Discovering Connecticut’s Craft Distillers Part 3: Following the CT Spirits Trail Out in the Country And Back in Time To Full Moonshine Hickory Ledges Farm & Distillery!

August 7, 2018

Hope you’re staying cool because Connecticut is under a heat advisory at the moment! We’ve already exceeded our average number of days with a temperature of 90°F or better and still have the rest of August and September left to go. And while it’s nice to stay in the AC with a cool cocktail when you can, The Dark Diva had to suffer the heat (I’m kidding because I had the AC in my car going full blast) and follow the CT Spirits Trail to another adventure.

Full Moonshine Hickory Ledges Farm & Distillery sits out in the Canton, CT countryside at 183 Bahre Corner Road.

This time the trail took me out in the country and back in time to a quintessential American tradition — sipping moonshine on the farm. To be precise, I was tasting the different varieties of Full Moonshine which is produced (legally) by Bill and Lynne Olson at Hickory Ledges Farm & Distillery. Located in the countryside of Canton, CT, Hickory Ledges Farm is the picturesque New England farm and makes for a leisurely Sunday afternoon destination.

The Moonshine Mystique

It’s been romanticized. It’s been criticized. It’s been the subject of countless stories, movies, songs and more. It’s legend. And it’s a fact of life in Appalachia. But what is it really? Moonshine is the name used to denote unaged, generally clear and fairly potent whiskey distilled from corn. The name itself is most probably connected to the fact that it was usually made illegally, to keep from paying taxes on it, and often under cover of night to avoid being caught and going to jail. Depending on where you live, it’s also known as white lightning, mountain dew or hooch.

The roots of this attempt to avoid taxes on farmer-made whiskey can be traced back to the Whiskey Rebellion of 1791 when the federal government first tried to tax it. Originally brought to this country by the early Scots-Irish settlers, moonshine became the best way to make money from their corn crops. Converted to whiskey, the corn was more valuable and easier to transport across the mountains. So, the tax was considered an unfair burden.

A moonshine still in an undisclosed location. These stills come in a variety of sizes and types, usually with a look of cobbled together parts, which they often are.

As a result, the whole concept of moonshine as an illegal, but popular, tradition became engrained in the American psyche, especially in the hills of Appalachia. This includes southwestern Virginia where I was raised. I lived near moonshine counties like Floyd County and Franklin County, which at one time was purported to be the “Moonshine Capital of the East Coast”. What I learned back then was that, in general, it was a good idea to avoid “moonshine” if you didn’t know who made it. In addition to being illegal, some of it was made by unscrupulous people who took shortcuts like using old car radiators for condensers, which could contaminate it with anything from anti-freeze to lead. Drinking “bad” moonshine could cause serious health issues, even blindness and death,

Plus, even if you knew it didn’t have any contaminants in it, you couldn’t always count on the quality. On rare occasion, I’ve had some that was incredibly smooth albeit potent, but I’ve also tasted some that started to dissolve the paper cup I was drinking it from! It would have been good for cleaning cement, stripping paint and fueling planes. Most ‘shine fell into the latter category.

A Modern Respect for An Ancient Craft

This rustic building is where the tasting room is located. The doors open all the way across to let people and the breeze in.

Fortunately, moonshine can be legally made today as evidenced by the existence of a number of moonshine distilleries in CT and around the country. Of course, based on my experience with moonshine, I have to admit that I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect when I made my way to Hickory Ledges Farm & Distillery for the Sunday tasting.

This is Jenn, who was helping Lynne behind the bar. She was quite engaging as she dispensed tastes of Full Moonshine and smiles with equal enthusiasm!

The rustic tasting room set the perfect ambiance for tasting moonshine. Completely opened up to the outside along the entrance porch, it was actually quite comfortable and inviting. It was crowded when I arrived, with a large group at a table big table and several couples at the bar. Behind the bar, Lynne Olson and her assistant Jenn were busy serving tastes of Full Moonshine, smiles and pleasant conversation. (Again, I was truly impressed by the enthusiasm and patience of the folks serving, as well as the friendliness of the people on my side of the bar.)

Lynne Olson (Left) and her husband, Bill (Right) are the very nice folks who own Hickory Ledges Farm & Distillery. They are carrying on a tradition from Bills’s side of the family that dates back to 1797.

I learned in a very short time that Full Moonshine sets an impressive standard for smoothness and drinkability. Demonstrating the utmost respect for the art of making moonshine, they use genuine New England ingredients (many from their own farm) in crafting each variety in small batches and bottling it in traditional Mason jars. You can honestly taste the pride and effort that goes into their whiskey.

Full Moonshine Apple Pie

The Full Moonshine Line – Apple Pie (40 Proof), Cranberry (40 Proof), Pet’s Maple 80 (80 proof) and Circa 1797 (80 Proof). They are well worth a trip for the FREE tasting, the conversation and the ambiance!

Lynne started my tasting experience off with their Apple Pie moonshine. I was simply amazed at how much it really tasted like homemade apple pie! It was easy drinking with the incredible flavor of the fresh pressed cider (produced on the farm as well) and spices they use in making it. Not normally a big fan of apple flavored alcohol, I was hooked enough to try it in an Apple Pie Martini, which led to my buying a jar of it to bring home. I’m sure it will be a fave for concocting drink recipes this fall.

Full Moonshine Cranberry

Anything with cranberry can be difficult to get just right. More often than not, it ends up being too tart or too sweet. Not in this case. Made with native cranberries, their Full Moonshine Cranberry struck an ideal balance for a refreshingly smooth taste I can imagine in a lot of recipes.

Full Moonshine Pete’s Maple 80

Next up for tasting was the Full Moonshine Pete’s Maple 80 — the 80 refers to the proof which is double that of both the Cranberry and Apple Pie. Made with genuine Vermont maple syrup, this is Lynne Olson’s personal favorite. While it was as smooth as the others, I wasn’t as enamored with it. However, that is probably more a function of the fact that I have a love-hate relationship with maple flavor. I love maple syrup (on my pancakes) and maple-cured bacon, but I dislike the taste in most anything else. That said, it was well done in Pete’s Maple 80 and I would recommend it to anyone who likes maple.

Full Moonshine Circa 1797

These are the 2 I bought for use in making some new recipes. They came with a nice souvenir tote.

