About Rodney Brazil

Enjoying life, wine, and great cocktails.

Find more about me on:

Here are my most recent posts

Ready for Eggnog? Win a Moose Mug for Christmas!

If you know and love the Griswold family from the National Lampoon Vacation classics, there is also a good chance you know and love Marty Moose. Well, prepare to get jolly! From November 13th through Cyber Monday we are giving away not one, but two Marty Moose glass mugs! Modeled exactly after the glasses Clark and Uncle Eddie drink eggnog from in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, these moose mugs are perfect for sipping your holiday drink concoctions. Simply provide your email address and you are entered! Also, for every 100 entries we receive we will give away yet another mug so be sure to share this contest with friends! 

 

Provide the information below to win! You’ll also be subscribed to our email newsletter, notifying you about sales and specials. You can opt out anytime.

This contest has ended. Please visit our blog or Facebook page for new chances to win!
Don’t forget to spread a little Christmas cheer to your friends! The more entries we get, the more moose mugs there are to win.

You might also want to check out all of our National Lampoon Christmas Vacation gifts. Great for Secret Santa parties, Dirty Santa parties, or drinking alone!

Christmas Vacation Moose Mug

Christmas Vacation Moose Mug

Moose Head Ice Tray

Moose Head Ice Tray

Mini Moose Shot Glass

Mini Moose Shot Glass

Fall Cocktail: The Brandy Snap

Whether looking for a cocktail to keep you warm during the cooler months, or a tasty treat to enjoy after a hearty Thanksgiving dinner, this delicious cocktail will serve you perfectly. The Brandy Snap gives you just the right balance of sweet & flavorful spirits, without a thick, overbearing texture. So many cocktails designed for cooler weather contain milk, cream, or other heavy ingredients. This tasty fall cocktail uses only three ingredients, and is served warm. Not freezing cold, and not piping hot, but just warm enough to let you relax your mood while you sip on a glass of true comfort.Whiskey and Brandy for The Brandy Snap Cocktail

The Brandy Snap Cocktail

  • 2 parts Laird’s Applejack Brandy
  • 1 part Southern Comfort Gingerbread Spice whiskey-liqueur blend
  • 1 dash freshly squeezed orange juice

Mix all ingredients into a cocktail shaker. If you really love ginger, you go with 2 parts brandy and 2 parts whiskey blend, but expect a bite. Holding half of a freshly cut orange over the shaker, give it a good squeeze, cut side up. This prevents seed from falling into the shaker, and also reduces pulp. Place the lid on your shaker and give it one gentle lift to combine the ingredients. Pour into old fashioned glasses, or your most trustworthy flask.

The Brandy Snap cocktail is meant to be enjoyed at room temperature, or slightly warmer. These brandy sippers are excellent, because the warmth from you hand raises the temperature ever so slightly, and are also fun to sip from. This brandy cocktail is also great to server around the dessert table, alongside a fresh piece of pecan pie, or as a stand alone libation.

Thanksgiving Cocktails

Enter to win these awesome Secret Boozy Lotion Hidden Flasks!

Whether travelling by airplane, or heading to a concert, booze makes going out a lot more fun. But airport and concession stand drinks are expensive, with limited selection. Pack everything you need to enjoy your favorite drinks anywhere with our Secret Boozy hidden flasks, made to look like real lotion bottles. Enter your email address for a chance to win a set for FREE!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

How to Throw a Housewarming Party

As if moving into a new home wasn’t stressful enough, as soon as you get moved in, it’s time to throw a party. Housewarming party ideas can be tricky, and if you’ve never hosted one, the etiquette can be confusing, as well. Who should be invited? Do I ask for gifts? What are we supposed to do at the party? What if someone spills wine on my brand new carpet? All very valid questions, but fear not. We know exactly how to throw a housewarming party. From invitations, to drinks, to decorations, we’ve got party planning ideas to help your housewarming party do exactly what it’s supposed to: bring warmth to your home.

Invitations

Housewarming party invitations are important. Many of your friends will not find out you’ve moved until they receive this invitation. Even those connected to you through social media may not realize that all those pictures you posted of empty closets and missing shoes you found under a chair were clues to that fact that you were moving. Therefore, housewarming party invitations should be carefully thought out. Housewarming Party IdeasDo them the old fashioned way, through snail mail. Get them custom printed, or create invitations yourself to make them stand out. Invite a larger number of people than you would for, say, a dinner party. Housewarming parties have a tendency to be more come-and-go than other at home events, and you should consider including that idea in your invitation. Open up your home for a three hour window, and suggest that your guests “drop in” and take a look at your new digs. Even casual acquaintances and co-workers may be interested in seeing your new place, and having a simple way to socialize with you outside of the office.

