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Autumn Breeze

Autumn Breeze Drink Recipe - London Dry Gin, Aperol Aperitivo Liqueur, Cranberry Juice Cocktail, Pink Grapefruit Sparkling Mineral Water, Lime Slice or Grapefruit Twist Garnish - {recipe and photo credit: Mixologist Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist www.intoxicologist.net}

Autumn Breeze Fall Cocktail {recipe and photo credit: Mixologist Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist www.intoxicologist.net}

Fall cocktails are usually heavily laced with flavors of apple and pumpkin. They remind us of pies baking in the oven with flaky cinnamon and sugar sprinkled crusts. Delicious! But this season is also about lovely autumn breezes, colorful leaves and in some cases, mild sweater weather.

The Autumn Breeze drink recipe embraces the carefree days of fall by way of color and flavor. The drink’s color reminds me of the beautiful, vibrant color of fall leaves. The flavor is fresh, light and full of juicy sweetness with barely there bitter spice. There is almost a slight peach flavor in the background. Autumn Breeze is ideal for Thanksgiving, but could easily carry through to spring with its airy freshness.

Autumn Breeze Drink Recipe

Autumn Breeze Drink Recipe - London Dry Gin, Aperol Aperitivo Liqueur, Cranberry Juice Cocktail, Pink Grapefruit Sparkling Mineral Water, Lime Slice or Grapefruit Twist Garnish - {recipe and photo credit: Mixologist Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist www.intoxicologist.net}

Autumn Breeze Drink Recipe – London Dry Gin, Aperol Aperitivo Liqueur, Cranberry Juice Cocktail, Pink Grapefruit Sparkling Mineral Water, Lime Slice or Grapefruit Twist Garnish – {recipe and photo credit: Mixologist Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist www.intoxicologist.net}

Autumn Breeze – recipe by Mixologist Cheri Loughlin

3/4 ounce London Dry Gin

1/2 ounce Aperol Aperitivo Liqueur

1-1/2 ounce Cranberry Juice Cocktail

2-1/4 ounce Perrier Pink Grapefruit Sparkling Mineral Water

Lime Wedge or Grapefruit Twist Garnish

Place large cube of ice or several small cubes of ice in large rocks glass. Add gin, Aperol and cranberry juice. Stir briefly. Top with pink grapefruit sparkling water. Garnish with choice of sliced lime wedge or fresh grapefruit twist.

Perrier Sparkling Mineral Water

Autumn Breeze Drink Recipe - London Dry Gin, Aperol Aperitivo Liqueur, Cranberry Juice Cocktail, Pink Grapefruit Sparkling Mineral Water, Lime Slice or Grapefruit Twist Garnish - {recipe and photo credit: Mixologist Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist www.intoxicologist.net}

Autumn Breeze {recipe and photo credit: Mixologist Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist www.intoxicologist.net}

I used Perrier Pink Grapefruit Sparkling Mineral Water while creating this cocktail. In addition to the Pink Grapefruit flavored Perrier Sparkling Mineral Water, I have also sampled the Unflavored, Lime and Lemon flavors. Unflavored is interchangeable or comparable to products such as San Pellegrino if you are familiar with that product. Lime flavor has proven to be a big hit in my home, served chilled straight from the bottle or poured over ice. It could also be used in the lower calorie Margarita on the Rocks recipe. The Lemon flavor contains too much lemon oil / lemon furniture polish aroma and flavor in the initial taste and aftertaste for my preference.

Perrier Sparkling Mineral Water samples provided by representatives of Perrier. Join the conversation on Twitter @SPerrier_USA and facebook.com/Perrier

Cheri Loughlin Beverage Consultant & Photography Services

All content ©2013 Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist. All Rights Reserved. Chat with Cheri @Intoxicologist on Twitter and facebook.com/Intoxicologist or str8upcocktails@gmail.com

Sagatiba Cachaça Mixed Berry Sangria

Mixed Berry Sangria 070 is an easy five ingredient recipe for a crowd. Riesling wine, Cachaca, Pisco, Coconut Juice and handy bag of flash frozen mixed fruit make this Mixed Berry Sangria easy to put together in just a few minutes. - recipe and photo by Mixologist Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist

Mixed Berry Sangria – photo and recipe by Mixologist Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist

This Mixed Berry Sangria is so easy to put together. The five ingredients should take you five minutes or less to build in a pitcher. Make it early in the day for evening serve or make it the day before for next day serve. Mixed Berry Sangria is light, fruity and not too sweet. It finishes out with a beautiful pale pink color.

