Category Archives: Other

How To Throw A Blind Wine Tasting Party – New And Improved!

A few years back we published a step-by-step instructional on how to throw a blind wine tasting party that featured a selection of red wines. It’s been such a hit – year after year it’s our most popular blog post – we’ve decided to reprise the original with the addition of a few new themes for your tasting pleasure.

The wines in each of our new tastings are related, though distinct enough to allow you to differentiate them from one another. By tasting similar wines side-by-side, you can really learn how to focus your impressions and perfect your tasting chops. By tasting them blind, you’ll lose any preconceptions you have about particular labels and styles, and really allow yourself to understand what you like.

You can use our guided tastings, or you can just select a few bottles that you like, and use our free, downloadable WINE SCORECARD and WINE TAGS to create your own tasting.

1. To get started, pick one of the tasting themes below, make your way to Bottles, and have one of our team members help you select the wines to match the theme and your wallet.

2. Have at least 1 wine glass for each guest, with a bottle of water and dump bucket nearby so they can rise out between tastings and easily dispose of tastes they’re really not into.

3. It’s also a really good idea to have light snacks on hand. Not only will a few bites keep your pals from getting too tipsy, they’ll also provide the opportunity to taste the wines with various flavors. Cheese is the natural wine pairing partner – and it’s easy to find a good selection at most all grocery stores these days. Look for a wide variety of cheeses, such as a mix of something soft (brie), something spreadable (fresh chevre), something aged and hard (aged gouda), sharp cheese (aged cheddar) and a blue (gorgonzola).

4. Put each wine in a brown paper bag (ask for them at Bottles!), and afix our numbered WINE TAGS to identify each bottle.

5. Use our printable WINE SCORECARD so that guests can record their thoughts on each bottle. Be sure to have a few pens/pencils on hand. Share with your guests the theme of each tasting so that they have a general sense of what they’re looking for.

6. Once you and your guests have tasted each wine, take turns guessing what each bottle is before you do the big reveal.

7. Once you’ve unmasked each wine, feel free to use our guide and general descriptions to see if your guests’ impressions are in sync. BUT: It’s incredibly important to note that this is not a graded test! If what you taste doesn’t match what we’ve written – that’s ok! What’s most important is that you and your guests explore different wine styles and enjoy each other’s company.



 

A Rosé Tasting!

This is a great, fun tasting to have with friends at a summer barbecue. Just open a handful of delicious rosés and see if folks can guess which is which! Here’s a hint: with rosés, look for color as a good indicator of weight. Typically the darker the color, the heavier/more bold the wine.

Wines to Purchase
1. A light rosé from the Cotes de Provence – It’s the birthplace of rosé, and experiencing Provence is essential to getting to know good rosé. Made from a blend of grapes, Provencal rosés can range wildly in terms of style and quality, but a good mid-teen priced example should do just fine. Provence is in the South of France, and these wines will be light, dry, lean and minerally.

2. A heavier rosé from Tavel or Bandol – Now Bandol is actually sub-region within Provence, so this may seem silly to be listed in here, however the folks here make a very distinct style of rosé.  Bandol rosés tend to be fuller and more bold. They are, however, somewhat pricey. An alternative that will still deliver the heavier body would be a wine from Tavel. Both Bandol and Tavel tend to be darker in color.

3. Rosé of Pinot Noir – These can be really fun, as they tend to be light and easy drinking. They can be pricey as most pinot noir is, but in a blind tasting they can often act as a curveball.  Look for some out of Oregon or California.

4. A rosé from the Loire Valley – These delicious wines are made from cabernet franc which creates a unique rosé that should stand out from most other styles.  Look for a touch of weight with less acid than the others.

5. Your favorite – Select your ‘go to’ rosé that you already love and see if you can pick it out from the field, and see if you still love it more than the others!

 

White Wine!

Have fun with this tasting, where you and your guests will try to tell one classic white wine from another.

Wines to purchase
1. Chardonnay – This classic white can have many different faces. For this tasting, you’ll want to select one that has been oak-aged. Tasting Tip: You’ll find round, buttery flavors in this wine, all due to the oak-aging.

2. Pinot Grigio – This one may give you the most trouble to nail down. It’s a bit of a chameleon, and can have lots of the characteristics of other whites, but you should be able to place it, given its light body and restrained fruit flavors.

3. Sauvignon Blanc – These tend to have higher acid levels than most, and you will know this because they will make the back sides of your mouth water after your first taste.  New Zealand examples tend to have very pronounced grapefruit-like flavors so may be another give away.

