Indy's Premier Bourbon Celebration

Get Your Tickets to Indy’s Premier Bourbon Celebration

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Experience a night like no other at Indy’s Premier Bourbon Celebration at the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center on March 6th. Come out and spend a fabulous evening tasting bourbon from more than 40 distilleries. The event will begin at 5:30 with a VIP experience for special guests one hour before general admission. General admission tickets are $150 (or $125 for historical society members), but, for an additional $40, you can be a part of the VIP hour.

VIP Hour and General Admission Highlights

This is the first time we are offering this exclusive event, which includes special foods, a master distiller guided tasting, and a commemorative bourbon glass. The general admission event from 6:30-10:00 will not disappoint, however. This distinguished tasting experience will feature perfectly paired foods to complement the featured bourbons of the evening. Some of the participating distillers include Whistle Pig, Redneck Riviera, Ole Smoky, Maker’s Mark, Jim Beam, Jefferson’s, Horse Soldier, New Riff, Buffalo Trace, and Brown-Forman. You won’t want to miss out on a night of exploring the exhibits at the History Center in the company of other bourbon lovers. A memorable highlight of the event will be live and silent auctions featuring spectacular bourbon packages.

The Venue

The Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center is home to the Indiana Historical Society (IHS). This organization has been called “Indiana’s Storyteller” since 1830. This private, non-profit group collects, preserves, and shares the history of the state and makes it available to the public so that they can learn about and connect to the past. The Historical Society maintains the country’s top archives and is a research library for the history of Indiana and the Old Northwest and supports local historical groups and museums.

As a Smithsonian Affiliate and member of the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience, the Indiana Historical Society is proud to provide youth, adult, and family programming, known as the Indiana Experience. The organization produces and hosts art exhibits, museum theatre, and outside performance groups. The many services they provide to the community include the publication of books and periodicals, as well as sponsorship of educator workshops. The venue itself is an event in its own right and a perfect environment for learning about the fine art of distilling bourbon.

Meet Bourbon Experts

There is a growing list of participating distilleries for this year’s Bourbon Celebration – and with those distilleries comes their expert representatives! We’re especially excited to welcome Charlie Nelson, Co-Founder/President, and Cliff Kimmerling, Brand Ambassador, for Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery and Belle Meade Bourbon.

Charlie Nelson

Charlie Nelson is the namesake of his triple-great grandfather, Charles Nelson, a German immigrant whose drive and ingenuity built the most productive distillery in Tennessee — until prohibition shut it down. Now, with his brother Andy, Charlie is bringing back the legendary Tennesee Whiskey and Bourbon that were once known and loved the world over. Their Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery in Nashville is where the magic happens, starting in a custom copper pot-still, and ending in row upon row of charred oak barrels.

While the spirits are aging to perfection, the lively and charismatic Charlie is out sharing the story and the distinctive flavor of his generation’s Green Brier Tennesee Whiskey and Belle Meade Bourbon.

Cliff Kimmerling

Over the course of nearly fifteen years spent working as a touring and studio musician, Cliff had the amazing opportunity to travel all across the United States and beyond.  Through his travels he developed a passion for the culture, history, fine foods, and spirits of the towns and countries he encountered along the way.  Shortly after moving to Nashville, Tennessee, he followed those passions to Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery where between his travels he began working as a tour guide and learned about the rich history of the Nelson family as well as the extraordinary whiskies they produced.

After two years with the distillery he accepted the position of Brand Ambassador Manager, in which he serves as a liaison, educator, and resource to many patrons and clients in the greater-Nashville area and can be seen all across the country at festivals and trade shows spreading the “whiskey gospel” of Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery.

Come meet the bourbon experts, including Charlie and Cliff, on March 6th!

Get Your Tickets Now

If sampling the finest bourbons on the market and spending an evening enjoying delicacies with a wonderful group of people sounds like an activity you would enjoy, don’t put off getting your tickets. This event encourages responsible consumption of alcohol and is not only supported by

Lyft, but also offers designated driver tickets at a cost of only $50. Be sure to buy your tickets today for this unforgettable evening. It is a great opportunity to include friends and family in a night out together celebrating our rich heritage, learning about the process of making bourbon, and perhaps finding a few new favorites that you have never tried before.

If you haven’t reserved your tickets yet, visit the IHS website to save your spot. Be sure to get one as a gift for that hard-to-buy-for bourbon lover in your life as well. This will be a night that you won’t soon forget. If you are unable to attend but still want to sample some distinct bourbon flavors on your own, you can find favorites like Angel’s Envy, Knob Creek, and Buffalo Trace any day of the week at Payless Liquors.

crockpot-warmed cocktails

It’s Hot Toddy Season: Try These 3 Crockpot-Warmed Cocktails

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The crockpot is a staple appliance in most American kitchens, but did you know you can use yours to make much more than slow-cooked meals? Your crockpot can help you make some of the most unique and delicious hot cocktails. Check out the following recipes and visit Payless Liquors to purchase all the ingredients you’ll need to enjoy them in your own kitchen.

