Everything Wine And More

Samantha Torrance
July 6, 2016 | Samantha Torrance

How to Make Trying New Wines a Fun Game!

My boyfriend Alex and I have an agreement when it comes to wine. I buy a wine I think he will enjoy and  if I’m right he pays me back in full, but if he doesn’t like the wine I only get half back. I enjoy it because it’s like a game for me; I get to use my knowledge of wine to pick out products I think he will like and Alex gets to try delicious wine. Win-Win. His preferred flavour is big, bold, juicy full bodied reds, below are my most recent selections for him.

Jost Vineyards Marechal Foch - $16.99/750mL (Nova Scotia)
Wine from Nova Scotia, who knew? The cooler climate terroir of NS is the perfect growing grounds for Marechal Foch. The nose of this wine is savoury with aromas of leather, cigars, chocolate, with hints of anise and fruits such as figs, dates, and even more subtle hints of strawberry and raspberry. The palate is medium bodied with smooth tannins. This wine has big flavours of rustic earth, dried red fruits (that strawberry and raspberry from the nose), and finishes with a slightly spiced, chocolate covered raisin flavour.
Alex’s Approval Rating: 9/10, he loved how savoury this wine was. It still had the fruit, but with more meaty, savory characteristics than he’s used to. His favourite so far.

Comoloco Monastrell - $16.99/750mL (Spain)
Comoloco, the bottle with the zany label to match the wine inside. Monastrell is the same grape as Mourvedre, which you may have seen on French wine labels. The nose on this wine is robust with deep, ripe fruits, and exotic spices.  The palate is medium bodied with soft tannins. There are flavours of deep, red fruits such as raspberry, cherries, and plum, with savoury notes and a soft acidity on the finish. This wine is best paired with steak and barbeque.
Alex’s Approval Rating: 7/10, he thought it was really easy drinking, great spice and smooth tannins.

California Square Red Blend - $19.99/750mL (USA)
This was one of the first bottles I had bought for him. I like the funky rectangular prism shape and I knew it would be a good wine to use to get to know his palate better. This blend is made up of five different grapes: Merlot, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, Sangiovese, and Syrah. Each varietal was harvested, crushed, and fermented separately to get maximum flavour and texture from each of the grapes. The Petite Sirah and Syrah give notes of blueberries, cherries, chocolate, and spice to the blend. The Sangiovese and Zinfandel give way for big blackberry and raspberry jam and the Merlot fills the palate with ripe plum and a juicy finish. Medium in body with soft tannins this wine is really easy drinking and a great starting point for people wanting to get into red wine.
Alex’s Approval Rating: 7/10 he enjoyed how it was smooth and fruity.

Finca las Moras Paz Malbec - $18.99/750mL (Argentina)
This one is my favourite Malbecs that I’ve ever tried. This wine has an intense violet colour and aromas of blackberry, black cherries, plums, and baking spice. The palate is intense with flavours of those dark blackberries and plums with a lingering finish of warm spice on the end. The tannins are evenly balanced with the acidity and the flavours of the wine linger on the tongue for a very long time. I cannot stress enough how crazy the flavours are in this wine. I personally have never tried a wine that was so juicy and fruity while still having so much complexity. I would pair this wine with grilled red meats and barbeque.
Alex’s Approval Rating: 8/10, He thoroughly enjoyed how intense and flavourful it was. 

Time Posted: Jul 6, 2016 at 4:53 PM
Jarrod Lackey
May 19, 2016 | Jarrod Lackey

Summer and Sangria Part 2!

Summer Sangrias

Strawberry Rosé

1 x Bottle Spier Rosé $14.99

1 x Can Rekorderlig Elderflower Cider $3.99

1 x Can Rekorderlig Strawberry Lime Cider $3.99

1 x Cup New Amsterdam Vodka $25.99(750ml)

1 x Can Bacardi Frozen Strawberry Daiquiri Mix (Grocery Store)

1 x Package Frozen sliced strawberries

3 x Tablespoons granulated sugar

2 x Cups Cold Water

Macerate the strawberries, vodka and sugar in a sealed plastic container overnight, or a minimum of 4 hours. Carefully ladle macerated fruit and liquid into serving pitcher. Add daiquiri mix, wine and cider. Mix with water and serve. Garnish with Mint leaves and fresh strawberry slices.

