Million Dollar Cocktail

There’s lots to love about Rosé Cider.  Read about my favorites ciders with tasting notes in the Roanoker Magazine behind the page:

https://theroanoker.com/blogging/behind-the-page/the-romance-of-rose-cidre/

Million Dollar Cocktail

I love any recipe that is named “Million Dollar”. This Million Dollar Cocktail recipe is worth its weight in gold!  Absolutely divine!

Place Nick and Nora style cocktail glass in the freezer to chill while you prepare the cocktail.

For each cocktail:

2 fl ounces Gin (Sunset Hills Gin, made in Virginia, is my favorite gin of the moment.  Light and delightful, it does not have a strong juniper taste.)

1/2 fl ounce freshly pressed pineapple juice (I blended fresh pineapple in my blender to make “juice” which was more like a thin puree.)

1/4 fl ounce Grenadine syrup

1/2 fl ounce pasteurized egg whites (find these in the refrigerated egg section of the grocery store)

A few drops of Blood Orange Bitters

Pineapple chunk garnish

Shake the gin, pineapple juice, Grenadine syrup and egg whites with ice in a cocktail shaker. Strain into the chilled cocktail glass. Place a few drops of blood orange bitters on the top of the cocktail.  Garnish with a pineapple chunk.

bright bubble color flatlay

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DRIVE! Iconic American Cars and Motorcycles

DRIVE!

Iconic American Cars and Motorcycles

September 8, 2018 – February 3, 2019

Taubman Museum of Art

Roanoke, Virginia

Our evening began with Ahi Tuna Wontons at Billy’s Roanoke on Market Street in Downtown Roanoke.

Miso-marinated Ahi Tuna served atop Wonton Chips with Housemade Thai Chili Sauce and a Citrus Salsa. Delicious!

Then on to the show…

Our friend Rosalee volunteers at the museum and she encouraged us to attend (we are so glad she did!). Here we are outside the museum in front of a Super-Eight Packard.

There are almost two dozen antique cars and motorcycles spanning from 1912-1965 in the exhibition.  https://www.taubmanmuseum.org/happenings/drive

1947 Harley-Davidson Model EL “Knucklehead”

The knucklehead engine valve covers have contours resembling knuckles on a person’s fist that give the knucklehead its name.

1934 Edsel Ford Model 40 Speedster

I am posing in front of the 1937 Tom Mix Phaeton that belonged to the cowboy movie star Tom Mix.

Beautiful car with a sad story. Tom Mix was killed while driving this car in 1940.   The car overturned as a result of the crash and a heavy suitcase in the back of the car fell forward and hit Mix in the head breaking his neck. The car is now owned by a family in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Hand-tooled leather stone guards fitted to the rear fenders.

1934 Packard Twelve Model 1106 Sport Coupe

Drive! is definitely an exhibition worth seeing. We thoroughly enjoyed it! 

Nightcap at River and Rail Restaurant.  Appalachian Tonic created by mixologist Nexus Watts. Hayman’s Royal Dock Gin, Cardamaro, Spice Bush Tonic Syrup, Lemon, Soda. Warm spice and cardamom notes. Built and served on ice. London Gin Martini with a lemon twist in a Nick and Nola glass. 

Nora Charles: “I’ll be with you in two shakes of a cocktail.”
Nick Charles: “Cocktail? Cocktail? Think I’ll try one of those things.”
The Thin Man (1934)

The Nick and Nora glass is a smaller cousin of the coupe (5 – 6 ounces).  I like these glasses because, at least for me, they are easier to sip out of than a standard martini glass and a smaller amount of martini is preferable to my taste.

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TGCC of 2018

This sounds like a fabulous champagne tasting!

Claudinha's Personal Musing und so

TGCC.13-1330220

Over the last couple of months, we conducted

The Great Champagne Challenge of 2018

in our dining room. It wasn’t easy, it wasn’t casual, hell, no, it was damn serious, it was a true challenge. Just look at all those bottles!

