sangria

Everything You Need to Know About Sangria

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Sangria is perhaps one of the most versatile and satisfying drinks to ever exist. Even for those who can’t develop a taste for wine, this wine-based creation seems to be a perennial favorite. One of the most wonderful things about sangria is that it is a pretty simple concept: wine, fruit, juice, and liquor combined in a variety of forms and amounts to make some of the tastiest and unique beverages at the bar. The vast selection of possible ingredients mean that this is an easy drink to make at home and to tailor to any season. The beauty of making it in larger batches means that you don’t have to mix a drink every time you are thirsty. Just keep it in the refrigerator and pour over ice!

Origins of Sangria

Sangria is a Spanish drink, named from the Spanish word sangre, meaning blood. A very basic traditional version of the drink consists of red wine, orange juice, and chopped fruit, which is blood red in color. The specific origins of the drink have been lost over the years, but many believe that it was created because the water in Spain was not potable at the time. If you can’t have water, is there really a better choice than sangria? The drink was first introduced to the states by Spain in 1964 at the New York World’s Fair. Since then, it has not only gained popularity in the U.S., but in bars and restaurants around the world.

Variations of Sangria

There are really countless ways to make a good sangria. Some purists stick to wine and fruit, but things get really interesting when you factor in other variables. Fruit juices add a bit more sweetness, while any number of flavored liqueurs contribute not only to the strength of the drink but to its unique flavor as well. Some like the deep complexity of a heavy red wine base, while others prefer a light semi-dry Riesling, or any number of varietals in between. Finishing the drink off with a splash of club soda or sprite also gives it a little fizz, which always makes it feel like spring.

Our Favorite Sangria

It’s hard to choose just one favorite sangria recipe, as almost every variation out there is delicious. Our top choice at the moment is the Pretty in Pink Sangria. It is a perfectly refreshing choice for spring, easy to drink, and it couldn’t be easier to make. Start with two bottles of white zinfandel, and add two cups of pineapple juice, a liter of ginger ale, a can of frozen lemonade concentrate, and 20 ounces of frozen strawberries. The great thing is you can change things up however you like. Consider trying a dry rose, ginger beer instead of ginger ale, or your favorite juice in place of pineapple. Pomegranate would be a nice touch with this particular recipe. No matter what you choose, have fun. It’s sure to be delicious.

If you don’t have any wine on hand for your sangria, Payless Liquors is the best place around to pick some up. Use our online order form to make your selections, and you can pick them up social distancing style. While you’re at it, stock up on any beer and spirits you may need to make 5 o’clock a little happier during quarantine.

old fashioned

2 New Twists on an Old Classic: Spring Old Fashioned Cocktail Recipes

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The Old Fashioned is a cocktail that never seems to go out of style. One of the oldest known recipes for the drink is from a bartender’s guide published in 1862. The recipe in this book is similar to the “modern” Old Fashioned but was actually not a whiskey-based drink at all. The story of the recipe we know today dates back to 1880, when a bartender in Louisville, KY created the drink and took it on the road – right to the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City, to be exact. This is said to be the birthplace of the Old Fashioned. The cocktail is mentioned in other books and periodicals over the years, but the basic recipe has always remained the same.

In today’s competitive bartending scene, it seems like such a simple recipe would fall by the wayside, forgotten in the sands of time as artisan cocktail creations move to the forefront of the bartending world. But its classic ingredients and familiar taste never goes out of style. However, that doesn’t mean we can’t change it up a little and add a modern touch to an old school cocktail. Take a look at these two new versions of the Old Fashioned as you hone your bartending skills while social distancing.

1. Gin Old Fashioned

If you are not a fan of whiskey and bourbon or you’re simply looking for something a little lighter and more refreshing for spring, this twist on the classic recipe is going to be a game changer for you. It bears some resemblance to a classic Negroni, but the unique characteristics that compose an Old Fashioned really come through and make this new creation stand out from the crowd. Build your drink with a two ounce gin base and a splash of simple syrup. A splash of bitters and some muddled orange and lemon rind complete the drink, as you stir it up and pour it over ice to cool your warm spring and summer days.

