Posts Categorized: Wine Cocktails

The Underwood Pinot Queen our take on PUNCH’s Red Queen

Underwood Pinot Noir Cocktail

This cocktail is the perfect end to winter. It tastes balanced and refreshing, while still including some winter notes of wine, whiskey, and herbs. We’ve been fans of Lo-Fi, who makes aperitifs in California, so we were excited to try their Amaro. An Amaro is a herbal liquor commonly made by European producers. Lo-Fi’s version is infused with anise, cinchona bark, orange oil bitters, hibiscus, grapefruit, ginger, bois de rose, and gentian root. The flavors round out nicely with subtle bitterness.

Lo-Fi Aperitifs

A few notes before we dive in.

You can purchase premade simple syrup, but it’s also very easy to make at home. It does need some time to chill, so a good thing to remember to do in the morning or the day before.

While sometimes garnishes can be an over thought, we say don’t skip this step. It makes your at-home cocktail feel like it came from a bar, and the smell of herbs and fresh lemon you get with each sip heightens the sensory experience.

Underwood Pinot Noir Cocktail

Homemade Simple Syrup

Combine 1 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar in a small saucepan. Place it over medium heat and once it starts to simmer, stir until the sugar is dissolved. Turn the heat off and place the simple syrup in another container to chill. This can be made ahead of time and kept in the fridge.

The Underwood Pinot Queen

Serving: 1

3 ounces Underwood Pinot Noir

1 ounce Freeland Spirits Bourbon

3/4 ounce lemon juice

1/2 ounce simple syrup

1/2 ounce Lo-Fi Gentian Amaro

Garnish: lemon wheels, fresh thyme, sage, rosemary

Underwood Pinot Noir Cocktail

Directions:

1. Combine the wine, bourbon, lemon juice, simple syrup, and amaro in a cocktail shaker.

2. Add ice, shake, and strain over crushed ice into a tall collins glass.

3. Garnish with lemon wheels, fresh thyme, sage, and rosemary.

Underwood Pinot Noir Cocktail

Recipe by PUNCH

Mellow Holiday Celebrating: Warm Spiced Mulled Wine with Gelato & Shortbread

We all know that this holiday season is going to be very different in comparison with those of years past, but that is no reason to abandon tradition or the fun and festivities of the season. Of course, there will be less travel and a lot less entertaining, but you can still have fun at home, making some simple but special treats for a cozy night with your family, (or perhaps a couple of your besties), maybe even in front of a roaring fire, listening to Vince Guaraldi’s A Charlie Brown Christmas (my personal favorite) on the record player.

So we thought, what is simple but simply delicious for a cold December evening? Why mulled wine of course! And we were thinking that ice cream sandwiches might be a great compliment, but then I remembered an absolutely amazing gelato shop here in Portland, and instead of full sandwiches, which may be structurally difficult using gelato, we thought that making some shortbread cookies and topping them off with a big scoop of gelato would make for an interesting variation as well as really compliment the warm spiced wine.
And, when was the last time you can say you had an “open-faced” ice cream sandwich??

You will want to make the spiced wine just before serving, so let’s first deal with getting some gelato and making some cookies!

A few years ago, a gelato shop opened on SE Division St. with little pomp or circumstance, but before you knew it, they settled right in and it seemed like they had been there forever. It’s called Pinolo Gelateria and I personally think it could be the best Gelato this side of Rome.

They have a few adventurous flavors, but in general, they stay very traditional. For this project, I decided that their classic “Stracciatella” would work best (although I was tempted by the hazelnut!) Stracciatella, one of the most renowned Roman flavors, takes their classic milk-based flavor, “Fior Di Latte” and drizzles in chocolate creating little shreds, (this is where Stracciatella literally gets its name.)

Once this has been safely procured, it is time to make the shortbread cookies. Shortbread is one of the easiest cookies to make. Since there is no rising agent involved, what you see is what you get, so keep that in mind when forming the cookies. I recommend making them slightly on the thicker side, so they will support the gelato.

Classic Shortbread Cookies

1 C (2 sticks) softened, unsalted butter
1 C powdered sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 C all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2-3 TBS water—to be used just in case the dough is too flaky

STEP ONE:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Using a mixer, beat together the butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla. Add flour and salt until combined. Press together well with your hand, wrap tightly in Saran Wrap and refrigerate for up to 1 hour.

