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Visit the Bulleit Woody

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Bulleit Bourbon is a household name for a reason. With a recipe dating back to the early 19th century, bourbon drinkers know Bulleit is smooth and spicy. It is a taste that’s entirely unique to the brand. Though the liquor itself is timeless and unchanged, the Bulleit brand is always finding ways to stay relevant. The most recent of these endeavors being the advent of the Bulleit Woody. It’s a vintage-inspired teardrop camper designed specifically to serve up Bulleit Bourbon.

Bulleit Bourbon

Though the Bulleit recipe dates back to 1830, the company began in 1987 to revive the old family rye bourbon recipe. This unique blend of traits poises Bulleit to be a modern, viable company in the 21st century. Meanwhile, giving it the foundation of a timeless recipe with hundreds of years of development. Though its classic bourbon is still the most popular, the company has since developed other products. They offer a complete line of barrel bourbon, select blends, and ryes. Its core set of liquors has an incredible range of uses. The centuries of experience has allowed the company to develop tried and true recipes for its products, ranging from Whiskey Sours to Bourbon Swizzles to Old-Fashioneds.

The Woody Design

Though it looks like a classic camper at first glance, the Woody is anything but ordinary. It features boasting artfully chosen wood exterior (more on that in a bit) and retro, white-rimmed tires. This camper hits you in the face with nostalgia at first glance. This first glance is enough to make anyone swoon. However, upon further inspection, it’s clear that this little camper is more than swoon-worthy. While the inside lounge area has the feel of a Kentucky cigar club, the real selling point is the outside. The back of the camper pulls out into a full-service bourbon bar. It is complete with ice-well and a shiny mirrored backsplash. It gives the bar that 1940s feel that was hitherto incongruous with the outdoors. This baby camper brings a speakeasy feel to picnics and tailgate parties, something that we didn’t know we needed until now.

The Devil Is in the Details

Having a classy bourbon bar on wheels is appealing enough. But, what makes the Woody so devilishly attractive is the meticulous thought that designer Brad Ford put into its every component. Bulleit Bourbon influenced the iconic color of the Woody itself. The inside ceiling is lined with repurposed bourbon barrels. Even the seemingly unrelated aspect of the interior leather was chosen to fit the smell, feel, and ambiance of the Bulleit experience. Bulleit bourbon inspired every minute detail of the Woody. It has made it a completely unique and must-see attraction.

See It for Yourself

Bulleit Woody

Bulleit WoodyBecause there are only two Bulleit Woodys in the world, experiencing one for yourself is a rare treat. Luckily for you, Payless Liquors is hosting a Bulleit Woody event on November 13 and 14 at its store in Indianapolis. Stop by to see this excellent piece of bourbon-inspired art for yourself, and taste some of the fantastic bourbons that Payless has to offer.

Winter Beer

5 Great Cold Weather Winter Beer Styles to Try

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With the fall season passing, it’s time to bring in winter beer. With the popularity of craft beers and the competition for unique flavor profiles, many breweries have developed holiday beers with a strong seasonal component. Even traditional mass-production breweries have gotten on the bandwagon. These unique beers gain attention from beer lovers around the country. The fall season is almost over as Thanksgiving passes, but the winter season is close at hand, and that means winter-weather brews to please nearly any palate. If you haven’t tried these types of beer, give them a chance this winter. You’ll be pleasantly surprised.

1. Barrel-Aged Beers

The big steel tanks that you see at most microbreweries are the cauldrons they create their concoctions in, but if you want a truly unique taste, try one of these beers aged in wooden barrels. This process is usually done with stronger-flavored beers that can stand up to the notes of applewood, oak, and hickory that are imparted on the brew by the barrel itself. These beers are popular in the winter because they also have notes of bourbon, vanilla, and caramel.

2. Porters and Stouts

These beers can be looked at as cousins, as they are both dark, heavy brews with a full, roasted flavor. There are many varieties to choose from, and everyone has a favorite. The beers naturally tend to have coffee and chocolate notes, so winter is a popular time for brewers to add these ingredients to the brew for a heavier flavor that is perfect for the season.

3. Imperial

Imperials will keep you warm in the winter months with their high alcohol content, but be sure not to have too many, unless you plan to hibernate the next day. Russian Imperial Stouts are popular choices, and they offer a malty, dark fruit flavor profile that goes great with chocolate.

4. Bocks and Doppelbocks

Bocks are a type of beer that has been documented back to the medieval days. However, many believe they were made long before that. Doppelbocks are enhanced by a fuller body, malty flavors, and a higher alcohol content than a standard bock known for the smooth taste that it derives from being bottom-fermented for an extended period of cold storage.

