And just like that, summer is now officially over. Time to pack up your swimming gear and bundle up in warm clothing for cozier, cooler days ahead. Fortunately, there’s no reason to be sad for the longer nights and chilly weather. Because with fall comes the perfect excuse to satisfy, what else, but your pumpkin cravings. If you love your Starbuck’s Pumpkin Spice Latte like we do, you should most definitely try this other pumpkin treats to usher in this beautiful season.
Halo Top Pumpkin Pie
This fall, what’s better than a pumpkin pie? A pumpkin pie ice cream, of course. Well then, say hello to the Halo Top Pumpkin Pie from Halo Top Creamery, makers of the best-selling “lifestyle” ice cream in the US. Founded by a lawyer who was on strict dietary restrictions because of medical reasons, Halo Top has a wide range of both dairy and non-dairy & vegan products. Their products are not only delicious but low in calories as well.
And to usher in the new season, the company is offering their fans a chance to a free pint of the Pumpkin Pie ice cream until supplies last starting September 22, 2018 from 12:01 a.m., EDT. All you need to do is print out a coupon that can downloaded on their website and claim it before 11:59 p.m., EDT.
Pretty cool right? But if ice cream is not your thing and you prefer something a little more adventurous, why not try a pumpkin rum instead?
Pumpkin Spiced Rum from Captain Morgan
As if we are not already barraged with all things pumpkin this fall. From cereal to lattes and even ice cream, and even the classic pumpkin spiced rum from, ahoy the captain of rum himself, Captain Morgan. Captain Morgan is one of the world’s best-selling rum manufacturers. It is produced by the alcohol giant, Diageo. The brand is named after the 17th-century Caribbean skipper, Sir Henry Morgan.
Captain Morgan’s Original Spiced Rum was first introduced in the US in 1984. But 30 or so years later, a limited-edition Jack-O-Blast is now finally available. It is made from pumpkin spice mixed with limited-edition rum and comes in an awesome pumpkin-shaped bottle. If that’s not going to want to make you drink an entire bottle, then we don’t know what will.
Not a fan of rum but still love pumpkin spice? Why not try Lucky Bastard’s pumpkin vodka instead?
Dunkin' Donuts' Pumpkin Spice
Pumpkin Spice-flavored coffee? Oh, c’mon. Yep, you better believe it. Dunkin’ Donut, the world most famous donut and coffee place is now bringing back their limited-edition Pumpkin Spice-flavored coffee and you can get it from your local grocery store at just $7.99 a bag. Not bad for a perfect blend of pumpkin, nutmeg, and cinnamon that you can take home and enjoy. The Dunkin’ Donuts Pumpkin Spice-flavored coffee is available in both ground coffee and K-Cup pods.
Last month, we introduced you to a delicious, all-natural, and affordable wine made from actual pumpkin pies and tastes a bit like Chardonnay. Now, that it’s the beginning of fall, it’s the perfect time to indulge on pumpkins and what better way than have it straight from a bottle of Three Lakes’ Pumpkin Wine.
It is manufactured by Wisconsin-based Three Lakes Winery and was initially offered only for a limited period. However, due to its popularity, it is now being sold all-year long. So, if you want a wholesome wine experience this season, go grab yourself a bottle from nearby liquor shops at a price of only $13 a bottle.
Caramel Almond Pumpkin Spice
If you’re the kind of person who’s always on the go, then there’s a big chance that you’re probably a granola kind of person. One that always has to have a bar or two in his pocket because, hey, life moves fast and so should you.
This fall, satisfy your healthy snack fix with the limited-edition Caramel Almond Pumpkin Spice from Kind, makers of delicious gluten-free, guilt-free snacks. The Caramel Almond Pumpkin Spice bar is made from a wholesome blend of almonds, caramel, and pumpkin spice. And the best part is it only has 5 grams of sugar per serving so you can snack all you want and still be on the go without the guilt.
SmashMallow Pumpkin Pie
Fall in love with marshmallows this fall with SmashMallow Pumpkin Pie. Made from organic cane sugar, this tasty and healthy treat is fat and cholesterol free so you can let go and allow yourself to be caught up in all the madness.
SmashMallow treats are gluten-free and made from Non-GMO ingredients. If you’re the type of person who swoons over of sweet and nice but with a bit of spice, then get ready to propose because we guarantee you the rich and velvety creamy goodness of SmashMallow Pumpkin Pie, will make you head-over-heels in love…for another piece.
Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Cookie Straws
Okay, okay we get it. You love your Starbucks Pumpkin Pie Latte so much; you never fail to remind us every day on your Instagram posts. But wait, here’s something to add to that pumpkin spice obsession of yours–– Starbucks Cookie Straws Pumpkin Spice.
Keep calm and write this down. According to Starbucks, this fantastic fall treat is made with “a luscious layer of rich, white chocolate and pumpkin spices” and comes in a “toasted, white chocolatey rolled wafer cookie”. We know that you’re dying to get a hand on a tin right now so thank your lucky stars, they are now available in select grocery stores rather than at your local Starbucks shops. And if you couldn’t get enough of these lovely fall flavor, Starbucks is also bringing back a couple of their pumpkin spice coffee varieties such as ground coffee and K-Cup pods.
