You may have heard that J.J. Abrams has a new movie out and we’ve been celebrating its arrival all week. We collaborated with mixologist Beautiful Booze to create cocktails that are out-of this world and today we’re sharing our final two.
If you missed our first set of cocktails, head over to Part I to get the recipes for Paradise on a Desert Planet and the Cantina Cooler.
Rebel in Red
After vanquishing the galactic forces of darkness, it’s important to celebrate accordingly with your fellow rebels and favorite droids. Here’s a delightfully sweet take on the Tequila Sunrise:
In a saucepan, add cranberry juice and tonic water. Turn heat on low and sprinkle in two envelopes of gelatin. Stir mixture until the gelatin dissolves. Remove from heat and stir in gin. Pour mixture into shot glasses. Put in refrigerator and let shot glasses chill overnight.
Yield: 10-15 jello shots (depending on size of shot glasses)
Between applying the final tinsel to the tree and tracking down last-minute gifts, you deserve a little down time, and definitely an ale or two. Today, we’re wrapping up Total Wine & More’s “12 Beers of Christmas” series by sharing our final six selections.
If you missed Part I in this series, click here to see our first six selections.
Photo credit: Great Divide Brewing Co.
Great Divide Brewing Co. of Denver, Colorado, has received a lot of attention, and for good reason. With over a dozen Great American Beer Festival medals to the brewery’s name, it’s no surprise that Great Divide’s Hibernation Ale scored a 94-point rating from Draft Magazine. An English-style Old Ale, it has a malty richness that’s balanced by a complex hop profile. It’s a great beer that’s even better on a cold, winter evening.
It’s no surprise that Shiner Holiday Cheer holds a place in the hearts of our Texas staff. A Dunkelweizen, it offers hints of Texas peaches and pecans as well as caramelized malts, which makes it a crowd favorite at a holiday get-together.
Nearly 2,000 miles away in Petaluma, California, Lagunitas Brewing Co. cooked up a mistake that’s become a fan favorite. Brown Shugga’ began as a happy accident, a result of the brewery attempting to save a batch of their Olde GnarlyWine by mixing in copious amounts of brown sugar. Incredibly drinkable, Brown Shugga’ is true to its name to the very last drop with a caramel malt flavor accompanied by notes of dark fruit, toffee and, of course, brown sugar.
For our next selection, we’re traveling across the Atlantic to the United Kingdom. In addition to its festive, vintage-inspired label, Samuel Smith’s Winter Welcome Ale holds a Gold medal from the World Beer Championships and offers a lovely caramel malt flavor that will have you singing “’Tis the season” in no time.
Woodchuck Winter Chill Cider is a winter warmer of a decidedly different, but delightful and seasonally appropriate stripe. Aged in French and American oak barrels, it offers a rich apple flavor with hints of vanilla and oak.
Photo credit: Widmer Brothers Brewing Co.
For our final beer, we’re heading to a place that’s celebrated for its craft beer scene. Portland, Oregon, is home to many fine breweries, including Widmer Brothers Brewing Co., which helped popularize the Hefeweizen beer style in America in the late 1980s. Widmer Brrr Seasonal Ale is a bold and hoppy Red Ale with caramel and chocolate malts that produce a malty sweet flavor and smooth finish. It’s a beer deserving of a carol or two.
Take a break from decking the halls to deck out your beer fridge! Shop our winter beer selection in-store or online.
It seems J.J. Abrams has caused a disturbance in the you know what. However, according to reviews and nearly universal fan approval, it’s all for the better. Like many of our customers, we’re heading out this weekend to watch the new movie and catch up with some of our favorite characters.
And we couldn’t think of a better way to commemorate such a momentous occasion than with cocktails that celebrate the entire series, even the ones that weren’t fan favorites.
We collaborated with mixologist and rebel leader Beautiful Booze to use the force and create an out-of-this-world set of inspired cocktails.
