Settle In With This Mezcal Sipper: The Winter Smoke


Winter is coming. The Winter Solstice technically occurs towards the end of next week, but I’m already there. Even though I live in Southern California now, I’m a baby person who can’t handle any sort of weather even bordering on inclement. The cold has started to creep in and I haven’t been able to shake it. I’m half White Walker now. There’s only one thing to do; Let’s make a stiff drink!

‘Tis the season to hunker down and cozy up to a warm fire and a smoky cocktail.

The Winter Smoke – with mezcal, Amaro Nonino and a touch of citrus – is everything you want in a spirit forward cocktail –  earthy, herbaceous, smoky and warming. The addition of Argentine Yerba Mate Tea helps to lend all of these flavors AND makes for a cocktail that is just a little…extra.

As resident Cocktail Recipe “Master of Mate”, I’m all about a little extra in my glass! Extra health benefits like powerful antioxidants, anti-inflammatory properties, and vitamins B, C and zinc, among others. It has even been proven as a digestive aid and, most importantly, a liver protector! Good news for those of us who indulge in adult beverages on occasion.

In the middle of cold and flu season, I’m willing to sneak my vitamins in whenever and wherever I can get them! Luckily, Argentine Yerba Mate is a delicious cocktail ingredient that especially compliments the flavors in this cocktail.

So, next time the cold seeps into your neck of the woods, stave off those White Walkers, and warm up your proceedings with a little Winter Smoke. This time of year doesn’t sound so bad after all.

Winter Smoke – serves one, on the rocks
1 1/2 oz Mezcal
1 1/2 oz Argentine Yerba Mate Tea, cooled
3/4 oz Amaro Nonino
1/2 oz Agave Nectar
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
Garnish: Orange Peel

Add all ingredients to an ice-filled mixing glass and stir until well chilled. Strain into a rocks glass with one or two large ice cubes. Express oils from orange twist and garnish.

You can find Argentine Yerba Mate brands in specialty tea stores and in select Whole Foods Markets across the U.S. You can also purchase Argentine Yerba Mate on

This post was sponsored by National Institute for Argentine Yerba Mate.All opinions, as usual, are my own!

The post Settle In With This Mezcal Sipper: The Winter Smoke appeared first on Bit By a Fox.

BBaF Podcast Episode 17: Woodford Reserve with Elizabeth McCall


In honor of the Kentucky Derby tomorrow, for this week’s Bit by a Fox Podcast, I spoke with ELIZABETH MCCALL, the newly named ASSISTANT MASTER DISTILLER at the “Official Bourbon of the Kentucky Derby” – WOODFORD RESERVE. We spoke about her trajectory from psychology student to sensory scientist and Master Taster, to one of the youngest female distillers in the country.

Listen to Episode 17: Woodford Reserve with Elizabeth McCall” – me

Because you should always have a classic Mint Julep recipe in your arsenal for Derby Day, we are sharing Woodford Reserve’s own simple recipe.

Mint Julep
2 oz Woodford Reserve Bourbon
½ oz Simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water)
3 Fresh mint leaves
Crushed Ice

Rub the fresh mint inside the glass to express the oils. In the same glass, add simple syrup, bourbon, and half a glass of crushed ice. Stir well. Add more ice and garnish with the rest of the mint.

The post BBaF Podcast Episode 17: Woodford Reserve with Elizabeth McCall appeared first on Bit By a Fox.

BBaF Podcast Episode 14: Lost Spirits Distillery


For this week’s Bit by a Fox Podcast episode I spoke with Bryan Davis, founder of  Lost Spirits Distillery here in Los Angeles. Recently named one of the best distillery tours in the world, I had to go down the rabbit hole myself…

This phantasmagoric distillery is like no other – part theme park and mad science lab…with booze, this is where computer technology, molecular mixology and amusement park fantasy converge. Lost Spirits is making award-winning rums and whiskeys using cutting edge distilling techniques and helping to disrupt the industry along the way. Come along for the ride!

Listen to Episode 14: Lost Spirits Distillery” – me

Bryan’s recommended cocktail was a Painkiller made with Lost Spirits Navy Style Rum 61.

Navy Strength Painkiller 
2 oz Lost Spirits Navy Style Rum 61
4 oz pineapple juice
1 oz orange juice
1 oz cream of coconut
Garnish: grated nutmeg and pineapple wedge

Add all of the ingredients into a shaker and fill with ice. Shake until well chilled. strain into a tall glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish wth nutmeg and pineapple wedge.

