What is a Negroni Sbagliato?

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The classic Negroni drink has undergone many iterations of change and experimentation since it appeared in the early 20th century. It was an experiment on the Americano, swapping the soda for gin. The base ingredients of the classic Negroni are equal amounts of gin, Campari, and vermouth. You have an entirely new drink by swapping the gin out with bourbon or rum.

The Negroni Sbagliato has recently come into new popularity as the result of Emma D’Arcy, star of HBO’s House of the Dragon, listing in their spell-binding voice the Sbagliato as their drink of choice. The Sbagliato is a form of the Negroni which switches the gin for sparkling wine, such as champagne or Prosecco, as D’Arcy added. It’s one of the most famous Italian cocktails. So how does making it differ from a classic Negroni?

The Classic Negroni

Though we’ve explained the base ingredients of a classic Negroni, the specifics are important. Campari is bold, and you don’t want the other elements to overpower or be overpowered by the bitter flavor. Select a sweet vermouth and gin pair that complements the Campari for the best Negroni drink.

Ingredients:

  • 1-ounce gin
  • 1 ounce Campari
  • 1-ounce sweet vermouth
  • Orange peel garnish

Add the gin, Campari, and vermouth in a mixing glass with ice, and stir until chilled. Then, strain the mix into a rocks glass or tumbler with a large ice cube and add the orange peel garnish.

A Negroni Sbagliato

Supposedly, the alcohol switch that created this cocktail was done by mistake or because of a lack of gin. Sbagliato means “mistake” or “bungled” in Italian, as this drink is a twist on the standard Negroni. It is delicious despite its apparent mistaken nature, replacing the gin of the classic Negroni with sparkling water such as champagne or Prosecco.

The classic Negroni is a more bitter drink, and it’s not for everyone. The Sbagliato is both sweet and bitter, thanks to the sweet vermouth, fortified wine-red vermouth, and Campari, a bitter dark red Italian liqueur mixed with the bubbly and bright Prosecco. The sparkling wine adds a sweetness to it that the gin doesn’t. It also makes the alcohol content of the Sbagliato lower than the classic Negroni.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ ounce Prosecco or sparkling wine
  • 1 ½ ounces Campari
  • 1 ½ ounces sweet vermouth
  • Orange peel garnish

Add the Campari and sweet vermouth in a mixing glass with ice and stir. Add the orange peel twist for a garnish. Once chilled, strain into a rocks glass over a large ice cube and top off with the Prosecco or sparkling wine.

For Sbagliato served up, strain the Campari and vermouth into a champagne flute, add the Prosecco, and stir again.

A Sbagliato is a simple drink at home, and it’s a decadent cocktail you can spend the evening with. Find all the necessary ingredients at your local Payless Liquors and enjoy this delicious drink.

Creating the Perfect Hard Cider Cocktail

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It’s essential to enjoy the fall while it’s here, especially if you live somewhere that will be buried under snow in a couple of months. Now is the perfect time to enjoy a hard cider, with the crisp and cold weather that pairs perfectly with a little bite.

Whether you prefer warm or cold, there are plenty of options for a delicious ready-made cider on a chilly orange November evening. However, if you’re looking for something fun, you can create your cider cocktail with an apple-flavored whiskey, butterscotch, or apple vodka. You may even find your new go-to drink for these biting fall months.

The Apple Pie

Combining all the delicious flavors of fall, this cocktail is the perfect cool drink for an autumn night.

Ingredients:

  • 1-ounce vanilla vodka
  • ¾ ounce apple cider
  • ¾ ounce cinnamon whiskey
  • ½ ounce lemon juice
  • Hard cider
  • Cinnamon stick garnish

Add the vanilla vodka, cinnamon whiskey, apple cider, and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker with ice, and shake until chilled. Then, strain the mix into a rocks glass over ice, and top off the rest with hard cider. Add the cinnamon stick garnish.

Spiced Hard Cider

A simple recipe allows you to give your favorite hard cider an extra bite, complementing the flavors and making the drink a little extra special.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ ounce spiced rum
  • ½ ounce lime juice
  • ¼ ounce syrup
  • Hard cider
  • Cinnamon stick garnish

Combine the spiced rum, syrup, and lime juice into a cocktail shaker with ice, and shake until chilled. Add an optional garnish of a cinnamon stick. Strain over a glass of ice and top off the remainder of the tumbler with your favorite brand of hard cider.

