About Rodney Brazil

Enjoying life, wine, and great cocktails.

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A Five Minute Guide to Rosé Wine

Just when you thought the rules of wine tasting were as simple as red and white, life throws you a curveball: rosé wine. Being knowledgeable about types of wine has always been an area of discomfort for some people, but with the proliferation of Food Network and boards full of infographics, being an amateur sommelier was starting to become easier. Then everyone started talking specifics about rosé wine. It’s not that rosé wines haven’t been around for years, in the form of a random zinfandel or blush, but we really didn’t know what we were drinking. To help bring anyone and everyone up to date, here is an easy-to-digest five minute guide to rosé wine, and a few simple ideas for food pairing.

What is Rosé Wine?

Glasses of Rose Wine

Simply put, rosé is a pink wine that possesses some of the qualities and flavors typically associated with red wine, but lighter and fruitier in character. Rosé can be still or sparkling, and range in taste from sweet to dry. Rosé can be made with almost any variety of red wine grape, with the lighter color and flavor being achieved by certain fermentation techniques. Usually identified as pink by the consumer, the actual color can range from pale orange, to magenta, or even a bright purple.

How is Rosé Wine Made?

Kindergarten logic would state that rosé is simply red and white wine mixed together to make pink, but that is incorrect unless you are running the wine shack at the county fair. When a good rosé wine is made, the juice is allowed to stay in contact with the dark red skins for a short period of time, from a few hours to a day or so. The skins are then removed before the juice has the opportunity to take on all of the characteristics of red wine. Thus, a pink, rose-like color is achieved. Alternately, some French rosé is create through the process known as the Saignée method, where a small amount of the juice is separated early during fermentation, and reserved for rosé, while the rest remains in contact with the skins to become red wine.

What is the Difference Between Rosé and Blush Wine?

The term “blush wine” has appeared on labels in the U.S. for decades, and for all intents and purposes, is interchangeable with “rosé.” Sweet wines, such as white merlot, pink moscato, and zinfandel wines carry the blush description most often, but all three would be considered rosé, as well.

Types of Rosé Wine

Rose Wine Pairing

Dry Rosé Wine

Smarty pants wine people will tell you that good rosé wine is always dry. If you are inclined to agree, start with pinot noir. Other dry rosés include sangiovese, syrah, and the occasional cabernet sauvignon. Some merlot rosé wines can be dry, but if it’s French, it could also be semi-sweet.

Sweet Rosé Wine

This is pretty easy to spot. Basically anything with the word “zinfandel” on the label will be sweet or semi-sweet. This includes old vine zinfandel, which can be sweet, but with more tasting notes than young vines. Other common sweet rosés include white merlot and pink moscato. If you are looking for bulk or inexpensive table wine, anything with the word “blush” on the label will most likely be sweet. Looking to get fancy? Find garnacha rosado.

Sparkling Rosé Wine a/k/a Rosé Champagne

Almost every wine region in the world produces sparkling rosé. Certain real housewives might even purport that all rosé in life should be sparkling. Your best bet is to go with the pink version of whatever white bubbly you prefer. Sparkling pink moscato is pretty common, although a brut rosé cava has much more complex flavor at a moderate price.

Rosé Wine Pairing

There’s no need to worry too much about how to serve rosé wine. Going back all the way through recorded wine history, pink wines are known to be incredibly compatible with all kinds of food. However, we have created a handy guide to rosé wine pairing, indexed by color. Simply match the color of pink in your bottle to the suggested cuisine, and you’ll surely see wine and food pairings through rosé tinted glasses.

Rose Wine Food Pairing

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Beer Humor Round-Up: Beer Jokes & Funny Beer Gifts

Sit around any neighborhood bar long enough, and you’re bound to overhear guys swapping their favorite beer jokes. That’s because beer is like a magic potion that makes people want to share a good laugh as they throw ‘em back. It’s also a well known fact that beer makes all jokes funnier. We love great beer jokes just as much as the next guy, so we’ve collected a few of our favorites from around the web. From drunk one liner jokes, to funny beer gifts, crack one open and enjoy. Feel free to share your favorite beer humor in the comments.

One Liner Beer Jokes

It’s easy for drunk people to remember one liner jokes because, well, you only have to remember one line. Plus, if you say something boisterously enough, everyone at the bar will laugh at even the stalest joke.

Beer T-Shirts

Nothing says casual cool like a witty beer t-shirt. I like to wear them in any number of public places so everyone thinks I’m one of those rebels who is sneaking booze into my 32 oz. cup.

Beer T Shirt

Wasn’t that a song in the 90s?

Beer T Shirt

My all time favorite beer t-shirt.

The Beer Drinker’s Food Pyramid

Beer and infographics aren’t exactly synonymous but…

Beer Food Pyramid

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Funny Beer Signs

No man cave wall should be without a funny beer sign. For that matter, every single wall needs one, if said wall wants to be cool.

Funny Beer Signs

An always satisfying meal.


