"12 Days Of Cocktails" From New York City's Iconic Top of the Strand Rooftop Bar Is A New Coast-To-Coast Holiday Tradition

The expert mixologists at Top of the Strand, New York City’s iconic rooftop bar, have released their “12 Days of Cocktails,” a collection of jolly recipes that just may become everyone’s newest holiday tradition.

With nods to seasonal favorites that include the Grinch, a red-nosed reindeer and everyone’s least-liked relative from the classic movie “Home Alone”—plus a recipe sure to make St. Nick’s naughty list—the 12 Days of Cocktails are perfect for lighting up holiday parties and family gatherings or for warming up on those cold, snowy nights. For those who spend the holidays in the sun or by the pool, the cocktails can bring a welcome chill.

Top of the Strand rooftop bar—known for having one of the best views in NYC—is set like a jewel on the 21st floor of Marriott Vacation Club Pulse, New York City in the heart of Midtown Manhattan. With its friendly atmosphere, dazzling views, handcrafted drinks and tasty light fare, Top of the Strand is one of New York City’s favorite rooftop bar.

December 14 – Winter Mule

Winter Mule from Top of the Strand in NYC

Serve over ice in rocks glass with a sugar rim

  • 1 1/2 oz. Absolut Citron
  • 3/4 oz. agave syrup
  • 3/4 oz. lemon juice
  • Top with ginger beer

Before serving, garnish with rosemary sprig and cranberries

December 15 – Rosemary Christmas

Do ahead: Smoked rosemary – place rosemary sprig on plate and use mini torch to light rosemary; place coupe glass over rosemary and leave for one minute.

  • Shake with ice and strain into coupe glass
  • 1 1/2 oz. gin
  • 1/4 oz. Cynar (a flavorful artichoke liqueur available in most package stores)
  • 3/4 oz. Aperol

Before serving, garnish with smoked rosemary

December 16 – Philly’s Naughty List

Do ahead: Simple syrup – in a medium saucepan combine 1 cup white sugar and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil, stirring, until sugar has dissolved. Allow to cool.

  • Shake with ice and strain into rocks glass
  • 2 oz. rye
  • 1/2 oz. pineapple juice
  • 1/2 oz. Cointreau
  • 1 oz. simple syrup
  • 1/2 oz. lime juice
  • 6 dashes of tiki bitters (available at most package stores)

Before serving, garnish with pinch of ground nutmeg

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Johnnie Walker and Funny Lady Mindy Kaling Team Up to Bring Holiday Spirits to a New Level

The Comedy Writer and Iconic Blended Scotch Whisky Brand Have Created A Series of Merry Messages To Personalize Your Johnnie Walker Blue Label Gifts This Season

Award-winning actress Mindy Kaling and Johnnie Walker, the number one Scotch Whisky brand in the world, have teamed up this holiday season to bring maximum cheer. Using her comedic way with words, Mindy has created original holiday messages that can be engraved on bottles of the iconic Johnnie Walker Blue Label. (http://www.MindysBlueLabelHoliday.com)

(PRNewsfoto/Johnnie Walker)

One in every three spirits purchased in December is a gift1, so Johnnie Walker has enlisted Kaling to help gift-givers find the right words to say. With a message from Mindy, an engraved Blue Label bottle will certainly stand out from the rest. Choose from eight engravings by Mindy to customize your next gifted bottle of Blue:

  • Snow Much Fun, You Guys
  • From Your Whisky Elf
  • Damn, Someone Made The Nice List
  • Sip By The Fire (Or A Fire Gif)
  • The Sip That Keeps On Giving
  • (Recipient’s) Best Holiday Present
  • Peace, Joy & Whisky
  • I Love This For You, Happy Holidays

Johnnie Walker Blue Label is the perfect gift for everyone who appreciates a rare whisky and a bold personality, like me! I love that you can engrave the bottle with a personal message, so every time someone pours a sip, they think of you. And for anyone short on words, I have you covered. I teamed up with Johnnie Walker to create a few, festive holiday messages of my own for you to engrave. Thank me later!” shared holiday enthusiast, Kaling.

Mindy Kaling and Johnnie Walker teamed up this holiday season to create original holiday messages that can be engraved on bottles of the iconic Johnnie Walker Blue Label.