The big question when it comes to housewarming invitation wording is whether or not to ask for gifts. Some people prefer to request no gifts, while others like the idea of creating a housewarming registry. The choice is yours, and both are completely acceptable. Realize, though, that many of your closest friends and family will want to contribute something to your new home. One of the reasons people like going to housewarming parties is to get the chance to offer a token of love and friendship. Try leaving any wording about gifts out of the invitation, but including a special email address for RSVPs and questions. This allows guests to inquire about a gift registry, or more often, ask about your preferred retailer for gift cards.

Decorations

After you’ve just spent thousands of dollars moving into a new home, and buying new curtains, and painting all the walls, housewarming decorations may seem unnecessary. Everything looks new already! Parties should seem festive, though, and this can only be accomplished through a few party decorations. Don’t go overboard, because you do want the focus to be on your great new house, but definitely do a few small things. Tie balloons to your mailbox so people know where to stop. Get fresh flower arrangements for the table and kitchen counter. Hang streamers around the bathroom door. Let your friends see that you know how to throw a housewarming party with pizzazz.

Etiquette

Socializing today is pretty casual, so housewarming party etiquette is flexible, and should be more about making people comfortable than anything else. Your guests will definitely want to take a tour of your new home, so assign your best friend the role of tour guide to alleviate some of the pressure from yourself. If you don’t have a planned backup, you might sit down at the end of the party and realize you spent the whole day pointing at the track lighting in your garage. Avoid scheduling a time to open all of your gifts, as you might at a birthday party. If a guest specifically asks you to open their gift, do it away from the main party area to avoid long drawn out sessions of applause and reading cards. At a come-and-go party, this is a sure fire way to make everyone go. Also, your close friends will know what to do at a housewarming party. Let them know before hand that you are counting on them to keep the room up.

Food

A housewarming party menu should be simple, containing mostly bite sized food. Housewarming Party FoodYou want to make sure that most items will still be good, even after sitting on the counter for a couple of hours. Things such as homemade cookies, savory pastries, and party mixes should take up most of the table. Chips are great, of course, but memorable housewarming food ideas make much better crowd pleasers.

Most restaurants offer catering, so pick your favorite lunch spot, and pre-order a batch of something you love. Tell the restaurant that you are looking for housewarming party food ideas, and they will help you decide, and might even provide the supplies you need to keep your food hot or cold. Here are a few other party food ideas, too.

Drinks

Everyone who knows how to throw a housewarming party will tell you that a party punch is the way to go when it comes to drinks. Create an alcoholic punch that’s not too strong, but perfect for guests to sip on when they drop by. Have a second non-alcoholic punch as well, especially if your housewarming party is during the day. Keep a few bottles of water handy, along with club soda and ginger ale. Keeping the drink menu simple will save you a lot of headache, but also make sure there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

Party Favors Engraved Glasses

Housewarming party favors are a way for you to thank your guests for stopping by, and bringing love and friendship to your new home. Mints and chocolates are always a hit, but consider giving your friends something that they can add to their own homes. Tea light candles are inexpensive, but can be useful to anyone. Engraved glasses are also a great way to commemorate a housewarming party, and if you don’t hand them all out your guests, you have more drinkware to keep in your own new cabinets.

Gifts

For those of us who aren’t planning on moving any time soon, there’s a much greater chance that we’ll be guests at a housewarming party than hosting one.

Electric Corkscrew

Bottles of wine are housewarming gift staples, so a great housewarming gift idea is an upscale wine bottle opener. Skip the gift wrapping, and show up with a bottle opener ready to go to work. You might even get to pick the first bottle opened in your friend’s new home!

A recurring problem at parties is running out of ice. On your way to the housewarming party, pick up a nice large bag of ice. It will always be welcomed with open arms. You can even go all the way, and wrap said bag of ice in a new beverage cooler or mini fridge.

Personalized housewarming gifts are a wonderful way to congratulate loved ones on a new home, but also share a memory with them that might become part of their everyday routine. Engraved Cutting BoardEngraved cutting boards are perfect for people who like to cook, and will definitely be put to good use.