We don’t actually drink champagne often. Mostly on St. Sylvestre, as New Year’s Eve is called around here, maybe to celebrate a birthday or to welcome houseguests. Let’s say we’re special occasion champagne sippers.  It all began with an idea earlier this summer. Keeping the keyword “special” in mind, we asked ourselves, shouldn’t we have our own special house champagne? A champagne we both enjoy equally and which would become “our” signature champagne at C2L, our home in Cognac* called Chez Deux Leons.

[* We already have two House Cognacs, but that’s a different story 😉]

One of those two lions in our house promptly began exhaustive online research…

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Happy 8th Birthday Mr. Bill’s Wine Cellar, Roanoke, Virginia

On Saturday, September 8, 2018, Mr. Bill’s Wine Cellar in Roanoke, Virginia, celebrated the cellars 8th birthday. Pictured above: Mr. Bill and Rebecca at Mr. Bill’s Wine Cellar.

I always enjoy the signs that greet guests outside their front door.

We celebrated with a tasting of Francois Montand Brut Blanc de  Blancs. ($15 range) In the 1940’s Francois Montand moved from his beloved Champagne to the Jura, some of the oldest vineyards in France. He continued to use his expertise in champagne to make bright flavorful sparkling wines made according to the traditional bottle double fermentation method.

Consistent bubbles dancing in the flute with bright notes of golden delicious apples and Meyer lemons. Makes a delightful aperitif. Delicious pairing with Ceviche.   

It’s almost Cider Season so I picked up a bottle of Domaine du Verger Rosé Cidre Bouche. This wonderful French cider is made with red fleshed apples which gives the cider a pink hue. ($12 range) Notes of red apple and just a touch of cinnamon with just the right amount of effervescence.

clear glass mason bottles with apple juice

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Thinking of cider, some dear friends gave us some of their homemade hard apple cider when we visited their farm earlier this year.  It’s made with Granny Smith, Yellow Delicious and Stayman apples.

close up photography of wine glasses

Photo by Valeria Boltneva on Pexels.com

Weingut Schwarzböck Gruner Veltliner ($17 range) was one of our favorites that we tasted that day. This Australian wine is crisp and refreshing with plenty of lively acidity. Notes of lemon and lime and a touch of white pepper. Perfect pairing with spicy Asian food. 

glasses of rose wine

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Bernard Magrez Bleu de Mer  Rosé 2017 is one of our “house Rosés”…we keep a bottle in the refrigerator to serve to last minute guests. $12 range. This French rosé is bright with strawberry and cherry flavors.

Yves Guégniard Domaine de la Bergerie Sous La Tonnelle. $16 range.  ‘Sous la Tonnelle’ means ‘Below the Rainbow’. Blended 80% Chenin Blanc and 20% Chardonnay. This French white wine is deliciously crisp with notes of white peach, apricot, pears and mango.

Please visit:  https://theroanoker.com/blogging

for Behind the Scenes posts including recipes and wine tasting notes from the Roanoker Magazine

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On my Instagram tonight ~ Perfect rainy Monday night dinner ~ recipe for slow cooker Mississippi Pot Roast!

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Spain, Part Two: Parés Baltà and our Hunt for Anything Locked

❤️ Parés Baltà! Especially their Cava.

the.wine.girl

Pass the ham!After our visit to Albet i Noya, we hopped back in the car with our new friend Marc of Barcelona by Road and headed towards our next stop in the Penèdes wine region, Parés Baltà. (In case you didn’t catch my previous article Spain, Part One.., you should know that  Barcelona by Road organised and planned our entire tour through Penèdes and Priorat).