Sparkling Hard Apple Cider Sangria

Perfect to make for yourself or have the pitcher on hand for a seasonal gathering; this cocktail is a sweet and refreshing drink for autumn.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup brandy
  • Five 12-ounce bottles of hard cider
  • 2-3 ounces of orange juice
  • 2 ounces of lemon juice
  • One apple, diced
  • One orange, sliced
  • Two cinnamon sticks, additional for garnish

Place the cut fruit into a large pitcher, and then add the brandy, cinnamon sticks, lemon, and orange juice. Mix, and chill the mixture, giving the cinnamon about half an hour to flavor the brandy. Add the apple cider, stir before serving, and garnish glasses with a cinnamon stick.

Hard Cider Mule

An autumn spin on a classic drink, this refreshing cocktail could be the perfect drink tonight.

Ingredients:

  • 2 ounces of apple vodka
  • 1 ½ ounces ginger beer
  • ½ ounce lime juice
  • Hard cider
  • Mint sprig and lime for garnish

In a tumbler or copper mug, combine vodka, lime juice, and ginger beer over ice, and then top off with your favorite hard cider. Stir the mixture, and garnish with a slice of lime and mint sprig, if you want.

Pick up all the ingredients you need to make the perfect cocktail at your local Payless Liquors.

Must Try Thanksgiving Cocktails

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As we barrel towards the holidays, it’s a great time to discover some easy fall cocktails. When you need the perfect cocktail to pair with your holiday meal, you want a simple-to-make and delightful cocktail perfect for the season. Whether you want a glass for yourself or to impress the family gathering at Thanksgiving, we have some delicious fall drinks to spice up your day.

Apple Cider Bellini Cocktail

A simple cocktail recipe for one or for a group, this drink fits perfectly with the chill in the air and upcoming festivities. Here’s how you can make one serving.

Ingredients:

  • 1-ounce apple cider
  • One teaspoon of orange liqueur
  • One teaspoon of maple syrup
  • Chilled Prosecco to fill the rest of the glass
  • Rosemary sprigs for a garnish

Shake the apple cider, orange liqueur, and maple syrup in a cocktail shaker with ice until chilled. Pour this mixture into your champagne glass and pour in the Prosecco. Then garnish with a rosemary sprig.

For a larger serving, keep the shaken ingredients separate from the Prosecco and keep them chilled until you’re ready to serve.

Cinnamon Maple Whiskey Sour

Perfect for a warming feeling as winter starts in full force, this sour whiskey offers just a touch of sweetness for a delicious drink. For one glass, follow these steps, and multiply by servings desired as necessary.

Ingredients:

  • Three tablespoons bourbon
  • Two tablespoons of lemon juice
  • Three teaspoons of maple syrup
  • A pinch of ground cinnamon

Pour the ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled ⅔ with ice until chilled. Strain the mixture over fresh ice in your glass and enjoy.

Cranberry Sangria

When you know you’ve got a big holiday gathering, this sangria is excellent to serve alongside an incredible meal. Easy to make, put in a pitcher, and refrigerate for a couple of days as you work on the rest of the meal; this drink is easy to make and serve. For about four servings in a medium pitcher, follow these steps.

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup whole cranberries
  • Two apples, diced, tossed with lemon juice
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • ¼ cup cranberry juice
  • One bottle of white wine
  • 1 cup seltzer water

Put the diced apples and whole cranberries into your pitcher, then pour in the apple cider, cranberry juice, and white wine. Stir, then chill in the refrigerator for about an hour. Serve and enjoy!

Nutty Irishman Cocktail

A rich and unique cocktail, this drink is perfect for a cold night, combining creaminess with a nutty liqueur for a decadent holiday drink.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ ounces Irish cream
  • 1 ½ ounce hazelnut liqueur
  • ½ tablespoon crushed hazelnuts
  • Whipped cream

Add the Irish cream and hazelnut liqueur to a cocktail shaker, then fill with ice. Shake until frosty, then strain into a champagne coupe. Add whipped cream and dust the crushed hazelnuts over as a garnish.

Enjoy these simple cocktails this holiday season. Impress friends and family with your recipes, or enjoy them as you settle into the holiday season. Visit your local Payless Liquors today for more fall drink recipes or all the cocktail ingredients you could need.

Tailgating Without Beer

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We’re deep in football season this time of year, and it’s a beautiful excuse to gather friends and family together for a fantastic tailgate. Whether you’re tailgating at a big stadium or from your own home, you want to be sure that the food and drinks are fun and perfect for the day of the big game. You must have go-to options that are fast and delicious and ideally come in cans or a pitcher that you can pass around—cheers to your team, together with a fantastic drink this game season.

Beer isn’t the only option for your football game tailgate. Though it’s an old standard, plenty of other drinks can have you in the festivities if you’re not a beer fan. Hard seltzers are an excellent option for your gathering, and hard ciders are perfect for this crisp fall time of year. Any number of mixed drinks, from screwdrivers to lemonade and whiskey to spiking your favorite brand of sweet tea with vodka or bourbon, offer a perfect spice to your tailgate.