5. Winter Warmers

These ales are sweet and malty, with a nice balance of hops. Some brewers make them with a bit of spice that is perfect on cold winter nights. Do you know the carol “Here We Go a’ Wassailing,” but never knew what that last word meant? Wassail beers are usually a type of winter warmer. So, now you know what to drink before you head out caroling with the church choir!

Even if you are a creature of habit, it’s a great idea to go out on a limb and try a different variety of beer occasionally. You may find a new favorite that you would never have expected. Payless Liquors has a vast selection of beers for the winter season, and all year long. Stop in and see us today, and we’ll help you pick the perfect brew.

Eiswein: The Secrets Behind the World’s Most Collectible Wine

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Eiswein

Eiswein, often known as Ice Wine outside Germany and Austria, is not simply a sweet treat to enjoy with your dessert. It is a highly collectible German wine made from frozen grapes (typically Riesling). Popular vintages are highly sought after and can command a hefty price tag. So, other than being sweet, what makes these wines unique? Ever wondered why Eiswein is different from other wines? Didn’t know whether you should try it? Well, consider these facts about this palate-pleasing libation.

Why Is it Hard to Make Eiswein?

It takes a very specific type of climate to produce Eiswein. The summer days must be warm enough to support a bountiful harvest of grapes. But, an early winter frost is necessary to freeze them before they linger too long on the vine. Eiswein is typically produced in the Rheingau, Pfalz, Rheinhessen, and Mosel regions of Germany. It is a tricky process. The grapes must stay on the vine much longer than they do for a typical harvest season. Growers need to protect them from disease, rot, insects, and birds while they await the winter freeze.

As soon as temps hit 19 degrees Fahrenheit or lower, the winery must gather its staff and pluck all the grapes from the vine early in the morning before sunrise. The hilly terrain in which they grow is covered with shale, which only adds to the difficulty of the harvest, and in the old days, many winemakers didn’t have presses that were strong enough to crush the frozen grapes. This is still difficult to do, which produces a low yield, and bottles are coveted the world over.

Why All the Fuss?

With such a complicated growing and harvest process, many people wonder why winemakers don’t simply freeze the grapes to make the wine. The reason is that nature needs to take its course. The grapes need to remain on the vine long enough for extra sugars to develop within them. Then on that first frosty night, when the cold air moves in, the water content in each grape freezes, but its sugars do not. As the frozen grapes are gathered and immediately pressed, the sugar and other solids are used to make the wine, as the frozen water is pressed out. The point is to get as much flavor as possible into the wine. The flavor is in the solids and sugars, not in the water.

The team working for the winery also must work fast. The grape’s cell walls are broken down when they freeze. So, they begin to rot as soon as they start to thaw. If this happens too quickly, all the work is for naught, and the wine is worthless.

Wine may or may not be your thing, but Eiswein falls into a category all its own. If you are looking to try something new or add an element you have been missing from your liquor cabinet or wine cellar, visit Payless Liquors today and browse our selection.

10 Interesting Alcohol Facts That Are Sure to Surprise You

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You may not think about it every time you crack open a beer, shake up a cocktail, or pour a glass of wine, but alcohol has played an enormous role in our cultural experience for 10,000 years. Humans have cultivated the production of beer, wine, and spirits as staples for celebrations and rites of passage, essential cooking ingredients, medicinal tonics, and enjoyable beverages when we need to unwind. So, is it any surprise that there are hundreds of quirky alcohol facts that many people don’t know? Read up on some of this surprising information and share it with friends the next time you get together for drinks.

