Giveaway // A Flavorful Fruitations Holiday

Fruitations Trio Giveaway // stirandstrain.comARGH! I’m not ready for Christmas guys. I put up a tree a week ago but haven’t gotten around to decorating it yet. Maybe I can have a New Year’s tree? I’d make it work.

Sometimes even I need a little help when it’s Holiday time. Maybe you do too. It’s ok; we’re in this mess together. Today I’ve also got something to help us all out when it comes to making cocktails: Fruitations. Awhile back I tried some of these all fruit mixers and decided that you all need to try them too, they’re right up there with freshly squeezed, except I don’t have to squeeze them and they’re ready pronto.Fruitations Trio Giveaway // stirandstrain.com

And not just for cocktails! You got kids running around at your holiday party? Maybe your best friend’s got a bun in the oven? Mix up a non-booze drink with these! Ok, but mostly we all know we’re going to use them for cocktails. Delicious cocktails.

Fruitations and Stir and Strain are giving away a trio of fruit flavors to one reader so you can get to your holiday cocktail planning STAT! Enter below and get up to 12 entries to win. Open to US residents only. Giveaway ends at 11:59pm PST December 18th, 2014. Please see terms and conditions below. For more information on Fruitations, please visit them at justaddfruitations.comGood Luck!

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Holiday Gift Guide: You High Roller You…

So you’re a high roller. A baller. Actually, I don’t really understand what any of that means. But if you just won in big in Vegas and have gobs of cash to spend decorating your home bar, let me help. Also, did you know I make drinks for hire? Let’s chat.

Holiday Gift Guide: The High Roller // stirandstrain.com

You can buy yourself a brand new pair of lungs; lucky you. Let’s put that ash out on a Hermes ashtray then while you are sipping on the ridiculously expensive Dalmore 62 you just grabbed from your crystal desktop bar. Unless of course your butler just pushed in your 70’s vintage bar cart with some bubbly ready to pop. And when you’re ready to head out the door and mix up some drinks for friends…well, you have that well crafted bar bag ready at hand.

1. Waterford Crystal Tabletop Bar 2. Armand de Brignac Brut Champagne 3. Tiffany Cocktail Glasses 4. Hermes Ashtray 5. Dalmore 62 6. Bartender Bag 7. Bar Cart

 

Check out all the past gift guides here!

{Now Closed} Giveaway // Chila ‘Orchata

Chila 'Orchata Giveaway // stirandstrain.comOn the 5th day of Christmas Stir and Strain gave to me….

5 PACKS OF CHILA ‘ORCHATA MINIS!!!

Sing it. It totally works. And that’s what this week’s holiday giveaway is! This time FIVE WINNERS will receive their own 5 packs of Chila ‘Orchata minis with a couple recipes to get you inspired.Chila 'Orchata Giveaway // stirandstrain.com

You may have seen me on Instagram spiking my coffees with this cinnamon cream rum a few months back and now you can spike your own. Maybe improve upon some egg nog? Or just kick back with some over ice perhaps?

However you choose to enjoy your Chila ‘Orchata, you first need to enter to win! Enter below and get up to 13 entries to win. You MUST BE 21 and OLDER to WIN. Open to US residents only. Giveaway ends at 11:59pm PST December 11th, 2014. Please see terms and conditions below (some states unfortunately are excluded from shipping liquor to). For more information on Chila ‘Orchata, please visit them at chilaorchata.comGood Luck!

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Holiday Gift Guide: It’s a Jungle Out There

When nature calls…be sure you have a drink in hand.

It's a Jungle Out There Holiday Gift Guide 2014 // stirandstrain.com

Life is hard. Especially when you have a monkey on your back (er…shoulder). But with a solid recipe book, a glass to drink from and a zebra striped shaker, you can face the wild world with confidence, albeit 3 sheets to the wind.

1. Flamingo Glass 2. Sippin’ Safari 3. Fish Napkins 4. Snake Coasters 5. Zebra Cocktail Shaker 6. Elephant Bottle Opener 7. Monkey Shoulder Blended Scotch

Holiday Gift Guide: The Boozy Book Club

Curling up by the fire, cocktail in one hand, a great book in the other, is one fantastic way to spend a lazy weekend afternoon. And this year, we’re in luck with the amazing plethora of cocktail books that have hit the shelves. Ready to crack one open? Let’s dive in with this week’s Gift Guide!

Holiday Gift Guide: Boozy Book Club // stirandstrain.com

 

From single spirits to honing your craft to the actual science behind that drink, there is a cocktail book out there for everyone this year. Thanks 2014. And if your bartender is still shaking your Manhattan, well, there’s a book for that too.

Top Row: Sherry / Death & Co / Shrubs

Middle Row: Proof / The Bar Book / The Old-Fashioned

Bottom Row: Liquid Intelligence / Spirit of Gin / The 12 Bottle Bar

 

Check out all the past gift guides here!

{Now Closed} Giveaway // Curated Cocktail Kit from Crafted Taste

Giveaway: Win a Crafted Taste Curated Cocktail Kit and 50% Off for the holidays  // stirandstrain.comYou guys might have noticed that the Holiday Gift Guides have started to roll out on here. Well, I thought it might be nice to also roll out the Holiday Giveaways too! Yes, for the next few weeks I’ve lined up some delicious prizes from some of my favorite products that I know Stir and Strain readers will enjoy too.

