Tag Archives: bar

Jo’s Drink Menu for New Year’s Eve

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Personally, New Year’s Eve has evolved from a whirlwind of party hopping to a quiet evening with a few friends and neighbors at home. I’ve substituted long bar lines and waiting for cabs in the frigid cold with a home cooked meal, a selection of ridiculous board games, and a few crowd-pleasing drinks.

Download & Print the Drink Menu >

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THE COCKTAIL

For cocktails, I am loving the Bittermilk Tom Collins with Elderflower & Hops, a fantastic syrup from South Carolina that has a permanent home in my fridge. I pair the St. George High Rye Gin with the Bittermilk to create a quick cocktail that is light and citrusy with a nice bitter, hoppy note. For a non-alcoholic version, substitute the wonderfully tart Fentiman’s Victorian Lemonade in place of the gin.

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Tom Collins with Elderflower & Hops

Ingredients
1 part St. George High Rye Gin
1 part Bittermilk No. 2 – Tom Collins with Elderflower & Hops
1 part soda water

Directions
Combine all ingredients in a tall glass filled with ice. Stir, and garnish with a cucumber.

THE BEERS

Instead of wines, I like to switch up the menu and use a small gathering as an opportunity to share a few bottles of delicious craft beers. Last year I served a magnum of St. Bernardus Abt 12 vintage 2012 – a wonderful Belgian Quadrupel that is dark, strong and malty. Once the bottle was drained it became a lovely photo prop! We also had Arrogant Bastard 3 Liter bottles and Corsendonk Christmas Ale 3 Liters.

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Since we started with a Belgian beer, let’s continue the trend in this year’s menu:

De Glazen Toren Saison d’Erpe Mere
A Belgian beer to the core, saisons are my favorite because of their effervescence, malt and spice notes. The Glass Tower brewery is dedicated to crafting only a handful of beers and their attention to detail is present with every sip. Check out their website’s food pairing section – especially a fondue recipe that includes a splash of saison to this triple crown of cheese heaven – Gruyère, Appenzeller and Emmental!

Houblon Chouffe Belgian Tripel IPA
My lovely gnome friend will satisfy your hop head friends and remind your guests about David the Gnome’s fantastical adventures with his friend Swift. A Belgian tripel with banana esters and a backbone of hops, the slightly bitter finish will leave you smiling and wondering how the gnome did it again!

Brasserie Dupont Monk’s Stout
Known for their saisons, Dupont created a stout that is not at all heavy like some of it’s friends on our stout shelf. By December 31st, I have almost reached my dessert quota so a rich, creamy stout is the last thing on my mind. Instead I turn to this enjoyable dry, low ABV stout to pair with the last of the holiday cookies and pies.

Allagash Curieux
Once upon a time at Allagash brewery, a whole batch of Allagash tripel was ready to be bottled, but sadly due to a customs delay, the empty bottles from Belgium were held up in transit. Not wanting to waste the beer, Allagash decided to place the tripel in some Jim Beam casks that were waiting to be used to age a darker beer, like their popular dubbel. The result – a fantastic tripel with caramel and vanilla notes, aged for eight weeks and then blended with some fresh tripel.

THE CHAMPAGNE

Okay, okay, what’s New Year’s Eve without Champagne? At midnight, or 11:30 pm, I’ll be cracking open a bottle of Moët & Chandon Imperial to toast to 2015!

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Cheers & Happy 2015!
– Joanna

 

 

Holiday Party Idea: Self-Serve Bubbly Bar! Free Printable Sign!

When we think of New Year’s, we think of bubbly! A festive way to ring in the New Year with family and friends is to set up a self-serve sparkling wine bar at home. Let your guests have fun creating their own sparkling cocktails! Your guests can choose a simple Kir Royale, or play mixologist as they combine flavors to create a multi-layered concoction. We’ve even made a free printable sign for you to download and place at the bar for the party!

FREE PRINTABLE BUBBY BAR SIGN >

Click the link above to download and print this Bubbly Bar sign!
After you’ve printed it, simple cut out the sign, fold in half, and place at the bar.

THE BUBBLY BAR SHOPPING LIST >

Click the link above to download and print the list of everything you’ll need. Stop by Bottles for all of these ingredients!

 

What You’ll Need for a Bubbly Bar
  • Ice Bucket
  • Jar of spoons (Pouring the mixers straight into your glass will cause the mixer and sparkling wine to combine too quickly. The best way to create a sparkling cocktail is to turn a spoon upside down and let the liquid slowly run over the spoon into your glass. SCIENCE!)
  • Champagne Flutes (check to make sure you have enough for all your guests!)
 
