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bitters in your cocktail

Why You Should Add Bitters to Your Cocktails

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No bartender’s utility belt would be complete without bitters. But they seem to be a mystery to most of us, so we’re here to help make the mysterious bitter a more familiar ingredient in your cocktail-making playbook.

The Return of the Bitters!

Bitters have returned thanks to the emergence of craft cocktails over the last decade. These potent and, of course, bitter, liquids are essential to crafting many drinks. What makes them even better is that they may make an upset stomach feel better.

Lately, bitter makers have been on a roll. They’ve been reviving recipes that history has forgotten and creating flavors including Sriracha, fig, and barbecue.

From Where Did Bitters Return?

Before all but disappearing at the turn of the 20th century, bitters hit their high point in the 1800s. Be-fore bitters became familiar to Americans, Europeans used bitters as medicine for a long time. There’s evidence dating to around 7,000 B.C. that someone in China concocted a mix of grapes, rice, honey, and hawthorn berry, which tastes horrid. Strictly speaking, it was a drinkable bitter known as an amaro.

What Are Bitters and How Should I Use Them?

In short, bitters are boozy flavored extracts made by infusing pieces of plants in alcohol. Bitters can get their flavors from barks, berries, flowers, roots, and other plant stuff, and think of using them as you would use salt with food. Because, as salt does with food, bitters help emphasize the flavors of cocktails while including their own taste.

What Is Amari?

In Italian, amaro means bitter, and the plural of amaro is Amari. Furthermore, Amari are used as mixers or drunk out of the bottle. Some Amari you may be familiar with are Branca, Campari, Cynar, Fernet Branca, and Pimm’s No. 1.

How Do I Tell the Difference Between Bitters and Amari?

The difference between bitters and Amari is that Amari are drinkable, and bitters are used as a seasoning. A more straightforward way to tell them apart is that Amari comes in large bottles and is meant to be drunk, while bitters come in small bottles and are used in the same way that salt is used – to enhance and add to the flavors of food.

Bitter Categories

There are a lot of bitters and so many flavors that it’s hard to categorize them, but here’s a general list.

· Aromatic

· Citrus

· Herbal

· Nut

Which Bitters Should I Keep on Hand?

A good starting kit of bitters would include an aromatic, a citrus, and something fun like lavender or chocolate. These could help ensure you have whichever bitter on hand you need to make a perfect cocktail.

Go-to Brands of Bitters

· Angostura

· Fee Brothers

· Peychaud’s

· Regan’s Orange No. 6.

You might want to try other players in the bitters market. Germany produces the Bitter Truth, London’s got Bob’s Bitters, while America’s got Bitterman’s of New Orleans and Bitter Cube hails from Milwaukee.

Do Bitters Ever Go Stale?

It’s a long shot that bitters will go bad before you use them. Simply keep them stashed in the dark of your liquor cabinet, and they should keep for up to five years. On the other hand, Bitterman’s of New Orleans claims five years is the low end of how long they’ll last.

If you’re ready to enjoy bitters, here are some cocktails made with bitters to try at home:

· Pink Gin Pink

· Whiskey and Bitters

· Old Fashioned

· Sazerac

· Martini

· Manhattan

· The Sawyer

Come By Payless Liquors for a Variety of Bitter Options

Order your cocktail ingredients today, and don’t forget the bitters! Pre-order and pick up from our store! Pickup Order form – Payless Liquors (payless-liquors.com)

Why You Should Add Bitters to Your Cocktails

No bartender’s utility belt would be complete without bitters. But they seem to be a mystery to most of us, so we’re here to help make the mysterious bitter a more familiar ingredient in your cocktail-making playbook.

The Return of the Bitters!

Bitters have returned thanks to the emergence of craft cocktails over the last decade. These potent and, of course, bitter, liquids are essential to crafting many drinks. What makes them even better is that they may make an upset stomach feel better.

Lately, bitter makers have been on a roll. They’ve been reviving recipes that history has forgotten and creating flavors including Sriracha, fig, and barbecue.

From Where Did Bitters Return?

