Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Fun finds and Valentine’s Day ideas

I have some really unique finds to suggest this month. I hope you like them as much as I did.

Going wild for Beetology…
This definitely qualifies as unique! When I was first approached by Beetology to test out their juices and make cocktails, I was a bit apprehensive. I love beets, but couldn’t imagine drinking them. Even borsht, a well-known Russian soup my father loved, was not my thing.

I took the case of Beetology to my favorite bartender, Lionel, along with the recipes I was given. It was a cold night so there were just a half-dozen of us there. We did some experimenting with the juices, making the Beety Bloody Mary, Tropical Beet-a-colada, Berry-Beet-a-rita, Bourbon Beet-It, and the Beetology Zinger.

A couple people liked the Berry-Beet-a-rita and Beetology Zinger, but we couldn’t say we’d go out of our way to make them again. That’s the bad news. The good news is that we all LOVED the juices on their own. They are very healthy, 100% natural juice with no added sugar, and only 90-100 calories. 

While I’m not putting them in my bar, the extras are in my refrigerator and I suggest you buy the Beetology Beet + Lemon + Gin
ger, Beet + Cherry (the favorite), Beet + Berry (a close second), and Beetology Beet + Tropical Fruit.

Israeli Wines to Try…
I had some delicious wines when I was in Israel, so I was more than willing to try some more. Here are two I really enjoyed. I actually have two more to taste, but I’m running a bit behind here so look for more next month.

Galil Mountain Winery, in the Upper Galilee mountains, has a Sauvignon Blanc that is ideal. It’s light and very citrusy, easy drinking with or without food.

As for red, the Hermon Red from Golan Heights Winery is filled with fruit and semi-dry. At just $12, it’s a bargain you should have on hand.

Kohler treats for Valentine’s Day…
If you are looking for a deliciously appropriate Valentine’s Day gift to send, checkout the offerings from one of my favorite resorts, the American Club at Kohler.

This Valentine’s Day they not only have their luscious chocolates, but they are also selling a sweet libation: Dark Chocolate Brandy. You can purchase chocolates online if you can’t make the trip to Kohler, Wisconsin, and find locations for the brandy here

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Ready to Stock-Up for the New Year?

Nothing says a New Year like some bubbly. Here are three I like that are inexpensive and tasty.

Bring out the bubbles…
Côté Mas Jean-Claude Cremant de Limoux Brut is a fruity sparkling from France which you can pick up for around $10. It has a bit of sweetness, mixed with citrus. I would not take too much notice of the “Brut” (dry) on the label.

For something very different, the Côté Mas Crémant de Limoux Rosé (also a sparkling) is delicious. It’s very light and filled with strawberry and raspberry notes.

Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio is a standard in restaurants. When people ask me about an easy to fine, inexpensive white wine in a restaurant, it’s a go-to. That’s why I was happy to try their sparkling, I quickly agreed.

The Santa Margherita Prosecco Superiore is also one you can count on, whether it’s at home. It has a bit of apple sweetness, and floral notes, that make it easy drinking.

Straight up or in cocktails…
With the Santa Margherita Prosecco, I received some Sparkling Ice, a zero calorie, naturally-flavored sparkling water. It comes in many flavors. I’ve tried a few before, but not the Peach Nectarine Crisp Apple or Lemon Lime.

I’ve included some recipes below for sparkling cocktails. While I think the flavor profile of the Sparkling Ice is fantastic and delicious in drinks or by itself for a non-alcoholic beverage, I didn’t really like it used with the prosecco. I think it’s a bit too much of a bubble overload.

Green Tea Toddy
1 ½ oz whisky or apple brandy
1 teaspoon honey

Coat the bottom of a glass coffee cup with honey.
Add whisky or brandy to cup.
Heat Sparkling Ice Crisp Apple in a small pot.
Pour hot Crisp Apple Sparkling Ice into the glass.
Stir to combine ingredients.
Garnish with cinnamon stick, allspice cloves, and apple slices.

Autumn Peach Mocktail
4 oz apple cider
Large sage leaves
Apple slices for garnish
2 pinches of freshly grated nutmeg

In the bottom of a cocktail shaker, combine 2 of the sage leaves and the shrub and muddle to release the flavor of the sage.
Fill the shaker halfway with ice and add the apple cider and nutmeg.
Pour into a cocktail glass and garnish with the last sage leaf.

Seattle Scorcher
1 Jalapeno
Homemade Sour Mix
 (Optional) A Shot of Tequila

Mix ingredients in shaker with ice.
Pour into a glass.

Garnish with lime wedges.