brewery

4 Best Parts of Visiting a Brewery

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Craft beer fanatics everywhere can have a great time visiting a brewery, and there are so many locations to choose from across the United States. Despite the number and variety of breweries available, some people might be on the fence about whether visiting one is worthwhile. Maybe you don’t know what to expect should you pay one of these spots a visit.

 

The truth is, stopping by a craft brewery makes for a great time, especially if you’re a fan of all things beer. However, no matter where your beer-related interests lie, there’s something for everyone to enjoy during a brewery tour or visit.

 

4 Perks of Visiting a Craft Brewery

 

Although there are many enjoyable aspects of touring a brewery, here are four that really stand out — especially if you’re a bit of a beer connoisseur.

 

  1. You Can Talk With Passionate Staff Members

 

The tour guides and staff members you interact with are one of the best parts of any brewery visit, hands down. More often than not, these individuals are passionate about beer and eager to share their knowledge with you. The most memorable tours often include stories and information imparted by someone who is enthusiastic and excited about their craft.

 

These guides and staff members can share everything they know about how that brewery produces their beer, what tools are used to make those concoctions, the brewery’s history, and much more.

 

         2. You Get to Taste Good Beer

 

It’s perhaps the most obvious point, but it’s still worth drawing attention to. When you pay a brewery a visit, you’ll get a chance to sip on a variety of delicious beers, straight from their place of origin. Really, you can’t get any fresher than that.

 

During your tour of the facility, you’ll generally be able to try out different beers as you make your way through. Although some tours can be longer than others, this is often broken up by opportunities to sample the various brews. Not only will you learn about the beverages being produced, but you’ll also get to try them out for yourself — it’s a win-win for everyone.

 

 

      3. You’ll Learn New Things About the Brewery

 

Although the passion of the guides and staff members makes the experience memorable, so does the new information you’re learning. If you’re interested in beer, the industry, and the history behind it, then you’re sure to enjoy learning new pieces of information and trivia. This could be about the brewery you’re visiting, or it could be related to the wider craft brewing industry.

 

       4. You’ll Get to Meet People With Similar Interests

 

When you visit a brewery, you’re surrounded by people who share your passion.

 

Throughout history, breweries have been an important part of a community. They served as social anchors and places for people to meet up and relax. In the modern day, this is becoming the case yet again. Breweries are growing increasingly common, and more beer lovers are seeing the appeal of checking them out.

 

Looking to sample some new craft beers before deciding on a brewery to tour? Remember to head down to Payless Liquors to take advantage of our massive beer selection. To place a pickup order, just fill out our online form.

Top 3 Indiana Breweries

3 Breweries to Visit in Indiana

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Whether you’re an Indiana native or passing through the region, visiting a brewery is an unbeatable way to spend your time. Indiana is home to some of the top breweries in the nation, many of which offer tours of their facilities.

 

The craft beer scene in Indiana has steadily grown larger every year, and each brewery has its own unique approach to crafting beer. Varying in size and scale from enormous brewpubs to more modest taprooms, every brewery you visit offers a new experience.

 

How Many Breweries Are in Indiana?

 

Across the state, you’ll find over 180 breweries. Due to their increasing prevalence, Indiana has seen impressive employment growth. Between 2006 and 2016, over half of the state’s employment growth was thanks to craft breweries.

 

Top 3 Indiana Breweries

 

With so many locations to choose from, it can be difficult to decide which Indiana brewery to visit first. To help you form your plan, here are some of the top craft breweries within the state.

 

Deviate Brewing Co.

 

As a beer lover in Indianapolis, you’d be doing yourself a disservice passing by Deviate Brewing Co. For around two decades, Deviate Brewing Co. has been a staple of the area, creating a memorable lineup of craft beverages.

 

Using classic food pairing as inspiration, Deviate Brewing Co. has crafted a unique assortment of beers — examples include flavors like Blueberry Tarragon Ale and Watermelon Mint Ale.

 

Bare Hands Brewery

 

Since opening its doors around a decade ago, Bare Hands Brewery has become a popular site in Granger, IN. This microbrewery produces its beers in small batches using only top-quality ingredients. All the company’s brewing is performed on-site at its Granger location and distributed across Indiana on a limited supply.

 

The brewpub at Bare Hands Brewery features ten rotating taps and offers a small food menu to accompany your drinks.

