Make Your Own Gluten-Free Hard Cider with this Handy Kit from Brooklyn Brew Shop

Built on the principles that making beer—real beer, from real ingredients—can be simple, tasty and more importantly, fun, Brooklyn Brew Shop sells stylish brew kits and ingredient mixes for seasonally-inspired beers and ciders. All of their kits are designed for use on a standard kitchen stove and use real ingredients instead of the less flavorful extracts and additives typical in other homebrewing kits.

Brooklyn Brew Shop’s Hard Cider Kit is stylish, affordable and super easy to use and offers a simple way to turn leftover apples or pears from fall farm excursions into delicious, home-brewed, craft quality hard cider. It contains everything you need to turn apples or cider from your local market into something a little more festive. It’s good for three batches of hard cider and since cider is naturally gluten-free, it’s an ideal gift for gluten-averse merrymakers and curious epicureans alike!

While apple picking season might be over, cider is a drink that can be served all holiday season long!

The Kit includes 1 gallon reusable glass fermenter, 3 packets yeast, vinyl tubing & clamp, racking cane & tip, chambered airlock, 3 packets cleanser, and screw-cap stopper. All you need is apple cider/juice! You can even bypass the apple juicing yourself for pre-pressed cider from your favorite farmers’ market. Simply add a few packets of yeast to your fresh squeezed apples (or pre-pressed cider) and let science work its magic. After two weeks add three tablespoons of honey to your fermented juice to give the cider the extra dose of sugar it needs to carbonate. A couple weeks later and you’ll be sipping delightfully fizzy Hard Cider by the fire.

This is the perfect holiday gift for the cider lover in your life. Or, by it for yourself and serve it at your holiday party to impress all your friends and family!


Disclaimer: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I was not paid to write this review.


Crafted Cocktails Bloody Mary Mixer // Perfect for Summer BBQs

With warmer temps upon us and summer around the corner, I want to introduce a healthy and all-natural cocktail option perfect for Summer Parties and BBQs. 

Crafted Cocktails, an all-natural line-up of cocktail mixers and Shrubs, uses pure agave, resulting in a low-calorie cocktail with a natural flavor profile.  Mixer flavors include Piña Colada, Margarita, Spicy Watermelon, Gimlet and Bloody Mary.  All you have to do is add your alcohol of choice or simply mix with club soda and ice to create a drink that is sure to quench your thirst and keep your body looking great on a hot summer day.


The Bloody Mary Mixer is great. It’s hard to find gluten free pre-made Bloody Mary mix, but Crafted Cocktails has created one that delivers. This tangy blend of savory flavors is tasty! This healthy party-boosting cocktail is infused with natural flavors of tomato, horseradish, celery and Worcestershire. Bloody Mary is so incredibly versatile it pairs perfectly with ALL your favorite spirits.

Recently, Crafted Cocktails’ Bloody Mary Mixer won a Gold Medal from Tastings.com and a Silver Medal from the San Francisco International Spirit Competition, winning based on outstanding quality and taste.  If a Bloody Mary doesn’t fancy your taste buds, the Pina Colada Mixer or Strawberry Shrub is sure to be a refreshing and unique alternative.

Last weekend we made these awesome Bloody Mary’s with Crafted Cocktails Mix and everyone loved them! 

All products are made with 100% real agave, contain no preservatives and are gluten free. 

Disclaimer: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I was not paid to write this review.


#Refresh Coco Cocktail

People have been going coconuts for coconut water. And now, COCO Cocktail is bringing everyone’s favorite refreshing and electrolyte‑loaded beverage into the alcoholic beverage realm with a low‑calorie, low‑carb, ready‑to drink cocktail that is is light and refreshing.


In 2012 Healthy Beverages, LLC Co-Founders, Franz Tudor and Todd Shull, had the vision to create a nutritious ready-to-drink alcoholic beverage. Using their knowledge of the healthcare industry, fitness and nutrition, and after experimenting with a vast array of ingredients, COCO Cocktail was born.  


#REFRESH COCO Cocktail is a crisp, refreshing lemon lime flavored alcoholic beverage with vitamins and minerals. It is basically the adult version of sprite, but without all the sugar.

5.6% Alcohol by Volume, #REFRESH is the only alcoholic beverage to be: 

  • “A Good Source of Vitamins A, C, D, E, B1 & B6”
  • Electrolyte Charged made with 70% Coconut Water providing 177mg of Potassium
  • Gluten Free
  • Paleo Friendly
  • Made with All Natural Non-GMO Ingredients including the SuperFruits Garcinia Cambogia and Mangosteen. 


