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Showing posts with label Wine/Cocktails. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Wine/Cocktails. Show all posts

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Banana Mama Cocktail

If you've ever been to the Caribbean, you probably know that pretty pastel-colored cocktails with little umbrellas are quite popular, and nearly impossible to resist.  So while many people are still recovering from a very cold and snowy winter, here is a tropical treat to get you in the mood for those warm summer days ahead.

This tasty cocktail was inspired by the classic Bahama Mama.  With two varieties of rum, plus pineapple and orange juice, the final touch is a dash of banana liqueur and some grenadine for that tropical color.  Happy Weekend ... Enjoy!!

2 oz  Pineapple Juice
2 oz  Orange Juice
1-1/4 oz  Malibu Coconut Rum
1 oz  Bacardi White Rum
1/2 oz  Jacquin's Banana Liqueur
1/2 oz  Grenadine Syrup

Fill a tall glass with ice and add all ingredients.  Shake or stir and serve.

Friday, July 18, 2014

99 Fuzzy

We stumbled upon this drink purely by accident, or maybe it was good luck.  Either way this is a delicious cocktail, perfect for these hot summer nights.

When I went to the liquor store to buy some goodies to make our Caribbean Blue Iced Teas, my husband decided to shop with me.  (This should have been a warning to me because this man does not like to shop.)  So off we went.

I was looking for banana liqueur for another recipe I was working on and while I was hunting for the liqueurs, my husband had become the proverbial "kid in the candy store".  He seriously brought me bottle after bottle, and none of them were even close to banana liqueur, just things he thought we might "need".

He had become one of my children right before my eyes.  It was so funny, that I didn't even realize when he brought me this bottle labeled 99 Bananas, that it was not liqueur, but a type of schnapps. So off we went with our shiny bottles, including the 99 Bananas, only to find out the schnapps, in no way, would work in my recipe. Ugh. 

So after a second trip to the store to buy the real banana liqueur, I needed to find a way to use the 99 Bananas.  I loved the name and since it said 99 proof on the label, (hence the name, lol) I didn't think it would be very difficult to come up with a way to use it.  So after a quick search we discovered this recipe and I loved the taste.

This drink is smooth and delicious and not overly sweet like you would expect from a schnapps, but a great balance of orange, banana and just a touch of cranberry.  If you enjoy a Mimosa with your weekend brunch, this would make a most enjoyable replacement.

1 oz  99 Bananas Schnapps
1 oz  Triple Sec
4 oz  Orange Juice
Generous Splash of 100% Cranberry Juice

Fill a large glass with ice, add the Schnapps, Triple Sec and orange juice, then add a splash of cranberry juice.  Stir and taste, adding more cranberry juice, if desired.  Enjoy!!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Caribbean Blue Iced Tea

One of the best things about going on vacation is getting to try a few new cocktails.  Especially those that are served with a juicy piece of pineapple on the rim and a cute little umbrella to add a festive touch.

While on our cruise, we discovered a little pub serving these Caribbean Blue Iced Teas, and they were just as tasty as they were beautiful.  With coconut flavor from the rum and citrus from the blue curacao, the final touch was pineapple juice and a splash of Sprite.  Be warned, the vodka and gin do add a sneaky punch to this innocent looking drink and my warning is... limit 2! lol

Since we forgot to ask the bartender for the exact recipe, we did a little experimenting with the measurements and our first attempt was perfect!  If you happen to have a fancy cocktail shaker feel free to use that, but a measuring cup worked just fine for us.  Now let's make some Blue Iced Tea!

Fill 2 large glasses with ice and set aside.

In a large measuring cup, combine the following, except the Sprite:

1 cup  Ice Cubes
1 oz  Blue Curacao
1 oz  Bombay Gin (or your favorite quality Gin)
1 oz  Malibu Coconut Rum
1 oz  Skyy Vodka
5 oz  Pineapple Juice, chilled
Sprite, chilled

Mix well and pour into the 2 glasses.  Top each with a splash of Sprite and serve, with or without pineapple slices or cute umbrellas.  Enjoy!!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Homemade Irish Cream

As Christmas draws closer it's time for a little holiday cheer.  Definitely my favorite cocktail for the holidays, this recipe for Homemade Irish Cream is so simple to make and costs significantly less than the name brand Irish Cream. 

