Holiday Entertaining Tips: What to Do With Leftover Wine

Entertaining Tips: Banfi Wine Ice Cubes // stirandstrain.comThis post is brought to you by Banfi Wine. Recipes and ideas are my own.

Of all the holidays over fall and winter, I’d say that Thanksgiving is the holiday where we drink the most wine. Maybe it’s because we’re matching all that food that is being shoveled down our gullets, or maybe it’s always a thoughtful gift to bring to the party. Inevitably, after the meal, and the dessert, and that second meal at 1am, there are always a few stray bottles that have just a little too much wine left in them to finish off standing over the sink. So what to do?

This holiday season I’m going to give you guys a few quick and dirty tips to make entertaining easy for you. First up: leftover wine, because it happens.

Entertaining Tips: Banfi Wine Ice Cubes // stirandstrain.comThere’s a pretty easy solution that probably has never crossed your mind: freeze it into ice cubes. Because wine has a low alcohol proof and is made of a higher percentage of water, it will freeze. Now, it will never get a solid as an ice cube, but it will freeze and hold a shape. I would suggest freezing the wine for a full 48 hours before use, and to store in the ice cube trays (I like these big guys). You might want to cover with plastic wrap as well so the wine will not brush off onto other items in your freezer.

Entertaining Tips: Banfi Wine Ice Cubes // stirandstrain.comI used Banfi Wine’s Bell’Agio Rosso Dolce for my ice cubes. This Lambrusco is a sweet red wine that is a perfect match for your holiday table. The sweetness of the wine is a nice addition in ice cube form when mixing up drinks so you won’t need much (or any) added sugar.

And just how should you use up those wine ice cubes? Here’s a few ideas for you all:

  • Instant Sangria: slice up some oranges and apples, add a wine ice cube and give the whole thing a generous splash of sparkling water. Stir and let sit for 5 minutes.
  • Wine spiked cocktails: wine ice cube + liquor (gin, whiskey, rum) + a slice of lemon or orange = tasty.
  • Wine granitas: instead of freezing in an ice cube tray, add the wine to small ramekins (like these), give a good spritz of lemon juice, a scant teaspoon of sugar, mix and freeze. After a few hours give it a stir, then do the same again a few hours later. When frozen to the consistency you desire, take them out and eat right from the ramekin. YUM!

Entertaining Tips: Banfi Wine Ice Cubes // stirandstrain.comDo you have a trick for using leftover wine? Leave your ideas in the comments below!

For more information on Banfi wine and the Bell’Agio Rosso Dolce Lambrusco, please visit their site at banfiwines.com!

Florals generously donated by BloomsyBox.com

The Pisco Kid And another new egg white substitute for cocktails!

The Pisco Kid Cocktail // stirandstrain.comIf you’re visiting Los Angeles, or happen to already be a resident, and want to find a bar with a decent jukebox, I have a few I can recommend. There’s my beloved Tonga Hut in the Valley, The HMS Bounty in Koreatown, and then there’s Footsie’s over in Highland Park. I’m sure there are some more bars out there that have a great jukebox selection but these are my go-to’s. Feel free to leave your favorites in the comments.

The Pisco Kid Cocktail // stirandstrain.comI always have my favorite songs and will seriously put on $20 worth of music; alright, alright, I’m a total jukebox hog. Footsie’s in particular I always start with the Cisco Kid by War. I have no idea why, I just like to start my set off with that. I heard that song out of the blue the other day and have been reminiscing about jukebox playlists ever since. That song is also probably why I’ve created this cocktail.

The Pisco Kid Cocktail // stirandstrain.comYou’ve read on here before my thoughts on pisco- it’s a versatile mixing spirit that I don’t think gets enough credit. I’ve also used the base recipe for a pisco sour to show you how you can use BEER! as an egg white replacement. Today I’m riffing on that theme again, making a cocktail that calls for egg whites without eggs. But this time we’ve got a fun new ingredient to play with: Instafoam!

The Pisco Kid Cocktail // stirandstrain.comYou might not be a vegan but you might be someone who cringes at the thought of an egg white in a cocktail. Even though most bars are either using pasteurized egg whites or eggs from their own back yard chickens (I’m sure that’s a thing) to prevent salmonella from entering your cocktail. Still, I get it, you don’t want to drink the egg whites. So now you can give Instafoam a try. But won’t it just make the cocktail taste all chemically? NO! I know way back in the dark days when there was only Fee Foam you were going to get a weird aftertaste (and I’m not knocking on Fee Brothers, they were a beacon of bitters in a world that didn’t understand the need yet.) but here you just taste the cocktail.