This is the real deal – genuine, pure corn whiskey made with corn and spring water. Named for the year Bill Olson’s ancestor, Uriah Case, was granted a license to distill whiskey, it’s a fitting choice to represent the family tradition. This was also a favorite of mine for its smoothness, very little burn at the end and versatility. I also tried it in Lynne’s version of a Bloody Mary and was hooked. Needless to say, I bought a jar of it, too. (You’ll also find a recipe using it later in this blog.)

***UNIQUELY RECOMMENDED***

It should come as no surprise that Full Moonshine Hickory Ledges Farm & Distillery has earned my highest rating of ***UNIQUELY RECOMMENDED*** due to their friendly, welcoming attitude, great whiskey, rustic ambiance that fits the product and the beautiful location in the country. Go now and go back in the fall to enjoy the foliage. They are open with free tastings on Sundays only from Noon – 5 PM. You can find out more about them on their web site www.fullmoonshine.com. Tell them the The Dark Diva sent you!

 

Beat The Heat With My
Full Moonshine Wild Lavender Tea

From my CT Garden Party Cocktail Collection, this quite cool & tasty concoction is made completely with alcohols distilled in CT! Mix the following in an 8 oz. glass with ice:

A refreshing way to cool off in CT style!

• 1 oz. Full Moonshine Circa 1797
• 0.5 oz. Wild Moon Lavender Liqueur
4 oz. Pure Leaf Unsweetened Black Tea
• 
Splash of Wild Moon Lime Liqueur

Cheers!

 

The Battle Of The Gins Winner

A great choice to beat the heat!

In a close contest, Waypoint Spirits Wintonbury Gin of Bloomfield, CT barely edged out Hendrick’s Gin of Scotland as the best choice for use in my Cool As A Cuke Sin & Tonic. Both gins are infused with botanical and floral elements, but I found that Wintonbury added just the right touch of elements to the overall flavor profile. Try it yourself and let me know if you agree … or not.

See The Dark Diva Take The Vodka Challenge

See The Dark Diva give my taste impressions of these 4 vodkas!

If you haven’t seen it yet, be sure to check out my Vodka Tasting Video on The Dark Diva You Tube Channel. It’s the first video I’ve done in a while and is also the first to feature more of me than my hands. In it I give my tasting impressions of 4 different vodkas. View it here.

Thanks for checking out this edition of my Fresh & Twisted Blog. Please leave your comments to let me know how I’m doing. Also, please share with friends … and the WORLD!

Discovering Connecticut’s Craft Distillers Part 2: Following The CT Spirits Trail To Waypoint Spirits!

July 30, 2018

Well I hope you had a lovely final weekend in July. Mine was very busy celebrating a dear friend’s birthday on Friday and spending a lovely Saturday afternoon entertaining my son and his girlfriend who were visiting from Florida. Both occasions gave me an opportunity to test some new cocktail recipes as well as some old faves.

Love my convertible!

However, after all the excitement of Friday and Saturday, I found myself with some time on Sunday to check out another local craft distillery on the CT Spirits Trail  – Waypoint Spirits. So late that afternoon, I put the top down on my convertible (what else would the Dark Diva drive) and cruised through the countryside to a somewhat non-descript building in an industrial park in Bloomfield, CT where Waypoint Spirits makes its home.

Big Space, Intimate Atmosphere

Melissa (L), our bartender/spirit guide, was very engaging and enthusiastic. The 3 delightful ladies on the right (Lainey, Tatiana and Luz) helped make this a fun experience!

Inside, it’s a large space that was made to feel more welcoming and intimate by the friendly staff. I was immediately greeted by Melissa, the bartender/spirits guide, who set the tone for a fun, relaxed afternoon of getting to know Waypoint and its impressive product line. At the bar I was fortunate enough to encounter a party of 3 friends (Lainey, Tatiana and Luz) who had come to celebrate Lainey’s birthday. There’s something about the informality of a small group that made it easy for us to get acquainted. Together, we enjoyed discussing the merits of each spirit we tried as well as possible cocktail recipes and life in general.

Melissa proved to be a very knowledgeable and engaging guide as she gave us a very nice introduction to each product before we sampled it and deftly answered all the questions we threw at her. (So far, I have been extremely impressed with the commitment and genuine brand enthusiasm I’ve encountered among the part-time tasting and tour guides at both Waypoint Spirits and Hartford Flavor Company.)

Raising The Bar At the Bar:
Something for Virtually Every Taste

I liked Labrador Noon Vodka enough to buy a bottle for my la-bar-atory!

We started our tasting with Labrador Noon Vodka, Waypoint’s very first product introduction. I found it to be light, smooth and easily drinkable without the typical “alcohol burn” going down. The only sensation was a nice warmth in the chest. In fact, I liked it so much I bought a bottle to experiment with at home, especially in recipes with Wild Moon Liqueurs. (This says a lot since I am not normally a huge un-flavored vodka fan.)

Next, we tried their Wintonbury Gin, which was a surprisingly pleasant departure from the typical heavy juniper flavor of traditional London dry gins. Wintonbury is lighter and more refreshing with an infusion of locally sourced botanical and floral elements. (It is more in the mold of Hendrick’s Gin from Scotland, which is an increasingly popular alternative to the London Dry gins, but at a much higher price point than the Wintonbury Gin). I am anxious to add it to my la-bar-atory and see what kind of intriguing martini recipes I can create.

For our third sampling, Melissa served us Man Overboard Spiced Rum. Now, I will confess that I am somewhat indifferent to spiced rum and normally never buy it. I may have to re-think that position after trying this one. It is lighter in color and taste than most spiced rums, which I find makes it more drinkable for me. (Of course, individual taste is highly subjective and what tempts one palate might repulse another.)

They have a surprisingly large selection to choose from and have several award winners which are displayed on the top shelf (naturally).

After the spiced rum, we moved to tasting samples of special and small batch whiskies. Their special whiskies are very limited-production experimental concoctions, while the small batch is part of their regular line, but it’s done in small batches because of production limitations. First up was a pumpkin spice Special Batch Whiskey, which I found interesting. To my tastes, it was a little harsh for drinking straight. I’d suggest trying it on the rocks with water, mixed with coffee or Irish Cream liqueur.

Our second whiskey sampling was a honey habanero Small Batch Whiskey that was my favorite (I love spicy things). Using honey that’s locally sourced and habanero peppers grown in their own little garden outside, they gave this whiskey a complex blend of sweet heat that tingles the taste buds without setting your mouth on fire. This one definitely piqued my interest for creating some adventurous recipes.