 

Windmill Brewing

 

Contrary to the IPA craze that’s swept through the world of craft beer, Windmill Brewing produces a much wider variety of craft beers than just IPAs. When you stop by Windmill Brewing in Dyer, IN, you’ll find barrel-aged barleywines, sour ales, and classic European varieties.

 

This taproom offers both seasonal and flagship brews to sip on. You can start by sampling the Pale Dutch Boy American Pale Ale, one of Windmill Brewing’s most popular brews. Alternatively, the Hey Mikey Imperial Oatmeal Stout is filled with warm, delicious flavors like maple syrup and cinnamon. If you’re in search of an IPA, their Memosea IPA is infused with tangy and refreshing orange juice.

 

No matter where you are in Indiana, chances are there’s a top-tier brewery not too far away. Both visitors and natives to the state should stop by the breweries we’ve mentioned, as well as any of the others found across the state.

 

If you’re in the mood for a superb drink but not up for a trip to a brewery, consider paying a quick visit to Payless Liquors. You can start by browsing our wide selection of beers before placing a pickup order through our website.

 

Scotch Whiskey

What is Scotch Whiskey

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Whiskey is far from a one-size-fits-all kind of beverage. You can find scotch whiskey in several forms — broadly, the two varieties of whiskey are malt whiskey and grain whiskey. Even then, there are so many unique ways to craft whisky using either of these two base products.

 

As the names would imply, malt whiskey is brewed from malted barley, while grain whiskey is made from various types of grains. Depending on how these ingredients are combined and brewed, it’s possible to create concoctions like blended malt whiskey, single malt whiskey, blended whiskey, single cask, and cask strength.

 

What Sets Scotch Whiskey Apart?

 

Scotch whiskey is one of the many varieties of whiskey, and it’s easily one of the most well-known and popular. Scotch can be brewed from either malted barley or grains or even a combination of the two. Most importantly, Scotch hails from Scotland — hence the name.

 

Traditionally, Scotch was a malt whiskey beverage. During the 18th century, however, commercial distilleries started crafting Scotch from grains like rye and wheat. The prevalence of distilleries has grown over the years, and in 2020, there were 134 of them producing Scotch in its nation of origin.

 

The simplest way to distinguish Scotch from other types of whiskey is its country of origin. For your drink to be classified as Scotch, it must have come from Scotland. A distiller cannot label its product as “Scotch” unless it’s produced in Scotland.

 

Alternatively, if whiskey is produced in the United States (often Kentucky), it’s considered bourbon. Unlike Scotch, bourbon is typically made from corn.

 

Can Scotch Whiskey Be Brewed Outside of Scotland?

 

Scotch whiskey cannot be produced outside the borders of Scotland. The Scotch Whiskey Regulations 2009 are used to determine when a beverage qualifies as “Scotch,” and when it isn’t permitted to bear this label. One key stipulation of this act requires the whiskey’s country of origin to be Scotland.

 

What Kinds of Scotch Whiskey Are There?

 

There are numerous ways that distilleries can produce Scotch whiskey. According to the aforementioned Scotch Whiskey Regulations 2009, however, all Scotch must fall into one of these five categories:

 

  1. Single Malt Scotch Whiskey
  2. Single Grain Scotch Whiskey
  3. Blended Scotch Whiskey
  4. Blended Malt Scotch Whiskey
  5. Blended Brain Scotch Whiskey

 

Where in Scotland is Whiskey Produced?

 

Primarily, there are five whiskey-producing regions throughout Scotland. Keep in mind that these regions aren’t officially designated, however — they’re just where whiskey is most commonly produced. Technically, it’s possible to brew Scotch anywhere within the nation of Scotland.

 

The five (unofficial) whiskey regions of Scotland are:

 

  1. Islay
  2. Speyside
  3. Lowlands
  4. Highlands & Islands
  5. Campbeltown

 

In some cases, the Islands are considered to be a region of their own.

 

When you’re deciding on a Scotch to try for yourself, the choices can be overwhelming. If you’re a new Scotch drinker, a great place to start is with a classic: Johnnie Walker Black Label and Red Label. You can pick some up for yourself from Payless Liquors. To get started, just stop by our store or place a pickup order today.

