Best Snob-Approved Bubbly Under $20 (and a couple under $10)

By: Jetta Bates

 

The need for good bubbly never stops.

You may not have the money for, or the inclination to splurge on, a bottle of 1995 Charles Heidsieck Blanc des Millénaires ($150) or even the Veuve Clicquot Brut Yellow Label ($42). It’s like that sometimes. No worries; here are six of my favorite bubbly alternatives under $20 (some under $10) that are yummy and you can feel good about bringing to ANY party (even to that friend’s house who traveled all over Europe for a year sipping wine ):

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Great Bottles to celebrate the Father, Daddy, or Big Poppa in Your Life

There is nothing better than a great bottle of something tasty to celebrate the special dad-type in your life. Whether he is your actual father, dad-like, or just an all around good dude who takes the time out to help the next generation, he deserves to be celebrated.  Here are a few suggestions of tasty bottles that will be sure to make him smile.

 

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Auchentoshan Three Wood (average price, $65.00)

This is yummy, unique Lowland Single Malt Whisky, considered the “gateway bottle” for non-scotch drinkers, has been matured in three different cask types. Moving from American Bourbon to Spanish Oloroso Sherry – and finally Pedro Ximenez Sherry casks – Three Wood is a rich, complex whisky with incredible toffee and sherry oak flavours.

 

 

 

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Sailor Jerry (average cost: $18)

Sailor Jerry’s Spiced rum is crafted from a blend of Caribbean rums that are mixed and infused with spices and other flavors like rich vanilla tones with warm hints of cinnamon and nutmeg. The finish is long and dry with a balance of subdued sweetness and a hint of toasted toffee. I’ve had it with ginger beer and lime…and it was DOPE.

Pictured is the limited edition bottle…which is pretty cool looking.

 

 

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Reyka Vodka (Average Cost: $34)

Reyka, the world’s first “green” vodka, is an Icelandic vodka made from glacial water, and distilled from wheat and barley using sustainable energy from geothermal heat. It tastes as clean as it looks…and drinks well mixed or chilled and straight.

 

 

 

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Tullamore D.E.W. 12-year-old (average cost: $49.99)

This Irish whiskey has a creamy body with deep spice flavor followed up by a chocolaty note complete with dried fruits and nuts making this whiskey really easy drinking and delicious.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Noel’s Silver Dry Gin (average cost: $49.99)

Nolet’s Silver Dry, from the Ketel One family, is made with rose, white peach and raspberry. The absence of heavy juniper and pine gives it a fruit-forward flavor that makes it quite ultra modern.

 

 

 

 

 

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Koval Single Barrel Rye Whiskey (average cost: $49)

Chicago-based Koval Rye is aged in new American oak from Minnesota. Grains are sourced from a local organic farmer collective in the Midwest.  This 100% rye has tangerine and coconut with pepper on finish…and super smooth.

Jettasetting Cocktail Convo with Ketel One’s Carl Nolet Jr.

“Whatever you do, do with passion and integrity…

—Carl Nolet Jr.

We had a great family dinner experience with Ketel One’s CEO Carl Nolet Jr. at Frontier in Chicago to celebrate 325 Years of Nolet Family Distilling.

 

Carl gave us the scoop on doing business well, the creativity that goes into creating his spirit brands, and best places to sip. Check out the interview below:

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Gelato World Tour Brings Artisan Deliciousness to Chicago

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Before you hit the Beyoncé concert this weekend, stop by Millennium Park (Chase Promenade South – Millennium Park 188 E Monroe St.) and check out the Gelato World Tour; a tasty festival which includes a competition traveling worldwide to determine the world’s best gelato.

This weekend’s event, which is free and open to the public from 12:00 PM noon until 8:00 PM, runs from May 27-29, and will feature gelato produced from artisans across North and South America (and yes, Chicago is representing). If looking at the gelato is not enough, you can purchase a $10 ticket (CLICK HERE) that will allow you to taste eight selections and vote on your favorite. The top three winners go on to complete globally at the Grand Finale of the Gelato World Tour in Italy.

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Beyoncé’s “Lemonade” and the Corporate Experience

I love “Lemonade”. Love. It. 

It speaks to me far beyond the Bey/Jay/male/female dynamic. As a matter of fact, I didn’t think about their relationship, or ANY romantic relationship, while watching. What married folks do is SO their business. As I experienced “Lemonade”, here’s what was going through my head:

 

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Photo: HBO

When Beyoncé walked down the street using “hot sauce” to smash windows, I thought about breaking through glass ceilings.

