Fall is upon us and with the changing of the leaves comes a changing of the palette. Our tastebuds yearn for flavors that are warmer and more full-bodied. Spicier and more herbal. And no, I'm not talking about Pumpkin Spice Lattes. I'm talking about Fernet Branca. The Italian mother of all digestifs.Read More
Filtering by Tag: cocktails
If you have followed any of my social media over the last 8 months you will know that I'm beyond obsessed with Switzerland. I was fortunate enough to be invited TWICE by Switzerland Tourism to explore and fall deeply in love with their country.
It's incredibly difficult to not be enchanted and immediately mesmerized by the scenery, the culture, the food, the adventure, and most of all, the people. Truly some of the friendliest and well cultured people in all the world. Since Switzerland is an international melting pot, you get to experience so many cultures, languages, cuisines, and people all within the borders of this tiny Alpine nation.
The purpose of this blog is to help recreate my journey that traverses 4 cities and 2 seasons. I intend to show you the extent of my adventures through the dynamic videos that my team and I created over our 2 visits to Switzerland.
I'll start with our most recent trip this winter in December 2016. We started off in Zurich for the purpose of being the FIRST people to partake in the inaugural ride of high speed train that goes through the brand new Gotthard Base Tunnel. This tunnel has been a dream of the Swiss for over a century and is finally a reality. See why Swiss Travel System has been elevated by this incredible feat of engineering.
Next, we took the Glacier Express train all the way to the Swiss/Italian border to the stunning Alpine city of Zermatt. One of the most revered ski/snowboard resorts in the world. Not only is the mountain infrastructure the most advanced I've seen at any ski resort, but the views were surreal. Not to mention, waking up to the sight of the Matterhorn was like a dream in and of itself.
And if you didn't see my Eat Travel Rock TV episodes from the summer, well, here you go! First up is the rolling hills of Bad Ragaz. A breathtaking country side that was the backdrop for the world famous novel, Heidi. Famous for their healing thermal waters, I indulged in the world's most luxurious spas. This episode also features several Swiss Deluxe Hotels, not only in Bad Ragaz, but in Gstaad and Zurich. This hotel company encompasses some of the most prestigious hotels in all of Europe.
Gstaad is THE MOST picturesque town that is oozing with prestige and luxury that I have ever seen. Not only does the small village house some of the world's most posh name brands, but the hotels and restaurants are in a class of their own. However, in this episode, I explored the countryside, and even milked a goat... yes the ones used to make some of the greatest cheese on the planet. You don't want to miss this one!
Hope you enjoyed my travels around Switzerland and I hope it inspires you to make it your next international destination. If you've been to Switzerland or want to go, please comment below and let me know your thoughts, thanks!
Staying connected to your girlfriends does not only make for a great time, but it makes for a healthy and sane mind. It's so important to nurture your female relationships as those ladies will be there for your through thick and thin, No matter what is going on in my life, I know that my close friends are by my side no matter what. And having a fun GNO on the reg is necessary to let loose and nurture that bond.Read More
As seen on my last two appearances on VH1 Big Morning Buzz Live with Nick Lachey, Here are the recipes for my last 4 yummy cocktails! See full link here.
1 oz. Monkey 47 Gin
1/2 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice
1/2 oz. Simple Syrup
3 oz. Veuve Cliquot Rosé (or any Rosè Champagne or sparkling wine)
Shake first 3 ingredients with ice and strain into a champagne flute. Fill remainder of glass with champagne.
Garnish with Edible Flowers
1 oz. St. Germain
1 oz Vodka (optional)
1 oz. Lavender Syrup
3 oz. Zipang Sparkling Sake
Shake first 3 ingredients with ice and strain into a rocks glass. Fill remainder with Zipang Sparkling Sake.
Garnish with fresh mint
1 oz. creme de menthe
1 oz. vanilla vodka
1 pint vanilla ice cream
1/2 cup milk
Blend all together in blender. Pour into tall collins glass.
