Author: emily (Page 1 of 20)

The Weekly Whet: Blame it on Rio


With a catchy and suggestive name like “Blame it on Rio,” I knew there must be a story behind the “Celebrity Whet” this week that was submitted to us by Sean at Harold’s Corral, Cave Creek. A quick internet search turned up the IMDb page for the 1984 “classic” (get this) Blame it on Rio.

I thought I was quite the movie-buff (after all, the only person who calls me more than my mother is ‘Sharon’ at Blockbuster notifying me that my movies are late again), but some how, this little gem of a film slipped through my fingers. The brief synopsis I found on the ol’ “interweb” revealed the film’s clever plot: Two middle-aged men take a holiday with their teenage daughters in Rio where one falls for the other’s daughter. I searched and searched, but somehow a film of this caliber failed to win any awards.

Sean assures us that this drink (unlike the film of the same name) is a hit with even the toughest critics. It is one of the most popular drinks mixed-up by the bartenders at Harold’s and packs quite a punch. He cautions everyone to “enjoy them carefully” and of course we agree. So clean out your liquor cabinet and mix these up for some friends at home, or treat your favorite carnivorous DD to some of the yummy grub at Harold’s Corral.

“Whet your whistle on this”:

Blame it on Rio


  • 1 part Southern Comfort
  • 1 part Sloe Gin
  • 1 part Amaretto
  • 1 part Captain Morgan
  • 1 part Bacardi
Mix with equal parts of OJ, pineapple juice, cranberry juice, and just a dash of grenadine.

The Weekly Whet ~ Hot Buttered Rum

If you’re last minute shopping got you down and a little chilly, never fear, RUM is here!  This is a holiday classic and can also warm your cockles after shoveling snow, shooshing down the slopes, or slowly sipping before the fire in your new Snuggle Set and Slippers from Santa.  Merry Christmas!!!

Recipe for Hot Buttered Rum or Hot Toddy Batter


  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 4 oz unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp nutmeg or mace
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/8 tsp salt

In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients thoroughly. Refrigerate in a sealed, air-tight container for up to two months. This mixture can also be frozen for up to one year before using. Makes eight servings.

Preparing a Hot Buttered Rum Cocktail


  • 2 Tbsp refrigerated hot buttered rum batter
  • 6 oz boiling water
  • 1 1/2 oz dark rum
  • 1 Tbsp light cream (optional)
  • nutmeg for garnish


In a hot beverage mug, combine hot buttered rum batter with boiling water, stirring well until dissolved. Add in rum and cream, if using. Garnish with a sprinkle of nutmeg. Serves one.

For more great cocktail recipes like this one, visit one of my favorite sources:

The Weekly Whet: El Corazon

It was the beginning of August and I was done with the oppressive Phoenix heat. You see, I’m an outdoors kind of gal, but I’m not a moron about it. I don’t want my first helicopter flight to be the result of a mid-afternoon hike in 113 degree-heat. I was feeling hopeless and bored…until I got a happy text from Heidi letting me know that our agenda for the day would include a field-trip to iPic Theaters in the Scottsdale Quarter. A cool, dark theater, with gourmet snacks and cocktails? Yes, please!

We arrived at iPic a good half-hour before our movie, Cowboys and Aliens, was to begin. As is our established routine, we headed straight to Salt Bar where we met CW, the bartender on duty. He was a total charmer and mixed up some yummy cocktails for us, one of which was El Corazon. That day, the entire staff at iPic Theater worked their way into our “corazones” (hearts) as they pulled out all the stops and gave us a great cinematic experience. The best part? That’s how they treat everyone who walks through the doors. Now THAT’S hospitality.


1.75 oz Chinaco Silver

0.5 oz Passion fruit    

0.5 oz Pomegranate  

0.5 oz Blood Orange  

0.5 oz Lime               

Kosher Salt (for the rim of the glass)

Tellicherry (ground pepper for the rim of the glass)

Smoky Mezcal


Shake together Chinaco Silver, passion fruit, pomegranate, blood orange, lime. Rim a martini glass with tellicherry and kosher salt. Pour contents of cocktail shaker into rimmed glass.

To finish, either add a lime-slice that has been soaked in the smoky Mezcal, or float a bit of Mezcal on top of the drink with a squeeze of lime.


Click here for iPic locations and ticket information. You can find theaters across the U.S.!

Individual Nectarine Tarts

Everyone wants to be the ‘hostess with the most-est’. This recipe definitely fits that bill and takes it a step further… Picture yourself–Queen of Tarts… Take advantage of nectarines at the peak of the season (I know I will!). Note: no tea parties, deck of cards, rabbits or mad hatters required!

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Individual Nectarine Tarts

Serves 4


  •     1 sheet frozen ready-rolled puff pastry
  •     1/4 cup soft cream cheese
  •     1 1/2 tablespoons turbinado sugar*
  •     Pinch of cinnamon
  •     4 nectarines, halved, pitted, and sliced
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut pastry into 4 squares. Place onto prepared pan.
  2. In a small bowl, beat together cream cheese, 1 tablespoon of sugar and cinnamon. Spread over pastry squares. Arrange nectarine slices on top of cream cheese.
  3. Bake for 12 minutes or until golden. Sprinkle with remaining sugar. Serve.

*Turbinado sugar is also known as ‘sugar in the raw’. You can substitute brown sugar (light or dark), if desired.  


