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the sweet scoop
the sweet scoop
With a killer cocktail scene and some of the bar industry’s best talents, New York City is a spirited force to be reckoned with. So when the Top 10 Finalists for the 2012 Spirited Awards were announced, it’s no surprise that the Big Apple is representing across the board.
Held during New Orleans’ annual mixology festival, Tales of the Cocktail, the Spirited Awards will honor the world’s best bars, bartenders, writers, cocktail experts and more. Following a rigorous evaluation of hundreds of nominees, ten finalists have been selected in each of 17 categories.
Finalists from NYC include Dutch Kills, The Clover Club and Mayahuel for Best American Cocktail Bar, while The Tippler, Flatiron Lounge and Macao Trading Co. are among those nominated for Best High Volume Cocktail Bar. Best Restaurant Bar standouts include The Beagle, Lani Kai and Saxon + Parole, and my dear friend Todd Richman of Sidney Frank is up for the Best American Brand Ambassador award — not only can Todd mix up a serious cocktail, but he’s also one of the most stand up guys you’ll ever meet. Congrats!
Check out the full list of finalists here. The top ten in each category will then be whittled down to a final three on Thursday, June 7th. Winners will be announced on Saturday, July 28 at the Spirited Awards ceremony, as part of the 10th Anniversary Tales of the Cocktail celebration.
A heartfelt congratulations to all the nominees, but of course, I’d like to especially raise a glass to my NYC friends and favorites who made the list this year. Cheers!
Image courtesy of Tales of the Cocktail
Rich dark chocolate ganache gets kissed by hazelnut liqueur. The result? Decadence at it’s finest.
Celebrated chocolatier MarieBelle has paired up with Frangelico to unveil an indulgent new truffle flavor just in time for the holidays—the Frangelico Ganache. Blending creamy dark chocolate with luscious hazelnut, this melt-in-your-mouth confection also reveals notes of vanilla, coffee and almond. And it’s quite stunning. MarieBelle founder, chef and chocolate artist, Maribel Lieberman, incorporated hues from the Frangelico bottle into the beautiful sunset-colored mosaic design on each truffle.
Last week, I attended an intimate media gathering at MarieBelle, to celebrate the new flavor. The boutique itself is gorgeous. A luxurious chocolate haven, evoking European sophistication and old-world charm, nestled into SoHo’s Broome Street. Attendees settled into the shop’s darling Cacao Bar—a cozy cafe offering sweet nibbles and hot cocoas—to experience the Frangelico Ganache.
Maribel warmly greeted guests and excitedly debuted her latest creation. “These artisanal holiday truffles embody the flavors of the season, blending the hazelnut flavor of Frangelico with the gourmet taste of high-quality dark chocolate.” And to perfectly complement the flavor nuances in the confection, Master Mixologist James Moreland was on hand to stir up three Frangelico-based dessert cocktails (recipes below).
Beginning November 15th, Frangelico Ganache truffles will be available at the MarieBelle retail location in New York City, online at MarieBelle.com and at select department stores nationwide. They come packaged in a variety of sizes, each wrapped in an exquisite ribboned box that is uniquely Mariebelle.
Life is always sweeter with chocolate, and these truffles make a delightful gift that any chocolate lover will enjoy. And to sip while you sweet, try these tasty dessert cocktails from James Moreland:
Frangelico Truffle Cocktail
1 oz Frangelico
1 oz SKYY Vodka
¾ oz cold espresso
Shake with ice and serve up in a cocktail or martini glass. Dust with dark chocolate shavings.
1 ¼ oz Frangelico
1 ¼ oz Flor de Caña 7 Year Grand Reserve Rum
1 ¼ oz sweet vermouth
Shake with ice and pour over ice into rocks glass.
1 ¼ oz Frangelico
2 spoonfuls sour cherry macerate
¾ oz cherry brandy
Shake hard and strain over rocks in a Collins glass.
‘Tis the season for a little holiday sipping. My dear friend Lindsay is quite the gourmand and stirred up a refreshing, bubbly cocktail that will add holiday cheer to all your end-of-year festivities. After I savored Lindsay’s delicious sparkler, I invited her to write a guest post to share the love with you all. From Lindsay:
As soon as it starts to get cold, my craving for apple cider kicks in: it’s one of those cozy drinks that just goes with crisp air, a crackling fireplace and that amazing pine smell. This year I wanted something a bit lighter than the usual Spiced Apple Cider, but I couldn’t quite find a recipe that I liked. After a bit of Goldilocks tinkering by combing 3 different recipes—you know, not too much of this, a little of that—I ended up with a tasty cocktail that was just right!
Sparkling Holiday Cocktail
*note: 1 bottle of sparkling wine makes 10-12 cocktails