Monday, December 11, 2017

Enter your bid for the Great Pappy Van Winkle silent auction!
Madison Cellars is joining forces with Alzheimers Mississippi in an effort to raise money for dementia research. All the money raised stays in Mississippi.
Come by the store to fill out your contact information and bid for this once in a lifetime opportunity to score the entire line of Van Winkle bourbons.
Drawing will be New Year’s Eve 12-31-2017.
See store for more details..

Monday, November 27, 2017


Try our selection - always something new!

Where would we be without liqueurs? Well, there’d be no Cosmopolitan, no White Russian and no Kir, for a start – all classic cocktails that people keep on mixing. Liqueurs may be in the shadow of spirits; the second in line after some of the most famous brands, but we’d be lacking some great drinks without them. It may be the second ingredient to go in but, yes, sometimes it’s the liqueur that makes the cocktail. 

So they’re often overlooked, and frequently mistaken too. In the U.S. the word ‘liquor’ means any kind of alcohol, including beer and wine as well as any kind of spirit. A liqueur, on the other hand, is a spirit that’s sweetened and flavoured with fruits, herbs and spices – or indeed cream, coffee and chocolate. So get that one right or you could be in for an unusual-tasting drink!

However, like most classic forms of alcohol they also go back a long way. Some believe the liqueur is the direct descendant of herbal medicine. That could be true, although at the same time that spirits were invented, people may well have been quickly adding herbs, fruits and spices to the resulting liquid too. Some artisans would surely have had to disguise their not-yet-perfect distilling techniques with a few strong flavors.

It took a group of monks, however, with the time, inclination and space to grow and distil, to produce liqueurs on something resembling scale – that is a few 100 or so bottles. All those extensive walled herb gardens couldn’t go to waste! This was some time around the 13th century when just the monks and their visitors could enjoy the products of their distilling and cultivation. Moving into the 17th, we find liqueurs cropping up in recipe books, being valued for their culinary qualities as well as their sipping suitability.

Then 100 years later, the penny drops. The monks realise there is money and reputations to be made from liqueurs. They release their products beyond the monastery walls and people begin to snap them up. The secret is out: liqueur companies appear, flavoured with fruits, nuts and herbs. By the late 19th century the market for liqueurs is worldwide. The ‘crème de...’ (cream of...) description was commonly used in French name for fruit liqueurs, despite the fact none of them contain cream. There’s crème de menthe and crème de cassis, which are both delicious and popular.

Liqueurs aren’t only about taste however. They are also prized for their texture. Thanks to what is often a thicker consistency, liqueurs are used in layered drinks – Baileys, orange liqueur and coffee liqueur in a B52 for example. These drinks are about serving thick stripes of different colour liquids in a glass. It looks mighty impressive – and this heavier texture could be where the ‘crème de’ prefix comes from.

However ‘crème de’ was given a twist towards the end of the last century. A new kind of cream liqueur appeared, with a thick creamy texture, driven by the ‘Irish Cream Liqueur’ known as Baileys. It has since spawned new flavors, and a whole host of exciting drinks.


Monday, November 13, 2017

Friday, August 25, 2017

Ice Cream Drinks

I remember sultry summer nights down at the Tastee Freez where they had dozens of milkshake flavors.  Dad was the landlord and we could hit him up for a trip there quite often.  I made it a mission to try each one on different visits.   Sadly, they seem to be down to only three on the regular ( plus apparently have moved out of Mississippi from what I can tell.

Reminiscing about some of the flavors and what would make them better?  Pete's wares, of course!

A TF flavor was definitely Grasshopper - because that freaked me out at 10!   Of course I had to try it, and liked it.



