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Tuesday, June 15, 2021
Photos courtesy of Italian Trade Agency
Have you thought about what cocktails you want to serve at your wedding? Perhaps you would like to create a signature cocktail or two named after you and the love of your life. Whatever adult beverages you choose to celebrate your nuptials with - they should be nothing but the best. Our suggestion: incorporate Italian spirits for an extra special twist!
The Italian Trade Agency (ITA), a governmental agency entrusted with the promotion of Italian food, wine, and other alcoholic beverages in the USA, wants to educate consumers on the variety of lovely Italian Spirits through the Italian Spirits Promotion Project. The ITA is working with an array of unique spirits including Amaro (an herbal, bittersweet spirit) Grappa, (Italy’s national spirit) Limoncello, Vermouth and other small niche categories that add an exotic touch to traditional cocktail recipes. In the spirit of celebrating Italian Spirits (see what I did there), the ITA shared a few of their fan-favorite recipes with us, and I tried them out at home. Let me tell you, these puppies are mind-blowingly good.
Italian Gold Rush
1 oz. Pallini Limoncello
1 1⁄2 oz Rye whiskey
1⁄2 oz Honey syrup
1⁄2 oz. Fresh lemon juice
Shake and strain over a fresh rock
For Whom The Sun Rises – a twist on the Hemingway Daiquiri by Neal Bodenheimer
1.5 oz (45 ml) Amaro Sibilla
0.75 oz (22 ml) grapefruit juice
0.25 oz (7.50 ml) lime juice
0.25 oz (7.50 ml) Maraska Maraschino (cherry brandy)
0.25 oz (7.50 ml) simple syrup
5 drops salt solution (3 parts kosher salt to 1 part water)
Grapefruit peel (placed in the shaker)
Method: combine all ingredients in a shaker tin and shake hard 15 times to aerate
Garnish: double-strain into a chilled coupe
40 ml Nocino Il Mallo
20 ml yellow grapefruit juice
100 ml ginger beer
Make directly into the glass
Glass: highball with ice
Garnish: raspberry, mint leaf and dehydrated lime
For more top-notch recipes including Italian Spirits, download the ITA Recipe Booklet here.
About the Italian Trade Agency
Since 1926, the Italian Trade Commission, with 79 offices worldwide, has been the Italian government agency entrusted with the mission of promoting trade between Italian companies and foreign markets. The Food and Wine department, based in New York City, works on increasing the awareness of the Italian products in the U.S. by being the point of reference for trade and press and promoting Wine & Spirits through educational events, informational materials, special events and promotions. For all the activities regarding these alcoholic beverages, see http://italianspirits.us/
Monday, June 14, 2021
Photos courtesy of Canva
Forget the "two months' salary" rule. Find out how much money you should really spend on an engagement and wedding ring courtesy of CreditDonkey.
Thinking of popping the big question soon? One of the first thoughts in your head is probably: "How much should I spend on the ring?" This decision is both emotional and rational. You have two major things to consider:
1. Your Lady's Expectations
2. Your Financial Situation
The goal is to find a balance between the two. Of course, every person's situation is different. And that's why it's important to know where you stand. Do not rely on an outdated two months' salary rule that was invented by a marketer. Rule of thumb: Spend 2 months of your income on an engagement ring. If you are making $1000 per month, spend $2000 on an engagement ring. If you're making $2500 per month, spend $5000. Sounds simple, but the old 2-month rule of thumb is a bad idea. We'll explain below.
Your Lady's Expectations
There's no getting around it. The ring does matter. And here's why:
- An engagement ring is a symbol of your love and commitment. It shows you're invested in a shared future.
- Many women have dreamed about their perfect ring for a long time, including the style, diamond shape, etc. It'll be a big disappointment to get a ring that's not exactly what she wants. Build your own engagement ring with this tool.
- Women are the ones who wear the ring every day. This is going to be the single most important piece of jewelry she owns. And naturally, she wants something that makes her happy to look at and show off to her friends.
How much should you spend on an engagement ring? According to recent surveys, most American couples expect to spend between $1,000 and $5,000 on an engagement ring. The actual average cost for an engagement ring is over $6,000. With all that said, most women are reasonable and just. They will love and appreciate the fact that you spent the effort to find the perfect ring. Most women are not looking to bankrupt you with unrealistic requirements.
Your Financial Situation
You have your future to think about too. After all, finances merge when you get married. So along with her expectations, an equally-important factor to consider is what you can afford. There is no right or wrong answer. But there is a good way to look at it: You should not put yourself into a crazy amount of debt for the ring. Most young professionals are already up to their necks in student loan debt. Plus you have the rest of your life to think about. Here are some things that might help you determine your financial ability:
- Your current income
- Your expenses: Things like food, bills, and any debts you're currently paying, like student loans and car payments.
- Your savings: How much can you actually save per month if you cut down on extraneous things? How much you have saved up already?
- Your potential income: Are you at a job with a lot of growth potential in the upcoming years? If yes, you may want to put that into consideration. But don't go overboard.
Using these factors, you should be able to estimate how much you could reasonably spend. Ideally, you want to be able to buy the ring without financing so you don't incur debt. Or at least you'll want to be able to pay off the debt you might incur in a couple of months. How many months' salary do you plan to spend on an engagement ring?
Calculate Your Budget
The Salary Rule says you should spend two to three months' salary on the engagement ring. For example, if you earn $48,000 per year, you should spend $8,000 to $12,000 on the ring. If you earn $60,000 per year, you should spend $10,000 to $15,000. But, your personal budget should depend on your financial situation and not an arbitrary salary rule. You need to consider your lifestyle, debt, and current savings. You can use this engagement ring budget calculator as a guideline, but only you know your own financial situation.
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