Tag Archives: home 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

 

 

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

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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.

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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.

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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?
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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.

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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