Any brand of bourbon can be used, even the cheaper selections of bourbon will work nicely.  My personal favorites would have to be Irish Mist or Canadian Mist.  Both are amazingly smooth and silky.  The best thing about this recipe is that it tastes even better than the brand name Irish Cream.  Enjoy on the rocks or add a little to your coffee.

 1 tsp Instant Coffee (try flavored coffees such as vanilla)
1 1/4 cup  Milk
1 TB Vanilla
1 TB + 1 tsp Chocolate Syrup
1 1/4 cup Bourbon Whiskey (Windsor, CC, Irish Mist)
1 - 14 oz can Sweetened Condensed Milk

Combine all ingredients in blender and serve on the rocks or stir into coffee.  Refrigerate and use within about 1 week.

Friday, December 14, 2012

My New Favorite Wine - 2009 Noceto Sangiovese

It's always exciting to come across a wine that has all of the flavors you love, and is still affordable.  And that's just the case with the 2009 Noceto Sangiovese, from the Vino Noceto Winery in Plymouth, California.

I always like to mention that I do not have any affiliation with this winery, or any others, but I do like to bring a little extra attention to wineries that offer such amazing products as this Sangiovese.  I especially like to bring attention to smaller wineries, whose wines are some of the best kept secrets in the business.

For our first tasting, we served this Sangiovese with our Shrimp and Blue Cheese Noodles and the wine was a beautiful pairing.  On the second occasion it also tasted great served with a simple grilled New York Strip steak.  The wine has a Chianti-style flavor and would also work beautifully with a Grilled Pork Roast with Cherry-Balsamic Sauce, various Italian dishes or even with a great pizza.

If you are still shopping for Christmas or New Year's Eve wines, or you are just ready to stock up your cellar for the new year, stop by the Noceto web site to see the entire selection of wines they have available, including a 2009 Old Vine Zinfandel, grown on vines dating back to the 1860's. Yum!  Since Old Vine Zinfandel has always been my favorite in the past, and I cannot wait to try this, my husband might be buying me a few bottles Zinfandel for Christmas...he just doesn't know it yet!  Enjoy!!

Monday, December 12, 2011

How Do You Make a Hot Toddy?

Although popular at ski resorts and inns, the hot toddy is not common in most cocktail lounges. This soothing drink, with it's many variations, is best prepared at home. The hot toddy is believed to be of Irish decent, and has been used as a cure for the common cold and is great for a sore throat.

Hot toddy is a name given to a mixed drink that is served hot. The essential elements are as follows:

A spirit base -- such as brandy, rum or whiskey
Hot liquid -- hot tea, coffee, cocoa, water, etc.
Sweetener -- such as honey, sugar or syrup

Other ingredients that are not necessary, though common:

Spices, generally "brown" spices such as cinnamon or cloves
Citrus, such as lemon or orange
A small quantity of butter
Lemonade can also be used instead of hot water and citrus; this is a modern variant

Despite its name, the hot toddy should not be served too hot. Heat the toddy mixture in a saucepan until just before boiling, and let it cool a few moments before pouring into a mug. Following are several versions of this classic drink.

Easy Hot Toddy For One

1 oz Whiskey or Brandy
1 oz Honey
1/2 Lemon Slice Studded with 2 cloves
1 Cinnamon Stick

Combine the brandy, honey, and lemon slice in a mug or punch cup, and add hot water to fill. Stir with a cinnamon stick, if desired.

Hot Toddy with Whiskey and Brown Sugar

1-1/2 pints Cold Water
2 - 4 tsp Brown Sugar
6 - 10 Cloves
Zest of 1 Lemon
2 or more Shots of Whiskey
1 or 2 Whole Lemons

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to just under a boil. Add juice of half or more lemons, strain off cloves if desired, and enjoy.

