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Thursday, November 27, 2014

Drinks Make It All The Merrier: Holiday Cocktail Recipes

With all the traveling, deadlines, gift-buying, revelry, eating, game-watching, gift-giving and more eating that will be going on for the holidays, there's one more thing to be thankful for.  Yes, yes, yes of course you're thankful for health, family, warmth, generosity blah blah blah but let's keep it real right now.  With all the aforementioned in addition to the holiday season's frenetic pace, cold weather woes and über-marketing shenanigans aren't we also very thankful for that special partaking.  Not any Secret Santa exchange or singing caroles as a family or even gathering around the hearth.  True gratefulness is the ability to make all the revelry seem not so draining with the partaking of a nice stiff cocktail.


Un-festive?  Hardly!  The holiday season would not be complete without the traditional egg nog, hot toddies or glogg.  However, if those are or aren't your things, then why not create your own personal holiday spirit with the spirit of your choice.  I know I'd like to see my number one drink choices of tequila and whiskey don something more festive after it fills up my glass.  Recently, I had the distinct pleasure of sampling a Four Roses, a full and fragrant single barrel Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey.  Then I imbibed in the crisp, smooth fresh punch of Casa Noble's Triple distilled Reposado Tequila.  The following two recipes offer a great tasting familiar and a shake up to the mundane holiday offerings and will most assuredly make the holidays less "ugh" and more "ahh". 


Four Calling Birds (recipe from Jay Silverman from Agave, NY)
1.5 oz Casa Noble Reposado
1 oz Manzanilla Sherry
Old
-
Fashioned Eggnog
6 eggs
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 pint cream
1 pint milk
2 cups Four Roses
Small Batch
1 oz. aged Jamaica rum
Beat the yolks and whites of 6 eggs separately. Add 1/2 cup of sugar
they have been beaten very stiff. Combine the egg whites with the
3/4 oz Apricot Liqueur
Lime Zest

Stir together the tequila, sherry and apricot liqueur until chilled and serve straight up in a martini glass or on the rocks.  Using a zester or microplane garnish with lime zest.



Old-Fashioned Egg Nog 
6 eggs
3/4 cup granulated sugar 
1 pint cream
1 pint milk
2 cups Four Roses Whiskey
1 oz aged Jamaican Rum

Beat the yolks and white of 6 eggs separately.  Add 1/2 cup of sugar to the yolks while beating.  Add 1/4 cup os sugar to the whites after they have been beaten very stiff.  Combine the egg whites with the yolks.  Pour in cream and milk, as well as the bourbon and rum.  Stir thoroughly.  Serve very cold with grated nutmeg and/or cinnamon. 


Enjoy your holiday drinks folks and please remember to always drink responsibly!
Four  calling  Birds
-­‐
Jay  
S
ilverman
from  Agave,  NYC
1.5  oz.  Casa  Noble  reposado
1  oz.  Manzanilla  Sherry
3/4  oz
.  Apricot  liqueur
Lime  zest
Stir  together  the  tequila
,
sherry,  and  apricot  liqueur  until  chilled  and  serve  straight  
up  in  a  martini  glass  or  on  the  rocks.
Using  a  zester  or  microplane  garnish  with  lime  
zest
Four  calling  Birds
-­‐
Jay  
S
ilverman
from  Agave,  NYC
1.5  oz.  Casa  Noble  reposado
1  oz.  Manzanilla  Sherry
3/4  oz
.  Apricot  liqueur
Lime  zest
Stir  together  the  tequila
,
sherry,  and  apricot  liqueur  until  chilled  and  serve  straight  
up  in  a  martini  glass  or  on  the  rocks.
Using  a  zester  or  microplane  garnish  with  lime  
zest


Four  calling  Birds
-­‐
Jay  
S
ilverman
from  Agave,  NYC
1.5  oz.  Casa  Noble  reposado
1  oz.  Manzanilla  Sherry
3/4  oz
.  Apricot  liqueur
Lime  zest
Stir  together  the  tequila
,
sher  and  apricot  liqueur  until  chilled  and  serve  straight  
up  in  a  martini  glass  or  on  the  rocks.
Using  a  zester  or  microplane  garnish  with  lime  
zest

Monday, November 17, 2014

The New Creature Comforts: Schaller & Weber Masters of Charcuterie

Macaroni and Cheese.  Mashed Potatoes.  Warm Apple Pie.  Hearty Country Stew.  Lasagna.  Classic and rustic.  All-American and cozy.  Hefty and filling.  Comfort foods have rarely changed although they are often tweaked by 'Auntie This' or 'Nana That' with spices and pantry secrets.  They almost seem to stick by a set of rules to achieve that comfort factor with the ensuing result of such rules being a happy case of 'on the couch'-itis.  While issues may have arisen like the 'free-zoning' (gluten, dairy, sugar, etc.), there always seems to be that satisfaction factor that is always sought out with a good comfort food no matter what ingredient you have to omit or substitute.

As you get older and times change you personally tweak your comfort food choices to suit the areas of your life that you have come to swear by for culinary nirvana.  So it makes sense that as flavors become more accessible on a global level, we adopt them into our rotation for greater stomach satisfaction.  For me personally, I have come to love my cured meats, cheesy everything and a well-made cocktail.  Bacon not only makes me salivate but it mentally satisfies me as well as a great pizza with a delicious array of tantalizing toppings.  Then round everything off with a great 'lay back and relax in my chair' Old Fashioned, G & T, Dark & Stormy or Margarita.  

