There’s something so refreshingly lovely about the champagne region of France. Is it the air? The people? The stunning champagne houses and the lifestyles inspired by champagne over the centuries? And there’s something particularly magical about the chalky caves below the area that millions of bottles of champagne are hiding in awaiting their time… While some say, once you’ve seen one you’ve seen them all… Perrier Jouët’s is particularly visually enticing… those signature belle epoque flowered bottles (and with their pastel green bottle caps during the process) just pop so beautifully, breathing life into the otherwise damp colorless chalky caves. SO take a peek into the cellars with me on the next page!
Entries tagged with: drinks
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First things first, sorry i’ve been quiet. Bottom line, ferverish for a few days that ends up being strep - sucks. Combined with a bit of travel craziness, and right into Grammy parties in LA, i might have overextended a little this month… BUT loading up on antibiotics, chicken soup, coconut water, pudding, etc… and hopefully back to normal by tomorrow?
That being said ~ Cotton Candy Foie Gras Lollipops at The Bazaar at the SLS in Beverly Hills are always awesome. Especially when you have the guy there making them non stop, its mesmerizing. Popped by Primary Wave’s annual Pre-Grammy Party, this year celebrating their 5 Year Anniversary. On fun stuff to share, it was a great chance to try out the new Absolut Wild Tea (black tea + elderflower!) in some of their new cocktails… and being The Bazaar the food was of course molecular gastronomy goodness… and my favorites have always been their Cotton Candy Foie Gras Lollies and the dark chocolate covered pop rocks… so i couldn’t help taking lots of pics of the Lollipop guy set up outside at the party doing his thing! Check it all out on the next page!
So many pictures from the last week in Mexico with Kahlúa… first the adventures in the rainforest with coffee plants… then a look into the factory with the giant roasting and grinding machines… and this last part was just too amusing to me not to share. You know i love peeking into the labs and scientific parts of these places… sample liquids in plastic water bottles, glass beakers, and all that fun stuff… oh, and getting to taste the 192 proof sugarcane based rum that is blended with the coffee, sugar cane syrup, and more to make Kahlúa. Anyhow, go take a peek inside the lab on the next page!
A continuation of Kahlúa Bean to Bottle Part I, where you saw how coffee comes from the plants in the field to be dried in their green state… next stop was Mexico City where we visited the Pernod Ricard factory where all Kahlúa for the world begins. This time it was insane to see how you make huge VATS of coffee from all those beans! From the huge bags of Green Coffee that has been aged a few months, to being roasted perfectly en masses, then ground, then cold pressed into enormous vats of espresso! Ready to see some of the large machinery up close? On to the next page!
I must admit that i was rather lacking in knowledge about how coffee comes to be. I love a nice cup of espresso, and Kahlúa Especial has always been a coffee-licious favorite to have around the house… but before today, i couldn’t have told you what a coffee tree looked like… and definitely couldn’t have identified the cherry like fruits! So when Kahlúa invited me down to Mexico to learn about the 7 year Bean to Bottle process, i couldn’t resist a Mexican adventure into the rainforest to catch up! It’s been an absolutely surreal day wandering the rainforest, learning about the coffee making process, and even learning to make tortillas during lunch up in the coffee sanctuary while looking down on coffee plants and sugar cane fields on a perfectly sunny day. SO many pictures taken, but before i crash (and early flight to mexico city in the morning!) here’s a peek at where coffee comes from… starting at the plant to the roasting… check out all the pics on the next page!
Leave it to The Macallan Ambassador, Graeme Russell, to always find me the fascinating design details in the world of Macallan. After yesterday’s Masters of Photography Albert Watson launch in NYC, we hopped a train up to Boston for a scotch tasting dinner at Mooo in the XV Beacon (where i’m currently curled up in the four poster bed with the toasty fireplace at my toes). Design discovery of the dinner? Vintage Roll n’ Pour Jigger… this particular design makes me think of a unicorn! Also, take a peek at the vintage Macallan’s (awesome labels and bottles) and photographs from the Watson limited edition series that adorn our table in their wine cellar on the next page…
p.s. Any Boston shopping tips? I have some free time tomorrow to wander Boston for the first time in years and years before hopping a train back to NYC on sunday…
So for a slightly different format than our usual weekly roundups, here’s a post from Tasteologie Editor, Jackson!