2. Coffee Old Fashioned

This one is for the coffee connoisseurs out there. Espresso martinis are played out, and hot coffee drinks are more suited to chilly autumn nights than golden summer evenings. This cocktail will definitely change the way you think about the traditional Old Fashioned. Start with two ounces of coffee liqueur and add a few splashes of orange bitters. No need for sugar in this one, as the liqueur adds a touch of sweetness. Stir over ice and then pour into your favorite beverage glass or serve it straight up with a lemon twist if you prefer the feel of a martini. Either way, you are sure to love it!

When you need a few ingredients for new cocktails like these, Payless Liquors is your go-to spot. We have everything you need for happy hour, including a great selection of domestic and import beers and wines. Whether you’re still or quarantine or just like the convenience of easy pick up, we can help. Use our online order form to make your selections today and pick them up with minimal contact.

mixed drink

4 Sweet Mixed Drink Recipes – Equal Parts Spring and Quarantine

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The spring season is finally here. With it comes warm sunny afternoons outside with a nice sweet cocktail. The unusual days we’re living in have made things a little different than past years, as most bars and restaurants around the country are not open for sit-down service. Never fear, spring happy hour will just have to move to your backyard patio!

Perhaps you have tried some of the cocktails from our previous blog on drinks you can make for quarantine happy hour. If so, you know how fun and rewarding making your own adult beverages can be. Give these four new cocktails a try, as you enjoy the afternoon sun on the veranda.

1. Garibaldi

This classic cocktail is named in honor of Guiseppe Garibaldi, a 19th century Italian general, who contributed to the unification and creation of the Kingdom of Italy. The ingredients are simple and elegant: 1.5 parts Campari liqueur to 4 parts orange juice, served over ice. This one is easy to make, easy on the eyes, and easy to drink. The vibrant red is symbolic of Garibaldi’s freedom fighters, dressed in red, and the orange represents Sicily. This cocktail is one you can wow your friends with, while giving them a bit of a history lesson as well.

2. Ginger Beer Margarita

If you love the subtle bite of ginger beer, but you’re growing tired of the same old Moscow mule every time you have a cocktail, this drink is for you. There is nothing like an icy cold margarita on a spring or summer afternoon, and the ginger flavor is a perfect complement to the lime juice, salt, simple syrup , and tequila. This may quickly become your signature drink.

3. Grapefruit Martini

The spunky pink of a ruby red grapefruit martini practically screams spring. This martini is quick and easy to whip up. It satisfies the taste buds without overwhelming the senses. It is sweet, but not overdone, and tastes like a drink you would get at a 5-star restaurant. Simply combine 2 parts ruby red grapefruit juice with 1 part vodka, 1 part triple sec, and a tablespoon of sugar over ice in your shaker. Then, give it a hefty shake and pour it into your martini glass. You won’t regret it.

4. Fig and Bourbon Fizz

If you love the uniquely sweet flavor of ripe figs, try adding the zing of fresh mint. This simple addition means you’ve got a spectacular cocktail unlike anything else you’ve tried. Some would say it’s a twist on a traditional mint julep, but the unique flavor combination here really sets it apart. Place one fig, a small handful of mint leaves, and a few raw sugar cubes into your shaker and muddle them together. Add a shot of bourbon and shake until well chilled. Pour the mixture onto a glass filled with ice cubes, top off with a hefty splash of ginger ale, and enjoy.

No matter what your tastes are, Payless Liquors has you covered this spring. You can get the ingredients for these drink recipes, along with a vast selection of your other favorite wine, beer, and spirits while social distancing by using our online order form. Place your order today and get to mixing

4 Ways to Help the Hospitality Industry During the COVID-19 Crisis

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The worldwide outbreak of coronavirus has led to changes in our communities, the likes of which we have never seen. These unprecedented times have shuttered stores and restaurants, and closed other businesses all across the country. Unfortunately, some of these businesses will never recover from the losses they have suffered due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The hospitality industry is experiencing especially difficult effects, as many of the restaurants we love to patronize are small businesses that operate on paper thin profit margins. If you want to help your favorite restaurants out, here are a few ways you can contribute to keeping them up and running throughout this crisis.

