recipes

Beverages 01 November 2018

Punch It Up this Holiday Season

(Family Features) If you are looking to host an unforgettable holiday cocktail party, punch can make a memorable impression on your guests and bring your get-together to the next level.

Punch reached the height of its popularity during the Victorian Age. Originally made with alcohol, it ultimately became a non-alcoholic drink largely due to the preference of Queen Victoria. Over the following decades, it faded in popularity, briefly regaining favor in the 1920s when champagne punch was a hallmark of parties and celebrations.

Now, as new generations are reinvigorating old favorites and enjoying the art of mixology, punch is trending again.

Start by making punch a visual centerpiece at your holiday party. Consider a charming drink dispenser, an unusual punch bowl or an elegant glass pitcher. Let your personal and unique style shine through with your choice of glassware and table decorations and offer a variety of garnish selections for your guests to further personalize their glasses.

Typically, punches start with a blend of sweet and tangy, and you can get that "swangy" taste with an option like Tree Top's 100% Pure Pressed Sweet & Tart Apple Cider as a base. For inspiration, take a mixologist's approach to creating a memorable punch. Lemon, cinnamon and cloves not only spice up the flavor but can also double as decorations. Try ginger beer for a nice fizzle, and for an adult-only punch, consider adding vodka or rum.

Your punch table can be a place to gather and reconnect with loved ones while enjoying a trending holiday beverage. Find more recipes perfect for entertaining at treetop.com.  

Swangy Cider Punch

Servings: 10 (8 ounces each)

  • 1 bottle (64 ounces) Tree Top 100% Pure Pressed Sweet & Tart Apple Cider
  • 16 ounces ginger beer
  • 2 oranges, juice only
  • 1 lime, juice only
  • 1 lemon, juice only
  • 1 cup vodka or light rum (optional)
  • 1 sliced Granny Smith apple
  • 6 star anise pieces, plus additional for garnish (optional)
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • frozen cranberries, for garnish (optional)
  • colored sugars or ginger crystals, for garnish (optional)
  1. In punch container, combine apple cider, ginger beer, orange juice, lime juice, lemon juice and vodka or rum, if desired, for an alcoholic version.
  2. Decorate container with apple slices, star anise pieces, cloves and cinnamon sticks.
  3. Personalize each serving with additional star anise pieces, frozen cranberries and sugars or ginger crystals, as desired. Serve cold. 

Photo courtesy of Alamy

Source: Tree Top

Beverages 16 November 2018

Old Fashioned with a Twist

(Family Features) Cocktail trends may come and go, but one staple remains a fixture on drink menus two centuries after its invention – the Old Fashioned.

There are many competing stories about the origins of the “first” true cocktail recipe, but nearly all agree that the modern-day cocktail was first mixed in the early 1800s, and the recipe was generally the same Old Fashioned recipe still mixed in bars around the world today: liquor, sugar, water and bitters.

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Bourbon is traditionally the spirit of choice for an Old Fashioned, but contemporary versions may substitute virtually any type of liquor, from rye whiskey to tequila to rum. Yesteryear’s sugar cube, served as a lump doused with bitters, has given way to simple syrup, which mixes more easily when served. A twist of citrus zest or a dark cherry are common garnishes in today’s Old Fashioned renditions.

No matter what spirit or style you prefer, there’s one constant that’s crucial to any drink bearing the Old Fashioned name: bitters. For a truly authentic experience, look to incorporate an option like Angostura bitters – an iconic brand that traces its roots as far back as the dawn of the Old Fashioned and has been closely intertwined with the history of the cocktail ever since.

Dr. Johann Siegert, the bitters’ inventor, created the elixir in 19th-century Venezuela while serving as a doctor to soldiers in Simon Bolivar’s army. By 1824, he perfected the formula for “amargo aromatico,” which he initially used to help alleviate the stomach issues of ailing soldiers.

By the mid-1800s, cocktails were steadily gaining favor, and nearly all the early recipes called for bitters. Siegert’s sons seized the opportunity and astutely developed a following for their formula among cocktail lovers.

Today, Angostura aromatic bitters are a classic and versatile ingredient in bars and kitchens alike for their flawless ability to balance a range of cocktails. Bitters provide layers of flavor and complexity through their expertly-crafted combination of aromatic herbs, bark, roots and other botanicals. When it comes to the ingredients in Angostura’s aromatic bitters, the exact formula is unknown, as the recipe has remained a closely-guarded secret since the bitters were created almost 200 years ago.