This past week at Tasteologie we’ve seen a great variety of wonderful food inspiration. The standout this week is an abundance of foods wrapped in carbs of some sort. Every culture seems to have their own take on this combination. Dough is great. It’s made from pantry staples, and has served for centuries to stretch out limited food supplies through the lean months. It once extended life spans, but is now an delicious opportunity for indulgence. The dumpling/calzone/empanada remains a great comfort food, connecting us to that part of our culinary history.
It is in that spirit that we turn a breakfast favorite inside out! Above you can see our incredibly easy, mini Gravy IN Biscuits, like a savory cream puff or bao! Simply fold semi-frozen veggie sausage gravy inside biscuit dough and then bake. The freezing of the gravy gives the biscuit dough time to set, and keeps the outside on the outside and the inside on the inside. They are best hot out the oven and have the same delicious familiar flavors of the classic breakfast… just slightly out of order.
Now take a look on the next page at some of the delicious inspiration we’ve encountered, as well as some Liqurious drinks!
CES was a lot more relaxed this year when Friday night i hid out with Oakley’s 3D Optics Team and Macallan in a suite party and so many amazing friends popped by too… also the perfect way to get a relaxed, fun view of their new 3D glasses while sipping some delicious Macallan 25 (omg, so good) and also play with their ice balls… and the vegas views from up in the Aria were a gorgeous sparkling backdrop! And in between, i couldn’t help taking a bunch of silly pictures you’ll have to peek at on the next page!
Oh! And i learned a lot about the 3D glasses world too… i’ll admit at first i couldn’t understand why i needed some if i didn’t have a 3D tv, but imaging going to someone’s house who does have one (and not enough glasses for everyone) or bringing your own that are more comfortable, better optics (and definitely look better) than the ones in theaters? Also, who knows where those others have been??? Whether i’m ready to have a pair handy in my purse at all times remains to be seen… and imagine a sports bar looking like this? But i’m definitely warming up to the idea of having my own for when those 3D situations do pop up! Anyhow, back to the pics! See more pics of the view, the glasses, the Macallan, and more on the next page!
Is Mavea new to you? It was to me… looked a lot like Brita? Then i found out the story “Brita started in 1966 when Heinz Hankammer had the idea of optimizing normal tap water. He named the company after his daughter Brita. Its headquarters are in Taunusstein near Wiesbaden in Germany. In 1988, The Clorox Company, based in Oakland, California, entered in a licensing-and-distribution agreement with the German company for North and South America. In 2000, Clorox acquired the sole rights to the brand in North America and Brita agreed to a noncompete clause until 2005. In 2008, Brita returned to the North American market under the brand Mavea.” (via Wikipedia) SO, Mavea pretty much IS Brita, anywhere except North America…
SO, that aside, when a Mavea Elemaris was sent over to me, i was intrigued what was the same, what was different… and the design and quality grabbed me instantly! Particularly this one feature… you can fill it without opening it! Due to a brilliant counter-weighted pod in the cap! Also the handle grip feels great, as well as the soft grip handle and non-slip base. I’m seeing it pop up around the supermarkets like Whole Foods lately, so even though the filters are a different shape from Brita, they are becoming almost as easily accessible. Water tastes great too… but the design details have won me over for this one! See more detailed pics on the next page!
Happy almost 2011! Trying to take a little break the next day or two, so let’s keep going with these Top 100s across the NOTCOT sites… today i’ve had fun looking back on the delicious drinks at Liqurious… i totally forgot about that deep fried BEER ravioli! And those Midori Sour Jello POPS! We’ve definitely come a long way from just making cocktails with our liquors! Explore the pics above to see what else we’ve seen in 2010!
I love when beautifully packaged delicious liqueurs come with nicely illustrated stories around their necks… like the Art in The Age of Mechanical Reproduction SNAP ~ a ginger snap spirit, from the makers of ROOT. Previously i showed you ROOT as well as a sample of Snap in a glass jar we tasted… since the production bottles were not yet ready… This time you can see the finished product! Popping the cork on this bottle, it smells like gingerbread houses wafting out, perfect for this wintry holiday season… the mix of blackstrap molasses, cloves, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, rooibos tea and vanilla is just irresistible! Perfect for getting creative with cocktails playing with everything from apple cider to toasty fireside drinks. The story was so cute (and educational!) had to share the booklet details with you… lovely illustrations… check it all out on the next page!
