Category Archives: Cocktails

Get Stuffed Like a Turkey at Piquant and Love Every Minute!

piquant_1003 So, recently I had the AHHHHHMAZING opportunity to have dinner at Piquant. For those of you who don’t know, this is a restaurant located in Hyde Park Village. They are an American spin on French cuisine, and although I was treated to a meal here for their preview of a new menu thanks to my affiliation with the Tampa Bay Bloggers, all opinions below are my own.

When we first arrived, we were treated to the cocktail you see above. It’s a blend of equal parts Deep Eddy Peach Vodka and Rumchata, a squeeze of lime and a pinch of cinnamon. They said it tastes like Peach Cobbler. For me, it was a little too sweet, but the other bloggers seemed to enjoy it. For some reason, the older I get the less I like sweet drinks. Anywho…moving on…

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Our first course was Octopus Provencal featuring chorizo-rubbed seared Octopus, Spanish evoo, potatoes, Provencal sauce. I keep it real on this blog, so I’m not going to lie to you and tell you I loved this dish. It was my first time having octopus and I’m NOT a fan. Bleh! The potatoes though- those were delicious!!! Love me some potatoes ya’ll!!!

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Next we had the Pork Belly Benedict featuring crispy pork belly, lemon-thyme scone, beefsteak tomato, poached egg, avocado Hollandaise. Ya’ll!!! This dish was pretty darn tasty. I love me some porkt belly, and the scone was surprisingly moist. Most scones I’ve eaten are far too dry. This? This was good! I would eat this again if given the chance for sure.

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For our first salad sampling we tried the Vertical (Uriah’s Farm) Salad featuring a mix of Bibb, Frisee & Arugula, roasted Red & Golden beets, toasted almonds, goat cheese and passion fruit vinaigrette. The cool thing about this salad is that it’s as farm-to-table as you can get at a restaurant. They grow the stuff vertically nearby, and then Piquant gets the goods at the peak of freshness. I didn’t like the beets so much, but the greens, almonds and dressing – YUM!

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We were supposed to have another salad sample after the beets, but to our surprise the chef had other plans. EXCITING ones! He created this delicious croissant loaf. Yep, bread that is just as fluffy and flaky as a croissant, but in loaf form to make a sammich!!! So, naturally chef sliced the bread, toasted it and made the best turkey club sandwich I think I’ve ever had. It was so delicious I wasn’t even mad they cut the turkey sandwich from our scheduled samplings!

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Our other salad sampling was a Salmon Salad featuring seared fresh salmon, golden lentils, heirloom Spring, beefsteak tomatoes, crispy Brussels sprouts and passion fruit vinaigrette. I REALLY didn’t like the Brussels sprouts, but the rest of the salad was pretty tasty. This could totes be a lunch I would eat one day! I’d just ask for mine sprout free. Ha!

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As we waited for our first signature entree sampling, we were treated to a swig of Impatience wine. This was delicious! Paired perfectly with the salmon too.

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Our first signature entree sampling was Duck Confit featuring leg of house-made crispy Duck Confit, golden lentil ragu and duck Demi glace. The duck was good, the rest? Not so much! I’m very finicky I guess. But, I did enjoy the duck leg quite a bit.

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Our other signature entree sampling was Salmon Napoleon with layers of pate brisee, ratatouille, seared salmon, hollandaise and fresh dill. This is TOTALLY a dish my husband would have liked. I ate it and enjoyed it for the most part, but I wish my hubby could have been there because I suspect he would have been begging for more.

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Taking a slight break from ALL. THE. FOOD. we were treated to another cocktail that rocked my world. Equal parts Pumpkin Spice Baileys and Crown Royal Vanilla shaken and poured over ice. What’s not to love? This drink was so frikkin good I considered asking for another. Going to have to nab me some of those bottles before they sell out since the Pumpkin Spice is limited edition!!!!

Finally, it was dessert time. And holy crap did Piquant go all out. I’ll share them in order from my least favorite to my most favorite because after all, you should save the best for last. Am I right?

