The Top 5 National Parks For Cocktails

When Teddy Rosevelt sat down to theorize and implement the idea of a National Park he knew it was going to be a hard fought road. One split down the middle. Preservation on one side and progress on the other.

Thankfully in the end Old Teddy won out, birthing a new era of land, designed and specifically set aside to be so wondrous, stupendous, aw inspiring, magnanimous, and worthy of our time, that we as humans couldn’t comprehend. 

These lands we call America's greatest treasures or simply put our National Parks.

For those who have been to one or even all of the National Parks you can completely understand where we are coming from.

Mountains, rainforests, glaciers, forests, rolling hills, waterfalls, animal life, adventure, climbers, hikers, trails, and cocktails. Wait,,,cocktails?

See Leisuremann's was founded in a National Park, (Didn't know this? Read our founding history story - here) The Great Smoky Mountains National Park to be more specific, and our love for the outdoors runs exceptionally deep.

So deep in fact that when positioned with the opportunity to go to a New National Park and enjoy a cocktail there, we inevitably drop everything and go.

So when we sat down to talk through the idea about this blog we wanted it to be special showcasing various National Park terrain as well as giving insight on where to go that would provide the most cocktail drinking bang for your National Park buck.

Without further ado, here are the top five National Parks to enjoy a cocktail at, in no particular order of course.

Olympic National Park

 
 

Washington State - 3hrs from Seattle, WA - 1,422 mi²

DESCRIPTION: Olympic is like no other national park in the United States. It boasts a diverse eco system showcasing temperate rainforest, mountains, old growth forest, glacial mountains, and coastal beach climates. This diversity makes it ideal for climbers, hikers, back packers, and the outdoor cocktail aficionado in you. 

IDEAL COCKTAIL SPOT: Hike to the coastline beach and enjoy a stroll while sipping a Cosmopolitan or be brave and explore the temperate rainforests with a double Margarita.

SUMMARY: With it's diverse ecosystem, Olympic is not the National Park for the faint of heart but the ideal national park for those who like to differentiate their adventure from the ordinary. 

Great Smoky Mountain National Park

 
 

Tennessee/North Carolina - 4hrs from Nashville, TN - 800 mi²

DESCRIPTION: The Smokies, as most hikers refer to them, boast something for everyone all four seasons of the year. The vast landscape of dense wooded forrest, switch back trails, hidden creeks, moonscape caves, and beautiful vegetation in the Spring & Summer months, provide the casual or even expert hiker with a sense of nature induced euphoria. Stay till the evenings and see why the Smokies got their name.

IDEAL COCKTAIL SPOT: Hike the Alum Cave trail up to the Le Conte lodge, where Leisuremann’s was conceived, and then take the side trail to either Myrtle Point or Cliff Tops. Both are positioned with a vantage point that only a stiff Sazerac could compliment.

SUMMARY: With it’s lush forrest landscape and something for everyone style of atmosphere, The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the perfect place to relax, take it easy, and go to sleep at mountain midnight!

Yosemite National Park

 
 

California - 2hrs from Sacramento, CA - 1,169 mi²

DESCRIPTION: Iconic, surreal, majestic, orgasmic are words used to describe the feelings, places, and surroundings of one of our nations greatest national treasures. Sporting ancient Sequoia trees, cliff faces taller than modern sky scrappers, and views of mother nature that no one can comprehend, Yosemite is a true spectacle for those who want to see mother nature in here full beauty.

IDEAL COCKTAIL SPOT: With over 800 miles of trail, you won’t be left without any room for a great hike or view for that matter. First things first, check out the iconic valley view. Then find yourself wandering through Cooks Meadow enjoying a Bee’s Knees while listening to the breeze blow by.

SUMMARY: No matter who you are, Yosemite National Park brings you back to your natural roots, instilling back in you a sense of just how small we are in the universe.

