Win A Trip To New Orleans With Sandeman’s Summer Sangria Challenge

sangriaPort enthusiasts will be familiar with the Sandeman brand, but this summer, the distinguished producer wants you to think of their fortified wine in a new light: as a mixer. For their Sandeman Summer Sangria Challenge, participants must submit a photo and original sangria recipe that incorporates a bottle of Sandeman Founders Reserve Porto.

Anything else goes ingredient-wise, but it’s helpful to remember that true sangria is a red wine punch from Rioja, Spain. Traditionally, it combines Rioja or another varietal of regional wine with Brandy and fresh fruit. It’s hard to improve upon a classic, but in my experience, Port makes everything better.

The winner will receive a trip for two to New Orleans to attend Tales of the Cocktail – the world’s premier cocktail festival – in July. To enter, visit www.facebook.com/SandemanPorto by June 1. Recipes should yield one pitcher of sangria.

[Photo credit: Flickr user divya_]

How to Make Traditional Sangria

100 year-old whiskey dug up from Antarctic ice

Back in November we reported a plan by the New Zealand Antarctic Heritage Trust to retrieve crates of whiskey left by Sir Ernest Shackleton and his team after on unsuccessful attempt to make it to the South Pole in 1907-1909. The Nimrod Expedition made it to within 100 miles of the Pole before harsh weather forced the explorers to retreat. They ditched much of their gear along the way, including the whiskey.

In a remarkable feat of icy archaeology, these crates, which have been sitting under a cabin built by Shackleton’s team, have been pried free of the surrounding ice. Whiskey company Whyte and Mackay is elated. The company gave the Sir Shackleton the booze but hasn’t made this particular blend in decades. They’re hoping to sample the blend and replicate it.

The New Zealand Antarctic Heritage Trust originally thought there were only two crates, so the other three came as a bonus. Three are labeled as whiskey and two as brandy. A few bottles might have broken, however, because the archaeologists smelled alcohol as they dug them up. They still need to scrape off the ice encasing the crates and gently remove ice that has formed inside before they know how many of the bottles are intact.

More ice cold news we’ve covered in the past – Brrrrr!

$2500 Ice CreamSundaeScience in AntarcticaJon Bowermaster says HI from AntarcticaFive ways to survive the freakishly cold weatherIowa town drops garlic salt on their roads
The worlds largest ice cavesStay safe driving on the iceNew ice hotel opens its doorsIs this the most disgusting ice cream in the worldFreeze your backside off in the Minus 5 Vodka lounge

Eggnog: Where does it come from?

I’ve long been a fan of spiced ‘nog. It’s one of the creamiest, best tastes in the world. For over 300 years, eggnog has been a Christmas staple, and I just had to get to the bottom of the mystery of ‘why’? What I discovered in my research of the origin of eggnog was quite startling. While ‘nog definitely came from Europe circa early 17th century, the term “eggnog” and the etymology of the word is perhaps the more interesting story.

The original eggnog was a mixture of milk, egg, spices, and wine (in parts of Europe like France), beer (in England), or sherry (in Spain). The alcoholic portion of the drink depends on how you interpret the “nog” in the name. That is because “nog” could mean the Old English term for a strong beer, or it could be interpreted from Middle English as “noggin,” the wooden mug that the drink was served in.
It seems quite unusual (and kind of unappetizing) to me that, before it arrived on America’s shores, eggnog was made with wine, beer, or sherry. Americans — the drunks that we are — decided to spike the drink with more concentrated spirits such as rum and brandy. Our first President, George Washington, would make the drink so strong that only the burliest of drinkers could handle it. The term for rum is actually “grog,” but “eggrog” doesn’t sound very good at all, now, does it? (It makes me think of a lumpy, spiked oatmeal — yuck!) Americans also boil their eggnog so as to avoid getting salmonella from the raw egg.

Even more variations of traditional eggnog are popping up around the globe. In Louisiana, they replace the rum with bourbon. In Puerto Rico, they add coconut milk. In Mexico, it’s a hard drink, as it’s mixed with grain alcohol. In Peru, it’s made with “pisco,” a local brandy.

Whatever the form or unique flavor, drinking eggnog is a Christmas tradition because of its warming effect and generally sweet, smooth, and spicy taste which make it a perfect holiday drink.

[Information was gathered from Wikipedia, About.com, and TheKitchenProject.com]