Red Wine Hot Chocolate

To celebrate the official first day of autumn (hooray!) here is a delicious recipe.

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My two favourite things together.

INGREDIENTS
1 1/2 cup milk (I used 2%)
1 cup red wine (I used Kendall-Jackson Cabernet Sauvignon)
1/3 cup dark chocolate chunks
Optional: coconut whipped cream

INSTRUCTIONS
In a saucepan over medium heat, combine milk and chocolate chips. Whisking constantly until chocolate is melted into milk and you have a thick and creamy chocolate milk. Pour in red wine and heat until everything is hot. Pour into 2 mugs or 6-8 smaller glasses and top with coconut whipped cream.
Image and recipe credit: http://immaeatthat.com/2014/11/24/red-wine-hot-chocolate/

 

 

 

7 swoon worthy Valentine’s Cocktails

Make your Valentine’s Day extra sweet 😉

Blushing Kiss Martini

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Shake all ingredients with ice and pour through a fine strainer into a chilled Martini glass. Garnish with grapefruit wedge and thyme sprig into glass. **Optional:  Rim glass with grapefruit wedge and stir drink with thyme for an extra kick.

Red Valentine

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1.5 ounce of Patron silver tequila
1 ounce Organic brand lemonade
splash of Rose’s Red grenadine syrup
red sugar for rim
lemon wedge
ice
Pour sugar into a shallow plate or bowl. Wet the rim of glass with the lemon wedge. Dip glass into the sugar. Fill glass with ice. Combine tequila, lemonade, and grenadine into a cocktail shaker. Fill with ice and shake for 45 seconds. Strain into the prepared sugar rimmed glass. Garnish with lemon wedge. Enjoy with your sweetheart!
Cardamom Rose Cocktail
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1.5 oz of Hendrick’s gin (this is a rose & cucumber infused gin)
.75 oz of Rose syrup (make at home with rose water and simple syrup or buy locally)
.25 oz of Fresh lemon juice
.75 oz of Fresh grapefruit juice (ruby red preferably)
2 dashes of Peychauds bitters (Peychaud is credited with first creating the cocktail)
1 Cardamom Pod
Lightly muddle 1 cardamom pod at the bottom of shaker (not too much muddling or it will overpower the drink)
Add the rest of the ingredients
Add ice
Shake for 20 seconds
Strain over fresh ice to remove the cardamom pod
Add a splash of seltzer water
Garnish with rose petals or fresh lemon wedge (use organic if possible)
Cherub’s Cup
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1 part St. Germain elderflower liqueur

2 parts vodka or Gin

3/4 part fresh lemon juice

1 part muddled strawberry

Brut Rosé Sparkling Wine

In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, add chopped strawberries and muddle.

Add all ingredients aside from the Rosé Sparkling Wine and shake vigorously until well chilled.

Strain into cocktail glasses filled with ice and top with a splash of Brut Rosé Sparkling Wine.

Garnish with a strawberry or a festive stir stick.

Charleston Pink Lady

Photos for Return To Sunday Supper

 

3 Jiggers Gin (I recommend using Hendrick’s Gin)

1 1/2 Jiggers Heavy Cream

1 Jigger Applejack

1 Teaspoon Grenadine (I recommend using Jack Rudy Cocktail’s Grenadine)

Handful of ice

Pour ingredients into cocktail shaker or jar with lid. Shake vigorously. Strain into cocktail glasses. Serve.

Sweet Mint Raspberry Spritzer

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3 oz. fresh raspberry purée {we make ours by puréeing 3 oz. raspberries and 3 Tbs. water

1 oz. club soda

1 tsp. sugar

two mint sprigs

fresh whole raspberries

 ice

PurĂ©e the raspberries and water and strain out the berries. In a cocktail shaker add sugar and one sprig of mint leaves. Muddle together. Add ice, raspberry juice and club soda. Shake for a minute and pour into a champagne saucer. If you want an alcoholic version {Aleah’s expecting so we’re all about making chic and tasty non-alcoholic options!} add St. Germain liqueur or a splash of champagne.

Dreaming of you 

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4 oz Moscato
1.5 oz Pomegranate Juice
1 oz Pink grapefruit juice
Splash Soda water
Build in glass over ice and stir
Images and recipes courtesy of 
http://www.elizabethannedesigns.com/blog/slideshow/valentines-day-cocktails/

How to Host a Successful Wine Tasting Party

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Some of the best nights I have ever had have been around wine tastings. Here is how to make yours a success

What you’ll need for your Wine Tasting Party:

  • Âœ a bottle of wine per guest is ideal – supply your own or have everyone bring a bottle or two
  • Clean, clear wine glasses
  • A couple of wine openers and a corkscrew as backup
  • A bucket or spittoon to dump out the excess wine
  • Simple wine tasting sheets so that guests can jot down comments
  • A camera to photograph the wine labels
  • Optional: Bottled water
  • Optional: Food pairings like cheese and crackers, chocolate, fruit, etc.
  • Optional: Decanter for red wine
  • Optional: Ice bucket for white wine

Step 1: Invite the Right Guests

Choosing an eclectic group of people for your wine tasting party will help your party run itself, especially by the time everyone is on their third or fourth wine. The key here is to invite people with varying tastes and degrees of experience with wine. That way, newbies can comfortably learn about wine from more experienced enthusiasts, and the more experienced enthusiasts can happily banter about the wine selections.

Step 2. Decide on a Theme

Although choosing a theme isn’t required, it can definitely help your guests pick the right type of wine for their palate. I’d recommend going with wines by region or appellation. Some other common themes are new world vs. old world wines and blind tastings. A note about blind tasting, however – although much can be learned through blind tastings, especially among seasoned wine drinkers, I have never found blind tastings contribute much fun to a wine party. Instead, they usually make people defensive and competitive. Therefore, I would skip the blind tasting in favor of a more fun activity.

Step 3. Serve, Taste & Enjoy

The best way to educate the palate, enjoy wine and preserve an air of mystery is to serve premium wines from wineries, varietals and places that your guests will not likely have tasted or seen before.  This way, the tasting party can be both fun and mysterious without making guests apprehensive.  If you are unfamiliar with such wines, consult a reputable and knowledgeable retailer for suggestions, or better yet, contact the International Wine of the Month Club for some of our most popular recent selections! Lastly: It is wise to try some of your provider’s selections ahead of time, and then serve the wines you choose from lightest to heaviest, saving the sweetest wines for last.

A Final Note

With a little research and planning, hosting your own wine party can be a fun opportunity for you, your friends and your family to try good wines with good company. Some of the key things to remember:

  • A fun, outgoing group of people will make the party all the more enjoyable
  • A wine tasting party theme can help your guests narrow down their wine selections and help you increase the educational value of your party
  • If you’re still a beginner with wine, consulting a knowledgeable retailer will help you pick only interesting, premium selections that fit within your theme

Wine tasting parties are still parties: remember to have fun!

Courtesy of http://www.winemonthclub.com/blog/host-successful-wine-tasting-party/