Thursday, March 9, 2017

Mix Up Your At-Home Martini Routine

If your knowledge of martinis begins and ends with “shaken not stirred,” Pinnacle® Vodka is here to help refine your cocktail-making skills so you can mix up some great-tasting martinis to share with the crew. 

With the assistance of Bobby Gleason, Beam Suntory Master Mixologist, you can spice up your martini game! His tips include everything from knowing the difference between shaken or stirred, picking vermouth, and suggested martini flavors and garnishes.

High Roller 
  • 1 part Pinnacle® Original Vodka
  • 1 splash Olive Juice
  • 1 spritz Vermouth, Sweet
  • Olives

Preparation: Shake and serve in a martini glass. Garnish with olives. 

Classic Lemon Drop Martini 
·         1 ½  parts DeKuyper® Triple Sec Liqueur
·         ½  part Pinnacle® Original Vodka
·         ½  part Lemon Juice
·         1 sugar cube
·         1 lemon

Preparation: Combine ingredients into an ice-filled shaker. Shake until sugar is dissolved, then strain into a martini glass. Garnish with lemon twists.

·         Shaken or Stirred – Despite what Hollywood may say, deciding when to shake or stir comes down to ingredients. When preparing a martini that contains ingredients such as citrus or egg whites, shaking is a must. This introduces bubbles and the end result is a delicious, frothy concoction. For spirit-forward martinis, stirring is essential as it ensures the drink isn’t too watered down. However, whether shaking or stirring a ‘tini, the most important ingredient is a clean, well-made spirit as the base, such as award-winning Pinnacle® Original Vodka. Produced from wheat, Pinnacle® Original Vodka provides a soft, clean and crisp taste to any martini

·         Vary your vermouth – According to Bobby Gleason, vermouth is a must in a proper martini but you should follow these rules to create the perfect balance; ratio is key. Depending on glass size, pour 3 to 4 parts vodka to 1 part vermouth.  Dry vermouth adds a bitter element to a martini while sweet vermouth adds a hint of fragrance and sugar. It’s important to keep in mind that since vermouth is a wine-based spirit, once the bottle is opened it will go bad with time and is best kept in the fridge. However, keep in mind you may want to buy smaller bottles, as vodka is the key player in a proper martini

·         Find your favorite flavor – After starting with a great base like award-winning Pinnacle® Original Vodka, it’s time for flavor! If you’d like to replicate some of the first martini recipes created, add bitters to complement Pinnacle’s smooth taste. Citrus-based bitters are a safe bet, while floral or spiced varieties can add unexpected characteristics to your cocktail. Less is more when it comes to a martini; only use one or two dashes unless you need a real kick. Smoky notes can be added to a martini by “smoking” the cocktail, glass or the ice. Another technique to achieve this flavor is to “rinse” the glass with a splash of spirits, such as a peaty Scotch or smoky Mescal. Herbal liqueurs, such as Absinthe or bitter Amaro, can add distinct flavors to a martini 

·         Twists on trimmings – Try olives stuffed with cheese, peppers, charcuterie or seafood for a change. Over olives?  Make “The Gibson,” a martini with an onion garnish that should be kept in its brine for a different taste. To go outside the box, consider a citrus peel twist that’s flamed or zested

Friday, February 24, 2017

Celebrate Big Oscar Wins with Sauza Tequila!

The Oscars are this Sunday, and to celebrate all the big winners, here are some great recipes from Sauza!

Tequila or High Water
·         1 part Sauza® Signature Blue Silver Tequila
·         ½ part lime juice
·         ½ part simple syrup
·         4 parts champagne (chilled)

Preparation: Add tequila, lime juice and simple syrup to an ice-filled shaker. Shake and strain into glass. Top with Champagne.

Margaritas by the Sea (Serves 8)
·         1 ½ cups Sauza® Signature Blue Silver 100% Agave Tequila
·         ½ cup DeKuyper® Triple Sec Liqueur
·         1 cup lime juice
·         ½ cup simple syrup
·         8 lime wheels

Preparation: Mix all ingredients in an ice-filled pitcher. Serve in salt-rimmed margarita glasses garnished with lime wheels.