Paradise on a Desert Planet
Thanks to its two suns, we can’t imagine what summers were like for Luke on his home planet. That’s why we whipped up the cool and refreshing Paradise on a Desert Planet.
In a cocktail shaker, add ice, rum, condensed milk, lime juice and orange juice. Shake mixture forcefully*. Rim glass with graham crackers. Pour mixture into serving glass and make sure to make one for Luke.
*This cocktail needs to be shaken very hard to mix up the condensed milk
Yield: 1 serving
Whether you’re flying solo or meeting friends to listen to a great house band, the Cantina Cooler is the perfect choice to start your adventure off right.
In a metal shaker add vodka, cranberry juice, lime juice, and simple syrup. Shake and strain mixture over crushed ice, then top with beer (we recommend a Helles Lager, but just about any lager will do).
Yield: 1 serving
If you enjoyed getting a taste of the galaxy, make sure to check back coming up for more recipes.
If you’re looking for a cold one to get you into the holiday spirit, Total Wine & More has rounded up a dozen of our favorite Christmas beers. Today, we’re sharing the first six.
Anchor Brewing Co. has been producing its Christmas Ale, a perennial favorite, since 1975. The top-secret recipe changes every year, as does the tree on the label. For 2015, this spicy dark brown ale offers richness and complexity that exemplify the best qualities of a winter warmer. This beer always stands out on our shelves thanks to the hand-drawn label, which for this release features the Deodar Cedar, or California Christmas Tree, a fitting choice given Anchor’s San Francisco home.
From Turbodog to Purple Haze, Abita has been crafting great beers for years. Like Anchor’s, Abita’s Christmas Ale recipe changes from year to year. However, you can always count on this special dark ale to offer a level of malt-driven spiciness that pairs well with holiday staples like gingerbread.
Although there may not be snow on the ground, a white Christmas is in reach thanks to Samuel Adams’ White Christmas, a refreshing Belgian-style white ale that offers notes of fruit and coriander.
If you’re looking for something a little hoppier, you won’t be disappointed with Santa’s Private Reserve from Rogue Ales. Boasting an 89-point rating from Beer Advocate, this double-hopped Red Ale has a lovely roasted malt flavor that’s perfect for the season.
We couldn’t discuss winter beers without mentioning Belgian breweries, which routinely produce some of the very best. World-renowned Huyghe Brewery, which is most closely associated with its flagship beer Delirium Tremens, offers up a fantastic Belgian Strong Dark Ale in the form of Delirium Noël. A smooth and creamy beer, it has delightful flavors of caramel, dark fruit and spice ideal for evenings spent in front of a roaring fire.
Our sixth beer needs no introduction for many beer lovers, thanks to its outstanding reputation.St. Bernardus Christmas Ale, which hails from Watou, Belgium, is the quintessential Belgian Strong Dark Ale with delicious flavors of molasses, apricots, licorice and marzipan. It would be the perfect stocking stuffer for any hopivore.
Click here for the unwrapping of the final six beers in our 12 beers of Christmas series. In the meantime, stop by our stores or shop onlineto spread some hoppiness and cheer.
From holiday parties to New Year’s countdowns, the season’s state of wine is typically all things bubbly. And while we love Champagne, Prosecco and everything in between, we think it’s important to give America’s most popular wine type its proper due. So let’s toast the red-hot reds of Total Wine & More’s top 10 red wines for 2015. Whether you’re taking a break from last-minute shopping, writing up your resolutions or curling up in front of a roaring fire, our list has a red wine for every occasion.
Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the world’s top wine grapes and for good reason. Aficionados love the wine’s rich and delicious flavors. Winemakers love it for the same reason, and it doesn’t hurt that the hearty skin of the grape makes it resistant against rot and frost and more accommodating to a variety of climates. While it first achieved acclaim in Bordeaux, Cabernet Sauvignon has enjoyed equal if not greater success in California, helping wineries like Caymus and Stags’ Leap become titans in the industry. This year, our top red is Montoya Cabernet from the famed Napa Valley. Like all great Cabernets, Montoya offers an abundance of dark fruit flavors, including blackberry, plum and currant. It’s perfect for a hearty winter meal of grilled steak.
