Thursday, August 4, 2016

READY FOR RIO: Our Olympic Inspired Drinking Game!


We're Ready for Rio! 

In light of the 2016 Rio Olympic games starting tomorrow, August 5th, we have compiled our very own olympic-inspired drinking game! 

So while you're watching your favorite sport and cheering on your team of choice, use this as a fun way to take the games to the next level --- from your living room, of course! 



As always, enjoy and please drink responsibly! 

Friday, July 15, 2016

SALTY, SWEET, & SATISFYING: Alcohol Infused Ice Cream



July is a great month for so many reasons – including optimal beach days with the increasingly hot weather! But with the heat comes a need for a break. A sweet break. We are bringing you our top three favorite (and easy!) alcohol infused ice cream recipes for an ideal cool down. Satisfy your sweet tooth and put a refreshing twist on your day!


First up is Margarita Ice Cream. It’s salty yet refreshing with a tangy punch that will leave you feeling like you’re sitting poolside under some palm trees (and you very well might be!) This ice cream features Lunazul Blanco, a top choice for tequila lovers everywhere.

THE RECIPE:

¾ cup lime juice 
4 tsp. grated lime zest
3 oz. sugar
½ tsp. kosher salt
¾ cup of whole milk (or half&half)
Additional 1 cup of whole milk, chilled
1 cup of cream chilled (or half&half)
*3-4 tbsp. of Lunazul Blanco  

HOW TO:

1. Place ¾ cup of whole milk, salt and sugar in a pan. Heat until sugar is melted, then add in grated lime zest and lime juice and mix to combine all ingredients. *The milk WILL curdle, this is normal!
2. Add the rest of the chilled milk, cream and tequila and mix well to combine! Transfer to the freezer or fridge to chill.
3. Add the chilled mixture to your ice cream maker and churn accordingly.
4. Transfer the ice cream to a container and allow it to harden in the freezer for a few hours.
5. Let the ice cream soften a bit before scooping, or warm up your scoop (under hot water) to allow for easy scooping!
6. Zest extra lime on top before serving (optional)


No churner? No problem! Here’s an alternate way to make your ice cream: 

Place the milk mixture in a large (freezer proof!) dish. Every few hours, use a fork or other appropriate utensil to break up the hardened milk base and mix it in with the rest. Repeat this step every few hours (changing to a whisk or hand mix if it hardens even more) until the mix is icy and smooth. Continue to let it harden for a few hours.  


Next up is PiƱa Colada Sorbet. With fresh pineapple, coconut milk, and lime juice, this sorbet will have you feeling like you’ve just crash landed yourself on your very own private island – even if you are watching over a chaotic backyard of children, or just got back from a long, hot run with the dog! This sorbet features Captain Morgan Original Spiced Rum.


 THE RECIPE:

1 fresh pineapple, cubed
1 cup canned (light) coconut milk
2/3 cups granulated sugar
Juice of a lime
½ tsp. coconut extract (optional)
*2 tbsp. Captain Morgan Original Spiced Rum

HOW TO:

1. Add all of the above ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.
2. Go ahead and refrigerate the mixture until it’s cold.
3. Whisk the mixture if it has separated, then pour it into an ice cream maker (see our “No Churner? No problem!” directions listed above if you do not have access to an ice cream maker.)
4. Freeze the sorbet according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
5. Store the sorbet in an airtight freezer safe container in the freezer until ready to save.

PRO TIP: For best results, freeze the final product for a few hours before serving!

Last up is the Bourbon Soaked Cherry Vanilla Bean Ice Cream. This ice cream is nothing but a boozy, summer-esque version of Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia. So needless to say, it’s about one hundred times better! With fresh coconut milk, vanilla bean, and cherries, this (also vegan) treat is one for the books and will leave your mouth watering for more. This ice cream features Bulleit Bourbon.

THE RECIPE:

¾ can of full fat coconut milk
1 whole vanilla bean (beans scraped, pod reserved)
1 cup of fresh sweet cherries, quartered and halved
3 tbs. of maple syrup
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup of raw cashews, soaked in hot water for approx. ten minutes in room temperature water overnight, then rinsed and drained
¼ cup of water
½ cup of light brown sugar, packed
¼ tsp. sea salt
*3 tbsp. Bulleit Bourbon

HOW TO:

1. Place the ice cream maker freezer container in the freezer for 24 hrs. prior to making the ice cream.
2. In a small pan, add the coconut milk, vanilla beans and pod. Bring to a boil, remove from heat and allow to steep and cool while cherries are prepped.
3. In a lidded container, add the cherries, maple syrup, bourbon, and extract. Store in the fridge before churning.
4. In a high speed blender: pour in the coconut milk, including the beans and pod, cashews, water, brown sugar, and sea salt. Blend on medium-high for about 30 seconds. Blend a second time until silky smooth, about 30 seconds. Pour into a container (it’s normal if this gets steamy) and store in the fridge for at least 8 hours.
5. Before churning, strain the strawberries while reserving the bourbon mixture. Pour the mixture into the cashew base mixture and stir well.
6. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper and place in the freezer just before churning.
7. Churn your ice cream! A minute or so before it’s done, add in the cherries. Hand mix the cherries into the ice cream using a spoon if it is not soft enough!
8. Spoon the ice cream into the loaf pan and press down to ensure it’s free of pesky air bubbles. Place the parchment paper on top and put into a plastic storage bag.
9. Serve at desired consistency! 