Holiday shoppers can engrave complimentary messages from Kaling on Johnnie Walker Blue Label online at www.MindysBlueLabelHoliday.com and also at the Johnnie Walker Holiday Pop Up Powered by Giftagram, located in the Winter Garden at Brookfield Place in New York City. As the rarest and most exclusive offering in the Johnnie Walker portfolio, Johnnie Walker Blue Label is an iconic whisky meant for celebrating all of life’s meaningful moments.  A personalized engraving from Kaling transforms this already special bottle into a truly one-of-a-kind gift and as a little something extra to get shoppers in the holiday spirit, Kaling and Johnnie Walker are offering free shipping with code MINDY. Consumers must be of legal drinking age to participate.

For more information on Johnnie Walker, please visit www.johnniewalker.com and follow @JohnnieWalkerUS on Facebook and Twitter and @JohnnieWalker on Instagram.

1 Source: F20 AOP and Numerator Occasions Tracker – April 2018 thru January 2019

The Peninsula Hong Kong Reveals Calendar Of Festive Holiday Activities

The Peninsula Hotels has announced a calendar of fun festive activities and experiences for all to enjoy this season, including bountiful brunches brimming with festive fare; celebratory cocktails crafted by on-site mixologists; gingerbread making classes led by each hotels’ professional pastry chefs; and live story-telling sessions of The Peninsula’s digital storybook for children ‘The Gingerbread Man’s Tale,’ available to download on a complimentary basis via Peninsula.com’s festive webpage.

Six Festive Ornaments


Putting The Spice Back Into Life
The hero and leading character of this year’s story – which has been specially written for The Peninsula Hotels – is the Gingerbread Man. A familiar sight hanging within decorated trees, the Gingerbread Man represents the ‘Stories from within the Tree’ chapter of The Peninsula Hotels’ three-year festive campaign titled ‘Stories from the Tree’.

A Digital Children Storybook

After kicking-off with ‘Stories from Under the Tree’ last year and closing with ‘Stories from the Tree Top’ next year, this year’s theme is about sharing the joy and fun of the season. Adding a Scandinavian touch to the festivities, The Peninsula Hong Kong will welcome Santa Claus from Finland Santa Claus Village on December 11 at The Lobby as the Grande Dame joins hands with Finnair this winter. More collaboration will be announced by the end of December 2019 for a truly Nordic celebration.

Christmas Gifts and Kid: Sharing the joy at The Peninsula Hotels


In line with this, the magic of the festive season will be celebrated at each of the ten Peninsula hotels around the globe with giant Christmas trees erected in the grand lobbies, and resplendent decorations on view for all to enjoy. To prolong the festive joy throughout the season, the hotel mascot, The Peninsula Bear will appear at The Lobby, giving adorable surprises spontaneously to guests.

Gingerbread Making Class at The Peninsula Hotels


A Time Of Reflection
Often, the joy and fun of the season is felt most strongly by the children in our lives. In support of those less fortunate, the six ‘Stories from the Tree’ characters will be available to purchase at each hotel in the form of tree decorations and pins, with US$5 from each purchase being donated to Make-A-Wish® Hong Kong and Room to Read. Make-A-Wish® Hong Kong, an organization that grants one life-changing wishes for children aged between three and 17 with critical illnesses in Hong Kong and Macau, to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. Room to Read, a global organization transforming the lives of millions of children in low-income communities by focusing on literacy and gender equality in education.

The Lobby – Teas of Hope Afternoon Tea
The Lobby – Teas of Hope Afternoon Tea


In The Peninsula Hong Kong’s legendary lobby, the much-loved tradition of Afternoon Tea will be given a festive makeover to present ‘Teas of Hope’ Afternoon Tea. Available now through to December 20 and December 27th to 30th 2019, the set is priced at HK$ 398* per person or HK$ 718* for two, and includes a festive pin. For each tea set sold, US$5 will be donated to the above charities.

Festive Afternoon Tea

The Joy Of Festive Gastronomy
The festive sounds of Rhythm and Harmony will also be a feature of the lobby, with the big band performing live each evening from December 24th to 31st. Guests can enjoy movie theme-tunes, bossa nova hits, and popular songs from the 70s and 80s. The nightly live entertainment of top performers will make this place the live lounge music capital of Hong Kong. Guests who enjoy a more traditional approach to Christmas are well catered for too, priced at HK$ 508* per person, the classic afternoon tea will be served in The Lobby from December 21stto 26th.

