Friday's Feature Cocktail: Pale Belgian Amber Ale

PALM Ale! Found at Arts and Crafts Bar , the same one we reviewed this week! What a perfect drink to celebrate National Belgian day with (Well, it was on Tuesday... but shh!)! PALM ale has been one of the top selling beers in Europe for a long, long time. The moment you take your first sip, you'll completely understand why! It's made with English hops, French barley, and Belgian yeast, representing only the best of European beer making traditions. Surprisingly, it's not a heavy beer, which one would assume based off of the color, but it's actually very light. PALM Ale is a great alternative to traditional pilsners and lagers if you're looking to try something new. So finish that stack of paperwork and head out to Arts and Crafts Beer Parlor and have a taste!

ACBP, E, F, G...

Okay, so maybe that's not  how the alphabet goes, but who cares? 

Today we are talking about a bar where the owners are known as "the beer whisperers," the Arts and Crafts Beer Parlor.The thing that's so special about this bar is exactly what's in the name, great beer and great art. While it is a beer bar, it still has a far better selection of wines than most other beer bars. It also has great bar food! Who doesn't love a steaming hot soft pretzel? 

Now this beer is amazing, as we've already clarified, but why? Well,  Arts and Crafts Beer Parlor has a high tech subterranean beer cellar right under your feet!. This "Bugatti of beer taps," makes absolute sure that the beer you're drinking is always served at exactly 32 degrees. There's nothing more refreshing than a nice cold beer on a hot summer day.The cellar also features a custom-made chill room for their kegs and bottles to keep them at the perfect temperature.

Now for info on the beer! Don and Bob (our beer whisperers), always make sure their bar features 24 great tasting beers on tap and are always very knowledgeable and able to help you find the perfect beer for you, as is their great staff. If beer is your thing, go ahead and do the "run of the board." which is a tasting of all 24 beers on tap. If beer just isn't your thing however or you're too scared to try the run of the board,  try a tasting flight: your choice of either 6, 12, or 18 different beers. They also have growlers to go if you don't want the party to end when you head home.

They have up different art exhibits as well and they change every few months or so. So you should definitely hit up this bar and go try some beer!

Fridays Featured Cocktail: Kalimotxo

The Kalimotxo- red wine mixed with Coca-Cola or white wine mixed with Sprite. Best served on the rocks. We found this gem in the east village at a Basque inspired Spanish restaurant called Huertas. This drink is very popular in Basque culture. It has a very unique flavor, so if you're feeling adventurous or have to find a wine to drink red wine without it being too dry, this is your best bet.

According to their website, "The name Huertas translates to orchards, or small gardens. These orchards dominate the landscape of northern Spain". 

One of the things this restaurant is known best for though, is their hot dogs window. Hot dogs made with chistorra sausage, a variety of pork sausage seasoned with paprika. These things are mouth watering and delicious. So start your weekend right and go check out Huertas, grab a Kalimotxo and a dog and pig out. 

Blind Tiger Ale House: Cask Beer Vs. Regular Beer

The Blind Tiger Ale House is one of the best beers bars we've found in all of NYC with over 50 different bottled beers, 28 beers on tap, and some great wine. However, they're very known for their cask beers, which aren't easy to find in the city. Cask beer AKA 'real ale,' is unfiltered and unpasteurized, brewed from only traditional ingredients and is able to mature naturally, but it still contains live yeast. This is definitely not even close to your average beer. It's served nice and cool while being hand pumped into the glass instead of from a keg. Back to the bar,  it's spacious yet has a very cozy feeling. There's great options of drink and food, including the grilled cheese. The bartenders are all very friendly and are willing to help find that perfect tasting beer just for you. Located at 281 Bleeker St, it's open every day from 11:30am to 4am.

Friday's Featured Cocktail: Hell-Or-High-Watermelon



Hey everyone, TGIF! So this week our featured cocktail is actually a beer, but a very in season one at that. As everyone is still nursing their hangovers from the fourth of July,  others would rather choose to take "The Hair of The Dog" path. Well, this refreshing beer is a great way to do so!

Hell-Or-High-Watermelon is a wheat beer that is very light in its looks and its taste. The first sip you take leaves you feeling like you just bit into a fresh piece of watermelon, but without the seeds! Not much to complain about there, right? It's crisp and refreshing while not being as filling as a regular beer, which leaves you plenty of room to drink more!

This beer can be found at The Writing Room on the Upper East Side, The Well in Williamsburg, or even as a six pack at your local bodega.

Is This Tea or Is This...?

Happy Tipsy Tuesday! Thirsty? Just imagine how the people during the Prohibition felt! They were probably desperate for some libations. So much so that along with the Prohibition came the introduction of Speakeasies.  If you've downloaded our app, hopefully you'll understand why we're giving you this little history lesson.

The Tea Room in the village, owned by Henry and June Miller was one of the many speakeasies found in New York City. This one in particular was located in the basement of their home at 106 Perry St. in what is now known as the west village. It opened in September of 1925 but was out of business around December of that same year. Unfortunately, the not-so-happy couple drank all their profits. Seems they were pretty thirsty as well.

Cool, right? Well if you're itching to learn more about tea rooms or have worked up a thirst yourself, download our app from iTunes! We all know that there's tons of stuff to learn about NYC, but learning is always better with a few drinks along the way!