The greatest give you can bring to a housewarming party is a new friend for the host. If they’ve just moved to town, or even relocated to a new neighborhood, it can be tough starting out. If you’ve been invited to a housewarming party, ask the host if you can bring a plus one, and find someone with common interests to invite. There’s always an open spot at the weekly poker table.

Steak Seasoning Ideas to Make Your Meat Awesome

A vital step in the meat grilling process is choosing the best steak seasoning. There are an abundance of BBQ recipes available, and each one can help give your great cuts of a meat a palate-pleasing flavor, but we are always searching to find the best of the best. We turned to a few experts for advice on creating memorable grilling and steak rub recipes that will give your food a unique, signature flavor. From tips on using great grilling technique, to unexpected flavors, to giving ready-made favorites a signature spin, here are the best steak seasoning ideas to help any cut of meat reach its maximum flavor potential.

Even when using the best dry rub you can find, great tasting meat starts with good grilling technique. Grilling expert Jeremy Tannehill, Executive Chef at Public House gastropub in Chicago, Illinois, says you should always know your heat source. “There are two types heat – direct and indirect. When it is quicker food items to cook, like asparagus and steak, then use direct. Otherwise use indirect heat [such as coals] when cooking slower cooked foods i.e. pastrami!” Chef Tannehill also recommends using seasonings judiciously. “Too much garlic, salt and/or chili powder… Don’t do it!” At Public House, he uses sumac spice in all of the steak rubs. “The middle-eastern spice is really enriched in the primal, animal flavor of the beef.”

Star AniseShaunya Hartley, Editorial Director of ShopEatandSleep.com, suggests that exotic flavors make the best BBQ dry rub. “I like to do a dry rub from time to time with Saffron, sometimes a red or green curry, [or] Star Anise…Star Anise gives a slight licorice component.” Highly popular in China, India, and other Asian countries, star anise is among the primary ingredients in the traditional five-spice powder of Chinese cooking. It’s also frequently found in absinthe, making it truly unexpected among steak seasoning ingredients.

Many times, backyard chefs have the best grilling ideas. James Andors, a Keller Williams real estate professional by day, has been developing his signature BBQ recipes for years. His father was a professional chef, who worked with famed chef Jean-Georges. “I grew up cooking, and our favorite thing to do was grill steak.” When it comes to the best steak seasoning, Andors has a clear favorite. “I would say there is little better than a Montreal steak seasoning, but not the kind from the bottle. Make it yourself with only seven or eight ingredients, stuff you likely already have in the spice cabinet.” BBQ Seasoning IdeasIngredients in Montreal steak seasoning include paprika, black and white pepper, kosher salt, coriander, granulated onion and garlic, thyme and rosemary, and something for a little heat. “If [you're] willing to stray from strictly dry rub, substitute for fresh items. Rub the steak with minced garlic, dice some jalapeños, and use a grinder for the coriander seeds (instead of the powder). Always use fresh ground black pepper (or pepper medley) as well. Fresh herbs (thyme and rosemary) are always advisable. Both can grow in anyone’s back yard with zero effort.”

Brian Sullivan, Senior Vice President of Culinary Innovation for California Pizza Kitchen, recommends making quick and easy flavored sea salts. He shared his recipe for Pinot Noir Sea Salt. “As a general rule of thumb, add 1 to 2 teaspoons of flavoring for every 1/4 cup of salt. Be careful not to over mix when blending, so that the salt crystals remain intact. The steps below outline the reduction method. This is a technique using liquid and reducing it to a syrup, which makes the flavor and color of the salt more intense while at the same time preventing the salt from dissolving on contact.”

Pinot Noir Sea Salt

  1. Bring the wine to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and simmer until the wine is a syrup thick enough to coat a spoon. This can take 15 to 20 minutes depending on the amount of liquid and the size of the pan you are using.
  2. Once reduced, immediately add salt and blend until the salt has completely absorbed the wine and changed color.
  3. Transfer to a baking sheet or a piece of parchment paper and allow to air dry for 12 to 24 hours or until completely dry.
  4. Once the salt is dry, store in an airtight container.
  5. Enjoy!