Temple Toddy

This unique spin on the classic Hot Toddy is sure to please, especially if you’re suffering from a cold or sore throat. Peel and chop one lemon, one mango, one Granny Smith apple, and a two-inch piece of ginger and add everything to your crockpot with 32 ounces of water. Cook for one hour and then muddle all of the solids. Strain the mixture with a fine strainer for about six ounces of your Temple Toddy mixer. Combine two ounces of Jameson Irish Whiskey with a half ounce of honey in a hot toddy mug and then fill it up with your strained fruit mixture. Garnish with a lemon wheel and a cinnamon stick.

Spiked Crockpot Apple Cider

Hot cider is a classic winter drink, and you can make an adult version easily in your crockpot with a few additions. Start with six to eight cups of your favorite apple cider, half a cup of caramel ice cream topping, and two cinnamon sticks combined in your crockpot. Heat on high for at least two hours. At this point, you can serve as-is or add your favorite vodka, bourbon, or whiskey for a spiked cocktail. Pour one ounce of your liquor of choice into a mug, then top with the spiced cider. Whipped cream, caramel sauce, and miniature shortbread cookie make for a delightful topping.

Cranberry-Orange Mulled Wine

Mulled wine is a winter favorite all over the world. You’ll need one 750ml bottle of your favorite Cabernet Sauvignon or red Zinfandel, two cups of orange juice, one third of a cup of sugar, and one cup of fresh or frozen cranberries poured into your slow cooker. Wash a whole orange thoroughly and then use fresh whole cloves to stud the surface of the orange; just use the prickly end of each clove to poke directly into the peel. Add the orange to the slow cooker and warm the mixture on low for two to three hours, or until the cranberries are tender, just make sure not to let the mixture boil.

Fish out the orange and cinnamon sticks and then very carefully strain the wine through a heatproof fine-mesh sieve into a heatproof bowl. Next, use a wooden spoon to carefully press the cranberry juices through the sieve into the bowl. Once you’ve drained all the juice out of the cranberries, return the wine mixture to your slow cooker and add half a cup of brandy and more sugar to taste. Set the slow cooker to the warming setting and then serve by ladling into mugs and garnishing with cinnamon sticks and orange slices. You can also skewer some cranberries on cocktail sticks for extra flair.

The possibilities are endless with a good slow cooker when it comes to warmed cocktails. Try a few other recipes for yourself and get creative. Remember that you can come to Payless Liquors for all of the ingredients you need for perfect warmed cocktails.

valentines day

8 Best Wines to Accompany a Valentine’s Day Meal

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Valentine’s Day is not only a great day to spend some quality time with your special someone, it’s also a great excuse to buy a fantastic bottle of wine to share with someone you love. This Valentine’s Day, consider surprising your significant other with a bottle of some of the best wines from Payless Liquors.

Sweeter Wines

Bold and dry wines aren’t for everyone, and a lighter, sweeter wine could be the perfect fit for your Valentine’s Day dinner. Some of the best types of sweeter wines to try this Valentine’s Day include:

● Moscato, which is made from the Muscat family of grapes and a light and fruity option that typically contains notes of apricot, berry, or apple.

● Riesling, which is made from a white grape variety grown around the Rhine River. Riesling is typically light and crisp with sweet citrus notes, perfect for pairing with boldly seasoned poultry or fish.

● White Zinfandel, a favorite of the rose type of wines made from Zinfandel grapes using a specialized process, is a sweeter variety that pairs well with a wide variety of dishes.

Complex Wines

Does your Valentine’s Day date prefer something more complex and sophisticated? You can’t go wrong with some of the best complex wines from Payless Liquors:

● Chianti, which is made from grapes grown in the Chianti region of Tuscany. Chianti wines tend to offer complex mixes of notes, including red fruits, balsamic vinegar, dried herbs, game, and smoke.

● Chardonnay, which is made in a wide variety of styles from the Chardonnay grape. You can find all kinds of Chardonnay wines ranging from crisp whites to sweet reds. As one of the most popular types of wine on Earth, you can find them with a wide variety of notes at various levels of complexity to suit any palette.

Bold Wines

For some, Valentine’s Day is all about tradition, boldness, and maybe a bit of sensuality. If this is your preferred take, then a bolder wine might be the best selection for your Valentine’s Day plans:

● Cabernet, especially a top shelf Napa Valley Cabernet, is the perfect accompaniment for a rich dinner. Made from Cabernet Sauvignon grapes and the most widely renowned red wine variety in the world, you can find a diverse range of fantastic Cabernets with all types of notes and various levels of complexity.