Sugar and (Pumpkin) Spice and Everything Nice
Summer may be over but there are always a lot of reasons to fall in love with fall–– the crisp morning air, breathtaking views of orange, greens, and brown, and of course, the ubiquitous pumpkin spice. So, relax breathe in and choose from all these yummy pumpkin spice treats and enjoy the season before winter comes along.
Time sure goes by very fast. It wasn’t too long ago when we were introducing you to some great-tasting summer cocktail recipes in collaboration with various social media influencers. And before we know it, fall is almost here. It’s time to say goodbye to long, lazy, summer nights and welcome the crisp, cool autumn air. But one thing’s for sure though. This gorgeous cocktail creation from British photographer Andrew Barrow will surely keep you in high spirits whatever the season is. You can check out his awesome Instagram feed for more cocktail inspiration, here.
Feel the first blush of fall with an eclectic but surprisingly wonderful mix of pear puree, cinnamon powder, and champagne. Combined with Licor 43 and an ounce of Cachaca, this cocktail will have you wondering where it’s been hiding all your life.
Lucky for you, making this cocktail recipe is easy peasy. First thing you need to do is combine the pear puree, Licor 43, and Cachaca into a mixing glass with ice, then shake. Next step is to strain the liquid into another glass. Top it off with champagne and finally, garnish with a pear slice and a dash of cinnamon powder.
That’s it. What a quick, easy, and delicious way to welcome the new season. Cheers!
1oz Pear Puree
.5oz Licor 43
1 Slice of Pear
Put pear puree, Licor 43, and Cachaca into a glass with ice
If you’re a cocktail lover and frequent bars a lot, you’ve probably seen that running a bar is no easy feat. As a customer, you can just order and pay for your drinks. You don’t need to worry about which tools or glassware to use simply because your drinks are already prepared for you. But wouldn’t it be nice to be on the other side of the bar for once?
Yes, bartending is a skill that has to be mastered over time. But there’s nothing wrong with learning the basics if, in case, you wind up playing host to friends and you want to impress them with your amazing bartending skills.
We can see just how excited you are to learn about essential cocktail making techniques but hold your horses because you need to know about the tools and glassware first before getting in to the nitty gritty of cocktail mixing. So, the question now is, what are the basic equipment you need to get your bartending game up?
The Fab Four
No, we are not talking about a world-famous band here, just the four important cocktail tools you should have with you - if you want to release your bartending mojo. Whether you’re a cocktail expert or a nervous newbie, you should always have these things with you when making cocktails: jigger, shaker, muddler, and a blender.
Jigger – you will need this to measure liquids. A good bartender should always know just how much of each liquid to pour. Too much or too little can spell the difference between a great-tasting cocktail and one that’s “ummm…that doesn’t taste quite right at all.” Did you know that you can get a double-sided copper jigger?
Shaker – Just as is it’s good to know the right amount of liquid ingredient or mix you should pour into a glass, it is also equally important to get a shaker that will do the job well. Most cocktail concoctions require a fair amount of shaking and getting a good shaker will always come in handy. Some shakers also come with built-in strainers and they can be a very good investment if you’re thinking of putting up your own minibar.
Muddler – If you’re really serious about getting your cocktail game on point, then you will need a muddler. Because chances are, you will be muddling or mashing a lot of fresh fruits, herbs and spices on the way to becoming a cocktail expert. Muddle ingredients to perfection with this elegant muddler with a grooved nylon head and stainless steel handle.
Blender – Admit it, at some point you’ve fantasized about making a really sexy glass of frozen margarita. But while it’s nice to dream about it, it’s even better if you can actually do it. Aside from having the right ingredients, of course and a good quality blender, your fantasy may just actually come true.
Through the Good (looking) Glass
Several blogs ago, we’ve pointed out the importance of knowing which glass goes with specific cocktails and that there is more of a scientific explanation behind it rather than just for aesthetic reasons. But of all the different kinds of glassware out there, which are the ones you really need to be familiar with? Allow us to introduce you to some of the most common ones there is.
The Martini glass – Is perhaps the most well-known cocktail glass there is. Sexy, elegant, and oh so sophisticated, this cocktail glass is a Hollywood favorite. How many movies or television shows have you seen where characters are portrayed sipping cocktails from the glass’ iconic cone shape and slender stem. Need an excuse to feel sexy? Why not make yourself an invigorating glass of cosmopolitan? Check out the recipe, here.
The Highball glass – Is perfect for mixing cocktail ingredients on top of ice. Being tall and versatile, a highball glass is also convenient for fruit juices and sodas topped with a shot of liquor. What are some of the classic cocktail drinks that are commonly associated with a highball glass? There’s a Zombie and the equally dangerous Bloody Mary. If you’re feeling more upbeat, try it also with a bright and beautiful Tequila Sunrise, or the minty and refreshing mojito.
