Beer on Rainey Street in Austin, Texas

I’ve decided to once in a while try and participate in #TravelTuesday, where on Tuesdays I will try to share some travel tips of places I’ve visited. I’m sure you won’t be surprised if a lot of the travel tips comprise of deliciousness in the form of food and drink.

I always seek out local when I travel. That’s certainly true of food, and the next thing I look for tends to be beer. When I was on a brief couple day stay in Austin, Texas for work, I picked out a hotel that was walkable to Rainey Street on purpose. I was fortunate in that my co-worker let me pick where to go, and we were off to two specific places I had in mind, and we knew and agreed that the goal was local beer.
Twisted X Senor Viejo, a beer I enjoyed at Craft Pride Banger's Sausage House and Beer Garden in Austin, Texas: Brewdog Paradox Smokehead, where Smokehead Whisky is infused into the beer to add atlantic smoke, peat, and oak to the flavors of roasted toffee of the Imperial Stout. 10 % ABV, from Fraserburgh, Scotland

The first stop was called Craft Pride. It’s very casual – they only serve food if you count going to the back patio and going to the pizza truck there as “food service”. You may see a little sandwich board with a beer joke out on what barely qualifies as the sidewalk of Rainey street, so don’t bother wearing heels on this street.
Craft Pride, serving all and only beer crafted in Texas Craft Pride, serving all and only beer crafted in Texas. Patio area in the back of Craft Pride where there is a pizza truck and possibly live music A beer joke at Craft Pride

The main attraction here is the beer chalkboard above the bar, which boast all and only local beers. You go up to the bar to order, and you can feel free to ask them for recommendations which may result in getting a little taste or two before investing in a full glass.
Almost 50 beers up on the board at Craft Pride beer bar, serving all beer and only beer crafted in Texas

A closeup of the menu options categorized as Outside the Box at Craft Pride:
A closeup of the menu options categorized as Outside the Box at Craft Pride, Austin TX

You can also get small pours to make your own beer flight.
Taster tray at Craft Pride, Austin Taster tray at Craft Pride, Austin Taster tray at Craft Pride, Austin

It definitely does have a very local feel, which I loved, down to the granola-y tattooed bartenders during my two visits (I couldn’t try all those beers, even sharing with my co-worker, in one visit) and chatting at the bar with other beer drinkers about Portland and Austin and in general craft beers. Although they are very Texas proud, there is no beer douchery or snobbery here – it’s all a friendly community – unless you come in here trying to ask for cocktails and shots. Go down the street to another place bros.

Craft Pride on Urbanspoon

We got hungry and needed to eat, and wanted something besides just pizza. So the next stop I had was only a few minutes walk down further on Rainey street to Banger’s Sausage House and Beer Garden. The size of Banger’s is probably twice the size of Craft Pride on the inside, and four times as big of an outside patio, including a little doggie-care gated area and an actual stage for the live music they host.
Banger's Sausage House and Beer Garden in Austin, Texas Banger's Sausage House and Beer Garden in Austin, Texas

If you love beer, you will probably be like me where these two places are enough of a stop already and you will be unable to visit anymore. That’s because both stops of Craft and Banger’s have a HUMONGO beer selection – in truth you could just stay at one beer bar if you wanted. To give you an idea, Banger’s has 100 beers to choose from, and Craft’s board had almost 50 beers. In particular, Banger’s Seasonal and Limited Beers impressed me with beers I had never seen in Portland or other cities and I cursed a little bit that I was nearing my liver limit for the day (particularly after I ordered the Brewdog Paradox Smokehead, where Smokehead Whisky is infused into the beer to add atlantic smoke, peat, and oak to the flavors of roasted toffee of the Imperial Stout at 10 % ABV, from Fraserburgh, Scotland).
Example of some of the Banger's Seasonal and Limited Beers

But when it comes down to the menu, I really loved the options at Banger’s, which also happens to, as they advertise at least, have the largest sausage selection in Austin. I wish we had come to Banger’s for a second time during my trip (we went to another beer place that I was not as impressed with and will not mention here) because there is more on the menu I wanted to try, and I definitely plan to come back here again. To give you an idea, during our visit we ordered the

  • Dak Bulgogi (Bulgogi Chicken Sausage topped with sriracha, kimchi, oyster sauce, cilantro, carrots, and jalapenos on a kolache bun with a side of soy caramel lime and house made kimchi salad and sun dried shrimp chips),
  • Drunk Chicken (sausage with beer, Serrano peppers, red pepper flakes, cilanto, and more beer),
  • Jalapeno Mac and Cheese with Cheddar, manchego, jalapeños, bread crumbs, and bacon lardons, and
  • Fried Cheese Curds (Wisconsin cheese curds breaded & fried, served with a side of Olaf Sauce).
    Dak Bulgogi, Bulgogi Chicken Sausage topped with sriracha, kimchi, oyster sauce, cilantro, carrots, and jalapenos on a kolache bun with a side of soy caramel lime. Served with a house made kimchi salad and sun dried shrimp chips. From Banger's Sausage House and Beer Garden in Austin, Texas Drunk Chicken (sausage with beer, Serrano peppers, red pepper flakes, cilanto, and more beer) From Banger's Sausage House and Beer Garden in Austin, Texas Jalapeno Mac and Cheese with Cheddar, manchego, jalapeños, bread crumbs, and bacon lardons. from Banger's Sausage House and Beer Garden in Austin, Texas Fried Cheese Curds, Wisconsin cheese curds breaded & fried, served with a side of Olaf Sauce. from Banger's Sausage House and Beer Garden in Austin, Texas

Other options that tempted me included Turducken (sausage with Turkey Duck and Chicken), they even had TWO veggie sausage options alone (one of which was a Beet and Goat cheese veggie sausage) with the 4 traditional and 6 exotic/wild game sausage options (including a Duck Bacon and Fig, or a South Texas Antelope and Venison Merguez), and that was not all the menu offerings either like Fried Chicken, Jalapeno Cream Corn with Onion Gratin, a Housemade Snickers Ice Cream Jar…
Sausage options at Banger's Sausage House and Beer Garden in Austin, Texas Example chicken sausage options at Banger's, Austin Texas

Banger's Sausage House & Beer Garden on Urbanspoon

I highly highly recommend both these places if you are in Austin and looking to try some local beer. I know I can’t wait to go back to these two places whenever I’m back in Austin next! The hotel we stayed at was the simple but comfortable Holiday Inn Austin-Town Lake Austin, which was very conveniently walkable to Rainey Street but affordable, and close to highways for our other business. Other hotels nearby include the Hilton Garden Inn Downtown, Hampton Inn and Suites Downtown, and Radisson Downtown among others in the walkable vicinity.

Have you ever been to Austin, and if so did you try any local Texas beer there?

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Portland Center Stage presents Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike

Until February 8 2015, Portland Center Stage is presenting a production of the Broadway hit and 2013 Tony Award winner for Best Play, “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike“.

The events of  Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike cover when Masha, the successful youngest sister, returns home with her young lover for a costume party and see her two older siblings (Vanya and Sonia) who stayed behind to take care of their parents and never left the hometown. The play’s themes center around the relationships between adult siblings and the self-awareness of those 3 siblings in knowing they are aging and halfway through their lives.
Vanya and Sonya and Masha and Spike  Art by Julia McNamara
Vanya and Sonya and Masha and Spike, Art by Julia McNamara

As you might guess from the names of the siblings – Vanya, the oldest brother, and his two younger sisters of Sonia and Masha, there are also plenty of references to Chekhov and a bit of mocking of classic theater. If you know a little bit, you will probably get a kick about little twists that are made, such as transformation of a Seagull (one of Chekhov’s famous plays) into references about a wild turkey, allusions about a Cherry Orchard (another Chekhov play, that one also about losing of a family estate) and Vanya being anxious about the future and reminiscing about the past (just like the namesake play Uncle Vanya). If you feel you might be missing some references or inside jokes, you probably are –  I felt I did.

If you are interested, PCS always provides a Resource Guide to all their plays if you want to do a little research ahead of time, and this one for Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike has a lot of background in it! And, it just so happens tomorrow January 24 you can even join in on a afternoon seminar on Chekhov and Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike led by a Yale educated dramaturg Kate Bredeson.