Funny Beer Signs

This happens to me every time.

Funny Beer Gifts

There are two types of beer drinkers: those who have lots of funny beer gifts, and those who want lots of funny beer gifts. You can’t go wrong with something that celebrates the awesomeness of beer consumption, while serving even a slightly functional purpose.

Funny Beer Glasses

Doctor’s orders!


Funny Beer Bottle Opener

Touch my beer and I will bite you.


TVs Best Loved Drunks

There’s nothing quite like getting home after a long day at work, kicking your shoes off, procuring a hearty serving of your alcoholic beverage of choice, and sitting down on the couch for a few relaxing hours of television entertainment. The benefits, such as comfortable furniture and private restrooms, are hard to argue. Even though the television waves are packed with plenty of likable characters that are perfectly suitable to spend an evening with, everyone needs a good drinking buddy. Drunk characters have had a home on television since the dawn of broadcasting, and every year, a few new drunk people move into TV land. From classic TV, to 90s TV sitcoms, to drunk cartoon characters, we wanted to pay tribute to 12 of TVs best loved drunks. Tell us about the drinking buddies on your favorite television shows in the comments below.

Randy Marsh from South Park

One of the most prominent citizens of South Park, CO is Stan’s dad, Randy Marsh. A geologist, discount store employee, and mall security guard by trade, he’s also one of the best drunk cartoon characters on TV. Whether he’s performing music, setting world records, or protecting fellow citizens from angry shoppers, Randy does it with panache, and usually a little vino. Here’s a great clip of Mr. Mash hosting his own simultaneous beer and wine tasting, which sounds totally awesome.

Lucy from I Love Lucy

I Love Lucy - Funny TV Characters

© CBS Worldwide

So many times I’ve wanted to adopt a cat and name her “Lucy,” just so when she got into trouble I could say, “Luuuuuccccyyyy!” Although Lucy Ricardo, from the classic TV series I Love Lucy, was by no means a lush, it was pretty hilarious when she got inadvertently drunk while she and Ethel were executing their shenanigans for the week. The best example is the classic episode where Lucy gets booked for a TV commercial selling Vitameatavegamin. This fictional health drink, and predecessor to The Master Cleanse, was purported to contain, “”vitamins, meat, vegetables, and minerals,” but also a healthy dose of alcohol. Over continued re-takes, as Lucy swallows shot after shot of what I can only imagine would be something like a savory 50 proof schnapps, and gets hilariously intoxicated in an innocent manner that only old television shows can get away with.

Tom & Donna from Parks and Recreation

Tom and Donna

© Comcast/NBC

Clothes. #treatyoself Fragrances. #treatyoself Massages. #treatyoself Mimosas. #treatyoself. Tom Haverford and Donna Mingle from the sitcom Parks and Recreation, are two drunk and incredibly funny TV characters. These Pawnee, IN citizens, played by Aziz Ansari and Retta, respectively, have become synonymous with living life to the fullest. Their self-created holiday, Treat Yo’ Self Day, is dedicated to indulging with absolute selfishness in everything from luxury accessories to fine cocktails. Their love of nightlife also makes them two of the drunk characters I’d most want to take with me on a Vegas weekend. With only a few episodes of Parks & Rec left before the series finale, it’s time to mix up a drink and treat yo’ self to a night of Tom & Donna binge watching.

Detective Rustin “Rust” Cohle from True Detective



Who hasn’t thought about how fun it would be to get drunk with Matthew McConaughey? If you haven’t, please take a moment and do so right now. Seems fun, right? However, getting drunk with his cable TV persona from the series True Detective might be a little more intense. As he takes swig of Lone Star Beer, or dips into his well-worn leather flask, the character of Rustin Spencer “Rust” Cohle is a force to be reckoned with. As his alcohol consumption increases, so does his intensity. Even though we love watching Rust get drunk on our flatscreens, we’d pass on meeting him for drinks at the local bar. We’d rather not get trapped in a bar stool conversation about The Conspiracy Against the Human Race.

Homer Simpson from The Simpsons

The patriarch of Springfied’s favorite family, Homer Simpson is another drunk cartoon character that cannot be forgotten. Homer’s love of beer is second only to his dedication and love for his family. Whether he’s headed down to Moe’s Tavern for a cold one, or stopping by the Kwik-E-Mart for a six pack of Duff on the way home from the nuclear power plant, Homer rarely goes an episode without imbibing. And who can forget that loving musical tribute, “It Was a Very Good Beer.” When drunk people, like Homer, sing an ode to booze like this, you just want to reach through the screen and give them a well deserved, “cheers!”

Norm Peterson from Cheers

Norm From Cheers


If you don’t have a bar where everybody knows your name, you might want to go watch an episode of Cheers. This classic TV series only had one customer that appeared in every single episode, and that was Norm Peterson. Norm was exactly the kind of guy you want to pull up next to at a bar. Friendly, honest, and always with an open tab. Played to perfection by George Wendt, Norm was loyal to his favorite bar, his favorite restaurant, and his favorite people, even his ex-wife, Vera. So the next time you’d like to get away, start up an old episode of cheer, and have a beer for Norm, and put it on his tab.