The Lowball Glass – If there’s a highball glass, there sure is a lowball one that’s perfect for drinks that are “on the rocks”. Hence, it’s also known as rocks glasses. Like the highball, these glasses are usually for drinks mixed or poured over ice. A popular cocktail that’s commonly served in rocks glasses is the Old-Fashioned, which is currently the best-selling cocktail in the world according to liquor analysts and consumer groups. Whiskey is also another famous drink that is best served on lowball glasses, whether neat or on the rocks.
The Champagne Glass – If you’re in a festive mood, bring on the champagne and let’s drink to that! Who doesn’t love a sweet, sparkly, bubbly drink to celebrate life’s most important occasions? But do you know that there are two most common types of champagne glasses? The flute and the coupe glass. The flute has a long stem and a tall and tapered slender bowl designed to prolong the bubbly fizz of champagne so you can enjoy the party more without having to worry about losing the carbonation of your drink. The coupe glass, on the other hand, has a shallow, saucer-shaped bowl and a shorter stem. Check out this timeless and mysterious cocktail recipe beautifully served in a coupe glass.
Once you get the hang of it, you’ll find that making and preparing cocktails is not as complicated as you think. In fact, with the right equipment and glassware, mixing cocktails is actually enjoyable and fun! While all these tools can be quite overwhelming especially to newbies, trying them out is an experience that will not only enhance your bartending skill but will make you the envy of some of your friends. So, what are you waiting for? Grab these bartending tools and equipment and impress your guests with great-tasting cocktail concoctions uniquely made by you.
With its malty and refreshingly smooth taste, who doesn’t love a glass of ice-cold beer? Certainly, not Americans who still prefer beer over other alcoholic beverages, according to statista.com, the foremost statistics and research portal on the Internet. The truth is there are hundreds of varieties of beers to choose from, but if you’re feeling adventurous and would like to try something different, you can check out the list of best beers from RateBeer.
RateBeer is the Internet’s most comprehensive beer ratings and reviews portal. There is also a RateBeer App available on both Apple and Android devices. You can search for over 500,000 beers on the app’s database. It also keeps a record of your rates and likes as well as save beers you wish to keep track of rate later.
The results of the study are based on actual beer reviews submitted by users of their website. Factors include the historical performance of top performing beers from the previous year, comparison of newer vs. older and larger vs. smaller brewers.
The following are the top performing breweries of the over 24,000 listed on RateBeer:
Hill Farmstead Brewery, Vermont – has been awarded the top spot since 2013. The brewery has more than 200 years of brewing history behind it. Interestingly, a series of their locally-grown line-up of beer products are named after founders of the company. Another is named after Nietzsche’s Beyond Good and Evil. The names alone are enough to pique your interest.
Cloudwater Brew Company, Manchester, England – specializes in modern craft beer made from seasonal ingredients. Try their colourfully-packaged hopped ales in cans for a fun road trip with friends or their classic brews in an elegantly designed bottle for more formal outings. You can order them online via their website.
Trillium Brewing Company, Massachusetts – This Boston based brewery was founded by a newlywed couple who had a passion for sharing home-grown beer into their community. Inspired by the concept of a farmhouse brewery, ingredients for their ales are mostly locally sourced but produced in the latest beer crafting technologies.
AleSmith Brewing Company, California – is an award-winning artisanal craft brewery from San Diego that specializes in handcrafted ales. In 2014, it was rated as the best brewery in the world based on consumer reviews and ratings at RateBeer.com.
Cycle Brewing, Florida – is a bike-themed brewery and taproom based in St. Petersburg, Florida. They have a wide selection of beer with odd names such as Dual Bike, and Riddle Me That. Enjoy a lively drinking experience with the fun and creative atmosphere of their tasting room.
The other brewers on the RateBeer list include Omnipollo from Sweden at sixth place. Followed by Other Half Brewing in New York City. Another brewery from Florida who made it on the list is Cigar City Brewing located in Tampa. Two brewers from Denmark made it to the top ten list. These are Mikkeller and Evil Twin Brewing whose founders, incidentally, are twin brothers.
There are two types of people in the world––The Entertainer and The Solitary. The Entertainer loves to invite people over to her place and party the night away with great music and, of course, an unlimited supply of booze. The Solitary, on the other hand, likes nothing more than a quiet and relaxing time at home after a gruelling day at work. He sits in front of the TV, a can of beer in hand, contemplating whether or not to cook dinner or order in. But no matter how different these personalities are, it’s always a good idea for them to stock up on some home bar essentials. Because, really, what’s life without your own mini bar? A very dull one, that is.
So, whether you’re an extrovert who thrives on boisterous gatherings with friends or an introvert who loves curling up at home with a book on one hand and a glass of wine on the other, being your own bartender is always fun and more convenient too! No more trips to the bar if you’re craving for a fancy cocktail. With the right mixology essentials at your disposal, you can easily create one yourself and we will even help you how to do it.
Tools and Equipment for Home Bartending
Having your own mini bar and creating gorgeous drinks right in the comfort of your own home is not as daunting and expensive as you may think. The first step is to simply get your tools right. A few blog posts ago, we’ve discussed about essential tools you need to create the perfect home bar. It’s best to be familiar with these tools to make sure you get to buy only the basics that you need to get started on your home bar project.