But you don’t have to know anything at all about Chekhov to enjoy Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike.  Some things, such as how people act before coffee, a hunk stripping (or reverse stripping) to his underwear, seeing over-dramatic crying, and hearing petty sniping between people, are just simply universally understood humor.
Portland Center Stage Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike  L-R: Sharonlee McLean as Sonia, Eden Malyn as Nina, Andrew Sellon as Vanya, Carol Halstead as Masha and Nick Ballard as Spike (front) and in
Portland Center Stage Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike L-R: Sharonlee McLean as Sonia, Eden Malyn as Nina, Andrew Sellon as Vanya, Carol Halstead as Masha and Nick Ballard as Spike (front) and in “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” by Christopher Durang. Photo by Patrick Weishampel.

Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, authored by playwright Christopher Durang, does carry on Chekhov’s emphasis more on dialogue and interesting characters than specific plots and events and everyone being unhappy each in their own way. But if you’ve ever watched any episode of Friends or Seinfeld or How I Met Your Mother, you’re already familiar with spending time with people just talking being entertainment enough for a viewer.
Portland Center Stage Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike  L-R: Nick Ballard as Spike, Carol Halstead as Masha, Andrew Sellon as Vanya and Sharonlee McLean as Sonia in
Portland Center Stage production of Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike L-R: Nick Ballard as Spike, Carol Halstead as Masha, Andrew Sellon as Vanya and Sharonlee McLean as Sonia in “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” by Christopher Durang. Photo by Patrick Weishampel.

I enjoyed all the characters, and all the performances by all the cast in this group are great, communicating their idiosyncrasies and self-centeredness while being endearing all at the same time.  Every character gets their moment – and each one was handled beautifully by each actor and actress. Although you are conscious about this being a play, each of these people also seemed oddly plausible and real life, not just a character. I chalk it up that even though some the character reactions are over the top, there is some sincerity of emotion coming from the performances that grounds it to more than just acting. The costuming and the stage are full of wonderful details – you can feel that all the objects on the set have a story behind them, and while the costume party costumes were exquisite, I was also coveting Masha’s morning robe.

Besides wondering what references or jokes I might have missed, the only other thing I wondered is when the time period of this play is set. Given the purported age of the characters, how can they reminisce with such strong nostalgia as if they’ve lived through the 50s and also complain about Twittering? 

The play and the production perfectly balances asking thoughtful questions and introspection about life with a tinge of melancholy, all without ever getting too moody. There is always a return to being able to laugh that life and people and our own culture can also be a bit preposterous.

There is some mature language and sexuality so PCS recommends it for ages 13+, and the closer you are to middle age or a Chekhov or theater geek, probably the more references you might enjoy in this play, although it isn’t needed. Performances, which run for the next  2 weeks until February 8, are at

  • Tuesday – Sunday 7:30 PM. ($39-63 for adults Tues, Wed, Thurs, Sun, $49-69 on Fri-Sat evening performances)
  • Saturday and Sundays at 2 PM and Thursdays at noon  ($36-52 for adults)

For a discount, save $5 with code word VOODOO. All performances are at the Armory (128 NW 11th Avenue, in the Pearl District) in the U.S. Bank Main Stage.

Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike runs for approximately 2 hours and 35 minutes, including one intermission. If you attend one of the 7:30 PM performances and want to have a bite/drink and chat about it, since you are not out until almost 10 PM, may I humbly point out that your closest options include Henry’s, Bluehour, Tilt, Oven and Shaker, and Fathead Brewpub, all within a few blocks.

You can also visit before the show for a drink or a bite at the Armoy. And as always you can pre-order your drink at the bar for intermission. You can bring your drink into the theater as long as it has a lid. I enjoyed a Spiked Punch they offered at the bar with Flor de Cana Silver Rum, Pineapple, Orange, Lime, Grenadine and Sprite. An option I pondered but didn’t try myself was The Cherry Orchard with Wonder Kombucha, New Deal Vodka, Bordeaux Cherry Relish and Lime.

