Friday, December 8, 2017

“Oh the weather outside is frightful, and the cocktails are so delightful…” By Megan Butera

“Oh the weather outside is frightful, and the cocktails are so delightful…”
New England’s cold and snowy winters always arrive before we know it. The days become shorter, the wind feels colder and the snow and sub-freezing weather is almost always a certainty.  It also means it is that time of year again- the festive holiday season- and, before we realize it, this joyful season will be in full swing. This, to many, means spending more time with family and friends, baking holiday treats, relaxing, and having fun whether it is outside building a snowman on a crisp sunny day or inside curled up by the fireplace. No matter how you decide to spend your winter day, a winter cocktail will keep you feeling festive.
Here are some of our favorite recipes and brands to enjoy…

Spiced Egg Nog

1 oz. Admiral Nelson’s Spiced Rum
4 oz. Egg Nog
Add a dash of cinnamon to garnish

Spiked Chocolate
1 oz. Candy Cane Burnett’s Vodka
4 oz. Hot Chocolate
Add whip cream to garnish

Winter Sea Breeze
1 oz. Ketel One Vodka
1 oz. Grapefruit Juice
2 oz. Soda Water
Add some pomegranate seeds & 3 mint leaves to garnish

A signature cocktail is a must at any holiday get together. These tasty holiday drinks and flavorful brands are sure to warm up your guests. Which holiday drink are you going to try to get into the swing of the season?

Monday, November 20, 2017

My Thanksgiving Experience : By Brett Fox

Thanksgiving has been an American holiday for nearly 400 years and this year it occurs on November 23rd. Some of the traditions that go along with Thanksgiving have been altered while others have remained consistent. Turkey has been the staple of the meal since the very beginning, though it has been prepared in a variety of ways. The first Thanksgiving celebration was reported to include vegetables such as onions, beans, lettuce, cabbage, carrots, and most notably, corn. Most of these are still seen at the Thanksgiving table today. Seafood and shellfish, however, was reportedly present at the first Thanksgiving but is typically absent from today’s menus. Mussels, in particular, were abundant in New England and could be easily harvested because they clung to rocks along the shoreline. On the other hand, potatoes, whether mashed or roasted, white or sweet, are almost always eaten on Thanksgiving today. Surprisingly, they had no place at the table 400 years ago.

     One of the non-food related Thanksgiving traditions that Americans have honored over the past century is watching or playing football. Over the last 8 years, I’ve had the opportunity to do both. In high school, I remember playing in a “Turkey game” in the late morning on Thanksgiving Day. Directly after the game, I would go to my house along with many of my family members who came to watch me play. Thanksgiving dinner was usually hosted at my house but everybody contributed with a dish or two. Some of the dishes that can traditionally be seen at my house are sweet potato casserole, steamed carrots and green beans, homemade mashed potatoes, stuffing, homemade cranberry sauce, and our famous pecan pumpkin butter trifle.

            My mom’s side of the family is the typical Thanksgiving crew, which includes my grandma, my three aunts and their families, and my family. Since I am the oldest cousin of the group, I haven’t been exposed to alcohol much and how it can get incorporated into food recipes. Since I turned 21 this past June, I’ve discovered new ways to integrate alcohol into our own family recipes. One of the newest trends on this subject is cooking chicken or turkey with beer.

     Beer and food are a natural pairing. As much as we love to drink beer while eating, it is also great to cook with and is always nice with poultry. To wow your guests with a beer-basted turkey for Thanksgiving, all you need are the turkey, butter, an optional stuffing of your choice, and 24 ounces of your favorite beer. I recommend using Dale’s Pale Ale for this recipe as it provides a balance of pale malts and citrusy floral hops. Before cooking the turkey, prepare a mixture of melted butter and one can of Dale’s Pale Ale and pour it over the bird. While roasting, baste the turkey every 20 minutes with the beer/butter mixture. About halfway through the cooking, pour the second can of beer over the turkey and let it sit until the bird is ready.

     Another family recipe that I thought about incorporating alcohol into is our pecan pumpkin butter trifle. I think Evan Williams Bourbon would fit perfectly into this recipe because of its hints of oak, brown sugar, and caramel. To assemble this trifle, all you need is spiced pumpkin bread, a homemade pecan pumpkin butter cream mixture, pecans, maple syrup, and bourbon. Place a layer of bread in the trifle bowl. Next, use a pastry brush to brush the bread with the maple syrup/bourbon blend and let it soak in. Then spread the butter cream mixture over the bread. Repeat this process 4 to 5 times and top it all off with pecan halves.

Your guests will surely love these unique recipes on Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 9, 2017

A Healthy Trend? By: Michael Crockett

A Healthy Trend?

We all know health and exercise trends come and go. Who can forget sweating to the oldies, or the Atkins diet? We all remember the Bowflex, the Thigh Master and the many, many exercise machines advertised through the decades that have had their time and disappeared.  It’s the very nature of a trend to attract the many and then fade away. But these days, the heath conscience consumer is truly re-shaping the alcohol industry.

CrossFit training has swept the nation while Yoga and meditation have outlived the trend phase and become a staple of American health. Winter sports, like snowboarding and skiing, have remained extreme. Biking, running and hiking are as popular now as ever. Americans have embraced the health industry and there seems to be no turning back, and, why should we? Wellness is not a trend, it’s a lifestyle.

So how is the healthy consumer reshaping the alcohol industry? The industry has clearly seen this uptick in healthy lifestyle choices and understands the need to create an alcoholic beverage that is low in calories but not in flavor.  Just because someone may be counting calories, doesn’t mean they need to sacrifice their enjoyment when out with friends or celebrating a holiday. Soft drinks have understood this for long time and seltzer water brands have really cashed in on this. Zero calorie, bubbly water, refreshes the body and packs a blast of natural flavors. The alcohol industry has followed this concept with new brands of alcoholic seltzers popping up everywhere, filling a hole in the industry that caters directly to the health-conscious market.

One of our favorites at GAP Promo is White Claw Hard Seltzer. With the Tag Line “The Purest Hard Seltzer In The World,” White Claw is a refreshing combination of fruit flavors and alcohol with a low sugar and calorie content. All this and gluten free, too!

It’s clear why they are a leader in this market. Here are a few facts about White Claw Hard Seltzer straight from their lips.

“The alcohol in White Claw comes from fermented sugars. Cane sugar and real fruit juice are added after alcohol fermentation to enhance the taste.”

“All White Claw varieties have 110 Calories (100 Calories from alcohol), 4 grams of Carbohydrates/Sugars per serving size (355 ml can), and 5% ABV.”

“To craft an alcohol base pure enough for a clean, fresh surge of refreshment, we developed our proprietary BrewPure™ process. This gives White Claw the cleanest, gluten-free alcohol base possible. To keep it pure, no crystalline fructose, dietary fiber or preservatives are added; we use only natural flavors, nothing artificial.”

Because of this new opportunity in the industry, the nature of our work is getting exciting. The White Claw Hard Seltzer consumer is an active person. They love the gym and the outdoors. They stay fit and active. At GAP Promo, we get to be creative, sourcing and designing promotional items perfect for the active individual. Snowboards, bikes, surfboards and more are just the crest of this wave. We fully support this new addition to the beverage world and look forward to serving this non-trend for years to come.

Trends will come and go, (I’m never going to get that haircut again…) but when something makes sense- like keeping a healthy lifestyle- it’s a brand like White Claw that listens and works to offer a quality product.

Thanks for reading and please visit our marketplace or contact us directly for your next promotional adventure. 


Michael and The GAP Team