Enjoy Takeout

Many restaurants have opted to continue carryout and delivery service to maintain some semblance of business while their tables sit empty. Patronizing their businesses during this time is helping them to cover some of their overhead costs so that they don’t have to close up altogether. Ordering food to-go is a great way to contribute while stay-at-home orders are in place. The CDC has stated that there is no evidence of coronavirus being spread through food, but they do recommend maintaining social distancing guidelines like no-contact delivery whenever possible. They also suggest that you transfer food to other plates for consumption, as an added protective measure. If you order takeout, remember to tip generously if you are able to, as these workers are risking exposure by going to work to provide food for you.

Share Gift Certificates and Merch

Purchasing gift cards and logo merchandise from your favorite restaurants is an excellent way to provide immediate revenue for small businesses, outside of direct donations. Most of their merch has already been paid for at the time they ordered it, so the price you pay usually goes directly to help them pay for pressing costs like utilities and payroll. Gift cards and certificates are a great option, because the money you pay goes directly into the business’ account and you or the person you give it to get to cash it in at a later time to pay for their services.

Online Order Forms

Many small businesses offer gift cards and merch online, which works perfectly for social distancing. Some allow you to order food and products online for a scheduled pick-up time of your choice. Payless Liquors offers this service for wine, spirits, beer, and even kegs, for your convenience. We also offer a selection of mixers and glasses through our online order form.

Donations

If you are looking for options that allow you to help the industry on a broader scale, there are many non-profit groups that are organizing donation drives to offer aid to the hospitality community. These groups aim to offer immediate financial help to businesses themselves, as well as their service staff during these difficult times. Many restaurant owners around the country have also started GoFundMe fundraising accounts in an effort to provide some financial relief to their laid-off employees.

This pandemic has put a financial strain on everyone, and we are all in it together. We can all help the hospitality industry get through this ordeal, since we will still be purchasing food products. Be sure to support the places in your community where you have made memories over

the years. Every little bit helps, and they will surely be grateful for all business they receive as they struggle to hang on.

Big Joe’s Payless Liquors Culinary Challenge

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Episode 1: Jeptha Creed Blueberry Flavored Vodka

Listen to episode 1 of The NEW Big Joe’s Payless Culinary Challenge. You’ll find some fresh ideas to whip up for Mom this weekend with Jeptha Creed’s Blueberry Flavored Vodka. Listen to Weekly Episodes on The Fan Morning Show.

4 Best Drinking Games to Play During the COVID-19 Lockdown

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The doldrums of quarantine are starting to get everyone down. We are sheltering in place to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, but being cooped up in the house is getting old. There is only so much one can take of Netflix, cleaning, finishing home projects, and entertaining the kids. Since we all need to let loose once in a while, now is a great time to relive your college days and play some great drinking games! Whether it is with your significant other or as a fun Friday evening Zoom activity with friends, playing drinking games safely at home is the perfect way to get your mind off of the non-stop COVID-19 news. Here are a few fun ideas to try.

Truth or Drink

This twist on the classic Truth or Dare is an excellent way to get to know your friends better during Skype happy hour…or see them get a bit tipsy, whichever happens first. There are no dangerous dares to get anyone in trouble playing this game. You either answer a “truth” or take a drink. The only chance for shaming yourself is answering a particularly embarrassing question after taking a few “drink” turns. The fun with this one can go on for hours.

Most Likely To

Remember those senior superlatives in high school? Let’s take it to the next level with this hilarious quarantine drinking game. Each player takes a turn asking a “most likely to” question, such as “Who is most likely to get into a bar fight?” Everyone writes down their answer, and the winner has to take a drink. Have you ever wondered what your besties really think of you? This is one way to find out!