Flavored Sea SaltsFlavored sea salts are a really effective way to enhance the taste of foods every day. Flavors such as alderwood, smoked guava wood, and chipotle give a woodsy flavor to grilled meat and vegetables without the need to keep a stockpile of logs hanging around the house. Some sea salts are even infused with flavors like coconut and lime, making it easy to give the most basic grilled foods an unexpected flavor.

If you are looking for a simple steak seasoning, or easy rib rub, choosing a favorite store-bought steak seasoning blend might be just the answer you’re looking for. Jonathan Toner, founder of Pirate Jonny’s Caribbean Rubs and Seasoning, is a long time foodie, with an award from the National BBQ Association under his belt. Using a blend of coffee, chili powder, garlic, cocoa, and a touch of Jamaican jerk, his ready-made barbecue rub captures an awesome balance of flavor. He’s created a number of great grilling recipes, including one for Roundup Coffee Roast Beef, for those days when you have no choice but to cook your meat inside. Bar Brew Q Recipe

An important ingredient in most great grill recipes is salt, which can be a problem for meat lovers who need to watch their sodium intake. Danielle Marullo, Assistant General Manager of The Todd English Food Hall in New York’s famed Plaza Hotel, is also the blogger behind GotRoomForMore.com, and creates delicious recipes that are also low in sodium. Marullo shared a unique recipe for Bar-Brew-Q Steak that incorporates coffee, coriander seeds, and LoSalt®, a low-sodium seasoning. “I often add coffee to my chocolate desserts to enhance the flavor, but the spiciness and earthiness of these beans are a match made in heaven for meat.”

Experience the Great American Beer Festival


Every year, the Great American Beer Festival celebrates the brewing industry by serving an enormous assortment of U.S. beers in a public tasting event. The Great American Beer Festival brings together top national brewers and a diverse selection of beers that prove why the United States is the world’s finest brewing nation.

This event started in 1982, and like the American craft brewing industry, has been growing ever since.  

8 Best Cocktails for Day Drinking

Day drinking is a far different practice than boozing it up with your friends at night. It’s fine to have a day drunk every now and then, and who doesn’t love a good brunch cocktail? But drinking all day must be carefully done, taking caution not to become too intoxicated for late afternoon and evening social activities. There’s also the issue of getting too tipsy about mid afternoon, and losing half the day to an impromptu nap. Therefore, it is important to take it slowly, and treat yourself with interesting cocktails that enhance your day drinking experience, rather than quickly rushing you into a post-happy-hour-like stupor. Here are the top 8 best cocktails for day drinking, each with its own special purpose.

To Energize: Earl Grey Tea Cocktail

Earl Grey Tea Cocktail

Morning cocktails must be subtle, but flavorful, and the Earl Grey Tea cocktail is a perfect fit. Made with freshly brewed Earl Grey tea, gin, honey, lemon juice, and lavender, it’s a yummy mixed drink that will energize your day. The caffeine from the tea helps you focus and feel awake, while the floral flavors will invigorate your spirits, figuratively and literally.

To Refresh: Sparkling White Peach Sangria

Sparkling White Peach Sangria
Sangria is a daytime drinking classic. Made with wine, brandy, and slices of fruit, this sparkling white peach sangria is sweet and refreshing. This recipe calls for seltzer water as well, adding a burst of bubbles to every glass. Definitely try to find fresh white peaches, because their tangy flavor will give these tasty mixed drinks a zing that you won’t get from regular peaches.

To Get Motivated: Moscow Mule

Best Moscow Mule Recipe

Ginger has been used for medicinal purposes for years, so ginger beer is a natural ingredient for a great day drinking cocktail. The classic Moscow Mule will help you get motivated with a spicy kick that comes from the ginger beer, boosted by a hearty shot of vodka. If you serve your Moscow Mule the traditional way (in a copper mug), the chill of the icy-cold metal rim will enhance your wake up call even further.

To Unwind: The Papal Maple

The Papal Maple
If you’ve had a stressful morning, and taken to day drinking as a way to unwind during the afternoon, The Papal Maple cocktail is what you want to go for. Made with cognac, maple syrup, blood orange juice, and cranberry bitters, it may not have ingredients that are readily available, but taking the time to bring them together is well worth the effort. Shaken and strained over ice, this is also a great brunch cocktail idea, giving a huge twist to the more pedestrian mimosa.