Tasting Notes
Strawberry Rosé:
I made up this recipe. I was inspired by the lovely colour of the Spier Rosé. The Spier Wine farm is located in the Stellenbosch region, approximately 50km from Cape Town in South Africa. This signature blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir has lovely aromas of strawberry and yellow apple with a crisp fruit finish. A very balanced and refreshing rosé.
I thought the light salmon colouring of this wine would pair well with strawberries. I chose the frozen strawberry daiquiri from Bacardi for its balance of sweet and tart. I wanted to add a refreshing flavour using Rekorderlig cider, and found the elderflower and the strawberry lime ciders had the perfect flavour.This sangria is on the sweeter side, but not overly so, would pair with patio snacks of nachos and fresh guacamole, or shrimp salad rolls.

Peach & Basil Sangria

1 x Bottle Spier Chenin Blanc $13.99

1 x Cup Dr McGillicuddy’s Peach Schnapps $14.99(375ml)

1 x Can frozen peach concentrate + 3 cans of cold water

1 x Package frozen peach slices

1 x Large bunch of fresh Basil leaves

3 x Tablespoons granulated sugar

½ x Cup New Amsterdam Vodka $13.99(375ml)

Sparkling Water, to taste.

Macerate the peach slices with schnapps, vodka, and sugar, overnight or for a minimum of 4 hours. Before ladling the fruit into your serving pitcher, roughly chop almost all the basil, leave some leaves whole for garnish. Add the fruit + liquid, basil and wine to serving pitcher. Mix and let it sit for 1 hour. Next scoop out as much of the chopped basil as you can, and squeeze any liquid out of the leaves into your pitcher. Add the frozen concentrate and water, mix thoroughly. When serving, the sangria will be a bit sweet, so add sparkling water to your glass, to suit your tastes, garnish with fresh basil. I chose to use frozen peaches, because fresh peaches weren’t available yet, but feel free to use firm white or donut peaches as a substitute.

Tasting Notes
Peach & Basil:
My personal palate does not favour overly sweet drinks. So when I came across a recipe for a white sangria using peach and basil, I got very excited. I have since changed the recipe to suit my tastes more directly. For this particular version, I chose the Chenin Blanc from Spier. This Chenin is both crisp and fruity with green guava, pear, apple and hints of litchi on the nose. A well-balanced palate with a strong wine finish. I like this wine for this recipe because the flavour of the wine shines through all the additions, and the basil balances it out quite nicely.
When serving this sangria, I typically pour the sangria halfway up the glass, then ladle some fruit, and then top up with sparkling water, if someone desires a sweeter version, top up with Sprite instead. This Sangria is very refreshing, perfect for warm days on the patio, pairing well with Salmon burgers or BBQ chicken wings.

Time Posted: May 19, 2016 at 1:14 PM
Samantha Torrance
May 19, 2016 | Samantha Torrance

Summer and Sangria Part 1!

With Summer knocking at our door my coworker Jarrod and I have made some delicious sangrias for the hot May weather. Check out his blog post to see his White and Rosé sangrias.

Sparkling Watermelon Sangria
You will need:
•    1 mini seedless watermelon, not too ripe
•    1 750mL bottle of sparkling wine (I used Cavicchioli Spumante Demi-Sec - $12.99)
•    1-2 cups of hard liquor (I used Dr. McGillicuddy’s Lemon Drop Schnapps - $26.99)
•    5-15 mint leaves, depending on preference (I used around 10-12 leaves and I found it TO be a bit too minty)

I started this recipe in hopes of balling my watermelon, however I bought one that was a bit too ripe and it was falling apart as I balled it. You can either start the recipe as I did or ball up your melon depending on ripeness.
I cut my watermelon in half and pressed the insides of one half into a pitcher. I cubed the other half without the rind and added around 10-12 mint leaves to the pitcher with the juiced watermelon. I then added roughly 1.5 cups of the lemon drop schnapps, so that all the juice and schnapps topped the watermelon cubes. I then let this sit in the fridge overnight. In the morning, because my melon was overripe I ended up pureeing the cubed melon, if you choose to do this I highly recommend cheesecloth. Otherwise you may leave the cubes/balls if it’s to your fancy. Add the bottle of sparkling just before serving. 
Overall I really enjoyed this sangria. It smelled delightfully of watermelon and was really refreshing. It wasn’t too sweet as my wine was an off-dry style and the schnapps only added a bit of sweetness. It was intensely watermelon with a big hit of mint on the finish. 