TV Drinking Games

This type of drinking game is one of the easiest and most fun to play. You can get any number of players in on the fun. Heck, you can even play by yourself if you’re really bored! The premise is simple. Everyone has to be watching the same show at the same time. One popular choice that everyone loves is Friends. As you enjoy the show, everyone has to drink whenever a certain character uses a signature line, like every time Joey says, “How you doin’?” Add a layer of complexity by assigning each player a different character with a different line.

Never Have I Ever

This is another game we all know that can easily be adapted to a drinking game. If you haven’t played before, it’s super easy. One person announces something they have never done, like “Never have I ever mooned a cop!” typically other players respond by raising their hand if they have never done this as well, resulting in lots of laughs at the expense of those who have done the deed. In the drinking version, those who have done the aforementioned act are “punished” by having to take a drink.

If these games sound fun to you, get a few friends together online to hang out and have some fun. They work great for quarantine, but you may just end up continuing with these party games once we are all able to get together again. No matter what, be sure to know your limits and drink responsibly while abiding by CDC guidelines for social distancing and coronavirus prevention. If you need to pick up libations for your game night, be sure to use the convenient Payless Liquors pickup order form to complete your purchase while maintaining your distance.

The 2 Best Reasons to Order a Keg While You’re Quarantined

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Whether you have a bar in your basement or man cave, or you just like having your favorite beer on hand, it’s rare that you find time in your busy schedule to sit down and truly enjoy a nice cold, frothy beer. However, things are different right now. Social distancing is keeping many people home, and everyone is running out of busy work to keep their minds off of the COVID-19 pandemic. The silver lining in this grey cloud is that it’s the perfect time to buy a keg and take the time you deserve to savor the hoppy flavor of your beer of choice.

Kegs Are Efficient and Eco-friendly

Half-barrel kegs give you about 165 beers and can last for weeks. This saves you a lot of time that you would normally spend restocking your beverage cooler and taking all of those empty cans and bottles out to the curb for recycling. It also helps protect our precious environment by cutting down on waste. Kegs are made to serve their purpose for the long haul. They are refillable and reusable, which means they often carry over 20,000 beers to quench our thirst over the course of their life. The impact that kegs have on the environment is substantially lower than that of bottles or canned beer. The entire process of bottling beer, from production and retail to consumer product disposal, produces enormous CO2 emissions. Keg beer cuts those emissions down by as much as 68%.

You Get More For Your Money

The money you spend on multiple beer runs, stocking up on 6-packs, 12-packs, and cases adds up over time. The use of kegs not only saves you all of that time running around, but it saves money, too. As with any product, you get more bang for your buck when you buy in bulk. Some people are even investing in kegerators to hold their beer. The initial investment in a kegerator is one reason many people are hesitant to switch to buying kegs, but the investment quickly pays for itself and provides increased savings over time. A kegerator will typically save you as much as 40%-60% over the cost of the same amount of bottled or canned beer. Most consumers break even on the cost of their kegerator after purchasing 8-10 kegs. After that, all the savings is money in your pocket. If you are a beer lover, this deal can’t be beat!

Since you are sheltering in place, this option just makes sense. You can have beer at the pull of a tap handle at any time, and not have to expose yourself to other shoppers at the store or beer distributor. Payless Liquors has you covered with great deals on your favorite kegs, such as Bud Light and Michelob Ultra for only $79.99. You can order easily with our convenient Keg Order Form, and spend your time in quarantine, sitting on your patio or in your home bar, enjoying a nice, cold draught. Don’t miss out on this great opportunity!

Check Out These Easy Cocktails You Can Make for Quarantine Happy Hour

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The self isolation of COVID-19 stay-at-home guidelines has added a great deal of stress and anxiety to our daily routine. Many Americans are out of work due to business closures, restricted hours, and children being home from school. When you add financial strain to the cabin fever everyone is experiencing, it is easy to understand why many of us need a drink to relax and unwind once in a while.

