Summer Sippers: Cocktails from Northern Michigan

June 23, 2011

Cocktail recipes from Northern MichiganI love my Michigan Wine, but sometimes summer calls for a cocktail.

So I decided to share a collection of drink recipes made from Michigan wine, spirits and beer. Cheers!

 

 

 

Raz Be Daz  |  Recipe from Black Star Farms

To make this, pour ¾ glass of Black Star Farms Be Dazzled Sparkling wine, and then top off the glass with a little Black Star Farms Sirius Raspberry Dessert Wine.

 

 

True North Lemonade  |  Recipe from Grand Traverse Distillery

1 ½ – 2oz Grand Traverse Distillery True North Cherry Flavored Vodka
6oz of a tart lemonade, Simply Lemonade in the refrigerated section of local stores works great.
Add a splash of pomegranate, cherry, or cranberry juice.

Mix over ice and enjoy.

 

 

Strawberry Sangria  |  Recipe from 2 Lads Winery
 
1 bottle of 2Lads Rosé of Cabernet Franc
½ cup white sugar (more or less to taste)
1 lemon, sliced
1 cup sliced fresh strawberries
2 cups ginger ale (Vernors if you can get it!)
 
In a large pitcher mix the wine, sugar, lemon and strawberries. Refrigerate for several hours, or up to a day. Add ginger ale just before serving over ice. Enjoy!

 

 

World Famous Cherry Wine Sangria  |  Recipe from Chateau de Leelanau Vineyard & Winery

2 bottles Chateau de Leelanau Cherry Wine
½ bottle Chateau de Leelanau Sparkling Cherry Juice
1 orange, sliced
½ pineapple, sliced
½ lemon, sliced
½ lime, sliced
1 qt fresh strawberries, sliced

Mix fruit and cherry wine together in large container, refrigerate. When ready to serve add sparking cherry juice and pour over ice.

 

 

Cherry-tini  |  Recipe from Uncorked Wine Bar

1 ½ oz. Grand Traverse Distillery True North Cherry Flavored Vodka
1 oz Peninsula Cellars Melange
½ oz Indian Summer Cherry juice
splash grenadine

Mix on ice, pour into a martini glass and garnish with maraschino cherries.

 

 

RBB Summer Shandy  |  Recipe from Right Brain Brewery

Right Brain Brewery Blue Magic Lavender wheat (made with local Lavender from Light of Day organics) or our Citral Wheat (made with local Nugget hops) mixed with Grand Traverse Distillery Wheat Vodka.

 

 

Applemosa  |  Recipe from Bel Lago Vineyard & Winery

Bel Lago Brut Rose Sparkling Wine with a splash of Apple Cider

 

 

Peach Fus"tini"  |  Recipe from Fustini’s Oils & Vinegars

½ oz. Fustini’s Peach Balsamic Vinegar
1 oz. Grand Traverse Distillery True North Vodka
Sparkling water & ice

Mix peach balsamic vinegar and vodka in a glass with ice. Add sparkling water to fill. Serve.

 

 

Blueberry Mint Lemonade  |  Recipe by Drink Michigan

1/3 cup fresh mint
1 cup of blueberries
4 cups of water
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 1 bag or 8 lemons)
1 cup of Grand Traverse Distillery Wheat Vodka

In a blender, add the water, lemon juice, mint leaves, blueberries, and sugar. Blend until mixture turns pink. Let sit for at least an hour, then strain to remove blueberry and mint leaves. Add in your vodka, chill and serve over ice!

* For a family-friendly option, serve sans alcohol. A nice treat for the kiddos too.

 

 

Dragon’s Milk Ice Cream Float  |  Recipe by DinnerFeed

1 (pint, 6-ounce) bottle Dragon’s Milk Ale (New Holland Brewing)
6 large scoops vanilla ice cream
6 strawberries, each slliced into a fan for a garnish (optional)

Mound scoops on vanilla ice cream in bowls or glasses. Carefully divide and pour Dragon’s Milk over ice cream. (Pour slowly off to the lip of the glass. Dragon’s Milk is quite foamy.) Garnish with strawberry fans, if using, and serve.

* Might I suggest some Moomers ice cream if you’re in Traverse City, or if you’re at the grocery Hudsonville Ice Cream is also made in Michigan.

 

Remember, Buy Local also means Drink Local! Visit your local Michigan wineries, craft breweries and distilleries this summer.

