Now that the alcohol-induced haze has started to settle, let’s take a look back at the week-long cocktail party that is the Manhattan Cocktail Classic. The week kicked off with their glamorous annual Gala held at the New York Public Library and from that starting point not a guest in attendance found their glass empty. MCC spirit lovers attended tasting after tasting, seminars and lectures, cocktail parties and good old fashion bar hopping in celebration of all things cocktail related. Joonbug, like many in the city, looked forward to the 2013 Manhattan Cocktail Classic and attended as many events as our livers could handle. Here’s a rundown of our favorite events along with our new favorite cocktail den, and spirits and products we discovered along the way.
It is no secret that cupcakes are the newest culinary obsession especially to anyone who spends a lot of time in the Chicago area. People are fascinated by this cute, creative dessert item and by the fact that everyone can choose their own special flavor even when supplying sweet treats for large groups. If you are in the Chicago area, no matter what part of the city you are visiting, chances are there is a bakery nearby mixing up these decadent indulgences. For now, take a look at the six locations below that have made a name for themselves and gained a large following of cupcake enthusiasts.
It’s hard to believe that Memorial Day Weekend is here already since the weather in NYC doesn’t seem to match up with the appropriate seasons anymore. With Memorial Day comes barbeques, festivals and fairs, and hopefully some beach-worthy sunshine and what better way to enjoy these summertime staples than a nice, cold summer-inspired cocktail? Below you’ll find cocktail recipes mixed with all your summertime favorites like iced tea, lemonade, fruit punch, fresh fruit, and even a red velvet strawberry shortcake. One sip of these cocktails and you’ll be singing ‘summertime and the livings’ easy’ faster than it takes to step into your favorite pair of flip flops.
Rick Bayless is a highly acclaimed chef of Mexican cuisine, especially in the Chicago area. He has over five restaurants and catering companies in Illinois, and he is widely known for his television show, Mexico One Plate At a Time on PBS. Bayless has made multiple appearances on the Food Network, so it is not surprising that the channel has praised many of his restaurants, including Topolobampo. Located on North Clark Street in downtown Chicago, the restaurant is right in the middle of all the action. “Topolo,” as the frequent visitors call the restaurant, is known for being the quieter, possibly classier version of its sister site Frontera Grill, also owned by Bayless. Rick’s goal is to enhance the typical reputation that Mexican cuisine has by putting an upscale twist on the food, while maintaining the authentic flavors and techniques.
Coming off the heels of Cinco de Mayo, many might be thinking twice about inviting tequila to the party. If your head hurts, your mouth is dry, and your liver is crying: you probably overdid it. Next time, celebrate in style with a luxury sipping tequila like Casa Dragones, your body will thank you.
Whiskey and scotch have some stiff competition these days. Luxury brands are crafting sipping spirits from rum to tequila that will easily compete with their caramel-colored counterparts. One of our favorites to hit the market is the high-end sipping tequila Casa Dragones.
This upcoming weekend kicks off the summer partying scene with Cinco de Mayo parties all over the country but there’s also another event worth celebrating this weekend that honors all things southern. The “greatest two minutes in sports” gives you an excuse to wear a ridiculous bonnet with feathers, tulle, and more while sipping on a traditional drink, the mint julep. Bad bets and thoroughbred racehorses aside, the 139th Annual Kentucky Derby is reason to celebrate with these events, drink specials, and snacks.
For Cinco de Mayo don’t rely on the tired cocktails and beers designated for the holiday. There's so much more than icy lime margaritas, Corona bottles, and shots of Jose. Expand your cocktail repertoire! Tequila is a versatile spirit and can make an array of drinks using herbs, fruit, flowers, and more. Mezcal, tequila’s smoky cousin can be used in traditional-style margaritas or used to create a unique smoky punch. Don’t think that Corona and Dos Equis are your only options if you’re more of a beer drinker. The Mexican brand, Bohemia, is a delicious Pilsner-style beer that can be kicked up a notch with a simple rim of chipotle. For fans of the traditional chilled rice drink, Horchata, you’ll love it even more when it’s spiked with rum! Below you’ll find cocktails that everyone at your fiesta will love. Cheers!
Food and wine are universal pleasures that go hand-in-hand with eachother. The culinary world has invented an art form when it comes to pairing wine with the perfect dish. Companies like Planet Bordeaux, aim to educate wine aficionados on the various flavors and blends that are available in markets all over the world. Recently, the company visited Chicago to host an event at the Skydeck of the Willis Tower. The event was open to the public from 5pm to 8pm and was enjoyed by about 300 guests. Multiple wineries attended the event and allowed visitors to taste samples of their wine selections. Visitors were exposed to many selections that are not even available in the U.S. market as of yet. Visitors were also able to make notes on their favorite beverages and meet with representatives from the wineries if they were interested in discovering more about each one.
You’ve got the tequila, Coronas, and the frozen margarita machine packed with ice to kick off the first weekend of May. Chances are you bought maracas and the biggest sombrero you could find from the party store. The only thing missing is great eats to round out your Cinco de Mayo celebration. Here are five recipes to make your Cinco de Mayo unforgettable and probably help keep you off the floor after doing one too many tequila shots!
New lifestyle trends and choices are constantly popping up all over the country and it can be hard to stick with them when cravings arise for unhealthy, high calorie comfort food. Up until recently, vegetarians and vegans have had to give up things like bacon cheeseburgers, hot wings, and tacos in order to stay on track. However, the increasingly popular Chicago Diner, which has locations on Halsted Street and Logan Square, has changed the way that vegans can eat, but more importantly, the way that meat-eaters view the vegan lifestyle. With menu options such as Chickun Ranch Salad, Country Fried Stӕk, and Mac & Teese on the kid's menu, customers are able to stay inside of their culinary comfort zone, while branching out into the world of tofu, seitan, and vegan cheeses.
With a little over two weeks until Cinco de Mayo, Chef Antelmo Ambrosio from bustling Battery Park staple SouthWest NY shares three cocktails inspired by his hometown of Oaxaca, Mexico, to get you in the celebratory spirit!
All three hand-crafted concoctions will be served at the restaurant on the actual day of Cinco de Mayo along with a ‘Buffet del Mercado’ boozy feast featuring mojito-marinated skirt steak, margarita chicken breast, Guajillo-garlic shrimp, and much more for $22 per person.