Zion National Park

 
 

Utah - 3hrs from Las Vegas, NV - 230 mi²

DESCRIPTION: Described as one of America’s smaller national parks, Zion sure as hell doesn’t disappoint. Picture a sunset painting, beautiful, majestic, grand. Now picture that same painting in real life. This is Zion. Boasting red rock formations that are uniquely their own to a trail so dangerous people have died trying, Zion is something special and truly in a class all to itself.

IDEAL COCKTAIL SPOT: Cocktailing at Zion is unique and due to it’s small stature recommending a specific place would be difficult but if we did we would probably recommend Watchman Trail, taxing at times, this trail is worth it. Rounding off the hike with a Margarita or a Cosmopolitan and a view of Watchman Peak surly doesn’t disappoint!

SUMMARY: Zion is a quick park but a park that on the flip side one could get lost in for days, months, and years. With trails that seems to defy gravity and picturesque lookout locations, Zion is truly a gem among stones.

Redwood National Park

 
 

California - 6hrs from Sacramento, CA - 280 mi²

DESCRIPTION: Words cannot describe the true majesty of Redwood National. Words can only describe how you cannot describe it with words. If that makes any sense. Soaring 300’ into the sky and boasting diameters exceeding 15’ these gentle giants take every breath and word from your mouth. As you walk you experience a humbled feeling for being amongst the giants has made you feel small.

IDEAL COCKTAIL SPOT: ALL SPOTS. Emerge into Redwood National with an Old Fashioned in hand and by all means get lost. Lost in the beauty of these giants and the shear silent world they tower over.

SUMMARY: If you think you seen all the trees and majesty there is to offer think no further than visiting Redwood National. With an ample trail system and sprawling woods, make sure to run, jump, hide, nap and cocktail your way through!

Cheers and in the words of Teddy Roosevelt - “Adventure on dudes!”

FLAVOR 7 IS NO APRIL FOOLS JOKE!

 
GOLD RUSH MONEY SHOT 2
 

“All that glitters isn’t gold”…whoever said this sure as hell didn't know this was coming.

Drum roll please…

Introducing, our seventh mix flavor, RS#1 The Gold Rush, with real 24k edible gold flake. Yes, you heard us correctly, we put 24k gold in a cocktail mix that you can take with you on an airplane or into the mighty wilderness.

Are we crazy, maybe. Are we innovative, hell yes! Are we doing things no-one else is trying to do, ABSOLUTELY!

The Gold Rush is our inaugural mix to be release under a new line of mixes we call our Release Series.

Think of our Release Series Mixes as limited edition mixes. Flavors are produced in small batch quantities utilizing unique ingredients and flavor profiles to provide a one of a kind cocktail experience. Simply put we are taking the classics, modern and historical, and making them EPIC!

 
GOLD RUSH MONEY SHOT
 

Starting today, the Gold Rush is available to order, but act soon as it is only made in quantities of 24 meaning it’s going to go quick.

Overall, we are excited to bring this modern cocktail to life and show the world that we think beyond the mix.

So, share, like, tweet, repost, we don’t care what you do just let’s try to get this bad boy featured on the news, Ellen, the Today show, 2 Chainz Most Expenzsivest Shit (never heard of it - it’s amazing!) send them an email for us.

P.S. If you know of any influencers, celebrities, bartenders, rich people, gold diggers, sugar daddies, sugar mommas, or just anyone who would love this mix - LET US KNOW & SHARE SHARE SHARE.

Cheers and we will let Kanye West sum it up…GOLDDIGGER!



 

The French 75

 
 

The French Seventy what?

Exactly. LOL!

The French 75, for lack of more descriptive terms, is the best champagne cocktail you've never heard of.

Wait a darn minute...You might be asking yourself, "What about the Mimosa?" And you aren’t far off but trust us on this one! 

Not only has the French 75 been one of the worlds greatest champagne cocktails, it has also transcended its "brunch" origins, now popular on most cocktail menus all day, everyday, rain or shine, day or night.

It's the real deal!

