About Rodney Brazil

Enjoying life, wine, and great cocktails.

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Block Party Bingo Outdoor Game

Summer is the season of grilling, tailgating, and endless fun in the sun. We’re always looking for great outdoor party ideas, so we created a great party game for adults that will keep you laughing well into the fall: Block Party Bingo.

This printable party game is perfect for block parties, music festivals, fairs, or anywhere a crowd of neighbors and strangers come together for outdoor drinking and fun. Whether it’s that annoying neighbor who incessantly talks to everyone at the block party, or that girl who thinks a bikini top is an appropriate shirt, you’ll have fun picking these easy-to-spot situations in any crowd. Turn it into a drinking game, and take a shot every time you spot something, or chug every time you get five in a row. Try to get to blackout before you black out! After a few bingos, this will easily become one of your favorite outdoor party games.

Block Party Bingo

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Print this Block Party Bingo game card, or pull it up on your mobile phone. Take a look at each square, and find as many as possible at your outdoor party. Play by yourself, or with friends. You’ll have a blast either way. Do you know other party games for adults that you think we’d enjoy? Tell us about it in the comments below.

The Evolution of the American Man

From the primitive days of hunting for food, discovering fire and retreating to the cave, to the 21st Century days of ordering in, firing up the barbecue and chilling in the man cave, how much has the American man changed over the years?

To see how the average modern American man lives today, we created a survey, and put our questions to the men folk in a bid to find out how they live in their natural habitat.

Man vs beer

Evolution of the American Man

Man has always enjoyed relaxing with a chilled beer with his fellow men folk, but did you know that 11% of men in the US have at least one alcoholic drink every night? The majority of men taking part in the survey (25%) said that they drink alcohol one night a week with a further 21% saying they cracked a cold one at least two nights a week.

So which part of the US has the most beer-guzzling males? According to respondents, the West boasts the highest number of drinkers, where just over 15% of men enjoy at least one drink every night.

Man vs beauty

Evolution of the American Man

Man is strong. Man is brave. Man takes pride in his appearance. Yes, now more than ever, man is perfecting his beauty regime with a fifth of US males keeping their skin super-soft by moisturising as part of their daily routine. Man must also take care of his nails, as 11% of men said they had a regular manicure (and a further 10% said the regularly enjoyed a pedicure).

The 21st Century has spawned a new breed of man: the metrosexual. Men in the West of the US polled highest for their comprehensive grooming routines, which included daily moisturising, styling their hair and regularly enjoying a relaxing mani-pedi. 25-34 year old males were the most image conscious, taking more care in their appearance than any other age group.

Man vs relationships

Evolution of the American Man

The modern man can be picky when it comes to selecting a mate. Apparently, many men prefer not to have a long-term partner and keep the whole mating thing pretty casual. In fact, over a third of US males admitted to having had at least one one-night stand in their lifetime and over a fifth of men in the US said that they would rather be single than in a relationship.

For many men, no mate can replace their first love: sport. Over a fifth of US men said they much preferred sports night over date night. Speaking of first loves, the survey found that romance is of the most significance for the 25-34 year old male, with 56% of US men in this age bracket claiming that they are romantic all the time.

Younger men, aged 18-24 do not waste their time with unmanly ordeals such as romance, with only 27% of men in this age group claiming they are romantic. Younger men are more likely to lie about their activities in the bedroom, with a quarter of 18-24 year olds admitting that they have lied about the amount of people that they have slept with.

So it would seem that while the American man has not really evolved beyond his once primitive urges in the bedroom department, man has evolved to keep his facial hair trimmed, his hair styled, nails perfectly manicured and his skin moisturised and smooth.

 

How to Make Adult Kool-Aid Cocktails

Nothing brings back childhood memories faster than seeing a kid run by with a bright red Kool-Aid mustache. That cold, refreshing sweetness, served up by the half gallon in the kitchen refrigerator. After hours of bike riding and running in breathless circles, a quick shuffle across the linoleum floor to reach for the big pitcher of brightly colored tropical punch is all we needed to refuel for another couple of hours. Becoming a grown-up creates an endless list of new options in life, but it usually closes the door to the simple pleasure of guzzling sugary drink mixes. Until now. Here it is: Adult Kewl-Aid.

How to Make Adult Kewl-Aid

These easy party punch recipes are great for celebrating youthful spirit, but soaked with booze, and therefore mixed for adults only. And as adults, we’ve earned the right to enjoy fruity alcoholic drinks with pride, and even sport a colorful mustache as a badge of honor. Each adult Kool-Aid cocktail recipe is inspired by a classic combination, but much easier to make in large batches. So whether you’re looking to save time with an easy party punch, or just want to enjoy refreshing Kool-Aid cocktails for your own trip down memory lane, these easy mixed drink recipes will turn any day into Funday.

