Four Reasons Why Every Booze Lover Should Read Amy Stewart’s “The Drunken Botanist”

The Drunken BotanistA few months ago I received Amy Stewart’s “The Drunken Botanist: The Plants That Create The World’s Great Drinks” as part of a gift set I was sent, and thank goodness I did because it’s a book I really enjoyed, but probably wouldn’t have picked up on my own. If you’re a booze lover and you’ve considered picking up “The Drunken Botanist” then please go for it, my friend! But if you need a little extra motivation, I’ve listed a few reasons why you need to hit up your local bookstore and pick up a copy ASAP.

Infinite Booze Knowledge – Okay, “infinite” might be a bit of a strong word, but you’re bound to learn a thing or two or 20 while reading “The Drunken Botanist.” I mean, it’s like the Rosetta Stone of booze. Alright, that’s another wonky comparison, but you get the idea. It’s chock-full of great facts.

Lushworthy Recipes – From sake cocktails to classic sips and everything in between, nearly every chapter of “The Drunken Botanist” includes a few drink recipes. You’ll probably love some more than others, but trust me, you’ll have plenty to choose from.

A Hard-Cover Beauty – “The Drunken Botanist” comes in hard-cover form and instead of being covered in those annoying sleeves that slip and slide all over the place, it boasts a pretty handsome cover. In fact, it’s such a looker, I’d go so far as to say that it might make a nice addition to your home bar.

A Surprisingly Entertaining Read – I’m a sucker for a good story. So, it’s rare that I’ll choose non-fiction over fiction, but despite being loaded with all kinds of boozy facts, “The Drunken Botanist” is an entertaining and enjoyable read thanks to Stewart’s conversational and occasionally witty tone.

You can pick up “The Drunken Botanist” at Barnes & Noble (a.k.a. my eighth favorite place in the world) and a number of other retailers.

Picture via Gardenista.com.

You’ll Also Like: Lushworthy News: Marriott Autograph Collection Partners With Jim Beam For Limited Edition Cocktail Book

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660 At The Angler’s, A South Beach Oasis For Both Foodies & Happy Hour Enthusiasts

660 The Anglers 1If you’ve ever been to South Beach then you know that dining on the sidewalk while 8,000 people walk past you and your teeny-tiny (and probably wobbly) table is kinda “the thing” down there. I’ve done it once and I can’t say that I’m a fan. Thankfully though, the food and cocktail scene in South Beach offers far more than cooped up sidewalk dining. While on a visit to Miami last month, a friend and I had the opportunity to attend a food and cocktail tasting at 660 At The Angler’s, which is located in The Angler’s, a boutique hotel situated on Washington Avenue.

Upon stepping into the bar and lounge area at 660 At The Angler’s it’s apparent that this ain’t your average South Beach joint. The decor is what I would describe as cozy Bohemian. There’s various shades of maroon, lots of gold details, and tons of decorative pillows (hence the cozy factor). The bar area is relatively small (it seats about four people) and lacks the Bohemian feel of the neighboring lounge. I was really a fan of the decor in the lounge, so I wish it would have transitioned into the bar area. But bars were meant for drinking and not getting your inner interior decorator on, so it obviously wasn’t a major flaw.

660 The Anglers 3Speaking of bars, I had the opportunity to sample a handful of cocktails at 660 At The Angler’s including the El Diablo, Southside Fizz, and 660 Sangria. Here’s a little breakdown of each of those drinks.

El DiabloHerradura Reposado, Creme de Cassis, fresh lime juice, and ginger beer.

Don’t let the devilish name fool you. The El Diablo is truly a sweetheart when it comes to the palate. The Creme de Cassis does a fine job of mellowing out the tequila and ginger beer always makes everything better. All in all, the El Diablo is both sweet and highly drinkable (i.e. you might just forget you’re drinking booze).

