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.

2B_1961 Queen Ann

I mentioned 1961 Vodka a few posts back, here. I was working with Ann on all of the cocktail and bottle photography for, 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!

Happy St. Tito’s Day!

Yes, I know there is no St. Tito. Well, at least I don’t think there is. (Is there?) So I guess I also need to officially say Happy St. Patrick’s Day! I thought I’d put an American spin on it this year, blending the totally Americanized McDonald’s Shamrock Shake with Tito’s Handmade Vodka. I don’t frequent McDonald’s very often, but if there is a highlight, the Shamrock Shake is it. If any of you managed to get to SXSW in Austin this year, I hope you  got to experience the excellence that is Tito’s vodka. Tito’s has been one of the top finalists at our vodka tasting parties (and always gotten my top vote), holding it’s own against the expensive imports.

2eat2drink-shamrock tito's shake-p

The Shamrock Shake made it home from the drive-thru a few ounces short of full (hey, I did say it was a highlight). I added 3 oz. of Tito’s to the shake, mixed it up and put it back in the freezer. After re-freezing, I ran it through a blender and poured it into two glasses, topping them with fresh whipped cream. A delightful St. Patrick’s Day afternoon treat.


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


Which fish can perform operations? (or help you celebrate the New Year?)

The sturgeon is definitely good for more than just fish jokes! Namely….Caviar! I must say, it’s not something we have often, but it’s a nice treat. I had the opportunity to shoot a variety of caviar for Wegmans (thank you)…. which you can see here: caviar.  Ranging from $60 for the tin of domestic Hackleback Sturgeon to the $210 for the tin of Caspian Sea Golden Osetra (Sturgeon), caviar can be quite different. I believe the White Sturgeon was $130, and the Siberian Osetra was $170. Quality definitely goes up with the price, along with the size of the roe, and the Russian Caspian Sea Osetra was by far our favorite. It was delicate, buttery, mild, and slightly nutty. We knew it was fish, without it being “fishy” or salty. The Hackleback did have a tiny bit of a salty, fishy taste, was not as mild or buttery, but was still very good. We had all of them on baguette with the traditional accompaniments of creme fraiche and hard boiled egg. Next time I’ll plan to make blinis, as I couldn’t find any at the last minute, but the baguette was a good way to go.

Leave me a comment with your caviar experiences. As most people are very opinionated on caviar, I’d love to hear what you think!

We paired our caviar with ice cold vodka and champagne. As a match to the caviar we both liked the champagne, but I have to say that Sobieski makes a very good vodka. And it’s ridiculously cheap….less than half of most. Maybe it didn’t pair well being a Polish rye vodka, and unlike most Russian vodkas? It is quite bold in flavor, sweet to start with some citrus, and has a slightly bitter aftertaste. But it’s very smooth, and you almost forget it’s 70 proof. We had a vodka tasting party and this finished in the top two or three with most of us, but almost deserved it’s own category. Give it a try and let me know what you think of Sobieski as well!

We plan on trying a few Finger Lakes sparkling wines to celebrate New Year’s Eve. I will post about them next week…I mean next year. Be safe and Happy New Year!

Caviar tins, straight off the ice.

Serve on ice with creme fraiche and hard boiled eggs.

We ate ours on baguette, but you may want to try blinis as well.

Sobieski Vodka, frosted, straight from the freezer. Polish, not Russian to match the caviar, but excellent.