Ready-made cocktails are also a great option if you’re going away from home for the tailgate and cannot whip up your own cocktail. However, if you have the time and means for a leisurely cocktail, there are some great game-day options for a simple cocktail.

Grape Sparkler

Sweet and delightful to look at, this drink is a simple and sweet cocktail for the football bash.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups red seedless grapes, plus 1 cup sliced grapes
  • Two tablespoons lemon juice
  • Two tablespoons honey
  • 2 cups seltzer
  • ¾ cup vodka

Blend the whole grapes, honey, and lemon juice, and pour it through a strainer into a pitcher. Add seltzer, vodka, and sliced grapes, and stir. Pour into ice-filled glasses, and garnish with grapes.

Gatorade Margarita

You can use any sports drink for this margarita, and it’s perfect for a long day of cheering and celebration.

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup blue decorating sugar
  • ¼ cup salt
  • 1 20-ounce bottle of blue sports drink, cold
  • 1 cup limeade concentrate, frozen and thawed
  • 1 cup white tequila
  • ⅓ cup blue Curaçao
  • Orange slices garnish

Mix sugar and salt, and rim rocks glasses in the mixture. In a large pitcher, mix your blue sports drink, limeade concentrate, white tequila, and blue Curaçao. Stir, and then pour into the rock glasses over ice. Garnish with an orange slice, if you want.

Hurricane Cocktail

For a strong drink for your tailgate, look to this fruity cocktail.

Ingredients:

  • 2 ounces light rum
  • 2 ounces dark rum
  • 1-ounce lime juice
  • 1-ounce orange juice
  • ½ ounce passion fruit puree
  • ½ ounce syrup
  • One teaspoon grenadine
  • Orange slice and cherry garnish

Add both rums, fruit juices, passion fruit puree, syrup, and grenadine in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake until chilled, then strain into a Hurricane glass over ice. Garnish with an orange slice and cherry.

For all the necessary supplies for an incredible tailgate this football season, visit your local Payless Liquor.

Autumn Cocktails Perfect for Cooler Days

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It’s the time for crunchy leaves and crisp air, and the perfect Autumn cocktail goes hand in hand with them. Whether for a Halloween party or just looking to cozy up with the ideal feeling of Fall, a spirited cocktail can be the right way to go. From cider drinks to eking out the last bit of sunshine, here are some libations to set you in the mood.

The Sunflower

If you love Fall, chances are sunflowers are one of your favorite flowers. This is the right cocktail for you if that’s the case! Soak up those last precious rays of sun before the weather cools down.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ ounces gin – Stick to the classic Hendricks for this one
  • 1 ½ ounces Cointreau
  • 1 ½ ounces St. Germain
  • 1 ½ ounces lemon juice

Combine all elements in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake until entirely chilled. You can use whatever kind of glass you like. Strain the shaker mixture into two glasses. Garnish with a twist of lemon and an actual sunflower petal if you have them.

Spiked Apple Cider

This drink is the definition of fall time coziness. You can relax with this Autumn warmer cocktail with hot apple cider and bourbon.

Ingredients:

  • 4 ½ cups apple cider
  • 1 orange, sliced
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 cloves, whole
  • 1 star anise, whole
  • 8 ounces bourbon – We love Makers Mark

Add all the ingredients, except the bourbon, to a saucepan and bring the mixture to a boil. Lower the heat and let the cider mixture simmer. Removing from the heat, strain out all the solids. In a mug, add 2 Ounces of Bourbon, and top with 1 Cup of mulled cider.

Haymaker

For the ultimate relaxer, try this cocktail that really packs a punch. It also works well in a large batch for parties and celebrations.

Ingredients:

  • ¾ ounce bourbon
  • ¾ ounce Triple Sec
  • ¾ ounce dry vermouth
  • ¾ ounce lime juice

Add all the ingredients to a cocktail shaker with a generous amount of ice, and shake until thoroughly chilled. Then, strain it into an Old Fashioned glass.

Brandy and Cider Sidecar

Bring back the cider for this delightful take on a tried-and-true classic. With Brandy as the base spirit, you can’t go wrong with this combination of flavors that are perfect for any Autumnal activity.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ ounce brandy
  • 1 ½ ounce Cointreau
  • 3 ounces apple cider
  • ½ ounce lemon juice
  • Angostura bitters to taste

With a shaker full of ice, add all the ingredients. Shake until thoroughly chilled. Strain into a coupe cocktail glass, and garnish with a cherry.

