Red Velvet Confections

The Topper’s Rhum Experience

By June 27, 2016 Cocktails, Food and Recipes

1 topper's rhum

There was a time when I would daydream about life after raising my son and daughter and surviving the daily grind. I could see living in a small cottage on a white sandy beach in very close proximity to the hut where I would happily go every day to sell beach inspired tchotchkes and tropical drinks; not because I had to, but because I wanted to. Last week, at an event at the Leaning Ladder Premium Olive Oil and Vinegar boutique in Woodstock, GA, a couple from Topper’s Rhum took some time to share with Atlanta area bloggers several tastings of a Rhum that took me back to that dream in the sun.

This experience was orchestrated by our very own Chef M of The Front Porch Gourmet with the assistance of Rob Green of Mix It Up Food & Beverage. She took care to ensure there was a fun, tropical vibe going on for this event. The place settings were accented with colorful Leis, cups with boozy gummy bears tucked inside and fun little trinkets for the kid in us.

For a tasting such as this, it’s only fitting that some really good food be thrown in the mix. Chef M prepared a few appetizers to get us started. We noshed on Bread and Butter Pickles, Gardenia Pickles, Candied Bacon Jam and Pimento Cheese Biscuits. These lite bites were accompanied by Rob’s Rhum inspired cocktails which included The Very Berry Mojito made with blueberry, raspberry and strawberry, mint, lime and Prosecco and a Spicy Jalapeno Mojito. Everything was delicious, as expected. However, this was just the beginning.

3 starters and rhum tasting

The evening was all about Topper’s Rhum and the wonderful flavors they would love to bring to Georgia. Their gourmet multi-award winning rhum is currently sold in six states and five countries. I think every flavor is fantastic and can hardly wait to hear that our local merchants are stocking this brand.

Tammie and Rob, a husband and wife team out of North Carolina shared the The Topper’s Rhum story (A Rhum is Born) which you can read on the company website. It’s pretty inspiring. Afterwards, they ushered us through a tasting of each flavor. Hands down, it was the best rhum tasting experience I’ve had to date. My expectations were that the rhums would be harsh, but these were far from it. Rums are known for the blatant flexing of their muscles but the Topper’s varieties are able to demonstrate their strength with smooth, calming restraint. I can get with that.

Each of the rhums we tried can be enjoyed straight, in a cocktail or as an ingredient in a savory or sweet recipe. Chef M worked her magic and pulled off a mouth-watering six course tasting with each featuring one of the six Topper’s Rhums flavors. We were encouraged to try a small sample of the rum which corresponded to each course in order to enhance the experience. This is how that looked:

4 pulled chicken - rhum brined pork loin

Course No. 1: Pulled Chicken with Rhum BBQ Sauce, Cream Corn with Candied Jalapenos and Heirloom Tomato.

Rhum”spiration”: Topper’s White Rhum

Course No. 2: Rhum brined Pork Loin, Smoked Grits and Greens, Shaved Watermelon Rhum Pickles.

Rhum”spiration”: Topper’s Spiced Rhum

5 coconut shrimp - chicken mole

Course No. 3: Coconut Shrimp over lime zested and fruited coconut rice with pineapple salsa drizzled with rhum cream.

Rhum”spiration: Topper’s Coconut Rhum

Course No. 4: Chicken Mole Wings with lime sweet potato wedges

Rhum”spiration”: Topper’s Mocha Mama

ricotta filled squash blossoms

Course No. 5: Honey Ginger Ricotta Filled Squash Blossoms, Rhum macerated raspberries with coulis and white chocolate dust.

Rhum”spiration”: Topper’s White Chocolate Raspberry Rhum

7 banana pudding

Course No. 6: Southern Banana Pudding with Rhum soaked lady fingers, topped with crushed vanilla wafers, fresh bananas and Banana Rhum Cream.

Rhum”spiration”:  Topper’s Banana Cinnamon Vanilla Rhum

8 topper's rhum - awards

Like I said before… Best. Rhum Tasting. EVER!

If you’ve ever tried Topper’s Rhums and/or used a bit in one of your recipes, I’d love to hear about it.