Sometimes that Christmas Spirit, comes in a bottle. Apparently for 2010, that was true. And the spirit came in the form of the Green Fairy. And it is delicious, and beautifully packaged, courtesy of Stranger & Stranger… it’s not enough that they make some of the most beautiful alcohol packaging around, every year for the last 12 years, they have also sent out a special Christmas Spirit, and i sip this year’s absinthe as i write this post. It’s delicious. Absinthe handmade in a single batch, not available for purchase… It is deliciously beautiful! When a bottle says “After one glass, you see things as you wish they were.” how can you resist? “Nectar, bitter-sweet - like the last kiss on the lips of a discarded mistress, is the secret charm of my existence; green as the moon’s light on a forest pool it glimmers in my glass; eagerly i quaff it, and, as i drink, i dream.” Marie Corelli, 1890.
See the close ups on the next page, and a very merry christmas to you!
Ice balls are definitely a huge 2010 trend! Down to the last week of 2010! From The Macallan Ice Ball Machine to the Muji Silicone Ice Ball Mold… and freshly arrived from Maker’s Mark, Bourbon Ball Mold! Also i recently acquired some Fred & Friends Brain Freeze ice brains as another ice ball alternative for scotch and bourbon sipping. So check out the Maker’s Mark and Brain Freeze variations on the next page!
‘Tis the season for a bit of overindulgence and there is no better way to get started than with some gorgeous, droolworthy inspiration from Tasteologie and Liqurious. To find out more about each temptation, click on its individual image.
The Saatchi & Saatchi LA xmas email came out yesterday, and this year they are “giving back by making donations to three nonprofit charities on your behalf: The Amanda Foundation, Free Arts for Abused Children and New Directions“… and then they announced NOG PONG! Exactly what it sounds like, only it’s always our turn, and they get to do all the eggnog drinking…
Teaming up with Deep Local (yup, our new favorite people from Project Reindeer, etc) - “Nogbot started as an off-the-shelf ping-pong practice machine. In one weekend, we reverse engineered the machine and replaced its guts with our own wiring and microcontroller. The new microcontroller allowed us to programmatically control the motors, switches and servos to do our bidding. We created a web-based API to communicate with Nogbot allowing an external program to fire balls at different speeds and directions.” Awesome, right? Well they’ve also shared some pics of what the NogBot looks like! (He’s your real world arm launching those balls as you click from behind your monitor.) As well as videos of the game in action, and the making of! Check it all out on the next page… love these projects that really pull the digital and physical closer in such playful ways!
Love these french ads for Martell XO that i ran into on I Believe in Adv. Such a fun concept to show that it’s “The same pleasure since 1715”, having the more modern day scene reflect the world in the painting from the 1700s! I supposed the question is did they take it too far? or not far enough? Part of my wishes in the paintings, there would be a painting of an even OLDER time with the same scenario inside… or that the dresses and suites were matching in color… though that might just be because of the girl in the pink dress matching… and a guy in a red suit might be a bit much! See the second ad, as well as close ups of the paintings on the next page!
On beautiful holiday editions, Perrier Jouët’s Dandy Champagne Bag is stunning! It’s a “lavish leather bag containing a bottle of Perrier Jouët Fleur de Champagne, two glasses and a notebook on the art of drinking champagne,” along with two hats and two artistic flutes from ad hoc Borsalino. It is a limited series of 40 for the whole world! The bag is made by leatherwork designer, Isaac Reina, and is numbered and signed. The details are just lovely! The Dandy’s Champagne Notebook by David Piper has illustration by Kareem Ilya, who did the Perrier Jouët’s Dandy Ball paintings which are absolutely gorgeous! See more details of this new Holiday 2010 Perrier Jouët’s Dandy Champagne Bag on the next page!
On fun birthday surprises, this gorgeous gift box of The Macallan 18 arrived earlier, and there is something so dazzling about it i can’t stop staring. Especially alongside the Absolut Glimmer, sparkly is definitely going around this season. Also the 2D 3D cube patterns… like the Samsung Tweet Wraps! Well this gift box is mesmerizing, between the various shades of purple and silver, embossed and matte, the pretty little ribbon pull tab and built in card, who wouldn’t smile receiving one? A few fun snap shots of the real thing on the next page!
Gift Guide time! In addition to the NOTCOT Holiday Coupons and the many Holiday Giveaways that will be unfolding daily… today’s gift guide is all about deliciousness (that you can order and have surprise someone at their doorstep)!!! It’d hard for anyone to turn down delectable delights ~ especially when they are this beautiful or surprising! (You won’t believe some of the flavors!!!) See it all on the next page…