● Shiraz, which is made from the dark Shiraz grape family, produces some of the boldest and tempting red wines on Earth. A bottle of Shiraz will go perfectly with a dinner of steak, pork, or as a great addition to your appetizer platter.

● Pinot Noir, which is made from Vitis vinifera grapes, is one of the most popular red wines on Earth and can easily be equal parts smooth, bold, and satisfying as an accompaniment to your Valentine’s Day dinner.

Wine is one of the most popular beverages on the planet and has been for thousands of years. It’s no surprise that winemaking has evolved into a complex art form, hobby, and business for countless people all over the world.

No matter what type of wine drinkers you and your significant other might be, you’re sure to find an incredible variety of reds, wines, and roses sure to please from Payless Liquors.

January cocktails

3 January Cocktails You Don’t Want to Miss

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January might be the coldest month of the year in most of the country, but it’s a great time to try some fantastic wintry cocktails that can warm the spirit and liven your January gatherings. Payless Liquors offers a fantastic selection of spirits, mixers, and bar equipment that you can use to make the following must-try January cocktails.

Winter Mojito

The mojito is often considered a summer drink, with a crisp and refreshing bite that’s perfect for beating the heat. However, the winter mojito can provide the same kind of perk-up during the winter weather with a few modifications. Two ounces of house-spiced rum, three-quarters of an ounce of lime juice, and a half ounce of Demerara syrup form the base of this multilayered drink in a shaker cup with ice. After blending, strain the drink into a glass with a mint sprig and ice.

To add your own house-spiced rum, simply add one whole cinnamon stick, 5 ground cloves, and one star anise pod to a bottle of your favorite spiced rum and allow it to steep for at least 12 hours before straining out the solids.

Fennel Countdown

If you’re in the mood for a drink with warmth and complexity, this is it. The Fennel Countdown is one and a quarter ounces of The Real McCoy 12-year-old rum, one ounce of Père-Magloire V.S.O.P. calvados, three-quarters of an ounce of 291 Distillery The DECC citrus clove liqueur, a half ounce of homemade fennel syrup, three-quarters of an ounce of apricot puree, one fifth of an ounce of fresh lemon juice, and two dashes of Strongwater Wildfire bitters. Blend everything in a shaker cup with ice and then strain over a glass with ice. Garnish with a clove-studded lemon square.

To make your own fennel syrup at home, toast about four ounces of fennel seeds and then add them to a pot with eight ounces of sugar and eight ounces water, bring the mixture to a boil before simmering 15 minutes and then straining.

Lazy Sunday

Have you made a New Year’s Resolution to live healthier in 2020? You’ll be happy to learn the Lazy Sunday cocktail has a bit of a health bonus with the inclusion of turmeric, a natural anti-inflammatory. Mix yourself a Lazy Sunday by combining one and a half ounces of your favorite tequila with an equal measure of fresh grapefruit juice, one ounce of cinnamon syrup, and a quarter ounce of turmeric tea in a shaker cup with ice. Strain the mixture into a highball glass with ice, top with soda water, and garnish with a slice of grapefruit peel.

You can make turmeric tea easily at home by combining one teaspoon of ground turmeric powder and two cups of water, bringing the mixture to a boil, and then simmer for ten minutes. Once done simmering, strain the mixture and use it for your Lazy Sunday cocktail!

These are just a few of the fantastic winter cocktails you can try this January. No matter what your plans for the New Year might be, Payless Liquors has all the essentials to make them more memorable. Visit us online to check out our selection and arrange a pickup of your must-have cocktail ingredients.

imported beers

Have You Tried These Five Imported Beers?

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Beer drinkers are creatures of habit; find a brew you like, and chances are, you’ll go back to it regularly. While there’s nothing wrong with knowing what you like, the beer world is a large and diverse one; you could be missing out on a new favorite.

In the same vein, much has been made in recent years of the current boom in domestic or local craft breweries. As beer drinkers ourselves, we love what the craft industry has done for the American beer drinker. The rise and local accessibility of different varieties beyond the standard has led more and more people to step outside their beer comfort zone. As a result, however, many beer drinkers are forgetting about the very import staples that inspired all these new domestic brews.

Make This Your Month to Try An Imported Beer

Imported beers often hail from countries and breweries that invented the concept of beer brewing to begin with. As a result, you’ll likely recognize most of the beer types on this list – some are even precursors to the new brews you can get at the local brewery. Widen your beer influences this month with one (or more) of these imports:

