#SCBDExclusive: Say #cheers to #May with Sipping Rum Friday’s

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If you know me, you know I love good rum to sip on or enjoy in a cocktail. If you’re the same way, I have good news. Santa Teresa (mentioned in my February Foodie Favorites), Venezuela’s oldest rum producer with a family heritage dating two centuries, announces that its flagship rum, Santa Teresa “1796,” is the focus of a FREE weekly tasting series at Union Square Wines & Spirits.  Located at 140 Fourth Ave. at 13 St., the tastings will be held on four Friday evenings: May 10, May 17, May 24 and May 31, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.  At “Sipping Rum Fridays,” attendees can sip Santa Teresa “1796” neat, on the rocks or in classic cocktails.

Santa Teresa Sipping

“We are delighted to partner with Union Square Wines & Spirits to introduce their discerning customers to the velvety charms of Santa Teresa ‘1796,’ our flagship rum, through this tasting series,” said Daniela Curiel, Brand Manager, Santa Teresa Rum.  “As an aged rum, it’s perfect for sipping or even pairing with foods like chocolate.  It takes classic cocktails, from daiquiris to nightcaps, to a whole new level.  It’s also an ideal gift, with Mother’s Day and Father’s Day coming up.”

Check out the line-up below and pick a Friday to come out, relax, and sip some rum at Union Square Wines & Spirits:

May 10: Happy Mother’s Day!

  • This tasting pairs mom’s favorite gift, chocolate, with Santa Teresa “1796” Rum.  This match made in heaven will be led by Santa Teresa Off-Premise Brand Ambassador Isabella Izquierdo.
May 17: Save the Daiquiri!
  • So you think you know daiquiris?  Experience a whole new libation when Santa Teresa “1796” is used as the base spirit.  Carla Verenzuela, Santa Teresa On-Premise Brand Ambassador and Bartender, will lead this spirited tasting that rethinks a favorite summer tipple.
May 24: Dare to Sip a Nightcap!
  • What’s the most civilized way to gently conclude an evening?  By sipping a nightcap, of course!  This tasting by Santa Teresa Brand Ambassador Daniela Curiel will offer Santa Teresa “1796” neat, on the rocks and in nightcap-style cocktails.
May 31: Happy Father’s Day!
  • Does dad really want (or need) another tie, polo shirt or extra golf balls for Father’s Day?  Show him that you really care by presenting him with a Santa Teresa “1796” gift set that will set him aglow.  Santa Teresa Brand Ambassador Daniela Curiel will pour Santa Teresa “1796” neat and on the rocks.

Cheers!

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#SCBDEvent Recap: Review with the crew at Johnny Utah’s, NYC

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About two weeks ago I had the pleasure of having the “Review with the crew” event which included seeing the Bar-Top Bandit’s at Johnny Utah’s in NYC. Our beer writer, Stephanie, her boyfriend Eric, and one of our new team member’s Alexandra joined me. Johnny Utah’s is a fun, country-themed restaurant & bar in the heart of Rockefeller Center.

review with the crew

We got in just in time before the Bandits started performing and decided to order some of their $5 margaritas, beer, nachos, and wings. We enjoyed all our appetizers– the nachos were the perfect side for all of us. We decided to try the BBQ wings and they were cooked to perfection and had just enough kick. After downing a margarita or two, I had the craving for Mac ‘N’ Cheese and it was probably some of the best Mac ‘N’ Cheese that I’ve had because it was so cheesy and not too heavy on breading. It was also the perfect amount.

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It was the perfect night out, filled with food, fun, and entertainment. I also got to interview, Theresa Fowler, ‘The Boss Bandit’ and got the dish on their performances at Johnny Utah’s every Wednesday and more!

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SCBD: When did the Bandits start?
TF: I created the Bar-Top Bandits in September, 2010 with childhood friend Everett Brothers. It started as a fundraiser for an amazing soldier, SPC Brendan Marrocco, who lost his arms & legs in Iraq. The event was such a success, it led to us helping out other local charities and organizations, which resulted in us expanding our show to what it is now!
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SCBD: Where do you perform?
TF: We have been touring the Northeast, rocking bar-tops from Times Square to the Meatpacking District in NYC, to Hampton Beach, NH & Asbury Park, NJ!
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SCBD: What should we look forward to at Johnny Utah’s?
TF: Killer Female Vocalists and Dancers from the Broadway stage to the iTunes charts performing in NYC’s Hottest Country Western Bar!
SCBD: What’s your favorite dish at Johnny Utah’s?
TF: Bandit favorites are “The Buffalo Bill,” “The Calamity Jane” Cubano, the Nachos, the Southern Hushpuppies and the Hot Utah Wings.
SCBD: The best cocktail?
TF: We’re whiskey girls at heart, but we hear Johnny Utah’s bartenders make a mean Blue Long Island! They’ve got the best staff around, and we have a blast with them at every show!
Bar-Top Bandits
SCBD:  What makes the Bandits different than any performers?
TF: The Bar-Top Bandits are a unique nightlife event with some of the most talented female performing artists in New York City. We are a boot-stomping, hair-flipping, bottle-tossing, girl-powered show with the hottest and most unique approach to nightlife entertainment. Not only do our Bandits have powerhouse vocalists and insanely choreographed routines, but they specialize in mixology and hospitality. Pushing liquor and beer sales throughout the show results in nightly revenue boosts for venues who book the Bandits!
Don’t have plans for tomorrow night? Make sure you go to Johnny Utah’s and see them perform. Also, don’t forget to ‘like’ the Bandit’s on Facebook, here.
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#SCBDEvent Recap: Dishcrawl Jersey City