 
 


Originating in the 1920s as the widely available "Champagne Cup", the French 75 quickly picked up steam and was popularized throughout the 1940s appearing in film, bar menus, and restaurants across America and most of the world.

Combining flavors of lemon, sugar, honey, and gin (TID BIT - Gin wasn't originally used in the French 75. It sort of came after the fact. Cognac was the original spirit used) with champagne (#bubblesnob) to form a blend so copacetic that you find yourself ordering them in bottomless fashion.

Now with the history lesson aside, here's how you make one of these delicious champagne concoctions.

The IBA Recipe

1 oz Gin

2 dashes simple syrup

1.5 oz Lemon Juice

2 oz Champagne


————————————————————————————————————

The Everyday Recipe

2 oz Gin

1 oz Lemon Juice

1-2 teaspoon Simple Syrup

Champagne (Fill Glass)


 ————————————————————————————————————

The Leisuremann’s 75

1 oz H2O

6-7 Scoops Leisuremann's Bee's Knees Mix

2 oz Gin

Top Glass with Champagne

 ————————————————————————————————————

No matter if you follow our recipes or create your own rendition, the French 75 sure as hell will make for an AWESOME cocktail experience no matter if you're at your house or on a trail.

Cheers // Cliff

:: BIG HUGE AWESOME GINORMOUS NEWS ::

Project Code Name: The Ultimate Adventure

About six months ago, we began a pretty exciting adventure.

Not a physical, hiking down a trail adventure, but more of a “growthventure”, geared towards bringing our mixes into the hands of our target users - YOU!

After months and months of paperwork, hustling, more paperwork, regulations, red tape, new labels, hardship, laughter, even more paperwork, and copious amounts of cocktails…we are proud to announce the “BIG THING” we’ve been alluding to in so many of our social media posts.

So here it goes…drum roll please

 
 

Leisuremann’s Cocktail Mixes are now part of the REI Co-Op!!!


Hooray! - Cheers! - Applause! - Bravo!

Someone said “Speech” - Thank you to everyone who has supported us thus far. We appreciate each and everyone of you and hope you keep drinking cocktails with us for years to come.

Back @ it.

You may be asking yourself now, “As a loyal patron of Leisuremann’s, what does this actually mean?”

Outstanding question.

For starters, effective today, you can order our mixes directly from REI.com, allowing you to reap the benefits of their awesome dividend program and members coupon codes from every jar purchased.

 
 

BUY FROM REI.COM NOW

OLD FASHIONED - MARGARITA - THE SAZERAC - BEE’S KNEES

Secondly and probably most important, our mixes will be in an REI store near you. Seriously, you can actually buy a jar of Leisuremann’s Cocktail Mix at an REI brick and mortar location. Wow, right?!

Forecasted to be in the major flagship locations (Denver, Seattle, Washington D.C., Bloomington, & SoHo) starting 10/15 through the end of 2018, we are excited to see what adventures you take with a jar of our mix. By purchasing from your local REI or REI Co-Op online you don’t just support local businesses, you also support outdoor adventure culture.

 
 

If you don’t live near one of the flagship stores, no worries, simply go to your local REI and request our mixes for your location. This is a simple way to help REI know what you guys are into, want, and would like to see on the shelves.

If you do live by a flagship location, stop in, buy a jar or four, take some selfies, and post those bad boys to social media, showing the world how much you love cocktails!

Lastly, give us a review on REI.com - find your favorite flavor and tell the other adventurers out there why you love a good Leisuremann’s cocktail.

Overall, getting our mixes into your hands so you can use it for your next trip, adventure, tailgate, backyard party, or just a Netflix and chill night, is and will always be our #1 priority.

So…pretty big news right?

Cheers // Cliff

FLAVOR 6 | The Cosmopolitan

THE PINK DRINK THAT STARTED A CRAFT COCKTAIL REVOLUTION!

 
 

“Pink is our favorite color!" In other words, we are excited to introduce you to the Leisuremann’s Cosmopolitan mix.