Tropical Punch + Rum

Tropical Punch Kool Aid Cocktail with Rum

Of all the Kool-Aid flavors, tropical punch is the most popular. Not only because it brings together tasty fruit and citrus flavors, but because bright red is the quintessential Kool-Aid color. Follow the package directions to make a gallon of ice cold tropical punch, and mix with a liter of rum for a perfect treat at any summer party. With a flavor combination similar to a Hurricane cocktail, these are great big batch party drinks. If you want to get extra fancy, try garnishing this Kool-Aid cocktail with fresh cherries, and orange wedges.

Green Apple + Tequila

Green Apple Kool Aid Cocktail with Tequila

When figuring out how to make party punch, it’s always good to experiment. We found green apple flavored Kool-Aid at the store, and decided to give it a try. The flavor and color are reminiscent of sweet and sour mix, so tequila is the perfect companion. Aside from the fun your guests will have making jokes about the effects of drinking something bright green, the unmistakable tequila and fruity Kool-Aid flavors mix well, and aren’t too far off from the apple margaritas you find in some restaurants. You can go weak or strong with this one, but you want to keep it really cold, so use lots of ice. This easy party punch is also great to throw in the blender with some ice, and mix up a frosty frozen drink.

Orange + Whiskey

Orange Kool Aid Cocktail with Whiskey

Okay, hear us out on this one. Orange flavored Kool-Aid and whiskey are actually awesome together. One of the all time classic cocktails, the Old Fashioned, combines orange and whiskey flavors, and this Kool-Aid drink recipe follows suit. There’s no need to go top shelf with the whiskey, and bourbon or Canadian blends work best. We also recommend making the orange Kool-Aid a little weaker than the package directions, because the flavor is strong, and you want to get a good balance. One gallon of cold Kool-Aid mixed with one liter of whiskey should be your starting point, but you can tinker with the actual proportions to suit your own taste. Cherries and oranges make a great garnish here, too.

Grape + Vodka

Grape Kool Aid Cocktail with Vodka

If you think about it, grape flavored Kool-Aid is like the little brother to tropical punch. Grape sits around, letting Tropical get all the attention, then when Tropical leaves the room, everyone whispers to Grape, “You’re actually my favorite.” There’s not a signature drink that uses grape flavored anything, so it’s vodka’s turn. Vodka is great because it adds the booziness you need for adult Kool-Aid, but won’t mess up that classic grape taste. Of all the alcoholic punch recipes, this one brings out the most smiles. Who doesn’t love grape Kool-Aid?  The purple color sets it apart, making a visual splash as well. Don’t worry about a garnish on this one. That would be silly.

Bonus Recipe: Shots

Kool-Aid mix will quickly and easily turn any bottle of alcohol into tasty shots. The process is quite simple. First, open the bottle of booze. Next, pour in any amount of dry drink mix. Screw the lid on again and shake it up. Finally, pour it into shot glasses. Poof, done. If you’ve got time, you can even use an ice mold to make shot glasses out of frozen Kool-Aid. Enough already. Let’s go drink the Kool-Aid!

Drink the Kool Aid Cocktails

 

No Sweat Guide to the Las Vegas Bachelor Party

The bachelor party is a rite of passage for all men headed into  matrimony. A way of saying goodbye to the single life, but also a chance to celebrate the pending nuptials with close buddies. Although a good stag party can happen anywhere, there’s nothing quite as exciting as a Las Vegas bachelor party. Bright lights, inescapable music, and seedy glamour all contribute to an atmosphere that enhances a night (or weekend) of faux debauchery. So whether you are a best man searching for bachelor party ideas, or a newly engaged couple planning an epic Stag & Doe Night, here’s a few pointers when it comes to awesome bachelor parties in Vegas.

Book an awesome suite.

Awesome Las Vegas Suite

Nobody wants to travel hundreds of miles, get to Vegas, and sit around some guy’s living room that you found on Air B&B. Booking a great suite is absolutely essential for party success. Hotel suites in Las Vegas are like celebrity penthouse apartments for for a fraction of the price, and have an assortment of amenities perfect for any group. Hot tubs, wet bars, breakfast service, and ginormous-screen TVs are just the beginning. Many suites have huge windows that overlook the Las Vegas strip, and a view of the Sin City lights beneath the dark desert sky will get your heart pumping with enough adrenaline to go all night. Get a suite large enough to sleep everyone in your group without anyone assigned to the couch. You’ve gotta have a crash pad!

Start drinking immediately.

High Roller Martini Glasses

As soon as you unlock the door to your hotel room, start drinking, if you haven’t already. If you’ve booked a good suite, there will be an ice bucket with champagne waiting for you, but if not, come prepared with booze of your own. Don’t get carried away with Fireball shots before you’ve even unpacked your sunscreen, but having a toast to the groom upon arrival will get things started on the right foot. If you’re planning to crack open the minibar anyway, we recommend shaking up a Sidecar cocktail, paying homage to classic Las Vegas nightlife.

Find a great party pool.

author: Adam Kliczek, http://zatrzymujeczas.pl (CC-BY-SA-3.0)

photo: Adam Kliczek

Your hotel is likely home to several pools. Some are full of family fun with water slides and pool noodles. Skip these. As soon as you’re unpacked, slip on your swimsuit, some SPF 45, and find an adults-only party pool, which will include a swim-up bar and no posted rules regarding four letter words. This is a rudimentary element of the Las Vegas bachelor party. Now that you’re in Vegas, it’s important to get a little sun, settle into the climate, and get some relaxation before heading out for an all nighter. Nobody wants to be the first one to go down.

Get reservations at the best restaurants.

Las Vegas Restaurants

Nutrition and sustenance are key, and if you want to get a taste of the best food Las Vegas has to offer, you’re going to need to make a reservation before you get there. Sure, the buffets are great, and there’s no shame in shuffling over to one of the hotel restaurants for the blue plate special, but Vegas is home to some of the best restaurants in the world, with menus created by top American chefs. Making your dinner reservation is probably the first thing you want to do, right after booking your hotel suite. No take home boxes, guys, just clean your plate.

Two words: indoor skydiving.

indoor skydiving

Not everyone is a daredevil. Some of your friends will freak out when you say “skydiving.” Indoor skydiving, however, is a one-of-a-kind experience not offered in most cities. Indoor skydiving is less risky than jumping out of an actual plane or helicopter, but the exhilaration is just as intense. If one of your buddies wants to sit this one out, it’s okay. Tell him to stay up in the suite and enjoy a glass of rosé.

Relax on the golf course.

Las Vegas Golf Course

Not everyone can play golf, but anyone can enjoy Las Vegas golf courses. Cruising around the hot desert, narrowly avoiding cacti and huge lizards is the closest you’ll ever come to being Indiana Jones, not excluding the indoor skydiving. There are so many beautiful courses that you can almost draw straws as to which one will be the best. This is another area where it’s good to plan ahead, but you can usually squeeze in a short round, even last minute.

Go gambling, of course.

Las Vegas Slots

This one almost goes without saying, but for those of you who will create a spreadsheet, with a column for each day and a row for each waking hour, we didn’t want you to forget. Spend at least a little time out on the casino floor. You’ll snag some free drinks, and likely run into a ton of other people having a really great time. If you had bachelor party shirts made, continue not wearing them. It was a terrible idea anyway. Between slots, cards, roulette, and all of the other games, there’s a table for everyone in your group. And who knows? If someone hits the jackpot, maybe you can stay an extra day or two. Or at least compel him to buy a few rounds later on.

Hit the clubs.

up in the club

This is the part that everyone will remember. A group of buddies going out, bar hopping, dancing, and having the time of their life is where true friendships are permanently sealed. Go online and make a mental list of all the clubs you want to check out. You’ll find lots of suggestions on the best bachelor party locations. Be flexible, though, because you never know where the night will lead you. One best practice, though: Find a couple of clubs that are walking distance from your hotel, and go there last. Inevitably, you’ll have a couple of buddies that are ready for bed before the rest of your posse, so being close enough for them to get back safely removes any worry or late night planning for the rest of the group. It might be the city that never sleeps, but for humans, that doesn’t turn out as well.

9 Celebrity Burger and Beer Pairings

Sitting down to enjoy a tasty hamburger is one of life’s great pleasures, and cracking open a cold craft beer is another. When burgers and beer come together: magic. It’s a classic combination that can be enjoyed at sporting events and backyard parties everywhere. While there’s no shame in enjoying a burger from a cart and beer from a plastic keg every now and then, we prefer to do our taste buds justice with juicy, mouth watering burgers piled high with fresh toppings, and washed down with the best brews available.

We wanted to find out what some of the top beer and restaurant celebrities in the US had to say about the best beers to compliment our favorite burgers. We turned to authors, chefs, teachers, entrepreneurs, and the industry’s best bartenders to give us their expert advice on pairing beer with food. Check out this stellar list of the best beer pairings to enjoy alongside your favorite kind of burger, so the next time you fire up your grill or head to your favorite local restaurant, you can give your tasty burger the perfect companion.

Chili Cheese Burger

Ryan Newhouse Beer Recommendations

Ryan Newhouse

For a chili cheese burger, traditional lettuce and tomato are put aside, in favor of country-style chili, cheddar cheese, jalapeno slices, sandwiched into a buttered and toasted white bread bun. Ryan Newhouse, author of Montana Beer: A Guide to Breweries in Big Sky Country, and writer for Montana Beer Finder says you need a versatile beer to pair with all these strong flavors. “Obviously, there will be a spice-forward flavor from the jalapeno slices and chili, and the beef and cheese will give us not only saltiness and richness, but a much-desired umami taste sensation. This combination, for me, begs for a Sam Adams Boston Lager. This Boston Brewing Company beer is a classic Vienna lager, meaning it has low hop aromas, a clean lager characteristic, and a dry finish. The softness of Vienna or Munich malts keeps it from becoming overly sweet. Plus, there is history at work here,” Newhouse explains. “In the 19th century, several Austrian brewers relocated to Mexico, bringing with them the Vienna lager (also known as the Amber lager). The style became very popular with traditional, spicy Mexican dishes.”