Click Here for More of Recipe Central

The Geographer’s Cafe: Super Trains, Parliamentary Tea, and a Virgin Party

By R.F. Burton

I lived in London for a time when I was in College serving an internship for the European Parliamentary office, which, as you may have guessed, greatly contributed to my interest in global politics and business.  In a way, this trip brought me full-circle since the secondary headquarters of the company I work for is in London; however, this stay in the great city would be short, sweet, and mostly void of youthful debauchery.

 I arrived from Paris on the Eurostar. This particular train travels like a plane without the stress of take-offs and landings.  Unfortunately, the experience is not much better otherwise. I was still jammed in a tiny seat, my neighbor still fell asleep, trapping me with a full bladder, and the food was still marginal. On the other hand, it only took a few hours, getting on and off was much easier, and it delivered me safely into the middle of London at Kings Cross, which definitely beats landing at Heathrow.  Over all, I recommend the ride.  Just watch that you do not end up in backward facing seat. It sucked in the back of the family station wagon, and it still sucks now.

As I mentioned, I lived in London when I was a student, and through a random turn of events, I served an internship for the European Parliamentary office. I recently found my old boss from twenty years ago (thank you, internet!). I wanted to meet her again and thank her for helping me through those formative years, but thought it unlikely since she has earned the title of Baroness, and is currently a member of the House of Lords. I sent her an email fully expecting it to get lost or ignored.  Surprisingly, not only did I get a response, but I was invited to tea at Parliament.

The day was terribly humid and rainy. I was in a suit because I was conducting interviews all day. Luckily, I had my trusty Paris umbrella this time. Sadly, it folded at just the worst time, and I got drenched…again.

Looking impossibly fresh (read sarcasm), I proceeded through a security screening and was met at the door by the Baroness. She is the epitome of nobility: strong jaw, mumbles a bit when she talks to make you listen more intently, and very attractive in an intellectually intimidating way. She led me through the halls briskly, ignoring the history surrounding us. Despite its gothic styling, master’s artwork, libraries of books, architectural achievements, and mass of tourists lined up out the doors; Parliament is not a museum, but a working building. I had a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that this building was the source of so many of the monumental decisions in western history, and yet people bounce around in it like it is any other office building, nearly oblivious of the historical ghosts.

When we arrived at our destination, I was surprised to find myself in a pub. Save for the large paintings of Parliamentary scenes, it was like any other pub in London.  We sat near a window that opened to a view of the Thames, and then she ordered not tea, but coffee.  I did the same, and we chatted like old acquaintances meeting in the corner tavern.

We parted and I left through the old building where lines of tourists were waiting to get in. The Baroness spoke of meeting for dinner when I bring my family to London, but whether that pans out or not, it was great to reconnect. As I walked by all the tourists, I felt lucky that I got a real glimpse of the inner workings of the institution.  That’s not a souvenir you can get in a gift shop.

A few days later, I was treated to an entirely different British social experience; a party with Virgin Atlantic airlines. Now, if you pay attention to the airline industry, you already understand what might be cool about this. Briefly, Virgin is the airline started by Sir Richard Branson, the billionaire known for a quite adventurous lifestyle, so, perhaps by design; Virgin is probably the least politically correct organization this side of Playboy. The party was to celebrate the success of the sales team and partners. Naturally, a Miami, salsa theme came into play. I typically leave my Miami-wear at home on business trips, but I did have a salmon colored shirt. It quickly became clear that no one else had contemplated wardrobe as I had. In fact, most were still in business clothes. At least I was dry this time?

Virgin parties are a bit like Vegas, so I will not reveal all that went on, but Floriditas in Soho turned out to be the perfect party setting. Just beyond the walls of Floridita’s, transvestites hung out on the street, and a bevy of night clubs, strip clubs, and sex shops called to party-goers looking to take it to the next level.

I wasn’t one of the party-goers looking for “the best of Soho.” I left Floridita’s around 1am and walked back to my hotel. Walking through this part of London at night is a special experience. From seedy strip clubs to high-end theaters and restaurants, it is an eclectic mix of ancient architecture and modern frivolity… sort of like Parliament, I guess.

Needless to say, I was exhausted the next morning when I woke at 6am for a day that included more interviews and a mad-dash to Heathrow to catch a plane to Lisbon.  It has been a crazy couple of weeks, and I am hoping for a quiet weekend in the Portuguese capital.

Join R.F. Burton on his next stop during his 60-country journey around the world!

Next up: Portugal

The Weekly Whet: Vina Robles 2009 RED4

Here at into the Soup, the last few weeks have been rife with wine research, and we have decided that the only thing we might like more than drinking wine, is trying to develop its profile in our minds.

“Oh!” you think to yourself, “those gals at into the Soup are expanding their horizons and becoming real wine connoisseurs! How surprisingly classy of them!”

Ha. Fat Chance. Our version of a wine profile is how it might present itself on Facebook, and we’re still like school in the summertime (no class). But can you really blame us for our tendency to personify when the winemakers make it so easy for us? I would not only love to enjoy a glass of the Vina Robles RED4, but after reading its description, I’d love to date it:

“Vina Robles’ RED4 blend showcases the structure of Petite Sirah, the forward fruit of Grenache, the spice and cherry
qualities of Syrah, and the rustic character of Mourvèdre. An intriguing, youthful wine; your perfect dinner companion.”

Maybe it’ll add me. Sigh.

Click here for more information on RED4!

And if you love food, wine, and California’s beautiful Central Coast, you can join us for Sunset Magazine’s Savor the Central Coast event taking place from Sept. 29-Oct. 2nd.



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