Alcohol Facts

10 Interesting Alcohol Facts

  1. The ancient Romans are responsible for the term “toast”.  Now it is a term to describe raising a glass to good health and fortune. However, in the days of Old Rome, they dropped a piece of toast into the wine.
  2. Francis Scott Key’s poem that became our beloved national anthem, “The Star Spangled Banner,” wasn’t sung until it was set to the tune of a popular drinking song.
  3. How many bubbles are there in a bottle of champagne? Funny you should ask—the general estimate is that there are 49,000,000 bubbles. This would be a fun alternative to “guess how many jellybeans are in the jar” at your next family reunion.
  4. You will find a cloud of alcohol in the depths of space with a density to produce 4 trillion beverages. Imagine standing beneath that cloudburst!
  5. The pressure in an average car tire is 30 PSI; it is 90 PSI in champagne bottles. Therefore, the cork shoots out of the bottle at about 55 miles per hour. Its signature celebratory “pop” is a staple of New Year’s Eve parties, but sadly champagne corks kill about 24 people every year.
  6. Tired of having to settle for just a handle of vodka? Until 1885, the only size you could buy was a 12.3-liter bucket. Why did we ever downsize?
  7. Now that we’ve established the number of bubbles in a bottle of champagne, how many grapes do you think it takes to make a bottle of wine? According to winemakers, it takes between three and 10 bunches, or 600 to 800 grapes, depending on the size and varietal.
  8. Have you ever heard the shortest sentence that contains all the letters of the alphabet? Most people think it’s “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.,” but we bet that you haven’t considered “Pack my box with five dozen liquor jugs!”
  9. Are you a gin drinker who is interested in using some slang from the 1800s? Well, the next time you order, try monikers like “Mother’s Ruin,” “King Theodore of Corsica,” “Parliamentary Brandy,” “Royal Poverty,” or “Ladies’ Delight.”
  10. When visiting Scotland, be sure to try Snake Venom Beer. However, you may not want to have more than one. At 67.5% alcohol, that snake is sure to bite you back!

If these facts don’t help you win your next round of trivia, at least they were fun to read. And maybe they made you thirsty. When you need to stock up on wine, beer, or liquor, Payless Liquors has everything you need. Come by and check out our great selection today.

3 Halloween-Themed Cocktails to Turn Your Night From Tricky to a Treat

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Halloween-Themed CocktailHalloween-themed cocktails are what everyone needs this spooky October. Halloween is a favorite time of year for many Americans. However, current lockdown policies in place throughout the country may make it feel like you may not be able to enjoy Halloween the way you would prefer this year. It’s important to stay upbeat and to connect with your family and friends during difficult times, so do your best to have a safe and enjoyable gathering if you have festivities planned for the Halloween season this year.

One of the best additions to any Halloween party is a good party cocktail. This year, try one or two of the following Halloween-themed cocktails that are sure to refresh and delight the guests at your Halloween parties.

The Apple Butter Old Fashioned

Halloween-Themed Cocktail
Photo Credit: Tieghan Gerard from Half Baked Harvest

The Old Fashioned is one of the most time-tested cocktails that has seen countless iterations and interpretations over the years. If you’re looking for a touch of class and timelessness with your Halloween party this year, the Apple Butter Old Fashioned is an excellent option for your party’s drink of choice.

Rim a glass with coarsely ground sugar if you like, and then start the Apple Butter Old Fashioned with one-quarter cup of apple cider, the juice of half a lemon, a dash of orange bitters, a tablespoon of apple butter, and two ounces of your favorite bourbon mixed in a shaker cup. Strain into a glass over ice, top with a float of ginger beer, and garnish with cinnamon and apple slices.

Jekyll & Gin

Halloween-Themed Cocktail
Photo Credit: Candace Braun Davison from Delish

If you have ever enjoyed a Gin Daisy, you’ll love this color-changing take on it. The Jekyll & Gin appears pink under normal light, but under a black light, it glows an eerie white. If you’re planning a glowstick party, you will want to add this Halloween-themed cocktail to your menu.

Start this delightful mix with three ounces of your favorite gin, one-half ounce of lemon juice, and just a teaspoon of Grenadine mixed in a shaker with ice and then strain into a glass with ice. Top with tonic water and garnish with a glowstick—perfect in any black-lit party venue.

Jack-o-Lantern

If you’re all about presentation but not too keen on pumpkin-flavored cocktails, this Jack-o-Lantern could be the perfect option for this year’s costume party. You’ll need some old-fashioned glasses, orange slices, and a few pieces of lime peel to complete the look of this perfect Halloween cocktail, but the extra work garnishing will be worth it.

Make your Jack-o-Lantern by combining an ounce of orange juice, half an ounce of orange liqueur, and one and a half ounces of cognac in a shaker cup over ice. Strain over fresh ice into an old-fashioned glass and then top with ginger ale. Poke a piece of lime peel into the center of an orange slice and float it on top to create miniature pumpkin-shaped cocktails.

 

Make the most of Halloween this year by creating a memorable experience. As the country reels in the face of lockdown restrictions, a safe place to enjoy the Halloween season with friends is a welcome comfort for just about anyone. If you need to supply your costume party this year, Payless Liquors can help you find the finest alcohols and mixers you’ll need for cocktails that are sure to please. Contact us today to see what we have available.

What Is the Toast the Trees Program?