So now you’ve got THREE replacements for egg whites in cocktails to either make your drink vegan, or just to avoid raw eggs: beer, aquafaba and Instafoam. OK, now onto the actual cocktail recipe.

The Pisco Kid Cocktail // stirandstrain.comYes, this is a riff on pisco sour cocktail. We’ve got the usual culprits: pisco, lime juice, simple syrup, bitters. However, we’ve spiced it up a bit with the addition of jalapeño jam. I often add marmalade or something of the sort to a whiskey sour just to give it an extra layer of flavor. Here it does the same with a spicy, slightly sweet bite with just a bit of earthy aftertaste from those peppers.

Note: if your jam is more on the solid side, you’ll want to break it up first in the shaker with a muddler to hasten the shaking time and to make sure it gets well incorporated into the drink.

2 dashes Instafoam
2 ounces pisco, Encanto used here
1 ounce lime juice
1 tablespoon jalapeño jam
1/2 ounce simple syrup
3-4 dashes of Angostura Bitters

In the bottom of a shaker, add your Instafoam first. Then pour in pisco, lime juice, jalapeño jam (see note above) and simple syrup. Fill ice 2/3 up shaker. Shake hard for about 20 seconds and strain into a rocks glass. Top with a few dashes of Angostura Bitters.

{Now Closed} Giveaway // The Thinking Girl’s Guide to Drinking & Stir and Strain Grab Bag

Giveaway: The Thinking Girl's Guide to Drinking // stirandstrain.comIf you’re overstuffed from Halloween, but still in need of a good cocktail, let’s start November off right with some healthy alternatives to high-sugar, high-fat, artificially flavored drinks. This week we’ve teamed up with the ladies behind The Thinking Girl’s Guide to Drinking to offer you just that: cocktails without all the crap.

Author’s Ariane Resnick, certified nutritionist and author of The Bone Broth Miracle and Brittini Rae, Speed Rack 2015 winner and nationally recognized cocktail maven, combine their expert knowledge in the realms of mixology and nutrition to create inventive cocktails and mocktails that are not only fun and delicious, but nourishing and full of health benefits. This book is really about using high-quality, whole ingredients to help mitigate the negative effects of alcohol.

Want a taste? Here’s a delicious recipe to try from the book:

Giveaway: The Thinking Girl's Guide to Drinking // stirandstrain.com

Tiger’s Eye

recipe courtesy of Regan Arts

2 ounces vodka
1/2 ounce Cointreau
1 tablespoon orange zest
1 teaspoon cocoa powder
1 dash orange bitters
1 orange peel, for garnish

Shake all the ingredients except the orange peel in a shaker with ice. Strain into a champagne saucer and, if desired, flame the orange peel over the top.


And because we here at Stir and Strain are already getting into the holiday spirit, the winner will also receive a bonus grab bag of goodies from us. Maybe a couple helpful things to get you started on your cocktail making *wink wink*.

So gather up your fresh fruit, a bottle or two of some healing tonics, and enter to win today! You can get up to 10 entries below. For more information on Ariane Resnick, check out her website at arianecooks.com and find Brittini Rae on Instagram at instagram.com/whiskynlace  Giveaway ends at 11:59pm PST Monday November 7th, 2016 (US residents only). Good luck!

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Low Rent Cocktail of the Month: Fanta of the Opera/ Fanta of the Paradise

Low Rent Cocktail of the Month: Fanta of the Opera & Fanta of the Paradise // stirandstrain.comWell kids, it’s been awhile since we’ve seen a Low Rent Cocktail around these parts and Halloween seems like the right time to throw one at you.

I can’t take the credit for this month’s name; it’s all my husband’s doing. And appropriately so. See, this month we are celebrating 10 years together. Just how did this man woo this lady? Strange movie dates. Our first date he asked me to go see this limited release movie from the guy behind office space (that movie was Idiocracy and although when I found out what we were seeing I thought to myself, really? For a first date? I said yes to a second.). Our second date was a screening of Phantom of the Paradise. This movie is strange, but more so up my alley. I think after these first two dates we actually started doing normal date things like going out to eat but these two back to back dates are a small part of why I kept saying yes to another date.

