COCKTAILS

Vino 301 Concierge: A Beverage Adventure For All Liquor Lovers

 

I’ll admit, I’m a bit indecisive and I want it all.  Clothes, shoes, food, liquor – give me options!  Imagine my excitement when I found out there was an adult beverage tour in Maryland that allowed you to tour and taste Wine, Beer and Liquor all in one day. The Vino 301 Wine Concierge hosts a full-service wine and spirits tour at various wineries, breweries and distilleries across Maryland.  They provide transportation complete with a personal tour guide to answer all of your questions along the way. There are many tours to choose from,  you can select a wine tour only, wine and chocolate tour, wine and cheese tour, wine and food tour, wine tasting classes and wine tasting parties… you get my drift.  On this particular Saturday, my best friend and I enjoyed our adventure on the Wine, Beer and Spirit Tour, it was truly a spirited beverage adventure.

My tour departure time was 11:00 am on a Saturday morning, Vino 301 conveniently provided two pickup locations. I was excited to get a 9:30 am. reminder text from our tour guide Christina confirming my pick-up location  Once we arrived at the park & ride location we were greeted by our transportation vehicle – a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter passenger van…what a way to tour in style! Once inside the van, my best friend and I met our tour mates – a father, daughter duo and another female tour guest. Our tour guide Christina joined us bringing our total to six tour participants. Christina was extremely knowledgeable about the locations we were visiting and the wine we would drinking.  She is a Sommelier who studied in Washington State among other places. I liked the small tour group because it gave us each a chance to navigate through the different distillery spaces and it also gave us a chance to ask lots of questions.

Transportation and Driver
Our tour guide Christina

Our first stop on the tour was Linganore Winery and Vinyard. I’ve visited that location before during one of their reggae festivals but because there were so many people there I didn’t get the chance to fully see or tour the grounds. On this quiet Saturday afternoon, the grounds were buzzing with guests eating and drinking on the outdoor patio, buying wine from the retail store and touring the winery.

Bacchus – The Roman God of Wine

 

Once inside, we were greeted by our winery tour guide Brandon who gave us a little history of the Linganore Family. Did you know… Linganore is the second oldest winery in Maryland and the largest in Maryland , twenty different grapes are used in blending their wines and they’ve won over 200 awards throughout the years – that’s pretty impressive.  He also gave us a tour of the area where the wines are made, stored and packaged.

Brandon giving us a history lesson

We ended Brandon’s tour with a wine tasting featuring 12 of Linganore’s most popular wines. I can honestly say they carefully selected each wine because they all had a different taste.  We were each given a wine list, wine glass, a small chocolate and a cracker.  The chocolate and cracker are used to break up the taste and refresh the palate. Lorrie was our tasting room attendant, she was friendly, efficient and fast…she kept the wine coming. The wine list was helpful because it gave a description of each wine and we were able to make notes of the ones we liked and didn’t like. This was helpful because it made it easier to select which wine you’d like to buy after the tour.  They also gave us a dump bucket to empty the wine we didn’t drink or didn’t like, of course I never used that bucket. LOL!

 

Happy Wine Faces!!! That’s me on the right.

Our next stop on the tour was the Red Shedman Brewery, also located on the Linganore vineyard steps away from the winery.  We didn’t tour the brewery but we did have a tasting similar to the one at the winery. We were given a list of beers and were asked to choose six we’d like to sample.  Of course I loved the Raspberry Cider because I like sweet beer. The Lemon Shandy and Coconut Porter rounded out my top three.

After our beer flight, we hopped back on the sedan and headed to our last stop, Dragon Distillery in Frederick, MD. Dragon is located in a business park next to a local airport. With the name “Dragon Distillery,” the interior has to live up to the name … and it does.  The retail/tasting room is adorned with everything knights and dragons, there was even a cute dog bartender named “Thor”.

Dragon Distillery makes nine liquors for sale, variations of Vodka, Gin, Rum, Bourbon and Moonshine.  They even have their Bourbon making class that hosts a half-day session teaching participants how to make bourbon and they allow you to take a bottle home – that sounds like the ultimate experience for any Bourbon lover.  Just like the previous stops, we were given a menu of sorts to choose three liquors we’d like to sample. In Maryland, we have a law that states distilleries are only allowed pour three one-ounce samples per guest, so we were given a menu to choose our three. With flavors like Cherry Almond Vodka, Medieval Mint Vodka and  Lemon Meringue Moonshine it’s kind of hard to just choose three. The packaging is also pretty cool.