  1. Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier (Germany). Germany has been brewing beer since at least 800 BC. Nowadays, you’ll find a Hofbrauhaus in nearly every town. Weihenstephaner hails from Weihenstephan, Bavaria and is a classic example of a German wheat beer. Fruity, malty, and creamy, this is America’s top hefe import and a great introduction to German beer.
  2. Pilsner Urquell (Czech Republic). Named after the Czech region of Plzen, a pilsner is simply a type of pale lager. Pilsner Urquell is the original pilsner, brewed since the mid-19th century in Plzensky Prazdroj, Plzen, Czech Republic and is the single best-known example of the style. Pilsners are clear and golden, and Pilsner Urquell brings hints of corn and biscuit to this supremely drinkable beer.
  3. Guinness Draught (Ireland). One of the most well-known imports in the country, Guinness was first brewed in Dublin, Ireland in 1759, along with a selection of popular ales. Since then, Guinness has crossed continents and oceans to become the world’s most sought-after stout. Stouts are typically richer and creamier than other styles of beer, and Guinness provides an exceptionally smooth drink with a slightly bitter finish.
  4. Red Stripe (Jamaica). If you’re looking for an alternative to the tried and true island beer for your next get together, Red Stripe Jamaican lager could be just the ticket. With more hoppy flavor than Corona and its counterparts, and just the right hint of caramel and bitterness to finish, this lager has more to offer than your average American lager.
  5. Sapporo (Japan). If you’re used to drinking one of the megabrand American domestics, consider giving Sapporo a try. This Japanese lager is a bit more bitter and full-bodied than Budweiser, Miller, Coors, and company, but American beer drinkers describe it as a crisp alternative to the usual.

While we’d never suggest giving up your favorite beer or forgoing a trip to the local brewery, trying a new-to-you imported beer is a great way to extend your palate. Better yet, you could find the beer that will become your next favorite. Try one of the above or ask an associate for an import recommendation unique to your preferences.

wine

Payless Wine Recommendation: Dry Selections for January

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A dry wine is one that isn’t sweet because there’s no residual sugar left from the wine-making process. The yeast eats the sugar that comes from the grapes. If winemakers are looking for sweetness – like for a Riesling – they halt the fermentation process halfway. However, if the winemakers leave the wine to a natural finish, the product is a dry wine.

This month, we’d like to focus on the various dry wine varietals available in the US, including a brief rundown of the common flavor profiles, characteristics, and regions most popular here at Payless.

Dry Wine January

If you don’t know a dry white from a Riesling, check out our list of dry wine recommendations for this month.

  1. Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. From one of America’s best-known wine regions comes a variety of dry red wines, including cabernet sauvignon. Cabs from this region tend to be low in acidity and aged in dry oak barrels, imparting a more subtle hint of oak than their white wine counterparts. Napa Cabs are typically very dark and dense, with notes of dark fruits such as currants and black cherry.
  2. Washington State Merlot. While not as well-known as Napa or Sonoma, southern Washington has some of the best merlots you can find this side of Bordeaux. Merlot is sweeter than other dry reds like cabernet, due to its lower tannin levels, making it a great wine to ease into if you’re not used to drinking red or dry wines. For this reason, many wineries use merlot primarily in red blends.
  3. Top Shelf Burgundy Pinot Noir. Much is made of Sonoma Pinot Noir, but if you’re looking for something truly top shelf, find a Burgundy Pinot. Burgundian Pinot strays from the fruitier flavors favored by the American version and substitutes more earthy undertones. Typically, Burgundian reds are aged to a lesser extent than Americans and are considered more traditional.
  4. Italian Pinot Grigio. Dry, zesty, and refreshing all in one glass, Pinot Grigio is Italy’s premiere white wine. Pinot Grigio is much more acidic than any of the dry wines found on this list so far, but its apple, citrus, and honeysuckle notes make it accessible to wine enthusiasts of all kinds. Fun fact: The Pinot Gris grapes used to make Pinot Grigio are thought to be mutated from the original Pinot Noir Grapes.
  5. Sonoma Oaked Chardonnay. The California version of the French classic is one of the most popular wines in the world. Because it’s one of the few whites commonly aged in oak barrels, Chardonnay has a unique buttery, vanilla taste in addition to its apple and melon fruit flavors. If you’re not into the buttery oakiness, try an unoaked version from the same region.

Whatever your wine preferences, we challenge you to try something new this month. This list of dry red and white wines is a great place to start and sure to please the pickiest pallet. Alternatively, ask one of our team for a recommendation more individual to your unique tastes.

 

healthy cocktails

Try These Healthy Cocktail Recipes for the New Year

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The beginning of a new year often inspires people to begin making healthy dietary changes – from better snacks to better cocktails. Now that the decadent food and drink of the holiday season is behind us, January is the perfect time to commit to a healthier you, but that doesn’t mean you have to give up the drinks you love.