Have you read or seen any Chekhov plays (I admit my knowledge was mainly the Seagull from school), or are there any productions from Portland Center Stage you enjoyed or are looking forward to this year?

Disclosure: I was invited to see this production, but I will always provide my honest opinion and assessment of all products and experiences I may be given. The views and opinions expressed in this blog are entirely my own.

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Truffles Everywhere at the Walk on the Wild Side Oregon Truffle Festival 2015

Last week, I attended the Walk on the Wild Side Chef Showcase at the World Forestry Center. This is the 10th year for the Oregon Truffle Festival that celebrates native Oregon black and white truffles. However, it is the first year that besides the events in Eugene that include Truffle Dog events, cooking classes, and forums, there were a few events that were being held in Portland/Yamhill.

This event was a walk around cocktail style event where various chefs from Oregon and Seattle offered small bites in which they utilized Oregon black truffles or white truffles while guests were also able to enjoy various beer, wine and spirits.
Walk on the Wild Side 2015 Walk on the Wild Side 2015

Here’s a recap of the various truffle bites I enjoyed!

From Olympic Provisions, white truffles were incorporated into a salami with sea salt, while the black truffles were mixed into the mustard to add additional oomf to other cured meats on the charcuterie table.
From Olympic Provisions, white truffles were incorporated into a salami with sea salt, while the black truffles were mixed into the mustard to add additional oomf to other cured meats on the charcuterie table at the Walk on the Wild Side, Oregon Truffle Festival 2015

Dustin Clark, previously of the now shuttered famous Wildwood Restaurant and working on opening new restaurant The Oddfellow Social brought Crispy Tater tots with fontina and tobiko and black truffle and also a Bánh nậm, a vietnamese dish of white truffle infused rice flour with roasted cauliflower and Meyer Lemon on a banana leaf.
Crispy Tater tots with fontina and tobiko and black truffle by Dustin Clark for the Walk on the Wild Side, Oregon Truffle Festival 2015 Crispy Tater tots with fontina and tobiko and black truffle by Dustin Clark for the Walk on the Wild Side, Oregon Truffle Festival 2015 Bánh nậm brought by Dustin Clark, a vietnamese dish of white truffle infused rice flour with roasted cauliflower and Meyer Lemon on a banana leaf for the Walk on the Wild Side, Oregon Truffle Festival 2015

Jason Wilson of Crush brought out a squid risotto with black truffle, cauliflower and grilled scallion sauce
Jason Wilson of Crush brought to the table squid risotto with black truffle, cauliflower and grilled scallion sauce for the Walk on the Wild Side, Oregon Truffle Festival 2015

Stephanie Pearl Kimmel and Crystal Platt of Marché Restaurant in Eugene celebrated black truffles and white truffles with dishes of Boudin Blanc with black truffles and mustard cream and a Celery Root Panna Cotta with white truffles and a apple celery hazelnut salad and trufle aioli. I also appreciated how they beautifully added to their tablescape with trees and pine cones.
Stephanie Pearl Kimmel of Marche in Eugene celebrated truffles with Boudin Blanc with black truffles and mustard cream and a Celery Root Panna Cotta with white truffles and a apple celery hazelnut salad and trufle aioli for the Walk on the Wild Side, Oregon Truffle Festival 2015 tephanie Pearl Kimmel of Marche in Eugene celebrated truffles with Boudin Blanc with black truffles and mustard cream for the Walk on the Wild Side, Oregon Truffle Festival 2015 Stephanie Pearl Kimmel of Marche in Eugene celebrated truffles with a Celery Root Panna Cotta with white truffles and a apple celery hazelnut salad and trufle aioli for the Walk on the Wild Side, Oregon Truffle Festival 2015

Brian McCracken and Dana Tough of multiple restaurants in Seattle (and branded under the awesome McCracken Tough moniker) showed off a pastrami cured kobe beef Philly cheesesteak with melted cheddar and black truffle, as well as a White truffle headcheese with greens, white truffle cream, and shaved white truffle that showcased the truffle flavor the best I think that evening – every bite you can taste truffle.
Brian McCracken and Dana Tough of multiple restaurants in Seattle showed off a pastrami cured kobe beef Philly cheesesteak with melted cheddar and black truffle for the Walk on the Wild Side, Oregon Truffle Festival 2015 Brian McCracken and Dana Tough of multiple restaurants in Seattle (and branded McCracken Tough also brought my favorite truffle showoff dish of the night, a White truffle headcheese with greens, white truffle cream, and shaved white truffle

