This year was filled with many great sips throughout both forks. I visited several new vineyards this year and had the opportunity to try many new, luscious beverages. Many of these bottled beauties are now enjoyed by me and my family on a regular basis. From a refreshing, floral lemonade to a sparkling ‘royal’ champagne, below I feature my top ten favorite things I drank in 2016.
Plum Jasmine, Blossom Water
These floral essences waters are available in four flavors: lemon rose, plum jasmine, grapefruit lilac and pomegranate geranium. Soft, essence of a wild lush garden, it is a sip of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean regions, where rose water is commonly mixed into lemonade to balance the refreshing tartness with nuanced taste and aroma.
Chai Tea Concentrate, Dona Chai
Steeped in small batches, each sip is beaming with flavors of cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, black peppercorns, and ginger that is enrobed in black tea. It was love at first sip and has been a staple in my kitchen ever since.
Each sip perks you up and gives your immune system a “pep talk.” The chilled ginger and honey tea can be enjoyed every single day and is made by hand in small batches. This past summer, I had one bottle per day, which helped keep me going with my ever-changing and very busy schedule.
Winter White, Pindar Vineyards
A semi-dry a white, exploding with fruit flavors. Crafted from Cayuga and Seyval grapes.It was my favorite wine during my tasting at Pindar Vineyards in Peconic. Very soft finish. It is the most popular wine choice at their vineyard.
2014 Muscat de Boom, Channing Daughters Winery
No wonder it is a limited production (only 61 cases produced). Become enrobed in the aromas of Muscat grapes, dried apricots, caramelized peaches, baked apples, nuts, pineapple curd and golden raisins rise from the glass. It is crazy delicious just sipped by itself! Great with classic sweet wine combos like bleu cheese. Also great with nuts, and fruit based desserts especially containing apples, pears, apricots and peaches. Irresistible when poured over ice cream. Chill lightly.
Organic Watermelon Water, DRINKmelon
DRINKmelon has captured a summertime specialty that everyone can enjoy year round. I have sipped watermelon water every single day throughout the summer season, and I am more than thrilled I get to continue to have this not-to-sweet nutritious beverage year round. Get 15% off at drinkmaple.com with coupon code FRIENDOFGORDON.
Pink Grapefruit, Mother Nurture
The water tastes so nourishing and has just the right amount of sweet with a gentle tang. I highly recommend mother nurture to all expecting and breastfeeding mothers. You will instantly feel hydrated with your first sip.
Grape Royale, Topping Rose House
Grape Royale: Local Concorde Grapes, Champagne. The ideal cocktail to enjoy al fresco after a long day lounging at Sagg Main Beach. The Grape Royale was lovely. Not to sweet, bubbly, and very refreshing. It is very rare that I ever have a second cocktail, and that was one I had a hard time resisting.
Sumatra Blend, Aldo Coffee
A bold and beautiful cup of coffee. The freshly ground coffee beans are so enticing, I find myself holding the bag each morning just to embrace the aroma. It reminds me of sitting in a coffee shop in the Spanish countryside (don’t ask me why). This robust coffee is enjoyed daily: black, no sweetener.
Cosmopolitan, Red Bar Brasserie
My guest raved that it was the ‘best Cosmopolitan she had ever had.’ It was also the best Cosmo I tasted in 2016. The drink was very smooth with a pinch of citrus and just the right amount of sweetness. The lemon twist garnish was a classy alternative to the typical lime garnish.
Read about the best things I drank in 2015.