Day #10, 12 Drinks of Christmas: Happy New Year! Toasting to 2014!

Happy New Year to you! Hope you had a great evening on the one of 2013. I can’t wait to see what great things and blessing 2014 will bring!
Also it’s a day of football, hang-overs, bowl games, lots of coffee, more football, food in various forms, cocktails and beer, more bowl games, checking email to invite the guys over and more football (or hoops!)

So what’s up for you-besides the couple of cocktails I will be featuring? Just wanting to wish YOU ALL a Happy 2014 and hope you are well enough to make a couple of new cocktails. Call up your besties and jump on over to your place with food and snacks and you will make up the drinks!

PS.. Don’t forget to scroll down to the bottom for ANOTHER COCKTAIL recipe!!

PISCINE (Courtesy of Fig and Olive Newport Beach)


3 quartered organic strawberries

5 oz. Moët & Chandon Imperial champagne (the only varietal of champagne that can be served

over ice)

A wine glass

A few cubes of ice

Fill the glass midway with ice, add fresh cut strawberries and pour 5 oz. of Moët & Chandon Imperial on top. Give a little stir and it’s ready.


The cocktail is the signature for FIG and Olive who recently opened up in Newport Beach’s Fashion Island.

FIG & OLIVE’s White Sangria

3oz White Wine

3/4oz Cocchi

3/4oz Mary Brizzards Peach

3/4oz Lemon Juice

3 Kumquats, 3 Raspberries, 2 Strawberries

Making it work:

Build in a Mixing Glass:
add Berries & White Wine**, Cocchi, Peach Liquor, Lemon Juice.
Add Ice and Shake Dump in a Water glass Top off with a few fresh cubes of ice.

For best results use either an albarino or a sauvignon blanc


A few days before Christmas, FIG & OLIVE extended an olive branch to Newport Beach, CA with the arrival of its flagship Orange County outpost at the premier Fashion Island shopping destination. The company’s second West Coast location joins existing FIG & OLIVE restaurants in Melrose Place/West Hollywood, New York City, and an upcoming Chicago outpost, opening summer 2014. Inspired by the coastal regions in the South of France, FIG & OLIVE Newport Beach aims to capture the essence and flavors of the coastal towns along the French Riviera, with a menu crafted by Executive Chef Pascal Lorange. The restaurant will introduce lunch and weekend brunch service in 2014.


Raised in the idyllic town of Mougins in the South of France, FIG & OLIVE Owner/Founder Laurent Halasz envisions a home along the California Riviera coastline to channel the aesthetic and sensibilities found along the French Riviera.

“FIG & OLIVE Newport Beach is very reminiscent of the South of France where I grew up: located on a beautiful coast with olive trees all around and refined cuisine and décor,” says Halasz. “Our new restaurant aims to transport guests to the French Riviera and it is with great thanks to the shared vision of the Irvine Company that we are able to create this true French Riviera ‘oasis’ in the heart of Orange County.”


The multi-faceted design of the 12,000-square-foot, 330-seat dining destination features a variety of functional spaces with natural limestone and white stucco walls throughout and includes dining areas such as:

§ Lounge Area with Bar and Crostini Station
§ Wine Room

§ White Room

§ Orchard Room

§ 2,646-square-foot Terrace Garden Lounge


Fig Tart

The menu at FIG & OLIVE Newport Beach caters to a range of different dining experiences. Guests can gather at the Crostini Station to enjoy tasting dishes and shareable small plates such as the Zucchini Carpaccio with fresh Lemon Juice, Pine Nut, Parmesan, and Picholine Olive Oil; Octopus a la Gallega, thinly sliced braised Octopus with marinated Bell Pepper, Fingerling Potato, Black Olive, Basil, Arugula, Pimenton Lemon Dressing, and Cobrancosa Olive Oil; a Fig Gorgonzola Tartlet with Melted Gorgonzola, Prosciutto, Fig, Walnut, Arugula, and Tomato on a fine Puff Pastry, Manchego, Fig Spread, and Almond Crostini; Tuna Crudo with Cucumber, Chive, Cilantro, Lemon Sesame Dressing, and Picual Olive Oil; and Marinated Beef Tartar Filet Mignon with Capers, Shallots, Parsley Dijon, and Olive Oil Emulsion served with olive oil crackers.


For lunch, guests can select a variety of flavorful midday options including a Shrimp & Salmon Riviera Salad, comprised of Tiger Shrimp marinated with fresh Cilantro, shaved Fennel, Avocado, Tomato, and Scallion Toast with Ricotta-marinated Raw Salmon, Citrus, and Cilantro Olive Oil Dressing, and finished with Arbequina Olive Oil; Lobster Bisque with Pimenton Chive Mascarpone and Olive Oil Crackers; and Herbs de Provence Paillard Chicken, finished with Rosemary Olive Oil, and served on a bed of garden heirloom vegetables.