For a final whiskey tasting, Melissa served us a maple bacon bourbon Special Batch Whiskey. It was actually smoother than I expected, since bacon flavoring and scents can sometimes be overpowering with an aroma more like rancid grease. Here the bacon flavor was suitably subtle as it blended perfectly with the maple. While I found it interesting, maple bacon isn’t that high on my list of favorite flavors, especially for whiskey, although I could see it being popular with men.

Spicy XIII is Bloody Diva style vodka with everything but the juice!

Once we had sampled the various whiskies, we moved on to a unique vodka, Waypoint Labrador Noon Spicy XIII. Aptly named, it’s infused with 13 different ingredients that give it all the spicy kick of a Bloody Mary or even a Bloody Diva. Just add tomato juice, V8 or Mott’s Clamato juice (for a Bloody Caesar). Definitely not for the timid or those who have a low tolerance for spice. However, it has an irresistible appeal for yours truly.

The last sampling on our list was reserved for a recent addition to their product line – a coffee liqueur made with cold-brewed coffee made with Kenyan beans from a local roaster and combined with Labrador Noon Vodka. It was quite smooth and certainly an exciting possibility for combining with a number of different ingredients for the fall and holiday season.

In addition to the individual tastings, we were offered two different cocktails to try. The first one I tried was a punch made with Man Overboard Spiced Rum and a mixed bag of fruit juices (apparently it depends on what they have on hand at the time) that was quite tasty. Nothing extraordinary, but still enjoyable.

The second proved to be far more surprising (in a good way). It was a blend of Labrador Noon Vodka, lemonade, fresh strawberries and basil that was quite refreshing and smooth. I could have easily spent the afternoon sipping several of those.

Inside The Distillery:
A First Hand Look At Hand Crafting Liquors

Connor, our tour guide, did a great job of explaining everything as he guided through the process of hand crafting the various spirits.

Afterwards, Connor (John Taylor’s nephew) took us on a tour of the distillery itself. (Just like Melissa, Connor was very nice, patient in the extreme and a quite knowledgeable brand ambassador as he explained all aspects of the operation.) We entered a very large, open warehouse space which was partially filled with two large pot stills, a column still, fermentation tanks and lots of pipes and tubing. Connor walked us through the process of making the alcohol base, from wheat grown on a farm in Windsor, CT, and separating the ethanol (the drinkable alcohol) from the methanol and isopropyl alcohols (which they use to clean their equipment).

This is where Wintonbury Gin is infused with botanical and floral elements.

It is quite an operation and you can easily see that every product is truly hand crafted, from the carbon filtering of Labrador Noon Vodka hundreds of times to the way botanical and floral elements are infused to make Wintonbury Gin to the barrels where the special and small batch whiskies are aged. It also extends to the bottling, labeling and packing of each liquor.

Connor takes a lot of pride in helping craft Waypoint Spirits!

I came away with a deep appreciation of the spirit (pun only slightly intended) that drives craft distillers in our state. It’s apparently very much a labor of love, which is how I feel about The Dark Diva Rules, and a continuing effort to learn and improve. And there will be growing pains as well as a bit of a learning curve. I’m sure what I tasted on Sunday was a far cry from what they first produced in 2015. And I’m sure they’ll keep on tweaking formulas and coming up with new ideas.

While I am a big proponent for supporting the craft distilleries in Connecticut, I was also reminded that being craft distilled here doesn’t necessarily mean it’s good. While that’s true, I have so far been fortunate to hit winners on my first two visits – Hartford Flavor Company and Waypoint Spirits.

**UNIQUELY RECOMMENDED**

I give Waypoint Spirits my highest rating of **UNIQUELY RECOMMENDED** for the friendly attentive staff (Melissa and Connor), the broad selection of creatively conceived spirits that are anything but ordinary with something for just about every taste, and a commitment to local sourcing as much as possible. They are open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays for tastings and tours. Visit their web site at drinkwaypoint.com for hours and directions. You can also find Groupons for discounts. Plus, you can purchase Waypoint products at the distillery during your visit.

Tell them Miss Bri, The Dark Diva, sent you!

Coming Soon In Our Next Blog Post

Look for some new recipes featuring Labrador Noon Vodka and various Wild Moon Liqueurs!

Until Next Time!

Coming Tuesday 7/31 In Our Next Blog Post

Miss Bri, The Dark Diva, hit the CT Spirits Trail late Sunday afternoon (7/29) for a tour and tasting at Waypoint Distillery in Bloomfield, CT.

Check out my review of their various liquors and get an inside look at what sets these hand crafted spirits apart. Plus, meet Melissa, our spirits guide behind the bar, as well as 3 delightful ladies (L – R) Lainey, Tatiana and Luz, who were there for the tasting and tour as well.

Also, meet Connor, our tour guide, who is a nephew of one of the owners.

So check on Tuesday for the full review!

Discovering Connecticut’s Craft Distillers: Hitting the CT Spirits Trail at the Home of Wild Moon Liqueurs

July 22, 2018

The CT Spirits Trail Passport

Hope you’ve had an enjoyable weekend so far, despite the return of humid weather to the Nutmeg State. As for myself, I spent a lovely afternoon on Saturday making my first stop on the CT Spirits Trail (www.ctspiritstrail.com) at Hartford Flavor Company (www.hartfordflavor.com), crafters of Wild Moon all-natural botanical liqueurs. It is well worth a visit!

All 7 Wild Moon Liqueurs (Thanks to Randy for lining them up for this shot.)

Having been introduced to Wild Moon Lime liqueur upon the recommendation of a staff member at Table & Vine in West Springfield, MA during a visit in early June, I found it to be a valuable addition to my la-bar-atory. It ended up being a key ingredient in my popular Twisted Purple Backstabber martini as well as a perfect additive to several other recipes. In fact, it was so good I opted to try the Wild Moon Cranberry Liqueur. Again, it has proven to be an ideal addition to a number of recipes. So, I was quite interested in visiting them and sampling the rest of their line.

WILD ABOUT WILD MOON

The bar in Diana’s Lair

Located in the back of 30 Arbor Street (Suite #107) in Hartford, it’s easily identified by a sign and an entrance deck. Upon entering, there is a small vestibule which opens into a very nice bar area known as Diana’s Lair (you’ll understand the naming once you’ve done the tour). You’ll find a full range of souvenirs (T-shirts, signs, glassware, etc,) for sale as well the Wild Moon Liqueurs themselves.

Kelly, our engaging tour guide/hostess, was a knowledgable and enthusiastic brand ambassador!