Let us give you a rundown of these must-have tools and equipment.
We get it that looking for bar tools can be quite overwhelming. There are just so many mixing instruments out there, it can be hard to tell which ones you really needed. That is why we’re going to share with you a little secret: you can choose to stock up on as many tools as you want. But the only ones that would really come in handy, especially if you’re a home bar newbie, are just these four things: shaker, muddler, jigger, and blender.
You can get all four of these tools in a single bartending kit which often carries all these tools plus a mixing spoon. Just make sure that the kit you purchase is rust-proof and dishwasher safe so Check out our own range of professionally-crafted bartending kits to get you started on your home bar project.
What’s a great tasting cocktail if it doesn’t look like it? Now that you are thinking about setting up your home bar, it helps to know that part of being a great bartender is knowing which glassware goes with specific drinks. That’s because the right glassware doesn’t only add to a drink’s appeal but it also affects its taste and temperature as well.
So, the next time you start to wonder why martinis are usually served in coupe glasses or scotch on lowball ones, there is a simple explanation for this as well. To find out what this is, read about it, here.
So, what kind of glassware do you really need? For starters, get yourself only some good quality glasses for classic drinks. Essentials include couple glassware for martinis; lowball glasses for drinks such as scotch, bourbon, or other beverages on the rocks. For wine, invest in both glassware for red and white varieties. We also recommend that you get a champagne flute for special occasions such as weddings or graduations. Lastly, do not forget your mugs and pints for serving beer; and a pure copper mug for great-tasting Moscow mules.
Go to this blog for more information on must-have glassware for your home bar.
Home Brewery Appliance
Speaking of beer, say hello to the future of home brewing with PicoBrew, a range of hassle-free, high quality brewing equipment that’s perfect for your home. You can choose from an extensive array of professional brewing machines that will fit your home bar needs. With its automated and precise brewing capabilities, this device is one thing your future home bar should never be without. Check out their awesome range of professional craft brewing appliances, here.
Finally, with all these nifty gadgets to choose from you’re probably wondering how you’ll be able to organize and store all of them. When looking for storage equipment, consider the size of the room. A smaller space means you may have to compromise on space but not on functionality. Consider getting a cocktail cabinet that you can put up against the wall. They can still hold a bit of glassware and alcohol without putting up too much space.
Want a classic and elegant storage for your wine collection? Check out this foldable bamboo countertop rack that’s a perfect mini cellar for your small home bars. Display and organize up to six bottles of wine with its convenient as well as sturdy flat surface design.
Do you need to store spirits in a cool place as well? Read this article to find out whether or not you need to use a fridge to store your wine collection.
Types of Alcohol You Need at Home
Aaaahh yes, alcohol, the stuff home bar dreams are made of. What can be more exciting than stocking up on all those glorious and colourful bottles of spirits? The problem is, there are just so many that it can be difficult to choose which ones you really need to have a steady supply on. Don’t worry though, because we will help you decide which spirits are essential for that home bar of yours.
Gin is many a cocktail’s main ingredient. You will find that a lot of classic cocktails such as martini, Negroni and the citrus-flavored Tom Collins have gin on them. As a neutral spirit, gin is so versatile that it instantly adds a wonderful flavor and aroma to most cocktails. It is made from juniper berries and a variety of natural botanical flavors that goes well with your favorite drinks. More popular types of gin include London Dry and the Plymouth, which is the oldest commercially available gin in the world.
In fact, throughout history, gin has been known to be a favorite drink of great historical figures such as the British Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill, US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and the literary giant Ernest Hemingway. Beefeater, Tanqueray, Bombay, Hayman’s Old Tom Gin, and Aviation are only some of the most famous gin brands all over the world.
It’s always a good idea to stock up on this spirit so you will always be ready for a glass of your favorite cocktail whenever you feel like it. Try this delicious and vibrant Blue Gin Sour cocktail recipe for a zesty and refreshing gin-infused drink. See also what other cocktails go well with gin, in this article.
Vodka s another versatile spirit we recommend you should always have in your home bar. Like gin, vodka mixes flawlessly into a cocktail. Its clear liquid and mild flavor and aroma is perfect for mixing liquor, such as in classic drinks like Cosmopolitans and Bloody Marys.
Vodka is either distilled from potato, wheat or sugar canes. There are many vodka brands to choose from and the ones that are very popular in the market today are Absolut, Grey Goose, and Smirnoff.
Summertime has also seen the popularity of flavoured and infused vodkas in the market with big brands such as Skyy, Absolut, and Smirnoff showcasing fruity tropical flavors on their extensive range of vodka products.
Did you know that 8 out of the 20 best drinks in the world this year are bourbon-based cocktails? This is according to a study done by Drinks International, a top Internet news and analysis source for global drinks. So, if you’re feeling adventurous and wanted to try to create your own versions of bourbon classics such as a Manhattan, Old Fashioned, or Mai Tai, you’d better be prepared to have premium quality whiskey with you at your mini bar. A bit of caveat though, bottles of whiskey tend to be a bit expensive especially if you are into the premium Japanese variety which can cost as much as 300 thousand dollars a bottle!