Double Chocolate Bourbon Brownies

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Bourbon Brownies

 

Double Chocolate Bourbon Brownies

For the brownie base:
● ½ cup butter
● 4 oz bittersweet chocolate chopped
● 1 cup sugar
● 2 large eggs
● 3 tbsp. Bourbon Whiskey
● ½ tsp. Salt
● ½ cup flour
● ¼ cup cocoa powder
● For the frosting:
● ½ cup heavy whipping cream
● ½ cup chocolate chips melted
● 3 tbsp. Bourbon Whiskey

Directions:
○ Preheat oven to 350°F and line an 8×8 baking dish with
parchment paper.
○ In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine butter and
bittersweet chocolate. Heat in microwave in 30 second
intervals until fully melted.
○ Stir in sugar to cool mixture down, then add eggs, bourbon,
and salt. Gently fold in flour and cocoa, mixing until the
batter is smooth and glossy (do not stir vigorously).
○ Pour into baking dish and bake for 30 minutes, or until a
knife inserted in the center of the brownies comes out clean.
Allow to cool completely before frosting.
○ For the frosting whip the cream until stiff peaks form (they
should hold their shape.) Pour in the chocolate and bourbon
while continuing to whip until thoroughly combined. Frost
brownies, then serve your bourbon brownies!

Bourbon Whiskey Salted Caramel Popcorn

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Bourbon Whiskey Caramel Salted Popcorn

 

Bourbon Whiskey and Salted Caramel Popcorn

● 6 cups of popped popcorn (⅓ rounded cup of kernels)
● Parchment paper
● 6 tbsp. Unsalted butter
● ⅓ cup Dark brown sugar
● 3 tbsp. Light corn syrup
● ¼ tsp. Salt, plus more for sprinkling
● 1 tsp. Vanilla extract
● 4 tbsp Bourbon whiskey

Directions:
○ Preheat oven to 300°F. Then line a large baking sheet with
parchment paper.
○ Pop the popcorn and transfer it to a large bowl. Heat the
butter, dark brown sugar, corn syrup, and salt in a medium
saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. Once
mixture comes to a boil, cook for another 5 minutes.
○ Remove from heat and add the vanilla and the whiskey
slowly (watch for splatters).
○ Stir and immediately pour over the popcorn.
○ Use a spatula to stir until the popcorn is evenly coated and
then transfer to the baking sheet and evenly spread the
popcorn.
○ Taste it, if it’s not “salted caramel” enough sprinkle some
more salt.
○ Bake for 35 minutes, stirring once halfway through.
○ Let cool for 15 minutes before eating.

Enjoy your bourbon popcorn!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Sandwiches with Bourbon Ganache Filling

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Sandwhiches

 

Chocolate Chip Cookie Sandwiches with Bourbon Ganache Filling

For the chocolate chip cookies:
● ¾ cup butter, softened at room temp
● ¾ cup granulated sugar
● ¾ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
● 2 large eggs
● 1 ½ tsp. of vanilla
● 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
● 1 tsp. Baking soda
● ¾ tsp. salt
● 1 (12 oz) package of semisweet chocolate morsels
● Parchment paper and cookie trays
● For bourbon ganache:
● 1 (12 oz) package semisweet chocolate morsels
● ½ cup whipping cream
● 3 tbsp. Bourbon whiskey
● 3 tbsp softened butter
● ½ tsp. Vanilla extract

i. Directions:

For the cookies:
a. Preheat oven to 350°F. Beat butter and sugar in a
mixer at medium speed until creamy (the mixture will
go from yellow to pale yellow-white and won’t look as
grainy). Add eggs and beat until well incorporated,
then add vanilla and mix again for another minute.
b. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and
then gradually add to the mixer beating on low speed
until incorporated. Add chocolate and mix till
combined. On a parchment paper-lined baking sheet
drop dough either in equal spoonfuls or use a small
cookie scoop and then bake for 12 minutes or until
golden brown. Let cookies cool before continuing to
ganache step.
○ For ganache:
a. Microwave chocolate and whipping cream in a
microwave-safe bowl for 30 seconds at a time till
chocolate starts to melt. Stir every 30 seconds. When
it’s all melted whisk in bourbon, softened butter, and
vanilla. Cover and chill for 1 hour and 30 minutes,
stirring occasionally. Once the ganache is firm spread
1 tbsp. on the flat side of a cookie and sandwich it
with another cookie. Cover and chill or serve.

Payless Liquors Christmas Hours for 2021

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Christmas Eve: 12/24

All stores will be open at normal business hours with an early close.

