Summer Friday + National Tequila Day = drink this


It’s National Tequila Day! Margaritas are marvelous, but Palomas are pretty perfect for a day like today, too. This twist adds lavender into a cocktail which is already full of summer flavor from the grapefruit. The result is a refreshing summer sip that is perfect to enjoy on National Tequila Day, and pretty much every day.


Lavender Paloma

2 parts Milagro Silver

1 part fresh grapefruit juice

½ part lavender & vanilla simple syrup

½ part fresh lime juice

Top with DRY Lavender Soda

Garnish: grapefruit peel, lavender salt

To make the simple syrup: 1 part sugar to 1 part water. Once the sugar is dissolved, add 2 tablespoons dried lavender buds and a vanilla bean which has been split with a knife down the center. Cool the simple syrup and store it. Strain out the lavender and vanilla before using.

To make the lavender salt: Add 1 part dried lavender buds to 10 parts salt. Grind them in a mortar or coffee grinder. More details here.

Add lavender salt to a plate. Rub the top of your glass with a grapefruit wedge and dip the rim of your glass into the salt.

Add the tequila, grapefruit juice, simple syrup, and lime juice to a the glass, and then add ice cubes. Top off with soda and garnish with a grapefruit peel.

How are you planning to celebrate National Tequila Day?




Keep it cool: No-cook summer sides


Summer lovin’ had me a blast…and no patience to cook in a hot kitchen.

Picnics, trips to the beach, and a kitchen in a fifth-floor walk-up that’s hot in January (so you can only imagine how it feels in July) call for quick and easy meals with as little time as possible to use the stove or oven.

Two of my favorite no-cook sides that I recently whipped up on my beach vacation involve fruit and flavor and none of the heat.

Watermelon salad with feta, mint and balsamic glaze



It doesn’t get much easier than this.  I diced up watermelon, julienned some mint, added some crumbled feta on top, and then took this pic before adding a drizzle of balsamic glaze and some salt and pepper to taste. Feel free to make your own balsamic reduction. To reduce time in the kitchen, I totally support  and encourage that you grab a pre-made glaze, like my favorite from Trader Joe’s. 


Mango avocado salad {served with fish tacos}


Fish tacos are one of my summer favorites. Even though the fish didn’t take long in the oven to cook, I wanted to keep the rest of the meal as quick and cool as possible. The side includes two mangos and avocados diced up with some red onion and cilantro mixed in. I added a squeeze of lime juice and some salt and pepper to taste. It’s just that easy!


I hope these side dishes save you time in the kitchen so you can spend more time on the beach. Do you have any go-to recipes that you make during the summer? Share them in the comments below!


Summer solstice cocktails

June 21st is the official start of summer and the longest day of the year. Hello, summer solstice! See ya, winter! How should you celebrate the start of a new season and the additional hours of daylight, warmth and happiness? With cocktails! Reyka Vodka is small batch and crafted in Iceland where summer solstice is pretty much their biggest party of the year. Now that winter is a distant memory, I think we deserve to celebrate with a cocktail {or four} with these tasty, seasonal recipes by Trevor Schneider.



Clear Bloody Mary

6 parts clear tomato juice

2 parts Reyka vodka

2 bar spoons sriracha

2 bar spoons lemon juice

2 bar spoons soy sauce

1 bar spoon apple vinegar

All mixed in shaker with ice and then strained over celery granité.


2 cups celery juice mixed with 2/3 cup sugar syrup, freeze.






unnamed-6Summery Beer Float

1 part ginger syrup

1 part lime juice

1 1/2 parts Reyka vodka

Shake and put into a long drink glass over lots of ice. Garnish with lime zest and topped with white ale.










unnamed-3Smokey Bay

1 part smoked Reyka vodka

1 part Birkir {grain spirit infused with birch}

1 part fresh lemon juice

1 part sugar syrup

3 dashes bitters

1/2 egg white

Shake ingredients only, and then shake with ice. Strain over big block of ice and top with dried and powdered seaweed.








1 ½ parts Reyka Vodka

2 black cherries, each cut in half

1/2 nectarine in slices

1/2 parts lemon

1/2 parts elderflower essence

Blend Reyka Vodka, berries, fruit and lemon juice and let stand for 2 hours before serving. Strain and shake with elderflower essence. Fill up a long drink glass with the same berries and fruits, and pour in the drink. Top with elderflower cordial.





If you want to head out on the town to get your summer solstice on, these places are serving Reyka drinks this weekend!

