National Mojito Day – July 11

Did you know that the mojito has been routinely presented as a favorite drink of author Ernest Hemingway? Traditionally, a mojito is a cocktail with five ingredients: white rum, sugar (traditionally sugar cane juice) or simple syrup, lime juice, sparkling water, and mint. The original Cuban recipe uses spearmint or yerba buena, a mint variety very popular on the island. The mojito is one of the most famous rum-based highballs. Perhaps the other is daiquiri? When preparing a mojito, lime juice is added to sugar (or syrup) and mint leaves. The mixture is then gently mashed with a muddler or
Read More

MxMo LXXXIII: Preserves | Strawberry Shot-Cake

This month’s Mixology Monday, hosted by Craig of A World of Drinks, is Preserves. Even though fresh-everything is the clarion call of cocktail enthusiasts today, back when cocktails were fresh and new, themselves, it wasn’t necessarily feasible to have fresh everything at the tip of your barspoon. Sure, that makes the cake for seasonal cocktails, but let’s face it–we’ve all had a craving for something at the absolute worst time for it, so why would imbibers be any different? In the spirit of those bygone days, the idea was to use an ingredient that had been preserved by drying, canning, freezing, syrup-ing,
Read More

National Guacamole Day Dip & Sip? Challenge Accepted!

I’ve always loved playing hostess at parties and I’m so lucky to have found, in Todd, a willing accomplice to party perfection. We try to throw at least one good-sized party a year (with written invitations, party favors, etc.) but with this year’s bash being the wedding (in 47 days–holy cats it’s getting close!), at-home entertaining has taken a back-seat. Sure, we have our group over for regular game nights but it’s just not the same. Which is why, when I was invited to participate in the Dip & Sip Challenge in honor of National Guacamole Day (today, September 16) and sponsored
Read More

Tucson: Tavolino Bar Manager Wins Campari Cocktail Contest

Congratulations Eric! from the press release Tucson, Ariz—Eric Farmilant, Bar Manager at Tavolino Ristorante Italiano, has won the “Local Champion”  award in the 2013 Campari “Best Aperitivo” Cocktail competition. Sponsored by the USBG (United States Bartenders Guild), the competition was held at the Surly Wench Pub on Sunday, August 18th . Members of the Tucson USBG group participated in a lively competition where all entrants were required to use Cam­pari and other base spir­its from the Cam­pari Amer­ica port­fo­lio in a drink rep­re­sent­ing the cat­e­gory of Aper­i­tivo (a before-din­ner drink designed to stim­u­late the appetite). Eric’s “Red Level Sage” cocktail
Read More

Fab Food at Playground, Downtown Tucson Dining

What kind of name is Playground? It’s a hip corner bar like none other downtown Tucson with an accessible roof top, sexy patio, has its own parking lot (a seductive plus), the widest TV screen on the planet, and a vast high ceiling interior with swings hanging from the ceiling. Aha! That’s the playground connection. Swings, seen at playgrounds, with strong chain links like retro swings from my past not the flimsy swing sets in backyards. Another thing I didn’t know about Playground — creative food is served that actually raises the bar on bar food. Last week I had
Read More

AlcoHOLidays | Winter Solstice | Yuletide Cheer

Providing the world hasn’t ended–or isn’t in the process thereof–I thought I’d stray from the culturally expected norm of Christmas and delve a little into the natural change of seasons that happens this time of year at the Winter Solstice. The shortest day of the year, this time marks the official beginning of winter even as the days begin to lengthen towards spring once again. These lengthening days support the idea among ancient cultures (and their modern-day adherents) that the sun god is reborn at the solstice and continues to grow until mid-year when they days start to shorten, again. Of course, it’s
Read More

Tucson: Southwest Spirit Summit with Tony Abou-Ganim

Cocktails, anyone? Spirits galore pour at the Casino del Sol Resort in Tucson November 16, 17 & 18. Check out the dizzying details, discounts, and deals for overnight stays. Drink responsibly. Purchase tickets here. from the press release ALL ACCESS PASS for the Tony Abou-Ganim Southwest Spirit Summit ~ $125 per person ~ Includes admission to all Happy Hours, Jim Beam BBQ Bash, Tasting Floor admission for Nov 17 and 18, all seminars except for (#1″Ladies Only” with Tony Abou-Ganim and #7 “Understanding Agave” with Steve Olson ), Speedrack Competition and Southern Arizona Cocktail Classic & Farewell Party. Friday November
Read More

Cookbook Review: Poptails

I loved this book. While small in size and not taking up a lot of space on your bookshelf, Poptails is user-friendly and oh, so, clever with 60 boozy recipes and 20 mouthwatering photos. Admit it, sometimes you rather suck on popsicles or some frozen confection than sip a cocktail especially during these scorching summer days and nights. Erin Nichols, the author, is such a clever woman to develop this concept of frozen cocktails on a stick. Ms. Nichols will show you how to freeze alcohol. It’s easy. Forget the jello shots and impress your friends with frozen cocktails on
Read More

Product Review: Kahlua Iced Coffee to Go, Cocktails

Product Review: Kahlua Iced Coffee to Go I love Kahlua, an intensely rich coffee liqueur from Mexico. Pour a tablespoon or two over chocolate or coffee ice cream (okay vanilla for you purists) and you have a simple dessert for the 21+ crowd. I received some samples delivered by Fed-Ex, that’s one of the perks about blogging about food & cocktails. (wink) I’m going to be very bad here and think back several ago when I had a civil service job and was bored out of my gourd. Some of us did substance abuse on the premises. Or at break
Read More

Cosmic Cocktails | Scorpio | What a Tail

Apologies for the lack of update last Friday: preparations for the book launch took more time than I expected them to. Isn’t it always the way? But now we’re back! From outer space, we just walked in– No, no, no, we’re not channeling Gloria Gaynor, here, not the least because she was a Virgo, not a Scorpio, though the done-with-you attitude of the song would fit a scorned Scorp just fine (if you could manage to get rid of one in the first place, that is). Maybe I’m getting a bit ahead of myself, though. This week we’re utterly fascinated by the inscrutable Scorpio–mysterious,
Read More