Why do so many people love Pinot Noir? Thanks to its traditionally light-bodied nature, it’s very easy to drink. Its typical flavor profile of red fruits, such as cherry and cranberry, only add to its drinkability. And last, but certainly not least, it pairs well with just about any food, from beef to poultry to fish. The second spot on our list belongs to Domaine Loubejac Pinot Noir, which hails from the Willamette Valley, one of Oregon’s most talked-about wine-producing regions. With flavors of black cherry, raspberry, sweet herbs and rose petals, it is a delight to drink from start to finish.
Rounding out the top three, we chose a wine that is a testament to the winemaking power of South America. The Malbec grape made its way from France to the Andean foothills of Argentina in the 19th century and has been dominating the country’s wine industry ever since. Flichman Malbec Tupungato represents the extraordinary value Malbec wines have to offer. An intense, full-bodied wine, it boasts big flavors of black fruits, licorice and pepper with a spicy finish.
Our list also showcases great reds from Marche, Italy; Rioja, Spain; Bordeaux, France and other world-class wine regions. So this holiday season, stop by Total Wine & More and make room in your cart for our favorite reds.
This Saturday, December 5, marks the 82nd anniversary of Repeal Day, which brought an end to the 18th Amendment and 13 years of Prohibition in the United States. At Total Wine & More, we believe there’s no better way to celebrate such a momentous occasion than with cocktails that defined the era.
Like most drinks, the true origins of the French 75 are murky. Named after the French 75mm field gun of World War I, the cocktail first appeared in U.S. print in 1927 in “Here’s How,” one of the few mixology books to be published during Prohibition. While debate continues over when the cocktail first emerged, historians and mixologists largely agree that its modern form was first shaken up at the famed Harry’s New York Bar, which despite its name is actually in the Second Arrondissement of Paris. It achieved notoriety in the states after appearing at the Stork Club, one of New York’s legendary speakeasies.
Harry’s New York Bar opened in 1911 and has been attracting famous clientele ever since. Past patrons include Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald. Photo Credit: Time Out
A gin and champagne cocktail, the French 75 may have earned its name because its “kick” was akin to the recoil of an artillery gun. However, the recipe has been refined over time, so you don’t have to be a battle-hardened soldier to appreciate it.
Pour the gin, lemon juice and simple syrup into an ice-filled cocktail shaker. Shake well, strain into a chilled flute glass and top with Champagne.
Like the French 75, the Bloody Mary was born and bred within the mahogany walls of Harry’s New York Bar, which remains one of the world’s most revered drinking establishments. By 1920, Russians fleeing the Russian Revolution had started to settle in Paris and began sharing their love for vodka. Ferdinand “Pete” Petiot, the bartender at Harry’s, began looking for ways to bring a little flavor to this flavorless spirit. He decided to experiment with canned tomato juice, which had recently made its way over from America. The resulting drink was first christened “Bucket of Blood” by American singer Roy Barton, in honor of an infamous gambling den and speakeasy in Chicago.
The evolution of “Bucket of Blood” into the mildly more appetizing “Bloody Mary” remains unclear, but Bloody Mary recipes began appearing in print by 1946. While the Bloody Mary may be one of the world’s most complex cocktails, it’s a drink that’s well worth the time and effort.
Combine tomato juice, vodka, Worcestershire sauce, horseradish, hot sauce, salt and pepper over ice in a highball glass. Then pour the drink into a second highball glass. Pour the drink back and forth between glasses several times to ensure the ingredients are properly mixed, and then lightly spray lemon juice over glass. Garnish with celery stick.
Get into the spirit of Repeal Day and stop by Total Wine & More or shop online to get everything you need to mix up some Prohibition-era favorites.