When most people think of a Cosmopolitan, for lack of better descriptive terms, they think electric pink, super sweet, and not worth my time.

Though an accurate description for certain cosmos at certain bars, the Cosmopolitan as a true craft cocktail is far from those very terms.

The humble origins of the Cosmopolitan date back to the mid-1930s where citrus juice, fruit syrup, and gin were mixed to create a variation on the Kamikaze.

Throughout the decades the cosmopolitan grew in popularity. Gin was subtracted and substituted for vodka, ushering in a new cocktail renaissance know as the Craft Cocktail Movement.

This movement would kick into overdrive with the airing of a little-known show named Sex and the City where Carrie, the main character, commonly ordered Cosmos when going out with her girlfriends.

Since the shows airing, the Cosmopolitan along with the craft cocktail movement has boomed paving the way for cocktail drinkers worldwide.

Now for REAL TALK - Don’t get us wrong there are bad Cosmos out there.

Frankly, there are some pretty shits ones that bars try and pass off as remotely decent.

See… the thing about the Cosmopolitan is its complex simplicity.

The drink by its nature utilizes ingredients that alone have strong flavors but when mixed correctly come together in such a copacetic harmony that you can’t help but drink two or three in a sitting.

 
 

Echoing this harmony, this mix above all others was truly the hardest to engineer and get right. The subtle balance between the cranberry, lime, citrus, and sweetness almost seems kung fu master zen-like at times. But we managed to pull it off.

A Leisuremann’s Cosmopolitan echoes simplicity and describes a balance of vodka, to cranberry, to citrus, and sugar. Not one ingredient shines above the rest and not one ingredient is left out. When tasting you will first be greeted with citrus, then sugar sweetness, and rounding out the drink is an earthy tart cranberry note.

Truly Sex and the City approved!

EVERY JAR PURCHASED GIVES BACK.

You must give back to move forward” Oprah Winfrey

Giving back is something we’ve been wanting to do for a while now but just couldn’t figure out how to do it.

When we stumbled on the Cosmo it felt completely right.

So for each jar purchased, we will donate a percentage at the end of the year to a charity that helps women in need. It’s a small step for us to help make the world a better place for those around us.

If you have any charity suggestions please reach out - gents@leisurmanns.com - we would love to hear from you.

Overall, The Cosmopolitan means the world to us and as our 6th and final flavor for 2018 we wanted to go big or go home.

Now the real question - Fellas…how many of you want a cosmo?!

Cheers // Cliff

10 Tips for Mile High Cocktail Drinkers

If you havn't realized it yet we really like to drink and fly. It's become more of a hobby now than a past time. No matter the day, time or airline cocktails are always being made and shared with those around us.. 

With that said, over the past two years we have amassed a cornucopia of airline tips and tricks guaranteed to make your next flight/cocktail experience outstanding.

Below are just a few, in no specific order.

Elaborate on, try, enjoy, and Cheers!

 
LEISUREMANN'S UNITED AIRLINES FRIENDLY SKIES
 

MINI BOTTLES RULE

Firstly, the myth is true: TSA does indeed afford you the ability to bring your own MINI LIQUOR BOTTLES on the plane. Now you are limited to size though. Ideally the 50ml are nice as those provide around a 2oz portion and fit snug in your quart size zip top bag. You can however, pack the 100ml bottle as those are just shy of the 3.5oz maximum allotted for packaged liquids.

The key to the entire situation is the bottles must be packed in your quart bags. Like any other liquid (shampoo, conditioner, hair gel) these mini bottle are considered a “liquid” and should be kept in isolation.

*Pro Tip* SUPPORT YOUR AIRLINES! Yeah we know they make you pay for seats and carry-on bags now but buy a mini bottle or two from them if you run out or need another flavor.

Let’s keep the 'Friendly Skies' friendly for years to come.

SOFT DRINKS SPRITZERS 

There is nothing more refreshing than having a little bubble in your drink, cocktail, or soda. It's the Bee's Knees!