New Year, New Cocktails

If you enjoy imbibing with friends and family, you’ll be happy to know you can still indulge in the occasional drink while remaining faithful to your new healthy eating regime. However, in many circles, “healthy drinks” translates to little more than liquor with a splash of seltzer. Fortunately, the following cocktails are low-calorie, refreshing, and tasty enough to keep you coming back for more. Check out our top five here:

  1. Skinny Spicy Tequila Cocktail. This tart, sweet, and spicy cocktail is a play on a spicy margarita – only without the loads of calories brought to the table by sweet and sour mix. Instead, the Skinny Spicy Tequila uses fresh-squeezed orange and lime juice and just a hint of pineapple juice to provide the citrusy kick, then a hint of pineapple juice for the signature sweetness. Add a jigger of jalapeno tequila, and you have a skinny cocktail that will only cost you about 150 calories.
  2. Rosemary Grapefruit Vodka Spritzer. The winter season is the perfect time for this cocktail, featuring fresh herbs and the plump seasonal grapefruits you’ll find in local grocers. Equal parts savory and zesty, this drink is best started by muddling rosemary, grapefruit or grapefruit juice, vodka, and lime juice in a shaker. Strain into a cocktail glass, top it off with grapefruit sparkling water, and you have a classy 150 calorie cocktail at the ready.
  3. Keto-Friendly Moscow Mule. The Moscow Mule is an excellent cocktail for any time of year – it’s refreshing enough for summer, but the herbaceous ginger kick tastes like fall and winter to many others. Whether you’ve recently started Keto or are simply looking for a full-flavored substitute, this recipe has you covered at just 110 calories. Start with a chilled copper mug, then add vodka and fresh lime juice; the secret ingredient is diet ginger beer, which has all the taste of the original without sacrificing the signature flavor of ginger beer for the much less spicy ginger ale.
  4. Skinny Strawberry Mojito. If you’re accustomed to mojitos, you know the reason it’s on most dieters no-lists – simple syrup and full-sugar soda ramp up the calorie counts in the minty, tasty original. This Skinny Strawberry version of the classic forgoes both in favor of Stevia, flavored soda water and strawberries for sweetness. As always, be sure to muddle the mint, Stevia, strawberries, lime and rum in your glass to release the mint flavor, Then, add soda water and stir for a 112-calorie refreshing cocktail.
  5. Pomegranate Champagne Spritzer. What would a low-cal cocktail list be without champagne? A frequent recommendation of dietitians everywhere, champagne is a diet-friendly drink on its own. However, consider spicing it up with some lemon and fun pomegranate ice cubes for a sweet-tart surprise. Or, add your own preferred fresh-squeezed juice for a burst of flavor with minimal added sugar.

These are just a few of the best healthy cocktail recipes out there. However, many popular cocktails can be altered to cut calories without sacrificing taste. Ask our friendly staff for more information about skinny versions of some of the most popular spirits and cocktail mixes on the market.

martini

Impress Your Guests With Your Knowledge of the Martini 

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Have you ever wanted to order a martini with the confidence of James Bond? It might be difficult if you don’t have a grasp of basic terminology. The ways in which you can customize a martini are virtually endless. However, knowing the foundation of a good martini – and the most common ways that people enjoy them – can make you a better host at your next get together. Here is what you need to know about mixing the perfect martini.

Start With the Base

There are two main types of martinis – vodka and gin. Historically, the original martini was created from gin and named a Martinez. During the San Francisco gold rush, a miner came into a bar and asked for a cocktail in exchange for a gold nugget. An enterprising bartender mixed a combination of dry gin, a dash of bitters, maraschino (cherry liquor), and sweet vermouth. He named it for the city in which the miners found gold, and a cocktail was born.

The idea of a vodka martini would not come around until an author named Ian Fleming would have a certain British special agent order one – half gin, half vodka, and Lillete – inspired by his love interest, Vesper. Today, this concoction is still called a Vesper Martini.

Shaken Versus Stirred

Shaken or stirred – is there a difference? A true bartender might tell you that stirring is the only way to have a true martini. Shaking the martini will make the vermouth less oily, and ice fragments in the glass will naturally dilute the drink. In other words, James Bond was asking for a weaker martini.

Wet Versus Dry

Whether a martini is “wet” or “dry” depends on the amount of vermouth you use. The more vermouth in the recipe, the “wetter” the cocktail will be. A dry martini, by contrast, has little vermouth and more vodka or gin.

Straight Up or On The Rocks

This one is pretty simple: when a drink is “on the rocks,” it’s served in a glass with ice. When it’s straight up, it is shaken or stirred with ice to bring it to temperature, then poured in a glass, leaving the ice behind.

Common Martini Variations

Today, the customization options for martinis are seemingly endless. Try one of these variations to impress your guests:

  • A naked martini. In this variation, there is no vermouth or dilution with ice. It is simply a thoroughly chilled, high quality gin or vodka, garnished with a twist (generally of lemon peel).
  • A Gibson martin. This dry martini calls for a garnish of pickled or pearl onion.
  • A dirty martini. You make a martini “dirty” when you add a splash of olive juice to the mix, complete with an olive garnish. To really wow you guests, consider offering olives stuffed with garlic or cheese.