#REFRESH can be drunk straight from the can, over ice or used as a nutritious mixer with your favorite spirit.


While Coco Cocktail is not yet available in stores in New England, hopefully it will be boon!

Disclaimer: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I was not paid to write this review.     



Mike’s Hard Lemonade “crafted to remove gluten”


Last year, Mike’s Hard became the first, and only, malt liquor to go [almost] gluten-free. It is the first malt beverage to use “crafted to remove gluten” on its label — with permission from the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB), which regulates alcoholic beverages in the U.S.

How is this possible? Mike’s Hard Lemonade uses a proprietary multi-stage filtration process to develop the pure malt base that is at the heart of Mike’s crisp, clean taste. This handcrafted approach, one the company has had in place for many years, has always naturally removed gluten, along with other particles and flavors, from its malt base through filtration. What’s left is a neutral malt base that Mike’s then adds their best-in-class flavors, including natural juices, and other ingredients. This proprietary process is not used by any other fermented malt beverage in the industry.1110-1935-02_LITE_Lem_6pk_F

The multi-stage filtration process removes gluten to less than 5 parts per million (ppm) as measured by the R5 Competitive ELISA (Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay) test. So, while Mike’s products are crafted to remove gluten, the company cannot say they are 100% gluten free. The TTB, which oversees gluten labeling for alcoholic beverages in the U.S., ruled that fermented products made from gluten-containing grains cannot make a gluten-free claim, but are allowed to make a claim that a product is crafted to remove gluten with a disclaimer that there may be traces of gluten as the gluten content cannot be verified. So what does this mean for celiacs, and people with gluten intolerance? Well, we all know that the severity of each case is unique to that specific individual, and I (as does Mike’s) recommend that each individual consult with his or her doctor prior to consuming mike’s products. 

There is nothing new about Mike’s—no change in formula or taste. But now it has the “crafted to remove gluten” seal. This new “Crafted to Remove Gluten” labeling designation allows Mike’s to provide consumers with more information at the shelf to make the choice that is right for their dietary needs. While there were a few beers out there for those with gluten sensitivities, there previously weren’t any options in the flavored malt beverage category. Using a proprietary filtration process, Mike’s has been crafted to remove gluten since its very first batch in 1999. The “Crafted to Remove Gluten” seal was specifically developed with permission from the TTB to communicate this status on the packaging of all of Mike’s products. 

SO now you can enjoy the great, refreshing taste of Mike’s products once again. All products, including mike’s LITE hard lemonade and Mike’s Hard Smashed Apple Ale, carry the “crafted to remove gluten” seal so you can enjoy all your favorites. 



Disclaimer: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I was not paid to write this review.


Domestik Adjustable Wine & Spirit Aerator Review and Mother’s Day Giveaway (promo code LUVMOM25 for 25% off!)


The first Aerator designed for both wine and spirits – takes the place of 3 separate aerators—adjusts for the lightest of whites to the boldest of reds & a host of spirits. The 3-in-1 design eliminates the need for multiple devices, and less clutter in your kitchen. I love the fact that I have one bar accessory that does it all. And Jeremy likes that there’s less clutter :)

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Domestik’s Aerator instantly improves less expensive wines and allows quality wines to fully develop by softening and integrating tannins for enhanced flavor and aroma within minutes!

Use Promo Code LUVMOM25 to save 25% off now! 

First off, let’s start with this: “What is Aeration?” I’m sure some of you are wondering what I am talking about. Wines and spirits benefit from “breathing” to release intended flavors and aromas. An aerator simply speeds up the process, maximizing the exposure to the surrounding air allowing you to enjoy your beverage immediately.

So no more waiting or decanting. You can now enjoy smooth, rich flavor in the time it takes to fill your glass. Simply hold over your glass and pour through. It’s really that easy.


This Aerator has six settings. If the wine or spirit is light and color and body, start with a lower— less aeration – setting, 0-3. If it is darker, bolder, or a young or inexpensive wine, try a higher— more aeration— setting, 3-6.

Screen Shot 2015-04-20 at 5.59.51 PMBefore you start, it’s important to always try a small taste without aeration, then choose a setting, sample, and adjust from there. There is not right or wrong, it’s really a matter of personal preference.

How does it work? Aeration begins by pouring over the unique “umbrella” creating more surface area.  After flowing through a series of holes to incorporate air, your wine or spirit is channeled through a “vortex” funnel and into your glass. Experiment to find the setting perfect for you and your beverage selection.