“The cheese and beef in the chili cheeseburger pair well with darker roasted grains because of the food’s protein umami. Umami intensifies the taste of salt and sweet, so pairing a Vienna lager with cheese and beef makes the beer a touch sweeter and the cheese/meat a touch saltier, which then makes a match made in heaven.”

Bacon Cheeseburger 

Jon Richards - Beer Recommendations

Jon Richards

Ah, yes! The ubiquitous American bacon cheeseburger. Featuring a heap of crispy bacon and thick slices of American cheese, you can hardly taste the mayo and onions. For this beer pairing, we turned to Jon Richards, a Cicerone certified beer server and instructor for GS University: Beer 101 at The Greenville Growler Station in Greenville, SC. Richards says, “Most American browns have just enough roast to bring out a touch of smoke to pick up the charred flavor of the meat and just enough hops to cut through greasy food, this makes them a near perfect combination for your basic burger.”

“For this burger, I recommend Avery Ellie’s Brown Ale.  It’s a medium-bodied, chocolatey brown with enough gusto to handle a burger; and the burger, especially the smoked bacon, will really pull the smokiness out of the beer and showcase it, helping to dry up the beer.  There’s just enough bitterness and carbonation to cut through the richness of the burger and let the flavors of the meat and the bacon settle onto your tongue, and the beer isn’t afraid of the onions either; it’ll face down their sharpness and keep them from overwhelming any other flavor in the mix. If you can’t find Ellie’s Brown, then your favorite local brewer’s brown will probably do nicely.  A lot of American brewers are starting to remember browns and doing a bang-up job while they’re at it.”

Grilled Onion Burger 

Keith Wallace - Beer Recommendations

Keith Wallace

Grilled onion burgers are a staple in roadside restaurants and greasy spoons everywhere, but they are slowly making their way onto more sophisticated menus as well. In addition to caramelized grilled onions, you’ll typically find melted butter, mustard, Swiss cheese, and, if you’ve stopped somewhere nice, a hearty wheat bread bun. Keith Wallace, author of Cooked & Forked: Four Seasons of Eats and Drinks, and president & founder of The Wine School of Philadelphia says the best beer would be Dale’s Pale Ale, made by Oskar Blues Brewery.

Wallace pointed out, “It works because it has a crispness that works really well as a counterpoint to the tang of the mustard. Its also got enough carbonation [to] refresh the palate after each mouthful of delicious beefiness.  The onion, well, that doesn’t go well with beers that are too hoppy, which is why I opted for the Pale Ale, which has enough hops to give it a citrus and floral finish, but no more.”

Turkey Burger

Jonathan VanSleet - Beer Recommendations

Jonathan VanSleet

Once merely a novelty of the 90s low-fat craze, turkey burgers have made quite a splash in recent years. For eaters looking to occasionally substitute red meat with poultry and fish, turkey burgers are a favorite. A ground turkey patty is commonly seasoned with salt & pepper, topped with romaine lettuce, tomato slices, and fresh red onion. You’ll usually find a yogurt dressing, maybe cucumber, and provolone cheese with a multi-grain bun. Chef Jonathan VanSleet of the hugely popular MexiBBQ kitchen and draught in Astoria NY  recommends a wheat beer. The best wheat beer for this job is Blanche De Bruxelles, which he said is available at most places.

If you can’t track down this Belgian style ale, VanSleet recommends the Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier, which is a Hefeweizen style beer.

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Veggie Burger 

Paul Greenberg - Beer Recommendations

Paul Greenberg

Even though they get a bad rap, veggie burgers done right are packed with farm fresh, local ingredients and a huge amount of flavor. Some of the most popular toppings include fresh spinach, fresh arugula, thick tomato slices, bean sprouts, and oil & vinegar dressing. Top up with a multi-grain bun and you’ve got lots going on in every bite. Paul Greenberg, co-owner and founder of the renowned American Social  bar in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, recommends a lighter beer, “depending on the season.”

He compares the veggie patty to a turkey burger, suggesting, “…in the summer, enjoy a Saison / Farm House Ale. They are brewed in the winter and consumed in the summer and have a fruity aroma and flavor. Think of craft beers like wine, if the dish is lighter (chicken, fish or veggie based), consume something to balance out those flavors.”

Hickory Barbecue Burger

Keith Winter - Beer Recommendations

Keith Winter

Less common than some of our other tasty burgers, the hickory barbecue burger, or “Theta Burger” as we call it in Oklahoma, is covered with grated cheese and hickory sauce, which includes the deep, rich flavors of smoked hickory wood. Our resident beer expert, Keith Winter, founder and CEO of HomeWetBar.com, says the best beer is Left Hand Milk Stout Nitro.

“The nitro used to carbonate the beer gives it a more creamy texture in the mouth, potentially offsetting any heat from the BBQ sauce, while this smooth drinking stout cleanses your palate of any lingering BBQ flavors,” Winter says.

Burgers and Beer

California Burger 

Jackie Dodd - Beer Recommendations

Jackie Dodd

Famous for its thick slices of fresh avocado, the California burger is a perfect pocket of grilled ground beef, fresh lettuce, tomato, and Monterey Jack cheese. Jackie Dodd, food writer and founder of The Beeroness, is the expert when it comes to creating delicious beer infused recipes.

