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.