Frozen Pineapple Mango Sangria
You will need:
•    1 750mL bottle of White Wine (I used Gallo Summer White for $8.99 which is a sweeter wine, but you can use any white wine you want depending on how sweet you want your sangria to taste)
•    1 bag each of frozen pineapple and mango chunks
•    White rum (optional)
•    Blender

This recipe is pretty simple to do. Take that bottle of wine, dump it in the blender, add both bags of fruit, and add some white rum if you wish to kick it up a notch. My wine was only 5% so I threw some Malibu Rum in there, it also added more liquid to even out the texture, but if you don’t want to add more alcohol you can use any type of fruit juice. Blend together and voila! Ready to drink sangria in minutes.
I really liked this one because it was  ready in less than 15 minutes. It was tropical and fruity with a good amount of sweetness on the palate. The pineapple gave a tartness to balance out the sweet wine and rum. You can mix and match your fruits as well, just make sure to not make it too tart with your fruit.

Time Posted: May 19, 2016 at 1:05 PM
Mallory Bruinsma
April 12, 2016 | Mallory Bruinsma

There's more to Gin than just Juniper

Unique Affordable Gins

It can be hard to try a new type of alcohol because there are so many choices and variations in every category. This is especially true for gin as even the slightest change in botanicals can drastically change the taste. Here are a few of my favorite gins that are easy drinking, reasonably priced, and have truly unique flavours. These are all worth trying whether you are new to gin or have been enjoying it for years.

Bombay Sapphire 40% alc.– $28.49 (750ml)
Bombay Sapphire was the first gin I ever tried and even after tasting more expensive bottles I am still coming back for more. It is a dry style of Gin from London. The botanicals in this gin are angelica, juniper, lemon, grains of paradise, coriander, cubeb berries, orris root, almonds, cassia bark, and liquorice. This Gin gets its botanical notes from Vapour Infusion which is a process that uses heated vapour from the spirit to release the botanical flavours which are in perforated copper baskets.  I enjoy this gin because while flavourful it’s not overpowering.

Ungava 43.1% alc./vol. - $34.99 (750ml)
Ungava is distinguishable by its vibrant yellow vibrant color which comes from rose hips. It is extra special because it is 100% Canadian and uses 100% natural ingredients. It is infused with botanicals from the Canadian north to give it a northern forest taste. In addition to wild rose hip it also has crowberry, cloudberry, Labrador tea, Nordic juniper, and arctic blend. This is currently my favorite gin. When I drink it I feel like I am in the mountains doing a backcountry hike.

Gin Mare 42.7% alc.– $43.99 (700ml)
Greece is my favorite place in the whole world and when I want to imagine that I am there I drink some Gin Mare. It is a Mediterranean style gin distilled primarily from olives, thyme, rosemary, and basil but also has cardamom, coriander, and juniper berries. This gin reminds me of Greek cuisine. This gin is a perfect choice for those who enjoy herbaceous flavours, rather than floral notes.

Dillon’s Small Batch Rose Gin 35% alc./vol. – $27.99 (375 ml)
For those who enjoy floral tastes and aromas this rose gin is a perfect choice. This gin is unfiltered and has a base of 100% Ontario rye dry gin which makes it proudly Canadian. In appearance it has an orange caramel color which comes from the rose hips and petals. The alcohol percent is lower than most gins and it is slightly sweetened which allows it to be used as an aperitif. This gin works very well with tonic because of the added sweetness.

Dictador Treasure, Premium Colombian Aged Gin 43%alc. – $54.99 (700 ml)
This gin is truly unique. It is aged in rum barrels for 35 weeks which gives it a bit of a vanilla flavour.  It is infused with the flavors from citrus peels, berries, and various spices. It is supposed to be reminiscent of a limon mandarino which is a Colombian fruit. The flavour that stood out to me was tangerine. The taste was fresh like the fruit had just been picked off a tree. This gin can be enjoyed on the rocks or in a mix because it is incredibly smooth and flavourful.

Time Posted: Apr 12, 2016 at 10:05 AM
Samantha Torrance
April 11, 2016 | Samantha Torrance

Visit Alberta's Best Little Brewery: Bench Creek

I recently visited Bench Creek brewery located just outside of Edson, Alberta. Bench Creek only hit the market this past November and is a small operation that will soon outgrow their current brewing grounds. The brewery resides in the backyard of owner Andrew Kulynych. With just enough space in the warehouse for creating new batches of beer and selling their beer by the pint or growler, the area feels like a home.

