Rose water is nothing new, and in fact, its use dates back to ancient history and was favored by Cleopatra and Michelangelo. Over centuries it has been used to cleanse the skin as a topical skin toner, and now it’s also appreciated as a healthy beverage, as drinking rose water also purifies the body thanks to the flavonoids, tannins and other essential vitamins it contains, namely A, C, D, E and B3. H2rOse is made of rose water, as well as saffron and other natural ingredients and along with a pleasant scent has an equally pleasant subtle flavor, in addition to additions of peach, apple, mango or wild berry, which are the three available flavors. Other bonuses are that rose water aids with the relief of occasional nervous tensions, soothes the mind and may help with a better quality sleep; and saffron, which also dates back to ancient times, eases digestion, soothes irritated stomachs, enhances your mood, reduces occasional anxiety and compulsive desires to eat. Furthermore, at only 40 calories per 16.9 oz serving, it could become addicting, in a way that is good for you.
Chivas Regal 13
Launched in 1909, Chivas Regal has a long and respected reputation for being a leading producer of blended Scotch whisky. This special edition blend, created exclusively for the US market where Manchester United has over 8 million fans, not only celebrates the team’s manager Sir Alex Ferguson’s record 13 Premier League titles, but brings a US angle to the table: after being aged for the symbolic 13 years, a portion is finished in American rye casks. The bottle label proclaims it as being an ultra smooth and mellow blend with sweet, delicate vanilla notes, and after tasting it I have to agree. The packaging features the team colors of red, black and white, iconic imagery of the Club and Sir Alex Ferguson’s signature in gold script. This special edition is not only a collector’s item for a football (soccer) fan, but a pleasant tribute to a Scottish/American connection and one any whisky connoisseur will appreciate.
Real McCoy 5-Year Aged Rum
This rum company is named for Bill McCoy, the pioneer rum runner of the Prohibition era who would fill a boat with alcohol in the Caribbean, sail it up to NYC, and legally act as a floating liquor store in international waters three miles off shore. McCoy never adulterated the alcohol as other rum runners did, and hence his spirits became known as "The Real McCoy." In like manner, this multi-award winning collection of rum made in Barbados is also completely unadulterated, with no added sugars, flavors or perfumes, using only the finest blackstrap molasses and pure spring water to produce small batch single-distilled rum in a rare artisan combination of column and pot stills, then aged in heavy char American Oak bourbon barrels. The flagship is the 5-Year Aged, and is what I would consider a whiskey lover’s rum, for unlike most other modified rums that come off as overly sweet, since no additional sugar or flavors are added, it delivers a smooth, well-balanced texture with caramel and toasted almond on the palate. As a proclaimed whiskey lover myself, I highly recommend this aged, unmodified rum, as well as their other two expressions: the 3-Year Aged Silver Rum and 12-Year Aged Super Premium Rum.
Yatir Creek Winery
A country that doesn’t get enough recognition for its quality wine is Israel, which has produced prized grapes for winemaking since the ancient days of the Judean Kingdom dating back 3,000 years. This boutique winery, founded in 2000 and located in the southern tip of the Judean Hills, recently entered the US market with two releases using grapes grown in the Yatir Forest. The Yatir Creek Judean Hills 2016, a blend of 76% Syrah, 12% Tannat and 12% Malbec grapes aged for 12 months in oak foudres and matured for two years in the bottle, displays a deep purple color, aromas reminiscent of black cherries and toasted almonds and flavors of fruit and a slightly salty and pleasant bitter finish. The Yatir Mt. Amasa White Jordean Hills 2017, a blend of 52% Viognier, 33% Chenin Blanc and 15% Roussanne grapes matured for 5 months in a combination of concrete amphorae, oak barrels and stainless steel vats, presents golden, pale-greenish hues, aromas hinting at melon and peach and flavors of lemon and pear with a refreshing finish.