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Posts published in “Beer, Wine, and Spirits”

Festive Mulled Wine

I call it mulled wine. Dave jokingly calls it "hot sangria." And he's not wrong. A classic, mulled red wine does remind me of a holiday sangria only, well, hot (or at least, a drinkable, warm temperature.) Take out the extra spices with the exception of the cinnamon stick, which looks nice as a garnish, and yes, it could all just be poured into a large pitcher of ice and served over ice in wine glasses!

Whatever you call it and however you serve it, I'm hopeful that the warming spices, extra kicks of pear vodka and ginger liqueur, and jewel-like red color will bring some cheer to your holiday table!

Fresh Old Fashioned Cocktails

I made these Old Fashioned cocktails over the summer with fresh cherries and clementine. The drink, from muddling the cherries with the sugar and clementine, turned a lovely ruby color and was punch-like from the sweet bing cherries that I used.

It reminded me a lot of bottled fruit punch, actually—but in a good way.

Whiskey Sour Day 2020

August 25th marks Whiskey Sour Day again this year. I posted about it four years ago but this year it dawned on me: how did a day in August become Whiskey Sour Day, anyway?

I searched the internet high and low and couldn't find a suitable answer. An article from published in 2013, though, suggests that the day was created basically for fun, but that the drink has origins circa the 1700s when British Navy sailors would add lime juice to their rum, both to preserve the juice and to keep the sailors free from scurvy (a disease caused by a deficiency of vitamin C.)

Tropical Mango-Lime Party Punch

For anyone who has ever attended a college party or two in their time, flashbacks of overly sweetened "jungle juice" might instantly come to mind (along with memories of some crazy hangovers the next day after drinking the stuff, perhaps.) The recipe? It was always simple: combine assorted liquor with assorted juices to end up with a concoction that was potent to drink and seemed to always vary in color—sometimes orange if a lot of pineapple or orange juice was added to the mix, othertimes a greenish color from what had to be a healthy dose (a whole bottle?) of melon liqueur. Whatever you call it, it's was a great idea to serve for big, casual parties—and it's still a good idea today, with some modifications, of course. These days, I pair back the juices and booze so it's not a base of "everything and the kitchen sink" anymore. I also generally make mine with better ingredients, like organic juices and seltzer instead of soda which adds fizz without extra sugar. A base of mango and pineapple with a touch of lime juice make it tropical and flavored vodka provides extra kick of flavor.

Cherry Sangria Fizz

If you're like me then you've probably taken a trip to the grocery store at least once, maybe twice by now to prepare for the "big day" coming up. Maybe it was to get your turkey, or stock up on staples like paper towels or other pantry items that always seem to take up a lot of room in a shopping trip. I generally like to get these things out of the way in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving or any big holiday so I can focus on the details of the meal itself, like buying fresh ingredients, as the days count down. My Thanksgiving brainstorming admittedly started months ago when I started browsing for new recipes that could be candidates to have on my table this year. A few select recipes even got trial runs and taste tests to make sure that they were up to par to put on the final holiday menu, with Dave as my Chief Taste Tester and my parents as members of the testing panel (or peanut gallery, depending on the day.) I don't usually go too crazy with new recipes, since most in my family like to eat tried-and-true favorites or subtle variations on them on Thanksgiving, but I do try to sneak in one or two "new" things where I can. For me, this usually comes in a variety of booze. Nobody in my family is a die-hard wine drinker or is otherwise bound to a specific spirit or libation, so trying new cocktail recipes is one way I like to be creative with adding something for holiday meals. If you're looking for ideas for a quick holiday drink to make for Thanksgiving, consider this when you take your next trip to the store this week (or maybe it's your 100th trip to the store because if you're anything like me then list or no list, something, somehow, is always missed in the other 99 trips): a festive berry-colored drink that starts off with Sangria wine and adds a few other simple ingredients. Lime-flavored seltzer tops the drink off with a little fizz and helps to lighten it up some, too.

Homemade Irish Cream

irish-cream-featureOriginally posted on I came across a recipe for Homemade Irish Cream that presented me with a perfect excuse to imbibe over the holiday weekend while simultaneously knocking off one of my my foodie resolutions while doing so. Pretty cool. ;) I guess Irish Cream is considered a cordial... or a liqueur. Serious Eats suggests that the terms are interchangeable, with cordial appearing more often on dessert-like products: liqueurs flavored with coffee, cream, chocolate, etc.