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Entries in Cocktails (105)


Holiday Flip Cocktail Recipe via Sean Nye of Match in SoNo

Looking for the perfect Holiday Cocktail recipe for your festivities? Sean Nye has mixed up a little something special for CTbites, from his new post, behind the bar of Match in South Norwalk. 

Sean hails most recently from Walrus & Carpenter, as well as Bodega and South End in New Canaan. Jusy sayin...the man knows how to make a drink. 

Enjoy this truly delicious recipe for the "Holiday Flip" made with Applejack Brandy, cardamaro and nutmeg. And if you're simply too tired from opening presents, just go order one at Match.

Holiday Flip Cocktail Recipe

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The Year-Round Gin & Tonic

The gin and tonic has become one of my favorite year-round cocktails. Now before you shout INFIDEL or HERESY and run for the torches to scare me and my cocktail into hibernation until the summer equinox, hear me out.

The first rule of a year-round G&T: the gin must be considered carefully. If you’re looking for guidance here, you can’t go wrong with the St. George Terroir Gin, which grounds this G&T with an earthy bite of “Douglas fir, California bay laurel, coastal sage, and other evocative botanicals.” One whiff and you’ll instinctively look over your shoulder for the bear that modeled for the label. Trust me, this is the gin you want for a cold weather G&T.

Next, find yourself a clean and crisp tonic. I recommend and will rarely stray from Q Tonic. Don’t even think about desecrating the G&T with a tonic like Schweppes, or please don’t tell me about it because I WILL judge you harshly.

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How To Create The Classic Holiday Cocktail Bar via Sheila Barton Catering

Sheila Barton is a local caterer with a flair for food styling. After watching her work her magic at several parties, we asked her for a few tips on creating your own "Classic Cocktail Bar." Here are her tips...

I thought it would benefit many to talk about how to set up the perfect holiday cocktail bar. Not only are the essentials so very important, but so are Style, Texture and Taste. I am always about creating an experience..starting with your eyes and ending with taste. Even if you can only afford to serve one great wine and one great beer, you can still do it with style. If you can throw in a classic craft cocktail or two, more the merrier!

So to first create Style, it is important to create a feeling of glamour and fun. You do this with visual appeal using different heights and Texture.

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CTbites' Guide to Happy Hours in Stamford CT

The work day comes to a close and all I can think is “Holy hell I need a bottle of wine …maybe two… maybe three… who’s coming with me?” But where do I go? What places offer specials? What vibe am I feeling? I instantly start googling “Happy Hour Downtown Stamford” but nothing pops up and suddenly I am in a panic, yes a panic. We’ve all been there many times…so I have compiled the ultimate list to help fellow happy hour enthusiasts.

Personal favorites for each day are:

  • Monday - Cotto, with half-priced bottles of wine and delicious tapas it’s the perfect way to ease into a hectic week;
  • Tuesday - Lola’s Mexican Restaurant, Taco Tuesday & Margaritas…need I say more?
  • Wednesday - Brickhouse Bar & Grill, known to many regulars as “wing night” it’s a low-key, delicious and fun way to finish hump day;
  • Thursday – Barcelona, delicious tapas and great deals on a variety of wines, the young and vibrant scene is always served up;
  • Friday – Hudson Grille, come for the happy hour and stay for the DJ, just be sure to bring your dancing shoes;

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Bourbon and Whiskey Tasting Fundraiser

The Norwalk Historical Society is hosting a fun-spirited Bourbon and Whiskey Tasting Fundraiser, with speaker Gregg Glaser, publisher and editor of Modern Distillery Age, on October 3, 2014, 7:00-9pm at Mill Hill Historic Park - Town House Museum, 2 East Wall Street, Norwalk, CT.  

A sampling of six selections will be tasted from around the world. Join us for an entertaining and informative discussion on the history, production, style and character of each. Appetizers are included. Must be 21 years and older to participate in the tasting.

Tickets - Early Bird until 9/26: $35-After 9/26: $40-At the door: $50. Purchase tickets here.

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Top 10 Craft Cocktails in Lower Connecticut

“We've come through the Dark Ages of the Cocktail," observes Gretchen Thomas, Director of Wine and Spirits for Barcelona and Bartaco.. "There was a time here when the spirit of choice was mainly Vodka, and the best we could do was flavor it.”