Dodd writes, “The California Burger has great flavors, but most are fairly mild. Pick a light, summery beer that will match those mellow flavors. I always pair burgers with highly carbonated beer, the bubbles are cleansing on the palate, letting you enjoy each bite even more. For this burger I’d pick a Saison, and because it’s a California burger, we have to go with a California Saison. My pick is Green Flash Saison Diego.”

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Butter Burger

Matthew Marksbury - Beer Recommendations

Matthew Marksbury

A recent breakout star in the burger world is the butter burger. Every restaurant has their own, special secret recipe, but you’ll usually find a collection of bold, breath-altering flavors. Even though the celebrity here is the oversized helping of melted butter, the supporting cast might include minced garlic, colby-jack cheese, cayenne pepper, and toasted white bread bun. Matthew Marksbury, co-founder of the online homebrew community Brewgr.com gave us a number of options to try. Beers you should be able to find anywhere include Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, “The classic Pale Ale with perfect balance and a tad of hoppiness will compliment your burger nicely,” Marksbury said.

An alternative would be Shift Pale Lager by New Belgium Brewing, “light, unoffensive and refreshing. It comes in a can.”

“Harder to Find Beers but Worth It if you can, [are] Mirror Pond Pale Ale by Deschutes Brewery, slightly malty and slightly hoppy, but just the right balance to wash down your butter burger, [and] Scrimshaw Pilsner by North Coast Brewing Co.”

For the adventurous foodie, Marksbury wants you to try any ale brewed with chilies. “These will work with the cayenne pepper in the butter burger to give your palette a workout,” he said. A few of his favorites are Chipolte Ale by Rouge Ales, Lips Of Faith, and Cocoa Molé by New Belgium.

The Classic Hamburger 

Dave Delaplaine - Beer Recommendations

Dave Delaplaine

Last, but not least, the good ol’ classic hamburger. Opinions may differ on exactly how a basic burger should be stacked, but for the most part, we expect a beef patty, ketchup, iceberg lettuce, a slice of tomato, pickles, and onions, on a white bread bun. Dave Delaplaine, Beer Program Manager for the critically acclaimed Roofers Union restaurant in Washington, DC, has two great suggestions for the best tasting beer.

“For the home-grilled backyard burger, I would have to go with a helles lager, in particular the Sly Fox Helles Lager from PA.  It is incredibly refreshing with just the right touch of crisp hops to balance the rich meat and still keep you hydrated as you bake in the sun AND above the grill,” Delaplaine said. “For that gourmet burger we all have day dreams about, I like to take it up a notch… For me, I would like nothing more than a good sour brown ale or oud bruin (“old brown”)…The idea here, earthy and scrumptious to match the meat and a sour finish to cut into the high fat content (which is what makes every gourmet burger so delectable). I would go with the New Belgium La Folie. It is seasonal but made every year and amazing.”

 

Satisfying Watermelon Summer Cocktails

Few things epitomize the joys of summer better than fresh watermelon. No matter how hot the day gets, when you cut through the thick, green watermelon rind and into the bright pink fruit, there’s always a refreshing treat ready to help cool you down. Summer cocktails have a similar effect, especially when they come in the form of a watermelon drink.

They’ve come a long way since the good old vodka soaked watermelon days. The watermelon cocktail recipes range from sophisticated martinis to simple mixed drinks. This collection of mouth watering summer cocktails gives you a diverse set of options to try, so open up your home wet bar, get out the paper towels, and give these watermelon recipes a taste.

Watermelon Champagne Cocktail

 

Watermelon Champagne Cocktail

Champagne cocktails are typically quick and easy, and these watermelon cocktails are no exception. With only four ingredients, watermelon, mint, lemonade, and champagne, this is a great twist on the classic mimosa. Simply mottle the fruit and mint in a cocktail shaker to get your watermelon juice, then strain into lemonade and top with bubbly wine. These lemonade drinks are fast, cool, and couldn’t be tastier.

Tequila Watermelon Refresco

Tequila Refresco Cocktail

Sweet soda, called “refresco,” is a Latin American favorite. This summer mixed drink recipe uses watermelon, tequila, club soda, and a few other tasty ingredients to create a watermelon cocktail that will leave your guests wanting more. That’s okay, too, because this watermelon drink recipe is made in large batches, making refills a snap. The tequila really stands out, so go for top shelf, or at least middle shelf on this one.

Watermelon Jalapeno Twist Mojitos

Watermelon Jalapeno Twist Mojitos

Mojito recipes are standard fare on a list of great summer cocktails. Not everyone is crazy about jalapeno drinks, but if you’ve been looking to try one, this is it. These sweetness of the watermelon, white rum, and simple syrup easily offset the bite of the jalapeno, making for a surprising balanced watermelon drink recipe. Fresh jalapenos are better, too, because canned or cooked peppers will pack way too much heat.