Download our app here:

Friday's Featured Cocktail: Mario Batali's "Red Beer"

Mario Batali
Mario Batali

Today's featured cocktail is one of Mario Batali's favorite "hydration beverages," as he recently described it in the New York Times Magazine. The Red Beer:

Two more great quotes from Mario:

"Although the skills aren't hard to learn, finding the happiness and finding the satisfaction and finding fulfillment in continuously serving somebody else something good to eat, is what makes a really good restaurant."  -- Mario Batali

"I really want to be a rock star."  -- Mario Batali

Friday's Featured Cocktail: Gallia Paris

Gallia Paris Logo
Gallia Paris Logo

Brewed in Paris from 1890 until 1968, Parisians mourned when the Gallia brewery closed. After all, Gallia Paris was once the city's ubiquitous brew.  It won the gold medal at the Paris World Fair in 1900 and its brewery in the 14th arrondissement was the largest in the capital.

Enter two 20-something entrepreneurs, who, with the backing of the original brewer's family, resurrected Gallia Paris in 2010.   Today, Gallia is once again available across Paris, on draft at bars and from retailers like Monoprix, Lafayette Gourmet and LaGrand Épicerie du Bon Marché.

Gallia Paris is a lager-style beer, 5.5% ABV and well-balanced.   We look forward to its arrival in the US, but for now we must be content to enjoy it France and the U.K.

Curiosity & Cocktails at Old Town's Paradiso

Paradiso in Old Town
Paradiso in Old Town

Walking along King Street in Old Town, Alexandria, you might notice a fairly non-descript pizza place called Paradiso.  It's one of many restaurants and bars in Old Town. But inside you'll find much more than excellent pizza, a Zagat favorite.  Paradiso is not only a pizzeria, but if you look closely at the sign you'll see it's also a birreria, with an amazing selection of  hard-to-find brews.

How extensive is Paradiso's selection?  On the beer list you'll find over 200 bottles, a traditional British cask ale, and 14 always-changing options on tap.

During our recent visit we tried several options under the guidance of Paradiso's talented beer expert, Matt.   We were impressed to see Unibrou Éphémère on the list, too.

The good news is one need not venture to Old Town to enjoy Paradiso's delicious pizzas and incredible beer selection.   Paradiso has locations in both Dupont Circle and Georgetown, as well.

Friday's Featured Cocktail: Moonshine!

Today's featured cocktail comes to us from Wisconsin, where a Cocktails & Curiosities fan spotted Junior Johnson's Midnight Moonshine at a local liquor store. We admit we haven't tasted the 'shine, but we're fascinated nonetheless.  We hope a C & C  fan who has tried the concoction will send us a review.

Here's what we know from the website:

"Junior Johnson’s Midnight Moon follows the Johnson family’s moonshine recipe. Every batch is handcrafted in very small batches, made from corn and born in a copper still. Midnight Moon is triple distilled to deliver an ultra-smooth, clean-tasting spirit that is often preferred over the world’s best vodkas."

In addition to plain 'shine, the Johnson family also infuses their moonshine with fruit:  "Apple Pie, Cherry, Strawberry, Blueberry & Cranberry age in the mason jar for several weeks, to ensure each bottle reaches the peak of all-natural fruit flavor before it leaves the distillery."

If you've sampled Junior Johnson's Midnight Moonshine, please drop us a line.  We'd love to hear your opinion.  You can comment below or on our Cocktails & Curiosities Facebook page.

Midnight Moonshine
Midnight Moonshine

Friday's Featured Cocktail: The Spotted Pig Bitter

Made exclusively for the Spotted Pig and the Breslin by the Brooklyn Brewery, the Spotted Pig Bitter is a cask-conditioned ale hand-pumped from the cellar up to the bar. The Spotted Pig Bitter tastes like a classic English bitter, grainy and very drinkable.   Because it's a cask ale, its carbonation is very light and natural (unlike keg beer, which is pressurized and forcefully carbonated with CO2).

Cask ales, also known as "real ales," are neither pasteurized nor filtered.  They must be served fresh and, therefore, are usually found close to the brewery from which they originate.

Like most all real ales, the Spotted Pig Bitter is best enjoyed at cellar temperature, and it's a perfect complement to the delicious burgers served at both the Breslin and the Spotted Pig in Manhattan, just a few miles from the Brooklyn Brewery.


Friday's Featured Cocktail: Gulder Lager from Nigeria

Gulder at Buka
Gulder at Buka

Today's Friday Featured Cocktail originates in Nigeria, the most populous nation in Africa, on the east coast. Gulder, a delicious and refreshing lager, was first brewed in 1970 shortly after the government of Nigeria banned the importation of beer.   It's 5% ABV and served in 625 ml (big) bottles.

We got a kick out of the honest labeling:  Gulder is "made from premium barley, quality hops and clean water ...."  Clean water.  Good to know.

We tried Gulder at Buka, a Nigerian restaurant & bar in the Clinton Hill area of Brooklyn.   If you live in NYC or plan to visit, and looking for a bit of adventure, then consider lunch or dinner at Buka.

Our group of six tried just about everything on the menu, from the spicy goat to the fish to the fried beef, and with the exception of the unbelievably tough land snails, we truly enjoyed it all.  A word of caution to those of delicate constitution:  Nigerian cuisine is SPICY.  But when you wash it down with Gulder, it's all good!

Friday's Featured Cocktail: Ram's Gate Wines


Last week we visited the newRam's Gate Winery in Sonoma.  It's an amazing 22,000 sq. ft. space with fantastic winesand even better food & wine pairings. We enjoyed all of the wines we tasted, particularly the Pinot Noir, described as "a textbook example of ‘North Coast’ Pinot Noir laden with ripe cherry, sarsaparilla & juicy raspberry fruit flavors with subtle stony earth, forest floor and musk characters. The wine's mouth-feel is driven by an abundance of velour-like tannins and richness of alcohol.  Backed by forest floor, mushrooms, cedar and earth."

The small plate food pairings are also excellent.  According to the San Francisco Chronicle, "the food experience is one of the best reasons to visit an already exceptional destination."

Easy to find on Route 121, Ram's Gate is the perfect place to start or end a day of wine tasting in Sonoma.