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A Toast to 2015!

You may not be ready to down mezcal like a true pro—straight, at room temperature and sipped rather than shot—but in 2015 lots of folk got acquainted with this increasingly popular, agave-based cousin of tequila (albeit a potent, smoky cousin). Headed to Austin, Texas? Check out Mezcalaria Tobala ( and try a tasting flight to get a feel for the spirit, then ask the bartender to substitute your pick in your favorite tequila cocktail.  Oh, and give the worm-inclusive bottles a pass.
“Stouts—dark, silky, creamy and delicious—are at their best and most plentiful during the winter season to warm the soul,” says renowned beer expert Dennis Malcolm Byron, aka Ale Sharpton. “Craft brewers are creating medium-bodied to potent ‘imperial’ versions boasting notes of coffee, chocolate, toffee, cherries and numerous others. Aging them, especially in bourbon barrels, adds vanilla, oak and the essence of bourbon to the nose and palate as well. Founders, Southern Tier, Goose Island and Great Divide are some of the most popular breweries for producing these delicious stouts. Be sure to drink them cool, not ice-cold, in a tulip glass for the pure experience!”  
Maybe it’s due to the saturation of dedicated spaces on every home makeover show, but there’s an appreciable rise in the demand for a well-put-together home bar—and it’s not exclusive to man caves. No matter the size of your allotted area, it’s all about combining textures for a warm, elegant effect—think, richly hued woods, plush leather, chrome accents and, natch, handsome accessories from stylish stemware to quirky flasks and shakers.
Read more in the December 2015/January 2016 issue of EBONY Magazine. 

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