Poor foodie perks: Belvedere Vodka and Grub Crawl

How cute is that bottle?!?

My friends from near and far exclaim “You have the best job in the world!” and while I agree that living life as a local food writer in New Orleans is certainly a whole ton of fun, I am barely scraping by. I can’t afford a lot of things like a better apartment (500 sq. ft. gets really small for two after a while) or God forbid a house. People have seen me around town in the same outfit for at least the past two years, not to mention desperately needing a color, cut and pedicure. My finances do not allow a car or even decent health insurance.

All in all, I am pretty damn happy, regardless of my financial straits. I’m living in the best city in the world, I’m hopelessly in love, my dog is the cutest, most lovable shih-tzu in the universe, I eat fantastic food and sometimes I am lucky enough and recognized enough to get free stuff. Now I don’t mean the usual “schwag” like free pens or tote bags (though I get that stuff, too), I mean some really incredible stuff…

For example, I was recently contacted by a cordial representative from Belvedere Vodka. They are sponsoring a national “Grub Crawl” along with Bon App├ętit Magazine which has arrived in New Orleans. Not only do I get to attend a launch-event luncheon at Restaurant August, a place I could never afford otherwise, I also get two free tickets to one day of the crawl (I chose Saturday) and I was sent a free sample of Belvedere’s new Lemon Tea vodka! It’s like I hit the freaking lottery!

Last night, John and I decided to crack open the (super-cute) mini-bottle of vodka a try. It’s funny, a few days ago I was talking to my friend Ryan about receiving the free Belvedere sampler and after raving about it, he told me that he loved that particular brand because it always tasted so fresh, that it’s almost minty sensation made him feel like he just brushed his teeth. Laughing at the time, I couldn’t imagine any alcohol making me feel minty fresh, but after taking a few straight sips of Belvedere Lemon Tea over ice, I realized he was right! Unlike many other lemon flavored vodkas I’ve tried, Belvedere didn’t feel syrupy or sickly sweet. It was extremely clean with just a hint of lemon and, as we discovered later, perfect over freshly brewed iced tea.

I may be living on the edge of poverty, but I am enjoying every minute!