Cocktails

Nonfiction Bragging–Bloomberg Businessweek Quote!

It’s been a while since I’ve shared a bragging post. This one is courtesy of my being quoted in a recent Bloomberg Businessweek article on the origins and staying power of RumChata.  You may recall that I reviewed RumChata back in 2012, and you can read that review by clicking on the picture.

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What did I have to say about RumChata for Bloomberg Businessweek? It’s just a quick quote on its versatility:

The drink also simplifies home cocktail making, says Eden Laurin, managing partner of the Violet Hour, a cocktail bar in Chicago’s hip Wicker Park neighborhood. Drinks with more than three ingredients are confusing to make, Laurin says, so having one spirit with several flavors is appealing. “It cuts out a step by already having cream, spice, and rum combined in pleasant ratios,” says Rebecca Gomez Farrell, a food and drink blogger in California.

Swing by the article to learn more about this unique–and fast-selling–cream liquor.

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1 Weekend, 8 New Raleigh Hotspots

Last summer, the husband and I moved away from the Research Triangle Park area of North Carolina after spending eight years watching the cities expand and their food scenes skyrocket off the heat-charts. Seriously, the New York Times is obsessed with the place! So I was excited to head back for the weekend in mid-September—my head’s still spinning from the other side of the country over all the new foodie destinations that have sprung up just this past year.

Downtown Raleigh

Downtown Raleigh

While my husband gave a presentation at NC DevCon, I decided to spend my weekend exploring as many of downtown Raleigh’s newly opened spots as possible. Why Raleigh and not the rest of the Triangle? I had no car and was staying downtown. It’s that simple. I needed to focus on places I could walk to.

After our flight in, my first stop was Jose and Sons (327 W. Davie St.) for dinner. It’s the newest incarnation of one of my favorite Triangle restaurants, Jibarra, located in the fast-redeveloping Warehouse District right by the train depot.

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Jose and Sons is now more Southern-Mexican fusion, whereas it had been pure upscale Mexican food in the past. While I remain skeptical about the value of $8 guacamole—

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–and the shrimps and grits didn’t have nearly enough heat for me—

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–I have to give solid props to the Booze and Mango cocktail.

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That’s dessert in a glass, and it’s a beautifully balanced one, too. Vanilla rum, Grand Marnier, cream, and what Jose and Son’s calls a mango popsicle and I’d call a mango-flavored ice cube make for a worthy night cap.

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Vita Frute Cocktails

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A few years ago, I reviewed a few drinks made with Veev aḉai liqueur at Ruby Tuesday’s back when the brand first launched. I enjoyed those drinks and how clean the spirit tasted. It imparted a crisp and mild berry flavor to the cocktails that I found quite appealing.

Fast forward to this last winter, and Veev has done well enough to introduce Vita Frute, a line of pre-mixed cocktails that all feature Veev and a simple list of ingredients. Klout Perks and Veev offered free bottles to a few cocktail reviewers, and I was happy to participate. And thus you have been served my obligatory disclaimer that I did not pay for these cocktails.

There were only two varieties available at the CVS where I exchanged my coupon for bottles of Vita Frute, so I did not have the chance to review their cosmopolitan flavor also on the market. But I probably would have chosen to try the margarita blend regardless.

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The ingredients are Veev, tequila (I have no idea what brand; it was definitely silver), lime and lemon juices, and agave syrup. There is nothing I dislike about it. The Veev’s soft berry combines well with those classic margarita elements, mellowing the normally strong punch of tequila in a margarita. I could see that quality being welcomed by some and loathed by others. I think it would depend on my mood as to whether this style of margarita would be preferred…and also the weather. On a sweltering hot day, I’d prefer the Vita Frute to a classic margarita. The drink is light and not only in calories (125 per 3 oz.). It bursts with citrus that puts a smile on my face.

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