Though Connecticut may be a bit late to the party, the Craft Cocktail has finally, fully arrived. In fact, the drinks created at many local bars are as artful and artisanal as what's cooking in the kitchen.

Today’s barcraft is almost culinary … reflecting the way we now cook and dine: with fresh seasonal ingredients, locally sourced and often hand crafted.  Re-mixes of the old classics are updated with super premium, small batched spirits and served with stunning visual presentations and precisely balanced flavor constructions.  

“Cocktails have become part of the meal,” notes Jeff Marron, who heads up the beverage programs at Bill Taibe’s restaurants in Westport.  They are enjoyed for flavor and complexity more than potency.

The much celebrated legacy drinks of the Prohibition Era were often filled with unreliable spirits that were masked by powerful mixers.  And the boozy indulgences at Mid-century served as Mad Men escapes more than savored enjoyment.  After Viet Nam, mixed drinks barely survived the counter cultural revolution.   It took a new millennium to revive the cocktail’s pleasurable role in America’s drinking and dining.

Indeed, the eras of Gatsby, Draper and Joplin have long passed, and the Golden Age of Cocktails has come to the Gold Coast. So here’s our toast to the 10 top local Craft Cocktails…  and the men and women who are raising the bar.  Cheers!

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NEAT Opens in Westport: The Art of the Beverage from AM to PM

Coffee bar by day, craft cocktail bar by night, NEAT is now open at 6 Wilton Road in Westport from 7 am to midnight, seven days a week.

If you are familiar with NEAT’s location in Darien, the approach will feel instantly familiar, if distilled into a much fuller and complete café experience. NEAT retains its unpretentious devotion to the art of the beverage, extending its reach into the evening as your palate naturally shifts from caffeine to spirits, seamlessly maintaining its full attention to the craft beverage experience.

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15 Great Spots for Happy Hour in Fairfield County

Why limit happy to an hour? Many of your favorite restaurants are inviting you to weekday happy hours where you can enjoy signature drinks, discounted beers, special appetizers, and more!  See which of your favorite hotspots are offering specials below.

  1. The Fez, Stamford
  2. Gingerman, Norwalk
  3. Bar Sugo, Norwalk
  4. Taco Loco, Bridgeport
  5. Butterfield 8, Stamford
  6. Barcelona, varying locations
  7. Tomato and Basil. Fairfield
  8. Napa and Company, Stamford
  9. Morello, Greenwich
  10. Craft 260, Fairfield

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Kawa Ni: An Exclusive First Look at Bill Taibe’s Izakaya-inspired Restaurant in Westport

CTbites was invited for an exclusive first look inside Chef Bill Taibe’s new restaurant, Kawa Ni, in Westport’s Bridge Square this week. Kawa Ni means “on the river,” an apt name for a restaurant in Saugatuck whose cuisine and service will take its cues from the informal Izakaya joints found in the Japanese cities of Kyoto and Osaka.

Is it an american restaurant with japanese aspirations? Or is it a japanese restaurant with american inspirations? Both, says Taibe, who distills his love of post war japanese culture and a farm house style approach to japanese food within the walls of the intimate Kawa Ni.  

Equal parts food and drink, with a capital F-U-N atmosphere, the 40-seat Izakaya-inspired restaurant will get the party started by the end of the month.

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116 Crown 7th Anniversary Party

116 Crown in New Haven will celebrate its 7th anniversay on August 16 with a garden party, dinner, and (naturally) some of the best cocktails in Connecticut. Admission will be $60 per person. Reservations are recommended as space will be limited, call 203.777.3116 or email

From 116 Crown:

On August 16, we're going to celebrate our 7th Summer years, with our third annual anniversary party. The night prior we're firing-up the slow cookers, and at 6pm on Saturday we're going to mix-up the punchbowls and light fires and we ask that you join us to celebrate the last 7 years and look forward to the future. Admission to the garden will be $60 and we will keep the drinks flowing and the food cooking until 10 pm and you're welcome to all you can enjoy. Think of it as a family reunion without the awkwardness and embarrassing photo albums.

The Menu

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