But the good news is, there are also many varieties of whiskies to choose from that will surely fit your budget. If you want your whiskey sweet, go for Canadian ryes or a Tennessee bourbon. If you prefer something smoother, then Irish whiskey is best for you. No matter where you are in the world, there is always a whiskey that’s perfect for your taste and preferences.
But is premium whiskey that won’t burn a hole in your pocket, still a possibility at this day and age? It is if you know where to look. In fact, you can score a bottle of the best whiskey in the world for under 20 dollars! In fact, this whiskey is not only budget-friendly it has won awards from consumer groups as well. Read our blog to find out where you can get this awesome deal.
Still confused as to how to best enjoy your whiskey? Click here to find more about this world-famous drink and how you should drink it.
There is a reason why a popular cocktail concoction is called a Tequila sunrise. Tequila represents happy days, a drink that’s perfect for chillin’ and basking in the sunshine. Summertime, of course, conjures up warm memories of the beach, sand, and a refreshing glass of margarita, another famous tequila-infused drink.
With a bottle of tequila, you can always experience a Cinco de Mayo celebration right in your very own home whenever you feel like it. Take home some of the most famous tequila brands in the world, such as Patron, Jose Cuervo, Don Julio, and Espolon.
Although Margarita is the most popularly known tequila-infused cocktail, you can also create other cocktail recipes like a Paloma with its delicious pairing of lime juice and grapefruit. Try the this recipe, here or enjoy these other great-tasting margarita recipes you can make at home as well.
Fancy another agave-based spirit? Try a mezcal instead of tequila on your cocktails for a smokier, richer flavor.
Rum is another spirit that gives off a sexy, summertime vibe. All the more reason why you should have it on your list as a home bar essential. Like vodka, tequila, whiskey, and gin, rum is also a versatile drink that brings life to classic cocktail drinks.
One of the best-selling coconut-flavored rums in the world is Malibu. Their wide array of Caribbean rum products range from fruity summer favorites such as Mango, Pineapple, and Tropical Banana to the original coconut flavor. Check out Malibu’s enticing flavors with our previous blog post.
With rum, you can recreate classic favorites such as a Daiquiri, Mojito, and Piña Colada. There are three types of rum: white, dark, and spiced. Try to grab a bottle of other world-famous brands such as Bacardi, Captain Morgan, or Kahlua and try for yourself which ones you like best.
Last but not the least, a well-stocked bar is incomplete without beer on it. Whether in a can or bottle, beer should always be a bar staple. If you are into simple, refreshing drinks without the fuss but with a lot of buzz, then you’ve got to love that hoppy feeling that only an ice-cold beer can give.
Knowing which beer types to look out for can help you organize your alcohol collection. We are taking the liberty to show you which ones they are so you can choose which ones you like best.
However, not everyone we know is a fan of beer. Some people find it to be bitter for their taste. According to experts, there is a simple explanation for this. However, we still find it unusual that some people just don’t like the taste of beer as it is considered to be one of the most famous drinks in the world. In fact, just recently, Dunkin Donuts, an international chain of donut shops, came up with a non-alcoholic coffee-flavored beer that’s guaranteed to jump start your day. Apparently, beer can also be combined with wine as this unique drink proves.
Still can’t get enough of beer? How about ginger ales? Do you know of the difference between the two? Surely, it confuses you too. Read to find out more about this interesting topic, here.
Starting Your Own Home Bar Rules
Finally, you now have your spanking bar accessories and equipment with you, carefully organized and stocked in your shiny new mini bar. The wines and spirits are prominently displayed and even your countertop is gleaming with endless nights of drinking possibilities with friends or by your lonesome, whatever mood you are in.
But a wonderful undertaking such as this requires some pretty basic home bar rules that you should live by to make the best out of your home bar experience. Here are some basic rules we’ve created for you. Don’t be afraid to add some more as you get more and more familiar with your mini bar and its contents.
Home Bar Rule #1 - Choose your alcohol wisely.
As with most things, your final decision ultimately reflects your own desires. The same goes with choosing which alcohol to stock up on in your home bar. Sure, this can be a bit tricky as the list of must-haves is practically endless.
There is always the chance that a friend or two might come over, so you would need to be prepared for whatever drinks they request for. While this may be ideal, know that your little piece of heaven (i.e. your mini bar) also has its limitations (see also rule number 2). You can only have so much supplies in your collection. A little bit of what you enjoy most which is actually the point of having your own home bar. Sure, your mini bar may come in handy for entertaining guests but at the end of the day, it is yours and what is yours should contain only things that you would enjoy the most.
Home Bar Rule #2 - Know your limitations
Perhaps to reiterate the first rule of thumb to having your own mini bar, know when enough is enough when it comes to buying stuff for your home bar, whether it be tools, equipment, or spirits. The key is knowing that you cannot buy everything. There is a reason why it’s called a home bar. One cannot be expected to have everything in such a small space. For a real fancy drinking experience, you can always head to the nearest pub or local bar where the real deal is.