Though martinis are historically made with gin and sweet vermouth, today there are several different ways to make them. No matter how you choose to mix, make sure you chill the glass and the liquor thoroughly before serving. Stop by Payless Liquors to find your perfect martini combination today!

history of gin

The Real (and Kind of Crazy) History of Gin

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Gin is a favorite libation for those who enjoy the fizz of a good tonic or the bite of a martini. While many of us know and love the herbal notes of gin, you might be surprised by its somewhat sordid history. Like many types of alcohol, gin has been the subject of controversy and vilification. Learn the history of this herbaceous spirit.

An Ancient Spirit

You can trace gin’s origins back as far as 70 A.D., where it was first used as medicine – specifically, a tonic of wine steeped in juniper berries to help ease symptoms associated with chest coughs. Fast forward to 1055, and the Benedictine Monks included similar recipes in their Compendium Solernita, a sort of medieval medical textbook.

By the 16th century, the Dutch were creating their own version of gin, a spirit comprised of a healthy dose of malt and juniper berries added to combat the harsh flavor of the fermenting grain. Gin, as we know it, however, came around the year 1714, when a British author shortened the liquor’s name, genever, to Gen, but misspelled it. Interestingly, this is the name that stuck, and gin’s history only gets more exciting.

Death and Taxes

It would be another few decades before Benjamin Franklin would quip about death and taxes, but the sentiment would still hold true in 18th century England. At a trade war with France, the King put exorbitant taxes on wine and Cognac, prompting people to get a little creative with their mixing. People began making their own gin. With no laws or restrictions on distilling, enterprising distillers began adding juniper to turpentine and even Sulphuric acid, which had some unintended health consequences. Faced with a mounting death toll and number of people with mental illness, distilling would soon become heavily restricted. Because of its ability to make people crazy – a literal “gin craze” – it would become vilified and high members of society would promote drinking beer and tea over the seemingly dangerous beverage.

Gin found its redemption in the mid-19th century, when a new still revolutionized the way we make liquor (crystal clear and without additives). The British Royal Navy kept gin on its ships, as it was not prone to spoiling like beer and wine. They also kept quinine aboard as a natural treatment for malaria. Quinine was notoriously awful, so seamen often mixed it with soda to quell the harsh taste. An enterprising sailor thought to add gin to the mix – and an iconic cocktail was born. The rest is history. Today, gin is a staple at bars across the world.

Find Your Perfect Gin at Payless Liquors

Gin comes in a variety of styles and proofs. It tends to be dry, though some types of gin take on a naturally more piney flavor profile than others. While the most popular gins like Beefeater, Bombay Sapphire, and Tanqueray are distilled from Juniper berries, some local distillers make the spirit from grains and even blueberries. There are many ways to enjoy gin – come and try a bottle for yourself!

eggnog

Don’t Forget the Eggnog: 7 Recipes for Your Holiday Party

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Eggnog is one of the most treasured holiday beverages and a staple of countless holiday parties across the country. While a traditional eggnog recipe is easy to come by, you can kick things up a notch this holiday season by trying a few unique eggnog-inspired recipes for a new spin on a holiday classic.

Best Boozy Eggnog

Traditional eggnog has a bit of a kick thanks to the brandy or bourbon used to make it. If you want to really amp up the booziness of this holiday treat, then try this recipe for the Best Boozy Eggnog. It has far more alcohol than most traditional eggnog recipes. Experiment with some of your favorite liquor brands to make the best eggnog with the biggest kick you’ve ever tried.

Gingerbread Eggnog

Gingerbread is a hallmark of the holiday season, so why not infuse your eggnog with the timeless flavor of eggnog using this Gingerbread Eggnog recipe? Eggnog typically has a blend of winter spices, and the addition of ginger, cloves, molasses, and allspice offer the sweetness and aroma of gingerbread with the creamy taste of eggnog we all know and love during the holidays.

White Christmas

Let’s face it: eggnog isn’t for everyone, but this recipe offers the creamy taste of eggnog without the level of “eggyness” that turns some people off from traditional eggnog. Blend eggnog with Southern Comfort and white chocolate liqueur to create this creamy cocktail. Garnish with edible gold or chocolate flakes for a delightful presentation.

Vegan Eggnog

Believe it or not, it’s possible to enjoy eggnog without adding eggs at all! If you have friends or family who cannot or do not consume eggs, this Vegan Eggnog recipe is the perfect alternative. Silken tofu and soymilk replace the eggs, but this drink has the creaminess and spicy aroma you would expect from a cup of traditional eggnog.

Rompope

This Mexican holiday cocktail originates from Mexican egg punch, or ponche de huevo. The drink includes eggs and peeled and blanched almonds. Rompope is cooked over a stove and then cooled completely before adding rum to serve.

