Sippin’ Smart on Local Memphis Live – Have a Healthy & Happy New Year!

30 Dec

It’s always a pleasure to join the hosts of Local Memphis Live on ABC24. Today we talked about sippin’ smart for a healthy New Year’s Eve. If you missed the segment, check it out here. Cheers!

‘Tis the Season to be Jolly…and Responsible #Alcohol

1 Dec

Distilled Spirits Council Offers 5 Tips for Responsible Holiday Entertaining

WASHINGTON, D.C. – With the holiday entertaining season just around the corner, the Distilled Spirits Council is offering adult consumers an attractive, free brochure featuring tips on how to host responsible cocktail parties.

“As family and friends gather to celebrate the holidays or mark special occasions, the Distilled Spirits Council encourages everyone to make responsible decisions to ensure safe and happy celebrations,” said Peter Cressy, Distilled Spirits Council President. 

The Council offers the following tips and recipes for hosting responsible cocktail parties: The free brochure can be viewed or ordered at the Distilled Spirits Council website at http://www.discus.org/media/cocktail.asp

1. Designate a bartender who can serve your guests and keep an eye on how much everyone is drinking. The Federal Dietary Guidelines define moderate drinking as up to two drinks per day for men and up to one drink per day for women.  (http://www.health.gov/dietaryguidelines)

 2. Remember – alcohol is alcohol.  It is important to understand that a standard drink of regular beer (12 fluid ounces), wine (five fluid ounces), and spirits (a cocktail with 1.5 fluid ounces of 80-proof spirits) each contains the same amount of alcohol, 0.6 fluid ounces of alcohol. (www.standarddrinks.com)

3. Make sure that you provide food to complement your cocktails. Consider food pairings to enhance the flavor of your chosen cocktails: fresh seafood and breads accentuate vodka cocktails, spiced and smoked meats and cheeses complement Bourbon and Scotch whiskies, and fruit enhances Rum and Tequila flavors.

4. Make available non-alcohol beverages for your guests. Create festive non-alcohol punch for those guests who choose not to drink alcohol.

Herbal Cooler Punch: 2 cups brewed peppermint tea, 2 cups brewed red zinger tea, 2 cups cranberry juice.  Mix and serve over ice block with lemon wedge. Ice block can be easily prepared by freezing water in one quart container (or whatever size carryout container you have available).  Microwave for a few seconds once frozen for ease of removing from container.                                                                                                                                   

5. Make sure your guests have a safe way home either through designated drivers or a taxi. Have local taxi service numbers available for your guests.

Reposted with permission from the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States.

The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States is a national trade association representing the leading brands of distilled spirits. Council member products include the full spectrum of quality distilled spirits such as Bourbon, Scotch and other whiskeys, vodka, gin, tequila, rum, brandy, cordials and liqueurs. The distillers take special pride in their products as well as in their commitment to encourage responsible beverage alcohol consumption by adults who choose to drink. If you choose to drink, be sure to consume sensibly and responsibly.

The Tour of #Italy Party

25 Aug

I was busy last week preparing for an Italian-inspired birthday party!

The menu was a production in itself and I’d love to share it you! We paired the salads with a crisp white wine and the second course with bold Chianti. YUM!

Our journey begins in Venice.

Aperitivo

The Classic Bellini

This blend of white peach puree & Prosecco was created at the legendary Harry’s Bar just steps away from the Grand Canal.

Antipasti

Capocollo, Sopressata, Genoa Salame, Artichokes, Olives & Assorted Cheeses 

Imagine yourself anywhere in Italy. It seems all provinces claim to be the birthplace of antipasto. Antipasti literally means “before the
pasta” & is intended to whet one’s appetite for the pleasures to come.

Insalata

Mixed Greens & Herb Salad with Figs & Walnuts

A variety of figs grow across Italy. This versatile salad
can be found in most coastal regions.

Caprese di Mozzarella with Tomatoes, Basil, & Pancetta

Although some say this simple & popular salad originated
in Capri, it is actually a recipe from the region of Campania.

Pane

Served with Tuscan Bread

Primi Piatti

Penne alla Puttanesca

A fast & easy pasta dish from the Tuscan region and South.  The
ingredients are typical of Southern Italy.

Secondi Piatti

Il Pollo Marsala

This well-known chicken dish originated in Sicily where Marsala wine is produced.

