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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Boxed Wine? Tacky Or Tasty?

Boxed wines...sounds a little tacky at first, but if you're planning a wedding and need wine for a crowd it sounds like a great idea to me! Boxed wines are wedding reception friendly and easier to open than bottles of wine.  (I wonder what that does to your corkage costs? Hmmm, best talk to your venue about that!)
There are a variety of websites that have taste-tested boxed wines so you aren't flying blind when you purchase it.  I recommend trying it before stocking up for your wedding but see no problem serving it to your guests.  Hardys Stamp Merlot and Hardys Shiraz South Eastern Australia 2006 both got good reviews.  Seeberger Riesling and Powers 2003 Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon were also highly rated.  French Rabbit Pinot Noir Vin de Pays d'Oc 2006 would be a good choice if you are serving chicken.

Why choose boxes? Boxed wines are light and recyclable (see this New York Times Opinion piece about how boxed wines reduce the carbon footprint from your wine consumption).  Every eco-conscious birde should read this article and consider using these boxes that are cheaper to ship and and offer easy opening and resealing. Boxes chill more quickly than bottles and best of all they won't break if you drop them.  The last thing you want to happen at your wedding, especially if you are serving red wines!  Be sure to check with your local liquor store or wine distributor to see if they stock boxed wines, some are harder to find than others depending on your location.

Try them out, see what you think.  Post your favorites.  Always interested in hearing what other people think of different wines.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Make Your Own Grand Marnier and a Grand Marnier Flavored Wedding Cake

I'm not a big drinker but love using liqueurs in food! If you like Grand Marnier try this recipe to serve over ice cream or fresh fruit.  Another option for this faux Grand Marnier is this Grand Marnier flavored wedding cake.  Is your mouth watering yet? It has Grand Marnier flavored jam filling as well as whipped cream flavored with it! Am dying to make this cake just for company one night! (Though obviously not the size of a wedding cake).  The faux Grand Marnier recipe is courtesy of  Sign up for their weekly recipes and find more great recipes like this one.

I don't know how you feel about spending a lot of money for brand name liqueurs to use in recipes but I hate spending my money on them, especially if I have a great recipe to make myself.  Try out this Grand Marnier Look Alike and see what you think. 

Orange Liqueur (similar to Grand Marnier)
1 cup (250 ml) brandy

1 cup (250 ml) orange sections

1 cup (250 ml) sugar

1 cup (250 ml) brown sugar

2 tsp (10 ml) finely chopped orange zest

Combine the ingredients in a jar and let sit at room temperature for 3 to 5 weeks. Strain and pour into bottles. Makes about 3 cups (750 ml).

Friday, April 22, 2011

Weyerbacher Brewing Company Beer--Craft Beer At It's Best

The Weyerbacher Brewing Company was founded by Dan and Sue Weirback, a husband and wife team, who were big fans of craft brews.  They were looking for a new business to explore and since Dan was an avid home brewer and lover of craft beers they decided to make the leap into their own brewery. 

Today Weyerbacher offers beer drinkers with a taste for something a little different in their favorite brew a lot of different choices aimed at the discerning customer looking for full-flavored high-quality brews.  If that describes you then give them a try. While some beers are only available seasonally others are available year round. 

If you are planning on ordering some for your wedding consider a mix of their craft beers to offer your guests a beer smorgasbord instead of an regular open bar.  If your family is like many today, they're likely happier drinking beer than cocktails. 

I discovered these great brews at a charity event and have been a fan ever since.  Which is really saying something because I'm not usually a beer fan at all.  Initially their labels suckered me in (OK I admit it, I love good graphics, I buy wine because I like the labels too).  But with beer like wine, it's the taste that keeps you coming back for more. 

While there are more and more craft breweries out there today I don't think you'll be impressed with the flavor of Weyerbacher's offerings.  If your local beer distributor or liquor store doesn't carry it touch base with their local distributor.  It's not available in every state yet, but they are in 18 states, mostly on the East Coast but it's also in Ohio, Nebraska, and Wisconsin.  And likely coming soon to a state near you! Watch for it if it's not there yet.

They also offer tours of the brewery on Saturdays that are well worth the trip.  You can pick up some cases of beer while you are there to help decide on your favorites.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Top 6 Spring Cocktail Recipes by Pizzazzerie

The beauty of these signature drinks makes them a part of your wedding decor.  Courtney at Pizzazzerie has recipes for them posted on their web site.  My personal preference is for the pink ones, (better known as the Pink Lemonade Cocktail and the Raspberry Beer Cocktail (the ingredients for this one intrigue me!) but the Kiwi Colada looks tasty and cool too!  See Pizzazzerie for all the recipes and the photo and styling credits. 

Friday, April 1, 2011

Details Make Your Signature Drink Memorable

Looking for a drink that's the perfect signature drink for a wedding? Consider a CHAMBORD based drink.  "CHAMBORD, the world-renowned black raspberry liqueur, introduces a groundbreaking new taste experience in CHAMBORD Flavored Vodka."  CHAMBORD has a variety of recipes for brides to choose from, all of which offer a unique flavor experience for your guests.

One of my favorite recipes can be found on the CHAMBORD website which offers this recipe known as a Starry Night.  It's a simple combination of CHAMBORD Flavored Vodka, Elderberry Liqueur, lime juice and topped with champagne. 
What makes this drink perfect aside from the taste? The tiny rosebud served in each drink.  It's those tiny details that make your signature drink truly memorable for your guests.  This one has the added plus of tasting great too! CHAMBORD Flavored Vodka is one of my favorite ingredients for signature drinks for your wedding day.  For additional recipes visit the CHAMBORD website.

Starry Night

1 ½ oz CHAMBORD Flavored Vodka
¾ oz Elderflower Liqueur
½ oz Lime Juice

Top with Champagne.
Garnish with tiny rosebud.

Shake and strain ingredients into a Coupe glass or champagne flute. Garnish with a rose bud.