Consider these tried-and-true takes on the Old Fashioned with four recipes ideal for sipping. The traditional version features bourbon, while three twists on the timeless classic highlight alternative liquors: the Tequila Old Fashioned, the Rum Old Fashioned and the Wisconsin-Style Brandy Old Fashioned.

Pro Serving Tip
Serving an authentic Old Fashioned requires more than just the right ingredients: you need the proper bar glass, too. An Old Fashioned is almost always served in a rocks glass, which is a short glass, often with a weighted bottom, designed to hold a shot or two of liquor over ice (or “rocks”). Also known as a lowball, whisky or (aptly named) Old Fashioned glass, the rocks glass typically holds 4-10 ounces.

Simple Syrup at Home

A wide range of cocktails call for sweet syrup to enhance the flavor of the liquor, and one variety in particular lends a rich molasses note to drinks. Demerara syrup is made using Demerara sugar, a special variety of raw, unrefined cane sugar with large grains and a golden amber hue.

The sugar, which traces its origins to the South American country of Guyana, can be used in place of brown sugar. Though similar, Demerara generally lends stronger caramel, toffee and molasses notes than traditional brown sugar.

If you don’t have any Demerara syrup around, it’s quite easy to make at home and can be used to naturally sweeten a number of drinks, from coffee to cocktails. If Demerara isn’t on-hand, swap for turbinado sugar, brown sugar or table sugar.

Demerara Syrup

1          part Demerara sugar
1          part hot water

Stir to dissolve. Let cool before use.

Find more recipes filled with good, old-fashioned flavor at AngosturaBitters.com.

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Classic Bourbon Old Fashioned

  • 2          ounces bourbon
  • 1/4       ounce Demerara syrup
  • 2          dashes Angostura aromatic bitters
  • 1          dash Angostura orange bitters
  • 1          splash water
  • ice
  • long orange peel, for garnish
  1. In rocks glass, stir bourbon, Demerara syrup, water, aromatic bitters and orange bitters with ice to incorporate ingredients.
  2. Add ice to fill glass to top. Garnish with orange peel.

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Tequila Old Fashioned

  •             Ice
  • 2          ounces reposado tequila
  • 1/4       ounce Demerara syrup
  • 2          dashes Angostura aromatic bitters
  • grapefruit swath (narrow strip of peel) or wedge, for garnish
  1. In ice-filled mixing glass, stir tequila, Demerara syrup and aromatic bitters. Strain into ice-filled rocks glass.
  2. Squeeze grapefruit swath over glass and insert into drink.

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Wisconsin-Style Brandy Old Fashioned

  •  3          ounces, plus 1 splash, lemon-lime soda
  • 1          Demerara sugar cube
  • 5          dashes Angostura aromatic bitters, divided
  • 3          maraschino cherries
  • 1          orange slice, plus peel, for garnish
  • ice
  • 2          ounces brandy
  • 1          dash Angostura orange bitters
  • skewered maraschino cherry, for garnish
  1. In rocks glass, muddle splash of lemon-lime soda, sugar cube, 2 dashes aromatic bitters, cherries and orange slice.
  2. Add ice and brandy then fill with remaining lemon-lime soda. Add remaining aromatic bitters and orange bitters. Garnish with skewered cherry and orange peel.

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Rum Old Fashioned

  • 1          Demerara sugar cube
  • 4          dashes Angostura aromatic bitters
  • 2          dashes Angostura orange bitters
  • 1          splash soda water
  • ice
  • 2          ounces Angostura 1919 Rum*
  • orange peel, for garnish
  1. Place sugar cube in rocks glass. Wet cube with aromatic bitters, orange bitters and soda water. Using muddler, crush sugar cube.
  2. Add ice, pour in rum and stir. Garnish by squeezing orange peel over glass.

*Distilled and bottled by Angostura Holdings, Port of Spain, Laventille, Trinidad. Imported by Terlato Wine and Spirits, Lake Bluff, IL. 40% Alc./Vol. © 2018

Photos courtesy of Getty Images (Classic Bourbon Old Fashioned, Tequila Old Fashioned, Rum Old Fashioned)

Source: Angostura

Beverages 19 January 2017

Blue Sunset

  • 2 ounces Whaler’s Pineapple Paradise Rum
  • 2 ounces pineapple juice
  • 1/2 ounce blue curacao
  1. Shake well and serve in martini glass. Garnish with pineapple or cherry.

Source: Whaler's Rum

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