Local Distilling Goodies

Okay, so don’t get it in your head that there will be more than one posting a day, but due to the fact the weather is terribly frigid and my crock pot is simmering with meatball goodness I decided to share this fun idea.

Baltimore Distilling Company or Baltimore Whiskey Company is right here and let me tell you, they have some amazing things…..their gin, fantastic, apple brandy delicious, but my 2 favs in this delightful group….1904 Apple Ginger Liquor and the Szechuan Baltamaro.  Now before you get yourself in a tizzy…..these two items alone are fantastic, but add them to a sauce and well YOU ARE WELCOME…..First the 1904…..sweet and savory.  I always use turkey meatballs and usually I mix my own BBQ sauce, but when I am in a hurry or just don’t really want to, I use a few bottles of just regular BBQ sauce and then add 1904 to this, add meatballs and boom….in a few hours you will have this tantalizing taste of deliciousness……well this was all well and good, but then I found the Szechuan Amaro and OMG OMG OMG the stakes were just raised 10 fold.  It adds spice and heat and luciousness and yumminess to meatballs…..again you do this to your taste, but for me, I do 2 bottles store bought BBQ sauce (again, I use regular sauce, nothing thick and fancy or tart and spicy) and then when I first put in one bag of turkey meatballs I usually add a cup of the amaro……later on, 4-5 hours in a crock pot, I have to taste it and then I typically add a little more……turn off the pot and just let that simmer in its own juices….so so delicious……guests at my events where I have worked could not stop talking about them and yes they were that good……Pick up a bottle and try it, you will not be disappointed in this result.  Psst….perfect for a super bowl party too…..Cheers


Japanese Whisky & Brazilian Wines

Okay folks back for another round of yummy goodness……Today’s topic…Japanese Whisky and some delicious organic amazing Brazilian Wines.

First the wines….there is a brand called Miolo. They have a variety of different flavor options from the inexpensive and delicious to the mid-range price and delicious and even some sparkles thrown in.  I HAVE YET TO FIND ONE THAT IS NOT JUST AMAZING ON IT’S OWN!!!

The sparkles first….by just my own private taste, I am not a super fan of the sparkles.  Yet if I had to pick one, Miolo would be in this list.  They have a Rose, Demi Sec (my personal favorite) and Brut.  The Rose is touched with just a hint of sweetness and finishes rather dry.  In the summertime, add some frozen strawberries or even mango to this bottle and it becomes a crowd pleaser in a short minute.  The Demi Sec is for those sweeter wine lovers.  For your next party, purchase a bottle of the Demi Sec, add Diet Ginger Ale and boom one amazing party punch.  For an added twist add some frozen pineapple slices.  Yes you must use diet Ginger Ale, but you can also use Ginger Beer as well, either one will add to the depths of flavors you are going to get.  Now the Brut, combine with OJ for your favorite Mimosa or drink on it’s own.  Delicious dry but not overly dry.

Now another Brazilian wine called Alisios, also from the Miolo wine group…..OMG, they have a pinot grigio/riesling blend that is the perfect aperitif to any meal.  It pairs well with cheeses and then even heavier meats like steak or chicken.  However my favorite of this group is a tempranillo….not over powering, but has an earthiness that lends itself not only for drinking, but marination as well.  A steak is what I have used this mostly with, but experiment on your own, but with the steak, I use about 1 cup, give or take in my ziplock bag, add some shallots and onions, maybe some thyme or rosemary and garlic powder, a dab of Worcestershire to add a little more bite, salt and pepper and let that baby sit overnight.  It is best the longer you let it sit.  The meat soaks up this goodness of flavors.  Throw it on the grill, which is best in my opinion and enjoy.  The wine itself is fantastic as well.  Easy to drink, not overpowering, just a nice, reasonably priced bottle of wine.

