Tag Archives: cocktails

Classic take on Gin & Tonic with Barr Hill Gin

cocktailEnjoy this new take on a classic cocktail. Caledonia Spirits Barr Hill Gin from Vermont makes an unique gin that incorporates raw honey which gives it a subtle floral quality. I suggest combining it with a quality tonic water and meyer lemon. Although this is a classic summer drink, I’ll be enjoying it through out the fall.

I was first introduced to this gin at Mare Oyster Bar in the North End. They have modified a popular vodka drink, The Moscow Mule, and use Barr Hill Gin with Ginger Beer, Lime, Black Tea Syrup and Boston Bitters to make their cocktail, Boston Buck, which I posted on Instagram, here.

Both cocktails are delicious, but my mixing skills are somewhat remedial so I’ll be sticking with the classic G&T this weekend.

I love Cinquecento’s patio bar

cinquecento patio barIt is surprising to me how few people in the neighborhood seem to be aware of Cinquecento’s patio bar which is made from a repurposed shipping container. The 12-seat bar complete with comfortable patio furniture is Sergio and my favorite place to grab a drink outside.

Boston Magazine had a great write-up about their bar in June; complete with far better photos than the one I asked Sergio to take on my iPhone (when will the iPhone come with a decent camera?) If you’ve not checked out the bar, I’d suggest giving it a try. It is the only outdoor bar that I know of in the neighborhood.

Drinking preference of Americans by state


Click on image to enlarge


Vinepair has created a map to show the the drinking preferences of Americans by state.  The states are classified into four different colors to show their preference in wine, beer, spirit or other alcohol.

What do you make of your state’s preference? While I do like beer, I have to admit I’m far more likely to have either a glass of wine or dry martini.

Hotel Unique and SKYE Bar in Sao Paulo

Unique Hotel Sao PauloI always enjoy spending a few days in Sao Paulo, Brazil, but if you don’t know where to go it can seem like a massive concrete jungle that is tough to navigate. Fortunately that isn’t a problem for me since I’ve been several times and have good friends who are Paulistas.

Cocktails in Sao Paulo taste sweeter from atop the SKYE bar.

On our recent visit to Sao Paulo we met friends for cocktails at the SKYE Bar atop Sao Paulo’s Unique Hotel.  Located near Ibirapuera Park, the roofdeck bar offers some pretty spectacular views of the city’s skyline (see above).

Hotel Unique Sao PauloWhen you drive up to Unique Hotel you realize the name is accurate – regardless of what you make of the architecture – which I loved by the way.  Our taxi driver referred to it as “melancia” (watermelon), which made me laugh.  The bar is sleek and designed to impress from the minute you enter through the marble hallway and walk through the dining room.  Red lights reflect off the lap pool that runs the length of the deck beside comfortable furniture that is available on a first come first serve basis. Hotel UniqueIf for some reason, the weather is not cooperating but you would like to visit the hotel, they have an impressive second option in the hotel lobby on the ground level worth checking out. You can grab a seat at their large bar or sit down in their library which has plush red seats and can be seen in the image below to the right.

Sao Paulo Regardless of the weather, this is a great place I would recommend for cocktails.

Wine review: 2012 Anthill Farms Pinot Noir

wine review, california wineLast week I had a dinner with colleagues and we ordered a couple bottles of the 2012 Anthill Farms Pinot Noir.  My colleague who selected the wine indicated that Anthill Farms is one of her favorite wineries.

The color of the wine was hard to discern in the restaurant’s subdued lighting but its cherry-like aromas were easy to pick up and accompanied my dinner so nicely from start to finish this wine could be summed up in one word: versatile. The flavors never overpower you but they linger with a soft finish. I will remember the 2012 Anthill Farms Pinot Noir as my favorite in recent memory.

If you are looking for a nice host gift or present for a friend during the holidays this would be appreciated.  The appeal of this wine was universal at our dinner table, and I know I’ll keep my eye out for it in the future. The 2012 Anthill Farms Pinot Noir from their Comptche Ridge Vineyard in Mendocino County retails for $50-$60 and is widely available in the US.


1999 Billecart-Salmon “Cuvée Nicolas François Billecart” NFB Brut Champagne

Champagne Billecart-Salmon Brut 1999Recently my sister and her fiancé came to visit us.  To celebrate their recent engagement we popped a bottle of 1999 Billecart-Salmon Champagne.  While Sergio and I truly enjoy Champagne, we had not tried this before.

The Champagne is 60% pinot noir and 40% chardonnay and has a whitish-gold coloring that you can see from my photograph shown below.  The taste is crisp and finishes with a light minerality that I really enjoyed.  My preference was to drink this Champagne unaccompanied, appreciating its flavors and watching the bubbles dance vertically up my champagne flute.

Unfortunately I do not recall how we acquired this bottle and assume it must have been brought to our home from a friend or guest so I cannot offer advice on where to purchase it, but a quick look online shows this for sale from $60-$90.  My sincere thanks to whomever brought this to our home we truly enjoyed it.

This would make for a generous gift for friends who enjoy Champagne whom you may be contemplating buying something during the holiday season.

1999 Billecart-Salmon "Cuvée Nicolas François Billecart" NFB Brut Champagne

Repeal Day celebration at Gibson House Museum

cocktailFriend and fellow blogger, Etiquetteer, has asked me to help promote the Repeal Day Celebration at the Gibson House Museum in Boston, on Wednesday, December 3, from 6:30 – 8:30 PM.

Space at this event is limited, so I would encourage you to reserve tickets today ($125 patron; $200 sponsor) by contacting the Gibson House at info@thegibsonhouse.org.

The Gibson House Museum is located at 137 Beacon Street, between Arlington and Berkeley streets, in the Back Bay.  There is more information about the event on etiquetteer.com.