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Apple Delicious

Bring on the Fall
Apple Delicious

The best thing about Apples is that they are good with everything. They are delicious by themselves, fresh off the tree. Apple Pie feels like fall on Thanksgiving, but feels like American Independence with a scoop of ice cream on the 4th of July.

From stuffing to salads and pig roasts to turkey, apples are as diverse as they are delicious. So it only makes sense that Apple spirits are as well.

Crown Royal, Jack Daniels, Jim Beam and Evan Williams each have their apple line.

Effen Vodka out of Holland makes a fantastic green apple vodka. Smirnoff, and a few others also have their own line of apple vodka.

Of course, many of us are familiar with DeKuyper’s Apple Pucker! This is a staple in most Apple-Tini recipes.

Another drink that is popular and as delicious as it sounds is Apple Pie Moonshine. Midnight Moonshine and Sugarland’s Shine each make a really nice one.

Whether you’re a whiskey, vodka or moonshine kind of person, we hope you will enjoy the oldest recorded fruit in history and sip some apple this fall.

 

Pumpkin Spice and all that's nice

Bring on the Fall
Pumpkin Spice and all that

The fall has finally come to Texas! Time to get out the sweaters and the Pumpkin Spice.

Everything about pumpkins feels like fall doesn’t it? They make the perfect fall décor both carved, painted, or plain. And they are delicious – toasted pumpkin seeds, pumpkin bread, pumpkin butter, and pumpkin pie!

Between soccer practice, gymnastics practice and a Fall Festival every weekend, it’s hard to find the time to bake. So instead, I plan to enjoy the pumpkin spice with a warm and relaxing mug of Pumpkin Spice Bailey’s and Coffee or a Pumpkin Pie Martini (on the October evenings that are in the 70s). 

Making the coffee is super easy – just pour yourself a half a cup of your favorite coffee (better to stay away from flavored coffee though) and then fill the cup up the rest of the way with Bailey’s Pumpkin Spice. If you want to get fancy you can even make some Bailey’s Pumpkin Spice whip cream for the top!

For the warmer evenings, I will be springing for the Pumpkin Pie Martini - another easy drink to make and oh, so, delicious. Mix 1.5 oz of Smirnoff or Burnett’s Whipped Cream Vodka, 1 oz of Fulton’s Harvest Pumpkin Pie Liqueur and a half oz of Rum Chata. Shake and serve. For a little fancy sparkle – rim your glass with cinnamon sugar and sprinkle a little on top.

 

So let’s raise a glass to this cooler weather and sip a little Pumpkin Spice. October is busy enough – relax a little and save the Pumpkin baking until November. Let’s bring on the fall!

Kentucky Bourbon

National Bourbon Heritage Month
Kentucky Bourbon

Many folks would argue that the birthplace of Bourbon is Bourbon County, Kentucky and that if it isn’t distilled in Kentucky, it isn’t the real deal. Now, let’s be honest – Kentucky is home to several great bourbons.

Although Texas and Indiana also distill a few outstanding bourbons, today we’re just going to focus on Kentucky and the variety of fine Kentucky bourbons you can find at Town Center Liquor, here in Jarrell, Texas.

When shopping for bourbons there are really three kinds – the classics you know and love, the rare classics you know and love to find and the lesser-known you need to try!

Starting with the classics – Woodford, Elijah Craig, Maker’s Mark, Weller, Buffalo Trace, Larceny, and Evan Williams. Yes, we carry each of these and we carry them in multiple sizes.

In addition to these well-known bourbons, we work diligently to ensure we can provide our customers with a selection of allocated or rare bourbons like Angel’s Envy, Elmer T. Lee, E.H. Taylor, Hancock’s Reserve, Blanton’s and Eagle Rare. These bourbons are called rare for a reason, so the quantity of each in our store will vary on any given day. However, rest assured, even if we are out of one or two of these brands, we almost always have a few of these on hand.

When it comes to the lesser-known Kentucky bourbons, there are plenty and there are plenty here to try. Our favorites of these lesser-knowns are Old Charter, James Pepper 1776 and Heaven Hill Old Style Bourbon. Old Charter is made by the same people as Blanton’s and has a great, quality taste. Each of these are good, quality bourbons. We hope you will give them a try.

Kentucky – we want to raise a glass to you for everything you have done to enhance this fine American Spirit. We are Texans and we love everything about Texas, to include Texas bourbons, but even here in the Lone Star State we acknowledge that when it comes to bourbon, Kentucky – you done good.

