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.

fall cocktails

5 Delicious Fall Cocktails You Don’t Want to Miss 

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It is a great time to curl up in front of the fire and with delicious fall cocktails. Whether you’re looking for a libation for a celebration or simply gathering over a board game with close friends, these autumnal recipes are sure to impress. Gather, mix, shake, stir, and enjoy! If you’re looking for something new to celebrate the season, try one of these recipes.

Autumn Old Fashioned

The Old Fashioned is one of America’s oldest cocktails, and this fall themed spin is sure to give it an impressive twist while retaining its old-world charm and character. Baked apple syrup, made from fresh apples baked with brown sugar, replaces the simple syrup in this recipe for a warm, caramelly hint of sweetness. Be sure to use a good rye whisky such as Bulleit to create a flavor profile that is spicy, dry, and perfectly balanced. Sip with a large ice cube and garnish with apple slices or a cinnamon stick if desired.

Pumpkin Pie Mimosa

If you’re looking for a crowd pleaser to bring to the next tailgate, this one is your ticket. Orange juice takes a back seat to homemade pumpkin spice juice in this autumnal cocktail. Simply mix pumpkin puree with water, pumpkin spice, and sugar to create the homemade base for this cocktail (be sure to strain well – we recommend a cheesecloth). Add juice to a glass of dry champagne, and don’t forget the rimming sugar! It also pairs well with Thanksgiving leftovers and Cyber Monday shopping.

Cranberry Orange Margarita

The holiday season is nearly upon us, and this seasonal spin on a summer favorite will put you on everyone’s nice list. A base of silver tequila, perfect for mixing, mixes with tart cranberry juice, sweet orange juice, and orange liqueur to create a cocktail that is zesty and fresh without becoming overbearing. Rosemary sprigs for garnish give it a seasonal touch. When choosing cranberry juice, opt for a fresh version, rather than a shelf stable option from concentrate whenever possible. This will naturally impart a more tart flavor.

Ginger Pear Bourbon Cocktail

You would be hard pressed to find a seasonal flavor pairing more satisfying than ginger and pear. The natural spicy, citrusy flavor profile of the ginger pairs perfectly with the sweetness of seasonal pears. Homemade ginger honey simple syrup combines with pear nectar, ginger ale, and bourbon to create this cocktail that will soon be in your fall classics collection. We recommend a sweet American classic like Jim Beam and an extra spicy ginger ale like Verner’s for this recipe.

Spiced Blood Orange Champagne Punch:

The next time you’re at the grocery store, keep an eye out for medium-sized oranges with pinkish-red spots in its flesh. These are blood oranges, and they make a perfectly sweet base for a champagne cocktail. Combined with dry brut champagne, white wine, cinnamon, and star anise, this cocktail is perfectly suited for Turkey prep and holiday season cocktail hours. If you cannot find blood oranges, Cara Cara oranges will work equally well.

 

Rosé

4 Reasons Why Rosé Should Be Your Go-To Fall Wine

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Have you jumped on the rosé bandwagon yet? If not, it might be time to take the plunge. This medium-bodied, dry wine with a pinkish hue will pair well with all your fall festivities. But what is rosé, and how can it find a place in your autumnal celebrations?

What Is Rosé?

There is a common misconception that rosé is the result of mixing red and white wine – this is not only frowned upon, it would be a mark of sloppy wine making. To create a beautiful blush hue, red grapes are macerated – or let to sit – for only a day or two. The grape juice’s contact with the red skin begins to create a pinkish hue. At this point, the juice and skins are separated, and the juice is left to ferment, creating a delicious Rosé. The Provence region of France is most famous for consistently producing high quality roses, but you can find good bottles from various regions, including California and at many price points. In general, Rosé is best served chilled and pairs well with all your autumn activities.

It’s the Best Your Transition Wine

People typically associate crisp, white wines with summer and robust, mouth warming red wines with the winter. It stands to reason that Rosé creates a delicious middle ground for your seasonal transitions. Rosé wines come in a variety of styles. Though most are dry, there are deeper, fuller bodied rosés that fit the bill for cooler weather. For tailgating and outdoor barbeques, there are lighter styles that make for easy and carefree sipping. Just like any other style of wine, there are a variety of flavor profiles that match your unique taste buds.

