Macaron or Macaroon? The never ending debate

So... for all of you who guesses macaron, go grab yourself a cocktail and enjoy your reward while you read on! For those of you who guessed macaroon.... read on and educate yourself. Okay, you can grab a cocktail too. The actual way to pronounce macaron is "mah/kah/roh." These sweet little pastries often get confused for another because of the pronunciation and call them macaroons, but let's not get started on that rant.

Today we are talking about Bisous, Ciao Macarons!

As popular as the macaron is with the french, it was actually invented circa 1533 in Italy by a woman who ended up marrying the King of France and the rest is history.

Macarons are basically elegant sandwich cookies whereas macaroons are chewy and coconutty. Personally, the macaron is way better and anyone who says otherwise is wrong.

Anyway, back to these delicious treats! Anyone whose ever had one of these knows how amazing they are!  No other treat can compare. This store is so cute and  you can't miss it. The flavor they have range from the classics such as vanilla, salted caramel, and raspberry and to the seasonal flavors like cherry blossom and passion fruit. Mouth watering, right? Well go try some for yourself! Or if you're too lazy, admit it, we all are, they deliver! 

Shields Tavern in Colonial Williamsburg


Tonight we enjoyed delicious cocktails and fortifying cuisine at a wonderful historical curiosity, Shields Tavern in Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia. We perused the list of seven “fortified drinks,” what colonial Americans called cocktails.  We tried a “rummer,” an 18th century favorite with dark rum, apricot & peach brandies and crushed ice, then garnished with a cherry and slice of lime.  Fortifying, indeed.

Next we tried an Old Stitch, a beer brewed exclusively for the Colonial Williamsburg taverns from a 1737 recipe.  Back in the day it was known as a “strong ale.”  Today it’s best described as a cross between a porter and an amber – the common label “brown ale” doesn’t do it justice.  It’s a very dark-colored, unique brew, with a toffee smell and very malty taste.  If you’re a fan of dark beer, don’t miss Old Stitch the next time you’re in an historic tavern in Williamsburg.

About the tavern … Around 1742, James Shields began operating a tavern once owned by his father-in-law, Jean Margot.  (Ironically, James Shields’ father had sold the land on which the tavern stood to Mr. Margot in 1700.)  The location was ideal, very close to the capitol and on a bustling block of shops, private residences and other taverns.  (In the 18th century, taverns were a town’s social centers, offering not only food & drink but also lodging and amusements for the men who visited, often from their farms and plantations.)

About Williamsburg … The town of Williamsburg, population less than two thousand, became the capital of Virginia in 1699, rising out of a small community known as Middle Plantation.  Williamsburg was the political and social center of the colony until 1780, when the capitol was moved to Richmond for security reasons.  In the early 1920’s John D. Rockefeller bought the town and in 1926 work began to return it to its 18th century identity.  Over 700 buildings that post-dated 1790 were razed.  Today Colonial Williamsburg is basically a huge outdoor (and indoor) museum, a step back in time open to the public 365 days a year (and very close to Busch Gardens).

124 Rabbit Club


124 Rabbit Club, at 124 MacDougal Street, is one of our favorite dive-esque bars in the city, featuring an amazing list of rare beers from around the world. It’s a small subterranean space, a hole in the ground, so we assumed the name was a reference to Lewis Carroll's “Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.”  It is, but it’s also an homage to the Black Rabbit, a notorious Village club in the 1890’s that was shut down in 1900 for showing live sex on stage.  (Reporting on the Black Rabbit raid, the New York Times said “Sodom and Gomorrah would blush for shame at hearing to what depths of vice its habitués had descended.”  Apparently the Village denizens knew how to party as far back as 1900, and the tradition continues at 124 Rabbit.)

Amidst the chaos of MacDougal Street, 124 Rabbit Club can be a challenge to find.  Look for #124, then walk down the stairs through the black door with a rabbit on the right.  If it’s after 6pm and the door is still locked, try ringing the bell, speakeasy-style.

Once inside, check out the eclectic crowd and Leipziger Gosebeer, an unusual German wheat beer with salt & coriander added for flavor.  We also like the Allagash options and the unique Wells Banana Bread Beer.

The White Horse Tavern


The White Horse Tavern, located at 567 Hudson Street, is the 1st stop on the C&C’s Tour #1 of Greenwich Village.  It’s both a famous cocktail establishment and historical curiosity, so it’s the perfect place to begin the Cocktails & Curiosities journey. Opened in 1880, the tavern was popular with longshoreman and local Irish immigrants, many of whom were police officers and city workers.  It should come of no surprise that during Prohibition the tavern remained open, served plenty of booze, and was never raided.  The White Horse was also a favorite of Mayor Jimmy Walker, who lived a few blocks away and presumably kept it safe.

The tavern has a long history of famous customers, including the Welsh poet Dylan Thomas.  Do you recall the famous words “do not go gentle into that good night”?  If you don’t remember it from a college literature class, the poem was featured in the classic Rodney Dangerfield film “Back to School.”

In 1953, at the age of 39, Thomas got his drink on at “the Horse,” as he called it, for the last time.  He indulged in one too many whiskeys, fell down drunk and went into a coma.  The great poet died a few days later.  Many say his ghost still visits the White Horse, sitting at his favorite corner table in the back room.  The ghost rotates the table like Thomas did when he wrote his poetry.


Other notable fans include Andy Warhol, Norman Mailer, and Jack Kerouac.  Kerouac visited often and was often kicked out.  Bob Dylan used to come to listen to music and John F. Kennedy Jr.stopped in for lunch while at NYU law school.  The tavern was also a favorite of John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd, who would show up at closing time, ask the proprietor to lock the doors, and buy drinks for everyone in the building.

On the night that John Belushi died, Aykroyd visited the bar and bought a round for all to toast his lost friend.

Today the White Horse Tavern remains a great place to stop in for both a beverage and tasty “pub grub.” On nice days the sidewalk tables fill-up quickly, and stop by an ATM on the way because the Horse accepts cash only.

The White Horse Tavern is indeed the perfect spot to begin the first Cocktails & Curiosities tour.

Introducing Cocktails & Curiosities, the Bar Crawls for Smart People

NYC Walking Tours & NYC Bar Crawls just had a baby.

Greenwich Village Walking Tours Book CoverCocktails & Curiosities is the latest brand from Christi Scofield and Ted Scofield; the dynamic duo who run Icebreaker Entertainment.

So what exactly is Cocktails & Curiosities, you ask?  Think of it as a combination of the best of history, art, architecture, literature, music and pop-culture walking tours with eclectic cocktail stops along the way.

Available now in ebook format for Kindle, Nook, iPhone, iPad and all devices that can run the free Kindle or Nook reader apps.

Thank you for checking out our blog.  Be sure to register for updates as we will be blogging about some awesome cocktails and unique curiosities from cities all around the world.