Share The Holiday Spirit(s) With Create-Your-Own Spirits of Connecticut Gift Sets

November 27, 2018

As the Christmas countdown starts to accelerate (technically time passes at the same rate, but it sure feels like it speeds up when it comes to getting ready for the holidays), finding the perfect gifts can always be a challenge. Hopefully, you got some ideas from our last post (The Dark Diva’s Holiday Social & Survival Guide Part 3: Gifts For Drink Lovers Made Easy, Fun & Unique). And in this post, we’re going to expand on that theme with suggestions on how to create your own unique “Spirits of Connecticut” gift sets that will surprise and delight any drink lover on your list.

Creativity Counts, But There Are A Few Rules

Okay, I get what you’re thinking – how can you be creative when there are rules? Like them or not, there are always some rules you have to consider. These shouldn’t really impair your inventiveness, but they are important.

1) I shouldn’t even have to post this rule, but just to make sure there is no misunderstanding. RECIPIENTS OF THESE GIFT SETS MUST BE AT LEAST 21 YEARS OF AGE! That’s the law, and it’s just plain good sense.

2) There are some special rules governing shipping alcohol, so check with your carrier before attempting to ship one of these gift sets to someone. (Also pack the contents carefully even if delivering it yourself or you could ruin more than the surprise.)

And that’s pretty much it. So, really not that much to worry about. Now let’s get to the fun stuff!

Use Your Imagination And Have Some Fun
(But Save Some of The Spirits to
Actually Put In The Gift Set!)

Caught ya! Miss Bri knows all the tricks (not that I’ve ever done any of them of course … er … ummm … well … never mind)! While I’ve suggested the specific spirits and a few other contents, feel free to add other things like a CT-themed shot glass, mixers or anything else that comes to mind. That extends to how you package it as well, whether it’s a crate, a basket, a box or whatever. (Also, I’ve specified products from craft-distillers I’ve reviewed so far. If you are familiar with one I haven’t visited, feel free to use their products though it may make a difference in how some of my suggested cocktails taste due to potentially different flavor profiles.)

The Spirits of Connecticut:
Cool As A Connecticut Cuke Gift Set

For anyone who enjoys a refreshing Gin & Tonic, this gift set promises a definite twist of cool taste and attitude.

Suggested Contents:

• WAYPOINT SPIRITS CRAFT-DISTILLED WINTONBERRY GIN (750 ML)
(Lighter and more refreshing than typical gins, with an infusion of locally sourced botanical and floral elements, Wintonberry is made from locally-sourced ingredients.)
• WILD MOON® CUCUMBER LIQUEUR (375 ML)
• WILD MOON® LIME LIQUEUR (375 ML)
(Crafted locally by Hartford Flavor Company, these authentic-tasting, delicious liqueurs are all-natural and gluten-free.)
• ROCKS GLASS WITH A CT THEME
(I used my own recently acquired Waypoint Spirits Rocks Glass ($6) as a suggested inclusion. A Wild Moon® glass would also make an excellent addition to the set.)

RECIPE

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

I found that Wintonberry Gin, Wild Moon® Cucumber & Wild Moon® Lime mix 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.)

In a glass with ice, combine the following:

1 oz. Waypoint Spirits Wintonberry 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. Cheers!

The Spirits of Connecticut:
A Berry Cheery Holiday Gift Set

All the classic ingredients plus a few additions for a fresh holiday twist on a classic cocktail!

Suggested Contents:

• WAYPOINT SPIRITS CRAFT-DISTILLED LABRADOR NOON VODKA (750 ML)
(Very smooth with virtually no harsh alcohol burn, Labrador Noon is exceptionally mixable or fine as shot.)
• WILD MOON® CRANBERRY LIQUEUR (375 ML)
(Crafted locally by Hartford Flavor Company, this authentic-tasting, delicious liqueur is all-natural and gluten-free.)
• SMIRNOFF® RASPBERRY VODKA (750 ML)
(While not a craft spirit, Smirnoff is distilled in CT.)
• ROCKS OR MARTINI GLASS (WITH A CT THEME)
STANLEY® SCREWDRIVER SET (OPTIONAL) 
(Stanley® Tools are made in CT.)

RECIPE:

Santa’s Berry Twisted Stanley Screwdriver

Another holiday concoction from The Dark Diva’s “La-Bar-Atory” with all CT alcohols, this is a great treat for Santa’s helpers when dealing with “some assembly required” surprises late on Christmas Eve nights!!! (I recommend finishing the assembly before finishing too many of these concoctions!)

Fill rocks glass OR shaker with ice, then mix:

1 oz. Waypoint Spirits Labrador Noon Vodka
0.5 oz. Wild Moon® Cranberry Liqueur
0.5 oz. Smirnoff® Raspberry Vodka
3 oz. Orange Juice

Stir in rocks glass and serve OR shake and strain into a chilled martini glass!
Ho! Ho! Cheers! 

The Spirits of Connecticut:
Every Day’s A Twisted Holiday Gift Set

This versatile gift set is the basis for two of my special recipes, but I’m sure the recipients won’t stop there. One of my recipes is also great for warm weather so they can literally make any day a holiday.

• WAYPOINT SPIRITS CRAFT-DISTILLED
MAN OVERBOARD SPICED RUM
(750 ML)
(A bit lighter and smoother than other spiced rums I’ve tried, this the first one I enjoyed enough to actually buy and use.)
• WILD MOON® CRANBERRY LIQUEUR (375 ML)
• WILD MOON® LIME LIQUEUR (375 ML)
(Crafted locally by Hartford Flavor Company, these authentic-tasting, delicious liqueurs are all-natural and gluten-free.)
• ROCKS GLASS (WITH A CT THEME)

RECIPES:

Twisted Mystic Rumberry Cocktail

Naming this cocktail was almost too easy! The image of sailors coming ashore in Mystic to quench their thirst with rum combined with traditional cranberries for the holidays led to this cheery year-round refresher.

In rocks glass filled with ice, mix;

1.0 oz. Waypoint Spirits Man Overboard Spiced Rum
0.5 oz. Wild Moon® Cranberry Liqueur
0.5 oz. Wild Moon® Lime Liqueur
2.0 oz. Diet Cranberry Juice

Stir and serve! Just try not to go overboard! Cheers!

Twisted Windsor Nutmegger Eggnog

Honoring CT’s first town and featuring all CT spirits, this smooth hen’s moo concoction is a perfectly potent and nicely spiced way to celebrate the holidays with friends.

