Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Big Cherry

The first weekend of May is almost upon us. This usually makes me happy for two very specific reasons. The Derby and Cinco De Mayo. And, this week in particular, I am going to concentrate on the Derby. My mom lives for horse races and we usually watch it together. Or more so, she screams at the tv and I watch in amusement. 

Churchill Downs is quite the place to visit. But to me it means one thing...bourbon drinks. While the official drink of the Derby is a Mint Julep, I like to concoct my own creations using Kentucky's finest. I will have a few for you to try out this week and first up is my spin on a proper Manhattan. A total classic. My take is nowhere close to being old school, but that doesn't make it any less tasty. 

3/4 oz sweet vermouth
2 1/2 oz cherry infused bourbon
1 dash Angostura® bitters
maraschino cherry
1 twist orange peel

Combine the vermouth, cherry infused bourbon, and bitters with ice in a mixing glass. Stir gently. Place the cherry in a chilled cocktail glass and strain the whiskey mixture over the cherry. Rub the cut edge of the orange peel over the rim of the glass and twist it over the drink to release the oils but don't drop it in.

To make cherry infused bourbon, buy a jar of cherries. drain cherries, reserving 2 oz of the cherry juice. In a mason jar, add cherries, cherry juice, 2 oz Berentzen Wild Cherry liquer and 4 oz bourbon. Place lid on tighely and place in fridge at least over night. Can stay in fridge for a few months. I also used the bourbon soaked cherry to garnish. 

Sit back and enjoy the Derby!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Spicy Pear Spritzer

When I was asked to create another cocktail for Berentzen, I was more than excited. However, since then email had the subject "Challenge for You" I was a little more than intrigued. When I found out the ingredients, the intrigue turned to slight apprehension. But I have never been one to back down from a challenge, 

I had to concoct a drink using a Berentzen liqueur, Perrier and the kicker...sriracha. I was more than stumped at first. Wondering what I could possibly come up with. First thought was a bloody mary, but I don't drink those and couldn't really test it out. And what fun would that be? Then, I was leaning towards making a sriracha and salt rim. A trip down the wine aisle at our local grocery store sent a light bulb off in my head. And a spritzer it was. 

This was really simple to put together and when I took my first sip, I wasn't exactly sure what to expect. It was really good, it had a spicy tone to it, but more so it seemed spicy in almost a ginger way, not so much the heat factor. I think the lime, sriracha and honey melded really well together and the moscato and pear were a perfect match to offset the spice. 

This would never have been a combo I set out to create on my own, but I will definitely be making this a few times this summer! Perfect summer afternoon pick me up.

If you want a few other sriracha inspired cocktails, check out this list Societe Perrier put together.

Spicy Pear Spritzer
1 1/2 oz Berentzen Pear
1 Large Lime
1/2 tsp Sriracha
1 tsp Honey
2 oz Moscato (or your favorite sweet white wine)
2 oz Lime Perrier
Cut lime into four slices and place two slices in bottom of shaker. Using the sriracha bottle, place two to three small drops on the limes. Follow this with the honey. Muddle the ingredients together. Add in the Moscato and Berentzen Pear, along with ice. Shake vigorously for about ten seconds. Strain into a glass. Add in the two remaining lime slices and top with the Perrier.
Enjoy this refreshing drink, the perfect mix of sweet and spice!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

New Chic Fil A Grilled Sandwich

If you know me at all, then you probably know about my affinity for Chic Fil A. I eat there entirely too much and I usually enjoy nuggets and a large split tea. About once a month I allow myself to indulge in a meal with the sandwich and fries. I always get the whole grain bun and contrary to popular belief, I find the sandwich perfectly fine...sans pickles. Gasp. I know.

When my husband first visited me when we were dating 12 years ago, one of the things mentioned was how he had never eaten at a Chic Fil A (as they don't really have them in the north east) I was horrified and rectified this rather immediately. The only differential between the two of us has been that he usually leans toward the grilled sandwich and I scoff in the face of not getting the original. But I digress...

I had been seeing signs at our local Chic Fil A for the new grilled chicken and never thought too much of it until a friend from home, Carrie, invited me to the location she handles marketing at to try out their new marinade and sandwich. Now, who am I to turn that down? Not a dummy, that is for sure and therefore this Monday I headed in to give it a whirl.

The first thing I noticed was the new boxes that the sandwiches are served in. And then, the guest of the hour was before me and I took in the new set up, seeing right away the difference in presentation in the previous sandwich and the new version. This one, before I even took my first bite, seemed more aesthetically pleasing. It is also now served on a multi grain bun. 

It is wrapped in a half wrapper because the marinade is so juicy and you take note that the tomatoes and lettuce are on the bottom of the bun instead of the top. This leaves you free and clear to add any sauce that you may choose to accompany your sandwich, My go to is usually the buffalo. However, they encouraged us to use the honey roasted bbq sauce.

I chose to forgo the sauce at first, just so I could taste the new marinade by itself. It boasts flavors full of lemon, red pepper, garlic and sea salt. It is cooked on a propriety grill and is available on the sandwich, nuggets, salad and a few of the wraps. THey worked on this new marinade and grill for over 7 years and going through over 1200 marinade combinations before settling on this one. 

I will admit to never buying one of their grilled items before, but I had tasted my husband's a time or two and I was usually left feeling...underwhelmed and always solidified in my choice to order the original. 

Now, I am now going to sit here and tell you that all of the sudden I have gone healthy and plan to order the grilled chicken sandwich all the time...but I will tell you that this sandwich was tasty enough that I do plan on ordering it at least a few times a month to forgo the extra calories in the original sandwich, I am just relieved that it no longer means giving up something delicious to be healthy. The sandwich has just 340 calories and the nuggets have 160!

These new grilled items become permanent on the menu April 14th! Head over to the Wards Road location and tell them Maddie sent you!