After a short wait, the tour began. There were three of us on this tour (myself and a lovely couple, Randy and Karen, from western CT who were in town for the jazz festival). Kelly, our guide, was very friendly and enthusiastic about the company and its products as she gave us a short history of the company and even explained the logo. (I don’t want to spoil the fun, so you’ll have to take the tour to find out the details.)

Botanicals are placed in mesh bags like this which are then place in barrels with the alcohol base to create the Wild Moon liqueur infusions.

The key point is that Lelaneia, the founder, started the company to provide a gluten-free option so that she and others could enjoy cocktails. (Since most spirits are distilled from grains, gluten can certainly be an issue. This is why the alcohol used as a base for these liqueurs is imported from the Netherlands – the supplier is the only place that will certify the alcohol is gluten-free.) Lelaneia also made the commitment to use all-natural, locally sourced ingredients (aside from the base) so that the liqueurs truly represent the artisanal spirit (no pun intended). In a process that is as much art as it is science, each batch of each liqueur is carefully crafted to meet Lelaneia’s exacting standards.

A MATTER OF TASTE

With each sample, Kelly would give us a description and some background. Then we would discuss our own taste perceptions, ask questions, etc. It was a very informal and comfortable environment.

The tasting portion of our tour was most interesting as Kelly would explain how each liqueur was made and offer some insights before serving us the samples. The taste of each one was intriguing and a subject for discussion among all of us (Kelly, Randy, Karen and myself) as to how we interpreted the flavors and what drinks or food recipes they might work well in.

• Wild Moon Lime, which I use frequently, is both tart and sweet for a surprisingly balanced appeal.

• Wild Moon Cranberry, seasonally available and another one I use, mellows the sharp cranberry tanginess just enough for full enjoyment.

• Wild Moon Cucumber struck me right away with its incredibly natural taste of cool, crisp cucumber. (It’s also featured in a special drink recipe at the end of this blog.)

• Wild Moon Rose was totally surprising in its complexity and intriguing character. I have a few recipes in mind for it.

• Wild Moon Lavender is another complex variety with a mix of herbal and floral influences that I am experimenting with at the moment.

• Wild Moon Birch has more of a masculine, earthiness to it which make it a natural pairing for a whiskey such as bourbon or even Irish whiskey.

• Wild Moon Chai Spice is indeed alive with the warm glow of cinnamon and other spices. It should be perfect for any fall or winter warmer cocktail as well as adding a nice touch to coffee or tea.

At the end of the tour, we each got to pick a cocktail from a menu of drinks made using a Wild Moon Liqueur as a key ingredient. My choice was the Rose Moon Margarita, which was quite tasty (except that even the very limited amount of “margarita mix” used in it managed to give me heartburn later).

**UNIQUELY RECOMMENDED**

The Sampler pack features six 100ml bottles of Wild Moon Liqueurs (all except Cranberry).

Hartford Flavor Company has earned my **Uniquely Recommended** rating which means it’s an experience that’s definitely worth your time, with excellent craft liqueurs, an inviting atmosphere and enthusiastic staff. I also recommend taking advantage of the opportunity to buy Wild Moon Liqueurs while you’re there. (I bought a sampler pack to experiment with in my recipes.) They’re open for tours and tastings on Fridays 4 pm – 7 pm, Saturdays 1 pm – 6 pm and Sundays 2 pm – 5 pm. The cost is $10 per person, which includes the tour, tastings and a cocktail. (I considered it a bargain.)

You can also find Wild Moon Liqueurs at many local package stores in CT, MA and more, including Table & Vine in West Springfield, MA and my local go-to package store, Joe’s Fine Wine & Spirits in East Windsor, CT.

Keep up with Miss Bri’s Fresh & Twisted Blog as we work our way around the state with reviews at each stop on the CT Spirits Trail.

A BEAT THE HEAT RECIPE

The Dark Diva’s “Cool As A Cuke Sin & Tonic”
AKA The Twisted Chiller

We found that Wild Moon mixes well with a wild hair for fun refreshment in the sun. Why “Sin & Tonic” you ask? (Seriously, if you have to ask, check your pulse because you may be dead.)

Ignore the strainer. It was leftover from a martini experiment earlier.

In an 8 oz. glass with ice, combine the following:

1 oz.Tanqueray London Dry Gin
0.5 oz.Wild Moon Cucumber Liqueur
4 oz.Diet Tonic Water (Diet? Yes, if you’re going to sin, go for sex, booze, rock ‘n’ roll, chocolate, fun stuff — not useless sugar in tonic water)
A Splash of Wild Moon Lime Liqueur

Mix well and garnish with either a slice of cucumber or a lime wheel if desired.

Thanks for checking out this edition. Please let us know what you think!

Another Successful Party Sampling Including An Adventure In A Glass

Sunday July 15, 2018

Greetings from The Dark Diva,

Hope you’re enjoying your weekend! It was very busy this past week as we were deciding on the recipes and collecting the ingredients for bringing samples to another party on Saturday. We had a great time and the recipe samples were a big hit.

The hostess messaged me earlier today to say, “Thanks for coming …. Dark Diva! Your concoctions were delicious and so fun and added a special som’in som’in to the festivities!”

And a party guest posted today that, “The one I tasted was yummy.”

I also received a lot of compliments on the different recipes that folks tried (usually more than one), so I consider it a very successful sampling.

If you want to try the recipes at home, here is Saturday’s sampling menu:

The Purple Lace Martini

Seductive, sweet and oh sooo devilishly delightful! You simply must throw caution to the wind and indulge your wildest fantasies with this forbidden concoction!

• 1 oz. Skyy Infusions®
Vanilla Bean Vodka
• 0.25 oz. Mathilde Orange
X.O. Liqueur
• 3 oz. POM Wonderful®
   Pomegranate Blueberry Juice

Mix ingredients together with ice, strain into a chilled martini glass and kiss your inhibitions good-bye! (Please note: I assume no responsibility for STD, children or anything else that may result!)

Let the games begin!


Adventure In A Glass:
Boston Orient Blood River Punch Martini

More than just a martini, the Dark Diva’s latest mysterious concoction is a wild adventure in a glass. Set sail from Boston aboard the Boston Orient, a rust-bucket tramp steamer, on a quest with 1930’s style intrigue as a colorful cast of characters gathers at the Blood River Plantation on the southern coast of unexplored Papua New Guinea to
search for a lost gold mine.

