Monday, November 13, 2017

Best of 2017

Best of (the year) Liquor Store for 3 years in a row!
Thanks for voting.

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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Monday, June 12, 2017

Origins: The Cosmopolitan

Cocktail historians Jared Brown and Anistatia Miller recently discovered the recipe for a gin-based drink called the Cosmopolitan that dates back to the early 1900s. But the Cosmo as we know it has been around for not much more than a couple of decades, and it’s one of the few classics that we can trace back to its creator. Well, sort of…
Three people can legitimately lay claim to creating the Cosmopolitan. Bartender Cheryl Cook came up with the original formula in 1985 when she worked at a bar called The Strand in Miami’s South Beach. She used “Absolut Citron, a splash of triple sec, a drop of Rose’s Lime Juice and just enough cranberry to make it oh so pretty in pink and topped [it] with a curled lemon twist.”
Not long after that, in New York City, Toby Cecchini, who was working behind the stick at The Odeon restaurant in TriBeCa, tweaked the recipe by replacing the Rose’s with fresh lime juice. Dale DeGroff did more or less the exact same thing at the famed Rainbow Room. Both of these joints catered to celebrities, and the drink really took off.
Cook dropped out of the bar scene for a while, but she contacted me in 2005 after hearing that I’d been trying to track her down. How did she convince me that she was the real deal? One sentence did it: “[It’s] merely a Kamikaze with Absolut Citron and a splash of cranberry juice.” Spoken like a true bartender.
See how to flame the orange peel.  Video


Contributed by: Gary Regan
  • 1.5 oz Citrus vodka
  • 1 oz Cointreau
  • .5 oz Fresh lime juice
  • 1 or 2 Dashes cranberry juice
  • Garnish: Lime wedge
  • Glass: Cocktail
Shake all the ingredients with ice and strain the mixture into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lime wedge.


Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Origins: Pina Colada

Piña colada means “strained pineapple” in Spanish, a reference to the drink’s fruity base.  (Mental Floss)
Further, according to (Hungry History):
One of the world’s most favorite mixed drinks, the piña colada, was born in Puerto Rico, but the identity of the bartender who first mixed up the iconic rum-based cocktail remains a point of contention. The Caribe Hilton, one of the premier luxury hotels in the Puerto Rican capital of San Juan, claims the piña colada was first served up in its Beachcombers Bar in 1954 by bartender Ramon “Monchito” Marrero. Asked by hotel management to create a signature drink that captured the flavors of the island, Marrero reportedly spent three months experimenting with hundreds of combinations before perfecting his sweet, frothy concoction of rum, cream of coconut and pineapple juice. After tasting one of the hotel’s piña coladas, Hollywood legend Joan Crawford reportedly declared it was “better than slapping Bette Davis in the face.” According to the Caribe Hilton, Marrero mixed up and served his creation at the hotel for 35 years until his retirement in 1989.
Another barman who served up drinks at the Caribe Hilton, however, has claimed that he invented the cool, creamy cocktail. Spaniard Ricardo Gracia told Coastal Living magazine in 2005 that a strike by a coconut-cutters union in 1954 prevented him from serving up the popular mixed drink of rum, cream of coconut and crushed ice in its traditional sliced coconut. Forced to improvise, Gracia poured the drink into a hollowed-out pineapple instead. When the fruit’s added flavor proved popular, Gracia said he added freshly pressed and strained pineapple juice to the rum and cream of coconut combination to create the piña colada, which means “strained pineapple” in Spanish.

pina colada
Ramon “Monchito” Marrero (Credit: Caribe Hilton)
Two miles west of the Caribe Hilton in the capital’s Old City, another San Juan hotspot stakes its claim as the piña colada’s birthplace. Restaurant Barrachina opened in the late 1950s and quickly gained renown for its paella. On a trip to South America, Spanish chef and owner Pepe Barrachina convinced Ramon Portas Mingot, a Spanish mixologist who wrote cocktail books and worked in the top bars of Buenos Aires, to leave Argentina and become head bartender at his Puerto Rican restaurant. As attested to by a marble plaque outside the eatery’s entrance, Restaurant Barrachina claims Mingot concocted the first piña colada inside its doors in 1963.
Some tie the development of the piña colada to the 19th-century Puerto Rican pirate Roberto Cofresi, who was said to have boosted the morale of his men by giving them a pick-me-up drink of white rum, pineapple juice and coconut milk. However, the development of the modern-day beach cocktail would not have been possible until the 1954 invention of a key ingredient—Coco Lopez, a pre-made cream of coconut. Developed by University of Puerto Rico agriculture professor Ramon Lopez-Irizarry, who blended cream from the hearts of Caribbean coconuts with natural cane sugar, Coco Lopez quickly became an integral part of the island’s piña coladas. According to the “Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America,” Coco Lopez even supplied the Caribe Hilton with blenders and hired a piano player to perform while bartenders served up complimentary piña coladas to hotel guests.
Visitors to Puerto Rico returned home raving about the cocktail, and the “refreshing new rum grog,” as one Polynesian restaurant in New Orleans called the piña colada in 1968, began to appear at bars far beyond the island’s shores. The proliferation of electric blenders and tiki bar chains such as Trader Vic’s and Don The Beachcomber helped to spread the mixed drink around the world during the 1970s.
In 1978 the piña colada was declared the national drink of Puerto Rico, and the next year it was cemented into pop culture by a relatively unknown singer. Written and sung by Rupert Holmes, “Escape” became a number-one song in the United States in December 1979—making it the last tune to top the Billboard Hot 100 in the 1970s—and is best known for its iconic chorus: “If you like piña coladas and getting caught in the rain.” In fact, the lyric became so memorable that the record company added a parenthetical tagline to the song title—“The Piña Colada Song.”
2 ounces rum
1 ounce cream of coconut
1 ounce heavy cream
6 ounces fresh pineapple juice
1/2 cup crushed ice
Mix rum, cream of coconut, heavy cream and pineapple juice in a blender. Add ice and mix for 15 seconds. Serve in a 12-ounce glass and garnish with fresh pineapple and a cherry.