say I was intrigued by the packaging of the blk.blackwater bottle. And growing up in the Star Wars era, how can I resist the reference? (Score one for the design team! Maybe the same team that designs the wine that you buy for the cool label?) So, despite the fact that blk. is Canadian spring water infused with fulvic acid (prehistoric plant matter deposits)….I bought two bottles to bring to Watkins Glen International for my upcoming driving school! Fulvic acid and balancing my ph level may help me learn more car control, and drive my M3 smoother. What? Seriously…what was I thinking? OK…I was really thinking….the cool package will make a fun shot and I get to talk about driving at the Glen!¬†I didn’t actually notice an improvement in my driving, but I did feel hydrated. There was definitely a mineral infused taste, but I’m intrigued by the idea of balancing the ph level of your body. I’ll have to do more research, but blk has a 9.0+ ph level, which is very alkaline and helps to balance the acid produced in our bodies from such things as (among many)¬†cheese, chocolate, meat, beer and pasta. Given my blog, you know I eat all of those…..so I may need more blk.

Side note: If you’ve ever wanted to learn how to actually control your car, rather than just gently guide it where its going, sign yourself up for a high performance driving school. ¬†It’s highly educational, a safe environment to discover the limits of your car (and you), and unbelievably fun! Let me know if you have a question.

blk. bottles full of blackwater on the rear wing of the M3.

It was fun seeing the 6 Ferraris out on the track with me. (Giving them a point by.)

The BMW E36 M3 is a super fun car!

Tires are a very important part in controlling your car.