By Angela L.
In my spare time I like to come up with my own recipes for drinks. This is a recipe that I came up with while waiting for my Italian dinner to finish baking. I thought about some of the key ingredients that are in a lot of Italian drinks or foods for example vanilla, lemon, and white wine. What I came up with was something called Italian Sparkle. Its light, has a hint of vanilla, and it adds to any dish.
The Italian Sparkle
¾ bottle of dry white wine
1 ½ oz of Ginger Ale
10 oz of club soda
1 ½ oz of Sugar-Free Vanilla Syrup
¾ oz of lemon juice
2 oz of Apricot Brandy
Mix in chilled pitcher
Chill champagne flutes or wine glasses
Garnish the flutes or glasses with lemon slice
Serves – 8 champagne flutes
While Kevin & I are in Alaska, we've asked some friends and
colleagues to post on their wine loves, wine experiences and more. For
this post we welcome Jay Erisman, our favorite instructor from The Party Source EQ Center and quite the wine and spirits expert. He tries to put a positive spin on our dislike of the new Jim Beam Red Stag. Thanks Jay!
Bourbon drinkers have offered mixed reviews of the latest from Jim Beam: Red Stag Black Cherry Infused Bourbon. I tend to lean to the thumb-down end of that spectrum. (Although Red Stag is rather subtler than I expected, and not quite the Robitussin swill some have described. And it is clearly aimed at the Beam-and-Coke crowd, who may like it just fine.) But the appearance of the drink led me to wonder: how good could cherry and Bourbon be?
For help, I asked my first-call cherry masters, the Luxardo family of Torreglia, Italy. The Luxardos are responsible for the great maraschino cherry liqueur–a requisite ingredient in any bar–as well as a host of other cherry products, including whole amarena cherries and a syrup made of real maraschino cherry juice (that's "mara-skeeno," and marks the true and original cherry of that name, not the little artificial radioactive-red fruits endemic to American liquor cabinets). A cocktail of good, strong Beam Bourbon, layered with amarena syrup and the extra bitter Punt y Mes vermouth leads to a cherryish but quite complex cocktail, with a nice thickness that could even work as an after-dinner sip. Serving it on the rocks with a splash of soda cuts the richness if you like.
Giacomo Fascio's Rosso Cervo Cocktail
45 ml (1.5 oz) Jim Beam Baker's Bourbon
15 ml (.5 oz) Luxardo Amarena syrup
15 ml (.5 oz) Punt y Mes
Combine in a shaker with ice and stir for 20 seconds. Serve in a cocktail glass. Garnish with three Luxardo Amarena cherries, and pour a floater of Sazerac Rye on top.
A few days back, Michelle and I hosted a beer tasting for a few friends and I learned a few tips. The full review of the beers tasted along with recipes will follow later, but here's a quick list of what I learned.
Overall, the evening was a great success and I am working on getting notes and recipes put together for a future post. Any other suggestions on how to host a beer pairing party? Tips or tricks that I don't know about?
Recently, a girlfriend asked me for a Sangria recipe. I gave her three. I think Sangria is a wonderfully yummy summer beverage. It doesn't require (should never use) expensive wine and it's fun to make. Not only that, but the soaked fruit is sort of a fun bonus that you can't get when you buy pre-made Sangria in a bottle.
Alternatively, I also recommend a Sangriatini – one of my favorite drinks that can easily be made by the glass instead of by the punch bowl.
But back to that punch bowl … here are three versions I like to make for summer parties: red, followed by pink and white after the jump. The red version – Sangria Rouge – is my favorite.
Oh, and Sangria goes great with Paella!
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup OJ
1/3 cup lemon juice from concentrate
1/3 cup lime juice from concentrate
2-750 ml bottles of medium-dry red wine, chilled (burgundy or 3 Thieves jug wines work well)
Fruit slices: Orange, peach, plum, other fruits
1. In pitcher or bowl, combine sugar and juices.
2. Stir until sugar dissolves.
3. Cover and chill.
4. Just before serving, add wine and fruit.
5. Serve over ice.
We went to Arnold's last night for a showing of Every Christmas Story Ever Told!! by the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company. It's my favorite show they offer all year, showcasing my favorite performers in the company. It's also completely unrelated to Shakespeare and a wonderful homage to Rankin-Bass, Charles Schultz, a Christmas Carol, and It's a Wonderful Life. Think of it as a Reduced Shakespeare sort of play – but with all the Christmas specials you know and love (with a little Sarah Palin thrown in for good measure).
While at Arnold's, Kevin had some of their famous eggnog. I have no idea how they make it at Arnold's, but it's quite the popular drink. As Kevin put it, "that's how eggnog should taste."
He's referencing eggnog we had the night before. Because I'm trying to get healthy, we have been buying Silk (soy milk) instead of regular milk. This time, we took a chance on the Silk Eggnog. Kevin added bourbon to his; I added brandy. Neither one of us was overly thrilled. In fact, I couldn't even finish mine. So I recommend passing on the soy milk eggnog this year, in case you're curious.
I've always been partial to brandy in my nog, and Kevin swears by bourbon. A late-night History Channel special (Christmas Unwrapped) told me differently the other day. Eggnog is made with rum. Apparently, "nog" is derivative of "grog," which meant any drink made with rum. I'm going to start using "grog" in my everyday communications, I think.
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