Chelsea Handler

Chelsea Handler

© Chelsea Handler

Although Chelsea Handler isn’t fictional, she’s definitely a drunk television character. Even after watching just one or two episodes of Chelsea Lately, you learn that her favorite alcohol is vodka, and her favorite thing in the world to do is drink it. Whether you actually believe that she drinks as much as she claims, you have to admit that a life filled with that much boozing sounds like an awful lot of fun. Her tastes have changed over the years, from Ketel One to Grey Goose, for example, but she stays true to vodka through thick and thin. Although we’ll have to wait until 2016 to see more Chelsea on a weekly basis, there’s no doubt that there will still be vodka in her glass when she returns to the air, ahem, cyber waves.

Don Draper from Mad Men

Don Draper


Mad Men ushered a number of things back into the cultural spotlight, but arguably the biggest was whiskey. Now, whiskey never went anywhere, and it was always a staple of liquor cabinets from coast to coast, but its cultural influence has definitely taken a surge since Don Draper first walked onto our TV screens. Some would say that Don, played by Jon Hamm, is hardly loveable, but you have to have some respect for a broken man who (mostly) keeps himself together in a fractured world. The world of Mad Men was a different time, where drinking at work was one of the reasons people actually wanted to go to work. Where instead of free coffee, the office sprung for free booze! Don sipping on a cut crystal glass of fine spirits exemplifies the utmost in drunk sophistication. Plus, I’ve still not been able to get through an episode of Mad Men without mixing up an Old Fashioned cocktail. Also, be sure to check out the Mad Men drinking game, but add on our special HomeWetBar.com bonus rule, where you drink twice every time Don pours a fresh dram.

Karen Walker from Will & Grace


© Warner Bros TV

TV has seen many changes through the years, and 90s TV sitcoms absolutely deserve their own category. Karen Walker was the first TV drunk of her kind, unapologetic in her consumption of alcohol, with the bank account and personal designated driver to pull it off. With classic one-liners like, “Honey, I’d suck the alcohol out of a deodorant stick,” and “As long as I’m drunk, what’s the difference?” Dressed in impeccable clothes from top to bottom, with her signature up-do and mini bar for a purse, Karen brought proud public drunkenness into the national spotlight. Whether seated at a four star restaurant, or lying flat on a cold kitchen floor, Karen Walker always reached for the top shelf.

Edina and Patsy from AbFab



Classic pairings include peanut butter & jelly, Samson & Delilah, and, of course, Edina and Patsy. The gin-soaked best friends from Absolutely Fabulous are two of the most recognizable characters from British TV shows. Though the series began more than 20 years ago, these two have been drinking it up ever since, and still look fabulous. Whether scrambling to adopt the latest fad, searching for the ever elusive fountain of youth, or enjoying a little bubbly with breakfast, Edina and Patsy are supremely loveable drunks. With rumors swirling that an Absolutely Fabulous movie is in the works, you can be sure that these two lovable lushes will be swigging their way through retirement, too. Not that they did that much work in the first place.

Fun Bobby from Friends


© Warner Bros TV

90s TV sitcoms were definitely a sweet spot for drunk TV characters. A brief, but unforgettable example was “Fun Bobby,” from Friends. Fun Bobby, played by Vincent Ventresca, was a guy that Monica dated, who was loads of fun when drinking, but mind-numbingly boring when sober, bestowed by Chandler with the new nickname, “Ridiculously Dull Bobby.” Although not everyone can be the life of the party all the time, we maintain hope that somehow, somewhere, Fun Bobby was able to reclaim his prior glory.

Spuds Mackenzie


© Anheuser-Busch

Few drunk stories match the fun and whimsy of household pets consuming alcohol. The college freshmen with a dog that loves Schlitz. Aunt Shirley’s cat who sips pinot grigio right from the glass. But the granddaddy of all drunken TV pets is Spuds Mackenzie. Introduced in the 80s as a mascot for Bud Light, Spuds was always close to the beach, surrounded by girls, and epitomized value-priced beer coolness. Spuds as actually played by a female dog named Honey Tree Evil Eye, but hey, this is TV, and commercial advertising at that. You didn’t really think that a male dog named Spuds was getting drunk on Bud Light and then going on camera. This isn’t I Love Lucy.

Enter to Win a Lovely Cutting Board for You & Your Sweetheart!

Serve up a charming plate for you and your loved one with this Cupid’s Arrow engraved cheese board. From now until Valentine’s Day, you can enter to win this gorgeous slate board, completely FREE. If you are the winner you will receive your gift engraved with your name and the name of the lucky guy or girl that you call yours. Featuring heart and arrow detailing, you’ll be in for romantic nights at home well after Valentine’s Day. To enter this contest all you have to do is provide your name and email below. 


