KAHLÚA, Old and New

Kalua coffee liqueur
KAHLUA coffee liqueur


We grew up with the iconic coffee liqueur, and remember walking back across the border with a newly-purchased bottle the first time we visited Mexico. But we were surprised to learn that the more-than-70-years-old brand had diversified greatly.


While the original flavor has been around since 1936, there are currently five other KAHLÚA’s available for cocktails, spiking coffee and even cooking. (Not to mention two pre-mixed cocktails for lazy bartenders).


We enjoyed a dinner at the Lotería Grill in which each of the dishes was prepared with KAHLÚA, including a flaming cheese and chile botana on which KAHLÚA Especial had been poured and set aflame.

 

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Southern Comfort

Southern Comfort Bold Black Cherry
Southern Comfort Bold Black Cherry


If It Tastes Like a Whiskey…


by Jeff Hoyt


What is Southern Comfort? If you think it’s a whiskey as many do, you’re mistaken, but don’t feel too bad. The original formula did contain whiskey, while today it features just whiskey flavoring. The iconic brand founded in 1874 is actually a liqueur that has been a favorite of rockers like Janis Joplin.


We’ve never been too partial to this sweet concoction with the great name. But something magical happens when you blend it over ice with another sweet mixer, such as Coca-Cola, Dr. Pepper or fruit juice. Somehow the sweets cancel each other out, and you’re left with a refreshing, tasty drink that is way too easy to over-indulge in on a hot day.

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Ciroc Vodka with Sean Combs

Sean John Combs, brand ambassador for Ciroc Vodka
Sean John Combs, brand ambassador for Ciroc Vodka

by Jeff Hoyt


Most personalities do their best to make their name a household one, reinforcing their “brand” repeatedly by getting their name out there, via their performances, TV appearances, CDs, DVDs, clothing lines and every media that will have them. But singer/rapper/actor/ producer/mogul/businessman Sean John Combs has bucked that trend, changing his name over and over again while continually staying in the public eye: Diddy; P. Diddy; Puff; Puffy; Puff Daddy; King Combs. Even his clothing lines utilize two different names based on his birth name: Sean John and “Sean by Sean Combs.”


But the multiple Grammy Award winner has only one name for his vodka: Ciroc. When he became a brand ambassador in 2007, the French vodka was only selling about 10,000 cases per month. With the entrepreneur pushing the product, and sharing in the brand’s profits, sales were about 400,000 cases in 2009, and reportedly close to 1,000,000 cases last year. No wonder the singer now refers to himself jokingly as “Ciroc Obama.”

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Johnnie Walker Double Black

Johnnie Walker Double Black
Johnnie Walker Double Black

by Jeff Hoyt


“Make it a double!” is an oft-spoken command to a bartender, but it takes on a different meaning when the spirit in question is Johnnie Walker Black Label Scotch whisky. Jim Beveridge, Master Blender of the House of Walker, has produced the company’s newest release, Johnnie Walker Double Black.


If you enjoy the smoky, peaty flavor of Johnnie Walker Black Label, then this new limited release gives you more of what you look for in a Scotch. The distinctive blend is even smokier, even peatier and even bolder than its younger brother, but eminently drinkable.


Double Black is composed of select single malts of naturally smoky aged whiskies and whiskies that have matured in deep charred oak barrels. Despite its strength, it is still quite complex, with fruit, vanilla and spice flavors also evident. We recommend drinking it on the rocks with water, which helps release more of the flavor.

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From Daniel Boulud to Food Truck

Tacos from chef Wesley Holton's food truck, Jacques Tacos, in Detroit, MI
Tacos from chef Wesley Holton's food truck, Jacques Tacos, in Detroit, MI

by Jeff Hoyt


Wesley Holton worked in Daniel Boulud’s kitchens in New York City and Palm Beach, Florida, before becoming executive chef at the Daniel Boulud Brasserie in the famed Wynn Las Vegas hotel. But since that high-end French restaurant closed earlier this year, Holton has a new gig: making tacos in Detroit’s first food truck!


And while the Daniel Boulud Brasserie offered caviar, $43 steak au poivre, and a $32 hamburger with foie gras and short ribs, Holton’s new menu offers short ribs in a $2.50 taco, served with warm corn tortillas, fresh black bean & corn salsa queso fresco, and sauce vért. Other ‘high-end’ items include little piggy slow-roasted pork tacos and marinated avocado tacos at $2.50 apiece.