Low Rent Cocktail of the Month: Fanta of the Opera & Fanta of the Paradise // stirandstrain.comAwwww. How sweet. Now on to the ridiculous cocktails.

Low Rent Cocktail of the Month: Fanta of the Opera & Fanta of the Paradise // stirandstrain.comHalloween means excessive sweets and bad taste, and that’s just what these two Low Rent Cocktails have to offer you. First up we have the Fanta of the Opera staring, you guessed it: Fanta Soda and because we’re trying oh so hard to be fancy with our cheap plastic masks and not flame retardant costumes, we’re bringing out the Italian Vermouth. It’s fancy because it comes from Italy.

Low Rent Cocktail of the Month: Fanta of the Opera & Fanta of the Paradise // stirandstrain.comFanta of the Opera

1 part Cinzano Dry Vermouth
3 parts Fanta Grapefruit Soda

Pour over ice in a highball glass or whatever hollowed out gourd you having laying around.


Low Rent Cocktail of the Month: Fanta of the Opera & Fanta of the Paradise // stirandstrain.com

And for today’s double dose of trouble we have the Fanta of the Paradise. Rock stars. Revenge. Gore. What more could you ask for in a cocktail movie? Plus it’s strawberry and coconut flavored, just like your spring break paradise.

Low Rent Cocktail of the Month: Fanta of the Opera & Fanta of the Paradise // stirandstrain.comFanta of the Paradise

1 part Malibu Rum
3 parts Fanta Strawberry Soda

Pour over ice in a highball glass or the skull of your enemy.

***If you want to add some spooky pizazz to your cocktails, feel free to throw some dry ice in. Just please dear god do not drink the dry ice or you’ll be taking a trip to the emergency room instead of drinking and that is NO FUN.

Hope you all have a fun Halloween! Stay safe!

 

The Low Rent Cocktail series is an occasional column on Stir and Strain where the boundaries of “good taste” are pushed to the limit, or more often than not, pushed out the window. Enjoy at your own risk.

Caramel Apple Jellies the cocktail you eat!

Caramel Apple Jellies with Everclear // stirandstrain.comThis post is brought to you by Everclear. Recipes and ideas are my own.

Ok everyone! Are you ready to start talking holiday entertaining? No? Wasn’t it just August?

Caramel Apple Jellies with Everclear // stirandstrain.comI’d say it feels that way except for this mountain of apples on my counter and the JUG of apple cider I decided was an economic buy this week. Why don’t they ever sell cider in small containers? However, I’m actually happy to have it around because it really is time to start thinking about holiday parties and batching drinks and well, making things with apple cider.

Caramel Apple Jellies with Everclear // stirandstrain.comAre you the person tasked every year with bringing the drinks to the party? I am. Regardless of whether I am going to a friend’s house or a relatives house, if I don’t show up with some sort of boozy concoction it’s as if I killed Rudolph and used him for the Thanksgiving Turkey. I mean, I get a lot of shade thrown at me and very raised eyebrows.

Caramel Apple Jellies with Everclear // stirandstrain.comThis year for the earlier Fall parties I have a new trick up my sleeve. Instead of the vast caldrons of spiked apple cider I usually inflict upon people, I’ve downsized the drink. Actually, I made the drink edible and it fits in the palm of your hand. Neat, huh?

Caramel Apple Jellies with Everclear // stirandstrain.comEdible cocktails have appeared a few times on this site and I stand by them as completely appropriate party “drinks”. To get in the festive Fall spirit we’re using up some of those apples you all probably have piled on your counter and, of course, that jug of apple cider. The booze portion is courtesy of Everclear. As part of their Make It Your Own campaign we’re elevating the edible cocktail into a fantastic fusion of apples, cinnamon, and rich caramel sauce. OH yeah. Caramel sauce.

Caramel Apple Jellies with Everclear // stirandstrain.comI made a small batch of my own caramel sauce but store bought is completely acceptable. I’ve linked to a favorite recipe of mine below if you feel up to making it from scratch (plus, if you do, it takes less than 20 minutes and tastes SO DANG GOOD).

The recipe for making these jellies easily doubles or triples depending on the size of your crowd. You can make it your own by customizing how you serve these. I hollowed out apple halves and sliced those after the jellies set (cute, right?), but you also have the option of using a mold and then popping them out to serve on their own.