Hot Apple Ginger Toddy

6 oz Ginger-Infused Apple Cider
Thin slice of fresh Ginger or one piece of crystallized, Candied Ginger
1 tsp Honey
2 oz Bourbon (Maker's Mark or Jim Beam are preferred)
Slice of Lemon

First Step: Ginger-infuse the cider.  Peel and chop the ginger.  Bring apple cider to a boil in a non-aluminum pot.  Add several slices of cut and peeled ginger when cider boils.  Turn heat off and steep for 30 minutes.  Purée this mixture in a blender and strain through cheesecloth.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

Second Step: Make your ginger toddy.   Heat your ginger-infused cider, but do not boil.  Add bourbon then stir in honey. Pour into a coffee mug and garnish with lemon and ginger slice (or use crystallized ginger).

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Hendry Block 28 and Blocks 7 & 22 Wines

I always like to mention that I do not have any affiliation with this winery or any others.  But I do like to share a great find like this with my readers.

We recently purchased several bottles of Hendry 2007 Block 28 and 2007 Blocks 7 & 22 Zinfandel wine, and these have quickly become my favorites.  I'm not a wine expert by any means, but we do enjoy trying new varieties of wine, especially Old Vine Zinfandels.

The Block 28 is deep ruby red in color and will pair well with grilled beef, pork or lamb.  It was delicious with a grilled New York Strip steak and Grilled Tomatoes with Mozzarella.  It would also be great with a hearty winter stew. 

The Block 7 & 22, also a deep dark ruby shade, is slightly sweeter but has a great peppery spice that worked well with a roast pork loin. The flavor is so bright it would also be excellent with seafood.

The Hendry Winery is located in Napa Valley and they produce several red and white wines.  Be sure to check out their selections here.

Friday, May 7, 2010

How Much Wine to Purchase

How Much Wine Should You Purchase for Your Event?
Whether you're planning a wedding, a banquet or a small dinner party, it can be difficult to estimate how much wine you'll need to buy, balancing the desire to avoid running out against the need to stay within a budget.
There is no one, foolproof system for calculating how much wine you need for events, as no two events ever have exactly the same. Experts all agree on one point, however, that is it is always better to over-cater than run out of wine, so always round up your numbers.
Here are some steps you can take to help estimate your wine requirements.  
Do your research
  • What type of crowd you are expecting? Perhaps some of your guests are pregnant or non-drinkers or a high proportion may prefer beer to wine. Perhaps the guest list includes a number of children.
  • What's the average age of your guests? A younger group will consume more than an older group.
  • What time of the year is the event? People tend to drink more beer and white wine in summer than in cooler seasons.
  • What time is the event? People tend to drink more at evening functions than daytime functions.
  • How formal is the occasion? At more formal functions less wine tends to be consumed, while a relaxed event will have more life and encourage greater consumption.
  • How long will the event last? The longer the event, the more you'll have to buy.
  • How many people are expected?
  • Is food being served? People drink less while they're eating.