Closing at 7:00 pm:

  • Zionsville – 180 W Sycamore
  • Indianapolis – 9310 N Michigan Road

Closing at 8:00 pm:

  • Carmel – 726 Adams Street

Closing at 9:00 pm:

  • Beech Groove – 2511 Albany Street
  • Carmel – 445 S. Rangeline Road
  • Indianapolis – 9520 Uptown Road, Suite G
  • Zionsville – 60 Brendon Way
  • Fishers – 11416 Olio Road
  • Fishers – 7351 E 116 Street
  • Greenwood – 954 N State Road 135
  • Carmel – 14580 River Road
  • Plainfield – 5014 Cambridge Way

Closing at 10:00 pm:

  • Indianapolis – 2351 Lafayette Road
  • Indianapolis – 7940 N Michigan Road
  • Indianapolis – 5021 Kentucky Avenue
  • Indianapolis – 1317 W 86th Street
  • Indianapolis – 4924 S Emerson Road
  • Plainfield – 1743 E Main Street
  • Indianapolis – 3739 N Shadeland Avenue
  • Indianapolis – 7369 Madison Avenue
  • Greenwood – 1266 S Madison Avenue
  • Indianapolis – 9609 N College Avenue
  • Indianapolis – 4711 W 30th Street
  • Indianapolis – 5230 Rockville Road
  • Zionsville – 7157 Whitestown Parkway

Christmas Day: 12/25

The following stores will be open with modified hours:

  • Indianapolis – 2351 Lafayette Road – 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
  • Indianapolis – 7940 N Michigan Road – 11:00 am – 6:00 pm
  • Indianapolis – 4924 S Emerson Road – 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm
  • Indianapolis – 1317 W 86th Street – 11:00 pm – 5:00 pm
  • Plainfield – 1743 E Main Street – 11:00 am – 6:00 pm
  • Indianapolis – 3739 N Shadeland Avenue – 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
  • Indianapolis – 7369 Madison Avenue – 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
  • Indianapolis – 9609 N College Avenue – 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
  • Indianapolis – 5230 Rockville Road – 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm
  • Zionsville – 7157 Whitestown Parkway – 12:00 pm – 4:30 pm
  • Carmel – 14580 River Road – 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm

 

Johnnie Walker

Johnnie Walker: A Brief History

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Following his father’s death in 1819, Scotsman Johnnie Walker transitioned from working on a family farm to running a grocery shop in Kilmarnock. He discovered he not only had a natural talent for business but a passion for whisky as well. During the early 19th century, most grocers stocked a line of single malt whisky, but Johnnie noticed that the batches were never very consistent. In a stroke of genius, he decided to start blending the batches together to give his customers a reliable taste they could count on, and this became a popular staple in his shop.

 

After Johnnie’s death in 1857, his thriving business was passed down to his son, Alexander. At that time, the Industrial Revolution was booming, and the railway had arrived in Kilmarnock, carrying goods from small towns and cities alike to great ships for distribution around the world. In 1867, Alexander copyrighted and officially launched the first Johnnie Walker commercial blend of scotch, calling it “Old Highland Whisky.” He coordinated with the ships’ captains to promote his whisky by hiring them to serve as his agents and carry his whisky around the globe.

 

Unfortunately, these worldwide treks left many bottles broken before they arrived at their destinations. In 1870, Alexander updated the Johnnie Walker bottle design from a typical cylindrical shape to a square to reduce breakages and lost profit. This made packing bottles easier and maximized space on ships. He also began using the brand’s now-iconic label, slanted at a 20-degree angle, to allow space for more text and ensure it would continue standing out from the crowd. Alexander left the business to his sons, master blender Alexander II and astute businessman George.

 

In 1909, Alexander II and George were largely responsible for turning the company into the legacy brand we know today. They expanded the successful line of whiskies and re-registered them after the colors of their labels. Special Old Highland became Johnnie Walker Red Label and Extra Special Old Highland became Johnnie Walker Black Label. Local illustrator Tom Browne sketched a figure now known as the Striding Man logo, and this Victorian dandy turned into the new face of Johnnie Walker.

 

By 1920, Johnnie Walker’s Scotch blends were available in 120 countries around the world. They quickly became an integral part of global culture, with everyone from songwriters, filmmakers, and movie stars to statesmen and sportsmen singing the brand’s praises and immortalizing it across a variety of creative realms. In 1934, Johnnie Walker was the top-selling Scotch whisky in the world, and King George V granted John Walker & Sons a Royal Warrant to supply the whisky to the royal household, which is still held to this day.

