Friday, November 25, 2016

Cocktails for all Seasons

Top 10 Cocktails for any occasion

Whether the party is indoors, outside, in the winter or the summer, there are plenty of cocktail options to toast the evening. Here is a list of the top cocktails to pair with any occasion.

For the graduation party:

White sangria

1/3 cup Peach schnapps

1/3 cup Cognac

Three tablespoons white sugar

Three whole oranges, sliced

1 ½ Sliced mangos

3 Bottles of dry white wine

¾ Liter ginger ale

This cocktail looks like spring in a glass. Add the schnapps, cognac, sugar and fruit into a pitcher and let chill for an hour. Pour the mixture into a punch bowl and add the wine and ginger ale. Serves about 25 guests.

Tom Collins

1oz. Lemon juice

1 ½ oz. Gin

2 oz. Carbonated water

½ oz. Sugar syrup

Dating to 1869, the refreshing taste of this cocktail explains why it has stayed around. Stir the lemon juice, gin and sugar syrup in a glass of ice. Top the mixture with the carbonated water, and the drink is complete. To garnish, add a slice of lemon and a cherry.

For the summer cookout:

Raspberry Margarita

1 - 2 oz. Fresh raspberries

½ oz. Agave nectar

1 oz. Lime juice

A twist on the classic margarita, this cocktail is good to make during prime raspberry season. To prepare, muddle the raspberries in a sturdy glass. Combine the raspberries, agave nectar, tequila and lime juice into a shaker and shake for a few seconds in a clockwise motion. Pour the drink into a glass filled with ice and garnish with a mint sprig and a few whole raspberries.

Tequila Sunrise

3 oz. Orange juice

1 ½ oz. Tequila

½ oz. Grenadine syrup

The key to the sunrise is letting gravity doing all the work. First, add ice to a glass then pour the orange juice and tequila. Next, add the grenadine, which sinks to the bottom of the glass. Do not stir. Add a slice of lemon to the rim and a cherry.

For the housewarming party:

Moscow Mule

4 oz. Ginger beer

1 ½ oz. Vodka

Splash of lime juice

This drink is typically served in a copper mug or highball glass. To make, add the ginger beer, vodka and lime juice to a glass with ice. Stir gently. Add the lime slice to the side or inside the mug to garnish.

Old Fashioned

1 ½ oz. Bourbon or Rye Whisky

Two spoonfuls of Angostura bitters

1 sugar cube

Tablespoon of plain water

The Old Fashioned is known for being in the middle of sweet and sour. Put the sugar cube in a sturdy glass, add the bitters and water and muddle until dissolved. Pour the bourbon or whisky over the mixture, add ice and serve with both a slice of orange and cherry.

For the holidays:

White Russian

⅔ oz. Coffee liqueur

1 ⅔ oz. Vodka

1 oz. Fresh cream

Prepare for a milk mustache after drinking this cocktail. To make, pour the liqueur and vodka into an Old Fashioned glass with ice. Add the cream on top and stir slowly.

Jalisco Fizz

1.5 oz. Familia Camarena Silver Tequila

¾ oz. Apricot liqueur

Splash of sparkling prosecco

This cocktail is perfect for counting down the New Year. Combine the tequila and liqueur into a tall champagne glass, leaving about an inch of space. Fill the rest with the sparkling prosecco.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

E&J Apple Brandy for Winter Treats - by Matt Lawler

This winter, a crackling fire calls for a cocktail that’s just as warming

There’s a few things that’re distinct winter-time staples. Big coats, orange leaves, snowball fights.(Not so much in Mississippi, but we can dream - Pete) One ingredient that remains near-and-dear during the coldest time of the year, though, is apples – and adults have found a way to make them into a delicious and gut-warming ingredient in a number of cocktails. If you’re entertaining company, a perfect bet to make them feel at home after hanging up the coat involves brandy. The distilled-wine is the definition of coziness, and is best enjoyed fireside. Apple brandy is an increasingly popular way to change up traditional cocktails, as well. It allows you to inject that distinct apple flavor into drinks without sacrificing what makes brandy so desirable.