This contest has now ended. Check back for more chances to win!

Be sure to check out other romantic gifts at homewetbar.com!


Personalized Cutting Board

Cupid’s Arrow Cheese Board

Custom Picture Frame

Bubbly Memories Custom Frame

Roly Poly Whiskey Glasses

Roly Poly Whiskey Glasses

Ready for Eggnog? Win a Moose Mug for Christmas!

If you know and love the Griswold family from the National Lampoon Vacation classics, there is also a good chance you know and love Marty Moose. Well, prepare to get jolly! From November 13th through Cyber Monday we are giving away not one, but two Marty Moose glass mugs! Modeled exactly after the glasses Clark and Uncle Eddie drink eggnog from in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, these moose mugs are perfect for sipping your holiday drink concoctions. Simply provide your email address and you are entered! Also, for every 100 entries we receive we will give away yet another mug so be sure to share this contest with friends! 


Provide the information below to win! You’ll also be subscribed to our email newsletter, notifying you about sales and specials. You can opt out anytime.

This contest has ended. Please visit our blog or Facebook page for new chances to win!
Don’t forget to spread a little Christmas cheer to your friends! The more entries we get, the more moose mugs there are to win.

You might also want to check out all of our National Lampoon Christmas Vacation gifts. Great for Secret Santa parties, Dirty Santa parties, or drinking alone!

Christmas Vacation Moose Mug

Christmas Vacation Moose Mug

Moose Head Ice Tray

Moose Head Ice Tray

Mini Moose Shot Glass

Mini Moose Shot Glass

Fall Cocktail: The Brandy Snap

Whether looking for a cocktail to keep you warm during the cooler months, or a tasty treat to enjoy after a hearty Thanksgiving dinner, this delicious cocktail will serve you perfectly. The Brandy Snap gives you just the right balance of sweet & flavorful spirits, without a thick, overbearing texture. So many cocktails designed for cooler weather contain milk, cream, or other heavy ingredients. This tasty fall cocktail uses only three ingredients, and is served warm. Not freezing cold, and not piping hot, but just warm enough to let you relax your mood while you sip on a glass of true comfort.Whiskey and Brandy for The Brandy Snap Cocktail

The Brandy Snap Cocktail

  • 2 parts Laird’s Applejack Brandy
  • 1 part Southern Comfort Gingerbread Spice whiskey-liqueur blend
  • 1 dash freshly squeezed orange juice

Mix all ingredients into a cocktail shaker. If you really love ginger, you go with 2 parts brandy and 2 parts whiskey blend, but expect a bite. Holding half of a freshly cut orange over the shaker, give it a good squeeze, cut side up. This prevents seed from falling into the shaker, and also reduces pulp. Place the lid on your shaker and give it one gentle lift to combine the ingredients. Pour into old fashioned glasses, or your most trustworthy flask.

The Brandy Snap cocktail is meant to be enjoyed at room temperature, or slightly warmer. These brandy sippers are excellent, because the warmth from you hand raises the temperature ever so slightly, and are also fun to sip from. This brandy cocktail is also great to server around the dessert table, alongside a fresh piece of pecan pie, or as a stand alone libation.

Thanksgiving Cocktails

Enter to win these awesome Secret Boozy Lotion Hidden Flasks!

Whether travelling by airplane, or heading to a concert, booze makes going out a lot more fun. But airport and concession stand drinks are expensive, with limited selection. Pack everything you need to enjoy your favorite drinks anywhere with our Secret Boozy hidden flasks, made to look like real lotion bottles. Enter your email address for a chance to win a set for FREE!

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How to Throw a Housewarming Party

As if moving into a new home wasn’t stressful enough, as soon as you get moved in, it’s time to throw a party. Housewarming party ideas can be tricky, and if you’ve never hosted one, the etiquette can be confusing, as well. Who should be invited? Do I ask for gifts? What are we supposed to do at the party? What if someone spills wine on my brand new carpet? All very valid questions, but fear not. We know exactly how to throw a housewarming party. From invitations, to drinks, to decorations, we’ve got party planning ideas to help your housewarming party do exactly what it’s supposed to: bring warmth to your home.


Housewarming party invitations are important. Many of your friends will not find out you’ve moved until they receive this invitation. Even those connected to you through social media may not realize that all those pictures you posted of empty closets and missing shoes you found under a chair were clues to that fact that you were moving. Therefore, housewarming party invitations should be carefully thought out. Housewarming Party IdeasDo them the old fashioned way, through snail mail. Get them custom printed, or create invitations yourself to make them stand out. Invite a larger number of people than you would for, say, a dinner party. Housewarming parties have a tendency to be more come-and-go than other at home events, and you should consider including that idea in your invitation. Open up your home for a three hour window, and suggest that your guests “drop in” and take a look at your new digs. Even casual acquaintances and co-workers may be interested in seeing your new place, and having a simple way to socialize with you outside of the office.