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Toast the Trees

Environmental responsibility is a more pressing concern for modern businesses than ever. There is an increasingly expanding consumer market that prizes sustainability, environmental awareness, and eco-friendliness from the brands with which they do business. Companies in all markets are paying attention to this focus on environmentalism. And, that includes distilleries and breweries across the nation.

One of the best examples of brands taking sustainability seriously is Angel’s Envy, a distillery specializing in bourbon whiskey. The Angel’s Envy team has developed a program that aims to give back to the environment and help preserve it for years to come. While many companies have adopted similar environmentalist policies and programs, Angel’s Envy has a distinct impact on both the environment and the whiskey industry of the United States.

The Link Between Whiskey and Oak

An often overlooked yet crucial component of the creation of bourbon is white oak. Distillers will store their whiskey in white oak barrels, to optimize flavors and richness. This method creates the best whiskey. The natural flavors in this wood give bourbon its distinct taste. Different types of whiskey require different types of oak. The two most prevalent oak woods used in the whiskey world are American white oak and European oak.

Bourbon is the American take on whiskey, and bourbon requires American white oak barrels for optimal aging. Scotch whiskey and Irish whiskey tend to use European oak barrels. Many whiskey distilleries have developed filling and refilling policies to conserve their barrels and to optimize the flavor of their whiskeys. When an oak barrel is filled the first time, the whiskey inside absorbs the most flavor from the wood during aging. After so many years, the whiskey will absorb less flavor, and the distiller will need a new barrel. It’s easy to see how the whiskey industry has a significant impact on the supply of oak barrel lumber.

What Is the Toast the Trees Program?

The Angel’s Envy Toast the Trees program aims to replace white oak trees cut down for whiskey barrel manufacturing. They, instead, plant more trees than are cut down. For more than six years, Angel’s Envy has partnered with the Arbor Day Foundation and Green Forests Work. Together, they raise money for the mass planting of new white oak trees across the country. Angel’s Envy has a vast network of retail and service partners. They are  ready to provide customers with fantastic experiences in exchange for their support of this sustainability program.

If you’re looking for a whiskey experience that you can feel good about, Angel’s Envy Toast the Trees program is something you should investigate. The distillery is sponsoring cocktail hours and other specials at locations across the country. They are also sponsoring a social media campaign to drive environmental awareness and encourage participation in the program.

The team at Payless Liquors wants to help you connect with the Toast the Trees program this year. We provide a wide selection of fine bourbon whiskeys, including those produced by Angel’s Envy. If you are interested in trying one of these world-class bourbons for yourself and contributing to the Toast the Trees social media campaign, contact Payless Liquors today to find out which Angel’s Envy products we have in stock.

What Makes a Bourbon a Bourbon?

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What Makes a Bourbon a Bourbon

Bourbon. It’s potentially the one alcohol America can truly claim as its very own. At the very least, it is considered by many to be the quintessential American whiskey. It’s true that this sippable, caramelly, oaky, spirit is unique from other whiskeys. However, many Americans don’t know what makes a bourbon a true bourbon.

We’re here to clear that up, once and for all.

Bourbon Is Not Synonymous With Whiskey

You may have heard the saying before – all bourbons are whiskeys, but not all whiskeys are bourbons. So, what does the phrase actually mean? Whiskey is a spirit that is distilled in many regions of the world. The most notable are from Scotland, Ireland, Canada, and the United States. They are from the fermented mash of different types of grains.

Styles of whiskey vary throughout the world, especially in which types of grains are used in the process. For example, Scotch whisky is mostly crafted from fermented barley, while Canadian whiskey is often made from a blend of grains. As a whiskey, American bourbon is also made from fermented grains, but the recipe – and process – is unique to its production and required by law.

The legal requirements bourbon producers must adhere to in order to label their product as so include:

  • American production. To be labeled a bourbon, a whiskey must be produced within the US. However, other whiskeys can be produced anywhere.
  • 51% corn mash. While most other whiskeys can use any combination of fermented grains, bourbons must consist of at least 51% corn mash.
  • New, charred-oak barrels. All whiskeys are aged in oak barrels, but a bourbon is aged in a never-before-used, charred barrel to help lend the signature flavor.
  • Distillation limits. It must be placed in barrels at no more than 125 proof and distilled to no more than 160 proof.
  • No additives. While you might find a whiskey with added caramel and vanilla notes, true bourbons cannot have any flavor or coloring additives.

