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The Bulleit Rye Mint Julep for Derby weekend

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Bulleit Rye Mint JulepWe love celebrating the Kentucky Derby, and one critical component has to be enjoying a Mint Julep which is the drink you’ll see everywhere during Derby weekend.

Here’s a great recipe:

Ingredients:
1.5 oz. Bulleit Rye
2 oz. Stirrings Simple Syrup
Fresh mint leaves

Preparation: Muddle mint leaves, Stirrings Simple Syrup and crushed ice in rocks glass. Add Bulleit Rye and fill glass with ice. Pour into cocktail shaker, shake vigorously and serve in rocks glass with fresh mint garnish.

Of course, a big part of Derby weekend is betting on the race, and the folks at Bulleit teamed up with professional handicapper Tony Gold to give us six tips on picking a Derby winner:

1. Peaking performance: The most important rule of all is to find the horse that will peak in the Derby meaning, look for horses who improved with each race with either a strong first, second or third finish after a long layoff, with more room to improve. You can eliminate half the field simply by doing this.
2. Age factor: If the horse is two years old and hasn’t raced, the chances of it winning are slim. These are not fully mature horses and getting to a mile and a quarter requires much conditioning.
3. Time comparison: Log resulting times from each horse’s last prep race with the rest of the board.
4. Prep race outcomes: Look at what prep races historically produce the most winners.
5. Jockey experience: Consider the jockey’s skill set from previous races. The derby is a large field and a good experienced jockey can position a horse well early and avoid trouble, which can make or a break a horse’s chances.
6. Tactical speed: A Derby winner will jump early and can be found somewhere from mid-field to the second or third place by halfway around the course.

Of course, your girlfriend might do better just picking based on a cool name, but that’s what makes this race so much fun. Enjoy!

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Try a CoronaRita for Cinco de Mayo

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211_CoronaRita on the beach 4_iso_sml

When you look at this photo, you can’t help but think about partying on Cinco de Mayo. If you love partying like we do, you definitely love this holiday, and this drink can definitely add to the festivities.

The CoronaRita is a fun twist on the Cinco de Mayo standard, the Margarita, so it will definitely get some attention. Here’s the recipe:

• 6 parts Corona or Corona Light
• 1 part Tequila
• 2 parts Margaritaville® Margarita Mix
• 1 part Triple Sec
• 1 Lime Wedge

Method: In a cocktail shaker, pour the first three ingredients (please do not pour beer in the shaker). Shake vigorously until ice cold. Strain into tall glass with 1/3 ice. Top with Corona beer.

So check it out and have a fun and safe Cinco de Mayo!

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Holiday drinks with Van Gogh Dutch Caramel Vodka

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HOT CARAMEL BUTTERED RUMSo it’s the last weekend before Christmas, so it’s time to get serious about getting gifts.

We’re always fans about giving booze gifts, and if you’re buying for women in particular, you can’t go wrong with flavored vodka. Van Gogh has tons of great flavors, and we recently tried their delicious Dutch Caramel Vodka. Trust us – this stuff will bring a smile to her face. Even better, take some to the next holiday party you go to and you’re guaranteed to be a big hit.

While you’re at it, learn to make the cocktail picture above.

HOT CARAMEL BUTTERED RUM

Ingredients:
3 oz Ron Abuelo Añejo rum

1 oz Van Gogh Dutch Caramel Vodka

1/4 stick Unsalted Butter, softened

2 Tbsp Brown Sugar

2 Tbsp Honey
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon

1/2 tsp Ground Cloves
1/2 tsp Nutmeg

Cinnamon Stick

Directions:

Combine all ingredients (excluding rum and vodka) into a hot drinking cup or mug. Mix together with a spoon then add Ron Abuelo Añejo and Van Gogh Dutch Caramel Vodka. Pour in hot water (1 cup or more to personal taste) and stir vigorously until the mixture has dissolved. Garnish with cinnamon stick.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Stars and Stripes and Tequila on this Fourth of July

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Hopefully you have some great plans for today’s holiday with friends and family. We’d like to offer up a suggestion from our friends at Hornitos Premium Tequila for some refreshing drinks to add to your cookout or gathering. These Stars and Stripes cocktails were created by mixologist Laura Cruz from New York.

Stars:
1.5 parts Hornitos® Anejo Tequila
½ part Agave Nectar
½ part Lime Juice
6-8 Blueberries

Directions:
Muddle blueberries and lime juice in a glass. Add tequila and agave nectar. Add ice and shake vigorously. Strain into shot glass.

Stripes:
2 parts Hornitos® Reposado Tequila
1.5 parts Bloody Mary Mix
½ part lime juice

Directions:
Shake and serve in shot glass half rimmed with a salt, pepper and cayenne mixture.

As you can see from the photo above, the drinks can look very cool and would be a great edition to your holiday festivities. Now be careful with those fireworks . . .

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The Patriot Cooler with Van Gogh Cool Peach Vodka

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With the Fourth of July coming up this week, it’s a good idea to prepare some summer cocktails for you and your guests at the cookout. The good folks at Van Gogh Vodka sent us some samples with their new vodka flavors to try out with some great drink recipes.

Our favorite by far was the Patriot Cooler made with Van Gogh’s new Cool Peach vodka with naturally infused peach flavor. This is one of over 20 flavored vodkas produced by Van Gogh. First we tried it on the rocks and it was delicious, and then we tried the drink recipe:

Patriotic Cooler

Mixologist: The Cocktail Guru Jonathan Pogash

1 1/2 oz. Van Gogh Cool Peach Vodka
1 oz. Pomegranate juice
2 oz. Ginger Ale or Ginger Beer

Directions: Build all ingredients over ice into a rocks glass. Garnish with a lime wedge.

It’s a tasty and perfectly refreshing cocktail that will be a hit at any cookout or get together.

We then tried the PB&J flavor (that’s peanut butter and jelly), and frankly this one wasn’t nearly as good. Basically, PB&J is better off staying in the lunchbox and away from vodka. But that’s just our opinion. Hopefully next time we can try the chocolate flavor pictured below!

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