Butter & Scotch (818 Franklyn Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11225) will be featuring the Moscow Summer Float with Reyka Vodka, Q Ginger Beer, Strawberry Ice Cream, and Lime


Tuffet (286 Graham Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211)  will be featuring 5 different Sangrias with Reyka for $5 each, all day Sunday(Pina Colada, Rosemary Rose, Ginger Peach, Chili Mango, and Cucumber Pear)


Nitehawk Cinema (136 Metropolitan Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11249) will be featuring a cocktail called The Longest Day with Reyka, Watermelon, Mint/Jalapeno Shrub, Lime



Fun fact: Skål is Norwegian for CHEERS! So, happy summer and Skål! May your cocktails be as strong as the sun and may your summer be nothing but fun!!

Drink Me I’m Irish


Green beer is great, but so is this beer & bourbon cocktail that will make you extra lucky on this St. Patrick’s day and all year round.


Wilde Oscar

  • 1 oz. Guinness Extra Stout
  • 1.5 oz. Bulleit Bourbon
  • .5 oz. Rich Simple Syrup
  • Dash of Botanical Bitters

Stir all ingredients in an ice filled mixing glass. Strain cocktail over a large ice cube. This cocktail is also delicious when made with the signature Guinness Draught. Garnish with a large orange peel and maraschino cherry.


Fun fact: Hooley is the Irish word for party! Check out more recipes, fun and shennangins at

Wings & Things

It’s so easy to pick up that phone on game day and order takeout wings, but it’s almost as easy to make your own batch of tasty wings at home. Chef Dave Santos, from Louro in the West Village, shares his Super Bowl Spiced Honey BBQ Wings so that you can get your game on without having to order out.


Dave’s Super Bowl Spiced Honey BBQ Wings

Serves 4

12 whole wings, cut in half and tip removed
1 cup of your favorite barbecue sauce (Chef Santos prefers Bull’s Eye Brand when he isn’t making his own)
1/4 cup of hot sauce (Chef Santos recommends Frank’s red hot)
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp. ground black pepper
5 scallions sliced for garnish
home electric fryer.

Preheat the fryer to 350 degrees. Mix the remaining ingredients except for the scallions in a medium bowl.

Drop half the wings into the prepared fryer and fry for 7 to 8 minutes (fry the wings in two batches to ensure even cooking). The wings should be nice and crispy and a deep golden-brown color. When the wings are done, place them in a large bowl and pour the desired amount of sauce over the wings, and toss them so that they are fully coated. Place in a clean serving bowl and garnish with scallions.

Love this wing recipe? Then most likely you’ll love Louro and the rest of chef Dave’s dishes too. Fun fact: On Monday nights he hosts a supper club at the restaurant with different themes and menus. Up next is the Oyster Bowl on February 2nd and a sustainable seafood meal on February 9th. Ditch your case of the Mondays and get more details here.



The Apple of My Eye {and your glass}

Skip the chocolates on February 14th, and cue the cocktails. These recipes use Crown Royal’s Regal Apple Whisky, mmmm. Get mixing (and mingling), and if you don’t have a valentine yet, then don’t worry, just get drinking — these drinks are the only thing you really need.


Your Foodie Finder {aka cocktail cupid}

Country Music Artists Pack Crown Royal Care Packages For Troops During The CMA After-Party

Crownberry Apple

1.5oz Crown Royal Regal Apple

4oz Cranberry Juice

Serve in a rocks glass over ice and garnish with apple wedge


Country Music Artists Pack Crown Royal Care Packages For Troops During The CMA After-Party

The Apple Picker

1.5oz Crown Royal Regal Apple

4oz Lemon-Lime Soda

Lime wedge to garnish

Serve in a tall glass over ice.



New year, new cocktail


It’s 2015! Let’s raise a glass {or a few} to toast to the year ahead. May your 2015 be filled with many delicious meals & memories, and here’s wishing the upcoming year is as smooth & strong as your cocktails.

Speaking of cocktails…Spiked Seltzer has a fresh new cocktail recipe to start off this new year that is perfect to sip all year long, but especially necessary now while we are dreaming of warmer weather.


Meet the fizzy & fun Margarita Fizz:
1/2 oz fresh-pressed lime juice
1 1/2 oz Triple Sec
1 1/2 oz tequila
1 pinch of salt

Swirl in glass to dissolve salt

Crushed ice
Lime wedge
12 oz SpikedSeltzer West Indies Lime

Serve, enjoy, and cue the confetti! {Please note: confetti not included with this recipe, but is highly recommended}

Images provided by: top- Knot & Bow, Bottom- Spiked Seltzer