Polish Kogel Mogel

This cocktail is almost a dessert. Originating from the Jewish communities of Poland, it is a base of pasteurized egg yolks and honey. Chilled and served in drinking glasses or ramekins, it can be eaten with or without alcohol. Feel free to add extras like marshmallows, nuts, raisins, cocoa powder, vodka, and rum and spike it to taste.

The Tom and Jerry

Winter is the perfect time to enjoy a warm, comforting drink, and you can serve eggnog warm as a Tom and Jerry. This is a somewhat complex recipe that requires making the base batter ahead of time. When you’re ready to serve the drink, you’ll need prewarmed mugs with a scoop of batter in each. Then add your rums and top with hot milk and stir until creamy.

These are just a few examples of the wonderful eggnog variations you could try this holiday season. Eggnog is a bit of an acquired taste for some, so experiment with these recipes and find one that’s a hit with your holiday crowd.

Boozy Gifts

Holiday Gift Alert: Consider These Bottles for Your Boozy Friends

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The holidays are the perfect time to show your friends and family you love and appreciate them. The right gifts can make all the difference to the people in your life. For your friends and loved ones who enjoy a high-class drink, a boozy gift could be the perfect thing to wrap under the Christmas tree or for your next Pollyanna exchange.

Holiday Spirit Gift Sets

Most of the major liquor brands release seasonal gift sets. The typical holiday gift set will include a bottle of liquor with holiday-themed branding or a special holiday blend and a few trinkets to accompany it. You’ll likely find liquor gift sets with holiday-themed etched drinking glasses, whiskey stones, coasters, decorative bottle pouches, and much more. If you’re looking for a great gift for a boozy pal, find out what their favorite liquor is and try to find a holiday gift set to match.

Liquor gift sets are one of the best ways to provide your friends and family with great drinks and functional extras they can use year-round. Every alcohol enthusiast is always keen to find new high-quality drinking glasses and other liquor-themed extras. Branded gifts will be well appreciated.

Bob Dylan Whiskey

Have a friend who loves whiskey as much as they love great music? The new Bob Dylan Whiskey from Heaven’s Door is a great gift idea for whiskey aficionados and Bob Dylan fans alike. As one of America’s most loved songwriters, you’re sure to have at least one Bob Dylan fan in your family or among your friends who would appreciate this limited-edition bottle.

Heaven’s Door Spirits worked with none other than Bob Dylan himself to develop this one-of-a-kind whiskey. As well as being one of the most well-known songwriters in American music, Bob Dylan was also a skilled ironworker. The iconic wrought iron gates he built in his own studio form the imagery on the front of every bottle of Heaven’s Door Bob Dylan whiskey.

Lagavulin 16-Year-Old Scotch

Scotch drinkers appreciate a fine aged scotch, and Lagavulin offers one of the best scotches to ever leave Scotland. This blend is an Islay single malt scotch whiskey aged for 16 years. Whether you have a friend who has only recently started drinking scotch or who is a seasoned scotch drinker, they are sure to appreciate the unmistakable quality of this fine bottle of scotch.

Johnny Walker White

The winter season may remind your friends who happened to be Game of Thrones fans about the abysmal series finale, and no one needs to be depressed around the holidays! Remind them of the glorious early seasons and cheer them up with a delicious stiff drink with a bottle of Johnnie Walker White. This finely brewed whiskey includes notes of vanilla, red berries, and caramelized sugar and is best served ice-cold. The bottle also showcases a brilliantly designed message when frozen thanks to thermochromic ink on the label!

These gifts are sure to please your boozy friends and family members this holiday season. Take time to find out which drinks they love best and try to find the perfect liquor to match.

Thanksgiving Wine

Here Are Our 2019 Thanksgiving Wine Recommendations

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When it comes to drinking wine, there’s no wrong way to do it. Some prefer dry whites, while others prefer rich reds. Some are just as content drinking a box of commercial wine as they would be with a $200 bottle of a limited edition from the finest vineyard. This Thanksgiving, most dinner hosts want at least one variety of white wine and one red wine to accompany their holiday spreads. Payless Liquors has compiled the following recommendations based on customer reviews and our own personal preferences for great holiday meal accompaniments.

Best Reds for Thanksgiving 2019

Red wine typically pairs best with bold flavors. While most generally consider red wine to go best with red meat, it can also make the perfect accompaniment for your Thanksgiving turkey. The typical Thanksgiving meal includes lots of rich flavors, so the right red wine can be a great choice for many of your guests.

  • Pinot Noir. One of the most popular reds has subtle and earthy tones that pair very well with fatty foods and the traditional flavors of a Thanksgiving spread.
  • Beaujolais Nouveau. Harvested from the Gamay grape, Beaujolais Nouveau is a lighter and fruitier variety of red that pairs perfectly with turkey and stuffing.
  • California cabernet. These kings are often called the king of red wine grapes, with dark and rich fruit notes and earthy undertones. Whether you get your cabernet from Bordeaux or California, it’s sure to be a hit with your Thanksgiving dinner.

