Wednesday, December 30, 2015


There are plenty of seemingly effortless holiday hosts...who always manage to stage a festive fare for friends/family -to celebrate the holidays.

We're not one of those people...but we certainly known how to please the givers with a unique gift of our own---that can be deployed almost as soon as the welcoming front door threshold- is crossed.

Offer up your mixologist skills La Quintinye Vermouth Royal opulent French vermouth-crafted from South West French white wines Pineau des Charentes-a fortified wine of fresh grape juice and Cognac from a single estate -plus carefully curated herbs and botanicals-aged for a minimum of 12 months in French oak barrels-yields a distinct, aromatic multi-layered sipping pleasure-that- like sherry-is growing in popularity.

Not much skill needed the way we enjoyed the La Quintinye Vermouth Royal Rouge (16.5% abv/33 proof)...pouring 1 oz over a cube of ice-with its pretty burnt amber red color- licorice, vanilla and chocolate-toffee -caramel flavors...the slow sipper =warm and spicy-perfect for all the grey days of winter. The  La Quintinye
 Vermouth Royal  Blanc -equally enjoyed that way-with an orange zest garnish.

Our pal host-the dry martini lover-deployed the Extra Dry (17% above/34 proof) accordingly...and noted the how the plants/spices (27 in total) deftly paired with his dry style London gin.

AND fyi-the La Quintinye Vermouth Royal Rouge(1oz) can be mixed with 1 oz G'Vine Nouaison and 1 oz Campari  (stir all ingredients with ice-strain-serve in chilled glass with orange zest garnish) for a spicy, aromatic version of the classic French Negroni-

Noshing is the way to go when recovering from filling sit-down dinners...we usually bring along smoked salmon from NY staple Russ&Daughters...and a variety of flavored cream cheeses (they deliver, fyi)...but instead of the filling-can get dried out doughy bagels accompaniments... more smaller bite perfect New York Style PITA CHIPS (available in 6 flavors)...proved to hold their own- substantial enough for dipping into creamy anything, topped off with that cured fish staple. 

WARNING-these New York Style Pita Chips-which means they're baked, not greasy-are easy to devour straight outta the bag-and are worthy substitutes for chips.

We inhaled the amazingly the Garden Fresh Ranch Pita Chips...with a subtle spice to it...fresh real tasting -makes sense since they're made without artificial flavors or colors.  Widely available.