It Pairs with Your Favorite Fall Foods

Rosé can be an ideal pairing with the hearty, flavorful foods that come with fall. Try it with eggplant pizzas, dishes with smoky Gouda cheeses and mushrooms, grilled red meat, salads, chicken chili, and maple and miso glazed salmon. As a dry wine, Rosé also pairs perfectly with fall sweets like cookies, cakes, blondies, and s’mores.

It Is Crisp and Refreshing

Perhaps the most compelling reason to try Rosé this season is the nature of the wine itself. Touted as a crisp and refreshing wine, it emulates the spirit of the season itself. It can class up your next tailgate or accompany a tree-framed cookout with friends. No matter where your fall plans take you, Rosé can be a perfect accompaniment.

There is a Rosé For Everyone

As we approach the gift giving season, it’s nice to know that Rosé can meet a variety of tastes and price points. Choose a darker variety for your friend that loves a good Cabernet Sauvignon or a paler variety for your pal who sips Chardonnay. Tucked into gift baskets with locally made chocolates, meats, and other eats, Rosé can be the perfect, budget friendly wine for giving. Come in and buy a variety to see what you like – and pick some up for friends while you’re at it!

Bob Dylan and Whiskey: Welcome to Heaven’s Door

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Are you looking for a new whiskey to explore? Try Heaven’s Door Whiskey – a whiskey developed in partnership with Bob Dylan.

About

Heaven’s Door Spirits developed this award-winning handcrafted American whiskey in partnership with Bob Dylan. The bottle showcases the welded iron gates he crafted in his studio, Black Buffalo Ironworks, as a symbol of that partnership. The Chicago-based distillery recently celebrated the 50th anniversary of Bob Dylan’s famed album, “Nashville Skyline”. They announced that the Heaven’s Door Distillery and Center for the Arts in downtown Nashville will open in Fall 2020.

Varieties

After working with Dylan himself to develop various flavor profiles, Heaven’s Door Spirits’ Ryan Perry and Master Distiller Jordan Via produced Heaven’s Door Whiskey as a trilogy in the following varieties:

  • Tennessee Straight Bourbon Whiskey (90 Proof)
  • Double Barrel Whiskey (100 Proof)
  • Straight Rye Whiskey (92 Proof)

The Straight Tennessee Bourbon comes from a unique mashbill primitive to Tennessee and utilizes 30% small grains. These grains are complementary to the overall character imparted from a minimum of 8 years in American Oak Barrels. Overall a smooth and harmonious blend with notes of vanilla and baked bread layered with toasted oak.

Design

While Bob Dylan is renowned as a Nobel Prize winning poet, singer-songwriter, author, and visual artist, he also expresses his creativity as an iron sculptor. The artist’s ironwork, created from found objects discovered in farms and scrapyards yards across America, is in demand. The image of Dylan’s original iconic gates is featured on bottles of Heaven’s Door Whiskey, illustrating the close partnership the artist and the distillery enjoy.

Purchasing

Heaven’s Door Whiskey working its way across America and is currently available in the following states:

  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Washington, D.C.
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Illinois
  • Massachusetts
  • Maryland
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Washington

Don’t see your state? You can also purchase Heaven’s Door Whiskey online. If you’d rather purchase from a store, check the locator to see if a store near you may stock it. Continue to check in if your state is not on the list, as new stores add Heaven’s Door Whiskey to their selections.

Contact

Want to learn more about Heaven’s Door Whiskey? You can contact the distillery via email or find them on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. The employees are available to answer your questions or inquiries about the whiskey, a job, or general information. Heaven’s Door would love to hear from you.

Conclusion

A whiskey made in partnership with Bob Dylan and that focuses on his ironwork is something special. It’s a new way of drinking a high-quality whiskey in a commemorative bottle for you to add to your collection. If you’re looking for a new whiskey to try, get a bottle of Heaven’s Door and see what you think. It just might surprise you.

Contact Heaven’s Door to locate a store near you so you can give this exceptional whiskey a try. This is a special whiskey that’s also a work of art.