Other Fine Print

Aside from the name on the label of your favorite bourbon, you might notice a few other terms, including:

  • Straight is aged for at least two years. It’s likely longer than four if you don’t see an age specified on the bottle.
  • Aged left to sit for longer periods in charred barrels take on a bit darker color and more of the flavor imparted by the oak and char – namely vanilla and caramel notes.
  • Single barrel is a batch that is sourced from only one of a brand’s many barrels – as opposed to most bourbons, which are blends of multiple barrels to produce a uniform flavor across the entire line.
  • Small batch might be straight bourbon or may simply be a smaller batch than usual, blended from multiple barrels.

For more information about bourbon or any other spirit, ask the knowledgeable staff about the wide selection of bourbons at your nearest Payless Liquor location. Take a moment to pick out key phrases from the label to know what toexpect. Together, you can take a moment to find your newest find.

Skunky Beer

All You Ever Wanted to Know About Skunky Beer – and How to Avoid It

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Ever heard of a Skunky Beer? Imagine it’s a hot day in late August. You’ve spent the entirety of the day wrestling the backyard into submission. You’re sweaty, a bit overheated, and all you want is a nice, cold beer. So, you open the fridge and savor the wave of cold air that hits you before reaching for your favorite bottle of domestic. You pop the top and tilt the bottle. But instead of the refreshing taste you’re expecting, you get the offensive flavor of musty, wet animal.

What happened? What scenario possibly could have unfolded to turn your favorite beer into a malodorous bottle of sludge? Let’s find out.

Why Skunked Is an Apt Term

Since you were old enough to buy a case of beer and toss it in the trunk of your car to transport home on a hot day, you’ve likely heard the warnings – never let beer get warm and then cool it again, lest it become ‘skunked.’ While the advice was flawed in one respect (allowing beer to cool, warm, then cool again isn’t what causes skunking), the use of the term ‘skunked’ is pretty accurate. Skunked beer tastes the way it does because chemical reactions inside the bottle have created a compound called 3-methyl-2-butene-1-thiol (MBT) – a compound nearly identical to the one skunks spray in self-defense.

Humans can taste this compound in ridiculously small doses; just a bit of MBT is enough to completely ruin a beer. So, how does it appear in your beer bottle? More importantly, how can you prevent it?

What Causes Skunky Beers

Contrary to popular belief, beer does not become skunked after exposure to heating and cooling – unless you’re regularly boiling and nearly freezing your beer. (It does, however, increase the speed at which your beer oxidizes, leading to a slightly less offending wet cardboard flavor.) Instead, the main culprit behind skunking is the UV rays of the sun.

Over time and in large enough quantities, the blue spectrum of UV light interacts with the hop compounds (isohumulones) in your beer, breaking them down and lending an electron to an amino acid. The result is the dreaded MBT compound that gives your beer that skunked flavor.

How Can You Avoid Skunky Beer?

The first step in skunky beer prevention occurs at the brewery – brewers choose packaging that helps to block out UV light and avoid skunking altogether. Kegs and cans are completely opaque and are the best way to prevent skunking, and brown bottles come in a close second – there’s a reason most craft beers are packaged in these two containers. Green and clear bottles let in the most UV light, and the beer contained within is thus the most susceptible to producing MBT.

Skunking can happen at any time– usually during the warehousing or in-store portions of your beer’s trip to your fridge. That means there isn’t a lot you need to do to prevent skunking except purchase beers that come in cans or brown bottles. If your favorites are packaged in clear or green bottles, just do your best to keep your beer out of the sun.

You can trust Payless Liquors for all your cold, fresh beer needs. Our beer stock is regularly rotated to prevent unnecessary exposure to the UV light that can cause skunking. We also have a large selection of brands and styles to please any palate. Stop in or complete an online order form for pickup today.

Our Essential List of Beach Cocktails You Can Enjoy at Home

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Beach CocktailsIt’s summertime, which usually means beach cocktails, long weekends at the lake, and even excursions to tropical destinations abroad. Unfortunately, summer travel plans—including tropical fun—seem to be on hold this summer with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Many Americans are choosing to partake in simpler, at-home vacations instead of heading to the surf and sand and dealing with the travel restrictions and quarantines that are sometimes required upon return.

No Beach Vacation Doesn’t Have to Mean No Tropical Drinks

One of the aspects of a beach getaway many of us will miss the most are the exotic, tropical drinks so often found at vacation destinations. Fortunately, they’re also one of the easiest parts of your vacation to recreate right here at home. Check out our list of beach cocktails from some of the most popular tropical destinations and corresponding recipes you can enjoy in your backyard.