Look at your home bar as an opportunity to make your friends happy with your graciousness. Impressing them with your fancy mixology gadgets, while it may look cool, should only be secondary.
Home Bar Rule #3 – Clean as you go
This rule may be plain and simple but it can also be one of the most difficult things to do. While creating your own home bar is a great accomplishment, some people usually think that the responsibility stops there. The hardest part of owning a home bar? Cleaning up. After all the guests have left and you’re home alone to pick up the mess, you will know that not all is fun and games when it comes to maintaining your mini bar. There will be mixing tools and glassware to clean up, countertops to wipe, and the entire place to tidy up.
Maintaining the cleanliness of your home bar is a tough job. But who would want an area where molds grow and bugs thrive. Remember that you spent a lot of money buying that beautiful bartending set to just let it gather dust in your cocktail cabinet. Besides, these gadgets that we spent so much money on and our collection of spirits deserve all the care they can get. After all, people use them and we wouldn’t want our guests including ourselves to die of poisoning because of dirty glassware and expired cocktail ingredients. Which brings us to the question, how long should your spirits stay holed up in there without drying out or simply losing its flavor?
The answer depends on what is written on the packaging itself. Know when your perishables are due to expire, whether they are garnishes or bottles of bitters. This will save you from a lot of embarrassment in the future.
There you have it. I hope we’ve covered the basics of having your own bar at home. From picking the right mixing tools and equipment, knowing which drinks or spirits you should be carrying in your nifty little drinking corner, as well as rules you should put to heart as a first-time home bar owner.
In time, you will realize that the amount of time you put on planning, developing, and creating the home bar of your dreams is all worth it.
So, what are you waiting for? Invite your friends over for a party or enjoy the drinks all by yourself, it doesn’t matter. Whatever category of personality you fall on, the outgoing Entertainer or the introverted Solitary, creating your own home bar is a truly worthwhile experience. And preparing your favorite cocktails from scratch, right in your very own mini bar is a skill that is always something to be proud of.
Coffee lovers, here’s some interesting news. Hold on to your bar tools because we would like to introduce you to this year’s newest and most unique beer variety in town, pickle-flavored Sam-Sam the Pickle Man, from the Massachusetts-based brewery, Down the Road Beer Co. That’s right. Pickles don’t just come in jars anymore; you can also have them in a glass of ice-cold beer. If this doesn’t pickle your fancy (pardon the pun), then we don’t know what will.
Down the Road Brewery
Down the Road Brewery Co. is one of the fast-emerging breweries in Boston today. Located in Everett, Massachusetts, it is founded by brewery expert, Donovan Bailey. Recently, Down the Road Brewery has collaborated with a local pickle company, Grillo’s Pickles, for Sam-Sam The Pickle Man, a sour-flavored beer that became an instant hit during this year’s Boston Pickle Fair.
Introducing the Pickle Beer
And the rest as they say, is history. What was initially a simple Pickle festival treat was sold out in just a few days. After its Boston Pickle Fair debut, this exciting pickle and beer combination was for a time sold as a draft in the company’s taproom. It also became available in cool, takeaway cans featuring the mythology-inspired art of Down the Road’s talented illustrator, Nikki Rossignol.
This is why we’re hoping the Bacchanalian gods would come sweeping down from the skies and bring us another batch of this lovely tipple with a glorious mix of dill-spiced brine and habanero peppers to satisfy our interrupted pickle beer fix.
Other Down the Road Brewery Products
If you were not lucky to get a taste of pickle beer when it was still available, check out some of Down the Road’s diverse and fresh line-up of uniquely brewed craft beer. All whimsically titled from fairy tale-inspired creatures, we bet they have a beer flavor that’s right for you.
Pukwudgie Session IPA – has an ABV of 4.5% is of American Pale and Victory range. It is made from Chinook, Mosaic, and Cascade hops. Another American Pale Ale variety is the Citra Pukwudgie, with the additional malt flavor of Citra.
Feyborn Berlinner Weisse - a combination of lager and wheat malts with an ABV of 4.5%. It’s fermented from seasonal fruits which gives it its wonderful fruity aroma.
Reynard’s Witbier – This limited edition flavor is a classic Pilsner with a variety of fruit and floral spices such as Indian Coriander, Chamomile, and Orange Zest.
Down the Road also offers seasonal beer products such as the Darkest Night Imperial Stout, which is made from Chocolate, Rye, and Barley malts and Fee Des Fleurs Saison, a Belgian pilsner with an 8.5% ABV. One of their taproom exclusives is a cleverly named lager called the Rose Colored Spectacles which is raspberry rosé and American sour flavored.
If you ever find yourself in the Boston area and had a sudden craving for delicious ice-cold beer, don’t forget to stop by Down the Road’s taproom for an enjoyable and unique drinking experience, with or without the pickle.
Can you hear that? It’s the sound of wailing sirens calling your attention. Or it could just be your alarm clock ringing to let you know that it’s time to wake up. Whatever it was, perk up to a nice and lovely morning with Fire Department’s coffee-infused tequila. That’s right. You can now enjoy the flavor of tequila in your coffee without the alcohol.