Bourbon…The American Spirit

National Bourbon Heritage Month
Bourbon…The American Spirit

September is recognized as the National Bourbon Heritage Month, a month that recognizes the official “American Spirit.”

What is it that defines the “American Spirit?”

In looking into the history of Bourbon, I discovered that the story of Bourbon is similar to so many stories in our history highlighting Americans who followed their American dream, and fought with their American spirit.

Many of the original settlers in this country came here from Europe and brought with them a tradition of distilling whiskey. As they worked hard to carve out their life in the new world, they realized that corn was a stronger and more abundant crop than rye in the new land and began distilling with corn instead. Thus, the American ingenuity that defines so much of history was at the very birthplace of bourbon.

The first time this new drink is recorded as bourbon, is in Bourbon County, Kentucky, an environment seemingly perfect for distilling the beverage. Over the years, Bourbon has played a significant role in much of our nation’s history. During the Civil War, President Lincoln used taxes on Bourbon to support the cost of the war, while in the South; distilleries were shut down for materials needed to support the Army. Prohibition slowed the bourbon industry significantly, but determined distillers continued to make undocumented moonshine. When Prohibition came to an end, Bourbon sales taxes were used to help pull the nation out of the Great Depression. During World War II, distilleries halted their bourbon operations to support the war effort, instead distilling a much higher proof alcohol that could be used to make ammunition, anti-freeze and numerous other items needed by the military. After the War ends, production picked up again.

In 1964, Congress declared Bourbon a “distinctive product of the United States,” giving it special trade protection in the international marketplace.

After this the industry experienced a bit of a downfall, but with advertising like, “It tastes expensive…and is,” Maker’s Mark not only stayed afloat, but also helped reinvigorate the nation’s love for bourbon.

Since 2009, Bourbon sales have increased more than 40% as Americans fall in love all over again with this unique American spirit.

Bourbon is a drink that was born with this nation, and like our country has gone through ups and downs, through war and peace and continues to refine itself. Its history is defined by hard work, ingenuity and greatness – it is a true American Spirit.

 

Long Island Ice Tea

Long Island Ice Tea

I’m one of the many people in this state that will tell you, “I’m not a native Texan, but I got here as soon as I could.” And it’s true, I love the great state of Texas, but that doesn’t change my roots. And as the saying goes, you can take the girl out of New York, but you can’t take the New York out of the girl!

This recipe is a classic and a shout-out to my New York roots. Whether you’re in New York, Texas or anywhere else, this is a great drink to relax with.

Now for you true-Southerners, don’t be fooled by the name. This is a good drink, but it tastes nothing like your Sweet Tea.

Secondly, before you start mixing, let’s make sure you are prepared to relax with this drink and don’t need to drive anywhere. It’s a good one, but it’s strong one too.

Okay, fill your shaker or glass with ice. Next mix together ½ shot of vodka, gin, rum, tequila and triple sec. Add one shot of sweet and sour mix and stir (if you have a shaker, then shake!)

For those of you who don’t traditionally drink gin, Seagram’s is a pretty standard gin and will work well in this recipe, but I would recommend going with Texas Still Gin – it’s an excellent gin and locally distilled. Plus it will add a little Texas sass to this Yankee drink!

Bacardi is the big name in rum, but Don Q Crystal would work just as well and would be a little less expensive.

There is absolutely nothing Yankee about tequila – I would recommend you try Coa tequila, Lunazul or Espalon. These are all very good tequilas, affordable and will help southern-ify your drink!

Once mixed, pour everything into your glass and then top it with a splash of cola. The cola just provides a tiny bit of flavor and a little bit of color to the drink. Garnish your drink with a lemon and if you’re a displaced Yankee like me – toast those Northern roots and then take a sip and enjoy a nice, cool drink in the Texas sun!

Ingredients:

½ oz vodka

½ oz rum

½ oz Gin

½ oz tequila

½ oz triple sec

1 oz sweet and sour mix

1 oz cola

1 lemon slice

Directions:

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Pour vodka, rum, gin, tequila, triple sec, and sour mix over ice; cover and shake. Pour cocktail into a Collins or hurricane glass; top with splash of cola for color. Garnish with a lemon slice.

Frozen Peach Raspberry Dream

Frozen Peach Raspberry Dream

This is one of my all-time favorite drinks and it’s perfect for the summer. The frozen mixture of peach and raspberry, combined with champagne is brilliant and worthy of a celebration. This drink is sweet, it’s bubbly and it’s delicious. Ladies – this one’s for you.

