wine wednesday: mulled wine with limoncello

Ho, Ho, Ho–Holiday cheer coming in HOT. Literally. Mulled wine is my favorite drink to make around the holidays because

A) it’s so easy

B) you make a lot at once so more time to mingle, and less time jingling that cocktail shaker (sorry!)

C) you can keep leftovers in your fridge and heat up on another day-WIN!

D) YOUR HOUSE WILL SMELL AMAZING

E) did I mention how easy it is to make?

F) there’s no “set” recipe, so play around and find what flavor combinations you like best

G) pairs well with gift wrapping, talking to relatives and overall merriment

So let’s get to it shall we?

EASY MULLED WINE with Limoncello

2 bottles BIG red wine (think Cab Sauv, Zin, Syrah etc.)
40 oz (5 cups) unfiltered apple cider
4 oz limoncello
1 lemon
2 mandarin oranges (or something similar)
2 handfuls of fresh cranberries
3 cinnamon sticks (extra handful for garnish)
3 star anise
handful cloves
nutmeg to taste
honey to taste
Add wine and apple cider to pot on low heat. Zest citrus to taste and add juice of 1 mandarin and 1/2 lemon to pot. Put a few slices of lemon and mandarin in pot too. Add a handful of cranberries. Throw anise and cinnamon to into the mix. Poke remaining mandarin with cloves and add whole fruit to the brew. Grate some nutmeg over the pot. Pour in limoncello and stir. Taste and add ingredients to your liking. Let simmer for approximately 15 minutes (or until warm) and serve in mugs with a cinnamon stick and a few skewer cranberries. Spread the cheer!

Wishing everyone a wonderful holiday season. Let me know how you like the mulled wine with limoncello. I think it’s my favorite to date.

Merry Christmas!

xo NP

whiskey wednesday: irish coffee

It’s almost the DAY!!! And there’s truly no better way to kick off your weekend/Friday/St. Patrick’s Day than with an Irish Coffee.

So maybe lose the booze before work…save it for 5PM and you need a pick me up…but if you’re lucky and have the day to celebrate here’s how you should make yours:

IRISH COFFEE (Serves 1)

4-5oz brewed hot coffee

1-2oz Irish Whiskey

dash of sugar

splash Bailey’s (optional)

1oz whipping cream

splash of maple syrup (more if you wanted sweeter whipped cream)

Place 2 metal bartending tins in your freezer (this can be omitted if not adding whipped cream). Brew your coffee any which way you please. Add coffee to a mug and sprinkle a dash of sugar. Pour 1-2 oz of your Irish Whiskey and stir. If you’re adding Bailey’s, do so now. In the meantime, take 2 bartender tins and pour your whipping cream and maple syrup in, toss in a protein mixer, close tins and shake shake shake. Top fresh whip cream onto coffee. ENJOY! (do a jig!)

PS if you want to add DONUTS to the equation, use this recipe!

PPS definitely add the donuts

PPS that is all!

whiskey wednesday: women and whiskey

Dearest Friends,

Happy International Women’s Day!

Although I celebrate the ladies in my life on the reg, I think it’s important to take a day and honor all the smart, caring, hilarious, gregarious, loving and nasty women in our lives. Call them, sing them a song, mail them a good old fashioned letter (loooove me some snail mail), hug them dearly-maybe even buy them a drink! Because liiiitle known fact, women were at the helm of distilling spirits back in the day.

Yep you read that right. Before the industrial revolution (about 1760-1840), distilling spirits was considered women’s work because it was all about following a recipe while at home. Like mama was distilling whiskey while churning butter, while cradling her 5th kid. Well done ma’am.

Anywho, it’s really the ladies who should be championed while you sip your whiskey, namely Catherine Spears Frye Carpenter. Her invention of the “sour mash” in 1818 has helped keep alllll the whiskies consistent. What she realized was, if you keep a quarter of the previous fermented batch and add it to the yet-to-be fermented batch, it helps create natural yeast and keeps bacterial contamination at bay. Therefore, consistent final product achieved. YAS! CDFC, you are a goddess. (Read more on this HERE)

So to all my ladies out there, I raise a pickleback shot to you! You are a badass, your stories deserve an audience, you have a right to equal pay–equal everything for that matter. And I need you- your love, support, and friendship. You uplift me everyday. Truly, I don’t know what I’d do without all the strong/compassionate/witty/passionate/creative women in my life. You are the TITS (literally).

Cheers to you all!

xoxo N

 

wine wednesday: valentine’s style

ROMEO + JULIET

BEY + J

ELEVEN + MIKE

NOAH + ALLIE

ROSE + JACK

SUE + DALE (my parents)

HARRY + SALLY

RACHEL + ROSS

CORY + TOPANGA

MITCHELL + CAMERON

COACH + TAMI

CLAIRE + JAMIE

PEANUT BUTTER + JELLY

WINE + ALL (ok most*) OCCASIONS

#couplegoals

It’s that time of year…when all of the CVS, Walgreens and corner stores are filled with red tinsel, metallic pink ribbons and huge bags of heart shaped candy (I like the crispy Palmer hearts FYI). But don’t fret those who are single or romantically engaged…

Yes there’s chocolates, love and lingerie but WINE- that’s the real gift that keeps on giving…handwritten cards too! Don’t forget those. Everyone’s (ok me!) a sucker for a good note.

Anywhoooo…whether you’re “celebrating” with a new lover, old flame, girlfriends, the guys or random strangers, WINE is the answer my loves. It’s a libation as old as time and has tested mannnny waters.

So grab a couple bottles and get happy! No need for tears this Tuesday (unless they’re caused from trying said delicious wine)

a classy sparkling rosé

Simply a must! My favorite right now is Contratto for England Rosé Pas Dosé.  It has delicate bubbles, a hint of sweetness you want from a rosé but finishes really clean and light.

 a giant bottle of bubbly

Not only does this bottle share my surname, but the PRICE!!! You guys it’s under $30 for a 1.5LTR of bubbly. A MAGNUM. Needless to say, I bought the bottle with no specific occasion to celebrate, but it’s vvvvvv appropriate for Valentines: everyone gets some if you’re with a group AND a power move for a power couple.

Any wine by Scribe

These guys know what they’re doing!!! I mean heck if you’re in Sonoma, take your date there and you can thank me later. Order a bottle of their Pinot Noir and you’ll be a god among your friends/lover.

la spinetta rosé

If sparkling rosé isn’t your thing- or even if you don’t think you’re a rosé drinker, I dare you to try this one. C’mon, don’t be shy! This Italian rosé drinks like a zesty mineral-y white with a kiss of strawberry. Think if a sexy one-piece clad Italian woman stepped out of the ocean and gave you a kiss…that’s this wine!

image c/o Faubourg Wines

2014 frog’s leap zinfandel

Zin’s get a bad rep these days, but this wine was one of the best surprises I tasted last year. It really wow’d me and undoubtedly will do the same for you. It’s elegant while still able to please those who like big Cabs- there’s a slight tartness from raspberry but it’s balanced out by the floral nose and notes of pepper on the palate.

frog’s leap winery in the fall…also a stellar date spot in Napa

enjoy your wine!!! be a true lover, and let me know your other Valentine’s Day go-tos. xoxo NP

*inappropriate scenarios:

-your little cousin’s first piano recital (drink AFTER because then you won’t laugh while she plays chopsticks)

-before a final interview (don’t be tempted before…it’ll taste so much better once you’re finished!)

-mile 1 of a marathon (no, just no)