Watermelon Basil Bramble

watermelon basil bramble

Gin is the home bartender’s secret weapon. The botanicals vary from brand to brand, so when you find your favorite, the flavors quickly become a signature in your alcoholic drinks. This watermelon cocktail uses gin, lime juice, chucks of watermelon, and basil to create an incredibly memorable summer cocktail. Fresh basil gives the gin a giant boost in aroma, while the citrus and watermelon juice offer a deep sweetness. Serving them in mason jars with a watermelon spear is also highly recommended.

Salt & Pepper Watermelon Punch

Salt & Pepper Watermelon Punch

Vodka is extremely popular in summer cocktails, because it’s so versatile. This watermelon drink recipe uses flavored vodka to create a sweet, peppery punch that’s great for outdoor parties. To keep the drinks cold, you use frozen vodka infused watermelon chunks, so you’ll need to start early. If you’re a fan of adding salt or pepper to fresh fruit, you’ll find this watermelon cocktail an extra special treat.

King of the Grill Photo Contest

You could win a prize package that includes:

Grill Sergeant Apron

Grill Sergeant Apron

King of the Grill Sign

King of the Grill Sign

BBQ Rub Collection

Five Alarm BBQ Rub Set

Magnetic Grill Light

Heavy Duty Grill Light

 

 

Family Photos! Funny Photos! Food Photos!

Terms and Conditions:
One Prize package will be given awarded. Entries must be received by midnight on 7/31/2014. The prize winner will be announced no later than 8/08/14. If you have any questions, please contact us prior to entering. NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO PARTICIPATE OR WIN. A purchase will not improve odds of winning. All entries must be submitted using the online submission form. No other entries will not be accepted. By submitting a photo, you are confirming that you are the lawful owner of the photo, have the authority to publish it, and grant permission to HomeWetBar.com to distribute your photo through the internet, print publications, social media, and all other media platforms in relation to promoting the contest and/or the HomeWetBar.com brand. Available only to residents of the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico.

Best Potato Salad Recipes for 4th of July

As 4th of July weekend rolls around, the family starts to gather, and the grill gets fired up, but it can be easy to forget a very important component: good side dishes. Steaks and burgers are the primary draw of grilling seasons, but no meal is complete without a tasty side of green beans, or homemade potato salad. The best side dishes don’t come from the grocery store deli, so a little bit of preparation can lead to excellent taste rewards.

When searching for the best 4th of July food ideas, potato salad recipes stand out for a few reasons. A simple potato salad can be made several days in advance, and will actually taste better after a day of refrigeration, as the flavors begin to mingle. Potato salad ingredients are typically easy to find, many of which you may already keep in your pantry. This collection of potato salad recipes for 4th of July offer several distinctly different options, each one a perfect companion to your grilled main course.

Classic Potato Salad

Classic Potato Salad

When learning how to make potato salad, it’s good to start with the classic version. Different regions of the United States have slightly varying ideas of what makes up a traditional potato salad recipe. Typically, you’ll see ingredients like russet potatoes, onion, celery, pickles, mayonnaise, and mustard. This recipe also includes hard boiled eggs for added texture, and white wine vinegar for a pop of flavor. The vinegar, a natural preservative, will help this easy potato salad last longer in the refrigerator, so make plenty for leftovers.

Red, White and Blue Potato Salad

red white and blue potato salad

This homemade potato salad is one of the best 4th of July food ideas. Made with red skin, Yukon Gold, and Purple Peruvian potatoes, the finished side dish stands out in red, white and “blue” glory. Using olive oil instead of a creamier dressing makes the colors shine, while the ham and walnuts add a great heartiness. If you want to keep this dish vegetarian, saute a cup of diced carrots in olive oil, and let them cool before stirring in.

Mustard Potato Salad with Sherry Vinaigrette

mustard potato salad

We like to add a little booze to the menu whenever possible, and this potato salad with bacon, that uses Sherry wine vinegar in the dressing, caught our eye. It incorporates a few less common ingredients, like fresh tarragon and sliced shallots, but the flavors come together for a fresh and delicious compliment to steaks and chicken. Try adding 1/2 cup of white wine to your baking dish before you put the potatoes in the oven for added sweetness.

Grilled Jalapeño Potato Salad

Grilled Jalapeno Potato Salad

If your friends and family prefer spicier fare, you’ve got to try this savory treat. For this great side dish, you grill the potatoes and jalapeños, so it’s perfect for 4th of July, or anytime you already have a hot grill. The ingredients include cumin, green onions, and cilantro, which makes for Southwest inspired flavor. The recipe doesn’t call for it, but you can grill the green onions, too, for more smoky taste.

Whiskey & Blue Cheese Potato Salad

Easy Potato Salad

Finally, check out our original potato salad recipe for whiskey and blue cheese potato salad. Ingredients include spicy mustard, sweet barbecue sauce, and nutty wheat berries, but the real highlight is the potatoes themselves. You start by adding a cup of whiskey to the water before you boil the potatoes. This will infuse the sweet, woodsy flavor of your whiskey into every single bite. Happy Independence Day, everyone!