Fire Department Coffee
Fire Department Coffee is founded by a group of firefighters based in Rockford, Illinois. Every cup of Fire Department Coffee is made from freshly roasted, high-quality coffee beans. Their inspiration for making great-tasting coffee is all the hard-working people out there. This is why a portion of their earnings goes towards a great cause—supporting our nation’s heroes, our firefighters and military personnel.
How is Tequila-Infused Coffee Made?
This agave spirit-infused confused coffee is not just uniquely delicious, it’s also quite mysterious. The process to making it might be a top company secret but we sure know how incredibly good it tastes like. Think of it as a cup of joe, which according to Fire Department’s website, has “hints of lime and a crisp, sweet finish”.
It is also available in coffee ground and whole bean varieties to jolt you awake in the morning and keep you in your toes all day long. And if that isn’t enough to satisfy your curiosity, then you should probably give it a try. With just $19.99 a pound, they can even get it delivered right to your doorstep.
Other Spirit-infused Coffee Products to Try
Fire Department Coffee has other interesting and enjoyable spirit-infused coffee products that you definitely shouldn’t miss. If you work hard, then you deserve only the best cup of coffee to start your day, every day.
If you’re looking for more than just a kick from your usual morning cup of coffee, then this bourbon-infused coffee will not just wake you up but will keep you energized for a long time. Have a whiff of smooth bourbon goodness in every sip and your mornings will never be the same. Just like the Tequila-infused coffee, you can grab a bag of bourbon-infused coffee beans for $19.99, in whole beans or ground. It is also available in convenient single serve cups for $17.99 in packs of 12.
Irish Whiskey-Infused Coffee
Add a little extra to your regular morning coffee routine with Fire Department’s Irish-Whiskey Infused Coffee. Your sweet tooth will definitely thank you with the lovely flavors of vanilla, butterscotch, and toffee. Choose between ground or whole coffee bean varieties for just $19.99 a pound.
Imagine waking up to the aroma of a Caribbean summer right in your own home. Fire Department’s Rum-Infused vodka will evoke images glorious sunshine and sandy beaches in a cup. Get roasting with a fresh bag of whole or ground coffee beans for $19.99 and be on the go all day.
With these wonderful varieties of spirit-infused coffees available in the market today, it can be a bit overwhelming. But hey, it’s still coffee, so who’s complaining?
A few blogs ago, we’ve reported how the world’s best whiskey can be found at Aldi’s, a global retail chain famous for its affordable range of in-house products from food to beverage and even household items.
We don’t know how much more excitement we can take but Aldi has just released an alcoholic beverage we are again dying to get our hands on - a limited-edition color-changing gin! Tragically, just as it was with Aldi’s award-winning whiskies, it won’t be available in the States, just yet.
The Forest Fruits Colour Changing Gin, is actually Aldi’s second collaboration with the Scottish distillery, McQueen, and Aldi has high expectations for this one-of-a-kind, limited-edition alcoholic beverage. We are, too. If only we can try a glass of it, as well.
Forest Fruits Colour Changing Gin
Yes, our hearts are broken that we are missing out on a tonic that could have given us hundreds of likes on our Instagram accounts. But first, the facts. Forest Fruits Colour Changing Gin’s cerulean liquid dramatically turns a rosy pink hue when mixed in with other spirits or garnish.
But what makes this gin so magical that it not only makes us crave for its taste but its outstanding aesthetic qualities as well? But as whimsical as it sounds, there is actually a simpler explanation for it.
From Blue to Pink
So, how does the Forest Fruits Colour Changing Gin actually change its colour? It’s definitely not magic nor is the gin made from harmful chemicals. In fact, the reason is actually more prosaic. It all boils down to the nature of one of the gin’s main ingredients, the Asian butterfly flower.
During the distillery process, the flower’s blue petals turn pink when their PH levels change. The shade of pink depends on what is added to the gin. In fact, according to McQueen’s co-founder, Dale McQueen: ‘Add a squeeze of lime first and see what shade of pink the gin goes, then add the tonic and it will change again.’
It sounds just about perfect, right? Imagine how impressed your friends would be if you serve them an awesome glass of gin and tonic with the Forest Fruits Colour Changing Gin. We bet everyone’s Instagram and Boomerang apps will be busy capturing how the liquid quickly morphs from a gorgeous sapphire blue to a bright pink hue.
But what about its taste? You need not worry because the Forest Fruits Colour Changing Gin is likewise distilled using “forest fruits” which gives it its wonderful and delicious fruity flavor.
More Than Just a Pretty Gin
This artisan’s delicious fruity flavor proves that not only is the Forest Fruits Colour Changing Gin a sight to behold, it tastes just as great as it looks as well.
Unfortunately, Forest Fruits Colour Changing Gin is only available in Aldi stores across Scotland where it fetches for £19.99 a bottle. But we can always dream, right?
Wines, especially the flavored ones, can get pretty expensive. There are two major reasons for this - the raw materials are costly, and wines are considered as “luxury” goods.