Getting Creative

One of the positive effects of the shelter in place orders is that people are learning to make the most of what they have. Grocery store shelves are missing items we usually buy, and we are learning to make new recipes with the ingredients we have on hand. Quarantine cocktails are trending, so what better way to make use of some of those things in the liquor cabinet that need a little attention. You may need to pick up a few additional items when you venture out, but these quarantine cocktails will ease your mind and stay in your bartending repertoire for years to come!

Quaran-tea

This soothing drink is perfect for warming up on a cool evening or even a breakfast treat if you aren’t a bloody mary fan. The best part is, you most likely already have all of the ingredients right at home. Cinnamon, black or chai tea, honey, and lemon are all you need to create a base for this delicious cocktail. Add a bit of rum or whiskey, and enjoy a tasty treat.

Morini Classico Negroni

If you enjoy taking your time sipping a cocktail and savoring its complexity, a classic negroni is sure to please. This drink has made a bit of a comeback in recent years but is still not something that you see on a drink menu every day. Gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth are some of the bottles that are likely gathering dust in your liquor cabinet, so get them out and mix one up. If you love it, consider keeping a larger batch on hand. It doesn’t go bad, so save yourself the trouble of mixing a new drink every time.

Daiquiri

There’s nothing like the refreshing zing of a daiquiri, and we’re not talking about the frozen strawberry chain restaurant concoctions (although they are refreshing, too!) This classic cocktail uses the basic ingredients of white rum, simple syrup, and lime juice to build a perfect beverage to enjoy on your deck on a spring quarantine afternoon. They go down easy, so be sure to pace yourself and avoid that morning headache.

These are strange times we’re living in, but you don’t have to sit at home bored. It’s ok to treat yourself to an occasional quarantine cocktail and let off a little steam. Consider reaching out to a

few friends you haven’t seen in awhile and organizing a Zoom happy hour to reconnect and catch up on each others’ lives. If you’re missing any ingredients, check out the Payless Liquors pickup order form and get your spirits the easy way while practicing social distancing.

bloody Mary

All About the Bloody Mary

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The Bloody Mary is one of the most unique cocktails in history, and not just because it uses some very unconventional ingredients that you’re unlikely to find in most other cocktails. It’s because if you were to ask 10 different bartenders to make you a Bloody Mary, you would probably have 10 very different cocktails.

History of the Bloody Mary

The Bloody Mary originally appeared at Harry’s New York Bar in Paris, France, concocted by bartender Fernand Petiot. A patron who sampled the drink suggested the name “Bloody Mary,” named after a girl he knew named Mary from the Bucket of Blood Club in Chicago. The original mix was equal parts vodka and tomato juice. After moving to the King Cole Bar at the St. Regis Hotel in New York City, Petiot adapted the recipe and gave it a kick: He added black pepper, cayenne pepper, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, and a dash of Tabasco hot pepper sauce to create the signature cocktail known and loved today.

How to Make a Bloody Mary of Your Own

While Petiot’s original Bloody Mary recipe became the standard and the basis for the wildly popular Tabasco Bloody Mary Mix from the McIlhenny Company in 1976, you can find countless different recipes at bars across the nation today. You can also mix your own Bloody Mary at home, adding a unique spin to make your own special version of this timeless classic.

Bloody Mary is typically enjoyed as a breakfast cocktail. It’s great for relieving a hangover and pairs perfectly with a breakfast of bacon and eggs, so salty, spicy, and savory additions are great choices when it comes to perfecting your Bloody Mary recipe. If you want to make your own Bloody Mary mix, it’s a good idea to combine everything but the alcohol the night before you plan on drinking your Bloody Mary. This gives the spices and flavors time to blend. Aside from the standard black and cayenne pepper, you can experiment with other spices like lemon pepper, celery salt, and chile powder for a spicier Bloody Mary.