I recently discovered some new foods to add to my comfort food rotation.  My new comfort foods are from the over 70 year old New York-based master charcuterie of Schaller & Weber.  Before you Google charcuterie just know that basically this company does meat and does it well.  A world of 'wursts', sausages for the gods and brats with bite are among just a few of the things that Schaller & Weber has been succeeding at since 1937.  They offer a bevy of culinary meat varieties like great sausages, amazing cold cuts, flavorful salamis & cervelats and unforgettable cooked & smoked meats.  Then since you can't have meats without the trimmings, Schaller & Weber offers delicious mustards, pickles and sauerkrauts as well.


That night I discovered my new comfort, I fell in love in particular with two facets of the company that keeps them winning awards.  They offer deliciously smooth and rich pâtés & spreads, one of which I absolutely fell in love with at first bite.  Their Liver Pâté with Truffles is just simply out of the world good.  The fragrant distinct truffle doesn't overpower the full iron flavor and delightfully light texture of the liver.  They both conspired to make a really noteworthy pâté.  The second comfort no brainer that night was Schaller & Weber's Double Smoked Bacon.  Perfectly smoky & sinful and wonderfully salty & flavorful, this had to be quite possibly the best bacon I had ever tasted (and let me tell ya', poppa has tasted his share of bacons). 

You can't let just anyone determine comfort for you or anything define comfort for you.  Your comfort foods have to speak to what makes you comfortable and what satisfies you.  The winning line-up from Schaller & Weber coupled with their tenure in the world of charcuterie is what seals the deal and makes the comfort-factor believable.  Next is the taste.  The satisfying taste.  Get comfy!

Schaller & Weber products are available now online here, at the address below and select locations nationwide.  Check the list of restaurants and retailers here.

Schaller & Weber
1654 Second Avenue @ 86th Street 
New York, NY 10002
212.879.3047

Monday, November 10, 2014

Frenetically Shoed: United Nude Sample Sale

So it should be no surprise that I fully support the notion that shoes make the world go round.  They're the cherry toppers, that finishing touch and the often overlooked bit of something that makes or breaks an outfit.  Men express themselves with ties, pocket squares, hats, cuff links and color but let's never forget the lower halves of our bodies.  Shoes express and inspire and continue to provide a telling look at the mind of the well-dressed man.  

With that said, why not add to your shoe collection?  I know I will starting the 18th as United Nude will have one of their largest sample sales ever in New York City.  Charismatic, whimsical, dapper and refreshing, United Nude's footwear always walks the good lines of design and comfort.  Check out the deets below:


United Nude Sample Sale
November 18-23
146 West 29th Street 
New York, NY 10001
www.UnitedNude.com

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

The Day Is Only As Strong As The Bag: Martella Bags Fall/Winter 2014


At the end of the day I usually unpack my bag and see what story it has to tell.  Maybe it's the on-the-go New Yorker in me, but the contents of my bag can at most times sum up my day.  The taxi receipts, the sometimes forgotten to-do list, the PR paraphernalia, the PR swag or even that magazine I meant to peruse through usually come tumbling out.  It's at this point that I recollect actually buying this or that or going to one event or several.  Perhaps conveniently forgetting my day until it's strewn all over my bed is a New Yorker thing too.  I could be waiting to be surprised by something or may have been too preoccupied to deal with that something then, so into the bag it went.  Well the how and why is usually not as important as the eventually sifting through it for had it not been for my cross-body or hand held bottomless pit it would all have never reached home in the first place.

While every need for the 'Sherpa'-like bag may not be on every man's list, there is something to be said of a bag that can both house my day and still leave me looking appropriate for the affair.  Sometimes I never know how my day will unfold or where it will leave me exhausted and battered but I'd also like to think that everything I tote with me that represents me could take the sophisticated licking too.  It could be a simple evening of a few events or a full day in & out of appointments, rush hours, cabs and subways.  The life of this New York stylist/menswear reporter is usually only stylish at the destination.

Perhaps this is one reason I like Martella Bags.  They're designed with the intent to help one get through their day without sacrificing the fact that good design is, well, designed.  So they have architecturally arched bags (Rotondo) that can be carried by hand until too heavy so then you conveniently turn it into a cool backpack.  Do the same with the compartmentalized soft briefcase (Due Terzzi) and possibly pull a two part document holder (Gemelli) out of it for that quick lunchtime press preview.  However, just make sure to carry the strap that conveniently turns the docu-holder into a tote since you may have to grab lunch on the fly before heading back to the office.

The scenarios the were conceived by Martella's designer Idan Yosefov are well hatched and considerate of the possible changing outcomes of a person's full day.  This is why not only do his exquisite leather bags allow a person to adjust them to suit their ever-changing day, but they also have a non-gender appeal to them.  His bags like the Rotondo, Cavallini or the Vecchietto in rich quality skins or even a shiny crisp pony hair appeal to the tactile and visual sensibitlities of individuals rather than a specific gender.  Yosefov realizes that attaching a label to what is a man's bag or a women's bag is societal but that the bags that house our lives should be more personal and connect with our inner needs and desires. 

My scenario is that I actually own Martella's wonderful natural color leather Doctors bag.  Last Wednesday I had a round of press previews to attend while subsequently preparing for my Halloween festivities.  Not only did my Doctors Bag house the brochures from the day, but also some 'day to day' sundries, two bottles of gifted tequila that I wasn't even expecting from a dear friend and part of my Halloween costume.  Then the sweet little design detail so thoughtfully attached to the bottom of the bag discreetly housed my mini umbrella since the chance of rain was high.  That's the appeal of Martella bags; it makes thinking about how to house the effects of your day a little easier while remaining savvy, functional and attractive.  Which in a sense is kind of how I want my day to turn out anyway.


Check out and shop Martella's Fall/Holiday 2014-15 US debut at www.MartellaBags.com.  Enter promo code USADEBUT and save $300 off a select Martella Bag purchase.