STEP TWO:

On a floured surface, roll out dough to your desired consistency, about 1/4” inch thick. If the dough is not holding together, add little drops of water and reform with your hands until it does.

STEP THREE

You can cut the cookies into any shape – I chose circular for this project. You can reform the extra dough to make more cookies.

STEP FOUR

Place rounds onto a sheet pan with parchment paper and bake until just turning golden, 18-20 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through so they cook evenly.

Now that we have all that ready to go, it’s time to get to the fun stuff…making the mulled wine.

Holiday Mulled Wine

1 full bottle of Underwood Pinot Noir
1 Clementine or Satsuma Orange cut into chunks, plus one for garnishing glasses
Juice of 2 oranges
6 whole cloves
2 whole cinnamon sticks
3 whole star anise
1/4 C Bee Local Honey
1/2 C Cointreau

Put all ingredients into a pot and bring to the lightest simmer. Make sure honey is fully dissolved. Shut off the burner before it boils so you don’t cook the alcohol out of the Underwood and Cointreau. Allow it to sit, covered, for 10 minutes then strain out the liquid into a ceramic pot to keep it warm. Add more orange chunks if desired. Serve warm.

When everything is ready to go, ladle out a few cups of the warm mulled wine and garnish with a chunk of Clementine and a small cinnamon stick. Allow the gelato to soften slightly. (Be aware, this will happen pretty quickly.) Scoop a happy amount onto a few of the shortbread cookies and serve immediately with the mulled wine. The warm, spiced red wine will really compliment the cookie and creamy gelato.

From everyone here at the Union Family, we hope your holidays are safe and fun! As they say, ’Stay Positive, Test Negative.’

And as always, keep those #pinkiesdown.

Photography, Recipes & Text by David L. Reamer. (@dlreamer)
Cookie helper: Meredith Rizzari

From Simple to Simply Amazing: Turning a Calimocho into a Cali-Macho

These days, with the advent of the mixologist, cocktails seem to get more and more esoteric with each season. Smoked this, homemade bitters that…we respect creativity, but sometimes simplicity speaks the loudest.
Enter the classic Spanish cocktail, the Calimocho (or Kalimotxo in its native Basque.) Simple enough, it is equal parts red wine and Coca-Cola. This drink has an unusual and varied backstory that we’ll let you research on your own, but suffice to say, it is generally served and enjoyed by Spanish youths during traditional ‘botellón’ parties, or what American youths might call ‘pre-gaming’: gathering together for a few light drinks before heading out for the evening.
Never been to Spain? Well, once air travel is safe again, we highly recommend it. From its wondrous narrow streets,

to its amazing architecture,

to its picturesque parks and plazas,

and finally, to its cheeky restaurant murals, Spain is like nowhere else on Earth.

So, in the iconoclastic spirit of the Spanish lifestyle, we decided to jazz things up with a shot of Branca Menta (the Fratelli Branca’s mint flavored liqueur.) I recommend trying the classic combination first, and then adding a little something more. If the herbaceous tones of Fernet are not your style, you can also try an orange flavored liqueur such as Cointreau, Combier or Triple Sec, which will also work well.

The Cali-Macho
 
3 oz. (preferably Mexican) Coca-Cola
Start with 2 cups full of ice. Add the red wine. There is an old adage in professional kitchens: Never cook with wine that you wouldn’t want to drink. Well the same goes for wine cocktails. That’s why the Underwood is perfect for the Cali-Macho.

Next add the Coca-Cola. For the uninitiated, you can get Mexican Coke at most Taquerias around town. Besides from having just a bit more spice and depth than American Coke, it is actually still made with pure cane sugar, not high fructose corn syrup. And it comes in a vintage thick-bottomed glass bottle with an old school pop top!

Mix this well and then add an ounce of Branca Menta or your choice of flavored liqueur.

And there you have it. A delicious and refreshingly light cocktail to enjoy throughout the Fall.

From everyone in the Union Family, please stay safe out there and as always, keep those
#pinkiesdown.