Choosing Your Alcohol

Vodka is the standard for a Bloody Mary, but you can find lots of different vodkas that create different flavors in your drink. Absolute Peppar is a fantastic option that contributes beautifully to the spiciness of the Bloody Mary. You can also make a great Bloody Mary with mezcal, tequila, or rye whiskey.

Putting It All Together

Presentation is a big part of the appeal of the Bloody Mary. The traditional garnish is a stalk of celery with the leaves intact on one end, but you can take this much further depending on your mix and your preferences. Pickled jalapeno peppers, olives, and lemon slices are great choices for garnishes. For something a bit saltier and savorier, add a whole strip of crisply cooked bacon!

The Bloody Mary can be a great way to kick off your first day on vacation or the perfect remedy for a weekend hangover. It may take some experimentation, but eventually you can make a Bloody Mary that’s perfectly suited to your tastes with a bit of patience. Payless Liquors has all the top-shelf liquors you’ll need to make the perfect Bloody Mary, so contact us today to see if we have what you need in stock.

wine

New to Wine? Here Are 3 Tips for Finding a Wine You Love

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Wine is one of the oldest and most celebrated alcoholic beverages on the planet. It’s found throughout history in virtually every part of the world in some form or another. Today, there are so many wine varieties available that it can be overwhelming for someone who is new to wine to find one that’s perfect for his or her palate. If you’re interested in getting into wine, you should have some idea of how to start finding your favorite variety.

  1. Consider Your Favorite Foods and Flavors

Throughout history, people have consumed different types of wines with different types of foods to enhance and complement their flavors. While most people know that red wines complement red meats and rich foods and white wines pair better with poultry, seafood, and lighter fare, you can take this deeper and find a wine that complements your other tastes when it comes to food and drink.

For example, how do you take your coffee? If you prefer a creamy, silky latte over bitter black coffee, New World wines such as Merlot, Shiraz, and Malbec could be great entry points for you into the world of wine. If you prefer bold and bitter black coffee, Old World wines such as Bordeaux reds, Aglianico, and Sangiovese are probably more your speed.

  1. Refining Your Wine Tastes

As you develop your taste in wine, you should probably find one or two reds and one or two whites you prefer. When it comes to white wine, you can define your taste more easily by thinking about what you typically like to drink with your breakfast. If apple juice and sweetness is more your preference, sweet white wines like Moscato and Riesling could be perfect for you. If tart grapefruit juice is your style, then reach for a dry white wine like Sauvignon Blanc or Verdejo.

Next, think about the flavors you prefer for desserts. Is something sweet and creamy your preference over sharp and tart fruity flavors? Then you will probably want an oak-aged white wine like Pinot Blanc or Oaked Chardonnay. If you love the acidity of lemon sorbet, then reach for a bottle of white wine with higher acidity like Pinot Grigio, Albarino, or German Riesling.

When it comes to choosing your favorite reds, the two most prominent factors in red wines are acidity and body. If you prefer fruity flavors and tartness over creamy flavors, then a bold and acidic red wine will probably hit the spot for you. If you want something more earthy and bold, a red wine with a strong body will feel lusher in the mouth.

  1. Remember that Your Tastes Will Change Over Time

If you look at a wine tasting list at a local winery, you may see more than 100 different varieties of wine and feel completely lost. It’s unreasonable to expect to learn everything there is to know about every variety of wine, so instead of focusing on specific grape varieties or brands, start thinking more about the types of flavors you want to enjoy.

Once you try several varieties of wine, you will start to develop a pattern in your wine preferences and generally have an easier time selecting the one you want at the time. Your preferences will change over time, but there are so many different wines available that you’re sure to find something that hits the spot. Contact Payless Liquors if you’re looking for something in particular; we’ll be glad to help you find the perfect wine for you.

seltzers

5 Interesting Facts About the Hard Seltzer Craze

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Most people have seen popular advertisements for the many hard seltzer products available today. These canned drinks have grown incredibly popular in a very short time, and this trend may be much more than just a passing fad. If you haven’t tried any hard seltzers yet, you should know a few interesting facts about this new drink craze.