Cran Fizz

While most people dream of apple and pumpkin flavors this time of year, we can’t ignore a good cranberry cocktail.

Ingredients:

  • 6 ounces gin—shoot for a classic like Bombay Sapphire
  • 4 ounces ginger ale, chilled
  • 1 cup simple syrup
  • 1 cup cranberries, fresh

Heat the simple syrup to a boil, then reduce the heat and add the cranberries, cooking until they burst. Let the mixture cool. Add the gin and simple syrup mixture to the shaker with ice and shake until chilled. Strain into two glasses, and then top with ginger ale. Garnish with the candied cranberries, and enjoy.

These cocktails will keep you cozy all season long. Visit your local Payless Liquors today!

4 Riffs on a Classic Old Fashioned

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The Old Fashioned is a classic libation for Fall, and with the season upon us, now is the best time to enjoy this drink. Rich flavors are the best to lean into this time of year, and that’s why we’ve got 4 riffs on your classic Old Fashioned for Fall.

Apple Brandy Old Fashioned

Brandy isn’t your typical spirit for an Old Fashioned, but that’s what makes it perfect for an updated version of this cocktail. Apple flavors punch up this drink and make us feel cozy.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ounce apple brandy – We recommend Huber Applejack Brandy
  • 1 ounce brandy
  • ½ ounce brown sugar simple syrup*
  • Angostura Bitters to taste, 2-3 dashes should do the trick.

In a rocks glass, combine all the ingredients over one large ice cube. Stir to fully incorporate all the elements and serve with an orange peel or twist.

*Brown sugar simple syrup is as easy to make as the regular simple syrup: equal parts water and brown sugar. If you’re feeling frisky, add a cinnamon stick to spice it up.

Mezcal Old Fashioned

While so many cocktails use just one spirit as their flavor base, this one takes it up a notch with mezcal and bourbon.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ ounces mezcal – We recommend Dos Tiranos Mezcal
  • 1 ounce bourbon – We recommend Makers Mark
  • 2 teaspoons Orgeat
  • Angostura bitters to taste

Add all ingredients to a mixing glass and stir with ice until chilled. Strain the concoction into an Old Fashioned glass over ice. Garnish your cocktail with an orange twist and grated cinnamon for an extra kick.

Smoked Rosemary Old Fashioned

Rosemary has been having a moment in cocktails lately, so this recipe is timely. With just a little extra work, you can create a cocktail that will change how you drink your Old Fashioned.

Ingredients:

  • 2 ounces bourbon – Try Old Forester Bourbon
  • ½ ounce simple syrup
  • Angostura bitters – A dash or two will do
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary

In an Old Fashioned glass, pour bourbon over ice, adding the simple syrup and bitters. Light the rosemary sprigs on fire and put it over the drink while it’s smoking. Cover the drink and the rosemary with a cocktail shaker and let rest for about 10 seconds. Then, take the shaker and the sprig away and enjoy your smoked rosemary-infused Old Fashioned. Cheers!

New Old Fashioned

This one is a complete departure from the classic. With gin as a base, we completely mix up the palate with floral flavors, but this departure will liven up the season.

Ingredients:

  • 2 ounces gin – Try Junipero Gin, with its bright, piney flavor
  • ½ ounce St. Germain
  • Orange bitters to taste

Combine all ingredients over ice and stir. Strain the mixture into a rocks glass over ice. Garnish with a grapefruit twist to add a little extra flavor to this gin concoction. Enjoy.

The quiet of the season pairs well with a bit of spirit experimentation. Visit your local Payless Liquors today for all your beverage essentials.

Why Not Rye?

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Whiskey has, of course, been around for years, but rye is seeing a new and exciting resurgence in the drink market. As a versatile grain, rye is used for vodka, beer, and whiskey. With distilleries across the country, both large and small, rye whiskey is a flavorful beverage that is gaining a whole new following.

Cask finishing is one way that all the many types of rye whiskeys separate from their competition, and the body of rye lends itself well to the process. Its clean finish is better suited to casks than bourbon’s heavier one.

While the United States has a long tradition and history of rye whiskey, its origins aren’t necessarily stateside. German immigrants brought the tradition with them in the mid-1600s while they were settling in modern-day Pennsylvania and Massachusetts. Germany had a rich history of rye whiskey production, even then.

We can credit the German immigrants with bringing the rye process to the United States. Still, we can also credit the Dutch with the industrialization of distilling, and they made a spirit very similar to rye whiskey. The Dutch had been making genever with rye for many years. Luckily, rye grew plentifully in America, thus solidifying rye’s usage in distillation.

Before Prohibition, rye was America’s dark spirit choice rather than bourbon. Because of Prohibition, many distilleries that produced rye closed and never reopened, and rye was notoriously difficult to find for several years.