Before all but disappearing at the turn of the 20th century, bitters hit their high point in the 1800s. Be-fore bitters became familiar to Americans, Europeans used bitters as medicine for a long time. There’s evidence dating to around 7,000 B.C. that someone in China concocted a mix of grapes, rice, honey, and hawthorn berry, which tastes horrid. Strictly speaking, it was a drinkable bitter known as an amaro.

What Are Bitters and How Should I Use Them?

In short, bitters are boozy flavored extracts made by infusing pieces of plants in alcohol. Bitters can get their flavors from barks, berries, flowers, roots, and other plant stuff, and think of using them as you would use salt with food. Because, as salt does with food, bitters help emphasize the flavors of cock-tails while including their own taste.

What Are Amari?

In Italian, amaro means bitter, and the plural of amaro is Amari. Furthermore, Amari are used as mixers or drunk out of the bottle. Some Amari you may be familiar with are Branca, Campari, Cynar, Fernet Branca, and Pimm’s No. 1.

How Do I Tell the Difference Between Bitters and Amari?

The difference between bitters and Amari is that Amari are drinkable, and bitters are used as a seasoning. A more straightforward way to tell them apart is that Amari comes in large bottles and is meant to be drunk, while bitters come in small bottles and are used in the same way that salt is used – to enhance and add to the flavors of food.

Bitter Categories

There are a lot of bitters and so many flavors that it’s hard to categorize them, but here’s a general list.

· Aromatic

· Citrus

· Herbal

· Nut

Which Bitters Should I Keep on Hand?

A good starting kit of bitters would include an aromatic, a citrus, and something fun like lavender or chocolate. These could help ensure you have whichever bitter on hand you need to make a perfect cocktail.

Go-to Brands of Bitters

· Angostura

· Fee Brothers

· Peychaud’s

· Regan’s Orange No. 6.

You might want to try other players in the bitters market. Germany produces the Bitter Truth, London’s got Bob’s Bitters, while America’s got Bitterman’s of New Orleans and Bitter Cube hails from Milwaukee.

Do Bitters Ever Go Stale?

It’s a long shot that bitters will go bad before you use them. Simply keep them stashed in the dark of your liquor cabinet, and they should keep for up to five years. On the other hand, Bitterman’s of New Orleans claims five years is the low end of how long they’ll last.

If you’re ready to enjoy bitters, here are some cocktails made with bitters to try at home:

· Pink Gin Pink

· Whiskey and Bitters

· Old Fashioned

· Sazerac

· Martini

· Manhattan

· The Sawyer

Come By Payless Liquors for a Variety of Bitter Options

Order your cocktail ingredients today, and don’t forget the bitters! Pre-order and pick up from our store! Pickup Order form – Payless Liquors (payless-liquors.com)

Cocktail for Valentine's Day

Valentine’s Day: 5 Cocktails and Spirits

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We’ve all been there. It’s February 7th, and you still don’t have a plan for Valentine’s Day. Maybe a simple card won’t do the trick, and you’ve run out of ideas. Luckily for you, we’ve got a plan. If you’re planning on a dinner at home, or maybe just a few drinks, these drinks are sure to encourage that romantic air that you might be trying to capture.

 

  1. Apple Cider Mimosa. We’ve all heard of the classic mimosa. And if you’re thinking brunch for your Valentine’s Day celebration, a mimosa is a great idea. This mimosa combines a sparkling wine, like a Cava or a Prosecco, with apple cider for a surprising twist. First pour in your apple cider, roughly halfway up a champagne flute. Then, add your chilled sparkling wine of choice to top off the glass. Garnish with an apple slice, and sip away.

 

  1. Red Wine. You really can’t go wrong with a rich, deep red wine. Evoking the color of passion, red wine is certainly a more traditional approach for Valentine’s Day. Merlot, with a rich, dark fruit flavor and its deep red color, is a great option. Here are a few merlots to choose from.