We hope you enjoy our infused ice cream recipes for some outside-the-box summertime refreshment! Let us know if you try any of the recipes listed above! 


Recipes can be found below at their original source:


Wednesday, June 8, 2016

COOL FOR THE SUMMER: What to Do & What to Drink


The weather is heating up and Summer is just around the corner. For some of us, last Summer was a bust – one too many days on the beach or by the lake, somehow bored with no idea what to do. We’ve all been there, but we’re avoiding that this Summer. Normally we’d just say “grab a drink!” But what’s a drink by the water without some fun activities? So, here are our Top 3 Summer Games and the best drinks to accompany them.

GAME: CORNHOLE
DRINK OF CHOICE: MIKE’S HARD LEMONADE


Cornhole: an American classic! This game is simple as can be (which might be why we’ve recommended a drink to go along with it) and can be played by the lake, on the beach, or in your backyard. Take turns throwing bean bags onto the platform. Get the beanbag on the platform? 1 point! Sink that beanbag into the hole? 3 points! Let’s see who reaches the 21 point victory first after enjoying a refreshing, cold Mike’s Hard Lemonade (or two). This season, check out Mike’s Hard Peach Lemonade and Mike’s Hard Watermelon for a delicious, satisfying victory – even if you do lose the game!


Cornhole

GAME: RING TOSS

DRINK OF CHOICE: MILLER HIGH LIFE

We’re all about the classic American games, and ring toss is surely one of them! Let each player take turns tossing all of their rings onto the bottles. Whoever accumulates the most points at the end wins! Remove a few bottles to increase difficulty, but keep in mind that your beer’s getting warm! Chill it out in a cooler if things get too intense. We recommend a rolling speaker cooler (as pictured below) to keep things cold and up beat! Our pairing suggestion is the always classic Miller High Life – a perfect choice for an afternoon of ring toss in the sun!




Ring Toss


Rolling Speaker Cooler


GAME: SLAMMO
DRINK OF CHOICE: SAM ADAM’S SUMMER ALE
An up and coming favorite, Slammo is a must have game for all of your Summer fun. A 2-on-2 volleyball style game, each team has three tries to return the ball on the net to the opposing team. The catch? It’s only ankle high! The competition will be steep with this one, and we recommend playing beachside with a cold brew in hand. Sam Adam’s Summer Ale is our choice, as it’s light, smooth taste and flavorful finish makes for the perfect refresher between a few rounds of Slammo. After the competition, throw some burgers on the grill (we recommend a portable grill, as pictured below) and reward the winning team with another round of Summer Ale to celebrate!


Slammo

Wooden Grill 


The impending days of Summer can be long and hot, so stay cool and keep active with these fun game and drink combos, and enjoy! For more ideas on what to do and drink this Summer, check out our boards on Pinterest at https://www.pinterest.com/gappromo/

Friday, April 15, 2016

LET'S TALK CIDER: UNIQUE DOWN TO THE ROOTS



Craft breweries and cider houses, amongst the traditional breweries, have been increasingly popping up all across the U.S. - and yet none of them are quite comparable to one another. When it comes down to it, brewers are putting their best foot forward to stand out from the crowd in a highly competitive industry. Its all about being unique, and for many brewers, the cultural influences of where they reside on the map is one of their biggest inspirations. For brewers who have set up shop here in New England, some of that inspiration may be a main ingredient of local apples fresh from the orchard to set their brew apart from the rest. Thats right - were talking about Far From The Tree, located here in our own backyard in Salem, MA.

Far From The Tree is a local cider house that started back in the Fall of 2013, and has been a standout favorite since its first cider release in 2014. Owners, Al and Denise Snape, brought the business to life with their mutual dream of opening a cider house after returning from England, where Al pursued a degree in winemaking. After all of their travels, they decided to ground themselves in Salem, MA after finding their perfect home for their cider house - and we are so glad they did. 

The cider house is located on the corner of Jackson St. in Salem, MA and you quite literally cant miss it. The buildings bright red exterior and custom signage is punchy and welcoming, and seriously feels like home. While the cider house, with its open concept and outdoor seating, is great for the warmer months, the taproom is open during the winter months from Thursday through Sunday at varying times for tourists and locals to satisfy their cider sweet tooth. While Al and Denise keep rolling out new ciders, they all have one thing in common, and that is that they are all made from local orchard apples right in central Massachusetts. Not only that, but the apples are brought straight to their cellar after being pressed.