To Rejuvenate: Coconut Champagne Punch

coconut-champagne-punch
Coconut water is packed with natural electrolytes, and when you are drinking all day, it’s important to stay hydrated! This coconut champagne punch combines fresh fruit, coconut water, juice, and sparkling wine for an incredible way to rejuvenate the senses. One of the most delicious mixed drinks on our list, this punch is perfect for morning cocktails or afternoon parties where you need to mix your drinks in large batches. Opt for a dry sparkling wine, rather than sweet, for the perfect balance of flavors.

To Contemplate: The Garibaldi

Garibaldi Cocktail
If the skies are calm on a weekday afternoon, and the temperature is just right, taking time to sit back and contemplate on life can be very rewarding. When you take time to reflect, mix up a Garibaldi cocktail. This Italian-inspired list of ingredients includes three different spirits, citrus juice, and mineral water. These complex flavors will give your taste buds something to think about, and draw your mind into a quite place of thoughtful contemplation.

To Relax: The Painkiller Prescriptive

The Painkiller Prescriptive
Made with high-proof rum, citrus juices, and seasoned with nutmeg, the Painkiller Prescriptive was created to help ease those aches and pains and help you achieve relaxation. Originating on the island of Jost Van Dyke in the Virgin Islands, you can be sure that these great cocktails will transport you to an easy-going place. The recipe also incorporates cream of coconut, which adds a smooth, milky taste and texture, making it easy to close your eyes and dream of sunny beaches.

To Nourish: Bloody Caesar

Bloody Caesar Cocktail
Never forget to nourish yourself when day drinking. The Bloody Caesar cocktail is a Canadian spin on the Bloody Mary, and can be packed with as many celery stalks and pickles as your glass will hold. Using clamato juice instead of just plain tomato, you get a rich, satisfying sip every time. Rounding out our list of the best cocktails for day drinking, the Bloody Caesar is the perfect drinking companion for morning, noon, or even late at night.

10 Low Calorie Cocktails You Can Order Anywhere

If you are looking to trim your waistline, or at least maintain its current circumference, removing cocktails from your diet can seem like an easy place to cut back. It becomes hard when you are out with your friends, someone orders a round of drinks for the table, and you are relegated to squeaking out a quiet, “Just water for me, please.” Not that water is bad. We all need hydration, but there are plenty of low calorie cocktails to order at a bar, without blowing your diet. The best low calorie alcoholic drinks keep plenty of the good stuff (booze) while reducing or eliminating the bad stuff (sugary mixers). While ultra-light beers are easy to find, there are far more flavorful options when you opt for low calorie mixed drinks. We’ve created a list of the 10 best low calorie cocktails you can order anywhere.

Wine SpritzersWine Spritzer

Any type of wine can be turned into a spritzer to create a healthy alcoholic drink available at any bar or restaurant. At approximately 25 calories per ounce, an average glass of wine is about 150 calories. Not all that bad to begin with. A wine spritzer, however, typically contains only three ounces of wine, coming in at only 75 calories. A spritzer is topped off with calorie free club soda, giving you bubbles and more to drink. White wines tend to be lower in calories, but most of it depends on alcohol content. The best bet is to just go with whatever wine you like best.
Total calories: 75

Malibu Rum & Diet Cola

Rum is definitely not a low calorie alcohol. However, Malibu brand coconut rum has 51 calories per ounce, which is less than most. Twelve ounces of cola come with a hearty 120 calories, and that’s where a rum and Coke gets us into trouble. Diet cola, however, has no calories. Add in a standard shot of Malibu rum, about 1.5 ounces, and you’ve got one of the lowest calorie alcoholic drinks you can find.
Total: 77

Flavored Vodka on the Rocks with a Twist

Flavored Vodka on the RocksTypically, 80 proof vodka has 64 calories per ounce, or 96 calories per shot. Flavored vodkas are everywhere, and splashed over the rocks are great for sipping. Most flavored vodkas use natural and artificial flavors which add no calories. Have them add any available fruit garnish for even more flavor. If you just can’t handle straight vodka, ask the bartender to top it up with a little club soda.
Total: 96 calories

Seabreeze

Low calorie vodka drinks are tricky, since many of them contain juices that are loaded with sugar. A Seabreeze cocktail is made with vodka, cranberry juice and grapefruit juice, and standard fare in almost any bar or restaurant. When you order, it’s important to tell the bartender that you want mostly grapefruit juice with just a little cranberry. One ounce of grapefruit juice is only 11 calories, while one ounce of cranberry juice is almost 20. Including a shot of 80 proof vodka, you’ve got a tasty low calorie cocktail that looks just like the regular version.
Total: 113 calories