 

  1. Kentucky Kiss. Not for its name alone, the Kentucky Kiss would be a great addition to any Valentine’s dinner menu. If you or your sweetheart enjoy bourbon, this is the cocktail for you. Combining lemon juice, fresh strawberries, bourbon, maple syrup, and club soda, you get a rich and boozy cocktail for the evening. First, you’ll muddle the lemon juice, maple syrup, and strawberries together in the bottom of an old-fashioned glass. Then you’ll add ice and fill the rest of the glass with bourbon, and a splash of club soda. Garnish with a fresh sliced strawberry and enjoy. Looking for bourbon? Maker’s Mark is a delicious and recognizable option.

 

  1. Hanky Panky. The name might be outdated, but the flavor certainly isn’t. Using gin to make a sweet martini, the addition of the herbal Fernet-Branca creates an interesting and complex flavor. In a tumbler with ice, combine sweet vermouth, Fernet-Branca and gin. Add a splash of orange juice to taste. Stir these ingredients well. Then, strain and pour into a martini glass. Add a twist of orange peel for a bit of extra flavor, and the all-important added flair. Salud!

 

  1. Italian for ‘drowned,’ the idea is to drown ice-cream with coffee. But for an added treat, pour over a little coffee liquor, Irish cream, or amaretto for added kick. An affogato is the perfect way to finish out a meal and treat yourself and someone special to a special dessert.

 

From start to finish of your Valentine’s Day plans, these 5 cocktails are sure to inspire a romantic mood and create the right element of extra to your plans. The easy preparation and the complex flavors of each cocktail are perfect for your meal, start to finish. From a bubbly kick-off, to a rich, boozy ice cream dessert, you can enjoy a warm glow for the whole celebration. To save yourself a little more time before picking up your Valentine’s date, utilize our pickup form for a speedy transaction.

Winter Cocktails

Winter Cocktail Recipes: Top 4

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

 

Nutty Irishman

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Gingerbread Eggnog

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Peppermint Bark Mimosas

 

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

 

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

 

Frost and Fire

 

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

 

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

Stocked holiday liquor cabinet

Holiday Liquor Cabinet: How to Properly Stock

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

 

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

 

The Holiday Liquor Cabinet

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Hearty Winter Beers

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Mull-Worthy Wines

 

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

 

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

 

Mixers and N/A

 

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

Gameday drinks

Gameday Drinks: End Zone Dance-Worthy Beverages

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

 

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

 

Bud Light NFL Team Cans

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Other Available Gameday Beer Options

 

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

 

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

 

NFL Spirits Partner

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Team Spirit Shooter Tray

 

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

 

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

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

 

Explore fruity flavored liqueurs for additional options.

 

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

 

5 Delicious Fall Cocktails

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It’s time to dust off your shaker and start experimenting with new fall flavors. We’re here to share our top 5 favorite autumn cocktail recipes that are perfect for this season. They’re not just any old pumpkin spice latte or apple cider, but instead they’re boozy, delicious drinks that will warm you up on these cold nights! So grab your favorite liquors and mixers, it’s time to get creative in the kitchen!

Apple Cider Mimosas

Ingredients
1 bottle champagne
1 cup apple cider
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp ground cinnamon

Instructions: On a small plate, combine sugar and cinnamon. Dip champagne flutes in water to wet the rims, then dip in cinnamon sugar mixture. Fill champagne flutes 1/4 full with apple cider, then top off with champagne.

Campfire Sling

Ingredients
2 oz rye whiskey
.25 oz pure maple syrup (grade A Amber is recommended. For a richer version try grade B)
3 dashes chocolate bitters
Orange twist with scorched orange oil

Instructions: Add all ingredients to an old-fashioned glass with a large piece of ice. Stir thoroughly. Release the oils from the orange zest through a flaming wood pick over the surface of the drink and serve.

Pumpkin White Russian

Ingredients
1 oz pumpkin spice Kahlua
2 oz vodka
1 oz heavy cream

Instructions: Combine Kahlua, vodka, and cream into glass over ice. Stir lightly.

Kentucky Mulled Cider

Ingredients
1.25 oz Maker’s Mark Bourbon
Hot apple cider to top
Dash of allspice
Cinnamon stick
Lemon slice

Instructions: Add bourbon to a mug. Fill mug with hot apple cider and dash of allspice. Garnish with tall cinnamon stick and lemon slice.