So without further adieu, to get your fruit fix in a classy way, give some of these recipes a shot (or two): 
     The Honeymoon
     2 oz. E&J Apple Brandy
     ½ oz. Orange Curaçao
     ½ oz. Benedictine
     Splash of lemon juice 
Simply combine all the ingredients and shake with ice before pouring into a chilled glass, preferable a coupe. The acidity of the apple brandy, the curaçao and lemon is balanced well with the more refined notes of the brandy and benedictine, making for a altogether pleasant beverage.

     Hard Apple Slammer
     4 ½  oz. of your preferred hard cider
     1 ½  oz. E&J Apple Brandy 
Just pour both ingredients into a glass over ice and give it a gentle stir. It’s incredibly easy to make but refreshing, making it a perfect mixed drink to make if you’re entertaining a small crowd. It’s effervescent and ice-cold, but it’ll make great party-fare if you’re not trying to schmooze the crowd with a five-star meal.

     Apple-brandy Hot Toddies
     1 ½ cups water
     2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons honey
     2 cups E&J Apple Brandy
     ½ cup lemon juice
     8 cinnamon sticks 
This one is going to take bit more time than the previous recipes, but it’ll yield eight servings of warm and delicious twist on the hot toddy. Bring the water to a boil in a small pot, then remove it from the heat and stir in the honey until dissolved. Then stir in your apple brandy and lemon juice before pouring into mugs. Garnish with the cinnamon sticks. This is a quintessential cold-weather drink to lube up a small party for a social occasion after they’ve dragged themselves through the blistering cold. Serve with ginger snaps and expect to become the place-to-be for the season.

     Apple Sidecar
     1 ½ oz. E&J Apple Brandy
     1 ¼ oz. Cointreau or other orange liqueur
     Juice from a halved lemon
     Dash of allspice
     Apple slice 
Ah, the sidecar. There’s no better way to showcase a good brandy (although traditionally we’re talking Cognac) than with this ever-popular cocktail that’s remained largely unchanged since its birth in Europe shortly after the first World War. This spin on the acidic cocktail calls for apple brandy, along with a sprinkle of allspice and and an apple slice garnish. Simply shake your liquids with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Top with your garnishes and enjoy a drink even Hemingway himself couldn’t turn down.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Hot weather treat

Begonia Sangria


Begonia Sangria is a delicious blend produced from the finest grapes, spices and natural fruit essences from the Iberian Peninsula, using a family recipe going back two generations. Our Monastrell and Bobal grapes are organically farmed. They are ripened in the rugged vineyards in Cuenca and Yecla Spain and we blended it with Azahar flowers, a mix of traditional Mediterranean spice and herbs, and the essences of real Valencia oranges. The result is an authentic Sangria that captures the spirits of the Spanish summer which can be enjoyed anytime of the year.

What makes this wine unique?

Begonia is one of the few premium sangrias produced in Spain. All of its ingredients are natural and of high quality. The wine is made from organically grown grapes. The spices macerate with the wine, same method as producing artisanal vermouth. The fruit flavors come from a natural extraction of the essence of the oranges. No chemically induced flavoring is used. Lastly, this sangria is not pasteurized making its wine flavors more apparent and fresher. Most sangrias produced in Spain are bottled in the 750ml, but Begonia comes in 1 lit bottle.


Monastrell and Bobal. The grapes are organically grown. They come from vineyards located in Cuenca and Yecla and blended with Azahar flowers, a mix of traditional Mediterranean spice, herbs, and the essences of real Valencia oranges.

Pairing Suggestions:

Perfect drink for all fun occasions! Enjoy Begonia Premium Sangria chilled, poured over ice and/or garnished with fruit.