Gaddi’s Christmas Eve – Brittany Lobster


For lovers of classic Cantonese cuisine, there are few better places in Hong Kong to ring in the New Year than at Spring Moon. The New Year’s Eve Gala Dinner on December 31st will see the Spring Moon Band performing a blend of Shanghai classic songs and American music, to celebrate ‘East meets West’. A festive lunch and dinner will also be available from December 24th and 25th.

Felix New Year’s Eve – Grilled Toothfish Loin
Gaddi’s Chef de Cuisine Albin Gobil


French fine dining institution Gaddi’s offers the perfect Christmas Eve treat with a six-course festive dinner on December 24th created by Chef Albin Gobil, in addition to a four-course festive lunch and five-course dinner menu on Christmas Day. Guests can enjoy ‘new vintage’ music performed by the Gaddi’s band, which mixes 1940s jazz and classic pop in a roaring 20s-style adaptation.

Felix Sunday Brunch Experience
Gaddi’s New Year’s Eve Menu – Pithivier


Those with a penchant for the avant-garde can enjoy a Christmas meal created by Chef de Cuisine Juan Gomez in Felix on December 25th, choosing between a three-course early seating from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm, or a five-course dinner from 8:00 pm onwards. Those dining between 24 to 31 December will also be treated to live music each evening from 8:00 pm onwards.

Felix Chef de Cuisine Juan Gomez
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Happiness Is Pop-In@Nordstrom: ‘Tis The Season Of Gratitude And Giving.

Celebrate the holidays at Pop-In@Nordstrom with Snoopy, Charlie Brown and the rest of the Peanuts Gang, and discover hundreds of uncommon gifts to light up those who make life brighter. Featuring more than 100 exclusive items and 1,000+ gifts spanning home and health, travel and tech, and even presents for your friends on four legs, Happiness Is Pop-In@Nordstrom (Now through to January 5) has something for everyone on your list. The shop is up and running now in select Nordstrom locations and online at Nordstrom.com/pop.

Happiness Is Pop-In@Nordstrom
Julie Mollo Snoopy Change Purse
LucyAndCo Dog Hoodie
MoMA Backgammon Set

This season for holiday Pop-In@Nordstrom were expanded to additional Nordstrom locations. New stores are starred below:

Poketo Planner
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Italian Week at Mandarin Oriental, Marrakech

Mandarin Oriental, Marrakech is delighted to announce a one-of-a-kind culinary collaboration with Mandarin Oriental, Lago di Como. From January 3 to 10, the Mandarin Oriental, Marrakech will showcase the creativity of Chef Vincenzo Guarino, Executive Chef at Mandarin Oriental, Lago di Como during two exclusive starred dinners at Mes’Lalla and an Italian week presenting a special menu available for guests at the Pool Garden restaurant.

Chef Vincenzo Guarino

Promoting authentic cuisine, acclaimed Chef Vincenzo Guarino has been awarded one Michelin star in 2019 for L˜Aria, the resort’s fine dining restaurant at Mandarin Oriental, Lago di Como. This prestigious distinction confirms the great Chef’s talent in marrying high-quality ingredients, precise techniques and inspiring flavours and aromas to produce a multi-sensory experience that pays homage to traditional Mediterranean cuisine and brings it to life.

Vincenzo Guarino’s passion for the culinary arts started at a young age. After attending culinary school, the Chef honed his skills at Michelin-starred establishments both in Italy and abroad. Over the course of his career, Vincenzo Guarino has worked alongside celebrated chefs such as Gualtiero Marchesi in Capri and, in 2019 Chef Guarino took on a new challenge as Executive Chef of the new Mandarin Oriental, Lago di Como.

Mes’Lalla Restaurant at the Mandarin Oriental, Marrakech

During this Italian week, diners can enjoy two exclusive dinners in the cosy atmosphere of the Mes’Lalla restaurant on January 3rd and 4th. The seabass and re-imagined eggplant parmigiana are just two of the delightful dishes on offer.

Mes’Lalla Restaurant at the Mandarin Oriental, Marrakech

From January 5 to 10 , Lake Como will take over the Pool Garden restaurant and surprise guests with a varied menu offering Mediterranean delights such as the unmissable octopus “Alla Luciana” and the “Acquapazza” seabream.

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 50 Best Launches '50 Best Discovery', the World's Most Exciting Gastronomic Map of More Than 1,600 Expert-approved Dining and Drinking Destinations

Explore the Best Restaurants and Bars Around the World

50 Best, the brand behind The World’s 50 Best Restaurants and The World’s 50 Best Bars annual ranking and awards, announces the launch of 50 Best Discovery.