Tequila Moonlight
·         1 part Sauza® Gold Tequila
·         ½ parts DeKuyper® Triple Sec Liqueur
·         2 parts orange juice
·         2 parts lime juice
·         2 parts agave nectar
·         Orange wheel 

Preparation: Add all ingredients to an ice-filled shaker. Shake and strain over ice into a salt-rimmed glass. Garnish with an orange wheel.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Step Up Your Garnish Game for a Bloody Mary Brunch

With a new year comes a new opportunity to elevate your cocktail-making skills. Need some help on how to do that? Pinnacle® Original Vodka has a clean, fresh taste perfect for enhancing any Bloody Mary. For additional ways to pump up your cocktail, Pinnacle has enlisted Beam Suntory Master Mixologist Bobby Gleason to provide tips on how to become “the” bartender of your social circle.

Try out Bobby’s simple tricks that will allow your friends to enjoy a Bloody Mary of their choice: 

·         Step up the garnish game – These days it’s go big or go home when it comes to garnishes. Guarantee your guests a good time by providing a variety of tasteful additions to customize their Bloody Mary. 
o   Forget about the stir stick and take a note from history where a celery stick was first used to mix in the 1950s. No need to stop with celery, feel free to use a carrot stick or cheese stick to stir before sipping.  
o   Want to take it to the next level? Add mini pancakes for a brunchy Bloody Mary.
o   Love the lunch part of brunch more? A mini grilled cheese or slider on a skewer is the best bet to enhance your Bloody Mary with a snack.  
·         Add a splash of something new – Switch up your cocktail with Bobby’s homemade Bloody Mary mix (recipe below).  Making your own adds a fresh element to your drink and gives you the power to make it how you want. A true trick to a refreshing libation is adding any combo of herbs like basil, cilantro, chives or sage. When it comes to the sauce Worchester is king! 
·         Kick it up –Turn up the heat, throw in some hot sauce or wasabi along with a delicious rimmer. Whether it’s chili pepper spice with shredded parmesan cheese or a tajin rim, you’ll add a punch of flavor. Use that lemon wedge for more than just garnish and rub it along the rim before rolling your glass in your spice of choice for a real kick.

Sunday Funday Bloody Mary 
  • 1 part Pinnacle® Original Vodka
  • 2 parts tomato juice
  • 1 dash hot sauce
  • 1 dash horseradish
  • 1 dash Worcestershire sauce
  • Celery

Preparation: Shake all ingredients, then add celery and other toppings. 

Bobby G’s Bloody Mary Mix * 
·         32 parts tomato juice 
·         ¼  part kosher salt
·         ¼  part fresh course ground pepper
·         1 ½  parts Worcestershire Sauce
·         ¼  part hot sauce
·         Adjust after to taste

Preparation: Combine all ingredients and adjust after taste to enjoy. 
*Mix recipe serves 14 

Bobby G’s Bloody Mary 
·         1 ½ parts Pinnacle®  Original Vodka 
·         3 parts Bobby G’s Bloody Mary Mix 
·         Garnishes of your choice 

Preparation: Fill a glass with ice and add ingredients in order. Garnish with toppings of your choice.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

A Full Roster of Margaritas for National Margarita Day!

On February 22, there’s finally a reason to celebrate during the work week – it’s National Margarita Day!

Whether hosting a happy hour with colleagues or celebrating with friends at brunch, Sauza Tequila is honoring the holiday with a full menu of pitcher-style margaritas, so no matter what time of day you choose to toast with a margarita, Sauza has the perfect suggestions! 

·         Meeting up with friends for brunch? Sauza’s Tequila Sunrise margarita is made with fresh orange juice, cranberry juice and lime juice – just the right amount of flavor to zest up your day

·         Celebrating during lunch? Sauza’s Perfect Pear margarita is made with lime, lemon, fresh pear and topped with rosemary – a fruity drink to complement an afternoon bite

·         Meeting up with colleagues for happy hour? Sauza’s Classic Margarita is an easy-to-make recipe made with lime juice, simple syrup and triple sec – best served pitcher-style with a side of lime wedges for larger groups

·         Mixing up cocktails in the evening with your S.O? Sauza’s Late Night Lychee is made with lychee syrup, fresh lime juice, and jalapeño slices – a perfect way to spice up the night  

Sauza® Tequila Sunrise (Serves 8)
·         2 cups Sauza® Signature Blue Silver
·         1 cup lime juice
·         1 cup orange juice
·         3 cups cranberry juice
·         8 orange wedges

Preparation: Add ingredients to a pitcher and stir. Pour over ice into glasses. Garnish each with an orange wedge.