Vinification and ageing:

The wine macerates for 5 days with Mediterranean spices, same process as making vermouth. After the maceration process has taken place, purified water is added to the Monastrell and Bobal blend which is high in color and tannin. Once the water is added the natural essence of oranges and Azahar flowers is added. Then Sugar cane is added to bring an element of sweetness without compromising its fresh and citrus identity.


30,000 cases

Location, Soil, Climate:

the vineyards are tended in Cuenca and Yecla. the soil type here is Limestone and all vineyards are organically farmed. The average age of these vineyards is 20 years old.

Tasting notes:

Begonia is a premium sangria fashioned to communicate the bright orange citrus flavors of the Mediterranean. All its ingredients are natural and of high quality. It exhibits bright citrus aromas and fresh red berry flavors. It is smooth and delicious! Enjoy Begonia Premium Sangria chilled, poured over ice and/or garnished with fruit.

Alcohol Content:


Thursday, July 21, 2016

Summer Fruit Cocktails

It's the height of summer and summer fruit.
Blues Cat

3 ounces Cathead Vodka
10-15 blueberries
5 basil leaves
1 ounce fresh lemon juice
1 ounce simple syrup
Muddle blueberries, basil, lemon juice and simple syrup in cocktail shaker. Add Cathead Vodka and ice. Shake well. Strain and serve over ice. Garnish with blueberries and basil.

Watermelon Lime Chiller

3 cups cubed seedless watermelon, well chilled
1 1/2 fresh limes, juiced
1/4 cup rum (optional)
Sugar (or your favorite sweetener), to taste
Fresh mint sprigs for garnish

Put watermelon chunks and lime juice into a blender. Process on high until smooth. Add sweetener to taste, if needed, and blend again. Pour drink into two glasses over ice. Garnish with fresh mint. Serve.

See the full post:

Peach Bellinis

2 ripe peaches, seeded and diced
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon sugar
1 bottle chilled prosecco sparkling wine
  • Place the peaches, lemon juice, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade and process until smooth. Press the mixture through a sieve and discard the peach solids in the sieve. Place 2 tablespoons of the peach puree into each Champagne glass and fill with cold prosecco. Serve immediately.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

New Age white blend feature Torrontes grapes

Argentinian cocktail: New Age on the rocks with a twist of lime. Slightly effervescent and made with Torrontes and Sauvignon Blanc grapes, this wine equals a perfect summer drink.

This one is also delicious.   And don't we need refreshment during the dog days!

Friday, July 1, 2016

Wine to the rescue

Drink wine to prevent a summer cold

Having a cold sucks, but having a cold during the summer is a real bummer. Staying at home blowing your nose while your friends are out sipping cocktails by the beach inspires a special kind of FOMO (Fear OMissing Out). When it comes to defeating a summer cold, the best defense is a good offense: eat plenty of fruits and veggies, enjoy a little green tea, and open up a bottle of red wine.
Green tea, produce, and red wine all have the same cold-defeating flavonoids. What are flavonoids, exactly? Glad you asked. Flavonoids, which are found in plants, are metabolites that have antioxidant properties. In other words, they help prevent your body from succumbing to illnesses like a nasty summer cold. According to a study from the University of Auckland, drinking red wine can “significantly reduce the risk of catching colds and coughs.”

Because certain research suggests flavonoids have anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties, they can potentially boost your immune system and make you less likely to catch a cold from your sick friends. We have yet to hear of a more enjoyable preventative measure.
Dr. Andrea Braakhuis, a nutrition researcher from the University of Auckland, explains that, “[Colds are] a leading cause of visits to a doctor, yet antibiotics don’t help, so it’s worth giving flavonoids a go as part of a healthy diet.”
Braakhuis says that such a diet consists of five servings of veggies a day, two of fruit, and a dinner plate that’s comprised of at least 50% veggies. Quench your thirst with green tea, and – wait for it: red wine. We think we can all agree that sounds tastier than NyQuil.

Produced by . Updated on May 19, 2015.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Bourbon for Dear Old Dad II

More from Pete and your friends at Madison Cellars.

Note: unable to get more Noah's Mill after we ran out!