 

Take a Tour of 2 Lads Winery

July 21, 2010

2 Lads Winery tour photoGo Behind the Scenes at 2 Lads Winery on a Public Tour

One of the area’s most unique wineries is now opening their production area for tours. 2 Lads Winery on Old Mission Peninsula will conduct regular public tours every Monday, Thursday and Friday at noon and 3:00pm. Booking is on a first come, first served basis and accommodates up to 10 people.

Cost is $20 per person and includes a vineyard tour (weather permitting), cellar tour and a premium wine and food pairing led by one of the 2 Lads crew in the privacy of our gallery.
 

 

Taking a tour of one our area wineries is a great way to expand your knowledge of wine making, and discover what makes each winery, and the wines they produce, so unique. That’s why taking a Behind the Scenes tour is one of my 50 Ways to Love Your Summer.

 

 

 

Wonderful World of Michigan Wine, Beer and Spirits

May 20, 2010

The beverage business is booming in Michigan. And everyone from visitors to lodging personnel to locals wants to keep up with what’s new in the world of wine, beer and spirits in Northern Michigan. So here are some highlights from our customers in the industry. 

 

Right Brain Brewery mealtickets cardRight Brain Brewery

90 lbs of asparagus were grilled and turned into what has become a springtime favorite at RBB: Empire Spear Beer. Don’t worry if you missed it at the Empire Asparagus Festival, it’s on tap at the brewery. And for all the gluten-free customers out there it’s time to send up a cheer for the first ever gluten-free beer at RBB. "Katy Bar the Door" is an ode to the Red Wings #1 gluten allergy advocate, Mickey Redman. It’s made with roasted chestnuts, local honey, and 100% local hops.

 

Black Star Farms Mealtickets cardBlack Star Farms

Just fresh from bottling is the ’09 Riesling at Black Star Farms. The winemakers notes will tell you, "This wine presents classic Riesling aromas of delicate white flowers and stone fruit. Ripe flavors of citrus, peach and apple follow on the palate. It is a lovely off-dry medium bodied white wine." And if you’re looking for a great date night or fun place to meet up with friends, why not check out the Matterhorn Grill at Tastes of Black Star Farms inside the Mercado at The Village. Sit around a miniature grill dining on melted Raclette, meats and veggies will sipping something tasty. Yum.

 

Bel Lago Mealtickets cardBel Lago Vineyard & Winery

Bel Lago Winery’s 2007 Semi-Dry Riesling has been judged BEST WHITE WINE at the 2010 Pacific
Rim International Wine Competition, held in San Bernardino, CA.  Bel Lago 2007 Semi-Dry Riesling won a Gold Medal and the Best of Class award for Off-Dry Riesling, and then competed against all the other Best of Class White Wine varietal winners, and was judged Best White Wine overall. Stop by their tasting room across from beautiful Lake Leelanau and taste for yourself. Congratulations Bel Lago.

 

Left Foot Charley Mealtickets cardLeft Foot Charley

Despite a challenging ’09 growing season Bryan has pulled together an interesting vintage from their fruits of last year. The ’09 Pinot Blanc is from Island View Vineyard on Old Mission Peninsula. In his own words, "Island View came through again in the tough ’09 vintage. We made the crew sort the grapes into golden and green clusters then the two lots were pressed and fermented individually and carefully blended back together to form this complex bright dry wine. Great apple notes with a striking citrus finish. Very limited production – you snooze you lose." Also check out their Sparking Hard Apple Cider and The Cobbler; a double fermented cider with a cinnamon flavor. Try it served ala mode with Moomers ice cream on the side.

 

2 Lads Winery Mealtickets card2 Lads Winery

Bring on the bubbly. Two Lads is ready to release their 2002 vintage bubbly. "The 2002 Dry Sparkling Wine has been in the cellar doing extended aging en tirage (on the lees). This June will be the last time you will be able to purchase and enjoy this rare and spectacular gem. A non-traditional blend exhibiting an exotic, vibrant bouquet and a seductive mouth feel. When released, this wine will have seen seven years en tirage and is exemplary of Northern Michigan’s potential to be the United States’ preeminent sparkling wine region." With less than 500 bottles left in the cage there’s no time to waste in making a trip up to 2 Lads for a bottle.

 

Peninsula Cellars Mealtickets cardPeninsula Cellars

In case you missed it, Peninsula Cellars was among several local wineries who made the B-list according to a recent article in Food & Wine magazine. The article certainly reinforced the fact that you can’t judge a winery by it’s apparent size or location on a map. And it highlighted one of my family’s favorite easy-drinking reds; Detention. Speaking of easy-drinking, don’t leave this little schoolhouse without a bottle of Homework, their Pinot Noir Rose.