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This dessert was the JBF Passian Fruit Ganache Gateau which consists of chocolate cake, passion fruit ganache, almond croquantine, passion fruit curd and milk chocolate buttercream. I had one bite and quickly moved on. FAR too sweet for me!

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This is the Chocolate Cherry Croissant Bread Pudding which consists of warm croissant bread pudding with European Chocolate wafers and cherries. Served with vanilla gelato and caramel sauce. The gelato and the caramel sauce – I was all over the deliciousness!!! But, I sadly was not a fan of the bread pudding itself.

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Now, my favorite!!!! Oh my GAWD you guys!!! These are the Croissant Donut Beignets. Yep – I said CROISSANT DONUT!!! Omg! These warm, crunchy Croissant Donut Beignets accompanied with signature dipping sauces makes for an interactive dessert that will tickle your taste buds and have you foodgasming something fierce. I loved these little suckers so much I wished I had saved more room for them, because DAYUM, they were good! HIGHLY RECOMMEND!!!

Well folks, there you have it. Your sneak peek at the new items on the Piquant menu, and how I felt about them. Overall I had a VERY pleasant experience, and would love to munch on a few of the items again and again and again. If nothing else I’ll take more beignets and Pumpkin Baileys with Vanilla Crown please! So good!

Now, I want to hear from you!!! Have you eaten at Piquant? What did you think of the place?

Thanksgiving Cocktails – Thanksgiving Sidecar

Today’s drink is a spin on the traditional sidecar. It was created by an awesome bartender at the now closed Tampa Palm Restaurant a couple of years ago.  Learn how to make this drink below.

Today's drink is a spin on the traditional sidecar. This Thanksgiving Sidecar blends nutmeg, brown sugar, apricot brandy and more. Learn how to make it here

Ingredients

– 1 tablespoon quick dissolve sugar
– 2 oz Apricot Brandy
– 1 oz Grand Marnier
– 1 tablespoon brown sugar
– orange slice and crystallized ginger for garnish
– 1 tablespoon regular sugar and a pinch of nutmeg blended together

Have a drink you want me to try or a product you want me to review? 

Contact me HERE! I’m PR friendly 😉

To Prepare:
1. Rim a martini glass with the nutmeg sugar blend
2. Pour everything but the garnish into a cocktail shaker filled with ice
3. Shake and strain into the martini glass
4. Garnish with the orange slice and crystallized ginger
Makes approximately 1 drink!

Have a drink you want me to try or a product you want me to review? 
Contact me HERE! I’m PR friendly 😉

This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.

Also check out how to make yesterday’s Thanksgiving Cocktail – The Harvest Moon Martini!

 

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Thanksgiving Cocktails – Harvest Moon Martini

Welcome to day four of my Thanksgiving Cocktails series. Today’s yummy drink is called the Harvest Moon Martini. It’s served cold, but it sure does go down warm. Learn how to make it below!

Today's yummy drink in my Thanksgiving Cocktails series is called the Harvest Moon Martini. It's served cold, but it sure does go down warm. Learn how to make it here!

Not only does this Thanksgiving cocktail bubble, it smokes! The drink is a delicious blend of bourbon and vodka and citrus – oh my!

Ingredients:
– 2 oz. Bulleit Bourbon
– 2 oz. Vanilla Vodka
1 oz of Monin Pumpkin Spice Syrup
– squeeze of half a lemon
– squeeze of an orange
– orange peel and cinnamon stick for garnish
– a small cube of dry ice for the smoke effect (optional – the drink is still yummy without it!)

Have a drink you want me to try or a product you want me to review? 

Contact me HERE! I’m PR friendly 😉

To Prepare:
1. Place a small cube of dry ice into a martini glass
2. Pour all ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice
3. Shake and strain into the martini glass
4. Garnish with the orange peel and cinnamon stick
Makes approximately 1 drink!

Have a drink you want me to try or a product you want me to review? 
Contact me HERE! I’m PR friendly 😉

This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.