Tequila & Soda with LimeTequila and Soda

Frozen margaritas are popular and incredibly tasty, but run in the 250 calorie range. Some restaurant margaritas are even worse, with enough sugar to exceed 350 calories. As with many things, taking it back to the basics is the way to go. The classic margarita is made with just tequila, triple sec, and lime juice, which leaves out the sugary rim and flavored mixers, getting the calorie count down to 150 calories. To take it even further, order tequila and soda with orange and lime garnish. Squeeze the orange and lime garnish into the drink, and muddle them in with your straw.
Total: 95 calories

Anything Mixed with Tea

Most popular spirits come in under 100 calories for a full jigger, and they all taste great mixed with iced tea. A staple found in almost any restaurant, iced tea has zero calories, and a relatively neutral flavor. The waiter might give you a weird look, but pick your favorite spirit, and ask for it mixed into a glass of iced tea. Make sure to avoid sweet tea, though, since prepared sweet tea can have nearly 5 tablespoons of sugar per serving.
Total: under 100 calories

Rob Roy

Rob Roy cocktailA prime candidate for the manliest low calorie mixed drink, a Rob Roy is made with scotch, vermouth, and bitters. Simple, classic, and can be ordered with confidence and authority.
Total: 145 calories

Cranberry Gin Martini

In case you haven’t noticed, many of these cocktails contain only one shot of alcohol. If you want a mixed drink that packs a punch, try our Cranberry Gin martini. It’s not a restaurant menu standard, but any well stocked bar will have the ingredients to make it. Your bartender will probably have fun trying something new. Other than taste, the best part is your friends will just think you are a sophisticated drinker with discerning taste, and never know you’re on a diet.
Total: 205 calories

Rosé

If you prefer to keep things simple, try a glass of rosé. Although it’s less common than other sparkling wines, popularity is increasing, keeping you on the cutting edge of drinking trends. If your friends give you any crap at the brunch table, just smile and nod as they throw back mimosas at nearly 220 calories per glass.
Total: 85 calories

Sake

If other low calorie cocktails are making you lose your buzz, try sake. This dry rice wine has higher levels of alcohol per ounce than grape-based wines. Even though this adds calories, sake is lower in other sugars. Traditionally served at room temperature, sake is easier to sip slowly, meaning a four ounce glass can be enjoyed for much longer than a chilled cocktail.
Total: 150 calories

Cocktail Recipe: Cranberry Gin Martini

Even though I love a good, dirty martini, the resulting olive-juice-breath can be a deterrent, especially in intimate settings. One of my favorite alternatives is this cranberry gin martini. Featuring the fragrant botanicals of gin alongside tangy cranberry juice, you get a stunning cocktail worthy of enjoying at a slow pace. Since the gin flavors are so exposed, I always reach towards a higher shelf for something like Tanqueray No. 10 or Bombay Sapphire. You’ll get a slightly different flavor from the orange vs. Angostura bitters, so try both to see which you prefer.

Cranberry Gin Martini

  • 2 1/2 oz top shelf gin, such as Bombay Sapphire
  • 1/2 oz cranberry juice
  • orange twist
  • dash orange or Angostura bitters

Pour the gin over ice, into a cocktail shaker. Add cranberry juice and bitters. Shake for a few seconds until well blended. Strain into a frozen cocktail glass, and top with an orange twist.

 

The Cranberry Gin Martini

Enter to Win our Oktoberfest Sweepstakes!

To celebrate Oktoberfest, we are giving away a prize package worth over $200! Anyone who makes a purchase on HomeWetBar.com during the month of September, and spends $75 or more is automatically entered to win. From signs and steins, to glassware and grilling,  we’ve got everything you need for hosting an awesome Oktoberfest party. Check out the items in the prize package:

Personalized Brewmeister Metal Sign

Personalized Brewmeister Metal Sign

Personalized European Glass Beer Stein

Personalized Glass Beer Stein

Natural Wood Tap Handle

Natural Wood Tap Handle

Authentic German Beer Boot

Authentic German Beer Boot

Ready to enter? Start shopping now!