Mixed Berry Sangria Recipe

Mixed Berry Sangria 050 is an easy five ingredient recipe for a crowd. Riesling wine, Cachaca, Pisco, Coconut Juice and handy bag of flash frozen mixed fruit make this Mixed Berry Sangria easy to put together in just a few minutes. - recipe and photo by Mixologist Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist

Mixed Berry Sangria is an easy five ingredient recipe for a crowd. Riesling wine, Cachaca, Pisco, Coconut Juice and handy bag of flash frozen mixed fruit make this Mixed Berry Sangria easy to put together in just a few minutes. – recipe and photo by Mixologist Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist

Mixed Berry Sangria – recipe by Mixologist Cheri Loughlin

1 – 750ml Bottle Barefoot Riesling Wine

3 ounces Sagatiba Cachaça Pura

2 ounces Pisco Portón

6 ounces Coconut Juice

1 cup Fresh or Frozen Mixed Fruit

Place assortment of mixed fruits in bottom of pitcher. I used a bag of frozen, unsweetened mixed fruits containing strawberries, peach slices, pitted cherries and pineapple chunks. I selected 4 pieces of each fruit for the pitcher.

Add riesling wine, cachaça, pisco and coconut juice to the pitcher. Stir briefly. Cover with lid or plastic wrap. Refrigerate several hours or overnight for best results.

A Word About Frozen Fruit

Frozen peach slice as garnish keeps the cocktail cold and you don't waste cutting into an entire peach for garnish. Score! – recipe and photo by Mixologist Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist

Frozen peach slice as garnish keeps the cocktail cold and you don’t waste cutting into an entire peach for garnish. Score! – recipe and photo by Mixologist Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist

Fresh berries and delicious fruits have become easier to find year round, but sometimes it’s just handy to have a bag or two of frozen fruit on hand in the freezer. I usually keep an assortment of frozen fruits in the freezer for smoothies, blender drinks such as fruit margaritas and when I want just a single fruit slice or one or two berries for a drink garnish. Frozen fruits come in handy!

Frozen berries are great for dropping into champagne. They keep the champagne chilled and soak up a little bubbly flavor while you sip. That’s a delicious little noshing bonus at the end of the drink. Frozen cranberries make festive floating garnish in holiday cocktails. Layer frozen cranberries with small lime wedges in an ordinary Cape Cod and you have a very festive drink for the holidays without breaking your budget.

We always talk about fresh is best, but there is still room for creative use in the frozen fruit department. Make use of quality frozen fruit. It’s a creative option and valuable time saver!

Sagatiba Cachaca Bottle 018 shown on side laying on basket. - photo by Mixologist Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist

Sagatiba Cachaca Bottle – photo by Mixologist Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist

Sample courtesy Sagatiba Cachaça representatives.

All content ©2013 Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist. All Rights Reserved. Chat with Cheri @Intoxicologist on Twitter and facebook.com/Intoxicologist or str8upcocktails@gmail.com

Affordable Spirits for Your Home Bar

Fine wine, great deals on spirits too.

Purchasing quality and affordable spirits for the home bar is easier than you might think. Don’t settle for cheap alcohol to fill the shelves. Make a bar plan. Start with the best affordable alcohols available. Build your starter bar from there.

Hundreds of cocktails can be mixed and sipped from just a few bottles of booze. The key is choosing quality affordable spirits. Quality liquor will ensure a quality cocktail; if you follow a good recipe that is.

Affordable Spirits Basics

Stock your home bar with basic affordable spirits first and then add flavored liquors and premium spirits later - photo by Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist

Stock your home bar with basic affordable spirits first and then add flavored liquors and premium spirits later – photo by Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist

Start with a basic set of affordable spirits that will set the stage for a broad spectrum of cocktail recipe choices. Make sure you know at least five to ten easy 2 ingredient and 3 ingredient cocktails for each liquor you decide to stock in your home bar. We are all creatures of habit. Though we like to try new cocktail recipes, we will often go back to our favorite recipes and those that are quick and easy to make at the end of a long day.

New flavor infusions arrive on the spirits scene every day. Don’t get hooked into purchasing flavored spirits for your basic bar stock. Add flavors later. Flavored spirits can be terrific, but have limited use in a variety of basic drink recipes.

Basic affordable spirits to keep in mind include the following:

Vodka; Gin; Silver Rum; Silver Tequila; Whiskey or Bourbon; Blended Scotch; Brandy or Cognac; Dry Vermouth; Sweet Vermouth; Coffee Liqueur; Peach Schnapps; Amaretto Liqueur; Crème de Cacao

If you love classic cocktails like I do try to make room in your budget for Campari, Maraschino Liqueur, Galliano, Irish Whiskey, Apricot Brandy, Raspberry Liqueur and of course a Sparkling Wine or Brut Champagne.

I usually don’t recommend buying the cheapest alcohol that can be found on the shelf. Finding affordable spirits within a reasonable budget is the goal. There are terrific affordable spirits in the $10 to $20 range.

Affordable Spirits Online

Another option to keep in mind when stocking your home bar is buying spirits online. Often online liquor stores will offer discounts on purchases over a particular dollar amount. Some offer discounts on a particular number of bottles purchased. This might make it easier to include a few of those extra liquors.

Combine your order with a friend or group of friends to make a large order and take advantage of discounts offered. Sign up for an account and become a member of an online liquor store. Some offer special member discounts. Watch the clearance items to take advantage of more affordable spirits you might have otherwise missed.