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Craft Beer To Hit The High Seas Thanks To Crystal Cruises’ New Microbrew Cruise

Crystal Cruises BeerIt’s no secret that the craft beer market has exploded over the past years. Even cruise lines, yes cruise lines, are getting in on this latest booze trend. Crystal Cruises, who previously featured a beer connoisseur menu on select cruises, has just announced their new craft beer theme for the Crystal Fall Culinary Cruise.

The brew-centric luxury cruise will consist of expert presentations, cooking and cocktail classes, tasting sessions, and dinners. In addition to on board experiences, guests will also have the opportunity to visit breweries on the mainland. Also pretty cool is the fact that this particular cruise will take you to a variety of ports including ones in Baltimore, Maryland, Charleston, South Carolina, Turks & Caicos, and Aruba.

Oh, and here’s one more “pretty cool” mention, the cruise will include appearances from brew connoisseurs Stephen Beaumont, Jon Ashton, and Anthony Caporale, who will help lead the various classes and demonstrations.

“We’ve recently seen the growing interest in microbrews, from crafting to drinking, reflected in our own guests’ palates, leading us to add international specialty beers to our Connoisseur beverage menu in 2013,” says Toni Neumeister, vice president, food and beverage operations and hotel procurement.  “A microbrew theme in 2014 is a natural extension of that interest, utilizing the programming format of our successful ‘Wine & Food’-cruises to expand travelers’ palates and minds in new ways that can last well beyond their cruise.”

Cruise fares, which are all-inclusive, start at $3,700.

You’ll Also Like: Lushworthy News: Crystal Cruises Introduces Connoisseur Beer Menu On Select Cruises

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A Lushworthy Guide To The Atlanta Food & Wine Festival Tasting Tents

AFWF Tasting TentsAs much as I love the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival, it can definitely be overwhelming at times. The annual festival, which will take place from May 29 to June 1, includes various dinners, seminars, and tasting tents. The tasting tents alone are enough to bring foodies and boozies (is that a word yet?) to their knees with joy.

In case things get a little too overwhelming, I’ve gone ahead and created somewhat of a Lushworthy-inspired tasting tent cheat sheet for the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival (AFWF). Below you’ll find the names of a handful of brands that will all have tents during the festival. I’ve also included a brief description as to why I think you should check ‘em out. Oh, and the three digit number in bold at the end of each description shows where you can find their tent on the official festival map.

Campari America -  With over 45 spirits to its name, you can be sure that Campari America will be slinging some must-have cocktails during AFWF. 191

Savannah Sweet Tea Lemonade Bourbon – I’m not terribly familiar with this brand, but since I’m obsessed with the city of Savannah, bourbon, and both sweet tea and lemonade, this sounds like a solid tasting tent winner. 186

Wines Of Chile – If you’re a lover of all things vino then I’m sure you’re quite familiar with the wines coming out of the Southern American country of Chile. It’s said to be some of the best in the world. Even if you’re not a wine lover you should still indulge in at least a few sips. 209

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Lushworthy News: D’USSE XO Enters The Market, Captain Morgan Introduces New Commemorative Blend

D'USSE XOFollowing the launch of D’USSE in 2012, the Bacardi-owned brand has welcomed its first expression, D’USSE XO. Described as “a unique blend of meticulously hand-selected eaux-de-vie, aged ten years or more,” D’USSE XO is said to boast “flavor notes of ripe blackberry and apricot, layered with hints of dark chocolate and walnut.” Sounds like a boozy trip to Godiva Chocolatier. And that definitely works for me.

“Following the highly successful launch of D’USSE VSOP, there is an opportunity to lead the evolution of the Cognac category even further,” said Robert Furniss-Roe, President of Bacardi North America. “Consumers are fascinated with dark spirits and care more than ever about the quality and level of craftsmanship in the brands they consume. D’USSE XO is the response to that request.”

