The most wonderful time of the year can also be the most stressful. Between shopping, planning and cooking, a nice drink — whether it’s alcoholic or not! — can help you relax. Why not get in the spirit of the holidays with these five fantastic and flavorful Christmas drink recipes?
What’s a more traditional winter drink than apple cider? It pairs perfectly with the feeling of wrapping yourself up in a blanket next to a cozy fire. The first whiff of its fruity scent alone can lighten anyone’s mood. You can make cider in a stockpot on your stovetop or let it simmer in your slow cooker. Want your cider to pack a little more punch? Try these recipes for cider spiked with bourbon or with rum and cinnamon schnapps.
Of course everyone loves hot cocoa. It’s an expected part of the winter season. But why not shake things up a bit by fixing a cup of Candy Cane Cocoa? The familiar, rich chocolate taste melds well with the melted candy cane bits, giving you a hot drink that truly tastes like Christmas. Not so hot on peppermint? There are other ways to give your cocoa a delicious seasonal twist. This Nutella Hot Chocolate recipe includes the sweet, delicate flavor of everyone’s favorite hazelnut spread. To spice up your holiday season, try Mexican Hot Chocolate or Gingerbread Hot Cocoa. And, of course, there’s only one thing better than chocolate, and that’s chocolate with booze. This recipe from Liquor.com lets you choose between peppermint schnapps, Irish cream, coffee liqueur, or bourbon.
Eggnog just might be the Christmas drink. The traditional treat that combines milk, eggs and bourbon or rum has been a favorite for centuries. Its sweet and flavorful nature will give you a warm feeling even on the coldest day. You can even try a non-alcoholic or vegan recipe to make sure everyone at your Christmas party can enjoy a cup. Don’t have time to stand by your stove? Simmer this seasonal sensation in your slow cooker with this recipe from Crock Pot. For a fun twist on tradition, try a Crock Pot Eggnog Latte or this taste-alike recipe that puts everyone’s favorite coffee stop to shame (and just happens to be delicious with a dash of Southern Comfort!).
Picture from https://www.eatingonadime.com/grinch-punch-recipe/
Before you judge us for this next one, think of the kids. But actually, the adults may love it just as much. With its combination of green punch, Sprite, lime sherbet and optional red sanding sugar, it’s sure to be a fun holiday drink that will make your heart grow three sizes!
Create a new tradition with this stunning twist on everyone’s favorite bubbly brunch beverage, the mimosa. Delish’s Christmas version, the Christmosa, is — well, delish! Fresh fruits like apples, grapes, and pomegranate seeds carol in perfect harmony with sparkling white grape juice and prosecco. We recommend Jacques Pelvas Brut de Blancs sparkling white wine — which just happens to be 20% off at Market Table!
Last but not least, another traditional Christmas favorite. Hot buttered rum is always a crowd pleaser. And with this recipe serving as a base board, you can experiment with different types of liquor to customize the drink any way you want. You can even combined hot buttered rum and apple cider or hot buttered rum and coffee for the ultimate Christmas cocktail combo!
What Is Wine Pairing?
As old as civilization itself, wine has been a staple to the diets of many cultures. In some parts of the world, it was even considered safer to drink than the water. In modern times, we tend to focus on the actual experience of dining and drinking wine itself. This experience can be amplified by finding a delicious wine that pairs well with the flavor profile of the foods served.
At its core, wine functions best as a palate cleanser. This means that pairing wines with certain foods will make eating the food itself a more worthwhile experience. But how do you know what wine pairs well with what food? And how can someone pair wines with food when they can’t even tell the difference in wine varieties? These five tips will have you pairing food and wines like a sommelier in no time!
You may not be entirely familiar with the flavor profiles for different wines. Never to fear: the flavor profiles for food are already familiar to most food enthusiasts. Though there may be as many as twenty different kinds of tastes on the tongue, they can be boiled down to a list of six. These are the flavors fatty, salty, acidic, sweet, bitter, and spicy. When it comes to pairing, your first step is to decide which flavor is most prominent in the dish you’re serving. For example, bacon would chiefly have a salty taste, whereas bread pudding would be sweet.
Similarities Shine, Opposites Attract
Where wine pairings shine is in the balance of flavors between the wine and food. A congruence pairing brings together a wine and food with similar flavors, creating balance. On the contrary, a complementary pairing brings together a food and wine with flavors that contradict each other. Once you’ve determined the primary flavor of the food and what kind of pairing you’re looking for, it’s time to find wine with the right flavor profile.