Terms & Conditions:

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO PARTICIPATE OR WIN. Prize package for the Oktoberfest Sweepstakes includes the Brewmeister metal sign #3846, European glass beer stein #3054, Village Square wooden tap handle #3938, and Two (2) 18 oz German beer boots, #715. A representative from HomeWetBar will contact the winner directly via email. A purchase will not improve odds of winning. For a free entry into our Oktoberfest Sweepstakes, please print your name, address, phone number, and email address on a letter or post card and mail to HomeWetBar.com, 425 E Hill St, Oklahoma City, OK  73105. Mailed entries must be received by EOB on Monday, September 29, 2014. Telephone entries will not be accepted. Available only to residents of the United States and Canada.

How to Infuse Vodka Naturally

Using infused vodka in your cocktails is a great way to add fresh flavor without a lot of calories and artificial ingredients. The vodka infusion process used by large distilleries is just as easy to replicate in small batches, right in your own kitchen. Homemade infused vodka has limitless opportunities, with any combination of fresh fruits and herbs contributing to one-of-a-kind flavors that perfectly suit your taste. Here’s an easy set of steps to help you flavor your own vodka.

The most important step in making infused vodka is picking out your flavors. There are plenty of infused liquor recipes online, but let your own taste buds be your guide. Any kind of fruit will taste great, especially citrus. If you choose a sweet fruit, like apples or grapes, consider adding a little citrus fruit, such as lemon or pineapple, to help ignite the flavors. Fresh herbs add unique flavor, especially if you plan to make a dry martini, or are experimenting with infused gin. It’s best to start with small sprigs at first, so you can test the potency.

Once you’ve picked out your flavors, you’ll need to find an infusion jar.

Naturally Infused Vodka

This naturally infused vodka maker combines everything you need in one, including the jar. If you get several infusion jars, you can invite your friends over for a vodka tasting.

Cut your fruit and herbs into small pieces. If you are using berries, or small fruit, you won’t need to cut them too small, but it’s essential to break the outer membrane of the fruit so that the juices can soak into the vodka. Place the chunks of fruit into the bottom of the jar, and depress the cutter into the top. The cutter will aid in the vodka infusion process, and also keep pieces separated so the vodka can flow by more freely.

Infused Vodka Maker

Screw on the top canister of the infusion jar. Make sure it’s sealed tightly to prevent leaks. Pour as much vodka as you like into the jar. You can pour just enough for a drink or two, or fill it all the way so you can share with friends. Top shelf vodka is not necessary, but you want to start with a good neutral spirit that’s been filtered at least three times. This will ensure the alcohol taste won’t interfere with your fruit flavored vodka.

Fruit Flavored Infused Vodka

Now, it’s time to wait. For small batches, an hour or two is fine. Larger batches should rest for a few hours.

After the flavors have had time to infuse, you’re almost ready for a cocktail! Simply pour your beautifully infused vodka out of the jar, and into the cocktail shaker or glass. The infused vodka maker will strain out any chunks of fruit or pulp for a smooth finish.

Martinis with Infused Vodka

The more you experiment with your liquor infuser, you’ll find the best flavored liquor is made in your own home. Vanilla infused vodka, made with a real vanilla bean, is surprisingly memorable. Fresh basil infused alcohol is incredible in a Bloody Mary. If you’re really adventurous, vodka infused with scallions and radishes will make a dirty martini so good, you won’t want to share. This same technique works well for infusing bourbon and other spirits. Have fun, and feel free to share your ideas for making naturally infused vodka at home.

 

Amazing Mustard Uses, Other Than on a Sandwich

From the ballpark to the kitchen table, mustard is the unsung hero of the condiment community. People take for granted its semi-spicy zing of flavor, and the way it can give a boost to even the blandest of sandwiches. The name “mustard” comes down to us from a Latin phrase meaning, “burning wine,” due to the fiery flavor mustard seeds added to ancient unfermented grape juice. Although I can’t imagine any situation where I would squirt a dollop of mustard into my glass of pinot noir, there are a number of amazing, unconventional mustard uses that can improve your everyday life. As if tasting awesome on a corn dog isn’t enough?