Blue Hawaiian

This classic Tiki beach drink from one of the only domestic tropical locations is a must-have for any backyard luau. You’ll need:

  • 1 1⁄2 ounces vodka of your choice
  • 3⁄4 ounce blue Curaçao
  • 2 ounces pineapple juice
  • 1⁄2 ounce fresh lime juice
  • 1⁄2 ounce simple syrup
  • Splash of half-and-half
  • Pineapple for garnish

Combine all ingredients except pineapple into a cocktail shaker and shake with ice—strain into a tall glass of crushed ice and top with pineapple.

Bahama Mama

As you’d expect, this tropical drink hails from the Bahamas. This fruity drink is best blended, but some swear by serving it over crushed ice instead. Round up these ingredients:

  • 1/2 ounce coconut rum
  • 1 ounce pineapple juice
  • 1/2 ounce cherry grenadine
  • 1/2 ounce white rum
  • 1 ounce orange juice

Pour all ingredients into a blender, along with 1 cup crushed ice. Blend until smooth, and serve in a tall glass.

Mojito

Originating in Cuba and the Florida Keys, depending on which type of lime you prefer, this citrusy, minty drink is a refreshing twist on tropical. Gather up these essentials:

  • 1 1/2 ounces white rum
  • 1/2 ounce fresh key lime or traditional lime juice
  • 1/2 ounce simple syrup
  • 2 1/2 ounces club soda
  • 8 mint leaves

Muddle mint leaves in a shaker, then add 2/3 cup of ice. Shake vigorously before adding club soda and pouring into a tall glass. Garnish with a mint sprig.

Michelada

This classic Mexican drink is a great sipper inside in the AC or the backyard by the pool. You’ll need:

  • Mexican lager beer, like Modelo or Tecate
  • Clamato juice
  • 3 splashes hot sauce, preferably Tapatio
  • 2 splashes Worcestershire sauce
  • Juice of one lime
  • Tajín seasoning

Rub a lime around the edge of the glass and press Tajín seasoning onto the rim. Fill the glass 1/3 full with Clamato, add the hot sauce, Worcestershire, lime juice, and fill the rest with cold lager. Season with Tajín and salt as desired.

Get Your Tropic On at Payless Liquors

While there are a host of other popular tropical drinks out there—from the Sex on the Beach and the Mai Tai to the Pina Colada—we think the four listed above are a great representation of the different styles you’ll find on beaches around the world. For all the best spirits, mixers, and even a recipe suggestion or two, stop into your nearest Payless Liquors location today.

How Well Do You Know Your Sparkling Wines?

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sparkling winesThink you know your sparkling wines? If you’re a fan of celebrations and all that goes with them, you’ve likely been exposed to the glorious sparkling cocktail concoctions often served alongside. From the familiar mimosa and the rare and delicious Bellini’s at brunch to the joyous Champagne toasts at weddings—and even the odd refreshing glass of Moscato after dinner—sparkling wines are present at some of the world’s most pleasant occasions. However, whether they’re flying solo or mixed into a tasty cocktail, all sparkling wines are not created equally.

Not All Sparkling Wines Are Champagnes

While many people refer to all sparkling wines as Champagne, a true Champagne can only be produced in the Champagne region of France. While some sparkling wines produced outside the European Union bear the name of Champagne, they’re not subject to the same production standards or regulations as European sparkling wines. Here’s a brief guide to the different types of sparkling wines:

  • Champagne.

    As mentioned, sparkling wines using Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Pinot Meunier grapes and produced in the Champagne region of France can legally bear the name of Champagne. Champagnes range from dry (Brut Nature, Extra Brut, Brut, and dry) to sweet (demi-sec and doux) and often have notes of almond, orange, and cherry. Typically, they are around 12% ABV and have very fine, persistent bubbles due to the second fermentation they undergo in the bottle.

  • Crémant.

    Crémants can adhere to the same production methods as Champagnes. However, they are produced from a wider variety of grapes, including Chenin Blanc, Riesling, Pinot Gris, and others. Most are produced in Alsace, Burgundy, and the Loire Valley, but share many of the same properties as Champagnes.

  • Proseccos

    Proseccos are produced mostly in Veneto, Italy, primarily with Prosecco grapes. Prosecco is fermented a second time in a tank instead of in the bottle. This results in lighter bubbles that don’t last as long. Most Proseccos are sweeter than Champagne and can have tropical fruit, banana, vanilla, or hazelnut aromas.

  • Cava.

    Cava is the Spanish version of sparkling wine. It is produced almost exclusively in Catalonia. Most Cavas use Spanish grapes like Parellada and Macabeo, but some may add French grapes to the final mixture. Cavas have a distinctive sour taste, but can also have a toasty profile as well; Cava producers use the traditional method of secondary fermentation in the bottle. So, its bubbles are similar to those of Champagne.