Finding Affordable Spirits Locally

Find affordable spirits locally by looking for sales and clearance items - photo by Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist

Find affordable spirits locally by looking for sales and clearance items – photo by Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist

One of the liquor stores I frequent has a large bargain barrel with clearance wine and spirits. The bottles that go into the barrel are not bad. They are bottles that just don’t move off the shelves quickly enough for the comfort of the store. I have found some great deals on artisanal spirits in the barrel. Honestly if people knew how good some of these spirits are, the liquor store shelves would be empty. Shop around. See if any of your local liquor stores move old inventory for new inventory. It is a great way to find affordable spirits for your home bar.

Another local business is a combination liquor store and event planning service. They supply bartenders and the liquor needed for events. They always have great deals. The owner explained to me a long time ago that sometimes a liquor company will change bottle styles or labels on their product. Local liquor stores want the new product on their shelves, not the old style. Since he uses the product at events most of the time, he doesn’t care if the label or bottle style has changed. The liquid inside is the same. He buys up cases of the old label style for discounted prices and is able pass along those discounts to his customers. Look around at your local businesses. This is just another way to search for affordable spirits locally.

Add your comment: What tips would you give for finding the best affordable spirits for a starter home bar?

Post sponsored by Wine Chateau – All commentary and opinion by Cheri Loughlin

Cheri Loughlin Beverage Consultant & Photography Services

All content ©2013 Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist. All Rights Reserved. Chat with Cheri @Intoxicologist on Twitter and facebook.com/Intoxicologist or str8upcocktails@gmail.com

Girls Night Out Cocktail: Harvest Moon

Many fine Italian wines for sale.

Girls Night Out sometimes comes with a few misconceptions. It isn’t necessarily a gab fest of complaints about significant others, how the office queen is trying to ruin our next step up the ladder of success or how little Tommy just graduated from tricycle to training wheels. Often it’s about breathing a much needed sigh of relief, not worrying about anyone else and countless laughs for a few hours. And if we look good in a smokin’ hot dress and high heel shoes while having a good time, all the better.

Ditch the Cosmo, howl at the moon! Enjoy Girls Night Out, Ladies!

Harvest MoonAmerican Harvest Harvest Moon photo provided by Sidney Frank Importing Company Inc 600

2 ounces American Harvest

1/2 ounce Le Combier Triple Sec

1/2 ounce Fresh Lemon Juice

1/4 ounce Grenadine

Lemon Twist Garnish

Combine liquids in cocktail shaker with ice. Shake to blend and chill. Strain into chilled coupe glass. Garnish with lemon twist.

Girls Night Out is also synonymous with wine tasting evenings in. Wine Chateau has a large selection of wines, including fine Italian wines, currently priced to fit every budget.

Post sponsored by Wine Chateau – All commentary and opinion by Cheri Loughlin

cAmerican Harvest Logoocktail recipe and photo provided by representatives of Sidney Frank Importing Company, Inc. & American HarvestAmerican Harvest on Facebook – @AHOrganicSpirit on Twitter

All content ©2013 Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist. All Rights Reserved. Chat with Cheri @Intoxicologist on Twitter and facebook.com/Intoxicologist or str8upcocktails@gmail.com

ONEHOPE Wine Gives Back

Get wine with free shipping on a case or more.

ONEHOPE Wine Cork

ONEHOPE wine is produced by ONEHOPE in partnership with Rob Mondavi, Jr. ONEHOPE incorporates causes into products and services for maximum social impact. Their focus; “giving back is good business.” It is such good business; ONEHOPE has raised over $1 million for non-profit organizations. These non-profits include, but are not limited to breast cancer prevention and treatment, ending child hunger and Autism research and treatment. The bottle of ONEHOPE California Merlot I purchased mentions 50% of profits are donated to non-profits who support the fight against HIV/AIDS.

The ONEHOPE website allows you to purchase wine directly from the site. It shows the dollar amount that is donated to the chosen non-profit. ONEHOPE donates an additional dollar amount to a charity of your choice. I found ONEHOPE wine locally at Whole Foods.

ONEHOPE Wine California Merlot 006

I found this wine easily drinkable. Delicious blackberry and raspberry flavors. Lush. Just enough acidity. Sweetness, but not too sweet. Hints of apple. Possibly a little bit of grapefruit. Touch of peach. ONEHOPE California Merlot retails for $18.99. Oh, and the bottle of ONEHOPE California Merlot I happened to pick up had one of the best wine quotes ever printed on the cork!

ONEHOPE Wine Cork Ernest Hemingway Quote 013

ONEHOPE Wine is also affiliated with Hope at Home. HOPE at HOME centers around private wine tastings and fundraisers in the privacy of one’s home. These fun events are currently available in the San Diego, Los Angeles and San Francisco areas. Learn how to host an event or become a wine specialist on the HOPE at HOME website.

Apparently ONEHOPE offers coffee as well. Check it out.

Post sponsored by Wine Chateau. All commentary and opinions are my own.

Cheri Loughlin Beverage Consultant & Photography Services

Twitter, Facebook, StumbleUpon – str8upcocktails @ gmail.com – ©2013 Cheri Loughlin-The Intoxicologist, All Rights Reserved.