Dream Team

Arriving at the winery we were warmly greeted by Gemma Muray (Hospitality Manager), whose combination of charisma, passion and laid back attitude was so captivating that I actually found myself speechlessly gawking at her as if I was floating outside of myself and the entire situation in a state of stunned, and no doubt awkward, observation. She passed us each a straw hat and pointed us towards a rugged, well-used looking 4×4 across the parking lot. We all piled in and as we rumbled…

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Cava: The Forgotten Middle Child of the Sparkling Wine World

❤️ Cava! Here’s some lovely Cava recommendations from the Motley Cru.
Just in time for the weekend. Cheers! 🥂

the motley cru

Sitting quietly and studiously in the corner is its elder brother Champagne – mature, bookish, often aloof – while the younger sister Prosecco – loud, brash, in-your-face – runs amok, seemingly everywhere at once. In the public’s eyes it is these two categories that command most attention, with the unfortunate result that Cava, the historic Spanish sparkler is often overlooked, or, worse, ignored.

I like to imagine that Cava would often skulk away to hang out with his other offbeat friends – Crémant, Franciacorta, and MCC (not to forget his far-flung cousins in places like Chile and Australia) – to listen to some indie rock and moan about not how they’re never understood.

Which is all a shame really. Cava has far more flavour and fizz than Prosecco, and can be much better value than Champagne, with top examples of the former often surpassing cheaper versions of the…

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Time To Tailgate With Bloody Marys ~ Yellow and Red!

It’s Time To Tailgate!

…and that means it’s time for Bloody Marys! 

River and Rail bloody mary

A Virginia Favorite! 

Texas Beach Bloody Mary Mix

Available locally at Mr. Bill’s Wine Cellar

$7.99 a bottle

For Real Bloody Mary Drinkers!

I love this Bloody Mary mix, tastes like a fresh tomato with just the right amount of spice.

https://www.texasbeachbloodymary.com/

Texas Bloody Mary Mix was created by three friends from Richmond, Virginia. While Working in the industry as bartenders, they realized there was an immediate need for a mix with all the good stuff already in the bottle. So we set out on the long journey to create the tasty, authentic and responsibly produced Texas Beach Bloody Mary Mix.

The name Texas Beach comes from our favorite part of the James River located in lovely Richmond, Virginia at the end of Texas Avenue. Cheers!

bloody mary

Yellow Tomato Bloody Mary

Yellow Tomato Bloody Mary

I found this recipe for Yellow Tomato Bloody Mary in Bon Appétit Magazine. Fresh and delicious.  It’s always fun to garnish Bloody Mary cocktails ~ I chose celery stalks, golden cherry tomatoes, pimiento stuffed olives, crispy bacon and pickled green and purple beans.

Recipe from the August, 2018 issue of Bon Appétit. Recipe by Molly Baz.

Bruised tomatoes dripping with juice are tailor-made for a fresh Bloody Mary. They might not be on display at the farmers’ market—beauty queens, they’re not—but they’re often there if you ask.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 lb. very ripe yellow tomatoes, cored, coarsely chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, coarsely chopped, plus celery heart stalks with leaves for serving
  • 6 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup Castelvetrano olive brine, plus olives for serving
  • ¼ cup finely grated peeled horseradish
  • 3 Tbsp. hot sauce (preferably Cholula)
  • 2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 4 tsp. kosher salt, divided, plus more
  • 1 lemon wedge
  • 6 oz. gin
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. mild red pepper flakes
  • Sun Gold tomatoes (for serving)

RECIPE PREPARATION

  • Blend yellow tomatoes and chopped celery in a blender until smooth, about 1 minute. Strain through a medium-mesh sieve into a large pitcher, pressing on solids to extract as much juice as possible. Whisk in lemon juice, olive brine, horseradish, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, sugar, and 3 tsp. salt. Taste and season with more salt if needed. Cover and chill at least 1 hour and up to 3 days.

  • Combine black pepper, red pepper flakes, and remaining 1 tsp. salt in a shallow bowl.

  • To make each cocktail, rub the rim of a 12-oz. glass with a lemon wedge, then dip into spicy salt. Fill glass with ice and pour in 1½ oz. gin. Top with 5 oz. Bloody Mary mix; garnish with cherry tomatoes, celery heart stalks, and olives.

    If you are not a gin fan, try making this cocktail with Plymouth Gin. Plymouth does not have a strong juniper flavor. It is smooth with just the right amount of floral notes.

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