Here, you will find One-eyed Jack Gamble, a grizzled bear of a man who will ask you why you’ve come. You must whisper three words correctly and precisely or you will be sent on your way to fend for yourself amid the hostile faces outside. “Le fouet noir.” French for The Black Whip, it gains you an audience with The Dark Diva, queen of the island’s secrets. She mixes a secret concoction and pours it into a glass with the warning that you have to pass the test of drinking only one and remaining sober. Succeed and you may continue your quest. Fail, and you may end up a snack for a monster crocodile or joining cannibals for dinner … as the main course.

• 1 oz. Malibu® Caribbean Rum
with Coconut Liqueur
• 0.5 oz. Jose Cuervo Especial®
Silver Agave Tequila
• 0.5 oz. Tangueray® London Dry Gin
• 0.25 oz. Patrón Citrónge®
  Extra Fine Mango Liqueur
• 0.25 oz. Leroux Crème de Banana Liqueur
• A Splash of DeKuyper® Blue Curacao Liqueur
• 4 oz. Ocean Spray
®Diet Cran-Pineapple™ Juice

Mix ingredients together with ice, strain into a chilled martini glass and toast to surviving (hopefully) the perils of ruthless enemy agents, cutthroat pirates, murderous crooks, head-hunting cannibals, deadly animals, brutal heat, severe weather and treacherous terrain.

Let the adventure begin! Bon chance!

The Wicked Southern Grillside Tea
AKA Twisted BBQ Juice

Cool, refreshing, fiery and surprisingly lethal, it may make you decide to stay by the grill all summer long!!! But be careful, because we’re playing with fire! Life’s too short for boring drinks!!!

• 1 oz. Maker’s Mark®
Kentucky Straight
Bourbon Whiskey
  (A good Southern tradition)
• 0.5 oz. Marie Brizard No. 18   Watermelon Liqueur
(A summer refresher)
• 0.25 oz. Wild Moon®Lime Liqueur (Made in Hartford for a “wicked” touch)
• 4 oz. Pure Leaf
®Unsweetened Black Tea (Real Brewed Tea) (Good stuff!)
• 3 drops of Tabasco®Sauce (Southern heat with a twist)

Mix ingredients with ice in an 8 oz. glass.

Go ahead and light your fire!

The Miss Lucy – Sweet & Sassy

A tribute to the newest addition to my adopted Bushey family, this drink pays homage to both sides of her nature and serves as a warning to her future romantic interests (years from now).

• 1 oz. Bacardi Gold Rum
(Aged to sweet perfection, it represents her long-
awaited arrival.)
• 1 oz. Mathilde Orange X.O. Liqueur
(As warm and infectious as her smile, but it sneaks up on you.)
• 0.5 oz. Leroux Crème de Banana Liqueur
(There’s bit of monkey business in her smile.)
• 0.25 oz. Galliano L’autentico Liqueur
(For the Italian in her, sweet and intriguing,)
• 0.25 oz. Chambord Raspberry Liqueur
(Sweet as a hug, but there’s always an eye for mischief.)
• 4 oz. Pineapple Juice
(It’s a bright smile with a tart twinkle that will make any day better.)
• 2 long splashes Wild Moon®Cranberry Liqueur
(Sassy like a New England girl should be.)

Mix ingredients together, pour over ice.

Toast Miss Lucy and enjoy!

The Royal Purple Diva Martini

This drink’s irresistibly enticing flavor is the result of a perfect balancing in the intertwining of crisp pear warmed by smooth vodka with the tangy sweetness of citrus liqueur and the refreshing tartness of pomegranate juice. To say it’s simply delicious is an understatement. It’s a taste of nirvana in a glass.

• 1 oz.Skyy Infusions® Bartlett Pear Vodka
• 0.25 oz. Patrón Citrónge®Orange Liqueur
• 3 oz. Of POM Wonderful®Pomegranate Juice

Combine the above elements in a glass with ice, stir well, pour into a chilled martini glass and enjoy.

Taste dark side heaven!

 

 

 

 

The Sydney Cosmo at Outback Goes Up Against The Mexican Cosmo at Maggie McFly’s and More Reviews, News and Recipes From a Busy Weekend

July 8, 2018

Happy Sunday! Thanks for checking out this edition of Miss Bri’s Fresh & Twisted Blog! It’s been a busy couple of days as I celebrated my birthday (I’m at the age where I start celebrating a day early just in case, but I woke up alive on my actual birthday, so I kept going with the celebration). It provided a great opportunity to launch into our first bar and drink reviews. And, because we have a lot to cover, let’s jump right into it.

“A Nice Oasis Among The Chains”
Bar Review: Outback Steakhouse in Enfield, CT

Owned by Bloomin’ Brands, a hospitality company that also owns Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Bonefish Grill, and Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar. with over 1400 restaurants in 49 states as well as 21 countries and territories, Aussie-themed Outback has long been a players in the casual dining scene.

Like most chains, they seek to deliver a consistent dining experience that guests can count on whether they’re in Connecticut, Florida, California or anywhere else. The decor and the menu vary very little from one location to the next. The main differences are in the service and the quality of the meals. For example, long ago I found that I preferred the Outback in Enfield over the one in West Springfield, MA which was closer to where I lived at the time. Now that I live in Enfield, I still like it.

Since I tend to sit at the bar, whether I just stopped for a drink or I’m eating dinner, I usually get to know the bartenders and observe their interaction with guests. This past Friday, I dropped in around 4 in the afternoon for a Sydney Cosmo, one of my fave specialty cocktails. It was pretty quiet so I had time to chat with Erika, who was bartending.

Like any good bartender, she knew exactly what my first choice would be, but still asked to confirm in case I had decided to switch things up for some strange reason. No changes this time, so she went about preparing my Sydney Cosmo ($7.75). What really distinguishes the Sydney Cosmo from most other Cosmopolitans is the addition of mango syrup. And since I love mango, it’s practically made for me. I find it actually a bit smoother with just the right amount of sweetness which doesn’t overpower the taste buds.

Much like the right drink recipe, Erika has the ideal blend of friendliness and efficiency to make every customer feel like they’re the most important guest at the bar, while keeping pace with the drink orders from the restaurant.

As befitting its casual dining style, the bar is pretty laid back and a nice place to unwind after a long day or get set for a night out. They also have a Happy Hour and a decent appetizer menu with prices ranging from $5.29 for the Bloomin’ Petals to the regular size Seared Ahi Tuna for $13.49.

Overall, “I recommend Outback and the Sydney Cosmo without reservation.”