For 17 years, 50 Best has been compiling authoritative rankings based on the votes of its extensive international network of experts. Until today, 50 Best only revealed the restaurants and bars which received sufficient votes for them to be ranked. With the launch of 50 Best Discovery, the organization now provides a deeper, richer library for people to draw on for eating and drinking inspiration as they traverse the world.

50 Best Logo

50 Best Discovery is the world’s most exciting database for eating and drinking and operates as an unranked extension of the annual 50 Best rankings of restaurants and bars. The venues featured on 50 Best Discovery have all received votes from the experts who create the rankings of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants and The World’s 50 Best Bars, as well as Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants, Asia’s 50 Best Bars and Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants. The digital collection is compiled from the results of these five annual 50 Best rankings but extends far beyond the elite establishments celebrated in each list. The result is a more diverse range of expert-recommended restaurants and bars across the world, offering everything from emerging talent and local favourites through to fine dining and fine drinking establishments. To qualify, a restaurant or bar needs to receive a significant number of votes in the most recent round of polling for The World’s 50 Best Restaurants or The World’s 50 Best Bars, or appear on one of our other annual rankings. Restaurants and bars cannot apply to be part of 50 Best Discovery.

50 Best Discovery gives discerning diners and drinkers the chance to explore restaurants and bars that have received votes from 50 Best experts across the world, featuring more than 1,600 reviews of venues in 75 countries. The library combines destinations from all the lists’ rankings and other far-flung locales to comprise a diverse and tempting range of restaurants and bars, empirically recommended by its Academy. This 1,700-strong Academy comprises the world’s leading food and drink writers, chefs, restaurateurs and bar owners, global gastronomes and regional cuisine specialists.

A new website features a powerful search engine, which allows users to search by city, town and region to find restaurants and bars in a destination they may be travelling to, or to look for a reliable new dining or drinking experience closer to home. Locations and reviews sit side by side to allow easy-to-navigate functionality with each entry displaying location, price, contact details, imagery and a bite-size profile.

Whether searching for the hottest back-street ramen bar in Tokyo, boundary-pushing fine dining in San Francisco, or the best martini in Madrid, 50 Best Discovery allows adventurous gourmets to explore hidden gems, secret spots and timeless classics, providing a unique itinerary for culinary and cocktail adventures.

William Drew, Director of Content for 50 Best, says: “This exciting new way to explore the world is completely guided by the recommendations from the 1,700-plus independent expert voters behind the 50 Best restaurant and bar rankings. Never before have the best local and international destinations in which to eat and drink been featured in one place, on one intuitive website. We are confident that it will become a go-to resource for anyone looking for a reliable gastronomic experience almost anywhere in the world.

When The World’s 50 Best Restaurants was established in 2002, it started a journey that would see us showcase the very best places to eat and drink. Gastronomic tourism has become a cultural phenomenon in recent years, evident in the rapid expansion of our social media followers to more than two million and the continued growth of our global events. For the first time, we are now able to offer a comprehensive library featuring a vast number of restaurants and bars. For food and drink lovers this is the ultimate map of the world; essential for planning gastronomic adventures.

To see more details on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants voting process, visit www.theworlds50best.com/the-academy/manifesto

To see more details on The World’s 50 Best Bars voting process,
visit www.worlds50bestbars.com/voting.php

The 50 Best family includes The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants, Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants, The World’s 50 Best Bars, Asia’s 50 Best Bars and the #50BestTalks and 50 Best Explores series, all of which are owned and run by William Reed Business Media. Since 2002, The World’s 50 Best Restaurants has reflected the diversity of the world’s culinary landscape. The annual list of the world’s finest restaurants and bars provides a snapshot of some of the best destinations for unique dining and drinking experiences, in addition to being a barometer for global gastronomic trends.

Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group Celebrates the Festive Season Around the Globe

From cities adorned with Christmas lights to beach resorts with glistening waters, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group unveils a variety of holiday escapes and festive offerings at its properties worldwide. This year, Mandarin Oriental will play its part in making each holiday moment a memorable one with activities such as elegant festive dining with loved ones, beautiful in-room holiday decor and magical holiday shopping experiences in some of the greatest cities in the world.

Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group Celebrates the Festive Season Around the Globe

A sampling of this year’s global seasonal offerings can be found below, together with  an overview of additional Mandarin Oriental festive experiences, all of which can be booked online at www.mandarinoriental.com.