Jefferson's Wood Experiment

The inspiration behind Jefferson’s Wood Experiment Collection came from Trey spending time in a wine cooperage in Missouri. Wine cooperages are different than what you find in Kentucky as they have different treating processes, which focus more on toasting, slow cooking, and searing to bring different flavors to the forefront. It was at this point we asked, "How could we change up what the final flavors of the bourbon are after we mature it in typical bourbon barrels?” Trey started by putting 4 year old bourbon that had been aged in new charred white oak barrels, and finished it in 13 different environments/vessels. There were so many combinations to experiment with – new bourbon barrels, new wine barrels, wine barrel heads on a new bourbon barrel, insert oak staves that have been seared, or oak cubes that have been slow cooked, etc. Over a period of 32 months, we charted the characteristics of each experiment monthly and analyzed how the different treatments have affected the outcome of the final whiskey.
We decided to bottle them up in five 200 milliliter experiments so you can try five different experiments and see for yourself how these small changes make a vast difference.


The Pepper family brand of whiskey is an iconic Kentucky & American whiskey brand produced from the American Revolution through 1958. After going out production for decades, it was relaunched by the Georgetown Trading Co. in 2008. A campaign of thorough historical research and collection of historic materials has been ongoing, and have been used to retell the lost story of this iconic American whiskey brand and to distill new stocks of "Pepper" whiskey (visit the History Page to learn more). To begin the relaunch of this historic brand partnerships with existing distilleries were formed and today the whiskey distilled for the 1776 line of whiskies is made in a collaboration with the historic Lawrenceburg Distillery in Indiana (founded in 1847). It was always a goal to one day build a James E. Pepper distillery and museum in Kentucky, and the dream was to be able to do so at the site of the abandoned historic James E. Pepper Distillery in Lexington, Kentucky. In the Spring of 2016, the dream became a reality and news was finally announced that James E. Pepper Whiskey will be renovating & rebuilding the historic James E. Pepper Distillery. Set to open in late 2017, learn more about the distillery project on our Distillery Page.


Bourbon has been enjoyed for centuries, but single barrel bourbon only dates back to 1984, when the owners of Ancient Age Distillery (now Buffalo Trace Distillery) set out to create a premium quality product. In the process, they revolutionized the industry.
The inspiration? Colonel Albert Blanton, our bourbon’s namesake. It all started during a conversation with his former apprentice, Elmer T. Lee. Mr. Lee recalled the days when Col. Blanton would entertain friends and special guests by serving them bourbon from Warehouse H. Col. Blanton discovered that this warehouse aged bourbon better than any other on the grounds, especially in the middle sections known as the center cut. After taste-testing samples, Col. Blanton would pick an individual barrel he liked best and have it bottled. The bottles became his special select single barrel bourbons.
Mr. Lee’s concept turned into a reality when the owners asked him to oversee the project, selecting the finest barrels from the same Warehouse H. In 1984, Blanton’s became the first American entry into the ultra-premium whiskey market. Today, most distilleries offer one or more single barrel bottlings, but Blanton’s was the first, and we still believe the finest, single barrel on the market.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Bourbon for Dear Old Dad : Eagle Rare

Pete has some recommendations for Father's Day gifts.

Eagle Rare 10 Year

Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Eagle Rare Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is masterfully crafted and carefully aged for no less than ten years. The rareness of this great breed of bourbon is evident in its complex aroma, as well as the smooth and lingering taste. Eagle Rare is a bourbon that lives up to its name with its lofty, distinctive taste experience.

Tasting Notes

Nose: Complex aromas of toffee, hints of orange peel, herbs, honey, leather and oak.
Taste: Bold, dry, oaky flavors with notes of candied almonds and very rich cocoa.
Finish: Dry and lingering.

"Easily one of the most tactile yet assertive and expressive bourbons I've tasted in the last two years; fasten your seatbelts."