Also check out how to make yesterday’s Thanksgiving Cocktail – This one’s CALLED Thanksgiving!!!!

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Thanksgiving Cocktails – This One is CALLED Thanksgiving!

I was first introduced to today’s cocktail at Council Oak’s Bar inside Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Tampa. When I say this drink TASTES like Thanksgiving, it’s only fitting that it’s even CALLED Thanksgiving! Here’s how to make it:

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Ingredients:
– 2 oz. Dry Gin
– 2 oz. Apricot Brandy
– 2 oz. Dry Vermouth
– 6 drops of Lemon Juice (or less depending on your preference of taste)

Have a drink you want me to try or a product you want me to review? 

Contact me HERE! I’m PR friendly 😉

To Prepare:
1. Rim a martini glass with a cinnamon sugar blend
2. Pour all ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice
3. Shake and strain into the martini glass, and garnish with a cherry.
Makes approximately 1 drink!

Have a drink you want me to try or a product you want me to review? 
Contact me HERE! I’m PR friendly 😉

This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.

Also check out how to make yesterday’s Thanksgiving Cocktail – Snooki’s Thanksgiving Martini!

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Thanksgiving Cocktails – Snooki’s Thanksgiving Martini

A few years ago, I met a bartender who had a lot of similar features and personality quirks that put me in the mind of Snooki from Jersey Shore. That night, I was looking for a Thanksgiving cocktail to get my holiday spirits up and she made one up on the spot. She aptly named it Snooki’s Thanksgiving Martini. Seemed fitting and it was pretty tasty! Albiet it quite cinnamon flavored and not a drink you could chug. This one’s a sipper! Here’s how to make it!

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Ingredients:
– 2 oz Goldschlager
– 1 oz brown sugar syrup 
– 4 oz pineapple juice
Brown sugar to rim the glass

Have a drink you want me to try or a product you want me to review? 

Contact me HERE! I’m PR friendly 😉

To Prepare:
1. Rim a martini glass with brown sugar
2. Pour all ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice
3. Shake and strain into the martini glass.
Makes approximately 1 cinnamon flavored drink!

Have a drink you want me to try or a product you want me to review? 
Contact me HERE! I’m PR friendly 😉

This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.

Also check out how to make yesterday’s Thanksgiving Cocktail – The Apple Cider Martini!

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Thanksgiving Cocktails – Apple Cider Martini

Looking for some yummy Thanksgiving drinks? If so, you’re in luck because over the next several days I’m going  to be sharing some of my favorite Thanksgiving Cocktails! First up? The Apple Cider Martini!

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Ingredients:
– 1 oz of  Captain Morgan Spiced Rum
– 1/2 oz of triple sec
– 1 oz of brandy
– 6 oz of apple cider
– splash of lemon juice
– Slice of apple to garnish

Have a drink you want me to try or a product you want me to review? 

Contact me HERE! I’m PR friendly 😉

To Prepare:
1. Rim a martini glass with sugar
2. Pour all ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice
3. Shake and strain into a martini glass.
4. Garnish with a slice of apple

 

Makes approximately 1 really tasty drink!

Have a drink you want me to try or a product you want me to review? 
Contact me HERE! I’m PR friendly 😉

   This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.

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Zombie Virus Shots

These Zombie Virus Shots are the perfect cocktail for your next Halloween or Zombie Themed event!

I was given some bottles of Divining Rod wine to play with for#Halloween, and these are the Zombie Virus shooters I created!

Ingredients:
– 1 cup of Divining Rod Divine Red wine
– 2 oz rum
– Pinch of nutmeg
– Pinch of cloves
– Pinch of ground cinnamon
– Lemon-lime soda

To Prepare:
1. Pour all ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice
2. Shake and strain into a measuring cup with a spout (for ease of pouring)
3. Carefully pour into test tube shot glasses almost all the way to the top
4. Carefully finish off each test tube with lemon-lime soda
5. Shoot and enjoy this tricky treat!

