Valentines Day Treat

Valentines Day is right around the corner, and of course everyone has their own opinions on this now, much known Hallmark holiday. Being the hopeless romantic that I am, it is one of my favorite holidays. Even at a young age I loved celebrating this day with my conversation hearts and store bought cards that were always hand selected very carefully to make sure the image and words were just right for the classmate who would be receiving it. I also remember hoping that the “Be Mine” card from the cutest boy in class was carefully selected just for me.

That all being said, I know that most people may have a whole different outlook on this holiday, but I am here to clarify… It doesn’t matter who you may spend this Valentine’s Day with. Whether you’re solo, with friends, or attached, there is a lot of love and lots of cocktails to go around. So why not treat yourself? The drink I will be serving, and one I absolutely love is the Godiva Chocolate Martini.

godiva-chocolate-martiniThings You Will Need:

6 oz. Godiva chocolate or white chocolate liqueur

6 oz. creme de coccoa

2 oz. vodka or vanilla vodka

Your choice of garnish for top

Instructions:

Chill four long-stemmed martini glasses in your freezer for about 15 minutes

Combine all ingredients in a martini shaker over ice. Shake.

Drizzle the inside of each chilled martini glass with chocolate syrup. Divide the martinis among the glasses.

Cheers!

Faye Majkozak, Liquor Store Assistant Manager

Jameson Ambassador is visiting from Ireland!

Sibeal Bird

Sibeal Bird
Jameson Irish Whiskey

I LOVE Irish Whiskey so I am super excited about next Wednesday’s educational tasting event at Eden Prairie Liquor, 16508 W. 78th Street (next to Kowalski’s).

Sibeal Bird, the Ambassador for Jameson Irish Whiskey, will be visiting Minnesota from Ireland and pouring some unbelievable whiskeys! Sibeal (pronounced Sh-bale) was born and raised in the countryside of County Meath, spending most of her childhood growing up around horses. She has a Business and Management International Degree from National University of Ireland Maynooth and has traveled the whole world educating customers on Jameson Irish Whiskeys. And now she is coming here to Eden Prairie Wednesday, Jan. 23 from 4 to 6 p.m.

We will be pouring Jameson’s mainline whiskey along with the Gold Reserve, 12 year old and 18 year old Jameson, and I can not wait to try them!

 

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Tammy Wanchena, Liquor Store Manager

Show Me Your Mussels and I’ll Show You My Gruner!

Steamed Mussles and WineMy two favorite things during the the winter are good comfort food paired with a bottle of awesome wine. One of my favorite easy meals for the winter are Steamed Mussels paired with a Gruner Veltiliner.

Gruner Veltiliner is typically an Austrian wine but one of my favorites is made in Michigan. Gruner Veltiliner is easy to pair with many different foods. It is a refreshing medium bodied, peppery white wine with stone fruit flavors. Gruner goes well with anything from green salads to cold poached salmon, roasted chicken and seafood.

Here is my recipe for Steamed Mussels with Fennel:

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 shallots, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 bulb of fennel-trimmed cored and thinly sliced
1 large tomato, cubed
½ cup white wine
¼ cup ouzo
½ cup heavy cream
4 pounds mussels, cleaned and debearded
1/3 cup fresh basil leaved, torn
Salt to taste

1. Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in shallots and garlic, and cook until tender. Stir in fennel and tomato, and continue cooking about 5 minutes.
2. Mix white wine, ouzo, and heavy cream into the saucepan, and bring to a boil. Gradually stir in mussels, ½ the basil, and salt.
3. Cover saucepan, and continue cooking about 5 minutes, until the mussels have opened. Garnish with remaining basil to serve. Serve with crusty bread.

Excellent Gruner Veltiliners currently in stock at the Eden Prairie Liquor location next to Rainbow Foods include:

Lagler (Austria) $20.99
Wimmer Czerny (Austria) $19.99
Chateau Grand Traverse (Michigan) $17.99
Wolfgang Concerto (Austria) $14.99
Pratsch (Austria) $13.99
Hugl (Austria) $12.99

Cheers!