Caramel Apple Mule

Ingredients
1.5 oz Absolut vodka
.5 oz caramel
1 oz apple cider
Ginger beer, to top

Instructions: Shake all ingredients with ice. Strain into a wooden mug over ice, top with ginger beer. Garnish with apple fan.

Nothing Says Summer Like An Alcohol Infused Popsicle

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I’m sure we all have memories of growing up eating cold, fruity popsicles in the summer heat with our friends. There’s nothing more refreshing than a tasty popsicle paired with a fun day at the lake or pool. What could make it even better? Alcohol, of course!

Have you ever had a margarita infused popsicle? While reminiscing about childhood nostalgia is great and all, we’ll take adult popsicles over the regular kind any day. Although alcohol infused products like sorbets and popsicles aren’t a new fad, they are making a major comeback with the Rancho La Gloria frozen cocktail popsicles. Known for their bottled Margaritas, Palomas and Wine cocktails, Rancho La Gloria’s newest addition is their alcoholic popsicles. The delectable flavors come in:

• Lime

• Strawberry

• Mango

Rancho La Gloria prides itself on its 100% naturally derived blue weber agave in every product. Made in the desert of Mexico, these products are sure to make you feel like you are on vacation.

How are they made?

The process of making alcohol infused popsicles is fairly easy. The steps are simple:

1. Select your favorite kind of juice

2. Select your preferred alcohol and determine how boozy you want them

3. Combine the juice and liquor in popsicle molds or deep ice trays

4. Cover the tray with plastic wrap and push popsicle sticks or toothpicks into every popsicle-to-be—the cling film will hold them in place as the ice freezes.

5. Place them in your freezer for around 4 hours and, voila! They’re ready to enjoy.

You can jazz up your popsicles by adding frozen fruit, like strawberries, raspberries, mango or papaya. Or, for an even more unique popsicle, add in your favorite chewy candy, like gummy bears, Swedish fish, or mochi.

The rise of alcohol infused products like sorbets, popsicles, milkshakes and cupcakes are just a few of the hundred ideas of delicious, boozy infused foods. While cooking with alcohol is a very popular method in the culinary world, much of the alcohol in recipes cook out, nullifying the effects of the liquor, but the flavor remains. When infusing alcohol into cold products, like ice cream or popsicles, the process requires no actual ‘cooking’. This means the alcohol’s effects are not compromised, thus the ABV (Alcohol by volume) levels remain the same as they were in the bottle. Taking this fact into consideration is crucial when determining the ratio of how much liquor to juice, milk, baking recipe etc. you select.

Another component of infusing alcohol into sweet treats is finding the right flavor pair. All alcohol has its own flavor profile with a variety of unique notes specific to the liquor. These notes need to blend well with the flavor of whatever you’re making. For instance, warm drinks utilizing ingredients like vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon pair well with bourbon, fireball, and rum. Sweet treats that are icy, like popsicles, ice cream, and blended smoothies, are better paired with vodka, tequila and whiskey. When selecting a recipe and what alcohol to use in it, remember that the two should balance one another out, enhancing the complimentary flavors, so the alcohol won’t get lost amongst the added sugar and spices.

Spiked food and beverages are not necessarily new to most consumers, but there are always plenty of new ways to experience them. Rancho La Gloria’s new flavored popsicles are sure to be a crowd pleaser at your next summer get together. Whether DIY infused popsicles and baked goods pique your interest, or a case of Rancho La Gloria’s popsicle variety pack is more your style, place your order for store pick up today!

Seltzers Are Taking The Commercial Drink Industry by Storm

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It seems like a new seltzer makes its way to the local liquor and grocery store every day. With the rise in popularity of carbonated seltzers like White Claw and Truly, the commercial drink industry has taken note of the explosion in success of seltzers, and major brands like Budweiser have released their adaptation of this almost novelty adult beverage.

Why are Hard Seltzers So Popular?