 

This award-winning whisky brand has continued to add new lines to inventory. At the end of the 20th century, Johnnie Walker Red Label and Black Label have been joined by Blue Label, Green Label, Platinum Label, Gold Label Reserve, and Johnnie Walker Aged 18 Years. Johnnie Walker is still considered the world’s biggest whisky brand, and even the most discerning whisky connoisseurs enjoy the extraordinary depth and bold flavors of these blends.

 

If you want to experiment with Johnnie Walker’s scotch whisky blends, contact Payless Liquors today to order online and pick up your haul curbside.

Winter Cocktails

Winter Cocktail Recipes: Top 4

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Cold winter weather leaves many of us reaching for spirits to stay warm and comfortable. Whether you plan to entertain friends and family this holiday or simply enjoy a winter cocktail in front of a roaring fire, check out our recipes below to ensure you can survive even the coldest winter nights with confidence and class.

 

Nutty Irishman

 

This sweet, nutty winter cocktail is a winter staple for a reason, and our friends at Delish have created a decadent version sure to please even the pickiest guests.

 

To make the Irish whipped cream that will top the winter cocktail, whisk together 1 cup of whipped cream and 1 Tb of powdered sugar until stiff peaks form, then slowly add ¼ cup of Irish cream. Transfer this mixture to a piping bag and let it chill while you move on to the next step.

 

Next, fill an iced shaker with 1 ½ ounces of Irish cream and 1 ½ ounces of hazelnut liquor (we recommend Frangelico), shake the contents until the shaker becomes frosty, and strain. Serve with Irish whipped cream and chopped hazelnuts.

 

Gingerbread Eggnog

 

Delicious, creamy gingerbread eggnog can be enjoyed at breakfast, brunch, or mixed with dark rum for a seasonal cocktail any time of the day or night. Spruce Eats notes that carefully tempering the eggs is the key for this recipe, and the finished product can be stored for up to five days in the fridge.

 

Begin with six large eggs, separating yolks from whites and placing the yolks in a medium-sized bowl. Add ½ cup of sugar and whisk until the mixture becomes creamy, smooth, and light yellow in color. Create a spice mixture with ¼ tsp allspice, ¼ tsp ground cloves, ½ tsp cinnamon, ½ tsp ground ginger, and a pinch of salt.

 

Place 1 cinnamon stick and 3 cups of milk in a large saucepan and heat on the stovetop until it starts to simmer, then add ¼ tsp vanilla extract, 1 tablespoon of dark molasses, and the spice mixture you created in the previous step. Next, carefully ladle the egg mixture into the milk mixture while whisking constantly so the eggs do not cook.

 

Bring this combination to a simmer on the stove, regularly check the temperature with a candy thermometer, and turn off the heat after it reaches 160 degrees. Transfer to a large glass bowl, cover, and chill for at least four hours, then you can add ¼ c. rum after it has fully chilled.

 

Peppermint Bark Mimosas

 

A traditional mimosa pairs champagne with orange, cranberry, or other fruit juices, but you can add a seasonal twist with peppermint and chocolate. Sparkling wine and peppermint might seem like an odd combo, but this recipe from Cocktails with Class is an easy and delicious crowd-pleaser.

 

To make a candy cane rim, crush candy cane pieces in a shallow dish, dip the rim of a champagne flute in simple syrup, then gently dip the glass into the crushed candy canes. Set aside for a few minutes, then add ½ ounce peppermint vodka and ½ ounce clear Crème de cacao to the flute, top with prosecco, hang a candy cane on the rim for extra flair, and serve immediately.

 

Frost and Fire

 

If you don’t have much of a sweet tooth or prefer the smoky, peaty flavor of scotch, Johnnie Walker’s frost and fire cocktail may be just the treat for you as the temperatures drop. Combine 1 ounce Johnnie Walker Black Label, ½ ounce sweet vermouth, 4 ounces club soda, and a dash of spicy bitters in a highball. Add a few cubes of ice, stir gently, and garnish with an orange slice.

 

Contact Payless Liquors today to place an order with us and you’ll have plenty of holiday cocktail options this season.

Holiday Wine

Top 6 Wines for a Holiday Party

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If you want to spend time with your guests during your holiday party rather than standing behind the bar all night, forget the complicated cocktails and stick to a true holiday classic – wine. Selecting wine may seem intimidating, especially when you have multiple guests to consider. Take out the guesswork and make sure you’re fully prepared with our curated list of holiday wines.

