Posts Tagged: Wine Cocktail
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
One of my favorite simple spring cocktails is the Pimm’s Cup. I think I had my first one in New Orleans, but since then I have ordered them at cocktail bars all around the country. Unlike many classic cocktails, there isn’t a tried and true unwavering recipe for the drink. I have had them made as simply as combining Pimm’s with ginger ale or lemonade, but probably the best Pimm’s Cup I can remember was at Anvil Bar & Refuge in Houston, Texas. It was so good, I actually asked if they would share the recipe. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting much, but they were so gracious that they immediately printed out a full copy of their recipe which included gin, club soda and muddled cucumber.
So, when I was recently tasked with creating a new cocktail using the Underwood Rosé Bubbles, I wanted to create my own interesting take on the classic cocktail. I decided to steal a little bit from the Anvil recipe but expand it in other ways. Pimm’s is a great addition to any at-home liquor cabinet, and you can have a lot of fun with this version or with inventing your own variations. The Rosé Bubbles adds the much-needed bubbles in place of the club soda or ginger ale.
This recipe makes 2 drinks…’cause who wants to drink alone?
Sparkling Pink Pimm’s Cup
6 oz Underwood Rosé Bubbles
2 oz gin (we’ve been loving the locally made Rose City Gin)
1.5 oz Pimms’s No.1
2 oz Grenadine syrup
1.5 oz fresh-squeezed lemon juice
2 inch chunk of cucumber roughly chopped
10-12 fresh mint leaves
2 straws, (preferably not made of plastic!)
Put the cucumber and mint in a medium to a large shaker and muddle well.
Add the gin, Pimm’s, Grenadine syrup, and lemon juice to the shaker and gently muddle. Add 1-2 cups of ice and shake well.
Fill two tall glasses with ice and paper straws. Put 2 oz. Rosé Bubbles in each glass.
Using a cocktail strainer (or small fine mesh colander) divide the liquid in the shaker between the two glasses.
Top off each drink with another ounce or so of the Rosé Bubbles. (This is where the straw comes in very handy. It, more or less, allows the drink to mix as it’s consumed.) You can garnish with extra mint or cucumber if that’s your jam, but I’ve never been one for unnecessary garnishes. I do strongly recommend serving the drinks with a side of cucumber slices with lemon and kosher salt for an extra little treat.
We hope this will brighten up your spring afternoons and impress your friends.
Cheers and keep those #pinkiesdown.
A few years ago, Union Wine Company Owner and Paterfamilias Ryan Harms sat down with one of his favorite chefs, Mei Lin, and together they set out to collaborate on a wine cooler that employed the approachability of Union’s wine (#pinkiesdown) while evoking all of the flavors that Mei Lin grew up with and currently uses in her recipes.
A little background… Mei Lin was awarded Bravo TV’s Top Chef in Season 12 and honored as one of Eater’s Young Guns in 2014. Since then, she has gone on to open her own restaurant, Nightshade, in Los Angeles. Like most of the restaurants around the country, Nightshade was forced to temporarily close during the pandemic. Currently, the only places to buy Mei Lin’s wine are at her restaurant or through the Union Wine Co. website. In a show of support, not just for Mei, but for all of her employees, Union has decided that through the end of June they will donate 100% of the profits from the sale of her wine to the staff of the restaurant.
So what are you waiting for? How about a delicious cocktail using Mei Wine—as if drinking it alone wasn’t amazing enough! To support this cause and encourage you to order some cans of her wine here, we created a Piña Colada style cocktail that highlights the tropical cooler vibe of Mei Lin’s wine.
As an added bonus, we are going to give you a step-by-step on how to quickly and painlessly skin a whole pineapple for use as a garnish. So without further ado, we present…
The Mei Wine Colada with Charred Pineapple
Here’s what you will need to make 2 drinks:
6 oz or 1/2 can Mei Wine
3 oz Coco Lopez Coconut Cream (the Best!)
2 oz fresh-squeezed lime juice
2 oz white rum (we recommend Cruzan Aged White Rum)
1 C crushed ice
Measure all the ingredients into a large shaker. Since you will be using crushed ice, we recommend chilling the shaker, the glasses, and the liquid beforehand so that as little of the ice melts as possible.
