Posts Categorized: Wine Cocktails

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.

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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)

A Perfect Summer Cocktail: The Fruity Sparkling Frozé

Well, It took long enough, but it seems that Portland has finally hit its full summertime stride. With temperatures topping off in the 90s for days, we thought it would be the perfect time to introduce you to a simple and delicious frozen cocktail that is not only a cinch to make but employs two fruits that are currently in season right now, peaches and watermelon. 

Fruity Frozé

By combining the sweetness of local peaches and watermelon with our Underwood Rosé Bubbles, you get a refreshing cocktail with a perfect balance of flavors. Add in some ice and just a little vodka and you have a slushy, fruity, bubbly glass of refreshment! Let us introduce you to:
 
The Fruity Frozé
5 oz Underwood Rosé Bubbles
2 oz Vodka (we recommend Tito’s Handmade Vodka)
1 C fresh seedless watermelon
1 Large Peach (pit removed)
1 1/2 C Ice
 
2 more oz of Rosé Bubbles to add to the finished cocktail
 
Fruity Frozé Ingredients
The first step is to set up your blender and chill two glasses. Next, you want to split your peach, remove the pit and chop it into smaller chunks. Then cut and peel your watermelon, measuring out 1 C of fruit.  If you happen to get one of those pesky “seedless” watermelons that still have seeds, remove them before proceeding. Put the fruit into your blender.
 
Fruity Frozé Ingredients
Next, measure your Rosé Bubbles and Vodka and add it to the blender. Feed free to use the vodka you may have at home, but we recommend our good friends from Austin Texas, Tito’s. If you’ve never tried their vodka, its pretty great and goes well in any cocktail. Add the liquid as well as the ice to the blender.
 
Underwood Rosé Bubbles
Blend on a medium to high setting until all the ice is crushed and blended well with the fruit.
 
Fruity Frozé
Carefully pour the Frozé into two glasses, leaving a little room. Top off each drink with an ounce of the Rosé Bubbles for an added effervescence that will last for the whole cocktail. Just make sure to drink it before it melts!
 
Fruity Frozé
We hope you and your loved ones enjoy this cocktail as much as we do. From everyone here at the Union family, we hope you are staying cool on these hot days and still staying safe when entertaining. 
 
Please remember to social distance when being social and keep those #pinkiesdown. Happy Summer!
 
 
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Photography, Text, and Cocktail by David L. Reamer. (@dlreamer)

Strawberries and Cream: A Cooler Cocktail

Strawberry Cooler Cocktail
In honor of strawberry season, we decided to make a simple but delicious cocktail using our Underwood Strawberry Cooler. We got to thinking, what goes better with fresh strawberries than some freshly whipped cream? (Just ask anyone who’s had the pleasure of going to Wimbledon where strawberries and cream is the official snack.)

So, we used this flavor combination as inspiration for the cocktail. We present:

Strawberry Cooler Cocktail
Strawberries & Cream
 
(This will make 2 cocktails)
 
6 oz Underwood Strawberry Cooler
2 oz heavy cream
3 oz Orange Liquor (we used Combier for this one)
2-3 shakes Orange Bitters
4 C ice

Strawberry Cooler Cocktail
First a note on Combier.
There are many orange liquors on the market to choose from. Often times we will use Cointreau or even Grand Marnier. But for this one, we wanted to introduce those unfamiliar with the French liqueur Combier.

We like Combier for several reasons. First of all, they are employee-owned, which is super cool and worth supporting. Also, Combier actually removes the pith from the orange peels so in the process you get less viscosity and a higher concentration of orange oil. (Just a little random fact for your next cocktail party.)

But let’s not forget the star of the show.

Strawberry Cooler Cocktail
To make the cocktail, just put all ingredients into a large shaker, shake vigorously, and then divide between two glasses.
Strawberry Cooler Cocktail
Hopefully, you will have the opportunity to share this with loved ones, or, now that the weather has turned, in a small outdoor get-together, keeping appropriate social distances of course.

Once again, from the whole Union Family, stay safe out there, keep washing those hands and CHEERS!

(And always keep those #pinkies down!)

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