In rocks glass filled with ice, mix;

1.5 oz. Waypoint Spirits Man Overboard Spiced Rum
0.5 oz. Wild Moon® Cranberry Liqueur
3.0 oz. Eggnog
A Sprinkle of Nutmeg

Stir, serve and toast the season! Cheers!

***Gift Guide Update***

Since last week’s blog post, there have been a few updates in our Gifting Guide.

NEW! Waypoint Spirits Sampler Set

Waypoint Spirits Sampler Gift Set

Waypoint Spirits in Bloomfield has just introduced a Sampler Set featuring six 100 ml bottles of their signature craft-distilled liquors, including Labrador Noon Vodka, Wintonberry Gin, Man Overboard Spiced Rum and Spicy XIII Vodka. Priced at $40, the set comes in a wood-slat crate with rope carrying handle. Contact them at drinkwaypoint.com for more details.

REMINDER! Hartford Flavor Company Hours

Just a reminder that you can stop by Hartford Flavor Company Monday – Thursday during the holiday season from 9-5 to purchase Wild Moon® Liqueurs and merchandise only. (Tours and tastings are Friday evenings, Saturday afternoons and Sunday afternoons only.) Contact them at hartfordflavor.com for more details.

Let us know if you have questions or anything to share!

 

 

The Dark Diva’s Holiday Social & Survival Guide Part 3: Gifts For Drink Lovers Made Easy, Fun & Unique

November 20, 2018

So now we’ve reached the final part of our Holiday Social & Survival Guide with tips on unique gift ideas, including custom cocktails, for your favorite drink lovers, from those who just appreciate drinks and alcohols with new and intriguing flavors to those with discriminating taste for distilling excellence to serious mixologists.

Share The Joy (literally):
Take Them Out To A Craft Distillery
Or A Top Happy Hour

Kelly, our tour & spirit guide at Hartford Flavor Company in Hartford describing the various liqueurs we are about to sample!

What better gift to give than one you can share like a tasting at a local craft distillery or a top reviewed Happy Hour. I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t love this gift. It’s thoughtful, fun and can be fairly reasonable, especially a distillery tasting.

Craft Distillery Tours & Tastings

The Tasting Bar of Wild Moon(R) Liqueurs that’s part of the tour at Hartford Flavor Company.

If you’re in Connecticut, there are a number of craft distillers across the state, although not all offer tours and/or tastings. You can find a list of craft distillers here with links to more information. Create a nice, formal invitation for the recipient(s) to be your guest(s) for a tour & tasting, as your Christmas gift to them, on a specific date over the holidays (or after).

Melissa, our bartender/spirit guide, pours samples for guests at the Tasting Bar of Waypoint Spirits in Bloomfield, CT!

I have visited and reviewed two of these craft distillers in the greater Hartford area, which I can personally recommend: Hartford Flavor Company in Hartford and Waypoint Spirits in Bloomfield. Both offer affordable Saturday and Sunday afternoon tours

Connor was our enthusiastic and knowledgeable tour guide at Waypoint Spirits.

and tastings, although hours may vary during the holidays. (Click on their respective names to visit their web sites for details and contact information.) It’s a great way to get acquainted with the distiller’s art and try something new. The guides do a great job of engaging guests and conveying a lot of information in an entertaining manner.

Top Reviewed Happy Hours

Grant’s Flirtini

Check through local reviews online (such as Miss Bri’s Fresh & Twisted Blog) to find fresh, interesting Happy Hours, and treat special friends to a visit during the holidays. You’ll find some recommendations for Happy Hours to visit in the greater Hartford area listed here with links to my reviews. Going out for Happy Hour at some place new can be a really nice treat for everyone.

Click on the name to read my review, which also includes a link to the location’s web site:

Bloomfield

The Republic Gastropub

Manchester

Bistro On Main
Plaza Azteca

South Windsor

Burtons Bar & Grill
Mill On The River
Red Heat Tavern
Ted’s Montana Grill

West Hartford

Blue Elephant Trail
Grant’s Restaurant & Bar
Max’s Oyster Bar
Zohara Mediterranean Kitchen

 

Pour On The Thoughtfulness:
Give Them Craft Distilled Liquors & Liqueurs
As Well As Distinctive Barware

 

Want to wrap up your Christmas shopping with a twist? Then surprise your
favorite drink lover with something different – a bottle of liquid goodness from a local craft distiller. Here are just a few suggestions from craft distillers in the greater Hartford area.

The Wild Moon® Liqueurs Variety Pack

Featuring 100ml bottles of six different Wild Moon® liqueurs (Lime, Cucumber, Lavender, Rose, Birch and Chai Spice), this is a great introduction to these all-natural, gluten-free spirits that are crafted in Hartford by the Hartford Flavor Company. The variety pack and a range of other Hartford Flavor Company/Wild Moon® themed products (barware, shirts and more) are available at the Hartford Flavor Company. Visit their web site here for more details.

Waypoint Spirits

Waypoint Spirits Craft Distilled Honey Habanero Flavored Whiskey

Show your friends that you are a thoughtful and perceptive person with excellent tastes by giving them one of Waypoint Spirits’ locally crafted liquors (distilled in Bloomfield), such as Labrador Noon Vodka (a very smooth, premium-style vodka), Wintonbury Gin (botanically infused, more in the mold of Hendrick’s with less juniper flavor), and Small Batch Honey Habanero Flavored Whiskey (the spice is right for those who like a little firewater). Visit their web site here for details.

Barware

A set of 4 initialed or monogrammed Old-Fashioned or On-The-Rocks glasses makes a beautifully distinctive and highly appreciated gift for any mixologists. A bar mat for mixing, a good quality shaker and durable bar tools also make nice gifts for your favorite mixologist. You can find them online at Amazon and Bar & Vine as well as locally at places as diverse as Williams Sonoma and Target.

Give A Gift That Is Totally Unique:
Their Own Custom-Crafted Cocktail Recipe
From The Dark Diva

Whether you want a truly one-of-a-kind gift for someone very special or a perfectly themed cocktail to take a special holiday event to the next level, nothing compares to the cocktail crafting wizardry and backstory creativity of The Dark Diva.

Here’s what a recent client said of the three custom-crafted cocktails I created for an event she planned:

“I wanted to let you know that last night was a great success especially with the signature cocktails! The ranks were split between the Velvet Voodoo Martini (… my favorite) and the Purple Magic Martini. I think the Autumn Paradise would have done better but for the literal heat wave that hit us yesterday afternoon (!) which made it hard to get in the groove for fall LOL …”

And her guests concurred:

“What a wonderfully fun evening!  How clever to have a signature cocktail tasting.  That Velvet Voodoo Martini was so sweet and smooth – I wanted to slip into a bathtub full of it!”