As for rye whiskey, a serious resurgence has been going on for some 15 years after its production had previously died off in the 90s. We’re lucky today that so many people in the industry have taken rye whiskey on as a quest, and while innovation can be great, staying power is excellent too.

Bulleit Rye is one of the classics that Payless Liquors offers. With its smooth, crisp finish and notes of vanilla, spice, and honey throughout, this is a great sipper on the rocks, neat, or as the base spirit for a number of cocktails.

Rittenhouse is another rye whiskey offering. Long a beloved choice for bartenders, Rittenhouse has an herbal, sweet taste to start, then transitions quickly to roasty, dark flavors, such as oak and licorice. Perfect for a classic Old Fashioned or Manhattan, its flavor can handle nearly every kind of whiskey-based drink.

Did you know that Old Overholt is America’s oldest rye whiskey brand? In production since 1810, this rye whiskey is no spirit to turn your nose up to. They’re still capable of producing an excellent core rye that’s being aged for four years rather than the previous three. They also make some higher-octane distillations and offer an 11-year-aged rye as well. Old Overholt has a citrusy bouquet and sweet caramel and vanilla scents. A perfect cocktail or sipping rye.

Rye has a long and rich history in the United States. With over 200 years of production and enjoyment, it has a staying power worth noting. See our full list of Rye Whiskey offerings, and try a new Rye today.

Cognac For Fall

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Cognac has been around longer than the United States has been a country, and that can be a little intimidating. Its staying power is as evident as its typical flavor notes and fascinating aromas such as fig, toffee, spice, pear, and most exotically, passionfruit. With tastes that vary depending on the season, cognac is a great spirit to get into this Fall while trying to kindle those feelings of coziness as the temperatures cool.

Cognac is produced in the Eastern French region, and it has been for over 500 years. It gets its name from a town in the area. This place also has a prosperous history in wine production.

The reason cognac is as it appears today is due to Dutch traders who were attempting to import wine from the region but weren’t having a lot of success. The wines they were importing would typically spoil before arriving back in the Netherlands. To get the wine to make it that far successfully was to distill it two times. From this, it got the name “brandewijn,” or burnt wine. If you say that out loud, you can hear where the term brandy comes from. Over time, the production of this spirit in that region became notable, thus distinct with the name Cognac.

Cognac is made from grapes. They are fermented anywhere from five to seven days, and the wine produced during this process is then distilled twice. What results is a colorless brandy that is then aged for two years in oak barrels.

Cognac is distinguished by different labeling systems such as VS (Very Special), meaning it has only been aged for two years; VSOP (Very Special Old Pale), suggesting it has been aged at least 4 years, and XO (Extra Old), meaning it has been aged for at least 10 years. After that, there is XXO (Extra Extra Old) which means it has been aged for at least 14 years; and then the granddaddy of them all, Hors d’Age, meaning it is beyond age, being aged for at least 30 years, but possibly up to 100.

This spirit should be treated as special as it is with proper glassware. While a snifter is an excellent option, any fluted glass will suffice. This allows the spirit to come to room temperature carefully, and the glass will allow the imbiber to swirl it and introduce oxygen into the cognac. This can awaken new flavors.

The Cles Des Ducs VSOP can be an exciting place to start. With a fruit-forward aroma, you’ll notice flavors of spice and almonds. The fruits you can expect to experience with this cognac are pear, plum, apple, and apricot.

Hardy Cognac VSOP is a midrange spirit, again with fruity flavors. Pear is apparent here, as well as spice and toasted wood. The taste lingers and leaves behind Fall fruits, perfect for this time of year.

Payless Liquors carries a range of cognacs to fit any budget. From the very affordable all the way up to more luxury brands. Stop by today to find your new favorite Autumn spirit.

Fall Cocktails You Need to Try

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Fall marks the end of long, hot summer days. It also means the start of the harvest of many crops such as pumpkins and apples. Ironically, there’s just something warming about fall flavors coupled with the welcomed cool, crisp temperatures of autumn. To commemorate this uniquely satisfying season, we’ve compiled a collection of fall cocktail recipes.

Pumpkin Vodka Martini

If you’ve ever tasted pumpkin pie so good that you wished it were a drink, well, now it is. This fall twist on the classic martini tastes like pumpkin pie in a martini glass.

For one drink, you’ll need:

  • 1 oz. Smirnoff Whipped Cream Vodka
  • 1 oz. Baileys Pumpkin Spice
  • Dash of pumpkin spice
  • Demerara sugar (raw sugar)

To mix:

Shake the vodka and Baileys in a martini shaker with ice for at least one minute until very cold. Rim a chilled martini glass with demerara raw sugar. Strain mix into glass and sprinkle with pumpkin spice.