One: Seltzers Appeal to the Health-Conscious

It’s no secret that Americans have grown steadily more health-conscious over the last several years. Clean organic eating has become the norm for many Americans of all walks of life, and the search for healthier ways to live, eat, and have fun continues to expand for many. Hard seltzers have significant appeal to the health-conscious due to the fact that they are very low in carbs, lower in calories than most beers, and have a very low sugar content.

Two: The Market Says Seltzer Isn’t Going Anywhere

White Claw, a brand owned by Mike’s Hard Lemonade, kicked off the hard seltzer craze in the summer of 2019, which quickly became known as “White Claw Summer” thanks to clever marketing and savvy use of social media. White Claw sales increased more than 250% over previous year sales in 2019, and promoters predict that the hard seltzer market will triple by 2023.

Three: People Are Passing on Beer for Seltzer

While the craft beer boom of recent years hasn’t seemed to lose much traction, many people are passing on beer in favor of hard seltzers due to the lower nutritional impact and the variety of flavors now available. The number of major beer brands launching hard seltzer products could indicate that these brands fear a public shift toward hard seltzer over beer.

Four: Major Beverage Companies Are Jumping Into the Hard Seltzer Market

Major beer brands including Budweiser, Anheuser-Busch, and the Boston Beer Company have taken note and launched their own hard seltzer products in response to this growing trend. While White Claw continues to enjoy tremendous sales thanks to the steam generated by its 2019 marketing campaigns, countless other brands have appeared, even generating something of a craft hard seltzer market.

Five: The Variety Available Speaks to a Much Wider Potential Audience

One of the most appealing aspects of the hard seltzer craze for many people is the sheer amount of variety available. People who aren’t big beer drinkers may love the chance to try a wider selection of hard seltzers, especially since they aren’t as negatively impactful on their health as most beers can be. Companies that have launched hard seltzer products have generally offered large flavor selections, creating more opportunities for people to find hard seltzer flavors they love.

Hard seltzer hit the alcoholic beverage market hard, and the impact seems to have lots of momentum. We’re sure to see a wide variety of new hard seltzer products appearing soon, and more and more people are turning to this beverage option as an alternative to beer. As major beverage companies shift their focus toward the changing market, you can expect to see many new varieties of hard seltzer available very soon. If you haven’t tried hard seltzer yet and want to see what all the fuss is about, contact Payless Liquors today and see which hard seltzer sample packs we have available.

easter

5 Best Cocktails for Easter (or Any April Party)

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Whether you’re planning a big family celebration for Easter or simply have entertaining plans this April, a few spring cocktails are great additions to your recipe collection and will delight and refresh your guests. Try these for yourself and see which ones would complement your spring party menus the best.

  1. Iced Sparkling Honey Lime Red Tea

Cool tea is one of the best spring drinks, and you can add a delightful kick to your favorite red tea with this light and crisp recipe. Start by brewing a few bags of your favorite red tea, enough to make a full pitcher. Brew the tea according to the package directions and then add honey to taste. Let the mixture cool, then add lime juice to the pitcher. Pour the mixture into drinking glasses over ice and top with club soda, garnish with lime slices, and serve.

  1. The Classic Champagne Cocktail

A signature celebratory cocktail that’s great for springtime, the Classic Champagne Cocktail is a great way to add a bit of fun and class to your next April gathering. You’ll need a sugar cube for every champagne glass, your favorite bitters, and of course, champagne. Start by soaking each sugar cube in bitters. The best way to do this is by opening the bottle of bitters, placing a sugar cube over the open top, and then holding the cube with your thumb as you tilt the bottle upside-down, soaking the cube in bitters in just a second or two. Place each soaked cube in a champagne glass and then pour your champagne. Add a twist of lemon peel as a garnish and serve.

  1. Spiked Strawberry Lemonade

Few drinks are as reminiscent of the springtime as homemade strawberry lemonade. If you’d like to try a more grown-up version of this classic spring drink, start by adding your favorite vodka, lemonade, and sliced strawberries to a metal shaker. Shake well, then strain into drinking glasses over ice. A lemon wedge and a sprig of mint make the perfect garnish for this light and fruity cocktail.