The post BBaF Podcast Episode 14: Lost Spirits Distillery appeared first on Bit By a Fox.

Restart Your Spring with a Cocktail Inspired by a Spa Visit: Sparkle & Glow with Chareau!


I love the whole idea of Spring being a time of rebirth and renewal. There’s no better time to shake off the winter cobwebs and refresh your whole jam. I always feel especially inspired this time of year. Those ideas that may be lying dormant during the winter months finally have a chance to come out of hibernation..

It is often the little things that provoke inspiration –  like tasting the first in-season spring peas, or enjoying sunshine on your bare shoulders after months of covering up. I had two different experiences recently that inspired this fresh, spring cocktail pictured here.

I recently indulged in a facial with Melissa Lekus Skincare Consulting here in Los Angeles, and was reminded that I need more of that in my life. Melissa, my new SKIN LIFE COACH, slathered the most heavenly combo of ingredients onto my face and neck – like strawberry enzymes, honey, citrus, cooling aloe serum and cucumber toner. Don’t tell me that’s not a recipe for a delicious cocktail!

Melissa Lekus. Photo by Susanica Tam

Not only did it leave me glowing for days and feeling like I got a total life reboot, but I (of course!) came away wanting to create something yummy from that experience.

A week after that dream facial, I came across another inspiring moment; I tried California made spirit Chareau for the first time. This aloe liqueur is made from an eu de vie created from California grapes; Cucumbers, spearmint, muskmelon and citrus – all harvested in the southern California area – make up the main ingredients. And then fresh aloe vera juice is added at the end to create such a delicious and unusual and fresh tasting spirit. It is like tasting California in a glass. It is also like a little spa visit in a glass.

The mint and cucumber really shine through this liqueur, while the aloe creates a silky texture that gives it some heft. I knew this had to be part of my cocktail inspired by my luscious facial!  It all came together for the Sparkle & Glow…

In conclusion, my recommendation for a Spring life refresh is to treat yourself to a luxurious (but also VERY reasonably priced) facial from Melissa Lekus Skincare Consulting, get yourself a bottle of the gorgeous Chareau (available nationwide), and make yourself this spa inspired cocktail. You’ll be sparkling and glowing in no time!

Sparkle & Glow
2 oz Chareau Aloe Liqueur 
4 cucumber slices (1 for garnish)
1/2 oz lemon juice
1 TBS strawberry preserves
3-4 oz sparkling wine

In a shaker tin, add strawberry preserves, cucumber slices and lemon juice. Muddle all ingredients well. Add Chareau and ice and shake until well chilled. Strain into a large coupe glass and top with sparkling wine. Garnish with single cucumber.


The post Restart Your Spring with a Cocktail Inspired by a Spa Visit: Sparkle & Glow with Chareau! appeared first on Bit By a Fox.

BBaF Podcast Episode 13: Wine Travels with Lauren Mowery


For this week’s Bit by a Fox Podcast, I spoke with journalist, award-winning wine blogger, photographer, Masters of Wine candidate, and newly appointed Travel Editor for Wine Enthusiast, Lauren Mowery.

As we sipped from a bottle of bubbly from an up-and-coming wine region (that Lauren brought along to the podcast studio), we discussed her exciting new role as Travel Editor for Wine Enthusiast. She gave us some great travel tips, what regions she’s most looking forward to visiting this next year, and which wines should be on our radar.

I love Lauren’s relatable  approach to wine, her insatiable curiosity about the world, and never-ending wanderlust. It was so great to have her on for this episode and to get a chance to celebrate her enviable new job!

Listen to Episode 13: Wine Travels with Lauren Mowery” – me

Lauren’s recommended cocktail was a simple one that included wine, of course!

Sauternes is a type of sweet wine from the Bordeaux region in France. They can be incredibly cost prohibitive because the grapes are hand picked and the cost of production is very high. However, there are affordable bottles to be had with a little searching. It is SO worth it, I assure you! This Sauternes Aperitif is a wonderful way to enjoy one of these bottles come spring and summer…

Sauternes Aperitif
Pour 5-6 ounces of chilled Sauternes over ice, twist the orange over the glass and drop into the drink. Enjoy!

The post BBaF Podcast Episode 13: Wine Travels with Lauren Mowery appeared first on Bit By a Fox.