 

  1. Erath – Pinot Noir

 

Oregon is a popular location for Pinot Noir due to its unique climate, allowing Pinot grape varieties to thrive and produce delicate, well-balanced wines. This Pinot is known for its smooth finish and light, silky, fruit-forward flavors of orchard cherries, fresh violet, and herbal tea. Delicious when enjoyed alone, it’s also perfect for accompanying simple meat and poultry dishes as it complements these dishes without overpowering them.

 

  1. Banfi – Chianti Classico Riservia

 

An often-overlooked and underrated wine, Chianti is produced in the Chianti Classico zone of Tuscany. This rich, deep ruby-red chianti undergoes a minimum of two months of aging, half of which in Slavonian oak barrels, followed by six months of bottle aging. Dominant flavors include cherry, orange peel, plum, iris, leather, and subtle wood, making it the perfect wine for pairing with flavorful roasts or charcuterie boards.

 

  1. Louis Jadot – Beaujolais Villages 2020

 

Maison Louis Jadot ranks as one of the most trusted and beloved wine houses in the world. The Gamay grape variety grows in light soil in the southern part of Beaujolais. This light, crisp, juicy, and fruit-forward red features notes of raspberry, strawberry, black cherry, and spice, underscored by zesty peppercorn. Its light-to-medium body allows it to pair well with anything, but it truly shines when accompanied by light red meats and roasted white meats.

 

  1. Mount Veeder – Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2018

 

In 2018, extensive winter rain, late-season spring showers, a moderate summer free of heatwaves, and warm sunny fall days allowed for a healthy crop of grapes to thrive in Napa Valley. This created complex flavors, well-balanced acidity, and refined tannins. Ripe blackberry, deep cherry, and black plum are accented with mocha, dried sage, cedar, and sweet oak in this wine. Lush, fresh, toasty, and with impressive depth, this Cab should be served with prime rib or roast.

 

  1. Santa Margherita – Pinot Grigio

 

A Vivino 2020 Wine Style Award winner, Santa Margherita’s signature Pinot Grigio hails from the Alto Adige region of Northern Italy. This wine has a clean, fresh, and fragrant aroma, bone-dry finish, and Golden Delicious apple taste. With a versatile, flavorful, and well-rounded personality, this Pinot is a great choice. You can serve it as an aperitif, with a variety of cheeses, seafood dishes, white meats, and souffles.

 

  1. Segura Viudas – Cava Brut Reserve

 

Is any holiday party truly complete without sparkling wine? Cava is Spain’s best-known sparkling wine, and this Cava Brut was produced in the Rioja region of Southern Spain. Segua Vuidas used nine different wines for this blend, each vinified in separate tanks with 30 months of aging. Aromas of lemon verbena, brioche, brine, tarragon, and honeysuckle provide a light, airy, floral flavor with hints of smoke, and its minerality imparts notes of lime chiffon, bread dough, and vanilla. Pair with appetizers, lean fish, and cured meats.

 

Matching like with like is a helpful tip for pairing wine varieties with foods. Consider a Pinot Grigio for fish or chicken dishes, a Chianti or Cabernet Sauvignon for rich red meat, and a Pinot Noir or Beaujolais for a full and hearty spread, then finish the evening with a Cava Brut. At Payless Liquors, we are available for all your holiday shopping needs. Contact us today to stock your wine cabinet for the upcoming feast and you’ll be sure to have a memorable party.

Scotch

Scotch Whiskey: The Difference Between Johnnie Walker Black and Red

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Johnnie Walker is one of the world’s most famous names in scotch whisky, and for good reason. From his humble beginning as a grocer in the early 19th century, Johnnie Walker created a business that his son Alexander and grandsons Alexander II and George would later solidify into a thriving global brand. Consistently leading the industry as the world’s most popular whisky, Johnnie Walker blends can be found in virtually any bar and liquor store in countries where alcohol consumption is legal.

 

Both Red Label and Black Label are blended scotch whiskies, which means at least two different types of component whiskies are blended to create a complex taste. These blends consist of single malt and single grain whiskies produced in several distilleries throughout Scotland. Single malt whiskies contain 100% malted barley, while single grain whiskies use cereal grains, typically wheat, malted barley, and corn. Barrels of these types of whisky would have been distilled separately, then blended to create the final product.