First you will need a blender – this is really meant to be a frozen drink, so don’t skimp on the blending! Combine everything but the Chambord.

Cook’s is a pretty standard Champagne, it’s cost efficient and it has a good taste that will work well in this drink. Next, when you’re looking for Peach Schnapps – DeKuyper’s is a good option. This drink is a great drink for a Texas summer day, so I would recommend a Texas vodka to go with it like Deep Eddy, Western Son or Tito’s, but any vodka will work. If you’re unfamiliar with peach nectar, just grab a can of Jumex and it will do the trick.

Blend until smooth.

Pour your frozen drink into a fun frozen drink-worthy cup. Next pour a shot of Chambord on top. Garnish with a peach slice or a few fresh raspberries and maybe a Hawaiian umbrella.

Cheers!

*If you want to make a fun drink for the kids – substitute peach schnapps for peach juice and the champagne for sparkling white grape juice. To add the raspberry flavor on top, either use a raspberry syrup or fresh raspberries.

 

Ingredients:

1 cup frozen sliced peaches.

2 ounces champagne.

1 ounce peach schnapps.

1 ounce vodka.

4 ounces (1/2 cup) peach nectar.

2 or 3 ice cubes.

1.5 oz Chambord

 

Directions:

Combine one cup of frozen sliced peaches, two ounces of champagne, one ounce of peach schnapps, one ounce of vodka, four ounces of peach nectar and two or three ice cubes. Blend for thirty seconds or until smooth. Pour a shot of Chambord on top and enjoy.

Mojito

Mojito

There is something so refreshing and classic about a Mojito. I love a good Mojito, but don’t make them too often because this drink is a little tricky to perfect. I recommend taking your time when making this drink to ensure it’s perfect. You don’t want to go overboard on the sugar or the mint – you want just the right mix for your taste buds. And you definitely want to take the time to make fresh-squeezed lime juice.

Fill up your shaker with ice and pour in your rum. I would recommend either Don Q rum or Bacardi. Interesting fact about these two – they are both distilled in Puerto Rico!

Before adding your mint leaves, you should gently mash them in a muddler. If you don’t have a muddler, break them up by hand, but don’t shred them. The mint leaves only need to be slightly bruised to release the essential oils needed to make this drink perfect. Next - mix in your lime juice.

Now, add your sugar. Here I would be careful. A good Mojito can easily be ruined with too much, or too little sugar. The recipe calls for 4 tablespoons of sugar, but I would recommend adding to taste. Check as you’re adding so that you can get the exact right amount of sweetness for you.

Shake well and serve over ice and top of your drink with a splash of club soda. This recipe is designed to make about six servings. Garnish with a lime.

And remember - don’t rush making this drink. The difference between an okay Mojito and an amazing Mojito is up to you.

Enjoy!

 

*If you want to make a Mojito mocktail for the kiddos too, I recommend mixing limeade and club soda and serving on ice.

 

Ingredients:

Ice

6 ounces light rum

12 mint sprigs, or spearmint, 8 roughly broken apart

6 tablespoons fresh lime juice

4 tablespoons sugar

Club soda

4 slices lime

 

Directions:

Place ice in beverage shaker then add in the rum, 8 broken up mint sprigs, lime juice and sugar. Shake well and serve over ice in a high ball glass. Top off each glass with a splash of club soda.

Garnish each with a slice of lime and a sprig of mint.

Piña Colada

Piña Colada

Oh, the Piña Colada – the original beach drink. I know it isn’t possible to spend the entire summer drinking Piña Coladas on the beach, but it’s okay to dream, right? The way I figure it, if you make the Piña Colada, you can sit outside in the sun, close your eyes and imagine the ocean is right there.

Piña Coladas were originally made in pineapples. So if you want to go old school, get a pineapple, core it, and use that as your cup.

The beauty of the Piña Colada is the combination of the coconut and pineapple flavors. The recipe calls for regular rum, but I would recommend using coconut rum. Now, Malibu Coconut Rum is a good, solid coconut rum that will make a great drink, but my personal favorite is RumHaven coconut rum, made with real coconut water.

Add pineapple juice, cream of coconut, ice and your rum of choice to a blender. Blend until smooth and creamy. Serve in either a pineapple, or a regular cocktail glass. Garnish with cherries or pineapples.