Top White Wines for Thanksgiving 2019

White wine generally pairs best with lighter flavors like fish and chicken, but it can also be a fantastic beverage with a Thanksgiving meal. Many wine enthusiasts believe white wines are best with light-intensity meals, and the average Thanksgiving spread is anything but light-intensity. However, the acidity and fruity notes of the right white wine can be an enjoyable choice for your Thanksgiving guests.

  • Sauvignon blanc. This variety of white wine generally includes citrus notes and herbal undertones, making it an ideal pairing with rich turkey, mashed potatoes, and stuffing.
  • Usually either very dry or quite sweet, Riesling contains notes of honey, apple, and apricot with an acidity that makes it perfect as an accompaniment to spiced sweet potatoes, turkey, and herb-rich stuffing.
  • Pinot grigio. This is a white wine meant for rich, sultry foods full of garlic, onions, and butter. Pinot grigio grapes produce a crisp, refreshing, acidic wine that enhances the flavors of the typical Thanksgiving spread.

The trick to a great wine pairing is to find fruity and earthy notes that complement the flavors of the meal. The wine should ideally be sweeter and more acidic than the food you’re eating, and Thanksgiving dinner generally involves rich, hearty, and generously seasoned flavors that go beautifully with the right wine. Payless Liquors hopes our recommendations for the best types of red and white wine for Thanksgiving 2019 inspire you to find the perfect pairings for your Thanksgiving celebration. Some of your guests may prefer the bold richness of a red while others prefer the dry crispness of a white, so offer them the best of both worlds so everyone can enjoy Thanksgiving to the fullest.

ole smoky

2 Irresistible Ole Smoky Seasonal Cocktail Recipes 

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Ole Smoky Tennessee Moonshine is one of the oldest and most treasured liquors to come out of the Smoky Mountains. Today, Ole Smoky offers a wide range of expertly crafted moonshines, each blended using traditional brewing techniques to create a range of signature flavors. Our tastes generally change with the seasons. While the summer months call for light, crisp, and refreshing beverages, the wintertime is the perfect time to enjoy heartier, creamier, and more filling beverages that warm body and soul.

Since Tennessee state law changed to allow spirit distillation, the brewers at Ole Smoky took advantage of this to provide moonshine lovers with an unparalleled selection of the finest moonshines, becoming the first federally licensed distillery in East Tennessee. Today, Ole Smoky offers a fantastic selection of moonshine recipes you can’t find anywhere else.

Moonshine for the Cold Weather

No spirit can keep you warm like real whiskey. Tennessee moonshine from Ole Smoky is the perfect example of moonshine done right. If you’re looking for seasonal cocktail recipes to stay warm this winter, Ole Smoky is the ideal addition to your liquor cabinet. The Ole Smoky line includes various blends that mix beautifully with your favorite winter flavors.

Hot Java

Looking for a pleasurable pick-me-up to keep warm and alert this winter? Hot Java made with Ole Smoky Mountain Java moonshine is the perfect choice. Combine two ounces of Ole Smoky Mountain Java with six ounces of your favorite hot coffee in a mug. Then top it with whipped cream and an Ole Smoky Moonshine Cherry for a delightful twist on your typical cup of coffee. Coffee-flavored Ole Smoky Mountain Java offers a unique coffee flavor with notes of vanilla, and Hot Java is a great way to unwind without falling asleep!

ole smokey

Butter Pecan Cream Hot Chocolate

If you’re interested in a rich and creamy new way to enjoy hot chocolate, Butter Pecan Cream Hot Chocolate is sure to please. Ole Smoky Butter Pecan moonshine includes notes of toasted pecans, caramel, cream, and butter. Add two ounces of Ole Smoky Butter Pecan moonshine to six ounces of your favorite hot chocolate to add a delightful buzz to one of everyone’s favorite holiday beverages. Top it with whipped cream and an Ole Smoky Moonshine Cherry for the perfect winter warm-up beverage.

ole smoky

Why Ole Smoky Moonshine Cherries Are a Must-Have for the Winter

Ole Smoky put a new spin on maraschino cherries by soaking plump pitted cherries in 100-proof original Ole Smoky moonshine. These cherries make delicious toppers for your favorite winter cocktails. Once they’re gone, the remaining moonshine that has absorbed so much cherry goodness makes a delightful addition to cola, ginger ale, or tonic water for delightful blended cocktails.

If you plan on trying Hot Java or Butter Pecan Cream Hot Chocolate this winter, Ole Smoky Moonshine Cherries are the perfect toppers. Ole Smoky also offers a wide range of fantastic Tennessee moonshine blends perfect for capturing the spirit of the season, such as their award-winning Apple Pie Moonshine, Tennessee Mud, and Salty Caramel.