Currently only available in kegs, their four different brews are something special. We carry the Naked Woodsman Pale Ale on our growler bar. Check out their website to find out where else you can purchase the White Raven IPA, Black Spruce Porter, and Flint and Steel ISA.

The Naked Woodsman sits at 5.2% ABV with an IBU of 40. It’s complex and distinct with aromas of bright grapefruit, orange hops and home baked bread. Flavours of apricot and peach with subtle citrus coat the mouth with a slight spice on the finish.

The White Raven, my favourite of the Bench Creek brews has an IBU of 72 and ABV of 6.5%. It’s hoppy with intense aromatics of citrus fruits such as grapefruit, orange and some tropical mango. The fruit follows onto the palate with added toffee flavours that cut the bitterness of the beer to make an amazingly refreshing beer with an off dry finish that lingers.

Flint and Steel ISA is Bench Creek’s newest beer to hit the market. At 4.7% it’s smooth and bright. Tropical fruits, melon and caramel fill the air as grapefruit, lemon, malt, and caramel coat the palate. There is just the right amount of bitterness from the hops to give balance and structure to this beer.

The Black Spruce Porter is a classic porter with 5.8% ABV and 40 IBU. Aromas and flavours of coffee, chocolate, and molasses burst through first with sweet hints of raisin easing in on the finish. Herbaceous and floral notes help balance the sweet notes of the beer. Dried fruit and peach finish into a full bodied porter that is perfect for the erratic Alberta weather.

Brewmaster Warren Misik showed my boyfriend and I around the brewery, explaining the different processes and uses of the machinery. We also saw the three original pots used to create the original IPA, Pale Ale, and Porter. No bigger than an industrial pot seen in kitchens, Warren crafted the beers and sent them out to get the Bench Creek name and flavour out there and heard.

This little hole in the wall brewery won’t stay that way for long as these beers gain more and more momentum every day. I suggest visiting them yourself! Purchase a growler, sit and enjoy a pint of what I think is the finest beer Alberta has to offer.

Time Posted: Apr 11, 2016 at 1:10 PM
Samantha Torrance
March 4, 2016 | Samantha Torrance

Whiskey 101

Welcome to the wonderful world of whiskies. I will be going over my favorites whiskies from around the world that range between $45 -$60 to keep you and your wallets happy.

Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Bourbon - $47.99

What is the difference between a Bourbon and every other whisky? For a whisky to be labeled as Bourbon the mash of grains used for distilling must contain at least 51% corn, it must be aged in new charred white oak barrels and hold an alcohol content of no more than 80% abv.

Woodford is my pick of all the Bourbons we carry. It has a brilliant amber colour and the nose has rich dried fruits, with hints of orange and cocoa and a touch of tobacco and vanilla. It’s wonderfully complex with notes of citrus, cinnamon, cocoa, toffee and spice on the palate resulting in a smooth rounded Bourbon. Finishing with a creamy silkiness that warms throughout, I highly recommend this Bourbon to anyone wanting to try something new or wanting to indulge in a fantastic drink.

Pike Creek Double Barrel Rye - $47.99

Rye is very similar to Bourbon. It is also aged in new charred white oak barrels and cannot exceed 80% alcohol by volume. The only difference in what makes a Rye a Rye, is that it must contain at minimum 51% Rye grain. Rye tends to give the whisky a spicier, dry finish whereas corn gives Bourbon a sweeter finish.

Pike Creek is hands-down my favourite Rye to recommend people. The double barrel the use of both charred white barrels and old Port wine barrels that give it some added characteristics. Its colour is amber with tinges of ruby red (thanks to the Port barrels). The nose presents with dried fruit and an underlying peppery spiciness with toffee notes. On the palate you taste dried dark fruits, vanilla and toffee that finish with a smooth, warm Port finish. The combination of Rye and Port create a memorable whisky that lingers.

Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve Scotch - $49.99

Most Scotch’s have age statements such as 10 year, 12 year, 15 and so forth. This Scotch was produced when the distillery was running low on reserves of their age stamped Scotches. They created this blend with no age statement to bide time until the aged ones were ready. Now what makes a Scotch a Scotch? Scotch must be made from a mash of malted barley, aged a minimum of three years in oak casks, and distilled with a minimum of 40% alcohol by volume and a maximum of 94.8% alcohol by volume.