The flavor profiles for different varieties of wine are simple to understand. This is because wine only has three types: bitter, acidic and sweet. Most red wines have a bitter flavor profile. Next, sparkling, white, and rosé wines all have a pronounced acidic flavor profile. Finally, sweet wines obviously have large notes of sweetness in their flavor profile.
For the pairing beginner, there are a couple of staple rules that can help your wine pairing. First, one should always make sure the wine is more acidic than the food. When you don’t know what goes well with a flavor of food, you can also base it on regional pairing. For example, Italian food can go well with an Italian wine like Bianco or Rosso. Also, red wines pair best with bold meats like steak. In contrast, white wines pair well with light meats like chicken or fish.
Now that you understand the basics of wine and food flavors, how does you choose the right wine with the right food? It all goes back to congruent or complementary pairings. For example, if trying a complementary pairing, chicken pairs well with many different kinds of wine. Although it pairs well with wines like rosé, the best one to choose is a light white wine. The high acidity of the wine creates a complementary pairing with the chicken by cleansing the palate. On the other hand, a congruent pairing would be like pairing a chardonnay with a salad with vinaigrette dressing. Both of these flavors have high acidity, which similarly complement each other.
Ready to create your own pairings? Market Table stocks a wide variety of wines — you’re sure to find one suited for any meal you put on your table. Our Girl’s Night Out (Thursday, September 20th from 6:00 – 8:00 PM) gives you the perfect chance to test your pairing skills. We’ll taste five of our fine new wines and you’ll also get to enjoy two full glasses of the wine of your choosing. Plus, we’ll serve up an array of delicious appetizers. Tickets are only $20 and can be purchased here. Any time you need a little help with wine pairing, we’re always here with palates that can help you find the right wine to pair with your guests’ heaping plates.
Text by Jonathon Page
Fall’s almost here! And that means one thing: Pumpkin Spice. But, of course, pumpkin spice isn’t the only flavor coming back this fall. We’ve compiled a list of fall 2018 flavor trends sure to line the shelves this season.
Maple flavoring appeared in some fall beverages and sweets over the last few years. However, we expect the flavor to reach a new peak this season. While maple will continue to sweeten warm drinks, we also expect it to pair with adult beverages like bourbon and whiskey. The richness of the maple pulls out the deep flavors gained from the barrels during the distilling process. Additionally, the sweetness of maple softens the bite of the alcohol, making it an ideal addition to fall and winter cocktails.
Savory: Brown Butter
Brown butter brings a savory twist to any dish that calls for butter. Simply heat regular butter just past its melting point. This turns the butter a brown, toasted color. Additionally, the heating process releases a nutty flavor you won’t get from regular butter. Brown butter pairs especially well with dishes already containing pecans and hazelnuts, like various breads or baked goods.
We expect to see a rise in the use of the orange’s flavor this fall. Orange can be used in so many different ways. This makes it a very versatile flavor, with uses from baked goods to beverages to savory pasta dishes. Orange pairs especially well with cinnamon and other spices making it a great addition to spicy dishes that will keep you warm this fall. Finally, orange will be an increasingly popular flavor for fall beers, cocktails and teas.
There’s no doubt that Pumpkin Spice’s reign will continue. Still, keep an eye out for these fall flavors this season. Don’t be afraid to get creative and add them to your own dishes!
Text by Amy Haupt
Looking for something to replace the classic margarita this summer? Want to go beyond the average strawberry daiquiri? These five cocktails are the perfect fix to spice up your life while keeping you cool this summer.
Boozy Sour Watermelon Slushies
Are you a fan of Sour Patch Watermelons? If so, this is the drink for you. With the mixture of Sour Patch Watermelons soaked in vodka, lemonade and sprite, these booze-filled slushies are sure to be a hit at your next cookout.
This sunset-themed drink puts a spin on the classic Tequila Sunrise with a little bit of rum. The beautiful combination of lime garnishes and an orange juice mixture will make you feel like you’re looking at a sunset.
By adding blackberries to the mix, this sweet yet tarty drink adds a fruitful twist to your average mojito. The extra step required of this drink is to muddle blackberries in a bowl and add them on top of your mojito at the end.
A fan favorite, Bahama Mamas are a must have this summer. The mixture of various tropical juices and flavored rums will make you feel like you’re in paradise in the comfort of your own backyard.
This frozen strawberry drink is sure to be your go-to for the summer. Blending rosé, strawberries, vodka and ice, this slushy is sure to keep you cool and hydrated while lounging out by the pool.
With these delicious cocktails, there’s no need to resort to your average wine coolers this summer. Keep cool and relaxed this summer with these quick-and-easy cocktail recipes. They are sure to be a hit at your cookouts or by the pool.