“Purple Magic Martini – this was simply scrumptious! Fruity without being too sweet, and I like sweet!

“Autumn Paradise Martini – As someone who hates Autumn, I wasn’t even going to try this one between the pumpkin and butterscotch, BUT, the flavors blended well, and it truly was a treat, not a trick!”

Created for a party of stressed out executive assistants, these colorfully named custom-crafted cocktails also included a short story with them. (I don’t share the recipe specifics publicly, however, since they now belong to the client which assures they will remain unique.)

The Velvet Voodoo Martini
(AKA The Karma’s A Bitch Martini)

Sometimes when you’re at the end of your rope, all you want to do is make a noose out of it and hang your boss. For anyone who is overworked and underappreciated by a ridiculously demanding boss, The Velvet Voodoo Martini is made with dark magic (Irish spirits, exotic spices and sneakily irresistible flavors) that will give you sweet velvet dreams of the moment when you just walk out and leave your boss completely helpless. And, just maybe, your boss will have the same dream. If it doesn’t scare him/her to death, it should at least scare them into showing more appreciation for all you do. (Just for fun, look up poisons on Google frequently so your boss can see it. Later, tell him/her you have to meet the exterminator at your house about poisoning some rats and ask if he/she wants you to pick up lunch for them – be very insistent. That should give them pause. Haha!)

The Diva’s Purple Magic Martini
(AKA “Beam Me Up Scotty,
There’s No Intelligent Life down Here!” Martini)

This concoction is made for those days when everyone you have deal with is an ill-tempered, impatient moron who couldn’t find their butt with both hands and directions. No matter how simply and patiently you try to explain to them that what they want is not what they need, not reasonable or just simply impossible, they have all the comprehension of a two-year-old, so they pitch a fit. While you can’t do what you feel like doing to them (unless you have lots of money, access to the dark web to hire a hitman, and an ironclad alibi), you can make them all magically disappear for a while with this deliciously sweet escape that will let you boldly go where no where no boss can find you!

The Autumn Paradise Martini
(AKA “The Leaf Me Alone, I’m Having A Moment” Martini)

Like a walk through the woods on a glorious autumn afternoon, with the fresh crispness of a cool fall breeze as the bright sunshine brings nature’s spectacular palette of scarlet, gold, yellow, green and rust to vivid life, this is a moment to savor in a New England paradise. No demanding bosses. No uncooperative co-workers. No screaming kids. No annoying spouse. Now that moment is yours in a glass with The Autumn Paradise Martini. Just forget everything and chill with every sip, after warning everyone that they might encounter the Grim Reaper if they disturb your moment (or moments) in Autumn Paradise!

Learn more about my custom-crafted cocktails for events and gifts here. You can also email me: MissBri@thedarkdivarules.com.

Act now! Don’t wait, because I expect to get booked out fast!

Hopefully, you’ve found some ideas here that will make your holiday gift-giving experience easy and fun!

Hope you have a wonderfully enjoyable and safe holiday season!

The Republic In Bloomfield Earns Strong Happy Hour Allegiances … Plus The Queen Gets Mean … And Enjoy An Early Taste Of Autumn, Dark Diva Style!

September 11, 2018

A Moment To Reflect

Hard to believe it’s the 17thAnniversary of the 9-11 terrorist attacks. So, wherever you are today, please join with me in a toast to the memory of the victims and to honor all the first responders and others who made whatever sacrifices were necessary to rescue the survivors. Cheers!

________________________________________________

Here in CT, we had a delightful preview of autumn with cooler temps, which was a welcome break from the recent heat wave. It also seemed like the perfect time to crack the seal on the jar of Full Moonshine Apple Pie I had been saving since my trip to Hickory Ledges Farm & Distillery back in August and create some new recipes for the season. We’ll get to those a little later in the blog. First, I want to share my review of Friday Happy Hour at The Republic in Bloomfield, CT.

Service Was Right On The Mark … Literally

Those of you who follow my blog know that I place a premium on service when visiting a bar for Friday Happy Hour. The lack of a smile or an indifferent attitude can make any bar seem ordinary and amplify even the smallest imperfections to the point negating any price or selection advantages. At the same time, a friendly outgoing bartender can elevate the appeal of any bar to exceptional status. And while the places I’ve reviewed so far have done very well in the service area, The Republic took it to new level.

Meet Mark, an exceptional bartender who has been with The Republic since it opened. He made me feel welcome from the moment I sat down at the bar.

I arrived at The Republic a little after 4 PM on Friday and found an empty seat at the bar. As soon as I had gotten myself situated, the bartender quickly approached with a warm smile and introduced himself as Mark (hence the subhead) and asked for my name, which he used all through my time there. Personally, I find that to be an important aspect of making me feel welcome at a bar. It was also the first time since I’ve been doing these reviews that the bartender has introduced himself/herself and used my name other than on the tab. That places Mark and The Republic as unique right from the start. And the service continued on a high note from there, as my every request was handled quickly and efficiently with a smile.

There was another bartender also working, but her interactions were with other guests. As a result, I can’t really provide a review of her work specifically, although she seemed to have an excellent attitude from what I could see.

(Before I left, I told Mark that I had been doing a bar review and asked him a few questions. I learned that he’s been bartending there since The Republic opened in 2012. That speaks well for The Republic in being smart enough to make sure he stayed!)

There’s A Lot of Happiness
In Their Happy Hour Cocktails

The Happy Hour cocktail special consisted of well drinks for $5, which is fairly standard. However, that’s the only thing I would classify as standard, since their “well” vodka (Labrador Noon) and gin (Wintonbury) are excellent locally distilled varieties by Waypoint Spirits (also in Bloomfield). I have classified both as premium products in my comparison videos. Additionally, I like to see local bars supporting our craft distillers, when their products are good as in the case of Waypoint Spirits.

A very large Wintonbury Gin & Tonic for only $5. An excellent deal!

The surprises continued as I watched Mark make my Wintonbury Gin and Tonic. I expected it to come in a typical 8 oz. glass, but what I got was a huge glass (as you can see from the accompanying image) filled with a very good gin and tonic that was definitely an exceptional value, especially considering the smoothness of the Wintonbury Gin. After finishing my cocktail, I opted to downshift to the cabernet (also $5). It was a generous pour of wine that had a nice depth of flavor with a mellow warmth that was quite enjoyable.

Oysters on the Half Shell
Make Me as Happy as a Clam

Bad puns aside, the Happy Hour menu has something for everyone and, for me, that means oysters at $1.50 each. Since I can’t eat cheese, a lot of happy hour menu options are not available to me, so I rate the menu based on whether I can find something without cheese that appeals to my taste, like the East Coast Oysters. Being hungry I ordered six, which were so tasty they didn’t last long enough for me to take a picture of the nice presentation. Needless to say, a majority of you will easily find something you’ll like.

C’mon Feel the Noise … It’s Alive

At the time I arrived, there was a talkative crowd on the front patio, but the interior was relatively quiet. However, that began to change as it got later and more crowded. I had been chatting with the couple next to me at the bar when we noticed the noise level increasing exponentially. They told me it was teachers coming in (students are not the only ones happy for the weekend). It added an infectious liveliness to the atmosphere with so many voices talking, laughing and enjoying themselves.

Apart from the noise level, everything else about The Republic ambiance is quietly welcoming with an engaging mix of industrial modern and classic New England décor elements including a long, metal-topped bar and plenty of stools.

***UNIQUELY RECOMMENDED***

From the moment Mark introduced himself through the huge Wintonbury Gin & Tonic and more, The Republic stood out as a distinctively different Friday Happy Hour experience that deserved nothing less than my highest rating as ***UNIQUELY RECOMMENDED***! With the exceptional service, impressive drink values, diverse menu and inviting atmosphere, it’s easy to understand why it enjoys a high degree of popularity and strong allegiances.

Check out their website for more details, including hours, menus and directions.

Tell them The Dark Diva sent you!

Queen Cayenne’s French Quarter Bitch Slap
AKA The Devil Comes In Red Stilettos!

As the song says, it’s a good idea to never mess with The Dark Diva’s alter ego unless you want to get burned.

A word of warning down in New Orleans,
Never wanna mess with a voodoo queen.
She’s got spells that will set your heart on fire,
And turn your soul into a funeral pyre.
So, better make sure that you understand,
Nobody brings the heat like Queen Cayenne.

If she finds out that you been messin’ round,
She’s gonna light you up and burn you down.
Oh, hell yeah, you better know that she can,
‘cause nobody’s hotter than Queen Cayenne.

So, if Queen Cayenne gives you a French Quarter Bitch Slap, just say thank you! This spicy concoction with the even spicier name consists of:

• 1.0 oz. Sazerac® Rye Straight Rye Whiskey
• 0.5 oz. Chartreuse Liqueur
• 0.25 oz. Waypoint Spirits Small Batch Honey Habanero Flavored Whiskey
• 0.25 oz. La Belle Orange Gran Orange Liqueur
• 2.0 oz. Club Soda

Mix ingredients together in an 8 oz. glass with ice, stir and toast sweet death with a kick!

Try These Dark Diva Cocktails
And See Why Autumn Never Tasted So Good!

Autumn Dream Martini

Get your fall preview party started with this high-octane trip to nirvana … the dark side of the Harvest Moon … or wherever you end up. Just don’t try to drive there!

In a glass with ice, combine:

• 2.0 oz. Full Moonshine Apple Pie
• 1.0 oz. Skyy Infusions® Vanilla Bean Vodka
• 0.5 oz. Skyy Infusions® Bartlett Pear Vodka

 Stir, strain into a chilled martini glass and toast the fruits of the still!

Husky Hokie TD Juice
AKA Twisted Autumn Cheer

A cool autumn weather preview, college football and my Hokie Husky TD Juice = Party-time!This drink salutes the Huskies of UConn in the state I now call home as well as the Hokies of Virginia Tech, my alma mater. A couple of these and you’ll be ready to dribble the football all the way around the bases and score on a penalty kick!

In an 8 oz. glass with ice, mix:

• 2.0 oz. Full Moonshine Apple Pie
• 0.5 oz. Skyy Infusions® Vanilla Bean Vodka
• 1.0 oz. Maker’s Mark® Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whisky
• A Splash of Wild Moon® Birch Liqueur

 Stir and toast your favorite team (as long as it’s the same as mine)!

A Very Twisted Apple Pie a la Mode

It’s dessert in a glass … with a bit of a kick just for fun! Try it with somebody special in front of a fire on a crisp autumn night … either before or after the kinky stuff.

In a glass with ice, combine:

• 2.0 oz. Full Moonshine Apple Pie
• 1.0 oz. Skyy Infusions® Vanilla Bean Vodka
• 2.0 oz. Irish Cream Liqueur

Stir, strain into a chilled martini glass and toast your inhibitions good-bye!

HOPE YOU ENJOYED THIS EDITION OF MISS BRI’S FRESH & TWISTED BLOG. 
THANKS FOR CHECKING IT OUT. 
PLEASE LET US KNOW WHAT YOU THINK!

Escape From The Weekly Grind At This Mill’s Friday Happy Hour … And Queen Cayenne’s Voodoo Cocktails Bring The Heat!

August 27,2018

Welcome to Monday as we start the final week of August with the forecast for a heat wave … ugh! After living in New England for 13 years, this is the first year I can truthfully say that I am actually looking forward to the cooler weather of fall. Of course, one of the best ways to beat the heat is with a cool libation, especially when it’s served in the right environment. And that leads to this week’s Friday Happy Hour Bar Review.

The Mill On The River:
Friday Happy Hour Bar Review

Past and Present Mix Perfectly
at this Spot on the Podunk River

Yes, there is a Podunk River (named for the Podunk tribe of Native Americans), which flows through South Windsor, CT. It was here that colonists first built a mill and damn over 250 years ago. The original mill was destroyed by a flood in 1750, then rebuilt in 1775. Eventually, over the years it fell into disrepair before being rebuilt into The Mill On The River restaurant that exists today.

I will admit that I had been there for dinner twice several years ago and twice last year for their Sunday brunch. On all four occasions, the food and the service were excellent. But this past week marked my first time there for Friday Happy Hour. Not to prolong the suspense, it did not disappoint!

The outdoor dining area at The Mill on the River border Vintons Millpond.

Located on Route 30 (Ellington Road) in a quiet residential area, The Mill on the River offers an appealing vista with Vintons Millpond, water cascading down the face of the mill dam and the covered footbridge above the dam leading to the entrance. Inside, it’s classic New England colonial charm with the dark wood and stone décor, lots of windows and a sense of history. Yet, there are just enough modern accents, especially around the bar so that it feels fresh at the same time. It’s a juxtaposition that works very well. Inside the bar, windows on two sides provide plenty of natural light and pleasant, relaxing views of the outdoor dining deck, millpond and grounds.

The Bar was Hopping,
but the Staff Never Missed a Beat

The entrance to the covered bridge above the mill dam.