Caramel Apple Jellies with Everclear // stirandstrain.comSo at your next pumpkin carving/Fall party/barn raising this season, show up with a tray of these Caramel Apple Jellies instead of the usual spiked cider and you will be cheered. Believe me, no one is going to miss it when they’re scarfing down these goodies.

Caramel Apple Jellies with Everclear // stirandstrain.com

Caramel Apple Jellies (approximately 35-38 proof)

4 ounces apple cider
1 packet of gelatine
2 ounces near boiling water
2 ounces Everclear
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1 ounce (or 2 tablespoons) salted caramel sauce (Dessert for Two has my go-to recipe)

  1. In a large mixing glass with a spout, pour in apple cider. Sprinkle gelatine over the liquid and let it sit for 5 minutes to bloom. Then pour in near boiling water and whisk to combine. Add Everclear, cinnamon and salted caramel sauce and stir. Pour into cored apple halves or molds and let sit refrigerated for 6 hours or overnight.
  2. To remove jellies from semi-spherical molds, carefully run a small spoon around the edge and slowly invert the mold to pop out the shot. If using square or straight-sided molds, run a butter knife around the edge and slowly invert the mold to pop out the shot. For other shapes or non-flexible molds, dip the bottom of the mold in warm water for 15 seconds, invert mold onto a baking sheet, and gently tap the mold to release the jello shot.
  3. To serve from apple halves, slowly slice apple into desired thickness. Caramel Apple Jellies can be refrigerated for up to 3 days in an airtight container.

The Halloween Bar Cart 2016 Edition

Your bar cart isn’t stocked for Halloween?! OH THE HORROR!!!

Gift Guide: The Halloween Bar Cart 2016 Edition // stirandstrain.com

What’s more Halloween than a giant skull filled with vodka? Maybe some Bloody Mary Mix or a tiny skull adorned bar spoon? We’re stocking our bar cart this year with some matte black and smoky glassware. OK and yes, just a touch of gold too. And our cocktail toppers? Wax vampire teeth of course! After all it is Halloween. Let’s get spooky!

1. Crystal Head Vodka 2. Vampire Wax Teeth 3. Skull Bar Spoon 4. Mask Bottle Opener 5. Black Dipped Glasses 6. Cassiopeia Smoky Black Tumblers 7. Black and Gold Shaker 8. Taurus Bar Cart 9. McClure’s Bloody Mary Mix

Spooky (and not so spooky) Fall Cocktails

I’m back east right now visiting with family in New England and everywhere I go I am reminded of just how much more it feels like Autumn. Besides the fact there is an actual chill in the air, we drive by corn mazes and apple stands and people really deck out their houses for Halloween. Entire towns decorate for Halloween. I’m trying not to think about the 90° temps that we will be returning to in Southern California. For now, I’m just going to soak all this Autumn in and give you guys some of my favorite Spooky, and just plain seasonally appropriate cocktails.

The Royal Affliction Cocktail // stirandstrain.com

The Royal Affliction Cocktail

 Spiced Pumpkin Bourbon // stirandstrain.com

Spiced Pumpkin Bourbon

Apple Elixir Cocktail // stirandstrain.com

Apple Elixir Cocktail

Mixology Monday: Night Call Cocktail // stirandstrain.com

Night Call Cocktail

Winter Pear Cocktail // stirandstrain.com

Fir Tree Pear Cocktail

green hell cocktail // stirandstrain.com

The Green Hell Cocktail

The Private Club Cocktail // stirandstrain.com

The Private Club Cocktail

{Now Closed} Giveaway // Colonial Spirits & a Loggerhead Bar Tool

Giveaway: Colonial Spirits and Loggerhead Bar Tool // stirandstrain.comGrowing up in New England, once the calendar page turned to October, inevitably the Colonial time plays in school began. But what they didn’t cover in grade school was the real story of how America came to be: those Colonists got drunk and invented America.

If you’re intrigued about just how these fine folks did this, then this week’s giveaway is for YOU! We’ve got a giveaway package that tells you the whole story, AND an amazing new on the scene bar tool you can use to replicate some of the toasty beverages those Colonists enjoyed while, you know, inventing America.