Our Favorite Sparkling Wines
We’ve drawn up a list of our favorite sparkling wines, Cavas, and Champagnes for you to choose from. Chill them beforehand, and place them at a the Bubbly Bar table.

 

  • Grandial – Light and bright, this Blanc de Blancs Brut is made from 100% Chardonnay that gives this sparkling treat a lovely note of green apple on the finish. $9.99
  • Mercat Cava – Wonderfully balanced and complex Cava from Catalonia, Spain.  Notes of lemon and peach meet with an undertone of minerals to create a spectacularly dry sparkling. $16.99
  • Gruet Brut – Sparkling wine from New Mexico? No way! Thank goodness French winemaker, Gilbert Gruet, travelled through New Mexico in the 1980’s and found European winemakers planting grapes in this inexpensive location. He promptly moved his sparkling wine operation from Bethon, France to Albuquerque, New Mexico! $19.99
  • Meinklang Rosé Frizzante – Bio-dynamic, organic and absolutely fun, this Pinot Noir sparkling style has less effervesce than others on this list but makes up for it in the most splendid strawberry notes. $21.99 
  • Mumm Napa – French Champagne house G.H. Mumm found a new home in Napa Valley in the early 1980’s. Notes of melon and vanilla are abundant in this rich and balanced California sparkling. Classic Californian sparkling, bright. $29.99 
  • Charles Heidsick Brut Reserve – From the house nicknamed ‘Baby Krug’ comes the most spectacular champagne I have had in recent memory. Delicate hints of nectarine and peach first come into play followed by a creamy, honeyed finish. Complex and rich, this is a non-vintage champagne that drinks like a vintage bottle twice the price. A fantastic way to ring in the New Year! $69.99
 
Not sure how many bottles of sparkling wine to get for your party?
 
Meinklang Rosé Frizzante
An Assortment of Mixers
Here’s our hand-picked selection of syrups and liqueurs for guests to mix with bubbly.
 
Giffard Crème de Cassis Noir de Bourgogne$34.99
A dash of Cassis over a glass of champagne = a classic Kir Royale! While a Kir cocktail is a French cocktail with white wine and blackcurrant liqueur, a Kir Royal is a variation that uses bubbly instead.
Pama Pomegranate Liqueur$14.99
Add a rosy glow to your glass of sparkling wine! Pama has the complex, sweet, yet tart taste of pomegranates.
Giffard Pamplemousse (Grapefruit)$24.99

 

100% natural fruit crème that makes a great aperitif cocktail when mixed with bubbly.

Quince & Apple Rhubarb Hops Syrup$11.99

Quince & Apple Tart Cherry Grenadine$11.99

Quince & Apple syrups are all natural, hand crafted syrups from Madison, Wisconsin. Quince & Apple syrups rely on the best local produce to create a smooth, not too sugary syrup that can be combined with sparkling wine, liquor or club soda to provide a refreshing, non-alcoholic drink.

Let’s talk Champagne!

Champagne is a region in France, home to some of the best Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grapes in the world that create delicate, complex and heart stopping wines. Buying Champagne to stock a bubbly bar can get pricey fairly quickly, but there are plenty of other sparkling wines made outside of Champagne that will impress your guests with their grace and balance. Featuring sparkling wines made from different countries and different regions is a great way to have an educational moment in the midst of good, old-fashioned bacchanal.

However, as the clock is about to reach midnight, I pull a few bottles of Champagne from the back of the vegetable crisper, underneath the Swiss Chard and grapes (don’t tell my friends about my hiding spot) and pop the piece de resistance as the clock strikes midnight!

Happy New Year!
Joanna
Bottles Fine Wine

Tiki is Back! Basic Bar & Drink Ideas for Summer Parties

vintage tiki drinks party idea

What’s old is new again…and tiki is back! There’s really no better way to enjoy summer outdoors and in the backyard than relaxing with a deliciously smooth tiki drink to sip. All you need are some funky tiki decorations like leis, mugs, and tiki torches, and of course, great tiki cocktails. Keep reading to learn how to create a basic home tiki bar that will last all summer long.

tiki cocktail ideas

A Basic Tiki Bar – Rum is essential! Since rums age very quickly in heat and humidity, even a 3 year old rum is comparable to a whiskey aged 6 years, resulting in a more mellow taste at an affordable price (pictured above are El Dorado rums).Beside a dark, gold, and white rum, you’ll also need some syrups. Below are 5 that make up many classic tiki recipes. Stock up on these for a solid start onto making your own delicious drinks at home!

*”Way back when, grenadine was made from freshly crushed pomegranate seeds…But over the years, this bold concoction has devolved into a cloying, artificial taste. Naturally, our version is the exception. Our Authentic Grenadine uses only pomegranate and pure cane sugar – no high fructose corn syrup – to produce the originally intended result: a pleasantly sweet pomegranate flavor as bold and potent as its distinctive red color.” – Stirrings 

Why All the Syrups? Well, in tiki drinks you are using several types of rum to create a cocktail with many dimensions of flavor. The syrups bind the sometimes disparate tastes in tiki drinks together, to create a smooth and sometimes deceptively strong cocktail. Yes, you will have to invest in a few new ingredients for your bar to recreate these vintage concoctions, yet the magic and fanfare you create by serving a Mai Tai in a festive tiki mug make a little bar stockage worth the while.

Basic Bartender Tools – Having a few basic bar tools will not only make you look like a pro, but help you construct great cocktails with ease. We first recommend investing in a cocktail shaker. Good cocktails are cold cocktails! Another great investment are ounce measuring cups, like these pictured in the photo below, to the right of the tiki statue.

vintage tiki party bar
Tiki statues add to the tropical party atmosphere!
Pineapple Corer
Easy, quick, and does all the hard work for you! Make an amazing edible punch bowl, create garnishes from the perfectly round pineapple slices, and add some extra fun to your Tiki party! What better way to celebrate the return of sunny, summer days than a glass of grog served in a pineapple?
pineapple corer edible punch bowl

Handheld Citrus Reamer

Nothing better in a cocktail than freshly squeezed juice! This handheld reamer gets every last drop out of your limes for a perfect Mai Tai. 

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Tiki Party Decor

Having a tiki party is pretty easy! Now that you have a basic bar, you’ll just need fun decorations to match the cocktails. Pick up variety of tiki mugs in which to serve your fabulous drinks, and choose colorful garnishes or straws. Leis can be party favors and an accessory for guests to wear.

making a tiki bar at home

Whether your tiki party is in the backyard, patio, or porch, luau themed decorations will set the celebratory atmosphere. Add grass luau skirts to the tables, get tiki torches for lighting, and sprinkle in fun accents like wooden tiki statues, hula girls, tropical flowers, and foliage.

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Classic Tiki Recipes

Have the recipe for a Mai Tai, Zombie, and Iuka Grogg on hand! We’ve made a free printable tiki drink recipe card to make home bar-tending a little easier. Click below to download the PDF file, and then print it on your home printer. For extra vintage flair, print it on ivory card-stock!

If you are having trouble opening the recipe card, make sure you have a PDF reader such as Adobe Reader, available here for free.

DOWNLOAD >
A free printable tiki recipe card! 

Tiki Cocktail Recipes

A World of Tiki Drinks

The Tiki + App

Though we’ve helped you out by picking classic tiki drinks to start out with, Jeff “Beachbum” Berry also has a extensive library of recipes. Download Jeff’s app, Tiki +, if you’re looking to expand your tiki drink repertoire. Take a simple backyard cocktail hour to the next level with over 150 recipes in the palm of your hand!

Visit Our Store
Pay us a visit at our Providence, Rhode Island store and stock up on your grenadine, orgeat, demerara rum, and tiki bar essentials. Once you have these basic building blocks for a quality tiki bar, the possibilities for different tiki drinks are deliciously endless. Just look for the large tiki display, we’ll have everything you need! Cheers!
    
(401) 372-2030
info@bottlesfinewine.com

 

Super Bowl Drink Ideas & Printable Cocktail Sign

Our beloved Pats haven’t reached the Super Bowl, but you and your friends can still gather to watch the game. Serving cocktails during the football game or any party doesn’t have to be stressful – a self serve bar is a great idea where guests make their own drinks. What’s better than a DIY bar for a party, complete with drink ideas? Learn how to set one up, and use these free printable cocktail recipe signs. This download has 6 easy cocktails; all you have to do is set them at the bar! This is a great way to entertain for not only the game, but for birthday parties, bachelor & bachelorette parties, graduation, summer bbq’s, family reunions, and almost any celebration.

super bowl cocktails how to set up a self serve bar
 

What to serve with your jalapeno poppers, buffalo wings and famous spinach dip? Beer of course, but cocktails are great too! You can serve cocktails and not miss any crucial moments of the game. Drink mixing should be limited to time-outs or commercials, so you need something quick, classic and with as few ingredients as possible.  Greet your guests with a cocktail, but also set up a self serve bar in your home arena so as not to lose a minute of action.

