Fall into Navan Punch posted in: Food and Beverage


For a drink that celebrates the flavors of autmun and warms the senses, Fall  into Navan Punch. Not your average rum punch, this cocktail features a modern twist – Navan Natural Vanilla Liquer. This stunning spirit mixes perfectly with apple juice, a light spiced rum and a few other ingredients to create a warm libation that is sure to be hit at any fall fete.

This Navan Punch would be perfect for a tailgate, block party, adult bev during trick or treat, or a wedding rehearsal as an unexpected twist to the usual apple cider.


6oz.        Navan
12 oz.    light spiced rum
12 oz.    apple juice
3oz.        lemon juice
12           barspoons ginger juice, freshly extracted
3oz.        Vermont Maple Syrup
20-24     dashes Angostura Bitters
Ground Nutmeg, Garnish


Mix apple juice, Navan, rum and lemon juice in pot over low heat.
Add ginger juice, syrup and bitters.
Pour, garnish lightly with nutmeg.


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Haute Halloween posted in: Entertaining Essentials, Entertainment, Events, Food and Beverage

Thinking of hosting your own Halloween Party? For a night of bewitching fun, read on to get your party haunted!

The most economical décor will be provided by disguised partygoers.  Have guests to come dressed in their favorite Halloween costumes for decor that doesn’t cost a dime! BUT in the spirit of the season, transform your home into one haute haunted house. Want decor with spooky sophistication? Check out Grandin Road, Williams-Sonoma, Pier 1 and Cracker Barrel Country Store.  Setup festive vignettes –gloves popping out of a box a la the Meunsters, plush black widow spiders in cobwebs, assorted witch hats scattered nearby a self propelled broomstick. – you get the picture.  And if your budget allows, begin outdoors. Festive props such as spooky willow trees or a gang of ghosts set the stage before your guests even step foot inside your “haute”-d house.  

Keep house lights to a minimum and opt for candlelight placed about the party scene using gothic candelabra (add cobwebs for dramatic effect)  and sconces with flickering flames mixed with black lights (perfect for a dance area).

A spooky soundtrack is a must. Purchase a Halloween mix CD, or splurge for a DJ.
Give out prizes for the most creative, scariest and silliest costumes. If your crowd is game, you can also organize activities such as bobbing for apples or Monster Mash Limbo.

A “BOO”ffet is perfect. You don’t have to go overboard on the theme when it comes to food, but do mix in a bit of kitsch with the canapés. A few ideas for spooky eats, Translyvanian ghoulash served in a cauldron or pumpkin and butternut squash soup in test tubes, toasted Nori bat wings, finger sandwiches cut into spooky shapes, pumpkin risotto , deviled eggs and moldy cheese balls. For dessert, Old lady finger cookies, “terrormisu”, and  ghost pops are great options, and you can’t celebrate Halloween without an assortment of candy!

Give your bar a mad scientist vibe by using glass beakers, dry ice and vintage bottles finished with festive labels. Glue inexpensive plastic spiders to the base of stemmed glassware, and serve a signature spellbinding cocktail like the black widow (the layered two-tone presentation is great!). And remember to also offer non-alcoholic drinks like virgin Bloody Marys and Clementine Izze iced in a pumpkin-shaped cooler.

Tips from a Pro:
* For an eerie entrance to your party, place a fog machine behind the door, and have guests greeted by the Grim Reaper.

* Kick it up a notch by hiring a fortuneteller for entertainment

*Hosting a big bash that requires staff? Have everyone dressed in the same costume to make it easy for guests to identify who they should talk to if they need a drink or have a question

*Have a few extra costumes on hand in case someone forgets to wear one.

* When replacing labels on self-serve beverages, be sure that you provide a way for guests to know what it really is that they are pouring.

Eat Drink and Be Scary!!

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Blavod – Cure for the Common Cocktail posted in: Food and Beverage, Great Products, Uncategorized


We know black is THE color that defines style and sophistication for fashion, but did you know it has a place in the world of spirits as well? Well, it does. Enter Blavod – A sophisticated, extremely smooth, black….yes, you read right, black vodka. This “spirit” has the power to turn a common cocktail into a chic drink for any event!

Black vodka. So what gives it its black hue? The secret is the herbal extract Black Catechu. It’s an extract found in Uncaria Gambier trees of Asia (no worries, it won’t discolor your teeth). Now color aside, as vodka goes Blavod is a smooth premium brand that can be defined on its own without the branding of “The Black Vodka” and can hold its own against many non-colored vodkas on the market.

But there’s more…while the distinct color is ubercool, the most fascinating quality of Blavod is its ability to create wonderful layers in a drink! We love the effect you get from layering black vodka with other colored mixers – a two-tone cocktail! One thing to note is that while the layering looks extremely cool, having the vodka floating on top can make the taste overwhelming for some. We recommend serving these cocktails with a straw or swizzle stick, so guests get the visual impact and then mix them up themselves if desired.

Society, there’s no doubt that Blavod will add style to your drink menu — plus it’s a conversation piece and offers a bit of guest entertainment when used as a mixer. This spirit would be great used in the recipe for your signature cocktail for any event.

Blavod is priced around $25 – Buy it at Internet Wines & Spirits

A few fave recipes:

Black Martini Perfect for a Mod Wedding
what’s cooler than a sleek black martini with just a splash of vermouth
 You could also consider other black vodka brands that offer a variety of flavors for this drink.

Black Widow A drink with bite for your Halloween Happening
Fill highball glass with ice, pour in 3oz chilled cranberry juice, layer 3oz Blavod on top.

Black Bull to energize your Gala
 Mix Red Bull or other energy drink with Blavod, serve on the rocks in a highball glass.



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