Endorsed by celebrities, glorified during halftime Super Bowl commercials, and praised by millions of loyal fans—hard seltzers have taken the commercial drink industry by storm and the world isn’t looking back. While they’ve been around for a while, the newest wave of enthusiasm in recent years has provided us with so many new delicious seltzers to try from popular brands and indie brewers alike. Some of the great features of this beverage are:

• They come in unique flavors, like cherry, ruby grapefruit, peach, lemon lime, blood orange, strawberry, guava and more.

• Most hard seltzers are gluten free. A majority of liquor and alcohol is fermented with wheat and other gluten products, making hard seltzers a great option for people with high gluten sensitivities.

• It is extremely economical. With some hard seltzers at an ABV (Alcohol By Volume) compared to that of a light beer and others the strength of a bottle of wine, prices can range from a mere 2.99 for a four pack to 16 dollars for a 12 pack.

If you have yet to try these carbonated cans of pure goodness, they typically come in a broad variety of flavors and ABV. Brands like Truly and White Claw typically contain under 5% ABV and offer flavors like cherry lime-ade, blue raspberry, strawberry and more! The surge in popularity could be due to the fact that hard seltzers are advertised as a “healthier” beverage option with most being low in sugar and gluten free. Though this may be the perception, it hasn’t always been the case, since the average person more often consumes 1-3 cans in one sitting.

Massive corporations like Coca-Cola are launching a boozy version of their own product, as well as brands like Topo Chico. Most notably, though—Budweiser has recently launched a limited-time only, retro version of hard seltzers with unique, novelty flavors.

What makes hard seltzers so delicious?

Hard seltzers are produced by fermenting a sugar solution for a given period of time. After fermenting, the solution is then diluted to a more moderate, balanced strength. Flavor is then added to the mixture, either through citrus or malic acid and sugar. Hard seltzers then go through a ‘sugar bath,’ in which they adjust the PH levels, and add the water. As they contain almost 95% water, this process is imperative and usually takes several tries to get it just right. The beverage goes through the lengthy process of boiling and then the last final step, carbonation. Perhaps the best part of these beverages is the refreshing feeling of taking a delicious sip of a fruity, carbonated beverage.

With popularity amongst Millennial and Gen Z consumers, hard seltzers don’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon. One thing is for certain—the possibilities are endless. Contact us to order your favorite hard seltzer today!

pina colada

History of the Piña Colada

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The piña colada is one of the most loved summer drinks across the world. But not many people know where the piña colada actually originated from or how it was created in the first place. What are the roots of this sweet, tropical drink? Surprisingly, this cocktail might be a lot older than most people might think. Here’s a little dive into the mysterious origins of the piña colada.

The Early Roots of the Piña Colada

Tales of this cocktail can be traced all the way back to the early 1800s, where a well-known Puerto Rican pirate by the name of Roberto Cofresí (El Pirata Cofresí) was said to have created the earliest form of the piña colada by mixing white rum, pineapple, and coconut milk together. But when Cofresí died around 1825, the drink seemed to die out with him.

The Origination of the Modern Piña Colada

It wasn’t until the early 1950s that a similar version of Roberto Cofresí’s pineapple cocktail was created again. The modern piña colada that most of us know and love actually originates from San Juan, Puerto Rico. This version arose much after the pirate Roberto Cofresí had already passed away. Though a few local bartenders at this time all claim to be the original creators of the piña colada (and there is no way to fully disprove any of their stories), the most frequently-credited creator of the modern version of this drink is Ramón “Monchito” Marrero, who claims he first made the cocktail in 1952.  Marrero worked for the Caribe Hilton’s Beachcomber Bar and was often trying to create new drinks.

The English translation of the Spanish term “piña colada” literally means “strained pineapple.” The cocktail that Ramón Marrero created back at the Hilton’s bar consisted of a mix of coconut cream, pineapple juice, and Puerto Rican rum. This ultimately turned out to be one of the most loved mixed drinks around town and immediately gained popularity.

After its creation in the 1950s, the cocktail took off all around Puerto Rico. In fact, in 1978—just after around 20 years of its existence—Puerto Rico decided to make the piña colada the country’s national drink. From then on, the piña colada has been a staple summer drink in bars across the world.