I’m SUPER excited to kick it off today with Crafted Taste! Crafted Taste, the makers of some really cool curated cocktail kits (booze included!), must have been bit by the holiday bug because for this week’s giveaway they are going to let one winner pick out a curated kit from their site! Love Manhattans? (I do!) Want to try some Ward 8’s? (I do!) Curious about Cachaça? (You know you are!)

And not only do you get to pick out the cocktail kit of your choice, Crafted Taste is also giving the winner 50% Off a one month subscription! Now you get your very own Booze Mail!

Just check out the options below to enter and get up to 13 entries to win. You MUST BE 21 and OLDER to WIN. Open to US residents only. Giveaway ends at 11:59pm PST November 27th, 2014. Please see terms and conditions below (some states unfortunately are excluded from shipping liquor to). For more information on Crafted Taste, please visit them at craftedtaste.comGood Luck!

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Cranberry Especial Cocktail

Cranberry Especial Cocktail // stirandstrain.comLast night I made a batch of cranberry sauce. Don’t worry, I realize Thanksgiving is still a week away and no, I’m not going crazy with early prep. It’s actually for a project that you guys will hear about next week. Anyway, it was delicious. It’s also a reminder of how food has changed in my life.

Cranberry Especial Cocktail // stirandstrain.comWhen I was a young person, I had no idea what real cranberries looked like, apart from some illustrations on a bottle of cran-apple juice, and for me, cranberry sauce was cylindrical and had ridges. This was just an accepted fact until I actually ate real homemade cranberry sauce. I don’t remember liking it very much. It was too tart and soupy and where was all the sugar?! Now we make cranberry sauce at home every year and once in awhile I will eat out someplace that still uses canned. It’s more a novelty now; like eating Twinkies. Twinkies are pretty gross now to me, as are most of those grocery store goodies I used to crave.

This isn’t a rant by the way about processed foods and being a food snob. Mainly standing over the stove making the sauce last night just reminded me about how much I’ve come to appreciate and love home cooked food.

Cranberry Especial Cocktail // stirandstrain.comAlso, that I actually really like cranberries too. And so here is your token cranberry holiday cocktail because Thanksgiving is next week. And… cranberries!

1-1/2 ounces Oloroso Sherry, Williams & Humbert Dry Sack 15 year Oloroso used here
3/4 ounce unsweetened cranberry juice, Knudsen’s used here
1/2 ounce gold rum, Phraya used here
1/2 ounce simple syrup, see note above
2 dashes orange bitters such as Fee Brothers
orange peel for garnish

In a shaker 2/3 filled with ice, combine sherry, cranberry juice, rum, simple syrup and bitters. Shake well about 20 seconds and strain into a chilled cocktail coupe. Garnish with an orange peel.

I created this drink for Serious Eats as a lighter, lower ABV cocktail that you can drink at your holiday party and not get tanked with. I chose the Dry Sack Oloroso style, with its dry, sweet and nutty profile, as my perfect match for cranberries. The sweetness of the sherry also balances the lip-puckering tartness of the cranberry juice. And using real unsweetened cranberry juice here instead of a syrup helps to lighten the dense and potentially sticky mouthfeel of sherry. (Using a heavy syrup alongside of an Oloroso might have been, well, too much of a good thing.) Because sherry has only 20% ABV, the drink makes for a nice, lighter alcohol aperitif to start your evening. An extra half ounce of gold rum added to the drink gives more spicy depth to the drink without adding much boozy punch or detracting from the sherry’s flavor.

Holiday Gift Guide: Have Booze Will Travel

It’s that time of year! The time for gift guides! And this year we’re kicking off the holiday season with the best ways to transport your booze, your booze tools and whatever else you need to take your bar on the road.

Have Booze Will Travel Holiday Gift Guide 2014 // stirandstrain.com

On a plane, or a train, or maybe even a lazy river, you never know where you’ll be when the need to make a cocktail strikes. Keep some nips on you at all times, and throw some extra in your bar case. On a plane? Well, don’t leave it to the crew to make you a drink, you know how you like your Old Fashioned.  Don’t chance breaking some bottles while riding the subway- just pour your booze into a bag. Or if you must be fancy, pour a bit into your keychain shot glass. And when you do find yourself on a lazy river, there’s a cooler for that.

1. Carry On Cocktail Kit 2. Vapur Incognito Flask 3. Bartender Bag 4. Keychain Shot Glass 5. Nips 6. Floating Cooler 7. Copper Cocktail Cups

Check out all the past gift guides here!

Chocolate Roundup for National Chocolate Day!

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that National Chocolate Day falls so close to Halloween. Whoever is coming up with these “holidays”, and I think it quite possibly could be a food blogger, is making it easy for me to come up with roundup posts at least once a month. Hey, mostly it means I get to re-introduce some older posts you all might not be familiar with. Like some of these:

Chocolate Rye Cocktail // stirandstrain.com

The Chocolate Rye Cocktail

Chocolate Smoked Porter Beer Mousse // stirandstrain.com

Chocolate Smoked Porter Beer Mousse

Angostura Brownies // stirandstrain.com

Angostura Chocolate Luxardo Cherry Brownies

Chocolate Chili Mint Vodka Fizz Cocktail // stirandstrain.com

Chocolate Chili Mint Vodka Fizz Cocktail

Monday Booze News Tiki articles on Punch you should read, China has a snake wine problem, and how to properly hide your booze

Labor Day Round Up Booze News // stirandstrain.com
Check out the Labor Day Round Up!

 

Happy Labor Day folks in the US! Hope you’re enjoying a day off or are at least sneaking a flask into work today. Here’s this week’s booze news: