We couldn’t stop laughing. Mr. Five O’Clock and I had just ripped open our holiday gifts and discovered that we’d given each other similar bitters-related presents. He had selected spices and herbs to create bitters for me; I had purchased a bitters-making kit from Hella Cocktail Co. (formerly known as Hella Bitters) for him. This was true love at its finest, we grinned conspiratorially.
Those gifts we exchanged in December 2014 started our lifelong love affair with bitters. (I know this because I combed through my e-mails to verify the date, as fact-checking is key here. When Mr. Five O’Clock gets home, I can tell him I won our bet.)
We’ve been huge fans of Hella Cocktail Co.’s products from the moment we unwrapped those gifts three years ago. We’re practically thisclose to being the OG fans of the company, so you know our fondness for their bottles is legit.
So when we met Eddie, one of the company’s co-founders, through Honeymoon Israel last year, it was like the stars aligned. And when Eddie
the cocktail Santa sent us some Hella Cocktail Co. syrups, mixers, and bitters to check out for the 2017 holiday season, it was some seriously magical Hella holiday déjà vu all over again.
So how did the Hella Great Gift Opening Session of 2017 go down? What kind of cocktails can you make with these goodies? What does “hella” even mean? And what are bitters, anyway? Don’t worry: we’ve got you covered.
Let’s get this out of the way early: yes, the Park Hyatt Tokyo hotel will be forever linked to Sofia Coppola’s 2003 film, “Lost in Translation.” Yes, you may have originally clicked on this post because you want to pretend you’re Scarlett Johansson sipping on cocktails with Bill Murray at Park Hyatt Tokyo’s New York Bar.
The iconic hotel bar may have looked stunning in Coppola’s film, but is it really that classy and sophisticated in real life? Are the drinks any good? And, most importantly, is it worth a detour in your precious Tokyo itinerary?
The answer, it turns out, is a resounding yes. In other words, for good times, you’ll want to make it
Suntory New York Bar time. Here’s why.
Despite its close proximity to New York City, the number of times I’ve been to Washington, D.C. is shockingly small. In fact, the last time I ventured out to our nation’s capital was back in 2014, when I barely knew the difference between dry and sweet vermouth.
Flash forward to July 2017: when an opportunity to visit D.C. for work presented itself, I jumped on it faster than Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt. OK, that’s hyperbole. But still, I couldn’t wait to explore D.C.’s food and drinks scene once again.
One undeniable truth you can hold to be self-evident? America’s capital has some terrific spots to imbibe. Here’s a round up of our favorite places to drink in Washington, D.C. right now.
When I was a wee lass all of 21 years old, I sniffed my first bit of scotch and promptly handed the glass back to my friend. What was this foul stench that reminded me of a dirty, dank bog?
Let’s be honest: at 21, I was more into pinot noir than hard liquor. I was kind of an eejit back then, erroneously assuming that all scotch was disgusting because it was too smoky and peaty for my taste.
What I didn’t realize then — and many of my current friends still don’t — is that the Laphroaig scotch I tasted wasn’t nearly representative of what’s out there in Scotland’s whisky world. NOT ALL SCOTCH IS AS SMOKY AND PEATY AS LAPHROAIG, my friends. I repeat, not all scotch equals Laphroaig. (Nothing against it; I actually like it now that my palette is more developed.)
Flash forward ten years later: the Scotch Whisky Experience in Edinburgh, Scotland completely upended my expectations of what scotch is and can be. If you want to truly understand Scotland, there’s no better place than the Scotch Whisky Experience. Here’s why.
In the “Booze Buzz” series, we take you to the latest and greatest watering holes throughout the country. Today, we head to Elsa in Brooklyn.
When you picture Indiana and drinks, I’m betting the first thing that comes to mind is ice cold beer, especially on sweltering summer days. You’re not totally wrong: this Midwestern state is home to over 130 craft breweries and counting. (Emphasis on the “counting” part — I swear that by the time you read this, three more will have popped up.)
While the Hoosier state may be known for its craft beer, it’s got some hip craft cocktail bars and wineries as well. From Indianapolis to Franklin and back, here’s our list of hot spots to drink in Indiana right now.
In the “Booze Buzz” series, we take you to the latest and greatest watering holes throughout the country. Today, we head to Circa Brewing Co. in Brooklyn.
You know what I like even better than a glass of ice cold beer on a scorching summer day? Not having to take a long, sweaty subway ride home afterwards. Circa Brewing Co., welcome to the neighborhood.
Circa Brewing Co. opened in Downtown Brooklyn less than a month ago, but it’s already found a steady stream of regulars (including us) who are incorporating it into their weekend bar circuit. Here’s why.
One of the best aspects of writing about travel and booze is that I’m constantly discovering new drinks and spirits. Chartreuse? Delicious. Kentucky Colonel? More, por favor! Sometimes, however, I come across these gems completely by accident. Case in point: Diplomático Rum.
While sipping a lavender negroni at Dante during Negroni Week, I started chatting with the women next to me at the bar. (You know you’re gonna become fast friends if you’re bonding over a negroni.) As we discussed our favorite spirits — mine being bourbon, of course — I realized that I don’t drink rum very often.
Enter Shanika, my rum fairy godmother. When she described the Diplomático rum she loved, I couldn’t help but be intrigued. Was this the rum that would finally convert me into a rum fan?
She offered to send us a bottle of Diplomático Reserva Exclusiva rum in exchange for an honest, no holds-barred review of our experience. What follows is the true account of our rum
taste test party cocktail education.
I’ve got an announcement: Indianapolis is my new favorite city.
But wait, you’re thinking. Don’t you say that about every new place you visit? Well, actually, no. I have no shame in admitting that I wouldn’t return to certain parts of China, for example. And Brussels? Not going back either. #Sorrynotsorry.
With so much of the world to see, it’s rare for me to want to return to the same place twice. You’d better keep me on my toes — and have some darn good beer to boot.
Indianapolis’s charm took me by surprise: I loved its food and drinks scene, as expected, but I found so many more things to love. In fact, once I returned to New York City, I immediately told Mr. Five O’Clock that we’d better get back to Circle City as soon as possible. Here’s how you, too, will fall in love with Indiana’s capital.
You’ll never forget your first… negroni, that is.
My first ever negroni was like a first kiss gone horribly wrong: we knocked teeth (actually, my two front teeth hit the rim of my glass because it was too dark to see properly); it was slobbery; and we just didn’t really connect. At the time, I liked bitterness in my cocktails about as much as I like stepping on chewing gum in flip flops on the Times Square subway platform.
All that changed, however, once I tried a negroni at August Laura in Brooklyn last year. Their negroni was boozy, to be sure, but also well balanced and had just enough bite to leave me wanting more. I’ve finally warmed up to the drink, which is traditionally made with equal parts gin, campari, and vermouth rosso. It’s a good thing that I have, because August Laura is participating in Negroni Week 2017!