Crown Royal Regal Apple Cider

Hot apple cider likely adorns the memories of autumns passed for many, young and old. But spiked hot apple cider is a taste reserved for those of drinking age.

For one mug, you’ll need:

  • 2 oz. Crown Royal Regal Apple
  • 4 cups apple cider or juice
  • 6 sticks of cinnamon
  • 4 tbsp nutmeg
  • 10 cloves
  • Orange zest
  • Orange twist

To make:

Combine nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, orange zest, and cider (or juice) into a pot or slow cooker. Simmer and stir for 15-30 minutes. Strain the hot liquid carefully. Throw away the solids but keep the liquid. Combine Crown Royal Regal Apple with four ounces of the hot spiced liquid cider mix. Garnish with an orange twist.

Autumn

This drink recipe, developed by bar veteran and writer, Naren Young, is named after the season because it tastes like fall.

For one drink, you’ll need:

  • 1.5 oz. Laird’s Applejack
  • 0.5 oz. amontillado sherry
  • 0.25 oz. Clear Creek pear brandy
  • 0.5 oz. maple syrup
  • 3 dashes apple bitters
  • Allspice tincture
  • Dehydrated pear crisp

To mix:

Combine sherry, brandy, maple syrup, Laird’s Applejack, apple bitters, and ice in a glass and stir until well chilled. Strain into a glass over one large cube of ice. Spray with allspice tincture and garnish with pear crisp.

Southern Comfort Hot Cocoa

This drink is best saved for the chilliest of fall evenings and promises to warm your palate and your soul.

To make four servings, you’ll need:

  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 4 cups milk
  • 3 ounces Southern Comfort
  • Whipped cream

To make:

In a saucepan, combine sugar, salt, and cocoa powder. Heat milk in a separate saucepan over medium heat until hot, not boiling. Add a few spoons of the milk into the other saucepan with the cocoa mixture. Stir with a wooden spoon into a smooth paste. Slowly add the rest of the milk, gradually incorporating it into the cocoa. Simmer for five minutes on low heat. Next, add the

Southern Comfort and, with an immersion blender, froth until creamy with foam. Pour into pre-warmed glass mugs or cups and top with whipped cream.

Order your spirits online or come by the store, and get ready to enjoy these delicious fall cocktails!

Make Your Own Spiced Wine

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Pumpkins have been grown in North America for roughly 5,000 years — hence, the short-lived, but annual, obsession with this fall fruit (yes, pumpkins are, in fact, fruits). Furthermore, pumpkins are one of the largest fruits on earth, the largest pumpkin on record weighing in at 2,702 pounds.

Though the excitement for pumpkin spice tends to lessen each year as winter’s end looms, in early fall, practically anything goes that is flavored with pumpkin spice — even wine. Below is an easy recipe for making your own pumpkin spice wine.

What you’ll need:

8 cups pumpkin 1 4-inch cinnamon stick 1 whole nutmeg

1 inch fresh ginger root 1 gallon (boiling) water 1 tsp yeast nutrient

5 cups sugar 3 tsp acid blend 1 package wine yeast

1 pound golden raisins

For the first ferment:

Wash, trim, peel, and chop/grind the pumpkin and mix it with raisins. Add spices. Add boiling water and ferment in a large crock (primary fermenter) overnight. Then add all remaining ingredients (except yeast). Don’t skip the acid blend because pumpkins are low in acid, and they need this for proper fermentation.

Stir well to ensure the sugar dissolves completely. Using a hydrometer, ensure the specific gravity ranges between 1.090 and 1.095. Sprinkle the yeast over the mixture. Stir daily for three to five days until the specific gravity is 1.040. The mixture should get bubbly and have a pleasant aroma that is mildly yeasty. At the end of the first ferment, the pumpkin should have a mushy consistency, and the raisins should be nice and plump.

At this point, you’ll want to strain the “mush” and raisins using cheesecloth or an unbleached coffee filter. Squeeze as much juice out as possible. This is an important step because when not strained properly, leftover sediment in your wine can produce an undesirable texture.

For the second ferment:

Siphon the pumpkin wine into your secondary fermenter. Fill with water to volume and lock it in airtight with an airlock attachment. Your wine will look very cloudy at this point.

For the final aging:

After three weeks, rack your wine — transfer it into another fermenter or out of the fermenter long enough to clean out the sediment in the original). This removes the good wine from the bad sediment. Sediment can alter flavors in the fermenting process, so it’s a good practice to purify your wine often during the aging process.