Glenlivet is my go-to for people just learning about Scotch’s. It’s unpeated, doesn’t break the bank and it’s really easy drinking! (Even if you’ve always said you don’t like Scotch). The Founder’s Reserve is a honey gold colour with zesty lemon and sweet orange on the nose. The sweet, fruity notes follow into the palate which has notes of pear, sweet orange, toffee & apple leading into a long, creamy, smooth finish.

Bowmore Islay 12 Year Single Malt Scotch - $57.99

This is a classic peated beauty. Scotch gets its ‘peaty’ characteristics when the barley is being dried over fires that have been fed by the local peat moss surrounding the distilleries. The burning of the peat moss gives that distinct smoky aroma and flavour. The smokier a Scotch, the more it dried overtop a peat fire.

This Scotch is a 12 year old and single malt. With blended Scotch’s that have age statements the age on the bottle is only that of the youngest batch of Scotch in the batch. Since this is a single malt scotch, the spirit comes from the same single batch and is aged for the same amount of time.

Bowmore is a fine example of a peated Scotch. It shows off a warm amber colouring that perfectly matches the subtle lemon and honey on the nose followed by classic campfire notes from the peat. Flavours of honey and gentle smoke fill and coat the mouth to provide a smooth, mellow finish. The peat fire gives a soft mineral, earthy aroma and flavour that can only be found in Scotch. I recommend this one for all the Cigar lovers out there. Give it a try today and open up the doors to a splendid world of fantastic whisky!

Time Posted: Mar 4, 2016 at 8:38 AM
Samantha Torrance
February 8, 2016 | Samantha Torrance

New This Week on the Growler Bar

In the last couple weeks we’ve added some new additions to our Growler Bar. We have a new Bench Creek beer replacing their IPA, a new Alley Kat replacing their Coffee Porter, and Anchor Brewing replacing Fuller’s Black Stout.

Alley Kat Ginger Beer - $8.49/L

The Alley Kat Ginger beer is different than most ginger beers; the ginger doesn’t overpower the senses. On the nose you notice the balance between the ginger and malt aromas with an amazing follow through on the palate. Only a hint of sweetness is present with a nice zesty finish. Crisp and refreshing at 5.1% ABV, this beer is perfect for pairing with cashew chicken stir fry and jasmine rice.

Anchor Brekle’s Brown Ale - $9.99/L

Brekle’s Brown is the epitome of classic brown ale. It starts with roasted malt on the nose and a hint of citrus and sweet caramel. The hint of citrus is also apparent on the palate with the citra hops creating a unique texture on the finish. Only 6% ABV this beer is the adult version of an Ice Cream Truck on a hot day.

Bench Creek Naked Woodsman Pale Ale - $6.99/L

Bench Creek is a fairly new brewery (not even open for a whole year yet) that has been making big waves, especially at our growler bar! Our first Bench Creek beer was their White Raven IPA, which was a huge hit and now we’ve brought in their Naked Woodsman Pale Ale. This beer starts off refreshingly fruity with grapefruit and orange filling the air followed by hints of malt and sweetness. The palate is just as intricate with peach and apricot flavours coating the mouth. This beer finishes with a light crispness that has a punch of star of anise spice to leave you with a lingering flavour. At the moment Bench Creek is only available in growlers, but keep an eye out as the brewery is making plans on releasing their amazing selection in cans! 

Time Posted: Feb 8, 2016 at 9:49 AM
Caitlin Flach
January 28, 2016 | Caitlin Flach

February Staff Picks!

Our staff at Everything Wine and More often get asked the question “What’s your favourite wine?” and let me tell you, it’s not often easy to answer! Each one of us have very different palates and we all enjoy different wines. I myself enjoy off-dry Rieslings and Merlot, while some of my co-workers have vastly different opinions. So we decided to make it easier for our beloved customers! We have now added a STAFF PICKS section to our store which is filled with some of our personal favorites!

Caitlin’s Pick
Falernia Carmenere Reserva

This is one of my favorite reds! This beautiful and satisfying red is deep ruby in colour.  The nose presents with dark cherry, blackberry and plum notes. It does not at all disappoint on the palate, with hints of dark chocolate, cherry, licorice, spice and everything nice! This wine has a great finish with velvety smooth tannins. This full bodied red would go amazing with a nice plate of juicy prime rib!