Mustard Seed Benefits

Mustard Seed Benefits

Yellow Mustard Seeds

Mustard seed contains selenium, which has been found to lower the risk of cancer and heart disease. It also contains magnesium, which is needed for healthy bones, muscle function, and has been shown to lower blood pressure in some studies. Even though prepared mustard dilutes these minerals somewhat from the original seed, your body will still absorb the nutrients from your lunch, and reap these mustard seed benefits. So go ahead, add a little extra mustard nutrition to your hoagie, and say to your wife, “It’s like vitamins, honey.”

Mustard for Burns

One of the best mustard uses is for burns. Since many minor skin burns occur near the kitchen stove, mustard can usually be found nearby. Although there are many home remedies for burns, such as a cold pack or oatmeal, many people who’ve tried it actually head for the refrigerator door first, and slather on a generous smattering of yellow mustard. Mustard for burns relieves the stinging almost instantly, and stimulates healing.

Soothe a Sore Throat

Mustard has been used for medicinal purposes for centuries. One of the oldest apothecary tricks uses mustard to soothe a sore throat. Heat up about one cup of water, then stir in two tablespoons of mild mustard, a pinch of salt, some lemon juice, and a spoonful of honey (locally farmed honey, if it’s available). If you’re feeling especially daring, add half a shot of whiskey, too. Do the finger test to make sure the water is not too hot, then slowly sip your concoction until it’s gone. The taste won’t make you rush back for more, but it’s not terrible, either. It will soothe the pain of your sore throat, and the effect will last for a day or so.

Get the Smell Out of Containers

Mustard Seed Oil

Brown Mustard Seed

One of the oldest tricks in the book is using mustard to neutralize skunk smell. If you’re like me, though, I’ve been lucky enough to avoid the spray of the skunk. Mustard, however, is great for removing all types of odors. If you have a reusable plastic container or glass bottle, and the scent of the previous contents seems to linger inside, just fill it up with hot water and some mustard. Seal the lid, and shake it for a minute or so, then let it sit. After a couple of hours, pour out the mustard solution, and give it a quick rinse with soap and water. Almost any smell will have disappeared.

Mustard Face Mask

Remember all those times that your mom got fussy with you for having dry mustard on your face and she cleaned it off with a tissue soaked in her own saliva? Little did she know you were actually preserving your own youthful appearance. The vitamins and minerals found in mustard are great in all-natural face masks. Spread a bunch of mustard all over your face, let it dry for about 15 minutes, then rinse it off. You’ll have a smoother, brighter looking face. Part of the effects of a mustard face mask might be residual golden tones from the the yellow mustard, but who knows. Try testing a small area of your neck or jaw line before you do your whole face, because the stimulating benefits of mustard can be pretty intense to sensitive skin.

Relax Muscles & Soothe Sore Feet

Yellow Mustard

Mustard to Relax Muscles

People all over the world use mustard to relieve soreness. Many athletes carry around packets of mustard for leg cramps and tightness of the muscles. The vitamins and minerals, along with the vinegar found in prepared mustard, cause the nervous system to relax, and reduce cramping and muscle contractions. Just eat a tablespoon of mustard when you start feeling those muscles twitch. Mustard can also be used externally to soothe muscles. In fact, some synthetic topical pain relievers were designed to replicate the stimulating effect of mustard on muscles. To make a paste, use dry ground mustard, along with a little bit of flour and water, and an egg if you’ve got it, and stir it into a thick goop. Soak a piece of gauze or a washcloth in the mixture, and apply to the sore area. You can also mix dry ground mustard and salt into warm water to create a foot bath, or even a full body soak to sooth sore feet and relieve all-over achiness.

Mustard Oil for Hair Growth

Everyone loves great hair. It’s a signal of virility and coolness. Mustard oil, when used as a hair treatment, offers a number of benefits to help you get a more dapper ‘do. Whether you suffer from dry hair, or slow growing roots, mustard oil contains vitamins like beta-carotene, and fatty acids that strengthen hair follicles and stimulate growth on the scalp. Rubbing table mustard into your forehead won’t change the direction of a receding hairline, but many cultures have used mustard oil for hair growth through the millennia, and the tradition shows no signs of stopping.

Put it in a Cocktail

It might sound crazy, but yes, mustard can be used in a cocktail! A Bloody Mary cocktail is an easy home for mustard, since some recipes already call for horseradish. Sweet mustards, like Dijon, are also great in a shot of tequila. For the adventurous cocktail lover, try this recipe for Mustard Punch cocktails, which combines gin, lime juice, and brandy.

Mason Jar Condiment Dispenser