There were also two entries from Justin Wills for the Restaurant Beck with a Financier with arugula cheese and black truffle and a fancy modernist Crab bisque foam on Meyer lemon gelee with parsnip, tarragon crumble, watercress, and white truffle.
Financier with arugula cheese and black truffle by Justin Wills for the Restaurant Beck for the Walk on the Wild Side, Oregon Truffle Festival 2015 Crab bisque foam on Meyer lemon gelee with parsnip, tarragon crumble, watercress, and white truffle by Justin Wills for the Restaurant Beck for the Walk on the Wild Side, Oregon Truffle Festival 2015

Tyler Malek of Salt and Straw with Woodblock chocolate ice cream scoop, black truffle ice cream scoop, white truffle magic shell, white truffle gummy bears, shaved black truffle, seriously those gummy bears were awesome: here you can see him hand shaving the black truffle on top and then adding the white truffle gummy bears for every sundae served!
Tyler Malek of Salt & Straw hand shaving the black truffle on top of his offering for the evening, a truffle sundae with with Woodblock chocolate ice cream scoop, black truffle ice cream scoop, white truffle magic shell, white truffle gummy bears, shaved black truffle for the Walk on the Wild Side, Oregon Truffle Festival 2015 Tyler Malek of Salt & Straw adding the white truffle gummy bears on top of his offering for the evening, a truffle sundae with with Woodblock chocolate ice cream scoop, black truffle ice cream scoop, white truffle magic shell, white truffle gummy bears, shaved black truffle for the Walk on the Wild Side, Oregon Truffle Festival 2015 Tyler Malek of Salt and Straw with Woodblock chocolate ice cream scoop, black truffle ice cream scoop, white truffle magic shell, white truffle gummy bears, shaved black truffle for the Walk on the Wild Side, Oregon Truffle Festival 2015 Tyler Malek of Salt and Straw with Woodblock chocoalte ice cream scoop, black truffle ice cream scoop, white truffle magic shell, white truffle gummy bears, shaved black truffle for the Walk on the Wild Side, Oregon Truffle Festival 2015

Jason Stoller Smith of Timberline Lodge with pumpkin ganache with white chocolate, white truffle, pine nuts and microgreens and who doesn’t love egg? Now add chicken skin! AND truffle? So Jason brought sous vide egg, truffle infused whole milk, chicken skin with black truffle crumble, truffle oil, shaved black truffle and micro shiso
Jason Stoller Smith of Timberline Lodge with pumpkin ganache with white choclate, white truffle, pine nuts and microgreens for the Walk on the Wild Side, Oregon Truffle Festival 2015 Jason Stoller Smith of Timberline Lodge with sous vide egg, truffle infused whole milk, chicken skin with black truffle crumble, truffle oil, shaved black truffle and micro shiso for the Walk on the Wild Side, Oregon Truffle Festival 2015 Jason Stoller Smith of Timberline Lodge with sous vide egg, truffle infused whole milk, chicken skin with black truffle crumble, truffle oil, shaved black truffle and micro shiso for the Walk on the Wild Side, Oregon Truffle Festival 2015

During the entire evening, there were beverages provided by Erath Winery, Left Coast Cellars, Breakside Brewery, Gilgamesh Brewing, Bull Run Distillery, and Indio Spirits during the evening.

Special thanks to Heather Jones for the Industry Discount she informed me about which allowed me to fit this event into my budget so I could purchase a ticket and attend this event! Check out Heather Jones Consulting and her show with Chris Angelus of Portland Food Adventures, Right at the Fork – a podcast about the Portland food & beverage scene.

The Eugene events are this weekend, if you are interested a few still have tickets left!

What truffle dish sounds like it would have been your favorite?