By the time I arrived around 4:20, Happy Hour had already been going for a while (it starts at 3). The bar was reasonably crowded, although there were still a few seats available. It was an interesting mix of couples and small groups of various ages that were all chatting happily and giving a convivial rhythm to the noise of the conversations that made the place feel alive and inviting.

Behind the bar, Greg (the bartender) had his own rhythm going in juggling the acknowledging of each guest, taking their orders, mixing/pouring their drinks and never dropping the ball so to speak. He’s apparently quite experienced, because there was a smooth flow to every action. I never felt like it was taking too long for my drinks or my appetizer to arrive. It was exactly what you want … and should expect. A little bit after my arrival, he had help with service bar and the regular bar as it got even more crowded. Still, everything worked in perfect harmony.

Happy Hour Food Left Me Smiling …
And Full

One of the things that has consistently impressed me on my Happy Hour rounds has been the variety, quality and value of the food specials, and The Mill on the Riverwas certainly no exception. Not having had clams for quite some time, I opted for their Crisp Rhode Island Fried Clam Strips for $5.

The clam strips were quite tasty and disappeared quick!

What I got was a generous portion of perfectly fried clam strips with just the right amount of batter and very little grease. They were served with both remoulade and tartar sauce, which were delicious, although I found that I preferred the remoulade better. A nice touch was the bit of cheesecloth over the accompanying lemon half, so the seeds didn’t squirt out. I ate almost all of them, before reaching my limit. Definitely praise worthy on all counts!

Happy Hour Drink Deals Worthy of A Grin,
And Not Much More

I started with a Cosmo made with their well vodka. It tasted good, but it felt it could have been priced just a bit lower since it was made with a very inexpensive vodka.

Unfortunately, if there was one area where the value was a bit questionable, it was in the cocktail prices. I realize I’m being somewhat picky, but since the drink deals are the centerpiece of Happy Hour, at least for me, I feel justified in my pickiness. Cocktails made with liquors from the well are $6, which I consider a bit high considering my Cosmopolitan was made with McCormick’s vodka. Now, I will say it was made well and tasted fine. Plus, I am not a believer that price is always indicative of quality. However, McCormick’s is still very inexpensive, so it feels like drinks made with it should be less than $6.

Their private label cabernet was a more reasonable deal for Happy Hour.

 

The $5 deal on their own private label wines felt more reasonable. I chose the cabernet which was smooth and pleasant, but nothing extraordinary. It was also a generous pour, which contributed to making it feel like a relatively better value.

***UNIQUELY RECOMMENDED***

Despite my reservations about the Happy Hour cocktail pricing, The Mill on the River sets a very high standard with the service, the food and the extraordinary setting. I am compelled to give their Friday Happy Hour my top rating of ***UNIQUELY RECOMMENDED*** because in many ways there’s nothing else like it.

For more information, visit The Mill On The River website..

Check out their Friday Happy Hour and tell them The Dark Diva sent you!

 

The Heat Is Always On At
Queen Cayenne’s Red-Hot Gator Club

Queen Cayenne is The Dark Diva’s alter ego, inspired by a love of New Orleans, Tabasco®hot sauce, Cholula®hot sauce, spicy cooking (especially Cajun), hot blues and jazz music, and sultry dark magic. But a word of warning … when you mess with Queen Cayenne, you are definitely playing with fire. She will light you up, burn you down, and leave what’s left for gator bait!

Here are some of Queen Cayenne’s favorite recipes for her Voodoo potions … er … cocktails, which have been recently featured on The Dark Diva Rules Facebook page, Twitter feed and Instagram:

Queen Cayenne’s Sweet Hellfire Whiskey

The perfect accompaniment when you’re grilling, this cocktail brings sweet heat. When you’re hot … burn, baby, burn! In an 8 oz. glass with ice, combine:

1.0 oz. Waypoint Spirits Small Batch Honey Habanero Flavored Whiskey
1.0 oz. Maker’s Mark®Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whisky
0.5 oz. Patrón Citrónge®Extra Fine Mango Liqueur
0.25 oz. Mathilde Pêche (Peach) Liqueur
Splash Wild Moon®Lime Liqueur
2 Dashes Tabasco®Brand Pepper Sauce

Stir ingredients, sip carefully and start cooking … before you light the grill!

Queen Cayenne’s Cajun Gator Bite

Feeling mean? Try tangling with this cocktail that bites back … it’s green whiskey fire with serious teeth! In an 8 oz. glass with ice, combine:

1.0 oz. Waypoint Spirits Small Batch Honey Habanero Flavored Whiskey
1.0 oz. Full Moonshine Circa 1797 Neutral Spirits
0.5 oz. Green Chartreuse Liqueur
0.25 oz. Patrón Citrónge®Extra Fine Orange Liqueur
4 Drops Tabasco®Brand Pepper Sauce

Stir ingredients, sip carefully and hope you don’t end up as gator bait … chomp!

Queen Cayenne’s French Devil
(AKA Twisted Triple 6)

This is a new one for those who’ll try anything once … maybe twice if they survive the first time. After a hard day of wrestling cantankerous reptiles (whether in the swamp or at the office), you’re ready to play with some serious fire! In a brandy snifter, combine:

1.0 oz. Green Chartreuse Liqueur
1.0 oz. Landy Cognac V.S.

 Stir, sip carefully and feel the burn! Beware the beast …

Thanks for reading this blog post! Please let us know if you have comments or questions. Also, feel free to offer suggestions of any Happy Hours you’d like to see us review!

The Weekend Preview – What’s Fresh, What’s Twisted & What’s Even Wilder Than Miss Bri

August 23, 2018

Okay, I admit that I lied in the headline. There’s nothing wilder than Miss Bri, because I know no limits! Haha! However, aside from that, my friends at Hartford Flavor Company (makers of all the Wild Moon Liqueurs I use in my recipes) sent me these events to get your weekend started off right!

Parkville Block Party – This Saturday 8/25 all day until Midnight 

One of Hartford’s newest and biggest parties!  Come partake in this neighborhood-wide festival and experience art, music, food and entertainment all day long at Parkville’s numerous cultural venues.  We’ll be open for tours/tastes/cocktails from 1-5pm at which time the Underwood Afterparty will begin with great live music at our space and at our next door neighbor, Real Art Ways.  Click here for more information about the entire day’s events.

Other upcoming events include:

Friday Night Flavor Music Series:  back by popular demand is our Friday night music.  Sip on a delicious Wild Moon cocktail and support the local music scene. Our standard tour/taste/cocktail starts at 4pm before the music starts, so come for that and bring your own food bites.  More info here:  Friday Night Flavor.

