Let’s Toast: Fresh Strawberry Sparkler

StrawberrySparkler
This tasty cocktail recipe uses freshly pureed strawberries to bring out the flavors of the season. We’ve had great deals on organic strawberries lately, so be sure to stop in and pick up a container!
To make the cocktail you will need:

2 cups hulled strawberries
2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup orange juice
1 bottle chilled Prosecco or other dry sparkling wine
1 orange, sliced into rounds
In a blender, puree 2 cups hulled and 2 tablespoons water until smooth. In a pitcher, combine strawberry puree, cup 1 bottle chilled or other dry sparkling wine, and 1 sliced into rounds, and stir gently.

New Brew News | 2

We’re excited to bring you the second installment of New Brew News, written by the Co-op’s Beer Buyer (and resident taste-tester) Joe Norris. If you’re ever curious about a beer before purchasing it, there’s a good chance Joe can give you a rundown of its flavor highlights.

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Let’s Toast: Tamarind Ginger Cooler

Tamarind, or Indian Dates, are a member of the legume family. While tamarind is indigenous to Africa, it is widely used in cuisines around the world today, but mostly in Mexico and South Asia. Underneath the woody shell is a sticky flesh which covers big, thick seeds.  It is sour and sweet, which adds a great depth of flavor to curries and sauces. In this recipe, we have made a pulp with the flesh by boiling it with water and sugar and then paired it with a spicy ginger ale- creating a wealth of flavors for your palate. For those of you of age and not faint of taste buds, we recommend tossing in an ounce of your favorite tequila.
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To make this recipe you will need:
1/2 cup sugar
20 tamarind pods
ginger ale
tequila (for those brave enough and/or old enough)
Take outer shell off of tamarind pods. Place tamarind meat and sugar in a large pot with 32 oz. of water. Bring to a boil then remove from heat. Let tamarind soak for an hour and a half. Once the water has cooled down, use your hands to squeeze the tamarind pulp and remove the hard seeds and the majority of the strings still attached to the pulp. Place mixture in a blender and blend until smooth.
To make the cooler, mix 2 tablespoons of tamarind mixture, 6 oz. of ginger ale and 1 oz of tequila.

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New Brew News | 1

Written by our fabulous Beer Buyer (and drinker), Joe Norris, New Brew News will bring you reviews of new brews that you can find on the Co-op shelves.

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OdellRunoffRedIPA

SockeyeGalenaGold

GreenFlashPalateWrecker

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Let’s Toast: Blood Orange Mimosas

BloodOrangesBlood oranges, named for their deep red flesh, have thin skin, usually with deep in orange color or with hints of red. Because their flavor is deep and their color is so enticing they are great for cocktails, like mimosas, which show off their jewel-like tones. Here’s a simple and delicious recipe for blood orange mimosas:
1 bottle of chilled prosecco or champagne
juice of 4 blood oranges
Place 3 tablespoons of juice in glasses and fill with sparkling wine.
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Wine, Cheese + Chocolate Pairings, Part 2

If you find yourself hopelessly wandering around the wine section trying to figure out what will go perfectly with the cheese and chocolate in your cart, then this two part guide is for you. Be sure to check out part one.
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Featured left to right: rosé, pecorino, milk chocolate
Although the color is described as sweet, rosé is typically described as dry (the opposite of sweet). The color of rosé is developed from the juice of white grapes and the skins of their red counterparts. This often makes for a more subtle flavor which pairs well with the saltiness and nuttiness of a pecorino cheese, made from sheep’s milk. Because of the mild and dry flavor of a rose, a sweeter, creamy milk chocolate makes a tasty companion.

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Featured from left to right: Syrah, truffle sea-salt cheddar, dark chocolate with espresso beans
Syrah is a fuller-bodied dark red wine that starts out with deep fruity flavors and often tapers to peppery notes. This flavor profile makes a perfect match for the sharpness of an aged cheddar, especially the one pictured, with truffle and sea salt. The depth of flavor in syrah stands up well to the bitterness of dark chocolate with espresso beans in it.