4. Chenin Blanc – There are many grapes you could pick for this fifth spot, but we like to use chenin blanc, the main grape in like Vouvray in France or Steen in South Africa (or just “Chenin Blanc” in the USA). Its floral aromas and light body are delicious — this is a curveball bottle, for sure!

5. Riesling – Look for one with a medium sweetness level so as to further differentiate this wine from the others. You’ll likely find floral notes and ripe fruit flavors like peach or lychee.  

 

Old World vs New World – A Red Wine Tasting

This is a classic blind tasting that can really sharpen your skills. The idea here is to take two wines made from the same grapes, though from different regions of the world, and taste them blind, side by side, and to guess which was made where.

Here are a few clues:

Old World Wines are typically from countries that have been making wine for millennia, and adhere to strict wine-making rules (Italy, France, Spain). The wines are usually drier, earthier, with balanced fruit, acidity and tannins. Old World wines dazzle you with elegance and finesse.

New World Wines are generally from countries that discovered wine making during a more recent century and are not typically bound to traditional wine-making methods (USA, New Zealand). They tend to be bigger-bodied, and have much bolder fruit flavors. New World wines blow you away with their power.

Wines to purchase:
1. Pinot Noir from the Old World. We suggest a relatively youthful ‘Bourgogne’ style from Burgundy, France. The trick here will be price point, as Burgundy can get expensive, but you should be able to find a good bottle for around $20 – Bottles is a great place to look! Tasting Tip: In the Old World pinot, you’ll find more earthy, leathery and restrained notes.

2. Pinot Noir from the New World, either California or Oregon would be great picks, as long as the wine is made from 100% pinot noir grapes. Tasting Tip: In the New World expression, you’ll find brighter, fruiter notes.

3. Old World Red Blend. The classic to look for here would be a Bordeaux blend, ideally one from the Left Bank, which will tend to be more Cabernet Sauvignon based.  All Bordeaux wines are blends, and each sub-region has its own style, but for your tasting here that shouldn’t make a difference. Tasting Tip: This wine will be more fuller bodied than the pinot noirs, with lean fruit flavors, balanced by fresh tobacco and earthy notes.

4. New World Red Blend – California has a tremendous amount of red blends, but Australia and South Africa will have lots as well. Try to find one that has a good amount of cabernet sauvignon if you can. Tasting Tip: This wine will have more pronounced fruit flavors than the Old World red blend.

5. Old World Nebbiolo-based wine. This is a fun curveball, as it has flavor profiles similar to both Old World and New World styles. You’ll find fruit notes, as well as earthy, floral aromas.

We hope you have fun with your party – tag us with your photos!

Cheers & Enjoy!

El Diablo – An Easy Late-Summer Cocktail

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We’re not entirely sure why this iconic tequila-based cocktail isn’t more popular among the general drinks-lovin’ public. After all, it’s easy to make, distinctive, delicious and a perennial bartender favorite.

To right that wrong we’ve teamed up with our friends at The East End to concoct an updated spicy take on the classic El Diablo. Bar Manager Kayleigh Speck swapped out tequila for mezcal, and amp’d up the spice with the addition of a habanero shrub. She shakes it with creme de cassis, and lime juice, adds ginger beer and presto: the  iconic cocktail gets the attention it deserves.

More on that mezcal: We’ve chosen the Mezcales de Leyenda given its superior taste and its commitment to quality and the environment: its business practices are responsible straight through farming to bottling. For this recipe we’re using the Oaxaca Blanco for its lemongrass aromas and flavors of lemons, herbs and cooked agave.

Head to the store to pick up your bottle — $5 off through August 2017 — for this cocktail (or just for sipping – it’s that good) then head to The East End to taste their El Diablo on tap!

The East End’s El Diablo

1½ oz Mezcales de Leyenda Oaxaca
½ oz Merlet Creme de Cassis
½ oz Fresh Lime Juice
2 Dashes Habanero Shrub (Bittermens Hellfire is a good one)
Approx. 4oz Ginger Beer
Lime wedge for garnish

Combine all ingredients, except ginger beer, to a shaker with ice and shake. Fine-strain into highball or Collins glass with fresh ice, top with ginger beer and garnish.

Cheers!

The Bottles Guide To Surviving Summer: Tip #4

We’ve saved the best for last, in this, the final installment of our “Summer Survival” series. So while you’ll want to remember to drink light (Tip #1), keep cool (Tip #2), and make it refreshing (Tip #3), the most important words of advice we can share is to have fun. ‘Tis the season, after all.

