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Category Archives: liquor

Next time you’re in Finland…


This is the national drink of Finland, or so I am told…

It is called a “long drink” and it is very refreshing. It’s a mix of gin and grapefruit soda (which didn’t sound very good at first) and one sip convinced me that we need to import this to the U.S.A. pronto! Or as the Finns would say “nopeasti”…

Back to the long drink and where it got it’s origin (according to wikipedia):

long drink or tall drink is an alcoholic mixed drink with a relatively large volume (> 12 cl, frequently 16–40 cl or between 5–9 fluid ounces).[1]

A long drink will have a tall glass full of mixer, in contrast to a short drink which has less mixer. Short drinks are generally stronger since both types tend to contain the same amount of alcohol. Long drinks are therefore generally more dilute than short drinks.

In Finland, long drink refers either to a mixed drink made from gin and, most commonly, grapefruit soda, or to a fermented drink that comes close to the taste of gin and grapefruit juice.

for more on this drink in Finland please click here.

Ok, back to the drink. I was lucky enough to have friends who brought a duffel bag back of this stuff from Finland and they were generous enough to share it with me.

It’s great over ice with lime. According to wikipedia, this same fast can be concocted with a 1 to 5 part mix of gin and grapefruit soda. If I get around to trying this with Squirt and some cheap gin, I’ll let you know if it’s worth a try.

But if you ever find yourself in Finland, order a Hartwall Long Drink and bring an extra duffel bag to bring back a stash!



Apple Cider Margaritas…good and good for you…honest…


Oh how I love Fall with the crisp nights and sunny days, plus with the apple crop comes the abundance of apple cider.

Here is a delicious drink which you can make as a large punch, or a single drink (but you’ll regret it and end up making more…) We made a pitcher by quadrupling the recipe and it was the best solution.

Thanks to my friend Rebecca for improving the original recipe. This one is a keeper for sure.

This recipe is for one drink

Apple Cider Margaritas
1 ounce Grand Marnier
2 ounces gold tequila (use GOOD tequila, not great, but decent)
5 ounces real apple cider (not apple juice)
orange slices and apple slices
cinnamon + cane sugar for glass rimming
cinnamon sticks for garnish


  1. In a shaker or a tall glass add the Grand Marnier, tequila and apple cider and shake stir to mix.
  2.  Add a few spoonfuls of cane sugar, coarse sugar and cinnamon to a plate. Run an orange segment around the edge of the glass, then press into the cinnamon sugar mixture to coat the rim.
  3. Add an orange slice to the bottom of the glass, fill with ice, then add the cider mixture.
  4. Garnish with an apple slice and cinnamon sticks, and sprinkle a bit of cinnamon on top of the apple slice. Enjoy!

Grapefruit Beer, breakfast of champs….

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I tried Stiegl Grapefruit Beer tonight, and it was really refreshing, delicious and curiously thirst quenching. The grapefruit flavor is right out in front and is the perfect compliment to the beer.

The Stiegl web site describes it as:

“The Stiegl-Radler Grapefruit is a mix of Stiegl-Goldbräu and fruit juice that is invariably natural and has no artificial sweeteners added to it. The grapefruit juice lends this a naturally cloudy appearance and a tangy fruit flavor, creating a succulent and fruity taste sensation with a refreshing finish.”

Sure, it’s not a manly-man IPA, but it’s one that I can drink without grimacing. It’ll be perfect for days on the lake, or after a day of skiing.

Give it a try and let me know what you think.

Coole Swan, found at the end of every rainbow

coole swanIn honor of Saint Patrick’s Day, and all of my Irish family and friends, I would like to introduce you to an Irish Cream that is different from any that you’ve had before.

It’s called Coole Swan and it comes straight from the Emerald Isle. It is made with only natural ingredients: fresh Irish cream from their cows, single malt whiskey, vanilla, and Belgian chocolate. there is no caramel coloring added, thus the drink is a lovely white.

According to their web site, “The name Coole Swan was inspired by the unspoilt beauty of Coole Park in Gort, County Galway. It was immortalised in W. B. Yeats’ poem ‘The Wild Swans at Coole’.”

The drink is smooth and lightly sweet. It is delicious by itself, in coffee or in a cocktail. I prefer it in coffee before, during and after skiing.

But don’t just take my word for it…Coole Swan has won numerous gold medals in international competitions. It has developed a cult following due to its limited distribution in the U.S. It is slowly appearing on shelves, and it can be ordered from their web site (if your state allows liquor delivery which thankfully, my state does.).

Start looking and asking for it at your liquor sellers. You will be handsomely rewarded when you finally get your first sip. This is the real stuff.

McCormick’s Irish Cream, a new favorite for price, taste, and in my coffee…

mccormick's irish cream

I am a big fan of Baileys Irish Cream, but I am also cheap, so when I spotted this in the liquor store for less than half the price of Baileys, I had to try it. I’m glad I did. (Don’t confuse this with the stuff in the grocery store, this is a real liqueur.)

McCormick’s is made in Ireland, you can taste the whiskey and cream with slight notes of coffee and cocoa. I found it very close to Baileys, but not as thick. Since I use Irish Cream in my coffee when I go skiing, I think I’ll stick with the McCormick’s. By the way, Irish Cream goes bad, so drink yours up within 6 months of buying it.

Here’s my mix for a yummy cup of coffee when you need to warm up this winter.

2 parts Irish Cream
1 Part Kahulua
1 Part Irish Whiskey like Bushmills or Jameson.

Mix together and keep in a flask, jar, thermos, etc. and add to your coffee in an amount that works for you. Be careful, and for heavens sake don’t drive after drinking this. In fact, don’t ski after drinking two of these….

It’s National Margarita Day!

Screen shot 2013-02-21 at 2.02.57 PMIt’s always 5:00 somewhere, so treat yourself to a drink today. This is my favorite recipe courtesy of Martie Knows Parties blog.

Classic Margaritas are a reward for making it through a long week….

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A fresh margarita is a great cure for a long week. It’s also the perfect beverage to make for a crowd. Picture yourself on the patio, under those little glass lights, sipping one of the above drinks. Lovely scene isn’t it? Now add some friends and have a party.

The fabulous Martie Duncan’s blog/website  can help even the most entertaining-challenged soul into a full fledged host who’s events will be the talk of the town.

Use this recipe and you will never go back to the bottled mix. A very simple ingredient list and easy mixing produce a delightful sweet-sour combo. Proceed with caution and sip these slowly.