bloody Mary

All About the Bloody Mary

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

History of the Bloody Mary

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

How to Make a Bloody Mary of Your Own

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

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

Choosing Your Alcohol

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

Putting It All Together

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

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


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

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

  1. Consider Your Favorite Foods and Flavors

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

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

  1. Refining Your Wine Tastes

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

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

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

  1. Remember that Your Tastes Will Change Over Time

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

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


5 Interesting Facts About the Hard Seltzer Craze

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

One: Seltzers Appeal to the Health-Conscious

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

Two: The Market Says Seltzer Isn’t Going Anywhere

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

Three: People Are Passing on Beer for Seltzer

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

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

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

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

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

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


5 Best Cocktails for Easter (or Any April Party)

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

  1. Iced Sparkling Honey Lime Red Tea

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

  1. The Classic Champagne Cocktail

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

  1. Spiked Strawberry Lemonade

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

  1. Moscow Mule Punch

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

  1. Creamsicle Punch

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

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

Fun Ways to Cook With Wine

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

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

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

Red Wine Spaghetti With Olives and Anchovies

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

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

White Wine Garlic Chicken

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

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

Get the Right Wine for Your Recipe

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


How Long Does Beer in a Keg Stay Fresh?

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Are you a bottled beer fan or a connoisseur of the keg? Each variety has its own set of characteristics that makes the flavor and effervescence unique and palatable. If you are of the opinion that there’s nothing like a pint of foamy beer right out of the keg, you certainly know that keeping the beer fresh throughout the lifetime of the keg can get a little tricky. Exposure to oxygen, bacteria, and temperature are all factors that affect the rate at which a beer will lose its finest qualities. The keg is at its freshest point the day the brewery fills it. After that, it slowly begins to lose this quality. Here are a few facts about a keg’s freshness that you can use to get the most out of your beer on tap.

How Long Does a Keg Stay Fresh?

For most beers on tap, dispensed with CO2, the rule of thumb is that non-pasteurized beer will retain its freshness for 45-60 days, if proper pressure and temperature are maintained. If you are serving up pasteurized draft beer, the shelf life is around 90-120 days. If you have just gotten an air pumped party keg, you should consume the beer within 8-12 hours if you want to enjoy it at peak freshness. You will find that most breweries now print a freshness date on the keg for your convenience. Be sure to read the labeling carefully, as some breweries print this as an expiration date, while others opt for a “born on” date. These dates have the days it is in inventory at the brewery figured into the equation and generally print the date on the side of the keg or on the cap.

Are There Exceptions to the Rule?

The short answer to this question is yes; there are always exceptions. For instance, bigger beers with higher alcohol content will last a bit longer than “the norm.” The character imbued on the beer by its hops will fade a bit, but these beers can be expected to last up to six months. In other cases, beers change even more slowly.

How Do I Know How Much Beer to Get?

If you are concerned about having a keg that is too big to finish before it loses its freshness, there are options you can consider to avoid this dilemma. Kegs come in varying sizes, so it is not always necessary to buy the biggest one on the market. Standard sizes and the amount of beer you can expect to get out of them are as follows:

  • Full-size Keg (Half Barrel) = 165 12oz beers
  • Euro Keg = 140 12oz beers
  • Quarter Barrel Keg = 82 12oz beers
  • Five Gallon Keg = 55 12oz beers
  • Three Gallon Keg = 32 12oz beers

If you pay attention to these tips and facts about draft beer, you should be able to maintain freshness in your keg for the amount of time it takes for you to finish the beer. For more

information, and a selection of fine kegs for your home or business, come and see the experts at Payless Liquors today.

3 St. Patrick’s Day Drinks to Celebrate (No Matter What Day It Is)

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The time of the year again – bagpipes, Irish dancers, and folk bands parade the streets in cities across the country, filling restaurants and bars with the sounds that make us all feel a bit Irish. When celebrating this festive holiday, we often enjoy a pint of Guinness Stout or a warm Irish coffee, but these drinks lose their lucky charm after a while, and we need to mix it up. Green beer may be great for a St. Patty’s fraternity party, but it just doesn’t do it for those of us with a more discerning palate.

This St. Patrick’s Day, why not try something a little different? These green drinks may inspire you to start a new Irish tradition or, at the very least, give you a chance to sample something a little out of your normal realm.