Dolci e Caffe

Tiramisu

Known all over the world as the representative dessert of Italy, this stimulating mixture of espresso,
cocoa, sugar & liqueur actually means “pull me up.” It was created in Sienna.

Digestifs

Lemoncello

A sweet yet potent liqueur made from Sorrento Lemons.

Amaretto

This liqueur is actually infused with almonds, apricots and, in some recipes, traditional cookies.

It’s originates from the Lombard city of Saronno, north of Milan.

Tuaca

Created in Livorno, Italy, this vanilla liqueur with citrus essence was the favorite of Lorenzo the Magnificent.

Buona Sera!

#ThirstyThursday Travel Tip for #Wine Lovers

11 Aug

Drinking wine out of a disposable plastic or paper cup really annoys me. Recently, while traveling and attending conferences in California, the floppy plastic cup wine service ruined the moment. (Sidenote: hello? We’re in California… wine country… plastic cups.. what??). Wine is an experience and a tasty bev of course but delivery matters. Well, it matters, to me. I’m betting it matters to many of you as well. On one of my four flights, I can’t remember which, I thumbed through SkyMall and found an answer to floppy plastic cup wine service–the packable wine glass by Megellan’s Travel. You may look like a snob pulling it out of your bag but… who cares?!?!!? You’ll enjoy your wine and the experience. Check it out. This is a Sippin’Smart pick for sure!

Thirsty Thursday #Blogher11 Edition: The Smart Amaretto Sour #Cocktail

4 Aug

This is one of my favorite bevs! It has really evolved over the years. My mom and her pals love this drink for summer porch parties. I’m especially excited to share it just in time for Blogher 2011 conference in San Diego.

How did I smarten it you may ask… Well, think about those tart and overly sweet sour mixes. ICK! I’ve used Tropicana’s Calcium + Vitamin D fortified Trop 50 orange juice with Pure Via to provide the sweet and fresh lime juice to provide the sour. While drinking this deliciously smart sip, you’ll get bonus vitamins and minerals too (~ 17% Calcium, 60% Vitamin C, and 12% Vitamin D based on daily values for a 2000 calorie diet).

Place ice in a cocktail glass. Add…

1 oz Amaretto

4 oz Tropicana Trop 50

Juice of 1/2 a lime

Mix, garnish, sip, and enjoy (careful if you’re blogging and sippin’)!🙂

This cocktail is approximately 110 calories.

Thirsty Thursday’s Reminiscing Rum Punch

28 Jul

Imagine being on a sunset cruise in the Carribean with a cold refreshing drink in hand. That’s what I was doing while enjoying this beverage. My husband and I tried to recall the delicious and somewhat potent rum punch we had in Jamaica. Of course, it’s been transformed into a smart sip! The punch I remember was very sweet, almost like a powdered kid’s drink and unnaturally red. So, I’ve replaced the glow-in-the-dark, sugar-laden mix with fresh fruit & juice.

Ingredients for 2 drinks (it’s so yummy, you should share)

Juice of one whole lime

7-8 strawberries, pureed & chilled

3 oz dark rum

4 oz cold water

1 pkt stevia (or any sweetener you prefer)

Directions–Prepare the strawberries a few hours before so they can get cold. I pureed them in my Vitamix. You can put the blender pitcher in the fridge. Place all remaining ingredients in the pitcher and gently blend. Pour into any cocktail glass you like!

This cocktail is approximately 120 calories per serving.

Grape Expectations, a Juicy July 4th #Cocktail

1 Jul

As some of you know, I have a love affair with grapes. I like to eat them and drink them in their fermented form🙂. Sometimes we forget about plain ol’ grape juice. When I think of grape juice, I think of snack time as a kid. The little Dixie cup of grape juice with crackers or a cookie was the quintessential snack. However, grape juice isn’t just for kids. Did you know it actually is beneficial for cardiovascular health? Research suggests it may help keep your arteries clear, could aid in maintaining a healthy blood pressure, and has anti-clotting properties. So, why not celebrate grapes’ healthy  and tasty properties in a smart sip!

Try this tasty and colorful cocktail!

4 fluid ounces Welch’s 100% Grape Juice

1 fluid ounce tequila

A splash (~1 fluid ounce) of Ginger Ale

Mix it up…

Put ice in a cocktail glass. Add grape juice, tequila, and ginger ale. Stir and garnish with a couple of grapes on cocktail stirrer. Enjoy this refreshing bev and have a safe weekend!

Approximately 145 calories