At dinner, patrons can choose from entrées such as Chilean Sea Bass marinated in Lemon Thyme with Carrot, Asparagus, Celery Root Purée, Fingerling Potato Confit, Charmoula, and Mascarpone Harissa Olive Oil Emulsion; Grilled Branzino glazed with a Fig and 18-year Balsamic Vinegar, Figs, Snow Peas, and a sweet Picholine Olive Oil; and Provence Rosemary Grilled Lamb Chops marinated with Rosemary, Garlic smoked with a bouquet of Herbes de Provence, finished with a Rosemary Garlic Olive Oil, and served with Goat Cheese Gnocchi and Eggplant roasted with Thyme and Honey.


Desserts include specialties such as the paper-thin Warm Caramelized Apple Tart—a family recipe handed down by Halasz’s mother; Chocolate Pot de Crème with Crunchy Praline Financiers; and Fig Cake with Olive Oil Ice Cream.


Wine Program
A diverse wine list includes varietals that represent the distinctive regional flavors of the South of France, Italy, and Spain, over 20 of which are offered by the glass, along with full bottles and Champagne. White wines include a French Sancerre from Domaine de Tonnellerie; Italian Pinot Grigio from Ritratti in Friuli; and California Chardonnay from Hartford Court in the Russian River Valley. Red wines include a Spanish Tempranillo from Valserrano Crianza in Rioja; French Malbec from Chateau du Caillou in Cahors; and California Cabernet Sauvignon from Oberon in the Napa Valley.

Retail Collection
FIG & OLIVE Newport Beach offers a unique retail component featuring over 30 different varietals of olive oil that are all available for purchase. These range in flavor from a delicate and fruity unfiltered extra virgin olive oil from Chateau Leoube in Provence to a buttery Arbequina from Melgarejo in Andalucía, Spain, and a peppery Tuscan olive oil from Villa Lucia. Other products sold include an assortment of infused olive oils, aged vinegars, and specialty olives & spreads. Prices range from $12-32. FIG & OLIVE’s retail collection is available nationally at

About FIG & OLIVE Newport Beach
FIG & OLIVE Newport Beach is located on 401 Newport Center Dr., Suite 151 at Fashion Island, Newport Beach, CA. The restaurant serves French Riviera-inspired fare in an approachable setting suitable for any occasion. FIG & OLIVE Newport Beach is open for dinner daily from 5 – 11 p.m. on Monday – Sunday. The restaurant will introduce lunch and brunch service in January 2014. On weekends, special holidays, and private events, FIG & OLIVE’s lively ambiance is amplified with soulful house and new Downtempo music by St. Tropez‘s celebrity DJ Julien Nolan.

Photos of Fig & Olive Newport Beach, courtesy of photographer, Michael Gardner

Call now to find out if they are open today (or tomorrow or this weekend) for your reservation!!

WAIT !! Don’t GO!! There’s another cocktail to share — and I am sure you have ingredients to make it- though not the exact ones. You do need to try this killer organic maple syrup that’s sure to send you to sugar heaven and tastebud frenzy!

Maple Old Fashioned Courtesy of Crown Maple Syrup



For this cocktail, you need a SOLID maple syrup and Crown is the place to get not one but 3 flavors of maple syrup and get something that’s so pristine that you will die realizing that Mrs. Butterworth’s isn’t close to maple syrup!!


1.5 part Maker’s Mark Bourbon (the brand’s recommendation)
My suggestion is pull out something you don’t share with anyone else and SHARE it and kill the bottle with this cocktail! Make it worth the time

.25 part Crown Maple Syrup

3-4 dashes Angostura Bitters

Making it work:
Pour the first two ingredients into a mixing glass (not a drinking glass) over ice and stir till well-blended. You don’t want the syrup getting all gloppy!
Then pour the in the bitter and stir again!
Pour into your rocks glass and sip happily!! Garnish with crisp bacon!

Buy Crown Maple Syrup products HERE . I highly recommend buying some. Think about buying more than you need because you will love it and also you can give it as gifts!

Stevie Wilson,

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Author: Stevie Wilson

Digital and social media pioneer and visionary meets disruptive innovator with a passion for topics and conversations that reveal insight into the So. California lifestyle. appeals to a global audience (from Asia to Africa; Middle East to Europe, No. America to Latin America) in variety of topics and sectors: style (beauty and fashion), health & fitness, entertainment (movies, TV, books, music and more) ; food, beverages & spirits; IT Security + tech , travel, special events (red carpet to green carpet) I am known for interviews ( podcasts , textual and video conversations) with notables, celebrities and companies about interesting products & brands; profiles about places that reflect the So. CA vision and special events (Oscars, Golden Globes, Emmys & other events that illustrate celebrity , athletes and home-town "stars" lifestyle and initiatives.) that illuminate the insider's perspective of So. California's lifestyle . Learn what's hot in Los Angeles, NYC, MIami and stops closer to home that make this blog a must-read because the voice, attitude, authenticity and ability to grasp the essence of most sectors, brands & products make it easy for consumers to earn what makes a brand, initiative or product unique - whether, food, fashion or finance (or any other topic "on the table") With 15+ Years online launching websites, online magazines, forums, products & brands, my voice, authenticity and ability to grasp the essence of most sectors, brands & products make it easy for me to share what the online audience and consumers alike want to learn- how to shop, live and reflect the lifestyle they wish to emulate. Need to leverage digital and social media space? Reach out to me!

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