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Everything that I’ve poured through it tastes smoother, better blended and more expensive. Or, have you ever bought a cheap bottle of wine just to open it and not like it? Well now you don’t need to waste that unwanted wine. Simply use Domestik’s Aerator and the wine will improve instantly. I actually had a pretty low-end wine in the fridge that I just could not drink, but I hate throwing food away/wasting alcohol. I couldn’t believe the difference I tasted after using the aerator!

Aerators are not only for red wines. Aeration benefits white wine & spirits in the same way – for enhanced aroma, balanced flavors & a smooth finish. You can also use this Aerator to enjoy complex and balanced flavors in Scotch, Whiskey, Vodka, Tequila and more, with a smoother, extended finish. It’s a great way to impress your guests too. 
Domestik’s Aerator is the perfect gift for Mother’s Day (or any other holiday!), especially if your mom is a wine lover! The box also includes a no-drip stand and travel pouch, making it great for not only parties at home, but for travel, beach trips, BBQ’s and so much more.

So how can you get one of these? You can purchase Domestik’s Aerator online via Amazon, for yourself or as a gift, for only $29.99! And you can save 25% off with promo code LUVMOM25(valid until May 6, 2015)

And, today is someone’s lucky day! I have one Domestik’s Aerator to giveaway to one lucky reader! With Mother’s Day right around the corner, I think this would make a great gift idea! To enter the giveaway, simple click on the rafflecopter below.

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway will end on May 5, 2015 at 11:59pm. Open to U.S. residents only.

Disclaimer: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I was not paid to write this review. 


Ole Smoky – Tennessee’s first legal Moonshine

Ole Smoky’s® is Tennessee’s first legal Moonshine.

Ah… the smell of Grandma’s apple pie cooling on the windowsill.  Ole Smoky’s® Apple Pie Moonshine™ captures the same delicious combination of flavors – made with pure apple juice, ground cinnamon and other spices – blended with their homemade moonshine, an authentic recipe that has been loved for ages in Appalachia, and is now available for everyone else to enjoy!


At 40 proof, it’s very drinkable and goes down as easy as a forkful of sweet apple pie. A significant drop in proof from the main moonshine (100 proof), makes the apple pie moonshine extremely easy to drink in fairly large quantities. But, do beware that it is stronger than you think and always be cautious when drinking alcohol. It has distinctively apple and spice aroma, a little like spiced apple cider. If you didn’t know it had alcohol in it, you wouldn’t be able to tell from smelling it. It is appley sweet to the start and then becomes more spicy with deep cinnamon and allspice flavors, similar to warm happy pie. 


Try it with equal parts Moonshine and Ginger Ale with a lime. 

There are no gluten ingredients in the products but as always the Ole Smoky family suggests that you use your own discretion.

Disclaimer: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I was not paid to write this review. 


Prohibition Bakery, a boozy bakery, now offers Gluten Free Rum Drops // Lower East Side, NYC


Prohibition Bakery, a boozy bakery located on the Lower East Side, has just started offering a gluten-free product – their alcoholic gumdrops which they call Rumdrops.

Prohibition Bakery is mostly known for their boozy cupcakes but they also offer a line of boozy gum drops, based off of cocktails, called RumDrops. Prohibition Bakery just launched the first gluten free flavor of RumDrops: Bourbon Milk Punch, made with spiced bourbon and heavy cream.


Priced at $6 a pack this might be the cheapest and most creative way to get your drink on in New York City.

Do you remember jello shots in college? Well RumDrops are a grown up, and improved, version of the vodka-socked jello shots we used to take. You can defiantly smell and taste the Bourbon but it is not overpowering and it doesn’t taste like a shot. RumDrops are such a fun and creative way to incorporate alcohol into dessert, without resorting to the old jello shots.


Bourbon — a form of whiskey— must be made from at least 51% corn, which is a gluten free grain. However, the rest of what goes into Bourbon generally comes from wheat, barley and rye, which are, of course, not gluten free.

Due to these products being so highly processed, they have no detectable gluten even if derived from a grain that contains gluten.

So does that mean bourbon that gluten free? It depends on whom you ask. Some people with celiac and gluten intolerance can tolerate alcoholic beverages distilled from gluten grains, and others can’t. So really, it depends on what your body can—and cannot— tolerate.

Disclaimer: I received this product free of charge to review for my blog. I was not paid for my review, and all my thoughts and opinions are my own.