Check Out My Uniquely Recommended Friday Hours

Be sure to get your weekend started where The Dark Diva has been before and given her top rating …
Max’s Oyster Bar in West Hartford and …
Ted’s Montana Grill at Evergreen Walk in South Windsor
The exterior of Ted’s Montana Grill at Evergreen Walk in South Windsor, CT.
Tell them the Dark Diva sent you!
Have fun and be safe!!!

In This Week’s Post … A Bison Bar Stands Out From The Herd in South Windsor … Green Fire Heats Up In Popularity … The Dark Diva Gets Fired Up For A Hot CT Whiskey … And More!

August 19, 2018

Hope you’re enjoying this magnificent Sunday in Connecticut as we get our first real break in like “forevah” (I lived in Mass, for 13 years!)from the tropical heat, humidity and monsoon rains. I actually cut off the AC units in my apartment and opened the windows to get some fresh air while writing this blog post. And, since we’ve got a lot to cover, let’s jump right into it.

Friday Happy Hour Bar Review:
Slip Away from The Herd at Ted’s Montana Grill in South Windsor

The exterior of Ted’s Montana Grill at Evergreen Walk in South Windsor, CT.

Okay, so I should probably apologize for the herd puns, but I know you’re secretly laughing at them. Anyway, in my quest to find distinctive Happy Hour venues and offerings, I ended up this past Friday at Ted’s Montana Grill at Evergreen Walk in South Windsor. Online, it said their Happy Hour ran Monday – Friday from 3 PM – 7 PM, so I decided to go early and avoid the crowd. It definitely worked, because I was the only customer at the rather long bar when I got there at 3:30. Apparently, the early starting time was a fairly recent change. Combined with folks trying to get things done outside before the storms were supposed to hit, it assured a quiet afternoon, at least while I was there. I’m not complaining, though, since it’s sometimes nice to relax and unwind without having to fight for a seat or get jostled, squeezed and generally have your personal space invaded by latecomers trying to get a drink.

A Bit Of The Old West In Central Connecticut:
It’s Also A Bit More Polished, So Bring Your Manners Not Your Spurs

Aside from noting the crowd (or lack thereof), one of the first things I always

A view at ted’s Montana Grill, including the bison head. (Unfortunately, my phone camera had a delay glitch so that the picture didn’t take until I was moving the phone. THIS WAS BEFORE I HAD MY FIRST DRINK!)

focus on is the look and feel of the bar area. Made of dark wood, the bar itself and the liquor shelving behind it had a definite western vibe going on. It even extended to the bison head mounted on the wall at the end of the bar. All in all, it felt upscale, thematically and corporately in alignment with their image, but maybe just a bit too masculine for my tastes. (That’s a very subjective judgement, so take it with a grain of salt.)

Not Your Typical Chain:
Limited Happy Hour Menu Still Has Some Unique Offerings

One of the biggest drawing cards for me was a chance to try bison (affordably)to see if I liked it. I was excited to try the Buckland, a 3 oz. burger made with either beef ($6) or bison ($7), which I selected. It arrived cooked to juicy perfection and stacked with lettuce, tomato and red onion on a fresh bun. Messy to eat, it was absolutely one of the best burgers I have ever eaten (and I have eaten a lot of burgers). The meat was slightly sweet and just different enough from beef to make it quite interesting. I definitely recommend it as something you should try at least once! In addition, it came with fries and a giant salt and pepper onion ring that were also quite tasty.

Ted’s Montana Grill Happy Hour menu.

There are only 3 other food items on the Happy Hour menu – Bison Nachos featuring bison chili, Salt and Pepper Onion Rings, and Homemade Chips. Since I do not like and cannot eat cheese (except for mozzarella on a pizza), I skipped the nachos, while I tasted the onion rings (which I also recommend)as part of my BucklandBison Burger.

Of course, since this is a bar review, drinks are quite important. Again, the offerings are limited to 4 mixed drinks, 4 different wines and select beers. I opted for the Hendrick’s Mule, since it was something I had not tried before. Cold and refreshing, it went down smooth. Infused with florals and botanicals, Hendrick’s gin is a premium gin from Scotland that does not have the strong juniper flavor prevalent in London dry gins.

No Limits On Excellent Service:
It Starts And Ends With A Smile

As you know from my previous reviews, I consider the quality of service the single most important aspect in making a bar a good choice to patronize or a place to definitely avoid. It’s the pivotal factor that too many places don’t get right. However, Ted’s Montana Grill in South Windsor excelled in this area. Colleen, who was tending bar during my visit, was friendly and smiling all through my time there, and even spent some time in conversation between prepping the bar for expected crowds for later.

Plus, when the kitchen failed to leave the cheese off my burger as I had requested, she was very apologetic and put my fries and onion rings on a fresh plate, so I could eat them while she took the burger back to get me a new one. It was not a long wait – just long enough to be sure it was cooked correctly (not underdone).

I rarely complain about mistakes if they are properly acknowledged and promptly corrected with a genuine interest in my ultimate satisfaction. When I become perfect and never make a mistake (I’m almost there … NOT), then I will make a much bigger deal out of a mistake. The point is that Colleen corrected it promptly with a sincere apology and no issues at all, which is what keeps customers happy and coming back. And that’s what I consider another essential element of service that can be sadly lacking in too many places.

***UNIQUELY RECOMMENDED***

Side view of Ted’s Montana Grill from the rear parking lot. There’s an outdoor seating area along the walk.

Although it is part of a chain and has a somewhat limited Happy Hour menu, I still feel that Ted’s Montana Grill at Evergreen Walk in South Windsor deserves my highest rating of ***UNIQUELY RECOMMENDED***! As far as I know, the Buckland Bison Burger and Bison Nachos are something you won’t find on any other Happy Hour menus in this area. The drink menu features at least one premium liquor drink. And, the service ties it all together nicely. (I also recommend taking advantage of the lack of a crowd early, while you can, for a very relaxing Happy Hour.)

You can visit their website at tedsmontanagrill.com to get hours, directions and check out all their menus as well as to find location near you, if the South Windsor location is not convenient for you.

Tell them The Dark Diva sent you!

Discovering Chartreuse Liqueur:
From A Potent Oddity To Bar Essential,
Green Fire Is Spreading

Way back in the Dark Ages, when I was in college, I read about Chartreuse liqueur but could not find in a liquor store in Virginia or D.C. at the time. Over the years I had forgotten about it until several years ago, when I started spotting Chartreuse on a few liquor store shelves. However, since this before I really got into the business of mixology, it was quite an expensive investment (around $30 for 375 ml) for something I wasn’t even sure I would like.

My bottle of Green Chartreuse has been emptying rather rapidly!