Classic Piña Colada Recipe pina colada

Now after learning about the history of this sweet drink, there is no better way than to celebrate by making your own. Here is a classic, basic piña colada recipe:

  • 4 oz coconut cream
  • 4 oz pineapple juice
  • 4 oz rum
  • 2/3 cup ice

Making the Perfect Piña Colada

Ultimately, there is no cocktail that tastes quite like the piña colada. Here at Payless Liquors, we know how important it is to use the best ingredients for your cocktails. That’s why we offer a wide range of liquor, beer, and wine, so that our customers can make the drinks of their dreams.

Are you looking to make the perfect Piña Colada today? Check out our selection of high quality rum to make your drink the best it can be!

indiana skyline

Indiana Spirit: The Cocktails That Shape Us

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If you’ve ever bartended, you realize that you can know a lot about a person through their drink choices. What a person drinks can often be a window into their personality. On a larger scale, you can learn a lot about the culture of a state through its official and unofficial cocktail choices. The beautiful state of Indiana is no exception. From mixes worthy of a wild weekend to a casual elevated dinner, the spirits that shape us give the wider country a peek into who we are.

Let’s Talk Jägermeister

That’s right: In Indiana, we love our Jägermeister. This liquor has a distinct black licorice taste, but even someone who isn’t a fan of that specific taste can fall in love with a well-blended cocktail that uses Jager as its base.

You would find it near impossible to enter a bar on a weekend and not hear someone order a Jäger bomb. This shot goes down smooth but can sneak up on you! With a mix of Jäger and energy drink, you’ll be shaping up for a great night out. Not a fan of energy drinks? A Jäger barrel replaces the energy drink with root beer.

Jägermeister is great for more than just shots. Jager can be implemented in many great cocktails if you are more of a sipper. This liquor is extremely versatile, and in Indiana, we know how to utilize it.

Hoosier Heritage Is a Must

If you’re new to Indiana, ordering yourself a Hoosier Heritage is a must. This “unofficial” state drink was created and adopted in 2015. This cocktail was created by Jason Foust for a contest held by the Indiana State Museum.

The base of this amazing cocktail is Knob Creek Whiskey, a nod in honor of Abraham Lincoln, who moved to Indiana in 1816 from Knob Creek Farm. With a simple yet potent mix of maple syrup, lemon juice, and apple cider, this cocktail is the perfect blend of caramel and spice.

Indiana Loves a Good Mojito

Who doesn’t love a good Mojito? The people of Indiana sure do. While the roots of the Mojito stem from Cuba, the love of this refreshing summer beverage courses through this state.

Traditionally concocted with white rum, mint, simple syrup, lime, and soda water, this beverage is at the top of most summer menus. The varieties of this classic cocktail are endless, and adding a fruity flavor comes highly recommended.

Try a Taste of Indiana at Payless Liquors

No matter what you choose to do in Indiana, you’re going to have a great time. While taking in the sights and attractions and dining in our fantastic restaurants, don’t forget to sip on a beverage that gives you a glimpse into our personality. If you’re ready to try a taste of Indiana, Payless Liquors has a huge selection of everything you’ll need to enjoy our state’s favorites of this state. Check out our website and use our 5-star rating guide to help you create your next masterpiece. Cheers!

obscure cocktails

Obscure Cocktails to Try This Winter: Drink Up to Warm Up

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Winter is the best time (and the best excuse) to experiment with fun new obscure cocktails. It’s cold, it’s dark, and odds are you’re going to be wrapped up in a blanket contemplating something good to sip on. While there are plenty of classic cocktails to choose from, there is something exciting about trying something new: experimenting with mixers, liquors, portion sizes, and garnishes is all part of the fun.

If you’re ready to spice up your cold nights with a few cocktails out of the ordinary, you’ve come to the right place. Check out our list of fun, obscure cocktails to bring some pizazz to the drab days of winter.

The Sidecar

The sidecar is an old classic with an origin story dating back to WW1, but it isn’t seen on your standard drink menu much anymore. This cocktail will have you feeling fancy all hours of the day. With the simple recipe of cognac, triple sec, and lemon juice, you can’t go wrong. It is a perfect blend of sweet and sour that will have you feeling refreshed and relaxed.