TIP #4:
HAVE FUN!
Because it’s summer!

“Tiki drinks, such as Pina Coladas, Mai Tais, Zombies and others, are pure summer fun in a glass (or coconut). Privateer Rum is my go-to mixer for this season in particular: it’s priced as a well-crafted, locally-made mixer, but delicious enough to enjoy on its own, too, up or on the rocks, at the end of a long summer day.” – Josh

“Celebrate summer sunsets by popping open a bottle of the Mirabella Franciacorta Rosé. It’s made in the same method as is Champagne but it’s a fraction of the price. And it’s pink. AND it’s great with grilled steaks.” – Michael

 

 

 

 

 

“Can their be a more fun way to enjoy wine than when it’s in a can? Take it with you to the beach, to the ball park, on the boat. Just take it easy – there’s typically more than 2 glasses of wine per can!” – Alex

 

 

 

 

 

Missed last week’s tip?

Click here

Don’t forget to wear sunscreen – and happy summer!

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The Bottles Guide To Surviving Summer: Tip #3

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One foolproof way to beat the heat is to ensure what you’re drinking is fresh, lively and invigorating. In Part Three of our “Summer Survival” series, we present a few staff favorites will help you do just that.

TIP #3:
KEEP COOL
Quench your thirst with refreshing fruit flavors…

Screen Shot 2017-07-05 at 10.52.25 AMMalfy Gin, distilled with lemons from the Italian coast, makes the ultimate summer Gin & Tonic, but I love it mixed with iced tea and lemonade for a boozy Arnold Palmer.” – Michael

berg“You know that amazing fragrance you get when slicing up honeydew melon and cantaloupe fresh from the farmer’s market? Imagine getting to drink that. That’s the Berger Gelber Muskateller, a white wine out of Austria. Enjoy it alone, or pour it in a glass with ice, and top with Campari & club soda for a super refreshing cocktail.” – Alex

 

 

 

 

yozu“And now for something completely different: The Yuzu Shuwah shandy/radler style beer, coming to us from the Kizakura Sake house. It’s your new riding-lawn-mower companion. Its zesty citrus flavors will wake you up and may make you forget it’s 7% ABV (but who doesn’t love a hammock nap on a summer afternoon?)” – Josh

 

 

 

 

Click here for our previous tip, and tune in next week for Part 4!

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The Bottles Guide To Surviving Summer: Tip #2

Heat got ‘ya down? Here’s the second installment of our Summer Survival Guide!

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TIP #2:
KEEP COOL
…With icy cold drinks

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“It isn’t summer in RI without Del’s or Narragansett beer. For an extra cold treat, put a can of their combo beverage (the Narragansett Del’s Shandy) in the freezer for about 90 minutes, or until it feels thick and slushy. No spoons or straws allowed!” – Alex

koozie“The Capsule Stainless Steel Koozie is worth every. single. penny. We tested this ourselves last year (someone had to) and this puppy kept bottles and cans nice and cool in the sweltering summer heat.” – Alex

 

 

 

 

 

salvard“Forget what you’ve learned about how to serve red wine, and chill them down! Low-tannic reds in particular, such as the TK zwiegelt and Salvard Cheverny Rouge, are wonderfully refreshing while still being food-friendly when served cool. Also great chilled: wines from the Beaujolais. Put them on ice about 1 hour before you take the burgers & steaks off the grill, or before the sun sets.” – Michael

 

 

 

Click here for our previous tip, and tune in next week for Part 3!

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The Bottles Guide To Surviving Summer: Tip #1

You’ve heard them since you were a kid. They’re the rules our grandmothers repeated summer after summer, said with love, to keep us safe: Wear sunscreen. Wear a life jacket. Don’t go swimming on a full stomach.

Well we’ve updated that list for the 21+ set. Consider them the new rules for surviving summer for those of legal age, created by us, to keep you safe while enjoying a drink or two in the summer heat. We’re sharing our tasty tips over the next few weeks, in a 4-part summer series. Herewith, Part 1:

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TIP #1:
DRINK LIGHT

Keep your alcoholic intake low when the sun is high.