Once I committed to being a mixologist, that all changed. I had to have adventurous taste buds, so I splurged several weeks ago on a Friday and bought a bottle at Joe’s Fine Wine And Spirits in East Windsor, my local go-to package store. I learned a valuable lesson that night – I do like Chartreuse very much, but it is very easy to over indulge as my hangover the next day proved. It’s called green fire for three reasons –- the chartreuse green color, the fact that it’s 110 proof, and the fact that it will consume all sense of reason in an instant.

Made from a recipe of 130 different plants and flowers known only to two Carthusian monks who belong to The Order of Chartreuse (hence the name), this French liqueur is supposedly the only liqueur in the world that is naturally green in color. Used for many years in France primarily as a “digestif,” Chartreuse found its way into modern mixology starting in 1860, when it became the featured ingredient in the “Bijou” cocktail. Today, it appears in more and more recipes as mixologists strive to create unique drinks.

Tasting somewhat like Galliano on steroids, Chartreuse has a very distinctive flavor profile that works surprisingly well with a variety of different liquors and liqueurs. I also enjoy sipping it straight at room temperature, although it’s also supposed to be quite tasty when served cold. Depending on how adventurous your own taste buds are, it might take you several encounters to acquire a taste for it. Or you may want to start with Yellow Chartreuse, which has a lower proof and milder flavor.

Here are some very recent cocktail recipes I’ve created using Green Chartreuse that you may want to try for yourself.

Twisted Green Fire Voodoo Whiskey

The Dark Diva’s gonna put a spell on you this witch’s brew.
In an 8 oz. glass with ice, mix:
• 2 oz. Waypoint Spirits Craft Distilled Small Batch Honey Habanero Flavored Whiskey
• 0.25 oz. Green Chartreuse Liqueur
• 0.25 oz. Mathilde Pêche (Peach) Liqueur
Stir, sip and surrender your will to me! Cheers!

The Martinique Bonfire

It’s going to be a hot time in the West Indies tonight with this concoction! You’ll get the fire down below (remember the Bob Seeger song?)with this simple, but potent drink. In a small snifter, mix:
• 2 oz. Bacardi® Gold Rum
• 0.5 oz. Green Chartreuse Liqueur
Stir and toast the night when love burns! Cheers!

The Wild French Labrador Rose Martini

Ooh la la! You simply must try this Dark Diva martini concoction! A potent, but delicious blend, it’s as wild and untamed as you want to be!
In a glass with ice, mix:
• 1.5 oz. Waypoint Spirits Craft Distilled Labrador Noon Vodka
• 1.0 oz. Wild Moon Rose Liqueur
• 0.5 0z. Green Chartreuse Liqueur
Stir, strain into a chilled martini glass and let your inner wild child bloom! Cheers!

The Dark Diva Uncorks Connecticut Firewater:
Waypoint Spirits Craft Distilled
Small Batch Honey Habanero Flavored Whiskey Comes to the “La-bar-atory”

Waypoint Spirits Craft Distilled Honey Habanero Flavored Whiskey

I first tried this several weeks ago during my tasting and tour at Waypoint Spirits Craft Distillery in Bloomfield, CT. At the time, I knew I had to add this unique whiskey to the ingredient collection in my “la-bar-atory” soon for some very unique cocktail recipes. You can see my video introducing this whiskey and my first recipe using it – The Twisted Hartford, here.

Here are two more recent recipes, you might enjoy:

The Old Scratch Chocolate Twist
AKA New England Dark Fire

Here’s a sweet burning kick right in the taste buds that you’ll come back for again … and again! In an 8 oz. glass with ice, mix:
• 1 oz. Waypoint Spirits Craft Distilled Small Batch Honey Habanero Flavored Whiskey
• 0.25 oz. Patrón Citrónge Orange Liqueur
• 0.5 oz. Trader Vic’s Chocolate Liqueur
Stir and then toast your soul good-bye! Cheers!

Queen Cayenne’s Enfield Firewater

A homage to the town in CT I call home, this is one spicy sweet indulgence that will light you up and burn you down! And you’ll be singing, “let it burn!”  In an 8 oz. glass with ice, mix:
• 1 oz. Waypoint Spirits Craft Distilled Small Batch Honey Habanero Flavored Whiskey
• 0.5 oz. Patrón Citrónge Orange Liqueur
• 0.25 oz. Extra Dry Vermouth
• 0.25 oz. Wild Moon Lime Liqueur
• 4-6 Drops Angostura Bitters
Stir and then burn, baby, burn! Cheers!

Don’t Miss These Dark Diva Videos From Last Week:

TDDR (The Dark Diva Rules)
National Rum Day Video 8 16 18

TDDR (The Dark Diva Rules)
Gin Comparison Video 8 16 18

 

Well that does it for this week’s blog post. Thanks for checking it out!
As always, we welcome your comments, questions and suggestions (including places you’d like The Dark Diva to review).

Have a Great Week!

If the World Is My Oyster, Max’s Oyster Bar in West Hartford Just Might Be The Pearl!

August 13. 2018

Hot and wet is the basic story of summer in Connecticut this year. Lately, rain has been a constant feature in our weather. Fortunately, I found a break in the weather pattern Friday afternoon and ventured down to West Hartford to visit the Happy Hour at Max’s Oyster Bar. (As an aside, I hate I-84 so I took the supposedly longer way through Windsor and Bloomfield and avoided some nasty traffic.)

Max’s Oyster Bar is located at 964 Farmington Ave. West in West Hartford Center, which means parking can be a challenge. I followed recommendations and parked in the Brace Road public parking lot. It cost me $2.25 for a little less than 1.5 hours. It was also easy get in and out without traffic issues.

The fourth restaurant opened by Richard Rosenthal’s Max Restaurant Group. Max’s Oyster Bar launched in 1999 and has apparently never looked back. Having had friends go there and rave about it, I decided it was time for The Dark Diva to do a bar review, especially since I love shellfish. For a variety of reasons, I opted to evaluate the Friday Happy Hour, since it both marks the end of the week for many folks and sets the tone for their weekend. By that standard, ending your week at Max’s Oyster Bar should assure a stellar weekend.

The Simple Things Make The Biggest Difference

I arrived a few minutes early and found a seat at the bar, which was still fairly full, apparently from a late lunch crowd. Alysa, who would be my bartender, brought me a Happy Hour menu and explained that Happy Hour would be starting in just a few minutes, so I informed her I would wait. In reviewing any bar, the bartender really sets the entire mood for your visit, good or bad. Fortunately, Alysa was spot on in making sure that I was served efficiently without long waits and always with a smile. (It was an important reason for the rating I gave Max’s Oyster Bar — you would be surprised at how often those simple keys are totally missed by some supposedly high-end bars.)