Graham’s Pick
Nugan Estate Alfredo Dried Grape Shiraz

This Australian Shiraz goes through a very unique process to make it as amazing as it is! The Shiraz grapes are harvested and dried on racks to enhance and intensify the amazing flavours of the grape giving it a powerful and concentrated taste that you won’t soon forget! This full bodied red shows dark fruit and herbaceous notes on the nose followed by intense spice, vanilla, black currant, dark cherry and finishes with smooth tannins. To kick it off, it is rated 92 points by Stephen Tanzer!

Cheata’s Pick
Tinto Negro Mendoza Malbec

Assistant Manager Cheata has chosen this wine as her pick, and it’s a great one! This wine is everything you should expect from a good Malbec, exhibiting rich flavours such as espresso, melted chocolate, blueberry, and blackberry. It is full bodied with just a bit of oak aging to really balance it out. Try it now with goat cheese and beef brisket.

Matt’s Pick
The Industrialist Conviction Sovereign Opal
British Columbia

This is a new one that we just brought back in.  VQA from BC that is an amazing wine for all of you Moscato and Riesling lovers out there! This wine is incredibly fruit forward with flavours such as peach, apple, and pear. It is light and fruity which is pleasing to virtually anyone who likes an easy drinking white to just sit and share with friends! I guarantee you will not be disappointed by Matt’s choice, so pick up a bottle today!

Sam’s Pick
Batasiolo Moscato D’Asti

Sam loves her sweet wines! She chose this Italian Moscato for her staff pick and I promise you it is amazing! Really rich in fruit flavours, this wine exhibits notes of peach, apricot, orange blossoms and rose petals. With a bit of bubble, it is crisp, refreshing, and sweet! It’s perfect for just sitting and drinking on a warm day, or with a yummy dessert such as a cream stuffed pastry!

Time Posted: Jan 28, 2016 at 4:03 PM
Samantha Torrance
November 12, 2015 | Samantha Torrance

Creative Warm Winter Cocktail Recipes

As the winter months start to set in you may be thinking of having a warm drink inside. Most people turn to Bailey’s or Kahlua in coffee, but I’ve got recipes for some new and old favourite warm winter drinks to put a spark back into this chilly season. You can use anything to make a delectable winter beverage, you can even use wine!

Honey Bourbon Toddy
For this recipe you can use any bourbon, but I highly recommend Woodford Reserve Bourbon ($46.99/750ml) as it is very smooth and enjoyable. It has notes of dried fruits, hints of mint and oranges with cocoa, and a faint vanilla on the nose. The palate reveals citrus, cinnamon, cocoa, toffee, caramel, chocolate and spices. Nothing better to go with a honey toddy. You can also try this bourbon at our Sherwood Park tasting bar!

  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 6 tablespoons bourbon or Apple Bourbon
  • 2 strips of lemon peel
  • 2 cinnamon sticks

Stir honey and water in a 2-cup measuring cup until honey dissolves. Add bourbon (or better yet, Apple Bourbon, in which case you'll use 1 Tbsp. honey). Divide between 2 Toddy glasses. Twist a strip of lemon peel over each drink, and then add to glass. Stir each with a cinnamon stick and serve.

Salted Maple Butter Cider
In this recipe you will need dark rum; my recommendation is Gosling’s Black Seal Rum ($29.99/750ml). This rum is balanced with aromas of sweet, dark cooked fruits and a spiced herbal fruitcake, and intricate flavours of butterscotch, vanilla, and caramel. This rum is perfect for this drink as its natural aromas and flavours compliment the flavours of this beverage. You will also need some apple cider, I recommend Pommies Farmhouse Cider ($4.49/437ml) as it is dry so we don’t add too much sweetness to the cocktail because it will already be sweet from the maple syrup.

  • Maldon salt
  • Half of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon softened butter
  • 2 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 vanilla bean pod, seeds scraped out
  • 4 ounces dark rum
  • 8 ounces apple cider

Scatter Maldon salt* on a small plate. Rub the rim of two heatproof glasses or mugs with the lemon half, then dip in salt. Combine the butter, maple syrup, and vanilla bean seeds in small bowl. Set aside. Combine rum and cider in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Pour into prepared glasses, and then top each with half of the butter. Serve immediately.
*I highly recommend getting Maldon salt instead of regular table salt as the texture and flavour is fantastic compared to its regular counterpart. You can find it at the Italian Center or online.