*****************

Photography, Recipes & Text by David L. Reamer. (@dlreamer)

Summer Round-up: Our favorite Field Note’s from Summer 2020

It’s been a wild summer and we’ve been trying to keep up with all that is going on around us, while still hoping to provide some great recipes and ideas you’ll enjoy! This week we wanted to do a Summer Round-up of yours—and our—favorites from the last several months.

This recipe, our Radler brined rack of ribs, was a huge hit! I hope some of you tried it or will try it soon!

Underwood Riesling Radler Spareribs

 

Who doesn’t enjoy a homemade popsicle during the hot summer months? We were particularly proud of these beautiful and tasty pops made with Underwood Rosé and fresh berries—our Pink & Polka Dot Ice Pops.

Underwood Rosé Popsicles

 

The times have certainly changed of late and we want to protect as many people as possible, starting with our employees. This post on how to get creative and make your own mask was educational and inspirational. Joanna is a pro at making fun and stylish masks and we were so happy she shared her sewing secrets with us.

 

And finally, who doesn’t love to follow along on other people’s adventures when they are as amazing as a day in the life of Cheney?! Cheney is a winemaker at Union and an active guy —it can be hard to keep up with him when he’s having fun. This post helps us enjoy the ride without going to too much trouble!

 

Those are our favorites. We hope you enjoy them as much as we did.

Take good care out there! Be careful and keep safe.

#pinkiesdown

Safely Reconnecting with Co-workers: Tacos, Tequila and Radlers in the Driveway

As I’m sure many people out there can relate to, working from home, although a novelty at first, has definitely got its down sides. The biggest of which is missing the camaraderie, conversations and socialization found in a typical office setting. For instance, my wife Meredith works for CBRE, the world’s largest commercial real estate service company. CBRE’s main Downtown Portland office closed back in March with no real plan of reopening any time soon.

Luckily, everyone was able to work from home, but for an office of folks used to weekly meet-ups, trivia nights and happy hours, those plans very suddenly evaporated. Now that people are feeling more comfortable getting together in small groups
(and of course respecting the rules of social distancing), Meredith thought it would be fun to “get the old gang back together”, as they say, and have a driveway gathering to reconnect. I was tasked with coming up with a signature cocktail to serve and some appropriate local cuisine. So without further ado, I present…

The Tequila Sunrise Radler

(This will make one drink. Multiply out for the amount of people you are entertaining.)

2 oz Reposado Tequilla (I like Lunazul.)
4 oz Orange Juice
1/4 oz Grenadine
1 can of Underwood Riesling Radler

I found it easiest and safest to measure and mix the tequila and OJ in a separate pitcher before beginning. As the always dapper and talented Michael is demonstrating, line up your glasses—we found 16 oz Mason Jars best for this—fill with ice and add your tequila and OJ mix to just under halfway up the glass.

Then, in true Tequila Sunrise fashion, gently add 1/4 oz of grenadine to each glass, thus creating the sunrise effect.

Distribute your drinks and at this point have each party member come up and grab their own can of the Reisling Radler.

Then, have each person top off their cocktail with the Radler, and continue to do so as they consume their cocktail, adding a little Radler each time there is room in the glass.

I thought that tacos would go great with this drink and since we have an amazing locally owned taqueria at the end of our street, it was a great opportunity to support a local business and also offer something that could be easily and safely self-served by each person.

If you are in the Burnside/82nd Ave area, definitely stop into Taqueria Santa Cruz for some amazing tacos or burritos. (I highly recommend the chorizo and if you are feeling adventurous, the lenqua.)

To keep everything “hands-free”, all chips were individually bowled up, the sauces were separated and tongs were used to serve the tacos.

And it never hurts to have a little hand sanitizer at the ready for anyone who feels the need.

And once the cocktails are in hand and the tacos are plated, its time to relax and catch up.

No carne asada for the puppers…

And with these beautiful summer evenings, what better and safer way to get home than on your bicycle?

So, there you have a solid groundwork for a full evening of entertainment to reconnect with whomever in your life you have been missing. All we ask is that you stay safe and responsible and of course keep those
#pinkiesdown.

Photography, Recipe & Text by David L. Reamer. (@dlreamer)