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“Sprizters are my go-to when the sun is blazing. And they couldn’t be more simple to make: Just add a splash icy club soda to a cold glass of white wine, or, for a cocktail spritzer, just add a splash of Aperol to your club soda!” – Glorie

FEVERWEBFEVER TREE TONIC WATER 

“When the mercury rises, my summer life saver is high quality tonic water.  I find it indispensable, particularly when I want to quench my thirst without the bang of an adult beverage.  My favorite is Fever Tree Tonic Water. All natural ingredients. No artificial sweeteners – just pure cane sugar, natural bitter orange , and the best available quinine. When I do want something more interesting, I mix the tonic with Junipero Gin at ‘San Francisco’ strength: 98.6 proof!” – Don

 

 

MAEWEBCLUB MATE YERBA MATE TEA

“I won’t be able to survive this summer without Club Mate!  A delicious (non-alcoholic) and cold yerba-mate tea with a big boost of caffeine is just what I need to keep the long summer nights going!” –Kate

 

 

 

 

jamSIXPOINT JAMMER GOSE

“Gose: This super popular beer style packs a lot of refreshing flavor into a low-alc brew. The Sixpoint Jammer is tart and briney, like the Rhody shoreline, but isn’t too sour.” – Alex

 

 

 

 

Stay tuned for next week’s survival tip, and in the meantime, keep cool – and Happy Summer!
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Our Top Picks For Dad … and they’re not all whiskey!

It couldn’t be easier. Come in store, tell us a bit about your dad and we’ll help you find the
bottle he’ll love this Father’s Day. Heck we’ll even wrap it for you. It’s that simple. Here are our top picks, a mix of hard-to-find, new-in-store, and just plain delicious.

For The Dad Who Takes Any Chance He Can To Talk About His Whiskey Collection
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Highland Park Valkyrie

The newest offering from Highland Park is the first in a three-bottle series showcasing “Viking Legends.” Don’t let this bottle’s lack of an age designation fool you. It has wonderful fruit and spice flavors and is remarkably smooth at 92 proof. It’s brand-spanking new and is already racking up the awards. Let your father know he’s as important to you as Odin!  $79.99 (750ml)

Glenfiddich Experimental Series #1: India Pale Ale Cask

This brand new whiskey is the first single malt scotch ever aged in IPA casks. It has a totally unique finish with a subtle fruit & hoppy character and is delicious. Very limited availability on this one, so scoop it up for your Dad’s collection before it goes away.  $69.99 (750ml)

For The Classic Dad Who Keeps It Real 
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The Singleton of Glendullan Classic 12yr

A beautiful scotch that won’t break the bank. It was unavailable in Little ‘Rhody for a spell, but now it’s back. It’s delicate and light with a soft finish. It’s a classic malt for a classic Dad.       $36.99 (750ml)

Gordon & Macphail Scapa 10yr

From independent bottlers Gordan & MacPhail this is a classic Orkney malt that will surprise with its unique, subtle peat character and light tropical notes. Not as aggressive as most island whiskies, the Scapa has just the right amount of peat & fruit for summer evenings under the stars. $69.99 (750ml)

For The Dad Who Doesn’t Like Whiskey (They Do Exist!)
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Bumbu Rum

Dad doesn’t like whiskey? We have you covered! One of the best new rums on the market is the Bumbu, out of Barbados. It’s a craft rum made with all-natural native spices and no artificial flavors or colors. It’s distilled in small batches and blended by hand. It has wonderful hints of spice and fruit. We like it best neat, or with a cube or two. $34.99 (750ml)

Grand Mayan Ultra Aged Tequila

Looking for something totally special this Father’s Day? How about a tequila that finishes like a brandy! The Grand Mayan Ultra Aged is simply one of the most unique and delicious spirits we’ve tasted in a long while. It has very little “bite” and appeals to tequila drinks as much as those who favor dark spirits. It’s a terrific gift.  $89.99 (750ml)

For The Dad Who Deserves A Little Extra Special Love This Year
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Wild Turkey Diamond Anniversary

A special bottle for the collector’s shelf. This celebratory release commemorates “The Master Distiller’s Master Distiller” Jimmy Russell’s 60 years with wild Turkey. It’s a blend of bourbons ranging in age from 13-16 years old, and will be sought after for decades. A true treat for bourbon lovers. $114.99 (750ml)

Happy Father’s Day!
(Prices subject to change.)