ASIA PACIFIC

Mandarin Oriental, Taipei — Although it may seem an unexpected holiday destination, Taipei’s cultural Christmas markets and celebratory firework shows have made this a hot spot for Christmas globetrotters. Mandarin Oriental, Taipei has created a package centered around these indulgences by offering:

  • Classic Christmas treats including traditional Stollen, Christmas Wreath, and a luxurious Christmas hamper at the Mandarin Cake Shop; a “Winter Wonderland” Christmas-themed afternoon tea at The Jade Lounge, with a portion of proceeds donated to a remote Taiwanese aboriginal school
  • The perfect pampering for two with the Spa Indulgence Room Package which includes two 60-minute “Oriental Fusion” treatments and a special “me time” Essentials Gift Set
  • Price: From 13,500 TWD; more information can be found here

Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo – Ring in the new year with an appetite, as Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo has prepared a proper feast for its guests this holiday season:

  • A specialty Toshikoshi Soba available via in-room dining and traditionally eaten at midnight as well as a celebratory Japanese Osechi breakfast served in the privacy of each guest’s own room, as well as a buffet breakfast for up to two guests on December 31, 2019
  • Price: From 186,999 JPY; more information can be found here

EUROPE, MIDDLE EAST, AND AFRICA

Mandarin Oriental, Milan — The most magical time to visit Milan is when the Galleria is full of lights, and travellers can feast their eyes on the commanding Swarovski Crystal Christmas Tree. To extend the celebration, Mandarin Oriental, Milan offers:

  • A scrumptious breakfast for two served daily in-room or in the warm setting of Mandarin Bar & Bistrot
  • Courtesy access to Van Cleef & Arpels’ unique exhibition Van Cleef & Arpels: Time, Nature, Love accompanied by an expert guide, which showcases a collection of more than 400 pieces of some of the Maison’s most unique and beautiful creations
  • Price: From 670 EUR; more information can be found here

Mandarin Oriental, Paris — Spending the holiday season in Paris is perfect for decadent treats, bubbling champagne, and shopping bags aplenty. Mandarin Oriental, Paris offers it all with a package made specifically for those seeking their own Parisian holiday experience:

  • In collaboration with Galeries Lafayette Champs-Élysées, the department store’s new concept store, the package offers guests a VIP shopping experience in the ‘Speakeasy’ at the Galeries Lafayette Champs Elysées with Champagne and French chocolates, topped off with a beauty or wine experience in-store
  • To round out the shopping experience, guests are invited to redeem a credit at The Spa
  • Price: From 1,125 EUR; more information can be found here

AMERICAS

Mandarin Oriental, Canouan – Canouan Island, also known as the “Island of Tortoises,” offers natural beauty, unspoiled beaches, tranquil seas and gentle breezes — in other words, a perfect escape to unwind for the holidays. To honor the festive season, Mandarin Oriental, Canouan offers a variety of unique on-property happenings centered around the holidays:

  • In partnership with Old Hegg Turtle Sanctuary, guests can witness the release of the critically endangered Hawksbill turtles into the sea, a holiday tradition for the property
  • Looking out over the warm, turquoise waters of Carenage Bay, guests can enjoy a  Canouan Tropical Wonderland complete with events such as guest chef-prepared dinners, sunset cruises, sailing, star-gazing, and a glamorous New Year’s Eve gala dinner to ring in 2020
  • For those looking to enhance their wellness regimen, visiting Crystal Sound Healer Khun Noom will host daily introductory sessions to yoga and massage. Keeping with the holistic approach of The Spa, Kuhn Noom can help alleviate many conditions, ranging from colon-cleansing to mindfulness development
  • Price: From $3,400 USD; more information can be found here.

Mandarin Oriental, New York — New York City embodies the holiday spirit with prominent window decorations and the larger-than-life Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center. After running around from various attractions all day long, enjoy a bit of relaxation at Mandarin Oriental, New York with the following holiday offer:

  • A Central Park-facing suite filled with holiday decor including an impressively decorated Christmas tree. Guests can also enjoy treats such as hot chocolate with Grand Marnier, sugar cookies, candy canes, cake lollipops, a gingerbread house and Stollen Cake, all available in-room
  • Price From $2,125 USD; more information can be found here.

All rates quoted are subject to availability, service charge and relevant local tax. For further information and reservations, please visit: www.mandarinoriental.com.

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