If you really want to bring on the beach – add a Hawaiian umbrella to the top. Close your eyes, feel the breeze and take a sip. You might find, you don’t need to drive all the way to the ocean to enjoy a trip to “the beach.”

*If you want to make the kiddos a Piña Colada just skip the rum! Or skip the rum and substitute the ice and coconut cream with coconut ice cream – that would make an excellent Piña Colada mocktail for your little ones.

 

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cup pineapple juice

1/2 cup cream of coconut not coconut milk

1/2 cup rum

3 cups ice

pineapple chunks for garnish, optionalcherries for garnish, optional

 

Directions:

Add ice to a blender. Add pineapple juice, cream of coconut and rum. Blend until smooth and creamy. Pour into glasses, garnish with pineapple chunks and cherries. Serve.

 

Watermelon Vodka Cocktail

Watermelon Vodka Cocktail

I love watermelon and I eat it year round, but I go a little watermelon crazy every summer. I pretty much want to eat watermelon all day, every day and I never get tired of it!

In honor of my love for the juicy, delicious, amazing melon that seems to appear at all summer get-togethers – I had to try a Watermelon Cocktail.

Even though this recipe requires a blender (which means extra dishes), it’s super easy. This recipe is designed to be shared with friends, but when I made it, I was flying solo, so I just did a little beer math and made a single serving. 1 Cup of watermelon, a little more than 1 cup of coconut water, a 1/2tablespoon of fresh lime juice and blend.

Next fill up your glass with lots of ice and pour a shot of vodka (this recipe calls for vodka citron, but I used regular vodka). I decided to garnish with a watermelon slice, because I just needed another bite of watermelon!

This is a fun drink – the watermelon, lime and coconut are all equally present in the drink and don’t overpower each other. I hope you enjoy!

 

 

Ingredients:

8 Cups chilled Watermelon

11.5 oz Coconut water

4 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 cup vodka citron

mint for garnish

 

Directions:

Add watermelon, coconut water and lime juice to blender. Blend until smooth. Pour mixture into a large pitcher. Add vodka and stir.

Serve over ice. Garnish with lime wedges and fresh mint.

 

 

Mudslide Milkshake

Mudslide Milkshake

In my house, ice cream is an absolute necessity in the summer. My Yankee blood needs that cold sweet treat to survive August in Texas. Of course, I would eat ice cream in a blizzard. I love ice cream, there’s no getting around that.

This recipe is a bit nostalgic for me, as it was something I cooked up many years ago in my very early 20’s, with a few of my friends.

One of my many jobs during my college years was working as a bartender, and I used to make mudslides for my customers often. When I started making them, it pained me to put ice cubes in the drink. A mudslide just looks like it needs ice cream. So as soon as the opportunity presented itself, I tested out my theory and yes, I was correct – mudslides make the best milkshakes.

This recipe is easy. First, it’s important to note that this recipe is better enjoyed with friends! So have a few over. I’ll pause here to give quick shout out to Vanessa and Erin – the two ladies I first shared a mudslide milkshake with – you ladies are awesome.

Next, if you have kids around, be prepared to make them a fun milk shake too – substitute the Kahlua, Vodka and Irish Cream for some milk though.

Okay, you’ve got your friends, now get your blender. Mix your Kahlua, Vodka and Irish Cream together. While Bailey’s is most common, Carolan’s Irish Cream and Ryan’s Irish Cream are on the same level and sometimes more cost efficient.

Vanilla ice cream is probably the best choice and the standard for this, but if you’re feeling adventurous I would recommend spicing it up with Cookies and Cream. If you live here in Jarrell, do yourself a favor and get your ice cream from Litzy’s – her homemade Vanilla and her Cookies and Cream are top notch. Of course, this being Texas, if you can’t make it to Litzy’s, springing for the Blue Bell would be a just and worthy cause as well.

Add as much ice cream as you want and blend until smooth.

How you top this creation is really up to you – Chocolate Syrup, Whip Cream and Cherries can all play an important role in making this drink – so garnish your drink the way you would your ideal ice cream sundae.

Toast your pals and enjoy a sweet treat!

 

Mudslide Milkshake Ingredients:

1 part Kahlua

1 part Vodka

1 ½ parts Irish Cream Liqueur

Vanilla Ice Cream

Chocolate Syrup

 

Directions:

Mix Khalua, Vodka and Irish Cream in Blender. Add scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream and blend until smooth. Garnish with Chocolate Syrup and enjoy

181 Town Center Blvd. Suite 600 Jarrell, Texas
Phone: (512) 746-5777
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