The big question when it comes to housewarming invitation wording is whether or not to ask for gifts. Some people prefer to request no gifts, while others like the idea of creating a housewarming registry. The choice is yours, and both are completely acceptable. Realize, though, that many of your closest friends and family will want to contribute something to your new home. One of the reasons people like going to housewarming parties is to get the chance to offer a token of love and friendship. Try leaving any wording about gifts out of the invitation, but including a special email address for RSVPs and questions. This allows guests to inquire about a gift registry, or more often, ask about your preferred retailer for gift cards.


After you’ve just spent thousands of dollars moving into a new home, and buying new curtains, and painting all the walls, housewarming decorations may seem unnecessary. Everything looks new already! Parties should seem festive, though, and this can only be accomplished through a few party decorations. Don’t go overboard, because you do want the focus to be on your great new house, but definitely do a few small things. Tie balloons to your mailbox so people know where to stop. Get fresh flower arrangements for the table and kitchen counter. Hang streamers around the bathroom door. Let your friends see that you know how to throw a housewarming party with pizzazz.


Socializing today is pretty casual, so housewarming party etiquette is flexible, and should be more about making people comfortable than anything else. Your guests will definitely want to take a tour of your new home, so assign your best friend the role of tour guide to alleviate some of the pressure from yourself. If you don’t have a planned backup, you might sit down at the end of the party and realize you spent the whole day pointing at the track lighting in your garage. Avoid scheduling a time to open all of your gifts, as you might at a birthday party. If a guest specifically asks you to open their gift, do it away from the main party area to avoid long drawn out sessions of applause and reading cards. At a come-and-go party, this is a sure fire way to make everyone go. Also, your close friends will know what to do at a housewarming party. Let them know before hand that you are counting on them to keep the room up.


A housewarming party menu should be simple, containing mostly bite sized food. Housewarming Party FoodYou want to make sure that most items will still be good, even after sitting on the counter for a couple of hours. Things such as homemade cookies, savory pastries, and party mixes should take up most of the table. Chips are great, of course, but memorable housewarming food ideas make much better crowd pleasers.

Most restaurants offer catering, so pick your favorite lunch spot, and pre-order a batch of something you love. Tell the restaurant that you are looking for housewarming party food ideas, and they will help you decide, and might even provide the supplies you need to keep your food hot or cold. Here are a few other party food ideas your can make yourself from Martha Stewart.


Everyone who knows how to throw a housewarming party will tell you that a party punch is the way to go when it comes to drinks. Create an alcoholic punch that’s not too strong, but perfect for guests to sip on when they drop by. Setting liquor dispensers out on the counter so the guests can make their drinks to taste without interrupting you mid-conversation are a great idea well. For the non-drinkers be sure to have a second non-alcoholic punch as well, especially if your housewarming party is during the day. Keep a few bottles of water handy, along with club soda and ginger ale. Keeping the drink menu simple will save you a lot of headache, but also make sure there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

Party Favors Engraved Glasses

Housewarming party favors are a way for you to thank your guests for stopping by, and bringing love and friendship to your new home. Mints and chocolates are always a hit, but consider giving your friends something that they can add to their own homes. Tea light candles are inexpensive, but can be useful to anyone. Engraved glasses are also a great way to commemorate a housewarming party, and if you don’t hand them all out your guests, you have more drinkware to keep in your own new cabinets.


For those of us who aren’t planning on moving any time soon, there’s a much greater chance that we’ll be guests at a housewarming party than hosting one.

Electric Corkscrew

Bottles of wine are housewarming gift staples, so a great housewarming gift idea is an upscale wine bottle opener. Skip the gift wrapping, and show up with a bottle opener ready to go to work. You might even get to pick the first bottle opened in your friend’s new home!

A recurring problem at parties is running out of ice. On your way to the housewarming party, pick up a nice large bag of ice. It will always be welcomed with open arms. Make sure and grab some lemons and limes too, those are always the first to run at parties where drinks are served.

Personalized housewarming gifts are a wonderful way to congratulate loved ones on a new home, but also share a memory with them that might become part of their everyday routine. Engraved Cutting BoardEngraved cutting boards are perfect for people who like to cook, and will definitely be put to good use.

The greatest give you can bring to a housewarming party is a new friend for the hosting friend or couple. If they’ve just moved to town, or even relocated to a new neighborhood, it can be tough starting out. If you’ve been invited to a housewarming party, ask the host if you can bring a friend or another couple, and find someone with common interests to invite. No only will your friend appreciate it, if they hit it off with this new individual or couple you brought, your entire group of friends just grew. Now that’s a win win.

Steak Seasoning Ideas to Make Your Meat Awesome

A vital step in the meat grilling process is choosing the best steak seasoning. There are an abundance of BBQ recipes available, and each one can help give your great cuts of a meat a palate-pleasing flavor, but we are always searching to find the best of the best. We turned to a few experts for advice on creating memorable grilling and steak rub recipes that will give your food a unique, signature flavor. From tips on using great grilling technique, to unexpected flavors, to giving ready-made favorites a signature spin, here are the best steak seasoning ideas to help any cut of meat reach its maximum flavor potential.