 Tana Wold, Liquor Store Manager

The Bitter Truth

I recently watched an episode of Drinking Made Easy where the bartender used different flavored bitters to enhance standard cocktails. I realized that I didn’t know much about the mysterious bitters and what they can add to your cocktail experience.

After a bit of research here’s what I can sum up for those of you who don’t know either.
The definition of bitters as I understand,  was a common bar ingredient that was once considered a necessity in earlier times for traditional cocktails. Bitters began as a medicinal tonic and soon became a staple in home bar supply as a concentrated flavor stimulant that added a kick by only using  a dash. The secret bitters formulas include a variety of herbs, fruits, spices and roos distilled in a base liquor.

At the Eden Prairie Liquor location near Cub Foods (8018 Den Road), we currently stock a brand called The Bitter Truth. They offer a Traveler’s Set of 5 different flavors in a small bottle format. We also stock larger bottles of the Celery and Creole bitters.

The Bitter Truth Traveler's Set

Tasting notes on these bitters are as follows:

CELERY BITTERS: Very complex and exotic. The initial flavor of celery is dominant, leading into a complex palate with aromas of lemongrass, orange peel and ginger.

OLD TIME AROMATIC BITTERS: Classically bitter and tangy. Combining the aromatics of cinnamon, cardamom, anise and cloves, it reminds one of gingerbread.

ORANGE BITTERS: The aroma of bitter orange peel is in the foreground, complimented by the spicy flavors of cardamom, caraway and nutmeg.

CREOLE BITTERS: The complex combination of flavors hints upon spice, bitterness and cardamon with a subtle floral finish that e vokes the flavors of Creole cuisine in New Orleans/Louisiana.

JERRY THOMAS BITTERS: Dedicated to Professor Jerry Thomas (1830-1885), who is considered to be the most famous and important bartender of the 19th century, these bitters reveal citrus and dried fruit aromas which unite with the spicy flavors of cloves, angostura bark and cinnamon.

Some recipes to use these fine bitters with are:

The Improved Brandy Cocktail
50ml Cognac
2 dashes Creole bitters
2 dashes Absinthe
10ml Simple Syrup
Stir with ice and strain into chilled glass or tumbler.
Garnish with lemon peel or olive.

Intense Bloody Mary
50ml Vodka or Gin
4 dashes Celery bitters
3 dashes Worcestershire Sauce
10ml Lemon Juice
100ml Tomato Juice
Tabasco, salt & pepper
Stir with ice and strain into a tall glass.
Garnish with your favorite bloody snacks.

Still curious for more? Try Cocktail Kingdom for more recipes and ideas.

 Holly Smith, Liquor Store Manager

Some like it HOT!

There is nothing better than sitting in front of the fireplace on a cold, winter night, sipping a hot cocktail. And after shoveling all of that snow, you’ve certainly earned one!   

So the Internet is inundated with millions upon millions of amazing recipes you can check out for inspiration, but here are just a few of my favorite spirits to add to your next cup of joe or cider. 

Check out these links for some incredible new drink ideas:

Coffee: Kahlua (new Midnight!), Trader Vic’s Roasted Chestnut Liqueur, Bailey’s, Godiva Chocolate Liqueurs, Amaretto di Saronno, 2Gingers Irish Whisky  

Apple Cider: Domaine de Canton French Ginger Liqueur, Tuaca, Goldschlager Cinnamon Schnapps, Berentzen Apple or Pear Liqueurs, Barenjager

Hot Chocolate: Malibu Coconut Rum, Rumpleminze Peppermint Schnapps, New Kahlua Gingerbread, Bailey’s Caramel or Mint Chocolate flavors, Chambord….of course, I wouldn’t want to serve hot chocolate without adding some alcohol infused whipped cream on top!

Last but not least, if you catch a cold, as we all inevitably do, be sure to throw a shot of brandy and a twist of lemon into a hot tea toddy.  It will cure what ails you! 

Stay warm!

  Tammy Wanchena, Store Manager