-Paul Pacult, The Spirit Journal

Eagle Rare 17 Year

Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Eagle Rare 17 year-old is one of the five bourbons included in the award-winning Buffalo Trace Antique Collection. This rare bourbon is released in small quantities once a year in the fall.

Tasting Notes

Nose: Dark candied fruit, cigar boxes, cinnamon.
Taste: Delicate and dry. Hints of leather, vanilla and tobacco.
Finish: Lingering, with a hint of toffee.

"This deep, burnished-gold whiskey has a somewhat fragrant nose and the aromas develop an almost wine-like character, with a hint of almonds lurking in the backdrop. The body is big and silky and the palate is far spicier than the nose leads you to believe, but there are also violet notes here, along with a touch of caramel and a hint of old leather. The finish is very leathery and very long."

-Wine Enthusiast magazine

Wine Enthusiast rating: 96

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Margarita Yum!

Noble Pig Peach Margaritas

4 servings - 140 calories each

1/2 cup tequila                                

11/2 cups margarita mix
2 ozs peach schnapps
16 ozs peaches (frozen or fresh)
1 tbsp sugar (optional, add only if using frozen peaches or fresh peaches that are not sweet)
1 cup crushed ice
fresh lime (for rubbing around rim of glass and garnish)
kosher salt

Blend it up, of course!

Friday, April 15, 2016

Wedding, Graduation, Birthday, Retirement? Custom Labels for LaMarq

A rep will be in our store on Friday 4/15 printing custom labels from 2 - 5:30. After that we can get the custom labels for you within a few days.

Monday, February 29, 2016

Why Love Wine?

Why Love Wine?

Source:  February 29, 2016 Blog » Wine News & Entertainment » Why Love Wine?

Why love wine…
It’s like a micro time travel machine in a bottle

Decent quality wines have this crazy ability to transport you to the time (and place) they were made. While many other food products can do this (Italian tomatoes anyone?), even the novice can quickly identify regional differences in wine. For this reason, wine is one of the few agricultural products that reveals its environment, or terroir. Of course, not all wines have this ability. There are many wine products that are made in such a way that will remove all but hints of their origin. For some wine drinkers, this is the real difference between a good and a great wine.

Why love wine…
BECAUSE it’s an acquired taste

The stages of wine
I’m not going to lie to you and tell you that wine isn’t naturally sour and sometimes bitter in taste. In truth, it’s this balance of fruitiness, acidity, bitterness, and body that makes wine such a subtle-yet-captivating beverage. More than likely, if you’re into wine, you’ve become increasingly welcome to the idea of drinks that are well beyond most western palates–from oolong tea to Junmai Daiginjo (sake).

Why love wine…
It’s good for you in small doses

A glass a day is good for you in small doses - Wine Folly
While having a glass of wine isn’t like an hour at the gym (shown to be a myth), wine has been shown to have benefits in small amounts. By small amounts we mean, if you’re a woman you can only have a glass a day, and men should have no more than 2. With low intake such as this, long term studies have shown that wine drinkers have the lowest mortality rates (even compared to non-drinkers). If that’s not enough reason to love wine, I don’t know what is.

Why love wine…
Zillions of aromas and flavors

Flavors in Pinot Noir by Wine Folly
If you taste a glass of Chardonnay grape juice, it tastes nothing like the wine! During the process of fermentation, chemical processes occur that create aroma compounds. There are hundreds of these compounds found in wine and many of them are identical to flavors and aromas in other foods. When you learn how to taste, you not only improve your ability to identify quality wine, but it improves your ability to taste overall. Most experienced wine drinkers have much more sensitive palates than the average.

Why love wine…
No matter how deep you go, there’s more to know
(and that’s not a bad thing)

The Topic of Wine - Wine Folly
As much as wine can be simple to learn when you’re starting, it is a deep topic. The true aficionados have long known that it is an impossible feat to know all that there is to know about wine. Each bottle is an opportunity to delve into a cultural tradition and history. Each wine variety is a small piece of the earth’s geology and biology. If you hope to never stop learning, then start drinking wine.