Picnic Food Ideas: Whiskey & Blue Cheese Potato Salad Recipe

This unique potato salad recipe offers rich flavors that will make a splash at your next cookout. Dressed with ingredients like red wine vinegar, barbecue sauce, and blue cheese, the potatoes are actually cooked in whiskey, infusing every bite with the sweet, smoky flavors from your favorite bottle.

Whiskey & Blue Cheese Potato Salad

  • 3 lbs Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 1 cup whiskey
  • 1 cup cooked wheat berries
  • 2 tbsp spicy mustard
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup whiskey barbecue sauce
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 4 oz crumbled blue cheese
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • salt & pepper

Cut your potatoes into bite sized pieces, as close as you can to 1/2 inch cubes. Add them to a large pot or saucepan, and sprinkle 2 tablespoons of salt over the top. Pour in one cup of your favorite whiskey, then cover with water. Bring the liquid to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. They should be slightly tender and easy to pierce with a fork. Drain the liquid, then cover and let the potatoes rest for at least 20 minutes. They will become more tender as they cool.

In a separate bowl, combine one cup of chilled, cooked wheat berries with the spicy mustard, red wine vinegar, olive oil, and barbecue sauce. Stir these ingredients until well blended. Spoon in the honey and stir until smooth.

Once the potatoes have cooled, add the dressing mixture and stir until thoroughly coated. Sprinkle in the blue cheese and green onions, and gently stir. Add salt and pepper to taste. Chill completely before serving.

 

Vodka Cocktails: The Cabana Cake

With so many wonderful flavored vodkas readily available, it can be easy just to mix them with a little club soda and call it a day. However, using them in delicious, handmade vodka mixed drinks tickles the taste buds even more. I recently discovered an incredible Bing cherry vodka, which has strong cherry flavor without being too sweet or too tart. The smell is vaguely reminiscent of drugstore cough syrup, but the flavor couldn’t be further from it, making it perfect for summer cocktails. I sipped a little on the rocks, and it was quite nice. The inspiration for this vodka cocktail comes from the classic Cabana Cake, a dessert with 1950s potluck appeal. The dessert is made with cherry pie filling, canned pineapple, and yellow cake mix. These vodka cocktails, however, are arguable better than the real thing.

The Cabana Cake CocktailVodka Cocktails: The Cabana Cake

  • 2 oz 360 Bing Cherry vodka
  • 1 1/2 oz pineapple juice
  • 1/4 oz cinnamon schnapps
  • 1 dash grenadine
  • maraschino cherry garnish

Fill a cocktail glass with ice. Blend vodka, pineapple juice, and schnapps with ice in a cocktail shaker. Discard the ice from your cocktail glass, then pour ingredients from your shaker, straining out any ice. Add a dash of grenadine to the center of the cocktail, allowing it to sink to the bottom. Garnish with a cherry.

These vodka cocktails can also be made in larger batches. Simply save your dashes of grenadine until after each glass is poured.

16 Reasons Vodka is the New WD-40

We love to find new, unusual uses for ordinary things. WD-40 is the perfect example of an item that can be in homes everywhere, and used to solve hundreds of everyday conundrums, from squeaky doors to getting chewing gum out of your hair. But stand aside, WD-40! There’s a new kid in town: vodka. We’ve all heard the old wives’ tales about alcohol curing everything from toothaches to bad breath, but this cocktail powerhouse is the champion. Vodka is good for more than just martinis and jello shots. Whether it’s getting stains out of clothes, or keeping bugs away, these household tips and tricks will give you 16 new reasons why vodka must be available at all times.

Window Cleaning

Cleaning Windows with Vodka

Store bought glass cleaners leave can leave behind an ammonia smell, on your windows and your hands. Vodka doesn’t! Fill an empty spray bottle half full with vodka, and fill the rest with water. This diluted vodka/water spray is used in many of the cleaning tips and tricks, so feel free to use a big bottle. Spray your windows just as you would with other glass cleaners, and wipe dry. You’ll have perfectly clear windows without the chemical smell.

Clothes Freshener

Instead of smelling like cherries and feathers from store bought fabric fresheners, use your vodka spray. As a clothes freshener, the vodka kills bacteria that gets into fabric, and stops odors between washes. Be sure and do a spot test of delicate or hand-dyed fabrics before spraying the entire garment.

Removing Rust

By Rafael Velasco (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Vodka is essential in a Screwdriver, and it’s all you need removing rust from old screws, as well. Just soak rusty nails or screws in straight vodka for at least an hour, then wipe clean with a towel. It also works with nuts, bolts, and washers.

Chrome Cleaner

Few things are as eye-catching as a chrome finish, but it’s important to keep your chrome polished and beautiful. Our trusty vodka spray is the perfect chrome cleaner for giving fixtures and fenders that classic sparkle. Use an extra-soft cotton cloth to get maximum shine.