Place creme de menthe, creme de cacao, and ice cream into a blender. Blend until thick and creamy.
Pour into a 12-ounce glass. Garnish with a sprig of mint. (

Not sure how I felt about Rum Raison back then - sounds tempting now:  

Think rum raisin is a flavor only a grandfather could love? Think again. The secret to this milkshake is soaking the raisins in rum, then blending the softened fruit with vanilla ice cream that’s scented with cinnamon and orange zest. Take the shake over the top with a cloud of whipped cream and a sprinkling of crushed toffee.—Jessica Battilana
Makes 1
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1 1/2 oz rum
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/2 tsp orange zest
  • Pinch ground cinnamon
  • 4 large scoops vanilla ice cream
  • Whipped cream, for topping
  • Crushed toffee, for garnish
Put the raisins in a small bowl and pour the rum over. The raisins should be submerged in the rum. Let soak until the raisins are plump, about 30 minutes.
Drain the raisins, reserving the rum. Add to the jar of the blender. Add the milk, orange zest and cinnamon, and blend for 15 seconds. Add the vanilla ice cream and rum, and blend until smooth. Pour into a pint glass, and garnish with whipped cream and crushed toffee. Serve immediately.


Our friends who moved to Georgia would drive back with a whole pickup load of peaches.  We would eat out of hand, peel and all.  There are still good ones to be had I think.  Note: you can use unpeeled peaches if you'd like or just peel without blanching)

Boozy Peaches and Cream Milkshake

Servings: 1 large or 2 small milkshakes
Author: Jennifer Farley (
  • 2 large very ripe peaches
  • 1 cup full-fat vanilla ice cream
  • 1 ounce dark rum, or more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon 
  1. Slice the peaches in half and remove the pit.
  2. With very clean hands, squeeze the juice and pulp into a blender (this will only work with a very ripe peach). Most of the skin will stay in your hands. Alternately, you can blanch and peel the peaches.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

We have New Age White again!

The most exciting summer wines to come from Argentina are making quite a splash in the U.S. this year. New Age White (an effervescent blend of citrus-y Sauvignon Blanc and fruity Malvasia) and New Age Rose’ ( also effervescent with Argentina’s signature Malbec red grape and Merlot) add a distinctive Argentine touch when combined with various fruit juices for a South American Mimosa, Cosmopolitan or even New Age Sangria.
Yet, the most common way to enjoy New Age is on the rocks with a twist of lime or lemon. This highly refreshing drink is called the “Tincho” after the cocktails creator.

In Argentina, New Age is usually ordered by the bottle for a group of friends to enjoy. The well-chilled New Age White or Rose’ is brought to the table in an ice bucket, along with traditional “rocks” glasses filled with ice and sliced limes or lemons. The friends share the bottle and camaraderie together at the table. Common practice at traditional “happy hour watering holes” and night clubs in Argentina, this practice is catching on in the United States. (In the Mix)

Tincho - my summer drink!  ~  Jan

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Summer whites - Torrontes

Summer favorite - Crios with lime over ice.

Torrontes is a crisp white wine, produced almost exclusively in Argentina. Typically, the bouquet of a Torrontes wine will be aromatic, showing floral notes, often with citrus characteristics. The palate is crisp, ranging in body from light to medium, and is considered to be high in acidity. Citrus and floral characteristics will translate to the palate, though the citrus is not as prominent as say, a Sauvignon Blanc. As with any wine, the bouquet and palate, or scent and taste,  will be different depending on where it is produced, how it is fermented, and how it is aged.  Torrontes wines are meant to be drank young, and are not typically purchased to age. Torrontes is said to be the signature white wine from Argentina. It pairs nicely with seafood, cheeses, Mexican food, Thai food, and chicken.
It’s not known how Torrontes arrived in Argentina, or how long ago. Once thought to be native to Argentina, there is a bit of speculation where the grape originated. Citations on Wikipedia state “the Torrontes grape has been recently linked, genetically, to the Malvasian grapes, which originates in the Eastern Mediterranean. It is speculated to have come from Spain, perhaps by missionaries”.  However, torrontes genetic profiling done in 2003 links it to Muscat of Alexandria, which originated in North Africa,and Criolla chica, or the Mission grape.  While I find it fascinating that the origin of the grape can not be nailed down, and the debate ranges in writings by many wine geeks, I think I’ll instead pop a cork, or unscrew a top, and tell you a little about the wines from first  hand experience.
Speaking of first hand experience, have you had a Torrontes recently? Or ever? If so, let me know what you had, and what you thought of it! Where did it come from, and would you recommend it to others?
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