There are many great rums on the market these days. We really like Cruzan for this recipe because it is not only affordable but has a very balanced flavor that will not overpower the Mei Wine.
But of course, let’s not forget the star of the show, Mei Wine.
For a garnish that is not only delicious but will impress your drinking companions, we recommend charred fresh pineapple. We realize that many people are not familiar with how easy it is to prepare a fresh pineapple, so we decided to present a quick tutorial.
Cut the top and bottom off of the pineapple and discard.
Now that the pineapple has a flat edge to sit on, use a large kitchen knife to cut around the sides of the pineapple, following the natural curve and trying to remove as little of the flesh as possible.
Once you have gone all the way around the fruit, you can slice rings or cut chunks from each side, discarding the woody center.
You can char your pineapple on the grill or over the flame of a gas stove. Cut the charred pineapple into pieces and skewer them for garnish on the drink. This can be done ahead of time and kept in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
Finally, put all liquid ingredients and the crushed ice into the chilled shaker. Shake vigorously and then divide equally between two glasses. Garnish with the charred pineapple and Enjoy!
Please consider ordering some Mei Wine before the end of June and help us help Mei’s restaurant staff. You’ll have the chance to create an amazing cocktail in the process!
Cheers and #pinkiesdown.
In these crazy times of social distancing and isolation, it’s as important as ever to stay connected any way you can. Thus, the advent of the virtual happy hour. This is the newest trend that has caught on not just between family and friends, but workmates as well. Now, happy hour used to be a firm 5 PM, but with co-workers and family often times being all around the country, that rule has had to loosen up a bit. If we choose to join in from the West Coast with our East Coast compatriots, we might find ourselves having a drink around 3 pm.
So we decided to create a light cocktail using our Underwood Pinot Gris for when you need to start the party a little earlier than expected. We also wanted to try and use ingredients that most people have around the house since as we all know, running out to the supermarket just isn’t as easy as it used to be. This is a perfect time to remind everyone that the Union Wine Co. shipping team is working tirelessly to get wine sent out to homes across the country. A four-pack of cans equals 2 full bottles in volume and is easily shipped without the hassle of all the extra packaging to protect the glass. You can order cans for yourself or surprise a friend or family member with an unexpected gift right HERE.
OK, back to the cocktail. We created a sort of amalgamation of two classic cocktails, the Moscow Mule and the Salty Dog, and replaced the liquor with our Pinot Gris. We call this one The Salty Underwood Mule. We figure most people are keeping their vitamin C levels up, so you might have grapefruits at your house, and many people have fresh mint growing in the yard already. So, all you need is fresh ginger and you are most of the way to the cocktail.
The Salty Underwood Mule
2 oz fresh grapefruit juice
1.5 oz Underwood Pinot Gris
.5 oz Ginger Mint Syrup (recipe to follow)
Salt for the rim of the glass
The first thing you will need to do is make the ginger mint syrup. At best you have some mint growing in your yard (or maybe a neighbor does who wouldn’t mind sharing.)
In a sauté pan, put 3/4 C of water, 1 C of sugar and 2 good sized pieced of fresh ginger (its not necessary to peel the ginger) and bring to a boil. Allow this to cool completely.
Remove the ginger, pour the liquid into a glass jar and add 3 or 4 sprigs of fresh mint. Allow this to sit overnight. By adding the mint after the liquid has cooled prevents it from turning black and also adds a great subtle fresh mint flavor to the syrup which strengthens over time.
Once this is done, you are just about ready to make your cocktail. But first you have to salt the rim. This can be a bit more challenging than you would think. One trick I learned from my bartender friends is to run a lime wedge around the edge of the glass as opposed to dipping it in water (which is what I used to do). I’m not sure why, but using citrus ensures a much more even coating of salt to remain on the rim.
Next, pour some salt into a shallow bowl and press the glass firmly into the salt for an even coating.
Add a few ice cubes, the grapefruit juice, Pinot Gris and Ginger Mint syrup. Give a gentle stir, top off with a splash of club soda and garnish with a lime wedge.
And there you have a deliciously light afternoon cocktail to virtually toast with friends and family.
We hope you will enjoy this new cocktail creation while staying safe out there! Keep washing your hands and don’t forget to keep those #pinkiesdown.