Even when using the best dry rub you can find, great tasting meat starts with good grilling technique. Grilling expert Jeremy Tannehill, Executive Chef at Public House gastropub in Chicago, Illinois, says you should always know your heat source. “There are two types heat – direct and indirect. When it is quicker food items to cook, like asparagus and steak, then use direct. Otherwise use indirect heat [such as coals] when cooking slower cooked foods i.e. pastrami!” Chef Tannehill also recommends using seasonings judiciously. “Too much garlic, salt and/or chili powder… Don’t do it!” At Public House, he uses sumac spice in all of the steak rubs. “The middle-eastern spice is really enriched in the primal, animal flavor of the beef.”

Star AniseShaunya Hartley, Editorial Director of ShopEatandSleep.com, suggests that exotic flavors make the best BBQ dry rub. “I like to do a dry rub from time to time with Saffron, sometimes a red or green curry, [or] Star Anise…Star Anise gives a slight licorice component.” Highly popular in China, India, and other Asian countries, star anise is among the primary ingredients in the traditional five-spice powder of Chinese cooking. It’s also frequently found in absinthe, making it truly unexpected among steak seasoning ingredients.

Many times, backyard chefs have the best grilling ideas. James Andors, a Keller Williams real estate professional by day, has been developing his signature BBQ recipes for years. His father was a professional chef, who worked with famed chef Jean-Georges. “I grew up cooking, and our favorite thing to do was grill steak.” When it comes to the best steak seasoning, Andors has a clear favorite. “I would say there is little better than a Montreal steak seasoning, but not the kind from the bottle. Make it yourself with only seven or eight ingredients, stuff you likely already have in the spice cabinet.” BBQ Seasoning IdeasIngredients in Montreal steak seasoning include paprika, black and white pepper, kosher salt, coriander, granulated onion and garlic, thyme and rosemary, and something for a little heat. “If [you’re] willing to stray from strictly dry rub, substitute for fresh items. Rub the steak with minced garlic, dice some jalapeños, and use a grinder for the coriander seeds (instead of the powder). Always use fresh ground black pepper (or pepper medley) as well. Fresh herbs (thyme and rosemary) are always advisable. Both can grow in anyone’s back yard with zero effort.”

Brian Sullivan, Senior Vice President of Culinary Innovation for California Pizza Kitchen, recommends making quick and easy flavored sea salts. He shared his recipe for Pinot Noir Sea Salt. “As a general rule of thumb, add 1 to 2 teaspoons of flavoring for every 1/4 cup of salt. Be careful not to over mix when blending, so that the salt crystals remain intact. The steps below outline the reduction method. This is a technique using liquid and reducing it to a syrup, which makes the flavor and color of the salt more intense while at the same time preventing the salt from dissolving on contact.”

Pinot Noir Sea Salt

  1. Bring the wine to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and simmer until the wine is a syrup thick enough to coat a spoon. This can take 15 to 20 minutes depending on the amount of liquid and the size of the pan you are using.
  2. Once reduced, immediately add salt and blend until the salt has completely absorbed the wine and changed color.
  3. Transfer to a baking sheet or a piece of parchment paper and allow to air dry for 12 to 24 hours or until completely dry.
  4. Once the salt is dry, store in an airtight container.
  5. Enjoy!

Flavored Sea SaltsFlavored sea salts are a really effective way to enhance the taste of foods every day. Flavors such as alderwood, smoked guava wood, and chipotle give a woodsy flavor to grilled meat and vegetables without the need to keep a stockpile of logs hanging around the house. Some sea salts are even infused with flavors like coconut and lime, making it easy to give the most basic grilled foods an unexpected flavor.

If you are looking for a simple steak seasoning, or easy rib rub, choosing a favorite store-bought steak seasoning blend might be just the answer you’re looking for. Jonathan Toner, founder of Pirate Jonny’s Caribbean Rubs and Seasoning, is a long time foodie, with an award from the National BBQ Association under his belt. Using a blend of coffee, chili powder, garlic, cocoa, and a touch of Jamaican jerk, his ready-made barbecue rub captures an awesome balance of flavor. He’s created a number of great grilling recipes, including one for Roundup Coffee Roast Beef, for those days when you have no choice but to cook your meat inside. Bar Brew Q Recipe

An important ingredient in most great grill recipes is salt, which can be a problem for meat lovers who need to watch their sodium intake. Danielle Marullo, Assistant General Manager of The Todd English Food Hall in New York’s famed Plaza Hotel, is also the blogger behind GotRoomForMore.com, and creates delicious recipes that are also low in sodium. Marullo shared a unique recipe for Bar-Brew-Q Steak that incorporates coffee, coriander seeds, and LoSalt®, a low-sodium seasoning. “I often add coffee to my chocolate desserts to enhance the flavor, but the spiciness and earthiness of these beans are a match made in heaven for meat.”