French 75

This drink should be on every brunch menu! A simplistic drink that packs a punch? Sign me up. This classic drink consists of gin, fresh lemon juice, simple syrup, and champagne (move over mimosa). This cocktail is a must for any occasion that calls for bubbly.

The Horsefeather

If you’re a mule fan, this cocktail is a must. A Kansas City staple, this tasty beverage deserves to be in glasses all around the nation. All you need for this amazing refreshment is rye whiskey, ginger beer, bitters, and lemon juice. Bold with a light kick of spice, this will fight off any winter chills with ease.

Now for the Most Obscure

An obscure cocktail list wouldn’t be complete without some, well, obscure cocktails. While these last few suggestions may seem a bit out of the ordinary, that’s the fun of this whole process. If you’re really ready for some experimenting, these final two beverages are exactly what you need.

Beer, Bourbon, and Barbeque

You read that correctly: BBQ. The great thing about mixers is that they can be more than just soda, tonic, and fruit juices. For this exceptionally obscure beverage, you need Jack Daniels BBQ sauce, Makers Mark, Evan Williams Honey liqueur, hefeweizen beer, and a bit of orange juice. Nothing like a little bit of everything all in one glass.

The Bone

You know that little rush you can get from your first sip of a cocktail? This drink guarantees to give you that feeling every time. With a simple mixture of Wild Turkey bourbon, lime juice, simple syrup, and tabasco, you’ll completely forget that it’s winter outside.

Ditch the Winter Blues With an Obscure Cocktail

Winter can feel like it will never end, but these cocktails will hopefully ease the day-to-day monotony. Choose your favorite beverage and get ready to hunker down. Payless Liquors has a huge selection of everything you’ll need to jump into the obscure. Check out our website and use our 5-star rating guide to help you create your next masterpiece. Cheers!

peppermint cocktail

5 Peppermint Cocktails to Inspire Your Holiday

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Peppermint is as popular in the winter months as gingerbread is in autumn. The red and white color of the candy cane is festive, and the coolness of the mint is sure to leave you feeling merry and bright, especially when spiked with the right concoction of liqueur and mixers. We have compiled a list of the five most delicious Peppermint Cocktails that are easy to make and beautifully festive to serve the next time you feel like celebrating with a little peppermint twist.

 

Peppermint Eggnog Cocktail

The peppermint eggnog cocktail is so delicious; you won’t want to limit this one just to holiday time! Homemade eggnog is good, but can we agree that it’s even better with a splash of bourbon or vodka? Try using peppermint schnapps and peppermint-flavored vodka to pack an extra punch of mint flavor. Some awesome garnishes and toppings for this drink are chocolate shavings, mint leaves, holiday sprinkles, whipped cream, and pomegranate seeds.

 

Spiked Peppermint Hot Chocolate

This creamy, spiked peppermint hot chocolate is sure to warm you up and get you ready to celebrate the holidays. If you’ve never made hot chocolate from scratch, now is the time to start! It’s easy, and you likely have everything you need to get your chocolate heating on the stove right now. Once you bring the ingredients to a low simmer, add the peppermint schnapps and the crème de cocoa just before ladling this cup of cheer into the mugs. From here, top your hot chocolate with marshmallows or whipped cream and add a candy cane as a stirring stick. Sprinkle with crushed candy canes to finish off this spiked version of a traditional treat. This will always be a fan-favorite among the peppermint cocktails we’ve listed.

 

Peppermint White Russian

The appearance of this cocktail screams Christmas time. The white, creamy drink with a crushed candy cane-rimmed glass looks festive and classy whether you’re spending a quiet night home for two or entertaining friends by the fireside. Be sure to rim your glasses first with the crushed peppermint. Use a bit of white frosting to hold the peppermint in place and add a touch more sweetness. Making the Peppermint White Russian is very easy. Shake together coffee liqueur, peppermint vodka, and cream. Serve over ice and enjoy!