Spirited Stocking Stuffers

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Don’t short shrift your stocking stuffing. Here’s a sampling of the hundreds of stocking-sized stuffers we have in store for the drinks enthusiast on your list. From left to right, top to bottom:

Mini Bottles of Bubbles: 187ml of fizzy fun (that’s just over a glass to you and me) from Champagne to cava and a few styles in between.
Shown: Mionetto Brut Prosecco $5.99

Canvas Flask – Made in the USA, pocket-sized for big fun with the filler of your choice.
Multiple styles, $14.99 each

Viski Julep Strainer – a bar staple not just for juleps!
$9.99

St. Germain – the most beautiful bottle in the store, palm sized.
$13.99

Wigle Bitters – made with small-batch, organic Wigle whiskey and infused with all matter of deliciousness.
4 available flavors: Aromatic, Rosemary & Lavender, Orange Pomander, Molé, $17.99 each

Bittermens Citron Sauvage Liqueur – a bitter grapefruit aperitif for those who love to play with their cocktails.
$14.99

St. George Raspberry Liqueur – precisely flavored liqueurs, ideal for sipping and mixing, from CA with love.
Raspberry (shown) and Spiced Pear, $17.99 each

Macallan 12-Year Half Bottle –  a perfect fit for Scotch lovers!
375ml, $34.99

Multi-Colored Pull-Tap Corkscrews – the cork extractor of choice among wine professionals.
Several colors, $5.99 each

“Bad Mother Shucker” Oyster Knives – engraved by our sister studio, The Engraved Bottle. $9.49

Silicone Corks – a colorful way to keep your wine fresh!
Available in purple, blue, green, red, pink and yellow, 
$1.99 each

Pizza Coasters – a set of 3 flavors (pepperoni, cheese & veggie).
$4.99 for a stack of 12

Iron Lobster Bottle Opener – for the New Englander in us all.
$6.99

Liber & Co. Orgeat Syrup – made with real roasted almonds. Can’t make a Mai Tai without it. 8.5oz, $8.99

Nips – With its real wax coating, the Maker’s Mark mini-bottle is one of our favorites from the over 50 we have in store.
Various spirits, starting at $1.49

Happy Stocking!

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What to Drink While Watching “A Christmas Carol”

Whether you’re watching the 1951 Alastair Sim version of the Dickens classic, or taking in a live performance at Trinity Rep (which we highly endorse – it is just fantastic this year), we’ve got a pairing that will make your enjoyment of this holiday must-do that much better.

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Curt Columbus, Artistic Director of Trinity Rep (and a wine lover with a great palate) selected two sparklers to go with the show. Said Curt: “Two celebratory wines for the year’s most festive production! One’s sweet and one’s dry, but both are sparkling and just spectacular. The dazzling Francis Ford Coppola Winery’s Sofia Blanc de Blancs is dry and full of bright, fresh and juicy pear flavor; the sensational Centorri Moscato d’Asti has a crisp honeycomb-scented sweetness. Both are bubbly and echo the joyful spirit of the holidays at Trinity. Happy Holidays!”

Both the Sofia and Centorri are available to drink during the show. If you purchase either in store, Bottles will donate 20% of your purchase back to Trinity.

We’re proud and thrilled to be the Official Sommelier of Trinity Repertory Company. Happy Holidays from all of us at Bottles!

PUNCH! Local, Herbal and Delicious

Whether you’re hosting 4 people or 40, serving a big bowl of premade punch is a stress free and festive way to ensure your guests drink well. Bottles’ friend Jessyloo Rodrigues, the Botanical Bartender behind the Parcel Apothecary herbal CSA / cocktail farm, recently shared with us tips and tricks for perfecting your punch, as well as three of her favorite seasonal recipes.

A Traditional DIY Rum Punch

Tips on ingredients:

The original word for punch comes from the Sanskrit word meaning 5, and refers to the 5 traditional ingredients in classic punches: alcohol, sugar, lemon, water, tea/spices. Consider using variations on those key elements when constructing your punch.

Our new favorite way to remember the recipe for a Traditional Rum Punch is with a rhyme: “One of sour, two of sweet, three of strong, four of weak.” Using that rhyme as your guide will allow you to riff with ingredients and open your punch up to what’s in season.

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Sour: lemon juice is traditional, but you could also use lime juice, grapefruit juice, tart/sour cherry juice or a blend.

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Sweet: A classic simple syrup is an easy way to add the “sweet.” To make simple syrup, mix 50/50 sugar to warm water and stir until sugar is dissolved. You can use traditional cane sugar, or grenadine syrup (pomegranate & sugar simple syrup), or make your own simple syrup with any of the following sugars: honey, agave, maple syrup, coconut sugar, demerara. Consider adding strawberries, raspberries, passionfruit, or any other fruit to your simple syrup. Or infuse the simple syrup with your favorite aromatic herb (like lavender, mint, basil, rosemary). To do so, add the herb after the sugar is dissolved and the water is slightly cooled, and let steep for 15 minutes, then strain out the herb matter.