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Holidays in Sonoma – Cline Cellars and Jacuzzi Family Vineyards

This is my last on my series on Sonoma and my visit there for a long holiday weekend.

On Thanksgiving day, there were two wineries open- Cline Cellars and Jacuzzi Family Vineyards. These two wineries were not originally on our wishlist, but because of the happenstance of them being open, we visited. And, we had a fun time trying these value wines and visiting. Both had some really unique attractions to their grounds. Both handle groups well too and have friendly, efficient pourers.

Both of these wineries are owned by the same family venture and are located basically across the street from each other on Highway 121.
A view of the vines and a few rose bushes (with no roses in November) of the thousand roses they have on the cline Cellars property

We stopped at Cline Cellars first. Cline offers sustainably farmed wines using a great variety of grapes, which was fun to try. They do not have a tasting fee to try 5 of their non-reserve wines, or it is only $5 to try a flight of three reserve wines.
stairs to the tasting room of Cline Cellars Tasting wines at Cline Cellars Tasting wines at Cline Cellars, tasting five non reserve wines are free!

If you get a chance, pick out the Late Harvest Mouverde to sample, which is a dessert wine so comes with a little bit of chocolate!
If you get a chance, pick out the Late Harvest Mouverde at Cline Cellars to sample, which is a dessert wine so comes with a little bit of chocolate! If you get a chance, pick out the Late Harvest Mouverde at Cline Cellars to sample, which is a dessert wine so comes with a little bit of chocolate!

They also have several special attractions on the ground so you can walk around to stretch your legs viewing their carp pond (bring quarters to buy a little fish food out of their machine), their various exotic birds, and two adorable miniature burrows named Pudding and Fancy.
Feeding carp at the carp pond at Cline Cellars Feeding carp at the carp pond at Cline Cellars Some of the exotic birds saved and on display on the properties of Cline Cellars Some of the exotic birds saved and on display on the properties of Cline Cellars Some of the exotic birds saved and on display on the properties of Cline Cellars Some of the exotic birds saved and on display on the properties of Cline Cellars

We were not in the right time of year for it, but they also have thousands of roses around the property. As you walk to visit the other ponds, you will probably notice some humorous signs warning of ridiculous animals that might be in the waters(such as sharks…) – and there is California Mission Museum on the property (free admission) and a train car (seemingly used for special occasions) to peer in as well. If you stop by, make sure you walk the grounds and not just taste. If you are visiting Sonoma with family, this is one that would please everyone.

Part of the John Galt Express on the property, seemingly for special occasions at the Cline Cellars grounds Part of the John Galt Express on the property, seemingly for special occasions at the Cline Cellars grounds

Across the street, Jacuzzi Family Vineyards with their stone structure and large spaces and decorative elements seems ready for any special occasion. I also admired their amphora shaped shrubbery. Yes, this Jacuzzi family is the same one that invented the bath and spa that still bears their name.
The amphora shaped shrubbery on the grounds of Jacuzzi Family Vineyards The front of the building for the tasting room of Jacuzzi Family Vineyards The front of the building for the tasting room of Jacuzzi Family Vineyards Some of the beautiful grounds of Jacuzzi Family Vineyards

This is a place I would suggest trying their wide variety of grapes they make into wines (they have almost 2 dozen wines!), and after picking out a favorite get a glass or bottle and enjoy a little time here chatting and relaxing. Like their sibling Cline, there is no tasting fee to try 5 wines. For a few a small fee, you can get the Chocolate Shooters, which is a chocolate cup filled with a bit of wine. Our pourer was very friendly and knowledgable. I wasn’t surprised to learn that I liked several of their reds because they have volcanic rock (I always seem to love volcanic soil wines), particularly their smokey Barbera. My friend and I ended up sending a case home – and we got confirmation that they shipped it the next day. Yeah, that means the day after Thanksgiving, so efficient!

Also like their sibling Cline, they use sustainable practices. For instance, they use a “Compost tea,” consisting of molasses, fish emulsion, rock dust and microbes fertilize the vines. And, they use sheep to control weed growth and pull the rest out by hand. By hand. Wow.