Giveaway: Colonial Spirits and Loggerhead Bar Tool // stirandstrain.comColonial Spirits: A Toast to Our Drunken History by author Steven Grasse combines a love of cocktails and history into an immensely entertaining book that’s perfect for your cocktail book shelf. Here’s a few facts from the book you can throw out at your next Fall Holiday party:

  • George Washington had a treasured recipe for Small Beer stashed in a notebook, brewed with Bran Hops and 3 Gallons of Molasses
  • Martha Washington developed Cherry Bounce, a brandy-based drink that keeps her husband warm while he is away fighting the Revolutionary War
  • Benjamin Franklin took it upon himself to pen the Drinkers Dictionary, kind of like a colonial version of Urban Dictionary, where he published at least 200 synonyms for getting drunk
  • Thomas Jefferson imports red wines from all over the globe, collecting 20,000 bottles during his presidency; and toasts the Declaration of Independence with a glass of Madeira
  • John Smith and the early settlers at Plymouth Rock learn how to ferment alcohol from corn, as taught to them by Native Americans
  • John Adams preferred hard cider and drank a tankard of the stuff every morning; and Adams would live to be 90 years old, the third longest living president.
  • The Triangular Trade (and the blight of slavery) fuels the rum business and Fish House Punch is created at Philadelphia’s Tun Tavern as a way for people to “forget their mother-in-law”

How many of you have a loggerhead in your home bar? My bet is no one. However, this bar tool has been around for centuries helping to create toasty cocktails going all the way back to the Colonial era. And now one lucky Stir and Strain reader will get their hands on their own! But what is it you may be asking. The loggerhead is a unique bar tool that’s simple in design, yet has an effect on cocktails that’s complex and incomparable. Heat up the loggerhead, prepare your drink and then plunge the loggerhead in to create an exciting effect (and heat up your drink). This is the perfect bar tool for those chilly nights ahead of us.

Giveaway: Colonial Spirits and Loggerhead Bar Tool // stirandstrain.comThe loggerhead is finishing up its Kickstarter run but has already been funded which means you’ll get yours by December. For more info on the loggerhead, head over to their page!

Ready to drink like this nation’s forefathers? Enter below and score up to 10 entries to win the Colonial Spirits and Loggerhead Bar Tool (approximate retail value $90)! Giveaway ends at 11:59pm PST Wednesday October 12th, 2016 (US residents only). Good luck!

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Recommended Reading: Back to School Cocktail Book Edition!

School’s back in session and you have some reading to catch up on… About cocktails of course!

There’s been a slew of new cocktail releases we’re excited about and we wanted to share some of our favs. And watch this space in the following weeks because some of these guys are going home with you for free!

Gift Guides: Recommended Reading for Cocktail Books 2016 // stirandstrain.com

Do you guys have a favorite you can’t wait to read?

Top Row: A Proper Drink / Amaro / The Thinking Girl’s Guide to Drinking

Middle Row: Colonial Spirits / Bourbon / Imbibe! Revised Edition

Bottom Row: Smuggler’s Cove / The Coupe / The Canon Cocktail Book

{Now Closed} Giveaway // Oktoberfest Brew Kit

Giveaway: Oktoberfest Brew Kit from Craft a Brew // stirandstrain.comDid you know that Oktoberbest is happening RIGHT NOW? While many of us stateside can only dream of visiting Germany for the biggest beer fest ever, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy an Oktoberfest brew in the comfort of your own home. Enter this month’s giveaway: an Oktoberfest Brew Kit from Craft a Brew.

Craft a Brew takes the guesswork out of brewing beer at home. They deliver to your doorstep a kit with all the items you need and practically do everything but hold your hand and pour the ingredients into the pot for you. Today we’ve teamed up with Craft a Brew to offer one lucky Stir and Strain reader their very own Oktoberfest brew kit. Oktoberfest may be over on October 3, but you’ll be able to enjoy your brew for as long as you want.

Can’t wait and want a kit now? Visit Craft a Brew’s website and get 20% off an Oktoberfest Brew Kit with promo code PROST now through October 3!

Giveaway: Oktoberfest Brew Kit from Craft a Brew // stirandstrain.comReady to get in the DIY spirit? Enter now and get up to 9 entries to win by entering below. Giveaway ends at 11:59pm PST Wednesday September 28th, 2016. Entrants must live in the continental US and be 21+ only please! For more information on Craft a Brew, check out their website at craftabrew.com today! Good luck!

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