Experience the Great American Beer Festival

Every year, the Great American Beer Festival celebrates the brewing industry by serving an enormous assortment of U.S. beers in a public tasting event. The Great American Beer Festival brings together top national brewers and a diverse selection of beers that prove why the United States is the world’s finest brewing nation.

This event started in 1982, and like the American craft brewing industry, has been growing ever since.  

8 Best Cocktails for Day Drinking

Day drinking is a far different practice than boozing it up with your friends at night. It’s fine to have a day drunk every now and then, and who doesn’t love a good brunch cocktail? But drinking all day must be carefully done, taking caution not to become too intoxicated for late afternoon and evening social activities. There’s also the issue of getting too tipsy about mid afternoon, and losing half the day to an impromptu nap. Therefore, it is important to take it slowly, and treat yourself with interesting cocktails that enhance your day drinking experience, rather than quickly rushing you into a post-happy-hour-like stupor. Here are the top 8 best cocktails for day drinking, each with its own special purpose.

To Energize: Earl Grey Tea Cocktail

Earl Grey Tea Cocktail

Morning cocktails must be subtle, but flavorful, and the Earl Grey Tea cocktail is a perfect fit. Made with freshly brewed Earl Grey tea, gin, honey, lemon juice, and lavender, it’s a yummy mixed drink that will energize your day. The caffeine from the tea helps you focus and feel awake, while the floral flavors will invigorate your spirits, figuratively and literally.

To Refresh: Sparkling White Peach Sangria

Sparkling White Peach Sangria
Sangria is a daytime drinking classic. Made with wine, brandy, and slices of fruit, this sparkling white peach sangria is sweet and refreshing. This recipe calls for seltzer water as well, adding a burst of bubbles to every glass. Definitely try to find fresh white peaches, because their tangy flavor will give these tasty mixed drinks a zing that you won’t get from regular peaches.

To Get Motivated: Moscow Mule

Best Moscow Mule Recipe

Ginger has been used for medicinal purposes for years, so ginger beer is a natural ingredient for a great day drinking cocktail. The classic Moscow Mule will help you get motivated with a spicy kick that comes from the ginger beer, boosted by a hearty shot of vodka. If you serve your Moscow Mule the traditional way (in a copper mug), the chill of the icy-cold metal rim will enhance your wake up call even further.

To Unwind: The Papal Maple

The Papal Maple
If you’ve had a stressful morning, and taken to day drinking as a way to unwind during the afternoon, The Papal Maple cocktail is what you want to go for. Made with cognac, maple syrup, blood orange juice, and cranberry bitters, it may not have ingredients that are readily available, but taking the time to bring them together is well worth the effort. Shaken and strained over ice, this is also a great brunch cocktail idea, giving a huge twist to the more pedestrian mimosa.

To Rejuvenate: Coconut Champagne Punch

Coconut water is packed with natural electrolytes, and when you are drinking all day, it’s important to stay hydrated! This coconut champagne punch combines fresh fruit, coconut water, juice, and sparkling wine for an incredible way to rejuvenate the senses. One of the most delicious mixed drinks on our list, this punch is perfect for morning cocktails or afternoon parties where you need to mix your drinks in large batches. Opt for a dry sparkling wine, rather than sweet, for the perfect balance of flavors.

To Contemplate: The Garibaldi

Garibaldi Cocktail
If the skies are calm on a weekday afternoon, and the temperature is just right, taking time to sit back and contemplate on life can be very rewarding. When you take time to reflect, mix up a Garibaldi cocktail. This Italian-inspired list of ingredients includes three different spirits, citrus juice, and mineral water. These complex flavors will give your taste buds something to think about, and draw your mind into a quite place of thoughtful contemplation.

To Relax: The Painkiller Prescriptive

The Painkiller Prescriptive
Made with high-proof rum, citrus juices, and seasoned with nutmeg, the Painkiller Prescriptive was created to help ease those aches and pains and help you achieve relaxation. Originating on the island of Jost Van Dyke in the Virgin Islands, you can be sure that these great cocktails will transport you to an easy-going place. The recipe also incorporates cream of coconut, which adds a smooth, milky taste and texture, making it easy to close your eyes and dream of sunny beaches.

To Nourish: Bloody Caesar

Bloody Caesar Cocktail
Never forget to nourish yourself when day drinking. The Bloody Caesar cocktail is a Canadian spin on the Bloody Mary, and can be packed with as many celery stalks and pickles as your glass will hold. Using clamato juice instead of just plain tomato, you get a rich, satisfying sip every time. Rounding out our list of the best cocktails for day drinking, the Bloody Caesar is the perfect drinking companion for morning, noon, or even late at night.

