All food and drink writers are destined to do the annual what to buy as a holiday gift. They will show you cutting boards, knives, and, my favorite this season, a Marna Pink Piggy Steamer. I’m going in a different direction and offering items you can use for holiday cocktails, all Made in Nevada. Over the years in our family we always have a different holiday drink concoction (my mom fancied herself a mixologist long before the title existed) and sometimes we have guests go home an ingredient as a holiday gift. Using local ingredients my mom has been busy concocting, hope you enjoy.
Nevada Brining Company – Grab a jar of their Deli Style Pickles ($9) and create a Bloody Brine Cocktail (Bloody Mary).
Ingredients: 4 cups tomato juice (preferably Campbell’s), 1 cup Nevada Brining dill pickle juice (you will need to strain the pickle juice to remove the garlic, dill weed, mustard seeds, coriander and peppercorns), 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish, 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce, 1 teaspoon Sriracha, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon celery seeds, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, 2 cups vodka, 8 celery stalks, 8 pickle slices, 8 lemon wedges.
Instructions: Combine all ingredients excluding the vodka, celery stalks, pickles and lemon wedges in a large pitcher. Chill overnight. Add 2 cups vodka to pitcher and stir well. Fill eight (8) tall glasses with ice and divide bloody mary mix and garnish with a celery stalk, and on the glass rim a pickle slice and lemon wedge. Make extra these go fast (you can also omit the vodka and they are just as delicious). Nevada Brining Company is sold locally at Flag Store Sign and Banner, 155 Glendale Avenue, Sparks; Napa Sonoma Grocery Company, 550 West Plumb Lane Reno or 7671 S. Virginia St. Reno; Wedge – A Cheese Shop, 16 St. Lawrence Avenue, Reno. Or contact Nevada Brining directly (they are in Sparks) 775-501-4001.
Al Bees Pure Raw Sierra Nevada Honey – make some honey syrup and you’re going to be the Bee’s Knees with your guests. This cocktail truly is buzz-worthy and with local honey its Nevada nectar.
Ingredients: Beefeater Gin 2oz., fresh lemon juice 4 tsp., honey syrup 3tsp. (one part honey to one part water).
Instructions: Add all ingredients to a shaker and fill with ice. Shake, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon twist. Contact Al Bees Pure Raw Sierra Nevada Honey at 775-686-0323 – they will give you list of where to buy their honey.
Hub Coffee Roasters & Churchill Vineyards Brandy – a classic combination for Coffee Royal. These are two of my favorite Nevada products – I drink Hub Roasted Coffee at home with a heavy grind – it has a lovely bold flavor. In my opinion, Churchill Vineyards hit a homerun with their brandy; my grandfather thought brandy was much like cheese – where variations in flavor from around the world abound and urged me to let my palate explore the different styles/flavors. We should be proud in Nevada a brandy is produced in the state. Ingredients: 4 oz hot coffee, 1 tsp sugar, 2oz brandy, 2 oz cream. Instructions: Pour the coffee into an Irish coffee cup or a glass. Add the sugar, and stir to dissolve. Add the brandy, stir again. Pour the cream over the back of a teaspoon over the top of the drink so it floats, and serve. Hub Coffee Roasters, 727 Riverside Drive, Reno, 775-453-1911 or 941 North Virginia St., Space B, Reno, 775-499-5268 hubcoffeeroasters.com and Church Vineyards Brandy, 1045 Dodge Lane, Fallon, 775-423-4000, churchillvineyards.com.
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