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Posts From June, 2019

Strawberry Basil Lime Cooler

Strawberry Basil Lime Cooler

Did you know that strawberries and basil are extremely hardy plants in central Texas? Strawberry bushes will survive the occasional freeze and basil plants are basically a weed. I enjoy gardening a little, but in reality my thumbs are only light green, so it’s important to find plants that do well, with only a little attention. I’ve been successful in that area and now I don’t know what to do with all of the basil in my garden! My family can only eat so much pesto.

I decided that making a fun cocktail is kind of like cooking. Sometimes you look at what ingredients you have and then you figure out what you can make. That’s how I came across this recipe. Strawberries and Basil are both doing well in my garden this summer, so let’s turn them into a drink!

The recipe calls for water, club soda, Vodka, Tequila or Gin, strawberries, basil and limes. Since the liquor is the last step, it’s possible to make a big batch and then let the drinker decide – spirit of choice.

The most important step here is giving the strawberries and basil time to infuse the water. Put your strawberries, limes and basil in water and let it sit for at least eight hours.

Pour one shot of vodka, gin or tequila (we tried gin and it was a win – we recommend Still Gin, distilled in Austin) into your glass, then fill it halfway with your infused water. Finish filling up the glass with club soda and enjoy.

If you enjoy infused water, you will really enjoy this summer treat!

Independence Day

Independence Day

Easter and Christmas are by far, my all time favorite holidays, but right after those two awesome days, my next two favorite holidays are Valentine’s Day and the Fourth of July – entire days devoted to celebrating love and freedom.

I grew up watching 1776 and have fond memories of visiting historical Philadelphia with my Dad as a child. After graduating from college, I joined the military and the 4th took on an even bigger meaning to me. I was blessed to experience cultures and nations that truly don’t know freedom. These experiences gave me a profound appreciation for this beautiful land we call home. We are a diverse nation filled with people from every race, every nation and every faith group and it is our differences that make us strong. This Fourth of July, I hope you will take a minute to celebrate our nation and the men and women whose ingenuity and courage bore our great nation way back when.

So pour yourself a drink – maybe a glass of 1776 Bourbon, Sailor Jerry rum or everybody’s summer favorite, ice-cold beer and let’s toast Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, General George Washington, Molly Pitcher and that entire generation of patriots.

Give me Liberty or Give me Death! Happy Birthday to the USA!

 

God Bless America!

The Chilton

Cocktail Cluster Episode 1
The Chilton

It’s time to start our cocktail cluster! Twice a week for the rest of the summer, we will feature a fun summer cocktail. You can find out how to make these cocktails in our blog or on our social media pages. You can also swing by the store and check the seasonal display – we will have recipe cards ready for you!

To kick off the cocktail cluster, we will start with an old Texas tradition that was invented in Lubbock – The Chilton.

I’m only halfway decent in the kitchen, so don’t worry - each of our cocktails will be fairly simple to make.

To start with some club soda, some vodka, a lemon and some salt. Rimming salt is preferable, but we can make do with regular salt too! Next grab a glass and a lemon juicer.

This was easy – I started by rimming my glass with salt. I forgot to get Jose Cuervo margarita salt, so I did it the old fashioned way with table salt and it worked just fine. But, it is even easier if you spring for the rimming salt.

Next, I filled my glass with ice and eyeballed about a shot of vodka. I used Eddy’s vodka, which worked really well, but pick your favorite! I would recommend Eddy’s, Titos, Gray Goose, Ciroc, Effin, or Ketel. Those are all pretty smooth vodkas which make the drink better.

After that, I used a lemon juicer and squeezed all the lemon juice I could into my glass. I actually had my kids help me with this – they had fun and so did I! After we squeezed as much juice as possible, I just threw the whole lemon into the glass. That part is optional, but I think it is more fun that way and you get more of the lemon juice as well.

Last, I filled the rest of my glass with club soda, stirred it with a straw and took a sip. It was perfect. I’m usually go for drinks that are a little sweeter so I was surprised how much I enjoyed this. So simple, pretty healthy, fun and super refreshing.

Of course, after helping me juice the lemons, my kids wanted a fun drink too. So, I made them a their own kid-friendly mocktail. We filled their glasses with ice cubes and then about three quarters full of lemonade. After pouring the lemonade, I topped their glasses off with club soda and a straw! And voila! The Chilton for Juniors!

Whether you’re drinking The Chilton the traditional way, or making it for your kids, I hope you enjoy this Texas classic!

 

Ingredients:

Salt

1 ½ oz vodka

Juice of 2 lemons

Club Soda

 

Instructions:

Rim a highball glass with salt, then fill with ice. Add vodka and lemon juice. Fill glass with soda water and stir gently.

River-Ready and Healthy to Boot

The all natural and organic way to enjoy a cold drink this summer
River-Ready and Healthy to Boot

Summer in Texas is hot – there’s no getting around that, but instead of fighting the heat by hiding inside, I propose you embrace it by getting an ice-cold beverage, grabbing your inner tube and heading to the river. Now, we’re not talking about beer – I’ll leave that for the boys. I’m talking about something fun and fresh – light and breezy.