 

Scotch regulations mandate that whisky must be matured for at least three years in a wooden container. Some Johnnie Walker blends feature age statements on their labels to show the number of years they spent maturing in oak, while others do not. These are referred to as no age statement or NAS whiskies. Storing older whiskies in less-mature barrels and then combining whiskies of various ages allow the blending team to add new depth and complexity to the product, and all Johnnie Walker blends have a signature long and smoky finish.

 

Johnnie Walker Red Label

 

Red Label is the “Pioneer Blend” that brought Johnnie Walker global fame and helped establish the brand among whisky lovers around the world. It is considered a NAS whisky, meaning that some components of the blend will have aged for the three-year minimum, but others may be older. It mixes up to 30 malts and grains, combining the light whisky flavors of Eastern Scotland with the peaty flavors found in the West. Red Label’s medium-body blend is honey-gold in color with a nose of fruit, malt, and wildflowers. Its vibrant, spicy palate features vanilla, cinnamon, black pepper, cardamom, toasted oak, and toffee sweetness with hints of peat and smoke. The finish is medium length and characterized by pepper, honey, and pectin. A 750 mL bottle of Johnnie Walker Red Label has a 40% ABV and costs around $27.

 

Johnnie Walker Black Label

 

Black Label sets the standard for deluxe blended scotch whiskies with a smooth, beautifully balanced taste and distinctly warming smoke finish. This blend has an age statement of 12 years, meaning every barrel used to house the batches was matured for a minimum of 12 years. Polished amber in color, Black Label begins with a nose of smoke, red berries, tropical dark fruits, toffee, winter spice, and hints of sweet vanilla. Its palate is smooth and creamy, perfectly balancing smoke and peat with citrus flowers, fruit, oak, malt, and toffee, which adds sweetness and a bit of spice. The long finish has flavors of citrus peel, fruity sweetness, vanilla, and

cracked pepper. A 750 mL bottle of Johnnie Walker Black Label has a 40% ABV and costs around $40.

 

Contact Payless Liquors Today

 

Both Johnnie Walker blends are multi-dimensional and versatile, but each has its own strengths. Red Label is often used in cocktails, while Black Label is generally enjoyed straight or on the rocks, and a little added water can be added to either one to really bring out the sweetness. If you have any questions about Johnnie Walker or would like a recommendation, contact Payless Liquors today to speak with our expert team.

Stocked holiday liquor cabinet

Holiday Liquor Cabinet: How to Properly Stock

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’Tis the season yet again, and as we prepare to gather and make merry, let’s be sure not to skimp on the holiday liquor. Knowing what to have on standby is crucial to creating the perfect drink.

 

A well-stocked home-for-the-holidays offers drink selections that are both diverse and accessible, with a mix of classic crowd-pleasers and exceptional choices to prominently feature holiday and deep-autumn flavors.

 

The Holiday Liquor Cabinet

 

A liquor cabinet that can hold up through Thanksgiving and well into the New Year is important. Nobody wants to break their holiday groove to make an emergency run to the liquor store in their Christmas pajamas. So, make sure you have the following liquors available for guests at a minimum.

 

  • Rum—Try a spiced rum for warm wintertime vibes. You can’t go wrong with Captain Morgan or Sailor Jerry’s. Mixes well with nog and in hot mixed drinks.

 

  • Whiskey—Make sure you have something on hand for the whiskey connoisseurs at your holiday gathering. Irish whiskeys and bourbons can both hearken back to the memories of a traditional country Christmas. Try exploring offerings from Jameson or Knob Creek.

 

  • Vodka—a simple, clean vodka is a must-have for guests who want mixed drinks. It’s the most versatile and adaptable of the liquors. Try Svedka or Smirnoff, both of which also offer flavor-infused vodkas that might spark your holiday creativity.

 

  • Peppermint Schnapps—for those candy-cane-themed mixers or shooters, of course. Try spiking your hot cocoa.

 

  • Brandy—Brandy is another drink that can go well with egg nog, but it’s also a favorite for just sipping around the fire. Rémy Martin XO is a staple, but in some households, it’s a Christmas tradition to acquire a bottle of Spanish Brandy, or Brandy de Jerez, which owes its unique qualities to being derived from Spanish sherry.

 

Hearty Winter Beers

 

It’s not all about liquor. The beer-drinkers at your holiday festivities also deserve consideration. Stock up on a crowd favorite like Budweiser, with their annual holiday-themed cans, but think outside the gift box as well.