BBaF Podcast Episode 12: Mezcal with Cecilia Rios Murrieta


For this week’s Bit by a Fox Podcast, we dive into Mezcal, the wild and smoky and often misunderstood cousin of tequila. I spoke with Cecilia Rios Murrieta, founder of Oaxacan brand, La Niña del Mezcal.

Cecilia established one of the first blogs about Mezcal and the culture that surrounds it. She is a certified Mezcalier, and a proponent of preserving the traditional production processes of artisan Mezcal.

Listen to Episode 12: Mezcal with Cecilia Rios Murrieta” – me

We spoke about the basics of Mezcal, what differentiates it from tequila, the proper way to drink it, and how she first fell in love with agave spirits.

Cecilia shared with us her favorite cocktail using La Niña del Mezcal Espadin – a Mezcal Old Fashioned. 

On the podcast I refer to this recipe as a Oaxaca Old Fashioned, but that is actually a cocktail created by bartender Phil Ward in 2007 at New York’s Death & Co. and also includes tequila. This version is more of a traditional Old Fashioned recipe with the Mezcal as the base spirit and agave nectar as the sweetening agent.

Mezcal Old Fashioned – served in a rocks glass with ice
2 oz La Niña del Mezcal Espadin
Angostura Bitters
1/2 oz agave syrup
garnish: Orange Peel

Add the agave syrup to your rocks glass, 3-4 dashes of bitters and a large ice cube or a couple of smaller ones. Then pour in about 2 oz mezcal. You can give that a good old stir to make sure everything gets mixed properly and cooled down a bit. Rub the rim of the glass with an orange peel, twist and garnish.

The post BBaF Podcast Episode 12: Mezcal with Cecilia Rios Murrieta appeared first on Bit By a Fox.

Boozy BOM BOM Egg Cream Sodas


Spring has sprung and some bunny has been verrry busy…*hic*

This holiday weekend it is all about boozy egg cream sodas – the grown up treat you WISH appeared in your Easter basket come Sunday morning. I mean, nothing says Easter like chocolate and egg things….and booze. Amirite?!

These are not your grandma’s egg creams, which traditionally have neither eggs nor cream…nor booze for that matter! But we’re bucking tradition with these spiked versions because there’s a new cream liqueur in town, and their fun flavors are just begging to be turned into egg cream sodas.

BOM BOM, which means “good good” in Portuguese and is slang for “my sweetie” in Spain,  launched a year and a half ago and they currently market two products: Coco Mochanut – a blend of chocolate, coffee, coconut and Caribbean rum, and Nilli Vanilli, made with rum, almond milk and vanilla cookie flavors. BOM BOM is now sold in 11 states, and growing, and it sounds like a third flavor is on the horizon very soon.

The Coco Mochanut Liqueur was the first flavor BOM BOM released. It is basically an adult version of chocolate milk. The coconut and hazelnut flavors are fairly subtle but what really rounds this combo out is the little unexpected coffee kick. When I tried this for the first time I thought it was great on its own but no doubt aMAHzing in a Coconut Mocha Egg Cream!

Coconut Mocha Egg Cream
2 oz BOM BOM Coco Mochanut Liqueur
2 oz Whole Milk
1 oz Gold Rum
1 oz Chocolate Syrup

In a chilled 16 oz glass, pour in syrup, milk, rum, and BOM BOM Coco Mochanut Liqueur. Add ice and then top with seltzer and stir until there is a light foam on top.

Technically, a cream liqueur is just a liqueur with cream added to it. Even though Nilli Vanilli  Liqueur is actually dairy free it was recently named the #1 Cream Liqueur for 2017 by the International Review of Spirits. The almond milk keeps it lighter than most cream liqueurs and the vanilla cookie flavor thankfully tastes like real vanilla and is not too sweet. Perfect for the Cookies & Egg Cream Soda!

Cookies & Egg Cream Soda
2 oz BOM BOM Nilli Vanilli Liqueur
2 oz Almond Milk
1 oz Vodka
1/2 oz Vanilla Syrup

In a chilled 16 oz glass, pour in syrup, almond milk, vodka, and BOM BOM Nilli Vanilli Liqueur. Add ice and then top with seltzer and stir until there is a light foam on top.

The post Boozy BOM BOM Egg Cream Sodas appeared first on Bit By a Fox.