Cameron Diaz and Katherine Power have started a new line of clean (and vegan) wines, dubbed Avaline, made with organic grapes and without unnecessary extras (like sugars, colors or concentrates). Their line includes a white, red and rosé wine, plus a new sparkling wine. The dry and refreshing sparkling wine ($26 per bottle), is made from Macabeo, Xarel-lo and Parellada grapes, giving the wine light floral and fruit notes, a smooth texture and hints of citrus and crisp pear. Available at Finn McCool’s Irish Pub and Acquistapace’s Wine & Cheese. Drinkavaline.com.
Spring Sips Take Center Stage
Beverage directors at some of NOLA’s top restaurant bars are gearing up for the season with new spring cocktails. For example, Toups’ Meatery is highlighting the tastes of spring with cocktails such as The Brouhaha (made with Strega Italian liqueur, ginger syrup, fresh squeezed lemon juice and soda water served in glass rimmed with Chef Isaac Toups’ Fryclone seasoning); The Musc Have (made with pisco, Campari, muscadine and arugula); and a Banana Cognac (made with cognac, banana liqueur, malt syrup and lime). 845 N. Carrollton Ave., 252-4999, Toupsmeatery.com.
Libre Rum & Cola Hits Shelves
Abita Brewing Company has launched its first ever ready-to-drink cocktail, dubbed Libre Rum & Cola. The all-natural distilled spirits cocktail is made with imported, three-year, oak barrel-aged rum, and cola crafted with raw cane sugar and a twist of natural lime juice. Libre Rum & Cola is available in grocery stores, retailers and restaurants. It comes in four-packs of 12-ounce cans, and each can has an 8% ABV (equivalent to more than a shot and a half of premium, Central American rum). Enjoy it straight from the can or pour over ice with a garnish of lime. librerumcola.com
New Orleans Welcomes Sidewalk Side Spirits
While Mardi Gras was a little different this year, the king cake party was still going strong – even in the case of spirits. Locally based cocktail syrup makers Cocktail & Sons have joined forces with iconic Louisiana bakery Gambino’s to form Sidewalk Side Spirits LLC—a spirit’s brand incubator founded in 2020 by friends in the spirits, cocktail and hospitality industry. Just in time for Mardi Gras, they announced the launch of their first product, dubbed Gambino’s King Cake Rum Cream. Cocktail & Sons worked with Gambino’s Bakery owner Vincent Sceflo – with the help of renowned blender, Midwest Custom Bottling – to create the perfect blend of Caribbean rum, Wisconsin cream, Louisiana sugarcane and Cocktail & Son’s King Cake Syrup. Use it in coffee or premium cocktails, and experience Mardi Gras in a bottle.
Hit the Pavement with a Bike and Spirits Tour
Last year, four co-workers lost their jobs due to the pandemic, and decided to band together to create Paved Paradise New Orleans Bike Tours. Their Culture + Distillery Bike Tour includes four unique New Orleans experiences, including a bike ride through the French Quarter, a stop in the Bywater at JAMNOLA (a collection of 12 cultural exhibitions by 20-plus local artists celebrating the art, music, food and theatrics of the city), a visit to The Backstreet Cultural Museum in Tremé and a NOLA rum tasting at Happy Raptor Distillery. 1735 Washington Ave., 414-405-5397, Pavedparadisetoursnola.com.