Unless you and your guests are wine connoisseurs, it may be best to stick to more traditional, well-known wine styles such as a Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc as your white wine offering and a Merlot-based wine as the red alternative.
Working out the numbers
Armed with the number of guests and the type of wine you will be serving, you can use the following formulas to determine how much wine to buy. All formulas are based on standard 750ml bottles which contain four to five glasses of wine depending on the size of the glass used. Restaurant wine glasses are usually 150ml to 200ml, while flutes hold 100ml to 150ml on average.
For shorter functions, allow one and a half glasses of wine per person, per hour or half a bottle of wine per person per two-hour period. For longer functions it may be easier to break your event into different parts. Allow three to four drinks for a buffet or dinner of about four hours in length. For an all-evening party of about five or six hours, count on four to six drinks per guest, not including wine with dinner. This should equate to one to one and a half bottles of wine per person.
The recommendations and examples below err on the generous side, as again, there is nothing more embarrassing than running out of wine at an event. Bear in mind also that these are consumption averages for the whole group, taking into account those who don't drink wine or won't drink much, as well as those who may well drink quite a lot!
For a 50-person party that is expected to run for five hours, allow 1.25 bottles of wine per person (based on half a bottle of wine per person per two hours). If beer is also going to be served or you know there will be a lot of non-drinkers, round this down to one bottle per person or less. Out of the 63 bottles of wine this equates to, you may like to include sparkling wine in the mix, especially if the party is celebratory. If so, the breakdown could be 20 bottles of sparkling wine, which allows for two flutes per person, then depending on the taste of the guests, the male to female ratio, season, etc, split the remaining total roughly in half and purchase 23 bottles of white wine and 20 bottles of red wine.
For a 100 person wedding that runs from 5pm to 1am (assuming that the ceremony takes the better part of an hour and actual drinking time is seven hours) consider allowing two drinks per person for the dinner and another four drinks per person for the reception. This totals six drinks per person. You may like to break this down further, splitting it by red, white and sparkling wine. Assuming sparkling wine is going to be used for toasts, allow one glass per person - 100 flutes at 150ml a flute equates to 20 bottles of wine. That leaves five glasses per person which equates to 120 bottles (using 180ml servings), you could then split this to 60 bottles of white wine, 50 bottles of red wine and 10 more bottles of sparkling for those who want to continue with it.
Top Tips
Often retailers will offer you a deal when you buy be the case, and they may even buy back any unused stock - providing it is in pristine condition.
Selecting wines and champagne for a big event such as a wedding should be fun. Throw a wine-tasting party and invite the bridal party, friends or family to help determine the winelist. Decide on your budget, then buy a selection of wines in that price range.
If you are concerned about alcohol consumption, limit automatic refills. Ensure waiters ask guests if they would like their glasses topped off. It's been proven that people are much more wasteful with wine when it's on the table than when it's being served... they also drink more.
A nice touch at weddings is to select at least one special bottle of wine for the bride and groom to enjoy with their meal. You may like to extend this to close family and friends to enjoy at their table as well.
If you are ordering glassware, plan on 1.5 glasses per person for three hours or less, two glasses per person for longer as people have a tendency to 'lose' their glass.
To estimate how much you may spend on alcohol, you can expect to spend approximately half as much per person on wine as you spend per person on food.

The best wine to serve with a meal is a wine that you enjoy!  Many people will tell you serve white wines with chicken, fish or pasta. Or only serve red wines with steak or beef dishes. NOT!  Try different wines until you find one that YOU like. Don't leave this choice up to someone else.  
Any don't let the high prices of some wines scare you off.  The wine market is now a huge global business. While the California wines have greatly improved over the last few decades, we now have wines available from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Argentina.  With the increase in competition from these various imports, the prices have dropped considerably.
Cabernet Sauvignon (Ca-burr-nay So-veen-yawn)Cabernet Sauvignon is a rich full-bodied red wine. Aged in oak, this is a complex wine with cassis and blackberry flavors as well as hints of bell pepper. To make these wines drinkable sooner they are often blended with other grapes. French Bordeaux is mostly Cabernet Sauvignon blended with Merlot to soften the tannins. Cabernet Sauvignon is the "classic" wine to serve with red meats.

Merlot (Mare-lo)Merlot is softer tasting than Cabernet Sauvignon due to having less tannins.  It is a smooth, dry red wine. Merlot is often described as having the flavors of boysenberry, black cherry, herbs, and mocha.  Merlot is best
with poultry and grilled meats, but these types of wines actually goes well with most foods. 
Pinot Noir (Pee-no Na-wahr)Pinot Noir is a smooth silky red wine that is extremely fruity. It is characterized with aromas and flavors of black cherry or rose petals with hints of spiciness. Pinot Noirs are enjoyed for their soft velvety texture. High in alcohol, they are full bodied but not heavy. Pinot Noir can be enjoyed with grilled salmon, roast beef, lamb, duck, and mushrooms.
Sangiovese (San-gee-oh-ve-zee)Sangiovese is a medium bodied dry red wine with earthy aromas and berry, plum, spicy, or floral flavors. It has a smooth texture. Sangiovese is the main grape used to produce Italian Chiantis. Sangiovese goes especially well with pasta and other Italian foods. 
Syrah (Sah-ra)Syrah is a hearty red wine noted for its complexity of aromas and flavors including ripe cherry, raspberry, plum, smoke, and white pepper. It is a dark red wine, sometimes almost black in color.  Syrah is wonderful eaten with duck, wild game, steak, and beef. 
Q: What's the difference between Syrah, Shiraz, and Petite Sirah? 
A:Shiraz and Syrah are the same grape - Shiraz is Australian for Syrah. Shiraz is usually made in a rich, fruity style with woodsy aromas, while Syrah has a smokey taste with ripe cherry and raspberry flavors. Petite Sirah, on the other hand, is a completely different varietal, a descendent of the now extinct Durif. It makes a robust, peppery wine with heavier tannins.