For a while the newly-introduced cognac was only available to the entertainment and cocktailing elite, but now you can get your hands on a bottle of D’USSE XO for a cool $230.

The Cap’n Welcomes New Captain Morgan 1671 Commemorative Blend.

Captain Morgan 1671Legend has it that Captain Henry Morgan lost five ships while traveling to Panama City, Panama in the late 1600′s. Among the ships he lost was his flagship, Satisfaction.

What was the point of that brief history lesson, you ask? Well, the new, limited edition Captain Morgan 1671 Commemorative Blend is inspired by the Satisfaction. In fact, Captain Morgan’s latest spirit is finished in Spanish Oak, which is said to have also been used in the barrels that were on board Captain Morgan’s doomed ship. Kinda cool, right?

Also cool is the fact that it’s one of few commemorative blends that’s affordable. You can get your hands on a bottle of Captain Morgan 1671 Commemorative Blend (750 mL) for only $19.99.

You’ll Also Like: Drink Recipe: Captain Morgan & Hugh Acheson Set The Stage For A #MintMutiny This Weekend

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Davio’s Atlanta Introduces New Sparkling Champagne Floats

Davio's Atlanta Sparkling Champagne FloatFrom carefully curated wine dinners to homemade, boozy Italian ices, those at Davio’s Atlanta sure know a thing or two about keeping things Lushworthy. And starting this June, Davio’s will introduce a new, boozy item to their menu, sparkling champagne floats. There will be three floats total (lemon, mango, and blueberry) and they’ll each be available for purchase for only $6. They’re all made using Prosecco and sorbet, but you can find the exact ingredients for each sparkling champagne float below. (Floats will be available until August)

Lemon Sorbetti 

Prosecco, Fresh Squeezed Lemon, Cane Sugar, and Lemon Sorbet. Garnish with a dehydrated lemon wheel.

Mango Sorbetti 

Prosecco, Absolut Mandarin Vodka, and Mango Sorbet. Garnish with dehydrated orange wheel.

Blueberry Sorbetti

Prosecco, Absolut Citron Vodka, Blueberry Syrup, and Blueberry Sorbet. Garnish with dehydrated lemon wheel.

You’ll Also Like: Davio’s Atlanta Introduces Liquor-Infused, Homemade Italian Ice To Its Summer Menu

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Drink Recipes: Celebrate Memorial Day Weekend With Spiked Punch, Skinny Pina Coladas & More

Weekender's PunchI feel like it was just yesterday when I was bombarding you guys with all kinds of cold weather-friendly cocktails and now I’m about to sling some Memorial Day-inspired drinks your way. So, get excited! With the unofficial start of summer taking place this weekend, a number of brands are rolling out drink recipes that are perfect for the warmer months. Think spiked punches, pina coladas, margaritas, and other boozy sips. So, if you’re in the market for a boozy addition to your Memorial Day weekend festivities then be sure to check out the drink recipes below.

Drink recipes come courtesy of Cruzan Rum, Skinnygirl, Sauza Tequila, Hendrick’s Gin, and Pinnacle Vodka. Cheers!

Weekender’s Punch (Pictured Above)

INGREDIENTS

8 parts Cruzan® Aged Light Rum
4 parts Cruzan® Passion Fruit Rum
12 parts Riesling
3 parts Lemonade
4/5 part Lemon Simple Syrup

DIRECTIONS

Combine all but Riesling in a punch bowl and refrigerate. Add Riesling at service. (Serves 8)

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Five Reasons Why Mac’s Club Deuce In Miami Beach Is The Move

Mac's Club DeuceI haven’t been back in Atlanta more than 24 hours yet and already I’m eager to share the details of my recent trip to Miami. Miami (South Beach in particular) is a pretty popular tourist spot. So, I’m sure many of you are familiar with the hoity-toity mega-clubs and sidewalk cafes that charge you well over 30 bucks for a margarita with two gallons of ice plopped into it. Although I do have to admit that I did indulge in one over-priced, sidewalk margarita. What can I say? I just can’t avoid the allure of numerous, neon-hued straws.