For hours, menu & directions, visit: www.outback.com

[NOTE ON REVIEWS: As a reference, I give overall recommendations, which factor in the bartender, the drinks, the food menu and general atmosphere. See End of Blog Post for Ratings Guide.]

“A Unique Place You Need To Experience”
Bar Review: Maggie McFly’s Local Craft Eatery & Bar in Manchester, CT

Headquartered in CT with 6 locations, including Virginia Beach, and growing, Maggie McFly’s was started as the antithesis of typical casual dining chains with the emphasis on recipes and ingredients with a craft touch and as local as possible, from foods to liquors and mixers. The first time I set foot in the Manchester location at The Shoppes at Buckland Hills, I was hooked.

A very large, U-shaped bar is the centerpiece of the restaurant and features a number of large television screens all the way around over the bars central core. The menu book (and I do mean book) is amazing in the number of categories and items in each category. You could spend an hour just reading from the list of wines, cocktails, liquors and beers available before even getting to the extensive menu.

For a variety of reasons, I had not been here since last September, so my visit yesterday was a reacquaintance of a sort with the whole vibe of the place. Unusual for a Saturday afternoon, it was relatively quiet when I got there a little after 2 pm. I have seen weekend crowds overflowing and a very long wait for a table or a seat at the bar (the price of popularity).

I picked out a spot on the far side of the bar and was immediately greeted by Stephanie, who would my bartender for the afternoon. She was friendly and efficient in tending to my needs, which is what you want (and should expect) in any good bar. I started off with one of their Electric Artisan Martinis, Barbie’s Dream House E-tini ($11.50), which came with the light-up ice cube (which you can keep as a souvenir). According to their menu, the recipe consists of:
maggie’s naturally infused raspberry deep eddy’s handcrafted vodka, pama pomegranate liqueur, lemon juice (ripe – new haven, ct), strawberry puree, agave nectar, champagne, pop rocks.

It was sweet as was to be expected, but still cool, refreshing and fun. I quite enjoyed it and lingered over it for awhile before moving on to my second drink of the afternoon, a Mexican Cosmo ($10.50), and an appetizer, the Chinese Dim Sum ($14.99), that was enough for lunch in and of itself.

As you might surmise, the Mexican Cosmo replaces the citrus vodka with tequila plus uses local brand Ripe (New Haven, CT) lime juice. Again, this is another long-time fave for me, especially since I love tequila. I will say that it has varied at times in the past as if mixed differently, though they denied it. In my last 3 visits it has been consistent and quite delicious. (I’ll have more to say about it later in this blog as it goes up against the Sydney Cosmo.)

In general, the Chinese Dim Sum was delicious and quite filling. As per their menu, it features:
• Chicken Potstickers, Crispy Spring Rolls, Chicken Dumplings, BBQ Ribs, All-Natural Free-Range Chicken Skewers, Garlic Ginger Sauce, Housemade Thai Peanut Sauce. (Hubs Virginia Peanuts – Sedley, VA)
The chicken skewers were just a bit dry, somewhat to be expected with white meat chicken, but it was easily remedied with a dip in the peanut sauce.

As far as service goes, it was prompt and very friendly. Plus, a small issue was resolved quickly with a smile. After my Dim Sum arrived, it felt like something was a missing, so I asked Stephanie, thinking that it was missing steak skewers. She assured me they were not part of the Dim Sum, but also immediately recognized I was missing the BBQ Ribs and brought them out to me very quickly. (The point being that mistakes happen, but it’s how the staff deals with them that sets the standard. Again, Stephanie was quick to resolve it and I was happy!) For me, it was the entirely pleasant afternoon that I was hoping it would be.

Overall, “Maggie McFly’s in Manchester and their martinis are uniquely recommended!”

(Please see the rating scale at the end of this blog for details on each rating.)

For hours. menu and directions, visit: www.maggiemcflys.com

“A Razor’s Edge Or Should I Say Martini Glass Rim Decision”
The Drink Challenge: Sydney Cosmo Vs. Mexican Cosmo

It’s a very close decision in comparing the virtues of the Sydney Cosmo and the Mexican Cosmo since I love them both. Whereas too many bars have resorted to Cosmo mixes which tend to be powdery sweet like the old Fizzies of my youth, these are both made with a higher level of real ingredients. Per their respective menu listings, here are their ingredients:

*Outback Sydney Cosmo:
Absolut® Citron Vodka, Cointreau®, mango and a splash of Ocean Spray® cranberry juice, served straight up. (Additionally, according to Erika, my bartender, it also includes a freshly squeezed lime wedge and a lemon twist for a garnish.)

 

*Maggie McFly’s Mexican Cosmo
Avion tequila, fresh lime juice (Ripe – new haven, ct), agave nectar, cranberry juice. Also includes  lime wheel garnish.


In the end, I have to give the mango a nod as the perfect twist, if you will, that gives the Sydney Cosmo first place according to my tastes. However, the Mexican Cosmo is too good to be relegated to second place so I would say it’s only 1/2 place out of first! Either one would handily beat most other cosmos for originality and fresh ingredients.

 “Patrón Citrónge® Invades East Windsor”
Expanded Selection At Joe’s Fine Wine And Spirits

When I stopped by Joe’s Fine Wine and Spirits, my favorite local package store at 149 N Rd, East Windsor, CT 06088, on Friday, I found a much expanded selection of the Patrón Citrónge® liqueurs I use in my recipes as well as some new ones I haven’t tried. They now have 375 ml bottles of Mango, Orange, Lime and Pineapple Liqueurs. (Bought some of the Pineapple liqueur which I will be trying out soon.) Stop by and check out the new additions. Tell them the Dark Diva sent you!

“A Drink Recipe For Those Who Love The Night”
The Island Vampire AKA The Twisted Blood Lust

When you get that late-night craving for something warm and red, and you’vestruck out necking, sink your fangs into this killer potion.