Tequila Mint Hot Chocolate
This recipe does not call for a specific tequila, but I would recommend an Añejo as it pairs with chocolate the best, but if you’re looking for something lower in price a Reposado works well too. For an Añejo I recommend Cazadores A ejo ($51.99/750ml) for this hot chocolate recipe for the citrus, cinnamon, and caramel on the nose and citrus, caramel, honey and floral notes on the palate to compliment the beverage. If that is a bit more than you’re wanting to spend we also have Camarena Reposado ($36.99/750ml) with a nose and palate of raw apple, butter and vanilla. Last but not least you also need some peppermint schnapps. Phillips Peppermint Schnapps will do the trick ($23.99/750ml).

  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • pinch kosher salt
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 4 ounces milk chocolate chips
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 4 ounces tequila
  • 2 ounces peppermint schnapps
  • Whipped cream and mint leaf garnish

In medium saucepan, stir cocoa with sugar and salt. Stir in milk, milk chocolate, and bittersweet chocolate. Heat over medium heat until, stirring constantly, until chocolate is melted and mixture is hot. Gently whisk to completely homogenize mixture. Add tequila and peppermint schnapps. Divide into serving cups and top with whipped cream and mint.

Orchard Boulevardier
In this recipe we use a Rye Whisky, Campari ($27.99/750ml), Sweet Vermouth, and apple cider. For the Vermouth I recommend using Martini Rosso ($13.49/1L or $8.49/500ml), but you can also use Martini Bianco ($13.49/1L). For the apple cider I would recommend either a dry or off dry variety. For the dry we can use the Pommies Farmhouse Cider ($4.49/437ml), or for an off dry you can use Angry Orchard ($15.99/6 Pack). Now with the Rye I highly recommend Forty Creek Rye Whisky ($27.99/750ml) with its aromas of honey, vanilla, apricot, toasty oak, black walnut, and spice. On the palate you’ll find sweet fruits followed by a zesty pepper and spice.

  • 8 ounces apple cider
  • 4 ounces rye whiskey
  • 2 ounce Campari
  • 2 ounce sweet vermouth
  • Garnish: 2 orange twists

Bring apple cider to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Add rye, Campari, and vermouth, stir until warm. Divide between two heatproof mugs or glass serving glasses, garnish with orange twist and serve immediately.

Riesling Hot Toddy
Now for a twist this recipe calls for a white wine base instead of a spirit. The Riesling I recommend using is Relax Riesling ($14.99/750ml). On the nose you find apples, and floral notes following with apples and peaches with a hint of citrus on the palate. This recipe also calls for a bit of brandy. My favorite is Torres 10 Year Brandy ($29.99/750ml). It has a distinct raisin aroma on the nose with spice and vanilla on the palate.

  • 4 cardamom pods
  • 1 (750 milliliter) bottle Riesling
  • 2 teaspoons brandy
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 bay leaves   
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 4 strips lemon zest

Toast cardamom pods in a dry skillet over high heat, tossing often, until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Gently crush with a mortar and pestle. In a medium saucepan combine Riesling, brandy, honey, cardamom pods, and bay leaves. Squeeze lemon halves over liquid and add rinds to the pot. Bring to a gentle simmer then reduce heat to lowest setting and steep for 45 minutes. Strain and divide between 4 cups. Garnish with lemon zest.

Spicy Aztec Hot Chocolate
Last but not least we have another hot chocolate, but in the traditional Aztec style. It uses Mezcal which is similar to tequila. Tequila is Mezcal, but made with blue agave, whereas Mezcal is made from the maguey plant which is a form of agave.  I recommend the Oro De Oaxaca Mezcal ($39.99/750ml). On the nose it is intensely smoky with more smoke, green peppers and a touch of sweetness on the palate. It also comes with a bag of “spices” that include chile pepper, salt and ground up, roasted maguey worms. Fear not, if you don’t want to use this spice bag you don’t need to.