10 Low Calorie Cocktails You Can Order Anywhere

If you are looking to trim your waistline, or at least maintain its current circumference, removing cocktails from your diet can seem like an easy place to cut back. It becomes hard when you are out with your friends, someone orders a round of drinks for the table, and you are relegated to squeaking out a quiet, “Just water for me, please.” Not that water is bad. We all need hydration, but there are plenty of low calorie cocktails to order at a bar, without blowing your diet. The best low calorie alcoholic drinks keep plenty of the good stuff (booze) while reducing or eliminating the bad stuff (sugary mixers). While ultra-light beers are easy to find, there are far more flavorful options when you opt for low calorie mixed drinks. We’ve created a list of the 10 best low calorie cocktails you can order anywhere.

Wine SpritzersWine Spritzer

Any type of wine can be turned into a spritzer to create a healthy alcoholic drink available at any bar or restaurant. At approximately 25 calories per ounce, an average glass of wine is about 150 calories. Not all that bad to begin with. A wine spritzer, however, typically contains only three ounces of wine, coming in at only 75 calories. A spritzer is topped off with calorie free club soda, giving you bubbles and more to drink. White wines tend to be lower in calories, but most of it depends on alcohol content. The best bet is to just go with whatever wine you like best.
Total calories: 75

Malibu Rum & Diet Cola

Rum is definitely not a low calorie alcohol. However, Malibu brand coconut rum has 51 calories per ounce, which is less than most. Twelve ounces of cola come with a hearty 120 calories, and that’s where a rum and Coke gets us into trouble. Diet cola, however, has no calories. Add in a standard shot of Malibu rum, about 1.5 ounces, and you’ve got one of the lowest calorie alcoholic drinks you can find.
Total: 77

Flavored Vodka on the Rocks with a Twist

Flavored Vodka on the RocksTypically, 80 proof vodka has 64 calories per ounce, or 96 calories per shot. Flavored vodkas are everywhere, and splashed over the rocks in old-fashioned whisky style glasses are great for sipping. Most flavored vodkas use natural and artificial flavors which add no calories. Have them add any available fruit garnish for even more flavor. If you just can’t handle straight vodka, ask the bartender to top it up with a little club soda.
Total: 96 calories


Low calorie vodka drinks are tricky, since many of them contain juices that are loaded with sugar. A Seabreeze cocktail is made with vodka, cranberry juice and grapefruit juice, and standard fare in almost any bar or restaurant. When you order, it’s important to tell the bartender that you want mostly grapefruit juice with just a little cranberry. One ounce of grapefruit juice is only 11 calories, while one ounce of cranberry juice is almost 20. Including a shot of 80 proof vodka, you’ve got a tasty low calorie cocktail that looks just like the regular version.
Total: 113 calories

Tequila & Soda with LimeTequila and Soda

Frozen margaritas are popular and incredibly tasty, but run in the 250 calorie range. Some restaurant margaritas are even worse, with enough sugar to exceed 350 calories. As with many things, taking it back to the basics is the way to go. The classic margarita is made with just tequila, triple sec, and lime juice, which leaves out the sugary rim and flavored mixers, getting the calorie count down to 150 calories. To take it even further, order tequila and soda with orange and lime garnish. Squeeze the orange and lime garnish into the drink, and muddle them in with your straw.
Total: 95 calories

Anything Mixed with Tea

Most popular spirits come in under 100 calories for a full jigger, and they all taste great mixed with iced tea. A staple found in almost any restaurant, iced tea has zero calories, and a relatively neutral flavor. The waiter might give you a weird look, but pick your favorite spirit, and ask for it mixed into a glass of iced tea. Make sure to avoid sweet tea, though, since prepared sweet tea can have nearly 5 tablespoons of sugar per serving.
Total: under 100 calories

Rob Roy

Rob Roy cocktailA prime candidate for the manliest low calorie mixed drink, a Rob Roy is made with scotch, vermouth, and bitters. Simple, classic, and can be ordered with confidence and authority.
Total: 145 calories

Cranberry Gin Martini

In case you haven’t noticed, many of these cocktails contain only one shot of alcohol. If you want a mixed drink that packs a punch, try our Cranberry Gin martini. It’s not a restaurant menu standard, but any well stocked bar will have the ingredients to make it. Your bartender will probably have fun trying something new. Other than taste, the best part is your friends will just think you are a sophisticated drinker with discerning taste, and never know you’re on a diet.
Total: 205 calories


If you prefer to keep things simple, try a glass of rosé. Although it’s less common than other sparkling wines, popularity is increasing, keeping you on the cutting edge of drinking trends. If your friends give you any crap at the brunch table, just smile and nod as they throw back mimosas at nearly 220 calories per glass.
Total: 85 calories


If other low calorie cocktails are making you lose your buzz, try sake. This dry rice wine has higher levels of alcohol per ounce than grape-based wines. Even though this adds calories, sake is lower in other sugars. Traditionally served at room temperature, sake is easier to sip slowly, meaning a four ounce glass can be enjoyed for much longer than a chilled cocktail.
Total: 150 calories