 

Grand Traverse Distillery Mealtickets cardGrand Traverse Distillery

If you haven’t been out to visit the George and Kent now’s the time. At their production facility they’ve expanded the tasting room area to accommodate all the new visitors we’re sending their way. You’ll also find some new spirits that will hopefully raise yours. Check out Ole George Whiskey, 100% Rye whiskey now available in the tasting room. I also discoverd a limited bottling of Chocolate Vodka. Sounds like cocktail hour is going to get crazy this summer at Grand Traverse Distillery.

 

Uncorked Wine Bar Mealtickets cardUncorked Wine Bar

If you’ve stepped inside the Cherry Stop lately you can’t miss what’s going on with Uncorked. In order to create two separate spaces for visitors to enjoy they are remodeling and moving the wine bar up front. When they’re finished with the upgrade customers there to visit Uncorked will come in a separate entrance that leads straight to the bar, located under a pergola inside the building. The seating and beautiful Grand Traverse Bay views are still in the back. And plans for another Meet the Winemaker event in June are in the works. So stop in for a sample or pick up a bottle of your favorite local wine while you’re shopping downtown Traverse City.

 

 

Upcoming Festival and Events

One of the best ways to enjoy summer in Michigan is spending an afternoon at a Wine Festival, or Beer Festival or a combination thereof. So here’s a list of some of the upcoming festivals in Northern Michigan and throughout the state.

May 21-22  |  World Expo of Beer, Frankenmuth, Michigan

May 29  |  Michigan Beer & Brat Festival, Crystal Mountain Resort in Thompsonville, Michigan

 

June 12  |  Leland Wine & Food Festival, Leland, Michigan

June 26-27  |  Michigan Wine & Brew Festival, Michigan International Speedway, Brooklyn, Michigan

 

July 23-24  |  Michigan Summer Beer Festival, Ypsilanti, Michigan

 

August 6  |  Old Mission Peninsula Wine & Food Celebration, Bowers Harbor Park on Old Mission, Traverse City, Michigan

August 14  |  Leelanau Peninsula Wine & Food Festival, Northport, Michigan

August 21  |  Traverse City Wine & Food Festival, The Village at Grand Traverse Commons, Traverse City, Michigan

August 27-28  |  Traverse City Summer Microbrew & Music Festival, The Village at Grand Traverse Commons, Traverse City, Michigan

Uncorked Wine Bar, Mealtickets Latest Addition

May 3, 2010

Uncorked Wine Bar Mealtickets cardLove Michigan Wines, Then You’ll Love Uncorked!

 

Did you know that Downtown Traverse City has a wine bar dedicated to promoting Michigan wine, beer and spirits? Uncorked, a Northern Michigan Wine Bar is located on Front Street and you may not have known it was there. That’s because it’s inside The Cherry Stop. And it’s home to an amazing opportunity for you to unwind, unplug and sip on some fabulous cocktails.

 

There is no where else in Traverse City you can step up to the bar and order a flight of riesling for a side-by-side taste test, and be able to walk out the door with a bottle of your favorite label. Whether you want to order a wine sample, sip on a Michigan microbrew draft, or savor a cocktail made from local spirits, the options are endless at Uncorked.

The Cherry Stop has been with Mealtickets from the day we opened for business. And we’re very excited to welcome another great idea from Nick and Jamie Roster into Mealtickets service. Stop in for a glass, sign up for one of their Meet the Winemaker events or enjoy happy hour. And tell them we said hello!

Welcome Bel Lago

March 19, 2010

Bel Lago Winery Mealtickets cardBel Lago…Beautiful Lake: Beautiful Winery

 

If your wine tasting tour has never lead you along the western shore of Lake Leelanau then you’ve missed one of the area’s best wineries. Bel Lago Winery, a recent addition to the Mealtickets little card family, sits across from Lake Leelanau with views of vineyards and crystal blue waters. But the vista pales in comparison to the wines.

 

Known for their amazing choice of varietals and blends, Bel Lago has won awards for nearly every wine entered in competition in the last five years! They began planting grapes in 1987 on the family-owned property, and opened the tasting room in 1999. And still it’s amazing how many people have not heard of this diamond on the shore. We’re hoping to change that.

So next time you’re headed out on a wine tour, or perhaps you’re picking up a bottle for dinner tonight, check out Bel Lago Winery. You can find a map to their off-the-beaten-path location on our Dining and Wineries page. And take a trip to the website for more information, www.bellago.com.

In case you’re wondering, the photo on the card is their view. Not bad, eh?

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