Once your wine is removed from the fermenter, add ½ cup sugar and dissolve it in one cup of your wine mixture. Do this each time you rack your wine. Stir the wine gently and place it back into the secondary fermenter in the same manner as above. Do this process every six weeks until adding sugar does not restart fermentation. Then rack every three months until the wine is one year old before bottling. The wine should look clear now with the particles settled at the bottom.

Refrain from drinking your wine for one year from the first fermentation. The longer it ferments, the better, and this will ensure a sweeter-tasting pumpkin wine. If you start now, your wine should be just right by this time next year, just in time for fall! While you wait for your wine to ferment entirely, you can stop by the store to pick up a bottle that’s ready to go or place an order online.

Score a Touchdown With GameDay Spiked Seltzer

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At around 9:00 p.m. on September 22, the fall equinox will occur. During the equinox, the sun will shine directly on the equator. This alignment causes the days and nights to be roughly the same duration, about 12 hours — and that is where it gets the name “equinox.”

After the fall equinox, the northern hemisphere starts tilting away from the sun, causing longer nights and shorter days, as well as cooler temperatures. This phenomenon is also what causes the leaves to change colors because of the reduced amounts of sunlight.

In ancient civilizations, the equinox let farmers know when to plant their seasonal crops. Today, the equinox signifies another season — football season.

With the first game of the 2022 NFL season on the books, football festivities will be in full swing by the time the equinox rolls around, and the shelves will already be stocked with GameDay Spiked Seltzers. These new canned cocktails from GameDay All American Spirit come in three fruity flavors, each with only 99 calories. Six times distilled and gluten-free, these all-natural carbonated cocktails boast a 5% alcohol by volume content. Thus, they pack a punch without the heavy caloric content of other alcoholic drink options.

Flavors

GameDay Spiked Seltzers come in three flavors:

  • The Goat (fruit punch). The Goat GameDay Spiked vodka cocktail in a can is a good contender for the greatest cocktail of all time, featuring 60mg of electrolytes. Whether you’re trying to pre-hydrate before the big game or recover later, this one is a high-performance alcoholic beverage.
  • Cleat Chaser (lemon-lime). For those fans who prefer the sour to sweet, the Cleat Chaser GameDay Spiked vodka features a lemon-lime twist and packs 75mg of electrolytes. Stay hydrated while you chase the cleats.
  • Cinderella Story (strawberry lemonade). This underdog-inspired spiked vodka canned cocktail is for fans who like it sweet with a little sour. Drinkers who choose the new Cinderella Story GameDay drink have blocked out the haters and defied all expectations.

GameDay All American Spirits

Since 2020, GameDay Spirits have been a hit at sporting event parties across the United States. GameDay All American Vodka is the official vodka of 14 NFL and NCAA teams, and many more teams are joining the party.

Born out of a missing necessity of game day parties for team-branded booze, the unique business strategy of GameDay Spirits features attractive team-colored labels and bottling. Geared toward the 200 million sports fans who love to celebrate their favorite teams, the GameDay brand is quickly becoming a staple in the American game day ritual.

Whether the game day festivities are small or large, partygoers will be impressed by these new team-adorned canned cocktails. They are especially popular among the ladies, so if females are going to attend your party, this is your go-to game day drink.

Make GameDay Spiked Seltzers a new essential ingredient for your football party. You can purchase all three flavors of GameDay Spiked Seltzers at Payless Liquors locations in packs of four for just $8.99. Place an order online or visit us in person today!

Join Us in Celebrating Bourbon Heritage Month

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If next month’s beer fest can’t come too soon, perhaps Payless Liquors’ Celebration of National Bourbon Heritage Month can ease the wait. Thursday evenings in September, at select Payless Liquors locations, will be dedicated to paying homage to the cultural foundation of bourbon.

By celebrating National Bourbon Heritage Month with Payless Liquors throughout the month of September, our customers are assisting us in discovering the smoothest bourbon.

Payless Liquors’ Bourbon Events

To honor this spirit, there will be samplings of special selections of bourbons featuring Bardstown Bourbon Company’s Fusion Series and Discovery Series bourbons. In addition, there will be raffle prizes, catered food pairings, and more surprises. Bourbon fans will also be treated to educational insights surrounding the history of this mysterious spirit.

Seasoned bourbon aficionados and novices alike are invited to join this celebration honoring the history, heritage, and craftsmanship of bourbon. Events include:

  • September 15, 2022 @ 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

14580 River Road, Westfield, IN 46033

  • September 22, 2022 @ 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

1266 Madison Avenue, Greenwood, IN 46142

  • September 29, 2022 @ 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

9520 Uptown Drive, Suite G, Indianapolis, IN 46256

Before you head to the closest Payless Liquors location to sample the newest blend of Bardstown’s finest corn whiskey, brush up on your bourbon trivia below.