With that said, more and more airlines are offering less and less sugar based sodas and more 0 calorie 0 sugar sparkling “spritzer” style waters.

Take this opportunity, for a free soda and roll with it.

Imaging making a margarita at 30k with sparkling lime water or a Bee's Knees with sparkling Italian lemon water.

OUTSTANDING is the word you are looking for.

*Pro Tip* When adding Leisuremann's Cocktail Mix to sparkling water be sure to be aware of the FIZZ UP reaction. Basically, don’t overfill and you should be fine.

 
LEISUREMANNS OLD FASHIONED - UNITED AIRLINES
 

NO MIX - NO PROBLEM

Ask anyone who flies a lot and they should be able to give you a cocktail story, recipe, or fun pro tip from 30,000 feet.

With this great power comes great responsibility…Thanks Uncle Ben. More or less a great responsibility to share with the world!

So…if you find yourself on your next flight with no mix or your mini bottles try one of these out for size: 

Red Wine/Coke (Equal Parts)

Mile High Mule (Ginger Ale, Vodka, mints)

Inflight Irish Coffee (Coffee, Bailey's Irish Cream)

Bloody Mary (Tomato Juice, Vodka)

IDL Sunrise (Tequila, OJ, Cranberry, Sprit, Apple Juice) IDL = International Date Line

ALWAYS ORDER ICE

Nothing and we repeat nothing makes a cocktail better than ice.

Even if you just use the ice to prepare your drink straight up, ice is as pivotal to a cocktail as the glass itself. Don’t believe us - listen to the experts in our blog The Icy Truth!

Try experimenting as well with ice and how it changes the flavor profiles of certain drinks and spirits.

SNACKS GALORE

Peanuts, pretzels, Biscotti cookies, OH MY!

Not all cocktails go with one of those 3 snack selections, so simple solution, bring your own snacks.

We've gone so far as to bring full blown sandwiches onto the plane for lunch and cocktails.

TSA, unless it is outlandish or large liquids, will cast a blind eye to you brining snacks aboard the plane. So fill your pack up with chips, Thanksgiving dinner, tacos, Bananas, or whatever your heart desires.

Moral of the story, have snacks and cocktails too!

 
LEISUREMANNS MARGARITA UNITED AIRLINES
 

SHARE WITH YOUR NEIGHBOR

Just think if you were flying cross country and the guy next to you pulled out a jar of Leisuremann's. At first you would question, "What is this dude doing?" or "What the heck is that stuff." But when he/she makes you a cocktail you instantly realize this is most certaintly real life.

The moral of the story is we should be more like Mr. Rogers and less like Oscar the Grouch. Share with your neighbor. Make them a drink, frankly make everyone a drink and spread some cocktail love!

SOCIAL POST EVERYTHING

Do us and yourself a favor, on your next trip post a picture of your cocktails to @leisuremanns, pretty please. (You won’t believe the response)

Simple, we want the world to know how delicious our cocktails are and what a better person to show them than you.

Take a pic of your drink, take a video of you mixing in the airport, take a pic of the plane going crazy because you just made a big batch and everyone is enjoying Margaritas. LOL!

We can dream, right? Have fun!

PREMIX TO MAXIMIZE ENJOYMENT

Crucial to any trip or experience is maximizing time. So when you find yourself sitting in the terminal with your face inevitably glued to your phone or maybe a book, step back, regroup, and premix your cocktails.

Water bottles, travel mugs, travel plastic wine glasses, pretty much any receptacle for drinking can work great.

We would recommend making them in a bigger quantity as they will go quick! #makeitadouble

MAKE IT A DOUBE OR TRIPLE

Always, always, always make it a double or triple when traveling.

This is done for multiple reasons but only a few stand out.

1) You deserve more than one drink when flying.

2) If you need to share, one drink just isn't going to cut the mustard.

3) Everything is better in pairs so bring multiple mixes with you so you can make a Bee's Knees and an Old Fashioned too!