Cleaning Mold

Mold can be a problem anywhere moisture gets trapped, and the alcohol in vodka is the perfect weapon. Use the go-to diluted vodka spray, or mix a new, slightly stronger batch, and spray over the moldy area. Let it sit for at least 15 minutes, then wipe clean. This vodka treatment can be repeated for problem areas, and works just as well for cleaning mold on soft surfaces, like carpet or upholstery, as it does on tile.

Poison Ivy Treatment

On your next camping trip, don’t forget to back the vodka. In addition to all of our other helpful household tips, vodka is one of the best ways to reduce the itch of poison ivy. Use the diluted spray version, or slightly dab straight vodka over the affected area with a soft cloth. The coolness created as the vodka evaporate will bring relief in no time.

Natural Insect Repellent

Insect Repellent with Vodka

To keep insects away, spray undiluted vodka onto your skin before you go outside. This is a great, more natural alternative to store bought insect repellent, but it might leave you smelling like happy hour. For some, smelling like booze is a badge of honor, but this might not be right for all situations. If you add a little dried lavender to your vodka a few hours before applying, you’ll end up with a softer smelling natural insect repellant.

Removing Ink Stains

Soaking certain stains in vodka before throwing them into the wash is an excellent pre-treatment. It will loosen the stains grip from the fibers of the fabric, and is especially effective with ink and grass stains. If you’re grilling or tailgating and get a grass stain, splash a little vodka on right away, then soak it again when you get home.

Cleaning Cloudy Glass

On those occasions that you do decide to drink or serve vodka, it’s important to have clean, sparkling glassware. Just spritz vodka from a spray bottle onto your glassware, then wipe down with a soft towel, cleaning cloudy glass and fingerprints away, leaving nothing but a shiny finish.

Reusable Cold Packs

Eyemask with Vodka

After a long day of work or play, muscles can be sore. A shot of ice cold vodka is always helpful, but you’ll be surprised to learn it can be used externally as well! In a heavy-duty quart size freezer bag, make a 50/50 mix of vodka and water, and freeze for several hours. You’ll end up with a slushy, mushy, reusable cold pack, perfect for soothing sore muscles. Store bought single shots work really well, too.

Stop Foot Odor

Foot odors can affect anyone anyone with an active lifestyle, and vodka is the solution. Fill a shallow tub halfway with room temperature vodka and warm water. This solution is the perfect bath to stop food odor by killing bacteria, as well as pull out dirt and grime from the soles of your feet. Unless you’re a high-roller, go for bottom-shelf vodka on this one. Save your top shelf bottle for that refreshing cocktail you enjoy while you sit and relax.

Release Bandages

A good bandage will keep a strong hold to your skin, protecting the cut or scrape underneath. Use vodka on a cotton ball to loosen the adhesive for painless bandage removal. Don’t worry if you get a little vodka on your cuts. It’s an antiseptic, too.

Clean Eyeglasses

Our trusty vodka-water spray is also great for cleaning your glasses or sunglasses. This is one time where vodka helps you avoid blurry vision.

Cleaning Razor Blades

After shaving, razors can be plugged with skin cells, body oils, soap, and bacteria. Soak razors in vodka for about ten minutes after each use, then rinse with water. This will help clean the blades, and keep them sharp longer, and making replacements less frequent.

Relieve Heat from Super Spicy Peppers

Relieve Heat from Super Spicy Peppers

Spicy food is great, but sometimes you take that bite and it’s just too much to handle. Typically, a drink of water offers some relief, but a shot of vodka is even better. The vodka will reduce the hot sensation left behind by the pepper, offering faster recovery than with water or milk. Try swishing it around like mouthwash, or drinking a nice, slow shot, allowing the vodka to cover the inside of your mouth completely.

Removing Sticker Residue

Price sticker residue is an epidemic. You get home with a fun new purchase, ready to put it to good use, only to stand at the kitchen sink with the back side of a butter knife removing sticker residue. Not anymore! Pull out our trusty vodka spray, and soak the sticky residue for a few minutes, then wipe clean with a towel. For more delicate items, try soaking the tip of a towel with vodka, and gently rubbing the glue away. If the glue is really stuck, take a quick shot of vodka to help with your patience. Either way, it’s a win.

Drink Recipes: Brazilian Mule

We really love Moscow Mules, and enjoy trying all of the many variations, such as the Mexican Mule, which replaces vodka with tequila. In honor of the World Cup, we wanted to share this great recipe inspired by one of Brazil’s native fruits. This Brazilian Mule recipe comes from the makers of VEEV spirit, a vodka alternative made with winter wheat and açaí berries. These berries grow wild in Brazil, making VEEV the perfect spirit for this twist on the classic Moscow Mule recipe.

Brazilian Mule

  • 2oz VEEV Spirit
  • 3oz Ginger Beer or Ginger Ale
  • Squeeze of fresh lime
  • 1 Dash of Angostura Bitters (optional)
  • Lime garnish

Add VEEV and ice to glass. Fill remainder of glass with ginger beer.

Siberia Stainless Steel Mug

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This sweet and spicy cocktail would look great served in our stainless steel mug, and offers a cold, refreshing treat on a hot summer night.