Far From The Tree is unique to its ROOTS, appealing to locals and tourists alike with its true New England influences, from their branding, to their ingredients, and all the way down to their staff. We know where to go to grab a taste of home and have a good time, and thats at Far From The Tree.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Happy National Beer Day!

Today is National Beer Day! April 7 marks the day prohibition ended in the United States in 1933 thanks to President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Although the law didn’t officially go into effect until December 5, the brewing and sale of beer was legal again as of April 7, as long as it was <3.2% ABV.

Didn’t know the meaning behind National Beer Day? That’s alright. Don’t know much about prohibition? That’s alright, too! We’ve made this “beergraphic” for you highlighting just some of the more interesting facts about prohibition.




Cheers!

Friday, March 25, 2016

“SPRING”-ING UP: THE GROWTH OF LOCAL BREWERIES



Aside from the happy and hoppy cheer that March embodies thanks to St. Pattys, lets be honest, theres not much going on this month. But as of the 20th, Spring has sprung and in a similar fashion, so are two of the best local breweries in Massachusettsfor a second time! Following the nationwide increase in craft breweries ­­ there are now over 4,000 and counting ­ Tree House Brewing Co. of Monson, MA and Trillium Brewery of Boston, MA have both decided to open up a second location here in our great state. The addition of these new locations makes for an exciting time for New England natives and craft beer lovers alike.

Tree House Brewing Co.'s second location is set to open in Charlton, MA in 2017. Still a relatively new brewery, Tree House began in 2012 as a one-man operation based out of a garage. Their expansion, set to be underway in 2016 and finalized in 2017, is sure to only increase their popularity, as beer fans continuously line up for weekend beer tastings and growler fills of some of Tree Houses most unique and flavorful brews. Tree House co-founder, Nate Lanier, is more than looking forward to the opening of the second location, calling it their dream brewery.Lanier states that the new location in Charlton, MA is a great mesh with the aesthetic of the Tree House brand; rural, serene, and woodsy. The 45,000 square foot location will include yet another new addition of a retail shop alongside the brewery itself.

Trillium Brewery of Boston, MA is another one of Massachusettsfinest craft breweries to open up a new location. Their second location in Canton, MA opened last year, which expanded their family owned and operated brewery and increased their production. Trilliums original brewery resides in Fort Point, one of Bostons unique historic waterfront neighborhoods, that intertwines incredibly well with the rooted and cultural facets of the Trillium brand. Trillium co-founder, JC Tetreault, notes that the Fort Point location is to operate as a pilot brewery, with the new Canton location being their primary facility. Similarly to Tree House Brewing Co., Trilliums move to the rural and historic Canton area is seen to be a great fit for the brewerys future plans. 

Craft beer enthusiasts everywhere, brace yourselves. Local breweries are springing up everywhere, every day. For those not native to the area, the increase in craft breweries makes an obvious need for a trip to the Bay State. For Massachusetts residents, its time to sit back, relax, and enjoy some of the greatest craft beers right in your own backyard or neighborhood brewery.

Friday, January 29, 2016

The Rise of Hard Soda



There’s no denying the impact that Not Your Father’s RootBeer has had on the beer market over the last year. It was the third top-selling craft beer brand in the U.S. between January 1 and November 29, 2015, selling more than long-time craft brands like Samuel Adams Boston Lager. That’s an incredible feat for a product that was virtually unknown before last summer – and the brewing industry has taken notice.

Both small and large brewers have begun releasing their answers to this hard root beer phenomenon. Boston Beer Co. (owner of Samuel Adams and Angry Orchard) threw their hat in the hard root beer ring with Coney Island Hard Root Beer, which is now the second highest selling alcoholic root beer. Anheuser-Busch also joined in with their root beer offering, Best Damn Root Beer.

Root beer is just the first step in the hard soda category. With the success that these products have had in the market, brewers have started releasing other hard soda flavors, like Henry’s Hard Orange Soda and Ginger Ale by MillerCoors. Released earlier this month, Henry’s Hard Soda is bringing a new twist to the segment, by producing more refreshing, lower-alcohol offerings aimed at Gen Xers.

So what has caused this rise in hard soda’s popularity?

Consumers are always looking for new and interesting beverage choices, especially in the craft beer community. Hard sodas have offered the less hop-headed drinkers a sweeter alternative to beer. Non-alcoholic carbonated soft drinks sales have been declining steadily, as people have become more health conscious. Many consumers feel that if they are going to indulge in soda, they would prefer for it to have alcohol in it.

Is the hard soda category sustainable, or will it be a passing fad? It’s still too early to tell, but with the prominent success of Not Your Father’s Root Beer and other brands, we are just seeing the beginning of the hard soda explosion. Expect much, much more in 2016.

Check out our Hard Soda recipe Pinterest board here!

We enjoyed making some Not Your Father's Root Beer floats today in the office!