1 oz. Bacardi® Gold Rum
0.5 oz. Galliano
.25 oz. Patrón Citrónge® Extra Fine Mango Liqueur
1.5 oz. POM Wonderful Pomegranate Juice (chilled)

Mix in a brandy snifter and serve straight up. Enjoy a few before stretching out and closing the lid on your evening’s activities. (Okay, so the drink is better than puns! Haha)

“By Which All Are Judged”
Miss Bri’s Dark Diva Rules for Bar Ratings

Ratings Guide:

• “No Recommendation at all” means exactly that. It’s the lowest rating, which means the bar and/or drinks are acceptable at best, but if you haven’t been there, it’s not a place I’d necessarily recommend as worth going out of your way to  visit.
“Recommended With Caveats”  means that quality can vary significantly or other factors — type of crowds, limited bar menu, over-priced, etc. may have a negative effect on your enjoyment, so you may want to plan your visits/drinks carefully, because at times it can be impressive and other times you might want to just skip it.
“Recommended Without Reservation” means that within its category, it’s a very good place to go with reasonable prices and/or excellent selection, good bartending, good drinks and a good environment.
• “Uniquely Recommended” means that in many ways, this is far from your typical establishment and you should go there just for the experience if you haven’t been before. It also means that it has excellent standards in all the traditional areas.

Hope you enjoyed this edition of Miss Bri’s Fresh & Twisted Blog. Thanks fore checking it out. Please let us know what you think!

Adding A Little Spice To Your Life With Custom Cocktails, Like The Pink Convertible!

July 5, 2018

Happy Thursday! Hope you had an enjoyable day. It was another scorcher here in CT with temperatures in the 90’s for the seventh day in a row, but we’re supposed to get some relief on Friday! Speaking of relief (couldn’t resist the segue), saw on article on cnnmoney.com yesterday that highlighted part of what The Dark Diva Rules is all about — consumers consider big American beers to be stale (as in no excitement, nothing fresh) which is what fueled the craft beer explosion. And it has spilled over into the rise of craft distillers and vineyards. (You can read the article yourself here.)

Of course, this is no surprise to us at The Dark Diva Rules. Not satisfied with the same old thing, we set out to reinvent the cocktail. Interestingly enough, lots of bars feature specialty drinks that seem … well … different, but not in good way. That’s why we spend a lot of time tinkering with recipes to get the mix just right … for our tastes. We encourage you to try them and tweak them to suit your taste,

And that leads us to our most recent concoction — The Pink Convertible! Near and dear to my heart (I have a convertible myself), this cocktail recalls cruising down a coastal highway with the top down, catching the fresh sea breeze and watching the waves come in. Later, it’s stopping to listen to the breakers crash and maybe even dip your toes in the sand, before getting back in the car and cruising a little further up the highway to a favorite beach hangout with an open deck overlooking the water. There you ask the bartender for something different, but totally appropriate to savor the moment. She obliges with The Pink Convertible!

In a martini shaker with ice, mix the following:

1 oz. Tangueray London Dry Gin
0.5 oz. Bacardi Gold Rum
.25 oz. Wild Moon Lime Liqueur*
3 oz. Ocean Spray Diet Cran-Mango Juice**

Strain into a chilled martini glass and serve with an ocean view in mind.

* (Wild Moon Lime Liqueur is crafted in CT by The Hartford Flavor Company and may not be available in all areas.)
**(I use and recommend the “Diet” version because it only has 2 grams of carbs and a mere 5 calories per 8 oz. serving. With all the sugar in the spirits you’ll never miss it in the juice, plus it’s more refreshing.)

By the way if you’re cruising the New England coast this summer, check out the water views from the deck at the Coast Guard House in Narragansett, RI and the deck at the Red Parrot in Hull, MA.

However, this weekend even if all you have is a lawn chair and a kiddie pool, you can still close your eyes and cruise up the coast with The Pink Convertible!

A Grilling Dark Diva Lives Well

July 3, 2018

Greetings, Dark Diva fans!

Welcome to another edition of Miss Bri’s Fresh & Twisted Blog. Been a busy Diva today creating two new drinks and grilling some delicious foods, all of which I’m going to share with you now. First, though, I want dispel a popular notion that is not accurate at all. The idea that men do all the grilling and women cook in the kitchen is archaic and a total misconception. Before everybody gets up in arms, if you can find a man who wants to grill for you, go for it. However, you don’t need a man to do the grilling. We can do it on our own!

Now that I’ve stirred everybody up, here are are my mixology and grilling tips for a fabulous seafood dinner. For me, I can’t cook/grill without an appropriate cocktail. Tonight I started with a drink I’ve named the “Pink Caribbean.”

The Pink Caribbean

The perfect cooler for grilling dinner on a hot summer night, this refreshing cocktail combines all the elements of a tropical paradise into a bright, fun treat.

In an 8 oz. glass filled with ice, combine the following:

* 1 oz. Jose Cuervo Especial Silver Tequila
* 0.5 oz. Mathilde Orange X.O. Liqueur
* 0.25 oz. Wild Moon Lime Liqueur
• 4 oz. Ocean Spray Diet Cran-Mango Juice

It served as a very nice accompaniment for grilling appetizers and dinner.

Whet Your Appetite With Oysters And Clams Fresh From The Grill

I like to try things I’ve never tried before, which included grilling shellfish direct on the grill. Following several recipes I found via Google, I scrubbed 6 Littleneck clams and 3 oysters purchased Monday at Stop & Shop. Then, I simply grilled them over medium-high heat for 10-12 minutes. Carefully remove from the grill as soon as they open. Serve with cocktail sauce (I doctored standard jar sauce with lots of horseradish, Tabasco sauce and lemon juice). Very tasty!!!

Skewering Hunger Pangs With Killer Shrimp & Veggie Kabobs

After taking a few moments to savor the oysters and clams, I got busy with the shrimp and veggies. (With storm clouds and thunder in the air, I had to pick up the pace to make sure dinner didn’t get rained out.)  Having prepped the jumbo raw shrimp earlier (removed the shells) and cut up the zucchini, yellow squash, mushrooms, onion and red bell pepper, I just needed to thread them on the skewers (5 for veggies and 2 for shrimp, which cooks faster than the veggies) and brush them with my homemade marinade (Robust olive oil, freshly ground black pepper, sea salt, garlic powder, oregano and cayenne pepper). Grilled them over medium heat (5-7 minutes for the shrimp and 10 minutes for the veggies — turn frequently). Also grilled a “naked” ear of corn for a little over 10 minutes (again turning frequently).

All I can say is that dinner was absolutely delicious and totally Diva worthy. Served it with a nice French Rose and proceeded to stuff myself … yum!!!!!! It was excellent, if I do say so myself (and I just did)!