Prohibition Bakery on Urbanspoon

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Gluten Free Bottomless Brunches in NYC

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One thing I’ve been looking forward to since we decided to move to NYC is Boozy Brunches. This is just not something Boston does. (But they should!)

From upscale to affordable boozy brunches, here is a list of restaurants that I put together that offer Bottomless Brunches with gluten free options. From American, French and Mexican to Mimosas, Bloody Mary, Sangria, and Margaritas, there are options for every taste.

Agave, $27.95: brunch entrée + 2 hour bottomless choice of mimosa, wine or Agave Traditional margarita. GF brunch entrees include: Three egg omelet or pan scramble, huevos rancheros, Hand Hacked Three Beef Hash , Skirt Steak & Eggs (extra $4), and Energy Breakfast
Location: 170 7th Ave, West Village

Café Cortadito, $27.95: Entree + 1.5 hour table time with your choice of tropical mimosa, red or white sangria, champagne mojitos, champagne margaritas, bloody Mary and house beer. A wide assortment of Cuban fare, GF options include: huevos rancheros, Calentado (steak), Amanecer Corralito (Sweet plantain omelette with Spanish chorizo and ham), Huevos a la Cubana, and more.
Location: 210 E. 3rd St (btw B & C), East Village

Calle Ocho, serving up distinguished, exciting Latin fare, offers unlimited sangria is included with an entree. A sangria bar is set up with eight different flavors, and patrons can fill up their cup whenever they please. Considering each entree is in the $15 – $18 range, this makes for one very affordable Sunday morning.
Location: 45 W 81st Street in the Excelsior Hotel, Upper West Side

Crema, $23.95 unlimited mimosa brunch, limited to one hour. Gluten Free options include Tacos de Carne Asada Clasica, and omelets. Unlimited Bloody Mary brunch $34.95; unlimited margarita brunch $39.95.
Location: 111 West 17th Street, Chelsea

Essex, $23.95 includes one entrée and 3 bloody Mary’s, screwdrivers or mimosa. No gluten free menu, but gluten free options include omelets, steak and eggs ($4 extra), and grilled shrimp and avocado salad and more.
Location: 120 Essex St., Lower East Side

L’asso Pizza $20 (weekends only): brunch entrée (gluten free pizza) + all-you-can-drink Bloody Mary or Mimosa (2 hour limit)
Location: 192 MOTT ST, Nolita

Poco, $28 your choice of brunch entrée and unlimited mimosas, bloody Mary, and sangria for 1.5 hours Friday-Sunday.
Location: 33 Avenue B, East Village

Rayuela, offers 2 hour bottomless sangria for $15, plus the price of your entrée. Gluten free options include eggs, buckwheat pancakes, ceviche, arepas, Spanish omelet.
Location: 165 Allen Street, Lower East Side

Southern Hospitality, Justin Timberlake’s Southern restaurant offers two hours of unlimited mimosas or bellinis for $14.95 with the purchase of any entrée. Gluten Free options include omelets, and possibility more.
Location: 645 9th Avenue, Hell’s Kitchen

Station, $40 any brunch item and unlimited sangria, Bloody Mary’s, Mimosa, House Wines and select beers. Gluten Free options include burgers, steak sandwich, lobster roll, and salads. Vegan menu also available.
Location: 166 North 7th Street & Bedford Ave, Williamsburg

Do you have a restaurant to add to this list? Leave a comment below or email me jessica.glutenfreenyc@gmail.com


Gluten Free Options at Lima’s Taste Ceviche Bar and Restaurant // West Village

photo courtesy of Lima's Taste
photo courtesy of Lima’s Taste

Lima’s Taste, located in the West Village, is a small, cozy and vibrant neighborhood restaurant. I love the ambiance and décor, and it doesn’t attract many tourist. With both high top tables and regular dining available, it’s great for a romantic night out, drinks with friends, or dinner with a group.

Lima’s Taste specializes in authentic Peruvian cuisine, with some of the dishes tracing back to the Inca civilization — such as the Escaveche, a chicken or fish dish seasoned with Panca peppers, vinegar, and garlic, served with onions and yucca [gluten free].

Lima’s Taste Specializes in ceviche but offers plenty of chicken, meat, vegetarian, and of course seafood options. Ceviche is made with fresh, ripe fish and seafood, ‘’cooked’’ in the juices of lemons and limes, spices and seasonings. It is one of the healthiest foods you can find, and naturally gluten free!