  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • pinch kosher salt
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 6 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 whole dried ancho chile pod, split
  • 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 5 ounces Mezcal
  • Chile powder, cocoa nib, and/or dark chocolate shavings for garnish

In medium saucepan, stir cocoa with sugar and salt. Stir in milk, 2 cinnamon sticks, ancho chile, and bittersweet chocolate. Heat over medium heat until, stirring constantly, until chocolate is melted and mixture is hot. Gently whisk to completely homogenize mixture. Simmer over low heat, whisking occasionally, until fragrant, about 10 minutes. Carefully drain and discard chile and cinnamon sticks. Return to pot and add Mezcal. Heat through. Using a hand blender, a milk frother, or a whisk, beat chocolate until foamy, then divide into four glasses. Garnish with chile powder, cocoa nib (or chocolate shavings), and a cinnamon stick. Serve immediately.

Time Posted: Nov 12, 2015 at 8:22 AM
Samantha Torrance
October 13, 2015 | Samantha Torrance

For All the Beer Lovers!

Did you know that Everything Wine and More has a Growler bar? Not sure what a Growler bar is? Our Growler bar is a specialized system where you can get draft beer in a bottle to take home for later enjoyment. We also pressurize our bottles so they last up to 3 months unopened. Growlers come in one and two liter bottles that cost $4.99 and $8.99 respectively. It is a onetime purchase of the bottles themselves. Every time you come in after the first purchase you simply pay for the liter refills. 

We keep 11 beers and 1 cider on tap with a rotational selection. We also offer tastings of our taps before you choose which beer to fill your growler with. I will highlight some of my favorites from our bar in Sherwood Park and include ABV (Alcohol by Volume) and IBU (International Bittering Units) for determining which beers you may like.

Angry Orchard Crisp Apple Cider - $8.99/1L Fill
Angry Orchard is our only cider on tap and is certified Gluten Free for all those who want draft, but don’t want gluten. With a crisp apple aroma and flavour this cider is hard to resist. It sits at 5% ABV so you can enjoy a growler to yourself or with friends. This cider is medium sweet and it will be hard to share a growler of this with anyone other than yourself.

Fruli Strawberry Belgian White - $12.99/1L Fill
Fruli is one of our sweet beers so if you’re not a huge beer fan or want somewhere to start the night with, Fruli is your beer!  At 4.1% ABV and 15 IBU this wheat beer is sweet and juicy. There is loads of strawberry on the nose and in the flavours of the beer. Made with real strawberry juice, this beer is smooth and easy drinking. Think Hubba Bubba Gum!

Pyramid Apricot Fruit Ale - $9.99/1L Fill
This Apricot ale combines the refreshing taste of fresh apricots and smooth wheat beer. Unfiltered, this beer is 5.1% ABV and has 11 IBU. This beer has 3 gold medals with the latest being in 2014 for the Fruit Wheat Beer category at the Great American Beer Festival. Grab it before it’s gone! When this beer is done we will be replacing it with fall seasonal flavour. 

Phillips Electric Unicorn IPA - $7.99/1L Fill
This beer is a white ale that starts with banana notes and moves into citrusy hops with a spiced, dry finish. I found a lot of grapefruit flavours and aromas in this beer on the palate. This beer is 65 IBU and has an ABV of 6.5% giving it more of a bitter finish. This beer is great for drinking with friends or enjoying while watching the big game. This hoppy seasonal beer will only be around for a limited time so fill up your growler today!

Alley Kat Pumpkin Pie Spiced Ale - $7.99/1L Fill
Alley Kat’s seasonal Pumpkin Pie beer is back just in time for fall! This beer is the closest thing you can get to a pumpkin pie in a bottle. It has wonderful spices of cinnamon, clove and nutmeg on the nose and raw pumpkin pie on the tongue. With a 5.4% ABV and 20 IBU this beer is slightly sweet and perfect for sharing at family dinners. As suggested by one of our customers, try rimming your pint glass with brown sugar before pouring your beer for an added dessert essence.

Brewsters Hawaiian Coconut Porter - $7.99/1L Fill
Last, but not least, is Brewsters new Coconut Porter. This creamy British style porter is aged with fresh coconut for a flavourful trip to the islands. You will get a lot of chocolate and toasted coconut on the nose with more smooth, toasty chocolate coconut on the finish. At 5% ABV and 32 IBU this beer is delectable shared with friends and family. Try it with Coconut Cream pie for dessert.

Time Posted: Oct 13, 2015 at 1:46 PM
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