 

Peppermint Martini aka ‘Peppermintini’

If you’re looking for a festive martini, this is it. And it could not be easier. This simple three-ingredient drink comes together quickly and will have you mingling with your friends all night long. Vanilla vodka, peppermint schnapps, and simple syrup make up this amazing cocktail that is sure to become a holiday favorite. Add a splash of grenadine for the pretty, red, festive vibe, and don’t forget to rim your glass with crushed peppermint.

 

Snowflake Peppermint Cocktail

This might be the very best winter cocktail yet. Take a break from shopping, cookie baking, and gift wrapping, and enjoy this magical glass of perfection while you drift into full relaxation mode. The smooth and delicious snowflake peppermint cocktail is made with vanilla vodka, peppermint schnapps, and is topped with a touch of cream. Rim the glass with pure white sugar and add a peppermint stick for color. This is so good; you might consider leaving a glass out for Santa!

 

Try one or try all these peppermint cocktails this Winter. Payless Liquors has you covered. We carry a large variety of peppermint schnapps, flavored vodka, and bourbon to make your drinks festive so that your mood can be merry and bright.

 

Sources:

https://www.brit.co/peppermint-cocktail-recipes/

https://vinepair.com/articles/8-peppermint-coctails-to-make-this-week

holiday cocktails

5 Holiday Cocktails to Wow Your Dinner Guests

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We’ve all heard the songs about how “Christmas comes only once a year” and how it’s the “most wonderful time” and all that jazz. While it’s true that Christmastime is magical for so many, it’s also a time full of traditions, which can make hosting a little bit daunting. Of course, as a host, you want to honor the expectations of the time of year, but providing guests with an outstanding experience is a natural aspect of having people in your home. A simple way to put your gathering over the top is through the use of cocktails. Providing top-quality, unique holiday cocktails honors the magic of the season while adding that little bit of edge that every host seeks.

The process of providing these drinks doesn’t have to be complicated. There are endless options of pre-batched cocktails for larger parties, unique options for the adventurous, and fun and sweet cocktails for those who want to drink their dessert. In short, there’s a cocktail for everyone.

1. Homemade Eggnog

This recipe for homemade eggnog is perfect for folks who love the traditional drink. It’s sweet, creamy, and absolutely delicious while avoiding the need for preservative-pumped boxed nog. The portions are already locked down for a large party, making this an ideal choice for the Christmas party purist.

2. Mulled Sangria

Here in the Northern Hemisphere, it’s easy to daydream of beach climes during the winter months. This recipe is ideal for those who want to blend their love for beach drinks with their love of Christmas. Boasting fresh dark fruits such as pomegranate and cranberry, this cocktail keeps it fruity and bright without feeling out of place for the season. The mulling spices push it over the top into the ultimate cozy winter drink. Plus, it’s ideal for a premade batch. What’s not to love?

3. Cinnamon Bourbon Old-Fashioned

Boy, oh boy, it’s hard to get cozier and more midwestern than a good Old-Fashioned. This pre-batched version packs an extra-festive punch with cinnamon and rosemary, making this drink a perfect complement to turkey dinner and pumpkin pie. If your gathering is smaller or not particularly bourbon-crazy, it’s an easy drink to make by the glass as well.

4. Vanilla Chai White Russian

If you love spice but don’t want to put in the time to make a pie, this cutie’s for you. Boasting all the creaminess of eggnog without the actual eggs, this drink checks all the boxes of an ideal Christmas beverage: sweet and spicy, chilled but warm-tasting, and oh so very unique. If you want to serve it with pie, we won’t tell.

5. Buddy the Elf Cocktail

There’s no denying it; this cocktail is sweet. If you, like Buddy the Elf, love to indulge around the holidays (or all the time, we don’t judge), this cocktail is definitely for you. Boasting heavy cream, maple syrup, molasses, and candies to top, this baby makes all your childhood dessert dreams come true while satisfying the very adult need for booze at Christmas. Win-win.

Payless Liquors is stocked and ready to help you serve up these fabulous cocktails. Check out our online form to order your ingredients today and rest easy knowing that the holidays’ boozy aspect is covered.