Our bartender “Thor”

Vino 301 Concierge has everything you’d want in a wine or liquor tour. It was professional and organized. This is the perfect gift for someone who appreciates wine and also a good girlfriends day trip. Visit their website and check out all the tours they have to offer, you won’t be disappointed.

And always follow my foodie and cocktail adventures on social media …  

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prosecco Pineapple Popsicle

The weather is starting to warm up where I live and I can’t wait for outdoor day drinking with my friends. I’ve read a lot about the new trends in summer drinking, I’ve seen creations like Frosé (Frozen Rosé), Alcohol Slushies and Hennessy Popsicles. They all look and sound delicious but some of these price points I am just not willing to pay. Brands are charging ridiculous prices like $25 for 5 popsicles 😨 that’s a ridiculous $5 for one popsicle. So of course I decided to make my own frozen boozy creation.

 Ingredients:

1 1/2 cup of chopped pineapples

1 Bottle of Prosecco

1/2 cup of sugar

3/4 cup of water

Blender or food processor

Instructions:

Boil water and add sugar, stir about 5 minutes or until melted. Blend simple syrup and 1 cup of chopped pineapples. Combine mixture with two cups of Prosecco and stir. Pour final mixture into popsicle molds and add remaining chopped pineapples. Freeze for eight hours and you’ll have a sweet summer treat!

 You can buy the popsicle molds from Amazon or Target, I purchased these from Marshalls. Do you have a favorite frozen booze recipe? Let me know in the comments below.

And always follow my foodie and cocktail adventures on social media …  

  

Boozy Snowball from El Bufalo Tequila Bar and Kitchen

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The Baltimore Snowball is a staple that every Baltimore Native and non-native look forward to during the summer months. Everybody has their favorite snowball stand and favorite flavor.  My favorite flavor is Egg Custard – no it doesn’t taste like egg and no it doesn’t actually include eggs.  It’s a sweet custard flavor that’s normally orange or yellow in flavor.  And of course no snowball is complete without a heaping topping of thick marshmallow or soft serve ice cream.

If the thought of an Egg Custard snowball isn’t enough, imagine my excitement when I scrolled across an Instagram photo of a boozy snowball from El Bufalo Tequila Bar and Kitchen in Canton, Baltimore.  I couldn’t  wait to try it!  I immediately visited on a Sunday afternoon with a friend and was pleased as punch that they had egg custard with marshmallow topping as well as a few other flavors.  It’s made like a normal snowball but you can choose the liquor of your choice to be added…I chose vodka.  OMG!!! So Good.  It’s my new fav!

el-bufalo-snowball

Have you tried the boozy snowballs from El Bufalo?  What did you think?

And always follow my foodie and cocktail adventures on social media …  

  

 

Viniq Pretty Purple Kiss Cocktail

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Being born and raised in Baltimore, MD it’s a given that you must like the colors purple and orange – Purple for the Baltimore Ravens and Orange for the Baltimore Orioles. I’ve had a brand new bottle of Viniq Shimmer Liqueur on my home bar for a while now and finally decided to crack it open and make a cocktail.  If you’ve not familiar with Viniq it’s a shimmery liqueur fusion of vodka, moscato and fruit flavors. I was introduced to Viniq about three years ago when I went to their Baltimore launch party.  I guess you can say I was missing my Baltimore Ravens and feeling the purple pride when I came up with the Pretty Purple Kiss …

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Ingredients: 

2 oz Purple Viniq

1.5 oz. Citrus Vodka

1 oz. Lemon Juice

Instructions: 

Pour vodka, Viniq and Lemon Juice into a cocktail shaker

Shake well

Pour into Martini glass

*I added a little lemon zest to the drink above to add a little color.

Now I need to get my hands on the red Viniq so that I can make an orange cocktail.  Have you tried Viniq Shimmer Liqueur? Did you drink it straight or mix it?  Comment Below.

Be sure to follow my foodie and cocktail adventures on social media …  

  

It’s like Beyonce’s Lemonade but with a twist

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Over the weekend Beyonce released her visual album and documentary on HBO entitled “Lemonade”.  The internet and social media were abuzz with comments and opinions. As for me I was enjoying my Lemosa and taking it all in.  What’s a Lemosa?  I had the pleasure of tasting this cocktail last week at Flavor Restaurant and Lounge.  And I liked it so much that I recreated it over the weekend.

Ingredients: 

Citrus Vodka

Simple Syrup

Lemon Juice

Champagne

Instructions: 

Pour vodka, simple syrup and lemon juice into a cocktail shaker

Shake well

Pour into champagne flute and top with champagne

*Can also be served with sugar rim

Be sure to follow my foodie and cocktail adventures on social media …  

  

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