But here’s some good news. A great-tasting wine but reasonably-priced wine is now making its rounds in liquor shops across the country. Pumpkin Wine from a Wisconsin winery for as little as $13 a bottle. Finally, a wine that we can enjoy without us having to spend a fortune on.
Three Lakes Winery
Pumpkin Wine is manufactured by Wisconsin based winery, Three Lakes. Originally intended as a treat for a local annual Pumpkin fest during October, this smooth and sweet pumpkin-infused wine is now being sold all year round because of its popularity. So, no need to wait for autumn to get a taste of pumpkin goodness.
Three Lakes Winery is the second oldest winery in Wisconsin and well-known for its Original Cranberry Wine which they have been making since 1972. This family-owned winery makes unique and delicious wines made from all-natural fruits and berries so you don’t have to worry about any artificial flavorings in your favorite drink.
According to Three Lakes’ official website, Pumpkin Wine is made from actual pie pumpkins and share similar qualities with Chardonnay. Three Lakes Pumpkin Wine is great for relaxing moments or get-togethers any day of the year. It is so versatile; you can even enjoy it chilled during warmer seasons and a bit warm for colder weather.
Other Products by Three Lakes
Three Lakes take pride in their wide range of all-natural fruit-infused wines. From the original and best-selling Cranberry Wine and other cranberry-infused flavors to the berry-goodness of Blueberry, Rasberry, Blackberry, and even Elderberry wine varieties, there is a Three Lakes bottle that’s perfect for you.
Also, if you love chocolates as much as you love wines, you can also try their ChocoVine-flavored wines in Original, Vanilla, Dark, and Whipped Cream varieties. Check out their entire collection, here, to see which fruit-infused wine you would like to try next.
Aside from its all-natural ingredients and unique flavour, the best thing about Three Lakes Winery’s Pumpkin Wine is, of course, it’s reasonable price. At only about $13 a bottle, you can enjoy great-tasting wine that’s not only delicious but made healthier too, with no added artificial fruity elements.
So, what are you waiting for? Check out the nearest bottle shop in your area to see for yourself if this wine is as good as they say it is.
Three Lakes Winery Pumpkin Wine is available in major liquor shops and retailers across the country. It is also available to order online. Try to score great discounts as well when you order in any of 6, 12, 24, or 36 bottles. Unfortunately, shipping has been restricted in some states such as Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Kentucky, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Utah, and Vermont because of government regulations.
Beer lovers rejoice! Finally, a limited-edition coffee flavoured beer is coming and its guaranteed to perk you up after a long day at work. This coffee-beer combo could very well be the most interesting beer flavor so far. So, whether you’re a fan of flavored beer or simply a certified beer enthusiast, you might want to check out this unique venture from global doughnut chain Dunkin’ Donuts and Boston-based beer plant Harpoon Brewery.
Dunkin’ Coffee Porter
News is that the upcoming brew which will be called Dunkin’ Coffee Porter is being classified by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) as a “malt-flavored beverage”. This new libation will reportedly come in Dunkin’ Donut’s famous bright purple and orange colors with the delightful combination of the robust taste of Harpoon’s Porter Beer and the rich aroma and flavor of Dunkin’ Donut’s roasted coffee beans.
The drink is best described as smooth and toasty with a whiff of chocolate and espresso. So, if you still think coffee and beer may be an unlikely pairing, we bet you this is going to be the beer flavor of your dreams.
Other Dunkin’ and Harpoon Ventures
This isn’t the first time Dunkin’ Donuts has collaborated with a brewery and came up with a unique coffee-beer venture. Last year, it partnered with Wormtown Brewery for an exclusive tap-only draft beer called DDark Roasted Brew which was released just in time for winter.
Harpoon Beer, on the other hand, an independent craft brewer based in Boston, is well-known for its eclectic selection of coffee products. It has recently teamed-up with another New England beverage company, Worcester’s Polar Seltzer for a seltzer-flavored beer, the UFO Blueberry Lemonade.
If you are just as excited as we are for the Coffee-beer pairing by Dunkin’ Donuts and Harpoon Brewery, we might have to wait for just a few more months. Reports say that the Dunkin’ Coffee Porter is due this fall.
Other Coffee-based Concoctions
While waiting, you might want to try other cold coffee-beer blends that are perfect for the incredibly warm weather we’re having this season. You can read about these mouth-watering cold brew recipes, here.
Or if you still couldn’t get enough of coffee and spirits, you may check out these popular coffee liqueur varieties:
Kahlúa - is a famous coffee liqueur from Mexico which is made from rum, vanilla bean, and Arabica coffee. Not only does Kahlúa taste great with cocktails, some people even use it as a dessert or as topping for sweets like ice cream and cakes.
Patrón XO Cafe – Dark and delicious, this liqueur combines the smooth and dry finish of Patrón Silver Tequila and the taste of fresh roasted coffee with a hint of chocolate and vanilla.
Firebox Fcking Strong Coffee Liqueur – When being delicious just isn’t enough for you and has to be really strong as well, this one’s perfect for you. Not too sweet but tastes and smells utterly good, you won’t help but f*cking love it.