Perfect Pear (Serves 8)
·         2 cups Sauza® Signature Blue Silver
·         1 cup simple syrup
·         1/2 cup lime
·         1/2 cup lemon
·         4  peeled pears
·         8 rosemary sprigs

Preparation: Add ingredients to an ice-filled pitcher and stir. Pour into margarita glasses and garnish each with a pear slice and rosemary sprig.

Sauza® Classic Margarita (Serves 8)
·         1 ½ cups Sauza® Signature Blue Silver 100% Agave Tequila
·         1 cup lime juice
·         ½ cup DeKuyper® Triple Sec Liqueur
·         ½ cup simple syrup
·         Salt for rimming
·         Lime wheels 

Preparation: Add ingredients to pitcher and stir. Pour over ice into salt-rimmed margarita glasses. Garnish each with a lime wheel on the rim and serve. 

The Late Night Lychee (Serves 8)
·         1 1/2 cups Sauza® Signature Blue Silver
·         1/2 cup lychee-infused simple syrup
·         1/2 cup fresh lime juice
·         15-20 sprigs of cilantro
·         8  jalapeño slices
·         Lychee garnish

Preparation: Add ingredients to an ice-filled pitcher and stir. Pour over ice into salt-rimmed margarita glasses. Garnish with lychee and cilantro.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

The 20 Most Essential Hours of 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' to Celebrate 20 Years Of Slaying

With the twentieth anniversary of the premiere of Buffy the Vampire Slayer approaching next month, I felt compelled to compile a list of the most essential tales of the Slayer. I first wanted to choose the 20 best episodes, but I couldn't narrow down all seven seasons into just those few, so I expanded my list to 20 hours, which equated to 27 episodes. 

BtVS has meant so much to me, so it is with much joy and excitement that I reflect back on my favorite episodes. 
Did yours make the list? Think I hit all the essentials? Let me know in the comments!

  • Welcome To The Hellmouth
  • The Harvest
  • Prophecy Girl
  • Innocence
  • Passion
  • Becoming, Part 1
  • Becoming, Part 2
  • Helpless
  • Bad Girls
  • Choices
  • Graduation Day, Part 1
  • Graduation Day, Part 2
  • The Freshman
  • Hush
  • Primeval
  • Buffy vs Dracula
  • Checkpoint
  • Intervention
  • The Gift
  • Bargaining, Part 1
  • Bargaining, Part 2
  • Once More, With Feeling
  • Lessons
  • Showtime
  • Get It Done
  • End Of Days
  • Chosen

Happy 20 years of slaying!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Party like a President with Commander-in-Chief Cocktails

As the country gears up for the Presidential Inauguration on January 20 (WHYYYYYY), learn how to craft cocktails in the spirit of America’s former presidents (aka the good old days).  There are recipes to salute to the states with a range of ingredients that each man desired: 

·         Toast a Hornitos Renegade with Barack Obama as he loves a cold draft
·         Shake up a Rooseveltini like FDR loved to sip 
·         Taste Buchanan’s Best cognac cocktail in memory of James Buchanan’s liquor of choice 

So whether you want to party like POTUS or put a twist on your favorite Commander-in-Chief’s cocktail (hey Obama!), there’s a liberty libation for everyone to enjoy leading up to Inauguration Day. And, let's be real, this Inauguration calls for A LOT of drinks!

Hornitos Renegade 
·         1 ½ Parts Hornitos® Plata Tequila
·         4 Parts Mexican Lager
·         ⅓ Part Lime Juice
·         ⅓ Part Simple Syrup
·         1 Slice Jalapeño
·         Salt Rim

Preparation: Lightly muddle one jalapeño slice in a shaker, add ice and combine remainder of ingredients except Mexican lager. Shake vigorously and strain into a pilsner glass with a salted rim over fresh ice. Add Mexican lager and serve.

·         2 parts Pinnacle® Vodka
·         1 part olive juice 
·         Olives for garnish

Preparation: Shake with ice and strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with olives. 

Buchanan’s Best
·         1 part Courvoisier® V.S.O.P Cognac 
·         1 Demerara Sugar Cube
·         2 Dashes of Bitters 
·         Top with Champagne 

Preparation: Soak a sugar cube in bitters and drop into a cocktail coupe glass. Cover with Courvoisier V.S.O.P Cognac and slowly top with champagne.