Unfortunately Christmas is over and the rush of opening presents, feasting on turkey and desserts, and enjoying eggnog and festive cocktails has come and gone. Luckily, there is one more bright light up ahead to distract us from the post-holiday depression, and that is New Year’s Eve! There are many different ways that people celebrate the New Year: standing in crowded Time’s Square to watch the ball drop, sitting at home by a fire, going out to dinner, or going out on the town! For me, New Year’s Eve is one last time to mingle and be merry with friends that have come home for the holidays before everyone disperses once again, which always makes it a special night. I also LOVE getting the party favors that are handed out on NYE, including tiaras, noise makers, tacky sunglasses, you name it I’ll be wearing it!
No matter how you choose to ring in the New Year, you will most likely have champagne included in the equation. Here is a bubbly alternative to toast with this year:
ABSOLUT Tune (14% abv./ 28 proof): ABSOLUT’s newest innovation is ABSOLUT Tune, a sparkling fusion of ABSOLUT Vodka and Sauvignon Blanc. The bottle comes with an outer sleeve that tears away as if being unzipped, revealing a black and gold glass bottle that will be a stylish (and tasty) accompaniment to your New Year’s Eve celebrations! Enjoy chilled or try a new spin on your classic mimosa:
- 4 Parts Chilled ABSOLUT TUNE™
- 1 Part Chilled Orange Juice
- Splash of Hiram Walker Triple Sec (optional)
- Garnish with an Orange Twist
If you want to impress your friends (and you know you all want to) show up at this year’s festivities with a bottle of ABSOLUT Tune.
Enjoy and Happy New Year!
Christmas is just around the corner and I am getting very excited! I’m also very excited for a little vacation (hence the length of this post). Inspired by the bucket of candy canes sitting on my desk, this Friday’s Feature Cocktail is a Candy Cane Martini!
Candy Cane Martini
- 1 part ABSOLUT® Vodka
- 1½ parts Hiram Walker® Pomegranate Schnapps
- 1½ parts Hiram Walker® Peppermint Schnapps
- ¼ part Simple Syrup
Shake and strain into martini glass, garnish with mini candy cane or mint leaf.
I hope you all have a wonderful and safe holiday and that Santa brings you everything you ask for this year 🙂
It is a common belief that Sangria is only to be enjoyed out on the deck, on a warm summer evening (preferably by the beach) with family and friends around. While I wish that I could be back in summertime, enjoying that Sangria by the beach right about now, it is important to acknowledge great winter Sangrias as well. Below is one winter Sangria recipe that pairs perfectly with an evening of family and friends sitting by the fireplace as snow falls outside your window!
While your family gatherings may not be as picture perfect as the one I just described (don’t worry my family isn’t straight out of a Christmas movie either) it is still a great recipe to serve during the holidays!
Sandeman Winter Spice Sangria
- 1 Bottle Of Sandeman Founders Reserve Porto
- 4oz Hiram Walker Original Cinn Cinnamon Schnapps
- 3 Clementine’s, Quartered
- 6oz Cranberries
- 18oz Sparkling Clementine Juice Or Soda
- 6oz Cranberry Juice
- 4 Cinnamon Sticks
- Ground Allspice To Taste
Directions: Combine Sandeman Founders Reserve Porto, cinnamon schnapps, Clementine pieces, cranberries, cranberry juice and cinnamon sticks in a large pitcher. Cover tightly and place in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours. Right before serving, add sparkling Clementine juice/soda
Garnish: sprinkle allspice on top
As I’m sure you’ve heard from just about everybody’s Facebook status today, it is 12.12.12! Personally, I prefer the number 9, so in September of 2009 I was much more excited… but I suppose this is still a big deal since this is the last time a date like this will occur until January 1 of 2101!
To celebrate such a historic date (that really hasn’t been all that historic at all, except for maybe the number of weddings that are going to occur throughout the day) I thought it best to toast all of the brides and grooms out there with a sparkling cocktail!
- .5 oz Hiram Walker Pomegranate Liqueur
- .5 oz Orange Juice
- 1 oz Beefeater 24 gin
- 2 oz of Jacob’s Creek Sparkling Moscato
Directions: Build ingredients in a martini glass and top with Jacob’s Creek Sparkling Moscato. Garnish with frozen cranberries (dropped in).
Enjoy everybody and Happy 12.12.12 🙂
Continued from Part 1
…The majority of the bartenders filed back into the General Session room to take the written portion of the BarSmarts exam (a 100 question test that required a 70 or higher to pass) while another group of bartenders headed upstairs to complete the practical portion of the test.
The practical portion of the exam was one that Paul Pacult described as an event that “could be a reality show” and he was completely accurate on that! The room was set up with 11 individual bar stations, fully stocked with tools, liquors, garnishes, ice etc. Each station also came equipped with a BarSmarts judge holding a clipboard, ready to be served.
As 11 students at a time entered into the practical room, they were given a minute or two to become familiar with their bar, and then it was testing time. Each student had 8 minutes to prepare the 3 drinks that their customer (BarSmarts judge) asked for, while paying attention to proper ingredients, proper technique and proper bar etiquette.
It was clear they had all spent plenty of time studying and practicing, as they looked prepared, but I was nervous just watching these guys! It did however make me very proud of Cocktail Culture’s own Stephanie J., who completed the BarSmarts Advanced exam last year. You can read about her experience with BarSmarts here!
I am so glad I had the opportunity to observe such an awesome event (thank you Pernod Ricard USA) and hopefully the next time I attend I will be participating in the exams instead of just observing!
If any of you are interested in signing up for BarSmarts (and I highly recommend you do) check out their Wired (online) program as well as their awesome Advanced program.