A Menu Made To Order

Cool, refreshing and pleasantly different, the $5 Happy Hour Pom Margarita was a nice choice to start my Happy Hour!

While perhaps not overly large, the Happy Hour menu is easy to navigate and offers a number of appealing options at the prevalent $5 price-point with a few exceptions, like 3 oysters on the half-shell for $4, buck a shuck clams and a $4 oyster shooter. It includes mixed drinks, beer and wine plus selections from the raw bar, oyster bar classics, snacks and street tacos. As a mixologist, I naturally gravitated to the $5 mixed drink selections, choosing a Pom Margarita (El Jimador tequila, lime juice and pomegranate juice). It was quite tasty, albeit maybe a bit sweet (as to be expected with pomegranate juice), but still a very enjoyable way to start my weekend.

I had been too busy eating my oysters (they were very good and I was hungry), so that I had to hurry up and grab this shot right before the plate got replaced by the calamari (which is why it’s bit blurred).

For my first course, I chose the 3 for $4 oysters which arrived with horseradish sauce and disappeared in a blur (I love oysters and I was quite hungry). The oysters were of decent size and appealing quality. I followed up with an order of Point Judith calamari, which was lightly fried with hot peppers and served with both a red sauce and a white sauce. Being something of a calamari connoisseur (I love calamari and have tried it all throughout New England as well as outside the region), I found this version to be delicious. In fact, the calamari disappeared almost as fast as the oysters. (Sadly, neither Happy Hour dish was around long enough for me to take a decent picture. Haha!)

The Max Manhattan was a good choice with a nice smoothness as the sweet vermouth and orange bitters perfectly mellowed the taste of the whiskey.

Upon finishing the Pom Margarita, I opted to try a Max Manhattan (Old Overholt Rye Whiskey, Dolin sweet vermouth and orange bitters). Part of my rationale for selecting this particular drink was that I had never tried a Manhattan before. This was an excellent introduction with just the right amount of sweetness to temper the whiskey.

The Best Ambiance Includes Smiles and Conversation

Even though I was at the very end of a long, busy bar, there were enough bartenders so that Alysa could give those of us at my end the attention we deserved. She never gave the impression of being harried, overwhelmed or anything except a readiness to take care of our needs with a smile.

Speaking of smiling, I also judge a Happy Hour (and bars in general) on the friendliness of their customers. If people are willing to say hello and maybe strike up some basic conversation, I consider that a tribute to the type of people the bar/Happy Hour attracts. And I wound up talking to a number of folks at my end of the bar.

Over a little less than 1.5 hours, I had a very pleasant Happy Hour experience while enjoying two not-so-common mixed drinks, fresh oysters on the half-shell, some excellent calamari and some good conversation at a total cost before tip of $20.20. Not bad at all.

***UNIQUELY RECOMMENDED***

Max’s Oyster Bar Happy Hour earns my highest rating as being ***UNIQUELY RECOMMENDED*** for its excellent service, delicious Happy Hour menu with good value and overall ambiance. It’s definitely worth a trip to West Hartford to check it out. Their Happy Hours are 4-6pm Monday-Saturday and 3-6pm Sunday. You can find their menus, directions and more on their web site at maxrestaurantgroup.com/oyster.

Tell them The Dark Diva sent you!

An Inspired Dark Diva Is A Dangerous Thing

It’s not often that I find myself truly inspired by somebody else’s drink recipe. While I have developed a number of popular pomegranate martini recipes on my own, none of them had started with tequila.

Meet the Dark Diva Twisted POM-arita-tini! It was inspired by the Pom Margarita I had at Max’s Oyster Bar during my visit on Friday, naturally with a few lethal Dark Diva twists! In a glass or shaker with ice, mix:

• 1.0 oz. Jose Cuervo Especial® Silver Tequila
• 0.25 oz. Skyy Infusions® Citrus Vodka
• 0.25 oz. Wild Moon® Lime Liqueur
• 3.0 oz. POM Wonderful Pomegranate Juice

After mixing, strain into a chilled martini glass and enjoy (carefully). Cheers!

Want to live over the edge? Hide your keys and get ready to tango with the dark side with The Twisted Tango POM-arita-tini AKA The Aztec Death Wish! First, make out a will and leave any valuables to me. (Hey, you can’t blame a girl for trying.) Next, in a glass or shaker with ice, mix:

As you may have noticed, I don’t just push the envelope. Oh, hell no, I like to shred it!

• 1.0 oz. Jose Cuervo Especial® Silver Tequila
• 0.5 oz. Patrón Citrónge® Extra Fine Mango Liqueur
• 0.25 oz. Skyy Infusions® Citrus Vodka
• 0.25 oz. Wild Moon® Lime Liqueur
• 3.0 oz. POM Wonderful Pomegranate Juice

Strain into a chilled martini glass, arrange pillows on floor to cushion your fall and enjoy! Cheers!

Here’s to Your Health:
How The Gin & Tonic Helped Fight Malaria

Say what? That’s right, back in the 1800’s when the British Empire stretch practically around the world, lending credence to the term “The sun never sets on the British Empire,” malaria was the scourge of the British military and civilians in the more tropical regions. While quinine had been discovered to be an excellent preventative as well as a cure, it was extremely bitter. Though it was mixed with tonic water, people hated the taste so much they’d rather take their chances with malaria.

Based on a very simple recipe, the gin and tonic is a classic drink, especially for summer. At the same time, I like to try it with different gins, and add liqueurs like Wild Moon(R) Cucumber for something uniquely refreshing.

Then a remarkable thing happened. Since gin was extremely popular with the British, someone came up with idea of mixing it with the heavily quinine-laced tonic water to produce a much more palatable means of getting people to take their quinine. The addition of the lime comes from the Royal Navy which always carried limes to help fight scurvy among its sailors (which accounts for how “limey” became a slang term for a British sailor and later the British in general). The Royal Navy had discovered earlier that lime helped improve the taste of the quinine tonic water, so it was natural to keep it when they added the gin. And this is how the gin and tonic we know today was created. (Today, however, there is virtually no quinine in tonic water.)

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to take my medicine! Cheers!

NOTE: I had originally planned to talk about Chartreuse Liqueur in this post, but I have some more things to check out first. I’ll let you know when it’s posted.

Thanks for reading Miss Bri’s Fresh & Twisted Blog. Please let us know what you think about our posts, ask questions or suggest places you’d like us to review. And please share the link with your friends!

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!

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!