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If you love to eat as much as I do then you’ll want to attend a Dishcrawl event in your area. I was fortunate to attend the debut Dishcrawl in Jersey City. The event took place in the Paulus Hook area, which was new to me but it was tons of fun. The crawl started off at Cityside Bistro where we had mini crabcakes, panisse with tomato chutney, and croque monsieur. My favorite dish was the mini crabcakes.

Dishes at Cityside Bistro in Jersey City Photo courtesy of Mickey Mathis

Dishes at Cityside Bistro in Jersey City
Photo courtesy of Mickey Mathis

Next, we went to the Iron Monkey where we sampled the monkey mac ‘n’ cheese, couscous with veggies, and crab dumplings. The monkey mac ‘n’ cheese has mushrooms and pancetta in it and it was delightful, one of their signature dishes.

Mac 'n' cheese, couscous & dumplings from The Iron Monkey Photo Courtesy of Mickey Mathis

Mac ‘n’ cheese, couscous & dumplings from The Iron Monkey
Photo Courtesy of Mickey Mathis

Our next stop was HopsScotch, which specializes in different beers. We sampled their German bun dumpling, mussel shooter, and grilled cheese with pesto.

Our sampler at HopsScotch Photo of Mickey Mathis

Our sampler at HopsScotch
Photo of Mickey Mathis

After that we finished the crawl at O’Connells where we had a choice of their homemade bread pudding or chocolate cake. I got the chocolate cake and it was pretty delicious.

Dessert at O'Connells Photo taken by Mickey Mathis

Dessert at O’Connells
Photo taken by Mickey Mathis

Interested in coming to the next Dishcrawl? Buy your tickets to the 2nd Jersey City Dishcrawl, here. They are $45 but you get to try dishes from some of Jersey City’s best restaurants like Michael Anthony’s, VB3 and more! But you’ll just have to go to find out!

I loved my first dishcrawl and plan on going to more in Jersey City and Hoboken. Have you gone? I’d love to know what you thought?

Look out for more 4-1-1 on events in NYC & NJ!

Cheers!

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#SCBD on Jerz Hot Spots Episode 5 featuring Jaret’s Stuffed Cupcakes

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If you haven’t tuned into the Episode 5 of Jerz Hot Spots I highly recommend you do. In the episode I get the 4-1-1 and interview Maureen, the owner of  Jaret’s Stuffed Cupcakes who came up with the SCBD “Sarah Smile” cupcake. Tune in below.

Cheers!

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Spice Up Spring with a Ginger Mango Lassi

Now that we have entered spring and are experiencing a bit of warm weather, I am always looking for cool drinks to beat the heat. I love smoothies and some of my favorite fruits, like mangoes, are coming back into season. Mangoes tend to pop up in April and peak in May and June. Using mangoes, I took a shot at making a smoothie native to India, the lassi, but with an added twist. A lassi is a cross between a smoothie and a milk shake with spices (like cumin or cardamon) that can be either sweet or savory. It is creamy, refreshing and best of all easy to make! For my lassi, I am adding pineapple, almond milk and ginger to amp up the flavors.

Ingredients: (Makes one 16oz smoothie)

  • 1 cup of mango, chopped into cubes
  • 1 cup of pineapple, chopped into cubes
  • 1 cup of yogurt (I recommend Chobani Low Fat Mango Greek Yogurt)
  • 1 tsp of ginger, minced
  • 1/2 cup of almond milk (or substitute with whole milk)
  • Ice cubes
  • Honey or sugar (optional depending on the sweetness of your mango)

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Directions:

  1. Add ice, mango, pineapple and almond milk to a blender and puree until it reaches a creamy consistency.
  2. Add yogurt and minced ginger (I used jarred minced ginger, but I recommend fresh ginger for a more potent kick). At this point you can add any sweetener to your smoothie.
  3. Run the blender for up to 1 minute. For a smoother consistency add more almond milk.
  4. Pour mango lassi in a glass and top with some mango pieces and ground ginger. Sit back and pretend you are relaxing in Kolkata!

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Toni’s Tip:

  • A lassi can work with any combination of fruits and using frozen fruit works just as well as fresh fruit. Just skip out on the ice if you decide to go the frozen route.