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Inside Look: Hammam Spa at JW Marriott Chicago

There is nothing better than some spa time after a long journey (or just a super hard day). Jeff and I arrived into Morocco from a multi-leg flight from Chicago as part of the cast for Bravo’s “Tour Group”. Between packing, no sleep, and last-minute running, we were exhausted.

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8 Quick Tips: How to Rock Out Your Personal Brand

Talking about personal branding at Northwestern University’s  “Personal Branding and Network Management” immersive two-day workshop was super fun! It was nice to present to people who were serious about managing their brands; they were on top of taking those notes.

For those who were not able to make it; here are a few quick personal branding tips to tide you over until the next event.

XO!

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Surprise!! Personal branding is not all about self promotion. It is about what you can do for others.

 

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Control your narrative. Tell your story before someone else tells it for you.

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Tasty Sips: Auchentoshan Single Malt Scotch Whisky

 

Those who partied with us over the holidays had the chance to taste Auchentoshan Single Malt Scotch Whisky – and people are still texting me asking how to drink it…or for cocktail ideas.  Auchentoshan triple distills every single drop (which is unique) – and there is no wrong way to enjoy it.

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“A Case for Giving” Event: You Save up to $100 and Charities Get Donations When You Trade Up to Briggs & Riley

 

You know that perfectly good piece of luggage that you are just “over”…or may have one too many scuff marks for your liking? 

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How to Leverage Big Mistakes…(Lessons Learned from the Steve Harvey/Miss Universe “Situation” )

By: Jetta Bates Vasilatos

 

Steve Harvey’s slip-up at the Miss Universe pageant was super awkward for him and the beautiful contestants. But as a communications and branding strategist, I couldn’t help but appreciate how he took responsibility right off….and kudos to the ladies – as they handled it the best they could. For those who may have mixed feelings about Steve Harvey (like I sometimes do), he showed strength of character when he stepped up and owned his global gaffe. He really let the world know what he is truly made of, and may have won some new fans in the process.

Moving forward, here’s some additional advice I’d share with him:

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Curly Girls Night Out: Cool Styles + Hot Hair Trends

Nothing better than Jettasetting with a room full of curly girls at an event – it is a rare experience. Creme of Nature’s Hair Color Crush Meetup in Chicago gave me precious time with other lovers of beauty PLUS I scored some hair care tips and trend insight from top hair bloggers.  

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Valuable Takeaways from TechWeek Chicago – even if YOU are NOT a TECHIE.

By: Cle Andrea Hayden

Packed with exhibitors and a schedule full of workshops, panel discussions and sponsored parties, TechWeek Chicago proved to be a valuable experience for techies, entrepreneurs and those who just like to be “in the know” of the tech world. Check this list of tips that I gained during my first TechWeek experience:

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Tasty Night Out Chicago: Tocco In Wicker Park

There is nothing like enjoying fresh Italian in a modern, sexy space.  Chef Bruno Abate is as authentically Italian as his food; he has lived and tasted his way across Italy.

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Cocktails, Celebs, Stogies and More: THIS is New Orleans

From ESSENCE Music Festival, to bacon bourbon, to baller trucks (and everything in between), New Orleans has fun covered…and Jettasetting has the pics to prove it.

Photos of notables were taken by celebrity photographer Bennett Raglin of BP Photography who travels the world taking sizzling pics that can be seen in media outlets like  Rolling Stone, Elle Magazine, People Magazine…and now, Jettasetting!

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Jettasetting’s Wine Wednesday: Wine Enthusiast’s Red & White Bash Chicago

 

THIS is how you start the weekend right: Wine Enthusiast’s Red and White Bash Chicago

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Let there Be Snow: Jerusalem

NYC and Chicago, you are not alone in the battle of snow.  December also gave Jerusalem some snow shade – and my fave Israel tour guide and history sherpa Ofir Jacobson, PhD, sent me some pics of the “once-in-a-century” storm, deemed thusly by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.  Interesting how snow can be both fun and fraught with drama.

Currently, Jerusalem is back up to 40+ degrees – but winter CLEARLY is a fickle mistress…so they may want to keep their gloves and shovels handy.  Trust.  I threw in some Chi and NYC pics in the slide show as we are snow sister cities…

Icy kisses!

Jetta

Jettasetting Weekend: Chicago Gourmet, presented by Bon Appétit, Sept. 27-29 (yes, there are still tickets, but..)

This is going to be super YUMMY!

A true foodie fête, Chicago Gourmet, presented by Bon Appétit, is a true celebration of food and wine showcasing more than 100 of Chicago’s finest restaurants and chefs, as well as hundreds of renowned vintners, spirit makers, and premium breweries from around the world.

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