An American Native Spirit

In 1964, the U.S. Congress declared bourbon an American native spirit in that it is a unique product of the United States. Thus, federal law defines bourbon as whiskey that contains at least 51% corn and has been matured for a minimum of two years in fresh charred white oak barrels. Thus, all bourbon is whiskey, but not all whiskey is bourbon.

Why Kentucky?

Kentucky is the bourbon capital of the world because Kentucky produces the most and the best bourbon in the world. There are more barrels of bourbon distilling in distilleries across the state of Kentucky than there are people living there. At any given moment, around 7.5 million barrels are aging in charred white oak barrels in Kentucky. Bardstown Bourbon Company, located in Bardstown, Kentucky, produces 110,000 barrels and 7 million proof barrels per year.

Bardstown Bourbon Company

For hundreds of years, the exact process of making bourbon has been a mystery, as it became customary for brewers to guard their recipes and means of production from the public. But Bardstown Bourbon Company is changing things. They are unveiling the secrets behind the beloved spirit. They have gone so far as to build a distillery with all spaces open or housed behind clear glass to remain transparent in their plant and process.

Bardstown Bourbon Company’s sophisticated and scientific distillery is technologically advanced and technically flexible. By inviting their customers into their process and educating them about the intricacies of distilling a smooth and timeless bourbon, they are ensuring the Kentucky bourbon legacy will live on for many more years.

Some may say Bardstown, Kentucky is the home of bourbon whiskey, as they host the Kentucky Bourbon Festival every September. Payless Liquors patrons can experience a taste of that by joining in the Thursday celebrations. Let’s engage, dine, and toast to America’s native spirit together. Come by the store or place your order online today!

Cool Down with a Boozy Milkshake

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With the heat on blast this summer, there’s no way we’re going to miss an opportunity for ice cream. Rather than keeping it basic, why not turn up the excitement with a little boozy mix in? Combine two of the most refreshing parts of summer and you’ll have a milkshake that’s sure to please.

We’ve rounded up some of our favorite boozy milkshake recipes for the dog days of summer.

Bourbon and Coffee Milkshake

For the coffee lover, this one is a must. Although coffee and bourbon can both be an excellent way to end a meal in their own unique ways, together, they are magical.

Ingredients:
2 oz bourbon (we suggest Makers Mark)
2 c coffee ice cream
1 c milk or dairy alternative
1 c ice

Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. Serve in a frosty glass for maximum enjoyment.

Baileys Best Milkshake

Baileys is probably a standby in your liquor cabinet. While you might be used to adding it into your coffee on lazy Sunday mornings, there’s no reason Baileys can’t be part of your adult milkshake.

Ingredients:
2 oz Baileys Irish Cream
2 big scoops of vanilla chip ice cream
3 oz milk or dairy alternative
2 c ice

Add each ingredient into a blender and blend until smooth. Add to your favorite tall glass and top with a drizzle of chocolate syrup and a cherry.

Boozy Key Lime Shake

Nothing says summer like the sweet, tangy flavor of key lime. With this recipe, you can have your dessert and booze it too.

Ingredients:
¼ c Baileys Irish Cream 1 ½ oz lime vodka (we suggest Burnetts Vodka Lime)
1 oz of tequila—your favorite tequila blanco will do
3 ½ c vanilla ice cream
1 ½ oz fresh key lime juice
1 oz sweetened condensed milk
Graham crackers, crushed

Add all ingredients except graham crackers into a blender and mix on high until fully smooth. Pour into a frosted glass, and top with a sprinkle or two of graham cracker. Kick back and enjoy!

Strawberry Shortcake Boozy Milkshake

Nothing screams indulgence more than strawberry shortcake and ice cream. The sweetness of strawberries combines with the sweetness of cupcake vodka for the perfect boozy dessert treat.

Ingredients:
½ oz cupcake vodka (we recommend Desiree Cupcake Vodka)
2 c vanilla chip ice cream
½ c milk or dairy alternative
2 c frozen strawberries, sliced
Angel food cake
Fresh strawberries, halved

Combine the first four ingredients in a blender and mix on high until completely smooth. Serve in a chilled glass with an angel food cake and strawberry topper.

Important to Note

We would never want to ruin anyone’s fun, but it’s important to point out that these beverages will look both fun and enjoyable to a variety of ages. However, they are only intended for adults. If you happen to be enjoying these drinks around children, make sure to have an alternative for them so they can enjoy the festive fun of a milkshake. (Hint: most of these recipes will do fine without the alcohol!)

Need more inspiration for creating a frosty, boozy treat? Head over to Payless Liquors and see where your imagination takes you!