Makes approximately 6 shots

CK Mondavi – It’s 5 O’Clock Anywhere #cocktails #thirstythursday

Hi bloggy friends! So, CK Mondavi sent me some wine for a fun promotion they are doing right now titled It’s 5 O’Clock Anywhere, and as part of the promotion they asked me to come up with some fun cocktails for their CK Mondavi Moscato, CK Mondavi Blonde Five and the CK Mondavi Sauvignon Blanc. Below are the three cocktails I created. Each one was delicious and although I’m the type of gal that likes wine straight from the bottle, I know these drinks will be created and consumed again and again and again! So yummy. p.s. to please them FTC peeps – some of the links below are in fact affiliate links. By clicking them you’ll be redirected to a sales page where if you purchase the item I’ll receive a small commission. Thank you in advance for supporting this blog!

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The CK Mondavi MosCosmo

The CKMondavi MosCosmo

For my first drink I played with the CK Mondavi Moscato. It just so happened that the day I decided to play mixologist was the Fourth of July. Perfect! It was hot as could be and I wanted something refreshing and on ice. After thinking about what went into a traditional cosmo. The original recipe calls for vodka, triple sec, lime juice and cranberry juice. I thought it would be interesting to swap the moscato for the triple sec and see how it tasted. Needless to say, it was a hit! Everyone loved it and the bottle was gone before I could even ask “Do you want one more?”

Here’s how I made it:

Ingredients:

Prep:

Makes approximately three drinks.

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CK Mondavi Summer Sauvignon Sangria

CK Mondavi SauvignonFor my next drink I thought a refreshing summer sangria would be lovely. So, that’s just what I decided to do, albeit with a slight twist from “traditional” sangria. Most sangria features a red wine and fruit. Some people add brandy, others add sprite. Here’s what I did:

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups CK Mondavi Sauvignon Blanc
  • 2 cans of Del Monte Mixed Fruit – I used the cans that featured mixed fruit in an extra light syrup with pineapples, peaches and pears. They also happened to be 50 cals each, but you could use bigger cans or ones with heavy syrup/fruit juice if you want your sangria to be sweeter and/or have more fruit in it.
  • 1/4 cup vodka – optional, but I wanted a little more kick to my adult fruit punch.

Prep:

  • Pour ingredients into a large pitcher. Stir with a wooden spoon
  • Refrigerate for 2-8 hours.
  • Pour over ice into a glass.

Makes between two and three drinks depending on how big your glasses are.

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CK Mondavi California Sunset

CKMondavi_1049For my final drink I used the CK Mondavi Blonde Five and decided to do a spin on a tequila sunrise type drink. I named it California Sunset as homage to the fact that CK Mondavi is based in California. This drink out of all three I made was by far my favorite. Refreshing and delicious? YES and HELL YES!!

Ingredients:

Prep:

  • Chill the wine, the pineapple juice and the grenadine – you want these ingredients as cold as possible. Not frozen, but the colder the better!
  • Grab a chilled martini glass– this can be done by freezing the glass
  • Fill 1/3 of the glass with the CK Mondavi Blonde.
  • Fill the second 1/3 of the glass with pineapple juice
  • Finally, slowly pour in the grenadine onto the side of the glass and watch as it pools into the bottom of the glass. Fill about a quarter of an inch to an inch depending on how much of the “sun” you would like to see or how sweet you would like the drink to taste
  • Drink the sunset and enjoy!
  • Repeat until you run out of pineapple juice and then finish the CK Mondavi Blonde by itself. Fret not, it’s refreshingly delicious by itself!

Well, there you have it, my three CK Mondavi Summer Cocktails. It’s 5 O’Clock Anywhere, so I hope you will enjoy these liquid concoctions I have created. And, when you do, please drink responsibly!

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Just in Time for Memorial Day – Watermelon Martinis!

It’s no secret that come Memorial Day weekend, we all want to enjoy four things – Food, friends, relaxing and DRINKING! Well, there’s one drink that is super refreshing, and is just perfect for your Memorial Day weekend festivities – Watermelon Martinis. These drinks are so incredibly delicious. You’ve gotta try one like RIGHT NOW!