Here’s the thing, I’m a total health food junkie. So now that the temperatures are reaching the high 90’s and starting to cross into the dreaded triple digits, I’m on the constant lookout for a light, easy and all natural treat.

We just started carrying a new drink called High Noon Sun Sips. It’s in the name – Sun Sips, you are supposed to enjoy the sun while enjoying this drink. And let me tell you – this drink is fantastic and yes, it meets my high standard of healthy. It’s a vodka and sparkling water drink flavored with fruit juice – 100% all natural, 100 calories and delicious. Oh, and it comes in a can so it’s perfect for the pool! We have these in Cherry, Watermelon, Pineapple and Grapefruit. Grapefruit’s my personal favorite, but they are all truly delicious.

I try not to discriminate or be judgmental towards others so to be fair to the other spirits, I share my time with them as well.

It’s summer and that makes me think of the beach, which makes me think of coconuts. What’s better than coconut and chocolate? Coconut and rum of course! Another brand new drink we started carrying is RumHaven Caribbean Rum. Oh. My. Goodness. This is made with real coconut water and pure cane sugar – natural, healthy and a treat to your taste buds. The first time I drank this was with blueberry lemonade. I would love to give myself points for creativity, but I just happened to have blueberry lemonade and I am so happy I did. It was amazing. I’m sure RumHaven would make an incredible Pina Colada, but I would encourage you to try this with lemonade, blueberry lemonade or strawberry lemonade. Or you could go even healthier with some fresh squeezed lemons and strawberries. I promise you – this is a treat you want to try this summer!

And where would the summer be without a margarita? I’m a frozen margarita kind of girl and this year we started carrying the Tres Agave Margarita mix. It is 100% organic and one of the best margarita mixes out there. Pair the Tres Agave mix with Dulce Vida tequila and you’ve got yourself a 100% organic (which means healthy and good for you) margarita. If you’re headed to the lake, make a batch of this and pour it into one of our insulated wine tumblers. It will stay cold the entire time you’re floating on the water. So let’s review this scenario – An ice-cold margarita, that’s actually somewhat good for you, and a relaxing day floating on the lake. As long as you remember your sunscreen, this is a recipe for a perfect day.

Of course all perfect days must come to a close, and what better way than with a glass of organic wine? We carry several organic wines and they are all fantastic. But brand-new to the store and from one of my favorite places, is Candoni wine that we have in Merlot and Pinot Grigio -it’s smooth, flavorful and delicious. I like to chill my Pinot on ice and drink alongside a caprese salad made with garden fresh tomatoes and basil.

And so, I’ve discovered that you CAN have your cake and eat it too, or in this case, you can have a fun and delicious drink that is also organic, light and easy. Now you’re river ready - Cheers!

A toast to Dads

A toast to Dads

What makes a Dad so awesome? I know all Dads are different, but I’m pretty sure if you were blessed to have a great Dad or know a great Dad, you might find there are a few qualities they all have in common. Maybe it’s their steadfast love for their family or their willingness to do whatever kind of work it takes to provide for their family.

For everything Dad does for you - let’s treat him with something special this Father’s Day.

 

If your Dad is anything like my husband and the father of my children, then a rare and special bourbon is the way to go.

We are proud to host a variety of bourbon from all over, but let’s focus on some of our finer ones brewed right here in the Lone Star State.

When looking for bourbon, it’s important to note that since Texas weather is hotter and more humid than other bourbon distilling places, like say Kentucky, it takes less time to achieve the perfect wood influence that some enjoy so much.

Texas Giant Pot Still, a locally distilled bourbon, recently won a silver medal in the San Francisco world spirits competition. Aged slowly in American Oak and weathered by the Texas sun, Giant is rich with strong butterscotch, vanilla and spice notes. It’s a good bourbon.

Alamo, an excellent sipping bourbon, is also distilled in the great state of Texas. It has a hint of chocolate and some good charcoal notes with an extremely smooth finish, making it an ideal gift for a bourbon-loving Texas Dad.

Then there is Cotton Hollow. There’s vanilla, there’s caramel and it has a really nice finish. It’s also a small Texas company – so not only good bourbon, but it’s always nice to support small businesses.

 

Of course if your Dad’s taste buds are more like my Dad’s, a man raised in an Italian home, than a fine wine might be the answer.

We just started carrying the Mollydooker line of wines and we are so excited to share them with you. Grown and vented in Australia, Mollydooker wines have won numerous awards.

The Scooter, Mollydooker’s one and only merlot, is a delicate wine layered with chocolate and spice. If you like merlot, this will not disappoint.

My personal favorite type of wine is Cabernet and Molly Dooker has two great ones – Matire D’ and Gigglepot.

Matire D’ is noted as a bright and lively wine awash with notes of cherry, strawberry and blackcurrant – approachable and expressive. This one will absolutely leave happiness on your taste buds.

Gigglepot is named after the winemaker’s daughter. It is a vibrant and elegant fine wine, full of personality and perfectly suited to its name. With flavors of raspberry, briar, mocha and mint this wine is fabulous.

No matter what you get Dad this Sunday, do it with love and let him know how special he is to you.

To every awesome Dad out there, we wish you a Happy Father’s Day!

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