  • Moscato d’Asti.

    Sometimes referred to simply as Moscato, this sparkling wine is produced from Muscat grapes. They have been cultivated since ancient Greek and Roman times for premium sweetness. As a result, Moscato is much sweeter than the other types of sparkling wines. It has a lower alcohol content as well. The best Moscato d’Asti grapes are picked at peak ripeness. It results in sparkling wines that have notes of orange, peach, apricot, and rose.

Find the Ideal Sparkling Wine for Your Occasion

Whether you’re hosting a wedding, a mimosa brunch, or simply want a refreshing bottle of sparkling wine after dinner, it’s essential to choose the right bottle for your tastes. The experts at Payless Liquors can help you find a dry, sweet, or moderate sparkling wine of any variety in our extensive wine selection. Stop in or call ahead to find a new favorite today.

How to Stock Your In-Home Bar

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home barStocking your home bar with all the essential tools, glassware, mixers, and—of course—spirits will give you the ability to mix classic cocktails and invent new ones without rushing out to purchase missing ingredients each time the urge strikes. This checklist can help ensure you have all the items to make all the most essential drinks:

  1. Liquors. To make most classic cocktails, you’ll need a solid stock of basic liquors, including:

    • Vodka—used in more mixed drinks than any other spirit, vodka is necessary. Choose one affordable and one high-end vodka for your home bar.
    • Whiskey—as there are numerous types of whiskey, go with your preference. Choosing one great, sippable bourbon and one blended rye allows you the ability to serve whiskey on the rocks or in a cocktail.
    • Rum—white rum is most commonly used in mixed drinks, so choose one quality white and one darker or spiced rum to round out your home bar.
    • Tequila—most margaritas are made with tequila blanco, so choosing an inexpensive version for blended drinks and a top-shelf version for sipping is a good strategy.
    • Gin—although gin is a divisive spirit that seems to be either loved or hated, you should choose a quality gin to have on hand behind your home bar.
    • Liqueurs—these flavored liquors should be stocked according to your taste. However, starting with triple sec, Amaretto, and vermouth will allow you to make most classic cocktails.
  2. Mixers. Unless you’re serving your liquors straight up, you’ll need essential mixers to make your cocktails, including:

    • Juices—keep lemon, lime, tomato, orange, pineapple, and cranberry juice on hand.
    • Sodas—be sure to have a cola, a lemon-lime soda, and a club soda behind your bar.
    • Blended mixers—store-bought mixers like sweet and sour, grenadine, and even bloody Mary mix are helpful (you can make simple syrup yourself).
    • Bitters—one bottle of Angostura bitters should work for most cocktails.
  3. Glassware. While there are seemingly endless types of bar and beer glasses, you’ll need just a basic few to get started. Then, increase your bar glass selection as your mixology skills improve. Start with:

    • Beer glasses—the pint glass is the most versatile, however they can be used for mixed drinks, too
    • Rocks glasses—these short glasses are a staple for any drink served straight up or on the rocks.
    • Wine glasses—stock both red and white wine glasses, or purchase a medium-sized glass suitable for either.
    • Martini glasses—mixed drinks like Manhattans, martinis, and even the odd margarita can be served from a martini glass.

Bar tools. To make most mixed drinks, you’ll need a cocktail shaker, a durable mixing glass, a jigger to measure liquor, and a bar spoon to stir your mixed drinks. Also, most home bars include a beer opener, a corkscrew, and a cutting board and citrus knife or zester for garnishes.

Don’t worry if you aren’t able to check off all the items on this list right away. Simply begin with a bar stocked with your preferred liquors, and add spirits as you go. For more information about spirit selection, mixers, or equipment, inquire at your friendly neighborhood Payless Liquors.

tequila

Don Julio Tequila Drink Recipes For Any Occasion

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Tequila is most famous for being the prime ingredient in a margarita. However, this Mexican liquor made from agave plant is extremely versatile and can be used to make other delicious tequila cocktails. On National Tequila Day, ditch the salt and lime and try these drink recipes with a premium tequila like Don Julio.

Don Julio Blanco Margaritatequila

  • 2 oz Don Julio Blanco Tequila
  • 1½ oz Fresh Lime Juice
  • 1 oz Agave Nectar
  • 1 oz Soda
  • Lime Wedge for Garnish

Combine Don Julio Blanco, fresh lime juice, and agave nectar into a cocktail shaker with ice.