REPEAT

The #1 tip is to REPEAT all 9. Get out there, travel more, explore more, be adventurous!

Seriously, if you haven't planned a trip in a while get to it. Repeat doesn't just mean making more cocktails, which we hope you do, it means doing more, experiencing more, and just simply enjoying the places you will go.

 

Not all trips are equal so in a way why should each cocktail experience be.

Explore what works for you and use these tip to make the most out of your next travel adventure.

And as a bonus for reading this blog, use code TAKE20 on your next order for 20% off your cart. That’s like we’re saying the first two drinks are on us!

 

Cheers // Cliff

Flavor 4 | The Sazerac

THE WORLD'S FIRST COCKTAIL NOW GOES WHERE YOU GO!

 
 

So what happens when a prescribed remedy becomes a crowd pleasing toddy? 

You bring the idea of cocktails to the world!

In the late 1830's, Antoine Peychaud, a Haitian-French pharmacist, did just this in his French Quarter, New Orleans drug store. Already on the map with his popular Peychaud's Bitters, he would combine French Brandy, Absinthe, bitters, and a bit of sugar as a fix for any number of maladies. While it was not known as a Sazerac until the early 1850's, Antoine paved the way for a completely new approach to consuming alcohol, more for enjoyment than medicine.

Just like its younger brother, The Old Fashioned, there are copious variations of the Sazerac through the catacombs of cocktail history. Some uniquely their own while other stand apart. Congruent with this, we designed our Sazerac flavor's profile around the most common variation utilized throughout Louisiana: 

Rye Whiskey, Herbsaint, Bitters, sugar, & a lemon peel garnish.

 
 

As our standard mantra goes - Our mix enhances the the alcohol used. So in the case of a Leisuremann's Sazerac...There isn't any better way to drink rye whiskey!

So call your friends, host a vintage party, go on a camp trip, or just relax at home letting the subtle notes of anise, sugar sweetness, and herbaceous bitters warm your palate in this old world classic.

Cheers & see you guys at The New Orleans Bourbon Fest this weekend!

P.S. Antoine, GREAT WORK MAN!

ADVANCED TASTING NOTES - Notes of anise mellow the bite of a rye whiskey's high ABV content. Sweetness from the sugar lets the whiskey warm the palate calmly. On the tail, the herbaceous quality of the bitters comes through with a delicate finishing touch

 

WE LOVE EVENTS!!!!!!!!

**HOT OFF THE PRESS**

OUR EVENTS PAGE IS FULLY UPDATED AND READY TO GRACE A WEEKEND CALENDAR NEAR YOU!!!**

 
 

You might be saying to yourself right now "HELL YEAH" or even "Why is this such a big deal?"

To most people this might just be an average page update but to us and a select few, it's much more.

See, events are the life blood of our business. If we could, we would do an event everyday, everyplace, everywhere on Planet Earth. That would be a little hard but we could manage...right? Think of the jet lag - OUCH!

All joking aside we truly, unequivocally, 100% love, Love, LOVE interacting with our current patrons and new patrons alike. It gets us going. It is like a gift that keeps giving.

Everything from finding out where you went with our mixes to a trip you are planning, we relish in every minute of it and give you a cocktail while we talk.

Like our tagline says - "We go where you go" - No matter if it's camping, hiking, fishing, rocking, space, caravanning, horseback riding, or grandma's house, we want to know and we want to see pictures, either in person on social media, @leisuremanns YEAH!!

To keep this blog short as I could ramble all day, we have a jammed packed 2018 with events spanning everywhere from Lafayette to Baton Rouge and even New Orleans. So add a few to your calendar, come out, stop by, talk, and we promise there will always be enough cocktail mixes and samples to go around.

 
 

Cheers till our next event!

//Cliff

P.S. If you know of an event, big or small, near or far that you think we should attend, feel free to drop us a line on social media or via our contact page. Who knows, if everything works out you might even get a little finders fee!