At Jacuzzi’s location is The Olive Press, a whole room almost as large as the tasting room for the wine, where you can try various combinations of olive oil and vinegar infusions and seasonings. They really have some excellent combinations and ideas, such as Lime Olive Oil and Coconut Balsamic Vinegar, or Jalapeno Olive Oil and Peach Balsamic Vinegar, and I love the Fig Balsamic on a cheese plate.

Here’s a good look at some some of the grounds at Jacuzzi: notice the statue wearing shades!

Some of the beautiful grounds of Jacuzzi Family Vineyards Some of the beautiful grounds of Jacuzzi Family Vineyards Some of the beautiful grounds of Jacuzzi Family Vineyards Some of the beautiful grounds of Jacuzzi Family Vineyards Some of the beautiful grounds of Jacuzzi Family Vineyards Some of the beautiful grounds of Jacuzzi Family Vineyards Some of the beautiful grounds of Jacuzzi Family Vineyards Some of the beautiful grounds of Jacuzzi Family Vineyards Some of the beautiful grounds of Jacuzzi Family Vineyards Some of the beautiful grounds of Jacuzzi Family Vineyards Some of the beautiful grounds of Jacuzzi Family Vineyards

This post is part of my series on my trip to Sonoma where I list various recommendations.

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Non-alcoholic Cranberry Ginger Ale Punch Recipe

I hosted a New Year’s Eve pre-party get together at my home on New Year’s eve where those going to their New Year’s Eve shindig could stop by and grab a bite to eat (we had food brought in from Chez Dodo) and a warm up drink or two before going off to where they would ring in the new year. A small group of us stayed and just rang in the new year at my home. We had an assortment of mostly beer that we were enjoying all night, but I wanted to provide a non-alcoholic option that was fun and festive.

Enter this Non-alcoholic Cranberry Ginger Ale punch!

Non alcoholic Cranberry Punch with Jellied Cranberry Sauce, Orange Juice, Lemon Juice, and Ginger Ale! Easy!

It is super easy to put together with only 4 ingredients, 2 of which you probably already have at home constantly anyway (and you want that OJ for New Year’s Day mimosas right)? I liked that I didn’t need to use anything from concentrate, and this was still super cheap to make in terms of ingredients. I made 2 batches and this served 20 of us (granted, not everyone was having punch) since each batch yields about 3 1/2 quarts.

Ingredients:

  • 2 packages of ~16 ounces each jellied cranberry sauce. I used Pacific organic jellied cranberry sauce, which comes in 15.6 oz containers and were on sale at Whole Foods.
  • 1 1/2 cups orange juice
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1 2 liter bottle of ginger ale

Directions:

  1. In a large pitcher or punch bowl, whisk cranberry sauce until smooth.
    Non-alcoholic Cranberry Ginger Ale Punch Recipe: Pacific Organic Jellied Cranberry Sauce being whisked from the rectangular shape of the package to be more freeform
  2. Whisk in orange and lemon juices. Refrigerate and keep doing the rest of your party food or house cleaning.
    Non-alcoholic Cranberry Ginger Ale Punch recipe: Whisking in the Organic Jellied Cranberry Sauce with Orange Juice and Lemon Juice in my Punch Container
  3. Just before serving, take out the pitcher/punch bowl and add in the bottle of refrigerated ginger ale slowly so the fizz doesn’t go over the rim. Serve with ice and/or vodka if case anyone ones to add a little kick to their punch.
    Non-alcoholic Cranberry Ginger Ale Punch recipe: Adding in the Ginger Ale to my Cranberry punch Non alcoholic Cranberry Punch with Jellied Cranberry Sauce, Orange Juice, Lemon Juice, and Ginger Ale

I like this punch because it’s well… punchy! It has a tart tang to it which is refreshing and festive, and the reddish color is great for the holidays. Even though it got flatter, I still was drinking the leftovers out of a pitcher for the rest of the week- just make sure you stir because some of the cranberry will settle to the bottom of the beverage.

Non alcoholic Cranberry Punch with Jellied Cranberry Sauce, Orange Juice, Lemon Juice, and Ginger Ale

Cheers!

What do you like to serve as a non alcoholic option to your guests?

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