RieslingGoudaCollageFeatured from left to right: Riesling, Gouda, chocolate with caramel and sea salt
Riesling, a sweeter white wine, is known for its notes of citrus, apricot and honey. It’s these flavors that pair nicely with the bold, buttery flavor of Gouda- smoked or not. A sweet Riesling is also an equal match for a milky chocolate with caramel, toffee and sea salt.

Wine, Cheese + Chocolate Pairings, Part 1

If you find yourself hopelessly wandering around the wine section trying to figure out what will go perfectly with the cheese and chocolate in your cart, then this two part guide is for you.
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Featured from left to right: prosecco, triple creme brie, dark chocolate with hazelnut + currant
Prosecco, a nice alternative to champagne, pairs well with the luxurious texture and high butterfat content of a triple creme brie. The bubbles in prosecco offer a nice refreshing balance to the creamy texture of brie and the sweet and salty flavor and crunchy texture of a chocolate loaded with fruit and nuts.

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Featured from left to right: cabernet sauvignon, blue cheese, 85% dark chocolate
This pairing is not for the faint of heart- or taste. These flavors are bold and complement each other well. The salt and tang of a blue cheese needs something more full-bodied to stand up to its pungent flavor. Enter cabernet sauvignon. Drinkers of cabernet sauvignon often note the flavors of dark fruit, oak and smoke all of which tame the strength of blue cheeses and super-dark chocolate. The red wine and dark chocolate also pack a one-two punch of antioxidants.

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Featured from left to right: chardonnay, plain goat cheese, white chocolate with strawberries
Often with citric notes and crisp flavor, a chardonnay balances well with the herbal and tangy flavors of chevre. The lightness of the chardonnay is also a perfect match for a fruity and buttery white chocolate, which can be overwhelming with sweeter wines.

Hostess Gift Idea: Bloody Mary Fixin’s

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Looking for a way to thank the person who graciously hosts all of your rowdy friends for get-togethers? How about a step up from the bottle of wine you’re secretly re-gifting? Let us suggest some delicious goodies to make killer bloody marys! The Co-op now carries a fabulous (and reasonably priced at $6.59 per bottle) line of mixers from Powell and Mahoney that can be paired with Tillen Farms’ Pickled Crispy Asparagus ($6.99 per jar) and Jeff’s Naturals Garlic Stuffed Olives ($5.39 per jar). You can opt to throw in your favorite vodka, place it in a basket or tie it up with some cute twine and hand it off to the hostess of the evening. She’ll be especially thankful the morning after her shindig.

Let’s Toast: Sparkling Persimmon Cocktail

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 If you’ve ever wanted to spice up your repertoire of seasonal libations, then this post is for you. And if you’ve ever been poking around the produce department and found yourself wondering, “What’s with the orange tomatoes?”, then this post is for you.  Welcome to “Let’s Toast”, a feature that’s sure to freshen up the way you imbibe. Persimmons, at their peak right now, are delicately sweet with almost a mild cinnamon flavor.  They’re firm, yet juicy and make a fabulous addition to a salad. We, however, like to cook them down, throw ‘em in with our favorite bubbly beverage and toast to the season.

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Bubbly Persimmon Cocktail
Persimmon syrup
1 ripe Fuyu persimmon, cut into ½-inch cubes
1/2 cup water
fresh grated nutmeg
1 sprig rosemary
1 cup brown sugar

In a medium saucepan, cook the persimmon over medium heat until the pieces caramelize, 5 to 10 minutes. Keep the persimmons moving around the pan to prevent them from sticking to pan or burning. Stir in the water and rosemary, then grate one-fourth of a nutmeg into the pan. Bring mixture to a boil, then add the brown sugar and stir until dissolved. Remove from heat, strain and set aside to cool. Makes 1 cup of syrup, which is more than the recipe calls for, but it can be kept in a jar in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Assembly
1 ounce orange liqueur
1 tablespoon persimmon syrup
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
4 ounces dry Prosecco, Champagne or your favorite bubbly
small sprig of rosemary, for garnish

In a cocktail shaker with ice, combine the orange liqueur, persimmon syrup and lemon juice. Shake and strain into a Champagne flute or saucer. Top with Champagne. Garnish with a sprig of rosemary and a cranberry.

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