Zinfandel (Zin-fan-del)
Zinfandel can be light to full bodied. It can be rich and spicy or lighter and fruitier. Aromas and flavors that are typical include raspberry, jam, black pepper, and licorice. Zinfandel tastes great with steaks, grilled meats, and tomato based dishes. 

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Planters Punch

Planters Punch is a favorite at Mardi Gras and there are several recipes for this cool summer cocktail. Try these recipes and find your favorite mix.

This is my favorite version...top shelf liquor only!

3 oz Myers's Original Dark Rum
3 oz Captain Morgan Silver Spiced
1.5 oz Grand Marnier
6 oz Orange Juice
6 oz Pineapple Juice
1.5 oz Lime Juice
1.5 oz Simple Syrup
4 dashes Bitters
2 oz Grenadine Syrup
1 Orange slices

In a pitcher combine Myers's Original Dark Rum, Captain Morgan Silver Spiced Rum, Grand Marnier, orange juice, pineapple juice, lime juice, simple syrup, bitters and grenadine. Pour into shaker and add ice. Shake and strain into an ice-filled highball glass. Garnish with orange slices.

This version is a bit lighter on the alcohol, but quite delicious.

1 oz Lime Juice
1 tsp Lemon Juice
2 oz Orange Juice
1 tsp Pineapple Juice
2 oz Light Rum (Bacardi Superior)
1 oz Jamaica Rum (Myer's dark)
2 dashes Triple Sec
1 dash Grenadine Syrup

Stir first 5 ingredients in an ice-filled cocktail glass. Add jamaican rum and stir. Add triple sec and grenadine. Garnish with slices of oragne, lemon, and pineapple, a maraschino cherry, and a sprig of mint dipped in sugar. Serve with a straw.

Another tasty version to try.

2 oz. Dark Rum
2 oz. Orange Juice
2 oz. Pineapple Juice
1/2 oz. Lime Juice
Dash Grenadine
Orange Slice & Cherry for garnish

Combine 3 juices and Rum in a shaker with ice. Shake well, and strain into an ice-filled Collins glass. Top with grenadine. Garnish with an Orange slice and a Maraschino Cherry.

For a thirsty crowd, multiply the recipe by number of servings and serve in a pitcher with ice.

Bahama Mama

1/2 oz Rum
1/2 oz Coconut Flavored Rum
1/2 oz Grenadine Syrup
2 oz Pineapple-Orange-Banana juice
1 cup crushed ice

Combine all ingredients in a blender. Blend until slushy.

Easy Mojito

A great cocktail for a warm summer night.

1.5 oz Rum
12 Fresh Spearmint Leaves
1/2 Lime
7 oz Club Soda
2 TB Simple Syrup (or 4 tsp. sugar)

Gently crush mint leaves and lightly squeeze lime in a tall glass. Pour simple syrup to cover and fill glass with ice. Add Rum, club soda, and stir well. Garnish with a lime wedge and a few sprigs of mint.

Spiced Warm Apple Cider

1 quart Apple Cider
1 Orange, peel and juice
2 Cinnamon Sticks
1 Whole Vanilla Bean
3 TB Sugar
2 Whole Cardamom Pods
5 Cloves
2 pieces Star Anise

2 oz Rum, per serving

Pour cider into a large saucepan.  Add all ingredients except rum to cider and bring to a simmer. Take off heat and let steep overnight. Strain and keep warm until ready to serve. Spike each serving with rum and serve.