  1. Moscow Mule Punch

Looking for a big batch cocktail to serve at your next Easter or spring party? Start with a large punch bowl and combine ginger beer and your favorite top-shelf vodka over ice. Mix in freshly squeezed lime juice, mint leaves, and limes cut into thin slices. Serve with a ladle into copper mules and garnish with more lime slices.

  1. Creamsicle Punch

Orange Creamsicles are some of the most beloved spring treats, and now you can capture that amazing flavor in a cocktail for your next April party! Start by combining pulp-free orange juice, ginger ale, vodka, and prosecco in a large punch bowl. Very carefully add small scoops of vanilla ice cream and thin orange slices. Ladle into drinking glasses to serve.

These are just a few examples of fantastic cocktails that are perfect for Easter parties or spring gatherings of any kind. Payless Liquors has all the top-shelf alcohol you need to make these amazing drinks for your next party, so contact us today to find out what we have in stock.

Fun Ways to Cook With Wine

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If you like to cook with wine or want to learn how to successfully use wine in your cooking, there are many ways to learn. Recipes for dishes with wine in them abound. If you are savvy in the kitchen, a little trial and error can also produce some spectacular results. One important thing to remember is that the quality of wine you use affects the quality of the dish you create.

Some choose to cook with leftover wine, which isn’t a terrible idea, as long as the wine hasn’t gone bad. Others opt for “cooking wine” that they find at the grocery store. This, on the other hand, IS a pretty terrible idea. There are so many wonderful, affordable wines on the market that you can use in your cooking, there is no need to use this inferior product.

If you are new to cooking with wine, try your hand at these recipes to get started.

Red Wine Spaghetti With Olives and Anchovies

  • 2c + 2 Tbsp Fruit Forward Red Wine
  • 9 oz Whole Wheat Spaghetti
  • 2 oz Can of Anchovies
  • 1-2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 3 Sliced Garlic Cloves
  • ⅔ Cup Pitted Olives
  • ½ Tsp Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1 Tbsp Tomato Paste
  • 1 Cup Chopped Parsley
  • Sea Salt

Bring 2 cups plus 2 Tbsp of water to boil, along with ¾ cup of the wine. Add a teaspoon of salt and cook your spaghetti on this mixture for 7-8 minutes. Drain, but save 1/2cup of the liquid. Drain the oil from the anchovies into a pan and add the olive oil. Sauté garlic over low heat. Chop the anchovies and halve the olives. Add pepper flakes, tomato paste, liquid reserved from the spaghetti, and the rest of the wine to the garlic. Bring to a boil and add the olives and anchovies. Simmer for a few minutes, add the spaghetti, and cook until most of the liquid is absorbed. Toss with ¾ of the parsley, then serve with the remaining parsley as a garnish.

White Wine Garlic Chicken

  • 4 6oz Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast Halves
  • ½ Tsp Salt
  • ¼ Tsp Pepper
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 6oz Sliced Baby Portobello Mushrooms
  • 1 Medium Onion, chopped
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • ½ Cup Dry White Wine

Use a meat mallet to pound the chicken breasts to ½ inch thickness and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat oil on medium and cook chicken breasts 5-6 minutes on each side. Remove chicken from the pan and add mushrooms, cooking on medium high for 2-3 minutes. Add garlic, stir for 30 seconds, then add the wine and bring to a boil. Cook for 1-2 minutes and serve over the chicken breasts.

Get the Right Wine for Your Recipe

Cooking with wine isn’t strictly for those old traditional French dishes we think of, like Coq au Vin and Boeuf Bourguignon. It can be used in a variety of sauces, glazes, soups, and even ice cream. For a great selection to choose from for your next venture into cooking with wine, visit us at Payless Liquors and pick up a few bottles. Just remember to save a glass to drink while you’re cooking!

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