To learn more about Topper’s Rhum

Visit their Website  |  Follow on Twitter  |  Follow on Facebook

Thank you to these sponsors for helping to make this experience memorable:

Leaning Ladder Premium Olive Oil and Vinegar, Woodstock GA

Homegirls Organic Produce, Woodstock GA

Astor Chocolate, New York

Disclosure:  The meal and swag I received at the Topper’s Rhum Experience were complimentary. I received no monetary compensation for this post. All opinions are based on my own personal experience. You can view my full Disclosure Policy here

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A weekend with Bourbon Barrel-Aged Cabernet Sauvignon

By June 13, 2016 Food and Recipes, Wine

2 cabernet sauvigon

I love weekends. When I walk into the office on Friday mornings, it’s with a little more pep because I know what lies ahead at the end of the workday. Let me introduce you to Friday Night, Saturday and Sunday – those are my peeps. When we get together it’s all about fun and relaxation. We’ll hang out for dinner, a movie, a night in with the family, a day out at a festival or live music at some random destination. There are numerous options to choose from around Atlanta but, honestly, sometimes I just choose to “chillax” a bit. Sometimes, I do it with a glass of wine.

On one particular weekend, I spent time at my sister’s home doing some light grilling. With the exception of my four month old Little G, this was essentially a girls day. After lunch, we settled down for dessert and a movie.

4 blackberry cobbler

The sweet was my favorite Blackberry Cobbler prepared with love and a pinch of pride by my sister. I paired it with a glass of Robert Mondavi Private Selection Bourbon Barrel-Aged Cabernet Sauvignon. I do enjoy bourbon and thought the additional aging of the wine in used Kentucky Bourbon Barrels was an interesting concept.

The rich dark cherry toned wine is sweeter than expected but I found it enjoyable with the cobbler. The notes on this include toasty vanilla and brown sugar on the nose with flavors of black cherry and blackberry.

3 cabernet sauvigon and cobbler

All in all it worked for me and came in handy as the movie started. We watched Inside Out. I only have my toe in the water when it comes to animated shows so my sisters, daughter, niece, etc. are all trying to convert me. I’m just happy there was a nice glass of vino close by to buffer their efforts. Good try ladies!

1 cabernet sauvignon

The Bourbon Barrel-Aged Cabernet Sauvignon is in limited release production and retails for about $13.99. Visit the Robert Mondavi Private Selection website for more information.

Disclosure: I received a complimentary bottle of Robert Mondavi Private Selection Bourbon Barrel-Aged Cabernet Sauvignon. I received no monetary compensation for this post. All opinions are based on my own personal experience. You can view my full Disclosure Policy here.

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4 Things to do in Atlanta to Celebrate National Wine Day

By May 25, 2016 Events


Today is a my kind of day. If you’re a wine lover, let’s band together and celebrate. If you’re in the Atlanta area, here is a quick list of things you might want to do:

1.  Visit Andretti Indoor Karting & Games for a ladies night or gathering with friends and family. They’re offering specials of their new wine collection, Villa Andretti. Choose from their specialty red and whites and, as an added bonus, you can look forward to half-off glasses of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay.

2.  Purchase tickets to the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival. It’s happening June 2-5, 2016.

3.  Stop by Symposium Wines from 6pm to 8pm for an Old World Wine Tasting.

4.  Sample affordable small batch wines at Savor Wine Boutique from 5:30pm to 7:30pm during their Wine Wednesday: BBQ & Picnic Wines event.

Happy Wednesday “Winesday”!!

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Princi Italia: Media Blogger Brunch

By May 23, 2016 Brunch, Dining Out

Doing brunch on a Saturday morning is pure love. It works because you’re allowed to wake up at a non-hurried pace, get yourself together, then show up at a lovely brunch destination like Princi Italia for casual dining and conversation with friends. That’s how it felt for me this past weekend.

I was invited to a Media Blogger Brunch by our hostess Linda Carmical who has a new Food the Fire brand launching soon. Around the table were several other talents from Atlanta’s social and blogger scene, all of whom have some pretty impressive projects in the works. I feel like I was in the right place to be inspired. Being in an environment like this can spark new ideas and even provide the motivation needed to see them through fruition. It doesn’t hurt that this type of stimulation happened around good food and Bellinis.

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