Shake well, strain into a rocks glass over ice, top with soda, and garnish with a lime wedge.

Don Julio Blood Orange Palomatequila

  • 1½ oz Don Julio Blanco Tequila
  • 1 oz Fresh Grapefruit Juice
  • ½ oz Fresh Lime Juice
  • Seltzer
  • Chili Powder for Garnish

Combine Don Julio Blanco, fresh lime juice and fresh grapefruit juice into a cocktail shaker with ice.

Shake well. Then strain contents into a glass over fresh ice. Top with seltzer. Garnish with chili powder.

Don Julio Lemonadatequila

  • 1½ oz Don Julio Blanco Tequila
  • 3 oz Cold Water
  • ¾ oz Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 8-10 Fresh Mint Leaves
  • 1-2 tsp Sugar
  • 10-15 Ice Cubes

Add lemon juice, mint leaves, and sugar to blender. Pulse a few times until mint leaves are chopped.

Add tequila and cold water and pulse again to mix.

Add ice cubes and blend into slushie. Pour and garnish with mint leaves.

Don Julio Rosa Primaveratequila

  • 1½ oz Don Julio Reposado
  • 1 oz Coconut Cream
  • ¾ oz Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1 Muddled Strawberry

Add all ingredients in a shaker. Strain into rocks glass over ice. Garnish with half a strawberry.

Reserve Your Bottle Today

For a limited time only, Payless Liquors is pleased to offer bottles of Don Julio 1942 and Don Julio Real to our customers who truly enjoy fine sippable tequilas. Reserve your bottle at our East Street location and arrange for in-store or curbside pickup today.

 

 

Modern IPAs—What You Didn’t Know About One of America’s Most Popular Beers

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IPAIf you’re a beer enthusiast of any persuasion, you’ve undoubtedly heard of IPA by now. This hoppy, floral, slightly bitter brew has found its way onto the shelves of nearly every beer cooler in America—and is the star of many a craft brewery lineup. The IPA is often an object of scorn by beer traditionalists. They claim to dislike its relatively high alcohol content, bitterness, and often-extreme level of hops. However, the beer market tells a different story—IPAs make up a full 13 of the top 25 beers on Beer Advocate’s Top 250 Beers list.

What’s in an IPA?

IPAIPA is an acronym for India Pale Ale and is, of course, a version of the classic pale ale styles that emerged in England in the early 1700s. These old pale ales utilized malts roasted with coke (a coal-based fuel that produces practically no smoke), resulting in ales that were much lighter than the traditional dark, smoky ales of the region. Since the malts were lighter in flavor rather than color, the hops were able to become the star.

The IPA became popular over a hundred years later. British expatriates living in the east Indian colonies requested barrels of their favorite “bitters,” or pale ales, to get a taste of home. According to legend, brewers feared their beers wouldn’t make the journey without becoming too sour and flat. So, they drastically increased the alcohol and hops content in the hopes that the beer would be drinkable when it arrived. However, it’s now believed that this explanation is just a story, because other beers made the journey without this addition. Whatever the origin, an IPA is simply a lightly malted pale ale produced with more hops and, in most cases, more alcohol.

What’s With All the Lingo?

As the style became more popular in the US in the 1970s and ’80s, American breweries utilized American hops like Cascade or Simcoe in both their pale ales and their IPAs. The pale ales were already higher in alcohol and more hop-forward than the British pale ales that came before them. Common sense dictated that the IPAs should be even more so. By the time the style took off in the late ’80s and ’90s, there were so many different types of IPAs. Consequently, brewers had developed terminology to describe their unique brews:

  • West Coast IPA—these brews are more bitter, hoppy, and floral than the average American IPA.
  • East Coast IPA—this style is maltier and mellower, although hops still shine.
  • Double IPA—the Double IPA simply doubles the amount of hops included rather than the brewery’s traditional IPA.
  • Imperial IPA—the term was originally synonymous with double IPAs, but now can even include triple IPAs.
  • Hazy IPAs—also known as New England IPAs, these beers aren’t filtered and, as a result, are creamier and less bitter than other IPAs.
  • Juicy IPAs—usually a type of hazy IPA, juicy IPAs include citrusy hops and yeast esters to impart a fruity flavor.

Try a New IPA for National IPA Day

With the ever-increasing number of releases from craft and big-name breweries around the world, you’re more likely than ever to find the perfect balance of hops and malt. No matter which type of IPA appeals to you, August is an ideal time to start looking. The first Thursday of the month is National IPA Day. So, stop into a Payless Liquors location near you and find your new favorite IPA to celebrate.