Garnish with whipped cream & Maraschino cherry.
IRISH CAR BOMB FLOAT
12 oz. Guinness
1-2 scoops Tipsy Scoop Irish Car Bomb flavored
1 oz Jagermeister Spice
Put 1-2 scoops of Tipsy Scoop in your glass. Top with Guinness with a splash of Jager to finish it off.
Happy Spring, and Slainte!!
I love the unexpected. Especially when the unexpected is a good thing... or better yet, a delicious thing. Last week I was taking my new production assistant, Raquel, for a beer to talk "shop". I thought I'd stop into a friendly watering hole, and by friendly I mean the bartender, Liz, is a close friend and the owner, Joel is a fellow Hawkeye. For those of you who have been to Theory, you probably think of it as a late night Hubbard Street spot or a bustling sports bar that's an awesome place to catch a game while listening to loud hip-hop (all good things). This is how I always thought of Theory.... more of an upscale sports bar with typical "bar" food. Not where I would necessarily go for a great dinner or a unique libation.
So much to my surprise, my casual beer turned into some delicious cocktails and about 10 plates of insanely good food. Right when I sat down and tried to order us two craft beers, Liz said, "No way girl! You're trying one of these new cocktails...this one is named after me!" Low and behold, we had the "Smashed Lizard", the name rings true because after one of these made with Patron silver, Patron citronage, ginger beer with fresh muddled oranges and limes, you may be a bit smashed. Then Liz and Joel gave me a menu and when I looked it over I was shocked. These dishes were not what I was expecting, and NOT typical bar food. I was also intrigued by the fact that they specialize in BBQ. How did I not know this?! They smoke all their own meats, in house, low and slow over hickory smoke. "Alright Raquel, get ready... we're eatin' good tonight!" Even though this was her first dining experience with me, she is aware of my reputation, and immediately had a look of concern on her face. She knew it was about to go down. But, being the good sport that she is, she happily indulged with me, dish after dish, until we were no longer mobile.
Our first taste was my favorite nacho to date. I say "nacho" because they are served individually. Perfectly proportioned little bites of heaven... all on one chip. Theirs include a spicy fried shrimp, a slice of jalapeno, sour cream, pico de gallo, and oozy melty cheese (not the sparse shredded cheese you see on many nachos)... all finished off with a tasty salsa verde. One of the reasons why I don't order nachos, even though they are all of my favorite food in one pile, is that you always end up fighting with your friends over the "best" chip or most densely populated area of the pile. With Theory's nachos... all of your friendships can remain in tact.
Next, was an outstanding mac and cheese, and yes, I consider myself a connoisseur of this soothing comfort food. Theory's version kicked it up several notches (sorry Emeril) by using spicy Cajun shrimp in the thick creamy cheesy sauce. Finally a BBQ smorgasbord followed. I was unprepared for just how good this BBQ was going to be. I was also unprepared for BBQ pulled pork, tater tot Poutine!! WHATTT??? As if Poutine couldn't get any better with just fries, they had to go and add tater tots!? It was almost too much flavor and deliciousness in one bowl. But the glory of their BBQ really shined through in the simple dishes. The BBQ pulled pork slider was simple, and perfect. Yes, it's very saucy... but not the kind of saucy where they're trying to cover up or add to the flavor of the meat. They just have a damn good sauce and like to put a lot on it. Lastly, the BBQ ribs. Wow. These baby-back babies were intense with flavor, not too much sauce, but had one hell of a spicy kick.... which made me happy and thirsty at the same time. But of course, the cole slaw is right there to help you cool down.
Here are the pros. I found an amazing River North spot for BBQ. I now know the place to go when I want a delicious yet casual meal with a good cocktail in my neighborhood. Here are the cons. I may have scared my new production assistant away as Raquel was expecting a quick beer and she got a full on BBQ festival. But hey, if you're gonna work with me, ya gotta keep up!!! Thanks Theory!