 

Dessert Was Warm Memories In A Glass — Park Ave After Hours

After that fabulous meal, I needed to devise an equally wonderful after dinner cocktail. In a stroke of inspiration, I combined the following in a brandy snifter,

• 1 oz. Skyy Infusions Vanilla Bean Vodka
* 0.5 oz. Marie Brizard Apry (Apricot Liqueur)
• 0.25 oz. Galliano

It was delicious and quite addicting! After some consideration, I decide to name it  “Park Ave After Hours” as a tribute to many a Windsor Jesters cast party at Park Ave Pizza (they would reopen for us after a show) in Bloomfield, CT. Although our venue has since changed, there remain lots of warm memories of good friends and good times!

So, while this may have been a long post, we’ve covered a lot about food and spirits. May all yours be good!

Let us know what you think about this post and enjoy the holiday!

A Vey Successful First Sampling Today

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Hope you all  had a great day today and were able to stay cool. It was a bit toasty in Connecticut this afternoon, but we made the best of it. Took samples of 4 of my drink concoctions to a party celebrating the 1st birthday of the newest member of my “adopted” family and got rave reviews on all of them.

The two most popular recipes seemed to be the Miss Lucy – Sweet & Sassy, which I created in honor of the birthday girl, and one of my personal faves, The Royal Purple Diva Martini, At the same time, The Mystic Matador (AKA Twisted Bull Shark) and The Purple Barracuda also garnered lots of positive comments. Needless to say, it was quite rewarding to get such an encouraging response.

I’ll be doing another sampling in two weeks at another summer party with some of the same theater friends. For that one, I’ll be taking a somewhat different mix of recipes to see how they’re received.

Here are the recipes for today’s drinks.

The Miss Lucy – Sweet & Sassy 

A tribute to the birthday girl, this drink pays homage to both sides of her nature and serves as a warning to her future romantic interests (years from now).

  • 1 oz. Bacardi Gold Rum (Aged to sweet perfection, it represents her long-awaited arrival.)
  • 1 oz. Mathilde Orange X.O. Liqueur (As warm and infectious as her smile, but it sneaks up on you.)
  • 0.5 oz. Leroux Crème de Banana Liqueur (There’s bit of monkey business in her smile.)
  • 0.25 oz. Galliano L’autentico Liqueur (For the Italian in her, sweet and intriguing,)
  • 0.25 oz. Chambord Raspberry Liqueur (Sweet as a hug, but there’s always an eye to mischief.)
  • 4 oz. Pineapple Juice (It’s bright smile with a tart twinkle that will make any day better.)
  • 2 long splashes Wild Moon Cranberry Liqueur (Sassy like a New England girl should be.)

Mix ingredients together and pour over ice. Then toast Miss Lucy and enjoy.
Cheers!

 

The Royal Purple Diva Martini 

A spur of the moment idea that turned into something quite special.

The irresistibly enticing flavor is the result of a perfect balancing in the intertwining of the sweet pear warmed by the vodka with the tangy sweet citrus and the refreshing tart pomegranate juice. To say it is simply delicious is an understatement. It was a taste of nirvana in a glass.

  • 1 oz. Skyy Bartlett Pear Infused Vodka
  • 0.25 oz. Patron Citronge Orange Liqueur
  • 3 oz. Of POM Wonderful Pomegranate Juice

To make your Royal Purple Diva martini, combine the above elements in a glass with ice, stir well and pour into a chilled martini glass and enjoy a taste of dark side heaven!

Cheers!

 

The Purple Barracuda! 

Aptly named for a tropical fish that’s sleek and deadly with a vicious bite, just like a Dark Diva. This cocktail is lethal because “your pain is our pleasure!”

*1 oz. Malibu Coconut Rum (for a sweet diversion)

* 1 oz. Patron Citronge Mango Liqueur (for a sweet taste of death)

* 0.5 oz. Jose Cuervo Especial Silver Tequila (for a lethal bite)

* 0.5 oz. Leroux Creme de Banana Liqueur (for a temporary numbing effect)

* Splash of Blue Curacao (for the fatal lure of blue waters)

* 2 oz. Ocean Spray Diet Cran-Mango Juice (for a healthy death in my favorite color)

Mix in a glass with ice and kiss your sanity good-bye!!! (DO NOTattempt to drive, pedal, text or proposition strangers while consuming this drink! The Dark Diva Rules accepts no responsibility for any foolish, illegal or immoral acts you may commit under the influence of this drink!)

Cheers!

 

The Mystic Matador AKA  
A Twisted Bull Shark

New England meets South of the Border in this new summer recipe. After a couple of these, you may feel like waving a piece of red meat in front of a charging bull shark. The next morning, you’ll find out the shark won!

  • 1 oz. Malibu Coconut Rum (Sweet and lethal.)
  • 1 oz. Jose Cuervo Especial Silver Tequila (Olé!)
  • 0.5 oz. Leroux Crème de Banana Liqueur (So you’ll go bananas and wrestle a shark.)
  • Splash Wild Moon Cranberry Liqueur (This is New England!)
  • Splash Wild Moon Lime Liqueur (It’s a tropical thing!)
  • 4 oz. Ocean Spray Diet Cran-Mango Juice (Only 5 calories so you can swim faster than the shark. Haha)
  • 2 Drops Cholula Hot Sauce (Hopefully, the shark won’t like spicy food.)

Mix ingredients together and pour over ice. Say your prayers. And try not to drown in the kiddie pool!

Cheers!

If you were at the party, please add your comment to this post about what you liked or didn’t like and which two should I take to the new sampling.

It was a fun afternoon!

Thanks for following our blog!

CHEERS!

Miss Bri
The Dark Diva

The Website Has Been Updated And Is Now Online With Direct Links To the Blog! Yay!

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Good evening (or morning depending on how you look at it)!

I’m happy to announce that the latest version of our website has been uploaded with direct links to Miss Bri’s Fresh & Twisted Blog!

It has been a crazy week trying to get the blog straightened out and preparing to take samples to a party for the first time. I brought on an assistant to help. Here’s Miss Iggy Loo, our Dark Chill Diva, wearing her new logo gear!

Also made some The Dark Diva Rules logo T-shirts for me to wear as well as to give away to promote the business. This is a slow process since I’m currently doing iron-on transfers myself. Hopefully, we’ll reach critical mass soon, so we can have them screen printed and available online.

After the party, I’ll be posting reactions to the samples of four recipes (2 new ones and 2 classics), along with the recipes themselves, and more on either Sunday or Monday.

Oh, btw, if you try any of my recipes, like my friends Lisanne and Wayne, please send in a photo. Here was their photo from trying The Twisted Purple Backstabber.

Well, that’s about it for now! Have a great weekend!

Cheers!

Miss Bri
The Dark Diva