Peruvian cuisine is a great option for gluten free diners. Fresh seafood, grilled meats, quinoa, and rice make up a majority of the menu. Some restaurants due use soy sauce so it is important to clarify with your server how the sauces are made, but more often than not, Peruvian sauces will not use soy sauce. I usually judge a Peruvian restaurant based on this fact. (For example Pio, Pio uses soy sauce in their Lomo Saltado, and it’s not my favorite restaurant by any means.)

At Lima’s Taste you will find 9 different ceviche dishes, including a vegan option made with mushrooms and tofu. We had the Ceviche Mixto ($17) with fish, shrimp, squid, baby octopus and mussels marinated in lemon and lime juice.

We also shared the Salchipapas appetizer— French fries and sausage topped with aioli and a spicy green herb sauce.

We were served a small complementary dish of Cancha, dried and toasted Peruvian corn, which is typical of Peruvian restaurants. Cancha has a slightly nutty and salty taste, it’s very crunchy and absolutely delicious.

I ordered the Tuna Anticucho ($17), two skewers of grilled tuna and served with two dipping sauces, a side salad and fried yucca. Thee sauces were the same aioli and spicy sauced that came with our appetizer.

Lomo Saltado ($23), one of my favorite Peruvian dishes, consists of cubes of fillet mignon, tomatoes, onions and French fries, stir fried together and seasoned with Peruvian spices. Beware, saltado means salty and this dish is salty!


For drinks you must try a Pisco Sour ($12), a traditional Peruvian cocktail that originated in Lima, Peru. Made with pisco, the liquor used as its base, citrus juice and egg whites, it is refreshing and delicious! Lima’s Taste offers a variety of flavors including the two we tried traditional and passion fruit. Drinks are listed on a chalk board and include Pisco Sours, Sangria, Margaritas, Peruvian Beers (not gluten free) and wine.

All in all the food was pretty good (although it does not compare to my favorite Peruvian Restaurant Machu Picchu in Somerville, MA) but the portion sizes are a bit small for the price. Luckily we had a restaurant.com gift card, which shaved 50% off our bill. (You can get one here.)

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Lima's Taste Ceviche Bar on Urbanspoon


Winter White Sangria Recipe & TaZa! BPA Free Stemless Wine Glasses


NEVER BREAK A GLASS AGAIN! With TaZa’s drama-free glasses you can entertain in style, without the worries. TaZa! glasses are known for their brilliant clarity—such clarity that makes them easily mistaken as crystal. Unlike crystal, however, these glasses won’t crack or break, which makes them ideal for entertaining anywhere, anytime.  These shatterproof 16oz glasses allow you to enjoy your wine— or any drink— indoors or outdoors (think pool, patio, boat, picnic, campground, RV, etc.)!

Besides their durability, what else makes these better than other plastic competitors?  For starters, they using USA-made Tritan plastic, which is 100% BPA-free/EA-free and FDA-approved. No need to worry about harmful chemicals leaching into your drinks.


TaZa has also paid special attention to the rim—because there is nothing worse than a plastic cup rim that’s rough and nips at your lips. Who needs that? They’ve managed to make extra-smooth rims while keeping the glasses ultra-thin.

TaZa Stemless Wine Glasses look like heavy-duty crystal or glass wine glasses, but are actually incredibly lightweight and easy to hold.


Lastly, these glasses are actually dishwasher safe!  Avoid being stuck at the sink after a dinner party washing by hand—just throw the glasses in the dishwasher on a non-heated setting, and the rest is done for you.

A great recipe to make for any Holiday party is my favorite Winter White Sangria. (Recipe below)



  • 1 Gala apple, cored and diced (skin left on)
  • 1 Red Delicious apple, cored and diced (skin left on)
  • 1 Bartlett Pear, cored and diced (skin left on)
  • 1 Orange (skin left on)
  • 1 rosemary sprig + extra for garnish
  • 1 bottle dry white wine – I use Spanish Rioja
  • 1 cup club soda
  • 1/3 cup apple brandy


    1. Cut fruit into bite size pieces.
    2. In a large pitcher, combine the fruit and 1 rosemary spring.
    3. Pour in the wine and apple brandy.
    4.  Place the pitcher in the refrigerator to chill for 1 – 24 hours.
    5. When are are ready to serve add the club soda to the pitcher.
    6. Fill glasses with ice, pour the sangria into your glass, garnish with the rosemary springs and enjoy!

With the holiday season coming up, these glasses would be great to have. They look expensive, but relieve you of any worries that your guests— or kids— will break or drop them. You can purchase TaZa! Stemless Wine Glasses on Amazon.


I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.