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Strong, aka, the alcohol: The punches below use locally-made spirits. If you’re not in the Rhode Island vicinity, be sure to look for spirits made in your area. Thanks to the boom of small craft distillers, they can be found in your local radius anywhere in the US at this point. Use just one spirit, or a mix of several.

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Weak: Go with one juice, or try a blend. Pineapple, orange, pomegranate, and watermelon are all good choices. Or, try freshly squeezing a blend of your own juices (carrot &  ginger are terrific). When cocktails meet your health kick – your trainer will be proud! Also, it’s always a good idea to balance the juice with water (tap, coconut, acai, etc.) as it helps dilute the juice’s concentration.

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Using large-format ice is ideal, as it slows down the dilution of your punch, while keeping it chilled. Consider using a bundt pan as a ring mold, and float your garnish (citrus wheels, herbs, garnish, edible flowers, or a little prize) in the water before freezing. Alternately, use plastic bags or a small plastic bowl as your mold. Large-format ice cube “trays” are easily available, too. We have several sizes and shapes at Bottles.

All recipes below are formatted for the standard, large 8-quart punch bowl.

punchdoneA Traditional Rum Punch 

Ingredients
1 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (sour)
2 cups simple syrup made from demerara sugar (sweet)
3 cups Thomas Tew Rum (strong)
4 cups of a 50/50 mixture of pineapple juice and coconut water (weak)
Garnish: fresh limes, cranberries and rosemary. Jessyloo chose rosemary, a symbol of remembrance, for this recipe as it represents the rhyme that will help you remember how to make punch! It’s also a lovely aromatic herb that will inspire you and your guests to stir up fond memories of loved ones at your holiday gathering this year. (Herbal Fun Fact: simply smelling rosemary once a day can improve your short and long term memory.)

Method
Combine all ingredients into a punch bowl, stirring well after each addition. Add large-format ice and garnish with fruit and herbs. In our punch, Jessyloo filled the limes halves we squeezed earlier with cranberries and rosemary for garnish.

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Here are two additional recipes that will require a touch more effort, but are worth every second.

Honey Bee in a Pine Tree

Ingredients
9 green tea teabags
12oz freshly-squeezed lime juice
1 bottle (750ml) of Barr Hill Vodka (distilled from Vermont honey)
12oz Combier (an orange liqueur)
18oz Pama Liqueur
8oz Zirbenz (a pine liqueur)
1 bottle (750ml) Mionetto Brut Prosecco
Garnish: pomegranate jewels and lime slices

Method
Prepare 18oz of green tea by brewing 9 teabags in 18oz of boiling water, and letting steep for 5 minutes. Add the next 5 liquid ingredients into your punch bowl, stirring vigorously after each addition. Let sit in the fridge for 2-4 hours. Top with a 750ml bottle of prosecco. Add ice and garnish with pomegranate jewels and lime slices. (Herbal Fun Fact: white pine needles are edible and high in vitamin C.)

Five Pointed Punch

Ingredients
1 tbsp Chinese 5-Spice Powder
7oz raw honey
6 Roobios teabags
25oz of Sons of Liberty Gala Apple Whiskey
8oz Lime Juice
12oz Orange Juice
10oz Apple Cider
32oz club soda or seltzer
Garnish: lime, orange and apple slices cut width-wise to reveal their star (remove seeds).

Method
Make a 5-Spice honey simple syrup: stir the Chinese 5-Spice Powder and raw honey into 8oz of hot water until dissolved. Add to your punch bowl. Prepare 12oz of strong Roobios tea by brewing 6 teabags in 12oz of boiling water, and let steep for 15 minutes. Add to the punch bowl. Add all remaining liquid ingredients except the club soda into your punch bowl, stirring vigorously after each addition.  Let sit in the fridge for 2-4 hours.  Add ice cube and top with club soda before serving. Garnish with the fruit slices. (Herbal Fun Fact: The spices used in Chinese 5 Spice are star anise, szechuan peppercorns, fennel seeds, cinnamon and cloves. These represent the 5 natural elements in traditional Chinese medicine, thus making the powder a balanced and powerful blend. All 5 spices are used for digestive complaints and as an ingredient in tooth paste.)

We hope you enjoy making these punches. Our thanks to Jessyloo, and Happy Holidays!

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