The Last Word Cocktail

What better way to create a green drink for St. Patrick’s Day than using the classic liqueur, Chartreuse, for color. This botanical liqueur is made by two Chartreuse monks who are the only people in the world who know the exact combination of plants (over 130 of them) and distilling techniques used to produce this delicious liqueur. An ingredient with a true “secret recipe” just seems kind of magical and appropriate for St. Patty’s Day. To enjoy this complex cocktail, gather the following ingredients:

  • ¾ oz Gin
  • ¾ oz Maraschino Liqueur
  • ¾ oz Green Chartreuse
  • ¾ oz freshly squeezed lime juice

Add these ingredients to a shaker full of ice and shake it until well chilled. Serve the drink up or strained over a glass of ice, and garnish with a slice of lime.

Irish Buck

If whiskey is your lucky liquor of choice, this may be the drink for you. With a similar flavor profile to the “mules” that have gained popularity in recent years, this cocktail is sure to please many palates. Martha Stewart recommends serving it with her Leek and Cheddar Dip, which would be wonderful served with Irish Soda Bread for dipping. To make this one, combine these ingredients in a glass of ice:

  • 2 oz Irish Whiskey
  • 3 oz Ginger Ale
  • 1 Tbsp fresh squeezed lime juice
  • Garnish with a slice of lime and serve!

Green Apple Ginger Martini

If you’re a fan of the festive green but prefer the crisp taste of Granny Smith Apples over the punch of whiskey or the herbal blast of Chartreuse, this martini is for you. It takes the best qualities of fruity martinis you find on most restaurants’ signature cocktail lists but improves upon them by doing away with the artificial flavors and replacing them with real fruit and a real artisan preparation that will wow your guests. If you like preparing something special for your friends and family to celebrate the holiday, this drink won’t disappoint. Check out this recipe from Gourmande in the Kitchen today.

If you are looking for the ingredients for these cocktails and many others to liven up your St. Patrick’s Day party, visit Payless Liquors to stock up. We have everything you need to bring the luck o’ the Irish to your table this year.

Indy's Premier Bourbon Celebration

Get Your Tickets to Indy’s Premier Bourbon Celebration

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

VIP Hour and General Admission Highlights

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

The Venue

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

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

Meet Bourbon Experts

There is a growing list of participating distilleries for this year’s Bourbon Celebration – and with those distilleries comes their expert representatives! We’reexcited to welcome Charlie Nelson, Co-Founder/President, and Cliff Kimmerling, Brand Ambassador, for Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery and Belle Meade Bourbon. Will Summers, former Horse Soldier, will also be attending this event with Horse Soldier Bourbon!

Charlie Nelson

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

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

Cliff Kimmerling

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

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

Will Summers

SFC. (R) Will Summers was assigned to the 5th Special Forces Group and a member of ODA 595, (the Horse Soldiers). Will was an infantryman, a Special Forces communications Sergeant, and an Infantry Officer during his 25 years of Army service.

Will and his wife, of 23 years, Dawn currently live in the Panhandle of Florida with ten of their children still at home and their eldest son serving on active duty with 75th Ranger Regiment.

Horse Soldier® Bourbon is award winning and authentically made with all-American ingredients. The Horse Soldier® glass bottle is molded by steel recovered from the World Trade Center to commemorate the lives lost and never forgotten.

Come meet the bourbon experts, including Charlie and Cliff, and former Horse Soldier, Will Summers on March 6th!


Get Your Tickets Now

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

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

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

crockpot-warmed cocktails

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

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

Temple Toddy

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

Spiked Crockpot Apple Cider

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

Cranberry-Orange Mulled Wine

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

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

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

valentines day

8 Best Wines to Accompany a Valentine’s Day Meal

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

Sweeter Wines

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

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

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

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

Complex Wines

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

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

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

Bold Wines

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

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

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

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

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

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

January cocktails

3 January Cocktails You Don’t Want to Miss

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

Winter Mojito

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

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

Fennel Countdown

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

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

Lazy Sunday

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

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

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

imported beers

Have You Tried These Five Imported Beers?

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

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

Make This Your Month to Try An Imported Beer

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

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

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


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.