Anywho, while taking the South Beach Food Tour (also “the move”) our tour guide pointed out a well-known, Miami Beach dive bar called Mac’s Club Deuce. She revealed that it was a favorite of Anthony Bourdain, and at that point I knew it was a place I had to check out before the end of my trip. Unfortunately, I waited until my last night on Miami Beach to check out this divey jewel, and here’s a few reasons why my visit to Mac’s Club Deuce was pretty damn amazing.

Cheap, Strong Drinks – You’re more likely to come across a three-legged unicorn than you are a cheap drink on South Beach. Thankfully though, the drinks at Mac’s Club Deuce are both affordable and potent. I switched between a Manhattan and Guinness the night I was there. The Manhattan was made using Maker’s Mark and was only $9 and the bottle of Guinness was $6.

Shenanigans – No good dive bar is complete without a surplus of shenanigans. So, here are just a few randomly hilarious and/or interesting moments I witnessed.

  1. A man riding his bike around the pool table.
  2. Two, Atlanta chicks hovering over the jukebox, singing loudly to Incubus and Outkast. And yes, I was one of them. Continue reading
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Sauza & Cinco: A Recap Of My Lushworthy, Cinco De Mayo Backyard Party

Sauza Cinco de MayoWith Cinco de Mayo taking place on a Monday (womp womp), a number of people including myself got the party started a little early this year. Over the weekend I hosted a Cinco de Mayo get together in my backyard, which proved to be most ideal given the picture perfect weather on Saturday. The margaritas were of course plentiful thanks to Sauza tequila who sent over a bottle of Sauza Blue Silver 100% Agave Tequila and their new Sauza Sparkling Margarita Watermelon.

Sauza has plenty of unique margarita recipes, which I’ve listed below, but I was in the mood for something a little more traditional, so I stuck with a basic margarita. But for presentation’s sake I did add a handful of strawberries and lime slices to the pitcher of margaritas. Definitely a wise move. It looked pretty darn amazing and drew a bunch of ultra-inquistive “Mmm…what’s in this?!” from partygoers. Also, I have to say that I love the convenience of the Sauza Sparkling Margarita line. It’s a ready-to-serve beverage, so there’s no mixing involved. Just pour and add a garnish if you like, and you’re good to go.

Now we all know that no Cinco de Mayo shindig is complete without some serious grub. In addition to Herdez salsa and chips, I also made a bunch of quesadillas using Herdez’ Traditional Chipotle Mexican Cooking Sauce. I don’t mean to toot my own horn, but they were thee bomb. Not the bomb, but thee bomb. For some tragic reason I’ve never made quesadillas using any type of sauce and now that I have it’s definitely an ingredient I will always use. As you can see from the picture below, I used the Herdez cooking sauce while sauteing the chicken and jalapenos, which were later placed in the quesadillas along with some shredded cheese.

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Drink Recipe: Captain Morgan & Hugh Acheson Set The Stage For A #MintMutiny This Weekend

Mint Mutiny_2If you’re a lover of booze then there’s a good chance that you’re all for sipping on a classic cocktail. I love a great classic cocktail too, but every now and then it’s nice to switch things up a bit and revamp a classic. And Hugh Acheson of Empire State South (ATL represent!) has done just that with his “Mint Mutiny” cocktail. The “Mint Mutiny” was created just in time for this weekend’s Kentucky Derby and as you’ve probably guessed, it serves as a remix to the classic “Mint Julep.”

The folks over at Captain Morgan, which serves as the primary ingredient in the “Mint Mutiny” sent over a kit for making Acheson’s cocktail and also invited me to take part in their #MintMutiny Twitter competition. Basically, whichever blogger receives the most #MintMutiny retweets will receive a trip to either the Belmont Stakes or Preakness Stakes.

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