Hot Buttered Rum

Here are 2 methods for making Hot Buttered Rum. The first is a fairly quick, ready-to-serve recipe you can use for guests while the second allows you to prepare just one serving at a time. Great for cold winter nights!

2/3 cup packed Dark Brown Sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) Unsalted Butter, room temp
1/4 cup Honey
1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Ground Nutmeg
1/8 tsp Ground Cloves
Pinch of Salt
3/4 cup Spiced Rum
2 cups Boiling Water
4 Cinnamon Sticks for Garnish

In a medium bowl, use an electric mixer to combine the brown sugar, butter, honey, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt.

Transfer mixture to a 4-cup measuring cup.  Add the Rum and then the boiling water, stirring until the butter mixture is blended.  Pour into 4 mugs and garnish with cinnamon sticks.  Serves 4.

Hot Buttered Rum - Single-Serve Freezer Method

1 cup Unsalted Butter
1 to 1-1/2 cups Brown Sugar (adjust according to desired sweetness)
1 quart Vanilla Ice Cream, softened
1 tsp Nutmeg
1 tsp Ground Cardamom
1 tsp Vanilla

Blend all ingredients using a hand mixer, then freeze in a freezer-proof container.

To serve, combine one scoop of mixture with 3/4 cup boiling water and 1 ounce spiced rum. Add a cinnamon stick for garnish and serve.

Tropical Rum Pitchers

4 cups Pineapple Juice
1 cup Whipping Cream
2/3 cup Coconut White Rum
2/3 cup Spiced Dark Rum
1/3 cup Lime Juice
Ice Cubes
Pineapple Chunks and Lime Wedges for Garnish

Combine juices, cream and rums in a blender until smooth. Makes about 7 cups. Serve over ice in medium-sized water glasses and garnish with pineapple and lime. Serves about 6.

White Wine Sangria

Recipe 1 - White Wine Sangria with Triple Sec

2 Large, Sweet Oranges
2 Lemons
1/4 cup Superfine White Sugar
2 - 4 TB Triple Sec
1 bottle Cheap and Fruity White Wine

Juice one orange and one lemon. Slice orange and lemon into 1/4″ semi-circles. Add orange slices and sugar to pitcher. Mash gently with a wooden spoon until juice is released from fruit and sugar is combined. Add triple sec, orange juice, and wine. Let chill for 2-4 hours. Serve over ice cubes, with a few slices of fruit in each glass.

Recipe 2 - White Sangria with Brandy

2 bottles (750 ml each) Pinot Grigio
1 cup Brandy
4 cups Passion Fruit Puree
1 cup Superfine Sugar
4 Peaches, Nectarines OR Plums, pitted and cut into 1/2-inch pieces

Stir until the sugar dissolves; taste and add more sugar if needed. Refrigerate overnight. Up to 3 hours before serving, add peaches, nectarines or plums and stir. Makes 3 quarts.

Note: Instead of passion fruit puree, substitute passion fruit nectar and reduce sugar to 2/3 cup.

Recipe 3 - White Wine Sangria with Brandy and Triple Sec

2 Bottles White Wine
1/2 cup Brandy
1/4 cup Triple Sec
1 cup Orange Juice
1/2 cup Superfine Sugar
1/2 cup Sliced Strawberries
Orange Slices
Lemon Slices
Sliced Peaches

In a large pitcher combine all liquid ingredients. Add sugar and mix to dissolve. Add fruit and chill several hours before serving.

White Sangria Punch

This lovely summer sangria floats white peaches and grapes in white wine and peach vodka.

1 (750 milliliter) Bottle Dry White Wine
3/4 cup Peach Flavored Vodka
6 TB Frozen Lemonade Concentrate, thawed
1/4 cup Sugar
1 pound White Peaches, pitted and sliced
3/4 cup Seedless Red Grapes, halved
3/4 cup Seedless Green Grapes, halved

In a large pitcher, combine dry white wine, peach vodka, lemonade concentrate and sugar. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Add sliced peaches, red and green grapes.

Refrigerate sangria until well chilled, at least 2 hours, or overnight to blend flavors. Serve over ice, and use a slotted spoon to include sliced peaches and grapes with each serving.