Here’s how to make them:

Ingredients:

– 2-4 oz. citrus vodka (depending on how strong you like your martinis)

– 1 oz. Watermelon Pucker (if you add too much like I did, it will be too red like the one pictured above LOL! But, hey, it tastes really yummy with all that watermelon in it!)

– ½ oz. Cointreau or triple sec

– Splash of pink lemonade

– Splash of Sprite

Preparation:

Fill a martini shaker with all of the ingredients except for the Sprite and ice. Shake for 15-30 seconds and strain into a chilled martini glass. Top with a splash of 7-up and garnish as desired.

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My friend Letty does her own spin on this drink by adding pureed watermelon to the mix. Instead of using Watermelon Pucker, she adds about a half cup of cold pureed watermelon. She’s even swapped the citrus vodka for Florida Cane’s Watermelon Vodka to give it more of a watermelon flavor!

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Small Biz Saturday Trumps Black Friday at Hyde Park Village!

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I received an invitation from the Tampa Bay Bloggers and Hyde Park Village to skip Black Friday this year in favor of shopping small on Small Business Saturday on Saturday, November, 28, 2015. (Although they did offer me free mimosas and breakfast from Piquant, lunch at BarTaco and a gift card incentive for my promotional efforts, all the opinions in this post are my own.) Needless to say, the idea of getting up at the ASH crack of dawn to try and save money on, well, anything, doesn’t really appeal to me anymore- so, I jumped at the chance to come to skip the crowds and early morning doorbusters in favor of something local. Here’s a recap of how my shopping adventure went:

small biz SaturdayThe day began innocently enough with yummy mimosas and bite-sized treats you see above at Piquant. For the record, their pumpkin French toast was amazing as it sounds like it would be. The mimosas were not just orange juice and champagne either. Oh no, Piquant is classier than that ya’ll! They had three options. Now, I’m going to screw it up but I’m pretty sure they were raspberry, mango and passion fruit. Whatever they were, they tasted great! Next, it was off to the stores. I had the pleasure of spending my day with the awesomeness that is Caitlyn Connolly of Live Sweat Sleep and Raffi Darrow of Runningbetty.com. These chicks, pictured below, are so kick ASH and I’m thrilled I got to hang with them for a day.

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We went to soooooooooooo many stores, but my favorite stops were Don Me Now, Paper Source  and lululemon. Don Me Now had the coolest notecards of ever:

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lululemon made me want to up my 2016 fitness goals:

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Paper Source had the cutest all the things:

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We also listened to some sweet local musack while I sipped on my first ever Buddy Brew coffee. Let me tell ya’ll, I’m not big on coffee, but that there Buddy Brew sure was slurp worthy- soooo yummy.

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Finally, after more perusing of shops, Caitlyn and I finished the day at Bar Taco where I stuffed my face with a margarita and three itty bitty tacos and guacamole with the biggest tortilla chips I’ve ever seen. (Sorry you missed this deliciousness Raffi!!!) I had the baja fish, the pork belly and the sesame ribeye tacos. Of the three, my fave was the pork belly. nomnomnom!!! So good!!

small biz Saturday 6Overall, the day was a smashing success. We shopped, we chatted, we listened to great music, we had a blast! Best part? No crazy crowds and we were able to stay very chill the entire day. Screw shopping stress!!! At the end of the day I only had a couple of purchases to my name, but definitely had lots of ideas for gifts that I want to give. It truly is better to shop local. I had so much fun and I think the day definitely proved that Small Biz Saturday > Black Friday!!! Oh, and a few days later – Hyde Park Village gave me the cutest ornament EVER to hang on my tree:
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It’s a camera! They know me so well. I’m a writer too and it just so happens they also gave me some nice pens and a 2016 calendar!!! Huge thanks to the village for one of the best shopping experiences I’ve ever had and thanks to Tampa Bay Bloggers for the invite as well. When the opportunity for Small Biz Saturday comes up once more next year, I’ll definitely choose it again over that pesky outdated Black Friday!