Hosting a Wine Tasting Party

A wine tasting party can be a great way to bring friends together, have some great conversation, and learn something new. It can also be a whole lot of fun. There are a lot of things you can do to put together a successful wine tasting party, and to make it a special and memorable time for everyone (even those friends of yours who claim to not like wine). Here are some tips for hosting a wine tasting party.

Choosing Your Location

You need to start by deciding if you want a more formal setting, or if you’d like the party to be casual and informal. This is what will determine most of the party details. For example, the location, party décor, and guest list will be largely determined by the desired feel of the party.

Healthy Holiday Vodka Punch Recipe

The holidays can be a stressful time, especially for those throwing a holiday party. You have to plan the entertainment, create a delicious menu and of course come up with a killer drink to keep everyone happy and mellow. Of course, some people are trying to watch their waistlines and that means that many drinks may be a bit over-the-top. Thankfully, you can please both the dieters and those that aren’t watching their vodka calories with a delicious vodka punch.

Holiday Vodka Punch

What would a holiday buffet table be without a big bowl of punch to calm the nerves of stressed out guests? We all know that vodka punch can be pretty high in calories. Thankfully, there are simple substitutions you can make to make the punch a bit healthier. Best of all, you can even keep the punch cold without diluting the flavor thanks to the addition of a tasty ice ring.

5 Simple Tips for Cooking with Alcohol

Cooking with alcohol is something that many professional chefs do but the process can be intimidating to the average cook. After all, you don’t want to set your house on fire and you don’t want your recipe to flop. Thankfully, there are a few simple tips you can follow to help ensure your experience is a good one. Here are just five simple tips for cooking with alcohol.

Never Add Alcohol Over a Heat Source

You should always remove the pan from the heat before adding alcohol. Not doing so can lead to a house fire. Another important piece of advice when it comes to pouring your alcohol in the pan is to never pour from the bottle. If the alcohol should immediately ignite it would quickly spread to the entire bottle and cause a small explosion and possibly cause you personal injury – not to mention damage to your home. Always measure out what you’ll need and pour from a smaller container.

The Holiday Hot Toddy

Christmas is a time for indulging, right? I mean, who doesn’t indulge for Christmas (and, indulge in everything). When Christmas season comes around, I give myself license to do all of those things that are usually unthinkable during the rest of the year: skipping the gym for an entire week (or three), grabbing a homemade iced sugar cookie every time I walk past the kitchen (and my kitchen is in the center of my house), treating myself to an after-dinner aperitif (along with desert, and in addition to the pre-dinner aperitif I had) . . . you get the picture. Basically, I look forward to the Christmas season all year long, and that’s because I love enjoying holiday creations.

What’s in My Wine?

Have you ever consider what might be in that glass of red wine you had with dinner? You’re probably thinking that wine is simply crushed grapes that have been filtered and allowed to ferment. The truth is a bottle of wine contains quite a number of ingredients ingredients. So while you’re worrying about the wine calories you’re consuming, you should also think about the extra ingredients often found in the average bottle of wine.

Sweeteners

While grapes are naturally sweet, a wine maker may use additional sweeteners to achieve the desired flavor. The type of sweeteners include straight sugar, simple syrup, honey and even fruit juice made with grapes and/or other types of fruit. The winemaker then adds sorbic acid or potassium sorbate to prevent the excess sugar from being turned to additional alcohol by the yeast.

Hot Chocolate Peppermint Cocktails

“Oh, the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful and since we’ve got no place to go, lets have a cocktail.” Okay, so that’s not how the song goes, but what warms the spirit better than – well – spirits? Seriously, the holiday season can be stressful and it’s nice to kick back with a warm cocktail and a few friends. Of course, that doesn’t mean your cocktail has to be loaded with fat and calories, nor should you have to spend the holidays worrying about the number of alcohol calories you’re consuming. Best of all, your holiday cocktails don’t have to be any less decadent to be healthier than the ones everyone else will be drinking. These hot chocolate peppermint cocktails will warm your body, while providing a delicious shot of chocolate. Both of which can help you better enjoy the holiday season.

How to Make Your Thanksgiving Cocktails Healthier

As if Thanksgiving wasn’t fatty and hearty enough, you might feel the need to throw in some red wine or a boozy cocktail just to make it through hanging out with your entire extend family. Everyone does that, right? If you’re trying to make it through the holidays without expanding your waistline, though, you’ll need some Thanksgiving cocktails that won’t turn you into Mr. or Mrs. Claus by Christmas. So what are some ways you can make your libations of choice just a little bit healthier?

Drink Your Dessert Instead of Eating It

Pumpkin pie is always delicious, but what if you had an apple pie cocktail instead? This awesome cocktail has very little sugar, especially if you use 100% all-natural apple juice, making it the perfect warm drink to cozy up to while someone else does the dishes. Another healthy perk? Cinnamon has the highest antioxidant capacity of any spice, so feel free to swirl your warm cocktail with that cinnamon stick. Here’s how to make it:

Thanksgiving Cocktails: Pumpkin Pie Martini

The Thanksgiving holiday is fast approaching and that means you’ll soon be busy stuffing, basting, baking, and entertaining your holiday guests. If you’re entertaining an adult crowd, you’re going to want to find some extra special cocktail recipes to go with your appetizers. This pumpkin pie martini is a perfect fall classic and will have your guests raving.

Alcohol and Weight Gain

Despite all of the low-carb and low-calorie options on the market today, most dieticians will still recommend that anyone attempting to lose weight simply stop drinking altogether. The recommendation doesn’t have as much to do with the number of calories in beer, vodka, or wine as it does with the way your body processes alcohol

Alcohol and Your Metabolism

To understand this theory, you first have to understand the amount of alcohol you are actually consuming. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that a single serving of an alcoholic beverage contains approximately 13.7 grams of pure alcohol. A single gram of alcohol is estimated to have approximately 7 calories. In comparison, a gram of fat has approximately 9 calories.

Refreshing Summer Red Wine Cocktail Recipes

As the worst of the summer heat approaches, many of us spend the day dreaming about going home to sit by the pool with a cool cocktail or a glass of wine. Times are tough, though, and purchasing the absolute best in terms of wine isn’t something we can do every day. Using lower-cost wines and mixing them into cocktails is one way of creating a cool and refreshing alcoholic beverage you’re bound to enjoy. Here are a few refreshing cocktails you may want to mix with your favorite red wines this summer.

Cardinal Cocktail

A Cardinal Cocktail falls into a category of beverages know as Kirs, or berry flavored cocktails. All you need is a red wine and some crème de cassis, which is a liqueur made from blackcurrants from France. Fill your wine glass with ice, pour in an ounce of the crème de cassis, and fill the rest of the glass with red wine. You can make this with your favorite red wine or with a wine that isn’t as sweet or flavorful as you usually like. Whichever you choose, this sweet cocktail is bound to please.