 

There is no shortage of craft brewers putting out seasonal brews each year. Try to have choices in at least three categories. Grab a lager, an ale, and round out the offerings with a porter or stout because you’ll want to have something hearty and dark on hand this time of year.

 

  • Bell’s Brewery—Christmas Ale
  • Tröegs Brewing—Mad Elf
  • Revolution Brewing—Fistmas
  • Sierra Nevada—Celebration Ale
  • Samuel Adams—Winter Lager
  • Leinenkugel’s—Snowdrift Vanilla Porter

 

Mull-Worthy Wines

 

Mulling wine is a fun and easy way to add some warmth and holiday spice to your celebration. You simply simmer a dark wine at low heat and add cinnamon sticks, cloves, oranges, and whatever other herbs or spices you like, infusing it with that magical Christmastime flavor. Don’t boil it. Set your heat too high, and you’re likely to burn away alcohol content.

 

  • Merlot
  • Zinfandel (not white)
  • Garnacha/Grenache

 

Mixers and N/A

 

Don’t forget your nog, sparkling juice, ginger ale, and cola. Head to your nearest Payless Liquors and stock up on holiday cheer.

Gameday drinks

Gameday Drinks: End Zone Dance-Worthy Beverages

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Football and beer are no strangers to one another. Americans have cherished the tradition of cracking a brew for the big game for as long as football has been around. However, there are also football enthusiasts with more refined beverage tastes, those who prefer shots over beers. And don’t forget the fans who reach for something non-alcoholic when suffering dry mouth from watching their team set up for a fourth-down goal-line stand. If you’re hosting a tailgate party or having friends over to watch the game, you’ll want a variety of gameday drinks on hand.

 

With this year’s football season already underway and the winners beginning to separate themselves from the teams experiencing yet another “rebuilding year,” only one question remains: What’s there to drink?

 

Bud Light NFL Team Cans

 

Bud Light’s popular team cans are back in 2021, and now glass bottles are also available with team designs. This year’s sleek redesign features team slogans, rallying cries, and hashtags and still allows you to represent your team’s logo while quenching your thirst.

 

Some of the war cries include “Mile High Salute” for the Broncos can and “Geaux Saints” for the New Orleans team.

 

The designs are available for most teams, but not all. For example, the Packers, Bears, and Vikings all have their own beer deals elsewhere, leaving the NFC North almost entirely left out.

 

In a tailgate setting, beer also works great as a marinade for grilled chicken or a medium for boiling up extra juicy brats and hot dogs.

 

Other Available Gameday Beer Options

 

Try adding in some fall flavors if you want to go beyond the predictable cooler full of light beer. Oktoberfest brews, newly released spicy seasonals, hearty dark beers are all good options for offering variety.

 

  • Elysian – Great Pumpkin
  • New Belgium – Voodoo Ranger Atomic Pumpkin
  • Harpoon – Flannel Friday
  • Founders Brewing – Oktoberfest

 

NFL Spirits Partner

 

The first-ever official NFL spirits sponsor will be Diageo. Unfortunately, we have to wait for the 2022 season for this exciting partnership to kick off, but meanwhile, let’s take a look at some of the beloved Diageo brands that might be participating in next year’s football promotions.

 

  • Smirnoff Vodka
  • Crown Royal Canadian Whiskey
  • Captain Morgan Spiced Rum

 

That’s a starting lineup to make any playoff team jealous!

 

Team Spirit Shooter Tray

 

Do you have friends coming over who prefer shots to beer? If you want to get fancy, you can try to recreate your team’s logo using shots! Try serving touchdown celebration shots in a color-coordinated array for variety and team spirit. Add the perfect touch to your gameday drinks!

 

Liquors and liqueurs that feature standard team colors and work equally well for mixing and straight-shooting include:

  • Cherry Dr. McGillicuddy’s—red
  • Sloe gin—dark red (can vary)
  • Orange Curaçao—orange
  • Limoncello—yellow (can vary)
  • Midori Melon Liqueur—green
  • Hpnotiq—bright blue
  • Blue Curaçao—blue
  • Bailey’s Irish Cream—off-white

 

Explore fruity flavored liqueurs for additional options.

 

Whatever the final score turns out to be, your tailgate or game-watching festivities will be a championship-caliber success after a trip to your nearest Payless Liquors location.