Now onto a real treat.  A new Japanese whisky called Shin Ju.  All I truly can say is WOW…..I find it better than Suntory or even Yamazaky.  Both of those are tasty, but way out of my price range, Shin Ju usually retails for about $49.00 and worth every bit of it.  It is smooth.  One cube in a rocks glass and it is heaven.  It has a bit of vanilla on the nose and then you taste this goodness and OMG you are just transported to a night in front of the fireplace with a good book or maybe sitting on the deck watching night approach.  This is a whisky for all seasons.  Now I am not a big fan of whisky at dinner, but I do have folks ask about that, so hey, this is one that would go well with some of the heavier meals of chicken or rockfish maybe and certainly steaks or venison.  You want the meal to be complimentary with each other in the food you are eating and what you are drinking.  Now because of the inexpensiveness of this one, I will actually use this in a glaze made of the whisky, some honey (just a little) and some spices and glaze a ham with this…..yum….you can also drizzle some of this goodness on sweet potatoes in the oven.  Yes it is that good and versatile.

I know you can pick these up at Ridgely Wines and Spirits on York Road.  So don’t take my word for it, pick up a bottle and experiment today.  You will certainly not be sorry you did. Cheers



Let’s COOK!!!!!

Hello friends,

So under the perseverance of several friends, I am starting this blog. I am an avid beer drinker, wine drinker, spirits drinker all around drinker.  I love flavors and depths of flavors.  I work in a liquor store, which does seem fitting, but I did want to find out if there was more to beer than just drinking it.  My first 6 pack I ever had many years ago was a Blueberry beer which I loved, but as is my nature, after the first 3, it was kind of boring, good but boring, so what could I do with those beers to spice it up I thought???? Hence I learned to make fun things with beers and sauces.   (NOTE, I DO NOT USE MEASUREMENTS IN THIS AT ALL, IT IS DONE BY PERSONAL TASTE AND PREFERENCE, BUT YOU CAN GET THE GENERAL IDEA OF WHAT FLAVORS WILL MELD TOGETHER AND THEN EXPERIMENT YOURSELF)  So with that Blueberry beer, I made one of the best Blueberry Beer Lemonades ever…..and still do to this day.

So what can you expect here.  You can expect a variety of different beers and wines and spirits you should try first of all to drink with and secondly to add some delicious layers to your cooking.  Recipes are easy to find online or maybe you have your own, both are fine, I just add different things to normal every day cooking to give it a twist.  So all that being said, I hope you enjoy this fun little adventure and cheers.

beer glass
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So the weather is chilly….hell, it is downright cold and what better comfort food is out there than Chili…..vegetarian chili, turkey chili, beef chili, whatever you call it or make it from, it is chili…..now how about adding some delicious layers to that chili….Try Monocacy’s Brewtus Coffee Imperial Stout or like my one friend did, Shiner Holiday Cheer.  You want to add layers of yummy delicious goodness, try these beers.  Not only fantastic to drink, but excellent in chili recipes.  Start with half a 12 oz bottle, remember you can always add to, you can’t take away. I start my chili in the crock pot and then about 4 hours later add the first part of the beer along with some additional spices.  The beer is dark in color and adds this richness to any chili I have had made.  If using the Shiner Holiday Cheer, taste that beer first so you have an idea of just how spicy or sweet it is.  Either one or in some cases both 🙂 then I just let my chili run its course.  In about the 6th hour or so, since I tend to let my chili cook all day, when I add the beans or whatever you are adding, I add the rest of the beer.  YUM YUM AND DID I SAY YUM…..the rest as they say is history.  I let it continue to simmer away, stirring occasionally and tasting often, because you know, we all have to taste our finished products, and BOOM, you have one terrific chili…..again, make whatever chili you like, but you can add these beers to any kind.  Vegetarian, I would tend to stick with Shiner Cheer, just because of the flavor profiles, but any meat option, certainly Brewtus takes center stage.  Try it sometime.  Can’t wait to see and hear about your results.