SELF SERVE BAR SET-UP
– Have an ice bucket with tongs, a cocktail shaker, bottle opener, bar spoon, and rocks glasses.
– For mixers, have Angostura bitters, simple syrup, ginger ale, club soda, tonic water, and ginger beer.
– Include handles of a few staple liquors like Bourbon, Vodka, and Rum.
– Pre-slice a bowl of limes. (Don’t forget the orange wedges for Old-Fashioned’s!)

It’s time to let your guests to play bartender! Everyone has variations on how they like their drink mixed. A self serve bar with helpful cocktail recipe signs lets them make the perfect drink to their own taste.

COCKTAIL RECIPE SIGNS
Offering simple drink recipes gives your guests ideas for what they can make. Follow the directions below to make each these 6 quick & colorful “Help Yourself!” signs. They each have an easy drink idea with a basic recipe to get them started.

Directions:
 1. Click the link above to download the PDF file.
 2. Print out both pages on your home printer.
 3. With scissors, cut out each of the 6 cocktail recipe signs.
 4. Fold each in half, so that it forms a standing sign with the recipe on both sides.
 5. Place at your bar!

You need a PDF reader to open this download, click HERE if you need to download a PDF reader.

Now that you have assembled the tools and given your guests a quick playbook, all there is left to do is enjoy the game!

Things to do during a time-out:

– Check your ice situation. Good cocktails are chilled cocktails.
– Take out the trash (or just tie the bag and throw it on the back porch to be properly disposed later)
– Make yourself a drink!

moscow mule cocktail recipe printable sign

Moscow Mule

Ingredients
1-2 parts Vodka
1 part Lime Juice
2-3 parts Ginger Beer

Directions
Moscow Mules were first popular in the 1950s, and are so easy to make, smooth, & refreshing, that there’s no way they aren’t making a comeback! Add 2 or 3 ice cubes to Prairie Vodka, fresh Lime Juice, and Gosling’s Ginger Beer, and then stir.

free printable download cocktail recipe signs

Old Fashioned

Ingredients
2 oz. Bourbon
Dash of Angostura Bitters
1 tsp. Simple Syrup
Orange Wedge

Directions
There are many variations on The Old Fashioned; here’s our easy version that’s simple enough for parties that uses Buffalo Trace Bourbon and Angostura Bitters. Add an ice cube or two and stir.

bourbon ginger ale cocktail idea recipe

Bourbon & Ginger Ale

Ingredients
1 part Bourbon
2 parts Ginger Ale

Directions
Bourbon and ginger ale go together like peas ‘n carrots! We are using Buffalo Trace Bourbon Whiskey. Use your favorite ginger ale and serve this bubbly, refreshing drink over ice.

vodka tonic cocktail recipe idea

Vodka Tonic

Ingredients
1 part Vodka
2 parts Tonic Water
Lime Wedge

Directions
Almost everyone knows a Vodka Tonic. Combine Praire Vodka with Fentiman’s Tonic Water over ice, and add a lime wedge.

 
printable cocktail drink signs

 

Daiquiri

Ingredients
3 parts Rum
2 parts Lime Juice
1 part Simple Syrup

Directions
A rum-based cocktail, Daiquiris have many variations; this is a basic version. Fill a shaker with ice & all ingredients. Shake and strain into glass.

how to set up a self serve bar cocktails recipe


Dark and Stormy

Ingredients
1 part Gosling’s Rum
2 parts Gosling’s Ginger Beer
Lime Wedge
 
Directions
A type of highball, a Dark & Stormy is a popular cocktail in the Rhode Island area. Use Gosling’s Rum and Gosling’s Ginger Beer. Serve over ice.

 

What we recommend for liquors & mixers:

Prairie Vodka
The Kraken Black Spiced Rum
Gosling’s Rum
Buffalo Trace Bourbon
Fentiman’s Tonic Water
Angostura Bitters
Gosling’s Ginger Beer

*All available at Bottles Fine Wine in Providence. www.bottlesfinewine.com

CHEERS!

from the folks at Bottles